Program Development

The Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic 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)

To ensure new proposals meet UBC’s high academic standards, several levels of approval must be obtained. Faculties or proponents need to complete the steps outlined below with guidance 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.

Program 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
  • Identification of operational viability of program (This includes consultation with IT Services, Enrolment Services and Facilities)
  • 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

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) 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

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 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