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Rule 40311: Graduate Education

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40000: Academic Issues

Date Approved

Date Last Amended

Office(s) Responsible for Rule

Office of Academic Affairs

1.  Title

Graduate Education 

2.  Rule and Regulation

Sec. 1  Responsibility for Graduate Programs.   The academic and health institutions of the U. T. System authorized to offer graduate degrees shall provide and maintain an appropriate faculty and administrative organization for such graduate degrees. The president of each institution of the U. T. System shall be responsible through the appropriate Executive Vice Chancellor to the Chancellor, and through him or her, to the Board of Regents for policies and administration of the graduate programs.

Sec. 2  Program Requirements.   Within the academic institutions, the designation "Graduate School" will be used if (a) there is a minimum of three distinct programs approved for doctoral degrees and 30 such doctoral degrees have been awarded; or (b) there is a minimum of 10 distinct programs approved for master's degrees and 50 master's degrees have been awarded. In institutions that do not meet these requirements, graduate study will be in a "Division of Graduate Studies."

Sec. 3  Exceptions.  Institutions which offer graduate degrees and elect an administrative organization and designations different from those authorized above may do so only upon the recommendation of the president, the concurrence of the appropriate Executive Vice Chancellor, the Deputy Chancellor, and the Chancellor, and the approval of the Board of Regents.

Sec. 4  Establishment of Policies and Procedures.   The policies and procedures for staffing and administering the graduate programs at all institutions shall be set forth in the institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures. These policies and procedures shall include qualifications for faculty members assigned to teach graduate courses, supervise graduate programs, and advise graduate students.

Sec. 5  Joint or Cooperative Degree Programs.   Where two or more institutions of the U. T. System are authorized to conduct joint or cooperative degree programs, the presidents of the cooperating institutions shall be authorized to establish, subject to the approval of the appropriate Executive Vice Chancellor, special procedures and organizations for the administration of such programs.

Sec. 6  Milestone Agreement Form.   Academic departments of institutions within the U. T. System must provide all Ph.D. students with an individualized Milestone Agreement Form. This form should be in an electronic format consistent with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) policies and shall be provided for the purpose of informing students about the milestones that they will be expected to reach to earn a Ph.D. degree. Students are expected to reach each milestone within the specified time period to make satisfactory progress through the program.

6.1  Required Template.   The Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Health Affairs shall provide to the institutions a template of those elements of information that must be contained in every form. Departments may add information to the form to fit unique program requirements.

6.2  Implementation Timeline.   Beginning in Fall 2013, a Milestone Agreement Form is to be provided annually to all Ph.D. students.

3.  Definitions 

Graduate Programs – as the term is used in these Rules, does not include the programs that lead to the M.D., D.D.S., M.P.H., Dr. P.H., J.D., LL.M., and M.C.J. degrees, other professional masters and doctoral degrees, or others that may be excluded upon recommendation by the president of the institution and concurrence by the appropriate Executive Vice Chancellor and the Chancellor.

4.  Relevant Federal and State Statutes 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 

5.  Relevant System Policies, Procedures, and Forms 


6.  Who Should Know 

Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs 
Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs 

7.  System Administration Office(s) Responsible for Rule 

Office of Academic Affairs 

8.  Dates Approved or Amended 

Editorial amendments to Section 1 and Number 3 made September 25, 2018 
Editorial amendments made April 28, 2016 
Editorial amendments to Sections 1, 4, and Number 3 made July 13, 2015 
November 15, 2012 
December 10, 2004 

9.  Contact Information 

Questions or comments regarding this Rule should be directed to: