Apr 21, 2019  
2012-2013 SDSM&T Academic Catalog 
    
2012-2013 SDSM&T Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Policies


Graduate Student Registration 

Full-Time/Half-Time Defined

A graduate student will report to the advisor specified in the admission letter and thereafter will follow the registration procedure for all South Dakota Schol of Mines and Technology students.  The advisor is responsible for counseling the graduate student with respect to programmatic requirements until the student has selected a major professor.  in some programs, the advisor may continue to work with the student and the major professor to ensure that all degree requirements have been satisfied.

A full-time graduate student is defined as a student registered for 9 or more credit hours per semester at any of the universities in the South Dakota Regental system during the academic year.  All international students must be registered full-time to maintain student status with the U.S. Government.

A three-quarter-time graduate student is defined as a student registered for at least 7 credits but less than 9 credit hours per semester during the academic year.

A half-time graduate student is defined as a student registered for at least 4.5 credits and less than 7 credit hours per semester during the academic year.

2 credits are considered full-time during the summer for purposes of receiving an assistantship. To qualify for federal student aid or to qualify for in-school deferment status (for federal or private alternative student loans), a student must be registered for at least 4.5 credits during any semester, including summer.

Audited credits do not apply toward the above definitions. Remedial English classes count toward the determination of full-time status.

Continuing Registration

Degree-seeking graduate students must be registered on a continuing basis during each fall and spring semester of the regular academic year. The number of credits required is specified in the next section, “Minimum Registration”. This applies regardless of whether the graduate student is in residence, is off-campus, or is pursuing a degree on a part-time basis. Failure to maintain continuing registration will result in deactivation of the graduate student’s program. Therefore, graduate students who fail to comply and subsequently wish to return to their same program of study will be required to obtain written permission from the Dean of Graduate Education and may be required to reapply.

Students may petition for a leave of absence if they are unable to fulfill the continuing registration requirement. (See “Leave of Absence” section.)

Graduate Special Students (non-degree- seeking students) are exempt from the continuing registration rule.

Minimum Registration

Degree seeking graduate students must enroll for a minimum of 2 credits during the spring and fall semesters. A student must also register for a minimum of 2 credits during the summer if the student is using departmental or institutional resources. Minimum registration is required any semester in which a student schedules or takes exams, conducts research, or completes a degree. The number of credit hours taken in excess of the minimum should accurately reflect the extent of the graduate student’s coursework and research activities.

Graduate students must meet this minimum registration requirement during the specific semester or summer in which they complete all requirements for their degree and become eligible for graduation. There will be no grace period; hence, students who fail to complete all degree requirements prior to the official closure date for a given semester or summer will be required to register for a minimum of 2 credits during a subsequent semester or summer in order to graduate.

Academic Loads

Thirteen credit hours per semester are considered to be the maximum graduate load. Higher loads must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Education and the major professor. Students wishing to take a higher course load must complete a Course Overload Request form. Appropriate course loads should be determined in conjunction with the advisor or major professor and should reflect the effort required for students working as GTAs or GRAs.

Please refer to the section “Graduate Student Support” for additional information on the number of credit hours required during a semester to be eligible for assistantships and financial aid.

Leave of Absence 

A student who is unable to continue his/her program of graduate study due to unanticipated circumstances may request a leave of absence from his/her program of study by completing and submitting a “Request for Leave of Absence” form, available in the graduate office and at the graduate education website. The form must be completed and signed by the student, the student’s advisor, department head or program coordinator and then submitted to the graduate office for each semester of absence. The Dean of Graduate Education will evaluate the request and either approve or deny it. If the request is approved, the student will not be subject to continuing registration, and the leave of absence will not count toward the time limits to complete his/her program of study. A leave of absence is determined on a semester-by-semester basis and is usually limited to a maximum of one calendar year. International students are not eligible for a leave of absence if they intend to remain in the U.S. 

