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Board of Regents Policy Manual

The Board of Regents shall rely on the Chancellor, the presidents of all USG institutions, and their deans and faculties to develop, adapt, and administer the academic methods and procedures deemed by them to be most effective in promoting efficiency of operations and most appropriate to the advancement of learning.

Without limiting the generality of the preceding paragraph, it is recognized that the following are proper functions of the academic authorities rather than of the Board:

  1. To prescribe the teaching load to be carried by each member of the faculty;
  2. To determine the maximum and minimum number of students permitted in a class; and,
  3. To define the nature and form of records, if any, to be kept of the members of the faculties and of activities of administrative personnel.

The Board of Regents shall expect of each president, his/her faculty and staff, the deans, and the faculties of each USG institution efficient service measured by approved academic standards, and shall look to them to promote effective higher education, having in view resources available to them, and, in the discharge of its duties as a Board, must hold them responsible for a failure to achieve these results. The Board is of the opinion that it would not be reasonable to make USG academic authorities accountable for results obtained and at the same time deny them the power to choose ways and means they believe to be best adapted to achieve the ends desired.

The Board shall look to the Chancellor to survey USG institutions and to report thereon to the Board, as may be necessary to keep it fully informed of the standards of scholarship maintained at each USG institution and the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration of the institutions (BoR Minutes, 1947-48, pp. 170-172; 1989-1990, p. 179).

The Board shall expect each institution to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Inc., and other appropriate accreditation agencies.

3.2.1 Faculty Membership

In all institutions, the faculty will consist of the corps of instruction and the administrative officers.

3.2.1.1 Corps of Instruction

Full-time professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, lecturers, senior lecturers, and teaching personnel with such other titles as may be approved by the Board, shall be the Corps of Instruction. Full-time research and extension personnel and duly certified librarians will be included in the Corps of Instruction on the basis of comparable training. Persons holding adjunct appointments or other honorary titles shall not be considered to be members of the faculty.

3.2.1.2 Administrative Officers

Faculty status of full-time administrative officers will necessarily vary with the size and complexity of the institution. A faculty member who has academic rank and rights of tenure in the Corps of Instruction and who accepts an appointment to an administrative office (other than president) shall retain his/her academic rank and rights of tenure as an ex officio member of the Corps of Instruction, but shall have no rights of tenure in the administrative office to which he/she has been appointed.

The additional salary, if any, for the administrative position shall be stated in the employment contract and shall not be paid to the faculty member when he/she ceases to hold the administrative position. An administrative officer having faculty status shall have all the responsibilities and privileges of faculty membership. Administrative officers shall be appointed by the president with the approval of the Board of Regents and shall hold office at the pleasure of the president.

3.2.1.3 Other Faculty Members

Research and Regional Universities
In addition to the Corps of Instruction, the faculty will include the president, administrative and academic deans, registrar, librarian, chief fiscal officer, and such other full-time administrative officers as the statutes of the institution may designate as having ex officio faculty status.

Each institution is required to file with the office of the Board of Regents a list of administrative officers that have faculty status (by office, not by name of individual).

State Universities, State Colleges, and Two-Year Colleges
In addition to the Corps of Instruction, the faculty will consist of the president and the full-time administrative officers, and such other full-time administrative officers as the statues of the institution may designate as having ex officio status. Each institution is required to file with the office of the Board of Regents a list of administrative officers that have faculty status (by office, not by name of individual) (BoR Minutes, 1951-52, pp. 314-319; 1952-53, pp. 159-160; 1953-54, p. 225).


3.2.2 Election of Faculties

The Board shall elect all faculty members prior to their initial appointments upon the recommendations of the Chancellor and the president of the appropriate institution. The Chancellor is authorized to approve the appointment of part-time faculty members, other than those faculty members who have previously retired from the USG (BoR Minutes 1984-85, p. 76).


3.2.3 Faculty Meetings

Each faculty shall meet at least once each academic term and at such other times as may be necessary or desirable, except at those institutions which have a council, senate, assembly, or other such body, in which case the faculty shall meet at least twice a year. Each faculty shall appoint a secretary who shall keep a record of the proceedings.


