The University of Florida’s graduate education activities can be traced to the earliest years of the institution, in its original Lake City location. The first graduate degrees (two Master of Arts degrees, in English) were awarded in 1906. The first Master of Science degree (in Entomology) was granted in 1908. Programs leading to the PhD were approved in 1930. The growth, and current magnitude of graduate education from those modest beginnings has been nothing short of astounding. In the past decade or so, the University has conferred about 50,000 graduate degrees in more than 150 fields of study. Of those, almost 7,000 were PhDs.
Graduate education is a hallmark of our nation’s outstanding comprehensive universities. Currently, at the University of Florida, over 12,000 graduate students pursue master, specialist, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 fields of study, generally under the supervision of over 2800 members of the University’s Graduate Faculty.
Graduate education at the University of Florida is accomplished in a decentralized model. Most elements of the various graduate programs and activities are designed, implemented, managed and monitored by academic units in accord with the principles and traditions of their fields. Most academic units are administratively located in a College, and almost all of the Colleges identify an Associate Dean as being responsible for graduate education and closely related activities. Graduate Coordinators are faculty members charged with the key managerial responsibilities for program delivery. They are typically supported by designated staff members.
Since 1964, overall responsibility for graduate education at the University of Florida has been officially vested in the Graduate School, as specified in Article VI, Section 6 of the University of Florida Constitution.
In 2007, the Graduate School became a unit in the Office of the Provost. Henry T. Frierson was named Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Vice President of the University. In addition to oversight for graduate education university-wide, and standards and policies governing all graduate programs, his charge was to grow the graduate education enterprise, support quality improvement among the programs, support the programs in their efforts to improve graduate student recruitment, retention and degree completion, and increase the representation of minorities, women and other underrepresented population groups in the University’s graduate programs.
The Graduate School is organized into the following units Administration, Data Management, Editorial, Graduate Records, and the Division of Graduate Student Affairs (DGSA), which contains the Offices of Graduate Diversity Initiatives (OGDI), Graduate International Outreach (OGIO), and Professional Development (OGPD).