Graduate Curriculum Updates

The Graduate Catalog contains degree requirements for all graduate programs, rules that affect graduate students, and a list of Graduate Studies Committee members. Changes to information published in the Graduate Catalog may require approval of the Graduate Dean, Graduate Assembly, Provost and/or President of the University, UT System, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

From August 24, 2022 to November 30, 2022, graduate programs may request updates to graduate programs and associated information published in the 2023-2024 Graduate Catalog by submitting a Graduate Curriculum Update Request Form to the Graduate School.

Three types of updates are referenced on the Graduate Curriculum Update Request Form.  Each has a distinct review and approval process.

Degree Program Changes

Degree program changes are changes to graduate credentials (degrees, certificates, and portfolios) that must be legislated by the Graduate Assembly and approved or acknowledged by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Some examples include:

  • adding, deleting, or renaming a degree program or degree title;
  • adding remote delivery (online) program options;
  • increasing or decreasing the number of hours required to earn a graduate degree or certificate;
  • changing the Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code of an existing credential;
  • consolidating two or more existing degrees;
  • moving a degree program or degree title from one academic unit to another;
  • adding a graduate certificate program; and
  • adding a self-supporting (Option III) track to an existing degree program[1]

Degree Program Changes at the graduate level require a recommendation for approval by the program’s Graduate Studies Committee.

Final approval:

  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)
  • Substantive changes, as defined by the Southern Association of Colleges and School’s Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), require approval by the SACS-COC

Academic Changes

Academic changes are changes to program requirements or academic policies that affect a student’s pursuit of an existing credential (degree, certificate or portfolio). In many cases, academic changes are approved by the graduate dean and do not require further legislation through the Graduate Assembly, UT System, or the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). There are two types of academic changes – substantial and nonsubstantial.

A nonsubstantial academic change affects the requirements or academic policies of an individual graduate program while remaining within the minimum requirements of the Graduate School. Some examples of academic changes are:

  • changing course requirements for an individual degree or certificate;
  • adding, deleting, or changing a track or concentration;
  • adding, deleting, or changing master’s degree options; and
  • establishing, changing, or dropping requirements for admission to a degree program.

A substantial academic change is one which affects the minimum degree requirements or academic policies of the Graduate School that govern all graduate programs and/or one which involves a policy or matter governed by the Board of Regents (BOR). Some examples of substantial academic change are:

  • changing the minimum number of hours required for all graduate degrees; and
  • updating admission requirements for all graduate degree programs at UT Austin

Academic changes at the graduate level require a recommendation for approval by the program’s Graduate Studies Committee.

Final approval: 

  • Nonsubstantial changes: Vice provost and dean of graduate studies (graduate dean)
  • Substantial changes: For matters which fall within the minimum requirements of the Graduate School, provost; for matters governed by the Rules of the Board of Regents, UT System (executive vice chancellor for academic affairs = EVCAA

Nonacademic Changes

Nonacademic changes do not impact the academic policies or requirements of the graduate program. Some examples of nonacademic changes are:

  • changing program contact information such as the phone number, physical address, email, etc.; and
  • minor editorial updates in program description which do not impact policies or requirements

Nonacademic changes are administrative in nature and do not require endorsement by an associated Graduate Studies Committee.

Final approval: Graduate Dean

Course Inventory Changes

The course inventory is the set of courses that the University is authorized to teach by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  Some examples of course inventory changes are:

  • adding new courses;
  • changing course numbers or course titles;
  • changing same-as statements, subject-matter descriptions, degree plan statements, restrictive statements, prerequisites, meeting statements, and contact hours.

Course Inventory changes are submitted to Official Publications via the online Course Inventory Management system (CIM). Graduate Curriculum Update Request forms are not required.

Final approval: Graduate Dean

GSC Membership Changes

Graduate studies committees consist of all assistant, associate, and full professors who are, or on initial appointment will be, active participants in the program.  Updates to GSC membership are made online


[1] Self-supported (Option III) programs in currently approved fields of study do not require THECB or SACS approval, but the THECB should be notified.