Graduate Students are governed by the policies of the University, Graduate Council and their academic programs. It is the responsibility of the graduate student to comply with these policies and procedures and all applicable graduate program requirements that govern the individual program of study. Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning administers academic policies and procedures and enforces graduate degree requirements which are determined by the Graduate Council and are applicable to all graduate students.
Additional policies and procedures governing graduate course and program development are located on the Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning Web site.
Upper-division undergraduates with appropriate credentials, permission of their academic adviser and the department offering the course, may enroll in 500-level graduate courses and use them toward their baccalaureate degrees. The student must complete the Permission for an Undergraduate Student to Enroll in a Graduate Course form and submit to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning for final approval.
Courses completed for graduate credit and used to satisfy baccalaureate degree requirements may not also be used in the future to fulfill the requirements of a graduate degree. Undergraduate students considering a graduate course should consult with their adviser well in advance of the semester.
An undergraduate student enrolled in a graduate course is subject to all university regulations affecting undergraduates. The university, by allowing a student to earn graduate credit while still an undergraduate, makes no guarantee of the student’s admissibility to any graduate program.
Undergraduate students, who receive financial aid and do not intend to use the graduate course to satisfy their baccalaureate degree requirement, must be enrolled in a minimum full-time credit-hour load (12 credit hours) of undergraduate courses that apply to their approved degree program in addition to the graduate course(s). Graduate courses that students use toward their baccalaureate degree are counted in this minimum 12 credit hours.
Up to 12 credits of 500-level graduate coursework, completed by an undergraduate at Oakland University, may be applied to a graduate program if the courses were not used to fulfill the baccalaureate degree requirements. The courses must be applicable to a select graduate program, approved by the faculty adviser, graduate committee on instruction, and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning. Credit earned more than six years before a master’s degree is to be granted may not be used to fulfill the degree or program requirements.
The difference between undergraduate tuition and graduate tuition will be assessed at the time credits are transferred to the graduate academic record. The Transfer Credit Request for Oakland University Courses form is available on the Web site www.oakland.edu/gradstudy.
Up to 12 credits of 400-level advanced undergraduate coursework, completed by an undergraduate at Oakland University, may be applied to a graduate program if the courses were not used to fulfill the baccalaureate degree requirements. The courses must be applicable to a select graduate program, approved by the faculty adviser, graduate committee on instruction, and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning. Credit earned more than six years, before a master’s degree is to be granted, may not be used to fulfill the degree or program requirements.
Transfer Credit Request for Oakland University Courses forms are available on the Web site www.oakland.edu/gradstudy.
In no case will credit earned in one master’s degree program be transferred to satisfy the requirements of a second master’s degree or graduate certificate program. However, the faculty adviser may review the courses completed in the previous master’s degree to determine Oakland University course equivalency. Those courses found equivalent to Oakland University courses which satisfy degree requirements in the second master’s program may be eligible for course waiver. See the Course Waiver/Substitution section of the graduate catalog.
Doctoral degree programs, which define the minimum credit hours as coursework beyond the baccalaureate, may permit students who have previously earned a master’s degree from Oakland University or another regionally accredited university, to reduce the credits required for the doctoral degree up to 32 credits. This policy does NOT pertain to post-master’s doctoral degree programs, where an earned master’s degree is required in advance of admission to the program. Students should refer to individual graduate program standards and requirements for details.
With the approval of the faculty adviser and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, selected credits for prior graduate coursework earned at another accredited U.S. college or university may be transferred to count toward an Oakland University degree. The student must have earned graduate level credit in the course according to the institution at which the course was taken. Students must complete one semester in their graduate program at Oakland and be in good academic standing (not on probation or limited standing) before the Transfer Credit Request can be given final approval. Students should be prepared to provide the graduate program adviser a catalog copy of the course description from the former institution and/or a course syllabus.
To receive consideration for graduate work completed elsewhere but not used toward another degree, the student must:
submit official transcripts to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning;
request transfer credits for graduate credits earned from an accredited institution that carry a grade of 3.0 (B) or better;
request transfer credits for credit earned within 6 years of the time the OU degree will be conferred;
request transfer credits for courses labeled “graduate” and numbered 500 and above;
not request transfer credits for courses graded pass/fail, credit/non-credit or satisfactory/unsatisfactory
Oakland University does not provide transfer credit for life experience, credit by examination, independent study courses or noncredit courses.
The total number of graduate credits transferred may not exceed nine, and no more than one credit will be awarded per week of instruction (i.e., a 4-credit course must meet a minimum of 14 hours per week for four weeks-a minimum total of 56 class hours or 47 clock hours of instruction).
The Transfer Credit Request form is available on the Web site www.oakland.edu/gradstudy. Approved graduate transfer credit will appear on the student’s official transcript.
