WAGS/ETS Award for Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Education

The Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) and Educational Testing Service (ETS) jointly sponsor this annual award given to a WAGS member school in recognition of outstanding contributions in practices from graduate admissions through degree completion.


To encourage, recognize and reward excellence and innovation in domestic and international graduate education at both the graduate school and program level. Applications may relate to any facet of the graduate education process, including outreach, recruitment, selection and admission, retention, and degree attainment. For example:

  • increasing the diversity of applicants to graduate programs including the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines
  • using technology to communicate with and attract prospective applicants in new and effective ways
  • increasing the number of international students who seek an education at your institution
  • demonstrating success in enhancing the quality of the entering class
  • improving retention of students in your programs
  • programmatic efforts to improve degree completion

Eligibility Requirements

Any WAGS member institution or graduate program within a WAGS member institution is eligible for the award. Only one application will be accepted from a given graduate school. The internal institutional selection processes are the responsibility of the Dean of the Graduate School or comparable official.

Award Value

Awarded annually, each award consists of:

  • a certificate of award
  • a $2,500 award to the winning graduate program or school for graduate recruitment, admissions or retention programs
  • public recognition at the annual meeting of the Western Association of Graduate Schools

Award Recipients

WAGS/ETS Award Recipients
Year Academic Institution Winning Submission
2014–2015 University of Calgary Excellence in Graduate Supervision
2013–2014 University of California, Santa Barbara Grand Slam
2012–2013 Colorado State University Master of Science Conservation Leadership Through Learning Program (CLTL)
2011–2012 University of Oregon The University of Oregon Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) and the Center on Diversity and Community (CoDaC)
2010–2011 University of Northern Colorado Masters of Arts in Foreign Languages: Spanish Teaching Emphasis
GRE Institutions

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