Undergraduates Taking Graduate Courses 

Graduate-level credits (500 level or above) taken as an undergraduate student are automatically placed on a graduate transcript and may not be used toward an undergraduate degree except under the following circumstances:

  1. Appropriate approvals and credit transfers have been obtained through Academic and Enrollment Services
  2. Graduate-level credits taken as an undergraduate and used to fulfill requirements for the undergraduate degree may not be used toward a graduate degree unless the credits were taken as part of an approved accelerated master’s program at SDSM&T.
  3. Up to 12 semester hours of graduate-level credits taken as an undergraduate and not used to fulfill requirements for the undergraduate degree may be used toward a graduate degree only after the courses in question are approved by the student’s graduate committee.

Graduate Students Taking Undergraduate Courses 

Undergraduate-level credits (300 or 400 level) taken as a graduate student are automatically placed on an undergraduate transcript and may ot be used toward a graduate degree except under the following circumstances:

  1. The courses must be approved by the student’s graduate committee and by the Department Head.
  2. The student must have earned a “B” grade or better in any 300- or 400-level course which is to be credited toward advanced degree requirements.  (See also individual department restrictions on 300-400 level courses.)
  3. The student cannot apply any credit hours or grades for 100- and 200-level courses (which are usually taken to overcome academic deficiencies) toward advanced degree requirements.  If, in the opinion of the student’s advisor, major professor and advisory committee, progress in these courses is unsatisfactory, additional work may be required to demonstrate proficiency.
  4. The number of undergraduate credits not used to fulfill requirements for the undergraduate degree that may be applied toward a master’s degree is limited to 9 hours.

Work Taken at Another Institution

A minimum of 60% of the credit hours in the graduate degree program must be completed from the institution granting the degree. Credit for up to 12 semester hours of graduate-caliber coursework taken at another institution may be transferred toward the requirements for the Master’s degree at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Domestic graduate transfer courses and transfer grades are recorded and evaluated by the School of Mines, calculated into grade point averages according to the South Dakota Regental grade scheme, and recorded on the student’s academic transcript only if these transfer courses are equivalent to a specific graduate course at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. International transfer courses will appear on the transcript along with the number of credits earned, but no grade will appear or be calculated into grade point average.

Such credit from institutions external to the South Dakota Regental system must be reviewed and approved by the student’s committee and by the Dean of Graduate Education. The Dean of Graduate Education shall notify the Registrar and Director of Academic Services in writing of the credits to be accepted and placed on the student’s transcript. An official transcript received directly from the issuing institution to support the request is required. The transferred course number, title, and semester hours will be entered on the student’s transcript.

Dual Enrollment in Ph.D./M.S. Programs 

Concurrent enrollment in a Ph.D. program and an M.S. program in a different department is normally not allowed.

Exception Policy

A student who seeks an exception to the above policy must follow the procedure set forth below. Students must be aware that exceptions to this policy will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances.

  1. The Ph.D. student must obtain prior written approval for this dual-degree plan from his/her major professor and the head/coordinator of the relevant Ph.D. program.
  2. If approval is granted in Step 1, then the Ph.D. student must obtain written approval for the M.S. degree plan from the head of the corresponding M.S. program.
  3. If approval is granted for Step 2, then the student will need to establish a second graduate committee and file a separate program of study for the M.S. degree with the graduate office.
  4. The Dean of Graduate Education will have authority to either approve or disapprove this second program of study. If the M.S. program of study is approved by the Dean of Graduate Education, then the major professor of the student’s Ph.D. program will be appointed as the representative of the graduate school of the student’s M.S. graduate committee.
  5. The first 2 semesters of the dual program will be considered probationary. The second program of study can be terminated based on recommendations of the Ph.D. major professor and/or M.S. major professor to the Dean of Graduate Education.

Dual Majors

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology does not permit, in general, credit hours that have been used to satisfy requirements for one Master of Science degree to be applied toward another master’s degree from this institution. Under exceptional circumstances however, a student may petition the Council on Graduate Education through his/her advisory committee for a variance from this policy.

