Because a university is an ongoing enterprise that can carry out its mission only through constant adaptation to new needs and changing circumstances, Our Lady of the Lake University reserves the right to change any of its educational policies or procedures (including admissions and graduation requirements, curricular scope and content, schedule of offerings, fees and refunds, and regulations affecting students) at any time with notice to students. The University also reserves the right to refuse to admit or readmit, or to dismiss any student at any time within policy, rules and regulations.
The student is responsible for knowing the degree requirements and enrolling in the courses that fulfill those requirements. The student is also responsible for complying with University regulations which apply to all graduate students and with program requirements which apply to the specific field of study. Students should refer to their program-specific student handbooks for additional information on the department policies and procedures. University policies always take precedence over departmental policies.
Second Master’s Degree
A student who holds a master’s degree from OLLU and wishes to pursue a second master’s degree must have the degree program approved by an adviser, the director of the master’s program involved, and the dean or director of the school or college prior to the earning of credits for the second degree. The field of specialization of the second degree must be different from the first, although the name of the second degree need not be different from the name of the first. For all degrees no more than six semester hours of credit from the first degree may be applied toward the second degree.
Restatement of Purpose
A restatement of purpose form is submitted when a student wishes a change in area of specialization or concentration within the current discipline. This change may require additional credentials and must be approved by the dean of the college/school of the new program.
The deadline for submitting restatement of purpose form is 10 working days prior to the first day of regular registration each term.
Students wishing to discontinue one program and gain admission into another program must complete the full admission process for new program.
Students are expected to attend each class and laboratory period, except when illness or extraordinary emergencies prevent it. Punctual attendance at each class and laboratory period is an obligation of the student. For some classes, the attendance requirements are determined by the college, school or department; for others, the individual faculty member sets attendance requirements in keeping with the nature of the course and the level of the students. Failure to conform to attendance requirements may subject a student to a failing grade or institutional withdrawal.
The University is required to monitor attendance for certain categories of students, such as those attending on Veterans Administration benefits, and to report these attendance records to the agency concerned.
A student may initiate a withdrawal from a class only by presenting the properly signed withdrawal forms to the Registrar’s Office either in person or via an official OLLUSA email account. Informal notice to faculty neither cancels registration nor the student’s contract with the Student Business Office.
The University may initiate an institutional withdrawal for disciplinary reasons or for students who are delinquent or in default of payment. Students on institutional withdrawal are prohibited by University policy from continuing their coursework.
Faculty members may initiate the withdrawal of student(s) enrolled in their class(es) by submitting a request to the Registrar’s Office. Upon completion of the withdrawal procedure in the Registrar’s Office, the student will be withdrawn with a grade of WI.
A graduate student who has enrolled in a course and received a grade lower than a B (fewer than 3.0 grade points) may repeat that same course only one time, unless the course is described in the catalog as repeatable for credit.
- The most recent grade awarded will be used in the computation of grade point averages and credit earned.
- If a student repeats a course the most recent grade will used in the computation of grade point averages.
- Once a degree has been conferred, repeating courses for any reason will not affect the GPA or content of the degree already granted.
- Students whose disability or military reserve status might necessitate more repeat enrollments may requests exceptions.
Students who wish to replace a course grade must do so at Our Lady of the Lake University.
- Transfer work or departmental examination cannot be used to repeat a course recorded at OLLU.
- If the course is no longer offered in any form at OLLU, a student may not apply for the grade replacement option.
No more than two courses can be repeated while a graduate student at Our Lady of the Lake University. An academic program may have more rigorous standards and students should refer to the department description for information on the departmental standards.
In the explanation below, “I” followed by a grade indicates that a student received an “Incomplete” grade which has been completed and changed to the specified grade; e.g, “IA” means a student received an “I” but later completed the work and earned an “A.”
