About WAGS

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A Message from the 2019-2020 President

Dear WAGS Colleagues,

Whether you are a returning member, a prospective member, or a new member, welcome to WAGS! It is an honor and a pleasure to serve as the WAGS President this year and to have the chance to work with you on advancing graduate education.

The Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS), founded in 1958, is the Western regional affiliate of the Council of Graduate Schools. Our 2020 meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico will mark the 62nd meeting of WAGS. As a member of WAGS, I’ve had the chance to work with outstanding leaders and have witnessed the organization take on new challenges while expanding networking opportunities and resources for members. Many thanks to the past-presidents, board members, and members that continue to inspire me.

Like our graduate programs, WAGS is constantly developing to meet the needs of our changing world. We partner with ProQuest to offer 4 prestigious awards for our member institutions:

Please consider reaching out to Jessica Beck to assist in the review of the ProQuest Awards submittals.

Additionally, we will host our 4th Annual 3MT competition for member institutions. If you plan to have a student from your school, please contact Tammi Vacha-Haase.

In the words of Past President Janet Sturman, "The value of WAGS comes from the collegiality and collaboration our organization promotes. The distinctive qualities of our Western region shape our mindset and our opportunities. Open skies, broad horizons, and bold landscapes invite a corresponding openness to new possibilities. Drawing inspiration from place, we extend the frontiers of knowledge in unexplored directions. seeking new pathways and partners for instruction, research, and creative production."

“2020 Vision: Seeting Graudate Education Clearly,” is our theme for the WAGS 62nd annual meeting to take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 8-11, 2020, and it recognizes our ongoing exploration of new directions in education, research, creative production, and employment.

Please plan on attending and participating in our program. Send us your ideas! The call for presentations will be posted soon in the conference page of our website. If you are not yet an institutional member of WAGS, please visit our membership page and join us.

Thanks for all you do for graduate education. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Julie Coonrod, Ph.D.
Dean of Graduate Studies
University of New Mexico


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.” WAGS cooperates with other institutions, agencies, and businesses 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/or Doctoral degrees. WAGS is a regional association affiliated with the U.S. Council of Graduate Schools.

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