Graduate School Bulletin - Spring 2005


The University of Kentucky began offering graduate work in 1870 and awarded its first graduate degrees in 1876. The Graduate School became a distinct unit in the University organization in 1912.

The mission of the Graduate School is to promote advanced study, graduate instruction, and research by the faculty and students of all colleges and departments. The total graduate resources of the University are merged under the Graduate School for the purpose of promoting the acquisition of knowledge in an atmosphere of free and lively inquiry.

Graduate work is offered in most colleges in the University. A general description and tabulation of courses for each of the various programs is given in the Graduate Degree Programs section of this bulletin.

The Graduate Faculty

The Graduate Faculty consists of the Dean of the Graduate School, Associate Deans of the Graduate School, and Full and Associate Graduate Faculty Members. As the chief University agency for the promotion of the ideals of graduate study, it determines the policies of the Graduate School and makes recommendations to the University Senate and to the President, or to other administrative officials as appropriate. All rules affecting graduate work and the inauguration of new graduate programs must be approved by the Graduate Faculty.

Any proposed change in the rules of the Graduate Faculty must be included in the agenda of its meeting and circulated to the Graduate Faculty at least 10 days prior to the meeting at which it is to be considered.

New Graduate Faculty members may be proposed to the Dean of the Graduate School at any time by the college deans and department chairs concerned, or in the case of persons not attached to a college faculty, by the Provost of the University. Eligibility qualifications are as follows:

1. The doctor's degree or its equivalent in scholarly reputation.

2. The rank of assistant professor (or equivalent), or higher.

3. Scholarly maturity and professional productivity as demonstrated by publications, editorial services, research surveys, creative work or patents, and research in progress at the time of appointment.

4. Demonstrated participation in graduate teaching and research in the program.

Any faculty member, regardless of specific title series of appointment, is eligible for consideration for membership on the Graduate Faculty. Appointment is based on academic credentials, degree of involvement in the graduate degree programs, and departmental recommendation.

Once Full Graduate Faculty status is attained, membership is continuous unless a change in status is recommended by a graduate program to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will present the recommendation to the Graduate Council. Associate membership is limited to a term of six years with reappointment possible after departmental review.

Appointment to Full Graduate Faculty membership is made by the Provost and/or the Dean of the Graduate School after consultation with the Graduate Council when appropriate.

Full members of the Graduate Faculty are particularly responsible for:

1. Guidance of graduate student research and study to its completion. The finished work should meet or exceed accepted standards for publication, dissemination or performance within the particular discipline.

2. Participation in the formulation of graduate curricula and policy.

The Dean of the Graduate School is responsible for appointing and monitoring the progress of Associate Members of the Graduate Faculty. Associate members are authorized to teach graduate courses, direct master's theses, and serve on and co-chair doctoral committees. Membership in the Graduate Faculty is restricted to persons who satisfy the membership criteria and are able to assume the responsibilities in a particular program as set forth above. There is no category for at-large graduate faculty membership.

On recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies and with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, persons who normally do not hold academic appointment in the University, but who have demonstrated an interest in collaborative participation in its graduate programs, may be appointed as Auxiliary Graduate Faculty Members. They should hold the terminal academic degree in the field and possess a record of research or creative experience that would warrant their inclusion on advisory committees to assist graduate students in conducting research. Auxiliary Graduate Faculty may serve only as nonvoting members of the advisory committee.

Administrative officers assigning teaching and other duties to members of the Graduate Faculty who are taking an active part in the graduate program (i.e., are heavily engaged in directing theses and dissertations, carrying on productive research, etc.) should make appropriate reduction in the duties required of such faculty members.

Teaching at the Graduate Level

Courses intended for graduate studies at the University must be taught by faculty members who have the terminal degree in the discipline or a closely related discipline. These courses are designated by the numbers 400G 799.The terminal degree in most cases is the doctorate. Ideally, these courses should be taught by Graduate Faculty members. If a program needs to assign a person without a terminal degree to teach a graduate level course, they must first petition the Dean of the Graduate School, explaining the unique circumstances and qualifications supporting this assignment.

A copy of the diploma or transcript of each faculty member must be kept in the personnel file.

Courses that have both undergraduate and graduates in the courses are usually designated as 400G or 500 level courses. In all courses with a mixed student population, there must be a clear differentiation in the syllabus of differing course requirements and grading criteria for graduate students and undergraduates. Copies of these syllabi must be retained by the College.

The Dean of the Graduate School

The Dean of the Graduate School is charged with administering the policies adopted by the Graduate Faculty and the University Senate relating to graduate studies. The dean presides over all meetings of the Graduate Faculty and calls meetings of this faculty whenever it is advisable or whenever requested to do so by one-fourth of the membership. Recommendations are made by the dean to the Graduate Faculty regarding the requirements for advanced degrees, the regulations necessary to insure a high standard of graduate work and all other aspects of the graduate program. The graduate programs are administered in the interest of efficient instruction and the highest attainment possible on the part of each graduate student. The dean is responsible for determining and certifying to the Registrar candidates who have fulfilled requirements for advanced degrees.

The President, the Executive Vice President for Research, the Provost, and the Dean of the Graduate School shall be ex officio members of all committees of the Graduate School.

The Graduate Council

The Graduate Council is composed of 18 members and the Dean of the Graduate School, who serves as chair. There are 16 faculty representatives and two student representatives. Associate deans serve in a nonvoting, ex officio capacity.

