The Graduate School

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The Graduate School of the University of Missouri-St Louis promotes a culturally and intellectually diverse learning environment in which scholarship and creativity flourish. To fulfill the teaching and research goals of the university, the Graduate School provides leadership to graduate programs that inspire in students a passion for discoveries. Our programs reflect our mission as a public metropolitan research university. The scholarly and creative activity of our faculty and graduate students serves the local community and advances academic disciplines at the national and international level.

Graduate Faculty

The regular Graduate Faculty (GF) shall consist of all tenured and tenure-track faculty. Visiting and part-time faculty will not normally be members of the Graduate Faculty. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis per approval of the Graduate Council. All regular members of the Graduate Faculty may:

(a) teach graduate courses

(b) serve on and chair comprehensive examination and exit project committees

(c) serve on and chair master's thesis committees and doctoral dissertation committees

Term Appointments. Upon recommendation by a college, qualified non-tenure track and adjunct faculty may be approved by the Graduate Council for term appointments to the Graduate Faculty for a period of 1 to 5 years. Term members of the Graduate Faculty may:

(a) teach graduate courses

(b) serve on, but not chair, Ph.D. comprehensive exam committees and exit project committees

(c) serve on, but not chair, master’s thesis committees and Ph.D. dissertation committees

Term graduate faculty who demonstrate scholarship in their discipline may serve on and chair comprehensive exam and capstone project committees for professional doctoral degrees. Upon recommendation of the unit and approval of the Graduate Dean, a term Graduate Faculty member who brings a particular expertise may chair a Ph.D. dissertation committee.

To request a term appointment, the appropriate unit Chair/Dean shall submit a nomination form and CV for the nominee to the Graduate Dean for review and approval by the Graduate Council. A terminal degree is normally required for appointment to the Graduate Faculty. For nominees without a terminal degree, other documented professional accreditation and/or licensure may be used to justify the appointment.  Current graduate students at UMSL are not eligible for Graduate Faculty appointment, but under extraordinary circumstances, a current doctoral student may teach a graduate course upon approval of the Dean and the Graduate Council.

Emeritus Appointments.  Upon request of the unit, members of the Graduate Faculty who retire or move to a new academic position may be given emeritus status (GFE). Emeritus faculty may continue to teach graduate courses and serve on comprehensive exam committees and dissertation/capstone committees.  With the approval of the Academic Dean and the Dean of the Graduate School, faculty transitioning to GFE status my continue to chair any existing doctoral committees, but may not be appointed to chair any new doctoral committees. 

Special Appointments. External scholars with relevant specialized expertise may be appointed to replace a member of the graduate faculty on a qualifying exam, thesis, or dissertation committee. The appointment is limited to one committee and does not entitle the appointee to teach graduate courses. Special appointees may not chair a dissertation or qualifying exam committee. Although there is no strict limit on the number of special appointees serving on a committee, in all cases a voting majority of the committee must be members of the graduate faculty.

Each unit with a doctoral program must include in its 5-year review a summary of its policies and practices regarding the methods of assuring the quality of the dissertations in that unit as well as the outcomes of its quality assessment of the dissertations. The Graduate Dean will review the 5-year reviews and confer with the unit and its academic dean regarding the strengths or weaknesses noted.

The Graduate Dean will be the chairperson of the Graduate Faculty.

Conflict of Interest Policy for Student Engagement in Faculty Enterprise

The Conflict of Interest (COI) Committee determines whether a faculty member has a conflict regarding student engagement in an enterprise in which the faculty member has an outside interest as defined in the University’s Collected Rules and Regulations (CRR 330.015 B2). Given the diversity of faculty activities, and potential student engagement, the COI Committee may determine:

  1. the conflict is manageable
  2. the conflict is manageable only through a Student Monitoring Plan and appointment of a COI Student Monitor
  3. the conflict is not manageable and the faculty member may not engage the student

If a Student Monitoring Plan is implemented,

  1. A COI Student Monitor will be appointed by the Conflict of Interest Committee. Monitors should be disinterested parties relative to the faculty member’s outside interest and preferably a faculty member at or above the rank of the faculty member with the conflict of interest. A director of graduate studies in the faculty member’s unit or an associate dean are likely appointees.
  2. COI Student Monitors will have access to the faculty COI Management Plan that includes recommendations for student monitoring as well as information regarding the role of the student in the company.
  3. The COI Student Monitor will meet with assigned student upon student request, and must meet, at minimum, annually and upload or submit the COI Student Monitor Report to the COI office. These reports will be reviewed by the COI Committee to ensure the student’s education/academic interest is upheld as “primary.”
  1. “Primary” indicates the student is making the expected progress on their degree, without being unduly compromised or biased by their industry affiliation/responsibilities, and can openly discuss and publish their work without retribution or unnecessary delay.
  2. COI Student Monitor Report is available on the web site for COI Office.

Concerns regarding student academic progress/success identified by the Student Monitor and/or COI Committee will be addressed with the faculty member within 60 days and may result in removal of the student from the enterprise. Failure of the faculty member to remedy concerns expressed by the COI Committee to adequately protect the academic interest of students could lead to charges of faculty irresponsibility (CRR 300.010 L) and/or violations of standards of faculty conduct (CRR 330.110 D2) for failure to meet their responsibility as “teacher” as defined in CRR 300.010 C2a.

Graduate Council  

The Graduate Council is an elected faculty body that works closely with the Graduate Dean to:

(a)  approve all non-regular appointments to the Graduate Faculty

(b) continuously review and amend Graduate School policies to improve procedures and maintain rigorous academic standards.

(c) facilitate interdisciplinary communication and respond to innovations in teaching and research.

(d) review and approve all curricular changes in graduate courses and degree programs.

After the Graduate Council approves a curricular proposal, the proposal goes to the Faculty Senate for review and approval. New programs also require approval of the University of Missouri System and the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

A list of Graduate Programs can be found at

Graduate School Policies can be found at