Dec 02, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 

The Graduate Faculty

The Role of Graduate Faculty 

Graduate Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Graduate Coordinator 

Broad-Ranging Responsibilities to Graduate Students, Faculty, and Programs

Graduate Syllabi Policies

Graduate Faculty Status (GFS)

GFS Privileges Table



The Role of Graduate Faculty 

Graduate faculty members play an integral role in the development of graduate students, the design and delivery of graduate programs, and are in charge of the graduate curriculum. Graduate faculty prepare students for various professional and academic careers through coursework and one-on-one mentorship to cultivate students’ research, scholarship, and creative skills. By encouraging creativity, critical thinking, strong communication skills, leadership, ethical practice, scientific reasoning, strong methodological skills, and scholarly independence, graduate faculty prepare students to be experts in their areas of specialization and successful on their desired career paths.


Graduate Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

The graduate faculty consists of all UNLV faculty members who are approved to hold Graduate Faculty Status (GFS). Graduate faculty members are housed in academic colleges and professional schools but are granted specific rights and responsibilities within the Graduate College, including but not limited to: participation in graduate education, engagement in graduate student instruction and mentorship, serving on students’ Graduate Advisory Committees (GACs), and involvement in the work of the Graduate College, primarily through the Graduate Council and Graduate College committees. Please note that GFS is not related to professorial ranking, and qualified individuals on and off campus may hold varying levels of GFS  (see also: Graduate non-degree-seeking information  )


Graduate Coordinator 

The graduate coordinator serves a vital role in graduate education. Graduate coordinators are members of the graduate faculty who are the primary point of contact in academic units for graduate students and who are responsible for coordinating strategic R2PC efforts (recruitment, retention, progression, completion) and delivering high-quality graduate programs that prepare students for career success within a department or school. Graduate coordinators serve as the official liaisons between the academic unit and the Graduate College on all matters related to the oversight and management of departmental graduate programs, prospective and current students, and compliance with policies governing graduate education.

Every department offering graduate or professional certificates and/or degrees will identify at least one graduate coordinator. Departments and schools offering multiple large or complex programs and/or certificates may elect to have multiple graduate coordinators, each with responsibility for leading, managing, and coordinating one or more plans (a plan is a degree program or certificate); the Graduate College does not recognize or manage other departmental level support staff, administrative support or graduate program leaders at the subplan level (concentrations or tracks). 

Additionally, every department/program should also have: (1) at least one Graduate Plan Support Staff, (2) additional graduate program leaders (from the graduate faculty within the department) to work with the graduate coordinator(s) on recruitment, admissions, funding, mentorship, etc. and (3) may choose to have a plan administrator. Please refer to the GC Graduate Program Roles and Definitions document for details on the rights and responsibilities associated with each of these key graduate program roles.


Broad-Ranging Responsibilities to Graduate Students, Faculty, and Programs

In general, the Graduate Coordinator is responsible for fulfilling all requirements in the Graduate College Bylaws and

Catalog/Graduate Student Handbook, as well as department/school/college bylaws and expectations. Though the exact responsibilities of graduate coordinators vary between departments and graduate programs, graduate coordinators are responsible for the management and oversight of both the day-to-day operations of graduate programs and graduate students in their academic unit. This typically includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coordinating and facilitating graduate student recruitment into department programs.
  • Providing oversight, coordination, or direct handling of graduate admissions, including coordination and oversight of the holistic, equitable, and fair evaluation of admissions applications according to best practices, Graduate College policies and procedures, and specific program guidelines and requirements.
  • Providing onboarding and orientation for new graduate students and ongoing opportunities for professional and career development.
  • Managing communications between the department and graduate students, both new and continuing.
  • Providing graduate student mentorship and appropriate, timely matriculation, progression, and graduation.
  • Appropriately handling and documenting program milestones.
  • Coordinating, reviewing, and signing annual departmental evaluations of graduate students.
  • Timely and accurate submission of required forms with careful review to ensure they are signed with integrity.
  • Timely reviewing and appropriately handling all graduate student forms including graduate appeals.
  • Ensuring departmental FERPA protections and appropriately handling of student documents, records, and information.
  • Working with the academic dean, department chair, and Graduate College on the appointment, assignment, and supervision of graduate assistants.
  • Applying ownership of and responsibility for the generic UNLVMail email accounts for their graduate program(s). 
  • Providing oversight of student graduation requirements and proper procedures related to culminating experiences.
  • Recommending student probation and separation, when appropriate, through the appropriate unit and Graduate College channels, and then on to the Graduate College.
  • Educating students and colleagues about Graduate College policies, and enforcing the same.
  • Ensuring the accuracy of the graduate portion of the department website, the department’s segment of the Graduate Catalog, the unit’s handbook, and related informational materials and communications.
  • Working with the department chair and academic dean to establish, review, and revoke as necessary, GFS.
  • Managing communications between the department and graduate students including new, continuing, and graduated.
  • Working with the department chair and academic dean to review and improve new and existing graduate courses and programs in Curriculog (our system of engagement for curricular approvals) using the generic emails.
  • Collaborating with the department chair/director and academic dean, as appropriate, to facilitate graduate student policies, assignment of lab and/or office space, and mediate graduate faculty and graduate student issues as necessary.
  • Serving as a conduit of information between the Graduate College and the Graduate Council to the academic unit faculty, staff, and graduate students.
  • Collaborating with the chair/director and faculty colleagues to ensure rigor, quality, and maintenance of high standards of scholarship and graduate instruction within the unit’s graduate programs, and the appropriate development of, and modification to, curriculum and programs. 
  • Serving as an active participant and fulfilling duties on at least one appointed position on the Graduate College committees and in Graduate Council meetings. Council and Committee meeting attendance, or designation of an appropriate proxy, is mandatory for members of the Graduate Council.
  • Participating in Graduate College signature events is encouraged.
  • Conveying Graduate College news, information, events, and opportunities for graduate student professional and career development to graduate students and faculty colleagues in a timely manner.
  • Timely and accurately completing the Annual Graduate Coordinator Report each spring.

