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    University of North Carolina at Charlotte
   
 
  Nov 18, 2017
 
 
    
Graduate Catalog | 2015-2016 Previous Edition

Degree Requirements and Academic Policies



Registration

The Office of the Registrar is responsible for the management of the registration process by which students enroll in, drop, and withdraw from courses. Through the registration process, students assume academic and financial responsibility for the courses in which they enroll. They are relieved of these responsibilities only by formally terminating enrollment by dropping or withdrawing in accordance with deadlines specified in the Academic Calendar and the corresponding prorated refund schedule available on the Student Accounts website at finance.uncc.edu/student-accounts/refunds.

Registration Deadlines

University policies determine when students may enroll or adjust their enrollment in courses. General deadlines are shown below and specific deadlines for a given term are available online at: registrar.uncc.edu/calendar.

Add/Drop Period

The Add/Drop period runs through the eighth instructional day of the Fall and Spring semesters (the second instructional day for the first and second Summer sessions).

During the Add/Drop Period, students can:

  • Register for courses
  • Drop a course(s) without record (and remain enrolled in other courses)
  • Drop all courses without record
  • Change the grade type to Audit or Pass/No Credit (refer to Auditing a Course and Pass/No Credit Option sections)
  • Elect to retake a course with Grade Replacement (refer to Repeating Courses section)

After the Add/Drop Period students can withdraw from one or more courses in accordance with the Withdrawals policy.

Prerequisites and Permits

All students, including visitors and non-degree students, are required to meet course prerequisites and to obtain the required permissions to enroll in courses through the department which sponsors the course.

Auditing Courses

With the permission of the instructor and Graduate School, a Graduate Student may audit any course in which space is available. Fees and procedures for this non-credit enrollment are the same as those for a credit enrollment. The procedure for adding, dropping, or withdrawing from an audit course is the same as for credit enrollments. In order to audit a class, a student must complete a Graduate Academic Petition and receive approval from the instructor and the Graduate School by the eighth instructional day of a semester.

No student will be allowed to change the designation of a course from audit to credit or from credit to audit after the eighth instructional day of a semester (or a proportional period for Summer sessions). Participation of auditors in course discussions and in tests or examinations is optional with the instructor. Students who audit receive no University credit, but they are expected to attend the course regularly.

Early Entry to Graduate Programs

Exceptional undergraduate students at UNC Charlotte may be accepted into some certificate, master's, and doctoral programs and begin work toward a graduate certificate or degree before completion of the baccalaureate degree.  In those programs offering this option, an applicant may be accepted at any time after completion of 75 or more credit hours of their undergraduate coursework, although it is expected that at least 90 credit hours of undergraduate coursework will have been earned by the time the first graduate course is taken.  These students will have provisional acceptance status in the graduate program, pending the award of the baccalaureate degree.

To be accepted to this program, the student must complete an application for the given graduate program and be approved for it.  In addition, the student must complete the Early Entry Program Form and have it approved by the Undergraduate Advisor, the Graduate Program Director, and the Graduate School.  [Note: The Early Entry Program Form must be approved by the Graduate School before the student begins the Early Entry graduate coursework.  Failure to obtain prior Graduate School approval negates the ability to "double count" courses in an accelerated Early Entry Program.]  An undergraduate student must have at least a 3.2 overall GPA and have taken the appropriate graduate standardized test and earned an acceptable score.  A given program may have more rigorous admissions criteria.  If an Early Entry student has not met the normal admission requirements of a 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA at the end of his/her baccalaureate degree, she/he will be dismissed from the graduate program.

Students accepted into an Early Entry Program will be subject to the same policies that pertain to other matriculated graduate students. Early Entry students will finish their baccalaureate degrees before they complete 15 hours of graduate coursework. No courses taken before admission to the graduate program may be applied to a graduate degree.

Some Early Entry Programs are also accelerated. Under this model, ordinarily up to six hours earned at the graduate level may be substituted for required undergraduate hours. In other words, up to six hours of graduate work may be "double counted" toward both the baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Individual programs may allow additional hours at the graduate level to be substituted. In no case may more than 12 hours be double-counted. Students use the Early Entry Program Form to detail which courses they plan to "double count" and which courses will be taken solely for graduate credit.

More than 45 graduate programs have an Early Entry Program. A list of Early Entry Programs may be found on the Graduate Admissions website at http://gradadmissions.uncc.edu/programs/early-entry.

Note: Students admitted to an Early Entry Program are not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship since they have not completed a baccalaureate degree. Students admitted into an Early Entry Program pay undergraduate fees and undergraduate tuition for all courses (graduate and undergraduate) for which they register until such time that the baccalaureate degree is completed (typically within two semesters).

Accelerated Master's Programs

Exceptional undergraduate students may be accepted into an Accelerated Master's Program whereby they simultaneously pursue the baccalaureate and master's degrees and gain invaluable mentoring and research experience along the way.  The Accelerated Master's Program may also be accelerated in which up to 12 hours earned at the graduate level may be substituted ("double counted") for required undergraduate hours.  A list of Accelerated Master's Programs may be found on the Graduate Admissions website at http://gradadmissions.uncc.edu/programs/accelerated-masters.

In the programs offering this option, an applicant may be accepted to the Pre- Accelerated Master's Program directly from high school with a minimum GPA 3.75 or above (on a 4.0 scale) and a minimum score of 1700 on the SAT.  Enrolled students apply for full admission to the Accelerated Master's Program in the spring semester of their freshmen year.  They must submit an online application for graduate admission and Statement of Purpose as well as three (3) strong recommendations in support of the application; at least one recommendation must be provided by a high school teachers and another from a UNC Charlotte faculty member who taught the applicant in the fall semester.  The application and supporting documents must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office in the freshman year.  Enrollment is based on program capacity, and certain programs may have more stringent admission policies.

Note:  Students admitted to an Accelerated Master's Program (undergraduate + graduate degrees) are not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship until their final year of study when they are only taking graduate courses.  In the Accelerated Master's Program of study, when only graduate courses are taken (typically the final year of study), students are considered "graduate" students and are charged graduate tuition and fees.

Dual Undergraduate and Graduate Registration

First undergraduate degree students at UNC Charlotte who are required to take fewer than 12 semester hours of undergraduate work to fulfill all requirements for the bachelor's degree may be allowed during their final semester to enroll in certain courses for the purpose of obtaining graduate credit. Dually enrolled students will continue to be considered undergraduate students and be charged for the courses taken at the undergraduate level. To be considered for dual enrollment, students should submit the online graduate application for admission as a post-baccalaureate student, submit a Special Request to the Graduate School requesting permission to be considered for dual enrollment, and attach to the Special Request a program of study outlining the requirements of the first undergraduate degree. The total hours to be carried in this status shall not exceed 12 hours, of which no more than nine may be for graduate credit. On the basis of work attempted prior to the final semester, such students must meet the grade point criteria for admission to a graduate degree program at the University. No course for which credit is applied to an undergraduate degree may receive graduate credit. Permission to take graduate courses under dual registration does not constitute admission to any graduate degree program at the University. (Undergraduate students may also take graduate courses if admitted to an Early Entry Program or a Bachelor's-Master's Program.)

Note: Only UNC Charlotte students pursuing their first undergraduate degree are eligible for dual undergraduate and graduate registration. Fifth year undergraduate students (i.e., students pursuing a second undergraduate degree) are not eligible for dual undergraduate and graduate enrollment.

Inter-Institutional Registration

An inter-institutional registration program is available, for a limited number of undergraduate and graduate students, with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina Central University. The registration process is initiated in the Office of the Registrar and requires the approval of the student's College Dean and the Associate Dean of the Graduate School. Enrollment for Inter-Institutional is normally limited to the following:

  • Fall and Spring terms: two courses per term for a graduate or professional student provided that the student is also registered for the balance of his/her normal load at UNC Charlotte.
  • Summer sessions: one course per summer session provided the student is also registered for at least three hours per session at UNC Charlotte.

Tuition will be billed by UNC Charlotte for all courses taken, including the Inter-Institutional courses, at the prevailing tuition rate. Fees will be waived at the visiting institution unless there is a special fee associated with a particular course. In such a case, the student is responsible for payment of the fee. Students must adhere to the academic calendar for all adds, drops, and withdrawals at both institutions.

Continuous Registration

Students in graduate degree programs are required to maintain continuous registration (fall and spring semesters) for thesis, dissertation, project, or directed study until work is completed. Students are not required to enroll in any summer term unless they are using campus facilities or they are completing degree requirements in that term. Students using University resources should enroll in the number of graduate credit hours that best reflects the amount of resources being used (typically three (3) or more graduate credit hours). The continuous registration requirement begins with the semester in which the student first registers for his/her thesis, dissertation, project, or directed study.

Note: Students must be enrolled during the term (semester or summer) in which they graduate from the University.

Leave of Absence

Current students who are not enrolled and are not using University resources may apply for a leave of absence. Students choosing this option must file a Graduate Academic Petition for a leave of absence that states they will not use University resources during the leave period. If the leave of absence extends beyond one calendar year, the student's matriculation is closed and the student must re-apply for active status in the graduate program. International students on F-1 visa/status must remain continuously enrolled until the thesis, dissertation, project or directed study is completed. Those international students who wish to apply for a leave of absence are advised to consult with the International Student/Scholar Office prior to filing the Graduate Academic Petition for leave of absence. Students experiencing a medical emergency should contact the Dean of Students Office. Students with questions about the leave of absence option can contact the Center for Graduate Life.

Transfer Credit

The student's Graduate Program Director is responsible for determining the applicability of transferred credits to graduate program requirements. See the appropriate "Degree Requirements" sections of this Catalog for program-specific policies. General rules governing transferred credit are:

  1. To obtain approval to receive transfer credit, the student must submit an Application for Transfer of Credit into a Graduate Degree Program form (available online at graduateschool.uncc.edu/current-students/forms), approved by the graduate program coordinator, to the Graduate School. If the courses being transferred are from another institution, the student must include an official copy of the transcript along with the request, as well as valid course descriptions from that institution. The University is not obligated to accept any courses for transfer credit.
  2. No more than six semester hours of transfer credit will be considered for acceptance into a master's degree program. The amount of transfer credit that may be accepted into a doctoral program varies by program. See program specific policies in this Catalog.
  3. Undergraduate courses are not transferable for graduate credit.
  4. Graduate courses that appear in the undergraduate section of a transcript are only transferable if the Registrar of the institution where the credit was received can verify in writing that the graduate courses in question were not counted toward the student's undergraduate degree requirements.
  5. Courses which have been taken as part of any graduate program at UNC Charlotte or another institution for which the student has received a master's or doctorate degree are not transferable into a certificate program or a second master's degree program. The transferability of master's degree or doctoral coursework into a doctoral program varies by program. See program specific policies in this Catalog.
  6. The grade in any course accepted for transferred credit must be A or B, as defined by UNC Charlotte (a 3.0 or above on a 0.0-4.0 grade point scale). Coursework that has been graded on a Pass/No Credit or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis will not be accepted for transfer. In some cases, the Graduate School will allow completed thesis credit (graded on a Pass/No Credit scale) to be transferred into a doctoral program. It should be noted that, although the credit for a course may transfer, the grade will not be used to calculate the graduate GPA at UNC Charlotte.
  7. Courses accepted for transfer are subject to the same time limitation as courses taken in residence.
  8. To be considered for transfer credit, the courses must have been undertaken at a regionally accredited institution.
  9. Courses taken at an accredited institution using the quarter system may be transferred but the quarter hours will be converted to semester hour credit.
  10.  Courses in which credit is accepted must be appropriate for approved University programs and curricula in which the student is enrolled.
  11. Transfer credit is not awarded for non-degree seeking graduate students (i.e., post baccalaureate students).
  12. Students may transfer the credits earned in a graduate certificate program toward a single degree that they pursue either in conjunction with the graduate certificate or after the certificate has been awarded. However, students may not transfer credits earned in one certificate program toward the satisfaction of requirements in a second certificate program.

Credit by Examination

A student currently enrolled at UNC Charlotte may pass a specially prepared challenge examination and receive credit for a University course without having to do the normal coursework. The student contacts the program in which credit is sought to request administration of an examination. Since it may not be appropriate to award credit by examination for some courses, the decision to offer an examination is that of the program. If the graduate program authorizes an examination, the student is instructed to pay the fee for credit by examination and to bring the receipt of payment to the examination. Credit by examination will be indicated on the transcript, but no grade points will be awarded. Failure on such an examination will incur no grade-point penalty. No student may challenge a course for which either a passing or failing grade has been received at UNC Charlotte.

Change of Degree Program

To change from one degree program to another, a graduate student must complete the application for admission to the new program, pay the requisite application fee, submit a Statement of Purpose, and provide supporting documentation as specified in this Catalog in a timely manner and be recommended by the Graduate Program Director for admission to the new program of study, with the Graduate School rendering the final decision. The student should also provide the Graduate School with a letter indicating withdrawal from the initial degree program. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for additional information.

Note: Students on F-1 or J-1 visa status who change from one degree program to another may be required to submit proof of sufficient financial resources, especially if the change to another degree program requires the issuance of a new Form I-20 or DS-2019.

Application for the Degree and/or Graduate Certificate

Each student should make application for his/her degree and/or graduate certificate by completing the online Application for Degree/Certificate through Banner Self-Service online no later than the filing date specified on the Academic Calendar. In addition, all graduate students (both degree and certificate) must submit an Application for Candidacy form via Banner Self-Service online to the Graduate School no later than the filing date specified on the Academic Calendar.  Degrees and certificates are conferred at commencement exercises held at the end of the spring and fall semesters; however, the diploma, graduate certificate and transcript will reflect the term in which all requirements were completed. Graduate degree diplomas and graduate certificates are mailed directly to the student after graduation clearance has been completed.

Students completing their degree and/or certificate requirements in May, participate in the May commencement ceremony. Students completing degrees and/or certificates in a summer term, as well as those completing in December, participate in the December commencement ceremony. Doctoral students may be accompanied by one faculty member, typically their advisor, during the commencement ceremony.

Earning a Second Degree

A student is permitted to earn a second graduate degree subject to the following conditions:

  1. no work applied to a previously awarded degree may be applied to the new degree program
  2. the student must be admitted to a degree program different from that of his/her previous graduate degree(s)
  3. the student must successfully meet all requirements for the new degree

Dual Master's Degrees

In certain instances it may be possible for a student to obtain dual degrees in two master's programs through the development of an integrated curriculum. It is important to remember that a dual master's degree requires a special arrangement and should be viewed as atypical to standard practice. No degree program is obligated to enter into such an arrangement.

Although other restrictions may apply, basic admission and degree requirements are specified below:

The student must apply to each program separately and be admitted to both. No admission requirements established by the Graduate School or by either individual program may be waived. For example, if one degree requires acceptable scores for the GRE and the other the MAT, the applicant must take each standardized exam to be considered for admission to both degrees.

