Western Association of Gradaute Schools


Welcome from the President

Dear WAGS Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to serve as president of the Western Association of Graduate Schools. The WAGS membership represents over 90 member institutions in the western states, Canadian provinces, and states of Mexico.

Our annual conferences are held in March each year; we focus on relevant themes and invite exciting and dynamic speakers and panels to address conference attendees. The annual meeting is an excellent opportunity for members to present their ideas and innovations so that our entire membership can benefit from these rich collective experiences; we invite your participation. We also include a range of entertaining events and networking opportunities for members. In addition, student thesis awards are  an important part of the program. New member institutions and those attending their first conference are especially welcome.

This year, the conference is being held in Seattle, WA from March 19-22, 2017. Please come to our meeting and while you are here, enjoy the beautiful Emerald City. Please consult the Conference webpage for additional information. Our theme this year is “Beyond Boundaries: Graduate Education’s Expansive Reach.” We are planning an informative, exciting, and engaging event. Members from CGS regional affiliates are encouraged and welcome to attend WAGS conferences.

Please introduce yourself at WAGS or CGS meetings; I hope to meet each of you and I look forward to serving our organization.


Rebecca Aanerud
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Planning
University of Washington

The primary purpose of the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) is “the consideration of mutual problems among the member institutions, relating to graduate studies and research.” It will cooperate with other agencies for this purpose by dissemination of information, improvement of standards, encouragement of research and assistance to institutions embarking on graduate programs.

The members of WAGS are accredited institutions of higher education in the western United States, Canada and Pacific Rim that offer Master’s and Doctoral degrees. WAGS is a regional association affiliated with the U.S. Council of Graduate Schools.

In recent years, areas of concern have included:

  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Program assessment
  • Maintenance and enhancement of academic standards
  • Accountability
  • Accessibility
  • Institutional planning and program development
  • Instruction methodologies
  • Administrative methodologies
  • Working with legislature
  • Funding