The Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) is an active regional organization focusing on all aspects of graduate education and graduate students in the western region of the United States. We have many impactful benefits to offer our valued members. 

Benefits include a discounted registration fee for the WAGS Annual Conference, held in March of each year.  Throughout the year, we host ‘WAGS Wednesdays,’ a casual late afternoon virtual meeting focused on particular topics of interest to members.  We launched the GEWL (Graduate Education Western Leadership) Academy in spring 2023.  The success and impact of this ‘think tank’ type event exceeded our wildest imaginations, so we will continue to offer the GEWL Academy as an annual event. In conjunction with our annual conference, we offer the annual WAGS Three Minute Thesis (3MTâ) competition as a culminating event celebrating our outstanding students.

We organize a WAGS networking event at the annual Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) conference in December, and each year we partner with our colleagues at ProQuest to offer competitive student awards for outstanding theses in STEM and non-STEM fields and outstanding theses/dissertation in technology and innovation.

Member Benefits

Membership has many benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Annual Conference: Discounted registration rates are available for all employees from member institutions for our annual WAGS Conference.
  • Three Minute Thesis student competition: The winner of university or regional level 3MT® competitions can compete at our WAGS 3MT for prizes and recognition. The winner and audience choice awardee or runner-up are invited to compete in the annual CGS National 3MT competition.
  • Awards: You are encouraged to nominate your students for annual awards, including: Distinguished Master's Thesis Awards, STEM: Biological Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering; Non-STEM: Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, and Business Innovation and Technology
  • Leadership: Each year WAGS holds an election to seat our Board; WAGS members are encouraged to run and participate in the leadership of WAGS. This is a great chance to help shape the future of the organization.
  • Networking opportunities: WAGS Wednesdays – Casual, late afternoon sessions with WAGS members to discuss important issues in graduate education with a focus on unique challenges that WAGS members face along with potential solutions from colleagues
  • Networking opportunities: Graduate Education Western Leadership (GEWL) Academy – Special mini-conference held each spring to bring together colleagues in graduate education to present their own case studies and get input and guidance from WAGS colleagues, including experienced leaders.

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