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New Academic Concentration/Track/Emphasis

In a curricular context, a concentration is generally a collection of 3-4 courses (or requirements) that focus on a specific subfield (usually optional); a track is a unique set of requirements for a major (usually required); an emphasis is somewhere in the middle. However, all three are approved and administered in the same way. For the purposes of this Web site, we will use the term "concentration." The name of the concentration appears on a student's academic record (i.e., transcript, but not diploma). Concentrations do not need approval from General Administration, but they do need approval from the Administrative Boards. Concentrations must meet the following criteria: The total number of credit hours of the major cannot change when a concentration is added. For requirements and limitations that apply to all undergraduate majors, refer to the current Undergraduate Bulletin. For an alphabetical list of approved majors, click here.

Submission Process

The academic department/unit sponsoring the concentration must submit the following materials:

  1. Departmental memo (on letterhead, signed by the chair), including
    1. Brief statment (one or two paragraphs) of the goals and rationale of the concentration.
    2. Evidence of demand for the concentration and anticipated enrollment.
    3. List of majors and minors whose students should be prohibited from electing this concentration, due either to significant overlap of course requirements or to proximity of subject matter.
    4. Student advising strategy for planning and completing the concentration.
  2. Undergraduate Bulletin text with a summary of the requirements (use a bulleted format, click here for an example). Word or pdf files only.

A few tips and reminders:

  • Courses must be approved and in the ConnectCarolina course inventory to be included in the proposal. If you recently submitted the course in CRAS, but it has not yet been approved, please mark the course "pending approval."
  • The total number of credit hours of the major cannot change when a concentration is added. For example, if the major requires 30 credit hours, completing a concentration within a major cannot require fewer or more credit hours.
  • When the concentration includes courses offered by other departments/units, chairs/directors should be consulted for their approval. Submitting a proposal indicates that approval from the chair/director has been given.

Approval Process

Step 1 Confer with the relevant Senior Associate Dean prior to developing your proposal.
Step 2 Proposal is submitted to and reviewed by the Office of Undergraduate Curricula. If changes are needed or clarification required, the department/unit will be contacted.
Step 3 Proposal and all supporting documents are sent to members of the Administrative Boards for review and approval.
Step 4 The department/unit is notified of the Administrative Board's decision by letter. If the committee requires additional information, the Office of Undergraduate Curricula will notify the department/unit. In rare cases, a representative of the department/unit may be invited to attend an Administrative Boards meeting to answer questions.
Step 5 The Office of Undergraduate Curricula notifies the Academic Advising Office and the Office of the University Registrar (ConnectCarolina and Tar Heel Tracker).
Step 6 The Office of the University Registrar sends an implementation memo when the new concentration (called a "subplan" in ConnectCarolina) is added to the ConnectCarolina program/plan/subplan table.
Step 7 The department/unit updates the next version of the Undergraduate Bulletin. The Office of Undergraduate Curricula may make stylistic changes to the descriptions of undergraduate programs published in the Undergraduate Bulletin.