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Operating Procedures

The Baccalaureate Degree Programs Policy(2.1.9) governs graduation requirements and sets parameters for UCC evaluation of proposals.

Course Proposals

All course proposals that have been approved by the originating college committee (and when appropriate the Council for Teacher Education and/or the Council on General Education) are routed to the University Curriculum Committee Secretary. These proposals will be logged by UCC Secretary upon their receipt.

  • All course proposals are subject to the approval of University Curriculum Committee Executive Secretary or Director of Graduate Studies (graduate level courses) who may refer proposals where concerns exist to the University or Graduate Curriculum Committee for review.
  • Course proposals to which the University community has raised no objections will be considered approved following completion of the circulation period.
Dual credit courses/300-level courses for graduate credit.

Dual credit courses are those 300-level courses in which a graduate student can receive graduate credit. No new dual credit 300-level courses will be approved - separate 300-level and 400-level courses must be created.
Existing 300-level courses offered for dual-credit will continue to be offered for graduate students (at the 300-level). Once an existing 300-level dual credit course is revised, both a 300-level and a 400-level new course proposal must be created.

To revise an existing 300-level dual credit course, submit a course revision proposal for the 300-level course and submit a new course proposal for a new 400-level course. Be sure to indicate on the new 400-level course proposal “Not for credit if previously had [the 300-level version].” Each course proposal should have its own syllabus reflecting the content of either the 300-level or 400-level course. Refer to CTLT for guidance on creating a syllabus. Once the new (400-level) and revised (300-level) course proposals are successfully accepted, ensure that the scheduling staff in the Registrar 's Office is aware that the 300-level and 400-level courses should be scheduled together.

New, Revised, and Deleted Program Proposals

New, revised, and deleted program proposals that have been approved by the originating college committee (and when appropriate the Council for Teacher Education or the Council on General Education) are routed to the University Curriculum Committee Secretary.

For purposes of providing a context to understand the proposed new program or program revisions, new and revised course proposals, that are necessary to implement the new or revised program, should be submitted concurrently with the proposal for the new or revised program. Authors of course proposals associated with new or revised programs must be listed as authors or coauthors of the associated program proposal. To associate online course proposals with a program proposal, the program proposal must be started first.

How to Calculate the Total Number of Hours Required for a Program

  • All courses required for the major, sequence, minor, including courses from other disciplines and courses that may also satisfy general education or degree requirements, must be included in the total hours.
  • All required course prerequisites for required courses must also be included in the total hours, except courses that are required for all students regardless of their major (i.e. ENG 101 and COM 110).
  • Refer to University Policy 2.1.9 which governs graduation requirements and sets parameters for UCC evaluation of proposals

Required Math courses and prerequisites
Required math course prerequisites should be included in the total hours starting with a General Education math course.
Examples:

  1. Major/sequence requires MAT 146. MAT 146 is not a General Education Program Math Category course. MAT 145 is a General Education math course and is the prerequisite to MAT 146 so the major/sequence should include both MAT 145 and 146 as major/sequence requirements and both will count towards the total hours required in the major/sequence.
  2. Major/sequence requires MAT 120. MAT 120 is a General Education math course. The major/sequence will require MAT 120 as major/sequence requirements and the hours will count in the total required hours for the major.

If you have questions about how to list required math courses email curriculumforms@ilstu.edu

Required language course for a major, sequence, or minor

  • Majors/sequences (outside of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures) should include the 112-level (4 credit hours) course in the total hours required for the major. Students who do not meet the qualifications to begin in 112 must take the 111 course prior to 112 but those (4 credit hours) do not need to be included in the total hours. Foreign language levels include:
    • Students with no previous study in a language begin with the 111-level course.
    • Students with 2 years of high school (or equivalent) normally begin with the 112-level.
    • Students with 3 years of high school normally begin with the 115-level.
    • All graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences must satisfy a foreign language graduation requirement that may be met in one of the following ways:

      • 3 years of one foreign language in high school or successful completion of the second semester or higher of college-level foreign language (112-level) with a passing grade or equivalent proficiency as determined by examination
      • students who have successfully completed one semester of college foreign language credit (111-level) may elect to satisfy this requirement by studying abroad in an approved program in a country whose main language is the same as the one studied in college
      • American Sign Language may be used to fulfill this requirement by transfer credit or by proficiency

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree language requirement

  • A student pursuing the B.A. degree will acquire knowledge of a foreign language as demonstrated by successful completion of LAN 115 (or equivalent). Majors/sequences that offer only a B.A. degree do not need to include the hours in the required total hours because this requirement is an additional graduation requirement. The 115-level language course should be included in the Plan of Study as a requirement. Majors/sequences that offer both a B.A. and a B.S. degree option should indicate in the Plan of Study that either a B.A. language course (115-level) or a B.S. – SMT course is required for graduation.

Bachelor of Science – Science, Mathematics and Technology course requirement (B.S.-SMT)

  • Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree must have one additional science, mathematics, statistics, and/or technology course (beyond the General Education requirements).
    Majors/sequences that offer a B.S. degree option only do not have to include a B.S.-SMT course in the total hours required because this requirement is an additional graduation requirement, but should include this requirement in the Plan of Study. Majors/sequences who give students an option to choose a B.A. or B.S. degree should indicate in the Plan of Study that either a B.A. language course (115-level) or a B.S. – SMT course is required for graduation.

Technical Review

Proposals will be reviewed by the University Curriculum Committee Secretary for technical accuracy (completeness, correct routing, and compliance with Guidelines). Incomplete or incorrect proposals will be returned electronically to the initiator with an explanation of changes needed.

Circulation of Proposals to the University Community

After proposals are reviewed/approved by Department/School and College Curriculum Committees (and other committees as appropriate based on proposal type), and the technical review has been completed by the University Curriculum Committee Secretary, they are circulated via the Curriculum Forms System to campus groups (Curriculum Committee members, college deans, college curriculum committee chairs, department chairs and school directors). The full proposal is available for review during circulation on the Curriculum Forms website. Department chairs and school directors are requested to circulate this material to all faculty members.

Comments and Objections from the University Community

  • Written comments or objections on the proposals by concerned faculty must be received by the University Curriculum Committee Chair or Graduate Curriculum Committee Chair by the date designated on the circulation announcement.
  • Proposals drawing objections due to overlap with other courses or programs will be returned by the University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Curriculum Committee to the originating college curriculum committee. Proposals receiving other objections may be returned to the originating committee or may be addressed by the University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Curriculum Committee. When proposals are returned, the originating committee or the originating college curriculum committee should call together the appropriate chairs, directors, faculty, and/or deans within 15 days in an attempt to resolve the objection. If the issue can be resolved, the originating college curriculum committee should resubmit the proposal to the University Curriculum Committee with an explanation of the resolution. Letters acknowledging resolution of the problem from the departments/schools that objected should accompany the resubmitted proposal. Unresolved issues may be forwarded by the originating college curriculum committee to the University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Curriculum Committee for resolution.
  • All proposals that have received expressed objections, including all those courses resubmitted by college committees, will be placed on an agenda of the next meeting as a discussion item. The proposals will then be placed on a subsequent agenda as an action item.

Substantive Review by University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Curriculum Committee