A+, A, A- (IA+, IA, IA-)
Indicates excellent achievement demonstrated by
- Competency and accuracy of knowledge
- Sustained and effective use of knowledge
- Independence of work
- Originality (Grade points: 4.00)
B+, B, B- (IB+, IB, IB-)
Indicates satisfactory achievement in the same factors listed under the “A” grade. (Grade points: 3.00)
C+, C, C- (IC+, IC, IC-)
Indicates below-average performance. (Grade points: 2.00)
No more than six semester hours of “C” grades may be counted toward a master’s degree; these must be balanced by “A” grades in other degree required courses. “C” grades may not be counted towards doctoral degrees.
D+, D, D- (ID+, ID, ID-)
Unsatisfactory work; does not count toward a master’s degree; does not fulfill course requirements or prerequisites and must be repeated; will result in being placed on Scholastic Probation for the next nine hours of course work at the University. (Grade points: 1.00)
Indicates “pass” on the Pass-Fail system; awarded for the achievement of the minimal objectives of the course. (Grade points: “P” not counted in grade point average; “F” counts same as “F” grade below)
NOTE: The Pass-Fail option is available to graduate students only when the entire class is offered under this option.
Indicates incomplete work; used at the discretion of the faculty member when a student has reasons outside of their control for being unable to complete requirements on time. (Grade points: not counted in grade point average). At the time the grade of Incomplete is submitted, the faculty member selects a date by which the work must be completed. The date may be earlier than the standard date but may not be later than the end of term in which the standard date is included. If a specific date is not assigned by the faculty member, the standard date (six weeks into the next long term) will apply.
NOTE: Deadline for changing incomplete grades:
- “I” grade received in the fall term must be removed during the first six weeks of the spring term.
- “I” grade received in the spring term must be removed during the first six weeks of the fall term; however, in the case of those students who may be liable for academic discipline, the incomplete grade must be removed within the first six weeks of the summer term.
- “I” grades received in the summer term must be removed during the first six weeks of the fall term. A faculty member may request from the Registrar an extension of time for the removal of incomplete grades. Exceptions may not extend beyond the end of the term in which the incomplete is due to be completed. An incomplete grade which has not been removed within the allotted time automatically becomes an F. An “I” grade cannot be changed to AU, NC, Q, W, WI or X.
Indicates official withdrawal from a course during refund period. (Grade points: not counted in grade point average)
Indicates official withdrawal from a course after refund period. (Grade points: not counted in grade point average)
Note: Specified deadlines to drop classes for each session are listed on the narrative calendars posted on the Registrar’s website.
AU - Audit
Indicates non-credit. (Grade points: not counted in grade point average)
NC - No credit
Indicates credit not granted for course. (Grade points: not counted in grade point average)
Indicates failure; removed from grade point average when course is successfully repeated; causes master’s and doctoral students to be placed on Enforced Scholastic Withdrawal. (Grade points: 0.00)
Indicates that the work of the course extends over more than one term. Given in approved practicum, internship, field experience or thesis courses, and replaced by the appropriate letter grade when the work is completed. (Grade points: not counted in grade point average) May also be used for mid-term grades for practica, internships or field experience.
Indicates the student was withdrawn from the class by action of the faculty member or administration WI form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office for processing.
(Grade points: not counted in grade point average).
The WI is issued by the instructor when a student has ceased attending or has never attended a class. Faculty should not issue a WI grade until after consultation with the Office of Financial Aid and, when appropriate, the Athletic Department. Faculty will seek approval from their respective Dean for all WI grades.
Financial aid programs require that the University (Financial Aid Office) must report if a student has withdrawn from the University (no longer attending any of the classes for which registered). Faculty can assist in accomplishing this financial aid reporting as well as removing students from class rosters who are no longer or have never attended. The WI form (available thru the Registrar’s Office) has two options:
- STUDENT CAN BE REINSTATED TO CLASS. May be used up to two weeks prior to the last day to withdraw from the session. If this option is chosen by instructor, an email or letter will be sent to the student with copies to the instructor or adviser indicating that the instructor has submitted a WI form.
The student will be given a time frame in which they may:
- withdraw his/herself from the class
- contact the instructor and make arrangements to continue in the class. If the instructor allows the student to continue, the instructor must notify the Registrar’s Office by the last day of the time frame stated in the letter sent to the student to have the WI request cancelled. If this notification is not received, the student will be dropped from the class.
- STUDENT CANNOT BE REINSTATED TO CLASS. If this option is chosen by instructor, the student is dropped immediately and student, instructor and adviser are notified of the withdrawal from class by the course instructor.
Date of withdrawal will be the date the WI is processed.
This grade may be used for any student enrolled, at any location and does not affect GPA. It will not count in the grade point average but the hours will count as attempted for academic and satisfactory academic progress, which may affect the financial aid eligibility. Once assigned, it cannot be reversed. It cannot be assigned once the term has been graded.
Grade Point Average
The grade point average is obtained by dividing the grade points earned by the grade point divisor. For more information on calculating a grade point average, visit My OLLU Portal. The cumulative grade point average used for most records is based on the total grade points earned from courses taken at OLLU within the academic program and credit accepted in transfer. Although faculty may at their discretion add pluses or minuses to letter grades, these distinctions are not calculated in the grade point average. A cumulative grade point average of 3.00 is required for graduate degrees.
To be classified as full-time, graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of six semester hours for each fall or spring term; three semester hours for each summer session or six hours for the Summer Session III term. For doctoral students enrolled in dissertation or internship hours, one semester hour will be considered full-time if they have been advanced to candidacy by the department and approved by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. If pursuing financial aid, see the Financial Aid Office section for enrollment eligibility requirements.
Graduate students will not be permitted to carry more than 16 semester hours of graduate work in any fall term or spring term, nor more than six hours during a summer session (Summer Session I or II. Excludes Summer Session III) or 12 semester hours for combination of summer I/summer II/summer III.
To maintain status for the F-1 visa, an international student in a graduate degree program must enroll in a minimum of six semester hours for each fall or spring term; three semester hours for each summer session or six hours for the Summer Session III term. No more than the equivalent of a three credit hour online/distance education class per session may be counted towards the “full course of study” requirement.
Academic programs may have additional requirements related to academic load. Consult the program-specific guidelines for descriptions of the academic load requirements.
The entire program of work for the master’s degree must be completed within six years from the date of first registration. Time limit for the doctoral program is 10 years.
Computer Literacy Requirement
Each graduate program has designated a level of computer literacy requirements which must be demonstrated or validated prior to graduation.
Continuation in a graduate program is contingent upon the following:
- Maintaining a 3.00 grade point average in all courses attempted at Our Lady of the Lake University.
- Progressing satisfactorily toward completion of educational objective (i.e., degree or certification).
Records of all graduate students registered for nine or more semester hours of work are reviewed for academic discipline at the end of each grading period. Records of part-time students are reviewed upon completion of nine semester hours. All courses, even if the courses were not completed, are considered in the nine semester hours. If a student’s disciplinary status is affected by the change of an “I” (incomplete) grade, the appropriate action is taken at the end of the term in which the grade change was made. Should a graduate student have a “D” grade or less than the 3.00 grade point average at any review point, the student will be placed on Scholastic Probation for the next nine hours of course work at the University. During that period, the student must do the following:
- Raise the overall grade point average to 3.00.
- Receive no grades of “D” or “F” in any course.
- Repeat any course in which a “D” was earned, when the course is next offered.
If these conditions are not met, the student will be placed on Enforced Scholastic Withdrawal from the University for at least one full term or two summer sessions.
Readmission to the program will be permitted only if it is recommended by the student’s adviser and the dean/director of the college or school. If student wishes to appeal immediately, the instructions below will apply. If student accepts the withdrawal, the student must contact the Office of Admissions to seek readmission.
A grade of “F” in a graduate course results in Enforced Scholastic Withdrawal without a prior period of Scholastic Probation and discontinuance in the program except upon special recommendation of the dean of the college or school.
