Montana State University

Proposing a New Undergraduate Major, Option, or Minor

This information is OBSOLETE and will be removed in the near future. Use the following link for current information.

New Courses, Course Changes , New Programs

R. W. Larsen


A new curriculum—major, option, or minor—requires approval at the local level and by the Board of Regents (BOR).  Please follow the steps below.  If you have any questions, contact Ron Larsen (; 994-4371).

  1. Check the website for the Office of the Commission of Higher Education (OCHE) to see if the program is listed in the Plans for New Academic Programs.  If it is not listed, you will need to work through your Department Head and Dean to discuss the potential program with the Provost.  Changes to this list must come from the Provost’s Office.
  2. Contact the Chair of the Undergraduate Studies Committee, Jeff Adams, to discuss the timing of your proposal.
  3. Contact the chair of the Academic Affairs Committee of Faculty Senate to discuss whether the proposal needs to be reviewed by this committee.  This committee has a parallel process for review, the details of which are determined by the Committee.
  4. Create a draft of the proposed curriculum including all language that you propose for inclusion in the MSU Course Catalog.  This normally includes a description of the program and the list of requirements (often called the “tabs”). 
  5. The final step depends on the level of the proposal to the Board of Regents (BOR).  Details are found on the OCHE website.  A Level I request (the most common of which is a minor for which you already have an approved major) requires a one or two paragraph explanation.  You do not need so submit this on a specific form.  If approved, you will be asked for an electronic copy to be included in the BOR application.  For a Level II request (which applies to most new programs, including options and majors) you will need to download and complete the Level II Request Form found on the OCHE website
  6. Submit the documentation to the Provost’s Office (MT 212) including a letter of support from the College Dean.  The Undergraduate Studies Committee (UGS) will consider the request and make a recommendation to Deans' Council.  Normally, the committee has sufficient information with the catalog description and the BOR item only.  The committee also invites a representative from the department to attend their meeting and answer any questions. 
  7. The chair of UGS will present the proposal to Deans' Council as the final step in the campus review process. 
  8. The proposal will be forwarded to OCHE for inclusion on the next BOR agenda.  Depending on the level of proposal, this can take up to two meetings to complete.
  9. Upon approval by the BOR, the Registrar will be notified and the Provost’s Office will work with the Registrar’s Office to include the curriculum in the MSU Course Catalog.