Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Requirement Changes

Policy Memorandum No. 109

Recommended by the Commission on Undergraduate Studies
Approved by University Council: May 3, 1990
Approved by the President: May 3, 1990
Effective: Immediately (with checklists to go into effect for the 1992 graduating class)

The University Council, on recommendation of the Commission on Undergraduate Studies, unanimously approved a resolution that replaces Policy Memorandum 41.1 (dated October, 1982). Containing three major provisions, this policy addresses guidelines for undergraduate degree requirement changes, and in particular, the issue of degree options and concentrations.

Following is the text of the resolution as adopted by Council.

Whereas, all authorized undergraduate degrees, including such variants as options and concentrations, are defined operationally by departments and promulgated in the form of checklists; and

Whereas, the current procedures affecting changes in degree requirements (total hours, specific course requirements, courses in major, courses in concentrations, etc.) do not establish consistent actions among the departments, making it exceedingly difficult for students, faculty, and the registrar to keep track of the changes; and

Whereas, a system is needed to collect, review and monitor the collective actions of departments with regard to degree requirements;

THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED

  1. That the CUS direct its secretary to maintain a file of all the degree requirement checklists (degree, option, concentration and minor) in effect for the current academic year, the past six (6) academic years, and the two upcoming years.

  2. That the Office of the Registrar maintain a duplicate file of degree checklists for working reference.

  3. That the university (CUS) adopt the following guidelines to assist departments and colleges in the revision and implementation of curricula changes in a reasonable and open manner:

    1. The department offering an undergraduate degree will assume primary responsibility for its quality and take the initiative in any revision of its degree programs.

    2. All proposed changes in undergraduate degree programs, including in such variants as options or concentrations, will be collected over the academic year by the department/division and submitted as a package by January 1 to the College Curriculum Committee (and dean) for review and approval, and then forwarded to CUS for review and approval two years prior to the effective date of graduation. If no changes are made in the checklist, the checklist should be forwarded to the Provost's Office by the College Curriculum Committee two years prior to the effective date of graduation with a cover letter indicating there are no changes. When necessary changes are made in a checklist within the two years prior to the effective date of graduation, this same process is to be followed with an explanation of how students are to be notified of the changes.

    3. Checklists will be subject to the 30-day review process when there are changes in requirements.

    4. New (i.e., updated) checklists including variants such as options and concentrations will be entered into the CUS and Registrar's files only once a year, following commencement day at the end of the spring semester. At that time, any checklists more than seven (7) years old will be discarded.

    5. Requests for an option or concentration to be identified on the transcript should be from the offering department/division and should accompany the request for approval of the option or concentration.

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President's Policy Memorandum

URL: http://purl.vt.edu/vtdocs/policies/ppm109