Role and Services
What is GPC?
The Graduate Professional Council (GPC) is the official student government for all graduate, professional, and post-baccalaureate students at the University of Missouri (MU) in Columbia, Missouri. Since 1982, it has represented all the departments of the Graduate School and the schools of Business, Public Affairs (previously Public Administration), Law, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. GPC is the voice of graduate and professional students to many of the decision making bodies at MU, including the Board of Curators and numerous faculty committees. Another function is the development of events such as the Research and Creative Activities Forum to showcase the innovations and talents of graduate and professional students. GPC also brings you captivating social events to give you an opportunity to meet fellow graduate and professional students.
How is GPC Different from other Graduate/Professional Student Organizations?
There are many organizations at MU that address the needs of each school or department. Examples include the Student Bar Association (SBA) for law students, Medical Student Affairs Council (MSAC) for medical students, Graduate Student Association (GSA) for graduate students and the many departmental organizations.
These other councils serve to represent the students of a school or department to the administration of that school or department. They may also organize social events or regulate other organizations of that particular school.
The Graduate Professional Council is the representative umbrella organization for all graduate and professional students to the administration of the University and UM Board of Curators. Although the school councils have influence on the decisions of the individual schools, only GPC has influence in general policy decisions by the University or UM System affecting all graduate and professional students (issues such as fees, tuition, and health insurance).
GPC has an annual budget to help fund the educational and social endeavors of its constituents. Students and organizations can request GPC funding for events, programs, and equipment.
What services does GPC offer?
Gold Chalk Awards – Every April, GPC takes an evening to recognize the important contributions our mentors make in our education and lives while working towards a graduate or professional degree. We accept applications starting in January ever Spring semester. If there is a special mentor in your life, please nominate them! More information is available at Gold Chalk Awards.
General Funding – Each Fall and Spring semester, GPC sets aside a portion of our budget for graduate and professional groups on campus to hold events. In the past we have provided funding for groups to bring speakers to campus or hold special events open to all graduate students on campus (e.g. India Night and China Night). Beginning in 2011, graduate and professional groups can apply for funding to support events which have a more limited audience, but which still provide excellent educational opportunities to participants. To apply, navigate to Funding: General Group Funding Award.
Travel Awards – Each Fall and Spring semester, GPC distributes more than $30,000 in travel awards to individuals traveling to conferences to present their work. To learn how to apply for these awards, visit Funding: Travel Awards.
Research and Creative Activities Forum (RCAF) – GPC has hosted RCAF for more than 20 years as a way for students to showcase research or creative activities, and gain experience discussing their work. Professors from across the state and within the MU community rate and give feedback on student presentations, with cash prizes available for exceptional presentations. RCAF takes place every March; the application can be found at Research and Creative Activities Forum.
Career Development Events – GPC has a dedication to the career career development of graduate and professional students at MU. We currently cosponsor a graduate assistant in the Graduate Career Services office. During Fall semester, GPC hosts CV Doctors to give students critique on their curriculum vitae or resume.
Social Events – One of the aims of the Graduate Professional Council is to enhance the graduate experience at MU by facilitating a collegial environment. Social events include family oriented fun nights, MU sports watch parties, and general social gatherings with food and drink provided. Watch our calendar to learn when our upcoming events are!