Graduate Programs

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Dr. Hillary Fouts

Dean of Graduate Studies and Research

I am delighted to join WOU and the Graduate Studies and Research Office as your new Dean. Whether you are a new or continuing graduate student, the Graduate Programs Office is here to support you throughout your graduate studies and I am honored to join the team in this endeavor. We support students and faculty in over 18 graduate programs. Students in our programs benefit from a personalized experience with small class sizes and faculty and staff that truly care about their success. On the research side, in our Sponsored Projects Office, we partner with WOU faculty, staff, and students in seeking and managing external funding from a variety of entities, including federal and state agencies, private foundations, and corporations. We work with you every step of the way to bring your ideas to fruition. I’ve only been here a short while and am so inspired by the students, faculty, and staff in the WOU community and am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.

Dr. Hillary Fouts

Office of Dean of Graduate Studies and Research

• Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs offers a wide variety of programs that meet the needs of students across multiple disciplines. The knowledge and abilities cultivated in our graduate programs meet compelling needs for work, service and leadership beyond our campus. Western Oregon University empowers its students, employees and alumni to lead meaningful, responsible lives.  

• Graduate Dean's Council

The Graduate Student Council will be made up of a maximum of 12 student representatives, representing our diverse student population, programs, and course delivery modalities. During the 2021-2022 academic year the council created student success initiatives, initiated goals for graduate student involvement, and provided recommendations for the graduate student tuition advisory board. Apply to be part of our council for 2022-2023.

• Sponsored Projects Office

The Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) supports the scholarship, research, teaching, and programmatic missions of the University by providing a full range of services to faculty and staff at every stage of the grant process. From initial inquiry, through proposal development, review and submission, to grant and award management, and final closeout, the SPO is here to serve WOU.

• The Research Institute (TRI)

The Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University improves the quality of life for individuals by facilitating positive change in education, health, and human services systems.

• Western Community Policing Institute

Western Community Policing Institute (WCPI) was established in 1996 as one of the national networks of Regional Community Policing Institutes (RCPI). WCPI provides innovative nationwide training and technical support on issues vital to community safety.


The WOU IRB is a group of WOU faculty, staff, and community members charged with providing oversight for all human subjects research conducted in association with WOU. The purpose of IRB oversight of research is to assure the protection of the research participants, the researcher, and the university. The research community has a responsibility to ensure that the treatment of human participants in research meets the highest ethical standard.

• More about the Dean

Dr. Fouts is Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and Professor of Psychological Sciences. She is a trans-disciplinary scholar working at the intersections of developmental psychology, anthropology, and public health. She earned her Ph.D. in anthropology at Washington State University. Thereafter, she spent four years as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in a developmental psychology laboratory. Prior to joining WOU, she spent 14 years as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has conducted funded research among children and families in rural and urban contexts of Central and East Africa for the past two decades as well as among underserved and underrepresented populations in the US. Her main research interests are centered on parenting and child social-emotional development, children’s social learning and play, and infant/child care, health, and feeding. Dr. Hillary Fouts Vitae

• Graduate Faculty

The Graduate Faculty consists of the president and vice president of academic affairs of WOU, the academic deans, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and the colleges’ graduate faculty coordinators and members of the faculty who have been named by their divisions and approved by the director of graduate studies.