The composition of the Graduate Council is as follows: two members from the College of Agriculture; three members from the College of Arts and Sciences; one member from the College of Business and Economics; two members from the College of Education; one member from the College of Engineering; one member from the Colleges of Communications and Information Studies and of Fine Arts; two members from the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy; one member from the Colleges of Dentistry, Health Sciences, Nursing, and the Graduate Centers; one member from the Colleges of Human Environmental Sciences, Social Work and the Graduate Centers; two members appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School; and two student members selected by the Graduate Council.

Members representing a college or a combination of colleges are elected by the Graduate Faculty in the respective colleges.

The term of office of the elected members is three years and that of the graduate students is one year. Members may not succeed themselves until three years have elapsed following the completion of their last term.

The Graduate Council approves or disapproves proposals concerning courses offered for graduate credit, and advises and lends assistance to the Dean in executing the policies and regulations determined by the Graduate Faculty. Specifically, the Council:

1. Evaluates department requests relating to proposed graduate programs.

2. Reviews existing programs and curricula.

3. In cooperation with the Dean, initiates recommendations to the Graduate Faculty. (This procedure is not intended to prevent a faculty member from bringing any recommendation or request directly before the Graduate Faculty.)

The Graduate Council has such authority as is herein granted, or such as the Dean or the Graduate Faculty may delegate to it. A majority of the Graduate Council constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business.

Directors of Graduate Studies

The Dean of the Graduate School, with the advice of the college dean(s) and the approval of the President, may recommend to the Graduate Faculty the areas of graduate study and research into which the University may be divided. (The logical unit for an area is a department or center. By common consent, however, certain departments may be grouped into a single area to offer a graduate program and in exceptional cases a department may be divided into two or more areas to offer programs in the respective areas.) Directors of Graduate Studies (DGSs) are the local representatives of each graduate program. They provide for the program's administration and act as the official liaison with the Graduate School. Directors of Graduate Studies are responsible to the Graduate Faculty of their program and to the Dean of the Graduate School for the recruitment, admission, advising, and examination of students in their program. In addition to Directors of Graduate Studies for specific programs, some colleges have designated individual faculty members as Associate Deans for Graduate Studies to serve as the local extension of the Graduate School at the college level.

Directors of Graduate Studies are appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School after consultation with the respective Graduate Faculty and administration in a program. The DGS is normally a tenured faculty member, holding the rank of Associate Professor or above, and is a full member of the Graduate Faculty.

Upon the appointment of each Director of Graduate Studies, the Dean of the Graduate School shall draw the attention of the appointee to the existence and location of the official University policies and guidelines that affect graduate faculty, graduate students, and student applicants.

The Director of Graduate Studies reports directly to the Dean of the Graduate School or to the Dean's designee on all matters relating to graduate education in the program. The DGS is responsible to the Dean of the Graduate School for the administration of the specific graduate program, including maintenance of records, administration of graduate program funds, admission of graduate students, any affiliated University Scholars Program, fellowships, program requirement changes and new programs, advising and registration, appointment of advisory and examination committees, and other degree requirements related to the graduate program. Additionally, the DGS serves as the focal point for dissemination of information from the Graduate School.

Directors of Graduate Studies serve as program advisors to each student until the student has a thesis or dissertation director. The DGS then recommends that the thesis or dissertation director be appointed the student's advisor or committee chair. In areas where theses are not required, the DGS is the advisor of all students not writing theses. All student schedules should be endorsed by the student's advisor. If it is desirable, a DGS may recommend that additional advisors in the program be appointed. A DGS who is to be absent from the University for as long as a semester must inform the Dean so that a substitute may be appointed.

A more detailed description of the role and responsibilities of the Director of Graduate Studies is available in the Graduate School office.

Establishment and Modification of Graduate Programs

An area that wishes to establish a new graduate program or modify an existing one must submit its program to the Graduate Council, which will make a recommendation concerning it to the Graduate Faculty.

Graduate degree programs to be delivered at distance learning locations (either on site or via technology) shall be reviewed by the Graduate Council prior to their submission for appropriate review at higher levels. Distance learning graduate degree programs shall be reviewed periodically and their effectiveness assessed during regular institutional unit reviews, or, when circumstances warrant, by a special review process initiated by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Distance Learning Graduate Programs

A number of departments offer selected courses or entire graduate degree programs off campus or via the Internet. Instruction is provided by various distance-learning technologies and/or on-site meetings of students with faculty. Through its Office of Distance Learning Graduate Programs, the Graduate School provides coordination and support for the off-campus sites and assures a high standard of graduate work. This office assists with: student recruitment; administration of the distance learning graduate program sites; liaison among students, programs, and UK support units; and liaison with the cooperating regional universities. All distance learning graduate programs function within the policies and rules of the Graduate School. See <>.

The Academic Common Market

Kentucky is a participating state in The Academic Common Market, an interstate agreement among 16 primarily Southeastern states for sharing academic programs. Students who qualify for admission may enroll in a specific program in another Academic Common Market state on an in-state tuition basis. At present, the agreement has been limited to less-common graduate programs. For information, write: Southern Regional Education Board, 130 Sixth Street N.W., Atlanta, Georgia. For information about University of Kentucky programs in the Academic Common Market, contact the Academic Common Market Institutional Coordinator, Office of the Registrar, 100 Funkhouser Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0054, Phone: (859) 257-3256, E-mail:, Web: <>.


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