Academic Regulations

Registration

By accepting admission, the student assumes responsibility for knowing and complying with the regulations and procedures set forth by the University.

Applicants admitted on the basis of an expected baccalaureate or graduate degree must have completed all requirements for that degree prior to the start of classes. University of Connecticut seniors must have completed the baccalaureate prior to the start of classes. Otherwise, they must continue to register as undergraduates, even though admitted to the Graduate School and registering for graduate courses.

Occasionally, a University of Connecticut senior planning to enter the Graduate School has less than a full course load remaining to complete for graduation. Such a student may take advanced courses along with the remaining undergraduate courses and may count those advanced courses toward the graduate degree. Inclusion of up to six credits of such coursework is permissible under the following conditions: (1) the work is completed with grades of “B” or above; (2) the student is later admitted to Regular status in the Graduate School; (3) the work is approved as part of the graduate plan of study; and (4) the work was not counted toward the baccalaureate degree.

Advance registration and fee payments are accepted on the assumption that students will remain eligible to continue, having met the scholastic standards of the Graduate School and by having complied with its regulations. The following instructions apply to students registering for most courses conducted on the Storrs campus. All degree-seeking students must register for courses using the Student Administration System and pay all fees either through the Bursar’s Office at: bursar.uconn.edu or online using the Student Administration System. All course charges (applicable tuition and fees) are due and payable by the close of business on the Friday before the semester starts. Late fees are assessed after that time. Part-time students who are not degree-seeking students must register through the Office of the Registrar at nondegree.uconn.edu/registration.

Both new and continuing students should make appointments with their major advisors to determine the courses in which they plan to enroll. Dates for registration are contained in the Academic Calendar. Depending upon course selections, most students should be able to register using the Student Administration System. Problems encountered during registration (including enrollment in restricted courses) may be taken to the Registrar’s office. Graduate students are permitted to register, to modify their course registrations without penalty, and to pay their fee bills or obtain deferments through the first day of the semester. Graduate students become liable for payment of tuition and other required course-related fees, however, beginning with the Friday before the semester starts whether or not they have attended any classes or have paid their fee bills as of that date.

Continuous Registration

Master’s, doctoral, Sixth-Year in Education, graduate certificate, and post baccalaureate students must begin their programs with coursework and must maintain registration continuously each semester thereafter (except summer sessions) until all requirements for the degree have been completed. Registration may be maintained either by taking coursework for credit or by registering for one of the five non-credit Continuing Registration courses. These include Special Readings at the certificate (GRAD 5997), master’s (GRAD 5998), or doctoral (GRAD 6998) level, Master’s Thesis Preparation (GRAD 5999), and Doctoral Dissertation Preparation (GRAD 6999). Other zero-credit courses may be substituted, if appropriate. Non-credit registration requires payment of University fees.

International students should consult with the office of International Student and Scholar Services prior to registering for zero-credit courses. Per U.S. immigration regulations, students with F-1 and J-1 status are permitted to register for zero-credits only in their final semester of degree study. Continuous Registration is granted with the consent of the student’s major advisor and the student’s international advisor.

Failure to maintain Continuous Registration during the spring and fall semester results in the student’s inactivation. Reinstatement is possible within a year of last registration and payment of all fees. (See “Reinstatement Fee” in the Fees and Expenses section of the catalog). The consequences associated with matriculation via Continuing Registration rather than credit courses are addressed in the “Course Loads” section below.

Neither enrollment for Continuing Registration nor payment for it is required for any semester, during the first ten class days of which the student completes all requirements for a degree, if it is the only degree the student is pursuing.

Any currently matriculated student taking coursework at another institution, either for transfer to a University of Connecticut graduate degree program or for any other reason, must register for Continuing Registration as specified above in any affected semester.

Enrollment in Continuing Registration is not required during the summer. To receive most forms of summer financial aid for study or research, a student must register for either five credits of coursework or one of the full-time research courses, GRAD 5960 (Full-Time Master’s Research) or GRAD 6960 (Full-Time Doctoral Research).

Registration Deadlines

All graduate students registering with the University must register themselves and have their initial registration in place no later than the close of business of the first day of classes each semester. Additions to and deletions from a student’s class schedule may occur freely throughout the first ten business days of the term. Students who do not complete an initial registration by the close of business of the first day of classes are subject to a late registration fee.

Course Loads

The number of credits and choice of courses for which a student registers is a matter to be discussed by the student and the major advisor. Graduate students may enroll in up to 20 credits per semester. If a student has extenuating circumstances which require them to take more than 20 credits, the major advisor must send a written request to the Graduate School for approval. A student may be classified as a full-time student in one of three ways: (1) enroll in nine or more credits of coursework; (2) enroll in six or more credits of coursework while holding a graduate assistantship (50 percent or greater); or (3) enroll in one of the four special purpose three credit courses. These courses include GRAD 5960 (Full-Time Master’s Research), GRAD 6960 (Full-Time Doctoral Research), GRAD 5930 (Master’s Level Directed Studies), and GRAD 6930 (Doctoral Level Directed Studies). The former two courses may be taken by students who have completed all requirements for the respective degree except the research component and who have no other obligations at the University (i.e., no other coursework and no graduate assistantship). The latter two courses denote a full-time, off-campus directed project, such as an internship, field work, or other special activity. Students in GRAD 5930 or 6930 may hold graduate assistantships if those assistantships are in direct support of their studies. Such an assistantship may not be a standard teaching assistantship.

To be classified as three-quarter time, the student’s course credit load must be greater than six and less than nine credits per semester. To be classified as half time, the student’s course credit load must be between 4.5 and 5.99 credits per semester. A credit load of fewer than 4.5 credits per semester is considered less than half time. These criteria apply to all registered students at the University. The currently defined Continuing Registration courses (GRAD 5997, 5998, 5999, 6998, and 6999) are zero-credit “place-holder” courses denoting part-time study and do not count toward the credit load requirement for half-time, three quarter-time, or full-time enrollment status. Degree and certificate seeking students who do not need to be certified by the University as holding at least half-time enrollment status may use these courses to maintain registration on a part-time basis. For various reasons, the University may need to provide the institutional consideration of a “part-time” course credit load. A part-time course credit load is between one and 8.99 credits. Students holding graduate assistantships must register for six or more credits per semester. Such students are considered to be full-time students.

In addition to courses offered by each department, a student’s credit load may include GRAD 5950 (Thesis Research), GRAD 6950 (Dissertation Research) and other equivalent research courses defined by the Graduate School, including seminar and other “colloquium” courses that are not part of the plan of study. These variable credit courses carry “S” or “U” (Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory) grading, with the student’s major advisor as the instructor of record.

Auditing Courses

Students who do not wish to register for credit may be permitted to register as auditors under the following conditions: (1) they pay the appropriate tuition and fees for courses; (2) they obtain the consent of the instructor; (3) they audit only courses for which there are adequate classroom or laboratory facilities; and (4) in the case of students in degree programs, they obtain consent from their major advisors. All permissions and registrations for auditing courses must be filed in the Registrar’s office. Courses audited are entered on the student’s permanent record, but such courses cannot be used toward fulfilling requirements for a graduate degree at the University.

