Major Modification

Major Modifications involve changes to existing programs due to curricular renewal to keep a program current, the restructuring of a program, a merger of existing programs, and proposals for new certificates.

Major modifications typically include one or more of the following:

  1. Requirements for the program that differ significantly from those existing at the time of the previous cyclical program review. There will inevitably be a qualitative component to the determination of what constitutes significant change. However changes to courses comprising approximately one-third of the major requirements, core requirements and/or the degree program, might serve as a benchmark. The intention here is to reflect not a shift in one or two full course equivalents as an example but substantial change in the curriculum that might have an impact on the learning outcomes.
  2. The addition of a new major or specialization where a similar major or specialization currently exists at the undergraduate level for which a student registers and receives credit on his or her transcript.
  3. The addition of a new option (e.g. location where program is offered) within an existing graduate program.
  4. Establishment of undergraduate certificates.
  5. The merger of two or more programs.
  6. New bridging programs for college diploma graduates and / or internationally educated professionals.
  7. At the Master’s level, the introduction or deletion of a major research paper or thesis, course-only, co-op, internship or practicum option.
  8. The deletion or creation of a new field in a graduate program (see template for the proposal of a new field).
  9. Any change to the requirements for graduate program candidacy examinations or residence requirements.
  10. Significant changes to the learning outcomes, but not meeting the threshold for a new program, such as additions to learning outcomes that constitute new categories of degree level expectations beyond those previously specified requiring new curricula and/or those that have implications for human, physical, and financial resources; and deletions of previously agreed learning outcomes that would eliminate an entire category of degree level expectations.[1]
  11. Significant changes to the faculty complement engaged in delivering the program that may result from a large number of retirements and/or new hires with different teaching and/or research interests.
  12. Change to the essential resources that have the potential to impair the delivery of an approved program as may occur, for example, where there have been changes to the existing mode(s) of delivery. Adding online courses and other pedagogical enhancements such as experiential education are excluded from major modifications [unless such changes fall into the criteria specified under (a) and (i) above] and are assumed to be handled at the Faculty-level.

[1] Shifts in the operationalization of previously defined categories of degree level expectations would generally be considered minor modifications.

Major modifications to existing programs do not require submission of a Proposal Brief to the Quality Council. The University may request that the QC review a major modification proposal and normally that will occur through the Expedited Approval Process without the requirement of an external review process.