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New Curricula

Major

What defines a major?

A major is an undergraduate degree program, which is a program of study in a discipline specialty that leads to a degree in that specialty area.  

The remaining 66 hours may come from College-level requirements or be assigned to further scaffold towards mastery of the subject matter.

Note: Any program authorized by the Board of Governors for more than 135 hours is designated as a five-year baccalaureate program.

Requirements may come from the department or outside (the latter requires consultation) and may be specifically required or come from course lists (electives), which can take a few forms:

  • Advised electives: Chosen in coordination with advisor and not associated with a course list
  • Restricted electives: Specific course list central/supplementary to major field of study
  • Departmental electives: Courses offered primarily by major department
  • Technical electives: Technical courses offered outside of the major department
  • Concentration electives: courses that together form a concentration
  • Free Electives (any course taken outside of the major requirements – 12 hours may be taken pass/fail).
    • Must be an open requirement with the exception of courses whose material:
      • would be considered remedial
      • is taught at an elementary level after the student has taken comparable material at an advanced level
      • has been substantially present by a course or courses previously taken

All degree programs are categorized in the University’s academic program inventory (API) at the six-digit CIP code level.

How is a new major proposed?

The development of new degrees is a multi-step process governed by UNC System Policy No. 400.1.1[R]. More information is also available on the Academic Program Planning and Prioritization Process site. See below for an outline of details and resources to get you started.

The Request for Preliminary Authorization is a pre-proposal for program development.

Required documents for the submission of this form are as follows:

Steps for the submission of the RPA are as follows:

  1. Compose a one-page concept paper AND complete the UNC System Program Planning Financial Worksheet.
  2. Submit a “Request for Preliminary Authorization” form through CIM Programs with both documents attached under their respective sections of the form.
  3. Once the “Request for Preliminary Authorization” form is approved by the “Request Submitted to UNC System Office” role, start the “Request to Establish” form.

The Request to Establish (RTE) reflects a full proposal for program development. In this step, you will engage and flesh out all of the details of your proposal.

Required documents for the submission of this form are as follows:

You may begin work on the RTE while waiting for approval of the RPA; however, please note that based on feedback on the RPA, significant changes to the RTE may be required.

Steps to begin the RTE process are as follows:

  1. Complete the RTE form and update the financial worksheet after consultation with the various parties involved, including sign-off by NC State’s CFO.
  2. Initiate the Request to Establish form through CIM Programs with both documents attached under their respective sections of the form.
    • Note: Be sure to name your program by the naming convention “Name of Program (Degree Awarded)” as appropriate for your major. Ex: “Creation of Majors (BA)”
  3. Start planning the concrete steps leading to the start of the program (advertisement strategy, discussions about program leadership, etc).

Majors may be established as on-campus, distance, or both. Certain documentation and approval are needed to establish a new degree with online delivery.

Distance education programs fall into two categories:

  1. Off-campus instruction offering 26-49% of a degree. This may include site-based activities or online activities. In these cases, notification to SACSCOC is required.
  2. Off-campus instruction offering 50% of more of a degree program. These programs must be approved and authorized by SACSCOC before they may be offered – six months before implementation.
  • Are the hours required to complete the curriculum 120 hours?
  • Does the curriculum require at least 27 hours in the proposed program area (apart from any college requirements)?
  • Is the 4-year curriculum attainable within 8 semesters?
  • Is the course load evenly distributed over the eight semesters with a range of 15-17 hours per term?
  • Is the curriculum appropriately-arranged so that the level of courses is consistent with the academic level of the student?
  • Does the sequence of courses provide the necessary pre-requisites in the time for later advanced coursework?
  • Are the courses normally offered in the semester in which they appear in the semester plan?
  • Does the curriculum provide reasonable transfer opportunities at the appropriate levels for students from other institutions or colleges, consistent with the goals of the program?
  • Have all of the necessary and appropriate inter-departmental or inter-college consultations been completed and the results been documented?
  • Have all of the general education program requirements been accounted for in the curriculum?

Major – Subplan/Concentration

What defines a subplan/concentration?

A concentration or subplan is a course of study that differs from the Major requirements by 15-26 hours. Students receive transcript credit for successfully completing a concentration (the diploma will bear the designation of the parent degree/plan only). A distinct SIS code will be assigned to all new concentrations to differentiate them from the parent degree.

How is a new subplan proposed?

The proposal for a new subplan is initiated and completed on-campus (rather than needing to go to UNC System Office of SACSCOC).

When ready, Propose New in CIM Programs.

Request Type: Select “Curriculum Change – Minor,” which reflects on-campus approvals like the creation of a new subplan.

Plan Type: Select “Major – Subplan,” which will open subplan-related fields for you to fill out.

Note: When proposing a new subplan from an existing CIM record, we recommend that you use the “Propose New from Existing Program” button at the top-left corner of the proposal screen. This will pre-populate most of the information for you so that you can just edit the differences!


Undergraduate Certificate

What defines an Undergraduate Certificate?

An NC State University Undergraduate Certificate Program (UCP) is a prescribed set of undergraduate-level academic courses designed by an academic department or program and taken for credit by Degree-Seeking and Non-Degree-Seeking (NDS) students. Upon completion, the certificate program will be designated on the participant’s transcript. 

