Skip to main content

How to Launch an Undergraduate Program

Congratulations! The start-up of a new academic program is an exciting time.

The process also involves many steps. During the earliest stages, the Office of the Registrar can provide advice, often even before the submission of the Letter of the Intent (LOI). To receive valuable input from experts within the Office of the Registrar, please contact University Registrar Charmaine Hack (, ext. 7253) as soon as possible during the program planning process. 

This online resource summarizes the many steps in the process of developing a new program. For more detailed information and to discuss individual cases, please contact the department managers/directors listed in each section. In the meantime, please review these common questions about new program launches. 

Multiple units across Ryerson participate in the launch process. In this web portal, those units have been grouped into the following categories:


The work to launch a new program should begin approximately 24 months before the first cohort of students will start classes. Therefore, if a new academic program is slated to start in September 2021, work to develop the program should begin by September 2019.


A considerable amount of effort is required to launch a new program. In addition to securing mandatory approvals from the university’s governing bodies, tremendous work is needed to effectively plan and implement a program’s marketing and communications strategy. Finally, there are numerous logistical issues that must be co-ordinated, including fees, scheduling, classroom allocation, admission requirements and registration.

Often, those activities have overlapping schedules. Therefore, to ensure a successful launch and to avoid making any last-minute requests, it’s strongly advised that you:

  • Review the stages of a program launch and remain proactive as the program proposal progresses through the official channels. 
  • Contact administrative units well within the suggested timelines to initiate the various activities required to launch a program.


Vice-Provost, Academic:
In order to secure the required approvals for a fall 2021 launch, the full proposal for a new program must be submitted to:

  • The Academic Standards Committee of Ryerson’s Senate no later than the the end of December 2019 in order to meet the February 2020 deadline to submit all materials for the March 2020 meeting of Senate.
  • Ryerson’s Board of Governors in time for its meeting in April 2020.

Therefore, May 2020 is the ideal target to secure full approvals from the university’s governing bodies.


Office of the Registrar:

The Office of the Registrar requires information about the new program as soon as possible. Ample time is needed to build program plans in the Student Administrative System (SAS), to ensure students are eligible for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) funding, and to provide details of the program’s final curriculum in the calendar, student guide and on the university’s website.

Meanwhile, provided that the above-mentioned approval deadlines are met, all Admissions activities related to the launch of the new program will likely proceed in a normal fashion (e.g., securing Ontario Universities’ Application Centre [OUAC] application codes, SAS processes and letters, etc.).


Marketing and External Relations:

The new program must be included in Ryerson's 2021 Admissions Handbook, which will enter its final design stage in May 2020 and will be printed in early June 2020.  

To meet that publication deadline, the Letter of Intent and Senate submission materials for the new program must be made available to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment and Ryerson’s Marketing and Creative Services department no later than February 2020. This critical information about the new program will help the marketing team to develop promotional copy and source appropriate images for the viewbook.