Accelerated Master’s Programs

The faculty at SDSM&T have approved the creation of Accelerated Master’s Degree programs which will enable a student to complete both the B.S. and M.S. degrees in 5 years.  These accelerated programs are honors programs to which an interested student must apply.  The details for a particular program can be found in the program information secton of the catalog.  Not all programs offer the accelerated option.

Students desiring to participate in an accelerated program are encouraged to apply at the end of their junior year.  A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the time the student applies to the program is required.  Programs may grant exceptions to the GPA requirement under situations approved by the Dean of Graduate Education.

Up to 12 credits applied toward the B.S. program may be used to satisfy graduate credit requirements (See individual programs for the number of credits allowed by the program.)  The following restrictions apply:

  1. The courses must be taken at the graduate level as an undergraduate.
  2. The student must apply to, and be admitted to, the graduate school in the accelerated program prior to taking courses to be credited toward the accelerated program.
  3. No courses taken prior to admission to the Accelerated Program may be counted toward a graduate degree.  No exceptions to this policy will be approved.
  4. Courses that are “double counted” must be approved by the program coordinator/major professor for inclusion in the program of study prior to registration for the course or the credits will not be applied toward the graduate degree.  No exceptions to this policy will be approved.
  5. Only courses taken at SDSM&T are eligible for dual credit.  No transferred courses, even from other regential institutions, will be allowed to count toward the accelerated graduate degree.

Special Students 

An individual who holds a Baccalaureate degree and wishes to pursue further study without a commitment to advanced degree candidacy may apply to the graduate office for admission as a special student at the graduate level.  The applicant must provide evidence of the baccalaureate degree.  Upon admission as a special student, he/she will be subject to graduate office policies.  A maximum of 12 credit hours may be accumulated, after which a Special Student must either apply for admission as a degree-seeking student or must petition for a variance from this policy.  A course with a grade of “Incomplete” counts toward the 12 credit maximum.  Graduate students classified as special students are not eligible for assistantships.  If a student is granted admission to a program as a degree-seeking student, a maximum of 12 credits taken as a Special Student may be applied toward the degree. 

Change of Program 

A student admitted to the graduate school in a specified program must complete at least one semester in the origianl program before being allowed to transfer.  A student who wishes to change programs should request the change using an “Intent to Transfer” form.  The current program must be notified prior to seeking the transfer.  Approval from the proposed program is required.  If admittance to the new program is not granted, the possibility of a discontinuation from study in any area at SDMS&T is possible.  Upon favorable recommendation from the new program, the Dean of Graduate Education will issue a letter of transfer and notify the appropriate offices and the student of the change.

Advanced-Degree Grade Requirements 

To qualify for any advanced degree, the faculty has stipulated that the following requirements must be satisfied:

  1. The student must earn a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA for all 300- through 800-numbered courses taken in all departments which appear on the graduate transcript. In addition, the student must also have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 for courses taken in his/her major department after admission to the graduate program, or taken for graduate credit at the School of Mines as an undergraduate or special student. Note that thesis and dissertation research credit hours and grades will not be counted in the determination of these grade-point averages. Only courses listed on the graduate transcript are used for computing the graduate GPA.
  2. The student must earn a “C” grade or better in any graduate course (500 through 800 level), which is to be credited toward advanced degree requirements.
  3. The student must earn a “B” grade or better in any 300 or 400 level course which is to be credited toward advanced degree requirements.
  4. The student’s thesis or dissertation research must be of a quality to earn a final grade of “S.”
  5. A students who fails any course must repeat the course with a passing grade as defined above. The student may petition through his or her advisor or major professor to the Dean of Graduate Education for an exception to this rule.
  6. The student cannot apply any credit hours or grades for 100- and 200-level courses (which are usually taken to overcome academic deficiencies) toward advanced degree requirements. If, in the opinion of the student’s advisor, major professor and advisory committee, progress in these courses is unsatisfactory, additional work may be required to demonstrate proficiency.
  7. Of credits counted for an advanced degree, not more than 50 percent of the credit hours in any graduate program can be at the 500 level or below. Exceptions must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Education.

