Faculty Appointments

Procedures for Faculty Appointments

This page contains an overview of graduate faculty appointment information. Please review the Graduate School Policies and Procedures for detailed information.

General Procedures

Appointments to the graduate faculty are based on standards developed by the Graduate Faculty Appointments Committee (GFAC), the Graduate Council and approved by the dean. Appointment to the graduate faculty is a privilege extended to those who have a faculty appointment either at UC Denver, an affiliated institution (such as National Jewish Health; The Children’s Hospital; University Hospital; Denver Health, and the Veteran’s Administration), an affiliated program, or an accredited college or university.

Graduate faculty appointments can also be offered to individuals who qualify either through their research and scholarship, mentoring or teaching ability, and who demonstrate a commitment to graduate education and students. 

An appointment to the faculty of the Graduate School is required to serve as either the mentor or primary advisor of a student, to serve on a thesis or examination committee or to serve as a program or course director. A graduate faculty appointment is required to designate the overall grade for a graduate-level course. An appointment to the Graduate School faculty is NOT required in order to be a "guest lecturer" in a graduate-level course. 


Nominations for membership to the graduate faculty are initiated by the program directors (or departmental chairs) of the graduate programs in which the faculty member will serve. Any UC Denver faculty member may request to be nominated by a graduate program director (or departmental chair). 

Regular Appointments

Appointment as a Regular member of the Graduate Faculty is a privilege extended to those who qualify through their research, teaching and mentoring/advising ability, and demonstrated commitment to graduate education. Please see the “Quick Reference Table for Membership on PhD, EdD, PsyD and Master’s Committees” for details on who is eligible for a Regular graduate faculty appointment. Faculty holding Regular graduate faculty appointments are able to serve as primary mentors for PhD and/or Master’s students, if so noted on the Faculty Appointment Form. 

In addition to these basic requirements, the faculty member must present evidence of strong commitment to graduate student education in the form of ongoing or anticipated involvement in at least two of the following activities:

1. Direct thesis research as mentor.

2. Teaching graduate level course(s) as the director (or co-director).

3. Serve on graduate student examination and/or thesis committees.

Although two or more of the above assignments is necessary for a regular appointment, evidence of commitment to graduate level education also may be reflected in such complementary activities as supervision of laboratory rotations, graduate student advising, graduate curriculum development, and graduate program administration. These contributions can strengthen the application of one whose involvement in the three areas listed above is minimal. 

In addition, nominations for a regular graduate faculty appointment in PhD programs that provide full support for their students, the faculty applicant must also provide proof of ability to support a graduate student in his or her laboratory. This proof may consist of continuing NIH-type funding as shown in the biosketch. For assistant professors, or other faculty who do not hold NIH-type funding, a letter of support from the chair (or division head, where appropriate) of the department in which the faculty member holds his/her primary appointment can be provided in lieu of grant support. This letter must indicate that commitment of the department (or division) to provide full support for a graduate student in the laboratory of the faculty applicant during the period in which the faculty member does not have funds to support the student.

Regular members of the graduate faculty vote on issues that are before the graduate faculty of the university.

Term of Appointment

Regular graduate faculty appointments will be considered permanent, until the faculty member or nominating program requests termination of the appointment. Upon leaving CU Denver or its affiliated institutions, the faculty member will retain their Regular appointment only until the graduate student(s) whom they are either supervising as the primary mentor, or upon whose thesis/dissertation advisory and exam committee they sit, complete the requirements for their degree.

Special Appointments

Special appointments to the CU Denver Graduate School may be granted to CU Denver faculty or other individuals who do not qualify for an appointment as a Regular faculty member, but who will participate in the education of graduate students at CU Denver either by serving on examination and thesis/dissertation committees, or as a major participant (e.g. course director) in teaching of a graduate course.

Please note: A special faculty member cannot serve as the chair of a PhD exam or dissertation committee (although they can be a member) and cannot be the primary mentor or advisor of a PhD student. A special faculty member needs the approval of both the program director and dean to chair an exam or a master’s thesis committee or to serve as the primary mentor of a student enrolled in a master’s program. Special faculty cannot vote on issues requiring approval by the graduate faculty.

Term of Appointment

The initial period of appointment normally will be for up to four years and shorter time periods may be requested. Subsequent appointments are for periods up to five years, especially for part-time teaching faculty with ongoing course assignments.

Graduate School

CU Anschutz

Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place


Aurora, CO 80045


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