Proposing a Graduate Specialization

A Graduate Specialization is either a subdivision of a major or an interdisciplinary track in which a strong graduate-level curriculum is available. Once approved, Graduate Specializations are indicated after the major on official records and transcripts once the student graduates with their primary degree.  A Graduate Specialization may be proposed by a single department or program, or by multiple departments or programs that agree to jointly sponsor the specialization.

The form, Proposal for a New Graduate Specialization, provides a template for submission of new Graduate Specialization proposals. The general process for proposing a specialization is as follows:

  • The department(s) agrees to sponsor the proposed Graduate Specialization. By serving as the sponsor(s) for the proposed Graduate Specialization, the department(s) is making a commitment to provide sufficient resources for the proposed Graduate Specialization to thrive. The proposal must include the signature(s) of the department head(s) of the sponsoring department(s).
  • The dean(s) of the sponsoring school(s)/college(s) provides assurance that resources are available for the proposed Graduate Specialization. The proposal must include the signature of the sponsoring dean(s).
  • After review within the department and school/college, the proposal is forwarded to the Graduate School and Academic Affairs with the written endorsement or approval of the dean for review and comment. 
  • The proposal is distributed to the Graduate Council by the Graduate School for review.  If it is approved, the Graduate School sends the proposal (with any revisions) back to Academic Affairs and the proposers with the endorsement (and any conditions or concerns) of the Council and Dean of the Graduate School.
  • Following approval by the Provost, the new specialization is entered into the quarterly UOCC curriculum report for a vote of the Senate.  This report communicates the authorization to the Registrar’s Office and Design and Editing Services for entry into the catalog (department must update), Banner, and any other relevant systems.
  • Students may begin declaring the graduate specialization using the Graduate Specialization Declaration Form (available on Graduate School website) for the approved effective term. Specializations and other programs are approved with an effective date of the next Fall term (or subsequent Fall term if desired) in line with the start of a new academic year. Proposers should keep this in mind when planning for the length of the approval process. 


To terminate or suspend a Graduate Specialization follow the guidelines available on the Academic Affairs website:

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