Proposing a Self-Supporting Professional Master's Degree Program
Consult with Graduate Division Assistant Dean Linda Song (firstname.lastname@example.org, 643-7412) for proposal guidance when first discussing a degree. Simultaneously, proposers should consult Student Fees Analyst Aaron Smyth, (email@example.com, 663-9595) regarding the program’s financial viability and how to complete the required budget spreadsheet. Proposers will also need to commission a market study to demonstrate sufficient student demand, which can take 3-6 months to complete. Contact Communication and Marketing Services Director Chris Van Nostrand (firstname.lastname@example.org, 664-4151) regarding the market study.
When a near-final draft is completed, send a non-PDF electronic file of it to the Assistant Dean for preliminary Graduate Division review of the proposal’s strength and completeness. Usually two or more draft rounds are necessary before the proposal is ready. Only the final proposal to be transmitted to the Graduate Council should be in PDF format.
Following its final review, Graduate Division will forward the completed proposal to the Graduate Council. Graduate Council will consult with the Committee on Academic Planning and Resource Allocation. After Graduate Council approval, the Committee on Budget and Interdepartmental Relations, Divisional Council, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty will be the other points of review before submission for systemwide approval. Systemwide review is first conducted by the Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs (CCGA) and then the Academic Council. Subsequently, the Office of the President determines final program approval.
In addition, the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) requires that a new academic program must complete a brief WSCUC program screening form before it is launched. The WSCUC will review the form to determine if the program represents a change significant enough to warrant a lengthier “substantive change review”. Please contact campus Accreditation Liaison Officer, Cindy Bumgarner (email@example.com) for assistance with this form.
Whether or not campus and Systemwide review can be completed within a year or will take longer depends entirely on the proposers’ level of preparedness and advance consultation. Early consultation by proposers enables timely submission to Graduate Division of a near-final draft in the summer prior to academic year when the review will commence so that the final proposal will be ready when Graduate Council convenes in the Fall.
Coordinating Committee of Graduate Affairs Proposal Format and Requirements1
(Note: All italicized text are instructions only, and not to be included as part of the proposal narrative)
Separate Title Page:
Date of Preparation
Second Proposal Page:
Contact Information Sheet
(This sheet lists the proposers and their contact information; the lead proponent should be clearly identified and should be an Academic Senate member at Berkeley.)
Third Proposal Page:
Table of Contents (with page numbers, listing Sections and Appendices)
Fourth and following pages:
A concise exposition setting forth the chief features of the program in language accessible to those outside the specific field.
Section 1. Introduction
- Aims and objectives of the program. (Any distinctive features should be noted.)
- Historical development of the field and historical development of departmental strength in the field. (Keep this section to a couple of paragraphs; it does not need to be extensive.)
- Timetable for development of the program including enrollment projections. Consistency of these projections with the campus enrollment plan. If the campus has enrollment quotas for its programs, state which program(s) will have their enrollments reduced in order to accommodate the proposed program. Include plan for reaching the target floor (sufficient to sustain the program) and what would be the likely ceiling (based on market study).
- Relation of the proposed program to existing programs on campus and to the Campus Academic Plan. If the program is not in the Campus Academic Plan, why is it important that it be begun now? Evidence of high campus priority. Effect of the proposed program on undergraduate programs offered by the sponsoring department(s). In the case of an SSGPDP, explain clearly how any possible negative effects on existing graduate and undergraduate programs will be avoided or mitigated. Provide comments on the program from all campus department chairs and school/college deans with graduate programs closely related to or affected by the proposed program (letters/emails should be included as an Appendix).
- Contributions to diversity: All proposals must include (a) a vision for how the program will advance UC’s goals for diversity and (b) a plan that details what steps the program will take in its first five years to move it toward the identification, recruitment, and retention of underrepresented minority students and faculty. The proposal should clearly document the ways in which the program will evaluate its diversity goals. To avoid redundancy, refer to other sections (e.g., Section 7) as appropriate.
- Interrelationship of the program with other University of California programs, if applicable. (Any possibility of cooperation or competition with other programs within the University should be discussed. Proposers should make themselves aware of any similar proposals for new programs that may be in preparation on other campuses. Proposers are required to send copies of their proposal to the chairs (or program directors) of all departments/programs on other campuses offering similar degrees, with a cover letter such as the sample provided by the Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs. Any feedback received from other UC chairs/program directors and proposer response should be summarized in this section; letters from chairs/program directions should be included as an Appendix. Contact should be done early enough to allow the proposers to take advantage of any feedback before local campus review.)
