UW Graduate School

Retention

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Once a student enrolls in a graduate program, nothing matters more than the culture and climate the department cultivates for all of its students. While continued funding is always at the top of the list, a department must provide students with opportunities to connect with other students in their programs, as well as across the larger campus community. Ensure that students receive the best advising and mentoring available. A strong retention program helps students successfully complete their degrees and graduate in a timely manner.


  • Ensure that underrepresented minority students are provided continued funding and/or are connected fellowship resources outside of your department, such as the Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) and the Graduate School Fellowship Office.
  • Provide students with advisors who will mentor and encourage opportunities for social and intellectual engagement. This is especially important for minority and underrepresented minority students who may be hesitant to seek assistance or who may not easily network with their peers.
  • Consult the Graduate School’s webpages on Mentoring and Core Programs, where resources such “Mentor Memos” help nurture students’ intellectual growth.
  • Connect minority or underrepresented minority students with existing graduate reading/study groups or resources to help them initiate reading/study groups.
  • Establish a safe and transparent process through which graduate students can address discrimination and marginalization, as well as academic or personal concerns, such as career choices, modifying areas of study or changing advisors/graduate committee chairs without disrupting their course of study.
  • Encourage students and faculty to participate in GO-MAP events, including quarterly receptions (Getting Connected, Winter Quarter and End of the Year) and “Voices in Academia” lunches. At these events, students discuss ideas and academic and collegial interests. They also build community across departments and disciplines.
  • Learn how UW graduate students and alumni are making a difference in the world through profiles on the Graduate School website.