Policies and Procedures
50 Percent Rule
Based on Higher Learning Commission Accreditation requirements, all master’s degree programs require a minimum of 50 percent of the non-thesis credit hours applied to the degree to be 400-level courses or above.
Absence of Student Due to Religious Beliefs
Any student in an institution of higher learning, other than a religious or denominational institution of higher learning, who is unable, because of their religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination, study, or work requirement and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up the examination, study, or work requirement that they may have missed because of such absence on a particular day; provided that the student notifies the faculty member or instructor well in advance of any anticipated absence or a pending conflict between a scheduled class and the religious observance and provided that the make-up examination, study, or work does not create an unreasonable burden upon the institution. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the student such an opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of their availing themselves of the provisions of this Section. For more information please see the ISU Policy 1.6 Religious Accommodation Policy available at: https://policy.illinoisstate.edu/conduct/1-1-6.shtml.
Approved 2/23/95; Updated 9/19/02; edited 2/6/03, 8/7/03
Students are considered full time if they register for 9 or more hours during the fall and spring semesters and 6 or more hours in the summer session. A student may register for no more than 15 hours in the fall and spring semester. In the 12-week summer session the maximum load is 12 semester hours. Fees for Student Health Insurance are automatically assessed for full- time students only. Student fees are assessed on a per hour basis. For graduate students in their final semester or on a 9-12 month internship, who have completed all coursework, and whose culminating experiences include thesis/dissertation or internships related to certification/accreditation, a full-time academic load would consist of at least one hour of thesis/dissertation or professional practice credit. Fees for Student Health Insurance will not automatically be assessed for these students. Students who desire the “1 credit hour equals full time” designation must be approved for that designation by their graduate coordinator, who will contact the Graduate School for registration.
If a student holds an assistantship the academic class load is 9 hours in the fall and spring semesters. A graduate assistant in their last semester of graduate studies who needs fewer than 9 hours to complete the degree must have a Graduate Assistant Course Load Waiver Request approved before the beginning of the last semester by their graduate advisor and by the Graduate School. Graduate assistants taking more than 12 hours must have the approval of their graduate advisor.
Note: Graduate students registering for fewer than 9 hours in fall or spring, or fewer than 6 hours in summer, will not have the insurance fee automatically assessed. Those graduate assistants must apply for the insurance through their student account on My.IllinoisState.edu before the fifteenth calendar day of each semester and the eighth calendar day of the summer session to pay premiums or within 15 days of the assistantship start date.
Applying for Degree/Certificate Completion
Approved 11/6/86, edited 9/5/03
Students must meet all requirements for their curriculum. A graduate student must apply for degree completion before the deadlines for each session as specified by the Graduate School. At the time application is made, the degree completion fee must be paid. Applications for students who fail to meet degree completion requirements for a specific session are cancelled, and the students must reapply for a later session. The application for degree completion is available at Grad.IllinoisState.edu/students/forms.
Students completing a certificate program must complete the application for completion of a non- degree graduate level certificate program available at Grad.IllinoisState.edu/students/forms.
A student may register as an auditor in a class or classes if facilities are available. A class taken under the audit option does not count toward a degree; it does not count toward full-time student status for financial aid and other purposes, nor does it count toward total hours enrolled in determining registration priority. Students auditing a class will be charged all applicable tuition and fees. An auditor is expected to attend regularly. A student may register as an auditor in a class or classes if space is available. To audit, a student must obtain a Request for Auditor registration form from the Registrar Service Center or download it at Registrar.IllinoisState.edu, request the instructor sign it and return the signed form to the Registrar Service Center.
Approved: 12/16/92; updated 4/25/02
Degrees are conferred and diplomas awarded after the close of each semester and summer session. Commencement is held twice each year at the end of each fall and spring semester. Participation is voluntary.
Graduate students who complete degree requirements during the fall semester participate in commencement exercises in December; students who complete degree requirements during the spring semester (masters and doctoral) or at the close of the summer session (master’s only) participate in commencement exercises in May.
