Part I - Graduate Education at Illinois

This handbook contains policies set forth by the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is current as of August 2017. Previous versions of the handbook are available in the archives. Individual graduate programs or departments may have additional policies. Please consult the Web sites and contacts given throughout this handbook or at the University of Illinois homepage for current policies in other units.

Chapter 1: The Graduate College

A. Introduction

Graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are enrolled in the Graduate College. This Handbook covers campus academic and administrative policies and requirements pertaining to graduate students at the University, and is current as of August 2017. All graduate students must follow Graduate College policies.

In addition to the policies outlined in this handbook, individual graduate departments or units may have additional policies specific to students enrolled in their units, and students should become familiar with their departmental handbooks. Please consult the Web sites linked throughout this handbook for additional information.
 

The College awards doctoral degrees, master’s degrees, Certificates of Advanced Study and Artist’s Diplomas, which will be referred to as degrees or graduate degrees throughout the document. With oversight responsibilities for all graduate students pursuing degrees in every major in more than a dozen academic colleges, schools, and institutes, the Graduate College works to address a wide range of issues basic to graduate education at Illinois. More information about the Graduate College is online at www.grad.illinois.edu.

B. Bylaws

As amended February 23, 2007

1. Name and Object:

a. The name of the assembly shall be the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

b. The Graduate College is the administrative home of students admitted to graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Graduate College shall have jurisdiction of all approved programs leading to graduate degrees. It is the responsibility of the Graduate College to develop and safeguard standards of graduate work and to promote and assist in the advancement of scholarly activities in all fields.

c. The Graduate College shall be governed by the University of Illinois Statutes and by the provisions of the Bylaws.

2. Faculty:

a. The Faculty of the Graduate College consists of the President, the Chancellor, the Provost, the Dean, and all those who, on the recommendation of the departments or other teaching or research divisions, have been approved by the Executive Committee and the Dean of the Graduate College to assume appropriate academic responsibility in programs leading to graduate degrees.

Normally, members of the Graduate Faculty will hold rank as assistant professor, associate professor, or professor. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Executive Committee.

b. Associate and Assistant Deans of the Graduate College with rank or title of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or Instructor who are tenured or receiving probationary credit toward tenure shall be members of the Graduate Faculty.

c. All members of the Graduate Faculty, as defined in 2.a. and 2.b., shall be entitled to participate in meetings of the Faculty and to vote.

d. Administrative staff bearing the title of Assistant Dean and Associate Dean who are not included within the definition of members of the Faculty in 2.a. and 2.b. above shall be accorded voice at Faculty meetings but do not have voting rights.

e. Among the powers and duties of the Faculty are:

i. To establish rules for the conduct of its business.

ii. To establish policies for the governance of the College in its internal administration.

iii. To establish the academic policies of the College.

iv. adjunct status

3. Meetings:

a. Regular Meetings. There shall be at least one regular meeting of the Faculty each academic year.

i. The dean shall be the presiding officer. In the dean's absence, the designee of the dean shall preside.

ii. Call and Notice.

  • A regular meeting shall be called by the dean, the date to be fixed by the dean and announced at least thirty days prior to the scheduled date.
  • iv. The faculty shall be furnished with a written notice and the agenda of the meeting at least five calendar days prior to the meeting.

iii. Agenda

  • Items may be placed on the agenda by the dean; by the Executive Committee; or by faculty petition signed by five members of the faculty provided that such item(s) shall be submitted to the dean at least twenty calendar days before the scheduled date of the meeting, and that the dean, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall consider and may schedule inclusions of such items(s) on the agenda or may refer such item(s) to (an) appropriate committee(s).
  • At regular meetings the quorum shall consist of those members present.

b. Special Meetings. Special meetings may be called by the dean, by the Executive Committee, or by petition of thirty members of the Graduate Faculty. The meeting must take place within twenty-one days of the date of the call. A quorum shall consist of those members present.

