The UC Berkeley Graduate Division is the administering unit for all graduate degree programs, in partnership with the student’s home academic department.
How Our Program is Organized
The Doctoral Program is administered by the Doctoral Committee, which is comprised of all members of the Social Welfare faculty eligible for service on qualifying examination and dissertation committees, and two elected Doctoral Committee Student Representatives (DCSRs).
The Chair of the Doctoral Committee (commonly referred to as the "Doctoral Program Chair") is jointly appointed by the Chair of the Faculty and the Dean of the School for a renewable three year term. Subcommittees (e.g., Recruitment, Admissions, and Fellowships, Curriculum, Progress Review and Retention) are also appointed to administer the Doctoral Program.
Doctoral Student Advising
When you are admitted to the program, you are initially assigned a faculty adviser whose interests correspond closely with the interests you expressed in your application materials. Your faculty adviser's duty is to assist you with academic matters (e.g., selecting courses, fields of study for the Qualifying Exam, and faculty who will serve on your committee), to supervise your Qualifying Paper, serve as a member of your Qualifying Exam and Dissertation Committees, locate opportunities for professional development (e.g., conference presentations and publishing) and funding (e.g., grant support), and provide guidance on your job search.
As you become acquainted with the faculty and your program of study takes shape, you may find that a faculty member other than your assigned adviser is best able to contribute to perform these duties. At the end of your first year or thereafter, you may recruit a faculty adviser that is better suited to your needs. Once you are advanced to candidacy, the chair of your dissertation committee serves as your faculty adviser.
Faculty Adviser for Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Affairs
The Faculty Adviser for GSI Affairs functions as a liaison among the Graduate Division, program faculty, and GSIs; provides information concerning policies relating to GSIs to faculty and GSIs in the program; and raises issues on their behalf with the administration.
Faculty Equity Adviser
The Equity Adviser consults with the Head Graduate Adviser and the other Graduate Advisers in the program to ensure that diversity is taken into account in the recruitment, selection, and retention of graduate students.
Graduate Student Affairs Officer (GSAO)
The Graduate Student Affairs Officer (GSAO) is the professional program staff member responsible for liaising with the Graduate Division on behalf of the School, and for providing academic and procedural advising on degree requirements and progress; course enrollment; petitions; doctoral funding and fellowships; and overall School, Graduate Division, and University policies and procedures.
Head Graduate Adviser
The Head Graduate Adviser is a tenured member of the Academic Senate faculty, appointed by the dean of the Graduate Division each academic year, on behalf of the Graduate Council. The Head Graduate Adviser is an official deputy of the Dean of the Graduate Division in matters affecting graduate students. Only the Head Graduate Adviser can sign documents or make requests to the Graduate Division on matters concerning graduate enrollment, degrees, academic progress, or financial aid, such as admission, readmission, change or addition of major, or graduate standing. Signature authority for routine administrative matters in the School of Social Welfare is delegated to the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Services, and the Graduate Student Affairs Officer (GSAO).