12-26 Credit Hours

A certificate must include at least 12 and no more than 26 hours of university-approved undergraduate coursework.

Check out examples in the University Catalog 

Disciplinary Distinction

Students may not earn a certificate in the same discipline as their major or minor.

Overall 2.0 GPA

All undergraduate certificates require a 2.0 GPA for completion. Programs may require a higher minimum grade for certificate courses.

How is a new Undergraduate Certificate proposed?

When ready, Propose New in CIM for Programs.

Request Type: Select “New Certificate,” which reflects the specific approval path and form requirements for certificates.

Degree Type: Select “Undergraduate Certificate,” which will open relevant fields for you to fill out.

Note: Be sure to name your program by the naming convention “Name of Program (Degree Awarded)” as appropriate for your program. Ex: “Creation of Majors (Certificate)”

  • Registration and Records should be contacted to coordinate a program code to be used to identify the certificate. 
  • Special Topics courses cannot be counted toward the initial 12-hour requirement. A special topics course may serve as a substitute for a required course as applicable. 
  • 75% of the credits for a Certificate must be NC State courses. Certificates being proposed with 50% of the credits from NC State courses requires justification 
  • If the proposed Certificate constitutes a significant departure from NC State current offerings such as offering the Certificate at an off-site location, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) is required to be notified which may elongate the timeline for implementation. Depending on the proposal, a prospectus may be required. For detail on the types of substantive changes, see http://www.sacscoc.org/SubstantiveChange.asp. 
  • A time-limit for completion of the Certificate should be instituted if appropriate. 

Undergraduate Minor

What defines an Undergraduate Minor?

A Minor is an academic program that a student may pursue while a currently enrolled undergraduate student.

Students add a minor through MyPack. Successful completion of the minor will be noted on the transcript upon graduation.

NC State University recognizes two types of minors:

  • Departmental Minor: A department may develop one or more minors within disciplines offered in that department. Usually, the departmental minor includes only courses from one discipline.
  • Inter-Departmental Minor: A minor may be developed by different departments by faculty who teach in the disciplines most relevant to the particular minor. Each inter-departmental minor will be administered by a departmental representative in which the majority of the required courses are taught.

At Least 15 Credit Hours

At least 15 credit hours of university-approved, permanent-numbered undergraduate coursework is required for a minor.

Check out examples in the University Catalog! 

Disciplinary Distinction

Students may not earn a minor in the same discipline as their major.

Optional Pursuit

Undergraduate minors should be optional pursuits for students and may not be required as a part of a major.

How is a new Undergraduate Minor Proposed?

When ready, Propose New in CIM for Programs!.

Request Type: Select “Curriculum Change-Minor,” which reflects the on-campus approval path for curriculum additions/changes.

Degree Type: Select “Minor-UG,” which will open relevant fields for you to fill out.

Note: Be sure to name your program by the naming convention “Name of Program (Degree Awarded)” as appropriate for your program. Ex: “Creation of Majors (Minor)”

  • Required courses for the minor must be university-approved undergraduate courses.
    • Special topics courses may not count towards the 15-hour requirement.
  • Prerequisite courses that are needed will be in addition to the hours required for the minor.
  • Only students who have matriculated into a major are eligible for a minor.
  • Students cannot complete a minor after graduating.
  • Courses constituting the minor may be used to satisfy General Education requirements as applicable.

Honors Programs

What defines a university-approved Honors Program?

College and departmental honors programs are designed to provide more rigorous and enhanced learning opportunities in specific disciplines. These upper-level programs provide a depth of learning with a disciplinary emphasis, usually within a student’s major.

For students who complete Honors programs, the phrase “Completed Honors Program in (discipline)” will appear on their permanent transcripts. 

Admission

Minimum admission requirement of a 3.25 overall GPA and a 3.25 major GPA after at least 9 hours of coursework required for the major or other coursework approved by the major department.

Coursework

A minimum of 9 hours from: specialized honors courses, advanced/500-level courses, or independent thesis/study courses

Completion

A student will be deemed to have completed an Honors Program upon completing successfully the designated coursework of the program and achieving an overall GPA of at least 3.25. 

How is a new Undergraduate Honors Program proposed?

Guidelines were developed by the University Honors Council and endorsed by the College Curriculum Committees and the University Courses and Curricula Committee and approved by the Provost in September 1990.

When ready, Propose New in CIM for Programs.

Request Type: Select “Curriculum Change-Minor,” which reflects the on-campus approval path for curriculum additions/changes.

Degree Type: Select “Honors-UG,” which will open relevant fields for you to fill out.

Note: Be sure to name your program by the naming convention “Name of Program (Degree Awarded)” as appropriate for your program. Ex: “Creation of Majors (Honors)”

  • Honors programs will have a minimum admission requirement of a 3.25 overall GPA and a 3.25 major GPA after at least 9 hours of coursework required for the major or other coursework approved by the major department. Each college should establish minimum admissions criteria for its honors programs sufficiently distinctive that eligibility for admission would be limited to not more than the top 25% of the sophomore class of that college.

