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  • Policy Number: SP.01.006
  • Version: Original
  • Drafted By:
  • Approved By: Richard R. Rush
  • Approval Date: 10/26/15
  • Effective Date:
  • Supersedes:


For purposes of this document, new academic programs are defined as new degree majors/programs, new minors, new credentials, and new sub-categories (i.e., certificates, emphases, tracks, fields, concentrations, etc.) within existing majors/programs. California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) faces the challenge of building an innovative curriculum that serves the needs of our students, the local community, and the State of California while using the limited resources available during the initial start-up of the campus. To enable new programs to be approved in an expedient manner, the following procedures will be used for the approval of new majors/programs at CSUCI that are already on or will be added to the Master Plan to be offered in Fall 2002 and those majors/programs to be added to the Master Plan for Fall 2003 and beyond.


The Chancellor's Office requires that a Proposal to Change the Master Plan (short-form application) be submitted by the beginning of January 2002 for any new majors/ programs that are not currently on the Master Plan (Fall 2002 and beyond) or when a starting date for a major/ program on the Master Plan is changed. The format for a Proposal to Change the Master Plan (the short form proposal) is attached as Appendix A For all majors/ programs that are proposed for the Fall 2002 semester, a Proposal to Offer a Program in 2002 (the long-form proposal, Appendix B) must be written that follows the format specified by the Chancellor's Office. Long-form proposals for approved majors will be submitted to the Chancellor's Office at the end of January. In addition to the long-form proposals, the Curriculum Committee will request Supplementary Documentation about a proposed major/ program as specified in Appendix C that is not included on the Chancellor's Office form. Cover sheets must be provided with both the short and long form proposals (see Appendices A and B). Proposed minors should be submitted on Appendix D.









It is important for academic programs to provide consistency in the types of degrees offered and in the number of units required for various degrees. A listing of the names of degrees and general characteristics of programs to be offered is provided in Table I. It is important for faculty to ensure that their proposals for new academic programs are consistent with the general features included in Table I.

Table I: Minimum Requirements of Degrees and Minors

Minimum Unit RequirementsMinorBABS

Total Units




Upper- Division




General Education*




Total Units in the Program**




Upper-Division Units in the Program**




* All nine units of the upper-division resident General Education requirement must be interdisciplinary courses with three of the nine units taken outside the major discipline. Up to six of the nine units of upper-division General Education Courses can be used to count toward the major degree.

** A program is defined as a course of studies that provides an in depth understanding in a named disciplinary area.

*** The Chancellor's Office specifies at least 12 units for the minor with 6 units upper-division.

**** These are the minimum requirements set by the Chancellor's Office.

Within a given major/ program it is possible to offer several subcategories including minors, options, emphases, credentials, and certificates. Concentrations are reserved for teaching credential programs only. All of these subcategories will appear on the transcript. The following subcategories shall not be used at the present time: specialization, tracks, themes, and fields. These subcategories may be added to the curriculum as needed in the future. Definitions of these subcategories are as follows:

  • Minor: An aggregate of at least 15 units of coursework, 9 units or more of which must be on the upper-division. Minors may be within a single discipline or they can be interdisciplinary but cannot be obtained in addition to a major in the same discipline.
  • Option: A course of studies within a major that provides an in depth understanding in the named sub-disciplinary area. Options in a major/ program will require substantially different sets of coursework. For example, in the Liberal Studies major, three options may be offered: Teacher Credential, Interdisciplinary, and Concentrated Studies.
  • Emphasis: A course of studies within a major/program that provides an in-depth knowledge of a specific aspect or sub- and/or inter-disciplinary area within a discipline. In contrast with options, emphases will possess a common core of curriculum but will specify a set of electives. For example, Chemistry could offer a common core and emphases in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Science Education.
  • Credential: A specific aggregate of courses, completion of which is sufficient for licensing by the State of California to teach (or perform specific professional tasks) in the public school systems. No specific unit requirements are given for credentials generally; usually the curricular requirements are noted in the governing legislation as "competencies." Students enrolled in the Teaching and Learning Option in the Liberal Studies major will have concentrations consisting of 12 units as part of their program and the concentrations will appear on students' transcript.
  • Certificates: A thematic grouping of courses from one or more disciplines, which define a significant educational accomplishment. Certificates are composed of at least 18 units of coursework.

Each instructional program must be internally coherent, and vertically and horizontally integrated. It is not sufficient that the aggregation of courses simply "cover" subjects within the discipline. The course work offered in a discipline must establish an interrelated overview of the discipline and its methodology. The course and program requirements should build upon and reinforce coursework in basic intellectual skills, and should take advantage of courses offered in other academic disciplines. The course requirements

should be established so that a defined sequence of learning develops from basic and general courses to specific, advanced ones which integrate earlier learning experiences and which provide direction to further advanced study. Graduate programs should build upon strong undergraduate preparation. The decision to propose a major/ program obligates the discipline to offer the core and elective courses with sufficient frequency so that students may complete the program.

For undergraduate programs, the course and program requirements should provide for integration with the General Education program of the University. The pattern of courses and individual course structure must be planned to afford easy incorporation of new developments within the discipline. The coursework must establish depth of understanding sufficient that the student can appreciate the scholarship of the discipline and respond to it by synthesizing new facts, experiences, and opinions including her/his own, or by original research and scholarship.

Proposed programs must incorporate administrative procedures that provide for the following:

  1. Accurate and accessible student advisement,
  2. Efficient use of physical resources,
  3. Effective use of faculty expertise and faculty time, and
  4. Efficient and effective communications and records keeping.

Changes of Name and/or Requirements of Existing Programs

Name changes or changes in requirements of existing programs (i.e. degree programs, minors, options, or emphases) must be approved by the Curriculum Committee.

Timeline for the Proposal Process

Both long and short form proposals and proposals for minors must be submitted to the Curriculum Committee by October 31, 200 I. The Curriculum Committee shall review the proposals and, if questions arise they will be provided to the faculty submitting the proposal by November 16, 2001.

Recommendations on the proposals shall be submitted to the Academic Senate by November 27, 2001. The Academic Senate, in turn, shall consider the proposals by December 4, 2001. Proposals that are approved by the Academic Senate will be simultaneously submitted to the CSUCI Administration and to the Catalog Committee. The CSUCI Administration will have until the end of December to approve the new majors/ programs to be offered in the Fall 2002 and those to be added to the Master Plan for 2003 and beyond . Approved short forms must be submitted to the Chancellor's Office by January 2, 2002. Majors/ programs approved for the Fall 2002 must also be submitted to the Chancellor's Office by January 31, 2002.



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