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Fundamental Features of Program Maps

Program maps are term-by-term course guidance that define default, on-time pathways to degrees. They are distinct from programs of study listed in a catalog in several key ways. Perhaps foremost, program maps make recommendations for specific courses (or sets of courses) and when they should be taken, with requirements, milestones and expectations provided in one place in a format designed for student planning. Catalog listings provide general education and program requirements without recommendations and often list requirements, expectations and regulations in separate sections.

Program maps are a component of a comprehensive advising program and form the foundation for the development of personalized degree plans for students. Program maps are distinct from degree plans, which are personalized programs of study that each student builds based on their particular academic needs (including any advanced credit or learning support needs), interests (including minors or specific concentrations), and goals.

Program maps are critical tools for students to discover, generate and sustain momentum toward timely completion of postsecondary credentials. Well-designed program maps that are readily available, easy to find on an institution’s website, and usable are valuable resources for prospective and current students, advisors and faculty.  

All University System of Georgia institutions are expected to develop, publish, and regularly update program maps for all programs of study.  This document provides guidance to institutions to support the effective implementation of program maps as tools for achieving improved and equitable completion of postsecondary credentials by students enrolled at USG institutions.