Benchmarking and Consultation Services

    The Council of Graduate Schools provides benchmarking and consultation services to assist member and nonmember institutions, boards, and state agencies in making strategic decisions about the administration of graduate education.  CGS’ benchmarking and consultation services draw upon its deep best practice and benchmarking research as well as the insights of experienced graduate deans from around the country.


    CGS provides two types of services:


    Strategic Consultation

    To help institutions gain expert recommendations about structure, staffing, operations, or programs, CGS arranges for a one-to-three-person review team to develop detailed recommendations in response to a particular charge. The reviewers are experts in the consultation topic and have experience at peer institutions. Based upon background material provided by the client and interviews undertaken during the on-site visit, the findings and recommendations are delivered as a written report. For more information on strategic consultation, please contact Robert Augustine, senior vice president.



    Strategic Benchmarking

    To help institutions compare aspects of graduate education on their campus to other institutions, CGS provides customized benchmarking data to inform strategic decision-making processes. Using in-house best practice and benchmarking data sources, as well as national surveys and comprehensive datasets, CGS provides the client with a written report that includes data tables, charts, etc., as appropriate, in response to a particular charge. For more information on strategic benchmarking, please contact Hironao Okahana, assistant vice president of research and policy analysis.


    Prior benchmarking and consultation services have addressed such topics as: 


    • Effective organization of the graduate school
    • Building an inclusive graduate community
    • Administration of graduate fellowship and assistantship programs
    • Organizing effective program review systems
    • Graduate enrollment and degrees at peer institutions
    • New graduate program development
    • Preparing for and responding to accreditation
    • Integrating research administration with the graduate school
    • Developing responsible conduct of research guidelines
    • Organizing efficient graduate admissions process
    • Ph.D. completion and attrition management
    • Preparing Future Faculty


    Benchmarking and Consultation Services Fee Schedule :


      Member Rate (2017) Non-Member Rate (2017)
    Consultation Fees    
    Per consultant, including report $1,250/day on site $2,000/day on site
    Travel/meals/accommodations Actual expenses Actual expenses
    Administrative fees $4,000 $6,000
    Benchmarking Fees    
    Hourly rates $200/hour $400/hour
    Data retrieval costs Actual expenses Actual expenses


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national advocate for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource for policymakers and others on issues concerning graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS members receive regular updates of legislative and regulatory proposals impacting graduate education and are provided resources to use in advocacy efforts on their campuses and with policymakers and other constituents. 
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.