Graduate Studies

Criteria for Graduate Faculty Appointments

Graduate Faculty Appointments and Criteria


Graduate Faculty Criteria

Full Graduate Faculty

  • Tenured, tenure track, or research faculty members who hold a terminal degree in a field appropriate for their appointment and formal faculty appointments at USM.  
  • Documented record of current, peer reviewed research, scholarship, or creative activity or professional activity of an equivalent nature.
  • Offer graduate-level instruction and direct graduate student research, scholarship, or creative activity in accordance with the requirements of the graduate degree program.

Associate Graduate Faculty

  • Individuals at USM who do not meet all the criteria for appointment as Full Graduate Faculty but who have significant qualifications for graduate instruction.

External Graduate Faculty

  • Individuals who do not hold appointments at USM, but have relevant professional experience.


  • Graduate faculty appointments for tenured and tenure track faculty will become part of the regular review process (e.g. P&T or PTR review). A satisfactory review will be accepted as documentation in support of their application for reappointment.
  • All others should submit a package as outlined below as part of their regular review.
  • Application for graduate faculty status consists of:
    • a current CV that clearly indicates professional achievements since the last term of appointment
    • a cover letter that describes how the nominee meets the criteria, including prior teaching and mentoring at the graduate level (may include courses taught or directed, graduate committee service, and direct student mentorship) or a statement of commitment from newly appointed faculty.


  • Faculty interested in being appointed to the graduate faculty should notify their Dean by the second Friday in September.
  • Deans should submit the required materials, along with their recommendations to the Dean of Graduate Studies by the first Friday in October.

Graduate faculty are appointed for a 4 year term by the Provost, upon recommendation of the college Dean, Dean of Graduate Studies, and the Provost.



Full Graduate Faculty may:

  • Chair and serve on thesis and dissertation committees
  • Teach graduate courses
  • Advise graduate students
  • Recommend graduate education policy

Associate & External Graduate Faculty:

  • All the privileges of Full Graduate Faculty members with the exception of chairing student committees, although Associate members may serve as co-chairs of committees.
  • Associate and external members of the Graduate Faculty who do not hold doctoral degrees may serve on doctoral committees only on the recommendation of the unit graduate committee

Approved in Spring 2014 by the Graduate Council and Provost Michael Stevenson