2007 Reaffirmation Teams
3.6.4 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams
The institution defines and publishes requirements for its graduate and post-baccalaureate professional programs. These requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for degree programs. (Note: Formerly CS 3.4.10)
U344: The institution defines and publishes requirements for its graduate and post-baccalaureate professional programs. These requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for degree programs.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) publishes its defined requirements for its graduate programs. The published standards follow the guidelines of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), The University of Texas System (UT System), and standard practice for such academic programs as determined by external accrediting agencies and program reviews. As discussed in the response to Principle 3.6.1 , UT Dallas graduate degree programs and the Council on Graduate Education, a body composed of associate deans of graduate education from each school , use nationally-accepted criteria published by the Council of Graduate Schools     when reviewing programs and establishing degree requirements for them.
All defined and published requirements undergo periodic review in at least two venues. First, the biennial catalog production cycle (which includes an annual supplemental catalog review process) spurs each academic unit to review its current academic offerings, courses, and requirements for updating. Curricular and policy changes require a multi-stage approval process that begins with the academic unit’s sending the recommendation(s) forward to the aforementioned Council of Graduate Education, which in turn, if the Council approves the change, is submitted to the Committee on Educational Policy (CEP) . CEP approval then goes to the Academic Senate  for review and recommendation to the executive vice president and provost. Provostial approval may end the review process for minor changes or may result in forwarding the recommendations to the UT System and/or the THECB for final approval as necessary. The second periodic review of degree requirements occurs in the approval and subsequent periodic review of programs. As detailed in the response to Principle 188.8.131.52 , each program begins with an initial external review and subsequently undergoes a periodic accreditation review by its external accrediting agency, or a periodic academic program review that makes use of external reviewers, or both . Every program is externally reviewed prior to approval in line with Series 40307 of the UT System Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulation  and Subchapter C of THECB’s Chapter 5 . After approval and implementation, programs undergo periodic review by notable scholars from the specific field .
The Office of Graduate Studies retains primary responsibility for the coordination of all aspects of graduate education programs, and the policies and procedures that pertain to graduate programs are available on the office’s website . The dean of graduate studies ensures inclusion in the graduate catalog general admission standards , general degree requirements and rules for transfer credit , and the rules and regulations that apply specifically to graduate students . The dean of graduate studies also works in concert with each associate dean for graduate education and each dean in editing and publishing the catalog copy that includes a program description, the required and elective courses for each post-baccalaureate degree program, and the course descriptions associated with those courses. The section of the graduate catalog for the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences is illustrative of that material for all schools . Additionally, graduate advisors make available to students copies of the most recent degree plan for each major during advising conferences  .
The requirements for all graduate and post-baccalaureate professional programs are published and accessible both in the hard copy and the online version the UT Dallas Graduate Catalog , and available within each college from the associate deans and program heads. In addition to the program materials, all admitted graduate students are given the “Graduate Student Guide” , which describes the graduate school procedures, expectations, and administrative offices on campus where relevant activities should be pursued; the guide also reinforces the academic policies, such as the policy memorandum governing the Procedures for Completing a Graduate Degree ), which requires that a master’s student form his/her supervising committee before registering for the 19th hour in the program of studies and that a doctoral student form the committee before registering for the 50th credit hour. The Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies also regularly offers a new TA orientation  as well as a weekly dissertation-writing (ABD) seminar  using the UT Dallas Dissertation and Thesis Guide . Doctoral students receive annual progress reports that they and their faculty mentors sign , thus providing further opportunity to ensure that graduate students remain informed of the rules and policies that govern their academic career.