- Department, graduate group, or school which will administer the program. (CCGA repeats this question in Section 8 ” Governance.” If the administering unit is one that does not/has not offer(ed) graduate degrees, supply the requested information in that section. In this section, make a simple statement and then refer reviewers to Section 8.)
- Confirmation of approval by a majority vote of the faculty in the department or school that will host the program, in accordance with that unit’s bylaws (include a summary of the vote count and date of the vote).
- Evaluation of the program within the offering academic unit(s) as well as campuswide. (How will the program, once established, be reviewed?)
Section 2. Program
- Undergraduate preparation for admission.
- Explain admissions criteria (include special requirements beyond minimum Graduate Division requirements). Will some type of work experience in the field be required?
- Explain how the admissions criteria for the proposed program compares to that of similar programs of comparable standing.
- Explain what measures will be taken to ensure that unqualified students will not be admitted for financial reasons.
- Program of study: Master’s Degree
- Concentrations (specific fields of emphasis).
- Plan to be offered (most professional master’s degree programs are Plan II; Plan I is possible if justified by the discipline or workforce needs)
- Plan II (Specify whether Comprehensive Exam or Capstone Project). Describe capstone element, include details about format, supervision, and evaluation. (Capstone projects must be synthetic, tying two or more areas of specific content that would typically be a class subject or sequence of classes. If a group-based project, individual student’s contributions should be assessed by, for example, an individual report, periodic performance evaluations at various points in the project, or comprehensive specification of the individual team member’s role in generating specific outcomes in a group report. Capstone projects should be evaluated by a minimum of two reviewers, [one being an Academic Senate member], and at least one of them should have no direct vested interest in the student’s success (e.g., the student is not the reviewer’s GSR or collaborator). Additionally, to ensure consistent quality and scope of capstone projects, either a single coordinator/advisor [or program committee] should be identified to evaluate the appropriateness of projects and their timelines, following program faculty guidelines. (CCGA Handbook [August 2016], Appendix I)
- Unit requirements (must meet Academic Senate minimum for Plan II [24 units] or Plan I [20 units]).
- Required and recommended courses (basic configuration; if hybrid program, which courses are regular or online.) (Course details should be included in Section 5 “Courses”.)
- Field examinations, written and/or oral (if any).
- Internships (if any).
- Special preparation for careers in teaching, if applicable.
- Requirements of the agency or agencies when a degree program must have licensing or certification (requirements should be listed, including the courses needed to satisfy such requirements), if any.
- Sample programs: provide 2 sample programs for the degree proposed or, if concentrations, for each field of emphasis. Hybrid or online degree proposers should fully explain any non-traditional admissions structure it intends, how the program’s course offerings are synchronized for any off-cycle cohorts, and how that affects degree completion. (Consultation with the Registrar and Graduate Division about non-traditional admissions must take place in initial discussion stages.)
- Advising system: explain procedures for assigning graduate advisers for students. What is the expected faculty to student ratio for these activities?
Section 3. Projected Need
Explain each of the following needs and provide a market study as Appendix A.
- Volume and quality of student demand for the program. Estimate proportion of in-state, out-of-state, and international enrollment and include a description of the expected profile of the target audience (e.g., educational background; work experience). Explain how steady-state enrollment targets were derived from student demand assessment based on market study.
- Opportunities for placement of graduates. (It is essential to provide detailed and convincing evidence of job market needs, especially if the proposed graduate field is well represented among UC campuses and independent peer institutions. If other UC campuses already offer programs in the field, what are their placement records in recent years? What recent job listings, employer surveys, assessments of future job growth, etc., can be provided to demonstrate a strong market for graduates of this program, or for graduates of specialty areas that will be the focus of the program? If enrollment will be heavily international, are international graduates expected to seek employment in the U.S. or to work abroad?)
- Importance to the discipline.
- Ways in which the program will meet the needs of society.
- Relationship of the program to research and/or professional interests of the faculty.
- Program Differentiation. What programs are the proposed degree’s major competitors? How will the proposed program distinguish itself from existing or proposed UC programs and those at peer institutions? (Refer to Section I, Introduction, question 5, if applicable.)
Section 4. Faculty
- Provide a statement on present faculty and immediately pending appointments. This should include a list of Senate faculty, their highest degree and other professional qualifications, and a citation of relevant publications; data concerning faculty should be limited to only that information pertinent to the evaluation of faculty qualifications.
- List any clinical/adjunct faculty and lecturers who will teach or advise in the program.