  • Proposals that are technically acceptable will be reviewed on substantive grounds during the same time period or shortly after they are circulating to the University community. Proposals will be assigned to a two-member University Curriculum Committee subcommittee or to the entire Graduate Curriculum Committee to be reviewed for substantive issues. The chair of this subcommittee may not be from the college initiating the proposal. Program proposals will list all course proposals that bear on the proposed new or revised program to provide a context of review of the program in supporting achievement of stated program outcomes. Course proposals bearing on a program must be submitted concurrently. However, these course proposals are not generally reviewed by UCC or GCC for the purpose of their approval.
  • Particularly important is the place of course requirements within the curriculum of the University and of the department/school offering the course. The following substantive issues should be carefully considered:
    • the ways the course fits into the overall departmental objectives for majors, minors, disciplines and serving the needs of other students, and
    • the adequacy of the course as an elective or as a requirement in meeting stated program outcomes.
    • Undergraduate degree programs should not exceed 120 hours.
    • The major in the B. A., B. S., and the B. S. in Education degrees should not require more than 55 semester hours in the major department (This limit does not apply to the B. F. A., the B. M., the B. M. E., the B. S. of Nursing, and the B. S. W. degrees.)
    • The major should not mandate more than 82 hours excluding General Education requirements. (The 82-hour limit should not be seen as an ideal, but as a maximum to be approved only in rare cases. A department or college is obligated to make a strong case to the University Curriculum Committee for mandating 66 semester hours or more.)
    • A minor, including all required prerequisite hours, may include 18 to 36 hours. In no case may the minor include more than 25 hours from the major department.
    • Other provisions in the “Limits of Required Hours” section of these guidelines.
  • The initiator of the proposal has the responsibility to demonstrate clearly and convincingly that the proposed curriculum is valid and justified. Initiators, department chairs, school directors, and interested others are encouraged to attend University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Curriculum Committee meetings. The University Curriculum Committee review committee has the responsibility to report to the entire Curriculum Committee.
  • Any objections to the proposal should be brought by the subcommittee to the University Curriculum Committee in writing. All proposals that receive such objections will be placed on a subsequent UCC agenda as a discussion item.

Approval Procedures

Proposals to which no objections have been raised by either the University community or by the subcommittee will be listed as an action items on the agenda of the next University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Curriculum Committee meeting.
Voting procedures:

  • The University Curriculum or Graduate Curriculum Committee will act as a "committee of the whole" on each proposal in an open session. The date when specific proposals will be considered is announced as part of each University Curriculum or Graduate Curriculum Committee meeting agenda.
  • The University Curriculum Committee will vote on the proposal, with a simple majority of those voting deciding approval or rejection.
  • If the proposal is rejected, it will be returned to the initiator for reconsideration and revision. The initiator may withdraw or submit the proposal after revisions have been completed and approved. There is no limit to the number of resubmissions an initiator may make. To help with tracking and requested changes, the electronic proposal system creates a new “version” of the proposal each time it is revised by the initiator.

Notification of University Curriculum or Graduate Curriculum Committee Action to Departments/Schools: Minutes of the University Curriculum or Graduate Curriculum Committee will serve as official notification to the departments or schools submitting proposals.

Appeals Process

One of the functions of the University Curriculum or Graduate Curriculum Committee is to hear appeals from an academic department or equivalent whenever the academic department disagrees with a decision of a college curriculum committee or dean on curriculum matters.

  1. Informal discussion between and among persons directly involved is strongly encouraged at all stages of the appeal. Such discussion may be initiated by any individual involved in the curricular process. An equitable solution to the problem should be sought before the respective persons directly involved have assumed official or public positions that might tend to polarize the dispute and render a solution more difficult. Every opportunity should be taken to settle the dispute within the college or among colleges.
  2. Where informal recourse fails, the academic department, the department/school curriculum committee, the college curriculum committee, or the dean may petition in writing the Chair of the University Curriculum Committee or Chair of the Graduate Curriculum Committee. The petition should specify the grounds and the nature of the appeal. The Chair will appoint two members of the University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Curriculum Committee to act as mediators between the aggrieved parties. The appointed mediators will not be from the same college originating the appeal. The mediator's role is to seek a solution to the problem in an informal way.
  3. If mediation fails, the University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Curriculum Committee shall receive recommendations from the mediation team, review the evidence presented, listen to relevant testimony, and ask questions of the individuals giving evidence. All parties are permitted to participate in the information-giving stage. After the information is presented, the University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Curriculum Committee shall review the evidence and reach a decision by majority vote.
  4. After a decision is reached, both parties shall be notified in writing of the decision.
  5. Any appeal beyond the University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Curriculum Committee shall be directed to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Academic Senate.

