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GSAD-205

Intercollege Graduate Degree Programs

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Purpose

to define and provide guidelines for the academic and administrative oversight of an Intercollege Graduate Degree Program (IGDP).

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Scope

all existing and proposed intercollege graduate degree programs.

Most graduate degree programs are offered by academic units (departments/schools/colleges) representing the discipline of the graduate program field. Occasionally, a field of study will be offered as a collaboration between several departments in more than one college. The field of study may represent a discipline that does not correspond to a university department, or it may be a multidisciplinary area with faculty interest and input from many departments. These intercollege degree programs may use courses, seminars, and research facilities designed for other related programs, and/or they may require separately approved courses and unique facilities.

Because there are many ways that graduate programs foster collaboration across academic units, it is necessary to define the required features that distinguish an intercollege graduate degree program from other types of collaborative programs. For example, any graduate program housed in a singular academic unit (e.g., a “departmental” graduate program) may have Graduate Faculty members participate whose administrative home is in other programs, departments, or colleges. However, this does not make the graduate program an intercollege graduate degree program.

Academic Home
The college or school with academic authority for a graduate degree program.
Administrative Home
The college, school, or other entity that provides administrative support and with administrative authority for the business operations of a graduate degree program.
Chair of an Intercollege Graduate Degree Program
Member of the Graduate Faculty with ultimate responsibility and academic authority for a graduate degree program. The chair of an IGDP must meet the requirements for Head of a graduate program as stated in the Graduate Faculty Membership policy.
Intercollege Graduate Degree Program (IGDP)
A graduate degree program where academic governance is shared among faculty members from two or more colleges/academic units. While there are no strict limits, in a high-functioning IGDP:
  • fewer than 50% of the faculty would come from any one department;
  • at least 33% of the program faculty come from a different college than the majority;
  • fewer than 50% of the students would have advisers from a single department.
Participating Academic Units
The colleges and schools with defined responsibilities for overall governance of the intercollege graduate degree program.

Policy Statement

  1. An intercollege graduate degree program (IGDP) is a graduate program where academic governance is shared among faculty members from two or more colleges/academic units. Each intercollege graduate degree program is the responsibility of the participating academic units.
  2. All intercollege graduate degree programs must have an academic home.
    1. The academic home must be an academic unit (college/school) of the University.
    2. The academic home is responsible for oversight of all academic matters including (but not limited to) curriculum design, program planning and review, admissions decisions, advising of students, professional and career development for students, faculty engagement, and assurance that the program is compliant with University policies, as well as the academic policies of Graduate Council and administrative policies of the Graduate School.
  3. Intercollege graduate degree programs may have a separate administrative versus academic home, or the administrative responsibilities may be assumed by the academic home. For efficiency and coordination, The Graduate School generally recommends that academic and administrative responsibilities be combined in one unit.
    1. The administrative home is responsible for providing administrative support for the program, including (but not limited to) office space, IT support, and administrative staff support for budget management, course management, curriculum revisions, human resources, meeting organization, program committees, and record keeping.
  4. It is good practice for all intercollege graduate degree programs to have written bylaws or memoranda of understanding stating how the IGDP will function academically and administratively and signed by authorized representatives from all participating academic units (e.g., department head/unit leader/college administrator for graduate education). This should include at minimum:
    1. which participating academic unit will serve as the academic home for the IGDP.
    2. if and how the academic home will rotate among the participating academic units.
    3. which participating academic unit will serve as the administrative home for the IGDP.
    4. if and how the administrative home will rotate among the participating academic units.
    5. how the chair of the IGDP will be selected.
    6. how the Graduate Faculty of the IGDP will be nominated and approved.
    7. the governance structure for the IGDP, including an executive committee drawn from the program faculty.
    8. any revenue or cost-sharing arrangements between the participating academic units.
  5. The participating graduate faculty members are responsible for overall academic governance of the intercollege graduate degree program including:
    1. identifying and proposing qualified faculty to teach IGDP courses.
    2. ensuring adequate instructional capacity for IGDP courses.
    3. offering IGDP courses as needed.
    4. proposing curriculum revisions as needed.
  6. The academic home is responsible for oversight of an IGDP in the same manner that they oversee their departmentally-based graduate programs, including interactions with the chair, the governance committees, any other participating academic units, or The Graduate School as needed.
  7. The chair of the IGDP is the member of the Graduate Faculty with ultimate responsibility and academic authority for the intercollege graduate degree program. The chair of an IGDP must meet the requirements for Head of a graduate program as stated in GCAC-101 Graduate Faculty Membership. The chair:
    1. oversees all IGPD program activities.
    2. represents the IGDP within the University and externally.
    3. provides academic leadership to the program, including oversight of curriculum, degree requirements, and admission standards in consultation with any governance committees.
    4. is responsible for enforcement of University, Graduate Council, and Graduate School policies as they affect the program.
    5. oversees nominations for membership in the IGDP Graduate Faculty.
    6. oversees regular, systematic review of progress towards degree completion of all graduate students in the IGDP.
    7. has overall responsibility for graduate students in the program, including adjudication of student problems that cannot be resolved at the level of the student’s adviser.
    8. upon request, provides feedback to a program faculty member’s department head or other supervisor on the level and quality of the faculty member’s participation in the IGDP.
    9. represents the program and coordinates program responses to internal and external review of the program.

Revision History

  • Approved by Regina Vasilatos-Younken, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of The Graduate School, October 18, 2021. Effective immediately.
    • New policy.
This page was generated on August 17, 2022 at 11:58 AM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.