Guidelines for Curriculum Changes

This page is designed to aid faculty and others who complete and submit curriculum changes.

Note: all proposed curriculum changes must be approved by Senate before they can be implemented, including:

  • new programs
  • program changes (ie. revisions)
  • discontinuing existing programs
  • new courses
  • course changes (ie. new description, title, prerequisites, credit value, etc.)

Adding a Course

Modifying a Course

Deleting or Banking a Course

Changing Degree Requirements

Changing Program Requirements

Proposals for New Programs

Proposals for New Minors

Proposals for New Non-Standalone Certificates


Summary of Curriculum Approval Procedures

Adding a Course

Use the following template if you are developing a new course:

Course Template

A) Descriptive Data:

The following must be provided:

a.  ​Course Code
New course codes must be obtained from the Office of the Registrar BEFORE you submit your motions for consideration. Please e-mail with your request and include the course title, course level and course credits. You can request  desired course numbers (numbers that are helpful to students and faculty in locating the course in a program of study) and you will be advised if the numbers are available to be used and that they meet the course coding rubric which can be found in the Academic Calendar​.

b.  Course Title

This is the official course title that will appear in the Academic Calendar.

c.  Course Credits

Indicate the credit value of the course.

d.  Course Description

This field is restricted to 50-75 words, present tense and active voice.

e.  Course Prerequisites, Corequisites, Antirequisites and Restrictions

Please refer to the Glossary of Terms in the Academic Calendar for the definitions of a course prerequisite, corequisite and antirequisite. 

Restrictions are used when the course is restricted to students in a particular program. An example of this would be "Restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education program".

f.   Instructional Method

Select the method(s) of course instruction.

​g Hours of Contact Time 

Contact time per week must total a minimum of 36 hours per three-credit course and 72 hours per six-credit course.

The breakdown of hours of contact time per term is subdivided into lecture/lab/seminar (ie. 2 hours of lecture, 2 hours of lab).

h.  Program Implications

​If the course impacts the program requirements, please be specific (ie. changing a required 6 credit course to a 3 credit course).

​If the course is to be cross-listed with any other discipline, please ensure that the other ​discipline is consulted and approves in writing the cross-listing. Indicate how the course will be added to the other’s program requirements, if applicable.

j.   Course Grouping or Stream

Indicate if the requirements are grouped or streamed.

k.   Learning Outcomes

Provide 6-8 learning outcomes (visible, measurable and in active voice) which should align with program expectations. For detailed information on Learning Outcomes, please consult the Quality Assurance website.

Sample: "a comprehensive knowledge of early twentieth-century history..."

B) Statement of Need:

Please indicate whether this is a required course for a specific degree(s), who is and how many are expected to enroll and a rationale about why this course is appropriate to Nipissing’s offerings. This information is required by the Deans and is critical for consideration of new courses by the Academic Curriculum Committee (ACC).

C) Comparative Data:

Comparative Data is strongly recommended but not required as part of the submission. This information will assist the Office of the Registrar to assess transfer credit for students transferring to Nipissing University.

Modifying a Course

Modifications to a course include changes to course description, course prerequisites, lecture/lab/tutorial composition, or renumbering of a course. If a six-credit course is to be changed to a three credit course(s) or vice-versa, the new course(s) must be presented first as an addition and the current course(s) must then be deleted or banked.

Please provide a description of the new course (as defined above) and highlight the modification. (Current course descriptions are available in the academic calendar.) Please provide the rationale for the change and address the impact that this change will have on program requirements and on other courses.

Deleting or Banking a Course

Please indicate the course code and title of the course to be deleted or banked and provide the rationale for deleting or banking a course. Please indicate: whether the course is a prerequisite for another course; is required for a degree program; is cross-listed with another discipline.