- Describe the profile (rank, Senate or non-Senate status) of the faculty expected to teach SSGPDP courses.
- How many Senate faculty, and what proportion of the offering academic unit’s Senate faculty, will be involved in teaching courses in the proposed program? How many additional courses, on top of their state-supported program teaching load, will faculty be responsible for? (Certain practice-oriented degree programs may warrant a higher proportion of non-Senate faculty [e.g., clinical/adjunct faculty, lecturers] than in the offering unit’s state-supported programs, but that proportion must be acceptable to Senate committees that review the proposal. If there will be a higher proportion of non-Senate instructors, then explain why the proposed mix suits students’ pedagogical needs.)
- Among the courses taught by Senate faculty, what percentage will be done as overload? What percentage as buyout? Explain whether the balance will change between the start-up phase and the period when the program is well-established. (Specific financial details of this should be explained in Section 6 “Resources”, Faculty FTE.)
- Does the extra workload require hiring new tenure-track faculty and/or full or part-time lecturers?
- Will there be a program director for advising students or assisting with job placement? Is this person an existing faculty or staff member? How will this person be compensated?
- Specific financial details of faculty compensation should be explained in Section 6 “Resources”, Faculty FTE.
- Explain the measures taken in designing the program to ensure that faculty will continue to provide at least the current level of faculty commitment to existing academic graduate programs.
- Within the context of the department/school’s teaching policy for graduate education, explain how the teaching and service activities in this program will be counted and evaluated in merit and promotion cases.
- If the proposed self-supporting degree anticipates requiring courses outside of the proposing academic unit(s), an MOU for teaching resources required to administer the graduate program curriculum must be provided for each of the affected departments and provided as an Appendix.
Section 5. Courses
1. Provide a list of present and proposed courses including instructors and supporting courses in related fields (for hybrid degrees, indicate whether the course is offered in residence or online). Include the existing or proposed catalog description as well as the projected staffing of all relevant courses for the next two-three years, along with a description of how the courses will be staffed, and how the staffing will affect existing course loads. (Any required courses not yet approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction should be identified and syllabi provided as an Appendix; required COCI supplemental questions for online courses should also be included with their syllabi.)
2. (If applicable) Identify required courses for specific concentrations (fields of emphasis).
3. Describe any future course plans.
For hybrid and online degrees only:
4. Structure and platform for online course delivery. Explain:
- What platform will be used for delivering online courses and the entity responsible for it as well as student technical assistance, including students in removed time zones (e.g., BRCOE, 3rd-party vendor);
- plan for initial creation of online content, including how faculty will be assisted in developing online courses and technically supported;
- whether courses are asynchronous, synchronous, or a combination and, if applicable, how students in other time zones will be accommodated;
- time frame for refreshing curriculum modules;
- provision for cohort formation;
- how delivery will ensure excellent student-instructor and student-student participation and academic exchange;
- whether faculty, lecturers, or GSIs will be utilized for sections; and
- integrity of student assessments to prevent academic fraud.
Section 6. Resource Requirements
(Self-Supporting policy allows for a phase-in period during which an SSGPDP may not be able to recoup its full costs. Consult with the Campus Finance Lead on how this program will be phased-in.)
A. Proposers must contact Student Fees Analyst Aaron Smyth to obtain and complete the budget spreadsheet. Include the budget spreadsheet as an appendix and explain it narratively–how program fees were derived (include comparisons with peer programs), summarize program costs, program income, the phase-in plan for the program, and why it should be sustainable within three years. Specify the source and nature of any financial support, including start-up funds and loan(s). Include a statement from the campus finance lead confirming review of the spreadsheet.
Provide a copy of the budget as an Excel spreadsheet separate from the proposal so that it is legible for reviewers.
B. Specifics. Estimate for the first 5 years the costs of the program, by year, for each of the following categories.
- FTE faculty. State faculty FTE requirements for the program and describe the department/school’s compensation plan for teaching in the SSGPDP. Describe the normative workload measures and policies of the regular school or college program used to determine FTE needs. Explain financially how the program’s curricular requirements will be met (e.g., through existing faculty in the same way as are regular teaching obligations, overload teaching, temporary academic staff, or particular forms of compensation and incentives). In calculating a buy-out rate, proposers are expected to take into account the average salary and workload of Senate faculty in that unit.
- (Hybrid and online programs) Course development and maintenance costs.
- (Hybrid and online programs) Technical computing assistance for students.