It is recognized that some students may have taken courses at another university that are equivalent in level and content to core or required courses in a graduate program. Under these circumstances, with graduate program approval, a core or required course requirement may be waived, allowing the student to substitute a more advanced graduate course which does not duplicate earlier academic content learning in the same area. Similarities in course titles do not necessarily mean the courses have similar content. To be justified as a waiver, the course should have the equivalent content and skill level as the course required for the Oakland University graduate program.
An approved waiver of content does not reduce the total number of credit hours needed to satisfy program requirements. Waiver of content is approved for academic study of the subject. It is not approved for experiential background in the subject area. It should be noted that not all graduate programs permit waiver of content for core course requirements.
Students admitted to a graduate program are expected to complete the program requirements according to the Oakland University Graduate Catalog. On occasion, a required course in a graduate program may not be available or may no longer be offered due to program changes. With advance approval from the faculty adviser, graduate program, and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, the student may request a course requirement be waived and another Oakland University course substituted. The determination of courses suitable for substitution rests with the graduate program.
When there is just cause for the substitution, the student must submit a Course Waiver/Substitution Petition form to their faculty adviser and obtain all approvals for the course substitution prior to enrolling in the proposed course. A course substitution is not a statement of equivalency between two courses; it is a singular substitution for one student. Approval of a course substitution does NOT override any other enrollment criteria such as prerequisites.
Graduate students, with the permission of the program faculty and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, may repeat a course up to two times. The original grade for the course will remain on the student transcript, but the last numerical grade earned in the course will be used in computing the grade-point average. The repeat course must be graded the same (numeric or pass/fail) as the first course attempt. A graduate student who fails the repeat check in Banner* must complete the Petition to Repeat a Course and obtain approval from their program faculty. The time required to review the petition and provide final decision varies by each graduate program. A graduate student should plan in advance to be assured the petition is approved BEFORE the intended semester of enrollment. The graduate program committee will forward the completed petition to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, 520 O’Dowd Hall. A repeat override will be entered into Banner for approved petitions. Filing of this form is the responsibility of the student.
* When a student attempts to register through SAIL for a course with a course repeat rule, Banner will check current registration and Banner academic history for that student. If the student meets the course repeat requirements, registration is permitted. If the student fails the course repeat check in Banner, registration is denied.
Credit earned more than six years before a graduate certificate or master’s degree is to be granted, may not be used to fulfill the degree or program requirements. This means, for example, that a course taken in Fall 2007 may be used to satisfy graduate certificate or degree requirements until the end of the Fall 2013 semester.
Time limits for clinical or practice focused doctoral programs are found within the program descriptions. Doctoral students with credits earned more than seven years before the degree is granted must request an extension from the academic dean and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
The time limit for completing a Ph.D. degree policy requires a student to achieve candidacy within six years from the first course enrollment in the Ph.D. degree program. After being advanced to candidacy, a student is expected to complete the remaining degree requirements within four years (including the dissertation defense). The maximum time limit for completing a Ph.D. degree is no more than 10 years from the term of the first course enrollment in the doctoral program.
A student who fails to complete all requirements for the graduate certificate or master’s degree within 6 years may petition his or her graduate program for an extension of time to complete the outstanding requirements. The student must submit the Request for Time Extension to Complete Master’s Requirements form to their graduate program.
The maximum extension of time is two years; however, some graduate programs may reduce the maximum period of extension.
The graduate program forwards the completed Request for Time Extension to Complete Master’s Requirements form to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning. Approved requests must include an updated Plan of Study and revalidation or denial of Oakland University courses that will be more than six years old at the time of graduation.
Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning will communicate in writing the final decision to the petitioner with a copy sent to the student’s graduate program.
International students should first contact the International Students and Scholars Office to discuss program extension regulations monitored through SEVIS.
A student who fails to complete all degree requirements within seven years may petition his or her graduate program for a one-year extension of time in which to complete the outstanding requirements. The student must submit the Extension of Time to Complete Degree request form to their graduate program.
The graduate program will forward the completed Extension of Time to Complete Degree request form to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning. Approved requests must include an updated Plan of Study, a time table listing specific goals to be accomplished at various points during the extension period and revalidation or denial of Oakland University courses that will be more than seven years old at the time of graduation.
Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning will communicate in writing the final decision to the petitioner with a copy sent to the student’s graduate program.
International students should first contact the International Students and Scholars Office to discuss program extension regulations monitored through SEVIS.
A student who does not achieve candidacy within six years will be placed on academic probation and subject to dismissal from the Ph.D. program unless the program petitions Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning to grant a Leave of Absence or request an extension because of extenuating circumstances. If a leave of absence is granted to a doctoral student in precandidacy status, the time limitation for completing coursework and passing comprehensive exams will be extended by the same time as the length of the approved leave.
A doctoral student, advanced to candidacy who has not completed the degree within 10 years, must request an extension, with the support of the department, the Academic Dean and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
A student advanced to candidacy who exceeds the maximum time limit of 10 years from the term of the first course enrollment in the Ph.D. program may be returned to precandidacy status OR placed on academic probation and subject to dismissal from the program.
