Ahfad University has formed a Graduate Studies Committee in 1997, consisting of ten members of the Academic Council. The committee is responsible for formulating the graduate studies, for recommending the award of higher degrees of the Academic Council and for undertaking all other necessary measures to guarantee the quality of the graduate programs. Proposals for graduate program have to be submitted to this committee before being forwarded to the Academic Council. The graduate programs commenced in 1990 by a higher diploma in Human Nutrition, which continued for three years and was dissolved as most of the contents of the program were inserted in the curriculum for the fifth year study plan of the School of Family Sciences renamed currently as Health Sciences.  Since then two graduate programs at the level of the Master of Science: one in Human Nutrition and the other in Gender and Development were developed.  Both Master programs started in 1997. Their goals are in line with AUW goals and mission for providing professionals in the areas of promoting people’s lives and achieving women’s empowerment.  However, the programs succeeded in recruiting students, offering the MSc. degree and graduating the majority of the students within the time scheduled. It is worth mentioning that the MSc. in Gender and Development (GAD) was the only one at that time, not only in Sudan but also in the Middle East and the second in Africa. Furthermore, AUW MSc. programs are given by courses, not only by research. This is believed to add excellence and professionalization to the degree holders by studying advanced courses before embarking onto the thesis. In 1997 the University Graduate Studies Committee was formed, reporting to the VP Academic Affairs. The committee is responsible for supervision of the graduate studies, for recommending the award of higher degrees to the University Academic Council and for undertaking all other necessary measures to guarantee the quality of the graduate programs. Since 1997, the different schools are on continuous activity in developing graduate programs addressing the community and job market needs and fulfilling the university mission.  Through different approaches including market survey, local, regional and international consultations, partnerships, a number of programs were then structured and launched. Up to date, around 2300 female candidates were graduated with different degrees. The chronological development of the graduate programs is graphically represented in Figure 1. On 23rd of April 2016, the University Academic Council approved the establishment of the School of Graduate Studies with the following Vision, mission and core values: 

Mission

The school ensures that the university graduate programs are scholarly, current, focused and responsive to the changing needs and demands of the different professional and academic careers.

Vision

The school aspires to achieve academic excellence in graduate studies for advancement of the societal wellbeing and provision of competent graduates.

Core Values

Meritocracy, Accountability and International orientation