Eight-Year Review of Interdisciplinary Minors

At Illinois State University, primary responsibility for quality of academic programs resides with faculty; review of existing interdisciplinary minors resides with the University Curriculum Committee, an external committee of the Academic Senate. Formal review of interdisciplinary minors encourages the development and maintenance of high-quality academic programs that are administered efficiently and are consistent with the University 's mission.

Principles of the Interdisciplinary Minor review process at Illinois State University

  • The Program Coordinator/Director and faculty members determine the student learning outcomes and quality measures that are appropriate for driving improvement in the interdisciplinary minor.
  • Program faculty should fully participate in the self-study process.
  • The review document should be outcomes based and provide evidence the minor is meeting established goals to allow a more accurate determination of program quality.

Self-Study Report Guidelines

  1. Description of self study process.
    • Provide a description of the process used to conduct the self-study including faculty and student involvement and time-frame for the self-analysis and review.
  2. Overview of Curriculum including:
    • Rationale for curriculum
    • Student learning outcomes for the minor
    • Coherence and overall design of curriculum and course offerings
    • Availability of required and recommended courses
    • Student learning outcome assessment plan for the minor
  3. Faculty of the Program:
    • Lead faculty in each of the disciplines of this interdisciplinary minor
    • Overview of faculty participation in curricular review and update processes
  4. Academic Advisement for the Program
  5. Recommendations for Program Improvement

Interdisciplinary Minors and Review Years

Program Review Years Review Years Review Years
Cognitive Science 2008 2016 2024
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 2008 2016 2024
Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies 2009 2017 2025
Urban Studies  2009 2017 2025
Civic Engagement and Responsibility  NEW 2017 2025
African Studies  2010 2018 2026
International Studies  2010 2018 2026
Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino/a Studies  2010 2018 2026
Children's Studies  2011 2020 2028
Gerontology - - 2028
African-American Studies  2011 2021 2029
Middle Eastern and South African Studies  2011 2021 2029
Ethnic Studies  2012 2021 2029
Native American Studies  2012 2021 2029
Global Studies  NEW NEW 2029
Entrepreneurial Studies  NEW 2027 2035
Food Studies NEW 2027 2035
Water Sustainability NEW 2029 2037

IDS Review Timeline

Date Activity Responsibility
March 1  UCC Contacts IDS Minor coordinator/director and Milner with Enrollment information and self study format.  UCC secretary and provost's representative
November 1  Self study report due to UCC  Minor coordinator and faculty
February 1  UCC summative report and recommendations, including possibility of requesting follow-up reports to address issues identified prior to next 8-year review.  UCC reviewers and provost's representative

Effective Dates for New Course and Program Offerings or Changes in the Curriculum

Curricular changes approved by the University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Curriculum Committee may be offered as soon as administratively possible unless prohibited by other sections of this document or rules of the Academic Senate. New and revised program proposals are approved effective with a specific catalog year depending on when it had final approval; the starting catalog year will be noted on the final approved proposal. 

A catalog year begins the first day of summer session and ends the last day of the spring semester. 

All students are assigned the Undergraduate Catalog year associated with their term of admission to Illinois State University. If attendance is not continuous, the student does not attend at least one term of each academic year, a student must meet the requirements specified in the Undergraduate Catalog in effect when he or she re-enters the University. Advisors may request that a student be placed into an earlier catalog, up to two years prior to the assigned catalog, if it is in the student’s best interest. University programs are constantly evaluated and improved, a student may graduate under new requirements published while he or she is in attendance at the University. If a student changes catalog year, the student must meet all the requirements, including General Education and graduation requirements, in that catalog.

Approved new courses may be offered once they have been built in the student information system; courses must appear in the registration system to be offered. Course revisions, including changes to prerequisites, will be effective starting with the catalog year they are approved for; the catalog year will be noted on the final approved proposal. 

