Dean's Welcome


Welcome to the Graduate School at the University of Notre Dame.

If you are a prospective student, we are happy to share with you information about the Graduate School and the University of Notre Dame—particularly our superb faculty, top graduate programs, and our commitment to research, teaching and service, all of which combine to offer our graduate students an integrated and ever-widening set of resources that contribute to their formations as scholars and researchers.

If you are a current student, we are proud to have you as one of our own. We have high expectations for you and are committed to your success here and beyond. As you will find, the transition to graduate school is marked by a number of personal transformations: from consuming information to creating new knowledge; from responding to assignments and deadlines set by instructors to proactively setting one’s own goals and timeline for research progress; from learning under the guidance of others to becoming the expert in one’s chosen field and fostering the learning in others.

As you make this journey at Notre Dame, you are surrounded by people and resources uniquely positioned to help you. You will find that faculty mentors will serve as your field guides — leading you through the critical readings and procedures necessary for conducting research in a discipline, mentoring your professional development, and planting the seeds of a professional network. Students work closely with mentors throughout their training; the strongest mentoring relationships include open communication and clear expectations.

Your program, department and college offer you another set of resources that support the mastering of key milestones in your training and your development towards independent thinking. Get to know your director of graduate studies and your department chair and dean — all of whom are wonderful role models and are committed to your success.

You will also discover the many ways that the Graduate School is positioned to help you during your career at Notre Dame, particularly in the professional development arena—where we assist scholars in mastering transferable skills that augment collegiate training and assist them in launching a career. We recognize, too, that success is not based solely on academic and professional achievements. To this end, our recent focus on graduate student life provides students with the assurance that scholarly development is best when balanced with social, physical, and spiritual needs.

In addition, I hope that you will discover that your student peers, both within and outside the program, offer a scholarly and social network that will be vital to your holistic development. I encourage you to take the time to reach out and meet them, talk about your own research, and learn what others are doing. Collectively, you and your peers constitute the world’s next generation of scholars.

With my best wishes for a rewarding and successful graduate student experience,

Laura Carlson
Vice President and Associate Provost
Dean of the Graduate School
Professor of Psychology