Mission and Goals


The Graduate College provides strong leadership to facilitate Top Tier graduate education, extend educational opportunities to graduate students, ensure the consistent and fair application of policies, and provide support for graduate faculty and programs by cultivating an environment in which the highest quality graduate scholarship and research can thrive. Our guiding principles are: excellence, equity, diversity, opportunity, and impact. These core values reflect our commitment to creating a campus culture in which graduate education and graduate students flourish. The role of the Graduate College is to promote excellence in graduate education, and foster a community of graduate faculty and scholars that is characterized by diversity, openness to new ideas, and the production of cutting edge research, scholarship and creative activity.


The overarching and guiding goals of the Graduate College are:

  1. To establish and maintain University-wide graduate standards and policies.
  2. To support program-level graduate requirements and policies, as well as graduate curriculum and innovative new program development.
  3. To successfully recruit, admit, retain, support, and graduate a diverse and outstanding graduate student body.
  4. To foster scholarly and creative excellence among the graduate faculty and graduate students through research, teaching, and professional development opportunities.

Our Goals

The organization of the Graduate College supports the accomplishment of these seven major objectives, in pursuit of our goals:

  • To establish and maintain NSHE, University, and Graduate College policies and standards in a fair, consistent and equitable manner.
  • To strategically create high quality, innovative, and responsive graduate programs that meet the needs of the region, the state, and the broader discipline, and to periodically review all graduate programs via routine assessment and scheduled program review processes to ensure high quality educational programs.
  • To support and maintain academic quality in graduate programs and curriculum, through collaboration with graduate programs, the Graduate Council, and the Faculty Senate program review process.
  • To increase graduate student diversity and quality through focused outreach strategies and internal programming targeted at identifying, admitting, and supporting under-represented applicants and all students.
  • To be attentive to graduate student retention issues and improve graduation rates through strategic tracking and assessment mechanisms, effective outreach, seamless support to graduate programs, student professional development opportunities, and an overall paradigm of service to our constituents.
  • To enhance opportunities and support available for graduate student funding in the form of graduate assistantship (GA) packages, research funding, scholarships, and fellowships.
  • To provide responsive and efficient customer service and support to our constituents.
  • To support and enable graduate faculty governance, and to nourish a climate of excellence for and among our graduate faculty, including graduate faculty support for outstanding graduate student mentorship.
  • To work closely with the Graduate Council, graduate faculty, the Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA) and graduate students, and graduate programs, to achieve our shared goals and enhance the graduate community at UNLV; we strongly believe that striving for excellence is a collaborative effort.

Areas of Responsibilities

To accomplish these objectives, the Graduate College’s areas of responsibilities include the following:

  1. Recruitment. Collaborate with graduate programs to support the recruitment of diverse and outstanding new graduate students.
  2. Admissions. Prospective graduate students apply for admission for graduate study in the Graduate College and the department or program in which they wish to study, simultaneously. The Graduate College evaluates applicant transcripts, foreign credential evaluations, GPA, and English proficiency. Departments recommend applicants for admission (or they deny their application), and the Graduate College renders the final decision. Meeting Graduate College admissions requirements is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for graduate admission.
  3. Retention and graduation. The Graduate College utilizes graduate tracking data, best practices, and innovative programs to foster successful student retention and to stimulate the pipeline to graduation.
  4. Graduate student probation and separation. The Graduate College is responsible for handling graduate student probation, and for separating students who are failing to successfully progress in their graduate programs.
  5. Graduate Student Records. The Graduate College is responsible for the maintenance of all graduate student academic records and required forms.
  6. Electronic Systems & Data. The Graduate College is responsible for the design, management, and coordination of electronic systems & strategic data to support graduate students, graduate faculty, staff, and graduate programs.
  7. Conferral of Degrees. The Graduate College is responsible for certifying and posting all graduate degrees and certificates.
  8. Program Review. This involves the periodic review of all programs and departments that offer graduate or professional degrees, in conjunction with the Graduate Council and the Faculty Senate (excluding The Law School and the School of Dental Medicine).
  9. Curriculum and Program Development. The Graduate College works closely with the Graduate Council to oversee: all graduate and professional curriculum development; new, innovative, graduate program development; and to review and approve all changes to existing graduate programs.
  10. Graduate Student Funding. The Graduate College oversees and runs the GA program, and is the centralized unit for the distribution of graduate scholarships and fellowships. We coordinate with Financial Aid on periodic cost of living studies for graduate students, and on the awarding of scholarships, and other graduate student financial matters. We collaborate with the UNLV Foundation in the development of new graduate funding sources and graduate scholarship and fellowship awards.
  11. Graduate Student Services. The Graduate College provides professional development opportunities for graduate students, non-academic advisement, and outreach services, and handles all graduate student academic appeals.
  12. Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA). The Graduate College works closely in support of the GPSA, and the GPSA manager, and co-sponsors events such as the Annual GPSA Research Forum.
  13. Graduate Faculty. The privileges, rights, and responsibilities associated with full and associate graduate faculty status are designated by the Graduate College, which reviews and approves all applications for GFS. Further, the Graduate College is committed to supporting graduate faculty in their scholarship, mentorship, and other professional endeavors related to, and supportive of, graduate education.
  14. Awards and Recognition of Achievement. The Graduate College runs several prestigious award competitions each year to recognize outstanding accomplishments by graduate students and graduate faculty. Striving for excellence is a collaborative effort. The Graduate College works closely with the Graduate Council, graduate faculty, the GPSA and graduate students, and graduate programs, to maintain and enhance excellence in individual disciplines and to achieve our shared mission, goals, and objectives.

Related Links

Striving for excellence is a collaborative effort. The Graduate College works closely with the Graduate Council, graduate faculty, the GPSA and graduate students, and graduate programs, to maintain and enhance excellence in individual disciplines and to achieve our shared mission, goals, and objectives.