3.2.4 Faculty Rules and Regulations

The faculty, or the council, senate, assembly, or such other comparable body at an institution (BoR Minutes, May 2010), shall, subject to the approval of the president of the institution:

  1. Make statutes, rules, and regulations for its governance and for that of the students;
  2. Provide such committees as may be required;
  3. Prescribe regulations regarding admission, suspension, expulsion, classes, courses of study, and requirements for graduation; and,
  4. Make such regulations as may be necessary or proper for the maintenance of high educational standards.

A copy of an institution’s statutes, rules and regulations made by the faculty shall be filed with the Chancellor. The faculty shall also have primary responsibility for those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process, subject to the approval of the president of the institution. (BoR Minutes, 1986- 87, p. 333; May 2010).

3.2.4.1 University System of Georgia Faculty Council

There shall be a University System of Georgia Faculty Council (USGFC), which shall provide a faculty voice on academic and educational matters and BOR policies related to the profession, including but not limited to tenure and promotion, academic freedom, and post-tenure review. The USGFC shall be mindful and respectful of matters that are more appropriately handled at the institutional level but may make recommendations that have University System level impact or implications.

Membership of the USGFC shall be comprised of one voting representative from each USG institution and that representative must be a member of that institution’s faculty and selected by a process determined by the faculty or faculty body of that institution. A copy of each institution’s process to determine its USGFC representative shall be filed with the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer of the University System of Georgia. The organization and governance of the USGFC shall be implemented according to policies and procedures established by the membership of the USGFC in the USGFC By-laws in consultation with and approved by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee.

Nothing in this policy or the USGFC By-laws shall supersede the authority and responsibilities of institutional presidents addressed in Policy 2.5 (Presidential Authority and Responsibilities). With respect to matters specific to their institutions, presidents remain the official medium of communication between their institutional faculties and the Chancellor. (BoR Minutes, May 2010)


3.2.5 Termination of Faculty Employment

The employment of faculty members may be terminated in accordance with procedures outlined in Section 8.3.9 of this Policy Manual.


3.2.6 Regents’ Teaching and Service to Students Awards Program

USG institutions shall implement a Regents’ Teaching and Service to Students Awards program to recognize and reward faculty excellence in teaching and service to students. This program will involve system-wide awards to recognize both individual faculty and staff and departments for strong commitment to teaching and service to students. Each institution will be invited to nominate one (1) teaching faculty or staff member and one (1) academic department or program each year for these awards. One (1) faculty/staff award and one (1) department/program award will be given for each sector.

The USG chief academic officer shall publish specific procedures, nomination guidelines, and award criteria.

In addition to the Regents’ Teaching and Service to Students Awards, institutions shall develop and implement systematic programs to recognize and reward faculty and staff for excellence in teaching and service to students, and professional staff for outstanding job performance and innovation on the job.


3.3.1 Core Curriculum

The USG core curriculum was developed with the goals of assuring institutional accountability for learning, incorporating learning requirements in global perspectives and critical thinking, allowing institutions some flexibility in tailoring courses to their institutional mission, while ensuring that core curriculum courses completed at one USG institution are fully transferable to another USG institution.

Each institution’s core curriculum shall consist of 60 semester hours, 42 hours in Areas A-E and 18 hours in Area F, as follows:

Area Name Hours
Area A1 Communication Skills At least 6 semester hours
Area A2 Quantitative Skills At least 3 semester hours
Area B Institutional Options At least 3 semester hours
Area C Humanities/Fine Arts, and Ethics At least 6 semester hours
Area D

Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology
At least 4 of these hours must be in a lab science course.

*Given the importance of the STEM disciplines, any institution that wishes to drop Area D below 10 hours must make a compelling intellectual case that its core proposal will not lead to students knowing less about the natural sciences, math, and technology. [An example of such a compelling case might be if the institution proposed to put 3 or more hours of math in Area B and 7 hours of natural science in Area D.]