  1. Once admitted, the student must develop a suitable plan of study that is acceptable to both programs and to the Graduate School. This plan of study must be done within the first semester of a student's matriculation in the Graduate School and in conjunction with Graduate Program Directors. The plan of study must be forwarded to the Graduate School for review and approval.
  2. The student's advisory committee must have representation from both degree programs. If there is no advisory committee, the student must have two advisors; one from each program.
  3. The number of required credit hours for both degrees must not be less than 75% of the total minimum hours required to complete each degree separately. For instance, if degree program X requires 30 credit hours and Y 30 credit hours, a proposed dual degree should at a minimum require 45 credit hours.
  4. The coordinator or director of each degree must agree on which courses may be applied to both sets of graduation requirements.
  5. The student must complete the capstone requirements for both programs. For example, if program X requires a written thesis and program Y requires a comprehensive exam, the student must meet both degree obligations.
  6. If there is a compulsory qualifying exam in each curriculum, it may be possible for the student to take a single exam as long as the examination committee agrees that the assessment covers sufficient background information for each discipline. If only one program requires a qualifying exam, the student is obligated to take the exam.
  7. If the student withdraws or is suspended from one of the participating programs, the dual degree arrangement is automatically nullified.
  8. All standard policies relating to transfer of and minimum GPA required to graduate, apply to any dual degree arrangement.
  9. All of the coursework in the combined program of study must be completed before the student can apply for either of the degrees.

Note: No dual degrees will be awarded retroactively.courses, time to degree, residency requirements.

Termination of Enrollment

Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course(s) while Maintaining Enrollment in Other Courses
A student may terminate enrollment in a course(s) but continue enrollment in other courses by dropping or withdrawing from a course by the respective deadlines specified on the Academic Calendar. A student enrolled in only one course must withdraw officially from the University by dropping or withdrawing from a course by the respective deadlines specified on the Academic Calendar.

Officially Withdrawing from All Courses and from the University
Students seeking to withdraw from all courses in a term, after the Add/Drop period as defined in the Registration section earlier in this Catalog, must officially withdraw to terminate enrollment for that term. A student may withdraw from the University by going online and using Banner Self-Service by the deadline for that term. A withdraw is effective when the withdrawal action is submitted through Banner to the Office of the Registrar. A student who withdraws from the term will receive a grade of W for all courses in progress; any student who leaves the University before the close of a term without withdrawing officially will receive a failing or unsatisfactory grade (F for undergraduate courses and U for graduate courses) in each course for which he/she is registered. A graduate student who receives a U is automatically suspended or terminated from the University and must appeal to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, if suspended, and the Dean of the Graduate School, if terminated, for reinstatement. Students who experience a personal or medical crisis have the option of requesting a leave of absence or withdrawal from all courses via the Dean of Students Office during the term the crisis begins. The Dean of Students Office will notify the student's academic department(s). Note: In addition to withdrawing from all courses, students must terminate all financial obligations with the University such as financial aid, housing, dining, etc., by completing necessary paperwork in each office.

International students on F-1 or J-1 visa status must carry a full course load each academic semester. (Some exceptions apply. See the International Student/Scholar Office for further information.) Students who withdraw from UNC Charlotte are advised to consult the International Student/Scholar Office for information on maintaining valid F-1 or J-1 status, or reinstatement to valid F-1 or J-1 status.

Termination by the University
The University maintains the right to terminate a student's enrollment in a course for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: course schedule changes, course cancellation due to low enrollment, or the student's nonfulfillment of course prerequisites. The University maintains the right to terminate a student's enrollment in all courses in a term for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: academic suspension, suspension for violation of the Code of Student Responsibility, or suspension in violation of the Code of Student Academic Integrity. Students who have been suspended for academic or disciplinary reasons must reapply for admission as described in the Readmission of Former Students policy.


Course Descriptions

Related course descriptions are provided with each degree/non-degree program in the Catalog. Course descriptions provide the following information: subject prefix; course number; course title; semester credit hours assigned to the course; prerequisites and/or corequisites (if any) and a brief description of the course content.  The description may specify the number of class (lecture) and/or laboratory sessions and hours. If no class hours are given, the number of class hours per week is the same as the number of credit hours credit assigned to the course.

For example:
SUBJ 6234. Title of Course. (Credit Hours)  Pre/corequisites.  Brief description of course content.

Course Numbering System

Courses are identified by four-digit numbers. The first digit indicates the level of the course:

  • 5000-5999 = graduate courses with parallel undergraduate courses listed at the 4000 level
  • 6000-7999 = graduate certificate and master's level courses
  • 8000-9999 = doctoral level courses

The following second digits designate special types of courses:

  • 0 for topics
  • 4 for internships and practicum
  • 5 for cooperative education
  • 6 for seminars
  • 7 for Honors courses
  • 8 for independent study
  • 9 for research

Prerequisites and Corequisites

A prerequisite is a requirement that must be met (or a course that must be passed) before enrolling in a more advanced course. A corequisite is a course which should be taken in the same semester as another.

Cross-Listed Courses

A cross-listed course is a single course which is simultaneously listed in the schedule of course offerings by two or more academic departments. They share the same meeting times, room, instructor(s), and curriculum. Students may only receive credit for the single section of the cross-listed course for which they are registered. Credit will not be awarded for a course where credit has been awarded for a cross-listed course.

Frequency

The frequency of offering a course is listed in parentheses at the end of the course description. Courses offered every year are designated by semester(s) only. Courses offered every other year are designated by semester and/or odd or even years. "On demand" courses are offered as needed and if a qualified instructor is available.

Changes

Course descriptions and numbers are accurate at the time of publication of the Catalog. For the most current information, please consult the department or the most current online version of the Graduate Catalog at catalog.uncc.edu.


Course Load

An appropriate course load is dependent upon two factors: the scholastic ability of the student as reflected by his/her academic history and the time available for study. For students without a graduate assistantship, a course load of 9 semester hours constitutes a normal full semester program for a graduate student. This is lower than the normal undergraduate load because of the extensive reading, independent thinking, and individual research required of graduate students. Generally, graduate students should not register for more than 12 semester hours during a semester.

A graduate assistant must register for at least six graduate-level semester hours during each semester in which an assistantship is awarded. Graduate assistants enrolled in the Graduate Assistance Support Plan (GASP) must register for a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours each term until they graduate, even if they exhaust all GASP funding before their final term.

International students on F-1 visa/status are required, by immigration regulations, to pursue a full course load during each academic semester, except during official school breaks (e.g., summer vacation and winter holidays) or unless a reduced course load is approved in advance by the Designated School Officer (DSO) at the International Students/Scholar Office. Failure to enroll for a full course load without prior approval is considered a violation of the F-1 legal status.


Classroom Attendance and Policies

Each instructor determines the classroom policies (including attendance regulations) for his or her courses. In general, students are expected to attend punctually all scheduled sessions in the courses for which they are registered, to demonstrate civil behavior while in class, and to complete all of the course requirements. Instructors may outline additional and more specific standards in the course syllabus. Absences from class may be excused by the instructor for such reasons as personal illness, religious holidays, or participating as an authorized University representative in an out-of-town event. Whenever possible, students are expected to seek the permission of the instructor prior to absences.


Grading and Related Policies

Instructors assign grades on the basis of their evaluation of the academic performance of each student enrolled in their courses. At the end of the term, the grades are reported to the Office of the Registrar which is responsible for maintaining student academic records and making grades available to students.

Grades

Letters are used to designate the quality of student academic achievement.

Graduate Grades
Grade Definition Grade Points
per Semester
Hour
A Commendable 4
B Satisfactory 3
C Marginal 2
U Unsatisfactory 0
I  Incomplete  
IP  In Progress  
W Withdrawal  
P Pass  
N No Credit  
AU  Audit  
NR No recognition
given for audit
 

Grade of I (Incomplete)

The grade of I is assigned at the discretion of the instructor when a student who is otherwise passing has not, due to circumstances beyond his/her control, completed all the work in the course. The missing work must be completed by the deadline specified by the instructor, but no later than 12 months. If the I is not removed during the specified time, a grade of U as appropriate is automatically assigned. Time extensions for the completion of an I beyond one year cannot be approved except by a Graduate Academic Petition to the Graduate School under extraordinary circumstances. The grade of I cannot be removed by enrolling again in the same course, and students should not re-enroll in a course in which they have been assigned the grade of I.

