Developing an Online Graduate Program

Developing an Online Graduate Program

Would an online graduate program be a strategic choice for your unit? A professional online master's program is an attractive option for prospective students. Students are increasingly opting for online education to maximize their educational and professional goals and resources. UO Online is poised to assist departments in developing, designing, and deploying online graduate programs. Consider these benefits of developing a fully online program. 

Why Create an Online Graduate Program?

Value for Academic Units

  • Expand and Diversify: Expand the UO's reach and attract a broader student population. Achieve greater diversity that will enrich both the program and the students' experience.
  • Grow Enrollment: Strengthen your academic unit by expanding the scale and access of your programs.
  • Innovate: Leverage the many affordances of technology-enhanced pedagogies. Develop a robust and resilient program positioned to maintain academic continuity in the face of unforeseen environmental and health crises.

Value for Students

  • Flexibility: Asynchronous online courses provide schedule flexibility, empowering non-traditional students to balance work or family responsibilities.
  • Renown: Online or in-person, a degree from the UO represents a quality education.
  • Access: Online programs reduce barriers that students with disabilities or health concerns often face in traditional educational contexts. Online programs also reduce costs associated with travel, commuting, housing, and parking.


"Launching a fully online master's program is a heavy lift; UO Online has been a constant source of support from the inception of the program. With the leadership and support UO Online has provided through market research, the program approval process, course design, faculty training in online best-practices, and student recruitment, we are now thrilled to be working with our third student cohort."

Anne Mannering   |   Program Director, Online Master's of Psychology

Program Support from UO Online

Market Analysis

We will leverage data to help you evaluate financial feasibility, competitive landscape, market demand, and industry-desired skills and competencies.

Project Management Support

Our team will help you manage milestones to keep development and approval on track for a timely program launch.

Faculty Training

We can provide customized training for your faculty on online teaching course design, accessibility, signature pedagogies, and technology tools.

Instructional Design

Your faculty will be paired with instructional designers to support every aspect of online course development and to ensure continuity across the online program.

Media Production

We are equipped to help you create professional and effective learning materials in a variety of media formats.

Regulatory Compliance

We maintain membership in NC-SARA, allowing the University of Oregon to offer online programs to students located in other states.

Marketing & Recruitment Support

We partner with you to develop promotional content and recruitment strategies.

Program Refinement

After the launch of your online program, we provide support to evaluate and refine your online courses.


Online Graduate Program Approval Roadmap

New Online Program Approvals can take 18 months before you start recruiting new students. Steps of the approval process are enumerated in the roadmap diagram and discussed below. After approval, the effective date for your New Online Program will be no sooner than the next Fall term. In other words, plan a two-year process from approval to launch of the first term. Converting an existing program to an online format also requires formal approval, but external review, Board approval, and state-level approvals are not required - significantly reducing the necessary timeline. Read more about processes for New and Revised Programs.

1. Proposal Phase

The proposal phase ensures UO Deans and Office of the Provost (OtP) are informed and in agreement before moving forward.

2. CourseLeaf Approvals Phase

CourseLeaf is the software tool UO uses to approve new programs and new courses. Approval processes for programs and for courses take place in separate modules within CourseLeaf. The green-shaded area in the approval roadmap indicates steps completed within the CourseLeaf Program Management module. Additionally, any new courses proposed as part of the new program must be entered into the CourseLeaf Inventory Management module (step 10 in the roadmap diagram).

Before the Graduate Council confirms their approval in CourseLeaf, the Division of Graduate Studies will coordinate an External Review (step 12 in the roadmap diagram). Allow approximately one month for completion of this review.

3. Final Approvals Phase

Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Ron Bramhall, will help coordinate final approvals. You may find it useful to map your timeline based upon scheduled meeting times for the governance bodies noted in steps 15-17. (For example, regular Board of Trustees meetings occur only four times per yea

Online Program approval process


Carol Gering

Assoc. Vice Provost for Online & Distance Ed.

Krista Chronister

Vice Provost for Graduate Studies

Ron Bramhall

Assoc. Vice Provost for Academic Affairs | (541-346-3428) | (541-346-5219) | (541-346-3028)