The privileges of an auditor in a course are limited specifically to attending and listening. Auditors must attend class regularly. The auditor assumes no obligation to do any of the work required of the course and is not expected to take any of the instructor’s time. In addition, the auditor does not submit any work, and is neither eligible to take any tests or examinations nor able to receive grades on all or any part of the course.

Students should not “sit-in” on classes for which they do not register as auditors. No audit enrollment request will be approved after the ninth week of the semester.

Repeating Courses

Any student who is regularly registered for courses and who satisfies the requirements shall receive credit except that no student shall receive credit for the same course twice, unless repeating the course is specifically authorized in the Graduate Catalog, as in a variable content course. Courses with the same number that cover the same course content cannot be counted more than once for credit. The parenthetical phrases (“Formerly offered as…”) and (“Also offered as…”) that follow a course description as a cross reference indicate that a student may not take both the course and the cross-referenced course. A student is regularly registered for a course only if that student has conformed to all university or college regulations or requirements when applying to register.

A student may repeat a course previously taken two times without seeking permission in order to earn a higher grade. When a student repeats a course, credit shall be allowed only once. Furthermore, in the computation of the grade point average, the registered credit and grade points for the highest grade shall be included in the GPA calculation and the registered credit and grade for the lower grade shall remain on the transcript, but shall be removed from the GPA calculation.

The student should note that repeating a course that was previously passed can have negative consequences. For example, repeating a previously passed course may have an effect on financial aid. Students considering repeating previously passed courses should consult their advisors and Student Financial Aid Services staff. When a student repeats a course after receiving a degree, the student’s transcript will indicate a grade, but no registered credit, for the repeated course. The grade and registered credit recorded for the course prior to receipt of the degree shall continue to be included in the GPA and credit calculations.

A student must have major advisor permission to repeat a course that is listed as a prerequisite or corequisite for any course that the student has passed. For example, a student who received a “C” in ACCT 5121 and subsequently passed ACCT 5122 may not retake ACCT 5121 without permission.

Graduate Schedule Revision Regulations

Section changes require the same authorization as other add/drop transactions.

Adding Courses
Semester Period Add
First and second weeks of classes Registration
Third and fourth weeks of classes Advisor, Instructor, and Department Head offering the course
After the fourth week All of the above and the Dean

After the beginning of a semester or summer session, a student may not add a course if the instructor feels that elapsed time might preclude its successful completion. For degree and certificate seeking students, courses added after the tenth day of a semester or after the fifth day of a summer session term must be submitted to the Registrar’s office on a Schedule Revision Request form available at registrar.uconn.edu/forms

Students may add courses during the first 10 days of classes without special permissions. In exceptional cases only, a student may add courses after the tenth day of classes with the consent of the student’s advisor, the course instructor, and the head of the department or program offering the course. After the fourth week, the permission of the student’s dean or dean’s designee is also required for adding classes.

Dropping Courses
Semester Period Single Drop
First and second weeks of classes Registration with NO “W” grade
Third through ninth weeks of classes Advisor with “W” grade
After the ninth week Dean; exceptions made only for extenuating circumstances

Discontinuance of attendance or notice to an instructor or to an advisor does not constitute cancellation of course registration, and may result in a failing grade on the student’s permanent record. Before terminating class attendance, the student should ensure that the course has been dropped officially. Until this has been done, the student is obligated to complete all work. No grade is recorded for courses officially dropped, but a mark of “W” is recorded to signify withdrawal from a course after the tenth day of the semester or after the first week of a summer session course. Cancellation of course registration does not automatically drop a course from a plan of study, nor does approved deletion of a course from a plan of study cause cancellation of course registration. The procedures are separate and unrelated.

During the first nine weeks of a semester or prior to the midpoint of a summer session course, a course may be dropped by the following procedure. Students registered directly by the Registrar’s office at Storrs must file a properly completed and signed Schedule Revision Request form with the Registrar’s office. This form is available on the Registrar’s office website at: registrar.uconn.edu/forms. Non-degree students register and drop courses through the Office of the Registrar at: nondegree.uconn.edu.

After the first nine weeks of a semester or the midpoint of a summer session course, students ordinarily are not allowed to drop a course. If, however, a student must drop a course because of illness or other compelling reason beyond the student’s control, the student must request special permission as early as possible and well before the last day of classes. Permission to drop a course or to change from participant to auditor is granted only for good cause. All students must obtain permission from the Graduate School. Permission is granted only on the major advisor’s written recommendation, which must be convincing and sufficiently specific regarding reasons beyond the control of the student. The recommendation should be accompanied by a properly completed and signed Schedule Revision Request form for the course(s) to be dropped. Students in the M.B.A. programs must obtain permission from the director of the program. Under no circumstances is a student at any location or in any program permitted to drop a course after the course has officially ended.

Dropping All Courses

The general policies and procedures regarding dropping a course (above) apply to dropping all courses, whether the student wishes to remain active in the graduate degree program or to withdraw permanently from it. Permission from the Graduate School is required for the student either to remain active in the program or to leave in good standing. No refund is possible unless all coursework for credit is dropped.

Course Grades

Instructors are required to file grades with the University Registrar for all credit-bearing courses taken by a student. Although instructors are free to set the standard of performance expected in their courses, the following uniform scale is published to encourage general agreement on the meaning of grades: Students are required to maintain in their course program at least a “B” (3.00) average, for which a grade point average will be computed using the following chart.

Grades and Grade Point Formulas

Instructors grade graduate courses based on the following letter and point system.

Explanation Final Grades Grade Points
Distinction A+ 4.3
A 4.0
A- 3.7
Good Quality B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
Below Expected Standard C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
Unsatisfactory Quality D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
Failure F 0
Satisfactory (Good Quality) S N/A
Unsatisfactory/(Failure) U N/A
Withdrawal W N/A
Continuing Registration R N/A

Grades Below Expected Standard

  • All “C” Grades – Course used in a supporting area may be of benefit to students who should not be discouraged from including work in their programs. Such work shall be identified on the plan of study. Plus and minus values may be assigned to all but failing grades, are entered on the permanent record, and are computed into the student’s grade point average.
  • All “D” Grades – Course may not remain on the plan of study and the student’s eligibility to continue in the degree program is reviewed by the student’s advisory committee.
  • Letters “F” and “U” – Necessitates a recommendation by the advisory committee to the Graduate School as to whether or not the student shall be permitted to continue graduate study.
  • Final grades of “S” (Satisfactory) or “U” (Unsatisfactory) are associated only with certain courses designated as such by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council. Certain foreign language courses designed under method (2) for fulfillment of a doctoral language requirement also may carry the “S” or “U” grading option, if chosen by the student. (See “Foreign Language; Related or Supporting Area of Study”). An “S” is not computed into the student’s grade point average whereas a “U” is viewed as an “F.”

Graduate students are not permitted to take any course, undergraduate or graduate, on a Pass/Fail basis.

Temporary Grades

Temporary grades signify that credit has not been earned in that course, and may subject the student to scholastic probation or dismissal. Temporary grades shall not prevent the calculation of either the semester or the cumulative grade point average.

Temporary Grades Related to Incomplete Work

An instructor may assign a temporary grade for a course when student work is not completed within the semester.

