GSH Section 13 - Graduate Studies Committee

Graduate Studies Committee Introduction - 13.0

Each graduate program authorized to offer a graduate degree must have a Graduate Studies Committee (GSC). The Graduate Studies Committee oversees and administers its graduate degree programs and is the liaison between the Graduate School and the graduate faculty members in the graduate program. 

Membership. Only graduate faculty members and graduate students in the graduate program are eligible to serve officially on the Graduate Studies Committee. The committee must have a minimum of three members, and the Graduate School strongly recommends that at least one current graduate student and at least one faculty member from each departmental unit (if applicable) serve as committee members.

Selection. The graduate faculty members in the graduate program determine the rules by which the Graduate Studies Committee’s members and its chair are selected and their terms of office specified. The head of the academic unit or department chair may be a member of the committee but normally does not serve as its chair.

General Responsibilities of the Graduate Studies Committee - 13.1

Decisions made by Graduate Studies Committees must comply with Graduate School rules. The Graduate Studies Committee assumes other responsibilities as assigned to it by the Graduate School, the graduate faculty members in the graduate program, the head of the academic unit, or the committee members. The committee reports on its actions taken during the year to graduate faculty members in the graduate program. The following sections summarize the responsibilities of the Graduate Studies Committee. This list is not exhaustive.

Rules and Procedures of Graduate Studies Committees - 13.2

The GSC formulates rules and procedures relevant to its own graduate programs within the policies established by the Graduate Council and the Graduate Faculty members in the graduate program. 

  • Publishes and makes readily available to students and faculty in the graduate program an updated (at least every five years) graduate program handbook containing the policies, rules, and procedures relevant to its own graduate programs, including pathways to report concerns. Programs should use the Graduate School Handbook as the foundation for their graduate program handbook.  
  • Establishes procedures for assigning and changing advisors. 
  • Considers and acts on student petitions that pertain to its rules. Student academic concerns or petitions to the program that cannot be mediated by the advisor, GSC, department, or college may be referred to the Graduate School for consideration. Concerns regarding Graduate School policy should also be referred to the Graduate School.  
  • Establishes rules respecting thesis and non-thesis master’s degree programs and guidelines for demonstration of scholarly work (Section 6). 
  • Considers and recommends action on curricula, program changes, and graduate courses proposed for graduate credit to Graduate Council. 
  • Considers and acts on requests for non-graduate faculty members to teach courses for Graduate credit (5000-8000-level courses). More information may be found in the University’s Faculty Appointments Policy
  • May propose other plan options for tagged master’s degrees (Section 6.7) to the Graduate Council (e.g., inclusion of graduate certificate or minor on diploma or transcript). 
  • Appoints faculty for Category M membership on the graduate faculty. 
  • Nominates faculty for Category P membership to the Graduate School. 
  • Approves emeritus faculty members to continue specified graduate faculty functions. Reviews graduate faculty membership. 
  • Maintains a list of graduate faculty and their activities in graduate education, including the number of candidacy exams and dissertations on which they have served as the Graduate Faculty Representative. The Graduate School encourages participation in as many examinations as the GFR as they have used for their own graduate students’ examinations. 

Decisions Regarding New, Current and Former Students - 13.3

Admission. The GSC specifies admission criteria and admission credentials in addition to those required by the Graduate School. The GSC: 

  • Makes admission recommendations. 
  • Specifies and monitors the conditions that must be satisfied by students admitted in the conditional classification. 
  • Approves provisional classification extensions and may withdraw the provisional offer of admission or recommend denial of further registration. 
  • Approves changes in a student’s admission classification. 
  • Approves extensions of the English as a Second Language time limit.

Transfers (Section 2.9), Reinstatement (Section 5.6 and Section 7.8), Senior Petition (Section 4.0) and Fresh Start (Section 4.2).

The GSC reviews requests from current and former graduate students for changes in program, registration, and credits. 

  • Considers and acts on requests from students to transfer into its graduate program. 
  • Establishes rules for reenrollment of former students. 
  • Considers petitions to reinstatement from students who have been denied further registration or dismissed from a graduate program. 
  • Approves courses taken under Senior Petition to be counted toward the graduate degree. 
  • Determines achievement level required and number of graduate credits that may be earned through credit by examination (“EM” credit). 
  • Recommends approval of graduate courses to be transferred from another university. 
  • Determines if the fresh start rule applies to former graduate students. 

Academic Standards and Program Quality - 13.4

The GSC establishes and enforces rules, procedures, and practices consistent with high quality graduate programs 

  • Determines program-specific policies on time limits for completing degree requirements consistent with Graduate School rules. 
  • Reviews students’ academic performance. 
  • Determines reasonable progress and recommends action. 
  • May establish a foreign language requirement. 

Master’s Degree Programs - 13.5

The GSC enforces Graduate School rules regarding master’s degree programs. The GSC may:

  • ​Recommend awarding a master’s degree on the basis of passing the doctoral candidacy examination or completion of satisfactory scholarly work for a thesis or approved non-thesis work. 
  • Establish rules for designating master’s degree areas of specialization (Section 8.5) to be recorded on student transcripts. 
  • Establish rules and procedures for the conduct of the master’s examination, including attendance by graduate students and faculty members other than the master’s examination committee members. 
  • Review student records to ensure that master’s degree requirements are met. 

Doctoral Degree Programs - 13.6

The GSC enforces rules regarding doctoral degree programs.The GSC may:

  • Establish rules for designating doctoral degree areas of specialization to be recorded on student transcript. 
  • Establish a foreign language requirement. 
  • Establish rules and procedures for the conduct of preliminary examination (Section 7.2) if applicable. 
  • Establish rules and procedures for the conduct of the candidacy examination (Section 7.6). 
  • Determine whether students may take a second candidacy examination. 
  • Establish rules and procedures for selecting the dissertation committee. 
  • Establish rules and procedures for the conduct of the final oral examination (Section 7.9). 
  • Determine if other faculty members and graduate students may attend the final oral examination according to the rules of the Graduate School. 
  • Decide whether the advisor or another member of the graduate faculty serves as chair of the candidacy examination committee and whether the advisor is a member of this committee and reports this decision to the Graduate School. 

In addition, the GSC of Combined Programs also:

  • Monitors progress of combined program students.

In addition, the GSC of Certificate Programs also:

  • May establish rules for graduate certificate programs of study.

Graduate Associates and Fellows - 13.7

The GSC enforces Graduate School rules regarding graduate associates. The GSC:

  • Determines whether students are eligible to hold GA appointments. 
  • Monitors appropriateness of non-graduate credit courses in meeting minimum GA registration requirements. 
  • May establish policy on outside employment by GAs in the graduate program according to the rules of the Graduate School. 
  • May submit nomination of eligible candidates for Graduate School fellowships to the Associate Dean of Research for their respective college. 
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