Georgia Institute of Technology

Graduate Curriculum Committee


January 19, 2012


Present:   Clarke (MGT), Pikowsky (Registrar), Storici (BIO),  Silva (ECON),  Flowers (ARCH), Mazalek (LCC), Jayaraman (MSE), Boldyreva (CS), Butera (ECE), Chordia (Music), Goldsman (ISyE), Singhal (MGT), Neitzel (ME)


Visitors:  Laros (REG),  Howson (REG), Bennett (Exe Board), White (CoC), McCracken (CoC), Paraska (VPFAD), Kistenberg (APPH),  Riley (ECE), Johnston (ARCH), Gamble (ARCH), Daniell (APPH), Ocasio (REG)


Note: All action items in these minutes require approval by the Academic Senate.  In some instances, items may require further approval by the Board of Regents or the University System of Georgia.  If the Regents' approval is required, the change is not official until notification is received from the Board to that effect.  Academic units should take no action on these items until USG and/or BOR approval is secured.  In addition, units should take no action on any of the items below until these minutes have been approved by the Academic Senate or the Executive Board.

Academic Matters

1.      A presentation was made by George Johnston, Chair School of Architecture, to provide an  overview of the upcoming changes and proposals that the Committee will be asked to review at a future meeting.


Phase I proposals – February 2012
Master of Science with a major in Architecture

Concentrations in 

Digital Design and Fabrication

            Health and Design

            High Performance Buildings

Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Architecture

Specializations in:

Building Technology

                        Cognitive and Organizational Performance

                        Design Computation

                        Evidence-Based Design

                        History and Culture

                        Urban Design


Phase I proposals – April 2012

New and revised courses for the Master of Architecture


Phase III proposals –  2012 - 2013

Master of Science in Architecture


Concentrations in: 

Digital Design and Fabrication

            Health and Design

            High Performance Buildings


2.      A motion was made to approve a request by the School of Applied Physiology for a Degree Modification.  The motion was seconded and approved.


Degree Modification: (approved)
Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics


Change Pre-requisite requirements for admission into the Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics degree program.


Fall 2012:  Propose to delete the following prerequisites effective for new students entering the MSPO program in Fall 2012.


·               Laboratory for Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II

·               Calculus II


Fall 2013:  Propose to add the following prerequisites effective for new students entering the MSPO program in Fall 2013.  The addition of these two prerequisites is due to revised national accreditation requirements imposed by the Commission on Accreditation in Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and endorsed by the committee on accreditation [National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE)].


·               Life Sciences with Lab  -OR-

·               Biology with Lab


3.      A motion was made to approve a request by the College of Management for new courses.  The motion was seconded and approved.


New Courses: (approved)

MGT 6201: Project Management                                           3-0-3

MGT 6047: Ethics and Accounting                                        3-0-3


MGT 6047 will be jointly listed with MGT 4047.  GCC requested that Management update the syllabus to clarify differences in course requirements for the graduate level and undergraduate level students and send the revised syllabus to the Registrar’s Office.

4.      A motion was made to approve a request by the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, School of Mathematics, and College of Management for a CIP code change.  The motion was seconded and approved.


CIP code change:

Master of Science in Quantitative and Computational Finance        


Current CIP code:  52.0899

Title: Finance and Financial Management Services, Other

Proposed CIP code: 27.0305

Title: Financial Mathematics


The CIP codes were revised in 2010 and now a more appropriate CIP code was made available for use.   This new code more accurately describes the QCF program. Since this is a code that affects how we track the program in the data base and is not a change to the curriculum, it will be implemented immediately and the request will be sent on to the System Office as soon as possible.


5.      A motion was made to approve a request by the College of Computing for a Distance Learning option for an existing degree.  The motion was seconded and approved.


Distance Learning Option:

Master of Science in Computer Science as an Online/DL Program


The academic standards for this program are the same as the existing MSCS program.


Administrative Items


      1. A motion was made to approve a new process for evaluating new course proposals from non-academic units.  The motion was seconded and approved.


Dr. George Riley presented to the Committee a new process for approving courses proposed by non-academic units.  The Committee had reviewed this new process in December, but there were questions about it.  Dr. Riley was invited to attend the meeting due to his role in the development of the policy and his work with the IUCC which has already approved the new process.


Course Approval Policy


OBJECTIVE: To establish and document the Georgia Institute of Technology procedure to be followed by all units to obtain approval for any new course offering and to establish a policy for requests submitted by non-academic units.

CURRENT PROCESS AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Two committees, membership of which is determined by general faculty elections, review and approve requests to offer new courses or to substantially modify existing courses, at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  The Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (IUCC) handles the undergraduate course offerings and the Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee (IGCC) handles the graduate course offerings.  Both committees meet frequently during the academic year and summer term, and review carefully each proposed new course.  Based on this review, the committee then approves the course, returns the proposal to the sponsoring unit for revision or clarification, or denies the request.

