Academic Program Review

Academic program review (APR) is an opportunity for faculty and staff of programs, without discipline specific accreditation or approval, to have a clear picture of how their students are doing and what might improve their success. APR is a reflective study that outlines steps that can be taken to bolster a positive impact on students’ learning.

Additionally, APR:

  • Assesses student satisfaction
  • Provides a broad view of academic programs through the eyes of
    • Students
    • Faculty
    • Staff
    • Administrators
    • Alumni
  • Allows for the establishment of long-term and short-term program goals
  • Contributes to planning at department and university levels
  • Supports completion of annual assessment reports

If you have questions or would like assistance, please email


▼   What is an academic program review?
APR is a reflective study that outlines steps that can be taken to bolster a positive impact on students’ learning. It involves a comprehensive self-study as well as a report from an external reviewer.
▼   Why do programs undergo academic program reviews?
An academic program review serves as an in-depth self-study and allows the program to identify the future direction, needs, and priorities. The goal is to examine and strengthen the programs.
▼   How are programs selected for academic program review?
Programs that do not have external accrediting bodies undergo APR every seven years. OIE maintains a schedule in which approximately eight programs undergo APR each year.
▼   How long does academic program review typically take?
APR typically takes programs a little over a year to complete from start to finish. This allows programs to have plenty of time to complete all of the required steps before submission.
▼   Who should be involved in the academic program review process?
Throughout the process, it is imperative that the program faculty and staff consider perceptions from faculty, administrators (advisers, recruiters, support staff), students, alumni, and employers.
▼   What documents should be included in the final submission of the academic program review to OIE?

The final submission to OIE through Watermark Planning & Self-Study* should include the completed self-study and the external reviewer’s report.

* Due to the recent implementation of Watermark Planning & Self-Study, 2023-2024 final submissions should be sent directly to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

This handbook was designed to be both a method of setting expectations for academic program review (APR) as well as a collection of resources that will be useful to you and others in your program as you go through the review process. Discussing the information found in this document with those involved in your APR process will ensure that everyone is on the same page as far as the expectations and instructions for completing APR.

In this handbook, you will find documents such as: 

  • Guidelines to assist you throughout the APR process as a whole 
  • A checklist for your APR self-study 
  • A list of data to be utilized 
  • Worksheets to guide APR meetings 
  • Information about curriculum mapping 
  • And more…

If you have any additional questions about APR after reviewing this document, please email the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at or call the office at (251) 460-6447 for assistance.

Academic Program Review Handbook

2023-2024 2024-2025 2025-2026 2026-2027
Basic Medical Sciences, PhD Biomedical Sciences, BSBS Chemical Engineering, MSChE Biology (inclusive of double majors: Biology and Education), BS
Criminal Justice, BA Civil Engineering, MSCE Creative Technologies and Practice, MFA Biology, MS
Dramatic Arts, BA Exercise Physiology and Kinesiology, MS* (Health Promotion and Exercise Science MS) Educational Leadership, EDD Communication, MA
Environmental Toxicology, MSET International Studies, BA Electrical Engineering, MSEE Communication Studies, BA
Philosophy, BA Sociology, BA Geology, BS Educational Media and Technology, MS
Physics, BS

Systems Engineering, PhD

Hospitality and Tourism Management, BS Interdisciplinary Studies Program (B.A. and B.S.), BS/BA
Studio Art, BFA   Mechanical Engineering, MSME Sport Management, MS
Visual Art, BA   Theatre Arts, BFA Sport Management and Recreation Studies, BS
      Systems Engineering, MS