The Office of Graduate Education

Academic Program Review

What is Academic Program Review?

Academic Program Review is an institution-wide evaluation process that incorporates systematic reviews of our institutional goals and results in continuous improvement of program quality. Academic Program Review is an essential component of such institutional effectiveness. Each doctoral program and stand-alone master’s program will undergo an external review at least once every ten years.

At The University of Texas at Dallas, the Academic Program Review process is coordinated by The Office of Graduate Education. The process involves the academic unit undergoing review, the Academic Senate’s Program Review Committee, the Review Team, The Office of Graduate Education, and the Provost’s Office.

Why We Have Reviews?

Program Reviews provide us with an opportunity to highlight the many attributes of our programs and to discuss challenges with knowledgeable and experienced colleagues.

Texas Administrative Code Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 5, Subchapter C, Section 5.52 requires that public institutions of higher education have a process to review the quality and effectiveness of existing degree programs.

Academic Program Review Process

Coordination and Planning

The process begins with an introductory meeting called by The Office of Graduate Education with the representatives from the unit to be reviewed. The introductory meeting will familiarize the unit with the Academic Review Process at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as well as help the unit prepare for the review. After the introductory meeting, the unit will consult with the Dean of the School and The Office of Graduate Education regarding suitable dates for the Review Team’s on-site campus visit. Once the dates are secured, The Office of Graduate Education will request a list of potential external reviewers.

The Office of Graduate Education will invite and make all travel arrangements (e.g., air fare, hotel, transportation to and from airport to hotel) for external reviewers.

Choosing Reviewers

The Review Team, an essential element to the Academic Review Process, will include:

1. A program review committee monitor.
  • A member from the University’s Senate Program Review Committee to oversee the process and report back to the Provost and Academic Senate.
2. At least two members from the University’s faculty and academic administration who are not affiliated with the program undergoing review.
  • These individuals can be recommended by the Senate’s Program Review Committee and will be appointed by The Office of Graduate Education.
3. External reviewer(s) from institutions of higher education outside the state of Texas, one of which will also be designated Chair of the Review Team by The Office of Graduate Education.
  • External reviewers must be subject-matter experts who are employed by institutions of higher education outside the state of Texas and have no conflict of interest related to the program under review.
  • Doctoral program reviews will have at least two external reviewers.
  • Stand-alone master’s reviews will have at least one external reviewer.
4. Additional members may be appointed by The Office of Graduate Education.

Self Study

The Self-Study report is the principal document for the Academic Program Review. It should be a collective effort prepared by the faculty of the unit undergoing review. At its most basic level, the Self-Study report will be a descriptive and comprehensive evaluation of the unit that provides basic information on the program(s) of the unit and includes an assessment of the unit’s strengths and weaknesses. The Self-Study is submitted to The Office of Graduate Education and the Provost Office for disbursement to the review team prior to the site visit.

Site Visit

What is required of the unit, reviewers, OGE, Provost, and THECB?
  • The degree program undergoing review will consult with the Provost regarding suitable dates for the Review Team's campus visit, and the detailed schedule of events during the visit. It will prepare a comprehensive self-study document (an internal planning document, not intended for general distribution) in accordance with guidelines and instructions issued by the Provost. The unit also will collaborate with The Office of Graduate Education in ensuring that the Review Team's on-campus needs are met.
  • The Office of Graduate Education will designate a Review Coordinator (the Dean, Head, Director, or suitable substitute) from the degree program under review to ensure that the duties assigned to the program in connection with the Review Team are carried out. The Office of Graduate Education will provide the Review Team a written charge, along with the unit's self-study document. The Office of Graduate Education will issue the visit schedule, oversee the visit arrangements for the Review Team (transportation, housing, meals, reimbursement, etc.) and serve as liaison between the Review Team and the program being reviewed).
  • Before leaving the campus, the Review Team will hold two exit interviews. In the first, held with the Program Review Committee and the degree program's faculty and administration, the Review Team will provide its preliminary assessment of the goals, plans, staffing, resources, existing and potential strengths, etc., of the degree program, and those areas needing improvement. In the second, held with the Provost, and other appropriate central administrators, the Review Team will summarize its immediate impressions and provide a forecast of its eventual written report. The Review Team's report will assess the degree program's overall performance and its specific strengths and weaknesses and make recommendations for any changes the Review Team thinks are advisable. The Review Team will share its final report with the faculty and administration of the degree program.
  • The program's chief administrative officer, in cooperation with faculty and staff, will provide a written response to the report to the Provost's Office within one month of receiving the report, giving specific actions planned in light of the Review Team's recommendations. Where the program disagrees with findings and/or recommendations of the Review Team, it will state its reasons for such disagreements.
  • The Provost will prepare recommendations to the President. The university administration will submit a report of the outcomes of each review, including: the Executive Summary from the self-study, the Review Team's report and a summary of actions the institution has taken or will take to improve the program, to the THECB no later than 180 days after the Review Team has submitted its findings to the institution

