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GRADS Access

What is GRADS?

The Graduate Admissions Decision System (GRADS) is an enterprise-wide online system created and supported by the Graduate School that allows graduate programs to

  1. select the customizable features and settings of the Graduate School Application for Admission and/or the Postbaccalaureate/Graduate Credit Certificate Program application for their graduate program;
  2. review, preferentially sort and filter, and otherwise manage application material to graduate programs;
  3. create program-specific rating tools and collect, aggregate, and report application evaluations; and
  4. enter admission decisions.

Who can access GRADS?

GRADS access is granted at a campus/program/degree or campus/certificate level. Access is limited to

  1. graduate program staff who are formally appointed to a support role for the program, e.g., graduate program staff assistant;
  2. graduate program heads (e.g., for some programs, the department head; for others a chair, as for Intercollege Graduate Degree Programs);
  3. Graduate Faculty who are members of the program and serve in a formal role as a program officer (e.g., Professor in Charge, PIC; Director of Graduate Studies, DGS; chair of the graduate admissions committee for the program); or a member of the graduate admissions committee for the program;
  4. program staff who may serve in a coordinating capacity for the program, such as a graduate program coordinator;
  5. College administrators with responsibility for graduate education in the respective college; and also
  6. Users with a Penn State Sponsored Account when the sponsoring department confirms that the user has a legitimate business need for GRADS access.


Access Requirements

Before any student-related information access is granted, the user must successfully complete the FERPA online tutorial and pass the FERPA quiz. Information can be found on the FERPA Tutorial page of the Registrar's Web site.

Access to GRADS is facilitated through Penn State's IdentityIQ system.

Three steps are involved in requesting and then approving GRADS access.  First, a user must request GRADS access for the program and level that they are interested in.  Then, that access request must be approved first by the employee's manager (as defined in Workday) and then by the Program Coordinator (as defined in GPMS) for the program of interest.  These steps are described in the following articles:

  1. Request GRADS Access through IdentityIQ.
  2. Manager Approval of GRADS Access Request.
  3. Program Coordinator Approval of GRADS Access Request.

Once a request is initiated in IIQ, users can review the request's status within the IIQ system.

Graduate Program Coordinators and Directors of Graduate Studies/Professors in Charge can use the Graduate Program Management System (GPMS) to review a list of users who have access to GRADS for their programs.

If you have questions about this process, please contact

This page was generated on May 24, 2024 at 10:05 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.