Graduate Studies

Graduate Faculty

What They Do

Graduate Faculty may vote on any matter presented to the graduate faculty, including the election of the Graduate Council for their specific campus. They may also hold any elected office in the Graduate College. Graduate Faculty may teach graduate courses, serve on final examining committees, and serve on supervisory committees. Graduate Faculty have the additional responsibility of voting on certain nominations of graduate faculty in their department/school or interdepartmental program.

Graduate Faculty status lasts for the duration of the faculty member’s appointment with the University.

How One Gets Graduate Faculty Status

  1. Faculty hired into tenure-leading positions are automatically granted Graduate Faculty status.
  2. Staff or faculty hired in non-tenure leading faculty positions may be nominated for Graduate Faculty Status.

Nominees must have:

  • the rank of Assistant Professor of Practice or Research, or equivalent or above;
  • the terminal degree accepted for academic employment in the discipline or its clear equivalent as determined by the Graduate Committee of the nominee’s department/school or interdepartmental area;
  • clear evidence of continuing scholarly activity at the national level and potential beyond teaching; and
  • active involvement in scholarly/creative activity and/or graduate teaching as part of his or her regular duties.

After obtaining a majority vote of the department's entire graduate faculty, the nominating department completes the nomination form and submits it to Graduate Studies with signatures from the nominee, nominator, graduate committee chair, department chair, and college dean. Graduate Studies then submits the form to UNL’s Central Administration for consideration.

Graduate Faculty Associates

What Associates Do

Graduate Faculty Associates may teach graduate courses, direct master's theses, serve on or chair master's degree examining committees, and serve on, but not chair or co-chair, doctoral supervisory committees.

Graduate Faculty Associates do not have a vote on the Graduate Faculty, nor can they hold any elected office in the Graduate College.

Graduate Faculty Associate status is effective only for the approved period (up to four years), but may be renewed upon request.

How One Gets Associate Status

Nominations must be recommended with a majority approval of the appropriate departmental or interdepartmental area graduate committee and approved by the Dean for Graduate Studies.

The nominee must hold the terminal degree, as well as the rank of Assistant Professor of Practice, Research Assistant Professor, or corresponding adjunct faculty rank or Adjunct Assistant Professor or above.


What They Do

Graduate Faculty appointed to emeritus status may retain the rights and privileges associated with their Graduate Faculty status. This includes permission to:

  • teach graduate courses;
  • serve as members of graduate programs; and
  • co-chair the supervisory committees of doctoral students with a resident member of the Graduate Faculty.

How One Gets Emeritus Status

Emeritus Graduate Faculty status is determined by the faculty member’s program at the time of their retirement from the University.

Courtesy Committee Members

Who They Are and What They Do

Each student's committee must be comprised of faculty with Graduate Faculty status. Courtesy status enables the inclusion of uniquely qualified individuals from other institutions, industry, or the community.

Each external expert is approved for courtesy status on a per-student-committee basis, rather than as a blanket status.

  • They become voting members of the student's committee and must be willing to participate in the student’s program in a manner consistent with this role.
  • On a doctoral committee they may serve as one of the two appointed readers but not as chair, co-chair, or outside representative.

How One Gets Courtesy Status

The student and committee chair submit to Graduate Studies a current CV from the proposed courtesy member, accompanied by either:

The courtesy member must hold a terminal degree appropriate to the discipline and have academic accomplishments comparable to the criteria for UNL Graduate Faculty.

Each student's committee may include a maximum of one courtesy member, in addition to the required minimum number of NU Graduate Faculty members.