i. The business of a special meeting shall be limited to items on the agenda. The only substantive main motion in order would be one to poll the Faculty by mail ballot.

ii. A poll by mail ballot shall include a statement of the pros and cons of the matter at issue as approved by the Executive Committee. No action is official until it has been approved by mail ballot. The results of the mail ballot will be advisory to the dean and the Executive Committee in those matters specifically reserved to the dean and to the Executive Committee in the University Statutes (See Article IV, Sec. 3 and Article V). In such other matters as amendment of the Bylaws and approval of curricula, results of the poll shall be binding for the College.

c. Rules. The current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern all Faculty meetings.

4. The Dean:

a.The chief executive officer of the College is the Dean of the Graduate College.

b. The dean shall be appointed annually as specified in Article III, Sec. 3b of the Statutes upon the advice of the Graduate College Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall appoint a subcommittee from among its members, individuals knowledgeable of the dean's performance to develop recommendations. The recommendations shall be presented to the Executive Committee for action. The advice of the Executive Committee shall indicate whether the dean should be re-appointed, may make suggestions for improved performance, and may indicate if any early performance evaluation should be scheduled.

The dean should prepare for the subcommittee a short self-evaluation addressing goals, accomplishments, directions, problems, and any other matters that the dean may deem relevant.

c. The dean shall be given a performance evaluation no later than the fifth year of service. Subsequent evaluations should occur at least once every five years as the Statutes specify. The members of the Dean Evaluation Committee (DEC) shall be selected by the Graduate College Executive Committee, meeting in the absence of the dean. The DEC shall include at least six members of the Graduate Faculty and representatives of a diversity of disciplines from among the several academic colleges. It shall include at least two graduate students and may include professional staff. Others may be added to represent the various segments of the college, but a majority of the members must be faculty. The Provost, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall designate a full professor who is not a member of the Graduate College Executive Committee to serve as chair and shall charge the committee.

The dean should prepare for the DEC and the Provost a short self-evaluation addressing Graduate College goals, accomplishments, directions, problems, and any other matters that the dean may deem relevant.

The DEC should appropriately solicit the views of academic deans, unit executive officers, faculty, staff, and graduate students with respect to the dean's performance. It should ensure that respondents have the opportunity to communicate their views with the assurance of confidentiality, and it should consult the Provost's office concerning procedures for assuring confidentiality under current law.

The dean should be given the opportunity to meet with the DEC both early in the evaluation process (for preliminary discussion) and toward its conclusion (to allow for discussion of any areas of concern that may have emerged.)

The DEC should report in writing both to the Provost, and to the Graduate College Executive Committee, at whatever length and in whatever detail it may deem appropriate, and should discuss its report with the Provost. The advice of the DEC shall indicate whether the dean should be re-appointed and may make suggestions for improved performance. The Provost should convey to the dean a written summary of the evaluation, prepared by the DEC for that purpose, and the Provost's conclusions. The Provost should also inform the Executive Committee of the outcome of the evaluation.

d. The dean shall perform those functions appropriate to the Graduate College required by Article III, Sec. 3b and Article V of the Statutes and shall additionally:

i. Represent the Graduate College to other campus and University authorities and to public and private agencies.

ii. Appoint such standing and ad hoc committees as are deemed necessary for the functioning of the College and for the furtherance of the missions of the campus.

iii. Recommend to the Chancellor the appointment and annual reappointment of associate or assistant deans of the Graduate College as required.

