Minor Modification

Pamela PsarianosMinor modifications are changes to courses and program curriculum. Below are four types of commonly proposed minor modifications made by graduate units.  For each one listed below you will find a description, links to the governance template (i.e. form and instructions), and an outline of the governance path.

It is strongly recommended that you contact the Graduate Affairs Officer in the Office of Graduate and Life Sciences (GLSE) before pursing any of these academic changes. Early consultation with GLSE ensures that the appropriate governance templates and/or proposals are submitted as well as facilitating discussion about timelines and other related protocol.

1) Changes to an existing program - Template and Instructions

Examples include but are not limited to:         

  • Changing Admission Requirements
  • Renaming Field, Concentration and/or Emphasis
  • Changing Program Requirements or Length
  • Renaming of Program
  • Changing Timing of Program Requirements
  • Creating a new Emphasis
  • Adding/Removing Option (i.e. part-time, flex-time)
  • Changes to programs affecting a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)

2) New Courses - Template and Instructions

Examples include but are not limited to

  • new graduate course* in a degree
  • new graduate course* in a collaborative program
  • reactivate a closed/deactivated course

*When submitting a proposal for a new graduate course, please include an updated course syllabus with the governance template. For assistance in developing a course syllabus, the Centre for Teaching and Supporting Innovation at UofT offers excellent resources on course design.  Furthermore, faculty should familiarize themselves with the university's grading policy

Governance Path for Changes to an Existing Program and New Courses

Changes to an existing program and new courses follow a three step governance process. 

The first step in the governance process is to obtain the approval from the graduate unit.  Typically, this is granted by the committee responsible for graduate education in your unit.  Please contact your Graduate Coordinator for information about meeting dates and departmental protocol.  The proposal should include the appropriate and completed template, as well as any supporting documentation (e.g. course syllabus). Once your departmental committee approves this modification, the proposal moves to the next step. 

The second step in the governance process is to obtain the approval from the GLSE Graduate Curriculum Committee (GCC) which is chaired by the Vice-Dean, Graduate and Academic Affairs.  The proposal package should be sent to the Graduate Affairs Officer at GLSE at least 2 weeks before the next meeting. Meeting dates for GLSE GCC are listed here.  The proposal is presented to the GLSE GCC by a faculty member in the corresponding graduate unit (i.e. Graduate Coordinator or designated faculty).  For new courses, the proposal should be presented by the intended instructor.  Once this approval is attained, the proposal moves on to the next and final step. 

The third and final step in the governance process is to obtain the approval from the Faculty of Medicine's Education Committee, a standing committee of Medicine's Faculty Council. The proposal is presented by a faculty member in the corresponding graduate unit, ideally the same person who presented the proposal at the GLSE GCC. Meeting dates for all committees involved in this process are listed here.

3) Changes to Existing Courses that do not affect Course Content or Student Evaluation - Template and Instructions

Examples include but are not limited to

  • rename an existing course
  • renumber an existing course

Please note that if you are changing the content of an existing course, this constitutes as developing a new course and should follow the instructions outlined for this type of academic change.

4) Participation in/Withdrawal from a Collaborative Program - Template and Instructions

This is when a degree program (Masters or PhD) wishes to join or withdraw its participation from an existing Collaborative Program.

Governance Path for Changes to Existing Courses (no change to Course Content) and Participation in/Withdrawal from a Collaborative Program

Changes to an existing program and new courses follow a two step governance process. 

The first step in the governance process is to seek the approval of a proposed academic change at the departmental level (i.e. within your graduate unit).  Typically, this approval is granted by the committee responsible for graduate education in your department.  Please contact your Graduate Coordinator for information about meeting dates and departmental protocol.  The proposal should include the appropriate and completed template, as well as any supporting documentation (e.g. course syllabus). Once the departmental committee approves this modification, the proposal moves on to the next step. 

The second step  and final step in the governance process is to obtain the approval from the GLSE Graduate Curriculum Committee (GCC) which is chaired by the Vice-Dean, Graduate and Academic Affairs.  The proposal package should be sent to the Graduate Affairs Officer at GLSE at least 2 weeks before the next meeting. Meeting dates for GLSE GCC are listed here.  The proposal is presented to the GLSE GCC by a faculty member in the corresponding graduate unit (i.e. Graduate Coordinator or designated faculty).  

Next Steps for Minor Modifications

1) How long does it take to obtain all the necessary approvals (i.e. complete the divisional governance process)?

Once the governance template is submitted to GLSE, the process can take up to 2 – 3 months.

2) What happens once all approvals are obtained?

GLSE informs the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) and the Vice-Provost, Academic Change of the approved changes. This triggers SGS to make the appropriate changes on ROSI.

Graduate units (Graduate Coordinators and Administrators), as well as any designated faculty (as noted on the Governance Template/Proposal) will be informed by email once all the necessary divisional governance approvals are obtained. Graduate units and Collaborative Programs will continue to be responsible for updating their SGS calendar entry every year by the deadline, as communicated by SGS.

4) How soon can an academic change be implemented?

As noted above, all approved changes are communicated immediately to SGS once the final approval is granted.  However, these changes may not be reflected as quickly in the annual SGS Calendar. 

Graduate units and Collaborative Programs normally submit their calendar edits by March 31st.  Approvals of academic changes that impact the core curriculum/program requirements must be obtained well in advances of the SGS Calendar deadline.  This is imperative for program requirements and optional for electives. 

 

 

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