Academic Program Proposals

From Degree-Granting Institutions Authorized to Operate in the State of Maryland

An institution submits a proposal using guidelines in accordance with State regulations found in COMAR 13B.02.03.
See COMAR 1​3​B​.02.03​​ for the full set of regulations. Proposals should be submitted electronically to​ on the 1st and 15th of each month.  If the 1st or 15th occurs on a weekend or holiday, please submit the following business day.

Before beginning, please review the Proposal Process Flow Chart. Once you have determined the type of proposal to begin, please use the following guidance to best help you:

For New Academic Programs, Degrees and Stand-Alone Certificate Programs

      An institution shall submit a complete program p​​roposal for a new program to:

  • Establish instruction leading to a formal award in a subject area in which the award is not presently authorized,  
  • Establish an instruction​al program in a subject area which will offer a degree at a different degree level than presently authorized, 
  • Establish a new major by combining course work from two or more existing degree programs, or 
  • Establish a degree that is of a different type than that presently authorized.

For A Substantial Modification to Existing Program

      An institution shall submit a complete pro​​​gram prop​​osal for a substantial modification to:

  • change more than 33 percent of the major course work in an existing program;
  • establish a new area of concentration within an existing program, and/or;
  • offer an existing program as an off-campus program


For A Non-Substantial Program Modifications

  • For changes that do not meet the requirements for substantial modifications, the institution  may submit the appropriate non-substantial modification cover sheet accompanied with a letter of notification that describes and provides a justification for the proposed change, along with supporting and/or comparative documentation (i.e. course outlines, course descriptions) from the existing and proposed programs.

For Certificate Programs

  • Institutions shall submit a complete program proposal for all new certificate programs
  • Please refer to COMAR 13B.02.03.25 for information on the differences between the certificates and the guidelines for proposing a certificate program.
    • Directed Technology Cer​tificate is a specialized learning program designed for community colleges intended to meet specific employer training needs.  It requires the completion of at least 12 credits but no more than 24 credits.
    • For A New Certificate​ Programs within an existing degree area​.  These programs are distinctly different from directed technology certificates and fall into several categories: Lower-Division Certificates, Upper-Division Certificates, Post-Baccalaureate Certificates, Certificates of Advanced Study, and Professional Certificates.  

For Distance Education Programs

  • A program proposal ​that uses distance education as a modality must have institutional approval to offer distance education. Additionally, the program proposal must identify distance education as a program modality and address the C-RAC guidelines. For more information click on the hyperlink above. A non-substantial modification cover sheet must be submitted with the proposal submission.

         MD PEP Approval Timeline.pdf

For A Modality Change:

For A Title Change of an Approved Program

  • An institution may submit a brief letter of request accompanied with the appropriate non-substantial modification cover sheet indicating the existing and proposed titles and a justification for the proposed title change.

For A CIP/HEGIS Code Change

For A Cooperative Programs

  • The proposed program shall be planned by representatives from each cooperating institution.  Identical proposals for each institution shall go through the normal program approval procedures for the institutions and segments, including formal approval and recognition by each governing board.  A memorandum of understanding between or among cooperating institutions shall be included when the program proposal is submitted along with a substantial modifcat​ion cover sheet

To Discontinue A Program/or Suspend A Program

To Reactivate Program

  • After a 3-year period, the institution shall notify the Secretary in writing of their intent to either discontinue or reactivate a suspended program accompanied with the appropriate non-substantial modification cover sheet
  • program proposal is required to reactivate a discontinued program. 

For A Closed Site Approval
  • A letter of notification shall describe the program(s) to be offered and affirm that there is access to library and faculty resources Faculty Resources Table consistent with the scope and nature of the offerings. Please include a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the letter of notification and a non-substantial modification cover sheet.

For Articulation Agreements Between Degree-Granting and Maryland Secondary Schools and Non-Degree Institutions

  • A written agreement​ ​for articulation or transfer of credit of specific courses or programs shall be submitted by the chief executive officer of the school system or the non-degree granting institution to the chief executive officer of the degree granting institution. The proposal shall include, but is not limited to, a complete description of course/program content, instructional/experimental learning hours, expected competencies, and assessment measures used. The proposal shall also indicate whether the intention is for transfer of credit for courses within an articulated program or for transfer of credit for individual courses. Agreements must be approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Agreements must be signed by the chief executive officers of the two institutions entering into the agreement to be valid and considered by the Commission.​


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