Major modifications are integral to the continuous improvement of our programs and are the site of much vision and innovation in the sphere of academic change. The overarching definition of what constitutes a major modification is provided by the University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process (UTQAP) (PDF).
According to the UTQAP (section 1.2), the “Office of the Vice-Provost, Academic Programs consults with divisions on the development of proposals for major modifications to existing programs. The Office receives copies of approved program modifications and compiles an annual report of all divisional modifications.”
Examples of major modifications to existing programs are the creation of a:
- new major or specialist in an undergraduate program where there is already a specialist or major
- new field or concentration within an existing graduate degree program
- new stream within an undergraduate program
- freestanding minor (a minor where there is no existing major or specialist)
- combined degree program
- double degree program
- dual degree program
- collaborative specialization.
Development of the Major Modification
When a new idea emerges, it is not always clear whether it will take the form of a minor modification, a major modification, or a new program. Faculties/divisions should work closely with the VPAP office to determine the appropriate proposal category. Major modification proposals are then developed within Faculties in consultation with the relevant Dean’s office, and with the VPAP office.
All major modification proposals are reviewed by the VPAP office, which will coordinate with other administrative offices as appropriate, before they are approved through governance. The purpose of the review is to ensure that a proposal benefits from all possible institutional expertise, to ensure compliance with our quality assurance process, and to pave the way for smooth implementation of the change.
Approval of the Major Modification
Faculty councils are the final approving body of major modifications. Following approval, all major modifications are reported to the VPAP office. Major modifications that affect graduate programs should be completed prior to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Calendar deadline to ensure any program requirement changes are accurately reflected in the SGS Calendar.
VPAP is responsible for annually reporting all major modifications to the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs (AP&P) and the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (the Quality Council) (see a diagram of the process for major modifications).
- Diagram: academic change processes
- Template: significant modifications to existing graduate and undergraduate programs
- Template: specialist or major where there is an existing major or specialist
- Template: new freestanding minor where there is no existing specialist or major
- Template: creation of a new stream within an undergraduate program
- Template: new field or concentration within an existing graduate program
- Template: new combined degree program
- Template: new double degree program (coming soon)
- Template: new dual degree program
- Template: new collaborative specialization
- Overview of dual degree programs
Coordinator Academic Change