Graduate Guide

UCF Graduate Guide

The Graduate Guide provides information about graduate study at UCF in one resource for graduate program directors, faculty and staff. Please share your suggestions for this guide with the College of Graduate Studies.

Responsibilities of Program Directors

The following listing of responsibilities is the result of discussions by the UCF Graduate Council and others to identify those activities that will enable our graduate programs to flourish.

Graduate program directors are responsible for coordinating activities within departments in support of graduate programs, graduate students, certificate students, and post-baccalaureate students. They cannot do their jobs without the help and support of the college dean, the college associate dean that is the liaison for graduate affairs, the department chair, the faculty in the department, and the UCF College of Graduate Studies. Outlined in this section are the major responsibilities of the program director.

Supervision and Leadership of Program

  • Supervising and coordinating programs, including program administration and guidance to office staff, including chairing the Graduate Committee of the program
  • Training office staff, faculty, and their successors to perform functions in support of graduate education
  • Communicating with the department chair to plan budgets necessary to perform graduate program activities
  • Coordinating work, space, and assignments for graduate students
  • Reviewing graduate student assistants (and adjuncts, if applicable)
  • Serving as the liaison among your department, your college, and the university with respect to graduate education
  • Establishing policies for Contract and Grant (C&G) monies to be used in support of graduate education
  • Comparing comparable programs from other schools with UCF to determine quality practices
  • Providing academic oversight of the program

Program and Course Development

  • Leading the development of new programs, tracks or new certificate programs that fit the mission of the program and university and ensuring there are the necessary resources to operate effectively
  • Creating a 3-year schedule of graduate courses and posting them on the program website
  • Revising courses, including adding new courses and deleting old ones
  • Recommending policy, curriculum, and program changes
  • Updating your program website, your graduate student handbook, brochures and other marketing materials, and your relevant program information in the graduate catalog
  • Assessing academic graduate programs per Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) guidelines
  • Assisting with accreditation and state-required reviews of your graduate programs

Recruiting and Admissions

Recruiting is done by the faculty in the program, and the program director assists the faculty in developing recruiting information and servicing prospect inquiries. Relevant recruiting activities could include the following:

  • Marketing and recruiting for the graduate program
  • Organizing your faculty to participate in the UCF Graduate Fair, trips to professional meetings where they can do recruiting, making personal phone calls to highly qualified applicants or admits
  • Handling inquiries and communicating with prospective students
  • Organizing applications, creating admissions files (these can be electronic), reviewing application files (these are electronic), making admissions decisions, and communicating those decisions to the College of Graduate Studies admission’s team
  • Preparing letters and other communications with students
  • Organizing and holding orientations, chat discussions, graduate fairs, and open houses for new students
  • Obtaining and maintaining data for inquiries and admissions, such as the number of applicants and GPA and GRE (or GMAT) of applicants

Records and Maintenance

  • Maintaining student records, ensuring that programs of study are formally completed, advisory committees are formed, and timely submission of transfer hours and course substitutions are made so that students can move through the program smoothly
  • Reviewing progress of graduate students and coordinating procedures for those who meet milestones, including monitoring changes in student status each term
  • Coordinating procedures as students approach graduation. Ideally, faculty advisers should review student audits the semester before the anticipated graduation to ensure that students have met all requirements. For those students just placed on academic probation, program directors will assist students and faculty in preparing a Conditional Retention Plan
  • Coordinating Comprehensive, Qualifying, and/or Candidacy Exams
  • Providing general advice to graduate students and seeing that they are assigned a permanent adviser as quickly as possible. Also, assisting students in changing advisers if that is needed.
  • Handling petitions and appeals for graduate students
  • Constructing programs of study for graduate students as soon as possible after the student enters the program
  • Obtaining and maintaining data on the progress of graduate students each term
  • Following up on students who are not making good academic progress
  • Following up on students who graduate
  • Ensuring that all doctoral student receive an annual review of their progress in the program

Student Funding

  • Selecting students in early spring (late February to early March or earlier is best) for graduate assistantships and handling associated paperwork as early as possible, but preferably in time to make an offer to new students in March of each year
  • Identifying students for GTA tuition waivers
  • Identifying those to nominate for fellowships by mid-January, at the latest
  • Reviewing GTA teaching performance assessments each semester to ensure that graduate assistants are doing well
  • Ensuring all graduate assistant agreements are completed and processed before the university deadlines
  • Ensuring that all graduate teaching assistants attend required GTA Training prior to starting their assistantships
  • Ensuring the 18-hour rule form is completed for all GTA assistantship students who will be instructors of record

Other Responsibilities

  • Serving as the point of contact for special programs
  • Preparing annual reports and effectiveness contracts for the program in the department, college, university, including documenting the independent learning experiences of the students
  • Appointing someone to coordinate internships, practicum, service-learning or job shadowing, if applicable
  • Conducting surveys of students, graduates, and/or employers as necessary to assess the quality of student learning

Graduate Faculty and Graduate Faculty Scholars