Master's Degree: Performance Standards and Progress
Frequently Asked Questions
- When should students file the master's degree plan?
A degree plan should be approved at least one term (fall or spring semester) before the intended term of degree clearance; however students may submit the degree plan at any time after matriculation in the degree program/major.
- Who approves the coursework on the degree plan?
The advisor and DGS (including DGS of the minor field, if applicable) must approve coursework on the degree plan before it is routed to the collegiate unit. Some programs may require full faculty review. Collegiate units may review coursework for compliance with collegiate and University policies.
- How many S/N course credits can I include on my degree plan?
A maximum of 1/3 of the course credits on the degree plan may be S/N. Courses offered only S/N (that is, without the option of A/F grades) will not be counted as part of the student’s permissible number of S/N registrations.
- I was given "S" grades for course credits transferred from an international institution where an equivalent A/F grade could not be determined. Do these credits count toward the S/N limit?
No, the transferred credits will be treated similar to credits for University courses only offered S/N, and will not be counted toward the S/N limit on the degree plan.
- Does applying graduate course credits earned at another accredited institution to the master’s degree plan affect how time to degree is calculated?
No. The time spent earning graduate course credits at other institutions is not included in the time to degree calculation even if those credits are applied to the degree plan.
- Does applying graduate course credits earned as a non-degree seeking student at the University to the master’s degree plan affect how time to degree is calculated?
No. The time spent earning graduate course credits as a non-degree seeking student is not included in the time to degree calculation even if those credits are later applied to the degree plan.
- Some unexpected circumstances have arisen and I need to request an extension to the maximum time limit for earning the master’s degree; by when do I need to apply for an extension?
Students must submit the petition for an extension prior to the end of the term in which the time limit will expire. Students are encouraged to apply for an extension at least three months in advance. If the petition for extension is not submitted by the deadline, the student will be terminated from the master’s program (however, see question #8 about readmission).
- If a student is terminated from a program for exceeding the time limit on earning the degree, can the student apply for readmission to the program?
Yes. However, readmission is not guaranteed and the faculty in the major field may set any readmission conditions on the student's resumption of work toward the degree, such as registering for additional coursework, completing the degree within a specified time period, or other appropriate terms. If the student is readmitted, the program must specify a time limit for completion.
- I have been admitted to take graduate courses as a Graduate Professional Development (GPD) student. Do I have to register every term?
Yes, students admitted for Graduate Professional Development status must adhere to the same registration requirements as other admitted students and must register in the fall and spring semesters. Registration during the summer is not required.
- My graduate program has admitted a student for Graduate Professional Development. How long may the GPD student remain in the program?
If the student is a domestic student, the graduate program determines how long the student may continue to take courses as a GPD student. Ideally, the period for which the student may remain a GPD student should be clearly stated in the letter of admission.
If the student is an international student, the period for which the student may remain a GPD student is in part determined by federal visa regulations and SEVIS requirements. International students admitted to GPD are given an I-20 for one year and must be admitted to a degree program if they wish to continue their advanced education at the University after the one-year period.
- A student admitted for Graduate Professional Development in my program is performing poorly and the program would like to terminate the student at the end of the semester. Can the program do this?
Yes, the program can terminate the student if clear expectations were set at the time of admission and the consequences of the student’s failure to meet them were also clearly stated. If this information was not included in the letter of admission, the program should communicate performance expectations to the student in writing, along with the consequences for failure to meet them, before making a decision to terminate the student.
- My program would like to require a higher GPA for its master’s students. May we impose higher GPA requirements?
Yes. Graduate programs may impose more stringent GPA requirements for their students. The higher GPA requirement may pertain to the overall GPA or to the degree plan coursework.
- My program would like to require higher grades on the degree plan than specified by the University policy. May we do this?
Yes. Graduate programs may impose more stringent requirements for grades included on the student’s degree plan.
- My program would like to require its graduate students to earn higher grades for particular courses in the major. May we do this?
Yes. Graduate programs may impose more stringent grading requirements for courses its students complete in the major.