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Procedures for Preparing and Submitting Curriculum Proposals for College Approval (Spring 2015) Part A: Introduction : Definitions and Procedures


I. Definition: Routine Curriculum Proposals

Routine items consist of changes in courses or programs previously approved by the Senate that require alteration in form, such as changes in course number, and/or title or course description, but which leave unaltered the essential nature of the course or program in question. Changes in course level or in the number of credits, and changes in (or addition of) pre-and corequisites are not considered to be routine items. Routine curriculum proposals must be prepared by the originating department/program in accordance with the format described in this document (Part C, Section I).

II. Definition: Substantive Curriculum Proposals

All items except those defined as routine shall be regarded as substantive changes, for example, new courses; addition to (or withdrawal from) listing of courses for the General Education Requirement or Hunter Core; changes in course level, credits, pre- or co-requisites; new majors and minors; modification of majors and minors; changes of admissions requirements; changes in graduation requirements; change in name of registered degree or certificate program; addition or deletion of track or concentration; new academic programs. Substantive Curriculum proposals must be prepared by the originating department/program in accordance with the formats described in this document. Newly proposed courses must be associated with an existing academic department or program. New course proposals may be submitted simultaneously with proposals for new academic departments or programs, but they cannot receive final approval until the new department or program is fully approved. This does not limit the freedom of existing departments to revise their departmental programs using existing resources. All Substantive Curriculum Proposals concerning individual courses require the submission of a sample syllabus (See Part C, Section III).

III. Procedures for Curriculum Proposals at School/Divisional and Senate Levels 

1.  All curriculum proposals should include the Curriculum Committees Approval Form found in Appendix D (page 26) of this document.

2.    The originating department must forward curriculum revisions to the School/Divisional Curriculum Committee for review and approval.  Curriculum proposals that are interdisciplinary in nature require the review of all School/Divisional Curriculum Committees in whose purview the course falls.

  • Appeals Procedure for Routine Changes: A negative decision by the School/Divisional Curriculum Committee may be appealed to the appropriate Senate Course of Study Committee by the originating department(s). The appropriate Senate Course of Study Committee shall review and act upon the departmental appeal.  Action by the appropriate Senate Course of Study Committee on departmental appeals shall be considered final. 

3.   After a School/Divisional Curriculum Committee has approved a curriculum proposal, the Dean’s Office must: 

a. Submit the proposal to the Senate Office by email ( 
    The email must include the following:

    1. Department/Program name
    2. Summary description of the proposed change(s),
    3. Routine Change proposals must also include a cover letter signed by the Dean, addressed to the appropriate Senate Course of Study Committee (Undergraduate or Graduate), and the date of approval by the School/Divisional Curriculum Committee.
    4. School/Divisional Curriculum Committee approval date.      

b. Obtain from the Senate Office the UR (undergraduate routine), US (undergraduate substantive), GR (graduate routine), or GS (graduate substantive) identification number.

4.   Approval of routine proposals by the School/Divisional Curriculum Committee shall constitute College approval with one exception: If the appropriate Senate Course of Study Committee determines that an item has been improperly identified as routine, it shall be processed in accordance with the procedures for submitting Substantive Curriculum Proposals. The Senate Office shall be responsible for identifying approved routine changes for information purposes on the Senate Agenda, and for their inclusion in the appropriate section of the Chancellor’s University Report (CUR).  All routine change proposals must be free of grammatical errors and must contain accurate and up-to-date information so that they can be entered into the Chancellor’s University Report without further revision.

5.  Proposals for substantive changes that have been approved at the School/Divisional level will be publicized by the Senate Office and have a 10 day challenge period during which entities of the College may voice objections. 

5a. If the proposal was challenged, the Procedures for Challenging Substantive Curriculum Proposals listed in this document will be followed (note: this is not a frequent occurrence).

5b. If the proposal was not challenged by the specified date, the proposal will be sent to the appropriate Senate course of study committee (Undergraduate or Graduate).