Academic deans/director may enforce a more stringent discipline policy in their respective academic programs.
Enforced Scholastic Withdrawal Appeal Process
- Student should submit a letter of appeal to the dean or director of the college/school of the program.
- The dean/director will convene a review committee which may include the student’s academic adviser to review the appeal.
- The dean/director’s office will notify the student in writing within 10 working days of the decision of the review committee.
- The dean/director’s office will notify the following:
- Student’s Academic Counselor
- Registrar’s Office
- Financial Aid Office
The student’s academic adviser will meet with the student to discuss any conditions or special requirements. The Registrar’s Office will make any official record changes needed and notify Residence Life in case the student is a resident student. The Financial Aid Office may have to adjust the student’s award.
Note: Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress and Academic Discipline are two separate processes. Exemption from one does not guarantee exemption from the other.
Student Academic Grievance
The University provides a uniform method by which students can pursue grievance issues. An academic grievance is an allegation that something has occurred that violates existing University policy or established practices, or is intrinsically wrong. Grievance issues include complaints about alleged violations of the institution’s academic policies (e.g., application of grading policies), about unfairness in the application of policies (e.g., accusation of plagiarism or cheating), or other academic matters. For other potential violations of student rights, students should consult with their adviser or Student Life.
Evaluation of a student’s academic performance in a course or program of the University, when conducted by a faculty member, is presumed to be valid unless there is proof that the evaluation was significantly and adversely affected by prejudice (bias against the student as an individual or as a member of a group or class) and/or capriciousness (unjustifiable deviation from generally acceptable academic standards or procedures, or from explicit understandings established for the course or through the course syllabus, which is the de facto contract for course objectives, requirements and expectations).
If a student has good reason to suspect that prejudice or capriciousness significantly and adversely affected an official final evaluation of performance in a course or program or the student is being treated in an arbitrary or capricious manner by a faculty member, the student should present this concern to the faculty member and request a reconsideration of the academic matter within 30 working days of the end of the term. The complete procedure on how to file a Student Academic Grievance is available in the Student’s Handbook located on the OLLU Portal (https://myollu.ollusa.edu)
Financial Obligations and Tuition Refunds
A student who is delinquent or in default of payment(s) and/or returned check(s) due the University, may be withdrawn from the University in the term the delinquency or default occurs and cannot be readmitted for that term. A student who has been withdrawn from the University may be readmitted the following term if all payments due the University are paid and the student is otherwise eligible for readmission. Our Lady of the Lake University reserves the right to deny readmission based on students’ credit history with Our Lady of the Lake University. Transcripts are not issued to students who have not met all obligations to the University.
Refunds for tuition and fees in all cases are calculated from the date the properly completed withdrawal form is received in the Registrar’s Office, located in Walter Student Service Center, Room 104. Consideration cannot be given to the date the student ceased attending classes unless proper withdrawal procedures have been followed:
- Obtain proper form(s) from Registrar’s Office, located in Walter Student Service Center, Room 104
- Obtain signature of adviser
- Submit completed form(s) to Registrar for final processing
- San Antonio campus: submit to Registrar’s Office, located in Walter Student Service Center, Room 104
- The Houston campus: OLLU-The Woodlands, Lone Star University Center, Room 118
- Rio Grande Valley and online students may submit the form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Application fees and advance tuition deposits for new students are not refundable. After the 100 percent refund period, all other fees are forfeited.
If proper withdrawal procedures have been followed, tuition is adjusted according to the following schedule:
Fall / Spring
|1-5 days after start of session
|6-19 days after start of session
|20 plus days after start of session
|1-4 days after start of session
|5-6 days after start of session
|7 plus days after start of session
Weekends and Holidays are not included in calculation
|Fall / Spring
|1-8 days after start of session
|9-19 days after start of session
|20 plus days after start of session
|1-8 days after start of session
|9-19 days after start of session
|20 plus days after start of session
|1-8 days after start of session
|9 plus days after start of session
Weekends may or may not be included in calculation, depending on program, refer to posted calendars on the Registrar’s website www.ollusa.edu\registrar. Holidays are not included in calculation.
