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Program Handbook Resources

The Program Handbook is the manual for incoming and current graduate students and generally contains:

  • academic requirements
    • typical course sequences
    • exam requirements, including expectations for format, duration, etc. for the qualifying exams and other preliminary exams
    • minimum course loads
  • formal departmental policies and guidelines
    • maximum number of years for a degree
    • dispute resolution
    • graduate student family leave
    • orderly dismissal of graduate students
  • procedures for requesting financial support from the department
  • resources for graduate students who are just beginning their research
  • expectations for TAs and RAs


The graduate handbook template is under review while the Graduate School updates its policies.

For assistance with creating a graduate handbook please contact Darryl Butt at

Mandated Policy Language

Safety & Wellness

This is a sample of Safety & Wellness information for Program Handbooks, as mandated by former President Ruth Watkins. All program handbooks should have this or similar language readily accessible to students.

Your safety is our top priority. In an emergency, dial 911 or seek a nearby emergency phone (throughout campus). Report any crimes or suspicious people to 801-585-COPS; this number will get you to a dispatch officer at the University of Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS; If at any time, you would like to be escorted by a security officer to or from areas on campus, DPS will help — just give a call.

The University of Utah seeks to provide a safe and healthy experience for students, employees, and others who make use of campus facilities.  In support fo this goal, the University has established confidential resources and support services  to assist students who may have been affected by harassment, abusive relationships, or sexual misconduct. A detailed listing of University Resources for campus safety can be found at

Your well-being is key to your personal safety. If you are in crisis, call 801-587-3000; help is close.

The university has additional excellent resources to promote emotional and physical wellness, including the Counseling Center (, the Wellness Center (, and the Women’s Resource Center ( Counselors and advocates in these centers can help guide you to other resources to address a range of issues, including substance abuse and addiction.

Download Safety & Wellness sample text

Parental Leave

Handbooks should refer to the University Parental Leave Policy for Graduate Students.

Note that departments may choose to expand the benefits described in this policy as long as all graduate students are offered the same benefits.  If your department wishes to offer expanded benefits, please contact the Graduate School for policy review. 


Departments are expected to produce their own policy language for graduate student dismissal. Below you will find some examples of these policies across University of Utah departments to help guide you in creating your own policies.

Dismissal Policies

University Orderly Dismissal Policy

Student Code

Last Updated: 5/16/24