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Graduate School


Scholastic Standards

To be in academic good standing and to receive a graduate degree, a student must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0.

All courses taken by a graduate student for which grades are given will be used in calculating the grade point average, except where a course has been repeated. Both grades will appear on the transcript, but only the second grade will be used in calculating the grade point average. (A specific course can be retaken only once, and only three total courses can be retaken). Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory is assigned for research credits, and they are not used in calculating the GPA.

In fulfilling graduate course requirements on any plan of study, only grades of A, B, or C are acceptable. For master's paper (797), master's thesis (798), and doctoral dissertation (799/899), only the grade of satisfactory (S) is acceptable. For seminar (790/890), case studies (792/892), individual study/tutorial (793/893), practicum/internship (794/894), or field experience (795/895), only grades of A, B, C, or S are acceptable for graduate credit.
Programs and/or supervisory committees may require a higher performance than C in certain courses. While some courses may be used for graduate credit with a grade of C, courses with grades of D, F, and U may not be used for graduate credit. Acquisition of more than two grades of C, D, F and U may be grounds for dismissal upon recommendation by the program administrator.

These minimal scholastic requirements apply to each student enrolled in the Graduate School. Additional requirements may exist for certain graduate programs.

Academic Warning

Any student in GOOD STANDING whose cumulative grade point average drops to less than 3.0 at any time of attendance is automatically placed on academic WARNING. Any student admitted in CONDITIONAL status because of grade deficiency is automatically placed on academic WARNING. A student on academic WARNING cannot register for following semester until the grades for the current semester post.

If a student on academic WARNING fails to achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in the subsequent semester of attendance, then the student will be placed on academic PROBATION.

Academic Probation

A student on academic PROBATION may not continue the pursuit of a graduate degree program without a recommendation from the appropriate program administrator and a waiver from the Dean of the Graduate School. This recommendation must include a review of the student's current status and a proposed plan of remediation which provides the student an opportunity to return to a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 within one additional semester (fall or spring). The remediation plan must be submitted and approved in time for the student to register for the academic term (fall or spring) that immediately follows the term in which the student was placed on probation. If the student does not submit an acceptable plan in time to enroll for the next academic term (fall or spring), or if the cumulative grade point average is not at least 3.0 after this one additional semester, the student will be dismissed from his or her graduate program.

A student on academic PROBATION is not eligible for a graduate assistantship or tuition waiver.



Enrollment Status

Nine credits are considered a full-time graduate load. To receive financial aid, students must be enrolled at least half-time (ie 5 credits). Loan deferment may also require full or half-time status. Eligibility varies with financial aid programs and students should contact their lender for requirements.

Graduate Assistants working 20 hours per week are considered full-time if registered for five or more graduate credits. Federal law requires all international students with a 20-hour per week assistantship to carry at least six graduate credits for full-time status. Graduate students wishing to register for more than 15 credits in a regular semester shall secure the approval of their department chair and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Graduate Courses

Courses approved at the 600, 700 and 800 level may be taken for graduate credit and used to satisfy course requirements on the student's graduate plan of study. Didactic courses are those courses approved for graduate credit numbered 601-689, 691; 700-789,791; 800-889, 891. Courses numbered 690, 692-699, 790,  792-799, 890, 892-899 are considered special or experimental courses and are not to be included as didactic courses on a plan of study. Courses that a student has used to fulfill the requirements of a baccalaureate degree may not be used on that student's graduate plan of study.

Continuing Education Graduate Courses

Graduate courses administered through the Office of Distance and Continuing Education (DCE) are eligible for graduate degree plans of study if they carry a permanent course number, or the 691/791/891 or 696/796/896 designation. Courses numbered 691/791/891 are trial courses and course numbered 696/796/896 are special topic courses; courses 691/791/891 are viewed as didactic courses. The 696/796/896 courses can be counted as didactic courses if they are later approved as permanent courses. Graduate tuition waiver does not cover DCE courses.

Courses designed for professional advancement are given the number 600. Although such courses are considered graduate level, they cannot be included on NDSU graduate degree plans of study.

Course instructors must be full or associate members of the NDSU graduate faculty or approved in advance by the administrator of the unit whose course prefix is used, the appropriate academic dean, and the Graduate Dean.

Registration for Research Credit

A student conducting research for the disquisition is to be enrolled in 797, 798, 799 or 899 for the number of credits specified on the plan of study. Such registration is required even in absentia when faculty and/or administration time is consumed in manuscript review, communication, and other forms of assistance.

Time Limitations

Graduate credit for any coursework that is more than seven (7) calendar years old at the time of the final examination cannot be used to satisfy a master's degree program. The analogous time limitation for a doctoral degree is 10 years. Following the final examination, the candidate has one (1) year during which to provide the Graduate School a disquisition for which the graduate dean will sign final approval of all requirements for the degree. Should the disquisition not be deposited as specified or any other degree requirements not be completed within this time limit, the student must repeat the final examination.

Continuous Enrollment

Students are required to register for at least one credit each semester (fall and spring) until all degree requirements are completed, including submitting the final copy of a thesis, paper, or dissertation. The graduate dean will not approve the degree until the student has registered for the number of credits of research for any semesters not covered by either registration or leave of absence, but not more than four (4) credits total.

A student who has not registered for longer than a continuous two-year period must also reapply for admission and is subject to the degree requirements at the time of readmission.

Leave of Absence

 Students who interrupt their graduate program prior to the completion of all degree requirements must maintain continuous enrollment for the Fall and/or Spring Semesters of the absence or obtain a leave of absence, using the Request for Leave of Absence from Graduate Studies form.

NOTE: Leaves of absence do not amend in any way the seven and ten-year time limitations.

Dismissal from the Graduate School

Graduate students may be suspended or dismissed from NDSU as a result of failure to meet our scholastic standards, academic or professional misconduct, insufficient progress toward a degree, or failure to meet professional expectations or standards.  Students suspended or dismissed from the Graduate School are not eligible for admission into any degree-granting or certificate program or into non-degree status for a period of at least one calendar year from the date of their suspension or dismissal.  Suspension or dismissal does not become complete until the completion of any appeal process.

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide information about the graduate programs of North Dakota State University. It should not be considered an offer or a contract. While every effort has been made to make this information as complete and accurate as possible, it should be noted that changes may occur at any time in the requirements, course offerings, fees, etc. listed in this bulletin. However, students are allowed to meet the degree requirements in effect at the time of first enrollment as a degree-seeking student, provided the student is able to complete the degree requirements reflected in the appropriate bulletin within the stated time frame and the student has maintained continuous enrollment status.

It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with and complete the requirements for the degree being sought.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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NDSU Graduate School
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7033
Campus address:  106 Putnam Hall
Physical/delivery address:  NDSU Graduate School/106 Putnam Hall/1349 12th Avenue Northwest/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  NDSU Dept. 2820/PO Box 6050/Fargo, ND 58108
Page manager: NDSU Graduate School

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:14:48 PM