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 Academic Affairs 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.

Note: A Joint Master’s/Doctoral 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 dissertation committees must be composed of appropriate members from each campus. Contact the Graduate Division’s Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs for further information.

Coordinating Committee of Graduate Affairs Proposal Format and Requirements1

Provide a title page with the proposed degree name, date, and proposing faculty

Table of Contents (all pages must be numbered)

Proposal Document:

Title: A proposal for a program of graduate studies in (e.g., English, Public Health) for the (e.g., M.A./Ph.D., Dr.P.H.) degree(s).

Date of writing

Contact person

Table of Contents (all pages must be numbered)

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. Note whether master’s degree will be optional or a requirement for the PhD.
  2. Historical development of the field and historical development of departmental/campus strength in the field.
  3. Timetable for development of the program including enrollment projections. Consistency of these projections with the campus enrollment plan.
  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 send copies of their proposal to all departments on other campuses offering similar degrees. Review letters should be obtained from chairs of such departments and attached to the proposal.)
  7. Department, graduate group, or school which will administer the program (if an existing graduate group, include amended by-laws in Appendices). (CCGA repeats this question in Section 8. State “See Section 8-Governance” here if the administering unit is one that has not offered graduate degrees, and supply the requested information in that section.)
  8. Confirmation of approval(s) by department/school/college; include the vote count and the date of the 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:
  1. Master’s degree
    1. Concentrations (specific fields of emphasis).
    2. Plan(s) to be offered
      1. Plan I, thesis (Include information about thesis committee composition.)
      2. Plan II (Include information about whether the degree will require a comprehensive exam or a project paper; explain exam or project format and how it will be evaluated.) 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. Required and recommended courses (basic configuration; course details should be included in Section 5).
    5. Sample programs: provide 2 sample programs for each degree offered and/or each field of emphasis.
  2. Doctoral degree
    1. Plan A or Plan B (Plan A, requires a five-member committee—three members charged with approving the dissertation who are joined by two additional members for the student’s required final oral defense of the dissertation; Plan B, followed by most doctoral programs, requires a three-member committee with a final defense at the discretion of the committee; it is usually not required.)
    2. Concentrations (specific fields of emphasis).
    3. Foreign language requirement (Option 1,2, 3, or no requirement with explanation).
    4. Required and recommended courses.
    5. Certification or licensing requirements (when degree program must have licensing or certification, the requirements of the agency or agencies involved should be listed).
    6. Teaching requirement.
    7. Field examinations or preliminary examinations (this includes any written examination(s) preparatory to the Qualifying Examination).
    8. Qualifying examination (include information about number of committee members, that they will be members of the Berkeley Academic Senate, and that the exam will cover 3 specific areas).
    9. Dissertation (include statement that members belong to the Academic Senate; explain how committee membership is established and how the student’s research project is developed and approved).
    10. Special requirements, if any (e.g., internships)
    11. Student advising and mentoring system.
    12. Relationship between master’s and professional doctorate program, if applicable.
    13. Any special preparation for careers in teaching.
    14. Describe Normative Time benchmarks (include time to advancement [NTA] and time from advancement to award of the degree [NTIC, normative time in candidacy]; assume student has no deficiencies and is full-time). (Complete Normative Time Worksheet (PDF) and include in Appendices.)
    15. Sample doctorate program.

Section 3. Projected Need
Explain each of the following needs and provide statistics or other detailed documentation as appropriate:

  1. Enrollment, including steady-state target; three-year plan for reaching the target; floor (sufficient to sustain the program); and ceiling (based on market study).
  2. Volume and quality of student demand for the program.
  3. Opportunities for placement of graduates. (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?)
  4. Importance to the discipline.
  5. Ways in which the program will meet the needs of society.
  6. Relationship of the program to research and/or professional interests of the faculty.
  7. 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 publications; data concerning faculty should be limited to only that information pertinent to the evaluation of faculty qualifications.

(For graduate group administered programs only, a letter from each faculty that will be a core member indicating his or her interest in the program In addition, comments from chairs of academic units with graduate programs closely related to or affected by the proposed program should be included.)

Section 5. Courses
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 appended. The relationship of these courses to specific fields of emphasis and future plans should be stated. How will the courses be staffed given existing course loads?

Section 6. Resource Requirements
If applicable, 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.

Otherwise, estimate for the first 5 years the additional cost of the program, by year, for each of the following categories, and indicate the intended method of funding these additional costs:

  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, or through overload teaching, or through temporary academic staff). Certain practice-oriented degree programs may warrant a higher proportion of non-regular faculty (e.g., clinical/adjunct faculty, lecturers, visitors) but that proportion must be acceptable to the campus’ Divisional 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. Explain if the program will be offered in whole or in part at off-campus sites or by distance learning technologies.
  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)?

Section 7. Graduate Student Support
All new proposals should include detailed plans for providing sufficient graduate student support. 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. Are other extramural resources likely to provide graduate student support, or will internal fellowships and other institutional support be made available to the program? Describe any campus fund-raising initiatives that will contribute to support of graduate students in the proposed program.

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?

Section 8. Governance
If the new program is being offered by a unit that does not/has not offer(ed) graduate degrees, describe the proposed governance structure for the program. (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
State whether or not any changes in Senate Regulations at the Divisional level or in the Academic Assembly will be required. If changes are necessary (e.g., for all proposals for new degrees), the complete text of the proposed amendments or new regulations should be provided.


  1. Employment prospects for graduates (market study; sample job ads; articles about need for graduates with expertise in this area; letters from potential employers).
  2. Letters of support/evaluation from Berkeley faculty members in other departments.
  3. Letters of support/evaluation from faculty and academic administrators on other UC campuses.
  4. (If a Graduate Group is proposed) MOU or letter(s) from dean of sponsoring school(s) or college(s) or department chairs regarding administrative and other resource support for the new program.
  5. (If a Graduate Group is proposed) By-Laws of the Graduate Group.
  6. Letter from Graduate Dean concerning admissions allotment.
  7. Letter from Committee on Courses of Instruction regarding status of new courses being proposed.
  8. Normative Time Worksheet (PDF).
  9. 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.

1 From CCGA 2016 Handbook (PDF), Appendix B, with some simplifications.