Doctoral students who complete degree requirements in the summer session who wish to participate in a commencement exercise may only do so in the following December commencement.
All doctoral students must complete all requirements for the degree to participate in Commencement exercises.
Certificate students do not participate in University commencement ceremonies except by agreement of the College which sponsors the academic unit.
Help with registration may be obtained at Registrar.IllinoisState.edu or the Registrar Service Center, in 107 Moulton Hall, or by calling (309) 438- 2188. For office hours, visit the University Registrar website above. Registration may be accomplished during the advance registration period or the additional registration periods prior to the start of the semester.
Deferred credit (DE) is always given in research and performance courses leading to a thesis, dissertation or exhibition. Credit will be given when the student satisfactorily completes all requirements for the program. Deferred credit (DE) is not used in computing the cumulative grade point average.
When an applicant has been accepted, the department/school will indicate any courses that may be required to remove undergraduate deficiencies. The department/school also may specify certain graduate courses which will be required in addition to those listed in the catalog and will designate which, if any, of these courses may be used in meeting requirements for the degree.
A degree audit documents courses, credit hours, grades and other degree requirement specifics. The degree audit is to be completed no later than the beginning of the last semester in which the student is enrolled prior to graduation. The due dates are posted on the Graduate School website. A student cannot graduate without an approved degree audit on file.
Once an option has been approved on the formal degree audit, it can be changed only with approval of the student’s academic advisor. However, when a degree audit is submitted to the Graduate School in the semester of anticipated completion, it can be changed only with written approval of the academic advisor and the Graduate School. The degree audit form is available at Grad.IllinoisState.edu/students/forms.
A student may not graduate with a disciplinary hold on their record.
Approved: 12/5/96, revised: 12/10/99, revised: 10/16/2012; edited: 2/17/15, revised: 1/27/21
A student must remain in good standing during the entire enrollment in graduate studies at the University. Good standing includes maintaining a minimum 3.0 graduate cumulative and program GPA to graduate, satisfying any program- specific requirements for good standing, and making satisfactory progress to degree. Students who fail to meet this requirement will either be dismissed from graduate studies or placed on academic probation by the Graduate School.
Note: Campus Solutions calculates cumulative GPA for students pursuing multiple simultaneous programs. It is important individual program GPA’s are calculated manually at the department level to determine each program GPA is a 3.0 or above. Otherwise, the GPA of one program may not be at a 3.0 which is required to graduate.
Approved: 2/15/90; Revised 9/19/02
Instructors assign a letter grade in each course for which the student is registered and are responsible for correcting any error in grading. The grade point equivalents are 4 for A, 3 for B, 2 for C, 1 for D, and 0 for F. Courses completed at this University with grades below C will not count toward a graduate degree or certificate, but all grades of D and F in graduate courses at this University will be included in computing the cumulative grade point average. (See Repetition of Course Requirements section below.) Graduate courses are not available on Passing/Not Passing (P/NP). Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) is provided only where approval through the curricular process has been obtained.
*Spring 2020: Graduate students were eligible for P/NP due to a global pandemic.
An incomplete (I) will be assigned to a student who is doing passing work but finds it impossible, because of reasons beyond their control (such as illness), to complete the required work by the end of the term. The student must have attended class to within three weeks of the close of the semester or to within one week of the close of the summer session. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the University Registrar. Student will not be allowed to graduate with an incomplete on their record.
After three semesters, an incomplete is automatically changed to an F. A grade change is needed to update the grade after this point in time.
ISU Embargo Policy
As a public institution, ISU is committed to public access to all graduate theses/dissertations which reflect the knowledge created through students’ scholarly research and creative activities. The Graduate School requires submission of theses/dissertations to ProQuest/UMI ETD and strongly encourages submission to ISUReD. However, ISU is also committed to students' rights as authors, allowing students to delay access to their theses/dissertations as needed. When an exception to the immediate release of a thesis or dissertation is necessary, an embargo provides a temporary, delayed public release of the work. Embargoes of 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years are available without Graduate School review. When an embargo is granted, the title, abstract, author and program information will be accessible during the restriction period. The embargo periods for ProQuest and ISUReD should be identical lengths of time.
