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Major Modified Program

Definition of Major Modifications for Graduate Programs

Senate approval is delegated to SAPRC. Major modifications would include:

  • New Streams, or Areas of Concentration within existing programs;
  • New combined degrees or other combinations of existing programs;
  • For course-based programs, changes that affect 25% or more of the program credit-hours;
  • For research-based graduate programs, changes that in the determination of the Faculty of Graduate Studies affect 25% or more of the program requirements; and
  • Any other program modification that requires external approval by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC).

MPHEC's Definition of a Modified Program

A program is considered modified, and a proposal ought to be submitted, when the revisions result in a significant impact on the program as designed and approved by the MPHEC, including modifications to:

  • program requirements (e.g., duration, admission requirements, practicum/work term requirements, residency requirements)
  • program structure (e.g., integrated, sequential, interdisciplinary, full-time only, part-time only)
  • program curriculum (e.g., breadth/depth of content areas, number of upper-level credits, thesis component)
  • program objectives/outcomes (e.g., preparation for graduate-level study, direct-entry to the labour market)
  • delivery mode (e.g., available via distance/online learning)
  • target clientele (e.g., mature students only; baccalaureate degree holders only)
  • program priority (e.g., continuation of a pilot/term program)
  • resources (e.g., full cost-recovery, government-funded)

As a rule, modifications that affect approximately 25% or more of the program (as listed above) are significant modifications that ought to be submitted for approval.

The MPHEC acknowledges, and expects, that minor modifications will be made to programs as they are implemented and evolve; it does not expect that a proposal will be submitted for every single modification. As a general rule, when program changes occur over time, it is the MPHEC’s expectation that institutions will monitor, as part of their ongoing quality assurance process, the evolution of individual programs and submit a proposal for a modified program if the accumulation of small changes over time results in a program that is significantly different from that originally approved by the MPHEC, or, where applicable, from the most recent MPHEC-approved modification.

Approval Process Chart

All academic program submissions to the Faculty of Graduate Studies or Senate must be submitted under a Dean’s signature.  All program proposal files MUST be sent into each respective office as one PDF file.  Multiple individual files will NOT be accepted.


Please note that a mandatory early planning meeting is required for major modifications. Contact senate@dal.ca to ensure your meeting is scheduled prior to completing any forms.

Program Proposal1
  1. Initiating Group
  2. Dean/P&VPA/AD-FGS2
  3. Department/School
  4. Faculty Council
  5. AACHHR (Health Professions/ Dentistry/Medicine)
  6. Internal Assements
  7. Reviews
    · Internal Review Committee
    · External Review (no site visit)
  8. Graduate Studies
    · FGS - APCC
    · FGS- Council
  9. SAPRC
  10. Board AA&R
  11. MPHEC
  12. Senate Update3


Faculty Deans must consult at an early stage with the Provost & Vice-President Academic on each concept paper and program proposal.

1 Major modified program proposals indicate that a new tenure-track appointment will be required in order to deliver the program, the proposal must have a letter from the VPA indicating that this tenure-track appointment is/will be approved.
2 Please consult with the Faculty Dean as each Faculty approval process may vary.
3 The Senate Academic Programs and Research Committee (SAPRC) would like to receive an update for all new and major modified programs, 2 years after the first students have been admitted to the new or modified program. This form will only be for information purposes.


Note on Health and Health-Related Programs

Submissions to AACHHR must be made under the signature of the Provost and Vice-President Academic. Please contact the Executive Director, Provost Office, 902-494-2591 or kim.thomson@dal.ca.

Program submissions of health and health-related program proposals to the MPHEC must be accompanied by a letter from the AACHHR, indicating their support of the proposed program. The MPHEC’s program assessment criteria differ from those of AACHHR; as a result, AACHHR support does not guarantee MPHEC approval.

More information about AACHHR information requirements, including relevant contact information, can be found here. Notwithstanding the AACHHR’s information requirements, all health and health-related proposals submitted to the MPHEC must be drafted using the MPHEC Information Requirements for new, modified, or terminated programs.