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Welcome from the Dean

September 22, 2016

On behalf of the Graduate College, it is my pleasure to welcome you to a new and momentous academic year at Drexel, in which the University celebrates its 125th anniversary while the Graduate College begins its second year of operation. Whether you are just beginning your graduate career, are planning to graduate this academic year, or are somewhere in between, you are certainly part of an auspicious and exciting time for graduate studies across the University.

I am thrilled to officially introduce and congratulate the newly energized Graduate Student Association Board Members, who have been diligently planning for the upcoming year's activities, as well as the latest cohort of Graduate College Doctoral Fellows, who are recognized as some of our most promising new doctoral students.

I am also pleased to share with you some of the new developments that complement the ambitious ethos of Drexel graduate students. Working together with administrators, faculty, professional staff and students across the University, the Graduate College is committed to a range of initiatives aimed at enriching the many academic, research and experiential learning opportunities for which Drexel is widely recognized. I am confident these, among other plans, will enhance the "Drexel Difference" for you no matter what program you are pursuing.

Graduate Co-op

In addition to the valuable internships and clinical experiences of many graduate programs, graduate students now have increased access to Drexel's signature experiential learning opportunity: cooperative education. In collaboration with the Steinbright Career Development Center, we have expanded graduate co-op offerings across a number of schools and colleges starting this fall, with further expansion planned next year, and a full launch planned for the fall of 2018.

Graduate Minors 

We are proud to announce the creation of graduate minors, which align with Drexel's collaborative and interdisciplinary spirit. There are now graduate minors in computational engineering for College of Engineering graduate students, and in both entrepreneurship and computer science for all eligible graduate students. This distinctive initiative offers the perfect opportunity to enrich your chosen field of study with supplemental knowledge and skills.

Global Opportunities 

Worldly experiences continue to expand at Drexel with opportunities for both international students looking for programming and support here at Drexel and domestic students interested in gaining experience abroad. Many international partnerships and dual degree programs, as well as funding for international travel and global events on-campus, are offered through the Office of International Programs. In fact, nursing PhD student and GSA president, Jerry John Nutor, took advantage of one such opportunity this past summer in Zambia through the Dornsife Global Development Scholars Program.

Professional Development 

Following our recent, university-wide survey of graduate students, faculty and professional staff regarding development priorities for graduate students across the University we launched an initiative to develop new or enriched professional development programming.

An enhanced Teaching Assistant Orientation and Course will start this September with a focus on teaching techniques and interactive learning environments for new TAs. Open to all graduate students, the newly created Coffee Hour Seminar Series will expand upon the TA course activities and will include in-demand topics such as preparing for conference presentations, teaching online, and career talks for jobs in academia, industry, government and the non-profit sector. In collaboration with the GSA, we will continue to host frequent Books and Bagels: Conversations in Interdisciplinary Research programs, which provide students with the opportunity to learn about the impressive research of their peers or to present their own research in a conversational and interdisciplinary setting.

Additional Resources 

The Graduate College continues to cover the cost of health insurance for eligible doctoral students, and based on student feedback this student health insurance now includes optional dependent coverage, as well as dental and vision plans. In collaboration with the GSA we also continue to offer funding to present your research at prestigious conferences across the country through our highly sought-after conference travel awards. Please visit the resource pages of our website for further information on these and other opportunities.

I encourage you to make the most of the many valuable opportunities throughout your experience here. Your faculty, colleagues and classmates come from all over the world and bring a wealth of knowledge to our more than 230 diverse graduate programs. The GSA and more than 30 graduate student organizations provide academic, networking and community programs. And the vibrant city of Philadelphia enables countless cultural and career experiences. Many of our more than 9,000 graduate students credit this unique environment with strengthening their academic, professional and personal goals.

Please accept my warmest welcome and best wishes for a successful academic year. Feel free to reach out to me or anyone on my team in the Graduate College with any questions or concerns. In the meantime, I hope to see you on campus or in the Graduate College soon for a cup of coffee or tea.


James D. Herbert, Ph.D.

Dean, Graduate College

Executive Vice Provost

Professor of Psychology