Classification of traditional/non-traditional is determined by program and number of weeks attending. Assistantships are rescinded at the time a student withdraws from the University.
Dropping/Withdrawing - Return of Title IV Funds for Financial Aid Recipients
Refer back to the Financial Aid section of the catalog.
All master’s degree programs require that a candidate complete prescribed coursework or a special/capstone project, pass a comprehensive examination, and/or prepare a thesis. Each of the options for a culminating experience is an opportunity for the student to demonstrate they can carry on a critical dialogue, integrating and interpreting material in the major and supporting field. Please refer to the program descriptions to learn more about the program-specific requirements.
The non-thesis option includes successful completion of prescribed coursework, a special/capstone project, or comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination is intended to test the candidate’s ability to carry out a critical dialogue integrating and interpreting material in the major and supporting fields. The comprehensive examination of the field may be oral, written or both. This is administered at a time specified by the director of the program. Non-thesis master’s degree students may not have a formal examination; however, the committee must hold a ballot meeting, to determine if the student has satisfactorily met all of the program requirements.
A thesis is an original scholarly study which makes a significant contribution to the knowledge of the chosen discipline. Please refer to the specific program descriptions for information on the availability of the thesis option. After an area of research has been selected and the student has completed all coursework, a student choosing the thesis option (when available) should request the program director to appoint a supervising professor to direct the work on the thesis. Students may not register for thesis credit until approval is obtained by the supervising professor. Thesis Guidelines, approved by the Graduate Council, are available through the myOLLU portal under Academic Affairs and Forms. Students should be continuously enrolled in a minimum of one thesis hour after coursework is completed until the thesis is defended.
Prior approval for use of human subjects or animals in research is required. If the student plans to utilize human or animal subjects for research, the student must contact the Office of Strategic Planning. Please note that departments/programs should ensure that all procedures have been followed and forms filed with the appropriate offices; they can also determine the appropriateness of such narrative within the thesis.
Following departmental guidelines, a supervising faculty member and a committee consisting of two additional members should be formed. One committee member should be from the student’s department, the second committee member may be from the student’s department or from a field related to the research topic, and the student’s supervising faculty should serve as committee chairperson. The thesis chairperson and committee will monitor the research and writing of the thesis. If any modifications of the proposed research are needed, they must be accepted by the thesis chairperson and submitted in writing to the committee members and approved by a majority. The student should follow the University’s Guide for Writing Theses and Dissertations.
Prior to beginning the writing of a thesis, the student must produce a thesis proposal for the committee. The proposal is the contract between the student and the committee that serves as the guide to carrying out the research and writing of the thesis. The proposal must: 1) explain the topic or problem, 2) review relevant literature, 3) discuss the need for carrying out the thesis, 4) examine possible theoretical orientations, 5) detail research procedures, 6) furnish a time line for completion, 7) discuss the implications, and 8) provide a selected bibliography. When students finish writing their proposal, they must schedule an oral defense of the proposal with their thesis committee. The committee must approve the proposal before the student can begin to research and write the thesis.
The student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, have completed or be enrolled in all the required coursework, have met all admission contingencies, and be registered for a minimum of two hours of thesis credit at the beginning of the semester in which the final defense is to be taken.
When students have completed writing their thesis to the satisfaction of the chair of their thesis committee, the student will distribute copies to the committee members and schedule a date of the oral thesis defense. The chair of the thesis committee will submit the Request for Faculty Representative at Dissertation/Thesis Defense to the Vice President for Academic Affairs who will select a faculty member from another department to represent the University faculty at the defense. The Request for Faculty Representative at Dissertation/Thesis Defense must be submitted at least 10 working days prior to the requested defense date. The time and date of the defense will be announced in the Lake Weekly so that those interested may attend. One copy of the thesis must be furnished to the faculty representative prior to the defense. Final defenses will include a summary of the thesis research and findings to the committee. Committee members may ask students questions concerning any aspect of their completed thesis (which is suitable in format and content for submission to the library).
