University of Minnesota  Appendix

Typical Roles and Responsibilities of the Director of Graduate Studies

The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) serves as the coordinator of graduate studies within a program. Together with the graduate program faculty and department and collegiate leadership, the DGS shares responsibility for guiding and improving graduate education within the program(s) under the DGS's jurisdiction.

Suggested Responsibilities for the DGS

The typical role of the DGS is to:

  • supervise and coordinate the administration and governance of graduate studies within the graduate program for which the DGS is responsible;
  • serve as a point of contact for graduate students enrolled in the program; and
  • act as the liaison among the graduate students, program faculty, and the college and Graduate School administrations.

In addition, the DGS may also be expected to:

  • serve as the program's representative on collegiate and/or University governance committees, as appropriate;
  • communicate relevant matters to the program faculty or its committees as needed; informing the faculty of graduate education-related policies, deadlines, and programs as appropriate; and forwarding recommendations, nominations, and other information from the faculty to the appropriate collegiate and Graduate School administrations;
  • provide written criteria to each student, upon entry, of what constitutes acceptable progress through the program and the grounds for the student’s termination from it;
  • receive, arrange for the review of, and monitor the progress of student applications and petitions;
  • orient and counsel graduate students with respect to program and degree requirements until a permanent adviser is selected and assist in that selection as necessary;
  • enforce regulations of the University, the relevant collegiate unit(s) and the degree program;
  • oversee the maintenance of graduate student records and the annual student evaluation process.;
  • provide periodic reports on the program and data to the collegiate dean(s);.
  • carry out such other responsibilities as specified by the college(s); and
  • facilitate a program of professional development activities for graduate students within the program.