Graduation Requirements

  1. Graduation and commencement: Graduate students will be awarded their degrees or certificates on four official graduation dates each year: June, August, December and May.  These dates coincide with the end of the fall and spring semesters and twice during the summer session.  Formal commencement exercises are held at the end of the spring and fall semesters.  Any student who graduates during summer sessions is eligible to participate in the December commencement.  Students must be enrolled in the semester in which they apply for graduation. 
  2. Student’s responsibility to know university policies and regulations: It is each student’s responsibility to be knowledgeable of the published academic regulations and requirements set forth in the Graduate Catalog, its revisions, university policies and regulations, and specific requirements of the academic programs.  The student is also responsible for compliance with announcements published by the department, School of Graduate Studies, Registrar, Provost and other university offices.  Lack of knowledge of regulations and requirements does not excuse the student from complying with academic regulations and meeting the requirements. 
  3. Graduate Catalog and applicable program requirements: The Graduate Catalog provides general information only and does not constitute an irrevocable contractual agreement between a student and North Carolina A&T State University.  A student may expect to earn a degree in accordance with the requirements of the curriculum described in the official Graduate Catalog in effect when he or she first enters the university, or in any subsequent catalog published while he or she is a student.  The student may elect to follow a newer catalog with the approval of his/her department chair.  However, the time limitation for graduation as indicated later in this policy will not be extended.  The specific curricular requirements are stated in the student’s Plan of Study.  The University reserves the right to make changes in curricula, degree requirements, course offerings, or academic regulations at any time when, in the judgment of the graduate faculty, the Chancellor, and/or the Board of Trustees, such changes are in the best interest of the students and the University. When that occurs, the revised catalog will apply to new students. 
  4. Plan of Study: All graduate students are required to file a Plan of Study by the end of the second semester after admission to a program of study.  Failure to submit the Plan of Study will prevent the student from enrolling in classes for his/her third semester.  The Plan of Study is established in consultation with the advisor, graduate coordinator and/or department chair.  The Plan of Study is based on the Graduate Catalog requirements but may be structured to meet the specific needs of the student.  The Plan of Study may be amended at any time before the student applies for graduation with the approval of the advisor, graduate coordinator and/or department chair.  A student’s Plan of Study must be approved by his/her advisor and chairperson.  Responsibility for meeting all academic requirements for a selected program rests with the student.
  5. Graduation requirements: Students must be in good academic standing and meet all requirements as specified on the Plan of Study with an overall Grade Point Average of 3.00 or higher.  Students must be enrolled in the semester in which they apply for graduation.
  6. Change of Program: After a student has been admitted to a degree program, he/she may petition to change degree programs using the appropriate form available from the School of Graduate Studies.  The completed form must be approved by the Department Chairs of the old and new programs.  The petition to change programs must include a new Plan of Study for the new program and   should be submitted and approved prior to the start of the effective semester.  A student who petitions successfully for transfer to a new degree program must complete the new program requirements in force at the time of the change of program.  Any courses credited from the old program must meet the time frame requirements for completion of the new program.  This process of changing programs only applies to changing from one program to another in a related discipline at the same degree level.  It cannot be used to change academic status or degree level.
  7. Time Limitations: The master’s degree program must be completed within six (6) successive calendar years.  Doctoral programs must be completed within ten (10) successive calendar years.  Normally, this time limit will apply even if a student changes his/her program of study.  When the program of study is interrupted because the student has been drafted into the armed services, the time limit shall be extended for the length of time the student has been on active duty, if the candidate resumes graduate work no later than one year following his/her release from military service.  A student may petition for an extension of the time limits under extenuating circumstances, for example, a long term illness.
  8. Application for Graduation and Graduation Clearance:  A student must be enrolled in the semester that he/she applies to graduate.  Students intending to graduate must apply for graduation by the posted deadline and comply with all graduation requirements.