All course work for a master’s degree must be completed within six years preceding the awarding of the degree. This means that for a student beginning graduate-level courses in Fall 2008, the student must complete their degree course work by August 2014. When the student was officially admitted to their graduate program is irrelevant: it’s the age of the course work they wish to apply towards their degree. The time limitation, therefore, applies to graduate-level courses completed while still an undergraduate, as a graduate special, while in a previous graduate program, when first admitted to their graduate program, or transferred from another institution. And, of course, the six-year window shifts as time goes by. That student who is unable to graduate in August 2014 and who then applies to graduate in December 2014 now has to have course work completed no earlier than Spring 2009. Any exceptions to course time limitations approved by the Graduate Dean are for a particular period of time – the approval is not good “forever.” Course work for doctoral degrees must be completed within eight years preceding the granting of the degree. Credits from a previously completed master’s degree approved to apply to the doctoral degree are exempt from this time limitation.
Grades: All course work for an advanced degree must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. This means a course for which you receive a “C minus” cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements. If the course is required you will have to re-take the course.
There are limits to the number of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (previously called Pass/Fail) credits that may be applied to a degree. For master’s degrees, the limit is six (6); for doctoral degrees, the limit is nine (9). This limit is not applicable to thesis or dissertation credits or credits for the comprehensive exam (courses ending in 795).
Filing the Program of Study
Programs of Study must be filed prior to applying for graduation, generally the semester prior to the one in which you are planning to graduate. The Graduate School website lists the deadlines for filing your program of study under “Important Dates.” Please be aware of these dates. Reminders for deadlines may be emailed to students, but ultimately it is your responsibility as a graduate student to be aware of dates and deadlines. It is best to file a Program of Study as early as possible to avoid delays at graduation time.
All graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment to stay in good academic standing. Students without assistantships must be enrolled in a minimum of three (3) graduate credits and students with assistantships must be enrolled for a minimum of six (6) graduate credits each fall and spring semester. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment may result in the student being placed on probation, losing an assistantship and various other consequences. If you know that you will need to be gone during a semester, please file a Leave of Absence.