Grade of IP (In Progress)

The grade of IP is based on coursework for courses that extend over more than one semester. For example, a course that requires enrollment for two consecutive semesters would be eligible for an IP grade in the first term (i.e., Certificate Project, Master's Thesis, Master's Project, Doctoral Dissertation, etc.). The grade in the second term is also awarded for the course in the first semester. A grade of IP should not be given for coursework to be completed in one given term. It cannot be substituted for a grade of I. For a student in good standing in a certificate program, an IP grade expires after four years, and if no final grade has been awarded by that time, the IP grade will default to a grade of N (no credit). For a student in good standing in a master's degree program, an IP grade expires after six years, and if no final grade has been awarded by that time, the IP grade will default to a grade of N (no credit). For a student in good standing in a doctoral program, an IP grade expires after eight years, and if no final grade has been awarded by that time, the IP grade will default to a grade of N (no credit).

Grade of W (Withdrawal)

No grade will be given for a course dropped on or before the last day to drop a course without record. After this period, a student is permitted to withdraw from a course with a grade of W. The deadline to withdraw from one or more courses (including withdrawing from all courses) is 60% of the way through the term, which for Fall or Spring semesters is during the 9th week. The precise date for each term is published in the Academic Calendar. After this deadline, withdrawal is only allowed for approved extenuating circumstances. Unsatisfactory academic performance itself is not an extenuating circumstance. The date of withdrawal is determined when the "Withdrawal" notification is received by the Office of the Registrar. The grade of W is posted on the academic transcript.

Grade of N (No Credit)

The grade of N (No Credit) is used in very special circumstances. The N grade signifies that there is no credit given for the course. Therefore, any course that receives the N grade does not enter into the student's grade point average. The N grade is used for the master's and doctoral level, resident and non-resident, graduate student continuing registration courses (GRAD 7999 or GRAD 9999). The N grade is also used to replace IP grades which have expired, and for GRAD 8990. These are the only three uses for the N grade.

Pass/Unsatisfactory Option

Certain graduate courses, such as research seminars, tutorials, internships, theses or dissertations, may be designated for Pass/Unsatisfactory grading upon recommendation of the offering department and approval of the Graduate Council. The grade of P (Pass) in such a course shall be considered as evidence of satisfactory performance. A grade of U (Unsatisfactory) will affect eligibility for continued enrollment and will not apply toward requirements for the degree. Graduate students may not the Pass/Unsatisfactory option for a standard graded course, with the exception of GRAD 6000-level courses.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grade point average for a graduate student is based only on those graduate courses taken at UNC Charlotte. It is determined by multiplying the number of grade points for each grade (A=4, B=3, C=2, U=0) by the number of semester hours credit received in that courses adding all accumulated grade points together, and then dividing by the total number of semester hours the student has attempted except those for which the student received a grade of I, IP, W, P, N, AU, or NR. When a course not listed as "May be repeated for credit" is repeated, no additional credit hours attempted accrue and the hours earned and grade points of the previous grade are replaced by those of the current grade.

Graduate students must have a 3.0 GPA in the courses on their degree plan of study in order to graduate. However, the grades for all courses attempted will remain on the transcript and will be included in the calculation of the student's GPA as it is reported on the transcript.

Repeating Graduate Courses

Graduate students are allowed to repeat a maximum of two courses in which the student has been assigned a grade of C or U (but not an I). If the course grade has resulted in suspension or termination of enrollment, the student must appeal to be reinstated in order to repeat the course. A given course may be repeated one time only. Each grade earned in a repeated course is shown on the student's transcript. The record of the first attempt remains a part of the student's permanent record and counts in the number of marginal (C) grades accumulated. However, the hours earned and grade in the first attempt are not computed in the GPA. Successfully repeating a course does not change the number of marginal (C) grades accumulated. Enrollment will be terminated if a student receives a grade of U in a repeated course for which the student previously earned a U.

Final Grades

Final grades are available through the secure student access pages of 49er Express, online at 49erexpress.uncc.edu.

Final Grade Changes and Appeals from Final Course Grades

When a final course grade other than Incomplete (I) is officially reported by the instructor at the end of an academic term, the grade is recorded by the Office of the Registrar and can be changed only if the grade has been assigned arbitrarily or impermissibly as defined in University Policy 410, Policy and Procedures for Student Appeals of Final Course Grades, available online at legal.uncc.edu/policies/up-410.

For guidelines on applying this policy, please visit University Policy 411, Request for Review of a Final Course Grade Guidelines for Students, online at legal.uncc.edu/policies/up-411.

Students should follow the procedures outlined in that policy if they believe that the final course grade that has been assigned is incorrect. The policy encourages the student to discuss the grade with the instructor as soon as possible after the grade is received. Students should note, however, that the University is not obliged to respond to a grade appeal unless the student files it with the appropriate department chairperson or interdisciplinary program director within the first four weeks following the last day of the regular semester or the summer term in which the grade was received. When a grade is assigned consistent with University policy, only the instructor has the right to change the grade except as provided in the Incomplete grade policy. When an instructor reports a grade change for a grade other than I, the Change of Grade request must be approved by his/her Department Chairperson and the Graduate School.


Academic Standing

Requirements for Continued Enrollment

All graduate students whether degree seeking or non-degree seeking (post baccalaureate) must maintain satisfactory grades. In addition, students enrolled in any graduate program must maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree. Students are expected to achieve a commendable or satisfactory grade (A or B) in all coursework attempted for graduate credit. Students who fail to maintain satisfactory progress toward their degree or who do not achieve commendable or satisfactory grades in all their graduate coursework are subject to suspension and/or termination from their program of study and/or the Graduate School.

International students on F-1 or J-1 visa status must carry a full course load each academic semester (Some exceptions apply. See International Student/Scholar Office for further information.) Students who are suspended or terminated from their program of study are advised to consult the International Student/Scholar Office for information on maintaining valid F-1 or J-1 status, or reinstatement to valid F-1 or J-1 status.

Academic Suspension

All graduate students (degree/certificate seeking and post baccalaureate) are subject to academic suspension. An accumulation of three marginal C grades in any graduate coursework will result in suspension of the student's enrollment. If a student makes a grade of U in any graduate course, enrollment will be suspended. A graduate student whose enrollment has been suspended because of grades is ineligible to register in any semester or summer session unless properly reinstated.

Note: Some departments and/or programs have stricter regulations on suspension than those of the Graduate School. See the academic regulations presented in the program specific sections of this Catalog.

Appeal Procedure

Graduate students may appeal a suspension or termination using the procedures described in the following paragraphs. Other grievances relating to academic status are to be addressed to the Graduate School.

Appeal of Academic Suspension for the Purpose of Reinstatement

A student who has been suspended from the Graduate School and/or a program of study may appeal his/her suspension and must be reinstated in order to continue his/her studies. After notification of suspension is received, the student initiates the appeal procedure by submitting a Suspension Appeal Form to the Graduate Program Director of his/her academic program explaining any extenuating circumstances. The Graduate Program Director will forward this form to the Graduate School with a recommendation regarding reinstatement. Non-degree seeking licensure students in the College of Education, submit the Suspension Appeal Form to the Associate Dean of the College of Education. All other non-degree seeking students submit the Suspension Appeal Form in Banner Self-Service. The Associate Dean of the Graduate School makes the decision on the suspension appeal and notifies the student of the decision in writing.

A student readmitted to a graduate program through reinstatement will be expected to complete the degree program with satisfactory or commendable performance (A or B grades). Should a student receive a grade of C or U in a graduate course after being reinstated to the program, enrollment in the graduate program will be terminated.

A student who is denied readmission through the suspension appeal process is considered to be terminated from the Graduate School and/or the graduate program. Terminated students may appeal their termination as identified in the section entitled "Appeal of Academic Termination for the Purpose of Reinstatement."

Academic Termination of Non-Degree Seeking Students

Academic termination of non-degree seeking (post-baccalaureate) students may occur in two ways.

