Are You Curious To Know How University Courses Are Created ?

As colleges and universities open their gates for this academic year, prospective students are inundated with a platter of degree programs based on their varied interests. In addition to looking at the specificities of each program, what may also help students is to understand the logic and necessity behind the formulation of different courses that each of these programs offer.

The design and addition of new courses in higher education is mostly necessitated by the gaps in the ongoing curriculum, which make themselves apparent over the years. In a similar vein, the formulation and introduction of new courses is not a solitary decision that is taken overnight. Rather, it is a rigorous process that requires multiple stakeholders, including academicians, industry experts and pedagogy experts, governmental bodies, and the students themselves. It is a long and an arduous journey but this article tries to simplify and present the entire process for you:

Step 1: Thorough research by the Board of Studies

Once the need for introducing new courses has been identified, the first step is the establishment of a Board of Studies. The Board of Studies is a panel constituted by industry experts, academicians and government representatives who are expected to work together to develop a draft for the proposed courses, and prepare a report. This is done after having conducted thorough ground research that backs its necessity. Also taken into consideration are the predicted requirements of the market and the industry at a local and a global level. Once this data has been collated and collected, and the draft course formulated, the report that has been developed should ascertain that the courses should adhere to the governmental guidelines established by the University Grants Commission (UGC). For instance, to get a new course in law approved, UGC would ensure that it fulfils all the requirements established by the Bar Council of India (UGC,2021 –Point 2.1). Therefore, as long as the industry need is fulfilled and the regulations of the respective councils are followed, UGC permits most new courses to be introduced. Resultantly, once the report has been prepared with a draft outline of the course, it is presented to the Academic Council for further deliberation.

One thing to take note with the introduction of National Education Poilicy-2020 (NEP,2020)  is that the UGC plans to dissolve most professional Councils, except for some statutory bodies like Medical Council of India, and the Bar Council of India (NEP,2020 – Point 18.3). However, this remains to be seen in the next couple of years.

Step 2: Approval by the Academic Council

Once the final report and the draft course curriculum has been formulated, it is passed on to the Academic Council, which is constituted of  chosen  faculty members of every department in the university, as well as industry experts who had been part of the Board of Studies.

The first step by the Council is to verify the validity of the course. This includes crosschecking the UGC guidelines, as well as the requirements of the respective professional councils, if applicable. Once this has been checked and verified, the Academic Council decides on the other interdepartmental courses that could supplement the students’ learnings and add to the things they learn in the new course. For instance, if the new course introduced is in the domain of forensic sciences, then chemistry, biology, and genetics are some likely courses that can be added additionally to the schedule. This is because these courses are probable to have some additional value for the student, and are likely to complement their learning in the forensic sciences course. The same logic is applied to all new courses, be it in artificial intelligence, business analytics, or Shakespeare. Once these courses have been determined and recommended, the proposal is forwarded to the Board of Management.

Step 3: Review by the Board of Management (BOM)

Once the proposal has been received, the Board of Management (which is the second highest body of the university) is expected to review the draft course and the course recommendations made by the members of the Academic Council, including the faculty and industry experts. After careful consideration, the Board prepares the final course and sends it to the Board of Governors for certification and approval.

Step 4: Approval by the Board of Governors(BOG)

The final course is sent by the BOM to the Board of Governors (BOG), the highest body of the university. The BOG, after carefully reviewing the recommendations by the Academic Council and the BOM, finally approves the new course, which then means that the students of the university can begin enrolling for it.

While the process seems fairly easy right now, there is a lot of careful consideration that goes into the formulation of any new course, and the mark of a good course is that it is not static but rather dynamic. It is imperative that in this fast-moving world, the course and its syllabus are contemporary and up-to-date. Furthermore, a good university should attempt to make its curriculum dynamic and constantly update it according to the latest developments in the respective fields. In fact, this is one of the subtle markers of a good university. A university that imparts outdated knowledge fails to create leaders who look to the future, and so, look into whether your university of choice regularly updates its courses or not.

Hopefully, this article has given you some insights into how universities create courses. However, the key thing to remember is that university courses only aids in establishing the foundation of your knowledge, and the true learning begins when you are able to implement the knowledge you have gained.  Good luck and Godspeed on your educational journey.

