RATIONALE: Doctoral study is a concentrated, learner-dependent program that requires a high level of personal initiative and academic inquiry. It depends on closely developed scholastic partnerships between the graduate student and faculty, and is supported by administration of the academic departments, the schools/college and the Office of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning. For doctoral students to achieve success, the institution must create a learning environment that facilitates this collaborative approach and assures the timely completion of degree goals. This environment must provide the student access to academic programs and faculty, campus services and University resources.
POLICY: Continuous Enrollment Policy for Doctoral Students
The principal objectives of the Continuous Enrollment Policy are to:
- Persuade doctoral students to complete degree programs in a timely manner,
- Minimize the time required to complete degrees,
- Assure approved degree requirements will be available as planned,
- Require registration by doctoral students whenever University resources (including faculty effort and University facilities) are used,
- Enable the University to accurately account for doctoral students,
- Provide accurate information for strategic planning of resources and faculty,
- Assist the University and degree programs by providing an indication of intent when students do NOT register for a term, and
- Assure available openings in a degree program and faculty resources for students who wish to resume graduate study after a leave of absence.
The continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students requires continuous registration of graduate students for at least one credit hour (no fee assessment), each semester in the academic year to maintain an active graduate student status. This includes semesters in which the comprehensive, preliminary or qualifying examination is taken, defense, and each subsequent terms (fall and winter) until the degree requirements are met and the dissertation is submitted to the Office of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
Continuous enrollment is met by registration in a graduate-level course relevant to the student’s academic program. Doctoral students who have completed hours toward their degree may register for GCE 800. This course will be assessed at the “graduate continuous enrollment” rate (equivalent to one credit at the current graduate tuition rate with NO fee assessment) and will not count toward the degree.
Should circumstances arise that may cause an interruption in graduate study, the student must apply for a Leave of Absence. A student on official “Leave of Absence” is NOT required to pay tuition, fees or GCE fees; but the student is NOT entitled to any services from the University during the leave, including demands upon faculty or advisor time, or receipt of fellowship, assistantship, or financial aid.
Some agency and graduate assistantship eligibility may have course-load requirements that exceed the minimum registration requirements of the Continuous Enrollment Policy (e.g. Veterans Administration, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for international students, and federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that are required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.
Doctoral students who do not maintain continuous enrollment and have NOT been granted an official leave of absence, are subject to termination of admission to the program, based on recommendation of the department and approval by the Academic Dean.