New York State Registration
Once a proposed dual degree program has received all of the necessary University approvals, the Vice Provost for Academic Administration sends it to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for review and inclusion in Columbia's registry of authorized programs. A full list of those programs can be accessed on-line through the State Department's inventory of registered programs at http://www.nysed.gov/heds/IRPSL1.html.
If the new program combines two previously existing programs, it is not necessary to obtain external reviews of the program. If either part of a proposed dual degree program has not been previously registered, NYSED treats it as if it is a new program and requires that the University obtain evaluations from scholars at institutions outside of New York State. If either degree is at the doctoral level, the University must collect two external evaluations. If neither degree is at the doctoral level and at least one is a master's degree only one evaluation is needed. If both are bachelor's programs, there is no need for an external evaluation.
While the Vice Provost formally requests the reviews, the originating units are responsible for identifying who should be asked. A list of the questions covering the topics that should be included in the external review may be found by downloading the NYSED Evaluation Report Form for Program Proposals form.
To avoid delays in NYSED's registration of the proposal, the program sponsor should inform the Vice Provost of the name(s) and institutional affiliation(s) of the outside evaluator(s) while the proposal is still under review within the University. The Vice Provost will send the reviewer(s) a copy of the proposal along with the NYSED's instructions on the contents of the evaluation. The outsider reviewer(s) sends the evaluations to the Vice Provost with a copy to the program sponsors. Upon receiving the evaluation(s), the contact person for the new program prepares a response and forwards it to the Vice Provost for inclusion in the materials that will be sent to NYSED.
The New York State Education Department can register a new program in as little as two or three weeks, but it can also take as long as several months, depending on the volume of other work it is handling and whether it has any questions about the new program proposal. Therefore, the earlier a proposal is ready for review, the greater the chances are that it will receive State approval in time to start the new program on the desired date.