Program Review

The Council on Undergraduate Research Departmental and Program Review Committee offers review services to academic departments or specific administrative units, such as undergraduate research program offices. We provide these services by calling upon academic professionals who share CUR’s vision and goals, are experienced in departmental program reviews and/or disciplinary accreditation processes, and are leaders in undergraduate education quality. Our faculty and administrative reviewers will prepare in advance of the visit, will listen to your needs and challenges during the visit, and provide the help you need throughout the review process.

Our reviewers have a wide range of expertise. They can assist you in the following:

  • Evaluating your curriculum, program, or department
  • Assessing or evaluating your undergraduate research program
  • Preparing for a departmental accreditation visit
  • 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 undergraduate curricula and culture
  • Experienced reviewers whom you select to meet the needs of your specific departmental program

“This was our first experience with the CUR Program Review service. 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


Reviewers can come to your campus to perform a traditional departmental review or a review of a particular program and provide a written report to you or your administration.  Reviewers can also provide you with expertise in any of the areas listed above.

The Process:  Program Reviewers Work with You.

Because the types of reviews can vary tremendously, those interested in having an external review should submit their request to CUR Program Review Services. The Program Review Committee will work with you to develop a work plan. The committee will ask you for background information on your campus, what you expect to gain from the review, and what particular types of reviewers you would like (i.e., subdisciplinary expertise, geographic location). 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


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 often requires substantial 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

For more information regarding CUR Program Reviews, please see Program Review General Information and Program Review Application Checklist.

Contact CUR Program Review Services to Request a Departmental Program Review Today!