University Academic Master Planning Process

Definition:This document describes the process by which the CSUSM University Academic Master Plan is developed and revised.
Authority:Board of Trustees and President of the University.
Scope:The Academic Master Plan of CSUSM.
Responsible Division:Academic Affairs
Approval Date:10/30/2002
Implementation Date:10/30/2002
Originally Implemented:10/30/2002
Signature Page/PDF:View Signatures for University Academic Master Planning Process Policy


This document describes the process by which the University Academic Master Plan is developed and revised. 

The process begins with development and review of abstracts for new programs at the college level. Abstracts are next submitted to the Budget and Long-Range Planning Committee (BLP) through Academic Programs. BLP drafts the University Academic Master Plan and submits it to the Academic Senate for recommendation to the President. This planning process includes both those programs that become part of the formal UAMP-hence require approval by the Chancellor's Office-and other programs, which require approval only at the university level (e.g., credentials, minors, options, certificates, etc.),. Provisions are made for programs that lie outside of the existing colleges. 


Degree Program -  A bachelor's or a master's degree.

Program -  A degree program or a certificate, minor, or credential program or an option/emphasis/concentration/track in a degree program.

Independent Program -  A program that lies outside of the existing colleges. Note that a program that jointly offered by two or more colleges is a "joint program," and not an "independent program."

Degree Program Abstract -  A plan to offer a new degree program. In addition to the program outline (a brief description of the degree program being offered), a complete degree program abstract must address the BLP evaluation criteria.

Program Abstract -  A plan to offer a new program. In addition to the program outline (a brief description of the degree program being offered), a complete program abstract must address the BLP evaluation criteria.

Independent Program Abstract - A plan for an independent program.

College Academic Master Plan (CAMP) -  A plan indicating what programs (degree programs as well as other programs) a college intends to offer in each of the next five years, and projections of the number of students declared in these programs, the number of faculty (tenured/tenure-track and adjunct) in the departments/programs/centers, and the FTES produced in each department/center/program.

University Academic Master Plan (UAMP) - A formal document submitted to the Chancellor's Office each year for presentation to the Board of Trustees. It lists existing degree programs offered, proposed degree programs, and the schedule for review of existing programs.

BLP Evaluation Criteria - To be considered by BLP for inclusion on the UAMP, degree program abstracts must address the following criteria 

  1. Mission - The alignment of the program with University and College Mission and Vision; the degree to which the program supports and facilitates accomplishment of University strategic goals; benefits to the state, community or university/college that make the program desirable.
  2. Demand - Evidence of adequate student demand for the proposed program, including (i) a list of other CSU campuses currently offering or projecting the proposed degree major program, (ii) a list of neighboring institutions, public or private, currently offering the proposed degree major program and program enrollments at these neighboring institutions, (iii) information indicating substantial regional demand for individuals who have earned this degree, and (iv) information indicating adequate student interest in the proposed program. Graduate degree program proposals must also include the number of declared undergraduate majors and the degree production over the preceding three years for the corresponding baccalaureate program.
  3. Resource Needs. Unusual space and/or support requirements. A statement of accreditation criteria if there are recognized accrediting bodies in the program area. 


