Academic Program Proposals

Michigan Technological University follows process guidelines for review and approval of new degree programs which have been approved by the University Senate.  

Program proposals may require several levels of approval, including Michigan Tech’s Academic Deans Council, Graduate Faculty Council, University Senate, and Board of Trustees, as well as the Academic Affairs Officers’ Committee of the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU/AAO).   Proposals do not proceed to the next approving body without approval of the previous body. 

Michigan Technological University Senate:

Each new program, of every kind, requires University Senate approval.   After Senate approval, Administration approval by the provost and president are required.

Board of Trustees approvals:

New undergraduate, and graduate degrees require Board of Trustee approval.

New concentrations for existing undergraduate programs do not require Board of Trustee approval.  A new degree that includes a concentration does require Board of Trustee approval.

New minors, undergraduate, and graduate certificates do not require Board of Trustee approval.

Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU):

As a state university, each new undergraduate and graduate degree, along with each new degree with concentration requires approval from MASU. Minors, undergraduate, and graduate certificates do not require MASU approval. Concentrations added to existing degrees do not require MASU approval.

Questions regarding the approvals process should be directed to Amie Ledgerwood, in the Provost Office.

The following flowcharts are helpful to understand this process:

Senate Guidelines

New Programs

Eliminating and Shelving and Unshelving of programs



“Spin-off” degrees.  All new degree programs need to follow the normal internal process of new program review.  However, at the state level, some new degree programs may be classified as “spin-offs,” a term used for proposals that are clearly related to an institution’s existing program, and therefore do not require the same level of review as new program proposals.  For example, Michigan Tech had an existing MSBA program, and decided to offer an MBA program.  It was proposed as a “spin-off” of the existing MSBA.  Spin-offs from all universities are bundled for state approval; they are not approved individually. 

Concentrations and Options.  Concentrations and options within a major degree appear on the diploma.  When a new concentration or option is added to a degree program, it must be proposed as a new degree program.  Because it is related to an existing degree program, it can be considered a “spin-off.”  Sometime concentrations are later spun-off as entirely new degree programs; for example, the BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting became a BS in Accounting in 2010.

Technical Emphasis.  Unlike concentrations, a technical emphasis within a degree program does not appear on a diploma, and therefore is not considered a new degree program.  However, a designated technical emphasis does need to be approved by the provost through the normal curriculum change process (aka the “binder process”).  Technical emphases often require the completion of a specific set of courses.

Please contact Amie Ledgerwood if you have questions regarding new program proposals or changes to include concentrations, options, or technical emphasis areas to existing programs.