The Graduate School• Professional Programs
GENERAL GRADUATE SCHOOL REGULATIONS
The following discussion of general Graduate School regulations should be read in conjunction with the section, “Requirements for Advanced Degrees.” Regulations common to graduate and undergraduate students (the Code of Student Conduct, grade appeals, etc.) are covered in the section, “Undergraduate Degree Requirements and Regulations.”
Graduate School requirements are minimal and, in many cases, they are exceeded by those of individual departments. Statements of specific departmental requirements for degrees are published in the Graduate Bulletin. Most departments also have brochures describing in detail their programs and requirements.
STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY AND PROGRAM CHANGE
Graduate students must assume full responsibility for knowledge of Graduate School policies and departmental requirements concerning their individual degree programs. Advances in knowledge and changes in methodology at times require alterations in degree programs. Therefore, graduate students should at all times be aware of the current regulations and requirements of the Graduate School and their departments.
The current regulations and requirements take precedence over any previously promulgated policies. Between catalog issues, notices of changes will be available in the Graduate School, in each department, and at www.gradschool.lsu.edu.
A student may receive graduate credit only for courses taught by members of the graduate faculty or other persons approved in advance by the dean of the Graduate School. Except as noted, a student may receive graduate credit only for work taken while officially enrolled as a graduate student.
Any student dropped from a graduate program because of unsatisfactory performance will not be permitted to take courses for credit toward a graduate degree beyond the semester in which the student is dropped. In addition, graduate students may not take credit examinations in graduate-level courses.
Graduate Credit in Law
Students registered in Graduate School may receive graduate credit for certain courses offered by the Hebert Law Center if the courses have been approved in advance by the Law Center and the dean of the Graduate School. Students should submit a written petition to the Graduate School for such approval. They must obtain permission from the Hebert Law Center in order to register for these courses.
JD-MBA Joint Degree Program
The E. J. Ourso College of Business and the Paul M. Hebert Law Center offer a joint degree program allowing the student to earn both the JD and MBA degrees.
Students enrolling in the joint program must be admitted separately to the MBA program and the Law Center. Students should consult with the admissions office of each institution prior to enrolling concerning the student’s intent to earn a joint degree.
The first year of the program must be spent exclusively either at the Law School or the Ourso College. Scheduling of subsequent semesters is flexible.
The Ourso College will waive the 18-hour concentration requirement, essentially giving a concentration in law. The Law School will award 12 hours of credit for classes taken in the MBA program. The transfer of credits will allow a student to complete the joint JD-MBA program in four years. Without the transfer of credits, completion of the two degrees would take a minimum of five years.
A student successfully completing the program will receive two degrees, a JD awarded by LSU’s Hebert Law Center and a MBA awarded by the E. J. Ourso College of Business.
Transfer of Credit
- Hours transferred may not exceed one-half of the total semester hours of graduate course work (thesis hours excepted) required for the student’s degree program. A maximum of 12 hours may be transferred in a master’s program requiring 24 hours of course work.
- A maximum of 12 semester hours of credit earned as an LSU extension or nonmatriculating student may, in some cases, be used in a master’s degree program if approved by the department chair and the dean of the Graduate School. This includes a maximum of six hours at the 6000 level and above for LSU extension or nonmatriculating credit.
- A maximum of 12 hours of transfer credit from other schools may, in some cases, be used in a master’s degree program if approved by the department chair and the dean of the Graduate School. Only six hours applied toward a previous master’s degree may be applied toward a second master’s degree (see section Second Master’s Degree).
To petition for acceptance of these credits, the student must be currently enrolled, must have completed at least nine hours of graduate residence course work in a degree program at LSU, and must be in “good academic standing.”
Transfer credit from other schools must have been earned for graduate residence credit. This course work must be judged appropriate to the student’s program by the graduate faculty of the major department, must have been taught by a professor whose credentials are comparable to those of graduate faculty at LSU, and must, in terms of time invested, be comparable to graduate courses at LSU.
