Curriculum Organization

Students will normally graduate under the degree requirements published in the Graduate Catalog that is in effect when the student matriculates for graduate study at Baylor University.  Realizing that degree requirements might change from year to year, a student might opt to graduate under requirements in effect in a subsequent year while the student is enrolled in graduate study. To make such a change, the student must initiate a petition in which the student requests to graduate under a specified later set of degree requirements. This petition would need to be approved by the student’s mentor and the director of that graduate program, then submitted to the Graduate School for final approval.

Curriculum Changes

In order to ensure the appropriate quality of graduate courses, the Graduate Curriculum Committee, before it approves a proposal for a new course, must determine whether the course requires a level of independent learning and academic content above what is expected at the undergraduate level and is appropriate for graduate study.

Any faculty member can propose a new degree, major, minor, concentration, or new course (or changes to existing courses). The first step is a discussion between the faculty member and the appropriate department chair. The most successful proposals have strong support at the department and dean’s office levels. Establishing support across disciplinary and school/college boundaries is beneficial. Departments should follow the curriculum guidelines, as indicated on the Provost’s website, for submitting requested curriculum changes.

Any new degree or major requires approval by the Graduate Curriculum Committee, Graduate Dean, Graduate Council, Council of Deans, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Policy (Vice Provost for Institutional Research & Professional Education for GPE programs), President, and Board of Regents (to be included on the agenda, requests for new degrees must be submitted at least 6-8 weeks in advance of Board meetings).

Any new minor, specialization, or concentration requires approval by the Graduate Curriculum Committee, Graduate Dean, and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Policy (Vice Provost for Institutional Research & Professional Education for GPE programs).

Changes to degree requirements for an existing program must be approved by one of the Graduate Curriculum Committees. Contact the chair of the appropriate committee for information about the process and requirements.

To make determinations on how much academic credit should be offered for new courses (or changes to existing courses), the individual faculty members and curriculum committees consider the following factors:

  1. the subject matter covered in the course,
  2. the number (and nature) of required assignments,
  3. the number of contact hours each week,
  4. the amount and level of work required, and
  5. the structure/content of similar courses currently being offered within the department and throughout the university.

Once approved, changes are entered into the university’s academic records system and can be offered during the next most appropriate term. New courses (or changes to existing courses) are submitted through BearQuest and reviewed under similar guidelines.

Catalog Updates

The Graduate School Catalog is updated annually by the Graduate School - Office of the Dean. Any updates to the General, Curriculum, or Affiliated Programs sections of the catalog must be submitted in writing to following appropriate approvals. The Courses of Instruction section is updated annually via BearQuest. See the Catalog and Curricular Revisions webpage for additional information about curriculum changes and the Graduate School Catalog.