While embargoes are not intended to be permanent, renewals of the original embargo may be considered by the Graduate School. Embargoes longer than 2 years are atypical and require review by the Director of the Graduate School and the Milner Library Copyright Officer. Renewals of embargoes should be submitted to the Graduate School within 1 month of the expiration of the current embargo. Embargos extended beyond 2 years are rarely granted and only done so in extremely compelling situations.
The request to embargo must be approved by the student’s committee chair and submitted to the Graduate School no later than the Right to Defend deadline. An embargo is requested by sending an email to the ISU Copyright Officer.
An embargo past 2 years may be considered for the following reasons:
Patentable rights are contained in the work and disclosure may be detrimental to the rights or interests of the author. The ISU Intellectual Property & Export Control Officer should be contacted by the committee chair as part of the embargo request.
To protect the copyright potential of creative works such as first serial or book rights, a documentary, music score, artwork, etc.
There is a need to prevent disclosure of government information about persons, institutions, technologies, etc. that is contained in the work.
An academic or commercial press has expressed interest in acquiring the rights to publish the work as a book.
- The work contains content that has already been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal that may require an embargo. Check publishers’ policies before submitting the thesis/dissertation.
- The work is based on data generated through research that will support other publications from people within the same research team (i.e. advisor). As a result, it may be necessary to refrain from releasing that data while other publications are prepared. An additional 2 years may be requested in this situation.
- Making the research publicly available might endanger research subjects or the author.
- Research and/or data is subject to review by sponsor or grantor prior to publication
- Research falling within policy 4.1.13 Classified Research.
Limitation of Credit for General Courses
There are limitations to the number of courses that may be taken. They include but are not limited to:
Candidates for a master's degree may present no more than 9 total hours of credit from general courses 393, 397, 400, 493, and 498. Candidates for the MFA may present no more than 15 total hours of credit from general courses.
Professional Practice 498 cannot constitute more than 20 percent of the hours applied for degree completion.
Master’s degree students may only take a maximum of 6 credit hours from 400 Independent Study.
Students may transfer up to 12 credit hours from another university if they meet the requirements outlined on the Transfer of Credit form.
A visiting student may use up to 12 credit hours toward a degree once they are admitted into the program.
Fifty percent of all non-thesis hours must be at the 400 level and above
All 300 level courses used towards a graduate level certificate or degree must be approved for graduate level credit. Graduate Standing is a prerequisite on Course Finder.
Departments may offer 393, 397, 429XX, 493 and 498 on a CR/NC basis with approval in advance by the department or school and the Graduate School. CR/NC courses cannot be computed in the GPA. To count towards a degree program, CR/NC courses must be approved through the curricular process.
The Repetition of Course Requirements section in this catalog does not apply to General courses.
389 Selected Studies - 1-6 Semester Hours
Experimental and interdepartmental courses providing content not offered within the framework of courses approved for inclusion in the catalogs. For descriptions of the courses offered each semester contact the department or school advisor or visit the University website Illinois.State.edu.
393 Workshop* - 1-6 Semester Hours
Advanced workshop for juniors, seniors and graduate students. Credit will be given by the department or school offering the workshop. See statement on limitation of credit above.
397 Institute* - 1-9 Semester Hours
Federal- and state-sponsored institutes or similar short term programs requiring treatment of subject matter of a special nature or for special groups. See statement on limitation of credit above.
399 Student Teaching - 1-16 Semester Hours
A special procedure allows student teaching to be available for graduate credit for selected graduate students seeking first-time teacher licensure while matriculating in a graduate degree program. Offered through Clinical Experiences and Certification Processes. Not for credit toward a graduate degree.