Transfer work may not be used to fulfill the master’s program requirement that at least one-half of the minimum required credit be in courses at or above the 7000 level.
Course work completed at institutions outside the United States is not accepted for transfer credit toward a master’s degree at LSU.
No more than 12 hours of combined credit transferred from other schools and earned as an LSU extension or nonmatriculating student may be applied toward a master’s degree at LSU. Credit earned as an LSU extension or nonmatriculating student or transferred from another institution must be for course work in which the student earned a grade of “A” or “B.” Courses in which a grade of “C” was earned will not be accepted for transfer into a master’s degree program.
Transfer work must have been completed within five years of the time the student is eligible to petition. Once transfer credit is approved, it is valid as long as the master’s degree is completed within the five-year time limit or the transfer work was taken within five years of degree completion.
Graduate work transferred from other institutions may be applied toward degree requirements, but the grades earned will not be computed in the LSU graduate average nor will transfer work appear on the official transcript.
Graduate course work taken at other campuses within the LSU System is not considered transfer credit, and any number of hours may be applied toward a degree if approved by the chair of the student’s department on this campus.
Graduate Credit for LSU Seniors
A senior at LSU who needs fewer than 15 semester hours to complete requirements for the bachelor’s degree, who has maintained a gpa of at least a 3.00 during the preceding year at LSU, and who has a cumulative gpa of at least 2.75 may be permitted to register for graduate credit in courses numbered 4000- 4999, provided the student registers for all the remaining courses required for graduation and for no more than 15 semester hours total. This privilege applies only during the final semester of the student’s undergraduate work and is extended only upon recommendation of the dean of the student’s college and approval of the dean of the Graduate School. The head of the department in which the student plans to enroll as a graduate student must also approve the courses taken for graduate credit.
A student must complete all undergraduate degree credit courses in order to retain the privilege of obtaining graduate credit for the remaining courses. The requested signatures of approval should be submitted on a form designed specifically for this program. This form must be submitted to the Graduate School by the last day to add classes in the semester in which graduate credit is desired.
Superior Undergraduate Student Program
Superior undergraduate students may register for 4000- and 7000-level courses; these courses do not count for graduate credit. Requirements for undergraduate enrollment in these graduate courses are as follows:
4000-Level Courses • Student must have earned at least 30 semester hours with a cumulative gpa of 3.50 or higher.
7000-Level Courses • Student must have earned at least 75 semester hours with a cumulative gpa of 3.50 or higher.
Approval by the instructor and the dean of the student’s undergraduate college is required.
No graduate credit is allowed for work done by correspondence study at this or any other university.
ELIGIBILITY OF FACULTY AND STAFF FOR GRADUATE DEGREES
LSU System regulations govern the eligibility of LSU employees to work toward graduate degrees. A faculty member above the rank of instructor may not work toward a graduate degree at this University. Other employees who, in the opinion of the Graduate Council, are of equivalent status may not work toward graduate degrees. Nonfaculty, professional staff/administrators may pursue master’s degrees; only those who do not hold positions where there is a potential conflict of interest will be permitted to pursue doctoral degrees.
If an employee serving as a professional staff member/administrator wishes to pursue a doctorate, the employee, the immediate supervisor of the employee, and the chair of the department in which the employee wishes to pursue the degree must submit to the dean of the Graduate School statements outlining the job responsibilities of the employee and providing an analysis of the independence of the employee’s official duties from the department in which doctoral work is to be taken. The Graduate Council will review the statements and make a recommendation through official channels to the chancellor.
Graduate Grading System
Grades in the Graduate School have the following meanings:
- Marks Carrying Advanced Degree Credit. These are “A,” “B,” “C” (up to, but no more than six hours), “S” (satisfactory), and “P” (pass).
- Marks Carrying No Credit for Advanced Degrees. These are “D” (poor), “F” (fail), “I” (incomplete), “W” (withdrawn), “U” (unsatisfactory), and “NC” (no credit).
- Cumulative Gpa. This average is based only on graduate work graded “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” and “F” (“A” = 4, “B” = 3, “C” = 2, “D” = 1, and “F” = 0).
- Semester Gpa. This average is based on graduate and undergraduate work graded “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” and “F.”
- “I” Grade. An “I” grade indicates that
course performance was satisfactory but,
because of circumstances beyond the
student’s control, all requirements have not
been met. An “I” grade should never be
given to enable a student to do additional
work to bring up a deficient grade. An “I”
grade may not be given for a course
undertaken in the semester in which the
student graduates if that course is listed on
the application for degree or if changing the
“I” grade to an “F” would result in the
student’s cumulative average being less than
3.00. An “I” grade should never be assigned
for thesis/dissertation research. “S”
(satisfactory) and “U” (unsatisfactory)
grades are given for thesis (8000) and
dissertation (9000) research courses, up to
and including the semester the student
Authorization from the dean of the Graduate School is not required to assign an “I” grade to a graduate student. An “I” grade is valid only until the final date for submission of grades at the end of the next regular semester (fall or spring), whether or not the student is enrolled. “I” grades received in the spring semester or the summer term are valid until the end of the fall semester; “I” grades received in the fall semester are valid until the end of the spring semester. There will be no extension of time. Responsibility for changing an “I” grade lies both with the student and the faculty member concerned. Failure by the faculty member to submit a “Grade Correction Report” to change an “I” grade by the final date for submission of grades for the next regular semester will result in the “I” grade becoming a permanent “F” grade. Unusual circumstances that preclude a student from completion of course requirements may, at the discretion of the dean of the Graduate School, permit assignment of a permanent “I” grade.
Unusual circumstances might include, but would not be limited to, withdrawal of the student from the University because of prolonged medical problems or death or resignation of the faculty member concerned and the absence of another faculty member to supervise the unfinished work. Petition for a permanent “I” grade must be initiated by the student. The petition must be accompanied by a letter of justification from the faculty member concerned if possible. It must also be endorsed by the chair of the student’s department before it is submitted to the dean of the Graduate School.
- The “W” Grade. A “W” grade indicates a course has been dropped between the dates specified in the “Academic Calendar.” In extraordinary cases, the dean of the Graduate School may authorize a resignation and/or dropping of a course after the last date specified.
The policies and procedures of the University governing grade appeals are described in the section concerning University regulations.
With approval of the student’s major professor, department chair, instructor of the course involved, and the dean of the Graduate School, a graduate student may register on a pass-fail basis for courses not included in the major or minor requirements. The deadline for changing from pass-fail grading to lettergrading, or vice-versa, is the last day for adding courses for credit. If the student’s major department agrees, graduate courses passed with a grade of “P” may be offered for degree credit, but the grade will not be considered in computing the gpa.
For graduate-credit courses, a grade of “P” will be assigned only if the work is of at least “B” quality. A grade of “F” in a pass-fail course will be treated as any other “F.” Some departments have designated certain research and seminar courses to be taught on a pass-fail basis. All students enrolled in these courses will be graded in this manner.
Good Standing • Graduate students are considered to be in good standing, making satisfactory academic progress, if they earn a 3.00 cumulative average on all graduate course work taken within the LSU System and a 3.00 semester average on all course work (undergraduate and graduate), and if they earn a grade of “S” in research.
Probation and Dismissal • A student whose cumulative average is below 3.00 and/or whose semester average in both graduate and undergraduate course work is below 3.00 will be placed on probation, except that a student whose semester and/or cumulative average is as low as 2.75 may be dropped from the Graduate School without having a probationary period. A student already on probation whose cumulative and/or semester average is below 3.00 will be dropped from the Graduate School. A student receiving a “U” in research will be placed on probation. A student receiving a second “U” in research may be dropped from the Graduate School. For these purposes, a summer term is counted the same as a regular semester. (Rules governing students admitted on probation are given in the “Admission and General Information” section.) The grades recorded determine the student’s academic status, even if the student changes to a different graduate degree program.
Students who have been dropped from a graduate degree program and are ineligible to continue in the Graduate School may not reapply as a nondegree student.
Applicants admitted on probation and students placed on probation may not be appointed to a graduate assistantship. (Refer to PS-21 for further details concerning assistantships and students on probation.)
Academic Dishonesty • Academic integrity and honesty must be fundamental qualities of any graduate student’s program and a graduate student’s conduct must be above reproach. Academic dishonesty undermines the entire academic enterprise; as a result, it cannot and will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of all students to familiarize themselves with the Code of Student Conduct and other University rules and regulations governing student conduct and activities.
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life has administrative responsibility for coordinating all University disciplinary procedures and practices.
Graduation • To receive a graduate degree, students must be enrolled for the semester, have at least a 3.00 cumulative average on all graduate course work taken that is applicable to the degree program and on all graduate course work taken while registered in the Graduate School. “S” and “P” grades are not considered in determining whether this minimum level of performance has been achieved. A maximum of six credit hours of course work with a grade of “C” may be counted toward degree requirements.
Specific registration dates are announced in the “Academic Calendar” for each semester or summer term. Instruction in the mechanics of registration will be published in the Schedule of Classes each semester.
Any graduate student who is utilizing University facilities and/or faculty time must register for an appropriate course load. Graduate students engaged in the writing or the defense of theses/dissertations are expected to register for research hours commensurate with the amount of University resources (faculty time, equipment, library facilities, and/or office space) to be utilized that semester. There is a continuous registration requirement for doctoral students who have passed the general examination.
Full-Time Study in Graduate School
It is expected that a full-time graduate student will register for at least nine semester hours of work in the fall and spring (six hours in the summer).
Graduate students may, with prior written approval of the dean of the Graduate School, receive credit for work taken concurrently at another university. For example, LSU has a cooperative program with Southern University and some cooperative graduate programs with other universities in Louisiana.
Course Loads of Graduate Assistants
Graduate students holding graduate assistantship appointments must meet certain minimum registration requirements. Such students are expected to register for a full load (i.e., nine hours in the spring and fall, at least six of which must be at the graduate level, and six hours in the summer, at least three of which must be at the graduate level) each semester until all degree requirements are completed.
Course Loads of Graduate Students Taking Examinations
Students must be registered for a minimum of one to three semester hours of credit during any semester in which they are taking the master’s final or doctoral general examinations, including the qualifying examinations required by some departments. For doctoral students who have completed the general examination, see the section, “Continuous Registration Requirement.”
Course Loads of Full-Time Faculty and Other Academic Employees
A member of the faculty with the rank of assistant professor or above may register for a maximum of four semester hours of credit each semester or summer term, provided written approval has been given by the department chair and the dean of the college or school in which the faculty member is employed. Fulltime instructors and associates may carry a maximum of four semester hours of course work at the 7000 level or six semester hours (four during the summer term) at the 4000 level.
Course Loads of Part-Time Faculty and Staff
Persons employed by the University for half-time or less may register as full-time graduate students. Persons employed more than half-time by the University should not register as full-time graduate students. The maximum load permitted will depend on the extent of employment. Written permission to register as a full-time student must be obtained from the graduate dean upon petition from the student’s advisory committee. Audits are not counted in the permitted load.
Registration of Employed Persons
The sum of the fraction of full-time registration and the fraction of full-time employment of nonacademic LSU employees should not exceed one and one-half. Written permission to exceed this registration/ employment sum must be obtained from the graduate dean upon petition by the student’s advisory committee.
Registration for “Degree Only”
Students who have completed all degree requirements, including final examinations taken in a previous semester, may register for “degree only” and pay only the graduation fee, if their theses or dissertations are approved by the Graduate School on or before the last day to add courses for credit. Eligible students must submit an application for degree and inform the Graduate School of their intent to register for “degree only.” Non-thesis students may also register for “degree only” provided all degree requirements are met in a previous semester.
Registration of Candidates for Degrees
Students expecting to receive their degrees in the current semester must be registered for course work or research hours unless they qualify to be registered “degree only” (see above). Eligible students must submit an Application for Degree by the published deadline.
Adding or Dropping Courses
A course may be added or dropped only in accordance with the dates indicated in the “Academic Calendar.” During the drop/add period, the student will initiate the action using the online registration system, or PAWS. A change from credit to audit is treated as a drop and add action. Students changing a course from credit to audit must submit an audit form to the Graduate School.
Regularly enrolled graduate students may audit courses with the consent of individual instructors and the graduate dean. Auditors will not receive degree credit for courses audited, nor will they later be permitted to take a credit examination on work audited. However, courses previously audited may be later taken for credit. Audited courses do not count in total course loads and are not recorded on official transcripts.
CHANGING DEGREE PROGRAMS
A student in one degree program who wishes to change to another degree program or a student who completes a degree and wishes to pursue another degree program must obtain the approval of the Graduate School and of the department in which admission is sought. A “Request for Change of Department” or “Request for Dual Degree” form may be obtained from the Graduate School. Students who wish to pursue a different degree in the same department must obtain approval from the department; the department must notify the Graduate School in writing of such a change.
RESIGNATION FROM THE UNIVERSITY
Dropping an entire course load constitutes resignation from the University for that semester. A graduate student who wishes to resign must first secure approval of the dean of the Graduate School. A resignation must be completed within 10 days of the date approved by the dean. Completion of resignation involves clearance through certain administrative divisions of the University as shown on the resignation form provided by the Graduate School. A student who abandons courses without resigning will receive a grade of “F” in each course.
Academic Common Market
Thirteen southern states, including Louisiana, participate in the Academic Common Market, an interstate agreement for sharing uncommon programs. Residents of these states who are accepted for admission into selected out-of-state programs can enroll on an in-state tuition basis.
To enroll as Academic Common Market students, applicants must be accepted for admission into a program to which their state has made arrangements to send its students, and obtain certification of residency from the Common Market Coordinator in their home state. Applications for admission should be made directly to the institution offering the program. Additional information about the Academic Common Market and programs available at in-state tuition rates for residents of Louisiana can be obtained from the Office of the University Registrar.
Cooperative Program with Southern University
See the section, “LSU—Southern University Cooperative Programs” for information about this program.
Multicampus Registration • LSU System
With appropriate approval, LSU graduate students may take courses for resident credit at the University of New Orleans or the LSU Medical Center in New Orleans. Fees paid at LSU will be for the number of hours to be taken at LSU plus the number of hours to be taken at one of these other campuses in the LSU system.
An application for multicampus registration may be obtained from the LSU Office of the University Registrar or the Graduate Records Office. In order to prevent delay in registration, this form should be submitted at least two weeks before the scheduled time of registration. Approval for multicampus registration must be obtained from the student’s major department, the LSU Graduate School, the LSU Office of the University Registrar, and the dean of the college and registrar of the other campus.
Cooperative Graduate Programs
Several of LSU’s graduate degree programs have specific cooperation with other universities in Louisiana. These programs include applied statistics, economics, education, physics, psychology, oceanography and coastal sciences, and systems science. Details and additional information may be obtained from the graduate coordinator in each of these areas.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE PROGRAMS
In order to provide a variety of culturally enriching experiences for its students, the Graduate School has student exchange programs with foreign universities. Additional opportunities for study abroad are available through other campus offices. For more information, contact the Graduate School.