Graduate School

Governance: Graduate Council

The faculty delegates certain powers with respect to graduate education to the Graduate Council.

The Graduate Council consists of the dean of the Graduate School, chair; the associate dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in the Division of Biology and Medicine; the associate dean of Public Health for Academic Affairs; non-voting; the University librarian; the associate deans of the Graduate School, non-voting, ex-officio; eight other members of the faculty; and four graduate students appointed by the Graduate Student Council.


The Graduate Council’s duties are to set policy for the Graduate School subject to the approval of the faculty and the Board of Fellows. Such policy includes the conditions for admission and the procedures for the award of graduate fellowships and scholarships, the supervision of degree requirements, the approval process for new courses and other modifications of existing degree programs, and approval and recommendations to the faculty regarding new degree programs.


At least once every five years, the Graduate Council also reviews graduate programs in consultation with the departments and makes annual reports to the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) and the faculty of its activities during the preceding year.

Graduate Council Review of Graduate Programs

As part of its regular review of graduate programs, the Graduate Council review is tied to the external review schedule. The Graduate Council conducts its review within the two years following a department’s external review.

The aim is not to subject programs to repeat scrutiny, but rather to look forward. The Graduate Council asks programs to summarize the results of the self-study, the external review report and the departmental response to the report, as those documents pertain to the graduate program. The Graduate Council will then want to discuss the changes envisioned for the graduate program as a response to the external review. Programs can expect advance notice from the Graduate Council regarding the exact materials that should be provided to the Council as a part of the program review.