Graduate Studies | Rules & Regulations Highlights

Questions?

  • Vice Provost for Research & Dean of Graduate Studies
    202-885-3753
    gradstudies@american.edu
    Wisconsin (4200), Suite 230 Washington, DC 20016-8075

    Tubman, Jonathan G.
    Vice Provost for Research & Dean of Graduate Studies

Mailing Address

Admissions
Grades and Evaluation
Degree Requirements

Admissions

  • Criteria for admissions and provisional admissions are delegated to academic units and teaching units.
  • Minimum requirement for full admission to a master’s program: A baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution or equivalent OR 3.30 cumulative GPA in a master’s program from an accredited U.S. institution or equivalent OR 3.5 cumulative GPA on the last 12 credits in a graduate degree program still in progress.
  • Academic units are responsible for the verification of specific application documents.
  • Applicants for whom English is not a native or first language must demonstrate proof of English language proficiency for graduate program that will be conducted in English.
  • Graduate students who have been admitted provisionally must obtain a 3.0 GPA after the first 9 credits or they will be academically dismissed.
  • Admissions to combined BA/MA programs must be made when undergraduates have between 75 and 90 completed undergraduate credits.
    • “Reserved credits” no longer exist for combined BA/MA programs.
    • There are changes in number of credits shared in combined BA/MA programs. For example, 9 credits for a 30- or 33-credit master’s program, 12 credits for a 36-credit master’s programs and 15 credits for a master’s program requiring 39 or more credits.
  • When transferring from non-degree status or a graduate certificate program to a graduate degree program, a maximum of 12 graduate credits may be transferred. Units can set additional restrictions.

Grades and Evaluation

  • Graduate GPA includes courses taken at AU and other Consortium institutions.
  • The grading scale for graduate students is equivalent to that for undergraduate students.
  • SP and UP grades will now be assigned for 797 and 899 courses. SP and UP grades are not used to calculate the graduate GPA and cannot be retaken to change a grade.
  • Restrictions on Pass/Fail courses that can be included in a graduate Program of Study (POS).
  •  Students on academic probation cannot be granted an incomplete.
  • Graduate students have one semester to finish an incomplete. A course for which an incomplete has been granted cannot be dropped.
  • A maximum number of 9 independent study credit hours may be included in a graduate POS.
  • Clarification of average weekly work hours per number of internship credits earned.
  • A graduate course can be repeated only once. A graduate student can repeat only two courses included in a graduate POS.
  • Good Academic Standing requires a GPA on 3.0, current enrollment, or eligibility for current enrollment in graduate courses.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress means being in Good Academic Standing, meeting defined program milestones in a timely manner, and receiving credit in two-thirds of the courses attempted.
  • A graduate student (a) with a GPA under 3.0 or (b) who obtains credit for less than two-thirds of attempted courses after 9 credits, will be placed on probation. Students (a) with GPAs under 3.0 or (b) with a completion rate less than two-thirds after 9 more attempted credits will be dismissed.
  • Multiple options exist for students who are not making satisfactory progress.

Degree Requirements

  • Every graduate student must have an approved Program of Study (POS).
  • Graduate course numbering has been clarified to further differentiate (a) graduate from undergraduate courses and (b) core content courses from more general graduate elective courses.
  • Doctoral students admitted to candidacy will register for 899 courses with a special pricing arrangement. Doctoral students who have finished coursework but who are working on their comprehensive exams or dissertation proposals have other registration options.
  • The conditions under which graduate and undergraduate courses may be cross-registered have been clarified.
  • The courses that can be counted toward a graduate degree have been clarified.
  • Full-time status is defined as registration for 9 credits in a fall or spring semester or 4 credits in a summer semester. Half-time status is defined as registration for 5 credits in a fall or spring semester or 2 credits in a summer semester.
  • The designation “in-lieu” of full-time registration will be phased out in May 2013. A range of other registration options currently exist.
  • Certain award categories (e.g., .5 FTE TA/RA, specific fellowships) require full-time status.
  • Graduate students in a degree program have a continuous enrollment requirement.
  • Theses and dissertations are now submitted electronically via ETD.
  • Specific categories of graduate students are required to obtain research assurances and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training.
  • There are now clear time limits to degree completion with oversight of one 1-year extension requests.
  • Conditions under which transfer credits will be accepted and the timeline for the transfer process has been clarified.
  • Master’s and doctoral degrees require a minimum of 18 semester credit hours of in-residence graduate coursework.
  • Capstone requirements for master’s degrees have been simplified and made more flexible with regard to implementation by graduate degree programs.
  • Individualized MA/MS programs no longer exist.
  • Clear and standardized processes and requirements are now in place for certificate programs. (e.g., credit transfer, eligibility, GPA requirements, time limits)
  • Determination of comprehensive exam requirements has been delegated to the individual doctoral programs.  
  • The requirements and processes for the examination of doctoral dissertations have been clarified.
  • Standards and the processes for the composition of doctoral committees have been clarified.
  • The conditions under which changes to registration can be made have been clarified.
  • The conditions under which temporary leaves from the University are granted and the processes for requesting temporary leaves are clarified.

As of: July, 2012