University at Buffalo The State University of New York

Undergraduate Curriculum and Courses

The dean of undergraduate education oversees all course and curriculum development for undergraduates, including proposals for new courses, degrees, certificates, minors and concentrations; revisions to existing courses or curricula; elimination of outdated offerings; and changes in major and degree admission criteria and requirements. This dynamic process is ongoing as departments and schools continually assess their offerings and seek to provide undergraduate students with the most enriching and appropriate academic experience.

Faculty interested in proposing new degree programs, revising current programs, and creating new courses are directed to review the Course and Curriculum Guidelines and Forms below as well as seek assistance as needed from the Office of Undergraduate Education at vpue@buffalo.edu.

  • Approvals of New Degree Programs, Curriculum Revisions and New Courses is an archive of prior-year curricular changes. Each academic year, the Office of Undergraduate Education receives many proposals for new or revised courses and curricula. To assess these and ensure that all academic adjustments conform to university, SUNY and New York State Education Department policies, a council of associate deans for undergraduates and Faculty Senate representation is chaired by the dean of undergraduate education. The council meets monthly to review all such proposals. This review provides a campus-wide perspective that allows for both an assessment of the proposals and the determination of cross-decanal impacts. Overall the process seeks to apply a university-wide perspective and consistent criteria with an overarching concern for the quality of UB’s undergraduate education.

Course and Curriculum Proposals: Guidelines

Submission of Course and Curricular Proposals:

  1. Unit-Based Approval: Each proposal must adhere to the process for curricular review for the offering unit.
  2. Proposal Process and Schedule: Following the prescribed process below, proposals will be considered during the monthly Associate Deans’ Council meetings.
  3. Deadlines for Course or Curricular Changes: To ensure that a proposal will be reviewed and approved in time for the intended semester start date, units should adhere to the Curricular Change Deadlines (PDF) timetable. Changes to curricular requirements may only be implemented with a fall effective date, so care must be taken to ensure proposals are submitted early enough for consideration, especially if they require further review by SUNY and SED.
  4. New, Revised or Special Topics Course Proposals:
  1. New or Revised Courses: To propose a new course or revise existing courses, departments and dean’s offices should review the deadlines and schedule of meetings indicated above and then submit the proposal using the electronic UB Course Proposal (UBITName and password required).
  2. Changes to Existing Courses: Changes that include minor alterations of title or description; deactivating or activating a course; changing or adding a component; making a course repeatable for credit; and allowing multiple enrollments in a term, may be accomplished with the use of the Department Scheduler System (UBITName and password required). Substantial alterations that alter the content of the course or add or delete prerequisites may not use this system.
  3. Special Topics: To offer a special topics course utilizing an existing special topics course number, use the Department Scheduler System (UBITName and password required).
  1. New Degree Programs or Curricular Revisions:
  1. SUNY and SED Approvals: Beyond UB review and approval, certain curricular proposals and revisions must be further considered by SUNY and SED. These include: all new programs; all programs that lead to licensure; discontinuation of existing programs; programs to be offered in a different format (online); and any program for which the cumulative changes since the last registration equals one-third of the degree (40 credits for most UB degrees). Please review the SUNY Guide to Academic Program Planning (PDF), which provides an overview of SUNY’s guide for academic program planning to complement the detailed policy and procedural information.
  2. New Degree or Certificate Proposal: For new degree proposals, use the forms provided in the SUNY Forms for Academic Program Planning — 1A or 2A. A new undergraduate Certificate proposal utilizes Form 2C. Consult with the Office of Undergraduate Education for guidance and assistance.
  3. Curriculum Changes to Existing Programs:
    1. Non-licensure Programs: Proposals to revise existing UB non-licensure programs may utilize the Guidelines for Revision of Existing Academic Programs (DOCX) if the changes are relatively few. However, under new SED and SUNY guidelines, approval of these and any subsequent routine changes to those particular degree programs WILL require SUNY and SED approval once the cumulative total of curricular changes reaches or exceeds the nominal “one-third of a program” limit since the last SED registration. The Office of Undergraduate Education will track this record. That new approach to program change approval is described in SUNY’s new Guide to Academic Program Planning (PDF) (see part 6: “Changing Existing Programs”). This process requires the campus to keep track of changes to those programs until they reach the threshold where SUNY and SED approval of the cumulative set of changes is required. Such proposals will require the use of Forms 3A or 3B depending on the type of revision. Please consult with the Office of Undergraduate Education to confirm the appropriate process.
    2. Licensure Programs: Any revisions to licensure programs must be reviewed and approved by SUNY and SED after campus approval and therefore must utilize the SUNY Forms for Academic Program Planning specifically using Forms 3A or 3B. Please consult with the Office of Undergraduate Education to confirm the appropriate process.
  4. Proposal for a New Minor or Revisions to a Currently Approved Minor: Departments and decanal units proposing new minors should follow the Guidelines for Minor Proposals (PDF).
  5. Combined Degree Programs: To submit a new combined undergraduate and graduate professional degree program or changes to an approved combined degree program, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Education at 716-645-6003 and the Graduate School at 716-645-2939.

Last updated: June 16, 2017 11:17 am EST