Temporary Grade Conditions for Assigning a Temporary Grade
N (No basis for grade) A student has completed few or no assessments and no make-up schedule has been agreed upon with the instructor; the instructor has no basis for a grade.
I (Incomplete Grade) A student has not completed all of the assessments but work completed is of passing quality and a make-up schedule has been agreed upon with the instructor.
X (Final assessment absence) A student did not submit a final assessment and might by means of a satisfactory performance on the assessment complete the course with a passing grade. If in the opinion of the instructor such a student would fail the course regardless of the result of the assessment, the student shall be given a grade of “F.”

If the student does not submit outstanding work by the agreed upon deadline and has not been granted an exception, the instructor will calculate the student’s grade based on work completed for the course.

Passing grades will replace temporary grades on the transcript. For students who do not complete the missing work and therefore fail the course, the temporary grade will be retained on the transcript and followed by “F.”

If all work required to change a mark of “I” or “X” is not submitted to the University Registrar within 12 months following the end of the semester or session for which the mark was recorded, or within a shorter period of time specifically designated by the instructor, no credit is allowed for the course. For grades of “I,” it is the student’s responsibility to reach and to maintain an understanding with the instructor concerning the timely completion of the work. For grades of “X,” it is the student’s responsibility to seek the required permission to take the final examination from the Graduate School as soon as possible after it has been missed.

Upon the recommendation of the instructor to the Graduate School, a limited extension of an incomplete may be granted. The Graduate School is not obligated to approve an extension if the instructor of the course no longer is a faculty member at the University of Connecticut. If more than three courses have been left incomplete, the student may be required to complete those still viable before being allowed to register for additional coursework. Too many permanent incompletes on the record may be grounds for the student’s termination or dismissal. An employment authorization for a graduate assistantship appointment may not be approved for a student who has four or more viable incomplete courses on their academic record.

For further information, the reader is referred to the document “Key to the Transcript,” available from the Office of the Registrar.

Significant Letters

Letter Explanation
R Administrative symbol signifying that a student is registered. Any zero-credit course (e.g., GRAD 5997, 5998, 5999, 6998, or 6999) for which a student registers appears on the permanent academic record with the letter “R” as the grade.
T Course credit has been accepted in transfer from another institution.
W Withdrawal from a course after either the 10th day of a semester course or the first week of a summer session course. Except in extraordinary cases where academic factors or extreme or unusual circumstances warrant it, this mark is not deleted from the permanent academic record.

Changes of Course Grades

Grades are part of the student’s permanent record; they should never be changed for reasons unrelated to course requirements or quality of work. Once the grade in the course has been submitted, an instructor may neither accept additional work nor give additional examinations.

Instructors should change grades for the following reasons: a computational error, clerical error, and the discovery of overlooked components in a student’s body of work. In cases when the instructor concludes that a course grade ought to be changed, the instructor determines a corrected grade and initiates the grade change process. The head of the department or program offering the course and the dean of the school or college in which the course is taught will be notified of a grade change to ensure consistency.

Appeals of Assigned Course Grades

If a student believes that an error in grading has occurred, the student may request (within six months of the final grade being posted) that the instructor review the grade. If the student cannot contact the instructor, then the student should contact the department head. When the course is in a non-departmentalized school or college, the student should contact that dean or the dean’s designee.

If the instructor agrees that a grade change is justified, the instructor will initiate the grade change using procedures described by the Registrar.

If the instructor believes that the original grade is correct, the student has 30 days to appeal the decision to the head of the department in which the course is taught. The department head will seek input from the instructor and the student to determine his/her opinion related to the merits of the grade appeal.

If after this review the instructor and the department head agree that a grade change is justified, the instructor will initiate the grade change according to the procedures described by the Registrar.

If the instructor and the department head agree that a grade change is not justified, the department head shall notify the student in writing with a copy to the instructor. If the student is dissatisfied with the appeal decision, the student has 10 working days to request, through the dean of the school or college in which the course is taught, a review by a Faculty Grade Change Review Panel.

If the department head thinks that a grade change is justified but the instructor does not agree, the department head shall request, through the dean of the school or college in which the course is taught, a review by a Faculty Grade Change Review Panel. The department head’s request shall be made within 10 working days of completion of the grade appeal review.

The Faculty Review Panel is composed of three full-time faculty members appointed by the dean of the school or college in which the course is taught. The panel will convene a hearing within 10 working days of notification of a case. Both the appealing student and the course instructor should be present at the hearing. The student will be given an opportunity to state the grounds on which he or she is appealing the grade.

The instructor will be given the opportunity to document the basis on which the grade was awarded. Both parties may present supporting evidence and/or request testimony of others. The Faculty Review Panel may request input from the department head.

If the Faculty Review Panel recommends a grade change, it is authorized to execute the change by sending to the Registrar a change of grade request signed by all the members of the panel. The panel will send a written report of the decision to the instructor, the student, the department head, and the dean of the school or college offering the course within 10 working days of the decision. This decision is considered final.

Standards and Degree Requirements

Maintenance of good academic standing in the Graduate School requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher at all times while enrolled in a graduate program. An official transcript of an individual’s graduate academic career, however, includes grade point average calculations based on all coursework completed during the student’s graduate career (including any 1000-level courses). Credits completed elsewhere and accepted in transfer by the Graduate School do not affect the student’s University of Connecticut grade point average in any way.

Whenever a student’s cumulative average falls below 3.00, the program is to be reviewed by the student’s advisory committee to determine whether or not the student shall be permitted to continue graduate study.

The general academic standards and degree requirements of the Graduate School apply to all graduate students enrolled in certificate and degree programs. Some programs have additional requirements that are more detailed or tailored to the needs of the specific program. Students should acquaint themselves with all of the standards and degree requirements for their degree program, as specified in both the Graduate Catalog and official graduate program handbooks. Undergraduate and non-degree students taking a graduate course should consult the appropriate catalog for regulations that apply to them.

Post-Baccalaureate and Certificate Programs

A certificate from the University of Connecticut provides post-baccalaureate students with critical knowledge in a specific field or niche. UConn’s certificate programs may be offered face-to-face, entirely online, or in a blended/hybrid format. Those that involve a substantial online component are predominantly administered through UConn eCampus. Post-baccalaureate and graduate certificates can often be completed in a single year, allowing working professionals to update their skill sets or expand into an emerging area quickly.

Both post-baccalaureate and graduate certificate programs are offered through the Graduate School. Students are awarded certificates based upon completion of a well-defined program of coursework. A certificate is not a degree. Rather, it is a focused series of courses that, when completed, demonstrates competence in a coherent academic specialty. Detailed information concerning criteria and procedures may be obtained from certificate program coordinators.

To be awarded a certificate, a student must satisfactorily complete (grades of “B” [not “B-“] or higher) a set of courses consisting of 12 to 15 credits specified in the certificate program requirements. In a small number of cases where detailed justification has been provided, a certificate program may require as few as nine credits. In certain cases where the appropriate programs have obtained specific prior approval, one three-credit course may be used simultaneously to satisfy course requirements in two different certificate programs. A student may enroll in a certificate program on either a part-time or a full-time basis, but the student must complete the requirements for the certificate within three years of initial enrollment.

