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Online Resources

Below are some of the more commonly used faculty resources that can be found online.



Change in Curriculum

The Request for Change in Graduate School Curriculum form should be used for one of three things: add information to the current course listing for a course, change the current course description for a course, or delete a course. Please return form to Barry Kendall, 411 Kirkland Hall. Courses in programs in the College of Arts and Science must also be approved by the College.



Ph.D. Committee

As outlined in the Academic Regulations section of the Graduate School Catalog please follow the following guidelines in order to appoint a Ph.D. committee. "The (qualifying) examination is conducted by a Ph.D. committee appointed by the Graduate School on advice of the chair or director of graduate studies of the program. The committee consists of not fewer than four members of the Graduate Faculty. Three of the members must be graduate faculty from within the student’s department/program and one from outside the program. Any variation of the committee makeup must be approved by the Graduate School. The committee must be appointed by the Graduate School no less than two weeks before the time the student expects to take the qualifying examination." The Request to Appoint Ph.D. Committee form is available in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF formats.

The Request to Change Ph.D. Committee form is available in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF formats.



Qualifying Examination

As outlined in the Academic Regulations section of the Graduate School Catalog please follow these guidelines in preparation for Qualifying Examinations. "The chair of the Ph.D. committee or the director of graduate studies of the program, after consultation with the candidate, shall notify the Graduate School in advance of the place and time of the examination and the title of the dissertation. This should be done no later than two weeks prior to the examination." The Request to Schedule Qualifying Exams form is available in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF formats.

Please follow the following guidelines, as outlined in the Academic Regulations section of the Graduate School Catalog, when reporting the results of Qualifying Examinations. "The qualifying examination results form, signed by the committee members and the director of graduate studies for the program, shall be forwarded to the Graduate School immediately after the examination." The Qualifying Exam Results form is available in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF formats.



Dissertation Defense & Examination

As outlined in the Academic Regulations section of the Graduate School Catalog please follow these guidelines in preparation for Dissertation Defense Examinations. "The chair of the Ph.D. committee or the director of graduate studies of the program, after consultation with the candidate, shall notify the Graduate School in advance of the place and time of the examination and the title of the dissertation. This should be done no later than two weeks prior to the examination." The Request to Schedule Dissertation Defense form is available in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF formats.

Please follow the following guidelines, as outlined in the Academic Regulations section of the Graduate School Catalog, when reporting the results of Dissertation Defense Examinations. "The dissertation defense results form, signed by the committee members and the director of graduate studies for the program, should be forwarded immediately to the Graduate School." The Dissertation Defense Results form is available in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF formats.



Guidelines for Awarding the Graduate School's Founder's Medal

The Graduate School began awarding a Founder's Medal at the May 2011 Commencement. The Graduate School will award one Founder's Medal per year on a repeating four-year cycle among four broad subject sectors. That is, one Graduate School Founder's Medal will be awarded each year to a Ph.D. student in one of these four sectors: Biological and Biomedical Science; Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Science; Humanities; and Social Science and Education. Therefore, one Graduate School Founder's Medal will be awarded to a Ph.D. student in each of the four sectors once every four years. A drawing at the October 12, 2010, meeting of the Graduate Faculty Council determined the order of the awards as follows:

May 2011 Founder's Medal: Biological and Biomedical Science;
May 2012 Founder's Medal: Humanities;
May 2013 Founder's Medal: Social Science and Education;
May 2014 Founder's Medal: Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Science.

This order will remain the same in subsequent years. (See this section for lists of programs.)

Selection Process and Eligibility

The Graduate School's Founder's Medal recognizes both individual scholarly accomplishment and the importance of the Ph.D. degree as Vanderbilt's most advanced graduate degree. Therefore, it is expected that the Graduate School's Founder's Medal will be awarded to a recipient of the Ph.D. degree. Each year, the Associate Deans for Graduate Study (or equivalent) in the schools/colleges that support programs in the designated subject sector will convene a Founder's Medal Committee to carry out the competition for that year's Medal. The Committee members will number no more than six and will include those associate deans, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from the Graduate School, and one or more members of the Graduate Faculty, as appropriate. The Committee's tasks include soliciting nominations from the faculty, ensuring that each nominee meets the Graduate School's eligibility criteria (below), and recommending to the Dean of the Graduate School the top-three finalists (rank-ordered), from which the Dean will select that year's Founder's Medal recipient.

Nominees for the Graduate School's Founder's Medal must satisfy at least these criteria:

  1. It must be clear that each nominee will complete the requirements necessary to receive the Ph.D. degree during the academic year in question. For example, to be eligible for the May 2011 Founder's Medal, a graduate student must complete the requirements for the Ph.D. degree during the 2010-2011 academic year, in time to qualify for the August 2010, December 2010 or May 2011 graduation dates.
  2. Each nominee must have demonstrated exceptional accomplishment in research or scholarship, as evidenced by appropriate documentation, consistent with Vanderbilt University's highest standards.
  3. The nominee must agree to attend the University's May commencement ceremony to receive the award in person.

With the prior approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, the Founder's Medal Committee may announce additional criteria, as appropriate, at the time nominations are solicited from the faculty. When submitting its recommendations to the Dean, the Committee should include copies of each student's transcript, current CV and any additional materials the Committee used to develop its recommendations.

Programs Included Within the Four Sectors

The boxes below identify the specific Ph.D. programs included within the four major subject sectors referred to in the first section.
Founder's Medal Programs



Guidelines for Membership in the Graduate Faculty

Tenured/Tenure Track faculty

The Graduate Faculty shall include all full- time tenured and tenure-track Vanderbilt University faculty members with primary appointments in departments or programs offering the M.A., M.S., and/or Ph.D. degrees. Those tenured or tenure-track faculty having secondary appointments in departments offering the M.A., M.S., and/or Ph.D. degrees shall also be considered Graduate Faculty members.

Other faculty

Appointment of other faculty members to the Graduate Faculty can occur upon the recommendation by the faculty member's department and with the approval by the Graduate School. Such appointment would require a majority vote by the Graduate Faculty of the department/program, plus the recommendation of the chair and approval by the Graduate School. Such appointments are restricted to full-time faculty members with the rank of assistant professor or above, with a primary or secondary appointment in programs offering the M.A., M.S., and/or Ph.D. degree. Faculty members appointed to the Graduate Faculty in this manner have all the privileges of Graduate Faculty, including supervising graduate students' research.

Limited participation

Other faculty can be assigned some duties normally reserved for Graduate Faculty on the recommendation of the Chair and/or the Director of Graduate Studies of the department and with the approval of the Graduate School. The duties assigned must be specified in the appointment request submitted to the Graduate School. Ordinarily, these duties will be specific and time-limited, e.g. membership on a Ph.D. committee or teaching a graduate-level class/seminar in a particular semester. On occasion, these duties within a program or department may be specified without a specific time limit, e.g. standard graduate teaching duties or membership on any Ph.D. committee in the program. Such faculty will not be permitted to direct theses or dissertations.

Courtesy appointment

Faculty members, or others carrying out research or scholarship outside universities, may also be appointed to serve on a specific student's PhD committee without being considered for Graduate Faculty status, e.g., a faculty member from outside of Vanderbilt, a faculty member from a professional school such as Law or Medicine, or a scientist working in a national laboratory, with the approvals of the Director of Graduate Studies or Chair of the student's department and of the Graduate School. The request to appoint someone in this manner must be accompanied by short letter of justification explaining what expertise this person brings to the student's committee, along with a copy of the faculty member's curriculum vitae.