Mission and History

The Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) is the official student government representing the 15,000 graduate and professional students at the University of Washington. GPSS exists to actively support and improve all aspects of graduate and professional student life. GPSS provides and advocates for the tools needed to  enhance personal and professional development, and safeguards the interests of the students it represents.

GPSS actively supports graduate and professional students and builds community among them with regular communications and opportunities for involvement as well as social events throughout the year.  GPSS represents students to the University and the Legislature, funds graduate programming, and hosts regular social events. GPSS also involves graduate students in regular reviews of their programs and works on their behalf to ensure that graduate and professional students are supported in their studies.  In addition, GPSS supports diversity programming to enhance and encourage an economically and culturally diverse campus.

Over 150 elected or appointed students represent the graduate and professional degree granting schools, departments, and programs. GPSS grants two senators for each graduate and professional degree-granting department at the University of Washington.  Senators are expected to attend two meetings per quarter and to represent their fellow students on an internal GPSS committee or a university committee.  GPSS has four elected officers: a president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary.  They are supported by a staff of nine.  GPSS has thirteen internal standing committees in addition to the full Senate through which it conducts its business: Executive, Judicial, Elections, Academic and Administrative Affairs, Community Affairs, Diversity, Student Life, Graduate Program Review, Finance and Budget, Social, State Legislative Steering, Federal Legislative Steering, and Communication and Outreach.