Academic Policies for Graduate Students

The online University Course Catalog is the official record of policies, requirements, and other essential details regarding graduate degree programs at FAU. Graduate students should be familiar with the graduate information contained in the Academic Policies and Regulations and Degree Requirements sections of the catalog. For additional information about graduate academic policies please contact

Policies Specific to Graduate Students

Below is a list of graduate specific academic policies copied from the University Course Catalog. Please note that the online catalog is the official source for this information.

Academic Appeals

Exceptions to graduate policies and procedures must be submitted for approval using Form 10-Request to Waive a University Requirement. All requests must be reviewed by the degree-granting program, the appropriate college dean and the dean of the Graduate College.

Academic Progression Plan

The minimum graduate program cumulative GPA requirement for degree-seeking graduate students is a 3.0. Note: Individual graduate programs may specify more stringent or specialized requirements beyond this minimum requirement. Students in graduate or professional degree programs whose cumulative grade point average for their graduate program falls below 3.0 at the end of a semester will be designated as not in good academic standing by the University and will be placed on academic probation. Graduate students on probation are expected to submit a signed and completed Form 11 - Academic Progression Plan (APP) to the Graduate College to continue in their program of study.

Students will develop an APP with their academic advisor or program coordinator, gather the necessary signatures and submit the form to the Graduate College. The major professor and program director/coordinator will ensure that the student on probation adheres to the approved APP (i.e., registers for the prescribed degree-applicable courses). The advisor or program coordinator may recommend dismissal instead of developing and approving an APP. In this case, the graduate program will initiate the dismissal process as defined by the 2015 Provost's memo.

For a student who fails to meet the requirements stipulated in the APP (i.e., fails to attain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average by the end of the next full term of enrollment), the graduate program will initiate the dismissal process unless a revised APP is submitted and approved by the Graduate College. A revised APP will be required if the department does not recommend dismissal, and pending acceptance by the dean of the Graduate College, the student will be allowed to continue in the degree program. Academic dismissal constitutes a separation of the student from the University for academic reasons. Students on dismissal will not be permitted to register for courses, including registering as a non-degree student. A graduate student who is dismissed and subsequently enrolls as a non-degree-seeking graduate student, or as a graduate student at another institution, may not have this coursework count toward fulfilling degree requirements should the student ever be readmitted into the same graduate program at FAU.

Continuous Enrollment

Graduate students are required to enroll for at least 1 credit during at least two semesters (fall, spring or summer) of every academic year in order to remain eligible for the degree. Students who have been admitted to candidacy normally should enroll in the Thesis (6971) or Dissertation (7980) course in their departments. Those who have not yet been admitted to candidacy, but do not need to take additional courses, should enroll in an appropriate Directed Independent Study course or Advanced Research course. Students who fail to maintain continuous enrollment, as defined above, lose their eligibility for the degree. In such cases, students are required to submit a new application and pay the application fee. In addition, students may be required to register for additional credits of Directed Independent Study, Thesis or Dissertation in an amount equal to the number of such credits missed while not continuously enrolled.

Degree Requirements

Degree requirements for gradaute programs are listed in the course catalog here. Program requirements for specific gradaute programs are listed in the course catelog under each college here. Graduate students should meet with their department advisors to discuss degree requirements for their programs.

Full-Time Enrollment and Petitions

For fall and spring semesters: Graduate students registered for 9 or more credits are considered full-time, registrations for 7 credits are considered 3/4-time and registrations for 5 credits are considered half-time. For the summer semester: Graduate students registered for 6 credits are considered full-time, registrations for 5 credits are considered 3/4-time and registrations for 3 credits are considered half-time. Graduate students may petition to take fewer credits and maintain full-time graduate student status.

Leaves of Absence

Graduate students who find it necessary to temporarily suspend their studies may apply for leave of absence from graduate study. Leave of absence is intended for students who are unable to pursue their studies at all, rather than for students who are actively working on a thesis or dissertation after completing coursework. Leave of absence is approved by the Graduate College on the basis of the recommendation of the student's faculty advisor, department chair and college dean. To apply for a leave of absence, students use a Form 10-Request to Waive a University Requirement. Degree-seeking students returning after an absence of more than one year will be subject to the following:

  1. File a new graduate admissions application with appropriate documentation.
  2. Re-establish Florida residency for tuition purposes.
  3. Be in good academic standing (eligible to return) at FAU and at any institution attended since the last period of enrollment at FAU.
  4. Provide official transcripts to the Graduate College from any institution attended since the last period of enrollment at FAU.
  5. Submit proof of conformity to the Measles Immunization Policy of the State University System for graduate students under the age of 40 who have not previously submitted this information.
  6. Students who were enrolled without being fully admitted into a graduate degree program will not be eligible to return.
  7. Returning students will be admitted under the catalog guidelines in place at the time of re-admission.
Recency of Credits

No credit that is more than 10 years old at the time the Florida Atlantic University graduate degree is awarded may be counted toward that degree. Credits transferred into or applied to an FAU program are considered earned in the first semester of enrollment at FAU. Note: Individual graduate programs may have stricter recency of credit time limits.

Enrollment in Last Semester Requirements

For Thesis and Dissertation Students: All graduate students seeking a degree that requires a thesis, dissertation or graduate thesis exhibition must register for at least one credit in the term in which the degree is to be awarded. Individual graduate degree programs may have additional requirements.

Satisfactory Academic Performance

To remain in good academic standing, each graduate student at Florida Atlantic University must maintain a satisfactory record. A cumulative 3.0 average must be maintained on all degree requirements. This is the minimum quality necessary for a graduate degree at Florida Atlantic University. Note: Individual degree programs may have higher academic performance standards.

Time Limit for Completion of Doctoral Degree Requirements

All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within five calendar years from the time the student passes the preliminary or qualifying examination and is admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree. Leaves of absence do not extend the five-year limit. Extensions (in one-year increments) beyond the five-year limit will be considered through the submission of a formal Form 10 - Request to Waive a University Requirement petition. If the student’s program coordinator, program director and/or department chair does not choose to either approve an Extension of Time (EOT), then the student may no longer be enrolled in that program at Florida Atlantic University.

Transfer Credits

Master's programs may accept a maximum of 6 graduate credits earned from another institution beyond a baccalaureate degree. Doctoral programs may accept a maximum of 36 credits earned elsewhere in an approved graduate program. A maximum of 6 graduate credits earned from another institution in a non-degree-seeking status may be transferred. The Graduate College reserves the right to request a professional evaluation of credits transferred from universities outside the U.S. Acceptance of transfer credits for a course is dependent upon the following provisions:

  1. The student received a grade of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale in the course to be transferred.
  2. The course was taken at a regionally accredited institution.
  3. The course is relevant to the graduate program in which the student is accepted, as judged by the graduate or supervisory committee of the department or program.
  4. The course is listed on the official transcript received by the Graduate College.
  5. The course was completed within six years preceding admission to the program.

Since many graduate programs do not accept transfer credits that have been applied to a completed degree, the student should consult the department offering the degree. See individual departments for particular degree requirements.

Withdraw From a Graduate Program

A graduate student who wishes to officially withdraw from a graduate program must complete and submit a Form 15-Graduate Program Official Withdrawal to the Graduate College. To access the form, please visit Graduate College Forms.