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Academic Advising

Curriculum Approval Process

Degrees, certificates, and courses must be reviewed and approved at various levels within the University, as well as by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for degrees and certificates.  The curriculum approval process is coordinated by the Office of Academic Programs.  Courseleaf is the curriculum information management system used to facilitate the submission and approval process of program and course actions.

Approval Process

Program approvals may take from 6 months to 2 years to complete all levels of approval. Course actions usually take less time, as no external approvals are required. A Program Pre-Authorization Request will be required in advance of submitting a program proposal when launching a new academic degree program or academic unit, or for substantive changes to an existing degree program or academic unit. More information on Pre-Authorization Requests can be found on the Academic Programs website.

Curricular actions require several levels of approval. 

Internal Approvals:

  1. Academic Unit Head (Chair)
  2. Academic Unit Heads for departments affected by the action (only if needed)
  3. Distributed Learning (if new or change DL course) –courses only
  4. College/School Representative (usually the APL)
  5. Undergraduate Dean
  6. Instructional Development (if new DL course) –courses only
  7. Registrar (Banner Validation and Degree Audit)
  8. Carolina Core Specialty Team Chair –Carolina Core courses only
  9. Curricula and Courses Committee
  10. Faculty Senate

External approvals:

1. Board of Trustees –programs only (if needed)
2. CHE –programs only (if needed)
3. SACSCOC notification and/or substantive change –programs only (if needed)

View a diagram of the Academic Program Development Approval process. 

Carolina Core

The Carolina Core provides the common core of knowledge, skill and academic experience for all Carolina undergraduate students.  It provides the foundation for subsequent specialized study and for lifelong learning.  Students will complete a minimum of 31 credit hours to satisfy Core requirements plus an Integrative course in the major, in which selected Core learning outcomes are integrated into the chosen major.  Each major/concentration must require an approved Carolina Core Integrative course.

Instructions for proposing Foundational or Integrative Carolina Core courses can be found on the Provost website by expanding Carolina Core Courses.

Best Practices

The Committee on Curricula and Courses has created a guide for course proposals to inform proponents of common mistakes, do’s and don’ts, and best practices. Topics include 500-600 Level Courses, Number of times a course can be taken for credit, Grading System, Pre/Co-requisites, Cross-listing, Syllabi, Learning Outcomes, and Distributed Learning. View the Common Reasons Proposals are Returned from the Curricula and Courses Committee.


CHE Timelines & Bulletin Freeze Deadlines: Deadlines associated with New Programs, Program Modifications, Program Terminations, New Certificates (18 hours or Less), and Pre-Authorizations

Faculty Senate Curriculum & Course Schedule: View the Committee on Curricula and Courses meeting schedule.  Proposals must be submitted at least ten days prior to a scheduled meeting in order to be considered during the meeting.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.