P-1: NEW UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES/MAJORS, OPTIONS, IUGs, AND MINORS; AND CHANGES IN UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS/MAJORS, OPTIONS, IUGs, AND MINORS

P-1 Curricular Program Prospectus submission form

P-1 proposals are the basis of Administrative and University Faculty Senate curricular approval and are used to add or amend undergraduate academic programs (including majors, options within majors, IUGs, and minors). P-1 proposals are submitted by academic units to the Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs through their dean (University Park) or the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses.

Administrative approval is required when colleges or campuses propose new majors, options, IUGs, and minors or propose to change the name of existing programs.

Administrative approval is not required to implement the curricular amendment of majors, options, IUGs, or minors approved by the Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs.

Implementation of P-1 proposals may occur the first semester following approval. Students must receive timely notification and will be subject to the requirements in effect at the time of most recent entrance into the program. Students may consult with the head of a program or program committee or their representative to resolve difficulties caused by the curricular change.

P-1 Review and Approval Process

The process for developing new or making changes to existing undergraduate degrees/majors, options, IUGs, and minors should begin in the academic unit and adhere to the processes required by that unit. Once unit approval is obtained, the steps listed below may be taken. Program approval times may vary based on unit requirements, consultation, and committee meeting schedules; therefore, these steps should be initiated at least one year in advance of the desired delivery date for the new or changed program.

P-1 Proposal Elements for new programs or options, or substantial changes to programs or options:

All new programs or option proposals as well as substantial program changes should include the following elements. The prospectus memo will indicate whether a proposal reflects substantial program changes. P-1 proposals must include current, localized data and information relevant to several academic and strategic elements. These include, but may not be limited to:

  1. A statement of clear, measurable and rigorous program objectives and learning outcomes.

  2. Relationship of proposal to university and college mission.

  3. Program quality indicators such as:

    1. On-going involvement of a minimum of three or more full-time faculty aligned academically and disciplinarily with the program. These faculty may be located at a single campus, or in the case of shared programs, across multiple campus locations;
    2. Program leadership by senior-level faculty;
    3. Ability to move student program cohorts through in a timely manner;
    4. Availability of a sufficient number of program electives within the discipline and in supporting area of study;
    5. University-wide curricular integrity that includes disciplinary community engagement and the avoidance of curricular drift;
    6. Ability to minimize the need for core course substitutions and explicit rationale for, and justification of, necessary core substitutions.

  4. Impact on Penn State college and campus enrollments and flow of students among campuses.

  5. Market need and demand documented by current, valid, and reliable evidence.

  6. Physical and fiscal resource availability (please include the official University Budget Office costing analysis form as well as other relevant information).

  7. Strategic and academic approval and support demonstrated by the sign-off of the appropriate chancellor and/or dean.

  8. Disciplinary community and administrative consultation.

P-1 Proposal elements for limited program changes:

The prospectus memo will indicate whether a limited proposal is required. The limited proposal may include the following elements, as well as additional elements listed in the memo:

  1. Justification of program change;
  2. Description of program change;
  3. Impact on other academic units;
  4. Resource implications, if any.

Approved: Provost Brighton (6-23-98)

Revised: ACUE (5-3-01)

Revised Editorial: (4-18-06)

Approved: ACUE (2-7-08)

Revised: ACUE (9-2-10)

Revised: ACUE (5-5-11)

Revised: ACUE (11-7-13)

Revised: ACUE (3-6-14)


The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. Please consult a Penn State academic adviser for more detailed information. Penn State is an affirmative action, equal opportunity university.