New Graduate Programs

New graduate programs require a two step process involving a Notice of Intent (NOI) and a Full Program Proposal (FPP). The NOI is posted on a publicly accessible website and must include information on a wide range of fields defined by the Ministry of Education. The Full Program Proposal format is defined by SFU and is posted on a web site that can be accessed by other institutions. Diplomas, and certificates follow a different approval process.

Proposal Format

The Notice of Intent must present, in a succinct manner (approx. 1000 words), the purpose of the proposal and a summary of the key objectives and outcomes of the proposed degree program.The NOI and FPP must provide the information required in the templates below. NOTE: If the program was previously approved as a Cohort Special Arrangement program, then the NOI step is not required. A summary of how things went throughout the implementation of the Special Arrangement program should be included in the cover memo for the FPP.

Sample Proposals

Approval Process

Notice of Intent (Step 1)

  1. Academic unit prepares and approves Notice of Intent (NOI). NOTE: Consultation with the Graduate Studies office is recommended during the development of the NOI
  2. NOI is submitted by academic unit to FGSC
  3. FGSC sends NOI to other Faculty Graduate Studies committees ( for information and comments
  4. FGSC submits NOI to SGSC 
  5. SGSC submits NOI to SCUP and makes a recommendation to SCUP concerning the advisability of developing the full program proposal
  6. SCUP decides whether or not to approve the NOI for further development

The Notice of Intent will alert other units to the proposed program and may lead to collaboration and advice during the initial planning. After approval of the NOI by SCUP, the FPP is developed and submitted for approval. Academic units may develop the NOI and FPP simultaneously, but the FPP will not be submitted until the NOI is approved by SCUP.

Full Progam Proposal (Step 2)

  1. After NOI is approved at SCUP, the academic unit prepares the FPP for approval NOTE: Consultation with the Graduate Studies office is recommended during the development of the FPP
  2. FPP is submitted to FGSC for approval
  3. If there are any new courses, FGSC sends the course forms, outlines, and reading materials to the library for review; and sends the course forms and outlines to the other faculties for an overlap check
  4. FGSC then submits the FPP to SGSC
  5. The FPP is then submitted to SCUP, Senate, and the Board of Governors (BOG)
  6. After the FPP is approved at Senate and BOG, the NOI and FPP are sent to the Ministry of Education (AVED) for review and approval
  7. Once final approval has been received by the Ministry, the program can be implemented

Process for the approval of tuition fees

  1. Academic unit works with the Faculty Dean to formulate a proposal of tuition and fees
  2. The proposal is reviewed by the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Associate VP Academic (AVPA); any concerns are discussed with the Faculty Dean
  3. If there is not a consensus then the proposal goes to the Tuition Oversight committee for review
  4. The outcome from that committee is discussed with the AVPA and Faculty Dean until it is resolved

This process usually occurs sometime between the NOI stage and the FPP being submitted to SGSC. 

Related Documents

* SFU's Exempt Status Criteria and Guidelines.pdf
Information on SFU's exempt status with the Ministry of Education