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The Graduate School

A Message from the Dean

At UNF, you join 1,700 graduate students pursuing masters and doctoral degrees in 50 different programs. With almost 500 faculty members, you receive a level of attention, guidance, and opportunity that would be hard to find at a much larger university. And, you have access to the tremendous resources of Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region: a rich and complex natural environment; a deep human history from the earliest indigenous inhabitants through the Civil Rights movement; a vibrant economy built around logistics, transportation, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing; and a diverse urban center with all the exciting dynamics and compelling challenges you'd expect from a major modern city. This is what makes UNF a regional university of international quality.  

Because of its many strengths, graduate education at UNF is widely recognized as among the best. In addition to the many programs that receive top accreditations, UNF has received numerous other honors. U.S. News & World Report names UNF on its list of Best Graduate Schools, including recognition as a Best Online Graduate Education Program. UNF's Coggin College of Business is considered a Best Business School by Princeton Review, with the Master of Accountancy ranked in the Top 30 Affordable Masters programs. The School of Nursing received Stellar School Recognition by the National Student Nurses' Association, and the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees are on the top-25 lists at And that's just a small sampling of our many accolades. 

Graduate students from UNF are highly successful, both during their time on campus and in their career placement. One testament to this is how well our students perform on certification tests.  In 2013, for example, certification scores for nurse anesthetist students far exceeded the national mean in every category. And UNF graduate students, with the assistance of our graduate award opportunities and other internal support, travel across the country to present their work at professional conferences and publish in high-impact professional and scholarly journals.

To achieve all this, we challenge you to think in novel and creative ways, to enrich your talents at communicating and thinking critically, and to discover a wealth of new knowledge and skills. We are here to help you succeed. Reach out to us; we are here for you!

Renowned journalist Sydney J. Harris noted that "the whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows." A graduate degree from UNF takes the strengths and talents you already possess and opens up a world full of possibility, opportunity, and success.

John Kantner, PhD RPA
Dean of the Graduate School
Associate Vice President for Research

Our Mission

In concert with the University’s academic colleges, the Graduate School supports and promotes graduate education at the University of North Florida by developing, maintaining, and enhancing strong graduate programs and an excellent graduate faculty. Our programs cultivate students' advanced knowledge and skills in their chosen fields, encourage their proficiency with research and other forms of scholarship, and are relevant to our students and to the communities we serve.
  • Cultivate a learning environment that supports intellectual curiosity, academic achievement, and personal growth.

    Action 1.1

    Promote the development of new graduate programs that are appropriate to UNF’s mission, students, faculty, and the region; ensure the relevance of our programs to our students.


    Anticipated Outcome 

    • New promising graduate degree programs.


    Action 1.2  
    Foster the maintenance of graduate programs that are appropriately sophisticated, rigorous, and current in both academic content and pedagogical/andragogical presentation. 

    Anticipated Outcomes 

    • Enhanced program review and assessment.
    • Improved curricula in all programs.
    • Accreditation of all programs that have discipline-specific accreditation bodies. 


    Action 1.3  

    Cultivate students' advanced knowledge and skills in their chosen fields.


    Anticipated Outcomes 

    • Stronger student educational and scholarly experiences and products in all programs.
    • Better Graduate School policies and processes related to the quality of student work, in particular theses and dissertations.
    • Editorial support for theses and dissertations; support for statistical analysis.

    Action 1.4

    Foster instructional excellence in our graduate faculty. 


    Anticipated Outcomes

    • New initiatives in the Office of Faculty Excellence focused on graduate level andragogy.
    • New initiatives that financially support graduate faculty teaching enhancement. 


    Action 1.5

    Promote the relevance of the Graduate School to graduate students.


    Anticipated Outcomes 

    • Better communication between the Graduate School and graduate students.
    • Ombudsman services for graduate students.
    • Enhanced career placement services for graduate students.
    • New initiatives to assist graduate students seeking admission to still more advanced educational opportunities.
  • Recruit and support a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff who will contribute to and benefit from the university's mission.

    Action 2.1

    Recruit graduate students of high promise, with the evidenced potential to accomplish goals appropriate to graduate study and to succeed in their chosen degree programs.


    Anticipated Outcomes 

    • Refined and streamlined Graduate School admissions policies, processes, and practices.
    • Added scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships; development initiatives; better use of available funding for recruiting and retaining students.
    • Strengthened recruitment partnerships with colleges and other campus agencies.
    • New markets identified.
    • Stronger online, print, and radio marketing.
    • Stronger marketing through Grad Expos and similar events.
    • Better retention and progress toward graduation.
    • Greater awareness and visibility of UNF’s graduate educational opportunities.


    Action 2.2   

    Ensure that the graduate student body profile is diverse (with “diversity” broadly interpreted).


    Anticipated Outcomes 

    • Greater recruitment efforts and strategic funding to enhance diversity.
    • Strengthened diversity-recruitment partnerships.
  • Support and recognize research and creative endeavor as essential university functions.

    Action 3.1

    Foster scholarly excellence in our graduate students.


    Anticipated Outcomes 

    • Enhanced funding initiatives to support graduate student scholarly activity, particularly self-initiated activity, including support for participation in professional conferences and other research-focused activities.
    • Enhanced funding initiatives to support graduate student scholarly events, such as campus presentations, lectures, symposia, colloquia, and conferences.
    • An annual doctoral research symposium.
    • Research mentor programs.
    • An online graduate student scholarly journal.

    Action 3.2  

    Foster scholarly excellence in our graduate faculty. 


    Anticipated Outcomes
    • Enhanced Graduate School policies and processes concerning graduate faculty status appointment and review.
    • New initiatives that financially support the scholarly activity of graduate faculty.

Policies & Regulations

Responsibility of the Student to Stay Informed  

It is the student's responsibility to keep informed of all rules, regulations, and procedures required for graduate studies. Graduate program regulations will not be waived or exceptions granted because students plead ignorance of the regulations or claim failure of the adviser to keep them informed.

If you feel that there are extenuating circumstances that warrant a waiver or exception, a Student Petition of Academic Policy may be submitted.

Number Title Effective Date Revised Date
2.0050P Graduate Transfer Credit Policy 11/12/2007 8/1/2019
2.0220P Transient Student Admission Policy 1/14/2008
2.0240P Graduate Program Course Level Policy 7/12/2007 8/1/2019
2.0250P Degree Completion Within Six Years 1/14/2008
2.0260P Graduate Faculty Membership and Review 7/12/2007 8/1/2019
2.0280P Graduate Program Independent Learning Policy 7/12/2007 1/14/2008
2.0300P Graduate GPA Policy 8/1/2019
2.0400P Graduate Academic Standing Policy 7/8/2008 8/1/2019
2.0410P Dismissing a Student from a Graduate Program 7/8/2008 8/1/2019
2.0530P Graduate Academic Learning Compact (GALC) 8/1/2010 7/5/2017
2.0600P Graduate Dual International Degrees 8/1/2010 2/1/2012
2.0720P Graduate Certificate Programs 2/1/2012 8/1/2019
2.0930P Cross-Level Listing of Graduate and Undergraduate Courses 3/14/2016 5/24/2021
2.0980P Award of Posthumous Graduate Degrees 2/28/2017 8/1/2019
2.1010P Appealing Graduate Program Decision 10/25/2017 8/1/2019
2.1030R Graduate Admissions 6/12/2018 5/24/2021
2.1070P Graduate Student Enrollment Requirements 5/24/2021