The Program Review Process

Graduate programs at UCSF are of exceptional quality; many of them are ranked among the top ten in the nation. The high standards of these programs are maintained, in part, by a review process that is aimed at identifying areas of strengths and weaknesses, which a program uses to enhance its curriculum and research practices. In accordance with Academic Senate bylaws, the Graduate Council is charged with providing constructive criticism to every UCSF graduate program.

At the request of Graduate Council, the Graduate Division recruits an external review committee of senior faculty members in the same area as the program under review. A list of potential reviewers is suggested by the program director. The review committee also includes a faculty representative from each of the Graduate Council and the Graduate Division. Both UCSF faculty representatives will report on the program review to Graduate Council at its next meeting following the review.

The Graduate Division and the program director set up the agenda for the 2-day review period, which includes meetings with junior and senior program faculty, pre- and post-qualifying students, recent graduates and postdoctoral fellows. In addition, the review committee and the UCSF representatives discuss emerging issues in two executive sessions dedicated to the organization of the draft report.

Within four weeks following the review, the committee is asked to submit to the graduate dean a final report identifying strengths and weaknesses of the program and to formulate recommendations that improve its excellence. The final report is shared first with the Graduate Council and then with the graduate program director, who will consult with Graduate Council on steps taken to implement the review committee’s recommendations.

The programs themselves must cover all costs and honoraria associated with a program review.