At least 7 semester hours*
Area E Social Sciences At least 6 semester hours
Area F Lower Division Major Requirements 18 semester hours

The specific learning outcomes for areas A through E of an institution’s core curriculum are approved by the Council on General Education.

In addition to Areas A-E, three additional learning goals, US perspectives, Global Perspectives, and Critical Thinking are added to the core. US perspectives and global perspectives are overlay requirements and each institution must designate some courses in Areas A-E that satisfy these learning requirements. Each institution must also develop a plan to insure that students who complete Areas A-E acquire foundational critical thinking skills. Courses designated as meeting the US perspectives and global perspectives overlay requirements, and institutional critical thinking plans, must be approved by the Council of General Education.

Students completing any core curriculum course will receive full credit for that course upon transfer to another USG institution within the same major, even if a core area is not completed and even if it means giving transfer credit across areas (e.g., credit of a math course in Area C).

Assessment of the core curriculum by each institution is required as part of their accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and by the USG Comprehensive Program Review process.

(BoR Minutes, October 2009)


3.3.2 Learning Support Programs

Each institution that admits students required by USG policy to enroll in Learning Support courses before or as they attempt core curriculum courses shall have program designed, at a minimum, to meet the specific needs of students who, according to USG placement standards, must enroll in Learning Support. Institutions may set higher standards for placement, and the program may include other Learning Support components.

The USG chief academic officer will issue administrative procedures regarding the operation of these programs (BoR Minutes, 1972-73, pp. 533-37; 1978-79, p. 162; 1982-83, pp. 119-21; 1986-87, p. 102; 1992-93, p. 241; Feb. 2007; Aug. 2014).


3.3.3 Instruction Offered Externally

The USG will strive to provide educational opportunities sufficient to meet the needs of the state and the demands of Georgia citizens. USG institutions are encouraged to explore the possibility of external course and degree program offerings to meet these needs. The following policies will govern the operations of all USG external undergraduate and graduate credit offerings.

The Board of Regents recognizes two categories of external offerings: off-campus instruction and distance education. Off-campus instruction is defined as traditional face-to-face classroom instruction that occurs at a location away from the home premises of the institution. Distance education is defined as a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction occurs when student and instructor are not in the same place and the instruction is delivered using technology.

Institutions wishing to offer courses and/or degree programs externally must adhere to the guidelines, criteria, and nomenclature contained in guidelines issued by the Chancellor or his/her designee. These guidelines are maintained in the Academic Affairs Handbook.

The designation of an off-campus instructional location as a campus, center, or consortium requires approval by the Board of Regents through its Committee on Academic Affairs.

It is desirable in most instances to have the closest qualified institution respond to off-campus credit course needs. In cases where requests for services exceed the qualifications or ability of the closest institution, attempts should be made to have such requests met by other qualified USG institutions. Prior to the offering of off-campus course work, the president of the institution proposing such work will notify the president(s) of any other USG institution(s) located in closer geographic proximity to the site proposed for the off-campus course work. In the event the involved institutions are unable to arrive at a mutual agreement on the offering of off-campus credit courses, the issues will be referred to the Chancellor for final resolution (BoR Minutes, February 2005; February 2007; October 2010).


3.3.4 United States and Georgia History and Constitutions

All colleges and universities sustained or in any manner supported by public funds shall give instruction in the history of the United States, in the history of Georgia, and in the essentials of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Georgia, and no undergraduate student in any college or university shall receive a certificate of graduation or a degree without successfully completing course work or previously passing a satisfactory examination on the history of the United States and the history of Georgia, and upon the provisions and principles of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Georgia (Acts 1975, pp. 1140, 1141).


3.3.5 University System and Technical College System of Georgia Articulation Agreement

The articulation agreement is based on the principles of serving student needs, avoiding duplication of mission, using state resources efficiently, and expanding opportunities for post-secondary attainment in Georgia.

A Post-secondary Oversight Council comprised of appropriate System Office staff from the TCSG and USG will meet on a regular basis to assure compliance with this articulation agreement, address other articulation issues if they arise, and encourage the development of programs and policies to support Georgia’s college completion goals.

