Graduate Faculty Advisors Toolkit

Each academic program will have faculty members who serve as Graduate Faculty Advisors.  The primary responsibilities of a Graduate Faculty Advisor should include the following:

  1. Be a source of academic information for your graduate students
  2. Provide assistance with details in determining the plan of study
  3. Be proficient in inputting, managing, and approving forms in gradpath as needed to assure smooth progression to final degree
  4. Provide regular, timely input to your students to determine academic progress

[This page is under construction and more information will be available soon.]

Assigning a Grade for Dissertation Units

Dissertations/ DMA documents/ DNP Projects (“dissertation” hereafter) are ongoing projects. Students enroll in dissertation units over the course of several semesters. The grading of dissertation units must follow the SPF designation wherein S = Superior (superior achievement and progress on dissertation has been made), P = Passing (student has made appropriate progress on dissertation), and F = Failure (Student did not make progress on dissertation). In most cases, students will earn a ‘P’ indicating the project is continuing and the student is making satisfactory progress. 


Note: The K grade for "course in progress" discontinued Fall 2017; the S/P/F system replaced the  S/P/C/D/E system Spring 2018. (


Graduate courses: Grades for 900 through 925 house numbered courses and other graduate level project courses that continue for longer than one term will be awarded S, P, or F on the basis of the work completed during the semester of enrollment. As with all courses, the option of awarding an I remains available when warranted. If the course is passed, the units of credit may be applied toward the degree at the discretion of the student's major advisor. (


Resource Links:


Advisor, Teacher, Role Model, Friend:  On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering

Guidelines for Good Practice in Graduate Education:  Mentoring (University of Washington)

Best Practices

Council of Graduate Schools:  Lesson Five- Monitoring Graduate Student Progress

Duke Graduate School:  Best Practices

Ohio State University Graduate School:  Graduate School Handbook

Michigan State University: Advisor/Student and Research Integrity Guidelines

Best Practices in Yale Graduate Programs

The Chronicle:  Best Practices for Advising Graduate Assistants

The Commission on Pathways through Graduate School and Into Careers

Hiring Graduate Assistants/Associates resources

University of Arizona Graduate Assistant Manual

Financial Aid: Frequently Asked Questions for Graduate Students

Last updated 12 Sep 2022