Advanced coursework taken on a non-degree basis at the University of Connecticut may account for up to six of the course credits required toward a certificate’s plan of study provided the following conditions are met: (1) courses are the appropriate level; (2) the grades earned in such coursework are “B” (not “B-“) or higher; and (3) such coursework is within the time limit for completion of the certificate program requirements. Credits earned at other institutions may not be counted toward a certificate’s plan of study. Non-degree coursework may be included on the plan of study only with the consent of the advisor.

Admission to a certificate program does not guarantee admission to a related degree program, but if a certificate student is admitted to a degree program, all credits from the certificate may be counted toward the graduate degree, subject to the approval of graduate program faculty in that field of study or area of concentration. The terminal date associated with the degree will be determined using the date of the first certificate class as the initial date of enrollment for the degree. Students should contact graduate program coordinators to determine whether credits earned as part of a certificate program satisfy degree requirements of any particular degree program.

Graduate Degree Programs

The student is expected to register for coursework with reasonable regularity and to complete all requirements for the degree within a moderate span of time to assure continuity and adequate familiarity with developments in the field of study (see “Continuous Registration”).

Time Limits

The student is expected to register for coursework with reasonable regularity and to complete all requirements for the degree within a moderate span of time to assure continuity and adequate familiarity with developments in the field of study. All work for the master’s degree must be completed within six years from the beginning of the student’s matriculation in the degree program. Work for the doctor of musical arts and doctor of philosophy degrees must be completed within eight years of the beginning of the student’s matriculation.

Failure to complete the work within the periods specified or failure to maintain Continuous Registration (see “Continuous Registration”) will require re-evaluation of the entire program and may result in a notice of termination.

A one-time extension of the student’s terminal date of no longer than two years is considered only when there is substantial evidence that the student has made regular and consistent progress toward completion of degree requirements. A detailed recommendation to extend the terminal date must be signed by the major advisor and submitted in a timely manner to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Plans of Study

To become a candidate for a graduate degree, the student must have an approved plan of study or advisement report approved by their advisory committee or major advisor as appropriate for the degree program. Successful completion of all work indicated on the approved plan of study is a fundamental prerequisite to the conferral of the degree. Courses elected shall be consistent with the student’s objectives and related to the field in which the degree is to be taken. The plan of study shall consist largely of courses at the 5000 level or above. Course credit by examination is not allowed as a means of accumulating credits to meet the requirements for advanced degrees at this institution.

Plans of study for master’s and doctoral degree programs must be prepared and signed by the student and the members of the advisory committee. The Doctor of Musical Arts degree must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies in Music. Plans of study for master’s degree programs must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval no later than the beginning of the student’s final semester. Doctoral plans of study must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than when 18 credits of coursework have been completed.

Before drawing up and approving the plan of study, the major advisor should have on file and should consult for guidance a set of transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work the student has taken. Failure to present the plan on time may prolong the period of study for the degree. Master’s students may not take the final examination and doctoral students may not take the general examination before the plan of study has been approved.

In addition to the content coursework and any required Related Area included in the plan of study, satisfactory completion of at least 15 credits of GRAD 6950 – Doctoral Dissertation Research or GRAD 6960 – Full-Time Doctoral Dissertation Research is required for doctoral degrees.

The plan of study for some programs also may designate a foreign language(s) in which the student is required to demonstrate reading knowledge and any courses comprising a Related Area. Course credit by examination is not allowed as a means of accumulating credits to meet the requirements for advanced degrees at this institution.

After approval of the plan, any request for change must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar on the Request for Changes to Plan of Study form bearing the signatures of the members of the advisory committee and the student.

Transfer Credit

A limited number of credits at the 3000 or 4000 level (not more than six) may be accepted for graduate degree plans of study.

Advanced coursework taken on a non-degree basis at the University may be included on the plan of study provided the following conditions are met: (1) the grades earned in such coursework are “B” (not “B-“) or higher; (2) such coursework is within the time limit for completion of the degree requirements; and (3) such credits have not been applied toward any other degree, at the University of Connecticut or elsewhere (already completed or to be completed in the future). In any event, inclusion of non-degree coursework on the plan of study requires the consent of the advisory committee. Such non-degree course credits may account for up to 25 percent of the credits required for a master’s degree, provided the courses are at the graduate level. Up to 12 credits of University of Connecticut non-degree courses may be included on doctoral plans of study.

Any credits transferred to a graduate degree program at the University of Connecticut must not have been or be used toward a degree elsewhere (already completed or to be completed in the future).

Master’s Degree Programs

Master’s degree programs are offered in a broad range of fields throughout the University. A master’s degree program represents the equivalent of at least one year of full-time study beyond the baccalaureate (or its equivalent).

The Graduate School requires a minimum of 30 credits for a master’s program, though some programs may require more. Ordinarily, the master’s degree should be completed within three years.

The Master of Arts degree usually is awarded to qualified candidates in the humanities, the social sciences, education, and other non-scientific fields. The Master of Fine Arts is a terminal degree in the fields of Art, Digital Media and Design, and Dramatic Arts. The Master of Science degree is awarded to candidates in the natural, physical, mathematical, pharmaceutical, nutritional, and agricultural sciences, as well as Accounting, Nursing, and Engineering. Other master’s degrees awarded include the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Dental Science, the Master of Engineering, the Master of Music, the Master of Professional Studies, the Master of Public Administration, the Master of Public Health, and the Master of Social Work.

Thesis and Non-Thesis Master’s Degrees

Master’s degrees may be earned under either of two plans, as determined by the advisory committee. The Thesis plan emphasizes research activities while the Non-Thesis plan requires comprehensive understanding of a more general character. Non-Thesis plans in the Masters of Fine Arts emphasize research that culminates in a final Research Project. The Thesis plan requires no fewer than 21 credits of advanced coursework and no fewer than nine additional credits of Master’s Thesis Research (GRAD 5950 or 5960), as well as the writing and oral defense of a thesis. The Non-Thesis plan requires no fewer than 30 credits of advanced coursework and a comprehensive final examination if the program requires it. In either case, advisory committees may require the student to take other courses with or without graduate credit, depending on the student’s objectives and previous preparation.

The advisory committee may require that the student take an exploratory examination to guide the committee in formulating the plan of study. Certain master’s degree programs submit advisement reports for individual students at the conclusion of master’s study rather than a plan of study. Advisement reports require the approval of the major advisor or program director.

Transfer Credit

Up to 25 percent of the credits required for a University of Connecticut master’s degree program may be accepted in transfer from other institutions provided these conditions are met: (1) the major advisor or the advisory committee indicates its approval of the transfer of credit(s) by signing the Plan of Study and the Transfer Credit Request form as appropriate for the degree program; (2) the courses must be at a level appropriate for a graduate degree and offered by an accredited institution; (3) such coursework is within the six year limit for completion of master’s degree requirements; and (4) the grades earned in any courses to be transferred must be “B” (not “B-“) or higher. Official transcripts of any coursework to be transferred must be on file in the Graduate School. Once the approved plan of study or program plan is submitted to the Graduate School and official transcripts indicating satisfactory completion of the coursework to be transferred are received, the transfer of credit is noted on the student’s permanent University of Connecticut academic record.

