Best Practices

How to prepare effective graduate program handbooks

Posted on May 14, 2018

Program handbooks help students become familiar with their program’s visions, requirements and expectations, as well as life on campus, practical aspects of receiving a graduate education at ASU, and their responsibilities as students.

Starting in 2018-2019 academic year, the Graduate College requires all master’s and doctoral programs to create handbooks and distribute them to students upon enrollment. Handbooks should also be made available on program or department websites. The deadline for graduate directors, chairs or coordinators to submit a PDF of their handbook to the Graduate College is July 1, 2018.

To assist with this request, the Graduate College has created a resource on how to prepare effective graduate program handbooks. Download the Best Practice PDF.

By developing and publishing program handbooks we can make the ASU graduate student experience as consistent and transparent as possible. The Graduate College recommends that program handbooks allude to and build on the general Graduate College Handbook. This is a ready reference for minimum requirements and general policies that apply to all graduate programs at ASU. Individual program handbooks should ensure all requirements align with the current catalog and contain the basic elements in this best practice document.

For information on how to submit your handbook, contact Jason Bobis at