5. Standing Committees:

a. Executive Committee.

i. As the advisory committee to the dean, the Executive Committee acts for the Faculty of the College.

ii. The Executive Committee shall consist of fifteen members: eight elected members, four of whom shall be elected annually for two-year terms by the Faculty of the Graduate College; six members, three of whom shall be appointed each year for two-year terms by the Chancellor on the recommendation of the Dean of the Graduate College in consultation with the members elected that year; and the Dean of the Graduate College, who is ex officio a member and chairs the Committee.

iii. When the Executive Committee meets to prepare or give advice to the Chancellor and President on the appointment of the dean or to review the dean's performance, the dean shall not be a member, and the Committee shall be chaired by the senior faculty member (in terms of service at the University) on the Executive Committee.

iv. The duties of the Executive Committee shall include those prescribed by the Statutes and shall include advising the dean on proposals for new and revised graduate degree programs.

v. At meetings of the Executive Committee, a quorum shall consist of a majority of the members.

b. The dean shall establish such other standing committees as may be required by the Statutes, by state and federal law, or as are deemed necessary for the functioning of the College and for the furtherance of the missions of the campus.

6. Academic Integrity:

a. Policy and Procedures. All charges of academic integrity infractions that do not involve organized research activities will be dealt with as prescribed in the Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students. All charges of academic integrity infractions with respect to organized research activities against students in the Graduate College will be dealt with as prescribed in the University of Illinois Policy and Procedures on Academic Integrity in Research and Publication, except as provided below.

b. Committee Composition. The Dean of the Graduate College will appoint as a member of the inquiry team and the investigation panel a graduate student who has no conflict of interest, is unbiased, and who has appropriate qualifications to judge the issues raised. No student will serve on both the inquiry team and the investigation panel concerning the same case.

c. Action by the Chancellor. The following procedures modify provision IV.F.4 of the Policy and Procedures on Academic Integrity in Research and Publication:

i. The Chancellor, after consultation with the Dean of the Graduate College, the dean of the student's academic college, the Vice Chancellor for Research, and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, shall determine what disposition to make of the case. The determination shall be communicated to the Respondent promptly.

ii. If the determination is that the allegations have not been proven, the case will be disposed of as provided in section IV.D.5 and IV.F.4 of the Policy and Procedures on Academic Integrity in Research and Publication.

iii. If the Chancellor concurs with the investigation panel's conclusion that academic misconduct has been proven and determines that a sanction should be imposed, the Chancellor will determine the appropriate sanction, which can include, but is not limited to, a written reprimand or warning, suspension, or dismissal. The Chancellor may prescribe corrective action responsive to the alleged misconduct and take other appropriate action. The Research Standards Officer shall notify the Dean of the Graduate College and the dean of the student's academic college of sanctions imposed and/or other actions taken.

iv. If suspension or dismissal is recommended, the Chancellor will transmit a copy of the investigation panel report, with a written recommendation for suspension or dismissal, to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline. The decision of the investigation panel on the fact of the breach of integrity is final. The sole question before the Senate Committee on Student Discipline is whether the breach of integrity in question is of such a nature as to warrant suspension or dismissal from the University.

v. If the Senate Committee on Student Discipline determines that the breach of integrity in question does not warrant suspension or dismissal, then the Chancellor will consult with the Dean of the Graduate College and the dean of the student's academic college to determine and impose an appropriate sanction.

7. Grievance Policy:

Grievance procedures for students enrolled in the Graduate College are governed by the Graduate College's "Policy and Procedures on Grievances by Graduate Students," which are available on the Graduate College Web site.

8. Special Units of the Graduate College:

Special units of the Graduate College may be created, transferred or abolished, in accordance with the process as specified in Article V, Sec. 3 of the Statutes. Such units report to the Dean of the Graduate College who may appoint such advisory committees as are needed.

9. Amendments:

Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by the dean, by the Executive Committee, or by petition of thirty members of the Faculty.

a. Proposed amendments to these Bylaws shall serve automatically as a call for a special meeting of the Faculty. The meeting must take place within twenty-one days of receipt of the proposed amendments.

b. The Faculty shall be furnished with written notice of the meeting and copy of the proposed amendments at least five calendar days prior to the meeting.

c. The business of a special meeting called to consider proposed amendments shall be limited to discussion of the amendments. The only substantive main motion in order would be one to poll the Faculty by mail ballot.

d. Approval of proposed amendments shall be by mail ballot. Approval shall require a positive vote of two-thirds of those voting.