  1. A student's graduate status will be terminated if, after receiving an initial suspension (see "Academic Suspension") and subsequent reinstatement (see "Appeal of Academic Suspension for the Purpose of Reinstatement"), the student receives a grade of C or U in a graduate-level course.
     
  2. A student's graduate studies may be terminated if he/she fails to maintain the general standards of the Graduate School for termination (e.g., accumulation of more than one C grade in a term resulting in a total of four or more C grades in his/her graduate academic record, three C grades and one U, or two or more U grades in a single term).
     
  3. Students who are suspended from the Graduate School and are denied re-admittance through the suspension appeal process (see "Appeal of Academic Suspension for the Purpose of Reinstatement") are considered terminated from the Graduate School.
     

Academic Termination of Degree/Certificate Seeking Students

Academic termination of a degree/certificate graduate student's program of studies may occur in four ways.

  1. Students may be required to terminate their graduate studies if they fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress. One example of failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress is non-adherence to the schedule of "Time Limits for Degrees."

    When a program determines that a student is making unsatisfactory progress, the program notifies the student in writing of the program's concern about the student's performance. Such a warning specifies the source of the concern, the applicable program and/or Graduate School rules, and the proposed action. Warnings specify when and on what basis a recommendation for academic termination will be considered by the program. A probationary period of one academic semester is normal.

    Following the probationary period, a student who fails to meet the provisions of the warning is subject to termination from the program. If the program believes that termination is warranted, the graduate program director or coordinator communicates to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School in writing the specific reasons involved, all warnings communicated to the student, the program and/or advisory committee procedures and actions leading to the recommendation, and the mailing address of the student. After considering all of the information, the Associate Dean will make a decision. If the decision is to terminate, the Associate Dean will notify the student of his/her termination from the Graduate School.
     
  2. A student's graduate studies may be terminated if he/she fails to maintain the specific standards of the student's academic program as described in the program specific sections of the Graduate Catalog (e.g., a doctoral program may indicate that the accumulation of two C grades or one U grade is grounds for termination from the program) or the general standards of the Graduate School for termination (e.g., accumulation of more than one C grade in a term resulting in a total of four or more C grades in his/her graduate academic record, three C grades and one U, or two or more U grades in a single term).
     
  3. A student's graduate studies will be terminated if, after receiving an initial suspension (see "Academic Suspension") and subsequent reinstatement (see "Appeal of Academic Suspension for the Purpose of Reinstatement"), the student receives a grade of C or U in a graduate level course.

    Note: A graduate student may be terminated without prior suspension if he/she receives four C grades, regardless of the semester in which the grades were received.
     
  4. Students who are suspended from a graduate program and are denied re-admittance through the suspension appeal process (see "Appeal of Academic Suspension for the Purpose of Reinstatement") are considered terminated from their graduate program.

In all cases of termination from a graduate program, the student's transcript will bear the notation "Candidacy Terminated."

Readmission of Terminated Graduate Students

Students who have been academically terminated from the Graduate School and/or a UNC Charlotte graduate program are not eligible for readmission as either a degree seeking or non-degree seeking graduate student. However, if after two years the student can demonstrate the potential for academic success and/or personal and professional development since leaving the University, the student may initiate a request for readmission to the Graduate School. The student may initiate the request for readmission to the program from which he/she was terminated, to a different graduate program, or as a post-baccalaureate student. Students seeking readmission must submit a new application package which includes the full set of materials identified in the section entitled "General Application Requirements for Admission  " In addition, the student must include within his/her essay (Statement of Purpose) a section explaining the circumstances that led to his/her termination from the UNC Charlotte Graduate School and a discussion of the academic and/or personal and professional development since last attending the University that has prepared him/her for a successful return to graduate studies.

Appeal of Academic Termination for the Purpose of Reinstatement (Post- Baccalaureate Students)

While an action of termination is considered final, a post-baccalaureate student who is terminated may appeal that termination to the Graduate School if there are unusual or extenuating circumstances.

To initiate an Appeal of Academic Termination, the student must send a written letter to the Graduate School requesting consideration of his/her case by the UNC Charlotte Graduate School Appeals Committee. In the written request, the student must make his/her case for reinstatement. If appropriate, the student may include two letters from UNC Charlotte faculty or academic administrative personnel who are knowledgeable of the student's academic capabilities and are supportive of the student's reinstatement to the Graduate School. A termination appeal request and the supporting documentation must be received by the Graduate School within 30 days of the date on the letter of termination.

Once the Graduate School receives the Appeal of Termination, it will be forwarded to the Chair of the Graduate School Appeals Committee. This Committee will review all relevant materials and make a recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School makes the decision on the Appeal of Termination case and his/her decision is final.

Appeal of Academic Termination for the Purpose of Reinstatement (Degree Seeking Students)

While an action of termination is considered final, a student who is terminated from a graduate program may appeal that termination to the Graduate School if there are unusual or extenuating circumstances. The type of academic termination will determine the permissible grounds for the petition and the specific procedure utilized to initiate the appeal.

Category 1: Academic Termination Based on Failure to Maintain Commendable or Satisfactory Performance in Coursework
Category 1 appeals are available to students who have been terminated for receiving a U or C grade after an initial suspension and students who fail to maintain the specific grading standards of an academic program. In these cases, an Appeal of Academic Termination submitted to the Graduate School must be supported by the student's graduate program. Without support from the student's graduate program, academic termination of this type is always considered a final action.

To initiate a Category 1 Appeal of Academic Termination, the student must send a written letter to the Graduate School requesting consideration of his/her case by the UNC Charlotte Graduate School Appeals Committee. In the written request, the student must make his/her case for reinstatement. Included with the student's letter must be at least two letters of support for reinstatement from the student's academic program. For master's degree students, the termination appeal should include a letter from the program coordinator/director and a letter from the department chair, major advisor and/or the thesis/project advisor. For a doctoral student, a termination appeal should include a letter from the program coordinator/director and the advisory committee or dissertation committee chair. The letters from the program must specify what expectations must be met by the student if he/she is readmitted to the program. A termination appeal request and the supporting documentation must be received by the Graduate School within 30 days of the date on the letter of termination.

Once the Graduate School receives a Category 1 Appeal of Termination, it will be forwarded to the Chair of the Graduate School Appeals Committee. This Committee will review all relevant materials and make a recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School makes the decision on the Appeal of Termination case and his/her decision is final.

Category 2: Academic Termination Based on Programmatic Action
Category 2 appeals are for students who have been terminated for failure to maintain satisfactory progress in an academic program and for students who have been denied re-admittance through the suspension appeal process. Academic decisions based on the disciplinary expertise and judgment of graduate faculty members and program coordinators/directors in a particular field are not subject to appeal. The fact that a programmatic decision goes against a student's desire for continuation in an academic degree program is not grounds for a termination appeal. However, a Category 2 appeal may be brought on the grounds that there was "procedural error" or "discrimination" in the termination decision.

To initiate a Category 2 Appeal of Academic Termination, the student must send a written letter to the Graduate School requesting consideration of his/her case by the UNC Charlotte Graduate School Appeals Committee. In the written request, the student must make his/her case for reinstatement. If the student is alleging "procedural error," the student must specify what procedures were utilized and how the program deviated from the specified procedures. If the basis of the appeal is "discrimination," the student must show how his/her case was handled substantially different from those of other students in similar circumstances. A termination appeal request and the supporting documentation must be received by the Graduate School within 30 days of the date on the letter of termination.

Once the Graduate School receives a Category 2 Appeal of Termination, it will be forwarded to the Chair of the Graduate School Appeals Committee. The Chair of the Appeals Committee will contact the program in question and request a response to allegations of "procedural error" and/or "discrimination." The program will have two weeks to respond to the request of the Appeals Committee Chair. Once all relevant information had been received, the Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School makes the decision on the Appeal of Termination case and his/her decision is final.

