New York State Registration
Once a proposed program leading to a new master's degree has received all of the necessary University approvals, the Vice Provost for Academic Administration sends it to the New York State Department of Education 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.
The proposal must be accompanied by a written evaluation from a scholar at an institution outside of New York State. While the Vice Provost formally requests the review, the originating unit is 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, contact information and institutional affiliation of the outside evaluator while the proposal is still under review within the University. The Vice Provost will send the reviewer a copy of the proposal along with the NYSED's instructions on the contents of the evaluation. The outsider reviewer sends the evaluation to the Vice Provost with a copy to the program sponsor in the school. Upon receiving the evaluation, 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 the State Department.
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.
No new program can begin until it has received all of the necessary approvals, both within and outside of the University. Moreover, a school or department may start to advertise a new program before completing the process of review only with the prior approval of the Vice Provost for Academic Administration and only if it makes clear in its publicity that the introduction of the program is conditional on receiving the needed approvals before its anticipated start date. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the originating department or school to seek authorization for a new program and prepare the supporting materials in a timely manner.