UW Graduate School

Memo 4: The Graduate Program Coordinator and the Graduate Program Advisor

Each academic unit offering a graduate program must designate at least one Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) and one Graduate Program Advisor (GPA). GPCs and GPAs are knowledgeable of UW Graduate School policies and internal unit and program-related policies and procedures. In general, GPC and GPA responsibilities include but are not limited to communicating and facilitating Graduate School policies for prospective and current graduate students, faculty, and staff, and serving as an intermediary between the student, graduate program, and the Graduate School.

The Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC)

The Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) is appointed from the Graduate Faculty and must hold the rank of Professor1, Associate Professor1, Principal Lecturer, or Senior Lecturer. The GPC serves as an official representative of an academic unit which offers a graduate degree program or graduate certificate program. One or more alternate GPCs may serve as deputy. An academic unit may define additional qualifications for the GPC beyond the Graduate School minimum requirements.

Individual units are responsible for assigning specific roles and responsibilities to the GPC. At minimum, the GPC role must encompass the oversight responsibility described under “Graduate Program Coordinator and Graduate Program Advisor Roles and Responsibilities” below.

The Chair/Director of each unit submits to the Graduate School the name(s) of graduate faculty member(s) recommended to serve as GPC and alternate GPC(s). Appointment to these positions is made by the Dean of the Graduate School.

The Graduate Program Advisor (GPA)

The Graduate Program Advisor (GPA) role is normally appointed to staff. The GPC may also serve as the GPA at the discretion of the academic unit. The GPA serves as an official liaison between the academic unit and the Graduate School. A unit may have one or more Graduate Program Advisors.

Individual units are responsible for assigning specific roles and responsibilities to the GPA. Recommended practices for the GPA are available on the Graduate School website.

The Chairperson/Director or GPC of each academic unit appoints the GPA(s) and submits the GPA name(s) to the Graduate School.

Graduate Program Coordinator and Graduate Program Advisor Roles and Responsibilities

At minimum, GPC responsibilities include acting on behalf of the Graduate Faculty to assure appropriate oversight and implementation of the items below. The GPA works in coordination with the GPC who may delegate specific duties to the GPA, other graduate faculty, or other members of the academic unit.

  1. To advise, counsel and assist graduate students, or to arrange and verify that this service is rendered by another member of the Graduate Faculty or program staff, as appropriate. To ensure that special attention is given to newly admitted students and others with particular needs.
  2. In accordance with Graduate School Memo 3, to act for the unit in admitting students into Graduate School, i.e.,:
    • to receive documentation for graduate student admission applications;
    • to review applications with the faculty in the unit; and
    • to submit to the Dean of the Graduate School the recommendations of the unit respecting admissions of new students.
  3. As soon as practicable to transmit to the Dean of the Graduate School the names of those to serve as Chairperson and Members of the Supervisory Committee for the student. (See Graduate School Memo 13.)
  4. To acquire and maintain familiarity with policies and procedures of the Graduate School.
  5. To serve as the liaison between the academic unit and the Graduate School in other appropriate ways.

1Eligibility includes faculty in Research appointments and faculty in Without Tenure (WOT) appointments.

Revised: October 1986; January 2020