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Clemson University Graduate School

Graduate Academic Program Self Review

The academic departments at Clemson University perform program self reviews over an eight-year cycle to ensure continuous improvement in graduate program quality and effectiveness.

Goals of the Self Review

  • Help departments/units and programs identify areas for further development.
  • Achieve the University, provost and Graduate School’s shared visions for continuing and growing excellence in graduate education aligned with University-wide strategic initiatives.
  • Stimulate systematic review, self-analysis, planning, assessment, documentation and improvement to the quality and effectiveness of Clemson’s graduate academic programs.
  • Encourage partnerships and increased communication and insight among program faculty and department, College and University administration regarding graduate programs’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and quality assurance plans, strategies and outcomes.
  • Facilitate internal and external input and recommendations for graduate degree program quality, planning and assessment.
  • Provide assurance of program quality to all stakeholders, including faculty, administration, current students, alumni, state legislature, state CHE and SACSCOC and other professional accrediting bodies.

The Self Review Cycle

The full review (eight-year cycle) consists of the submission of a comprehensive self-study, internal review of the self-study, a three-day on-site external panel review and action planning and assessment aligned with other University efforts, such as:

  • Annual program assessment coordinated through Clemson’s Office for Institutional Assessment.
  • Clemson Elevate and other University-wide strategic plans
  • Relevant College/School, Department/Unit and Program documents and efforts/activities.


Phases in the Cycle

  1. Self-Study.
  2. Internal Review.
  3. External Review and Site Visit.
  4. Goals and Assessment Plan Development.
  5. Annual and Mid-Cycle Progress Tracking.
GAPS graphic

The Mid-Cycle Review (year four) is an opportunity for examination of progress made toward program outcomes and goals as well as graduate student learning outcomes and goals, analysis of trends in metrics collected during the prior three to four years and modification of goals and strategies where appropriate.


For more information about Graduate Academic Program Self Review, contact:


Cairen Withington
Director of Graduate Program Review and Effectiveness


John Lopes, Ph.D.
Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School