Program Development

The Provost’s Office supports Faculties and Schools through the entire process of new program development (including undergraduate or graduate degrees, certificates, diplomas, and other non-credit learning opportunities) from program and budget development through to Senate, Board, and Ministry approval and program launch. See below for more resources on the process to create new programs.

Processes for Creating Programs

New Degree Programs Proposals (Undergraduate or Graduate)

In order to ensure that new proposals meet the high academic standards that UBC is known for there are multiple levels of approval that need to be obtained. The following information outlines the steps and levels of approval needed.

These reflect the overall process, not the processes within specific Faculties or accreditation. Please note that although this process seems linear, some steps can be done simultaneously.

Additional resources for understanding this process (such as visual representations of the process) can be found below under the heading Program Proposal Process – Alternative Formats.

Program Proposal Process

This duration of this step varies greatly depending on the proponent and their Faculty

The purpose of this step is to determine the program’s fit with UBC’s mandate and UBC’s broader academic goals. It also determines the program’s financial viability for the Faculty and the institution.


This step can take up to 2 months

Follow your Department and Faculty’s internal process of approval. An early consultation with Enrolment Services, the Centre for Teaching and Learning and the College of Graduate Studies (if appropriate) is suggested.


This step can take up to 2 months

Following Faculty approval the proposal moves through the required Senate committees with the assistance of the Senate Secretariat.

Simultaneously, the proponents can begin planning for the student tuition consultation process and start working with the recruitment and marketing teams.


For graduate programs: Contact Enrolment Services at this point to start CoGS online application process


This step takes 3 months minimum

Following Senate approval, the Senate will forward the curriculum proposal* for the Board of Governors’ approval.

Simultaneously, the Provost’s Office will forward the Student Tuition Consultation Report* for the Board of Governors’ approval.

*Please note that the Board of Governors needs to approve both the curriculum proposal and the tuition pieces at the same time.


  • Student consultation report (Click here to see a template)


This step takes 6-8 months minimum

This step is required for new degree programs and is not required for Diplomas and Certificates Proposals.

Upon the Board of Governors’ approval, the Provost Office works with the proponent to finalize the Stage 1 Form (and any other Ministry required forms) and forwards the proposal to the Ministry of Advanced Education for approval. The Provost Office will advise proponents of ministerial approval once it has been granted.


Advertising of the program on the Faculty website can take place with the disclaimer that the program is subject to Ministry approval. Faculties may collect “expressions of interest” from potential applicants, but no other recruitment can take place (including posting tuition rates) until the program has been approved by Ministry.


  • Stage 1 Form (Ministry application including Senate approval and BoG approval)

After receiving final approval for a program, program proponent(s) will need to:

Program Proposal Process – Alternative Formats

Below are several other resources that outline the new Degree Program Proposal as seen above. Each resource contains the same information in different formats. Please use any or all of these resources based on what is most helpful for you.

Resources for Executing process



Laura Prada
Senior Manager, Academic Integrity and Initiatives
Tel: 250.807.9905

New Credit Diplomas and Certificates Proposals

Credit diplomas and certificates fall under Senate policy O-127 and O-128. The process to propose a new one is similar to the above process for Degree Programs but does not require Ministry approval. Please follow the steps outlined above. For additional explanation of the process please see the below flowchart.



Laura Prada
Senior Manager, Academic Integrity and Initiatives
Tel: 250.807.9905

New Non-Credit Proposals

New non-credit proposals fall under policy O-129. For more information on these programs contact:


Michelle Lamberson
Director, Flexible Learning Special Projects
Tel: 250.807.9029