Internet Explorer Detected

The Penn State Graduate School website is best experienced in Firefox or Google Chrome. It is highly recommended that you use an alternative browser.

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; and also
  5. College administrators with responsibility for graduate education in the respective college.

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.

Requesting Access

To obtain access to GRADS, the Access and Security Representative (ASR) should follow these steps:

  1. Download the GRADS Access Request form.
  2. Fill out the form completely. To get proper Plan and Certificate Codes visit the Graduate Program Managment System (GPMS) (codes are in parenthesis after the Major).
  3. Obtain the required signatures or email approvals.
  4. Scan the form and email it to

The information will be reviewed, verified, and processed by the Graduate School Data Steward.

If you have questions about this process, please contact

This page was generated on January 29, 2023 at 8:47 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.