Both committees rely heavily on prior review and approval processes conducted by appointed faculty committees or personnel within the sponsoring units.  All academic units have both an internal undergraduate committee and a graduate committee, or in the case of smaller units governance by a committee of the whole or other practices.  Generally speaking, faculty within each unit are more qualified to comment on, modify, and approve or disapprove courses specific to the primary content of the disciplines within the academic area of that unit. 

Further, for each course request, signed concurrence is required from the chairperson of the appropriate unit committee (undergraduate or graduate) or faculty curriculum coordinator, the school chair, and the college dean.  Given approval and concurrence from the school and college chairs, the IUCC and IGCC can be confident that the proposed course offering meets an educational and mission need within the unit, is consistent with the curriculum of that unit, and that qualified instructors are available to deliver the course. 

The role of the IUCC and IGCC then becomes to ensure that the proposed courses are not duplicates of other courses, that they do in fact meet the educational requirements and needs of the academic unit, and that they are consistent with educational goals and initiatives of Georgia Tech.

The required procedure to obtain course approvals as described above is generally well known within the units.  However, aside from the instructions that appear on the Institute Curriculum Committee Web Site ( during submission of the requests, there is no formal, written, and approved procedure and policy statement that documents this process.  Therefore, we propose the following procedure and policy statements to be approved by the Curriculum Committees and the Provost’s Office, and then recognized by the Faculty Senate through approval of the Committees’ Minutes.  The procedure and policy statements, once approved, will be posted to the ICC web site and to the Graduate Studies web site.

In addition, the current procedure defined above does not adequately address academic course offerings to be sponsored and offered by any of the non-academic units within Georgia Tech.  There are presently a number of examples of existing courses sponsored by and offered by non-academic units. These were presented to the IUCC and IGCC, were approved, and are in the course catalog and offered for academic credit.  Clearly, such courses did not get the same level of prior review as do academic offerings from the various academic units, given that the non-academic units do not have curriculum committees, school chairs, or deans.  Therefore a new policy is proposed for course offerings by non-academic units.

·         POLICY FOR NEW COURSE PROPOSALS (SAME AS CURRENT PROCEDURE): All course offerings submitted to either the IUCC or IGCC by academic units must have prior review and approval by the appropriate undergraduate or graduate committee within the sponsoring unit(s) or by a committee of the whole, or some equivalent governance practice defined by the unit(s).  Once approved by the unit committee(s), the appropriate committee chair(s),

the school chair of the sponsoring unit(s), and finally the dean or the dean’s designee of the sponsoring college(s) must state their concurrence with the contents of the course proposal through their signature. Note that in some cases course proposals are co-sponsored by more than one academic unit.

The sponsoring unit(s) then submits a new course proposal request to the IUCC or IGCC consisting of a cover letter with the required signatures, a “New Course Proposal Form”, a statement of educational outcomes and objectives, a relevant course syllabus indicating the intended course content, course requirements, grading structure and delivery format.  A single cover letter with signatures can indicate concurrence for multiple course proposals if they are submitted simultaneously.

·         NEW POLICY FOR NON-ACADEMIC UNITS: In order to insure that all new course proposals from all units within GT obtain the same level of governance and review, the office of the Provost will appoint a Provost’s Curriculum Committee (PCC).  The PCC will provide oversight and review for all course proposals from any of the non-academic units within GT in a fashion similar to the oversight given to proposals from the academic units.  The committee will consist of academic faculty only, and have at least five members selected from the faculty at large at the discretion of the provost’s office (the members are to be appointed rather than elected, since their function is analogous to the appointed committees within the units). As necessary, the PCC will seek input from other faculty with specific subject matter expertise. The committee will elect or otherwise appoint a chairperson from their membership.  

Any course offerings proposed by non-academic units must first be submitted to, reviewed by, and approved by the PCC.  The submission should include the same materials required for all course proposals (“New Course Proposal Form”, educational objectives and outcomes, and detailed syllabus, as well as the signature of the head of the proposed sponsoring unit). 

The role of the PCC committee will be to insure that the proposed course material benefits enrolled students in some way, that educational objectives and outcomes are consistent with the stated course material in the proposed syllabus, that the course has a level of rigor and student evaluation consistent with other academic offerings, and that the course content is consistent with expertise within the sponsoring non-academic unit.  In addition, the proposal must provide justification why the course should be offered by the non-academic unit rather than an existing academic unit.

Once the proposal is approved by the PCC, the committee chair, the head of the sponsoring unit, and finally the Vice-Provost for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies indicate their concurrence by their signature. At that point, the course proposal paperwork may be presented to the IUCC or IGCC for final approval in the same manner as course proposals initiated by academic units.

It should be noted that the process for vetting instructors for courses offered by non-academic units is consistent with that for the academic units. If these courses are to carry academic credit, the instructors must be subjected to the same vetting process.

Finally, in light of the fact that there are several existing academic courses presently sponsored by and offered by some non-academic units, the following interim procedure is adopted.

