Degree Completion Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Graduate College provides guidance and information to students to assist them in complying with plan of study requirements. However, the final responsibility to comply with academic regulations and to be familiar with the information contained in the university catalog rests with the student.

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How do I locate academic policies and degree requirements for my program?

Academic policies for all degree programs are published in the University Catalog. We recommend that graduate students read the University Catalog section titled, "Additional Policies for Graduate Students" in detail. Please contact Graduate Degree Completion Services at or 561-297-2203 for additional information on academic policies.

When is the last day to drop a course without receiving a “W” on my transcript?

For fall and spring semesters, students may add or drop courses during the first week of the term without incurring a fee and without receiving a “W” on the transcript for dropped courses. The Friday of the first week of the semester is typically the last day for adding/dropping courses and changing sections, but refer to the Academic Calendar, as the last day for the add/drop period may vary. Students may continue dropping courses without receiving a “W” on the transcript during the second week of the semester, but they are fee-liable for the courses during this time. To drop or withdraw from courses during summer terms, students should follow the procedures above, but note the time frames in which to complete the drops. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for specific deadlines (and consequences) to drop courses.

When is the last day to withdraw from a class?

If a student drops or withdraws from a course from the 15th day of the semester through the eighth week of classes, the student will receive a grade of “W” on the transcript and will be fee-liable for the course. The student may use MyFAU during this period to drop or withdraw from a course. Beyond the eighth week of classes, drops or withdrawals from courses can only be arranged in person in the Office of the Registrar. After the eighth week of classes, a drop or withdrawal results in an “F” on the student’s transcript and the student remains fee-liable. Dropped courses, specifically those dropped during the second week of the term after the add/drop period, those that receive a grade of “W” on the transcript and those that receive a grade of “F” on the transcript, will count as attempted hours on the student’s record. Refer to the "Attempted Hours" subsection above for information regarding this calculation and its consequences.

What should I do if I cannot complete the term due to a medical condition or exceptional circumstance?

An Exceptional Circumstances/Medical withdrawal can be requested when a graduate student is suffering from a circumstance that prevents the successful completion of the semester. The request is made through the Dean of Students office. The request must be submitted for ALL classes that semester and should be submitted during the semester for which the withdrawal is requested and at least (2) weeks prior to the last day of classes. For more information, click here. If graduate students do not meet eligibility criteria for the Exceptional Circumstances request, students should meet with their academic advisor to discuss the option of submitting a Form 10 petition to the Graduate College.

What should I do if I need to request to waive a university requirement?

Exceptions to graduate policies and procedures must be submitted for approval using Request to Waive a University Requirement Form (Form 10). All requests must be reviewed by the degree-granting program, the appropriate college dean and the dean of the Graduate College. Please note that this process does not concern itself with grade reviews (see University Regulations, Chapter 4, Regulation 4.002, Student Academic Grievance Procedures for Grade Reviews) nor does it act on any financial matters, including refunds for dropped classes or withdrawals.

What is a grade forgiveness policy and does the Graduate College have one?

The University Forgiveness Policy permits an undergraduate student to repeat an FAU course and allows only the higher grade to count in the grade point average. The policy does not remove the previous grade but eliminates the effect of that grade on the student's GPA by removing it from the computation. The Forgiveness Policy does not apply to non-degree, transient, or graduate students. For more information, click here.

How do I find out what courses I must take to complete my degree program?

The University Catalog contains the degree requirements for each degree program offered at FAU. Most programs also list their degree requirements on their website.

Who is my advisor?

Academic advisors are assigned by each program. Students should contact their department to inquire about their assigned advisor.

What is a Plan of Study?

The Plan of Study outlines the coursework that a student will be taking at FAU to fulfill the requirements of his or her degree. It is essentially a contract between the student and the university, detailing the courses and credits that will be applied to the degree. For more information, please click here.

How do I submit a Plan of Study?

All degree-seeking graduate students should have an approved Plan of Study on file with the Graduate College no later than half-way through their required course work and before enrolling in thesis/dissertation credits, if applicable. Students must have an approved Plan of Study on file with the Graduate College prior to the term in which they intend to graduate. All students receive written confirmation when their Plan of Study is approved by the Dean of the Graduate College. Graduate students will submit their Plans of Study electronically using a system called MyPOS. To access MyPOS:

  1. Log in to your MyFAU account at
  2. In the lower-left corner of the page, click on "Academic Success"
  3. Scroll down to "Graduate Student Resources", and click on "MyPOS"
  4. Follow the prompts
For more information or assistance, please email or call 561-297-2203.

What are considered passing grades in my graduate program?

Passing grades: The grades of "A" through "C," and "S," are passing grades. Note: The grades of "B-," "C+" and "C," while considered passing for undergraduate students, are indicative of unsatisfactory work for graduate students and may not be accepted for some courses.

Failing grades: The grades of "C-," "D+," "D," "D-," "F" and "U" are failing grades. No credits are earned in courses in which grades of "AU," "CR," "F," "I," "U," "W," "WM" or "ZR" are received. Graduate students should meet with their advisor to discuss grade requirements for their program and strategies for academic success and timely graduation.

What constitutes 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. For more information, please click here. Please note, all graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 1 credit hour during the semester of graduation.

How do I apply for graduation?

Students must apply for their degree by the end of the third week of the semester in which they expect to graduate. The Application for Degree form is available here or in the Office of the Registrar. It is the student's responsibility to meet all requirements for the degree. For the deadlines to apply for a degree, consult the Academic Calendar.

I applied for graduation but I will not finish my requirements on time. What do I do?

Please email to inform them that you are withdrawing your application for degree for that semester. Please note: You will be required to submit a new application for degree for the next semester.