Changes to the General Education Program

Existing Courses proposed for General Education

Departments and schools seeking to place a currently existing course in a General Education course category should submit a Course Revision proposal in the Curriculum Forms System and indicate “Yes” to request that the course be reviewed for the General Education Program, please be sure to indicate the appropriate General Education Category. Information about course learning outcomes is available on the Council on General Education website.

New Courses proposed for General Education

Departments and Schools who wish to submit a new couse for consideration in the General Education Program should submit a New Course Proposal in the Curriculum Forms System and indicate "Yes" to the question "Is this course being proposed as an Illinois State General Education Course?".

Changes to the Structure of General Education

Structural changes to General Education, from modest revisions to new program designs, are complex initiatives that require campus-wide participation. Principles of such changes are as follows:

A call for revisions may be initiated by the Provost, Academic Senate, or other appropriate constituency. The formal charge to the General Education Task Force will come from the Provost who will announce the initiation of the process to the university community at large.

The Provost will appoint a task force to review the effectiveness of the existing curriculum with authority to make recommendations for program changes. The task force will consult widely with campus constituencies (faculty, staff, students, chairs/directors and deans, the University Assessment Office, the Council on General Education, the Academic Senate), and will assure multiple means of gathering campus-wide feedback. The task force will take into account that feedback as well as the relevant context for the changes, including the University 's strategic plan, statewide transfer programs, and any other internal or external factors that may be pertinent.

The task force will make recommendations for change to the Provost.

The Provost will consider the merits of the recommendations and also the feasibility of implementation, including staffing implications and other costs. The Provost may refer recommendations back to the task force for further consideration or may recommend changes to the Council on General Education.

The Council on General Education, a standing external committee of the Academic Senate, will conduct its review. CGE will involve, as appropriate, campus constituencies in its review. CGE will forward its recommendations to the University Curriculum Committee.

The University Curriculum Committee, a standing external committee of the Academic Senate, will conduct a review of the proposed structure. Following its usual process, proposed revisions or new structure will circulate to the University community for comment. UCC will forward its recommendations to the Academic Senate.

The Academic Affairs Committee of the Academic Senate will conduct a review of the proposed structure. It will make recommendations to the Academic Senate for discussion and action. If necessary, the Academic Senate, or its internal committees, may send the proposed structure back to the Council on General Education for further review and revisions.

If questions arise regarding feasibility, staffing implications and costs, or other budgetary matters, the Administrative Affairs and Budget Committee will review the budgetary implications of the proposed structure and report to the Academic Senate on its findings and recommendations. If necessary, the Academic Senate, or its internal committees, may then send the proposed structure back to the University Curriculum Committee for further review and revisions.

Upon approval by the Academic Senate, program changes will be published in the Undergraduate Catalog and will be implemented by appropriate academic and academic support units.

Changes to Graduation Requirements

Changes to Graduation Requirements are rare but important events that require campus-wide participation and thoughtful deliberation. Principles of such changes are as follows:

A call for revisions may be initiated by the Provost, Academic Senate, or other appropriate constituency. The formal charge to the Council on General Education will come from the Provost who will announce the initiation of the process to the university community at large.

The Council on General Education (a standing external committee of the Academic Senate) shall be in charge of investigating the call for revisions. A subcommittee of the Council on General Education will consult widely with campus constituencies (faculty, staff, students, chairs/directors and deans, the University Assessment Office, the Council on General Education, the Council for Teacher Education, the Academic Senate), and will assure multiple means of gathering campus-wide feedback. Ordinarily, the subcommittee will:

  • Administer a campus-wide electronic survey
  • Conduct campus-wide public forums and student focus groups
  • Request that chairs/directors discuss possible or proposed changes to the requirements at a department/school meeting and collect and return feedback as a department/school
  • Identify cohorts of faculty with specific expertise in the area being reconsidered and reach out to those faculty in one-on-one and/or group meetings for specialized advice (e.g. U.S. politics and history faculty for changes to the Constitution requirement; writing program faculty for changes to university-wide writing requirements; global studies and international studies faculty for changes to the global studies requirement; LLC faculty for changes to the foreign language requirement for the B.A.)
  • Analyze the results of relevant available assessment data and/or initiate the design and collection of such data
  • Compare the existing graduation requirement(s) to those at aspirant institutions

The UCC as a whole may augment or narrow these decision-making instruments as appropriate.

