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Review and Approval Processes

Related to Academic Programs and Academic Organization

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost is responsible for coordinating the review and approval process for various program and academic initiatives. Some examples are:

  • include creating a new degree program
  • changing the name of a department
  • creating a new school
  • initiating academic programs at an off-site location.

To assist faculty and administrators in navigating the review and approval processes, the following is highly encouraged:

The provost’s office reviews these actions to ensure compliance with the policies of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and/or the U.S. Department of Education

SACSCOC and Substantive Change Review

  1. Review and/or approval is required if the action is considered a substantive change
  2. Substantive change, as defined by SACSCOC, includes any “significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution.”
  3. Schools must submit the “Substantive Change Checklist” (see below) when initiating a new or changed program
  4. Examples of substantive changes submitted by the University since the 2007 reaffirmation may be found here 
  5. The University's president notifies SACSCOC of the proposed change and the date by which the University hopes to implement the change
  6. The SACSCOC liaison has been charged with coordinating the reviews and approvals if/when required by SACSCOC

A summary of the reviews and approvals required for a number of actions related to academic programs and academic organization may be found in the Review and Approval Processes Matrix (see below).  If a particular action is not included here, please contact the Associate Provost, Director of Institutional Assessment and Studies and SACSCOC Liaison. For additional assistance, all deans have appointed respective School Accreditation Liaisons who serve as their schools' primary point of contact with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost on academic accreditation and compliance issues (see below).

For certain actions that affect the content of the Undergraduate and Graduate Records, required approvals must be secured according to the Timeline for Submission of Approvals to be included in the Records for the upcoming academic year (see below).

Guidance for Academic Program & Organization Changes:



Institutional Accreditation (U.Va.)
Policy: Substantive Change for Regional Accreditation (U.Va.)
Policy: Academic Approval and Signatory Authority for Academic Program Agreements (U.Va.)
Policy: Determination and Assignation of Academic Credit (U.Va.)
State-Level Requirements for Approval of Various Academic Program Actions at Public Institutions (SCHEV)
Levels of Required State Action for Various Types of Organizational Changes at Public Institutions (SCHEV)
Policy Statement: Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions (SACSCOC)