Directors of Graduate Studies


DGS and MAPD Responsibilities

The DGS and MAPD advocate for the needs of graduate students. They are responsible for maintaining effective communication with graduate students; for serving as a liaison among students, department faculty, and GSAS; for making students aware of each program’s academic expectations; and for intervening when students are not meeting those expectations.

As the primary party responsible for graduate education in the department or program, the DGS and MAPD are particularly responsible for these areas:


  • Ensure that departmental academic requirements are explicitly communicated to students, especially in the student handbook and on the department’s website.
  • Contact students if at any point their performance does not meet those expectations and standards.
  • Forward to graduate students all relevant announcements that are sent by GSAS.
  • Alert students of departmental, professional, and other academic fellowships and research opportunities, and encourage them to apply.



  • Advise new students: The DGS/MAPD is usually the initial advisor of all graduate students. After initial advising, departmental practices vary.
  • Evaluate each student’s academic progress and standing each semester and ensure that students remain informed of degree requirements and expected milestones.
  • Maintain complete and confidential academic records on all graduate students.



  • Advocate for the needs of graduate students and for the graduate program both within and outside the department.
  • Promote GSAS policies: Please contact us if you are uncertain about how to interpret a specific policy.
  • Ensure that departmental practices and guidelines align with GSAS and university policy.
  • Work with GSAS in cases involving student complaints and grievances, student academic or behavioral misconduct, students with health and well-being issues, and other important student matters (Office of Student Affairs).
  • Transmit to GSAS requests for transfer of graduate credit, documentation for advanced standing, faculty or DGS statements of academic standing as supplemental material for leaves of absence, reinstatements, probationary conditions for students in academic difficulty, and recommendations for dismissal (Office of Student Affairs).
  • Propose annual TA assignments for GSAS review before each semester (Office of the Dean).
  • Work with DAAF to confirm with GSAS all PhD student funding, including teaching and research appointments, dissertation writing fellowships, and outside awards (Office of Financial Aid).
  • Certify students for receipt of the MA, MPhil, and PhD/DMA degrees (Dissertations Office).
  • May serve as chair or member of departmental graduate recruiting, admissions, and fellowship committees, according to departmental custom.