- Library acquisitions (includes online databases, etc.).
- Computing or equipment requirements.
- Space and other capital facilities.
- State whether the program will be offered in whole or in part on-campus, during what time periods, and how classroom and other facility requirements will be met. Explain if the program will be offered in whole or in part at off-campus sites or by distance learning technologies.
- Will there be any dedicated space for the program?
- How will the program’s courses impact the scheduling of existing courses and how much will existing facilities be used?
- Will any additional facilities be required for the program (e.g., classrooms, laboratories, recording facilities for online lectures/discussions)?
- Staff support
- Will the program require staff support? Will new or additional staff need to be hired? If so, how many?
- Will courses require additional Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs)? If so, are there enough graduate students to serve as GSIs?
- Other operating costs (e.g., additional vendor costs).
C. Impact on related state-supported programs.
- Will the proposed program adversely affect the enrollment of any existing state-supported program(s)?
- How will the proposed program affect faculty participation (both in teaching and advising) in existing state-supported programs?
- How will the proposed program affect staff support of existing state-supported programs?
- Is there any foreseeable impact on class sizes in existing state-supported programs?
- Will new courses offered by the proposed program be made available to students enrolled in state-supported programs of the offering academic unit?
- Will the proposed program create competing needs for instructional facilities and physical and intellectual infrastructure in the proposing academic unit? Will new infrastructures and facilities be created to share with related state-supported programs?
Section 7. Graduate Student Support
All new proposals should include detailed plans for providing sufficient graduate student support. The proposal should explain what financial aid will be available or why it is not necessary to make a provision for financial aid. It should also discuss the implications of the fee structure for the diversity of the projected student population.
- In accordance with the 2016 Presidential Policy on “Self-Supporting Graduate Professional Degree Programs,” a proposal must state an articulated financial accessibility goal for their students and a student financial support plan for achieving this goal.
- Examples of possible student financial support plan components include providing scholarships or grants from the program’s own resources (e.g., return-to-aid from program tuition and fees assessed, but not from state funds or tuition and/or fees charged to students in state-supported programs, or funds raised through private philanthropy), providing tuition and fee waivers, participation in federal and/or private loan programs, and participation in other external support programs such as veterans
- If financial aid is the primary means to achieve financial accessibility, the proposal should state its rate of return-to-aid (if zero, state zero).
Section 8. Governance
Describe how the program will be administered. Will there be a faculty program committee charged to oversee the program, a program director, involvement of other staff? Describe how the program will assess whether it is on target for recouping its costs and share this information yearly with the Graduate Council (CCGA Handbook [July 2014], Appendix K, p. 46).
(If the program is to be administered by an interdisciplinary graduate group, graduate group by-laws are required for inclusion as an Appendix.)
Section 9. Changes in Senate Regulations
(Changes in Senate Regulations at the Berkeley Divisional level will exist for any new professional degree; amendments may be likely for a variation of a standing professional degree.) Provide the complete text of the proposed new or amended regulations.
- Market study and documentation regarding student demand and employment prospects, including sample job advertisements.
- Budget spreadsheet.
- Letters of support/evaluation from Berkeley chairs and faculty members of other departments.
- Letters of support/evaluation from faculty and academic administrators on other UC campuses.
- (If applicable) Letters of support from industry or sponsors of potential students (e.g., government ministries, etc.).
- Syllabi of courses to be proposed to the Committee on Courses of Instruction for approval. (For proposed online courses, COCI’s supplemental questions should accompany the respective syllabus.)
- (If applicable) Teaching resources MOU with providing academic unit(s).
- (If a graduate group is proposed) MOU or letter(s) from department chairs and/or dean of sponsoring school(s)/college(s) regarding endorsement of the proposed degree and graduate group and specific commitments and duration of commitments regarding administrative and other resource support for the new program.
- (If a graduate group is proposed) By-laws of the Graduate Group. (If adding a Master’s Degree to an existing Graduate Group-administered Ph.D. program, amend the Graduate Group’s by-laws to refer to the administration of both the Master’s and doctoral programs.)
- (For non-hybrid/online programs only) Letter from Graduate Dean concerning admission allotment.
- For CCGA: list of potential UC and non-UC reviewers who are not associated with the program (include contact information).
(*If proposers wish to submit full CVs for participating faculty, they should combine the CVs into a single, separate PDF supporting document, to be submitted simultaneously with the proposal.)
1From CCGA Handbook (August 2016 Revision), Appendices B and K, with some clarifications and Berkeley-specific Senate requirements.