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New Program Development

Northwestern University strongly supports its schools and faculties in developing and implementing curricular change and innovation. Since many of the exciting new fields of study are inherently multi-disciplinary, and often do not fit neatly within a single school, all recommendations for curricular changes and/or new academic programs must follow the following process. The process attempts to address these and other issues:

  • potential overlap of similar programs that are developed in different schools  and the opportunity to build a unified, stronger, cross-school program;
  • potential confusion in recruiting students to similar University programs;
  • consideration of proposals for meeting University-wide curricular requirements, such as diversity, or curricular needs that students will have from across schools, such as foreign languages
  • inefficiencies of operating multiple similar programs in terms of faculty and staff effort; and
  • reputation and branding of Northwestern and individual schools related to certain areas of study.

There are two primary components of this process:

  • Program Proposal and Approval: This should be completed first, following the steps outlined in this process.
  • Development Process: Once a program has been approved by the Provost following the above process, schools and units should then proceed to the Development Process section.

Responsible Office: Office of the Provost

Who Needs to Know This Policy: Northwestern Faculty


If you have any questions on this Policy, contact

Dated: December 1, 2021