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    About CGS
    Our Mission

    For six decades, the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) has been the national voice for the graduate dean community. CGS is the only national organization in the United States that is dedicated solely to the advancement of graduate education and research. 


    CGS accomplishes its mission through advocacy in the policy arena, innovative research, and the development and dissemination of best practices. CGS also acts as a convening authority, organizing major events that bring together graduate deans and other stakeholders to discuss and take action on a broad range of issues affecting graduate education today. 


    In 2021, CGS is celebrating its 60th anniversary. To kick of this celebration, higher education leaders from our member institutions, former CGS board members, long-time staff, and leaders from other institutions that support graduate education submitted their well-wishes, which were compiled into a view that was shown during CGS's Virtual 60th Annual Meeting in December 2020. This video clip can be viewed below. 



    Our Members


    Institutional Members

    The core of CGS membership consists of our institutional members, universities and colleges significantly engaged in graduate education, research, and scholarship culminating in the award of the master’s or doctoral degree. Nearly 500 universities in the United States and Canada, and 27 universities outside the United States and Canada claim membership in CGS. Collectively, CGS institutions annually award roughly 87% of all U.S. doctorates and a majority of all U.S. master’s degrees. Please visit Become a Member to learn more about the benefits of institutional membership.


    Corporate and Nonprofit Members

    CGS also invites corporations and nonprofit organizations with strong investments in graduate education to apply for Corresponding or Sustaining Membership. Our corresponding members understand that graduate education is vitally important and recognize the special role of graduate deans in the complex world of higher education. Our corporate membership program provides mutual benefit to corporations and graduate deans through closer relationships, opportunities for corporate visibility, and the exchange of relevant information. Learn More about our Corporate and Nonprofit Relationships.


    Core CGS Activities

    We invite you to explore research and education projects and member services in CGS' four core areas of activity:


    Best Practice Initiatives

    Drawing on research as well as the expertise and leadership of graduate deans at CGS member institutions, our Best Practice Initiatives test and develop solutions to pressing issues in graduate education.



    Benchmarking data and services help member institutions assess performance in specific areas of graduate education and research and make informed decisions that benefit students, faculty, and the institution as a whole.


    Public Policy & Advocacy

    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource for policymakers and others on issues concerning graduate education, research, and scholarship.


    Global Engagement

    CGS’ international activities are designed to help member institutions develop a global profile and network in the graduate education community and implement emerging best practices for internationalization of their campuses.


    About the Data Source

    The current data source used in most CGS data briefs and reports is:


    U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). IPEDS 2016 Completions, Data file C2016_A. Retrieved from


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.