 

C. Administration and Governance

The Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has jurisdiction over programs leading to all post baccalaureate degrees awarded by the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois, including Certificates of Advanced Study and Artist’s Diplomas. The only exceptions are the Juris Doctor degree program in the College of Law and the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The Graduate College is responsible for developing and safeguarding high academic standards and promoting research in all academic disciplines, and operates according to established bylaws. However, graduate students must also be aware of campus and University policies as well as state law, that could impact graduate students but are not under the jurisdiction or authority of the Graduate College.

The Graduate College approves the appointment of graduate faculty members. For more details on graduate faculty membership, see the Graduate College Policy on Graduate Faculty Membership adopted October 24, 1999. More details on graduate faculty and doctoral committees can be found elsewhere in this handbook (see chapter 6.D).

The chief executive officer of the Graduate College is the dean. The work of the Graduate College is supported by a number of advisory committees. The Graduate College Executive Committee (GCEC) is the Graduate College’s primary policy-making body. The GCEC consists of eight graduate faculty members elected by the graduate faculty, six graduate faculty members appointed by the chancellor on the recommendation of the dean and current members, and two graduate student observers. The Program Subcommittee of the Executive Committee provides initial review of program proposals prior to GCEC approval.

The Fellowship Board consists of fifteen faculty members and two graduate student members. This committee sets campus policy on graduate fellowships and grants and awards approximately $4 million in student support per year.

Many other committees also are advisory to the Graduate College, some short-term and some long-lasting. A complete list of Graduate College Committees for the current academic year can be found here

 

D. Academic Resources

The Graduate College provides services to students, graduate advisers, and academic units regarding admissions, registration and records, fellowships and grants, tuition and fee waivers, thesis preparation, underrepresented student support, degree requirements, career services, and student academic concerns including academic standing, and grievances.

Many campus resources can be found online, and some of those most important for students include:

Faculty members are a critical resource for students. Departments typically assign a faculty member to new students to provide assistance with planning of their academic programs. Once students have settled on an area of special research interest, they are generally expected to choose a faculty member from that area to act as their primary adviser. In addition, the department’s Director of Graduate Studies, Graduate Program Contact, and Executive Officer are important academic resources.

Chapter 2: Graduate Faculty Membership

A. Policy

The Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has jurisdiction over all programs leading to graduate degrees.

As defined in the University Statutes, Article V, Section 1c, "The faculty of the Graduate College consists of the President, the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs or equivalent officer, the Dean, and all those who on the recommendation of the department or of other teaching or research divisions have been approved by the Executive Committee and the Dean of the Graduate College to assume appropriate academic responsibilities in programs leading to graduate degrees. Other administrative staff are members of the faculty of the Graduate College only if they also hold faculty appointments and have been recommended and approved as provided above."

These responsibilities include (1) establishing and maintaining high quality graduate education and research programs within the academic units of the University, (2) developing and teaching of graduate level courses and curricula, (3) advising graduate students, (4) serving on doctoral examination committees as a member, director of research, or chair, (5) electing members of the Graduate College Executive Committee, (6) serving on Graduate College committees, and (7) providing advice to the Dean and the Executive Committee. The Graduate College recognizes that the standards of academic excellence must remain at the highest level consistent with individual unit standards. Standards shall be maintained without discriminating against a faculty member on unlawful grounds and without limiting the University of Illinois' guarantee of academic freedom and equal opportunity.

  1. General Criteria for Membership in the Graduate College Faculty
    To carry out the statutory charge to the Graduate College "to develop and safeguard standards of graduate work and to promote and assist in the advancement of research in all fields" (University Statutes, Article V, Section 1a), the Dean, with the advice of the Executive Committee, establishes standards for membership in the Graduate College, monitors their implementation, and retains responsibility for appointments to the Graduate Faculty. These standards assume that (1) faculty members appointed to units offering programs leading to graduate degrees meet the highest standards of the discipline for graduate teaching and research or for creative activity; (2) those faculty members are given freedom, opportunity, and guidance to become involved in graduate education, and to participate to the fullest extent of their interests and capabilities in the affairs of the Graduate College; and (3) the executive officer of the unit is committed to consistent high quality achievements of the faculty, accomplished through their active participation in the unit's graduate programs.
     
