All students enrolled in graduate degree programs must enroll each regular semester (Spring and Fall) for a minimum of one graduate credit hour. This registration must continue with no breaks in enrollment from the first graduate program course to graduation. This policy does not include Summer sessions.
It is preferable that students enroll in courses relevant to their graduate program to facilitate timely completion. If it is not possible to do so, however, The Graduate School has established a one-credit continuous enrollment course, GRAD 597. The tuition for this course is $50.00. No grade will be assigned for this course. This course allows those students who are not intending to register for any other courses during the current semester to continue in their program in good standing. This course may be repeated as needed.
GRAD 597 – Continuance
The following are circumstances for which GRAD 597 is not appropriate:
- During the graduation semester. A student cannot use GRAD 597 as the enrollment requirement during the semester he or she is scheduled to graduate. All graduate students must be enrolled in a course in their program, such as thesis or dissertation continuance, during the semester they are scheduled to graduate.
- While completing a dissertation or thesis. If a student's graduation must be delayed a semester because he or she is completing a dissertation or thesis, he or she should register for thesis or dissertation continuance. GRAD 597 is not an option since the student will continue to receive feedback from the adviser and committee members while the thesis or dissertation is being completed.
- When an "I" is received in a course during the anticipated graduation semester. If a student is scheduled to graduate but receives an "I" in a course, the student will not officially graduate until the course is completed. Because all course work must be completed by the final date of the student's graduation semester, a student failing to meet the deadline will not officially graduate until the following semester. The solution existing in the first example applies. Students must register for at least one hour of thesis or dissertation continuance, comprehensive continuance, reading and research, or another course option appropriate to their program of study.
It is possible to receive an exemption from the Continuous Enrollment requirement. There are two possible types of exemption from the continuous enrollment requirement:
Leave of Absence: Continuous Enrollment
This is granted in individual cases when the student demonstrates sufficient cause such as illness or other personal circumstances. A request for this type of leave indicating the reason(s) must be submitted by the student in writing (electronic mail is sufficient). The student's request must be approved by the graduate coordinator of the student's program and the dean of The Graduate School. This leave is granted for a specified period that may not exceed three semesters total, excluding Summer session. In no case may on-leave status exceed this maximum throughout the student's entire degree program. When a student on leave plans to resume graduate study, he or she must inform the program coordinator and TGS at least 30 days prior to the first class day of the return semester.
Planned Leave of Absence
This is granted to students for whom the unique design of their graduate program (not the manner in which they choose to complete their program) is such that the offering of courses is not on a continuous semester-to-semester basis. Planned Leave of Absence for students in a program is requested by the program faculty and must be approved by the dean of The Graduate School. Examples of programs suited for Planned Leave of Absence includes Summer-only programs, programs using a distance-learning format and "executive" programs. It is assumed that these programs will not require the continuous enrollment exemption for the entire length of the program.
Thus, students whose graduate programs are pre-approved for Planned Leave of Absence must submit a Request for Planned Leave of Absence indicating each term for which leave is requested. It is also assumed that these students will complete all degree requirements within the time limits established in the Graduate Catalog.
Both leaves must be approved by the dean of The Graduate School.
A graduate student who takes an unapproved break in registration by failing to maintain continuous enrollment or by failing to obtain a Leave of Absence: Continuous
Enrollment will relinquish his or her graduate standing in the university. Students who wish to be reinstated will be required to file an Application for Graduate Admission and pay the application fee.
Except for extenuating circumstances requiring approval from the dean of The Graduate School, time spent in on-leave status will be included in all time limits pertaining to the student's degree program.
Students in on-leave status may not:
- Use any university facilities
- Make demands upon faculty time
- Receive a fellowship or financial aid