Graduate Program Guiding Policies

The policies listed below are either specific to graduate students or include elements that apply to graduate students as well as undergrads.

Academic Probation, Disqualification and Progress

Graduate students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 for all work completed to remain in good standing with the University.

Full text of Academic Standing, Disqualification and Progress policy

Continuous Enrollment Policy

Graduate students who have completed their coursework or who have begun to work on their thesis or other final project must be enrolled each additional semester through one of the following mechanisms:

  1. Those students who wish to maintain eligibility for financial aid and use the full resources of the University should maintain regular half-time enrollment and pay half-time fees. Graduate programs create enrollment opportunities for these students by providing mechanisms such as sections of 535 (Directed Writing) or 599 (Research and Thesis) in the regular class schedule, or by allowing students to enroll in 595 (Special Studies) through the regular registration procedure.
  2. Those students who do not seek the full services of the University may maintain enrollment through Extended Education via a Project Continuation course. 
  3. With the support of their graduate advisors, those students who, due to extraordinary circumstances, cannot continue work on their programs may seek special consideration by petitioning the Graduate Studies Office for a leave of absence for a defined period of time not to exceed two years. This petition process would not extend the seven-year limitation on coursework applied to the degree.

Students who allow their enrollment to lapse for two semesters without taking a leave of absence will be considered to have withdrawn from the University and from their degree program. Should such students decide to return, they will be required to apply for readmission and, as a condition of readmission, shall be assessed a continuing enrollment fee for every regular semester of the period during which they were absent from the University.

Graduate Level Writing Proficiency Requirement

In order to assure that graduate students possess the ability to communicate effectively in written English and the skills to write a thesis or comprehensive examination in a particular discipline, advancement to classified standing will be contingent upon fulfillment of departmentally administered review procedures which have been approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Check with your program coordinator to identify mechanisms for meeting the graduate level writing requirement for your program.

Human Subjects in Research

If a project or thesis, either directly or indirectly, involves humans in research, the student must seek approval from the Committee on the Rights of Human Subjects prior to initiating any activity with the subjects. There is human subject involvement when human
beings are asked to participate:

  • physically in an activity or to donate their tissue, organs, fluids, and other bodily material;
  • when information is sought from them directly (as through interview, questionnaire) or indirectly (as through observation);
  • when information concerning specific, individually identifiable human beings is asked for from third parties – whether through access to files, data banks, or other means – or through direct inquiry of third parties concerning the individuals in question.

Research proposals for which the question of human subject involvement is itself uncertain or ambiguous must be submitted for review. The Human Subjects application and detailed information on the review process can be downloaded from the ORSP website. Your application must be reviewed before you begin your research, and a copy of the approved protocol cover sheet should be included as an Appendix of the thesis/project. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is located in 1024 Stevenson Hall, 664-2448.

Full text of Human Subjects in Research policy

Thesis Course Enrollment Policy

The candidate must complete a thesis, project, or comprehensive exam as required by the department. Culminating projects that are published by the library require review by the Graduate Studies Office, as well as final approval by the student’s faculty committee. A public defense of the thesis is required and may be required for a project. For students completing a thesis for their culminating experience, the student has four semesters to complete the thesis/project, including the first semester of enrollment for thesis units. The RP (Report in Progress) grade will remain until the student submits the culminating project. Projects taking more than four semesters to complete will require an approval for extension by the Graduate Studies Office or may require reapplication to the program and re-enrollment in the units.

Theses/Projects, Public Nature

Full text of These/Projects, Public Nature policy

(more info coming soon)

Title 5: California Code of Regulations

The California Administrative Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 40510, specifies the minimum requirements for a master’s degree.  Please note that certain master’s programs may involve additional units and requirements above and beyond the state-mandated minimum.  

Full text of California Administrative Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 40510