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The Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE) works collaboratively to ensure that every graduate student has the best possible education. VPGE’s initiatives and resources enrich students' academic experiences at Stanford, advancing diversity, preparing leaders, and positioning Stanford at the forefront of innovation in graduate education. VPGE serves Stanford's doctoral, master’s, and professional degree students from all seven Stanford schools. VPGE plays a leadership role in initiating and managing policies and programs that enhance and complement the offerings of the departments and programs that have primary responsibility for organizing and delivering graduate education.

In addition to providing University-wide graduate policy direction, the VPGE office has five primary areas of program activity: administering University-wide graduate fellowship programs; advancing graduate student diversity, inclusion, and belonging; providing professional development programs and events; promoting interdisciplinary and cross-school learning; and encouraging innovation in graduate programs. The Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs reports to the Provost.

Graduate Policy

The Faculty Senate Committee on Graduate Studies (C-GS) formulates policy governing the substance and process of graduate education, including dissertation committees, joint degree programs, candidacy issues, and the academic calendar. C-GS is also charged to review graduate interdisciplinary programs (IDPs) in order to recommend renewals or discontinuation of the IDPs and to receive proposals for new IDPs. Committee members include the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs or delegated staff (ex officio) and representatives from the faculty at large appointed by the Faculty Senate, administration such as the Office of the University Registrar (ex officio), and students. The Graduate Student Council and the Nominations Committee of the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) choose student members.

Academic Policies

VPGE recommends, promulgates, and interprets University policies related to graduate education. The Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures (GAP) handbook is the primary source for policies affecting all Stanford graduate students, including policies recommended by C-GS and approved by the Faculty Senate. Several policies referenced frequently include:

General Requirements, Progress and Milestones

Policies related to registration, enrollment, residency, academic milestones and advising; see GAP 3. General Requirements, Progress and Milestones.

Degree-Specific Requirements, Progress and Milestones

Policies specifically related to master's, coterminal, professional, doctoral, and joint degrees including doctoral dissertation policies; see GAP 4. Degree-Specific Requirements, Progress and Milestones.

Changes of Enrollment Status

Policies related to degree or enrollment changes, degree conferral, leaves of absence or discontinuations, exchange programs, and pregnancy, childbirth and adoption; see GAP 5. Changes of Enrollment Status.

Graduate Student Funding

Policies related to graduate student funding including fellowships and research and teaching assistantships; see GAP 7. Graduate Student Funding and Administrative Guide 10.2. Graduate Student Employment on Campus.

Academic Advising

The University policies on advising and the conduct of research listed below apply to all faculty and the graduate students they advise. In addition, departments and programs are required to establish specific expectations and requirements for academic advising, and should inform graduate students and faculty of these policies. Additional information and resources about advising can be found on the VPGE’s Advising & Mentoring web pages.

Policy specifying that all matriculated graduate students must be advised by a faculty member, to be designated within students’ first quarter of enrollment  and that all graduate degree programs must explicitly state their minimum advising expectations and distribute annually to faculty and students ; see GAP 3.3. Academic Advising

Stanford's policies and practices related to the conduct of research, including obligations to students, staff, and sponsors; see Research Policy Handbook 1. Conduct of Research.

Policy articulating that all members of the Stanford community are responsible for sustaining the University’s highest ethical standards and values; see Administrative Guide 1.1.1. University Code of Conduct

Elaboration of the GAP Academic Advising policy, including change of adviser procedures; see Stanford Bulletin: Graduate Degrees. Advising and Credentials

The ExploreDegrees section of this bulletin outlines University-level policies guiding admissions, financial aid, enrollment, degree progress, and graduation. The graduate programs sections of each department's listing outlines specific department degree requirements. Additional information on professional school programs is available from the Graduate School of Business, the School of Law, and the School of Medicine. 

Graduate students must also follow the University’s Honor Code and Fundamental Standardwhich establish the conditions for academic work and set the standard of conduct for students at Stanford, respectively. The interpretations and applications of the Honor Code, the Student Judicial Charter of 1997, the Student Conduct Penalty Code, statistics, and other documents are available through the Office of Community Standards.

Research Policies

Graduate education and research are interrelated enterprises. Many Stanford graduate students conduct research under the guidance and sponsorship of Stanford faculty members. The Research Policy Handbook (RPH), overseen by the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research, articulates policies governing research. Several policies that are most relevant to graduate education include:

Academic Authorship

Guidelines related to academic authorship, such as the allocation of responsibility and credit for scholarly publications; see Research Policy Handbook memo 1.5, On Academic Authorship.