3.3.5.1 Associate Degrees, Diplomas & Certificates

Associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates authorized to be awarded by public institutions in Georgia are defined as follows:

1.0. Associate of applied science (AAS) degrees are primarily for students who intend to enter specific career fields immediately upon graduation. These degrees are generally awarded through successful completion of a planned program of study at TCSG institutions. In order to minimize duplication of program offerings across the TCSG and USG, the following procedures will be followed for all new associate of applied science degrees.

1.1. All new associate of applied science degrees proposed for implementation at USG institutions after January 1, 2012, will be submitted through the following process:

  • The USG institution submits the degree proposal to the USG System Office. If the degree duplicates an existing AAS degree at a TCSG institution near the proposing USG institution, the proposed degree must have a letter of support signed by the respective TCSG college president.
  • USG System Office staff will present the proposal to the TCSG System Office for review by System Office staff.
  • If recommended by TCSG System Office staff, the proposal will be reviewed by the TCSG Board.
  • The TCSG Board will return the proposal to USG with a recommendation for support or non-support.
  • USG System Office staff will share the recommendation from the TCSG Board with the USG Board. The USG Board will take final action on the proposal.

2.0. Associate of arts (AA) and associate of science (AS) degrees are primarily for students who intend to transfer to another institution for completion of a four-year degree program. These degrees are generally awarded through successful completion of a planned program of study at USG institutions.

2.1. TCSG institutions will not offer associate of arts degrees.

2.2. All new associate of science degrees proposed for implementation at TCSG colleges, regardless of delivery system, after January 1, 2012 will be submitted through the following process:

  • The TCSG institution submits the degree proposal to the TCSG System Office. The proposed degree must have an articulation agreement signed by the respective TCSG and USG institutions’ presidents.
  • TCSG System Office staff will present the proposal to the USG System Office for review by System Office staff.
  • If recommended by USG System Office staff, the proposal will be reviewed by the Board of Regents (BOR).
  • The BOR will return the proposal to TCSG with a recommendation for support or non-support.
  • TCSG System Office staff will share the recommendation from the BOR with the TCSG Board. The TCSG Board will take final action on the proposal.
  1. Technical certificates and diplomas are generally awarded for the successful completion of a planned program of study through the colleges of TCSG. These programs are typically not designed for transfer.

  2. Bachelor’s degrees are offered only through USG institutions.

3.3.5.2 General Education Course Transfer

This policy assures students who transfer between TCSG and USG institutions that they will not be required to repeat the course work approved for transfer that was successfully completed at another institution.

USG institutions and TCSG institutions will accept the following general education courses for transfer between their respective institutions. Courses will only be accepted from institutions accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Both the USG and the TCSG are committed to and responsible for assuring that faculty teaching these courses meet the SACS comprehensive standard for faculty qualifications.

New TCSG general education courses proposed for transfer to USG institutions in Core Curriculum Areas A-E will follow the same review procedure required for new Core Curriculum courses proposed by USG institutions:

  • The TCSG System Office staff will present the proposed course(s) to the USG System Office.
  • The USG System Office will convene a meeting of the appropriate disciplinary Regents Academic Advisory Committee. Non-voting faculty designated from the TCSG will be invited to participate.
  • Course(s) approved by a Regents Academic Advisory Committee for transfer in Areas A-E will be recommended to the USG General Education Council for review.
  • Course(s) approved by the USG General Education Council will be reviewed by System Office staff who will submit the courses to the USG Board for final action.

Upon receipt of USG Board approval for the designated course(s), TCSG colleges will clearly publicize the designated approval categories to TCSG students.


3.3.6 Associate Degrees

3.3.6.1 Transfer Degrees

All A.A. and A.S. degrees shall be transfer degrees leading to the baccalaureate degree, with the area of study determining which degree is awarded. Other than the distinction between the A.A. and A.S. designation, these degrees carry no indication of the student’s area of study (major). Absent the approval of the USG chief academic officer, no A.A. or A.S. degree program shall exceed sixty (60) semester credit hours, exclusive of physical education activity/basic health, orientation, or pre-secondary education course hours that the institution may require (BoR Minutes, 1986-87, p. 370; December 1995; February 2005).