Graduate School Appeals Committee

The Graduate School Appeals Committee is authorized to review appeals for reinstatement from graduate students who have been academically terminated. The Committee does not hear grade appeals, for which a separate procedure exists. The Appeals Committee is comprised of four members. The Associate Dean of the Graduate School serves as the ex officio, non-voting chair of the committee. The three voting members of the Appeals Committee are graduate faculty members named by the Dean of the Graduate School.


Disciplinary Suspension

Readmission is not automatic for graduate students suspended for disciplinary reasons. To be considered for readmission, a graduate student must reapply to the Graduate Admissions Office using the online application. An explanation of the circumstances surrounding any disciplinary suspension must be included in the Campus Safety section of the application for admission. Similarly, the applicant must meet all requirements established by the academic program and/or the University before readmission will be considered. (See the "UNC Charlotte Code of Student Responsibility  " for a more complete discussion of disciplinary suspension.)


Master's Degree Requirements

Residence Requirements

No more than six semester hours of transferred credit are accepted toward a master's degree. All other work must be residence credit.

Residence credit is credit that is earned under the conditions specified herein and may be applied toward the attainment of graduate degrees at UNC Charlotte. These conditions must be satisfied regardless of the location (on campus, online, or distance) in which the course is given.

Instruction
The instructor must be a member of the UNC Charlotte Graduate Faculty.

Course(s)
The content of each course must be approved by regularly established college, Graduate School and University curricular processes before the course is scheduled or offered.

Residence credit may also be awarded by virtue of an examination administered by the Graduate Faculty of the department offering credit. A student may also, with the prior approval of the appropriate UNC Charlotte department and the Dean of the Graduate School, take graduate courses for residence and course credit at other regionally accredited institutions.

Advisory Committee

All students in graduate programs must have a graduate advisor who is a regular member of the Graduate Faculty in the student's major program. The graduate program coordinator/director appoints the graduate advisor. In the case of master's programs requiring theses and/or final oral examinations, the graduate advisor serves as chair or co-chair of the committee.

In all master's programs requiring a committee, the committee will consist of at least three graduate faculty members, one of whom is designated as chair. In programs not requiring a committee, only a major advisor is necessary.

Program Approval

Each student's individual program of study must be approved by his/her department/college. A maximum of six hours of transferred credit may be included in the approved program of study.

Admission to Candidacy

Upon successful completion of a minimum of 18 semester hours of graduate work and in no case later than the eighth instructional day of the semester in which he/she expects to complete all requirements for the degree, a student should file for admission to candidacy on a form supplied by the Graduate School. This application is a check sheet approved by the student's graduate coordinator/director, listing all coursework to be offered for the degree (including transferred credit and courses in progress). The Candidacy form must be received in the Graduate School by the eighth instructional day of the semester in which the student expects to graduate.

Minimum Hours and Quality

A student is expected to satisfactorily complete a minimum of 30 to 60 semester hours of approved graduate level courses, depending upon his/her individual program, with an overall GPA of 3.0 or above in courses on the degree plan of study. Grades in all courses attempted, whether or not on the plan of study, will remain on the transcript and will be included in the calculation of the student's GPA as it is reported on the transcript. No more than six hours evaluated as C may be counted toward the minimum hours required for the master's degree.

Culminating Experience

Each student must pass a graduate culminating experience which may take the form of a comprehensive exam, thesis defense, project presentation, or other appropriate capstone evaluation. Students must be enrolled during the semester in which they take the comprehensive examination or any other type of culminating experience.

Comprehensive Exam

The plan of study for a master's degree may or may not include a comprehensive assessment. Comprehensive assessments are administered written and/or orally by graduate program faculty. Students who fail a comprehensive assessment are subject to termination and should discuss options with their graduate program director. With program approval, a comprehensive assessment may be retaken one time. If the student fails the exam a second time, the program may, in rare circumstance and with compelling evidence, allow a student to, within four months, retake the exam (or portion of the exam). In such cases, the program must document the circumstances under which the student is allowed to retake portions of the exam and demonstrate that the student's committee unanimously supports the decision. Documentation must be submitted to the Graduate School for review prior to the exam date. In no instance will the student be allowed to take the exam (or portion of the exam) a fourth time. Students may only appeal a termination to the Graduate School if their appeal to retake the exam is based on a procedural error or discrimination (please see the Category 2 appeal description under Appeal for Academic Termination) and their initial appeal to the program was denied.

Thesis

The plan of study for a master's degree may or may not include completion of a thesis. The thesis and non-thesis approaches are designed to meet the needs of students preparing for different types of careers and represent qualitatively different educational experiences. Consequently, the academic departments and the Dean of the Graduate School discourage any switching from one plan to another. If a switch from a thesis to non-thesis plan is approved, the grade of I for the thesis work will be changed to W on the transcript with no refund of tuition for the course(s). At the time that the graduate program approves the student's thesis topic, the Petition for Topic Approval must be filed with the Graduate School. This form is available in the Graduate School and online at the Graduate School website.

The thesis should be submitted for final approval by the student's thesis committee at least three weeks before the date of the oral examination in which the thesis is defended. Following the successful completion of this defense, the master's candidate must submit three unbound copies of the approved and error-free thesis to the Graduate School no later than the filing date indicated in the University Calendar. Guidelines for the preparation of the thesis are available from the Graduate School and online at graduateschool.uncc.edu/current-students/graduation/thesis-and-dissertation-manual.

Time Limit

University policy requires that no course listed on a master's student's candidacy form be older than six years at the time of graduation. This policy is in place because of the University's interest in a degree being current when it is awarded. Courses that exceed this time limit must be revalidated or retaken, whichever the graduate program decides necessary, if they are to count in a degree program.

To revalidate a course, the student, along with the program coordinator and the course instructor, prepare a revalidation plan that must be reviewed and approved by the Graduate School. This plan often involves taking a special examination designed by the faculty of the graduate program. Once the plan has been completed, the program coordinator must notify the Graduate School in writing. The Revalidation Form is available on the Graduate School website at graduateschool.uncc.edu/current-students/forms.

Students may not revalidate courses with a grade of C or lower, courses that are internships or other forms of practica, or courses taken at other institutions. Additionally, no more than 25% of the courses on a student's program of study may be revalidated and for master's students no course older than eight years may be revalidated.

Courses and Other Requirements

The courses and other requirements for specific degree programs are presented in each of their individual sections throughout this Catalog.


Ph.D. Degree Requirements

A doctoral degree is conferred by the University after the student has demonstrated outstanding scholarship in an approved program of study. Candidates must satisfy all University degree requirements in addition to all standards established by the doctoral faculty of their particular program. Specific program degree requirements are listed under the respective doctoral programs in this Catalog. In some cases, requirements in a given program are more stringent than the minimum requirements established by the Graduate School.

Ordinarily, a student must complete at least 72 post-baccalaureate credit hours in order to earn the Ph.D.

Advisory Committees

All students in graduate programs must have a graduate advisor who is a regular member of the Graduate Faculty in the student's major program. The graduate program coordinator/director appoints the graduate advisor.

For doctoral students, the dissertation committee will consist of at least four Graduate Faculty members, one of whom is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School as the Graduate Faculty representative. Dissertations are chaired by graduate faculty and are selected by agreement between the student and the faculty member. A doctoral student may select only one faculty member as chair of the committee.

The committee for doctoral students is indicated on the Appointment of Doctoral Dissertation Committee form (available in the Graduate School office or online). At the time that the Appointment of Doctoral Dissertation Committee form is approved, the Graduate School appoints the Graduate Faculty Representative to serve on the doctoral committee.

Program of Study

Although the maximum amount of credit past the baccalaureate degree that a Ph.D. student may transfer towards a doctorate is 30 semester hours, only courses appropriate for the approved program and curriculum in which the student is enrolled may be transferred. Appropriate courses should be determined by the student's supervisory committee and approved by the program coordinator before the request is submitted to the Graduate School. This rule applies whether the courses were taken at UNC Charlotte or elsewhere and whether a master's degree was earned or not. However, no more than six hours taken when the student was in post-baccalaureate (non-degree seeking) status may be applied toward the doctoral degree.