If a course is repeated for a passing or improved grade, only the grade for the last attempt will be included in the computation of the cumulative grade-point average shown on the graduate student’s transcript.

Advanced degree credit given for “Special Topics in,” “Advanced Topics in,” or “Seminar in” is limited to 9 credits. Refer to the specific course description for any other restrictions.

All graduate research credit hours are graded according to regular grading standards. However, for graduate research credits (courses numbered 788, 798, and 898) the final grades for a completed program will be issued as either “U” for Unsatisfactory or “S” for Satisfactory. These S and U grades will not be used in the computation of grade-point averages.

Research credit may be applied toward the fulfillment of credit-hour requirements. The number of credit hours so applied is identified in the relevant sections under Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs.

Graduate Grading System

The grades listed in this section can be assigned to all courses with course numbers of 500 or greater. Plus and minus grades are not used. 

1. Coursework Final Grades

A Exceptional

4.00 grade points per semester hour.

B Good

3.00 grade points per semester hour.

C Average

2.00 grade points per semester hour.

D Unsatisfactory

1.00 grade point per semester hour.

F Failure

0.00 grade points per semester hour.

S Satisfactory

Does not calculate into any GPA. This is the grade that will appear on a transcript for a successfully completed course taken with the pass/fail option or for research credits (see below).

U Unsatisfactory

Does not calculate into any GPA. This is the grade that will appear on a transcript for failing to complete a pass/fail course or research credits (see below).

W Withdrawal

Does not calculate into any GPA, no credit granted.

AU Audit

Does not calculate into any GPA. An audit (AU) grade may be granted only when the student has elected the AU option on, or prior to, the census date of the term.

 2. Incomplete Grades

 I Incomplete

Does not calculate into any GPA. An incomplete (I) grade may be granted only when all of the following conditions apply:

a. A student has encountered extenuating circumstances that do not permit him/her to complete the course.

b. The student must be earning a passing grade at the time the Incomplete is requested. Anticipated course failure is not a justification for an incomplete.

c. The student does not have to repeat the course to meet the requirements.

d. The instructor must agree to grant an incomplete grade.

e. The instructor and student must agree on a plan to complete the coursework.

f. The coursework must be completed within one calendar year. Extensions may be granted by the Dean of Graduate Education.

g. If the student completes the course within the specified time, the grades that may be assigned are A, B, C, D, F, S, or U.

h. If the student does not complete the course within the specified time the incomplete grade remains on the transcript.

 IP In Progress

Does not calculate into any GPA. An in progress (IP) grade may be granted only when all of the following conditions apply:

a. The requirements for the course (for every student enrolled in the course) extend beyond the current term.

b. The extension beyond the current term must be defined before the class begins.

c. The instructor must request permission to award IP grades for a course from his or her department head/coordinator and from the Dean of Graduate Education. Then approval must be obtained from the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

d. A definite date for completion of the course must be established in the course syllabus. 

3. Research Grades

 S Satisfactory

Does not calculate into any GPA. This is a final grade for a research course (including thesis or dissertation research).

 U Unsatisfactory

Does not calculate into any GPA. This is a final grade for a research course (thesis or dissertation research).

 NP Normal Progress

Does not calculate into any GPA. A normal progress (NP) grade calculates into attempted credits but does not calculate into completed credits. Research grades do count toward attempted credits once a final grade of S or U is assigned. A normal progress (NP) grade may be granted by an instructor when the instructor determines that a graduate student is making normal progress in a graduate Thesis/Dissertation course. This is intended to be an intermediate grade which should be changed to ‘S’ or ‘U’ upon completion of the course requirements. 

4. Additional Grading Options 

NR Grade not reported by the Instructor

Does not calculate into any GPA.

 EX Credit by Exam

Does not calculate into any GPA. An examination for credit (EX) grade may be granted only for non-course credit validation obtained through a validation process. This grade is not used for any Regental university course.

 CR Credit

Does not calculate into any GPA. A credit (CR) grade may be granted only for non-course credit that is not related to an examination or to equating transfer grades to the BOR grading system. This grade is not used for any Regental university course.

