New York State Registration

Once a proposal for a new certificate program has received all of the necessary University approvals, the Vice Provost for Academic Programs sends it to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for review and inclusion in Columbia's registry of authorized programs.

Within the NYSED, proposals for new educational programs are reviewed by one of two offices, depending on the fields in which they educate students.  The Office of the Professions is responsible for reviewing programs in most fields in which the State issues licenses. Currently, it approves new programs, with the exception of those leading to the Ph.D., in the following fields in which the University currently educates students:

     Architecture     Accounting     Dental Medicine
     Engineering     Landscape Architecture     Medicine
     Mental Health     Nursing     Nutrition
     Occupational Therapy     Physical Therapy     Social Work

It also evaluates programming in other fields leading to a license.  A complete list of its areas of responsibility is available on-line at

Programs in other fields and all Ph.D. programs regardless of field are approved by the Office of College and University Evaluation (OCUE).

The Office of the Professions and OCUE each require the use of a distinctive set of forms for applications to establish a new degree or certificate program or to modify an already registered program.  Schools can access the forms they should use by clicking on the link below.  

        NYSED Program Proposal Forms

Applications for new programs are entered through the Academic Program Approval System (APAS). Please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs (OVPAP) at or (212) 854-2691 for access to APAS. Given the substantial number of possible permutations in State forms, schools should contact OVPAP for guidance on which ones to use before starting to fill them out.

NYSED can take a year or more to review and approve programs. Therefore, the earlier a proposal is ready for review, the greater the chances are that it will receive State approval in time to start the new program on the desired date.

No new certificate program can begin until it has received all of the necessary approvals, both within and outside of the University.  Additionally, a school should not begin to market a proposed program until the NYSED has registered it. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the originating department or school to seek authorization for a new program and prepare the supporting materials in a timely manner.