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Office of the Provost

Policies and Procedures for Approval of Academic Changes

SMU encourages creativity and innovation in curricular development. For curricular or academic program changes, notice and approval beyond the initiating School are often necessary. The purpose of this page is to give information, forms, and contacts for these notice and approval processes.

The general policy relating to SMU’s processes for approving academic changes can be downloaded here.
  • For the official Policy Statement on the Discontuation of an Academic Program, please see University Policy Manual 6.17.

  • Changes to course prefixes, and changes to the curriculum of existing programs, can have university-wide implications, and thus should be submitted to the Office of the Provost by February 1 of the calendar year in which the change is to become effective for the Fall semester.

  • For any new major, any academic certificate program, or any change involving what is deemed a “substantive change” within the meaning of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), approval by the Office of the Provost and the SMU Board of Trustees is necessary.

  • In addition to approval by the Office of the Provost and the SMU Board of Trustees, notice and pre-approval by SACSCOC are necessary for any degree program or other change that constitutes a “substantive change.”

  • You can download the forms that should guide the submission of new majors, academic certificates, or new degree program. You will need the Proposal for a New Major, Degree, or Certificate Program, and also the form for the Faculty Roster. If you have questions about these forms or the information they require, please feel free to contact Lindsay Davis, Assistant Director,, telephone: (214)768-1040.

  • After a department and School have approved a proposal for a new major, academic certificate, or degree program, the proposal needs to be approved by the Office of the Provost, the Board of Trustees, and, in some cases, by SACSCOC. The Educational Programs Committee (EPC) is the university-wide committee that is charged with advising the Provost on educational programs.

    You can contact the EPC by emailing or calling Lindsay Davis, Assistant Director,, telephone: (214)768-1040.

  • If the curricular or program change is not a new major, a new academic certificate, or a new degree program, you might have questions about what sort of procedure applies or what forms, if any, are necessary. Please feel free to contact Lindsay Davis, Assistant Director,, telephone: (214)768-1040.

  • For the official Policy Statement on Substantive Change from SACSCOC, download here.

  • For SACSCOC-related inquiries, please contact Dr. Patty Alvey, SACSCOC Liaison, Director of Assessment and Accreditation, or (214) 768-4519.

  • For current membership and scope of the Educational Programs Committee, view here.