Academic Policies, Procedures and Requirements

The general policies, procedures and requirements for advanced degrees are stated below; however, each program has specific degree requirements. These specific requirements are detailed in the program descriptions that follow this section. These requirements must be consulted so that the graduate student can be fully apprised of the conditions he/she must meet in order to receive an advanced degree.

The policies and regulations described in this catalog cannot be superseded or invalidated by either oral or written agreement with faculty, staff, or administrators unless a variance is confirmed in writing by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Graduate Council.

Registration

The University of Louisville uses an on-line web registration system. The schedule of courses for each term may be reviewed at http://htmlaccess.louisville.edu/classSchedule/setupSearchClassSchedule.cfm.

Students must first contact their graduate advisor or graduate program director to discuss course selections. Students in good standing and admitted without conditions may proceed with the registration process. If, however, a student has been admitted with conditions, or is in probationary status, the student must contact the graduate program director regarding the implications of the admission status.

Full-Time Study

Full-time study is defined as enrollment in:

  1. Nine (9) credit hours during the Fall semester, OR

  2. Nine (9) credit hours during the Spring semester, OR

  3. Six (6) credit hours during the Summer semester, OR

  4. In degree candidacy status.

Full-Time Study for University Fellows and Graduate Assistants

All University Fellows and Graduate Assistants receiving financial support must be enrolled as full-time students during the period for which they are receiving support.

Continuous Enrollment

Continuous enrollment is defined as being registered in both Fall and Spring if registering for course work. If a student has been admitted to either masters or doctoral degree candidacy, continuous enrollment in candidacy status is required for the Fall, Spring and Summer terms (only one term of registration is required in summer terms). Students must be enrolled during the semester in which they wish to graduate.

Course Loads

Normally, the maximum number of credit hours that may be taken in a regular semester is 12. The maximum number of credit hours that may be taken in the Summer session (both terms) is 12, including research hours.

Overloads

A student who wishes to enroll in more than the maximum number of credit hours must petition the unit dean to obtain permission.

Auditing Courses

Auditing at the graduate-level is available only to students who are enrolled in a graduate program. A student who wishes to audit a course must obtain permission from the course instructor and the director of the program in which the student is enrolled using the proper form provided by the Office of the Registrar. Auditing a course will not satisfy a prerequisite for a graduate course or a degree requirement.

Transfer of Credit

Earned graduate credit may be transferred from accredited institutions that offer advanced degrees. The number of semester hours transferable, upon request, is six (6). Up to six (6) additional transfer hours may be petitioned, provided that these additional hours are not credits earned by extension, thesis or practicum and provided also that the residency requirement of 24 semester hours is maintained by the addition of University of Louisville credits to the total program.

Course work taken more than three years prior to the student’s application to a graduate program will not normally be considered for transfer; however, such requests will be reviewed by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs upon recommendation by the department chair and the unit dean.

The course work being considered for transfer must have been taken while the student was enrolled in an accredited graduate or professional school and must be evaluated for transfer by the director of the graduate program in which the student is seeking additional graduate work. Six (6) credit hours may be transferred from a previously earned master's degree toward a doctoral degree or a second master's degree, subject to the approval of the degree program and the unit dean. Hours earned toward a culminating experience such as a thesis, practicum, or internship shall not be transferable to the second master's degree. Only courses in which the student earned grades of "B" or better will be considered for transfer. Hours and quality points earned at other institutions are not included in the calculation of a student's grade point average.

Courses in which grades of "P" were earned must have the approval of the unit dean in order to be transferred.

Transfers of credit from constituent schools and colleges of the University of Louisville are not subject to the above limitations on transfers but require the recommendation of the department chair and the approval of the unit dean. Upon approval of the graduate program, students may apply the coursework from no more than one certificate program towards a graduate degree program.

Satisfactory Progress

All graduate students are expected to make steady and satisfactory progress toward the completion of degrees. Students who are not enrolled for a period of more than 12 months will be considered to have withdrawn from the program. Students who seek to return after such a period of time must contact the graduate program director. Based on the request of the graduate program, the unit dean will consider the student for readmission.

Satisfactory progress also requires maintaining the standards of academic and professional integrity expected in a particular discipline or program and, in some disciplines, may include demonstration of the ability to function as a professional practitioner. Failure to maintain these standards or demonstrate such abilities may result in the student’s termination from the program.

Degree Candidacy

Students enter Degree Candidacy upon completion of all course work, qualifying exams, required research credit hours and other co-curricular requirements. Students who are enrolled in degree candidacy are considered full-time students. While in Degree Candidacy, it is the responsibility of both student and mentor to maintain contact to ensure continuous progress towards the completion of the degree. In some cases, a master’s student may complete the requirements of a degree program without the need to enter Degree Candidacy.

Although  students must complete all required courses before entering Degree Candidacy,  they  have the option of taking additional specialized courses, e.g., courses offered by visiting or new faculty, while in Degree Candidacy (in those cases payment of both the candidacy fee and the course tuition will be required).

When all other degree requirements are met, students may enroll in Degree Candidacy in order to meet the requirement that all students must be enrolled during the semester in which they wish to graduate.

Degree Programs must inform the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs when students have met all requirements and are ready to enter Degree Candidacy. Once a student is admitted to candidacy, enrollment in Degree Candidacy status must be continuously maintained year round (i.e. Fall, Spring, and Summer) until the degree is awarded. The only exception to this policy of continuous enrollment is if the unit dean and the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs have granted the student a formal leave of absence.

Once a student initially enrolls in Degree Candidacy, the Registrar will automatically enroll the student in Degree Candidacy until the student applies to graduate. 1.)  Failure to pay the candidacy fee will cancel a student's enrollment.  2.)  If a student has any type of hold on the account, the student will no longer be enrolled automatically in Degree Candidacy.   To reestablish enrollment in Degree Candidacy, students will be required to pay the candidacy fee for each semester during which candidacy was voided and/or not maintained.  To restore Degree Candidacy, the student must contact the Director of Graduate Studies in their degree program.

Time Limitations for Degree-Seekers

Master’s students must complete the degree requirements within six (6) years of beginning the program of study. Doctoral students have four (4) years after passing the qualifying exams to finish all other degree requirements. While granting an extension of time is rare, requests for extension of time must be submitted in writing to the graduate program director of the student's department. Once reviewed by the department, the request is forwarded to the unit dean, and then to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs with supporting documentation for review. Students must be considered in good standing for the request to be considered.

Academic Standing

Good Standing

A graduate student is in good standing when his/ her graduate grade point average is 3.0 on a 4-point scale or higher. A student must be in good standing in order to receive a degree.

Academic Probation

Any student with a semester grade point average (GPA) below 3.0 will receive an academic warning from the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. A notification will be sent to the student as well the student’s graduate program. Should a student’s cumulative GPA fall below 3.0, the student will be placed on probation until the student regains a 3.0 average (which is required to graduate).  Ordinarily students are not permitted to continue on academic probation for more than one semester, but upon request of the student's graduate program, the unit dean may submit a variance request to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs to approve continuation of academic probation beyond a single semester. Students on academic probation for more than one semester risk dismissal from the graduate program. Graduate programs have the prerogative to establish more stringent criteria for which students may be placed on academic probation.

Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism, cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty are serious violations of academic conduct and may result in permanent dismissal. Students are expected to be familiar with the various forms of academic dishonesty as explained in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities  http://louisville.edu/dos/students/studentrightsandresponsibilities. A plea of ignorance is not a defense against the charge of academic dishonesty.