Master’s Degrees for Doctor of Philosophy Students

Students admitted to study for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy may earn a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree, if one is offered specifically in their field of study, under either the Thesis or the Non-Thesis Plan. Students also may apply for this degree if they have on file a fully approved Ph.D. plan of study including at least 30 completed credits of suitable content coursework taken at this University and have passed a master’s final examination. They also may apply for this degree if they have completed at least 30 credits on an approved Ph.D. plan of study, have passed the doctoral General Examination, and have been recommended by their major advisor or by the Dean of the Graduate School for award of the master’s degree. More than one master’s degree may not be awarded at this institution to an individual student unless the degree titles are different or unless the degrees are earned in substantially different fields of study. The same course may not be offered for credit toward more than one degree, except in the case of officially approved dual degree programs.

The Master’s Thesis

The advisory committee must approve the topic and scope of the thesis and, upon its completion, ascertain that it represents an independent investigation of a significant topic and is an important contribution to ongoing research in the candidate’s field. The thesis must be acceptable in literary style and organization.

Specifications for preparation of the thesis can be obtained at the Graduate School or from the Graduate School’s website at grad.uconn.edu. It is the student’s ultimate responsibility to be certain that the thesis conforms to the specification.

The thesis must be dated as of the calendar year in which all requirements for the degree are completed. The Graduate School requires the electronic submission of the thesis though Digital Commons, a University repository for public access. The final copy must meet all specifications outlined on the Graduate School website. The Thesis Submission Checklist must be submitted to the Graduate School with an Approval Page and the Report on the Final Examination bearing original signatures of all members of the advisory committee. No restrictions that limit or delay the accessibility, use, or distribution of the results of a master’s student’s research are acceptable if such delays are inconsistent with an embargo period requested by the student or if they interfere with the timely completion of a student’s academic program.

Final Examination

Fields of study may require that candidates complete a final examination as part of a master’s degree. If a final examination is required, it must be completed no later than one year after completion of coursework or the thesis. The contents of the final examination are under the jurisdiction of the advisory committee. The student may not take the final examination before Regular graduate status has been granted. The advisory committee has discretion to determine whether the examination shall be written, oral, or both. Invitation to participate in an oral examination is issued by the advisory committee, although members of the faculty may attend. The examination must be completed by the published deadlines for the appropriate conferral period for the degree to be granted with that conferral date.

The decision as to whether a student has passed or failed the examination rests solely with the advisory committee, which shall take into account the opinions of other participating faculty members. The vote of the advisory committee must be unanimous. Following the examination, the major advisor shall communicate the results to the student and send a report on the official form to the Graduate School. If the student has failed the examination or if the advisory committee considers the result of the examination inconclusive, the committee has the option of requiring the student to retake it. In such cases, the recommendation must reach the Graduate School promptly, and any re-examination must take place within 12 months from the date of the original examination.

Under the Thesis plan, the examination may center on the candidate’s research and its relation to the field of study as a whole, but may have a wider scope. Under the Non-Thesis plan, the examination shall be comprehensive and designed to assess the candidate’s mastery of the field and ability to integrate the knowledge acquired. The final examination for M.F.A. candidates may include a focus on the candidate’s research project and its relationship to the field.

Doctor of Musical Arts Degree

The D.M.A. degree is the highest practice-oriented degree offered by the Graduate School in the field of Music. The program leading to its attainment is intended to give students of outstanding ability the opportunity to become creative contributors in musical performance and scholarship. Award of the degree testifies to broad mastery of the art of music, an ability to practice that art on an exceptionally high level, and acquisition of appropriate research skills.

The equivalent of at least two years of full-time study beyond the master’s degree is required; the degree ordinarily requires at least 60 credits. The General Examination shall be passed within four years of the beginning of doctoral study. A five year time limit applies to the acceptance of foreign language courses (see “Foreign Language”). While certain minimum requirements are set by the Graduate School and the Music Department, it is important for students to realize that work toward this degree is not merely a matter of accumulating course credits or satisfying other requirements. The degree will be conferred only after the advisory committee and the Graduate Music Faculty are convinced that the student is able to demonstrate consummate artistry in a public forum, and has developed independence of judgment and mature scholarship.

The advisory committee may require that the student take an exploratory examination to guide the committee in formulating the plan of study. Once the plan of study is approved, the student and the advisory committee should reevaluate it regularly and modify it, following the established procedure, if appropriate.

Residence Requirement

A graduate student can fulfill the special demands of a doctoral program only by devoting a continuous period of time to concentrated study, practice, and research with a minimum of outside distraction or employment. The D.M.A. student must complete one year (two semesters) of full-time study in residence. This residence period must be completed through registration for and completion of appropriate course loads or research at the Storrs campus. Students ordinarily must register for full-time student status during the residence period (See “Course Loads”).

The principal criterion for full-time study as required for fulfillment of the doctoral residence requirement is whether the student is in fact devoting essentially full-time effort to studies, without undue distraction caused by outside employment. It is left to the advisory committee to determine whether a student’s outside employment is a distraction that prevents the student from devoting essentially full-time effort to the planned program. The advisory committee will record this determination on the plan of study, along with a description of the nature, extent, and period(s) of outside employment during the residence period.

Foreign Language

Students in all areas of concentration shall be required to have a competent reading knowledge of at least one foreign language appropriate to the general area of study.

Students should plan to meet the language requirement early in their graduate career and well before they begin preparation for the General Examination. Methods for establishing evidence of reading competence are the same as those for the Ph.D. (See explanation of the Foreign Language requirement under “The Doctor of Philosophy Degree”).

Transfer Credit

Transfer of credit for coursework completed at other institutions is approved only after the student has demonstrated the ability to do acceptable graduate work at the University of Connecticut. Such ability must be demonstrated by successful completion of graduate level University of Connecticut coursework. The maximum number of credits accepted from accredited institutions is 12, provided it is of at least “B” (not “B-“) quality and contributes to the objectives of the proposed doctoral program. Such graduate work may be approved for transfer provided that the General Examination is to be passed and all degree requirements are to be completed within the prescribed period of seven years from the beginning date of the earliest course, wherever taken, listed on the approved doctoral plan of study. (See “Time Limits”). Transfer credit is not granted for individual courses used for a degree elsewhere (already completed or to be completed in the future). Instead, consideration is given to that degree program as an entity when the doctoral plan of study is being prepared.

Evaluation of Performance

The advisory committee shall evaluate continually the student’s performance. Any graduate student whose scholastic performance does not meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School may be subject to dismissal. The first recital for all D.M.A. students, except for those in conducting, is considered to be a qualifying recital, and must be presented during the first year of D.M.A. study. The hearing for this recital is evaluated by the full performance faculty. Any student who does not demonstrate an appropriate level of performance in this hearing and recital is subject to dismissal.

General Examination

The General Examination shall be taken near the end of the course program. Before arrangements for the examination are made, the foreign language requirement(s) should have been met and the plan of study must have been approved by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council. The examination is comprehensive in nature and incorporates elements of music history and literature, music theory, performance practice, and practical application of these constituent components.

The examination is under the jurisdiction of the student’s advisory committee and contains both written and oral components. Not fewer than five faculty members, including all members of the advisory committee, constitute the examining committee and participate in the examination. The final decision as to whether or not the student has passed the examination is determined solely by majority vote of the examining committee.

After the examination, the major advisor communicates the results to the candidate and sends the official report on the examination to the Graduate School.

D.M.A. Dissertation Proposal

The D.M.A. Dissertation proposal describing the intended research must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Music Department at least four months before the filing of the D.M.A. dissertation and it must be approved by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council at least three months before the filing of the D.M.A. dissertation.

