Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Graduate School's continuous enrollment policy?
Graduate students are required to register for at least one credit each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements are completed. Failure to maintain registration will result in your status becoming inactive and require a Request for Reactivation form and $10 processing fee.
What is considered full-time registration?
Nine credits are considered a full-time graduate load. Graduate assistants in half-time status (0.5 FTE) are considered full-time if registered for five or more graduate credits. Federal law requires all international students with a 20-hr/week assistantship to carry at least six graduate credits for full-time status.
What is the maximum credit load for graduate students?
Graduate students may register for up to 15 credits. If a student wishes to register for more than 15 credits, permission from the Dean of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies is required.
I have not registered for at least one semester, but would like to come back. What should I do?
If you have not been registered for 1-4 semesters, you will need to complete the Request for Reactivation form and pay the $10 processing fee. If approved, you will also have to register for one credit for each of the semesters you were not registered. If you have been out for more than four semesters, you will need to reapply to the program.
Plan of Study/Supervisory Committee
What is a Plan of Study?
The Plan of Study shall include the specific courses the student is expected to complete and any other special requirements of the particular degree that the student is seeking.
When do I need to submit my Plan of Study?
The Plan of Study should be submitted to the Graduate School for approval no later than the term immediately after the supervisory committee is formed and must be filed in the Graduate School prior to scheduling the final examination.
When do I have to establish a supervisory committee?
The supervisory committee should be formed not later than the term immediately after the major adviser is identified for the student, and members should be identified before the Plan of Study is formulated so all committee members have a chance to contribute to the Plan of Study.
Who may serve on a committee?
Committee members must be full or associate graduate faculty, or approved qualified outside experts in the field.
Is it possible to have a co-chair?
It is possible to have a co-chairs of a supervisory committee. However, the co-chair must be marked as such on all paperwork submitted to the Graduate School.
How many members do I need on my committee?
The master's supervisory committee must have at least three members, while Ph.D. committees must have at least four members.
What is the Graduate School appointee?
The role of the Graduate School appointee is to ensure that the student's Plan of Study follows Graduate School guidelines and that other Graduate School policies are observed. The Graduate School appointee also ensures that the expectations for the student's performance are reasonable and that interactions with the supervisory committee are conducted on a professional basis.
May I choose my own appointee?
A student may work in conjunction with their committee chair to select an appointee as long as that appointee is a full member of the graduate faculty from outside of the student's program.
How do I request an outside expert serve on my committee?
You must submit a recommendation from the program administrator accompanied by rationale and a curriculum vitae to be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.
Can I make changes to my committee if I'm not changing my program?
Changes made to the committee must be approved by the adviser and department chair and submitted to the Graduate School on the Request for Change form.
How do I transfer coursework from another institution?
Coursework from another insitution being used to fulfill degree requirements should be included on the Plan of Study. An official transcript should be attached to the form unless it is already on file at the Graduate School. If the Plan of Study has already been submitted, complete the Request for Change form to add the transfer credit.
Will transfer credit appear on my NDSU transcript?
Yes, the total number of credits transfered will appear on the transcript.
How many credits may I transfer?
Master's students may transfer up to nine (9) credits from another instutition. The doctorate requires 27 credits of course work, and of these, no more than 12 may be transferred in. Course work which is transferred does not reduce the total requirement of 60 credits for students with a master's degree in the same discipline.
Theses, Dissertations and Papers
How do I format my document?
Guidelines for formating your document are available on the Graduate School website at: http://www.ndsu.edu/gradschool/graduating_students/dtp/format/
Do other documents need to be submitted with my thesis/dissertation/paper?
Information regarding the thesis, dissertation and paper submission process may be found at:
Should I register a copyright for my thesis/dissertation?
Students have the option of having ProQuest register the copyright on your behalf. There is a $65 fee associated with this process.
Change in Status
How do I request a leave of absence?
Graduate students must complete the Request for Leave of Absence from Graduate Studies form. This form must be signed by the student, adviser and department chair.
How do I change my degree objective within my progam?
Complete the Continuation of Program/Degree Objective Change form. If approved, you must submit a Plan of Study for your new objective.
How do I withdraw from my graduate program?
Complete the Request to Withdraw from Graduate School. If you are currently registered for courses, you will also need to withdraw from courses through Registration and Records or Bison Connection.
I have a hold on my record. What should I do?
Contact the department that placed the hold to see what needs to be done to have the hold removed.
Who is the student services associate for my department/program?
Cathy Marks works with College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Engineering and Architecture. Melissa Selders-Ortez supports the Colleges of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources; Business; Human Development; Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Sciences. Madonna Fitzgerald assists students in the interdisciplinary programs.
When will my degree post?
Degrees post at the end of the semester in which you have completed all degree requirements. NDSU posts degrees in August, December and May.
When will I receive my diploma?
Diplomas are mailed 4-6 weeks following the close of the academic session in which graduation requirements have been completed. Your diploma will be mailed to your home address listed in Campus Connection.
Where do I go to change my address?
Addresses may be updated by the student in Campus Connection.
How do I change my name in Campus Connection?
Name changes must be done through Registration and Records or Bison Connection with the Request for Name Change form.
What is academic warning? What is academic probation?
A student with a cumulative grade point average of less than 3.0, is placed on Academic Warning. In this status, a student may continue in the program and has one semester in which to bring their cumulative GPA back up to 3.0. Any student admitted in conditional status because of grade deficiency is automatically placed on academic warning. 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.
A student on academic PROBATION may not continue the pursuit of the graduate degree program without a waiver from the Dean of the Graduate School acting on a recommendation from the appropriate program administrator. A student on Academic Probation is not eligible for a graduate assistantship or tuition waiver.
When can I participate in commencement?
Graduate School policy states that students who have passed their final defense by 5 p.m. the previous Friday before the ceremony may participate in commencement. If the program does not require a disquisition, students in their final semester of coursework may participate in commencement.
- You may participate in commencement beginning the semester you defend (if by the deadline), up through the semester in which you complete your degree requirements.