The University of North Carolina at Charlotte was established in 1965 by the North Carolina General Assembly, which transformed Charlotte College, with beginnings in 1946, into a campus of The University of North Carolina. The Graduate School was established in 1985 with the appointment of the first Dean of the Graduate School, although graduate degree programs had been offered since 1969. Today, more than 800 members of the Graduate Faculty and over 5,000 graduate students participate in a broad array of graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral levels and in graduate certificate programs.
The executive and administrative affairs of the Graduate School are carried out by the Associate Provost for Graduate Programs and Dean of the Graduate School, who acts in cooperation with the deans of the seven disciplinary colleges of Arts + Architecture, Business, Computing & Informatics, Education, Engineering, Health & Human Services, and Liberal Arts & Sciences.
Graduate Student Core Competencies
Unlike undergraduate education, graduate education is intended to develop independent, specialized skills and knowledge in a particular academic discipline. Graduate students completing a master’s or doctoral degree should be able to claim competency in a range of skills, in addition to expertise in their academic discipline. The following “core competencies” are intended to reflect the broad range of skills a graduate student at UNC Charlotte could expect to develop, depending on their specific program of study. The ways in which these competencies are taught or interpreted will vary by program and will reflect the expectations of the specific degree program in which the student is enrolled.
- Communication: Graduate students at UNC Charlotte will further communication skills needed in order to effectively and persuasively write and speak in a variety of media and forums. This includes the preparation of scholarly and peer reviewed publications and grants, public speaking skills, facilitating group discussions, and facilitating positive interpersonal relationships through communication.
- Leadership: Leadership skills are invaluable in academia and beyond. UNC Charlotte students will have wide ranging opportunities to develop the skills necessary in order to motivate, inspire, and manage others. The Graduate School will support the development of ethical, competent leaders in academia and practice, ensuring success in a variety of contexts. Mentorship, effective decision-making, problem solving and change management skills will be cultivated through graduate studies at UNC Charlotte.
- Teaching and Instruction: Students who pursue careers in academia will be prepared to effectively teach in all types of settings, creating engaging learning environments. They will have an understanding of the challenges presented in inclusive classrooms, and they will master the skills needed to create dynamic learning in any environment. UNC Charlotte graduates seeking academic careers will be competent with the most current teaching methods and technologies, enabling them to stimulate critical, innovative, and interdisciplinary learning in others.
- Personal and Professional Responsibility: The Graduate School not only values and emphasizes the importance of academic rigor and progress, but also the holistic development of students. Graduate students at UNC Charlotte will be committed to lifelong learning and remain active in the search for knowledge. Additionally, they will exhibit fair and ethical conduct both personally and professionally, and engage in opportunities to expand their understanding and appreciation for all forms of diversity.
- Research and Scholarly Inquiry: Graduate Students at UNC Charlotte will gain the technical research and scholarship skills needed for success in their chosen academic program, while maintaining a fierce commitment to ethical practices. These skills will reflect the commitment to diverse ideas, academic collegiality, and to continued student learning-concepts inherent in an interdisciplinary environment.
The Graduate Council, whose voting members are elected by the Graduate Faculty, reviews, develops, and makes recommendations concerning Graduate School policy. All curricular proposals and all criteria for membership on the Graduate Faculty come before the Graduate Council. In addition, the Graduate Council serves in an advisory capacity to the Dean of the Graduate School.
In accordance with criteria developed by each graduate program or unit and approved by the Graduate Council, the Dean of the Graduate School appoints members of the Graduate Faculty for renewable terms. Members of the Graduate Faculty offer courses and seminars, mentor graduate students, and supervise research at an advanced level of scholarship.
Graduate Program Directors
Each graduate program, and in some cases certain program areas within a discipline, has a Graduate Program Director. This individual is a member of the Graduate Faculty and is responsible for coordinating various functions of the graduate program. Directors, along with a student’s advisor, assist students with understanding program requirements and can answer program specific questions such as transfer credit, prerequisites, program specific admission requirements, etc.