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Oklahoma State University

Best Practices in Graduate Education

“Oklahoma State University Guidelines for Best Practices in Graduate Education”

Graduate education at Oklahoma State University (OSU) is aligned with national best practices articulated by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS).  Similar ideas and themes are shared by CGS member institutions across the country.  Through the Graduate College, OSU is committed to promoting excellence in graduate education and providing opportunities for graduate students and graduate faculty to excel in teaching, research and outreach in a manner consistent with its land-grant mission.
The Graduate Education Environment
  • Graduate education on the OSU campuses is focused on preparing the next generation of leaders, professionals and scholars, who will contribute to our educational, cultural, economic, and  social environments. In this setting, graduate students are viewed and treated as professionals in the early stages of their career. 

  • Training occurs in the context of disciplinary and interdisciplinary graduate programs that promote academic rigor, creativity, scholarship, and professional and ethical conduct.  

  • Graduate faculty and students share responsibility in maintaining this environment.  It requires the concerted efforts of both parties to cultivate a relationship that is based on professional and  personal integrity, freedom of inquiry, and mutual respect. 

  • Together, graduate programs, graduate faculty and graduate students work in conjunction with the Graduate College to achieve an academic and research environment that promotes  diversity and excellence in graduate education.  

Graduate Students

  • Graduate students work with graduate faculty advisors and advisory committees to devise a plan of study that allows them to develop the expertise needed to excel in their chosen career  field. 

  • Graduate students work toward completion of their degree in a timely manner. 

  • Graduate students conduct themselves in a professional, ethical and mature manner in accordance with the educational goals and regulations of the Graduate College and Oklahoma  State University. Guiding principles include respecting the rights, privileges and property of others. 

  • It is the responsibility of graduate students to be informed of the regulations and policies governing graduate education at OSU.

Graduate Faculty and Advisory Committees

  • Members of the graduate faculty provide the appropriate intellectual guidance and academic rigor required of graduate studies through their roles as teachers, researchers, mentors and  members of student advisory committees. 

  • Graduate faculty foster relationships with graduate students that are professional, supportive and ethical, in accordance with OSU policies and the professional standards of the respective  discipline. 

  • Graduate faculty serve on graduate student advisory committees without regard to religion, race, nationality, disability, gender, or sexual orientation/identity.

  • Graduate faculty provide students with clear guidelines for performance standards and expectations in all courses and required elements of the degree.  To promote mutual  understanding by the faculty and student, these guidelines are provided in writing and discussed.   

  • Following periodic evaluation, graduate faculty offer timely and constructive feedback to students regarding their performance and degree progress. 

Graduate Programs

  • Each graduate program provides written guidelines that give a clear description of the program requirements, the stages of progress, and the process of assessing progress and dealing  with grievances.  

  • Graduate programs provide the appropriate program and academic resources to students that allows for completion of the degree in a timely manner.

  • Graduate programs provide realistic expectations of current and future financial resources available to students and ensure course offerings that support timely degree completion.

  • All programs perform periodic assessment of student progress.

  • To promote high standards and continuous improvement in graduate education, graduate programs are also committed to regular self-assessment. The University supports assessment  of program outcomes and encourages the utilization of external program assessment opportunities.  

  • Graduate programs promote a collegial academic environment in which faculty, staff and students work together with mutual respect, integrity and collaboration. 

Graduate College

  • The Graduate College actively engages in and promotes graduate education best practices.

  • The Graduate College transparently provides oversight of graduate education and works with disciplinary colleges, academic units and graduate programs to ensure the overall quality  and integrity of graduate education on the OSU campuses.  

  • The Graduate College facilitates an intellectual environment in which graduate students and graduate faculty work together to maximize the creation, acquisition, and dissemination of  knowledge.

  • The Graduate College serves as an advocate for graduate students, graduate faculty and graduate education.  

  • The Graduate College respects the system of shared-governance by graduate faculty through the elected body of the Graduate Council.  

  • The Graduate College supports the professional development of graduate students and graduate faculty.  

  • The Graduate College centrally supports graduate student recruitment, admission, matriculation, graduation and placement.

  • The Graduate College stewards and distributes institutional resources that support graduate education.


Endorsed by Graduate Council on April 19, 2013.