Guidelines for Proposing New Doctoral Programs

The following elements should be included in all proposals for new doctoral programs. These guidelines apply to online and face-to-face programs.                                                     

Justification:  Why should GW offer this program?

  • Purpose and learning objectives of program
  • Market analysis: sources and numbers of prospective students
  • Market for graduates: data regarding academic and/or nonacademic opportunities
  • Local/regional competition: summary descriptions of similar doctoral programs in DC metro area and their strengths and weaknesses compared to the proposed program; regional universities offering the field of study but not a doctoral program

Faculty resources:

  • Expertise available on the current full-time faculty; describe research profile and publications of faculty who would contribute to the program, with emphasis on their qualifications to provide mentoring appropriate to the goals of the program
  • Expertise available locally (e.g., part-time instructors)
  • Additional areas of expertise/new positions required to offer the program
  • Impact on current teaching: (e.g., part-time faculty needed to replace full-time faculty who would teach courses in the proposed program)
  • Overall teaching effort required

Computing resources:

  • Increased demand on the University’s academic and administrative computing resources

Facilities, staff, and graduate student support resources:

  • Any net additions to the space currently available to the academic unit proposing the program
    • Offices
    • Laboratories
    • Special classroom needs
    • Computer facilities (hardware, special software)
    • Other special facilities
  • Staffing requirements (e.g., program coordinator, secretary)
  • Graduate student support requirements  (tuition awards, stipends,  graduate teaching and research assistantships needed for the program to be viable)

Business plan:

  • Projected incremental enrollments and revenue (tuition, special fees)
  • Projected incremental expenditures
    • Faculty salaries (full- and part-time)
    • Non-faculty staff salaries
    • Fringe benefits
    • Student financial support (e.g., amount department will contribute using funds from grants or other sources)
  • Special events or activities
  • Travel


  • Overview of program structure
  • Requirements
  • Core courses
  • Electives
  • Research methods course work
  • Ethical and professional skills training
  • If proposing a PhD (research degree), include information about:
    • How training of students to perform scholarly and original research will be achieved
    • Requirements for and mentoring of dissertation research
  • If proposing a professional doctorate, include information about:
    • How training of students in relevant professional skills will be achieved
    • Requirements for and mentoring of a culminating project or activity




Revised: 2.3.2015

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