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Overview

The guidelines linked below outline the steps necessary to develop a proposal and to obtain the approvals prerequisite to Provost’s consideration and Trustee approval for new degrees or Provost approval for new certificate programs. The term “certificate programs” refers to those programs which offer academic course credit that is recorded on an official Tufts transcript. Other certificate programs, such as Continuing Medical Education credit or similar programs, are not subject to this review process. If the degree program involves other universities or entities, the development of the new academic program should be coordinated with the review and ultimate approval of an Affiliation Agreement between or among the participating institutions and Tufts. In particular, a completed but unsigned Affiliation Agreement should accompany the final version of the proposed degree or certificate program at the time that the Provost’s approval is requested.

New programs enable the university to maximize the use of educational resources, and also help to keep the university current in the educational marketplace. Ideas for new degree and certificate programs may arise in response to the emergence of new disciplines or changes in existing disciplines, or to help realize the potential for new interdisciplinary and interschool programs. Regardless of who initiates a proposal for a new degree or certificate program, it must pass through a formal approval process before it can be implemented. After approval through the appropriate committee processes at each participating school, new degree or certificate programs must be reviewed and approved by the Provost before they can be advertised, students recruited, or the program implemented. New degree programs have the added requirement of approval by the Trustee Academic Affairs Committee before they can be advertised, students recruited, or the program implemented.

New degree or certificate programs, either within an existing academic unit or in an interdisciplinary area, must be designed to ensure that the new programs fit the mission of the university, have potential for excellence, and have strong intellectual leadership and adequate resources. Key criteria are:

  • Cadre of strong faculty advocates and leaders within the department or program,
  • Critical mass of committed faculty members, who are to be involved in the program and who have an established record of collaboration,
  • Distinguishing mission and niche or fulfillment of unmet or strategic need,
  • Ability to leverage other strengths at Tufts,
  • Administrative support in the department(s), program(s), and school(s) involved,
  • Undergraduate research component, if the opportunity exists to integrate undergraduate and graduate education, and
  • A comprehensive financial plan that addresses the viability and sustainability of the program.

Download the Guidelines for Proposing New Degree and Certificate Programs Guidelines policy and form documents.

For questions or assistance, contact: Kevin Dunn, Vice Provost (Kevin.Dunn@tufts.edu) or Melissa Stevenson, Special Projects Administrator (Melissa.Stevenson@tufts.edu or 617-627-0578).