Office of the University Registrar

Undergraduate Program Proposal Process FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the UW undergraduate program proposal process?

Is the UW undergraduate program proposal process the same as a 1503?

Yes. The 1503 is the old, paper-based way to submit undergraduate program proposals. It was referred to as a “1503” because that was the name of the paper form, but it was always the undergraduate program proposal form.

What is a Notice of Proposal (NOP)?

In 2019, the Faculty Council on Tri-Campus Policy (FCTCP) approved this review stage, which must take place prior to campus academic program committee review of an undergraduate program proposal. A unit planning to offer a new undergraduate program or make certain substantive changes to an existing undergraduate program must complete the NOP review process.

For a detailed view of this process, please refer to this flowchart.

Which substantive program changes require a Notice of Proposal (NOP)?

The following substantive changes require an NOP:

  • Changes that alter degree information on a student transcript. For example, changing the name of a degree, option, or minor.
  • Changing admission type, for example, from minimum requirements to capacity constrained.
  • Program changes on one campus that could significantly alter enrollments in specific programs on one of the other two campuses. For example, changing the program format to distance learning or fee-based learning.
  • Any change, at the discretion of the Office of the University Registrar, warranting tri-campus review.

Note, all new program proposals (degree, major, option, minor) require an NOP.

Where do I obtain the Notice of Proposal (NOP) form? How do I complete it?

How do I determine if my proposed undergraduate program change is substantive or non-substantive?

In order to make this determination, please review the following:

  • Substantive program changes and examples
    • Changes that alter degree information on a student transcript.  For example, changing the name of a degree, option, or minor.
    • Changes in prerequisites that would significantly increase or decrease the number of students admitted to the major, minor, or option.  For example, requiring more credits for admission to a program, or adding minimum grade requirements.
    • Changes in graduation requirements that would significantly increase or decrease the number of students completing the major, minor, or option. For example, changing the number of credits required for a major, minor, or option, or adding a continuation policy.
    • Program changes on one campus that could significantly alter enrollments in specific programs on one of the other two campuses.  For example, changing the program format to distance learning or fee-based learning.
  • Non-substantive program changes and examples
    • Changes that do not significantly alter existing admission or graduation requirements, but do require changes to the general catalog.
    • Examples include:
      • Course prefix and/or number changes.
      • Addition and/or removal of courses that do not alter the total credits for existing admission or graduation requirements.
      • Changing credit distribution (such as for core courses and electives) without altering the total credits for existing graduation requirements.
      • Changing electives listed in the general catalog to stating, “Check website for approved list of electives.”

How do I submit an undergraduate program proposal?

Undergraduate program proposals are submitted in the UW Curriculum Management system. To submit a proposal, please refer to the undergraduate program proposal quick guides.

I already have a paper-based 1503 undergraduate program proposal under review. Do I have to submit it in UW CM?

No. Units may continue to submit paper-based 1503 undergraduate program proposals via email to the UW Curriculum Office through winter quarter 2021. Effective spring quarter 2021, all undergraduate program proposals must be submitted in UW CM (paper-based 1503s already under review may complete the undergraduate program proposal review process outside of UW CM).

What's the approval timeline for my undergraduate program proposal once received by the UW Curriculum Office (UWCO)?

It depends on the type of proposal submitted and whether or not the proposal requires review by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), which accredits the University of Washington.

  • Non-substantive program change: Minimum 1 to 3 months from submission to UWCO
  • New or substantive program change: Minimum 3 months from submission to UWCO
  • New or substantive program change (NWCCU review required): Minimum 3 to 6 months from submission to UWCO

How do I know if my undergraduate program proposal requires NWCCU review?

A new or substantive program change may require review by the NWCCU. New degree proposals will always require NWCCU review; however, other new or substantive program changes must be reviewed by the UWCO in conjunction with the Provost’s Office to make this determination based on NWCCU requirements.

How do I check on the status of an undergraduate program proposal submitted to the UW Curriculum Office?

Please refer to the undergraduate program proposal tracker.

How do I end an undergraduate degree, option, or minor?

Submit an NOP and an undergraduate program proposal to suspend admission to the program. After approval has been received through the university process, work with the Provost’s Office to submit an Reorganization, Consolidation, and Elimination Procedure (RCEP).

How do I change a Graduate program?

Please contact the UW Graduate School to create or modify a graduate program.

Who do I contact for more info?

For more information about the undergraduate program proposal process, please contact the UW Curriculum Office at uwcr@uw.edu.