Degree Title Change Process

Changing a Degree Title or Suggesting a New Code

Chancellor's Office approval is required for changes in degree titles.

To propose a title change:

  • Originator drafts a request proposal, using the CSULB Change Degree Title Template (DOCX).
  • Originator obtains approval for the proposal from their department/program and college. Concurrence can be shared through a memo from committee chairs, department chair/program director, and the college's Associate Dean overseeing curriculum.
  • Originator compiles roadmaps for the revised degree (Undergraduate degrees should include a 2-year and 4-year roadmap; graduate degrees a full program roadmap). If there are no curricular changes planned with the title change, these may just be a copy of already existing roadmaps.
  • Orignator submits the form, roadmaps, and records of curriculum approval to the the Academic Programs Office ( The Academic Programs Office will facilitate the appropriate review processes with the Director of Program Review and Assessment, necessary Senate committees/councils, the Vice Provost for Academic Programs, and the CSULB President.
    • Depending on the change, the originator may be asked to discuss their rationale before the Senate or Senate subcommittees.
  • Nearly all title changes will be sent to the CSU Chancellor's Office for their review and approval.

There is no prescribed format for the title-change rationale, but the proposal may address disciplinary convention, recruitment issues, employer concerns, or titles used at other CSU campuses or at public or private institutions across the country, for example. The Master Plan and longstanding Trustee policy discourage the proliferation of degree titles and degree terminology, so these proposals are evaluated carefully.

In support of the trustee policy prohibiting proliferation of degree terminology, campuses are required to obtain Chancellor's Office approval before implementing a new degree program or changing the title, reporting code, or degree designation (MA, BFA, etc.) for an existing degree program. Using a master list of degree programs and reporting codes, campuses report to the Chancellor’s Office data on applications, enrollments, and degrees granted in degree programs. To ensure consistent record keeping, campuses use the same pairings of generic systemwide degree program titles and corresponding reporting codes.

The required curriculum for each CSU degree program title (and level) is roughly comparable across the system and reflects the Classification of Instructional Programs (“CIP”) program definition for each CIP code. Campuses are allowed to use a slightly different campus-specific title, as long as it is reasonably similar to the official title. The program codes, however, remain the same across the system. The CSU Degrees Database has fields for the official “generic” CSU title and a campus-specific title.

CSULB Academic Program Codes

Each CSULB degree receives a unique academic program code.

Examples from Dance Degrees:

  • BA in Dance (DANCBA01)
    • Dance Science (DANCBA02)
  • BFA in Dance (DANCBF01)
  • Minor in Dance (DANCUM01)
  • MA in Dance (DANCMA01)
  • MFA in Dance (DANCMF01)

If you are making significant changes to a program or a degree title, a new academic program code may be necessary for the degree.

CIP Codes for Options

An option for a degree program may have a different, more focused CIP code than its host degree. As an example:

  • CIP Code for MA in Kinesiology = 31.0501, Kinesiology/Physical Education
  • CIP Code for MA in Kinesiology, Option in Sport Management = 31.0504, Sports Management

See the CIP Code Overview page for additional information.

One Degree Title - One Curriculum - One Code

Campuses are to maintain the degree requirements associated with a degree program approved by the Chancellor’s Office; and substantive curricular changes are to be approved by the campus curriculum-approval process. To ensure the integrity of degree programs, each approved degree title is to be associated with only one set of curricular requirements. Requirements in addition to the core curriculum may be achieved through use of subprogram (an option, concentration, or special emphasis), as noted in Executive Order 1071. The program core shall represent the majority of required units so that the program’s student learning outcomes can be achieved by all enrolled students, regardless of subprogram pursued. For more information on the meaning, quality, and integrity of degrees, please see the WASC Senior College and University Commission Handbook of Accreditation: Section 3: Degree Programs.

Approved Official Systemwide Degree Titles and Reporting Codes

The APIFD program modification website includes a link to the official list of approved systemwide degree titles and their assigned CSU and CIP reporting codes.