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 6,300 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 and Informatics, Education, Engineering, Health and 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 Graduate School has identified the following “core competencies” which graduate students should strive to develop. 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. In addition, the Center for Graduate Life & Learning (CGLL) offers a variety of programs aligned with each competency.
- Communication (Oral and Written): Graduate students and postdocs at UNC Charlotte will develop the communication skills needed in order to write and speak effectively and persuasively using a variety of media. This includes preparing scholarly and peer reviewed publications, grant writing, public speaking, facilitating group discussions for various audiences, communicating effectively in the workplace, and increasing positive interpersonal relationships through communication.
- Leadership skills are invaluable in academia and beyond. UNC Charlotte students and postdocs will have wide-ranging opportunities to develop the leadership competencies necessary to motivate, inspire, and manage others. The CGL and the Graduate School will promote the development of ethical, competent leaders, ensuring success in a variety of contexts. Mentorship, effective decision-making, problem solving, and management skills will be cultivated through graduate studies at UNC Charlotte.
- Knowledge Development and Application: Graduate students and postdocs will develop the critical thinking skills necessary to teach effectively in all types of environments: academic, corporate, or otherwise. They will possess an understanding of the challenges presented in non-traditional and inclusive settings, and they will master the skills needed to create dynamic learning in any environment. UNC Charlotte graduate teaching assistants will become competent with the most current instructional methods and technologies, enabling them to stimulate critical, innovative learning in others.
- Diversity and Cultural Engagement: Employers in today’s highly connected and technological market seek employees who possess the necessary intercultural fluency to work well in diverse teams. Now more than ever, graduate students and postdocs must continuously expand their understanding of, and appreciation for, the importance or diversity, equity, and inclusion in a variety of professional and academic settings. UNC Charlotte students will develop the particular skills set needed to create and advocate for inclusive and equitable environments.
- Ethics and Scholarly Inquiry: Graduate Students and postdocs at UNC Charlotte will develop the necessary scholarship skills for success in their chosen discipline, while maintaining a fierce commitment to ethical practices, both personally and professionally. These skills will reflect the commitment to diverse ideas, academic collegiality, and to continued student learning–concepts inherent to an interdisciplinary environment. Graduate students and postdocs at UNC Charlotte will be committed to lifelong learning and remain active in the search for knowledge.
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 and managing various functions of the graduate program, including recruitment, admissions, funding, enrollment, and retention to graduation. 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.