Graduate Coordinators are required to know and follow the relevant State of Nevada and federal laws, the NSHE Code, the UNLV Bylaws, the Graduate College Bylaws and the Graduate College Handbook. No policies or procedures employed in an academic unit or graduate program may supersede or contradict standing law or policy. Coordinators are fully responsible and accountable for all described duties, roles, and expectations outlined in the Catalog, the Graduate College Bylaws and the Graduate College Handbook, even if coordinators delegate their responsibilities in whole or parts to others.

Please see the Graduate Faculty Handbook for additional information on the Roles and Responsibilities of Graduate Coordinators. 


Graduate Syllabi Policies

All instructors are required to follow the Minimum Criteria for Syllabi established by the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost (see and search ‘syllabi’ in the box at the top of the page). Graduate instructors must hold the appropriate Graduate Faculty Status in order to be eligible to teach 500-800+ level courses. 


Graduate Faculty Status (GFS)

GFS is a prestigious position reserved for those with terminal degrees who are highly engaged in creative, academic, and research activity as assessed by their department/school, college dean, and Graduate College dean. It affords qualified individuals the privilege to teach, mentor, and/or advise graduate students as a member of the UNLV graduate faculty. You must obtain appropriate GFS to be eligible to teach graduate courses, mentor/advise students and serve as graduate coordinators and/or on Graduate Advisory Committees (GACs). 

Note the following important points to understand GFS:

  • Faculty hold GFS in specific departments, schools, or colleges. Faculty may opt to apply for GFS in multiple academic units if they have research credentials and publications that cross disciplines.

  • Faculty who hold GFS in a unit (department, school, or college) may serve in the role of Graduate College Representative (GCR) for any students in the said unit only if the faculty’s primary GFS affiliation is outside of that unit. If faculty hold GFS in multiple academic units, the faculty may only serve in the role of GCR for students in units where they do not hold their primary affiliation. For example, if the student is in Academic Department X, the faculty may hold both GCR and GFS in Academic Department X only if the faculty’s primary GFS affiliation is not in Academic Department X. That is, the GCR has primary affiliation in Academic Department Y and secondary affiliation in Department X (approved GFS in Academic Department X). Only in these instances may the faculty hold GCR and GFS in the student’s home department. 

  • Only graduate faculty in academic units that have active graduate programs may be eligible to serve as GCRs for those students matriculating in academic units in which the faculty does not hold GFS. 

  • Professors-in-residence (PIR) or faculty-in-residence (FIR) are generally not eligible to hold GCR because of the nature of their teaching positions and heavy teaching load. However, if a PIR or FIR holds a terminal degree, is demonstrably research active, and is supported by their department and academic dean, the Graduate College may grant them GCR.

  • No one may teach graduate-level courses unless they hold appropriate levels of GFS.

  • GFS comes with cascading levels of privileges as outlined below. The privileges associated with a person’s GFS shall reflect: 1) highest degree earned; 2) an assessment of qualifications by department peers, chair, and deans (academic and graduate) especially with respect to the individual’s research, scholarship, and/or creative activities; and 3) their role(s) in graduate education (See GFS Privileges Table below).

  • Members of students’ Graduate Advisory Committees (GACs) must hold the appropriate GFS privileges to serve in each position. For additional information, review the GAC guidelines and requirements.

  • Minimal GAC composition includes a chair, 2 graduate faculty committee members with GFS in their department/school, and a GCR with appropriate GFS privileges outside the student’s department/school as reflected on the GFS list posted on the Graduate College website.

  • Note that after a student seats a full GAC, they may add anyone they like to the committee as a participating member (with advisor approval and must hold GFS at UNLV). Additional members joining a full GAC will be a voting member if they have been granted the following GFS privileges (See GFS Privileges Table below) in the students’ home department: 

(i) for master’s committees, the additional member hold at least the “GAC Member Master’s Only” (Level 4 or above)

(ii) for doctoral committees, the additional member hold at least “GAC Member All Levels” (Level 2 or above)

The additional member is a non-voting member if they solely hold the “Extra GAC Member-only” designation (Level 7).

Full GFS guidelines may be found here. Questions regarding GFS should be directed to


GFS Privileges Table

Graduate Faculty Status (GFS) is organized as follows:

GFS is closely related to UNLV guidelines regarding who can serve in which roles on students’ GACs. Tenured and tenure-track faculty and approved FIRs/PIRs in departments with graduate programs may qualify to serve as GCRs as an additive privilege to the Graduate Faculty Statuses above. UNLV faculty/lecturers/instructors with short-term contracts, employed in non-graduate degree-granting departments, and those who are not research active and recently published, as well as non-UNLV community members, and faculty at other universities may not serve in the role of as GCRs on students’ GACs, though they may serve as an Extra Member on a student’s GAC. Please see the GAC guidelines.

*Co-Chairs: Must have GFS somewhere at UNLV (either all privileges or committee member designation). Please note that  faculty may retain their sole chair role for one year after departing UNLV. They may be co-chairs or members after the one year period. Faculty with GFS at UNLV can co-chair unless they only have instructor or extra member status. The co-chair shares advising responsibilities with the other co-chair.




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