The subcommittee will take into account the feedback thus collected, as well as the relevant context for the proposed change(s), including the University 's strategic plan, statewide transfer programs, and any other internal or external factors that may be pertinent. They will make recommendations regarding the proposed change(s) to the Council on General Education.

The Council on General Education will conduct a review of the proposed change(s) and the subcommittee 's recommendations. Following its usual process, proposed change(s) will circulate to the University community for comment. The UCC may refer recommendations back to the subcommittee for further consideration. If any changes are approved, the UCC will then forward its recommendations to the Provost and the Academic Senate.

The Provost will consider the merits of the recommendations and also the feasibility of implementation, including staffing implications and other costs. The Provost may refer recommendations back to the Council on General Education for further consideration.

The Academic Affairs Committee of the Academic Senate will then conduct a review of the proposed change(s). It will make recommendations to the Academic Senate for discussion and action. If necessary, the Academic Senate may send the proposed change(s) back to the Council on General Education for further review, revisions, or reconsideration.

If questions arise regarding feasibility, staffing implications and costs, or other budgetary matters, the Administrative Affairs and Budget Committee will review the budgetary implications of the proposed change(s) and report to the Academic Senate on its findings and recommendations. If necessary, the Academic Senate may then send the proposed change(s) back to the Council on General Education for further review, revisions, or reconsideration.

Upon approval by the Academic Senate, the changes will be published in the Undergraduate Catalog and will be implemented by appropriate academic and academic support units.

Name Change Requests

Requests to change the name of a degree program, certificate program, sequence, or minor are not processed through the curriculum proposal process (i.e. not through curriculum committees). Nor are such name change requests made through the catalog editing process. Name change requests must be submitted to the Office of the Provost using the Name Change Request Form .
After the Name Change is approved by the Provost, the department/school must submit an editorial request to indicate all catalog copy changes associated with the name change. The editorial requests must be received by the UCC or GCC by the stated catalog deadline or they will be athe pproved for next catalog year.

Request for New Course Subject Code

Course subject codes are the three characters used to identify courses in addition to the course number. Most courses have a subject code that is the same as the department/school code (i.e. AGR for the Agriculture courses). Course subject code changes must be approved through the department/school, College Dean, and the Office of the Provost. Course codes are changed when extenuating circumstances exist such as accreditation related reasons. Course Subject Code Change request proposals should be submitted to the Office of the Provost using the Course Subject Code Request form. Questions about Course Subject Code Change should be directed to the Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Education at 438-2157.

Accelerated Master's Degree Programs

Accelerated master 's degree (AMD) programs offer high achieving students the opportunity to complete their bachelor 's degree and master 's degree in a faster time frame than each degree separately. Students will take both graduate and undergraduate classes when they have junior or senior status and seamlessly transition into their master 's degree program. Students admitted into an accelerated master 's degree program may count a maximum of twelve (12) hours or 33% of course work (whichever is higher) towards both the bachelor 's degree and master 's degree. The undergraduate accelerated sequence should indicate a minimum number of graduate level credit hours that should be completed in order for the student to graduate in that sequence. Courses must be at the 400-level or be a dual credit 300 level course in which the student completes graduate student requirements as outlined in the syllabus. The coursework requires approval of the academic advisor. Students must complete at least one graduate course as an undergraduate to be considered in the accelerated master’s degree program. If the student does not complete this course, or chooses to withdraw from the accelerated program, they will be placed back in their original degree program.

Accelerated sequences are proposed as a new undergraduate sequence in the curriculum forms system. An editorial change will most likely need to be made to the graduate degree program catalog copy indicating the accelerate program exists. Departments and Schools interested in developing an undergraduate accelerated sequence should review information on the Graduate School website and consult with the Graduate School Director before starting their new undergraduate accelerated sequence curriculum proposal.