Program Approval

By the end of the first semester of the third post-baccalaureate year in the program and no later than the filing of the petition to sit for the qualifying examination, a student's program of study must be approved by his or her advisory committee and submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Course and Other Program Requirements

The course and other requirements for each degree program are indicated in the program descriptions in the following pages.

Time Limit

All courses beyond the master's degree, except transferred credit, that are listed on the candidacy form cannot be older than eight years at the time of graduation. Courses that exceed this time limit must be revalidated or retaken, whichever the graduate program decides necessary, if they are to count in a degree program.

To revalidate a course, the student, along with the program coordinator and the course instructor, prepare a revalidation plan that must be reviewed and approved by the Graduate School. This plan often involves taking a special examination designed by the faculty of the graduate program. Once the plan has been completed, the program coordinator must notify the Graduate School in writing. The Revalidation Form is available on the Graduate School website at graduateschool.uncc.edu/current-students/forms.

Students may not revalidate courses with a grade of C or lower, courses that are internships or other forms of practica, or courses taken at other institutions. Additionally, no more than 25% of the courses on a student's program of study may be revalidated, and no course older than ten years may be revalidated.

Residence

All doctoral students are required to complete a substantial residency requirement during which they have sustained contact with the graduate faculty. This requirement is specified in the program descriptions.

Graduate Faculty Representative

The graduate faculty representative is a member of the doctoral student's advisory committee appointed by the Graduate School. This faculty member's role is primarily but not totally procedural. He/she must 1) assure that the doctoral student is treated fairly and impartially by his or her advisory committee, and 2) assure that University standards and policies are upheld. The faculty member may also participate in the development and evaluation of the student's research to the extent appropriate for the faculty member's background. The Graduate Faculty Representative is a full voting member of the committee. This representative is generally appointed prior to the student's dissertation proposal defense and must participate in the dissertation topic approval process and in the final dissertation examination. A student's advisor may consult with the Graduate School regarding selection of this representative.

Qualifying Examination

Each student must complete a qualifying examination. Ordinarily students who enter a Ph.D. program directly from a baccalaureate program sit for this examination before the end of their third post-baccalaureate year in the program while students who enter a Ph.D. program from a master's degree program take the examination before the end of their first year in the doctoral program. To sit for this examination, the student must have at least a 3.0 GPA and must have removed any conditions upon admission. Qualifying assessments are administered by graduate program faculty. Students who fail a qualifying assessment are subject to termination and should discuss options with their graduate program director. With program approval, a qualifying assessment may be retaken one time. If the student fails the exam a second time, the program may, in rare circumstance and with compelling evidence, allow a student to, within four months, retake the exam (or portion of the exam). In such cases, the program must document the circumstances under which the student is allowed to retake portions of the exam and demonstrate that the student's committee unanimously supports the decision. Documentation must be submitted to the Graduate School for review prior to the exam date. In no instance will the student be allowed to take the exam (or portion of the exam) a fourth time. Students may only appeal a termination to the Graduate School if their appeal to retake the exam is based on a procedural error or discrimination (please see the Category 2 appeal description under Appeal for Academic Termination) and their initial appeal to the program was denied.

Candidacy

The dissertation topic may be proposed after the student has passed the qualifying examination. The dissertation topic proposal must be defended at a meeting of the student's advisory/dissertation committee. A written dissertation proposal must be submitted to the advisory/dissertation committee at least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense. A doctoral student advances to candidacy after the dissertation proposal has been approved by the student's advisory/dissertation committee and the Graduate School. Candidacy must be achieved at least six months before the degree is conferred.

Dissertation

The doctoral program of study must include 18 hours of research credit including dissertation credit. The doctoral candidate must be continuously enrolled in dissertation credit hours (Also see: Student Responsibility - Continuous Registration) beginning with the semester after the dissertation topic proposal is approved until the semester of graduation. It is generally expected that all dissertation committee members be physically present for the dissertation proposal defense and for the dissertation final defense. If there is an exceptional case in which one committee member needs to participate in the proposal or final defense from a remote location, the student and all committee members must assure that all the conditions listed on the Approval of Remote Committee Participation Form are met. (No more than one committee member may participate from a remote location.) This form, which may be obtained from the Graduate School, must be completed and returned to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the scheduled proposal or final defense.

The dissertation must be submitted for final review by the student's committee at least three weeks before the date of the final examination in which the dissertation is defended. Following the successful completion of this defense, the doctoral candidate must submit four unbound copies or one electronic copy of the approved error-free manuscript to the Graduate School no later than the filing date indicated in the University calendar. Guidelines for the preparation of the dissertation are available from the Graduate School and online at graduateschool.uncc.edu/current-students/graduation/thesis-and-dissertation-manual.

The Graduate School requires publication of the dissertation on microfilm and in Dissertation Abstracts International by University Microfilms International of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The student is responsible for paying the microfilming and optional copyrighting fees. Any other arrangements for publications of the dissertation must not interfere with publication by University Microfilms International.

Final Examination

Each candidate must pass a final examination over the contents of the dissertation. Sometimes called the "dissertation defense" or the "dissertation oral," this meeting is open to all members of the University community and must be announced to campus. The announcement of the final defense can be disseminated through the Academic Affairs listserv, Campus News, or the posting of flyers on campus. The announcement of the dissertation defense should include identification of the student's full name, the date of the defense, the location of the defense, the time of the defense, the title of the dissertation, the name of the Chair of the dissertation committee, and a brief Abstract of the dissertation. No student is permitted to take the final examination more than twice.

Application for Degree

Students should submit an Application for Degree at the beginning of the term in which they anticipate defending their dissertation. Adherence to Graduate School deadlines is expected. Degree requirements are completed when students successfully defend their dissertation and file the final copy of the dissertation in the Graduate School.


Ed.D. Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree is conferred by the University after the student has successfully completed all requirements in an approved doctoral program of study in the College of Education. Specific program degree requirements are described in the College of Education section of this Catalog.

Program of Study

Although the maximum amount of credit past the Master of School Administration (M.S.A.) degree that an Ed.D. student may count towards a doctorate is 9 semester hours, only educational administration courses approved by the program coordinator may be transferred. This rule applies whether the courses were taken at UNC Charlotte or elsewhere; however, no more than six hours taken when the student was in post-baccalaureate (non-degree seeking) status may be applied toward the doctoral degree.

Time Limit

All courses, including accepted transferred credit(s) that are listed on the candidacy form, cannot be older than eight years at the time of graduation. Courses that exceed this time limit must be revalidated or retaken, whichever the graduate program decides necessary, if they are to count in a degree program.

To revalidate a course, the student, along with the program coordinator and the course instructor, prepare a revalidation plan that must be reviewed and approved by the Graduate School. This plan often involves taking a special examination designed by the faculty of the graduate program. Once the plan has been completed, the program coordinator must notify the Graduate School in writing. The Revalidation Form is available on the Graduate School website at graduateschool.uncc.edu/current-students/forms.

Students may not revalidate courses with a grade of C or lower, courses that are internships or other forms of practica, or courses taken at other institutions. Additionally, no more than 25% of the courses on a student's program of study may be revalidated, and no course older than ten years may be revalidated.

