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Changing Curricula

All curriculum changes go through CIM for Programs and may take a few forms.

Please note that “curriculum change – major” or “curriculum change – minor” relates to the level of approval required by the action (off-campus versus on-campus) rather than the content of the alterations or their place on a standing committee agenda. For information on consent agenda designation, see below.

The University Courses and Curricula Committee (UCCC) recommends approval of changes to the Provost’s Designee, who has final approval.

Curriculum Change – MajorCurriculum Change – Minor
Change in Program CIP CodeChange Degree Requirements/Term Sequence
Change in Degree/Plan NameChange Concentration/Subplan Name
Establish new Delivery ModeChange Program Academic Org/Ownership
Increase of Total Hours From Approved Amount (120 or Excepted Amount)

Curriculum Change – Major

A Curriculum Change – Major in determined by actions that must receive approval beyond the Provost’s Designee. Please contact the Office to plan out the timing of these changes to ensure that changes will be able to be implemented while accounting for the 6-12 months that may be required for these approvals.

The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) provides a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completion activity; see here for more information.

The UNC System uses the most recent CIP for the classification of all degree programs. (Reference: UNC Policy Manual 400.1.1[R])

See Revisions in Title/CIP Code/Delivery Mode

Changing the name or degree title of an existing undergraduate program must make these changes in CIM for Programs, paying special attention to:

  • Name and contact information for initiator
  • Justification for proposed change
  • Explanation for teach-out plan for current students
  • Consultations pursued with other programs/departments that may be impacted by this action.

If you change a plan title and leave the SIS code as-is, the current students will graduate under the NEW title, therefore a new code should be created for the new title and the department/college can then move students who want to graduate with the new title to the new code/degree audit.

Establishing a new delivery mode (whether at a new site or via distance education) for an existing degree program is initiated by the Request to Deliver Form attached to changes to the Mode(s) of Delivery field for the program in CIM Programs. A Financial Worksheet is also required and can be attached in CIM Programs.

More information regarding the regulation for new campuses, branch campuses, and other off-site educational use of facilities represented in addition of site-based delivery is available in UNC Policy Manual 400.1.2[R].

For programs that seek to increase their required hours over 120 or the amount previously approved by BoT.

Departments who seek to increase these hours should complete a Request to Increase Major Hours to submit alongside their curricular revisions.

Curriculum Change – Minor

A Curriculum Change – Minor in determined by actions that do not require approval beyond the Provost’s Designee.

Changes to the Degree Requirements or the Term Sequence/Semester Sequence filter into the next-catalog, published at the end of the CAT Publication Cycle annually. They also communicate to Registration and Records changes required to the Degree Audit for manual implementation.

Changes to curricula can only be implemented after all relevant course actions have been approved and implemented in the SIS Catalog. You can bundle course and relevant curricular actions through CIM Courses and CIM Programs in order for them to travel through the same agendas.

See the Useful Things for CIM Programs Users to Know document for tips and best practices for listing requirements in CIM Programs.

A few types of curriculum changes include:

  • Adding/Dropping Courses from an Electives List:
    • New Degree Key if courses are being dropped from the list but will still be offered
    • No Degree Key Change if courses are being dropped and will no longer be offered
    • Consultations should be pursued
  • Adding/Dropping Required Courses
    • New Degree Key: Students in the current key will not be affected by revisions.
    • If a new course has been added to the program and has prerequisites, those prerequisites shoudl also factor into the plan requirements and semester sequence for the program.
  • Alterations Due to a Course Change
    • Course Title and Number: Course title changes affect the semester plan and plan requirements. For plans affected by the change in course title, unless a new degree key is created with an effective date the same or after the effective date of the course change, the old title will still appear on the audit.
      • Number changes may also affect requirement groups that seek a certain level of course (300+)
    • Semester Offering: Changes to the semester(s) that a course is offered should be reflected in semester plans.

Changes to a concentration/subplan name do not need to be approved beyond the University level.

If you change a concentration/subplan title and leave the SIS code as-is, the current students will graduate under the NEW title, therefore a new code should be created for the new title and the department/college can then move students who want to graduate with the new title to the new code/degree audit.

In order to change ownership for a program, make the alteration to the CIM Programs record in the College/Department field as appropriate. Make sure to include a justification for the change.

Ownership changes go as notification to UCCC.

The assignment of curricular actions to the consent agenda or the main body of the agenda is a manual review process initiated by the Office. The Chair may make alterations to these assignments, and UCCC members may always pull an item from the consent agenda for full review by the committee.

Below you will find the general “rule of thumb” for the initial assignments:

Consent AgendaMain Body
Title Change (Unless Major/Degree)Title Change (Major/Degree)
Adding/Deleting 1-3 courses to Required Courses/Electives ListUpdating more than 3 courses on a Required Courses/Electives List
Adding/Updating/Deleting 1-3 courses to Semester SequenceUpdating more than 3 courses on the Semester Sequence
Above + No Total Hours ChangeChange in Total Hours

Substantive Change

If your curriculum change represents a substantive change to the mission and scope of the University, additional approval may be required from our accreditor (SACSCOC).

Substantive changes are assessed through the Substantive Change Review Team (SCRT) organized by the Office of Assessment and Accreditation within the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and PRovost.

The following checklist is used as a guide when considering whether or not an action constitutes a substantive change.