Doctoral Faculty

The Graduate School and University Center draws its 1600-member doctoral faculty mainly from the colleges of The City University of New York, combining resources from various CUNY units to offer doctoral programs and several master's programs. The doctoral faculty consists of individuals appointed from the faculties of the City University of New York and The Graduate Center, and also includes researchers from such New York City cultural and scientific institutions as the New York Botanical Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History. In addition to teaching in the doctoral programs, most members of the doctoral faculty also teach undergraduates on the college campuses.

The Doctoral Faculty Meetings for 2022-23 are scheduled for:

  • Fall 2022 - December 20, 2022, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Spring 2023 - April 20, 2023, 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Doctoral Faculty Policy Committee

The Doctoral Faculty Policy Committee is elected by the faculty. It functions as the voice of the doctoral faculty of The City University of New York. Established in 1971, the twelve-member committee represents the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Members consider issues of direct relevance to the doctoral programs, are responsible for setting the agenda for the biannual doctoral faculty meetings, and seek nominations of doctoral faculty to run in the University Faculty Senate election to represent The Graduate Center.

Doctoral Faculty Responsibilities

Members of the doctoral faculty are responsible for determining the requirements and standards of performance for courses and for qualifying examinations. A course instructor retains considerable discretion in these matters, but is under obligation to ensure that the course syllabus is consonant with the goals of the curriculum of the program. The expected level of performance in a given course shall reflect levels of difficulty appropriate to the educational objective of the program.

Faculty members have specific responsibilities as well

  • They must make clear to students the basis of evaluation (e.g., reading assignments, papers, contributions to seminar discussions, experimental work) at the start of each course.

  • They should post and keep regular office hours.

  • They should make every effort to guide the student throughout the path toward the dissertation.

  • They should submit grades within the time frame set by the Registrar at the end of each semester.

Supervision of the doctoral dissertation is a crucial faculty responsibility. The Council of Graduate Schools has prepared a helpful pamphlet, "Research Student and Supervisor: An Approach to Good Supervisory Practice" (Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools, 1990; see the Provost's Office for copies). The monograph presents excellent suggestions about the relationship between student and supervisor and the responsibility that both share for completing the doctoral degree within a reasonable length of time and in as supportive an atmosphere as possible. The following checklist is adapted from the monograph with the permission of the Council of Graduate Schools.

A Checklist on Good Supervisory Practices

  1. Does the program have a document, available to students and supervisors (advisers), that describes the program's view of good supervisory practice?
  2. What steps are taken to try and make a good match between a supervisor and the prospective student?
  3. Does the student present a report during the first two years that is assessed by persons other than the adviser?
  4. Does the adviser see the student often enough?
  5. Are there regular occasions when both the progress and the background knowledge of the student are assessed?
  6. Is the assessment procedure seen as satisfactory by both adviser and student?
  7. Does the student have occasions to make public presentations, and are these presentations satisfactory?
  8. How is the topic of research refined in the first two years?
  9. When is a long-term program of research laid out and a critical path defined?
  10.  Does the adviser periodically check that the student's work with data is systematic?

The above questions are aimed largely at the adviser and the program, although some apply equally to the student. Following are a few more questions directed specifically to the student.

  1. Have you tried to plan your work systematically?
  2. Have you identified the major difficulties?
  3. Do you understand the relevant references?
  4. Are your records in good order, and could you answer a question on something you did six months ago?
  5. Have you drafted a first version of any portion of the work that has been completed?
  6. Do other persons find your written work difficult to understand?
  7. Do you plan to include any tables, figures, or other matter that could usefully be prepared at an early stage?

["Research Student and Supervisor: An Approach to Good Supervisory Practice" (Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools, 1990; adapted with permission.]