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Graduate Faculty Status

Faculty are recommended to the Graduate Dean by the Graduate Program Director or Department Head for Graduate Faculty Status (GFS). Each department/program has specified criteria for Graduate Faculty appointment which is on file in the Graduate Dean’s office. Graduate Faculty levels depend on the extent to which the above criteria are met and the nature of affiliation with UMass/Amherst (see chart).

All requests for Graduate Faculty status or permission to teach a graduate level course must include a current curriculum vita in addition to the information on the GFS nomination form. Nomination forms are located below.

The following are regular members of the Graduate Faculty:


The following are not regular members of the Graduate Faculty but may serve on a temporary basis if approved by the Dean of the Graduate School:

1 See GFS nomination form for regular members
2 See GFS nomination form for one-time members and consultants
See GFS nomination form to teach at the graduate level

Multiple Graduate Faculty Memberships

Many graduate faculty members qualify for membership on the graduate faculty for more than one program.  We define the primary membership as the department that pays the person’s salary.  Such a grad faculty member may not serve as an Outside Member of a committee for a student in his primary program, but may serve as an Outside Member for a student in any other program.  This individual may chair committees from any of the programs in which they have graduate faculty status.

Interdisciplinary programs (MCB, OEB, PB, etc.) generally have large graduate faculties with members who have various different primary memberships.  The Outside Member for a student in such a program is permitted to be on the graduate faculty for that interdisciplinary program so long as the outside member and the chair of the committee have different primary programs.

Graduate Faculty Status for Retired Faculty

The current policy on retirees is that they may continue on any thesis or dissertation committee to which they have already been appointed (even as chair), provided it is acceptable to (1) the student, (2) the retiree, and (3) the program GPD.  The Graduate School will do nothing to change such a committee unless a revised committee is requested by the GPD.  Retirement of one of the members is a legitimate reason for such a change, but a change is not required.

When a faculty member retires, his/her graduate faculty status is changed to “inactive” (because the UMass affiliation has been terminated) which prevents appointment to a new thesis or dissertation committee.  A retired member can be “reactivated” to serve, either on a one-time basis or for a longer period, as described below.

If a retired faculty member is continuing at the university with a part-time teaching or research appointment, or if the department chooses to appoint that person to an adjunct faculty appointment, the “active” graduate faculty status of the individual can be extended through the period of that appointment so that the statement mentioned above would not be necessary.  Memos requesting an extension of the active status of a retiree should include a copy of the new or adjunct appointment form (as we need the new termination date).

Retired graduate faculty members may be “reactivated” to be appointed to a new committee if they wish to so serve, and it is acceptable to the program.  When the new committee recommendation is submitted to the Graduate Dean it should include an attached signed statement from the retiree indicating the willingness to serve on the committee and the intention to attend the final oral exam.  Whether or not the retiree can serve as chair will still depend on that person's graduate faculty status (see chart) which does not automatically change as a result of retirement.

If you have any questions regarding a particular appointment please email for advice prior to sending an official request.

Nomination forms

Each form is designed to be completed online, printed out and signed by the GPD or Department Head, and then sent with a Curriculum Vitae to the Graduate Dean's office. They can also be scanned and emailed to that office. Questions should be directed to the Graduate Dean's office at 413-545-5271 or