Faculty Reviews of Academic Programs

Evidence‐based reviews of academic programs are a crucial component of Dalhousie’s quality assurance activities. Cyclical program reviews support strategic, academic program planning, continuous improvement and enhance the effectiveness and student focus of our program offerings. By undertaking such reviews, Faculties demonstrate responsibility and transparency, and critically assess progress towards their own goals. 

Dalhousie has selected Faculty-based program reviews in the context of academic program planning. In December 2018, Dalhousie Senate approved the Senate Policy for Reviews of Academic Programs, which provides overarching principles and practices for program reviews. 

Scheduling and Reporting Reviews

Dalhousie is required to provide annual reports to external stakeholders on program review activity. To support this work, schedules of planned reviews and confirmation of reviews undertaken should be provided to the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic. Once a review is complete (report and action plan submitted), the Dean's Office should please contact the Academic Quality Assurance Manager to provide confirmation/dates. 

Considerations when scheduling reviews

  • Reviews are to occur every 5-7 years; newly established or significantly modified programs are to be reviewed within 2 years after the first cohort has graduated;
  • Two or more academic programs may be reviewed together, or as part of a unit review. For example, all interrelated programs within a unit, including majors, honors, minors and certificates, may be reviewed simultaneously;
  • All schedules are at the discretion of the Dean, and in the case of graduate programs, communicated to and mutually agreed upon with the Faculty of Graduate Studies; and
  • Maintaining a comprehensive, faculty-level schedule of reviews will ensure appropriate distribution of reviews and aid strategic planning around resources (human and financial). It will also help Dalhousie Analytics to plan for their own resources and ensure appropriate data support.   


For programs subject to accreditation
, please continue to submit official documentation and results as they become available (no need to report as above-see Accredited Programs). Additionally, in advance of your next accreditation site visit (or immediately thereafter), please follow the procedures in Appendix C of the Senate Policy for Faculty Reviews of Academic Programs

Additional Resources

  • Departments or programs in the early stages of a program review or accreditation process can schedule a consultation with the Senior Educational Developer, Curriculum in the Centre for Learning and Teaching and take advantage of CLT’s resources to design learning outcomes and map the curriculum
  • Dal Analytics works with academic units to generate program-level data dashboards and may also, upon request and consultation, provide customized data for programs under review  
  • Guidelines for the Selection of External Program Assessors-MPHEC 
  • Templates for use in planning and executing reviews (below). Please feel free to use and modify as appropriate. 

Review committee planning templates