3.3.6.2 Career Degrees

Career degrees include the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Associate of Science in allied health areas (A.S. in designated fields).

Career degrees may be awarded for the completion of two-year collegiate programs designed to prepare students for immediate employment. Selected courses included in these programs may be used for transfer credit. The following are the minimum requirements for career degrees:

  1. Programs shall include a minimum of twenty-one (21) semester credit hours of general education. This coursework must include components designed to develop oral and written communication, reading computational skills, fundamental mathematics skills and the basic use of computers. At least one (1) course from each of the following areas is required: the humanities/fine arts, the social/behavioral sciences, and natural sciences/mathematics (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, pp. 368-369).
  2. Students shall fulfill the legislative degree requirements but do not have to fulfill the Regents’ Test requirements (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, pp. 368-369).
  3. Institutions may increase or supplement these minimum requirements (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, pp. 368-369).
  4. The A.A.S. degree may designate a specific area of study (e.g., A.A.S. in Criminal Justice) or a broad field of study with or without the designation of a specific area (e.g., A.A.S. in Business, A.A.S. in Business: Accounting Option) (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, pp. 368-369).
  5. The A.A.S. degree offered on a cooperative basis with Technical College System of Georgia colleges may be awarded only in Business, Health, Services, and Technology. Specific areas of study may be designated as options (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, p. 370).
  6. The A.S. in allied health areas shall include a designation of the specific area of study (e.g., A.S. in Nursing, A.S. in Respiratory Therapy) (BoR Minutes, 1986-87, pp. 370-371).
  7. Including the technical component, all cooperative A.A.S. degrees shall include the equivalent of at least four (4) full-time USG semesters of study (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, p. 370).
  8. Cooperative A.A.S. degree diplomas shall include the following wording: (USG institution) in cooperation with (Technical College System of Georgia college)… (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, p. 370).
  9. Absent the approval of the USG chief academic officer, no A.A.S. degree program shall exceed seventy (70) semester credit hours, exclusive of physical education activity/basic health or orientation course hours that the institution may require (BoR Minutes, December, 1995, p. 47).

3.4.1 Semester System

All USG institutions shall be on the semester system (BoR Minutes, December, 1995).

The academic year shall consist of two (2) regular semesters, each not to be less than fifteen (15) calendar weeks in length, excluding registration.

A minimum of 750 minutes of instruction or equivalent is required for each semester credit hour.


3.4.2 Uniform Academic Calendar

Institutions will have two (2) semesters, each with fifteen (15) instructional weeks.

All institutions, with the exception of the Medical School at Georgia Regents University, shall begin and end classes during prescribed periods. The prescribed dates for starting and ending classes can be found in the Academic Affairs Handbook.

Each institution will determine all other necessary dates for the semester, including the possibility of flexible scheduling within and between semesters. Each term must be separated by a minimum of one (1) day.


3.4.3 Religious Holiday Schedule

Each institution should have a policy regarding special arrangements for students for religious holidays.


3.4.4 Exceptions

Requests for exceptions to this policy must be submitted in writing to and approved in writing by the USG chief academic officer.


3.5.1 Grade Point Average

All USG institutions shall be on a 4.00 grade point average system, calculated to and truncated at two significant digits.

3.5.1.1 Grades Approved in Determining the Grade Point Average

The following grades are approved for use in institutions in the determination of the Grade Point Average:

GradeGrade Point Average
AExcellent (4.00)
BGood (3.00)
CSatisfactory (2.00)
DPassing (1.00)
FFailure (0.00)
WFWithdrew failing (0.00)

The University of Georgia and Georgia State University shall be on the following grade point average system, calculated to and truncated at two significant digits, with the following numeric equivalents.

A   4.00
A-  3.70
B+ 3.30
B   3.00
B-  2.70
C+ 2.30
C   2.00
C-  1.70
D   1.00
F   0.00

In addition, Georgia State University will be allowed to use an A+ designation, with the equivalent numerical value of a 4.30. The University of Georgia and Georgia State University shall not use plus/minus grades in the calculation of the HOPE Scholarship grade point average (BoR Minutes, February 2009).

