Learning Through Research

Program Review

CUR Program Review Service

"This was our first experience with the CUR site visit consultant program. We were able to choose from among a list of site visitors from institutions similar to our own. Our two visitors had done their homework. They were well-acquainted with our self-study report and came prepared to ask appropriate questions. Their comments and suggestions were specific and relevant, enabling us to complete a successful program review that will have a positive impact on our department."
Kurt Fletcher, Professor and Chair of Physics and Astronomy, SUNY Geneseo

Program Review Services

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Program Review Committee offers review services to academic departments, divisions, and schools or colleges. We provide these services by calling upon academic professionals who share our vision and goals, and who have thought deeply about undergraduate education. Our faculty and administrative reviewers are experienced in visiting academic institutions where they listen to you and provide the help you need.
Our reviewers have a wide range of expertise. They can assist you in:
  • evaluating your curriculum, program, department, or division,
  • assessing or evaluating your undergraduate research program on various types of campuses,
  • preparing for an accreditation visit, and
  • transforming or rejuvenating a department.
Benefits of external program reviews include:
  • impartial third party credibility,
  • a review process that is cost effective,
  • sensitivity to issues relevant to predominantly undergraduate institutions,
  • experienced reviewers whom you select to meet the needs of your institution and program,
  • availability of interdisciplinary, multi-departmental reviews,
  • a review of your research compliance programs, and
  • a review of the activities of your sponsored program and/or foundation offices.
"The CUR team did a tremendous job in helping us not only document the many ways in which our faculty already encourage and implement undergraduate student research activity, but also in highlighting the opportunities for future development and growth. Their efforts have helped us launch several new initiatives related to undergraduate research and faculty development, as well as expand several ongoing programs. What a great resource!"
Robert K. Bitting, Associate Vice President, Academic Research, Planning and Administration, Alfred University


Reviewers can come to your campus to perform a traditional departmental or divisional review and provide a report for your department or administration. Reviewers can also arrange a review of a particular program or provide you with expertise in any of the areas listed above.
"The CUR team conducted a comprehensive and instructive review of our entire science division at Moravian College. Their assessment and recommendations were clear, informed, and most productive. Our CUR reviewers suggested a number of important measures for improvement, but perhaps more significantly, they provided a framework for ongoing development of our own plans and actions to strengthen the natural sciences. Their guidance has been timely and central to our implementation of an institutional strategic initiative to further develop science programs, faculty, and facilities at Moravian."
Ervin J. Rokke, President, Moravian College

The Process: We work with you.

Because the types of reviews can vary tremendously, those interested in having an external review should contact the CUR Program Review Committee via the link below. The Program Review Committee will work with you to develop a work plan. The Committee will ask you for background information on your campus and what you expect to gain from the review. This allows the Committee to identify the best people to meet your needs. The Program Review Committee, composed of representatives of all CUR disciplinary divisions, will propose the names of several reviewers. The Program Review Committee will then monitor the process as you and the reviewers set up a schedule and proceed with the visit.
"The consultants from CUR were insightful and thorough. They not only helped us strengthen our interaction with students in the classroom and research settings but also demonstrated new ways the faculty could connect together as well. It was a most rewarding experience."
Sam Lofland, Associate Professor of Physics, Director, Materials Research Group, Rowan University

Fee Structure

Below is the recommended fee structure for reviews. Modifications can be negotiated depending upon local circumstances.
  • $600 per consultant per day on site
  • $300 report writing fee
  • $500 CUR Charge (No Charge for CUR Institutional Members)
Using the above figures the cost of a two day visit with two reviewers, including report, is $2,700 for CUR member institutions and $3,200 for non-institutional members. Additionally, the institution is responsible for all travel and related costs (housing and meals) for the reviewers associated with the site visit.
A typical review of an academic department may include one to three reviewers for 11/2 to 2 days' work on campus. For information on costs associated with larger reviews (i.e., entire divisions or institutions), On-campus institutes, or speakers, please contact Beth Ambos directly at eambos@cur.org.


Institutions wanting to set up a review should contact the Program Review Committee four to six months prior to the expected date of the visit as scheduling reviewers oftern requires lead time.
Oral feedback is provided by the reviewers at the conclusion of the visit, with a written report following within three to four weeks. The review represents the opinions of the reviewers and not necessarily of CUR and the review is not an endorsement of a program by CUR.
"Our Mathematical Sciences Department is diverse, comprising mathematicians, computer scientists, and statisticians. Faced with impending retirements of nearly half the faculty, the Department thought it would benefit from an external review, and we turned to CUR’s [review] program for assistance. A team of three reviewers did an outstanding job of providing helpful advice for all areas of our program--offering astute guidance on how to structure future hires to meet the needs of the Department and College, on how to promote conversations among the mathematical scientists and other disciplines, and on how to ensure excellent education for majors and non-majors while sustaining an active research environment. We are delighted with the outcome of the process and the quality of the CUR Consultants, and as a result the Department feels well prepared to meet the challenges that face it."
Gary Reiness, Dean, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Lewis and Clark College
To begin the process complete and submit the web form found below. You may also contact the CUR National Office by telephone or email at:
Telephone: (202) 783 4810
E-Mail: cur@cur.org
General information
Purpose, structure, size and composition, preparation.

Procedures for arranging a review
"Usual" sequence of events for a review.

Program Review Application Checklist
Information checklist that will be provided to the consultants prior to their arrival on your campus.

For more information or to begin the program review process click on this link and complete the form.
You will be contacted by a Program Review Committee Representative.

Program Review Survey
To be completed by contact person at institution who requested a review upon completion of the review.


Program Review Report Summary
To be completed by the lead consulting upon completion of a review.

Program Review Timetable
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