New Program Creation Process

When developing a new program, it's very important to keep in mind that this is often a multi-year process, heavily dependent on reviews and approvals from internal CSULB and external CSU/Accreditation sources. See the Timeline for Program Development page for details.

There are three different processes for the development of new programs: standard, fast track, and pilot.

With special approval by the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, Fast Track and Pilot Processes for New Program development are possible. A detailed description of the standard process is found below. Approval of a new program is not automatic at any level. Students must not be told that the program will be available until final approval for implementation has been granted.

Proposal Packet

Departments or programs will need to obtain department and college approval before submitting a proposal.

Please prepare and submit the following items to the Academic Programs office


The process is outlined as follows:

New Degree Programs require notification for the Academic Master Plan in advance of starting the process.

Please reach out and include the Academic Master Plan (AMP) Prospectus Proposal (information found under Project of New Degree Programs and Academic Master Plan on the Program Development page) to the Vice Provost of Academic Programs and our office.


Digital copies of all proposal materials that were approved by the department and college are forwarded to the Vice Provost of Academic Programs ( and the Office of Academic Programs ( The proposal is reviewed by both offices and feedback is provided to the proposer.

Reviewed    Feedback/Edits    Approved

When everything is in order, the Vice Provost for Academic Programs forwards the proposal to the Academic Senate.


The document is then passed on to the Curriculum and Educational Policies Council and the University Resource Council for review. Proposers will be invited to discuss their proposals with these councils. Upon recommendation by these councils, the proposed program must be reviewed and approved by the entire senate. Proposers are again invited to discuss their proposals.

Reviewed    Feedback/Edits    Approved

Upon recommendation by the Academic Senate, the Vice Provost for Academic Programs seeks the President's approval.


The proposing department sends a final electronic version of the proposal to the Vice Provost for Academic Programs for submission to the CSU Office of the Chancellor. Upon approval, the new program will appear in the CSULB Catalog for the next available academic year.

With special approval by the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, Fast Track and Pilot Processes for New Program development are possible.





Please use the current version of the CSU's Degree Program Proposal Template (DOC).

CSULB Tips for Completing the CSU Degree Program Proposal Template

  • When asked for the full and exact degree designation and title: if this is a request to change a current program, as in "Elevation of an Option or Concentration to a Full Degree Program," list the Current Degree Designation and Title, followed by the Proposed Degree Designation and Title.
  • When asked for a statement from the appropriate campus administrative authority that the addition of this program supports the campus mission and will not impede the successful operation and growth of existing academic programs: the proposal should include a statement from the dean and then the appropriate administrator in the Office of the Provost cover letter will serve as endorsement.
  • WASC approval is needed for a Substantive Change: e.g., when 50% or more of a degree program will be offered via distance learning technology or at a site more than 25 miles from the home campus. Another example is for a structural change: when we want to offer a new degree program (such as the Ed.D.) at a level we have never offered before. Joint doctorates must also go through this process.
  • When asked for "Proposed Classification of Instructional Programs and CSU Degree Program Code (Note: this is optional)": The CSU Office of the Chancellor is offering the department the opportunity to select the best-suited codes for reporting purposes, both internally (CSU Degree Program Code) and on a national level (CIP Code). The CSU Degree Program Codes are already paired with a CIP code as referenced on the Program Code chart accessed in the template, but if you are not satisfied with the choices available on that chart, you may be able to be more specific with the CIP code. If you select a new CIP code, the CSU Office of the Chancellor will assign an appropriate Program Code to go with it. If you choose not to select codes, then it will be done for you at the CSU Office of the Chancellor. If you need assistance with either code list, contact the Office of Academic Programs and Articulation (
  • Under the heading "Existing Support Resources for the Proposed Degree Major Program": For all proposed undergraduate degree programs, a minimum of three full-time faculty members with the appropriate terminal degree should be on the program staff. A CV is not needed.