New Academic Program Process-Enrollment Services - Carnegie Mellon University

New Academic Program Process (NAPP) in 3 Steps


The establishment of a new academic program (view program types below) or substantial changes to those programs will involve the efforts of more than a dozen academic and administrative offices. Carnegie Mellon strives to be responsive and thorough during the new academic program review and approval process, but months of preparation nonetheless are the norm. Unfortunately, delays may occur when information sought or provided is incomplete. The effort of several offices - Vice Provost for Education, Office of General Counsel, and Enrollment Services - to improve the process are intended to address the following goals:

  • Assure that the  quality of programs and partners and consistently enhance the reputation of Carnegie Mellon University
  • Utilize an expert/partnership consultative model for efficiency and smooth processing
  • Promote a process which is proactive and front-loaded to reduce opportunities for unexpected academic or administrative road-blocks
  • Address and resolve competing departmental interests (if any) at front-end of process

This NAPP 3-step process applies to the following types of academic program requests:

  1. New Academic Program (new degree and/or major)
  2. New For-Credit Certificate Program
  3. Existing Degree: New Location
  4. Existing Degree: New Delivery Modality (i.e. distance education program)
  5. Existing Degree: Changes to program title or curriculum

Once all three steps have been successfully completed, a New Academic Program Code will be assigned for departmental use.

Note: Exchange programs have many of the same components and processes covered here but have a modified process resulting in approval signature by Vice President of Campus Affairs Michael Murphy. View Exchange Start-Up Pack

Timing Considerations

In addition to the steps that are outlined through NAPP Steps 1, 2, and 3, academic programs and departments should be alert to other issues and processes that can impact the length of time needed from start to finish (from conceptualization of the new academic program to the program start including enrollment of students). Depending on the nature and scope of the new academic program, such impacts may include: MOU or written agreement review and finalization, Middle States accreditation, International Finance involvement for programs located outside of the US, US Federal financial aid eligibility (loans and grants), non-immigrant visa document issuance for foreign students and/or faculty and researchers, export controls, and other factors.

Three-Step Process

A three-step process - NAPP 1, 2 and 3 - promotes sharing of relevant information, decreases administrative and academic roadblocks, and improves process efficiency.

NAPP Step 1: Academic Consultation Phase

This phase is required; consultation should be completed 4 to 12 months in advance of the desired program offering.

NAPP Step 2: Administrative & Implementation Phase

This phase is required; should be completed 3 to 6 months in advance of the desired program offering. 

NAPP Step 3: Notification Phase

This phase follows approval and New Academic Program Code assignment; should be completed within one week of code assignment by the University Registrar's Office.