Guidelines for Good Practice in Graduate Education

High quality graduate education depends upon the professional and ethical conduct of the participants. Faculty and graduate students share complementary responsibilities in the maintenance of academic standards and the development of high quality graduate programs. Excellence in graduate education is achieved when both faculty and students are highly motivated, possess the academic and professional backgrounds necessary to perform at the highest level, and are sincere in their desire to see each other succeed.

To this end, it is essential that graduate students:

  • conduct themselves in a mature, professional, and civil manner
  • work with diverse faculty and peers regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin
  • exercise the highest integrity in taking examinations, in collecting, analyzing, and presenting research data, and in teaching practice
  • take primary responsibility to inform themselves about the specific regulations and policies governing their graduate studies at the department and Graduate School levels
  • recognize that, in many disciplines, the faculty advisor provides the intellectual and instructional environment in which the student conducts research, and may, through access to teaching and research funds, also provide the student with financial support
  • manage time effectively for maximum professional development as well as personal health and well being, balancing competing demands such as being a student, a graduate assistant, a parent, a spouse, a caregiver, etc.
  • respect faculty members’ need to allocate their time and other resources in ways that are academically and personally productive
  • recognize that the faculty advisor is responsible for monitoring the accuracy, validity, and integrity of the student’s research, so that careful, well-conceived research will reflect favorably on the student, the faculty advisor, and the University
  • acknowledge the contributions of the faculty advisor and other members of the research team to the student’s work in all publications and conference presentations
  • maintain the confidentiality of the faculty advisor’s and fellow students’ professional activities and research prior to presentation or publication, in accordance with existing practices and policies of the discipline
  • participate at an appropriate level in discipline-based activities, such as seminars and conferences, as a component of professional development
  • participate at an appropriate level in university, departmental, or program governance as a component of professional development
  • uphold the public service mission of the university at an appropriate level

It is essential that faculty:

  • act in a manner that best serves the education and professional development of students
  • interact with students in a professional, civil, and collegial manner in accordance with University policies and relevant laws
  • impartially evaluate student performance regardless of the student’s religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or other criteria that are not germane to academic evaluation
  • promise a reasonable degree of confidentiality in communication with students, taking care not to discuss a student’s performance, research results, or behavior with other students
  • serve on graduate student committees without regard to the race, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin of the graduate student candidate
  • prevent personal rivalries with colleagues from interfering with duties as graduate advisor, committee member, or colleague
  • excuse themselves from serving on graduate committees when there is an amorous, familial, or other relationship between the faculty member and the student that could result in a conflict of interest
  • discuss laboratory, studio, or departmental authorship policy with graduate students in advance of entering into collaborative projects
  • acknowledge student contributions to research presented at conferences, in professional publications, or in applications for copyrights and patents
  • ensure that a student’s experience as a teaching, research, or staff assistant contributes to his/her professional development and does not impede the student’s progress toward the degree
  • create in the classroom, lab, or studio supervisory relations with students that stimulate and encourage students to learn creatively and independently respect the academic freedom for students to express opinions that may differ from those of faculty
  • attain with graduate students a clear understanding of their specific research responsibilities, including time lines for completion of research and the thesis or dissertation
  • refrain from requesting students to do tasks not closely related to their academic or professional development for the personal advantage of a faculty member
  • familiarize themselves with policies that affect their graduate students
  • provide opportunities within the graduate program for students to seek assistance for their grievances without threat of retaliation
  • respect students’ need to allocate their time among competing demands