Academic Program Review Guidelines

Academic Program Review Booklet (.pdf)
Academic Program Review Policy - UTDPP1013
THECB Graduate Program Review Texas State Code

Academic Program Review Schedule

Academic units will be reviewed every 10 years. New programs will be reviewed 5 years after their initiation. The Office of Graduate Education will notify academic units undergoing review approximately one year before the scheduled review.

10-Year Review Schedule (.pdf)

Program Review Committee and Its Members

This university committee maintains general oversight of the review process to assure its efficacy and uniformity. During each program review, one member of the Program Review Committee (PRC), designated the Program Review Committee Monitor, participates directly in the process. The entire Program Review Committee evaluates the operation of the review process on a continuing basis and makes an annual report to the Provost and Academic Senate. In this report, it recommends any modifications of policies or procedures regarding the review process. In addition, it consults with and advises the Provost on other aspects of Program Review as requested.

The membership of the PRC is comprised of six faculty members and four deans appointed by the President to two-year renewable terms. Members from the faculty are recommended by the Academic Senate after consultation with the Committee on Committees; deans are recommended by the Provost. Faculty should be drawn from the schools in which reviews will be conducted during the year of their service, or from the library if the library is to be reviewed. The Responsible University Official (RUO) is the Chief Academic Officer.

Guidelines for the PRC are accessible here and a current list of Graduate Program Review Committee Members can be found here.

PRC Members

Julia W.P. Hsu, Ph.D.
Chair, Engineering and Computer Science

William Manton, Ph.D.
Vice Chair, Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Mihaela Stefan, Ph.D.
Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Mustapha Ishak-Boushaki, Ph.D.
Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Mark Lee, Ph.D.
Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Jessica C. Murphy, Ph.D.
Dean, Undergraduate Education

Bruce Novak, Ph.D.
Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Anne Balsamo, Ph.D.
Dean, Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication

Stephanie G. Adams, Ph.D.
Dean, Engineering and Computer Science

Past Program Reviews

List of Past Program Reviews (.pdf) (secure access required)

General Links

The Office of Graduate Education
Office of the Provost
The University of Texas at Dallas
Office of Undergraduate Education
Texas Higher Education Board (THECB)
Academic Program Review Booklet (.pdf)


Frequently Asked Questions

How many external reviewers are selected to review our program and how they selected?

Doctoral program reviews will have at least two external reviewers. Stand-alone master’s reviews will have at least one external reviewer. Reviewers are recommended by the unit under review and the Program Review Committee and appointed by The Office of Graduate Education.

What expenses does the unit under review incur?

Expenses incurred by the program being reviewed should be at a minimum. All meals and travel funds are provided by the Office of the Provost.

How many copies of the self-study are we required to provide?

The self-study will be delivered electronically, thereby avoiding the need to provide printed copies of the report.

How long does it take to receive a report from the review committee?

The chair of the review team will provide a complete written report on the review team’s conclusions within 30 days of the on-site visit.

Who has access to view our department/program’s summary report? Can I view past review results?

UTD staff and faculty can view all department reviews in our secure access site.

If I have questions about the process or logistics of our review, who should I contact?

Please contact LaDwyna Evans, Business Manager, in The Office of Graduation with any questions at 972-883-3989 or via email.