Responsibilities and Regulations

Student Responsibilities

  • for knowing degree requirements and enrolling in courses that fit their degree program.
  • for knowing University regulations concerning the standard of work required for continuance in the Graduate School
  • for knowing University and departmental regulations of employment as a TA or AI.


Course Grades: No major course with a grade of "C" or lower may be included on a work program. Thesis, report, dissertation, and treatise courses are part of the Program of Work, but they are not included in the grade point average, as they are taken Credit/No Credit.

Credit/No Credit: No more than 20 percent of the hours on the Program of Work for a master's degree may be taken on the credit/no credit basis, and no more than a comparable portion of the Program of Work for the doctoral degree. No CMS courses may be taken Credit/No Credit unless that is the only way they are offered.

Incomplete grades: Courses for which the symbol X (incomplete) or I (permanent incomplete) is recorded may not be included on the Program of Work. The student has one long semester to change an incomplete into a letter/credit/no credit grade. This change must be reported prior to the last class day of the following long semester.

Deadlines for Adding/Dropping Courses: Procedures for adding and dropping courses are outlined in the Course Schedule.

Undergraduate Courses: All Communication Studies courses on a work program should be at the graduate level. Out-of-the-department undergraduate courses may be included in the supporting work of a masters' student with the approval of the student's Supervisor and the Graduate Advisor.

Transfer of Credit: A maximum of 6 graduate hours may be transferred for the M.A. or Ph.D. degree. A student must have a special reason for requesting transfer of graduate credit and must submit a written petition to the Graduate Advisor. Attached to this written petition should be a copy of the transcript showing the grade obtained in the course being petitioned, and a copy of the page in the graduate catalogue which furnishes a description of the course. The petition ultimately must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Auditing Graduate Courses: Auditing may be done only with the consent of the instructor of the course.

Time Limits

Master's Degree:

All requirements for a master's degree must be completed within one six-year period. Work over six years old can be reinstated only with the permission of the graduate dean, upon recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee.

Doctoral Degree:

All completed work that is included in a doctoral student's degree program at the time of admission to candidacy must have been taken within the previous six years (exclusive of a maximum of three years of military service). The Graduate Studies Committee will review the program of students who have not completed the degree at the end of three years from admission to candidacy; the committee will review the status of the student's program yearly thereafter. At those times, the committee may recommend additional coursework, further examinations, or termination of candidacy. In addition, the program is subject to review by the graduate dean.

Graduation Under a Particular Catalog:

Degree requirements may be changed from one catalog to the next. The student is normally bound by the requirements of the catalog in force at the time of his or her first registration; the student may choose, however, to fulfill the requirements of a subsequent catalog. If the student does not fulfill the requirements within six years of his or her first enrollment in the Graduate School, he or she is then bound by the requirements of a subsequent catalog. The student may choose the catalog in effect in any year in which he or she is enrolled in the Graduate School, within the six-year limit.

In Absentia Registration:

Ordinarily, students must be registered for the semester in which they graduate and must apply for graduation by the deadline published in the academic calendar. There are no exceptions to this policy for fall semester and spring semester graduation; if students complete all degree requirements but miss the deadline for acceptance of the thesis, report, dissertation, or treatise, then they must register and pay tuition and fees the following semester or summer session in order to receive the degree. An exception is made for students who apply to graduate in the summer session but miss the deadline for acceptance of the thesis, report, dissertation, or treatise. In this case, the student will be registered in absentia for the fall semester, only for the purpose of receiving the degree, by degree evaluators in the Office of Graduate Studies. The thesis, report, dissertation, or treatise must be accepted by the deadline for in absentia registration, which falls the day before the beginning of the following fall semester. The fee for in absentia registration is $25. The student will be registered in absentia only once.