Candidacy, Recitals, and D.M.A. Dissertation Preparation

Upon passing the General Examination, the foreign language requirements, and (in the case of all students except conducting majors) the qualifying recital, the student becomes a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts. Students are notified of their advancement to candidacy.

Students in every D.M.A. area of concentration except conducting must present three full-length recitals during the course of study for the degree. The first of these is considered a qualifying recital, which must be preceded by a pre-recital hearing. This hearing must be presented on a designated date at least three weeks before the scheduled recital, and is adjudicated by the full performance faculty. Hearings for subsequent degree recitals may be held at the discretion of the major advisor or applied instructor. These recitals and concerts represent the culmination of the performance aspect of this degree, and will be judged according to the highest levels of musical artistry. Majors in conducting must appear in concert as conductors with an appropriate departmental ensemble. Appearances in multiple concerts are permitted provided that the amount of music prepared and performed is equal to a whole concert appearance.

A written dissertation representing research into some aspect of music performance, repertoire, or pedagogy is an important requirement of this degree. The D.M.A. dissertation is under the immediate supervision of a member of the music theory or music history faculty, and secondarily under the supervision of the advisory committee. It must be acceptable in literary style and organization. It is the student’s responsibility to be certain that the dissertation conforms exactly to the specifications prescribed by the student’s advisory committee. The D.M.A. dissertation receives no academic credit, although the 15 credits of GRAD 6950 are associated with its preparation. This document will uphold the highest standards of scholarship, identical to those required of Ph.D. dissertations.

The advisory committee will set a date for completion of the D.M.A. dissertation, allowing time for each advisor to make suggestions for revisions, and then will set a date for the final examination, allowing time for the student to make those revisions. In some cases, further revision of the dissertation may be required by the advisory committee as a result of the final examination. Final approval of the dissertation following the examination is indicated by the original signatures of all members of the advisory committee on the dissertation’s final approval page. This must be submitted to the Graduate School following the examination. Final approval pages must be received at the Graduate School by the conferral period deadline in August, December, or May. The technical specifications for the preparation of the D.M.A. dissertation are identical to the specifications for the preparation of the Ph.D. dissertation (See “Candidacy and Dissertation Preparation”).

No restrictions that limit or delay the accessibility, use, or distribution of the results of any student’s research are acceptable, if such delays interfere with the timely completion of a student’s academic program.

Final Examination

The final examination is oral and under the jurisdiction of the advisory committee. It deals mainly with the subject matter of the D.M.A. dissertation. It is held by the conferral period deadline in August, December, or May. Invitation to participate in the examination is issued by the advisory committee, although any member of the faculty may attend. Not fewer than five members of the faculty, including all members of the candidate’s advisory committee, must participate in the final examination unless written approval for a lesser number has been secured in advance from the Dean of the Graduate School. The decision as to whether a candidate has passed or failed the examination rests solely with the advisory committee, which will take into account the opinions of any other participating faculty members. The vote of the advisory committee must be unanimous. Following the examination, the major advisor communicates the results to the student and verifies that the official report has been completed and signed for submission to the Graduate School.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The Ph.D. is the highest degree offered by the University. The program leading to its attainment is intended to give persons of outstanding ability the opportunity to become creative contributors in a scholarly field. Award of the degree testifies to broad mastery of an established subject area, acquisition of acceptable research skills, and a concentration of knowledge in a specific field.

The Graduate School requires a minimum of at least 30 credits of content coursework beyond the baccalaureate (or its equivalent) or at least 15 credits of content coursework beyond the master’s degree or other advanced degree in the same or a closely-related field of study (exclusive of any required Related Area).

Although certain minimum requirements are set by the Graduate School, it is important for students to realize that work toward this degree is not merely a matter of accumulating course credits or of satisfying other requirements. The degree will be conferred only after the advisory committee and the Graduate Faculty are convinced that the student has developed independence of judgment and mature scholarship in the chosen field. An individual may not earn more than one Ph.D. degree in a single field of study at this institution.

Transfer Credit

Up to 30 credits of letter-graded, graduate-level academic work completed at accredited institutions may be accepted by the Graduate School in transfer provided the grade earned in any course to be transferred is “B” (not “B-“) or higher and any course to be transferred was taken within the time limit prescribed for the student’s degree program. Official transcripts must be on file with the Graduate School to document any and all coursework accepted in transfer. Transfer of credit toward the Ph.D. degree requires the approval of both the advisory committee and the Graduate School. Submission by the advisory committee of the completed Transfer Credit Request form together with the signed Ph.D. plan of study is required.

Related Area and/or Foreign Language Requirement

For all fields of study except those listed in the following paragraph, satisfactory completion of at least one related area or demonstrated reading proficiency of at least one appropriate language other than English is required.

Fields of study which require neither a related area nor demonstrated reading knowledge of a language other than English currently include: Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Science, Cell Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Economics, Educational Leadership, Educational Psychology, Environmental Engineering, Human Development and Family Studies, Learning, Leadership and Education Policy, Linguistics, Materials Science, Materials Science and Engineering, Molecular and Cell Biology, Pathobiology, Philosophy, Physics, Plant Science, Political Science, Psychological Sciences, and Statistics.

If a related or supporting area is required, the courses chosen must comprise a coherent unit of advanced (i.e., 4000 level or above) work outside the major field of study (or area of concentration, if appropriate). Coursework toward the Related Area normally is taken outside the student’s “home” department. The courses must be approved by the advisory committee as a part of the plan of study. With few exceptions, they must be taken at this institution. With the consent of the advisory committee, a three credit advanced course in mathematics or statistics passed satisfactorily at this institution may fulfill the otherwise six credit minimum requirement if the student’s preparation contains a suitably advanced prerequisite course (i.e., equivalent to a 4000-level University of Connecticut course) passed satisfactorily at this or another institution (although no course credits will be accepted in transfer).

For a specific language to be considered appropriate there must exist a significant body of literature written in that language in the student’s field. Students should plan to meet any language requirement early in their graduate careers and usually well before they begin preparation for the General Examination. One of five methods below may be used to establish evidence of reading competence in an approved language. The advisory committee may designate which method shall be used or may leave the choice of method up to the student. For methods (1) through (3), courses and examinations will not be accepted if passed more than five years prior to submission of the plan of study for approval.

