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Assessment Requirements at the University of Pittsburgh

Requirements approved on November 9, 2006

For each program and for their general education curriculum, schools and regional campuses must:

  1. Assess all degree and certificate granting programs listed in the graduate and undergraduate bulletins including each major at each degree level, e.g., Associate of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Master of Public Health, Doctor of Philosophy in English; MD, JD, MPPM, MAT, EdD, MSW, etc.*
  2. Articulate the program’s mission and goals which are reflective of national disciplinary norms as well as unique features of the University of Pittsburgh program.
  3. Identify three to five learning outcomes that are consistent with the University’s goals for all of our graduates.
  4. Identify the methods of assessment that will be used including when in the curriculum, and how, learning outcomes will be assessed. (Assessment of specific outcomes may be based on a sample of students.)
  5. Include at least some direct evidence in the assessment process.
  6. Conduct periodic validation external to the course and instructor, if a specific course is part of the assessment.
  7. Determine standards of comparison/target for results of assessment.
  8. Outline a process of faculty and administrative review that ensures assessment results are used for program improvement.
  9. Complete an Assessment Plan Matrix** (download a Word version here) with the information requested above.***
  10. Employ a multi-year assessment process in which the progress towards certain goals will be assessed at least every three to five years.

*Schools and campuses may choose to aggregate majors with strong overlap in goals and curricula. Departments and programs may assess Areas of Concentrations within majors.

**The Assessment Matrix is based on the University of Virginia Assessment Matrix Template

*** Programs may request permission to substitute a professional accreditation process as the assessment protocol by showing how that professional accreditation process maps onto the institutional framework for assessment.

For more information, view the Assessment Guidelines here.

Review the FAQ section of this Web site for more information about specific requirements.

Responsibility for Assessment

Program faculty are responsible for the development and administration of the assessment processes of individual programs in accordance with the appropriate programmatic or departmental governance structure.

Department chairs are responsible for coordinating the assessment process for departmentally-based programs.

Deans, directors, and campus presidents are responsible for coordinating the assessment process for school- and campus-based programs.

Schools and regional campuses are responsible for developing internal procedures for documenting program assessment.

Deans, directors, and campus presidents are to report annually to the Provost on the school’s and campus’ assessment activities and relevant results as part of their planning process.


May 6, 2012

All Certificates, Degree Programs, and General Education Programs must provide documentation of their assessment plans.

Submissions should include a table of contents and be submitted on a CD or via email to Vice Provost Juan Manfredi in 809 CL by May 6, 2012. 

(Note: every learning outcome need not be assessed every year, however, all assessment plans must demonstrate a sustainable process that ensures all learning outcomes will be assessed within a five-year cycle.  For General Education Programs, results for at least one outcome not previously assessed must be provided.)

Department Chairs and program faculty should check with their Dean’s Office for school-wide program deadlines.



  Degree-granting programs & certificates General Education programs

Spring 2007

Assessment Plan  

Spring 2008

1st Learning Outcome assessed Assessment Plan

Spring 2009

2nd Learning Outcome assessed 1st Learning Outcome assessed

Spring 2010

3rd Learning Outcome assessed 2nd Learning Outcome assessed

Spring 2011

Assessment of Learning Outcomes continues 3rd Learning Outcome assessed

Spring 2012

Assessment of Learning Outcomes continues Assessment of Learning Outcomes continues









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