Academic Program Approval


The Ohio Department of Higher Education's Office of Program Development and Approval reviews and makes recommendations to the Chancellor regarding the approval of the following:

  • New associate degree and one-year certificate programs proposed by Ohio’s community colleges
  • New undergraduate degree programs proposed by Ohio’s public universities
  • New and continuing educator licensure and endorsement programs proposed by Ohio public, private, and out-of-state institutions
  • New academic programs offered in Ohio by independent (both not-for-profit and for-profit) and out-of-state institutions
    • Out-of-state institutions offering distance education programs to Ohio residents must seek authorization from the Chancellor if:
      • The institution maintains a “brick and mortar” presence in Ohio;
      • The online program contains a component (e.g., student teaching, clinical placement, practicum) that will be completed in Ohio; or
      • The institution solicits Ohio residents for its programs (for-profit institutions only).

      Institutions that do not meet any of the conditions listed above may contact the agency for a letter indicating that its distance education programs are exempt from the authorization requirement.

  • In addition, the Chancellor's Council on Graduate Studies (CCGS) reviews all graduate degree programs proposed by Ohio’s public universities, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Dayton.

Institutions must submit an Initial Inquiry to begin the process to:

  • Seek the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education's (ODHE) approval for a new program
  • Make changes to a previously approved program
  • Seek continuing approval for educator preparation licensure/endorsement program
  • Seek institutional reauthorization
  • Request authorization for out-of-state institutions to offer on-ground components (e.g., internship, clinical placement, practicum, student teaching, field experience) in Ohio

Please contact Matt Exline, assistant director for program development and approval, at for all requests, excluding educator preparation programs.

Educator preparation program requests need to be submitted via CurricUNET.


Standards and Procedures for Academic Program Approval

The standards and procedures for academic program approval are pursuant to Chapter 1713 of the Ohio Revised Code and Chapters 3333-1.04 (associate degrees), 3333-1.05 (bachelor’s degrees), 3333-1-07 (graduate programs) and 3333-1.08 (private and out-of-state institutions) of the Ohio Administrative Code.

Guidelines and procedures for approval of new programs and changes to existing programs are described in the Ohio Department of HIgher Education's Guidelines and Procedures for Academic Program Review.  That document is posted at this link.


Program Approval Status

  • Proposals Posted for Public Comment or Awaiting the Chancellor’s Signature - Proposals for new degrees, new degree programs, education licensure and endorsement, and institutional authorizations and reauthorizations that have been reviewed and recommended for approval by the Chancellor are listed here. Public comments are invited on each recommendation during a 10-day public comment period prior to final action by the Chancellor.
  • Programs Approved - New degrees, degree programs, education licensure and endorsement programs, and institutional authorization and reauthorizations that have been formally approved by the chancellor are posted here.
  • Program Approval Requests from Public, Private and Out-of-State Institutions - Proposals that have been received and are at various stages of the review process are listed here. “Preliminary Request” indicates that an institution has formally submitted its intent to develop a new degree or degree program.  “In Review “indicates that proposals are in the review process. Upon staff recommendation to the Chancellor, requests are posted above under “Proposals Posted for Public Comment or Awaiting the Chancellor’s Signature” for a 10 day public comment period.


Ohio Joins SARA


Ohio recently became the 20th state to join the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA). SARA is a nationwide initiative of states that will make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines and make it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education. The effort is funded by the Lumina Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and fees paid by institutions.

Once a state joins SARA, institutions in the state that offer distance education courses can seek approval from their state to participate in SARA. When approved, these institutions will be able to operate in other participating SARA states without seeking independent authorization from those states. Participating in SARA is entirely voluntary for institutions, as it is for states.



Ohio now has institutional participation applications available. Review date for applications began 8/20/2015 Institutions seeking approval must operate under the terms and standards of the SARA network, including the submission of fees.

  1. Complete the application found on NC-SARA’s website and the Ohio-specific attachment.
  2. Send the application with attachments to Matt Exline for review.
  3. Institution submits state fees to Matt Exline. Note: Review of application cannot take place until payment is received.
  4. Once approved by ODHE, institution submits national fees to NC-SARA.


ODHE Fee Schedule

Student Population (in FTE, as reported in ipeds) Annual Fee
less than 2,500 $2,000
between 2,500 - 9,999 $4,000
10,000+ $6,000


Ohio SARA Contact

Matt Exline
Assistant Director, Program Approval Operations
(614) 728-3095