Institutions are permitted to use grades other than those in the Uniform Grading System for the purpose of grading student progress in Learning Support or Developmental Studies (see Academic and Student Affairs Handbook 2.9.1 for information on grading in Learning Support courses) (BoR Minutes, 1974-75, pp. 109-11; Aug. 2014).

3.5.1.2 Cumulative Grade Point Average

The cumulative grade point average in each USG institution will be calculated by dividing the number of hours scheduled in all courses attempted in which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, or WF has been received into the number of grade points earned on those hours scheduled. The cumulative grade point average will be recorded on the student’s permanent record. Institutional credit shall in no way affect the cumulative grade point average.

Other averages may be computed by each institution for internal uses as may be required.


3.5.2 Symbols Not Included in Determining the Grade Point Average

For all institutions, the following symbols are approved for use in the cases indicated, but will not be included in the determination of the grade point average.

“I” This symbol indicates that a student was doing satisfactory work but, for non-academic reasons beyond his/her control, was unable to meet the full requirements of the course. The requirements for removal of an “I” are left to the respective institutions. However, if an “I” is not satisfactorily removed after three academic terms of residence, the symbol “I” will be changed to the grade “F” by the appropriate official.

“IP” This symbol indicates that credit has not been given in courses that require a “CP” continuation of work beyond the term for which the student signed up for the course. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation and thesis hours and project courses. With the exception of Learning Support or Developmental Studies courses and Regents’ Test remediation courses, this symbol cannot be used for other courses. This symbol cannot be substituted for an “I” (BoR Minutes, 1988-89, pp. 77-78; 1990-91, p. 61).

“K” This symbol indicates that a student was given credit for the course via a credit by examination program approved by the respective institution’s faculty (CLEP, AP, Proficiency, etc.). “K” credit may be provided for a course the student has previously audited if the institutional procedures for credit by examination are followed (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, p. 146).

“S” This symbol indicates that credit has been given for completion of degree requirements other than academic course work. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation and thesis hours, student teaching, clinical practicum, internship, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs. Exceptions to the use of this symbol for academic course work must be submitted to the USG chief academic officer for approval.

“U” This symbol indicates unsatisfactory performance in an attempt to complete degree requirements other than academic course work. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation and thesis hours, student teaching, clinical practicum, internship, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs. Exceptions to the use of this symbol for academic course work must be submitted to the USG chief academic officer for approval.

“V” This symbol indicates that a student was given permission to audit this course. Students may not transfer from audit to credit status or vice versa. Students may register, however, on a credit basis for a course that has previously been audited (BoR Minutes, 1989- 90, p. 146).

“W” This symbol indicates that a student was permitted to withdraw without penalty. Withdrawals without penalty will not be permitted after the mid-point of the total grading period, including final examinations, except in cases of hardship as determined by the appropriate official of the respective institution.

“WM” This symbol indicates a student was permitted to withdraw under the Board of Regents policy for military service refunds, as noted in Section 7.3.5.3 of this Policy Manual. The use of this symbol indicates that this student was permitted to withdraw without penalty at any time during the term. (BoR Minutes, October 2001.)


3.5.3 Grade Point Average Upon Academic Renewal

Undergraduate students who who are either returning to a USG institution or are transferring to a USG institution may be eligible for Academic Renewal. Academic Renewal for the student signals the initiation of a new grade point average to be used for determining academic standing. This provision allows USG degree-seeking students who earlier experienced academic difficulty to make a fresh start and have one final opportunity to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree (BoR Minutes, June 1995; Aug. 2014).


3.6.1 Creation of Academic Programs

New degree programs or new major programs of academic work shall not be added to curricula of an institution unless recommended by the president of the institution concerned, the Chancellor, and the Committee on Academic Affairs, and approved by the Board.

Programs that provide academic credit but award certificates rather than degrees must be approved based on guidelines issued by the Chancellor. These guidelines will be provided to the presidents and chief academic officers by the Chancellor (BoR Minutes, May 2004).