 TR Transcripted

Does not calculate into any GPA and no credit is granted.

 LR Lab grade linked to Recitation Grade

0 credit course. 

Course Retake Policy

A student will be allowed a total of two registrations for any particular graduate course (course numbers of 500 and above) for which credit is to be counted toward graduation.  The student must petition the Dean of Graduate Education and obtain the Dean’s approval to be permitted to take a graduate course more than two times.  Only the LAST attempt of the course will count in the grade point average calculations.  A student will be allowed multiple registrations for certain graduate courses for which credit toward graduation may be received more than once (e.g., Independent Study, Thesis, Research, etc.).  Grades for all such courses will be used for grade point average calculations.  Please note that individual credits allowed toward graduation in these types of courses.


Pass-Fail Option for Graduate Students

The following policy pertains to the pass/fail option at the graduate level:

  1. 100- and 200-level courses, either within or outside of the department, which cannot be applied for credit toward a graduate degree may (with the consent of the student’s major professor and advisory committee) be taken on a pass-fail basis under the same rules that apply to undergraduate students.
  2. 300- through 800-level courses outside of the student’s department/program may (with the consent of the student’s major professor and advisory committee) be taken on a pass-fail basis except that a “C” grade shall be considered the lowest passing grade. The maximum number of hours of pass-fail work for which a master’s degree candidate may receive credit will be 6 for the thesis option and 9 for the non-thesis option.
  3. No 300- through 800-level courses offered by the student’s major department/program may be taken for credit under the pass-fail option. Beyond the master’s level, the pass-fail option may be exercised at the discretion of the candidate’s graduate advisory committee but must still be approved by the Dean of
  4. Graduate Education.

Probation and Reinstatement Policy

An applicant who has a large number of deficiencies, or whose undergraduate record is relatively weak, may be admitted to the graduate program on probationary status. For a student admitted on probation, a deficiency in grade requirements during the first semester of enrollment may be considered sufficient grounds for terminating the student’s enrollment in the graduate program. Such a termination decision will be made by the Dean of Graduate Education after consulting with the student’s major professor and the department head or relevant program coordinator.

A current graduate student who does not meet the following requirements (items 1-7 below) during any semester will be placed on probation and will be so informed by the Dean of Graduate Education. A failure to remove the deficiencies during the following semester may be considered sufficient grounds for terminating the student’s enrollment in the graduate program. Assistantships are not available to students on probation unless an exception is granted by the Dean of Graduate Education.

Probation imposed because of grade deficiencies in specific courses (items 2-3 below) will continue each semester until the course(s) has been retaken and an acceptable grade(s) has been received. Probation imposed because of overall GPA deficiencies (item 1 below) will continue each semester until the GPA reaches the acceptable level.

A student will be placed on probation for a “U” grade received for research credit(s). Since a “U” is a final grade, probation will be maintained until at least one subsequent “S” credit is awarded. A student may graduate with “U” grades, but must also accumulate “S” grades for the required minimum number of research credits in a given advanced degree program. A student who has transferred from a thesis to a non-thesis program and who has received “U” grades as the last research grades in the thesis program will be admitted to the new program on a probationary status. Such probation may be removed by satisfactory progress (according to the usual performance criteria) during the first semester in the new program.

In addition to probation triggered by academic performance, a student may be placed on probation for failing to meet programmatic or institutional requirements. Probation for such deficiencies will be removed after the requirement(s) has been satisfied. A student’s probationary status will be reviewed at the close of each semester for appropriate action: removal from probation, continuation of probation, or termination. A student may petition the Dean of Graduate Education for reconsideration of a termination decision. (Refer to section on “Appeal Procedure.”)