·         PROCEDURE TO REVIEW CURRENT ACADEMIC COURSES OFFERED BY NON-ACADEMIC UNITS:  Prior approval by the IUCC and IGCC for non-academic course offerings will continue to be in force until the end of the Fall semester, 2013.  At some point during the interim, non-academic units with existing prior approvals are expected to follow the above policy for those courses and represent them to the IUCC or IGCC for approval once the necessary Provost’s committee approval and signatures are obtained.

·         Clarifications regarding “Degree Applicability” of academic course offerings sponsored by non-academic units.  Regarding degree applicability of courses offered by non-academic units, the following criteria apply. These criteria are in general the same criteria that apply to all course offerings.

 Courses offered by non-academic units may be offered for academic credit and in all three grade modes (letter grade, pass/fail, and audit).  The Curriculum Committee reserves the right to allow audit only grade mode if the proposed course does not carry sufficient academic content.

Individual programs will have the option whether or not to allow these courses as Free Electives.  If not otherwise noted by the program via notification to the IUCC or GCC, an undergraduate program that has Free Elective space will, by default, allow such courses.  It will be the responsibility of the program to request restrictions to the appropriate curriculum committee.

For undergraduate programs that have “Approved Electives,” as opposed to Free, the default will be to not allow these courses.  The individual program may choose to allow these courses, also by notification to the appropriate curriculum committee.

For graduate programs, these courses may be used towards degree requirements, but are subject to departmental approval when composing a student’s program of study.

These courses, if approved through the Curriculum Committee and the Senate, can be offered in the next academic term, as is the case with courses offered through academic units.  Unless restrictions such as those listed above exist, these courses may be used to meet degree requirements either as Free or Approved electives at the discretion of the individual program.

In order to facilitate data tracking and proper categorization, courses originating from non-academic units will be assigned a GT course prefix, unless they have an already-existing prefix, such as CETL.  GT courses reside in the College of the Registrar.  If there are any revenue issues related to GT-prefix courses, the Office of the Registrar will work with the Office of Institutional Research and Planning to implement additional coding on the course record to facilitate that process.  The titles of the courses and the instructors should be sufficient to “credit” the hours to the unit offering the course as needed.  This would obviate the need to create a more complex administrative structure for these courses that should be very few in number.

·         Conclusion.  We believe that these policies and procedures establish a consistent, fair, and level playing field for all units within Georgia Tech to further the educational experience of our students, and will help insure the students are academically prepared for their future endeavors by enabling a variety of course offerings

2. At the request of the Provost’s Office, the Committee was asked to consider the GT

   diploma in terms of what information should be on it, the difference between the diploma   

   and the transcript, and the overall sense of the whether we should consider any changes.


            Samples of different diplomas were provided for review. The following observations         were offered.


                        The Committee was overwhelmingly in favor of leaving the diploma as it is, with no additional tags, phrases, explanations, or designations. This issue came up with both committees in the past as a result of other programs on campus wishing to add their information to the diploma and to academic programs that include concentrations requesting that they also appear on the diploma.  See the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Minutes of January 17 for information on that discussion.


                        General Comments from Individual Committee Members:

§  Include degree name and honors only (since graduation honors apply only to undergraduates, this is not really an issue for us)

§  Diploma has little ‘recordkeeping’ value—that is the purpose of the transcript

§  PhD diploma should include the name of the degree only – the very nature of the PhD and what it represents argues against adding any other descriptor or designation on the diploma

§  There is no need to add anything…

§  Aesthetics are important and we should review, from time to time, the quality of the diploma, its layout, fonts, paper quality, and all of the information that is currently on it


3. The Chair reviewed the most recent information on progress with program reviews and

                asked for those who had assignments to complete them prior to the next meeting.  He

                also asked for volunteers to complete any outstanding items.  Once the reports are written,            they will be posted to the web site.  At the next meeting, the author of each report will be        asked to provide a brief statement about what his/her findings were and any                                         recommendations.  The next cycle includes a large number of reports to write, so it will

                be important to stay on task as we move forward.


Student Petitions


1.      A motion was made to approve Subcommittee recommendations on petitions in the following areas. The motion was seconded and approved.


      All are approved except where noted.
      1 Term withdrawal
      3 Selective withdrawals
      2 Change registration from UG  to GRAD level courses
      1 Extend incomplete past the deadline

2. The following petitions were handled Administratively by the Registrar's Office. 


      All are approved except where noted.
      1 count courses toward degree that were taken while on special status
      3 Seven-year rule waiver
      1 Six-year rule wavier
      1 Readmit after first dismissal
      10 Change to full graduate standing
      1 Use 9000 level course work as 7000 level towards M.S. degree requirements
      2 Change registration hours
      1 Use PHYS8901 towards minor
      1 Change grade mode
      1 Return Spring 2012 after withdrawing from the Fall 2011 term
      1 Change course from letter grade to audit





Reta Pikowsky