Prograds – The Grad Student Progress App

For years I was frustrated with how we track grad students' progress and supervise them. PhD committees don't share notes, department information is inaccessible to supervisors, students are stressed that their committee doesn't know what they're working on and what stage they're at. So I solved this problem with a web application built on no-code platform Bubble. It's live at and we're bringing our first customers on board.

Prograds is the first web app for graduate student progress.

Prograds App Screen
Prograds Student Progress Page

I've supervised and sat on the committees of PhD and MA students for years. PhD programs take around 6 years and involve multiple stages. The department keeps track of progress, more or less. Supervisors and committee members have to keep notes on their students and often don't know what stage a student is at, if they've had significant challenges and interruptions, what they're working on, what funding they have or need, and what teaching they've done. All this has typically been done with a mess of emails, shared spreadsheets, applications provided by the graduate school, and occasional meetings.

I thought for a long time that we need an app with student, faculty, and administrator roles so the right people can see into the student's progress when they need that information. Basically, we need an 'electronic medical record' but for student progress. It would show stages, milestones, requirements, funding, and teaching, plus all kinds of events and what the student is currently working on and planning. And most importantly, a lot of the information would be provisioned by the students themselves.

Thanks to COVID and the explosion of amazing no-code application-building tools, I was able to build and launch Prograds. I built it on Bubble.

Prograds has launched and is in beta testing at UBC and at Acadia University.






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Learning Significance

  1. Architecting a web application from scratch is a daunting but very rewarding process. I'm much better when I can bounce ideas off colleagues in working meetings. So I built Prograds with my friend Lucas Gustafson. We both got more and more familiar with Bubble and our work sped up along the way.