Program Suspension and Discontinuation

Suspending Programs

A program can temporarily suspend admissions for no more than one to two academic years (recommended) while the department is completing the discontinuation process or revising the program. A department may notify the Curriculum Office via email to suspend their program. The Office of Admissions & Outreach for fall semester usually begins October 1 of the previous year. Therefore, notifications to suspend programs from the department chair or school director should be submitted by the department via email to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education or the Dean of Graduate Studies (whichever is applicable) copying the college associate dean and dean no later than October 1 of the year preceding the suspension of the degree program so it can be removed from CalState Apply and the campus stakeholders can be appropriately informed. A note will be added to the catalog page that the program is "Not Accepting Students" and the program will be reported as suspended in the CSU Degrees Database. In your notification email, please include the Curriculum and Academic Program Analyst

Submit a proposal using the Program Discontinuance/Suspension Curriculog Form (instructions linked).

Discontinuing Programs

The discontinuation of programs, including concentrations, certificates, and minors is outlined by University Policy S99-04 [pdf]. It is highly recommended that departments notify the Curriculum Office as soon as possible to ensure appropriate actions will be taken to update Admissions and Chancellor's Office databases.

Program and/or Concentration Discontinuation

Submit a proposal using the Program Discontinuance/Suspension Curriculog Form (instructions linked) including the following:

  1. Teach-Out Plan. The teach-out must include both a timeline for the length of time the current courses will be offered and suggestions for substitutions that will be allowed for students in continuous enrollment who do not graduate within the original timeline. 

    Teach out Plans and alternatives will be developed to allow currently enrolled students to complete a degree program.

    Students currently enrolled in the program should be given the opportunity to provide both written and oral statements regarding the alternatives available.

    These alternatives may include: a) Completion of a closely related program offered by this campus; b) completion of a similar program offered by other institutions within the California State University system; c) use of substitutions to meet this campus's requirements for the program. 

    Only students who maintain continuous residency status (Students residency does not change while enrolled) are afforded these alternatives. A student who breaks continuous status will need to declare a new degree objective. See Catalog Rights as defined in the academic catalog.  

  2. Communication Plan. How students (both current and prospective) will be informed of the change. Including a proposed list of students who will be informed and the options they will be given. For undergraduate programs, community colleges will be notified by the Articulation Officer.

  3. Department Meeting Minutes. Evidence of a department vote by the faculty is required.

  4. Evidence of Consultation (If Applicable). IF another department anticipates drawing in students from the discontinued degree program, the following will need to be provided:
    1. Curriculum Proposals. Either moving the previous content or cross-listing the current courses.
    2. FTES Distribution. (if the courses are cross-listed) during the “teach-out” phase. 
    3. Program Revisions. An explanation of the program revisions that will be made (if any). The changes must have been approved by all levels of curricular review - see deadlines in the Program Revision section.

Approval Process

The Curriculog proposal will be routed for recommendation of approval as follows: 

  1. Department Curriculum Committee/Chair
    (should occur prior to department chair approval in Curriculog. It is the responsibility of the department chair to ensure the department faculty approve curricular decisions)
  2. College Curriculum Committee/Associate Dean
  3. Undergraduate Studies (UGS) Committee
    OR
    Graduate Studies & Research (GS&R) Committee
  4. Curriculum and Research Committee
  5. Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education or Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
  6. Provost

Finally, the Chancellor's Office will be notified. After their acknowledgment, the program will be discontinued. The campus will not take any administrative action leading to the de facto or official discontinuation of an academic program before the Chancellor’s office has commented on the proposal.

Certificate or Minor Discontinuation

Submit a proposal in Curriculog (instructions linked) including the following:

  1. Teach-Out Plan. The teach-out must include both a timeline for the length of time the current courses will be offered and suggestions for substitutions that will be allowed for students in continuous enrollment who do not graduate within the original timeline. 

    Teach out Plans and alternatives will be developed to allow currently enrolled students to complete a degree program. 

    Students currently enrolled in the program should be given the opportunity to provide both written and oral statements regarding the alternatives available. 

    These alternatives may include: a) Completion of a closely related program offered by this campus; b) completion of a similar program offered by other institutions within the California State University system; c) use of substitutions to meet this campus's requirements for the program. 

    Only students who maintain continuous residency status (Students residency does not change while enrolled) are afforded these alternatives. A student who breaks continuous status will need to declare a new degree objective. See Catalog Rights as defined in the academic catalog.  

  2. Communication Plan. How students (both current and prospective) will be informed of the change. Including a proposed list of students who will be informed and the options they will be given. For undergraduate programs, community colleges will be notified by the Articulation Officer.

  3. Department Meeting Minutes. Evidence of a department vote by the faculty is required.

Approval Process

The Curriculog proposal will be routed for recommendation of approval as follows: 

  1. Department Curriculum Committee/Chair
    (should occur prior to department chair approval in Curriculog. It is the responsibility of the department chair to ensure the department faculty approve curricular decisions)
  2. College Curriculum Committee/Associate Dean
  3. Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education or Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
  4. Provost

Once the program discontinuation has been acknowledged by the Chancellor’s office (for a degree program) or approved by the Provost (for a concentration), the program can be officially discontinued. 

If the department determines it is not be feasible to offer a degree before full approval is confirmed, see the above section about suspending programs.