Graduate Programs Review

Guidelines & Process

Graduate-level education is one of the key areas for continued growth at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Graduate programs, especially our Ph.D. and M.S. programs, are primary reputation drivers for the entire campus community. The periodic review of graduate programs is necessary to ensure that graduate programs maintain quality and reputation.

As a member of the Council of Graduate Schools under the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), it is the institutional responsibility of all members to employ graduate program review procedures. The graduate program review process detailed here is not intended to mimic an accreditation review. Nor is the primary emphasis aimed at assessing student learning outcomes. Instead, the process of graduate program review is primarily intended to serve the following ends:

  1. Help the Provost, through the Vice Provost and Associate Provosts for Graduate Education, as well as the Dean and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, better understand individual programs. 
  2. Provide information to faculty and administrators at the local level so that necessary changes can be made to maintain program quality.
  3. Allow programs to demonstrate good stewardship of currently available resources (e.g., TA’s, GAs, and/or other base-funded graduate-centric resources).
  4. Allow departments to make the case for additional resources, new/revised programs, curricula, etc., which the CWRU School of Graduate Studies, in collaboration with the academic deans and Provost’s Office, will help prioritize.

General Timeline for Reviews

Each Fall semester, the program review cycle will begin anew. The general timeline of events for each academic year is as follows:

  • Program directors contacted (after dean and chair consultation) to initiate the program review process – First week of Fall semester.
  • Program review kick-off meeting – 2nd or 3rd week of Fall semester
  • Fall semester consists primarily of self-assessment, as outlined in the above sections. 
  • Monthly check-ins through the Fall semester to check progress – dates TBD.
  • External Reviewers Identified and sent Self-assessment end of Fall semester
  • Identify and confirm availability of External and Internal Reviewers
  • External Reviews February/March
  • Final reports submitted to Graduate Studies, with all necessary departmental and academic unit approvals – second week of April
  • Final reports reviewed by Graduate Studies, results discussed with program director and academic unit dean (or designee) – End of April/early May
  • Final reports submitted to Provost and shared with academic unit dean – third week of May
  • Action plans developed – Summer following submission of program final reports
  • Summary reports written and submitted to the State – late Summer/early Fall
  • Follow-up meetings – early Summer, one year later

A complete list of programs offered through the School of Graduate Studies includes the review schedule, which can be found here.