400 Independent Study* - 1-4 Semester Hours
A maximum of six hours may be applied toward a master's degree. Intensive study in a special area of the advanced student's interest under a qualified member of the faculty. Each individual investigation is to culminate in a comprehensive written report and/or examination. Open only to graduate students who have completed considerable work in a degree program, who are in good academic standing, and who have demonstrated ability to profit from independent study. A written proposal approved by the faculty member, the student's advisor, and the department chairperson or school director is required prior to registration. See the statement on limitation of credit above.
429XX Professional Development Workshop - 1-6 Semester Hours
Intensive and applied workshop for graduate students. Designed as an opportunity for updating skills and knowledge and intended primarily for teachers and other in-service professionals. Credit will be given by the department or school offering the workshop. Not for credit toward a graduate degree program.
489 Advanced Study - 1-6 Semester Hours
Advanced coursework not offered within the framework of existing departmental or school courses. For a description of courses offered each semester contact the department or school advisor or visit the University website IllinoisState.edu. Experimental courses and courses cutting across departmental and school lines may be offered as advanced studies.
493 Workshop - 1-6 Semester Hours
Intensive and applied workshop for graduate students. Designed as an opportunity for acquiring advanced knowledge and intended primarily for teachers and other in-service professionals. Credit will be given by the department or school offering the workshop. See statement on limitation of credit.
498 Professional Practice - 1-9 Semester Hours
Supervised work experience in local, state, national, and international businesses, agencies, institutions, and organizations. The experience is planned, administered, and supervised at the departmental level and coordinated through Professional Practice. If the site is in an educational agency or institution, the placement must be approved by the Office of Clinical Experiences and Certification Processes. Written objectives and modes of evaluation shall be approved by the faculty supervisor and department chairperson or school director prior to the beginning of the semester. In a degree program, Professional Practice 498 cannot constitute more than 20 percent of the hours applied for degree completion. Open only to graduate students who have completed considerable work in a degree program, who are in good academic standing, and who have demonstrated ability to profit from professional practice experience. See the statement on limitation of credit. All departments and schools that wish to offer 498 Professional Practice must have a curriculum proposal approved by the Graduate School and Professional Practice prior to use.
For graduate students in their final semester or in a 9-12 month internship, who have completed all course work, and whose culminating experience includes an internship related to licensure/accreditation, a full-time academic load consists of at least 1 hour of 498A90. The 498A90 may be desirable to students who need to maintain full-time enrollment for financial aid status. Students who desire the “1 hour equals full time” designation must be approved for that designation by their graduate coordinator.
499 Independent Research for the Master's Thesis - 1-6 Semester Hours
A student electing the thesis option must take from four to six hours of 499. While registration beyond six hours may be permitted for the convenience of the student, he or she may not count more than a total of six hours of 499 among the hours required for the master's degree. Multiple enrollments allowed up to a maximum of 6 credit hours.
For graduate students in their final semester who have completed all course work and whose culminating experience includes a thesis, a full-time academic load would consist of at least 1 hour of 499A90. The 499A90 may be appropriate for students who need to maintain full-time enrollment for financial aid status. Students who desire the "1 hour equals full time" designation must be approved for that designation by their graduate coordinator.
500 Independent Study - 1-4 Semester Hours
A maximum of twelve hours may be applied toward the Master of Fine Arts and the Doctoral degree. Intensive study in a special area of the advanced student's interest under a qualified member of the faculty. Each individual investigation is to culminate in a comprehensive written report and/or examination. Open only to graduate students who have completed considerable work in a degree program, who are in good academic standing, and who have demonstrated ability to profit from independent study. A written proposal approved by the faculty member, the student's advisor, and the department chairperson or school director is required prior to registration. See statement on limitation of credit above.
589 Advanced Doctoral Study
Doctoral-level course work under a qualified member of the graduate faculty, in subject matter not offered within the framework of existing departmental or school courses. For a description of courses offered each semester contact the department or school advisor or visit the University website: IllinoisState.edu.
