The mission of the Graduate School is to promote graduate education, scholarship, and research; to support individuals, departments, and programs in the pursuit of excellence; to foster innovative, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary activities; and to maintain high ethical and academic standards in graduate studies.

The standards of study and conduct in the Graduate School are high. They are not set and maintained by the Graduate School but rather by the faculty who determine the standards for their individual program. The Graduate School through its Council sets no course requirements for a degree. It does set certain general residence, grade and examination standards. Fundamentally the Graduate School delegates responsibility to the student and their program. Within this broad responsibility the recommendation for the degree rests with the Committee.