New Joint Degree Programs
The University offers joint degree programs in collaboration with another educational institution. On completion of the programs, the students are typically awarded separate degrees by the two institutions. However, with the approval of the Trustees of the University, they can receive one degree awarded jointly by both institutions. Normally, some courses in a joint degree program are counted toward the completion of both degrees.
The Vice Provost sends the proposal to the deans of the other schools of the University to determine if the new program will conflict with, or adversely affect, one they already offer or intend to offer. If a dean raises questions about the new program, further consideration of the proposal is suspended until this is resolved.
Every new joint degree program requires the approval of both the School in which the students will study at Columbia and the partner institution, the concurrence of the other schools of the University and several central University approvals, including the University Senate if the Columbia degree is at the post-baccalaureate level. The proposal requires the approval of the University Trustees in two different situations:
- if the School within Columbia participating in the program has not already been authorized to award the Columbia degree the students will receive; or
- if the University will award a single degree jointly with its partner institution.
Once the proposal has the necessary University approvals, it must be registered by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and may need the approval of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education if its creation alters the University's accredited status.
The forms that should be completed depend upon whether the Columbia part of the joint degree program has already been registered and the level at which it will be offered. There are four possibilities:
- If the Columbia portion of the program has already been registered with the State Department of Education, its sponsors should complete the forms Change or Adapt a Registered Program and Proposal for a New Dual Degree or Joint Degree Program;
- If the State has not previously registered the Columbia portion and it is at the doctoral level, the School should contact the Office of the Provost at 854-2254 or email Raquel Munoz at firstname.lastname@example.org for the forms it should use since the NYSED is currently redesigning the forms it uses for doctoral programs;
- If the State has not previously registered the Columbia portion of a program leading to a master’s degree, the sponsors should complete the forms: Application for Registration of a new Graduate Program and Proposal for a New Dual Degree or Joint Degree Program; or
- If the State has not previously registered the Columbia portion and it leads to a bachelor's degree, the appropriate forms are Application for Registration of a new Undergraduate Program and Proposal for a New Dual Degree or Joint Degree Program.
Some of these forms are mandated by NYSED for new degree programs. While the NYSED has also electronically posted these forms, individuals preparing a proposal for a new joint degree program should only use the ones on this web site since they also include information required for internal University purposes.
Five years after a new program has begun to admit students, the Education Committee of the University Senate conducts a further evaluation to assess its effectiveness in meeting its intended goals. The Vice Provost for Academic Administration informs a program when it is up for review and ask it to complete a questionnaire which is available at by downloading the 5th-Year Review Questionnaire. The Vice Provost submits the completed questionnaire to a standing 5th-Year Review Subcommittee of the Education Committee which assesses the program's effectiveness and recommends to the full committee whether the program's approval should be affirmed. The chair of the Education Committee informs the program of the final outcome of its assessment. This review normally represents the last evaluation of a new program. However, a program may need to seek additional approvals if it materially changes its structure or purpose.