Jul 18, 2024  
2021-2022 SDSM&T Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 SDSM&T Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

IV. Enrollment Policies

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. 

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 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 students) for the MS degree with the Office of Graduate Education.
  4. The dean of graduate education will have authority to either approve or disapprove this second program of study.  
  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 PhD committee and/or MS committee to the dean of graduate education.
  6. 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 an add/change degree form to the Graduate Office.

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 eligible to apply when they have reached at least 90 completed and in-progress credits for the BS degree, 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.

After students have completed 90 credits of the BS degree, they are eligible to be formally enrolled in the MS program and have concurrent registration in both programs. However, the awarding of the MS degree is contingent upon completion of the BS degree. 

Accelerated MS students are not eligible to hold research or teaching assistantships until the BS degree is completed and are not subject to restrictions on hourly graduate hiring in Mines Policy II-6 Graduate Assistantships. The graduate dean may exercise discretion to allow assistantships to be awarded in circumstances when compelling reasons are present for waiving the rule and the student has fewer than 6 undergraduate credits remaining. If such an exception is made, the student does become subject to Mines Policy II-6 and remains subject to it until the MS is completed, whether on an assistantship in any given semester or not. 

If the cumulative GPA for the BS degree or the cumulative graduate GPA falls below 3.0, the department reserves the right to drop the student from the accelerated MS option. In this situation, the student may request to be admitted to the regular MS program, to take effect after the BS is completed, 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 a graduate advisor or major professor prior to admission to the MS program. The accelerated MS advising plan can be revised at any time, with the concurrence of the graduate advisor or major professor and the department/program head or coordinator.  The following restrictions apply:

  1. 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 .
  2. Only courses taken at SD Mines are eligible for dual credit.
  3. 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 add/change degree 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 petition the dean of graduate education for a variance from this policy. A course with any grade, including an Incomplete grade, 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 requirements 1 and 2 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.

  1. A student must maintain a B (3.00) or better grade point average for all courses that appear on the graduate transcript at SD Mines. Thesis and dissertation research credit hours and grades are not counted in the determination of this GPA.
  2. 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 in each semester of research.  

Probation imposed because of overall GPA deficiencies (item 1) 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 or NP research credit is awarded.  A student may graduate with “U” grades but must 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, such as making satisfactory progress in completing courses, meeting stated deadlines for applicable qualifying, comprehensive, and final examinations; selection of a graduate student advisory committee; and filing of a program of study in the Office of Graduate Education. 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.)

7. Appeal Procedure

Procedures for appealing or petitioning for a variance from certain policies, when such variances are permitted in unusual circumstances, are set forth in the relevant sections of this document.

For situations in which no appeal or petition process is stated in these graduate policies, please refer to SD Mines Policy II-09-03  for procedures on filing appeals for exceptions to academic policies including, but not limited to, the three-attempt limit on courses, academic suspension, late withdrawal from courses taken in previous semesters, decisions on petitions for variances from academic policy, and decisions regarding probation, suspension, or termination from a program.