Qualifying Examination

Students are required to successfully pass a written and oral examination. Qualifying assessments are administered by graduate program faculty. The examination is based upon the core areas of educational leadership, educational research, and instructional technology. Students who fail a qualifying assessment are subject to termination and should discuss options with their graduate program director. With program approval, a qualifying assessment may be retaken one time. If the student fails the exam a second time, the program may, in rare circumstance and with compelling evidence, allow a student to, within four months, retake the exam (or portion of the exam). In such case s, the program must document the circumstances under which the student is allowed to retake portions of the exam and demonstrate that the student's committee unanimously supports the decision. Documentation must be submitted to the Graduate School for review prior to the exam date. In no instance will the student be allowed to take the exam (or portion of the exam) a fourth time. Students may only appeal a termination to the Graduate School if their appeal to retake the exam is based on a procedural error or discrimination (please see the Category 2 appeal description under Appeal for Academic Termination) and their initial appeal to the program was denied.

Admission to Candidacy Requirements

Students are recommended for admission to candidacy after successfully completing the written and oral comprehensive examination.

Dissertation

Students must complete and defend a dissertation focused on a specific problem or question relevant to K-12 or higher education organizations, administration, or leadership. Students must be continually enrolled in ADMN 8999 (3 hours) (Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions) for dissertation research credit, beginning with the semester following completion of the comprehensive examination and continuing through the semester of their graduation. Defense of their dissertation is conducted in a final oral examination that is open to members of the University community. The announcement of the final defense can be disseminated through the Academic Affairs listserv, Campus News, or the posting of flyers on campus. The announcement of the dissertation defense should include identification of the student's full name, the date of the defense, the location of the defense, the time of the defense, the title of the dissertation, the name of the Chair of the dissertation committee, and a brief Abstract of the dissertation. No student is permitted to take the final examination more than twice.

For doctoral students, the committee will consist of at least four Graduate Faculty members, one of whom is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School as the Graduate Faculty Representative.

The committee for doctoral students is indicated on the Appointment of Doctoral Dissertation Committee form (available in the Graduate School office or online). At the time that the Appointment of Doctoral Dissertation Committee form is approved, the Graduate School appoints the Graduate Faculty Representative to serve on the doctoral committee.

It is generally expected that all dissertation committee members be physically present for the dissertation proposal defense and for the dissertation final defense. If there is an exceptional case in which one committee member needs to participate in the proposal or final defense from a remote location, the student and all committee members must assure that all the conditions listed on the Approval of Remote Committee Participation Form are met. (No more than one committee member may participate from a remote location.) This form, which may be obtained from the Graduate School, must be completed and returned to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the scheduled proposal or final defense.

The dissertation must be submitted for final review by the student's committee at least three weeks before the date of the final examination in which the dissertation is defended. Following the successful completion of this defense, the doctoral candidate must submit four unbound copies or one electronic copy of the approved error-free manuscript to the Graduate School no later than the filing date indicated in the University calendar. Guidelines for the preparation of the dissertation are available from the Graduate School and online at graduateschool.uncc.edu/current-students/graduation/thesis-and-dissertation-manual.

The Graduate School requires publication of the dissertation on microfilm and in Dissertation Abstracts International by University Microfilms International of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The student is responsible for paying the microfilming and optional copyrighting fees. Any other arrangements for publications of the dissertation must not interfere with publication by University Microfilms International.

Graduate Faculty Representative

The graduate faculty representative is a member of the doctoral student's advisory committee appointed by the Graduate School. This faculty member's role is primarily but not totally procedural. He/she must 1) assure that the doctoral student is treated fairly and impartially by his or her advisory committee, and 2) assure that University standards and policies are upheld. The faculty member may also participate in the development and evaluation of the student's research to the extent appropriate for the faculty member's background. The Graduate Faculty Representative is a full voting member of the committee. This representative is generally appointed prior to the student's dissertation proposal defense and must participate in the dissertation topic approval process and in the final dissertation examination. A student's advisor may consult with the Graduate School regarding selection of this representative.

Application for Degree

Students should submit an Application for Degree at the beginning of the term in which they anticipate defending their dissertation. Adherence to Graduate School deadlines is expected. Degree requirements are completed when students successfully defend their dissertation and file the final copy of the dissertation in the Graduate School.


Graduate Certificate Requirements

The graduate certificate is awarded for successful completion of a coherent program of at least 12 credit hours proposed by a unit of the graduate faculty and approved by the Graduate Council. Students are admitted to a particular graduate certificate program and are advised by faculty in the unit offering the graduate certificate. Admission to a graduate certificate program is separate and distinct from admission to a graduate degree program. Admission to a certificate program is not an indication of subsequent admission to a degree program just as admission to a degree program is not an indication of admission to a certificate program.

Since the graduate certificate is not a degree, students may apply the credits earned in the certificate program toward a single degree that they pursue either in conjunction with the graduate certificate or after the certificate has been awarded. However, students may not apply credits earned in one certificate program toward the satisfaction of requirements in a second certificate program.

Students may enroll in a graduate certificate program only or may complete the certificate in conjunction with a graduate degree program at the University. Hours taken toward a graduate certificate may be counted toward a graduate degree program with the recommendation of the graduate program coordinator and the approval of the Graduate School.

Graduate certificate programs generally require at least 12 credit hours of graduate coursework. Up to six hours taken at post-baccalaureate status at UNC Charlotte may be applied toward a certificate with the recommendation of the program coordinator and the approval of the Graduate School. Students ordinarily may not transfer hours from another institution into a certificate program. The graduate certificate is awarded to a student who has completed the specified program of study with a GPA of 3.0 or above within four years from the time of enrollment in the first certificate course.

Time Limit

All courses listed on the certificate candidacy form cannot be older than four years at the time of graduation. Courses that exceed this time limit must be retaken.

Note: No Graduate Certificates will be awarded retroactively.


Academic Records and Transcripts

The Office of the Registrar is responsible for maintaining the official academic records for all students. Upon written request by the student or an online request through Banner Self-Service, an official transcript of the academic record will be issued to the person or institution designated, provided that all the student's obligations to the University have been settled satisfactorily.

Requests should reach the Office of the Registrar at least one week before the date the transcript is needed. Students may request an official transcript through the secure student access pages of self service via 49er Express found online at 49erexpress.uncc.edu or complete a request form available at registrar.uncc.edu/transcript-order. The Office of the Registrar cannot accept requests via email or telephone.


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Notification

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

    Students should submit to the Office of the Registrar, dean of their college, chair of their major academic department, or other appropriate official written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
     
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.

    A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.

    If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student's right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
     
  3. The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:
  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • To officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled, so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University.

"Directory Information" means information in a student's education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  At UNC Charlotte, directory information consists of the student's name, major field of study, dates of attendance, enrollment status, and degrees and awards (including scholarships) received.  Photographs, videos, or other media containing a student's image or likeness (collectively, "student images") and University-issued student electronic mail addresses ("email addresses") are designated by UNC Charlotte as "limited use directory information."  Use and disclosure of limited use directory information will be restricted to: (1) publication in official University publications or on social media sites or websites hosted or maintained by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of the University, including the University's online directory and internal email system; (2) University officials who have access, consistent with FERPA, to such information and only in conjunction with a legitimate educational interest; and (3) external parties contractually affiliated with the University, provided such affiliation requires the sharing of limited use directory information.

Currently enrolled students may request that the University withhold disclosure of Directory Information by completing the appropriate form available in the Office of the Registrar. A request for non-disclosure will be honored by the University indefinitely, unless the student submits to the Office of the Registrar a written revocation of such request for non-disclosure.

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which a student's education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records - including his or her Social Security Number, grades, or other private information - may be accessed without the student's consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to a student's records and PII without the student's consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to the student's education records and PII without his or her consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when the University objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive the student's PII, but the Federal and State Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without the student's consent PII from his or her education records, and they may track the student's participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about the student that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
 

  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520
 

UNC Charlotte intends to comply fully with these requirements. University Policy 402, Student Records, explains the procedures for compliance. Students may obtain copies of the policy in the Office of the Registrar or online at legal.uncc.edu/policies/up-402. That policy includes a list of the locations of all education records maintained by the institution.

All questions concerning this FERPA Annual Notification may be directed to the attention of the Office of the Registrar.