Program Discontinuation

Process for discontinuing a Program/Concentration or Minor

Program/Concentration Termination or Discontinuation

Responsibility for discontinuing any approved program, especially a degree, rests with the campus; discontinuation procedures are outlined in Academic Senate policy S99-04. (Minors follow a slightly different process; see information following Program Discontinuation.) View our checklist for discontinuing a program, and complete the Discontinuation Proposal from online as well as submit the necessary materials to support request.

We highly recommend notifying the GUP office of your intent to discontinue a program as soon as possible as it directly affects the admission offerings of the campus.  Programs should notify GUP no later than March of the Spring semester prior, to ensure the program can be removed from admission and catalog materials.

The campus recommendation for discontinuation is then reviewed by the Chancellor's Office for assessment of system and statewide impact.

Program discontinuation (assuming the faculty has agreed) (see EP&R 79-10, Chancellor’s Office)

  1. This proposal must include information on:
    • A proposed “teach-out” for students left in the program. 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.
    • 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. Community colleges must be notified.
    • Minutes from department vote approving discontinuation
  2. IF another department anticipates drawing in students from the discontinued degree program, the following will need to be provided
    • Curricular forms either moving the previous content or cross-listing the current courses
    • A proposal for how the FTES will be distributed (if the courses are cross-listed) during the “teach-out” phase.
    • An explanation of the program changes that will be made (if any). NOTE: degree program changes can be processed only once a year, in the fall. The changes must have been approved by all levels of curricular review prior to November 1st of the year prior to the fall the change will take place.
  3. The proposal for discontinuation will need to be approved by the following:
    • Department Curriculum Committee
    • College Curriculum Committee
    • UGS Committee (for undergraduate programs) or GS&R Committee (for graduate and credential programs)
    • Curriculum and Research Committee
    • Provost
  4. Once all these levels of approval have been reached, the President (or designee) shall inform the Chancellor’s Office of the proposed discontinuation. At SJSU, this notification has been delegated to the office of GUP. If the program in question is a concentration, the Chancellor’s Office will be notified of the discontinuation, but the final approval rests with the Provost.
  5. The Chancellor’s office will review the proposal for system-wide effects with advice from groups deemed appropriate, and may request additional information from the campus if needed for this review.
  6. The Chancellor’s office will ordinarily provide comments on all such proposals within 30 days and will inform the President (or designee) of any system concerns so that they may be considered in the final decision.
  7. The President (or designee) 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.

In the event the President's final decision is for official discontinuation of an academic program, a cut-off date will be announced immediately beyond which no new students, including transfer students, will be permitted to enter the program. All students currently listed by the Registrar’s office as participants in the program will receive written notification of the program discontinuation no more than 15 days after the official announcement by the President with instructions on their rights and responsibilities in maintaining their degree objective.

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:

  • Completion of a closely related program offered by this campus;
  • Completion of a similar program offered by other institutions within the California State University system
  • 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.

The President (or designee) in consultation with appropriate administrators and faculty committees, will make every effort to assist in the placement of faculty members displaced by program discontinuation into other appropriate programs or activities.

Once the program discontinuation has been approved by the Chancellor’s office (for a degree program) or the Provost (for a concentration), the following timeline will be followed:

  1. Notification of the degree discontinuation and removal of the degree from CalState apply. Admission outreach for fall semester usually begins October 1 of the previous year. Therefore, approvals at all levels need to be obtained by October 1 of the year preceding the discontinuation of the degree program.
  2. If the department knows that it will not be offering the degree in the following year, but not all the approvals have been received, the catalog copy should be amended to indicate that no applications for the proposed discontinued degree will be accepted in the following year. The deadline for this information is November 1st for the following fall semester.
  3. Once all approvals have been received and CalState apply has been modified to eliminate the degree, the catalog copy must be reviewed and updated. This information must be submitted to the office of GUP no later than November 1st of the year preceding the discontinuation of the degree program


Minor/Certificate Discontinuation/Termination

Responsibility for discontinuing any approved minor or certificate program rests with the campus.  A minor or certificate program discontinuation is conducted through a notification process, and request will be submitted via the GUP Online management system. Most academic programs offering minors or certificates are not able to determine the number of participating students. Programs that use the minor as part of a degree requirement are seldom known.  The notification process follows a regular curriculum process but does not require official approval from university committees. Notification of the discontinuation can be made solely to the colleges. Provide the following details and timelines for the notification process.

The notification must include information on:

  1. A proposed “teach-out” for students left in the program. The teach-out must include the length of time the current courses will be offered and suggestions for substitutions that will be allowed for students in continuous enrollment but who do not graduate within the original timeline.
  2. How students will be informed of the change, including a proposed list of students to be informed and the options they will be given.
  3. The notification for discontinuation must receive approval by the following committees:
    • Department curriculum committee
    • College curriculum committee
    • UGS or GS&R Committee
    • AVP for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs
    • Provost