Substantive Changes: New York State Education Department

Many changes in degree or certificate programs do not need the approval of the New York State Education Department (NYSED). These include, for example, changes in the content and organization of individual courses or the substitution of one course for another as meeting a specific program requirement. The University is, however, obligated to ask the NYSED to modify the registered status of a program in many situations, including the following.

Further information on these changes may be found by clicking on the appropriate link. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. Deans, chairs and directors of programs should contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs whenever they have questions about whether changes in their curricula need NYSED approval.

Any educational change requiring NYSED authorization must be approved first by the Committee on Instruction and dean of the appropriate school and then by the Vice Provost for Academic Programs acting on behalf of the Provost. The Vice Provost is responsible for obtaining any other University approvals that may be necessary (which may include decanal review of program name changes, excluding undergraduate majors) and forwarding the proposed change to the NYSED for registration.

To request approval to make a substantial change in one of its curricular programs, the school prepares a request consisting of both a Proposal for Making a Substantive Change, an internal University form, and one or more forms required by the NYSED. The State forms may vary depending on the subject matter of the new program. 

If a school wishes to propose a new program based on a track in an existing program, they should complete the New Program Proposal Application for APAS

Applications are entered through the Academic Program Approval System (APAS). Please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs (OVPAP) at ovpap@columbia.edu or (212) 854-2691 for access to APAS. Schools are also advised to consult with OVPAP for guidance on which NYSED forms to complete.

The NYSED also considered the following types of additions to the University’s educational programming as changes.

These types of changes are reviewed within the University through the appropriate process for approving new programs as described in other sections of this web site.