598 Professional Practice - 1-9 Semester Hours
Supervised work experience in local, state, national, and international businesses, agencies, institutions, and organizations. The experience is planned, administered, and supervised at the departmental or school level and coordinated through Professional Practice. If the site is in an educational agency or institution, the placement must be approved by the Office of Clinical Experiences and Certification Processes. Written objectives and modes of evaluation shall be approved by the faculty supervisor and department chairperson or school director prior to the beginning of the semester. Open only to doctoral students. All departments and schools that wish to offer 598 Professional Practice must have a curriculum proposal approved by the Graduate School and Professional Practice prior to use.
For graduate students in their final semester or in a 9-12 month internship, who have completed all course work, and whose culminating experience includes an internship related to certification/accreditation. A full- time academic load consists of at least 1 hour of 598A90. The 598A90 may be desirable to students who need to maintain full-time enrollment for financial aid status. Students who desire the "1 hour equals full time" designation must be approved for that designation by their graduate coordinator.
599 Doctoral Research - 1-15 Semester Hours
Research involving the gathering of data to form the basis of the doctoral dissertation. For further information refer to the appropriate degree in the section on Programs of Study and Degrees Granted. Multiple enrollments allowed.
For graduate students in their final semester who have completed all course work and whose culminating experience includes a dissertation, a full-time academic load would consist of at least 1 hour of 599A90. The 599A90 may be appropriate for students who need to maintain full-time enrollment for financial aid status. Students who desire the "1 hour equals full time" designation must be approved for that designation by their graduate coordinator.
Semester Study Abroad Program
Study abroad provides year-round orientation, consultation and advisement, and follow-ups to assist students and program directors on a continuous basis before, during and after their study abroad experience.
Study Abroad Course IDS 430 Graduate Study Abroad - 1-16 Semester Hours
Coursework taken outside the United States. Students should discuss study-abroad opportunities with their Graduate Advisor during the first semester in their program. Students who participate through Illinois State University’s Study Abroad will be evaluated for ISU graduation requirements, such as residency hours. Multiple enrollments allowed. May not be taken P/NP. Prerequisite: A minimum of 24 hours completed prior to departure.
NOTE: Consult with an advisor in International Studies for additional information.
A missing grade (M) is assigned when no grade has been received after the grade submission deadline has passed. For graduating students, a missing grade must be removed at least six weeks before December or May commencement or two weeks before August graduation. Instructors must file a grade change form as students will not be allowed to graduate with a missing grade on their record.
New Start Policy
Approved 3/23/89, revised 12/9/99, updated 1/27/21
Students who leave an Illinois State graduate degree program and return to Illinois State may begin the same or new degree program with a new graduate GPA calculated from the point of their readmission to the Graduate School as long as (1) the student is admissible to the new graduate program at Illinois State and meets all the criteria established by the Graduate School; (2) the student has not enrolled at Illinois State University for a period of at least three years; and (3) the New Start provision is approved by the new department or school at the time of readmission.
Students may transfer up to 9 credit hours from another university or previous Illinois State coursework if they meet the requirements outlined on the Transfer of Credit form. Students may exercise the “New Start” option only once and must follow the re-entry catalog. Such students will have “New Start” indicated on their transcript.
A student may be placed on probation for no more than 3 consecutive enrollment terms, at the discretion of the department/school following each term. A student who fails to return to good standing after each term will be considered for dismissal or placed on other term of probation. A student must be in good academic standing to be admitted to candidacy for a degree, as well as to graduate. Graduate students may not hold a graduate assistantship after one term of probation if the student is not in good standing.
Procedure for Appeal of Dismissal from a Graduate Program
Students who are dismissed from a graduate program should follow the appeal procedure outlined in the dismissal letter (summarized below). If a student is dismissed from more than one program at the same time they must appeal each dismissal separately.
- To appeal a dismissal from their graduate program, a student must submit a written letter to the College Dean or designee within 5 business days from the date of the dismissal letter. The written appeal letter should clearly outline the reason for the appeal, the facts and circumstances leading to the dismissal, and a written plan with benchmarks to continue successfully in the graduate program.