  • The student may pass both semesters of an approved one year reading or intermediate course in the language with grades equivalent to “C” (not “C-“) or higher. This requirement will be considered to be met if, in light of previous preparation, the student is permitted by the instructor to enter directly into the second semester of the one year sequence and earns a grade of “C” (not “C-“) or higher. The courses may be taken by graduate students on a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory basis, with a grade of Satisfactory denoting performance at the level of “C” (not “C-“) or higher. Courses approved for this purpose include FREN 1163-1164, GERM 1145-1146, and SPAN 1003-1004. Alternatively, the student may pass a course in a foreign language or literature at or above the 3000 level, provided that the reading for the course is required to be done in the language. Language courses taken at other institutions are not accepted.
  • The student may pass an examination set by a member of the University faculty (or, if approved by the advisory committee and the Graduate School, a faculty member at another college or university) designated by the student’s advisory committee and approved by the head of the department in which the major advisor holds an appointment. The examiner may be a member of the same department but may not be a member of the student’s advisory committee. The examination will include, but need not be limited to, the translation of a passage approximately 400 words in length. The use of a dictionary may be permitted at the option of the examiner. The translation is to be written in English unless permission is granted by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council to write it in another language. Such permission is granted only if it is deemed in the best interest of the student and if an acceptable examiner is available. The examiner will choose the passage from among books or articles submitted by the major advisor. The passage may be the same for a group of students in the same field or may be selected individually for each student. The examination must be supervised and have a reasonable time limit. The result of the examination, whether passed or failed, must be reported to the Graduate School on the official form bearing the signature of the examiner.
  • A doctoral reading examination passed at another graduate school of approved standing may be accepted in transfer (subject to the above five-year limitation) provided the examination was taken prior to the student’s enrollment in the Graduate School.
  • The student may establish evidence of competence in the language through an official transcript stating that the baccalaureate or a higher degree was earned with that language as the major.
  • The student may establish evidence of competence in the language through documentation that it is the student’s native language, learned in childhood and used primarily through at least secondary school.

Evaluation of Performance

The advisory committee continually evaluates the student’s performance. Any graduate student whose scholastic record does not meet the minimum requirements of either the program and/or the Graduate School may be subject to dismissal.

General Examination

The doctoral General Examination usually is undertaken when the student has completed at least 75 percent of the content coursework listed on the approved plan of study.

The General Examination is under the jurisdiction of the student’s advisory committee unless the members of the Graduate Faculty in a student’s field of study have voted to assign jurisdiction for all or part of the examination to a differently constituted examining committee. The examination may be written, oral, or both. All members of the advisory committee must participate in any oral examination. A student is examined in the several facets of their field of study, not merely in the particular area of concentration. Advisory or examining committees may give a series of cumulative examinations, to be taken at intervals over the student’s period of study. For practical purposes, the final part of such a series shall be regarded as “the General Examination,” and its scope may be limited as the advisory or examining committee may judge appropriate.

The examining committee includes at least one faculty member representing each of the major areas addressed in the examination. Not fewer than five faculty members, including all members of the student’s advisory committee, must participate in the examination. All examiners are invited to submit questions and to evaluate answers, but the final decision as to whether or not the student has passed the examination shall rest solely with the advisory committee unless the members of the Graduate Faculty in a student’s field of study have voted to assign this authority to a differently constituted examining committee.

After the examination, the Report on the General Examination, indicating the result of the entire examination and the names of all faculty members participating, must be signed by the members of the advisory committee and submitted to the Graduate School no later than the date of the submission of the Dissertation Proposal for final approval by the Graduate School (see below).

Dissertation Proposal

The Dissertation Proposal is to be prepared in consultation with the members of the advisory committee before the research is well underway. The Dissertation Proposal, bearing the signatures of the members of the student’s advisory committee as well as the signature of the department or program head verifying satisfactory review by two experts (see the following paragraph) who are not members of the advisory committee, should be submitted to the Graduate School for final approval by the time the student has completed the ninth credit of GRAD 6950 or 6960. The Graduate School will not grant final approval of the Dissertation Proposal without proof of any required IRB, IACUC, or human stem cell approval granted by SCRO. In any event, the approved Dissertation Proposal must be on file in the Graduate School before the public announcement of the oral defense of the dissertation.

When the Dissertation Proposal has been completed and signed by the student and also has been approved by the members of the advisory committee, the proposal then is submitted to the head of the department or program to which the student was admitted. The department or program head appoints reviewers from outside the advisory committee to conduct a critical evaluation of the Dissertation Proposal. The use of at least one reviewer from outside the University is encouraged. Reviewers may be appointed to evaluate an individual student’s proposal, or they may be appointed to a committee responsible for reviewing all proposals in a particular field of study or group of related fields of study.

Dissertation Proposals are reviewed with the following questions in mind:

  • Is the proposal well written, well organized, and well argued?
  • Does the proposal describe a project of appropriate scope?
  • Does the student demonstrate knowledge of the subject and an understanding of the proposed method of investigation?
  • Does the student show awareness of the relevant research by others?
  • Does the student consider how the proposed investigation, if successful, will contribute to knowledge?

The department or program head’s signature on the proposal when the review is completed confirms that the results of the review were favorable. The evaluation may take the form of a reading of the proposal or attendance at an oral presentation and discussion of the proposal. A copy of the signed approval form and Dissertation Proposal must be received by the Graduate School when the review process has been completed. Receipt by the Graduate School of the approved Dissertation Proposal and any required IRB, IACUC, or SCRO approval is a basic requirement for eligibility to schedule the oral defense of the dissertation and for conferral of the doctoral degree.

Candidacy, Dissertation Preparation, and Final Oral Defense

Upon approval of the plan of study, passing the General Examination, and approval of the Dissertation Proposal by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council, the student becomes a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

A dissertation representing a significant contribution to ongoing research in the candidate’s field is a primary requirement. The preparation of the dissertation is under the immediate and continuous supervision of the advisory committee, and it must meet all standards prescribed by the committee and by the Graduate School. It must be acceptable in literary style and organization. Specifications for its preparation may be obtained from the Graduate School website under the section entitled Current Students, Doctoral Degree Program. It is the student’s ultimate responsibility to be certain that the dissertation conforms to the specifications.

The oral defense of the dissertation must be announced publically by means of the University’s online Events Calendar at least two weeks prior to the date of the defense. At this time, electronic tentative approval of the dissertation and an electronic working copy of the entire dissertation must be filed with the Graduate School (or with the Health Center, if appropriate). Not fewer than five members of the faculty, including all members of the candidate’s advisory committee, must participate in the final examination, unless written approval for a lesser number has been secured in advance from the Dean of the Graduate School.

The decision regarding whether a candidate has passed, conditionally passed, or failed the examination rests solely with the advisory committee, which will take into account the opinions of other participating faculty members and other experts. The vote of the advisory committee must be unanimous. Following the examination, the major advisor communicates the results to the student and verifies that the official report has been completed and signed for submission to the Graduate School (or to the Health Center, if appropriate).

The abstract and dissertation must be dated as of the calendar year in which all requirements for the degree are completed, including submission of the dissertation. The Graduate School requires the electronic submission of the dissertation through Digital Commons, a University repository for public access. The final copy must meet all specifications outlined on the Graduate School website. The Dissertation Submission Checklist must be submitted to the Graduate School with an approval page bearing original signatures of all members of the advisory committee. No restrictions that limit or delay the accessibility, use, or distribution of the results of a doctoral student’s research are acceptable if such delays are inconsistent with an embargo period requested by the student or if they interfere with the timely completion of a student’s academic program.

Conferral of Degrees

Conferral

Degree conferral requires that the student be in good academic standing and that all requirements for the degree have been completed satisfactorily by the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar. Degrees are conferred three times each year in August, December, and May. However, the only graduate Commencement ceremony is held annually in May. Students who qualify for degree conferral receive their diplomas by mail, normally within three months following conferral.

Application for the Degree

Formal application for a degree to be conferred must be filed online by the degree candidate using the Student Administration System. Information and instructions can be found on the Graduate School website under the section titled Current Students. If filing is not timely, conferral is delayed to the next conferral period, even though all other degree requirements may have been completed on time.

