IV.1. Dual Enrollment in PhD & MS Programs
IV.2. Accelerated Master’s Programs
IV.3. Change of Program
IV.4. Adding a PhD Program
IV.5. Non-degree Seeking Graduate Students [Special Graduate Students]
IV.6. Probation and Reinstatement Policy
IV.7. Appeal Procedure
1. Dual Enrollment in PhD & MS Programs
Concurrent enrollment in a PhD program and an MS program in the same department/program is encouraged, if allowed by the department/program. Concurrent enrollment in a PhD program and an MS program in a different department/program is normally not allowed.
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.
- The PhD student must obtain prior written approval for this dual-degree plan from his/her major professor and the head/coordinator of the relevant PhD program.
- If approval is granted in Step 1, then the PhD student must obtain written approval for the MS degree plan from the head/coordinator of the corresponding MS program.
- If approval is granted for Step 2, then the student will need to establish a second graduate student advisory committee (thesis option only) and file a separate program of study (required for all thesis and non-thesis students) for the MS degree with the Office of Graduate Education.
- The dean of graduate education will have authority to either approve or disapprove this second program of study.
- 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 PhD committee and/or MS committee to the dean of graduate education.
- A student who is granted dual enrollment in 2 departments/programs according to the procedure listed above may petition to use all graduate credits earned at SD Mines toward both the MS and PhD degrees, within the constraints of the program and other graduate education policy, and subject to approval by the graduate committees for each program and the department head/program coordinator.
A student who is not dually enrolled, but who has fulfilled the requirements of an SD Mines non-thesis MS degree en route to a PhD, may petition to receive the MS degree by submitting a valid program of study for the MS This petition must be made before the student is admitted to PhD candidacy.
2. Accelerated Master’s Programs
Accelerated MS degree programs enable students to complete both the BS and MS degrees in as little as 5 years. These accelerated degrees are selective programs to which a student must apply. The details for a particular program can be found in the program information section of the catalog. The Accelerated option is currently available for most programs, but not all programs may choose to offer an accelerated option.
Students desiring to participate in an accelerated program are encouraged to apply at the end of their junior year, but they must submit a complete application before the start date of the last semester in which they are enrolled in the BS degree. A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required at the time the student applies to the program. Programs may impose additional GPA requirements; see program information for further details. Programs may grant exceptions to the minimum GPA requirement under situations approved by the dean of graduate education.
If the final cumulative GPA for the BS degree and the cumulative graduate GPA both fall below 3.0 at the time of completion of the BS degree, the department reserves the right to drop the student from the accelerated MS option. In this case, the student may make a new application to be admitted to the regular MS program, but no double-counted courses will be permitted.
Up to 12 credits applied toward the BS program may be used to satisfy graduate credit requirements. See individual programs for the number of credits allowed by the program and other program-specific restrictions. Students applying to an accelerated MS program must fill out an accelerated MS advising plan and find an interim advisor or major professor prior to admission to the MS program. Students are not formally admitted to the graduate school until they have completed their undergraduate degree. Note that it is South Dakota Board of Regents policy that undergraduate students are not permitted to take 700 level and 800 level classes. The accelerated MS advising plan can be revised at any time, with the concurrence of the interim advisor or major professor and the department/program head or coordinator. The following restrictions apply:
- The courses must be taken at the 400/500/600 level as an undergraduate. Courses taken at the 400 level are subject to the other requirements listed in this catalog in section GEP VI.4. Credit Policies for All Graduate Degrees .
- Only courses taken at SD Mines are eligible for dual credit.
- No transferred courses from other institutions will be allowed to count toward the accelerated master’s degree. (See exceptions for certain programs in GEP III.7. Registration at Other Institutions ).
If an accelerated applicant declines to enroll in the master’s program after completing the bachelor’s degree, any 500 or 600 level credits taken as an undergraduate remain eligible for double-counting should the student return for an MS degree at a later time.
Additional rules concerning application of other credits toward a MS degree that are not used for the student’s undergraduate degree are listed in section GEP VI.4. Credit Policies for All Graduate Degrees .
3. Change of Program
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 new program is required. If admittance to the new program is not granted, the possibility of a discontinuation from study in any area at SD Mines 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.
4. Adding a PhD Program
If a student completes the MS degree and wishes to continue for a PhD the student must apply to the doctoral program. If a student is enrolled in an MS program and wishes to enter the doctoral program without completing the MS degree, the student must apply for a transfer of programs.
If a student is enrolled in a master’s program, 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 5 members who will assist with the student’s doctoral program.
5. Non-degree Seeking Graduate Students [Special Graduate Students]
An individual who holds a baccalaureate degree and wishes to pursue further study without a commitment to an advanced degree may apply to the Office of Graduate Education 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 Office of Graduate Education 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.
6. Probation and Reinstatement Policy
An applicant who has a large number of deficiencies, or whose undergraduate record is below admissions standards, 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 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 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 and 3 below) will continue each semester until the course has been retaken and an acceptable grade 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). Because 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 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 GEP IV.7. Appeal Procedure.)
- A student must maintain a B (3.00) or better grade point average in all courses that appear on the graduate transcript at SD Mines. Thesis and dissertation research credit hours and grades will not be counted in the determination of this GPA.
- A student must earn no less than a C (2.00) grade in any graduate course (500 through 800 level), which is to be credited toward advanced degree requirements by appearing on the program of study form.
- A student must earn no less than a B (3.00) in any undergraduate course taken for graduate credit, and which is to be credited toward advanced degree requirements by appearing on the program of study form. (Also refer to GEP VI.4.g. Applying Graduate Level Credits Toward an Advance Degree .)
- A student’s thesis or dissertation research must be of a quality to warrant the issuance of a final grade of S or an interim grade of NP. A research grade of U will result in the student being placed on probation.
- A student must earn no less than a B (3.00) in any deficiency course required by the graduate student advisory committee even though the course cannot be applied toward a graduate degree.
- A student must pass all courses taken on the pass-fail basis. (Refer to section GEP V.3. Pass/Fail Option for Graduate Students .)
- A student must remove all other program deficiencies, such as meeting stated deadlines for applicable qualifying, comprehensive, and final examinations; selection of a graduate student advisory committee; and filing of a satisfactory program of study in the Office of Graduate Education.
7. Appeal Procedure
Procedures for appealing or petitioning for a variance from certain policies, when such variances are permitted in unusual or exceptional circumstances, are set forth in the relevant sections of this document. 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 student 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 of Graduate Education may be called upon to render a decision in such cases.
The South Dakota Board or Regents policy Student Appeals for Academic Affairs, 2:9, addresses student dissatisfaction with assigned grades. The process begins with the student meeting with the professor who issued the grade. For any further appeal, contact the head of the academic department.
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.