- Upon receipt of the appeal, the College Dean or designee will notify the School Director/Department Chair that issued the dismissal, Graduate Program Coordinator, registrar’s office, and Director of the Graduate School. The student, graduate program coordinator, and/or any other individuals that may be of assistance in the review of the appeal can be interviewed or asked to provide further written information. The intention of this step in the process is to be thorough, but timely with a response.
- The student will maintain course enrollment until a decision on the appeal is reached.
- After considering all available information, the College Dean will provide a written response to the student on the decision of the appeal.
- If the dismissal is upheld, the student will be dropped from enrolled courses and become inactive.
If the dismissal is overturned, the student will remain in the program and any required benchmarks for continued enrollment will be communicated in writing.
Repetition of Course(s)
Approved 10/10/02; Revised by Academic Senate 12/10/03; Edited 3/19/04; Edited 5/1/06
If a student completes a course or drops a course after the tenth day of classes receiving a grade of WX, he or she may repeat that course once. For students receiving a letter grade of B, C, D, or F the course repetition must occur at Illinois State University. When a course has been repeated at Illinois State University, the most recent grade (A, B, C, D, F, WX) that the student earns will replace the previous grade in the cumulative GPA calculation. A grade of WX will not replace the previous grade. The previous grade will not be removed from the student’s transcript, and only the credit hours from the last attempt can be used toward meeting minimum hourly requirements toward degree completion. Requests for a third or subsequent enrollment for a course are initiated with the student’s advisor. The advisor then reviews the request and forwards it to the Graduate School for review and a decision. Students repeating a course to improve their GPA should be aware that many professional and graduate schools recalculate GPAs to include all courses attempted. This regulation does not apply to general courses (See Colleges, Departments, Schools, and Course Offerings). Some courses may be taken for credit more than once. These courses are indicated in the catalog by “multiple enrollments allowed” or “multiple enrollments allowed up to a maximum of x hours,” and these courses are exempt from the repeat policy stated above and grades cannot be replaced. For courses such as these, a separate grade is recorded for each enrollment and each grade (A, B, C, D, or F) is counted toward the student’s GPA. Later grades do not replace earlier grades for courses of this type.
Transfer of Degree Programs
A transfer from one degree program to another requires approval by the receiving and departing department or school. Approval must be received from the department or school student wishes to transfer prior to withdrawal from current program. The transfer program will update the student’s program code on Campus Solutions and notify the Registrar’s Office of the program change.
Undergraduates Taking Graduate Coursework for Graduate Credit
Approved 2/15/90, edited 10/16/06, revised 2/10/21
Undergraduates can take graduate courses for graduate credit if they (1) have junior or senior status, (2) have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher. Total registration cannot exceed 15 hours in that semester. Graduate coursework will not be calculated in the undergraduate GPA. The transcript will indicate the grade received, the number of credit hours the course was worth, but 0 hours earned. This is due to only earned hours are calculated in the GPA. This is common transcript language used by Registrar/Bursar offices. There is no guarantee graduate courses taken will be accepted by another University as transfer credit.
All coursework taken for graduate credit must be approved by the department or school advisor and the Graduate School BEFORE registration. A form titled, "Undergraduate taking Graduate Credit" is available electronically in My.IllinoisState to be completed for approval.
Up to 12 hours of coursework will count toward an ISU graduate degree program only and has a limit of 6 years to be used. Coursework taken for graduate credit cannot count toward a bachelor's degree except under the provisions of integrated bachelor’s/master’s degree and accelerated master’s degree programs. This opportunity is also extended to last semester seniors of other universities who find it possible to take graduate work at this University while completing requirements for the bachelor's degree on their own campuses. Interested students should write to the Graduate School for further information. Such graduate courses cannot be used in meeting bachelor’s degree requirements on their own campuses.
University Policy Manual
University Withdrawal Dates
If you drop a course or withdraw from Illinois State University, your charges for tuition, mandatory fees, and outreach fees will be adjusted based on the date of the course drop or withdrawal: See StudentAccounts.IllinoisState.edu/withdrawal/ for additional information.
Withdrawal and Dropped Courses Policy
See, Policy 2.1.14.