Consult the Graduate Division’s Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Linda Song ([email protected], 643-7412) for initial proposal guidance early when a new degree is first being considered. When a near-final draft is ready, send a non-PDF computer file 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, the Graduate Division will forward the completed proposal to the Graduate Council. After Graduate Council approval, the Committee on Budget and Interdepartmental Relations, the 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 requires that a new academic program must complete a brief WSCUC program screening form before it is launched. WSCUC will review the form to determine if the program represents a change significant enough to warrant a lengthier “substantive change review”.

Whether or not campus and Systemwide review can be completed within an academic year or will take longer entirely depends 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.


1. If a State-Supported Professional Master’s Degree with a Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST) fee is being proposed, a) the degree name is required to follow CCGA guidelines that it be a unique degree name, beginning “Master of (field)”, as in Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Landscape Architecture, etc., b) you must consult Campus Finance Lead Aaron Smyth ([email protected], 663-9595) about PDST requirements at the same time you consult the Graduate Division’s Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. A PDST proposal is required as a proposal appendix.

2. A Joint Master’s Degree program is offered by two campuses (either between UCB and another UC campus or between UCB and another institution). Faculty, courses, and resources are shared in order to offer a broader-based program. Examination and/or thesis committees must be composed of appropriate members from each campus. This is different from a Concurrent Master’s Degree Program which is an integrated program offering two separate Berkeley master’s degrees with a combined capstone and certain units allowed to count for completion of requirements for both degrees. Contact the Graduate Division’s Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs for further information.

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)

Proposal Document:

Separate Title Page:

Proposal Title

Format if academic degree:

“A proposal for a program of graduate studies in (field name, e.g., English, Computational Biology) for the (e.g., M.A., M.S.) degree(s)”

Format if state-supported professional degree:

“A proposal for a program of graduate studies in the Master of (professional degree field)”

OR, if PDST “A proposal for a program of graduate studies with PDST in the Master of (professional degree field)”

Date of Preparation (included after degree title information)

Second Proposal Page:

Contact Information Sheet
(This sheet lists the proposers and their contact information; the lead proponent should be clearly identified, who, at Berkeley, should be an Academic Senate member.)

Third Proposal Page:

Table of Contents (with page numbers, listing Sections and Appendices)

Fourth and following pages:

Executive Summary

A concise exposition setting forth the chief features of the program in language accessible to those outside the specific field.

Section 1. Introduction

  1. Aims and objectives of the program. (Any distinctive features should be noted. Include a description of the expected profile of the target audience [e.g., educational background; work experience; proportion of in-state, out-of-state, and international students]).
  2. Historical development of the field and historical development of departmental strength in the field.
  3. 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).
  4. Relation of the proposed program to existing programs on campus and to the Campus Academic Plan. If 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).
  5. 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. The proposal should be as detailed as possible, particularly with respect to students. For example, the proposal doesn’t need to provide a year-by-year plan for the first five years, but should at least have some kind of timetable linked to specific benchmarks. In terms of evaluation, it is suggested that the proposal cite at least two (2) methods, such as surveys and focus groups, and explain how the program will respond to feedback. To avoid redundancy, refer to other sections (e.g., Section 7) as appropriate.
  6. 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 at the end of these proposal instructions. Any feedback received from 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.)
  7. 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),
  8. Confirmation of approval(s) by department/school/college; include the vote count and date of vote,
  9. 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

  1. Undergraduate preparation for admission (include special requirements beyond minimum Graduate Division requirements).
  2. Program of study: Master’s degree
    1. Concentrations (specific fields of emphasis).
    2. Plan(s) to be offered (if both are offered; describe rationale)
      1. Plan I, Thesis (include information about thesis committee composition if joint master’s degree or if outside member is required.)
      2. Plan II (Specify whether a Comprehensive Exam or a Master’s Project.) Describe capstone element, include details about format, supervision, and evaluation. (Capstone master’s 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. Master’s 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 master’s project, either a single coordinator/adviser [or program committee] should be identified to evaluate the appropriateness of projects and their timelines, following program faculty guidelines. (CCGA memo, 2/26/2014)
    3. Unit requirements (must be at least Academic Senate minimum for Plan I-20 units; Plan II-24 units).
    4. Foreign language requirement (if any)
    5. Required and recommended courses (basic configuration; course details should be included in Section 5 “Courses”).
    6. Teaching requirements and special preparation for careers in teaching, if applicable..
    7. Field examinations, written and/or oral (if any).
    8. Internships (if any).
    9. 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.
    10. Sample programs: provide 2 sample programs for the degree proposed or, if concentrations, for each field of emphasis.
    11. Advising system: explain procedures for assigning graduate advisers for students.

3. Relationship between this Master’s degree and the Ph.D. program. (Complete if an M.A. or M.S. degree is being proposed and a standing Ph.D. program already exists.)

Section 3. Projected Need

Explain each of the following needs and provide statistics or other detailed documentation as appropriate:

  1. Volume and quality of student demand for the program. Estimate proportion of in-state, out-of-state, and international enrollment. Explain how steady-state enrollment targets were derived from student demand assessment (based on market study).
  2. 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 other California universities. 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?)
  3. Importance to the discipline.
  4. Ways in which the program will meet the needs of society.
  5. Relationship of the program to research and/or professional interests of the faculty.
  6. Program Differentiation. How will the proposed program distinguish itself from existing UC programs and those at other institutions in California or from similar programs proposed by other UC campuses?