Intellectual Property

Policies on copyrights and patents resulting from University work. Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, as well as all faculty, staff, and visitors engaged in research, must sign the Stanford University Patent and Copyright Agreement (SU-18). For complete text of the currently applicable versions of these policies, see Research Policy Handbook chapter 9, Intellectual Property.

Openness in Research

Policy on openness in research, such as the principle of freedom of access by all interested persons to the underlying data, processes, and final results of research. Stanford University does not accept funding for research projects that require secrecy. For complete text of the currently applicable version of this policy, see Research Policy Handbook memo 1.4, Openness in Research.

Relationships between Students and Outside Organizations

Summary of policies on the establishment of relationships between students and outside entities, such as private companies or nonprofit organizations, as part of or outside the student's academic program at Stanford. This covers open versus proprietary nature of the work, ownership of intellectual property, and possible conflicts of commitment and interest. For complete text of the currently applicable versions of these policies, see Research Policy Handbook memo 10.6, Relationships Between Students (Including Postdoctoral Scholars) and Outside Entities.

Research Compliance

Several administrative panels review and approve research projects to safeguard the rights and welfare of all human research subjects, ensure the humane care and use of laboratory animals, and protect the safety of personnel and the general public in the areas of biosafety and radiological safety. For more information, contact the Research Compliance Office.

Research Misconduct

Policy on allegations, investigations, and reporting of research misconduct. Each member of the University community has a responsibility to foster an environment which promotes intellectual honesty and integrity, and which does not tolerate misconduct in any aspect of research or scholarly endeavor. For complete text of the currently applicable version of this policy, see Research Policy Handbook memo 1.7, Research Misconduct: Policy on Allegations, Investigations and Reporting.

Graduate Fellowships

Several University-wide graduate fellowship programs are administered by VPGE.

The Stanford Graduate Fellowship in Science and Engineering (SGF) program awards approximately 100 two- and three-year fellowships providing tuition support and stipend to exceptional incoming and continuing doctoral students in the natural and social sciences, education, engineering, and the basic sciences in the School of Medicine.

The Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship (SIGF) program awards fellowships on a competitive basis to doctoral students engaged in interdisciplinary research that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries. Students in the first three years of their doctoral program are eligible to apply.

VPGE also administers several smaller University-wide fellowships to new and continuing doctoral students, either by application or by nomination by faculty or deans.

Graduate Student Diversity

VPGE works to enhance the diversity (broadly defined) of the graduate student population by supporting a variety of recruitment and retention programs in collaboration with faculty and staff in each of the schools to foster inclusion and belonging within the university community. VPGE funds recruitment activities to expand the pool of qualified applicants, such as visits to campus and travel grants.

The EDGE (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) Doctoral Fellowship program supports the recruitment and academic success of outstanding doctoral students who have the potential to enhance the diversity, broadly defined, of their academic disciplines and fields.

VPGE also works collaboratively to develop programs that improve retention in graduate school and cultivate interest in academic careers and diversify the pipeline for future faculty.

The DARE (Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence) Doctoral Fellowship Program awards two-year fellowships to advanced doctoral students who want to investigate and prepare for academic careers and whose presence will help diversify the professoriate.

Professional Development

Leadership, pedagogy, communication, working in teams, career development, and entrepreneurship are topics of interest to graduate students across the University. VPGE collaborates with many campus partners to raise the visibility and expand the breadth of offerings to support graduate students' professional development and academic success. VPGE developed the interactive Graduate Professional Development Framework to help graduate students navigate graduate school and locate resources for acquiring the skills and experiences they need to succeed at Stanford and in their future careers.

Interdisciplinary Learning

VPGE provides seed funding to initiatives that foster interdisciplinary and cross-school learning opportunities and networking for graduate students. The Stanford Graduate Summer Institute (SGSI) offers noncredit interdisciplinary short courses exclusively for Stanford graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. VPGE also seeks to facilitate enrollment in courses outside of students' home departments and schools.

Innovation in Graduate Programs

Academic departments and programs are foundational to graduate education at Stanford. VPGE supports faculty- and student-initiated innovations within and across degree-granting programs.

SCORE (Strengthening the Core) Academic Innovation Funds support one-year, faculty-led projects that explore and experiment with new approaches to graduate education.

Student Projects for Intellectual Community Enhancement (SPICE) funds allow graduate students to develop projects and activities that promote intellectual community in their departments and beyond.

The Diversity and Inclusion Innovation Fund (DIF) supports Stanford graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the development of projects that advance diversity (broadly defined) within those populations.


Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs: Patricia J. Gumport

Associate Vice Provosts for Graduate Education: John Boothroyd, Helen J. Doyle

Director of Finance, Fellowships, and Operations: Rebecca Jantzen

Assistant Vice Provosts: Chris Gonzalez Clarke, Anika Green