3.6.1.4 Ph.D. Programs

Ph.D. programs shall be limited to research universities (BoR Minutes, 1954-55, pp. 102-03; July, 1996, p. 17). Comprehensive universities do not normally offer Ph.D. degrees. In exceptional cases, however, they may offer the Ph.D. when:

  1. The program supports the central mission of that university;
  2. There is demonstrated demand for the program;
  3. There is demonstrated need for graduates of the program; and,
  4. There is assurance of high academic quality.

(BoR Minutes, April 2008)

All such program proposals will be subject to Board approval processes for graduate programs. The USG chief academic officer will seek counsel from appropriate USG leaders and other research universities, and then make recommendations to the Chancellor and the Board of Regents as to whether a comprehensive university has met these criteria (BR Minutes, April 2008).

In the case of applied doctorates, the Chancellor may recommend exceptions to the above policy under guidelines adopted by the USG chief academic officer.


3.6.2 Termination of Academic Programs

The termination of educational programs, degrees, or majors shall be submitted to the Chancellor for review and recommendation for action by the Board of Regents. Subsequent reinstatement of a program must be submitted as a proposal for a new program, as noted in Section 3.6.1 of this Policy Manual.

A temporary suspension of an educational program, degree, or major may be approved by a president for a period not to exceed two (2) academic years to allow for program review, to consider enrollment problems, to deal with faculty shortages, or for other similar reasons. The imposition and removal of a temporary suspension shall be reported to the Chancellor.


3.6.3 Comprehensive Academic Program Review

Each USG institution shall conduct academic program review on a periodic basis. Consistent with efforts in institutional effectiveness and strategic planning, each USG institution shall develop procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of its academic programs to address the quality, viability, and productivity of efforts in teaching and learning, scholarship, and service as appropriate to the institution’s mission. Institutional review of academic programs shall involve analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, and institutions must demonstrate that they make judgments about the future of academic programs within a culture of evidence. Planning and conduct of academic program reviews shall be used for the progressive improvement and adjustment of programs in the context of the institution’s strategic plan and in response to findings and recommendations of the reviews. Adjustment may include program enhancement, maintenance at the current level, reduction in scope, or, if fully justified, consolidation or termination (BoR Minutes, April 2010).

Except for programs requiring a formal accreditation review, an institution’s cycle of review for all undergraduate academic programs shall be no longer than seven (7) years, and for all graduate programs no longer than ten (10) years. Newly approved programs should automatically be reviewed seven years after launch. If successfully reviewed, the new program will then become part of the regular institutional cycle. If unsuccessful, the institution will present a plan of action to the System Office. Programs accredited by external entities may not substitute an external review for institutional program review, but material submitted as part of an external accreditation process may be used in the institutional review. Institutions may align program review cycles with required external accreditation review, so long as no program review cycle at any level exceeds ten (10) years. Institutions must also review General Education every five (5) years; learning outcomes for each Area A-E of institutional core curricula must be approved by the Council on General Education. Institutions are also encouraged to review Learning Support programs (BoR Minutes, April 2010).

Each USG institution shall provide a web link outlining institutional comprehensive program review procedures and shall post program review results on a password protected institutional web site, which shall include the institutional review cycle and a summary of current institutional reviews (BoR Minutes, April 2010).

Academic Affairs staff will perform periodic analyses on the posted institutional comprehensive program reviews to ensure that reviews are being used to inform institutional decision-making on the issues of program quality, productivity and viability. The System Office staff will continue to provide data on programs with low enrollment for institutional information (BoR Minutes, April 2010).


Each USG institution shall ensure that students obtaining an associate or baccalaureate degree from a USG institution have competence in reading and writing.

