Graduate Faculty

Courses taught for graduate credit are to be taught by members of the Graduate Faculty.  Membership on the Graduate Faculty is approved by the Graduate Council after considering an individual’s duties and qualifications and recommendations of the appropriate department head and academic dean.

Graduate Faculty members must be productive, creative scholars.  Productive scholarship requires devotion to the discovery, development, and refinement of knowledge and techniques in one’s field of expertise.  Recommendations for appointment further are restricted to persons who are/will be actively providing graduate academic services and/or graduate instruction for the University.

Appointment to the Graduate Faculty is a recognition of achievement and not an honor bestowed simply because of position or service.

Levels of Membership

The four levels of membership are as follows:

Regular Member

A Regular Member of the Graduate Faculty is authorized to perform functions appropriate to graduate education.  Minimum qualifications for appointment are the highest terminal earned degree or the clear equivalent in the field, the rank of Assistant Professor or higher, avowed interest in graduate instruction, experience in teaching advanced subjects, and evidence of recent scholarly activity.  Regular members of the faculty are evaluated for reappointment every five years.

Associate Member  

An Associate Member is appointed for two years to teach specifically designated courses, the content of which lies within the area of specialization of the faculty member.  Minimum qualifications for appointment are completion of a master’s degree and possession of unique qualifications for teaching the specialized courses to which the individual would be assigned.  An Associate Member is not authorized to serve as major professor for graduate students.  Associate Members whose services are required for longer than two years must be re-submitted for approval.

Professional Affiliate Membership

A Professional Affiliate (PA) may be appointed to a renewable two-year term based on evidence of expertise or knowledge that is directly relevant and applicable to the professional program in which the individual will be involved. PAs may engage in instructional activities at the master’s level and may serve as a member of thesis committees but may not normally chair except by permission of the dean of the Graduate School. Expertise is defined in terms of recent activities recognized by the focal area as indicative of excellence. Appropriate indicators may include but are not limited to: terminal degrees in focal or relevant areas; professional certification; licensure, diplomas, or record of professional practice; and demonstrated professional excellence through performances, exhibitions, presentations, professional publications, or national awards. Individuals whose professional activities are a function of their Nicholls employment are ineligible for professional affiliate status.

Adjunct Member  

An Adjunct Member of the graduate faculty is a visiting member of the faculty who meets all criteria for appointment either as a Regular Member or as an Associate Member, but who is not a permanent employee of the University.  Appointment as an Adjunct Member is for one semester.  Adjunct Members whose services are required for longer than one semester must be re-submitted for approval each semester.


To gain membership, the faculty member submits an Application for Membership on the Graduate Faculty.  The Application, with recommendations of the department head and dean along with attachments as noted, goes to the Graduate Council for review and approval.  The documents may be sent to the Director of Graduate Studies for placement on the Council agenda.

A Regular member must apply every five years, and an Associate member must apply every two.  An Adjunct member is appointed for a term of one semester.

In a situation where, because of time pressures, it is necessary that a qualified non-member teach a course for graduate credit, the academic dean may give approval for one-semester.

Application for Membership on the Graduate Faculty Forms