6.   The proposals will be reviewed by the appropriate Senate course of study committee. A department representative is usually invited to present the proposal and answer questions when the Senate course of study committee meets to discuss the proposal. The committee may send the proposal back to the department for revisions. The originating department will be responsible for revising the proposal and for returning the revised proposal to the School/Divisional curriculum committee or to the Senate office for further review (depending on the nature of the issues raised). If the Senate course of study committee approves the proposal, it will then go to the full Senate.

7.   The Senate office will submit approved proposals in the following Chancellor’s University Report for approval by CUNY.

IV. Approval of Curriculum Proposals (How will you know?)

The Senate office, on behalf of the curriculum committees, will contact the applying department if there are any problems with approving a proposal. If you do not hear anything, assume that the curriculum change has been approved by the Senate course of study committee and forwarded to the Hunter Senate. Changes approved by the Senate are listed in the Senate Minutes, which are posted on the Senate web site. . All curriculum changes that have been approved by the Senate (except some new programs) are then listed in the Chancellor’s University Report (CUR).  All departments should consult the CUR to ensure that their proposals are fully and finally approved:  No new or changed courses may be offered prior to their appearance in the CUR. See Appendix B for a general timeline for course submission and approval processes. Departments are welcome to email or call the Senate office to inquire about the status of their proposals (

V. Programmatic Proposals: Advance Notice; Final Prospectus for Program Development and Review¹

Advance Notice. CUNY no longer requires the submission and review of Letters of Intent. Instead, it calls for annual submissions of a comprehensive Prospectus for Program Development and Review via the Provost’s Office (details below). To facilitate planning for those submissions, scheduling, and the availability of assistance and guidance to the sponsoring academic units, the Senate requests Advance Notice of anticipated major programmatic changes (e.g., creation of new degree programs or majors, and any action designated in the “Special Actions” section). Items submitted for consideration as a Final Prospectus (below) in the absence of a prior Advance Notice might be delayed.

The Advance Notice serves as a prospectus for many of the details that will be required for the fully developed and final proposal, including:

A. purpose and goals of the proposed change,

B. need and justification for the change,

C. student interest and enrollment,

D. curriculum,

E. faculty and staff,

F. cost assessment.

There is no specific form or format required for the Advance Notice, and it is not expected that all issues will have been resolved by the time the Advance Notice is submitted. This is intended to serve as a planning document to facilitate the most efficient and effective final proposal. Advance Notices may be submitted at any time to the appropriate dean’s office and forwarded to the Senate Office, however, in order to receive the full benefit of consultation and advisement by the relevant Senate curriculum committee, Advance Notices should be received by February 1 of each year. All units submitting notices by this date will receive feedback and guidance no later than April 1 about how to proceed with submitting a Final Prospectus for proposals that are expected to move forward in the following academic year.

Final Prospectus for Program Development and Review.  No later than September 1, proposing entities (schools, departments, working groups of faculty), working through the appropriate deans’ offices, shall submit to the Office of the Provost in a Final Prospectus details about pending plans for academic program creation, revision, or elimination, or plans for the creation of centers, institutes, and schools. A comprehensive overview of all Final Prospectus submissions is due in the Senate Office, via the Provost, no later than September 1, for final review by the chairs of the Senate Undergraduate Course of Study and Graduate Course of Study Committees and the Administrative Committee. The Senate will attempt to process all submissions in as timely a manner as possible but will prioritize those programmatic proposals for which Advance Notices were received in accordance with its procedure and timeline above. The Senate Office will provide a response to the Provost, with advisories about any anticipated concerns and scheduling matters, no later than September 15.  Note: Items submitted for consideration as a Final Prospectus in the absence of a prior Advance Notice (above) might be delayed.

¹Changes in existing major programs and creation of or changes in minor programs are not subject to this procedure; instead they follow the Procedure for Substantive Changes.