Curricular Changes

  • Proposals for changes in curriculum and degree requirements (program changes, changes in degree requirements, changes to the curriculum sequence, new courses, changes in credits or description, etc. should first be approved by the appropriate program committees. A template can be requested from the Provost's Office. When it is complete, the proposal should be sent electronically to, along with a request from the Executive Officer. Each proposed change must have a rationale that includes an explanation of why the change is needed, and the reason it is being made at this time.
  • Those changes must be then approved by the Committee on Curriculum and Degree Requirements, by Graduate Council, and by the CUNY Board of Trustees.
  • At the Graduate Council, "Major items" involve general policy and curriculum regulations pertaining to The Graduate Center as a whole, as well as such specific items as new courses, changes in requirements for admission, and changes in requirements for the degree. "Minor items" include changes to existing courses, changes to course numbers and hours, editorial changes, and withdrawn courses.
  • Major changes, such as those to the program or to degree requirements must also go to New York State Department of Education for state approval. Please note that NYSED approval may take up to a year, depending on the complexity of the request.
  • The Curriculum and Degree Committee usually meets every month, dependent on workload. The Graduate Council meets in October, December, March, and May.
  • All changes must be in line with Graduate Center and CUNY policy regarding requirements such as total number of credits, advancement to candidacy, course numbering, etc.
  • All text to be deleted must be in strikethrough.
  • All new text must be underlined.
  • All proposals for new courses must include a rationale for the need for the new course, a course description, a statement of the learning objectives/outcomes, and the manner in which those learning goals/outcomes will be assessed. The rationale should show how the program determined that this change was needed, including any data collected, self-study material, or findings from an external review, etc. The assessment criteria should show clearly how students will demonstrate their mastery of the learning outcomes, rather than a listing of measures that will go into the final grade.
  • All changes must be clearly shown on the template chart. 
  • The existing curriculum or course description will be on the “from” (left) side; and the new curriculum or course proposal on the “to” (right) side.
  • There is only one template for the Chancellor's University Report (CUR) for all curriculum changes. All instructional information on the template should be deleted from the final document before submission.

Answers to Possible Questions

Why must changes be submitted in this way?

Before any changes to existing programs are effective, they must be approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees. All changes must be reviewed by and receive approval from the following governing bodies (subsequent to their approval at program level):

  • Graduate School Curriculum and Degree Committee
  • Graduate Council
  • The Board of Trustees – via the Chancellor’s University Report
  • (In some cases) The New York State Education Department

Who prepares the submission to the Curriculum and Degree Committee?

The Program’s Curriculum and Degree Committee, working with the Executive Officer, usually prepares the documents for submission to the Curriculum and Degree Committee. The documents are then sent to the Provost's Office for distribution to the committee. Materials must be submitted at least 10 days before the next scheduled meeting of the committee.

What should be in the document? 

The Office of Academic Affairs produces the forms for the Chancellor's University Report (CUR). The CUNY template includes sections on Adding a New Course, Changes to an Existing Program, Changes to an Existing Course, Courses Withdrawn. This form should be requested from the Provost's Office.

To whom do I submit the document?

Once the item is completed using the correct form in Word format, it should be submitted to the Provost's Office.​​​​​​​

How do I know when the item has been approved?

The chair or the assistant will get back to you with the decision of the Curriculum and Degree Committee. There are frequently changes that need to be made to the document, some of which may require the revised proposal to be returned to the committee. Once the committee has voted and approved the document, it will go to Graduate Council for their vote. It is strongly recommended that the EO of the program be at the committee meeting and at the Graduate Council meeting to answer any questions that may arise. If it is passed by Graduate Council, it will be put on the CUR, the Chancellor’s Report, for a vote by the Board of Trustees. After approval, Chancellor's University Reports are published on the CUNY Portal. Program change approvals by NYSED are communicated to the Offices of the President and the Provost and will then be shared with the EO of the program.