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UMM Home > Curriculum Committee > PCAS

Program and Curriculum Approval System (PCAS)

What is PCAS? The Program and Curriculum Approval System (PCAS) is a University of Minnesota Web-based program used for creating and modifying majors and minors and other degree programs.  This program went live in the spring of 2006.  In most cases, disciplines proposing to change the major or minor requirements should use the UMM Curriculum Committee's Form B to indicate the desired changes.  Once the changes have been approved through the Curriculum Committee and Campus Assembly, the Division contact person will enter the approved changes into the PCAS system.  Currently, the PCAS system is being checked by UMM staff for accuracy with the 2005-07 Catalog, so "proposals" out in the PCAS system do not reflect changes at this point, merely an effort to clean up initial entry of currently approved programs that was done in the Twin Cities.

PCAS was designed to do three things:

  1. PCAS is a comprehensive database of all the requirements needed to complete each undergraduate degree program offered on the four University of Minnesota campuses.
  2. PCAS is a web-based approval system that automatically routes all new programs, and any changes to existing programs, to the correct approvers and approval levels throughout the University. It replaces the old paper-based program approval process that was used for creation of new majors or minors.
  3. PCAS also is a resource for the Graduation Planner, the University's program that supports students' timely progress toward graduation. PCAS includes information about timing of course-taking (i.e., when students must/should take each course in order to graduate in four years). This information is used in Grad Planner to help students plan degree programs.

All University catalogs, both print and online, use data from PCAS. Degree requirements for University majors and minors are automatically generated from PCAS for display in the online catalog and this same information is downloaded as needed for print catalogs.

Login to the PCAS System:

A University of Minnesota Internet ID and password is required to enter the PCAS system to view current approved programs and proposals awaiting approval.  Anyone with a UMM e-mail account can view PCAS programs.  Only those with special authorization are allowed to create, edit, and/or approve programs.

UMM PCAS Contacts:

Name Division (phone; e-mail)
Jana Koehler Division of Education (6404; koehlerj)
Jayne Hacker Division of the Humanities (6250; jayneh)
Carol Ford Division of Science & Math (6300; fordcj)
Terri Hawkinson Division of the Social Sciences (6199; hawkints)
Nancy Helsper UMM PCAS Coordinator (6012; helsper)

PCAS Tips and UMM Rules:  the following are general PCAS tips along with some UMM conventions that have been adopted:

  • Do not include General Education Requirements in PCAS.
  • Update courses in ECAS before working in PCAS.
  • A course must exist in ECAS, but doesn't have to be approved, in order to be used in PCAS.
  • Only one proposal is possible in a major at one time.
  • Time-out in PCAS occurs every 1/2 hour--SAVE OFTEN.
  • A program can have up to 4 levels of sub-groups.
  • Each plan and sub-plan must have one sample plan in order to "submit."
  • View the Executive Summary on the submit page to see proposed changes.
  • Hitting the Submit button generates an e-mail to the approver.
  • A "plan" can be a major or minor.
  • A "subplan" is an option within a major or minor.  There is a box that asks if the subplan is optional or required (example: an optional subplan is the Honors Program).
  • At UMM, the Honors Program subplan should be called "Honors."
  • At UMM, the Secondary Education licensure subplan should be called "Teaching Licensure."
Questions should be addressed to Nancy Helsper, UMM PCAS Coordinator (ext. 6012 or e-mail helsper@morris.umn.edu)

Frequently Asked Questions: Download the PCAS FAQ sheet.

PCAS Training Manual:  A manual for those editing in PCAS is coming soon.  

PCAS Steps: For detailed information about the PCAS steps listed below, download the PCAS Steps and Information document.

  1. General Information
  2. Documentation/Narrative Material
  3. Admission Requirements
  4. Program Requirements
  5. Sub-plan/Concentration Requirements
  6. Sample Plan
  7. Checkpoint Chart
  8. Submit

Rules Regarding Current and Future Program Requirements:  For information about the fields that are updatable within the current program requirements and those updatable for future programs, download the Update Rules Regarding Current/Future Students document.

Course Group/List Examples:  For examples of PCAS course groupings (and/or relationships) and course lists (courses/credits in a list -- usually electives), download the Course Group/List Examples document.