Graduate School Policies
Student Course Load
- The Graduate School requires that a minimum of 30 semester hours be successfully completed for the master’s degree. Specific programs may require additional hours.
- A full-time student takes 9 semester hours of coursework during a semester of the regular academic year; the maximum permitted is 12 semester hours. Full-time graduate assistants may not enroll in more than 9 semester hours nor work more than 20 hours each week without written permission of their graduate coordinator and the dean of the Graduate School. During the summer, a full-time graduate course load is 6 semester hours each session.
- Half-time enrollment shall be considered a minimum of four semester hours.
Graduate School Dismissal Policy
- A graduate student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) in graduate coursework at the University to be in academic good standing at the graduate level. A graduate student whose cumulative grade point average in graduate coursework drops below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. While a student is on probation, the student’s record will be reviewed at the end of each term. A graduate student who earns a term GPA below 3.0 while on probation will be dismissed from the program. A graduate student will be removed from probation when the student’s cumulative grade point average in graduate course work reaches or exceeds 3.0. Graduate students cannot be removed from probation until the end of an official university semester. No changes in status or financial assistance will be made until the end of the semester and will not be effective until the following semester.
- A graduate student who receives grades lower than “B” for 6 or more semester hours in graduate coursework will be dismissed. Graduate students receiving grades of lower than B will be reminded of this policy each semester.
- Academic good standing does not automatically ensure continuation in a graduate program. A student may be dismissed for factors other than grades upon the recommendation of a committee of department faculty, the student’s advisor, the program coordinator/director, the chair of the department/director of graduate program, the dean of the college, and the dean of the Graduate School.
- Dismissed students may petition for reinstatement into the program from which they have been dismissed by filing a Petition for Reinstatement to Graduate Study. Dismissed students are allowed to make only one petition for reinstatement to the program from which they have been dismissed. If the student is dismissed a second time after reinstatement, no additional petition for reinstatement will be considered. The program coordinator/director, the department chairperson, the dean of the college, and the dean of the Graduate School must approve the petition for reinstatement. Petitions for reinstatement are available in the Graduate School office or on the Graduate School web site bradley.edu/grad/.
- A student who has been dismissed for any of the reasons specified above may apply for admission to another program or as a student-at-large. The application process for seeking admission to a different program or as a student-at-large shall be the same as for new graduate students.
Time Limit for Degree/Certificate Completion
- Graduate program curricula continually evolve to stay current in disciplinary and industrial standards. Furthermore, a graduate student examines a developing body of knowledge, and it is difficult to integrate that body of knowledge if a program extends beyond five years. Therefore, candidates for a degree or certificate should complete all requirements within five years following the recording of their first graduate grades, including graduate courses taken as a student-at-large, and courses transferred into their graduate program from Bradley University or any other accredited institution of higher learning.
- Graduate students are expected to stay current in their field. If they wish to use courses for the degree or certificate that were taken prior to the five-year limitation, they must have these courses validated by the program coordinator. Credit will be allowed for courses that extend beyond the limit if the coordinator confirms to the dean of the Graduate School that the candidate is proficient in the subjects. Students should begin the approval process by contacting their graduate program coordinator.
- Graduate students may be allowed to step-out of their graduate program for one semester (fall or spring) without being dropped from the program or changing graduation requirements. If a graduate student must take a second consecutive semester off during their program, he or she must reapply for admission to the program. This reapplication does not guarantee admission to the program, and students who are readmitted may be subject to new degree requirements. A renewal of financial assistance is not guaranteed for individuals that must reapply. Students are not required to enroll during summer or interim sessions. Students who are not in good academic standing are required to reapply for admission as students on academic probation.
- Students whose time limit for completion of degree/certificate has expired must submit a request to extend time with the readmission application. The request to extend time for completion of degree must be submitted in writing to the Graduate School.
Change of Program
Students who are currently enrolled may apply for a Change of Program. A student wishing to change his or her program must complete a Change of Program form and submit it to the Graduate School a minimum of two weeks prior to the semester in which they wish to start the new program. Additional materials or test scores may be required at the discretion of the Graduate School and the department for the Change of Program to be approved. Admission to a degree program does not guarantee a Change of Program will be approved.
Graduate Program Concentrations
A concentration is a curricular subspecialty option associated with a graduate program which provides transcript recognition for students who fulfill a designated, specialized course of study. A concentration recognizes the student as having distinctive skills and training in one highly concentrated area within the program. The concentration course of study shall consist of at least 9 hours of graduate course work, selected from a university-approved list. A grade point of at least 3.00 must be earned in courses used toward fulfilling the concentration and only courses taken at Bradley University may be applied. Courses used to satisfy the requirements of the concentration may also be applied toward the requirements of the graduate degree. Up to two concentrations can be awarded; however, because concentrations are additional degree designations there can be no course overlap between the concentrations.
Students must declare their intention to complete a concentration by completing the appropriate section on their Program of Study. A Student’s Program of Study leading to a concentration shall be planned by the student in consultation with his/her graduate academic advisor. To receive a Concentration upon graduation, the student must file, with the Graduate School, the Graduate Concentration Completion Form prior to the beginning of their final semester. For cross-listed graduate/undergraduate courses, the graduate-level course will have additional academic requirements beyond those of the undergraduate course. Upon approval of the dean of the Graduate School, a graduate student may repeat a maximum of two courses in which he or she received grades of C or below. Both the first and second grades received for the course are averaged to calculate the graduate student’s overall grade point average; however, semester hours for the course shall count only once toward the degree requirement. Courses that serve as prerequisites for a degree or certificate program and that do not count directly toward graduate degree or certificate completion may be accepted to meet a prerequisite requirement provided they have been completed no longer than five years prior to the time the student begins his/her graduate program at Bradley University. Courses beyond the five-year limit may be accepted in rare cases at the discretion of the department with referral to the Graduate School and approval by the dean of the Graduate School.
Cross Listed Graduate/ Undergraduate Courses
Transfer of Credit
Age of Courses Eligible to Meet Prerequisite Requirements
Progression Toward Degree
Departments of the University govern the thesis option. Those students selecting this option must obtain information about thesis requirements from their graduate coordinator. The general format and procedures for thesis filing are available from the Graduate School or on the Web at bradley.edu/grad.
A student must be in academic good standing to graduate. The student also must have met all conditions placed on him or her by the department and have been approved for unconditional status.
A commencement convocation is held at the completion of the fall and spring semesters. Students are encouraged to attend.
For cross-listed graduate/undergraduate courses, the graduate-level course will have additional academic requirements beyond those of the undergraduate course.
Upon approval of the dean of the Graduate School, a graduate student may repeat a maximum of two courses in which he or she received grades of C or below. Both the first and second grades received for the course are averaged to calculate the graduate student’s overall grade point average; however, semester hours for the course shall count only once toward the degree requirement.
Courses that serve as prerequisites for a degree or certificate program and that do not count directly toward graduate degree or certificate completion may be accepted to meet a prerequisite requirement provided they have been completed no longer than five years prior to the time the student begins his/her graduate program at Bradley University. Courses beyond the five-year limit may be accepted in rare cases at the discretion of the department with referral to the Graduate School and approval by the dean of the Graduate School.