Section 4. Faculty

Provide a statement on present faculty and immediately pending appointments. This should include a list of faculty, their ranks, their highest degree and other professional qualifications, and a citation of no more than 5 recent, 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 that will instructionally support the program. (Certain practice-oriented degree programs may warrant a higher proportion of non-regular faculty (e.g., clinical/adjunct faculty, lecturers) but that proportion must be acceptable to Senate committees which review the proposal. Courses offered in these programs should be taught by a mix of faculty members that parallels the mix of faculty in regular programs.)

MOUs for teaching resources required to administer the graduate program curriculum must be provided for each of the affected departments. (For example, the proposed degree may require courses offered by another academic unit which could affect whether future students could take such a required course if it is impacted. Access to an required courses need to be cleared with the offering academic unit through an MOU and provided as an Appendix.)

For graduate group administered programs only:

1. A letter (or email) is required from each proposed core member indicating his or her interest in the program as an Appendix.

2. Letters (or emails) from chairs of academic units with graduate programs closely related to or affected by the proposed program commenting on the program must be included as an Appendix.

Section 5. Courses

1. Provide a list of present and proposed courses including instructors and supporting courses in related fields. (The catalog description of all proposed courses should be included, along with descriptions of how the courses will be staffed.) Any required courses not yet approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction should be identified and syllabi provided as an Appendix.

2. Explain how the courses will be staffed given existing course loads,

3. State the relationship of these courses to specific concentrations (fields of emphasis).

4. Describe any future course plans.

Section 6. Resource Requirements

If applicable, explicitly state that no new resources will be required and explain how the program will be funded. If it is to be funded by internal reallocation, explain how internal resources will be generated.

If additional costs are involved, estimate for each of the first 5 years the additional cost for each of the following categories, and indicate the intended method of funding these additional costs.

If funding will be through a proposed PDST, state the PDST to be charged and explain how the PDST fee was derived in terms of the following categories.

  1. FTE faculty. (Provide a statement on faculty FTE requirements for the program and how the program’s curricular requirements will be met (e.g., from existing faculty in the same way as are regular teaching obligations, through overload teaching, through temporary academic staff, etc.). Certain practice-oriented degree programs may warrant a higher proportion of non-regular faculty (e.g., clinical/adjunct faculty, lecturers) but that proportion must be acceptable to Senate committees which review the proposal. Courses offered in these programs should be taught by a mix of faculty members that parallels the mix of faculty in regular programs.)
  2. Library acquisitions.
  3. Computing requirements and cost estimates.
  4. Equipment.
  5. 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. If applicable, explain if the program will be offered in whole or in part at off-campus sites or by distance learning technologies [the program must be less than 50% online to be state-supported].
  6. Other operating costs.

Note: State Resources to Support New Programs. The resource plan to support the proposed program should be clearly related to campus enrollment plans and resource plans. Proposers should provide detailed information on how resources will be provided to support the proposed program (e.g., from resources for approved graduate enrollment growth, reallocation, and other sources). What will the effects of reallocation be on existing programs? For interdisciplinary programs and programs growing out of concentrations within existing graduate programs: What will be the impact of the new program on the contributing program(s)?

Note: For a proposed Graduate Group. Attach a MOU or letter(s) from dean of sponsoring school(s) or college(s) or department chairs regarding commitment of administrative and other resource support for the new program as an appendix.

Section 7. Graduate Student Support

All new proposals should include detailed plans for providing sufficient graduate student support.

1. In fields that have depended on federal research grants, these plans should also discuss current availability of faculty grants that can support graduate students and funding trends in agencies expected to provide future research or training grants.

2. Are other extramural resources likely to provide graduate student support, or will internal fellowships and other institutional support be made available to the program? If the latter, how will reallocation affect support in existing programs?

3. Describe any fund-raising initiatives that will contribute to support of graduate students in the proposed program.

4. How many teaching assistantships will be available to the program? Will resources for them be provided through approved enrollment growth, reallocation, or a combination? How will reallocation affect support in existing programs?

5. Explain plans for diversity recruitment and support.

6. (For PDST proposals) Explain what financial aid will be available or why it is not necessary to make a provision for financial aid.

Section 8. Governance

If the new program is being offered by a unit that does not/has not offer(ed) graduate degrees, fully describe the proposed governance structure for the program, including staff roles and responsibilities, if applicable. (If a new graduate group, by-laws are required for inclusion as an Appendix; if an existing graduate group, provide amended by-laws.)

Section 9. Changes in Senate Regulations

State whether or not any changes in Senate Regulations at the Berkeley Divisional level or in the Systemwide Academic Assembly will be required. Changes are necessary for any new professional degree. The complete text of the new regulations or proposed amendments must be provided.

Appendices* (discuss with Graduate Division)

  1. Employment prospects for graduates (market survey, letters from potential employers, sample job ads, articles about need for graduates with expertise in this area).
  2. Letters of support/evaluation from Berkeley chairs and faculty members of other departments.
  3. Letters of support/evaluation from faculty and academic administrators on other UC campuses.
  4. (If applicable) Letters of support from industry or sponsors of potential students (e.g., government ministries, etc.).
  5. Letter from Graduate Dean concerning admissions allotment.
  6. Syllabi of courses to be proposed to the Committee on Courses of Instruction for approval.
  7. (If applicable) Teaching resources MOU with providing academic unit(s).
  8. (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.
  9. (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.)
  10. (If a PDST is to be charged) PDST proposal (contact Budget Office for format).
  11. For CCGA: list of potential UC and non-UC reviewers who are not associated with the program (include contact information). Proposers should provide as lengthy a list as possible to avoid delay in CCGA review and exclude potential reviewers who could be perceived as having a conflict of interest.

(*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.)

1 From CCGA Handbook (August 2016 Revision), Appendix B, with some clarifications and Berkeley-specific Senate requirements.