Academic Program Changes Process FAQ

 Background

1.  What is an academic program?

An academic program is a course of study – undergraduate majors, undergraduate minors, undergraduate certificates, graduate master’s programs and graduate doctoral programs.  All programs are delivered by departments.  Discontinuing a given program does not mean that the department is discontinued.

2.  Which programs are being discontinued?

The undergraduate programs that will be discontinued, pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa are listed here.

The graduate programs that will be discontinued, pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa are listed here.

3.  When are these programs being discontinued?

Once approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, no new students would be admitted to these programs.  The Board is expected to consider the University’s recommendation to discontinue these programs at its March 21, 2012 meeting.  Current students will be able to finish their programs (see more details below).

4.  Why are these programs being discontinued?

In light of continuing budget pressure, the University of Northern Iowa has recently made some important decisions to strengthen the University so it can continue to provide students with an excellent education and a great collegiate experience.  In order to expand capacity in majors that have a great deal of student interest, the University has concluded that it needs to discontinue some academic programs that graduate relatively few students each year. 

5.  How were these programs chosen?

Decisions to discontinue programs were based on rates of graduation and levels of student interest, and not on the quality of the faculty, curriculum or students in the program. 

6.  What does “suspension and restructuring” mean?

These programs will be recommended to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa for suspension of admissions.  Pending the Board's decision, no new students will be admitted to these programs, but all current students will be able to complete their studies.  New students will be admitted following the conclusion of program restructuring.

7.  What does “restructuring” mean (without “suspension”)?

These programs will continue, and are open to new students.  All current students will complete these programs under their current catalog requirements.  The programs will be restructured through the normal curriculum change process.

8.  What does it mean to be “declared” in an undergraduate program?

To be “declared” as an undergraduate means that a student has met the requirements for admission to a given program and has submitted a “declaration of curriculum” form to the Office of the University Registrar.  The form must be signed by the student, the student’s academic advisor and the academic department head. 

Students are able to pursue studies at the University with the intention of majoring or minoring in a certain area, but without submitting the “declaration of curriculum.”  As long as a student formally declares a major or minor prior to applying for graduation, he/she can be awarded whatever majors, minors or certificates he/she has earned. 

This is to say, sometimes students consider themselves to be majoring or minoring in a certain area though they are not yet, technically, in those programs because they have not yet submitted the form to formally “declare.”

For current undergraduate students in a discontinued program

1.  Will I be able to finish my program?

Yes.  Students who are listed in the University’s records as “declared” in a discontinued program will be able to finish their studies.  In addition, students who are listed as pre-majors will be considered to be declared in those majors and thus able to finish.

2.  How long will I have to finish my program?

Students will be advised to complete their programs at a normal rate and will have through spring term 2016 (May 2016) to complete their program.

3.  Can I switch to another program?

Yes.  All students have the ability to change programs – switching from one major to another, adding or dropping minors, etc.  If you are currently in a program that will be discontinued, you can drop one program and declare another.  Academic Advising can help you determine what impact any change would have for you.

4.  Do I need to be “declared” in the program to finish my program?

Current students and previously-enrolled students who are declared as majors or pre-majors will be able to finish their programs.  Other students, including those who have worked toward a given major without yet declaring the major, can request permission to complete a discontinued program.  To make such a request, a student should complete a “Student Request” form, select the category of “other,” and then explain their situation and what they want to do.  Academic Advising can assist a student in completing such a request.

5.  How can I request special consideration to be allowed to finish a program if I am not currently “declared” in it?

Students, including those who have worked toward a given major without yet declaring the major, can request permission to complete a discontinued program.  To make such a request, a student should complete a “Student Request” form, select the category of “other,” and then explain their situation and what they want to do.  Academic Advising can assist a student in completing such a request.

6.  Who can I talk to if I have questions?

The Office of Academic Advising will be providing special assistance to students who are in discontinued programs.  Academic Advising is located at 102 Gilchrist Hall and it is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.  The phone number is 273-3406 and you can email to advising@uni.edu

 For current graduate students in a discontinued program

1.  Will I be able to finish my program?

Yes.  Students currently in a graduate program that will be discontinued will be able to complete their program.

2.  How long will I have to finish my program?

The amount of time available to complete a given discontinued program will depend upon the program and the student’s current status in the program.  Please contact the Graduate College (319-273-2748) to discuss your particular situation.

3.  What if I am currently in non-degree status but have been working to be admitted to a program that is being discontinued?

The potential for a non-degree student to be admitted to and then complete a given discontinued program will depend upon the program and the student’s current status.  Please contact the Graduate College (319-273-2748) to discuss your particular situation.

4.  What if I am not currently taking classes – will I be able to finish my program?

If your coursework is less than 7 years old, you will be able to complete your program, but you will need to do so in a timely manner.  You should arrange an appointment at the Graduate College to discuss the specifics of your situation.

5.  What if I am currently suspended from graduate study – will I be able to be readmitted and complete my program?

As a general rule, suspended students will not be readmitted into a discontinued graduate program.

6.  Who can I talk to about questions I have?

The Graduate College is prepared to assist students who are in programs that will be discontinued.  The Graduate College office is located in 110 Lang Hall and it is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.  The phone number is 319-273-2748.  Please call to make an appointment.