Graduate Policies & Procedures


Each department should inform all incoming graduate students of program requirements and procedures. Necessary skills and prerequisites should be clearly stated, both in admissions and recruitment literature.

In order to provide graduate students with the necessary information to plan their work, each department should ensure that their students have ready access to at least the following information:

  • Degree requirements
  • Academic deadlines
  • Time limits for seeking advanced degrees
  • Departmental procedures for general and/or qualifying exams
  • Guidelines for resolving concerns or conflicts within the department
  • Individuals available for consultation regarding student issues and problems
  • Criteria for termination or withdrawal of a graduate student
  • Rules governing teaching assistant and research assistant appointments and fellowships

If a department is considering denying a graduate student further registration, that student should be made aware at an early stage of the reasons for such consideration, and should be notified in writing when formal consideration of denial is initiated. Students whose research or teaching appointments conclude prior to the original period of appointment should be in touch with their department regarding the responsible conclusion of the relationship, including the return of keys, books, supplies or other related equipment.

Graduate students should be able to provide input on departmental policies affecting them. To this end, each departmental committee that sets graduate student policy should either have graduate student representatives or provide a mechanism for graduate student participation.

Students who believe for any reason that they have been treated improperly are encouraged to raise their concerns. When possible, concerns relating to academic or work situations should be raised directly with the professors, instructors, advisors, work supervisors, or other students involved. If the problem remains unresolved or if direct discussion is not possible, the student should attempt to follow the guidelines or procedures available within his or her department. A good place to start is by contacting the graduate faculty officer. If resolution or discussion within the department is not possible, the student is encouraged to seek assistance from Institute resources responsible for conflict management; see Roles: Institute page for more details.