  1. A student must maintain a “B” (3.00) or better grade point average in all 300- through 800- level courses taken for graduate credit at the School of Mines. Thesis and dissertation research credit hours and grades will not be counted in the determination of this GPA.
  2. A student must earn no less than a “C” (2.00) grade in any graduate course (500 through 800 level) taken for graduate credit, and which is to be credited toward advanced degree requirements.
  3. A student must earn no less than a “B” (3.00) in any 300- or 400-level course taken for graduate credit, and which is to be credited toward advanced degree requirements.
  4. A student’s thesis or dissertation research must be of a quality to warrant the issuance of a semester grade of “S” or an interim grade of “NP.” A research grade of “U” will result in the student being placed on probation.
  5. A student must earn no less than a “B” (3.00) in any 100- or 200-level course required by the student’s advisory committee even though the course cannot be applied toward a graduate degree.
  6. A student must pass all courses taken on the pass-fail basis. (Refer to section on “Pass-Fail Option for Graduate Students.”)
  7. A student must remove all other program deficiencies, such as meeting stated deadlines for applicable qualifying, comprehensive, and final examinations; selection of a graduate advisory committee; and filing of a satisfactory program of study in the graduate office. 

Appeal Procedure

Procedures for appealing or petitioning for a variance from certain policies are set forth in the relevant sections of this document when such variances are permitted in unusual or exceptional circumstances. Appeals or petitions involving such matters as grade changes from “F” or “I” to
“W” must be lodged with the Academic Appeals Committee through the Vice President for Academic Affairs, after review by the Dean of Graduate Education.

Appeals concerning probation, suspension, or potential variances in academic graduate policy should first be lodged with the student’s major department/program. Before rendering a decision on the appeal, the department head or program coordinator will seek a recommendation from the student’s graduate advisory committee. If the student is not satisfied with the decision on the appeal, the student may petition the Dean of Graduate Education for reconsideration of the appeal. The Council on Graduate Education may be called upon to render a decision in such cases.

For situations not covered above, or if the student is dissatisfied with a prior appeal decision, he/she should seek the advice of the Dean of Graduate Education or the Dean of Students to determine what recourse is available to assist in seeking a solution.

Supervision of Advanced Degree Programs

The supervision of the general study program of each student, including compliance with all the various Board of Regents, institutional, and Graduate Division policies, is primarily the responsibility of the advisor. The graduate advisory committee assists in this role. The Advisory Committee consists of:

  • a major professor,
  • a graduate division representative, (must not be from the student’s department/program),
  • 1 additional member for master’s students,
  • 3 additional members for doctoral students.

The major professor is primarily responsible for supervision of the graduate student’s research and thesis/dissertation preparation, as well as ensuring that academic standards and requirements are met and satisfied. The advisor and the major professor may or may not be the same person, depending on restrictions or requirements within the student’s program and/or department.

The major professor serves as chairperson of the Graduate Advisory Committee and assists the student in selection of other members of the committee. The graduate division representative must be chosen from outside the major department/program and approved by the Dean of Graduate Education.

To be eligible to serve as a major professor on a student’s advisory committee, the person must be a faculty member at SDSM&T with a terminal degree. Individuals without a terminal degree may be granted an exception to this policy if the department notifies the Graduate School of its approval in writing.

Off-campus advisors must be appointed as adjunct faculty to be eligible to serve as a major professor. The department/program must notify the graduate office in writing of this appointment and approve the individual to direct research work. In such cases, a co-major professor located on campus should be selected to assist with administrative guidance.

To be eligible to serve as the Graduate Representative on a student’s advisory committee, the person must be a full-time faculty member at SDSM&T with a terminal degree.

A change in advisor may be accomplished at the student’s request by submitting a “Request to Change Advisor” form, with all appropriate approval signatures, to the Dean of Graduate Education.

If staff changes or other valid reasons dictate a change in major professor, such a transition can be made at the request of the student and with the consent of the student’s committee as evidenced by filing a revised “Program of Study” with the graduate office. A written appeal by a student for a change in major professor may be filed with the Council on Graduate Education through the Dean of Graduate Education in contested cases. The decision by the Council on Graduate Education is final.

Changes to committee members other than the major professor only require the signature of the major professor and the new committee member.

If a student completes the M.S. degree and wishes to continue for a Ph.D. the student must apply to the doctoral program. If a student is enrolled in an M.S. program and wishes to enter the doctoral program without completing the M.S. degree, the student must apply for a transfer of programs.