Consistent with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools requirements for accreditation, the Board of Regents expects all institutions to assess reading and writing skills and to use those assessments for continuous improvement. All USG institutions should be prepared to demonstrate the following to the Board: a) assessment policies and procedures used to measure student reading and writing competency; b) how the assessment of reading and writing has been used for continuous improvement; c) data to show how students are performing in terms of reading and writing skills. (BoR minutes, April 2012)

3.8.1 General

The faculty shall recommend to the president of the institution the candidates for degrees that the institution has been authorized by the Board to confer. A record of all degrees awarded shall be filed in the office of the Registrar of the institution conferring the degree. Absent the approval of the USG chief academic officer, no bachelor’s degree program shall exceed one hundred and twenty (120) semester credit hours, exclusive of physical education activity/basic health or orientation course hours that the institution may require (BoR Minutes, 1980-81, p. 49; December, 1995, p. 47).


3.8.2 Graduate Degrees

USG graduate schools shall award only such graduate degrees as may have been authorized by the Board of Regents. Other USG institutions shall not offer work leading to a graduate degree unless approved by the Board upon recommendation of the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee and the Committee on Education, Research and Extension. Absent the approval of the USG chief academic officer, no masters degree program shall exceed thirty-six (36) semester credit hours (BR Minutes, 1953-54, pp. 51-52; 1953-54, pp. 220-221; December, 1995, p. 47).


3.8.3 Residence Requirement for Degree

The Board shall leave to the discretion of USG institutions the matter of conferring a degree on a student who has been in residence at an institution for less than one (1) academic year and who has successfully passed prescribed courses of study required for a degree (BoR Minutes, 1958-59, p. 346).


3.8.4 Honorary Degrees

Honorary degrees are subject to approval by the Board of Regents. Honorary degrees may be conferred by USG research, regional, or state universities and state colleges to persons of notable achievement in an academic field, the arts and letters, the professions, or public service. An institutionally approved process for advancing candidates for consideration in a timely fashion shall include recommendations by a faculty committee and selection by the president of a candidate to be communicated to the Chancellor. Honorary degrees may be conferred upon candidates recommended by the Chancellor and approved by the Board of Regents.

Current elected or appointed national office holders or officials of the State of Georgia to whom the USG institutions are directly or indirectly answerable, as well as persons who are announced candidates for national or state elective offices are ineligible for honorary degrees. Current Regents and all current USG employees are also ineligible.

Relatively few awards should be given. No individual shall receive more than one (1) honorary degree from a USG institution. The recipient must be present to receive the degree (BoR Minutes, June 1995, p. 34; September 1998, p. 92; April 2012).


3.8.5 Diplomas Earned at Institutions Under a Previous Name

Any USG institution may issue upon request a certificate to a graduate, who received a diploma under a previous name of the institution, with wording similar to the following:

“Be it known that (Student)______________________, having received in the year _____________________, the degree of ________________________________ from (Name of Institution)_______________________ a predecessor of this institution, is hereby recognized as an [alumnus/alumna] of (Present Name of Institution)_____________________.”

This certificate will be signed by the president and appropriate dean of the institution concerned (BoR Minutes, 1965-66, p. 6).


Each institution shall have a program for the advisement of its students. Academic advisement is the primary responsibility of the faculty and should be integrally related to the education process. Effective advisement shall credited toward retention, tenure, and promotion. It shall be a specific topic of faculty evaluation (BoR Minutes, 1980-81, P. 85).

The USG chief academic officer shall establish guidelines concerning the designation and sale of textbooks required for coursework at USG institutions. Minimally, the guidelines shall include provisions that:

  1. Promote increased communication between and among students, faculty, and college bookstores concerning the use of textbooks in the classroom, the designation of required versus recommended texts, textbook costs, textbook adoption schedules, alternative acquisition methods, and other factors affecting the designation and sale of textbooks in order to increase the options available to students in meeting their cost of education.
  2. Ensure that bookstore operations, whether managed internally or outsourced to private vendors, offer the best value to students in acquiring textbooks and actively promote alternative options to help minimize student cost.
  3. Require a third-party review process at the institution for determining if faculty may use self-authored texts in their classroom, and disallow faculty to resell sample texts provided by publishers or to take advantage of any financial incentives offered by publishers in the assignment of specific texts.

(BoR Minutes, May 2005; February 2007)

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