  2. Appointment Criteria and Procedures
    1. Each faculty member of a graduate degree granting college or school shall be recommended automatically for membership in the Faculty of the Graduate College and shall be appointed by the Dean at the time of appointment or promotion to a tenure-track or tenured position.
    2. Others may be nominated by the unit executive officer for term membership on the Graduate Faculty if the qualifications of the nominee as judged by the Executive Committee and the Dean are comparable to those required for appointment to a tenure-track position in a graduate degree granting unit. The initial term may be at most five years.
    3. Members of the Graduate Faculty who have retired or resigned may be retained on the Graduate Faculty for up to five years, upon request by the unit executive officer or other authorized individual. The Graduate College recommends but does not require that these faculty members have adjunct or emeriti/ae appointments.
    4. Members of the Graduate Faculty whose terms have ended may be renewed for up to five years, upon request by the unit executive officer or other authorized individual.
    5. Members of the Graduate Faculty who retired or resigned with tenure may retain Graduate Faculty membership and tenure status only for the purpose of serving on doctoral committees, for a period of up to five years following their resignation or retirement, at the request of the unit executive officer or other authorized individual. That period may be extended at the request of the unit executive officer, so long as the faculty member remains actively involved in the graduate program.
       
  3. Termination Policies
    1. A Graduate Faculty member may resign from the Graduate Faculty voluntarily by submitting a letter of resignation to the Dean of the Graduate College.
    2. A faculty member who resigns or retires from the University is automatically terminated from membership in the Graduate Faculty unless the unit asks that the faculty member continue for a specified period of time.
    3. A unit may request the Graduate College to have a member removed from the Graduate Faculty if the member has been grossly neglectful of or grossly inefficient in the performance of responsibilities as a Graduate Faculty member (as listed in the introduction to this policy). The written request for removal must be made by the unit executive officer to the Dean of the Graduate College and must state reasons for the requested termination. The faculty member under consideration for removal may provide a written statement requesting continued membership.

      The unit's request and the faculty statement, if submitted, will be considered by the Graduate College Executive Committee, which shall make a recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate College. The Dean shall make the decision on removal, which may be appealed to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

B. Current Graduate Faculty Member Listing


Adopted October 24, 1999; Revised February 12, 2009

Chapter 3: Academic Integrity and Intellectual Property

The Graduate College and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research work collaboratively to ensure commitment to principles of academic integrity and responsible scholarly conduct. A number of campus policies outline ethical and professional standards applying to faculty, students, and staff, and prescribe procedures to be followed when unethical conduct may have occurred. Students should be familiar with the following resources on academic integrity and professional conduct:

The term "intellectual property" refers to property that includes patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks. Any individual using University facilities, equipment, funds, or resources needs to be aware of University policies and procedures related to sponsored research and intellectual property issues, including rights to inventions and copyrightable works developed at the University. Students should also see chapter 4 for more details about patents and copyrights related to theses. For additional information about intellectual property, consult the Office of Technology Management.

Chapter 4: Terms and Definitions

Terminology

Definitions A-I
Definitions J-Z

  1. Terminology Used Throughout this Handbook:
  • "department" or "unit" may refer to a program, school, institute, or similar type of academic unit,
     
  • “fellowships” and “fellows” include traineeships and trainees except where specified,
     
  • “students” refers to graduate students, 
     
  • “term” and “semester” are used interchangeably, and
     
  • “thesis” may refer to a thesis or a dissertation.
     
  1. Definitions: More information related to each of these terms can be found by searching the Graduate Handbook.
  • academic standing – full, probation and dismissal status
     
  • academic term – an academic term begins the first day of classes and ends on the last day of final exams.
     
