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Graduate Education at the University of Minnesota

Graduate vs. Professional Education

Graduate vs. Professional Programs

  • The University of Minnesota makes a formal administrative distinction between the research masters and PhD programs (graduate programs) and all other post-baccalaureate degree programs (professional programs).
  • The Graduate School is responsible for oversight of the research degree (graduate) programs.
  • The academic colleges have primary oversight of their own professional programs.
  • You can refer to this chart to see which programs are categorized as graduate versus professional.
Collegiate Structure

Collegiate Structure

  • The University of Minnesota has more than 130 research-based masters and doctoral degrees in the sciences, arts, engineering, agriculture, medicine, humanities, and many interdisciplinary programs.

Explore the colleges (or schools) that contain graduate degrees and programs

Program Roles

Every graduate program has dedicated staff members who are trained and equipped to help students understand the requirements of their individual program and provide support throughout the academic process.

Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC)

  • GPC is a staff member within each graduate or professional program who provides graduate students with information about the program and its requirements, and identifies ways to help the program be more successful.
  • Find your program's GPC. 

Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)

  • A 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.
  • Find your program's DGS. 
Decentralized Model for Graduate Education

Decentralized Model for Graduate Education

  • The Graduate School want to make sure that that you have access to data about the students in your program. The Graduate Data Portal includes program data facts and figures, alumni placement data, results from gradSERU, and more.

Explore the Graduate Data Portal

The Roles of the Graduate School

Student Academic & Professional Development

Student Academic and Professional Development

  • GEAR (Graduate Education Resources) is a series of online tools that help your students through every phase of their academic and professional development, whether they aspire for a career in academia or an industry beyond campus. 
  • Workshops and events: The Graduate School helps connect your students with programs, resources, and events to help them identify potential career paths both inside and outside of academia, compete for in-demand positions, and manage their career.

Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO)

The Graduate School Diversity Office (GSDO) leads and coordinates the University’s initiatives in the recruitment, funding, retention, and graduation of a diverse graduate student body. Additionally, our office works closely with other organizations connected to diversity, underrepresented populations, and multiculturalism. The GSDO provides services and support for underrepresented graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. This support includes:

  • Community of Scholars Program (COSP), which provides Native American graduate students and domestic graduate students of color with opportunities to realize their academic and professional goals.
  • Summer Institute, a seven week research opportunity for newly-admitted underrepresented graduate students.
  • Diversity of Views and Experience (DOVE) Fellowship, which seeks to assist graduate programs to promote a diversity of views, experiences, and ideas in the pursuit of research, scholarship, and creative excellence by recruiting and supporting academically excellent students with diverse ethnic, racial, economic, and educational backgrounds and experiences.
Faculty Advising Resources

Resources for Graduate Faculty and Advisors

  • Positive advising and mentoring relationships are one of the most important features of leading to the success of graduate and professional students. The Graduate School offers resources to help support your development as a mentor and advisor of graduate students.

Explore Faculty Advising Resources



  • Fellowships, grants, research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and loans provide the most common forms of support for graduate students. Explore and stay up to date on fellowship opportunities for available for your prospective, incoming, and current students.

Go to the Graduate School Funding page for more

Student Mental Health

Resources to Help Students in Distress

The Red Folder

  • It can be challenging for faculty members to know how to respond to students who may be having a mental health issue or crisis. The Red Folder is a comprehensive guide designed to help you recognize indicators of student distress, how to respond to students in distress, and where you can refer your students for appropriate support.

Download the Red Folder

Additional Resources to Help Students in Distress

  • UMN Student Mental Health resources will help you better assist students in distress, including where you can get a consultation and written guidelines to help you determine how to respond to your students.
  • The Student Conflict Resolution Center works with students to resolve university-based problems and concerns. The services are free and confidential.
  • Student Counseling Services offer a variety of personal, academic, and career services for students. 
gradSERU COVID-19 Results

gradSERU COVID-19 Mental Health Survey Results

  • 10,531 graduate and professional students were invited to take the gradSERU COVID-19 survey between June 15, 2020 and July 15, 2020. The purpose of this survey is to help us learn about the experiences of graduate and professional students during this incredibly challenging time so that we can provide them with the resources and support they need. 

Explore gradSERU results

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Graduate Education


Diversity Community of Practice (DCoP)

  • The Diversity Community of Practice (DCoP) is a grassroots community of faculty and staff from collegiate and administrative units that started on the Twin Cities Campus. The DCoP meets monthly via Zoom with the goal of helping to develop and leverage personal, professional, and technical expertise of community members, and creating innovative strategies to meet the equity and diversity goals at the University of Minnesota.

Explore DCoP

Diversity Training

Equity and Diversity Certificate

  • The Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) Certificate program helps participants develop tools necessary for advancing equity and diversity in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. The program:
    • Offers participants a theoretical framework for understanding equity and diversity work.
    • Helps participants develop necessary skills for equity and diversity work.
    • Gives participants direct experience working and communicating across differences.

Explore the OED Certificate program

UMN Racial Justice Resources

UMN Racial Justice Resources

Explore the UMN Racial Justice Resources page

Mentoring and Advising

Mentoring Best Practices

Mentoring Best Practices

Advising Best Practices

Advising Statements

Explore advising statements from current UMN faculty

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

  • Graduate students are encouraged to create an IDP, that serves as a skills assessment and career planning tool throughout their graduate education. 
  • As faculty, you should familiarize yourself with the IDP, so you are able to collaborate with your students. 

Explore IDP templates and examples 

Building and Sustaining an Online Grad Ed Community

Engaging with your Students Online

Engaging with Your Students 

Creating Accessible Pages

Creating Accessible Spaces

Online Civility

Online Civility