Closing a Degree Program

Closing a Degree Program

Closing a degree program involves both ceasing admissions and halting delivery of the degree, and requires advanced planning and internal and external approvals.

Programs considering a degree closure should confer with their school’s academic compliance contact and with the IRA contact referenced below as early as possible, for detailed guidance and support on the documentation and approvals required to close a degree program.

The below form to initiate a request to close a degree program includes detailed instructions for each field. Please note: You will not be able to ‘save’ and ‘return’ to the form at a later date, so we recommend that you preview and prepare the required information in advance:

Degree Program Closure Initiation Form 

Reviews and Approvals for Closing a Degree Program

Degree program closures require advanced institutional, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) approval.  A degree program closure begins with the decision to cease admissions. Degree closures require the following steps:

School Curriculum Committee & Dean: Programs should consult with their school’s designated academic compliance contact for guidance and support on necessary documentation and procedures. If the proposed closure may impact faculty, students, courses and/or academic programs in other UVA school(s), the sponsoring dean should consult with the corresponding dean(s).

Once the Degree Closure Initiation Form is submitted, IRA staff review the request, assist the sponsoring program in preparing all necessary documentation, and obtain initial approval from the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (VPAA).

  • Upon initial VPAA approval, the SACSCOC Institutional Liaison notifies SACSCOC, and IRA staff initiate Impact Review (IR), in which a committee of stakeholders (e.g. appointed school representatives, Financial Services, Library, University Registrar) are invited to review the proposal and offer comments/questions regarding possible impacts on their units. To save time, sponsoring programs and schools are encouraged to consult with other schools and/or units that may be impacted ahead of IR, so that any issues/concerns may be proactively surfaced and addressed.

Faculty Senate: For degree program closures, faculty senate approval entails three levels of review:

  • Academic Affairs Committee (AAC): The AAC typically meets every 2 weeks over the fall and spring semesters. The AAC docket can fill up quickly, so programs are encouraged to secure the necessary school approvals in the semester preceding their target senate term, to allow adequate time for review.

  • Executive Council (ExCo): ExCo typically meets monthly over the Fall and Spring terms.

  • Faculty Senate: The Senate typically meets monthly over the Fall and Spring terms. 

Upon Faculty Senate approval, IRA staff coordinate formal Provost, President, and Board of Visitors (BOV) approvals. Upon BOV approval, IRA staff advise the sponsoring program on SCHEV and SACSCOC requirements and coordinate formal SCHEV and SACSCOC submissions and approvals.

Notice of Formal Approval: Upon formal SCHEV and SACSCOC approvals, IRA staff will circulate notice of formal approval to the school dean and relevant institutional stakeholders, including the University Registrar, to update the degree to the Record and Student Information System.