If the course is required for a degree program(s), please indicate the changes to the program requirements, once this course has been deleted or banked.​

  • If a course is not offered in a period of five calendar years, it will be banked (removed from the academic calendar). A list of all courses not offered in the past five years will be provided to the department chairs/directors by the registrar in January of each year. If the department does not wish to bank a course(s), ARCC must be provided with a request not to bank the course. Banked courses will be returned to the calendar upon the request of the appropriate department to ARCC.
  • Banking a course simply means removing the course from the academic calendar. A banked course can be returned to the calendar and offered at any time as long as the course is offered as described.

Changing Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements are listed in the academic calendar under their respective sections—for example, Bachelor of Arts (4-Year General), Bachelor of Science (Honours), etc. There is also a section on degree requirements for Second Degree Programs.

When Nipissing University changes degree requirements, adds new requirements, or deletes previous requirements, the impact may be significant across disciplines. Therefore, changes should be discussed with all disciplines affected and students must have sufficient time to comply with any new regulations. 

If Senate approves the deletion of degree requirements, the new rules can be effective immediately. The implications of immediate application must be thoroughly addressed. If Senate approves the modification or addition of degree requirements, the new requirements will apply to students admitted or re-admitted the following year (Senate Regulation 3.90 Senate Changes to Degree Requirements). Therefore provisions must be made to either continue to provide the means whereby students may graduate under the previous rules (perhaps for many years), or if this is not feasible, Senate should permit students currently in programs to graduate without either the “old” or “new” requirements.

Any proposal must first make reference to the current Senate approved requirement. The rationale for the proposed change must include a discussion of how this matter is dealt with at other universities, how it will affect currently enrolled students as well as teaching resources, and how it will improve Nipissing University’s programs.

Changing Program Requirements

Please refer to the procedures listed above for changing degree requirements. The information provided should include all necessary approvals, sufficient time for implementation, current requirements, new requirements, a rationale for the change and a discussion of how this matter is dealt with at other universities and how it will improve Nipissing University’s programs.

Proposals for New Programs

Please refer to the IQAP policy document​ when considering new programs or degrees, which outlines the full approval process and curriculum requirements.

Proposals for New Minors

Click here for the New Minor template

New minors do not need PPC approval if the program or cognate is currently offered or if it does not require any additional resources.

Proposals for New Non-Standalone Certificates

Please provide a coherent set of learning objectives for the non-standalone certificate along with the following: courses which collectively meet those objectives; academic credit courses equivalent to at least 15 credits of undergraduate study and a statement of admission requirements. A complete proposal for a certificate program includes a statement of academic merit; a statement of financial viability; and a statement of administrative responsibility.

The complete policy on certificates and diplomas is available in the Senate Regulations and Policies document.


A revision is a change of a "housekeeping nature" (i.e. course number changes) and the ACC or the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) will approve the changes and forward the changes to Senate for information only to ensure that the changes are included in the Academic Calendar.  Senate may request a vote on any item sent for information.

Summary of Curriculum Approval Procedures


Undergraduate curriculum proposals which involve non-substantive changes to existing courses, and which do not directly affect another Faculty (e.g. minor changes to course titles or descriptions, deleting or banking).

If a proposed change in curriculum is deemed non-substantive, then this information will go to ARCC/Faculty Council (Executive) for approval and then to the Academic Curriculum Committee and Senate for information only. A non-substantive change may be described, for example, as a minor wording change in a course title or a course description. 

ARCC/Faculty Council (Executive) reserves the right to determine whether a change is to be considered non-substantive. These changes must be considered and approved by the department before being submitted to ARCC. 


University New Program Approval Process, as required in the provincial IQAP Guidelines;

ii. proposals requiring significant changes to existing undergraduate degree or program requirements; and

iii. undergraduate curriculum proposals which involve one or more new courses or substantive changes to existing courses, and which directly affect another Faculty (e.g. Concurrent Education or other interdisciplinary programs involving more than one Faculty).

(This is summarized from the Nipissing University Representative Senate By-Laws and the Nipissing University Institutional Quality Assurance Process: Policy and Procedures)