A student shall be permitted to register for graduate study only after formal admission.
Definition of Full, Half and Part-time: A full-time student is defined as one enrolled in at least nine (9) graduate credit hours in Fall, Spring, or Summer terms. Part-time is considered anything less than stated previously. Half time is defined as five (5) graduate credit hours in Fall, Spring, or Summer terms.
Maximum Term (Semester) Load
The per semester credit hour limit for a graduate student is 12 semester hours per semester. (Fall, Spring, Summer) For an overload request please complete the Petition for the Appeal of a Graduate Policy.
All enrolled students pursuing a Master’s degree will maintain continuous enrollment from matriculation until completion of all degree requirements. Continuous enrollment is defined as registration during each semester (fall, spring, and summer) of the academic year until the degree is attained or until status as a degree-seeking graduate student is terminated through an official University withdrawal.
With continuous enrollment, graduate students will have “active” status until the degree is conferred and have the option of continuous access to University services and resources—such as financial aid, advisor assistance, and information resources—throughout their graduate careers. Continuous enrollment credit does not count toward graduation requirements.
Minimum registration: Unless an approved Leave of Absence, a student must be enrolled in a minimum of one semester hour each semester until his/her degree is granted or the student’s status as a degree seeking student is terminated.
Leave of Absence
On-leave status is available to students who need to suspend their program of study. On-leave status is granted in cases where the student demonstrates good cause (e.g. illness, temporary departure from the university for employment, military service, family issues, financial need, or personal circumstances). A graduate student may request a maximum of three academic terms of leave including summer semester during the course of study for the degree. The time spent in approved on-leave status will be included in the seven-year time limit for completing requirements to the master’s degree.
A student with approved on-leave status is not required to pay tuition or fees or register for the one credit of continuous enrollment. On-leave status does not provide the student with University resources. Approval of the advisor, program administrator, and the Dean of Graduate Studies are required.
A student who does not enroll in a minimum of one semester hour or apply for and receive on-leave status fails to maintain continuous enrollment. Failing to maintain continuous enrollment through minimum credit registration or the on-leave status will cause the student to relinquish his or her graduate standing in the University.
A student who wishes to have graduate standing reinstated will be required to file a Graduate Readmission form and pay any fees required. Acceptance to return to the graduate program is not guaranteed. The reinstatement procedures are dictated by the period of absence from enrollment.
Three Semesters or Less: The student completes the Graduate Readmission Form, and if approved, must pay any fees required before reinstatement.
More than Three Semesters: The student is considered a new applicant, and new supporting materials and fees are required. The applicable standards are those in effect when the student applies for readmission. Course work more than seven years old will not be counted toward a graduate degree.
Change of Program
A change of program is required when a student wishes to leave the current academic department/concentration to seek a degree in a different department/concentration. Questions regarding a Change of Program can be made by contacting the advisor or the Office of Graduate Studies.
Transfer of Graduate Credits
Applicants once admitted may petition for transfer of graduate credit earned at another regionally accredited institution. The course work must conform to the time limits and grade expectations for course work counted toward the degree at VCSU. The petition is available on the graduate website and is submitted to the advisor and Dean of Graduate Studies who will process the petition. Credit counted toward the degree from VCSU through transfer from other regionally accredited institutions
- may not exceed nine (9) credits required for the degree.
- credits transferred from another regionally accredited institution must be a grade of “B” or higher.
- must be completed within a seven (7) year time limit. The time begins with the beginning of the semester when first course counted toward the degree is completed to the end of the semester when the last course counted toward the degree is completed.
- must have been earned from a U.S. or Canadian institution accredited to offer graduate courses and degrees. (Credits from international institutions can be transferred only if approved by a departmental committee.)
- must be graduate level.
- must not be continuing education, correspondence, extension, or workshop course or Pass/Fail Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory.
- must not have been used to fulfill the requirements of a baccalaureate degree.