The candidate shall pass if a minimum of three-fourths of those voting so indicate. In the event of a failed defense, a second and last attempt may be scheduled after a lapse of at least three months. The student who has failed two examinations will be terminated from the academic program.
No material in the thesis or special problem/project submitted to fulfill the requirements of a degree may be restricted in any way; the thesis must be made available through the Our Lady of the Lake University library for inspection by any interested parties.
The student must, upon approval of the thesis, provide bound copies, properly signed by the committee members on the signature page, of the thesis to the department and the Sueltenfuss Library. A copy of the signature page (with original signatures) must be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to verify completion of the thesis. The thesis must be completed and approved within the time line set in advance by the program.
Master’s Student Records
In adherence with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the academic unit is responsible to maintain and appropriately store complete records of student progress through their program of study. The master’s student files should include at a minimum the following documentation:
- Admissions documents
- Program of study
- IRB approval (when appropriate)
- Completed comprehensive exam and ballots (when appropriate)
- Ballots from proposal defense and final thesis defense (when appropriate)
Admission to doctoral candidacy is a prerequisite to receiving any doctoral degree. To qualify for admission to doctoral candidacy, a student must:
- Be accepted and enrolled in a doctoral program offered by OLLU
- Have been continuously enrolled in the program without withdrawal, or have been readmitted to the program without condition
- Complete the departmental course work requirements with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
- Pass the written and oral sections of the doctoral qualifying examination
The doctoral qualifying examination is designed to determine the fitness of the student for pursing a doctoral program in the field in which a degree is desired. The examination is intended to cover all major aspects of the field. Candidates in the PsyD and PhD programs must take both written and oral qualifying examinations.
Upon completion of departmental requirements, as defined in the respective doctoral program handbook, it is the responsibility of the doctoral student to petition the Registrar’s Office for advancement to doctoral candidacy through their department chair or program director.
Doctoral Candidacy Time Limit
The maximum number of years in candidacy is seven years following the completion of the doctoral candidacy examination. Students may submit a written appeal requesting a one-time extension of up to 12 months to the dean of the respective college/school. Written appeals must clearly state the extenuating circumstances justifying the need for an extension.
Successful Academic Progress in Candidacy
Doctoral candidates registered for dissertation/field research credit hours will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail (P/F) grading system by their dissertation chair/adviser.
Financial Aid Eligibility
Students who have advanced to candidacy and register for one credit hour of dissertation or internship will be considered full-time and eligible to financial assistance accordingly.
All doctoral programs require that a candidate prepare a dissertation. The dissertation is a scholarly, original study that represents a significant contribution to the knowledge of the chosen field. Students should be continuously enrolled in a minimum of one dissertation hour after coursework is completed and until the semester in which the dissertation is defended.
Following departmental guidelines, a dissertation chairperson will be selected and a committee consisting of two additional members will be formed. The dissertation committee shall include at least two faculty members from the student’s department, with the student’s dissertation chairperson serving as committee chairperson. The remaining member must have an earned doctorate in the specific area of inquiry of the dissertation. This individual may be chosen from the student’s department, the faculty of the University, or from outside the University, and must be approved by the dissertation chairperson.
The chairperson and committee will monitor the research and writing of the dissertation. If any modifications of the proposed research are needed, they must be accepted by the dissertation chairperson and submitted in writing to the committee members and approved by a majority. The student should follow the University’s Guide for Writing Theses and Dissertations.
Beginning in the semester the dissertation committee is formed, the student must register for dissertation credits following departmental guidelines. The student must enroll in a minimum of one semester hour of dissertation course credit each semester until the dissertation is accepted. The dissertation chairperson and the program director must approve any exceptions.
Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval
Research, the pursuit of new knowledge through systematic approaches, is a vital component of a university. Often, research involves human subjects. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for reviewing every research project that involves human subjects and ensuring that: 1) no subject is put at unnecessary risk, 2) any risk to the subject is more than offset by the potential benefit of the research and 3) all human subject research is conducted in strict adherence to all federal regulations. All research with human subjects must be reviewed and found to meet IRB requirements before research is initiated at Our Lady of the Lake University. More information is available at the IRB website on the myOLLU portal.
If the student plans to utilize human subjects for research, the student must contact the Office of Institutional Research for Institutional Research Board guidelines and application procedures.
The student will meet with committee members, either individually or collectively, to review the dissertation proposal and set a date for the proposal defense. At the proposal defense the committee members examine the student on the dissertation proposal and related topics. After the examination, a majority of “pass” votes (including a “pass” vote by the dissertation chairperson) by the committee is required to approve the proposal. Results of the examination will be recorded in the student’s file by the chairperson of the dissertation committee.
If the proposed research involves human participants, the student must obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to assure that the rights of subjects are protected. This approval must be obtained after the proposal is approved and before data are collected. The student should obtain an IRB Packet from the IRB page on the myOLLU portal.
The doctoral committee is responsible for ensuring that the student has followed an appropriate format and that the content is acceptable. The graduate committee members must read and return drafts of dissertations to the student within a reasonable period of time.
Final Defense of Dissertation
A candidate for a doctoral degree must pass a final oral examination that primarily shall be a defense of the dissertation but may cover the general fields of knowledge pertinent to the degree.
The student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, have a completed or be enrolled in all the required coursework, have met all admission contingencies, and be registered for a minimum of two hours of dissertation credit at the beginning of the semester in which the final defense is to be taken.
When the chairperson has approved the dissertation for review, the student will distribute copies to all committee members. Following departmental guidelines, when a majority of the committee and/or program faculty have indicated to the chairperson that the dissertation is an academically sound and defensible scholarly product, a final dissertation defense meeting can be scheduled by filing the Request for Faculty Representative at Dissertation/Thesis Defense with the Vice President for Academic Affairs Office. Upon receipt of the application, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will select a faculty member from another department to represent the faculty at the defense. The date and time of the defense will be set by the committee chairperson not sooner than 10 working days from the request date. One copy of the draft dissertation will be furnished to the faculty representative at the time the defense is initially scheduled. Upon receipt of the Request for Faculty Representative at Dissertation/Thesis Defense, the defense will be announced in the Lake Weekly.
At the dissertation defense, the student presents a summary of the findings and is examined orally by the committee. The faculty representative monitors the proceeding as a non-voting member and verifies that the defense was fair and rigorous by completing the Faculty Representative Form and returning it to Academic Affairs Office.
Dissertation Defense Outcome
At the conclusion of the defense, the committee members vote “pass” or “fail” with a majority of “pass” votes required for the dissertation to be accepted. The committee may recommend acceptance contingent on changes needed in the final copy. A student who fails the dissertation defense will be given one more opportunity to defend the dissertation. Second failures will result in dismissal from the program. The outcome of the dissertation defense will be recorded on the dissertation title page, copies of which are sent to Registrar to confirm completion of the dissertation requirement. The ballots are maintained in the student file.
After passing the dissertation defense, the student must submit five final copies of the dissertation, with at least two copies signed in blue ink by the committee members on the title page and the UMI Dissertation Publishing Agreement to the Office of Academic Affairs. The student may submit additional copies and pay an additional fee for binding, if desired. The dissertation must be completed and approved within the time line set in advance by the program.
Doctoral Student Records
In adherence with the federal Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), the academic unit is responsible to maintain and appropriately store complete records of student progress through their program of study. The doctoral student files should include at a minimum the following documentation:
- Admissions documents
- Program of study
- Advancement to candidacy form
- IRB approval
- Completed qualifying exam and ballots
- Ballots from proposal defense and final dissertation defense