Policy 5901 — New Academic Program Development

Policy section:
Section 5900-5999 Miscellaneous
Policy number:
New Academic Program Development
Approved By:
Approved date:
November 3, 2020
Effective date:
November 3, 2020
Administered by:
Provost and Vice-President, Academic & Research

Mount Allison University offers a number of exciting academic programs ranging from traditional single-major degrees to multidisciplinary programs, minor areas of study, and micro-credential certificate programs. Developing a new program requires several steps to ensure that the program can be fully supported by the university.


The idea for a new academic program can emerge several different ways. Faculty are encouraged to consider their own areas of scholarly interest and how these align with other colleagues. We must also respond to the intellectual curiosity of students whose interests and passions can be nurtured and developed through a rigorous liberal education. Faculty and students are encouraged to engage in dialogue that might lead to the idea of a new program. In addition to these informal discussions, there will be an open call each year for proposals for new program ideas. Once a new program idea starts to take shape, a few practical questions should be answered before proceeding:

1. Should the program be a major, minor, certificate, or other form of micro-credential?

2. If a multi or interdisciplinary program, will there be a "home" faculty to support the proposal?

3. How will students be consulted in the program development process?

From these discussions, a working group should emerge to guide the program through the rest of the process. The working group should also inform the Academic Development Officer (APDO) that a new program idea is being developed.


Once a working group is formed, it will develop a more substantial vision for the program, which can then be circulated widely for feedback. This involves the following steps:

1. The working group will begin working with the APDO to create the concept paper for the new program.
    a) Contact APDO to obtain correct forms.

    b) Determine which academic unit will administer the new program and inform that department or program that the idea is being developed. Decide what is necessary for consultation at this stage: academic unit, home Faculty, relevant Dean, Registrar, Provost?

2. Create a draft version of the Concept Paper. There is no need for fine detail at this stage (courses, pre-requisites, etc.), but instead outline the broad conception of the program and its potential impact.

3. Submit to the relevant Department Head or Program Director & Dean for consultation.

4. Solicit student feedback.

5. Submit to Recruitment and Mar/Comm for discussion and feedback.

6. Submit to Faculty Council for discussion and feedback.


Once the new program proposal has been widely circulated and revised based on community feedback, it must then be prepared for the Academic Matters Committee (AMC) of the University Senate.

1. Contact the APDO to obtain the correct AMC form, which will vary depending if it is a proposal for a major, minor, or certificate offering.

2. This process will necessitate consultation with the Library, Computing Services, the Registrar's Office, the Owens Art Gallery (when necessary), and the appropriate Faculty Dean.

3. The Provost should also be consulted regarding potential resource implications.

4. Work with the APDO to create a finalized draft of proposal that will go to the AMC.


1. AMC will review the proposal to determine if any modifications need to be made to meet university curriculum standards.

2. Proposal working group & APDO will be notified of AMC approval and expected Senate date.

3. Proposal put forward to Senate as a motion from the AMC.

    a) If an offering under 30 CR is approved, APDO to work with Registrar for calendar inclusion, and will notify Recruitment and Mar/Comm to create content for website and other marketing materials.

    b) If a program over 30 CR is approved, APDO to finalize proposal with working group in order to submit to MPHEC.

    c) ADPO will notify Recruitment and Mar/Comm to create content for website and other marketing materials.


1. New program proposal to be finalized with working group and APDO

    a) MPHEC requires a minimum of 8-10 weeks approval for Stage 1 approval
    b) They will circulate for peer review and members of working group will usually have to provide feedback from peer evaluation
2. Provost's office to formally submit MPHEC proposal and will receive notice of approval
    a) Provost's office to notify Deans and APDO of formal approval.

Additional information and relevant forms can be found on the Program development page of the Faculty and Staff Gateway.