New Program Development

Acadia University is committed to the innovation and continuous development of its academic programs. Support is available to units throughout the phases of new program development.

Phases of New Program Development

Phase 1
Concept Proposal & Endorsement

Program idea(s) presented to the Dean's Council and Provost for consideration and endorsement.

Required Form(s)
New Program Concept Proposal

Dean's Council and Provost Endorsement Required

Phase 2
Program Development

Consultation completed.

Budgets developed.

External reviews (if applicable).

Information Requirements & Required forms completed.

Phase 3
Internal Approvals

Proposals submitted to:

  • Faculty Council
  • Senate Curriculum Committee
  • Senate

Required Form(s)
Senate New Program Proposal

Faculty Council and Senate Approval Required

Phase 4
External Approvals

Proposals submitted to:

  • The MPHEC
  • AACHRR (Health Programs)
  • Accrediting Organizations (if applicable)

Required Form(s)
MPHEC New Program Proposal
AACHHRE New Program Proposal (if applicable)

MPHEC and External Approvals Required

Phase 5
Program Launch

Only approved programs can be offered.

Conditions of the MPHEC and accrediting organizations are met.

Admissions Office is notified and application available.

Registrar's Office has set up program in Colleague and a degree audit is available.

Phase 1 Concept Proposal and Endorsement

Phase 1 includes a broad consultation to determine the value and purpose of the program and what it is intended to do for students, and an anticipated timeline.

Proposers should consult their School or Department, the Dean, and Provost for concept approval. For graduate programs, the Associate Vice President of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Studies should be consulted.

Download the New Concept Proposal Form.

Phase 2 Program Development

Early in the development process, consultations should take place with units that may be impacted, such as:

  • Financial Services and Student Accounts (budget/fees)
  • Technology Services
  • Admissions
  • Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies
  • Library
  • Co-operative Education
  • Learning Technologies and Instructional Design (LTID)
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Recruitment
  • Communications and Marketing

If applicable, working groups should be established.

External reviews are conducted, if applicable (new graduate level programs).
MPHEC Guidelines for the Selection of External Program Assessors

When the program description and information requirements are ready to be documented for internal and external approval, the required forms should be completed. Please refer to Phase 3 for internal forms and Phase 4 for external forms.

Phase 3 Internal Approvals

Faculty Council

Proposals must be presented at a meeting of Faculty Council prior to being presented to the Senate Curriculum Committee (Administrative). Generally, the forms linked below should be used for the presentation.

You should consult with your Dean's Office regarding Faculty Council meeting dates.

Senate Curriculum Committee (Administrative) and Senate

All proposed changes to curricula and new program proposals must be approved by the Acadia University Senate before they can be implemented. Proposals for new programs should be submitted to the Senate Curriculum Committee (Administrative) using theses forms.

The following forms should be used:

Undergraduate* - New Undergraduate Programs and Required Tables for New Undergraduate Programs
Graduate*- New Graduate Programs and Required Tables for New Undergraduate Programs
Form 1: New Course Proposal (if applicable)

* The MPHEC forms and tables should be used. Please consult with the Coordinator, Academic Program Development, Quality Assurance and Planning if you have any questions.

The SCC (Admin) considers the proposals, provides feedback to the unit(s), and submits the proposals to Senate.

Submission Deadlines

The deadline for undergraduate curriculum submissions is the last week of November. The Senate Curriculum Committee meets in December to review submissions and make recommendations, and reports to Senate in January or February. The Senate Curriculum Committee may meet at other times for time-sensitive items.

Submissions are reviewed on an as-need basis, but only after the Faculty Council meeting has taken place and the changes have been approved.

Senate Meeting Dates

The Acadia University Senate meets monthly from September to June.

Phase 4 External Approvals

New programs require the approval of the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC) prior to promotion and implementation. *Health and health-related programs must first receive approval from the Atlantic Advisory Committee on Health Human Resources (AACHHR).

The MPHEC assesses academic programs prior to implementation to ensure they meet agreed upon standards. This provides quality assurances to students, governments and the public. Click here for an overview of the MPHEC assessment process.

The MPHEC receives proposals at any time, but proposals are held in abeyance between mid-June and September 1, and between December 1 and January 1.

MPHEC Forms and Tables
Undergraduate - New Undergraduate Programs and Required Tables for New Undergraduate Programs

Graduate - New Graduate Programs and Required Tables for New Undergraduate Programs
The final version of a program proposal for any new graduate-level program must have been assessed (including a site visit) by an expert external to the institution, who is not in a biased situation, prior to submission to the MPHEC.

Certificates and Diplomas - **As of March 31, 2022, new graduate level certificate and diploma programs no longer require external reviews prior to submission.
MPHEC Certificate and Diploma Framework

AACHHR New Undergraduate and Graduate Health Programs

Phase 5 Program Launch

Before a program can be promoted and launched it must be approved by Senate, the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission and any other accrediting organizations.

You must also ensure the following:

  • Any conditions set by the MPHEC or other accrediting organizations have been addressed.
  • The Admissions Office has been notified and the program has been set up in the Application Portal.
  • The Registrar's Office has set the program up in Colleague and a degree audit has been created.