University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
Director of Graduate Studies and Graduate Program Committee

Director of Graduate Studies and
Graduate Program Committee

The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) is appointed by the chairman of the Department of Agricultural Economics, subject to the approval of the dean of the Graduate School. The graduate program committee, also appointed by the chairman, is composed of members of the faculty who are members of the graduate faculty of the university. Also, a graduate student selected by the graduate student body is a member of this committee. The committee is chaired by the DGS.

Duties of the graduate program committee and the DGS are as follows:

The Graduate Program Committee:

The graduate program committee establishes policies with respect to the graduate program regarding student recruitment, curriculum issues and graduate assistantships. It also initiates major program changes as needed. However, authorization for such changes requires approval of the faculty of the department and the graduate council of the university.

Admissions Subcommittee

The admissions subcommittee advises the DGS as to student admissions and the award of research assistantships. All students admitted must meet the minimum standards established by the Graduate School, but the department is entitled to have more stringent standards. Assistantships are awarded in accordance with student qualifications, research priorities of the department, and funding availability. While the subcommittee operates as an advisory body to the DGS, final responsibility for admissions and assistantships lies with the DGS.

Preliminary Examinations Subcommittee

The written portion of Ph.D. preliminary examinations are formulated and administered by a subcommittee of the graduate program committee. Questions are solicited from the department's faculty. The written examination consists of a single examination designed to determine whether Ph.D. applicants are able to integrate knowledge across the body of theory, quantitative methods, and the core AEC courses that they have taken. The subcommittee is responsible for grading the examination. In cases of marginal performance, the subcommittee will be represented at students' oral examinations to question applicants in areas of weakness.

Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)

The DGS is responsible for those functions set forth in the Graduate School Bulletin. These duties include:

  1.   Serving as recruiting and admissions officer for the department. These tasks are performed in conjunction with the appropriate subcommittees described above.
  2.   Working with the department chairman, the Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture, and the Associate Dean of the Graduate School for Academic Affairs in preparing the Department Assistantship and Fellowship budget. Assistantship and fellowship recommendations are made by the DGS to the department chairman and to the Graduate School dean.
  3.   Serving as the temporary advisor for incoming students who are not initially assigned an advisor. Customarily, advisors (major professors) will be selected by the student prior to or during the first (M.S.) or second (Ph.D.) semester of residence.
  4.   Assisting all new graduate students in the department in becoming oriented. Included is the responsibility for developing and implementing all group orientation activities.
  5.   Assisting students in selecting new committee members or a committee chairman in cases where (a) the student's research interests change substantially, (b) a committee member is unable to continue service until the thesis or program is completed, or (c) other valid reasons.
  6.   Serving as the resource person for students with problems that cannot be resolved by their advisors. In addition, the DGS office secretary can provide assistance to students on their records and with many paperwork requirements of the U.K. Graduate School.

If you have questions or would like additional information about the AEC Graduate Program, please contact:

AEC Director of Graduate Studies
University of Kentucky
Department of Agricultural Economics
400 Charles E. Barnhart Bldg.
Lexington, KY 40546-0276


UK Graduate School

For full information on graduate program admission procedures, visit the UK Graduate School website
University of Kentucky Graduate School