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Proposing a New Self-Supporting Graduate Professional Degree Program

The driving factors behind development of a new Self-Supporting Graduate Professional Degree Programs must include faculty interest and expertise, demonstrated need for the program in an unserved student population, and financial viability of the program to be completely self-supporting.

The UC Regents authorized the establishment of SSGPDPs and delegated the authority for approving new SSGPDPs and policies as well as fees for existing SSGPDPs to the UC President. The fees paid by SSGPDP students must cover all program costs, including instruction, facilities, administration, and other direct and indirect costs that are generally covered by the campus. SSGPDPs have an administrative unit responsible for program operations, which in some cases is not the same as the academic unit responsible for program curriculum.

There are four central policies that guide the development and administration of SSGPDPs:

  1. UCOP Policy on Self-Supporting Graduate Professional Degree Programs
  2. UC Davis PPM 200-26
  3. Graduate Studies Policy on SSGPDPs, GS2014-01
  4. Graduate Council Procedures for Establishing a New Graduate Degree Program, GC2008-02 (with reference to the systemwide UC Compendium and CCGA Handbook)

New SSGPDPs follow the same development and approval process as state-supported graduate programs, with a few additional required steps.


New proposal flowchart (also found in Exhibit C, page 20):

SSGPDP new proposal flowchart

download icon   Download Graphic (pdf)


Faculty and administrators considering a new SSGPDP would be advised to review first the Graduate Studies policy, GS2014-01, and PPM 200-26 for a general idea of what a proposal must contain. Specifically, schools and colleges wishing to establish a new SSGPDP should do the following:

  • The Dean responsible for the academic unit that will offer the proposed SSGPDP submits a letter of intent to the Dean—Graduate Studies describing the proposed program, its alignment with the campus’s strategic plan, and justification of the academic need and financial incentive for the program. The letter of intent is reviewed by the Provost’s Leadership Council (Deans) for approval to continue to the proposal preparation stage.
  • The academic unit proposing to offer the SSGPDP completes a proposal following the requirements and guidelines provided in the Compendium of University-wide Review Processes for Academic Programs, Academic Units, and Research Units, Appendix D.1.
  • The proposal must contain teaching and compensation policies, and market analysis, a cost analysis, and other information necessary for Budget and Institutional Analysis and other reviewers to assess whether the program will be sustainable as a self-supporting program.
  • The academic unit submits the proposal to the Dean—Graduate Studies, who ensures that the proposal is reviewed by the Academic Senate. If the Academic Senate approves the proposal, it is submitted to the Provost’s Leadership Council and Chancellor for final campus approval.
  • Following systemwide approval by CCGA and the Office of the President, Budget and Institutional Analysis submits the cost analysis and fee approval request to UCOP by their annual deadline.