Proposing a Graduate Specialization

A graduate specialization is either a subdivision of a major or an interdisciplinary track in which a strong graduate-level curriculum is available.

Once approved, graduate specializations are indicated after the major on official records and transcripts once the student graduates with their primary degree.

A graduate specialization may be proposed by a single department or program, or by multiple departments or programs that agree to jointly sponsor the specialization.

Proposals for new specializations must be submitted through CourseLeaf. A template for submission of new graduate specialization proposals is available here

The general process for proposing a specialization is as follows:

  1. The department(s) agrees to sponsor the proposed graduate specialization and a representative of the department submits the proposal in CourseLeaf to initiate the approval workflow. 

    By serving as the sponsor(s) for the proposed graduate specialization, the department(s) is making a commitment to provide sufficient resources for the proposed graduate specialization to thrive.

  2. The dean(s) of the sponsoring school(s)/college(s) provides assurance that resources are available for the proposed graduate specialization and approve the proposal in Courseleaf. 

  3. After review within the department and school/college, the proposal goes to the Office of Provost and Division of Graduate Studies for initial review. 

  4. Once it is determined that the proposal is ready to advance (i.e., all required elements are present, all required courses are regularized, etc.), the proposal is distributed to the Graduate Council by the Division of Graduate Studies for review.

    If it is approved, the Division pf Graduate Studies advances the proposal (with any revisions) to the Office of the Provost. 

  5. Following approval by the provost, the new specialization is entered into the quarterly UOCC curriculum report for a vote of the the University of Oregon Senate.

    This report communicates the authorization to the registrar’s office and University Communications for entry into the catalog (department must update), Banner, and any other relevant systems.

  6. Students may begin declaring the graduate specialization using the graduate specialization declaration form for the approved effective term.

    Specializations and other programs are approved with an effective date of the next fall term (or subsequent fall term if desired) in line with the start of a new academic year.

    Proposers should keep this in mind when planning for the length of the approval process.

To terminate or suspend a graduate specialization follow the guidelines available from the Office of the Provost.