Masthead image
About Us


The Graduate Student Association of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, provides (1) a forum where matters of concern to graduate students are discussed, where opinions on actions and proposals of the administration and campus departments may be expressed, and where proposals of the administration, departments and graduate groups may be initiated, and (2) programs and services of special interest to graduate students.

In addition to our academic missions, the GSA also functions with the social interests of graduate students in mind. We provide numerous opportunities for students to interact with each other and broaden their experiences in graduate school. All of this serves the purpose of producing well-rounded and well-educated graduates.

Who is in the GSA?

All registered graduate students are members of the Graduate Student Association (GSA). The GSA is made up of four units: the Executive Committee, Representatives to the SMS Academic Council and its Standing Committees, Representatives to W&M College-Wide Entities, and Committee Chairs and Representatives. Representatives are elected, nominated, or volunteered within the student body at the end of the spring semester. The responsibilities of all four units of the GSA are explained in detail in the GSA Catalog.


The GSA represents graduate students' academic, professional, and social interests to the administration. Representatives convey graduate student concerns and ideas to the Executive Council and Academic Council (AC) Representatives. The Executive Council and the AC is the conduit through which these concerns are communicated to the administration.

Powers and Limitations

The GSA is primarily representational and informational in nature. The GSA can intervene on behalf of graduate students in many venues. However, without knowledge of the spectrum of graduate student opinions, the representative powers of the GSA are greatly diminished. Therefore, active participation at meetings and on committees is crucial to effective graduate student presence.