The Deanship of Graduate Studies (DGS) was established in 1973 to specifically address the needs of the current and prospective graduate population. As the University has always aspired to make available specialized higher education so as to meet the needs of the Kingdom of qualified graduates holding high academic degrees, in 1978 the University Council approved, the establishment of the College of Graduate Studies. Afterwards, in 1997, name was amended to the Deanship of Graduate Studies to further support the graduate population. This was due to an increased interest in providing services designed for current and prospective graduate students. DGS’s profile has expanded to include more full-time masters and doctoral students.
DGS at King Saud University (KSU) administers all graduate programs and implements regulations and executive procedures relating to these programs. It communicates the benefits of the graduate education within and beyond the KSU community. The DGS fosters collaborations with industry, government, national universities, and world-class universities to insure that: high academic standards for graduate studies are maintained; diversity across graduate programs and graduate students is valued and respected; new graduate programs that are in line with the academic needs, keep pace with scientific and technical progress, and address social issues are initiated; policies and procedures related to graduate education are fair and consistent; creativity and innovation are encouraged; serving the comprehensive national development plans is sought; and providing graduate education and serving graduate students are integral parts of the university mission.
Currently, DGS is in charge of more than five thousand students enrolled in more than 100 programs ranging from the higher diploma to the master's and doctoral levels that are offered by 15 colleges. KSU’s doctoral students are competing successfully for faculty positions at other leading academic institutions in the nation and abroad, as well as contributing their expertise to government, public service, business and industry, the arts, and education. Several of KSU’s academic master’s degree programs are recognized as among the best in the country. Students from these programs matriculate into the highest rated, national and international, PhD programs and go on to take prominent positions in their fields.
Graduate programs at KSU play an integral role in the mission of the University, enhancing the intellectual climate and contributing to faculty research programs. Graduate students work in direct collaboration with faculty mentors, and these collaborative efforts are essential to the research and scholarship conducted at KSU. Faculty members take pride in educating the next generation of scholars and leaders. Certainly, the opportunity to teach and collaborate with outstanding Master and Doctoral students is integral to KSU's ability to attract and retain excellent faculty. Graduate students also serve as role models and mentor for undergraduate students and are essential for increasing the research and scholarly opportunities for them.
Recently, Prince Sultan International Program for Funding Distinguished Research provided funds for increased stipends to graduate students, and this support has resulted in a significant increase in the yield of KSU’s graduate applications. KSU needs to continue building resources to support graduate studies. To maintain excellent graduate programs, the primary challenge for the Deanship of Graduate Studies is to recruit and retain the best graduate students. If KSU is to meet its goals as a research institution, KSU has to provide competitive fellowships, benefits, and support packages for prospective graduate students. Once enrolled, these students also need support for their research efforts and professional advancement, and they must be provided with opportunities to develop their research and teaching skills.
In order to promote innovative cross-disciplinary research, the DGS will introduce and enhance Interdisciplinary Doctorate Program. DGS will also explore ways to enhance collaboration between colleges within the University, making graduate students the yarn that knits together the various colleges at KSU.
As new graduate programs are developed, the DGS needs to evaluate its present ones and to continue to do so on a regular and systematic basis. This evaluation, which is essential to maintaining excellence, should examine the strength of the faculty, the quality of the students, and the professional outcome for students, the size of the program, and the overall costs and benefits of the program to the University.
KSU aspires to achieve excellence and innovation. Hence, the DGS has established its strategic ten-year plan to complement the University’s strategic initiatives specifically in the areas of enriching graduate educational experiences and to meet current and future challenges. It also attempts to keep pace with modern developments through exhaustive examination of its programs and a comprehensive review of world-wide standards and practices. While it may appear as though the process is now complete, it is important to realize that this DGS Strategic Plan is not static but a living document that must be continually evaluated. As the environment around the University changes, so must the Plan. As with any plan pursued in a dynamic environment, modifications in initiatives and action plans may be necessary to ensure that the DGS continues to move toward the strategic objectives set forth in this master blueprint