Important Note * –  Please bear in mind that the outline provided in this article is a standard procedure followed in most Private Universities in India. The board names may differ in some university setup , but the overall structure would remain the same. Also most importantly any course created is subject to the authorisation and approval of the statutory bodies of both the Government and the individual universities.


NEP,2021. National Education Policy 2020. [online] Available at: <https://www.education.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/NEP_Final_English_0.pdf> [Accessed 4 August 2021].

UGC, 2021. GUIDELINES FOR ESTABLISHING NEW DEPARTMENTS WITHIN THE CAMPUS, SETTING UP OF OFF-CAMPUS CENTER(S) / INSTITUTION(S)/ OFFSHORE CAMPUS AND STARTING DISTANCE EDUCATION PROGRAMMES BY THE DEEMED UNIVERSITIES. [online] Ugc.ac.in. Available at: <https://www.ugc.ac.in/oldpdf/xplanpdf/Guidelines%20for%20New%20Dept.%20in%20Deemed%20Universities.pdf> [Accessed 4 August 2021].


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  • Dr. Syed Azhar Ahmed, Director-International Cell & Placements, Garden City University, Bangalore
    at 3 years ago

    You are a Gem!
    Expressions amplified by your writing strategies, and the writing habits you have inculcated explain that; We write to taste life twice. I am sure that this article is the referral point for all the Private Universities in India & globe.

  • Dr.Sudha Ravindranath, Senior Scientist, NRSC,ISRO
    at 3 years ago

    Article gives a very good insight into the rigouous procedures adopted in the introduction of new courses by Universities, their strive towards providing meaningful, relevant education to the youth as well bringing dynamism in the subjects based on the market requirement. The curriculum of the courses itself speaks about the universitiy’s efforts to keep pace with changing times. Very good and apt article. Very well written. Looking forward gor many more such good articles

  • Dr.Madhu Malleshappa
    at 3 years ago

    It is a fantabulous article on the formulation of the new programmes and courses christo sir. You have very well explained step by step process of curriculum implementation with perfect justification of how the syllabi of a good university is not static but very dynamic in this fast-moving world.

  • Sanchaiyata Majumdar
    at 3 years ago

    We rarely discuss how a syllabus is structured, what goes on while the process of syllabus designing. Students and their parents/ guardians while looking for the best of curriculum either skip or do not think it nevessary to know the syllabus formation process. But this article may be an eye-opener for many when they come to know that there are numerous steps to a good syllabi. After reading this article i personally believe that, it is an unique attempt as it discusses something that remains within the four walls of the academic department(s) of a college or an university and is rarely spoken of. Kudos to the thought!

  • Subramanian
    at 3 years ago

    Nice to see the process of new course creation in universities, a good logical approach, well explained, many may not be aware of. I thought I will just add here that in autonomous institutions such as IIMs (I know) and may be IITs, faculty, I believe have freedom to float new courses depending on receptivity and their competence / acceptance; ultimately the faculty has to sell his / her course for it to stay alive

  • G R Naik
    at 3 years ago

    The article very well explains the flow chart of creating new courses in Indian universities particularly in private institutions.
    The stakeholders will get a first hand information and will help in suggesting the gaps and points for revision during the process.
    Excellent language and simple style of writing useful blogs relevant to higher education.

  • Ganga Govind
    at 3 years ago

    Very well written formulation and importance of course that would be added. GCU is one the finest and efficient universities.
    Congratulations and hats off to you Christo for explaining it in a very creative blog.

  • Dr.Annie Thomas
    at 3 years ago

    I had a good fortune of reading this article regarding university course creation. It’s well written and contain sound practical advice. I appreciate your coverage of the procedures in step wise manner. It’s helpful for the stakeholders especially in this current scenario.

  • Dr.Annie Thomas
    at 3 years ago

    I had a good fortune of reading this article regarding university course creation. It’s well written and contain sound practical advice. I appreciate your coverage of the procedures in step wise manner. It’s helpful for the stakeholders especially in this current scenario.

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    at 2 years ago

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