Graduate Program Manager

Apply now Job no: 508965
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Chemistry
Pay Grade: 26
Categories: Program Administration, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. Also, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

The Graduate Program Manager, working with the Graduate Program Director (GPD), provides leadership and direction for the Chemistry Graduate Program by supporting administration, student progress and excellence. The duties involve problem solving and leadership in the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the Chemistry Graduate Program, which currently has over 125 PhD candidates enrolled. Serve as liaison with the Graduate School, University offices, the College of Natural Sciences, and staff for admissions, advising, student doctoral committee memberships, dissertation defenses and other activities related to graduate student progress.


Essential Functions

  • Provide diplomatic problem solving and leadership in the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the graduate programs for the Chemistry Graduate Program. Advise graduate students on academic requirements and satisfactory progress toward degree, with special attention to program requirements and rules; proactively advise students who have not completed their requirements or are not making satisfactory progress. Update student files with advising notes and progress documentation as appropriate. Alert the Graduate Program Director of Chemistry with student progress concerns. Provide ongoing advice to students throughout their degree program on electives that would best suit their interests and career goals. Oversee the preparation of graduate student contracts including assistantships, fellowship and internship appointments.  Schedule teaching assistants for office hours at the Computer Resource Center for General Chemistry courses and proctors for General Chemistry exams. Attend Graduate program-related committee meetings and provide support for the committee’s work. In collaboration with the Graduate School, create and maintain comprehensive, accurate, and organized student files from admission through degree completion.
  • Assist in recruitment efforts by communicating with prospective students about the program and the application process. Represent the Department and provide admissions information for recruitment purposes. Plan and coordinate all aspects of the recruiting Visit Weekend as well as individual visits. Collaborate and coordinate with the Graduate School to ensure that all student admission requirements are met. In collaboration with the Graduate Program Assistant, evaluate submitted graduate application materials for compliance and completion, and facilitate the review of applications for the Ph.D. degree program by the Graduate Admissions Committee. Manage the on-boarding process for all new graduate students.
  • Develop and manage student events, workshops or programs that support recruitment, retention, academic progress and career success. Working with the GPD, manage a wide range of graduate student scholarships. Supervise one staff member assigned to support the Graduate Program.
  • Monitor, initiate updates, and provide information for graduate program web pages or other communication needs. Work to ensure timely and comprehensive messaging to students and other audiences consistent with the strategic communication goals of the College.


Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the Department of Chemistry and the College of Natural Sciences.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor’s degree; STEM or related fields preferred.
  • Three (3) years of experience in academic or research program administration, academic administration, or a related field.
  • Ability to work independently to organize multiple tasks and set priorities for action, take initiative, be creative, and operate with self-direction in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact effectively and work productively in establishing and maintaining harmonious working relationships with a diverse population of staff and students.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize goals; ability to collaborate well to formulate plans and objectives in accordance with overall department and college goals; ability to identify and implement process improvements.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and to set and meet deadlines while maintaining high standards of accuracy and quality.
  • Strong technical aptitude with the ability to learn new technology quickly.
  • Strong computer skills, including at least intermediate level proficiency with: Email, calendar systems such as iCal, Outlook, or Google, word processing such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs and spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Knowledge of the academic advising process. 
  • Experience with student management software such as SPIRE, and database management (esp. Filemaker).
  • Experience with Microsoft Teams (including Sharepoint and OneDrive).
  • Experience in planning events.
  • Previous supervisor experience. 


Work Schedule

Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm. Occasional nights and weekends as needed.


Salary Information

Level 26 requested

PSU Salary Schedule


Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit a letter of application, resume and contact information for three professional references.  Apply by August 2, 2021 in order to ensure priority consideration.  Search may remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.  

In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. (


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.



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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.