New Degree Program Proposals

Undergraduate and Undergraduate new degree program proposals are subject to an internal review and require the approval of the UNBC Senate and Board of Governors. New degree program proposals must also be submitted to the Degree Quality Assessment Board (DQAB) and requires approval from the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (MAEST). Significant degree program changes are also required to go through this process.

If you are considering to develop a new degree program as defined below, please contact the Provost's Office for assistance and support. 

New Degree Programs

Under the University Act, BC public universities must not establish a new degree program without the approval of the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. A new degree program is defined as:
  • an associate degree granted or provided by a private or out-of-province public institution governed under the Degree Authorization Act;
  • a baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degree that has not been previously granted or conferred by the post-secondary institution in BC; or
  • a baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degree granted or conferred by the post-secondary institution in BC containing one or more of the following elements:
    • a new major or field of specialization (although a new honours program in a field in which a major is currently offered will not require review);
    • an existing interdisciplinary major for which the majority of the courses are new or are substantially altered to conform to the program’s objectives;
    • a joint major if one or more of the fields in the joint major is not already represented by an approved major;
    • revision of a program’s major objectives resulting in significant changes;
    • a change in degree designation or credential that may be precedent-setting for the institution or the post-secondary system in the province (see Appendix 7 for the Guidelines on Naming of Degrees); and
    • significant revision of a program that warrants credential renaming.

New Degree Program Approval Process

It is the proponent’s responsibility to ensure movement through the approval process. Please consider the timing of your submission for the admission and recruitment cycles as well as the release of the Academic Calendar.

I. Internal Approval Process

The internal approval process takes a minimum 90 days after the new degree program has been developed. 

  1. Develop new degree program and complete the following documents. They form the Internal New Degree Program Proposal Package:
  2. Submit the internal new degree program proposal package to the Senate Committee on Curriculum and Calendars (SCCC) to review the material.
  3. Submit the internal new degree program proposal package CASHS Chairs Council or CSAM Chairs Management Team for approval.
  4. Submit the internal new degree program proposal package to CASHS College Council or CSAM College Council for approval.
  5. Submit the internal new degree program proposal package to the Senate Committees for approval.
  6. Submit the internal new degree program proposal package to Senate for approval.
  7. Submit the internal new degree program proposal and budget/funding information to the Board of Governors.

II. DQAB and Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Approval Process

The DQAB and Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training approval process takes approximately 6 months.

UNBC has exempt status for both Bachelor and Masters’ Degrees, which provides an expedited review process. If the proposed new degree program does not meet exempt status, please contact the Integrated University Planning Office as a Full Program Proposal is required.

  1. Once UNBC's Senate and Board of Governors have approved the new degree program, the DQAB New Degree Program Proposal Package should be uploaded to the Ministry's Post-secondary Institution Proposal System (PSIPS) through UNBC's Integrated University Planning Office. The DQAB New Degree Program Proposal Package should include, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Stage 1 Document
    • Executive Summary
    • Material approved by Senate and the Board of Governors
    • Proposed tuition
    • Letters of support from employers, professional bodies (where applicable) and BC post-secondary institutions
  2. Ministry and DQAB Secretariat review the proposal and UNBC incorporates their feedback.UNBC incorporates the feedback and resubmits the proposal through PSIPS.
  3. The proposal is posted on the Ministry’s website for a 30 day peer review and public comments.
  4. UNBC follows up on any questions, comments or feedback from the public or other institutions on PSIPS.
  5. The proposal is reviewed by DQAB at their next meeting, and they prepare a recommendation to the Minister.
  6. The Minister gives UNBC consent to offer the new program if there are no concerns about the quality of the degree. 

New Degree Program Applications Under Review

New Degree Program Applications Approved (since November 7, 2003)

New Degree Program Applications Approved (from 1996 - 2003)