A minimum of 9 credit hours in courses numbered 300 or above drawn from at least two of the three following categories: 

  • Special courses for Honors students, either courses open only to Honors students or Honors (H) sections of regularly offered courses, or Honors options in regularly offered courses, or regularly offered courses that departments or colleges designate as appropriate for their Honors programs. 
  • Advanced courses, 500-level courses that are taken as electives or as substitutes for lower-level courses. 
  • Independent studies that can take on a variety of forms: a senior thesis or paper, a project and project report, lab work and lab report, a group of individual tutorial guided by a faculty member. 

Other Types of Programs and Agreements

A joint degree is a degree awarded by two or more UNC constituent institutions or a UNC institution and a non-UNC educational institution who are participating in a program that will carry the name of two or more institutions on the student’s diploma.

Joint degree programs must be approved by the Board of Governors and proposals follow a process similar to that of a degree program for a single campus. Contact the office for information and assistance in proposing a joint program.

Students who have satisfactorily completed the requirements for more than one bachelor’s degree may, upon recommendation of their deans, be awarded two bachelor’s degrees at the same or different commencement exercises. To earn two degrees, students register in one department and, with the cooperation of the second department, work out their program to cover the degree requirements of both. Students must mark their plan in SIS. 

For programs with a formalized blend of requirements, approval of this double-major does not signify the approval of a distinct degree, but acknowledges the efficient course of study that a student may follow to receive both degrees.

ABMs allow undergraduate students to complete the requirements for both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at an accelerated pace. These undergraduate students may double count up to 12 credits and obtain a non-thesis Master’s degree in the same field within 12 months of completing the bachelor’s degree or obtain a thesis-based master’s degree in the same field within 18 months.

(DGPs) at NC State to recruit rising juniors in their major to their graduate programs. However, permission to pursue an ABM degree program does not guarantee an admission to the Graduate School. Admission is contingent on meeting eligibility requirements at the time of entering the graduate program.

Proposals for establishing an ABM requires approval by the Graduate School.

Articulation Agreements

An officially approved agreement between an NC State college or department and either a 2 year or 4 year institution that establishes course transfer equivalencies outside of the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement. Articulation Agreements may also specify a course taking plan, that when followed by the student will result in a seamless transfer of credits for the student to their program of study at NC State or another institution. Example: Two years of coursework at X College or University and two years at the NC State (2+2), or three years at NC State and one year at XX University (3+1). 

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A general academic MOU is a statement of interest between one or more colleges at NC State University, to explore partnership activities with another university. An MOU does not express a binding commitment to any specific activity, but rather a serious intention to explore identified interests. MOU’s are not encouraged unless there is clear intent to implement an actual project of exchange and/or other academic activities in the near future, where the execution of the MOU will foster that action. An MOU that contemplates the prospect of student and faculty teaching exchange must be supported by the college(s) interested in exploring this activity. The MOU will identify the NC State representative(s) who will take the lead to promote future activities between the two institutions. 

General Research Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – A general research MOU is a positive statement of interest between the NC State University, led by either the Office for Research, Outreach and Extension and/or an NC State college, to explore research activities with another university. An MOU does not express a binding commitment to any specific activity, but rather a serious intention to explore identified interests. MOU’s are not encouraged unless there is clear intent to implement an actual research project in the near future, where the execution of the MOU will foster that action. The Office for Research, Outreach and Extension or the college(s) requesting the research MOU will identify the NC State faculty leader or representative(s) who will take the lead to promote future activities between the two institutions. 

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)

This Memorandum of Agreement is to be used as a document outlining the cooperative terms of two entities to work in partnership on certain listed projects, or as a general partnership. The agreed responsibilities of the partners and the benefits of each party will be listed. As a part of the agreement there is usually a list of binding terms that makes the partnership a cohesive unit and often there is an obligation of funds attached to certain terms in the agreement.

Bi-Lateral Agreements

Under bilateral agreements, individual universities and one or more community colleges may join in a collaborative effort to facilitate the transfer of students from AAS (Associate of Applied Science) degree programs to baccalaureate degree programs. These agreements are outside the comprehensive articulation agreement and are reported to UNC General Administration electronically for posting to an inventory of bilateral agreements. The Transfer Advisory Committee maintains the annual inventory of bilateral articulation agreements for AAS degree programs. These agreements often serve as models to encourage the development of new articulation agreements among institutions.

An example agreement would be where a department at each institution agrees on specific courses and transfer equivalencies designed to facilitate student matriculation into a specific academic program here at NC State; often called 2+2 or 2+3 programs (2 years (AAS) at the Community College and then 2-3 years at NC State).

Bi-Lateral Agreements are between colleges in the NC Community College System (NCCCS) and a UNC constituent institution. UNC System Office guidelines state that due to the special circumstances surrounding transfer agreements for associate in applied science (AAS) programs, which are not designed for transfer, require bilateral rather than statewide articulation. Special circumstances include the different accreditation criteria for faculty in transfer and non-transfer programs, the different general education requirements for transfer and non-transfer programs, and the workforce preparedness mission of the technical/community college AAS programs.