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12.03.01 – Extension Programs

Section: Academic Affairs

Area: Academic Programs

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In order to ensure that all Extension Programs offered through the University of Houston are in compliance with state and university requirements, colleges are required to adhere to the policies and procedures as set forth in this document.


A. Extension Program(s): Approved credit courses, certificates, or degree programs offered outside the State of Texas and do not qualify for state funding.

B. Memorandum of Agreement (MOA): A contract between the university and external entity (another party) that spells out the terms for the delivery of the Extension Program.


The offering of Extension Programs by an institution of higher education is authorized by the Texas Education Code. These programs may include the delivery of courses, certificates and/or degrees for which the offering institution receives no tuition or formula funding. Under Section 54.545 of the Texas Education Code, the governing board of an institution of higher education is required to charge a reasonable fee to persons registered in extension courses and provides that the fees shall be of sufficient amount to permit the institution to recover all costs associated with its delivery.


A. Extension Program Development: The Office of the Provost should be contacted during preliminary proposal development to assist with planning. The following should be developed during the preliminary proposal phase:

1. An Extension Program must be an approved degree program, an approved certificate, or a subset of courses from either. The proposal should address program need and student recruitment.

Preliminary program proposals must include:

• The approved degree, certificate or subset of courses to be offered;

• A description of the proposed Extension Program, including course offerings;

• Sequencing of coursework;

• Number of semesters required for program completion;

• The semester that courses offered for the program will begin;

• The method and location of delivery (e.g., face to face, online, hybrid, or via a combination of technologies);

• Faculty involved;

• Positions (staff and faculty) responsible for the management of the program;

• Provisioning of required student support services (i.e. library resources, instructional materials, online resources, etc.) and;

• Any other information that provides a clear picture of how the program will be structured.

Extension Programs are required to complete a Substantive Change as required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The Substantive Change documentation should be submitted to the Institutional Research and Effectiveness Office in the Office of the Provost at least six months prior to the start of the program.

2. Budget Proposal - A proposed budget for the Extension Program must include a needs assessment as well as cost estimates, estimated enrollment, and estimated fee revenue for the life of the program or a minimum of three years.

Costs may include but are not limited to:

• Faculty salaries (including benefits);

• Administrative staff salaries (including benefits);

• Fees for local services if the program is delivered out-of-area (i.e. space rental, computing resources, local support staff, etc.);

• Any college or departmental administrative or overhead charges, including additional personnel;

• Marketing;

• Instructional texts and materials;

• Any supplemental course activities;

• Travel expenses if applicable;

In offering an approved degree program, certificate, or subset of courses through Extension Programs, the college agrees to waive all college and course fees generally associated with the courses offered. Classes will be given a special code that will provide a "No Bill" function for all tuition and fees. The college will determine the total fee charged (subject to approval by the Provost). Since Extension Program courses are not formula-funded, the full costs of the entire program must be recovered from this one inclusive fee.

Program budget must also reflect a financial split with the university. The split will be 80 percent of gross revenues to the college, and 20 percent to the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

B. Institutional Review and Required Approval

1. Graduate Programs

Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School

2. Undergraduate Programs

Senior Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Student Success

3. The Institute for Global Engagement must review Extension Programs operating internationally.

4. Final authorization to offer an Extension Program resides with the Provost.

C. Memorandum of Agreement: A Memorandum of Agreement must be signed by all parties prior to offering courses. Templates for these agreements are available from the Office of the Provost. A prepared agreement must be approved through the Contracts Office prior to sending it to the external entity. No classes may be offered until the Memorandum of Agreement has been executed by both parties and all requisite administrative steps have been completed related to admissions.

V. Admissions

A. Applicants for the Extension Programs will utilize Apply Texas (ATA) or Common App (CA) to submit their application. The relevant college at UH will collaborate with the external partner institution to provide the Admissions Office with requisite documentation, including transcripts and test scores. To avoid unrelated holds being placed on the student records, the UH college must provide a program and plan code for the cohort. Students applying to an Extension Program must be compliant with the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) or exempt before admission into the program. Extension students admitted to graduate Extension Programs will be exempted from TSI because they will have already earned a baccalaureate degree.

B. Colleges are responsible for reviewing all student admission applications.

Student applications must be evaluated for prerequisite compliance and to assure that the appropriate transcripts and test results are included. If applicable, international transcripts must be accompanied with translations from an authorized transcription service.  

C. For graduate programs, each application must include the appropriate test scores required for the program (e.g., GRE, GMAT).

D. International students will be required to meet UH English Language Proficiency requirements.

E. The Office of Admissions or the Graduate School will receive the college-approved applications and ensure students are entered into the student information system.

F. Students may not begin taking classes until they have been admitted and enrolled into the appropriate sections.

G. The college must complete the international admission questionnaire for undergraduate international extension agreements.


A. Classes may not be offered prior to the approval of the Extension Program by the Provost and the execution of the Memorandum of Agreement between the parties.

B. The college will create all Extension sections based on required courses. Classes will be designated as extension in the student information system when classes are scheduled. These sections will be hidden to avoid enrollment by students outside the specific Extension Program.


A. The college will request a unique student group code to maintain the Extension Program.

B. The college will enroll the students in the appropriate sections using a student group enrollment code. This group enrollment code is used for student tracking purposes and will be assigned to each Extension Program by the Bursar's Office prior to the beginning of the program.

C. Students may not begin taking classes until they have been admitted and enrolled into the appropriate sections. 


Grade reporting and course transcription will be managed in the same manner as regular academic courses by the Office of the University Registrar.


A. Faculty

Use of tenured or tenure-track faculty to teach in an Extension Program will only be approved if these instructors teach on an overload basis. Payment of faculty must be through UH payroll system, may not exceed Additional Compensation guidelines, and must be charged against the college's Extension Program account.

B. Billing

Billing for Extension Programs will be managed in accordance with the approved MOA.

C. Payment Collection

The University is responsible for the collection of payment per the MOA.

D. Revenue Distribution

1. Colleges must establish a unique cost center for each Extension Program.

2. The College will manage the finances for the Extension Program and will transfer 20% of the gross revenue to the Office of the Provost to a cost center provided by that office. A distribution of the funds will take place during the semester that the funds are received.


Issued: 08/31/2007
Last Reviewed/Revised: 09/22/2023
Responsible Office(s): Academic Affairs