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Academic Program Development and Compliance

This webpage provides resources, guidelines, and support for the development of academic programs and direction on institutional governance, regulatory requirements, and accreditor responsibilities affecting program development or the operations associated with existing programs.


Approvals Required for Curricular Changes (Chart) This chart provides the required review process for the most common curricular changes to academic programs.

There are several types of curricular proposals that may be proposed. The approval process is dependent upon the type of curricular proposal being proposed. Please contact the Program Development Specialist to determine the category of the curricular  proposal you are making.

Proposals for New Minors or Modification of Minors

This is the document the Senate approved in 2024 for the proposal of a new minor. The form is to be completed by proposers of new minors prior to review by Loyola governance. If you have questions regarding the creation and process for proposing new minors or the modification of a minor, please contact the Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Academic Program Proposal Form and Guidelines 

The Academic Program Proposal Form and Guidelines This is the document Loyola's Senate approved in 2018 to be utilized for certain curricular changes such as new academic program proposals and substantial modifications to an existing program as well as other types of proposals listed on the documents first page. Please contact the Program Development Specialist for current MHEC regulations and requirements for new degree and certificate programs and substantial modifications to a program including areas of concentration.  


Program Incubator         

New Program Incubator Overview Loyola provides an academic program incubator. The incubator provides insightful feedback and recommendations to proposers of academic program proposals.

Incubator Proposal Form for New or Modified Academic Programs (Form) This form is to be completed by proposers wishing feedback on academic program proposals prior to significant development of the proposal and prior to formal review by Loyola governance and/or external reviewers.

New Program Incubator Proposal Process (Diagram) This diagram provides an explanation of the incubator proposal process from idea generation to writing the proposal.

Program Process

Program Development Process (Form and Instructions) This form and instructions provides the development process for writing the program proposal in conjunction with the program development specialist.

Program Approval Workflow This document provides the workflow for new programs and substantial curricular changes to existing programs.

Proposal Timeline (Chart) This chart provides a general guideline for the time required from development to implementation of a new academic program or substantial modification to existing academic program.

CASL Guiding Questions for the Development of Program Learning Outcomes This document provides guidance to proposers for developing program learning outcomes.

Considerations when Developing a Proposal for a New Program or Substantial Modification to an Existing Program



In developing academic programs or the offering of existing programs at non-Evergreen locations, Loyola University Maryland has a relationship with three external bodies: the Maryland High Education Commission (MHEC), the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and the U.S. Department of Education. Each of these agencies has distinct, separate, and explicit roles and functions, albeit with some overlap in certain areas of collective or mutual interest.

As a general principle, those curricular or programmatic proposals that require review by MHEC require consideration by Loyola governance. This includes new degree or certificate program proposals or the substantial modification of a degree or certificate program. Below is a description and definition of programs and modifications that require consideration by Loyola governance and those annotated with an asterisk also requires MHEC review.

Proposals Requiring Loyola Governance, and MHEC Review

  • A new degree or certificate program*
  • a 'substantial modification'* to an existing degree, minor, or certificate program where proposed curricular changes affect more than 33% of an existing program's course work.
  • Online programs* whether new or previously approved for offering in a distance education format to a classroom or site-based learning format, where 100% or more of the credits or courses associated with the program are available online.
  • Establishing a new area of concentration* within an existing program (for example, an institution offers a program in psychology and wishes to add a new area of concentration in employee assistance training, or an institution offers a program in mental health and wishes to offer a new area of concentration in addiction counseling); Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13B.02.03.02B defines area of concentration. 'Area of concentration' means a sequential arrangement of courses within a program that:
    • At the bachelor's level is at least 24 semester credit hours;
    • At the master's level is at least 12 semester credit hours above the bachelor's degree; and
    • At the doctoral level is at least 18 semester credit hours above the master's degree.
  • Title change of program or major*. Requires appropriate review (see Curricular Proposal Process chart) and notifications to relevant curriculum committees.
  • Any program changes requiring review by the Undergraduate or Graduate Curriculum Committee. The relevant curriculum committee will review the proposed changes and the information requested. This review can take up to four weeks.
  • Development of a minor. The requirements for minors range from 5-7 courses. Minors typically require 6 three credit courses. Any proposed minor requiring few than six or more than seven courses should provide written justification.
  • Establishment of a specialization.  An institutional award of less than 12 credits (typically 9 -11 credits). Requires review and notification of relevant curricular bodies.
  • Off-campus program* where one-third or more of an existing program is available at a site other than the Evergreen campus. NOTE: ALL off-campus instructional sites require approval from Middles States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the U.S. Department of Education
  • Development of an articulation agreement.

The Program Development and Approval Guidelines provide additional guidance specific to each of the proposal types that require Loyola governance consideration and includes a proposal template that addresses the regulatory requirements of most MHEC reviews. Additional guidance is available from the Academic Compliance Officer.

Proposal Life-Cycle

The following Program Approval Workflow provides a representation of a proposal that must proceed through all stages of Loyola governance and that requires MHEC and/or MSCHE review. The Program Development and Approval Guidelines provides additional details on each element of the life-cycle. However, dependent upon the nature of the proposal, especially if it involves an extant program and/or one that does not require new and additional resources, not all steps are necessarily required and/or the governance process can eschew the traditional approach of establishing a motion for consideration and then a motion for decision at consecutive Academic Senate and Loyola Conference, but rather a single motion for consideration and decision.

The following proposal timeline illustrates the governance dates and steps involved in a proposal that requires Loyola governance consideration and MHEC review. For example, an undergraduate program introduced for consideration by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee on January 23, 2018, could potentially receive consideration by the Board of Trustees at its May meeting and thereafter should receive a recommendation on the proposal from the Maryland Higher Education Commission within sixty days. To facilitate the disbursement of financial aid the office of financial aid will usually need to submit any relevant state and/or accreditor approval documents to the U.S. Department of Education for addition to the institution's Eligibility and Certification Approval Report – if required; typically this latter requirement is for certificates or new degree levels only.