Set up Programs

The second step: Setting up each Program

From the Department Profile page's Programs tab, click on the Edit this Program button to get to the Program Profile screen.


Here's a google sheet template you can duplicate to fill in and then share with your grad program administration team. Make sure you read the section on Stages, Milestones, and Requirements, below.

Basic Info

Provide the common name and formal name of the program (e.g. PhD, Doctor of Philosophy).


We will be adding settings here as new program-specific settings are suggested to us by users.

For now, the only setting is the list of subfields in the program. These are listed on students' profile pages. Simply add them, edit, and delete them as necessary. Note that deleting one will not delete it from students' profiles.

Administrators (Under construction)

This tab allows you to add program-specific Administrators, who will be able to see all faculty in the department but only students in this program. However this feature is still under construction and not available. If you have a strong use-case for it, please let us know about it at

About Stages, Milestones, and Requirements In Prograds, the main sequential stages of the program are called Stages. For a PhD, for example, these are often: Coursework, Comprehensive Exams, Dissertation Proposal (Prospectus), Dissertation, and Awaiting Defense. There is no enforcement of the sequence of Stages in Prograds. Stage transitions can only be made manually by administrative users from the student's profile page. It's important to understand that Stages are set manually and students occupy a stage until they have been progressed to the next one. So, for example, while there might be a stage called Comprehensive Exams, the individual exams with dates would be best set up as Milestones within the Comprehensive Exams Stage. Milestones are more granular than Stages but must be completed along the way. They are ordered and must be placed within Stages. For example, choosing a committee and getting it approved is a typical Milestone within the Proposal/Prospectus Stage. There is no enforcement of the sequence of Milestones in Prograds; the milestones to be completed simply display on students' pages in the order you set here on the Program Profile page. Milestones are baked into the program. Students can only be exempted from Milestones; they can’t be deleted from a Student’s record. Requirements are things that must be completed but do not have a sequence or depend on completion of prior stages, milestones, or requirements. Examples include being a Teaching Assistant or certifying competence in a second language. Milestones and Requirements have Ideal Dates and Deadline Dates that are set by the Department. These dates are in months and are relative to each Student's Program Entry Date. So, for example, an Exam that should be taken after two years of coursework would likely have an Ideal Date of 24 months and a Deadline Date of perhaps 28 months. Milestones and Requirements have completion and approved indicators for each student. Milestones and Requirements have an exempt indicator for each student. Note: When Milestones and Requirements are added to an existing department, they populate to all Students (with status marked not complete). Note: When new Students are created, the Program's Milestone's and Requirements populate to the student.


PhD Programs, for example, will typically have four to six stages. These are very common across North American programs and increasingly elsewhere. You may want to use:

  1. Admitted
  1. Coursework (could be year 1 or year 2 although that is already something indicated automatically in Prograds)
  1. Comprehensive (or Qualifying or Prelim) Exams
  1. Dissertation Proposal / Prospectus
  1. Dissertation
  1. Awaiting Defense / Defended
  1. Graduated (although there is a Graduated indicator on the student record in Prograds, so this is really unnecessary).
You can filter the student listing by Stage and also classify funding events by stage to get a report on funding at each stage.


Within Stages there are usually things that need to be completed to move to the next stage. We call these Milestones. You do not absolutely need to use them, but they can be useful to make sure students and faculty know what has to be done to move from stage to stage. Students can indicate when Milestones are completed and then faculty can approve completion.

When you enter Milestones, you must place them within a Stage. You can provide a description that will appear when that Milestone is opened from a Student page.

Milestones should have Ideal Dates and Deadline Dates. These dates are in months and are relative to each Student's Program Entry Date. When these dates are passed, the Milestones show as Past Due on the Faculty Dashboard and the Student Page. (Email notifications will be triggered by Milestones and Requirments going overdue — this feature is under construction). Note also that if a student has been in the program for a year or more, when they first create their account there will be Milestones and Requirements that are overdue and will simply need to be marked complete by the student, with a completion date.

The order of Milestones within Stages is determined by their Ideal Date. On the student pages the Milestones will be automatically sorted by Stage.

Milestones can be used creatively to signpost things that need to be done by students and supervisors. Don't hesitate to use them simply as a signalling mechanism. They needn't be limited to the formal steps in the program. Something like "Choose 2nd term courses" can be a Milestone that serves mainly as a reminder for the student to initiate a discussion with the advisor/supervisor.

Milestones are baked into the program. Students can only be exempted from Milestones; Milestones can’t be deleted from a Student’s record.


Requirements are simply checklist items that should be completed at some point in the program. Administrative users can exempt students from Requirements by opening the Requirement from the Student's page.

Requirements have the same date and completion features as Milestones.



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Last updated on June 7, 2022