New programs

Standard approval process

Preparation icon
  1. Idea for new program.
  2. Consult with Dept/School and Dean for preliminary approval.
  3. Prepare Statement of Interest (SOI) and submit to AQuE office.
  4. Input from AQuE office and AVPA/AVP-GSPA provided.
  5. Revise SOI if necessary.
Proposal development icon
  1. Draft Volume I.
  2. Dept/School approval.
  3. Submit to AQuE office.
  4. Revise Volume I with feedback received if necessary.
  5. AQuE office obtains AVPA/AVP-GSPA approvals.
  6. Dean/FFO and IAP construct Financial Viability Analysis (FVA) and present to Provost.
  7. Provost approval.
  8. AQuE offices liaises with Department to finalize Volumes I, II, & III.
Approval icon
  1. Undergraduate or Graduate Sub-Committee approval.
  2. Faculty Council approval.
  3. External reviewers site visit
  4. Program response
  5. Provost reassessment (if necessary).
  6. AQuE office submits to SUC/SGRC for approval.
  7. Senate approval.
  8. Submit to Quality Council (QC) & MCU (ministry).
  9. QC approval (academic).
  10. MCU approval (tuition/grant).
Implementation and follow-up icon
  1. Program launches (first student intake).
  2. Follow-up report to QC, as indicated in approval.
  3. Progress report due (date to be determined by AQuE office and program at the time of approval).
  4. Enters cyclical review cycle.

What is a new program?

“A ‘new program’ is brand-new … [it] has substantially different program requirements and substantially different learning outcomes from those of any existing approved programs offered by the institution” – University of Waterloo IQAP.

Types of new programs include:

  • Bachelor’s degree (e.g., BA, BSc)
  • Major in an existing Bachelor's degree (e.g., Bachelor of Science in Zoology)
  • Master’s or Doctoral degree (e.g., MA, MSc, PhD)
  • Graduate Diploma (GDip)
    • Type II – completed concurrently with graduate degree, requires additional academic units, usually interdisciplinary
    • Type III – a stand-alone, direct-entry program aimed at post-degree or non-degree students

Each term, the Academic Quality Enhancement Office hosts an information session for any member of the campus community who is considering proposing a new program. To find out when the next info session will be held, please contact the AQuE Office or visit new program workshops

Tips for success

Creating a new program can be an exciting venture, but it does involve a lot of hard work from start to finish.

To ensure the success of your new program launch, we recommend:

  • attending the new programs workshops facilitated by the AQuE office;
  • familiarizing yourself with the approval process and working backwards to ensure you meet your deadlines;
  • reading the statement of interest and proposal document guidance carefully to ensure you fully address the requirements;
  • setting internal deadlines and planning ahead to ensure no delays;
  • reaching out to the AQuE office for any clarification or support needed, and;
  • responding to comments and feedback in a timely manner.