Published: Aug. 29, 2023

Dear graduate students,

I hope you all have had a great summer, and I’m excited to welcome you back. For those I haven’t yet met, my name is Scott Adler, and I’m the dean of the Graduate School.

I’ve always liked the start of a new semester. Besides getting to see everyone again, I appreciate the energy that this moment of fresh starts and transitions brings. These first few weeks in particular are valuable not just for getting reacquainted with our beautiful campus, but for refreshing or building new friendships and lasting connections. 

But none of that needs to stop after the first few weeks of classes.

Scott Adler Headshot

Whether you are new to campus or a returning student, I encourage you to participate in a number of the opportunities offered to graduate students to help make this campus not just a place where you do your research and scholarly work, but also a community for you to connect with and thrive in.

Peer Mentoring

The Graduate School has a robust peer mentoring program that brings together new and established graduate scholars to provide personal and professional support, encouragement and vital information in areas such as graduate life, living in Boulder, work-life balance and advisor-advisee relationships. This program is a great way to connect and build community across disciplines.

Professional Development Opportunities

Throughout the year, the Graduate School offers a variety of professional development workshops that allow you to build your skills in ways that are applicable for both academia and the broader professional world.

Watch for the monthly email that lists our upcoming opportunities that cover everything from productivity seminars to writing retreats offered as part of our Grad+ programs. Additional workshops and training are also offered by Career Services and the Center for Teaching and Learning.

One program I particularly enjoy that we host annually is the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, an academic competition where doctoral students compete against their peers to present their thesis in a clear and compelling way in only three minutes. 3MT participants have access to exclusive training opportunities to hone their research communication skills and the top three competitors are awarded research funding, with the winner getting $1,500 and a chance to represent the university at the regional competition. If you are a doctoral student, I highly recommend participating.

Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG)

GPSG is the student organization that advocates on your behalf at CU Boulder. They support initiatives that empower graduate and professional students, and promote academic, professional and socioeconomic well-being. This group will be holding a special election during September, so don’t forget to cast your vote for this year’s executive leaders.

As you settle in and explore all that CU Boulder has to offer, please know that we in the Graduate School, along with your advisor and your program’s graduate program assistant, are here to support you and your continued success.

Welcome to the Graduate School and here’s to a fantastic year.


E. Scott Adler
Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs