The Graduate Catalog: Academic Changes and flow chart (PDF)

Graduate academic changes are changes to existing degree programs and academic policies. A nonsubstantial academic change affects the degree requirements or academic policies of an individual graduate program; a substantial academic change affects the minimum degree requirements or academic policies of the Graduate School that govern all graduate programs. This category does not include changes that must be reported to or approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB); these are addressed in the description of graduate degree program changes.

Questions about the procedures described here should be directed to the Graduate School. All correspondence and contact with The University of Texas System (UT System) should be coordinated through the Graduate School.

Key to Abbreviations

  1. Nonsubstantial Academic Changes

    Final Approval

    Vice provost and dean of graduate studies (graduate dean)

    The graduate dean generally approves requests that meet minimum Graduate School requirements. At his or her discretion, the graduate dean may refer a proposed change to the Graduate Assembly for its review and approval; in this case, the approval process below for substantial academic changes is followed.

    Description

    Nonsubstantial academic changes are changes to the degree requirements or academic policies of an individual graduate program that remain within the minimum requirements of the Graduate School.

    Approval and Notification Process
a. Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)
A Graduate Studies Committee normally submits a nonsubstantial academic change by making the change in the proposed text for the next graduate catalog. If the GSC wants the change to be effective before the next catalog is published, the graduate adviser or GSC chair sends a letter requesting the change to the graduate dean.

All proposed changes must be approved by the program’s GSC. The GSC chair should consult the department chair and college dean before submitting an academic change, although formal approval of the department chair and dean may not be required.

b. Graduate School
Nonsubstantial academic changes require the approval of the graduate dean.

c. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP)
In consultation with the graduate adviser and the Graduate School as needed, OP edits catalog copy to ensure (1) that all proposed academic changes have been approved by the graduate dean, and (2) that all academic changes approved by the graduate dean are included in the catalog. An academic change will not be published unless it has gone through the approval process described here.
  1. Substantial academic changes

    Final Approval

    Executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, The University of Texas System (EVCAA)

    Description

    Substantial academic changes are changes to the minimum degree requirements or academic policies of the Graduate School that govern all graduate programs. A change may be submitted to the Graduate School or to the Graduate Assembly by a graduate program, or it may be proposed by a member or a standing committee of the Graduate Assembly.

    Approval and Notification Process
a. Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)
A Graduate Studies Committee may propose a substantial academic change via a memo to the graduate dean or via the Graduate Assembly. The graduate dean will forward proposals to the appropriate standing committee of the Graduate Assembly for review.

All changes proposed by a graduate program must be approved by the program’s GSC. The GSC chair should consult the department chair and college dean before submitting a substantial academic change, although formal approval of the department chair and dean may not be required.

b. Standing Committee of the Graduate Assembly
Proposals may also originate in the Graduate Assembly, via an assembly member or one of the standing committees. All proposals must be reviewed by the appropriate standing committee (Academic, Administrative, or Admissions and Enrollment), which will make a recommendation to the Graduate Assembly. (The responsibilities of the standing committees are described in PM 1.201, Rules and Bylaws of the Graduate Assembly.) Proposals recommended for approval by a standing committee go the Graduate Assembly for a vote.

c. Graduate Assembly
The proposal is presented and discussed at a Graduate Assembly meeting. Proposals approved by the Graduate Assembly are sent to the graduate dean.

d. Vice provost and dean of graduate studies
The graduate dean forwards a recommendation for approval or disapproval to the provost.

e. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP)
In consultation with the graduate adviser and the Graduate School as needed, OP edits catalog copy to ensure (1) that all proposed academic changes have been approved by the graduate dean, and (2) that all academic changes approved by the graduate dean are included in the catalog.
     OP also ensures that all substantial academic changes are approved by the provost before they are published; any changes not approved by the provost at press time will be omitted from the catalog. An academic change will not be published unless it has gone through the approval process described here.

f. Provost (acting on behalf of the president)
The provost sends the proposal with an approval letter to the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, The University of Texas System.

g. Executive vice chancellor for academic affairs (EVCAA)
The associate vice chancellor for academic planning and assessment handles proposed changes. If the associate vice chancellor and the UT System staff have no concerns about the change, the associate vice chancellor notifies the provost that the change is approved.

h. Provost
The provost notifies the Graduate School and OP of the executive vice chancellor’s action.

i. Graduate School
The Graduate School notifies colleges, graduate programs, and appropriate administrative offices.
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