  • adviser – a member of the graduate faculty who is formally charged with assisting a student in planning the course of study; this person may or may not also be the student’s director of research 
     
  • cancellation – a student cancels registration and avoids payment of tuition and fee charges by completing a Withdrawal/Cancellation form (PDF) and submitting it before 5:00 p.m. on the last business day before the first day of instruction of the term. For more information see chapter 7.
     
  • chair of committee – faculty member who is responsible for convening an examination committee, conducting the examination, and submitting the result of the examination to the necessary offices. This person may or may not be the student’s adviser or director of research
     
  • concentration – a transcripted credential earned from a program of at least 12 graduate hours of courses defined by a student’s enrolling degree program. It refers either to a specialized program of study within a major or an interdisciplinary program designed to complement the major.
     
  • conferral – the date on which the University officially records and grants degrees; there are three conferral dates in each academic year
     
  • degree audit – a review to certify that a student has met all the requirements for graduation and the degree can be conferred
     
  • degree-seeking or degree candidate – a student status in which the student is in the process of obtaining a degree
     
  • deposit – the process of submitting to the Graduate College the thesis and other forms necessary to graduate
     
  • director of research – person who oversees a graduate student’s research project or thesis. This person may be different from the student's adviser.
     
  • dissertation – document deposited in the Graduate College as a requirement for the doctoral degree; can also be called a thesis
     
  • drop – the act of dropping one or more courses from the student schedule. May result in the grade of W (withdraw) appearing on the transcript. 
     
  • dual degree – pursuit of two separate degrees at the same time
     
  • joint degree – a campus approved program in which a student concurrently pursues two specifically identified degrees, and those degrees are conferred simultaneously. For graduate students this is a combination of a graduate degree with one of the following: another graduate degree, an undergraduate degree or a professional degree.  
     
  • major – the approved area of study in which a student receives the degree, for example, Physics, Music, English, Special Education, Finance, etc.; for a complete list, see the Academic Catalog
     
  • minor – is a transcripted credential earned from a program consisting of at least 12 graduate hours of courses defined by one or more units outside the student’s enrolling major degree program. It encourages and recognizes expertise gained in a particular area beyond a graduate major.
     
  • non-degree – a student status in which the student is not seeking a degree or applying credit toward a future degree
     
  • petition – the process a student uses to request an exception to a Graduate College academic policy or deadline
     
  • off-campus – refers to courses offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Online & Continuing Education unit at locations other than the main campus
     
  • online – refers to courses offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Online & Continuing Education unit using instructional technologies
     
  • Reading Day – the designated period between the last day of classes and the first day of final examinations
     
  • residence credit – credit hours earned at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus or at other designated locations; a certain number of residence credit hours are required for each degree
     
  • residency – home location used to determine application status and tuition assessment rate
     
  • Registrar, Office of the – the unit that oversees campus registration processes, assesses tuition and fees, certifies degrees, and issues transcripts
     
  • SEVISStudent and Exchange Visitor Information System, the Internet-based program operated by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to track all students and scholars who are in F-1 and J-1 status, along with their spouses and dependents 
     
  • term – see “academic term
     
  • thesis – document deposited in the Graduate College as a requirement for a graduate degree; for doctoral students, can also be called a dissertation
     
  • traineeship – a type of fellowship that is awarded to provide educational training in particular disciplinary areas (see chapter 8 for more information).
     
  • UI-Integrate Self Service – the interface that students use for registration and records, financial aid, billing, personal information, and to apply for graduation; faculty use this interface for course management and advising services
     
  • withdrawal – a student who wishes to drop all courses after the cancellation deadline whether enrolled for one or more courses, must withdraw from the University for that semester, (see chapter 7 for more information)
     
  • withdraw – W, a permanent transcript notation signifying an approved withdraw without credit from a course, (see chapter 3 for more information)