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Local Processes for Academic Program Proposals

Updated guidance from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the State University of New York (SUNY) has increased flexibility for some components of academic program proposal development. The Office of the Provost established local guidelines to ensure cohesive expectations and compliance with regulation.  

Combined Programs

Effective 2018, registration with NYSED is not required to advertise and offer students the following pathways to earning two degrees in less time:

  • Shared‐credit combinations of registered programs offered by one, or more than one, institution; and
  • Admission and credit transfer articulation agreements between registered programs offered by one, or more than one, institution.

Both of the existing standalone degrees must be registered with NYSED's Office of College and University Evaulation (OCUE) to qualify:

  • If either of the existing standalone degrees is registered with NYSED's Office of the Professions (OP), then a full program proposal (SUNY Form 3B) is still required.
  • If one of the existing standalone degrees is offered at an institution other than Stony Brook, contact the Office of the Provost for guidance on developing a multi-institution program.

New combined programs that meet these criteria may use a truncated version of the combined program proposal form.  This proposal will adhere to local guidelines for curriculum development, including shared governance review and decanal approval. If the combined program is comprised of standalone programs that are under the jurisdiction of two different curriculum committees, then each committee must review and approve the proposal. Once approved by the curriculum committee(s), the program's overseeing Dean's Office will submit the proposal to the Provost's Office.

A link to the full NYSED policy can be found here.

External Evaluations and Institutional Responses for New Program Proposals

Effective 2022, SUNY has updated its requirements for external evaluations and institutional responses in new program proposals. A summary of the changes is outlined in the table below:

Degree Type SUNY Approval of External Reviewers  Evaluation & Response Included in Program Proposal
Bachelor's Programs (non-licensure-qualifying only) Provost's Office approval only Programs must  submit the completed external evaluation and institutional response to the Provost's Office and attest in the proposal that an external evaluation was conducted
Master's Programs (non-licensure-qualifying only) No Yes
Programs Requiring Degree Authorization or Master Plan Amendments (non-licensure-qualifying only) No Yes
All Doctoral-Level and Licensure-Qualifying Programs Yes Yes


SUNY expects that all external reviewers for new programs meet the following criteria:

  1. Possess significant expertise in the discipline of the proposed program
  2. Have appropriate academic credentials, professional experience, and academic teaching and/or administrative experience in similar programs at peer institutions (typically, outside of the SUNY system)
  3. Not have a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest with the institution or program (e.g., current or prior relationship with the institution as a student, employee, or substantially involved party such as a research collaborator)

To ensure that reviewers satisfy SUNY's standards for external evaluation, all new programs are still required to submit  a diverse list of 3-5 potential external reviewers, along with CVs for each person, to the Office of the Provost. Doctoral-level and licensure-qualifying programs will follow the historic process for developing external reviewer lists, which are submitted to SUNY by the Provost's Office for approval. For all other programs, the Provost's Office will confirm whether the proposed reviewers meet the SUNY criteria and notify programs which reviewers may be used for external evaluation.

The full summary of SUNY's updated academic program procedures can be found here.

Note 1: Refer to NYSED's Inventory of Registered Programs to determine whether a program is reviewed by OCUE or OP.

Note 2: SUNY is commited to a guiding principle that diversity and inclusiveness are integral components of the highest quality academic programs. Campuses are, therefore, expected to engage a diverse set of external evaluators.