Commencement

The graduate Commencement ceremony is held once each year at the end of the spring semester. Individuals who have had degrees conferred at the end of the previous summer or fall semester, and candidates for degrees who complete degree requirements by the end of the spring semester may participate in the annual Commencement ceremony. Academic regalia appropriate for the University of Connecticut degree being conferred is strictly required for all who participate in the ceremony. Information concerning the Commencement ceremony, including academic regalia and guest tickets, is made available by the mid-spring semester, and can be found on the Graduate School website.

Policy on Leave of Absence from Graduate Studies

A graduate student is defined as any individual who holds admission to the Graduate School to pursue a post-baccalaureate certificate, a graduate certificate, or graduate degree.

Under compelling personal or medical reasons, a graduate student may request a leave of absence from their graduate program for a period of up to twelve months or one calendar year. The request for a leave of absence must be made in writing using the Request for Leave of Absence from Graduate Studies form on the Graduate School website at grad.uconn.edu.

The completed application form must bear the signatures of the student’s major advisor and the department or program head. The completed application form is to be submitted to the Graduate School for review and approval at least thirty days before the leave of absence is to commence, or the earliest date possible in extenuating circumstances.

Information provided in the application for a personal leave of absence must address the specific reason(s) prompting the request. Examples could include, but are not limited to, family leave and financial hardship. Applications for a medical leave of absence require documentation from an appropriate health care provider, which must be submitted along with the Request for Leave of Absence from Graduate Studies form. In certain cases, the Dean of the Graduate School may request that a student provide documentation from an appropriate health care provider which certifies that the student has medical clearance to resume study at the conclusion of an approved leave of absence. In addition, consultation with university offices may be appropriate. For example, consultation related to assessment of the safety of the student’s work environment may be requested by contacting the Division of Environmental Health and Safety at ehs.uconn.edu and accommodations and services for students with disabilities may be discussed with the Center for Students with Disabilities at csd.uconn.edu.

When students are on approved leaves of absence for the full duration of a fall or spring semester, they are not required to register for any credit or non-credit course. Requests submitted during an academic session will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine the most appropriate mechanism for recording the period of leave (e.g., requests made prior to the open enrollment closing date may be dated to cover the entire semester). An approved leave of absence indicates that the student status will be recorded as “inactive” for the duration of the requested period of leave, and as such, the student will not have access to university services as a graduate student. In addition, the terminal date (the date determined by the Graduate School by which it is expected that all degree requirements will be completed) of any student granted a leave of absence will be extended by a period of time equivalent to the duration of the approved leave of absence. Thus, the period of the approved leave of absence will not be considered when calculating the time the student has spent working toward the completion of the degree. In contrast, a student who chooses to maintain Continuous Registration will maintain active status, which means the student will continue to pay associated fees, have access to university services as a graduate student, and the terminal date for degree requirements is not extended. Thus, the decision to choose a leave of absence versus Continuous Registration to maintain active status must be weighed accordingly. The refunds and cancellation of charges information found in the Fees and Expenses section of the catalog applies to students taking an approved leave of absence.

International students are strongly encouraged to thoroughly evaluate the implications of each decision on their student status. International students must obtain authorization from an international advisor at International Student and Scholar Services before any course is dropped. Failure to do so will be considered a status violation and it will result in termination of the student’s SEVIS record. It is strongly recommended that students hold advisory meetings with international advisors if they are considering requesting leaves of absence.

The leave of absence can be extended up to a maximum of one additional 12-month period. The request must be resubmitted using the previously described procedures, and ultimately approved by the Graduate School. A leave of absence cannot exceed two full calendar years in duration. In such cases in which a student needs leave for more than a total of two calendar years, the student must reapply for admission to the Graduate School with no assurance of acceptance.

Approval of a leave of absence does not assure or guarantee that a graduate program, an academic department, the Graduate School, or the University would be in a position to provide financial support or a graduate assistantship to any graduate student upon their return to studies following an approved leave of absence. Students returning to studies after a leave of absence must work with appropriate faculty advisors and program personnel to resume their degree programs.

Reinstatement from an approved leave of absence will occur at the beginning of the appropriate academic term. To request reinstatement from an approved leave of absence, the student should complete the Request for Reinstatement from Leave of Absence from Graduate Studies form on the Graduate School website and submit it to the Graduate School.

Termination of Status and Academic Dismissal

During a student’s degree program, certain circumstances may lead to termination of status or dismissal from the Graduate School.

Termination of Status

To remain in good standing, a student must at all times have a major advisor and be within the degree time limits for the degree the student is seeking. Once a student’s plan of study has been approved by the Graduate School, the student at all times must have a duly constituted advisory committee, minimally including a major advisor. (Refer to the Advisory System section for additional information regarding the advisory committee).

A student’s major advisor may resign from the advisory committee by written notice to the Graduate School and the student. If the student does not identify a new major advisor within thirty business days of the resignation, the student’s graduate degree program status is terminated. When the resignation occurs during a summer session or winter session, then the thirty business days begin on the first day of classes of the next fall or spring semester.

A graduate student and the major advisor must always be cognizant of the time limits associated with the student’s degree. The student, the major advisor, and the graduate program director and/or department head are notified of the date by which requirements must be completed when the Graduate School sends approved copies of the student’s plan of study. Any request to extend the date by which requirements must be completed must be submitted in writing to the Graduate School, and must be accompanied by a written endorsement from the major advisor.

Extensions of the terminal date are granted by the Graduate School only on the basis of substantial evidence that the student is making consistent and satisfactory progress toward the completion of degree requirements, and with certification by the major advisor that the student is likely to complete within the requested extension period. If an extension is granted, it establishes a new terminal degree date for the student. Whenever a student’s graduate degree program status is terminated, the student receives notice from the Graduate School. The student may appeal the termination under the provisions outlined below under the “Academic Dismissal and Termination of Status Appeal Procedures” sections.

Academic Dismissal

A graduate student’s progress in a degree program must be monitored regularly by the student’s advisory committee. If at any time, a student’s academic performance, progress in a graduate degree program, or professional development and/or suitability is judged by the advisory committee to be unsatisfactory to the degree that dismissal is warranted, the advisory committee must submit its written recommendation that the student be dismissed on such grounds. A student may be dismissed for:

  • Failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average required by the Graduate School (3.0);
  • Receiving a grade of “D+,” “D,” “D-,” “F,” or “U” in any course;
  • If required, failure to satisfy a foreign language requirement for a degree;
  • Failure of the doctoral General Examination, if one is required;
  • Failure to produce an acceptable Doctoral Dissertation Proposal, if one is required;
  • Unsatisfactory performance in any aspect of the research or writing for a required master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation;
  • Failure of a required final examination for the master’s or doctoral degree; or
  • Failure to satisfy any other requirement of the student’s graduate degree program.

The major advisor submits the written recommendation for academic dismissal to the Graduate School on behalf of the entire advisory committee, indicating the specific judgment on which the advisory committee’s recommendation is based. For a student who does not have an established advisory committee, the major advisor alone submits the recommendation. Whenever a student is dismissed on academic grounds, the student receives notice from the Graduate School. The student may appeal the termination under the provisions outlined in Complaint, Appeal, and Hearing Procedures.