  • Program Planners - (Faculty who draft program abstracts.) In light of the current UAMP and feedback received from all other planning stakeholders, faculty draft new program abstracts and update existing abstracts for new programs (for example, by addressing the BLP evaluation criteria). These proposals are submitted to college planning review committees according to college timelines set so as to allow the review committees to complete their review in the Fall semester. Depending on the college, the planners may be required to address the evaluation criteria when the abstract is initially submitted. Programs intended to be offered jointly between two or more colleges should go through the planning process in each concerned college. Independent program abstracts may be sent directly to Academic Programs, to be forwarded to BLP if it is determined in Academic Programs that the planned program lies outside of the existing colleges-but abstracts for programs determined to properly lie in one or more of the colleges will be returned to their planners to be routed through the college planning process(es). The planners of a program being sent directly to Academic Programs are responsible for addressing the BLP evaluation criteria. The call for submission of these proposals should be in the early part of the Fall semester following the release to the campus of the University Academic Master Plan (UAMP) that will be sent to the Chancellor's Office in January. Independent program proposals are due in Academic Programs at the end of the Fall semester, but consultation with Academic Programs in advance of this deadline is recommended.
  • College Planning Review Committees -  (Parts of the college governance structures that review program abstracts-possibly the existing curriculum committees.) The college planning committee evaluates the abstracts it receives according to criteria established by the college. If the college planning committee finds that the program fits into the plan and vision of the college, it assigns a tentative date for implementation of the new program on the College Academic Master Plan (CAMP). The planning committee also projects enrollments (FTES and declared majors) and numbers of faculty (full-time and part-time) in all college programs for the next five-year period. The planning committee also gives feedback to any planners whose programs are not placed on the CAMP. Important note: Although college criteria may differ from the BLP evaluation criteria, failure to address the BLP evaluation criteria will delay BLP review and may postpone inclusion of the degree program proposal on the UAMP. Review of program proposals by the college planning committee should be completed in the Fall semester with the CAMP and supporting documentation being forwarded to the college dean. 
    [Note: The UAMP is due at the Chancellor's Office the first week in January, but the campus submission is drafted during the preceding Summer.]
  • College Deans - Each dean reviews the CAMP produced in his/her college. The dean may adjust the CAMP in light of the expected level of resources available to the college. The dean comments on the ability of the college to support new programs. Note that by the time the CAMP is ready to leave the college, the BLP evaluation criteria need to have been addressed in abstracts for every program scheduled for implementation within three years and for every degree program offered for inclusion in the UAMP. The dean reviews the CAMP in the first half of January, and forwards the CAMP and supporting documentation to Academic Programs one week prior to the start of the Spring Semester.
  • Academic Programs - Academic Programs serves as the entry point for independent program abstracts. Since abstracts that the AVPAA-AP determines should have undergone college review will be directed back to the appropriate college(s), planners should contact Academic Programs early in the Fall semester to make certain of the status of their programs. Academic Programs provides the following information to BLP: UAMP that has just been submitted to the Chancellor's Office, the CAMPs together with supporting documentation received from the college deans, and any complete independent program abstracts. Academic Programs also provides information to other planning stakeholders on campus (see the bullet immediately below) and seeks their input in the planning process. Academic Programs supplies UAMP, CAMPs, independent proposals, and supporting documentation that it has received to BLP and other planning stakeholders in first week of Spring semester.
  • Other Planning Stakeholders - (includes Academic Round Table, Analytic Studies, Cabinet, Enrollment Services, Facilities, Instructional and Information Technology Services, Library and Information Services, and Planning, Design and Construction). These are units that need to be kept "in the loop" as programs are planned. They receive copies of program abstracts and supporting documentation and are asked by Academic Programs to forward any input, comments and questions that they have concerning the programs to BLP (via Academic Programs) in a timely manner. These planners have approximately one month (until the beginning of March) to forward input to Academic Programs.
  • BLP -  BLP evaluates abstracts for new degree programs according to the BLP evaluation criteria and additional information supplied by the other planning stakeholders, and places them on a recommended UAMP as appropriate. BLP reviews the slate of planned degree programs already on the UAMP and may recommend changing the implementation date or removing the proposed program altogether. BLP evaluates all other program abstracts (certificates, minors, credentials, options, etc.) and sends comments back to the college deans (or Academic Programs, in the case of independent programs) and reports on these to the Academic Senate. The BLP draft of the UAMP is sent to the Senate for a first reading in April. BLP also reports on other program proposals at the April Senate meeting. [Note: The UAMPs of all CSU campuses are presented to the Board of Trustees in mid-March as part of the report of the Committee on Educational Policy. This report is also sent to the California Postsecondary Education Commission, which monitors the CSU program review process.]
  • Academic Senate - Acts upon BLP recommendation. The Senate forwards its recommendation to the President by the end of the Spring semester. Academic Programs supplies copies of supporting materials.
  • President - Reviews Academic Senate recommendation and all supporting documentation provided by Academic Programs and prepares the UAMP that will be submitted to the Chancellor's Office. Review takes place over the Summer with the final UAMP announced to the campus in early Fall (so that program planners have advance notice of campus plans) even though it is not sent to the Chancellor's Office until early January. Note that exceptional circumstances may in some situations necessitate changes to the UAMP between the time of its announcement on campus and its submission to the Chancellor's Office. 


  1. Program proposals are sent to college planning review committees.
  2. Independent program proposals are sent directly to Academic Programs. Academic Programs has authority to accept proposals are outside of the existing colleges (other proposals are returned to be routed through the college planning review process).
  3. Draft CAMPs are sent to deans. College planning review committees exercise authority to decide which programs appear on these draft CAMPs.
  4. CAMPs are forwarded to Academic Programs. College deans have authority to modify the CAMPs submitted by the college planning review committees. The CAMPs submitted by the deans are the official CAMPs and are not changed later in the UAMP process.
  5. Academic Programs solicits feedback from other key planning stakeholders at the beginning of the Spring semester. These key planning stakeholders provide only comments and recommendations.
  6. Academic Programs forwards all CAMPs and all accepted independent program proposals (see 2 above) to BLP at beginning of Spring semester. As it becomes available, comments/recommendations from other key planning stakeholders (see 5 above) is provided to BLP (by beginning of March).
  7. BLP sends draft UAMP to Academic Senate. BLP exercises authority to decide which programs appear on the draft UAMP.
  8. Academic Senate forwards the draft UAMP to President. Academic Senate has authority to modify the draft UAMP prepared by BLP.
  9. President releases the UAMP to the Academic Senate and other key planning stakeholders at the beginning of the Fall semester. The President has authority to modify the draft UAMP recommended by the Academic Senate in producing the official UAMP. Except in exceptional situations that require further modifications before the UAMP is sent to the Chancellor's Office, this completes the planning cycle on campus.
  10. President sends the official UAMP to the Chancellor's Office in January.