Section I: Preface

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Graduate education and its administration are shared responsibilities. The most visible activity of graduate education is the intellectual interaction of faculty and students who are involved in learning and devoted to advancing knowledge in their fields. Supporting these endeavors are academic leaders in departments/schools, colleges, and central University positions who are committed to providing an atmosphere in which graduate education and research can flourish. Faculty, students, and administrators working together, dedicated to the ideals of scholarship and high standards that characterize graduate education, share the responsibility for ensuring the quality of graduate programs and research. 

This Guide to Graduate Education at Kent State University (KSU) contains the policies and procedures applicable to the University’s graduate education community. Although most of the information contained in this document appears in the University Catalog and/or University Policy Register, this guide is intended to make graduate policies and procedures easily accessible to potential and current students, faculty, staff and administrators.  


Division of Graduate Studies

The Division of Graduate Studies at KSU organizationally resides in the office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. Its primary functions are: admitting highly qualified and diverse graduate students, providing services to enhance the quality of life for KSU graduate students and ensuring that KSU’s graduate programs are cutting edge and meet the highest standards of academic excellence. Responsibility for these functions lies with the dean of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Studies administrative staff (Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies and Director of Graduate Admissions).   

Academic Colleges

KSU is comprised of ten academic colleges: College of Architecture and Environmental Design; College of the Arts; College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Business Administration; College of Communication and Information; College of Education, Health and Human Services; College of Nursing; College of Podiatric Medicine; and College of Public Health. Each college is headed by a dean who appoints at least one associate dean to be responsible for the college’s graduate programs.  

Each academic college at KSU offers advanced degrees, ranging from one degree to many, from professional to research degrees and from master’s to doctoral degrees. Academic colleges are responsible for such functions as approving a faculty member’s graduate faculty status (i.e., authorizing them to provide graduate coursework and to mentor graduate students) and for approving the composition of graduate students’ committees (e.g., master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation committees).  

Graduate Programs

Within academic colleges, units (e.g., departments, schools) offer the local graduate degree program(s) under the leadership of a department chair or school director. Graduate faculty of a unit are responsible for the most critical elements of graduate education, including delivering graduate instruction, advising and mentoring graduate students and supervising student scholarly projects, such as theses and dissertations. Units typically appoint one graduate faculty member to serve as the unit’s coordinator of graduate program(s), (graduate/program coordinator). The coordinator manages the information exchange between the unit and graduate students (current and prospective), graduate faculty, the academic college and the Division of Graduate Studies.  

Policies for Graduate Education

Each college’s associate dean for graduate affairs is a member of the Graduate Studies Administrative Advisory Committee (GSAAC), a group that provides advice and counsel to the dean of Graduate Studies on graduate affairs, in particular, policies governing graduate education across the University. All curricular and educational policy matters are reviewed and approved by the Graduate Council, a subgroup of the University’s Educational Policies Council. Approved policies represent the minimum standards within which graduate programs formulate, publish, and enforce their own graduate program policies and procedures.