Program Development

Faculties and schools are leading innovative curricular projects through the design and redesign of programs. The Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic offers support to faculty leads through the entire process of program development, from curriculum development and budgetary and operational planning to Senate, Board of Governors, and Ministry approvals.

See below for more resources on the process to create new programs or implement significant changes to current programs.

New Programs or Significant Changes to Programs (Undergraduate or Graduate)

To ensure proposals meet UBC and Ministry’s standards, several levels of approvals must be obtained. Faculties or proponents need to complete the steps outlined below. Guidance is available from the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic.

Steps may be completed simultaneously. The process may differ within specific Faculties or accreditation processes. Additional resources and alternative formats can be found further below.

Proposal Process

The 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 by the Ministry of Advanced Education, and UBC’s broader academic goals. It also determines the program’s financial and operational viability for the Faculty and the institution.


  • Concept paper
  • Space requirements questionnaire (For consultation with IT Services, Enrolment Services and Facilities Planning)
  • Identification of financial viability of program (This includes market research and feedback from the Provost Office and OPAIR)
  • Program budget – this is based on a template to be completed in conjunction with the Faculty Financial Manager including all costs per consultation with the Faculty’s leadership, IT Services, Facilities Planning, and Enrolment Services. If the program is a graduate program, Board of Governors’ policy LR10 should be reviewed and taken into account

This step can take up to 2 months

Follow your Department and Faculty’s internal process of approval.


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 office.

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 the 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.


This step takes 6-8 months minimum

This step is not always required. The Office of the Provost can advise when this is required.

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.


Effective May 2022, advertising of the program cannot take place until the program has received Ministry approval.


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

After receiving final approval for a program, program proponent(s) must:

  • If undergraduate program: Inform the Student Recruitment and Advising Office (
  • If undergraduate program: Inform the International Student Initiative Office (
  • Inform the communications manager/coordinator of the unit
  • Inform Enrolment Services/CoGS, as appropriate, for systems and program application set-up

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.

New Credit Diplomas and Certificates Proposals

Credit diplomas and certificates fall under Senate policies O-127 and O-128. The process to propose a new one is similar to the above process for new programs but does not require Ministry approval (unless it is a health program), though the proposal should be sent to the Ministry for their 30-day public posting for comments if the diploma/certificate ladders into an existing graduate program. Please follow the steps outlined above. For additional explanation of the process please see the below flowchart.


Laura Prada
Senior Manager, Academic Programs, Teaching and Learning
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