University Catalog 2023-2024

1.4 Directors of Graduate Programs

Appointment Process

Each department offering graduate study is required to appoint a Director of Graduate Programs (DGP) from among its Graduate Faculty. The Department Head, or Dean in the case of interdisciplinary programs, submits this designation in writing to the Graduate Dean. The Director of Graduate Programs plays a critical role in overseeing graduate education at the department/program level in variety of arenas as outlined below.



  • Handles all correspondence between the graduate program and the Graduate School and between the Graduate School and the program;
  • Transmits information from the Graduate School to students;
  • Submits requests for scheduling preliminary and final oral examinations and graduation checkouts;
  • Communicates with the Office of International Services (OIS) and serves as a critical academic authority for matters that may affect students’ visa status.


  • Conducts the daily administration of departmental graduate programs;
  • Recommends admission or denial of graduate applicants;
  • Approves students’ Graduate Plans of Work after approval by the student’s Graduate Committee; submits plans to the Graduate School.

Interaction with Students

  • Plays a lead role in recruiting graduate students;
  • Conducts orientation of new graduate students;
  • Serves as the program’s point of contact for concerns that students may have;
  • Assigns graduate students to assistantships.


  • Advises students requesting admission to the graduate program;
  • Serves as temporary advisor to new graduate students, providing them information and advice including but not limited to course selection and scheduling, faculty interests, procedural matters, and University resources;
  • Monitors graduate students’ progress and graduation credits;
  • Assists new students in selecting a major advisor;
  • Advises students on various aspects of program progress and completion as needed.

Fellowship Support

  • Assists the Graduate School in developing fellowship proposals, including recruitment of graduate faculty to draft proposals and participate in proposed fellowship project;
  • Nominates eligible students for individual fellowships and transmits their applications to the Graduate School;
  • Supports the Graduate School in managing fellowship awards to the program’s graduate students.

Program Development and Evaluation

  • Initiates program-related proposals to the Administrative Board of the Graduate School (Admin Board), either informally through contact with Graduate Deans or formally through written proposals to be considered at Admin Board meetings; seeks approval of College Graduate Studies Committee and College Associate Dean for Academic Affairs prior to submitting to Admin Board;
  • Assists the Graduate School in conducting the annual and 8-year (or shorter as required by accrediting bodies) reviews of the graduate program, by initiating the self-study process upon notification by the Graduate School.