If a master’s candidate elects to transfer, the student’s department/program shall determine by qualifying examination or by review of his/her record to date whether the student shall be permitted to transfer to the doctoral degree. Upon approval of the transfer, the department head or program coordinator, after consultation with the student and the existing advisory committee, shall expand the student’s committee to a total of five members who will assist with the student’s doctoral program.

Program of Study

The student’s advisory committee will assist the student in formulating a schedule of coursework leading to the advanced degree. A copy of the appropriate form and advisory committee signatures must be filed with the student, the student’s department/program, and the graduate office no later than the mid-term of the semester after which 9 credit hours have been completed or for which a grade of “Incomplete” has been issued. This is usually the second semester of study for full-time degree-seeking students. These forms can be found at the graduate education website and may vary by program or type of degree sought. A copy of any amended forms must be filed in a timely manner by the student and with the same offices as the original schedule.

Students who have been granted a leave of absence before submission of a POS/PRA will be required to submit a POS/PRA by mid-term of the semester after completion of 9 credit hours.

Language Requirements

There is no standard language requirement within the Graduate Division. However, departments/programs may establish their own language requirement.

Certification for the Degree

Before a diploma can be released, the Dean of Graduate Education must certify that the candidate has fulfilled all degree requirements. For certification of the degree for a given semester, ALL requirements must be complete on or before the scheduled due dates published by the Graduate Education Office. Note that all keys must be returned to the Physical Plant before the degree is granted.

Candidates are cautioned not to make travel plans or other arrangements that will be difficult or costly to change until they are certain that all degree requirements can and will be satisfied. It is the responsibility of the candidate to know and comply with these degree requirements.

Participation in Commencement

A student must apply to graduate by completing the Application for Graduation form on the Graduate Education website and must meet the program requirements before the degree is awarded. The Application for Graduation form also serves as a request to participate in the commencement ceremonies. In general, for each degree earned, a student is allowed to participate in commencement once and have his or her name in the commencement program once. Note that participation in the commencement ceremony does not equate to the conferring of a degree. The degree is conferred when all requirements are met and the release of diploma process is completed.

By default, the names of all students who have completed the requirements for graduation by the designated spring date will be included in the May program and students who have completed the requirements by the designated fall date will be included in the December program. The student’s name will appear in the program in the semester of completion, whether the student is participating in the ceremony or not, except as noted below.

M.S. Candidates Participating in Commencement Prior to Completion of all Requirements

M.S. students who will finish in August may request permission, in writing, to participate in May commencement and his or her name will appear in the May program. If the student is scheduled to graduate in August and does not participate in the May graduation, the student’s name will, by default, appear in the December program and the student is welcome to participate in the December commencement ceremony.

Students who will complete the requirements for a degree after December but substantially before the end of the spring term may request permission, in writing, to participate in December commencement and will be listed in the December program.

A student who wishes to participate in a commencement ceremony later than the semester in which the degree is completed must notify the graduate office of his or her intent prior to the end of the semester in which the degree requirements are met. In general, a student is allowed to participate in a commencement ceremony within one year of completing the requirements for the degree.

Time Limitation

A Master of Science degree program must be completed within 5 calendar years dating from the student’s formal entrance into a degree-seeking program. Courses taken by the student at any institution that may be credited to the degree program and that were taken more than 5 years prior to the date of anticipated graduation must be reviewed by the student’s major department/program and the Dean of Graduate Education for possible acceptance. Following this review, the student’s major department/program and the Dean of Graduate Education will determine whether a reduction in credits applicable toward the degree, a re-examination, or both, is required for the student to complete his or her degree program. In exceptional circumstances, students may petition the Dean of Graduate Education for an extension to the 5 year time limit. The applicable forms are available at the Graduate Education website.

A student who is granted a Leave of Absence (see section on “Leave of Absence”) will not be subject to continuing registration, and the leave of absence will not count toward the time limits to complete his/her program of study.