Learning Through Research

Program Review

CUR Departmental and Undergraduate Research 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

Departmental and Undergraduate Research Program Review Services

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) 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 our vision and goals, are experienced in departmental program reviews and/or disciplinary accreditation processes, and who have thought deeply about undergraduate education quality. 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, or department,
  • assessing or evaluating your undergraduate research program on various types of campuses,
  • preparing for a departmental 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 undergraduate curricula and culture,
  • experienced reviewers whom you select to meet the needs of your specific departmental program


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: We work with you.

Because the types of reviews can vary tremendously, those interested in having an external review should submit their request to programreview@cur.org. 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. sub-disciplinary 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

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
  • $750 CUR Charge (Fee Waived for CUR Institutional Members)

A typical review of an academic department may include one to three reviewers for 11/2 to 2 days' work on campus.

Using the above figures the cost of a two day visit with two reviewers, including report, is $2,700 for CUR member institutions and $3,450 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.



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 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

Contact CUR to Request a Departmental Program Review Today!

E-Mail: programreview@cur.org

Telephone: (202) 783 4810 X 205


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.

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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