Often the knowledge content of courses completed eight years and beyond is no longer current enough to be considered relevant toward the degree. Therefore, graduate credit earned more than eight years prior to the date on which the degree is to be granted may not be applied to meet graduation requirements. It is possible, however, that out-of-date Oakland University credit may be revalidated, subject to departmental and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning approval.
To revalidate out-of-date Oakland University credit, the student must submit an Extension of Time to Complete Degree form. It is the responsibility of the student submitting the request to document how he or she has brought his or her knowledge up to date for each course that was taken beyond eight years. This may include documenting the following: relevant work activities, professional development or continuing education credits, conference attendance, special readings or the passing of qualifying or comprehensive examinations.
In cases where activities have not occurred or where documentation does not exist, it is the responsibility of the adviser to specify how the student will update his or her knowledge in the specific course area(s) for each course completed beyond eight years. The adviser may propose the student register to repeat Oakland University course(s), pass a competency examination for Oakland University course(s), OR be assigned special activities, such as seminars or additional readings in specific course areas. The proposed special activity must include an evaluation of student mastery and be assigned a grade through competency credits.
Competency examinations are offered by some departments and, with the approval of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, can be used to revalidate out-of-date Oakland University credit which is beyond the six-year time limit. Students should consult their advisers for specific information and approval. Students must register during the normal registration period. University legislation stipulates that the examination must be taken not more than six weeks after the close of registration.
The policies and requirements published in the Graduate Catalog represent minimum standards adopted by the Graduate Council for academic standing. In the event that a graduate program adopts standards higher than set forth in the catalog, the graduate program standards will take precedence over the relevant sections of the catalog.
To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must meet both the standards set by the degree program in which the student is enrolled and those set by the Graduate Council.
- The graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the applicable degree program and by the Graduate Council.
- The graduate student must maintain an overall grade-point average of 3.0.
- The graduate student admitted to a graduate program with limited standing must complete the academic requirements specified in the written offer of admission within three academic terms (fall-winter; summer excluded).
All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program.
Graduate program units conduct a review of all graduate students’ academic progress in order to identify problems, evaluate chances of successful completion, and encourage timely progress. Expectations include successfully completing critical non-course academic milestones, within the time limits defined by university regulations, graduate council policies and graduate programs.
A student making inadequate progress is placed on academic probation and provided a clear, written explanation of the problems, along with specific recommendations to remedy problems in a timely fashion.
Overall GPA requirement
To remain in good academic standing, all students admitted to a graduate degree or graduate certificate program at Oakland University must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or above. At the end of any semester, a graduate student with an overall GPA below 3.0 is placed on academic probation and provided a second and third (final) probationary semester. A student is subject to dismissal upon failure to raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 or above by the end of the third (final) probationary semester.
Failure to receive notification does not alter the student’s dismissal status. Graduate students are expected to monitor their academic standing and progress.
Individual course grade requirement
No individual course grade below 2.0 may be applied toward a graduate degree or certificate program.
At the end of any semester, a graduate student who earns an individual course grade below a 3.0 will be reviewed by the graduate program unit and subject to academic warning, probation or dismissal, according to published program requirements.
The purpose of placing a student on probation is to allow the student time to correct deficiencies. Students identified as not meeting the academic standards and/or requirements for good academic standing must be provided with written notice by the program, which includes acknowledgment of receipt by the student with a copy to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, of their deficiencies, corrective measures, a time line for completion, and the consequences of not removing the deficiencies.
The decision of a graduate program to remove a student from an internship, practicum, clinical site, or service-learning placement must be appealed within the academic unit.
These academic procedures should be followed PRIOR to a graduate program recommendation to dismiss a student from a degree program. In doctoral programs, advancing candidacy is used to evaluate students in the degree program prior to becoming a candidate for the degree.
The graduate program may recommend academic dismissal for unsatisfactory academic performance, lack of academic progress toward degree or failure to meet graduate program requirements within established time limits. Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, in consultation with the graduate program, may also recommend a dismissal for these reasons.
Dismissals for student behavioral issues or academic conduct are covered by separate policies and procedures.
Students placed on academic probation are provided an academic probation period to improve performance. After the probationary period has expired, the student’s academic performance will be evaluated by the graduate program unit. Students who do not return to good academic standing are subject to academic dismissal.
A dismissed student is not in good standing and is not eligible to enroll as a student in that graduate program during the dismissal period. A student who has been academically dismissed may be eligible to apply to a different Oakland University graduate program as follows:
- The student may not apply to the graduate program from which the student was dismissed; and
- The student is granted no guarantee of admission to a different graduate program.
To initiate academic dismissal, the graduate program must provide Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning written rationale for the action, as well as a copy of the program handbook or other written guidelines that include a description of the procedures provided to the student. The graduate program does NOT dismiss the student from a degree program, but makes the recommendation to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning which reviews the recommendation and finalizes the action.
The responsibility of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning is to affirm that the dismissal procedures followed by the academic department comply with Graduate Council and graduate program policy, not to review faculty judgments as to the quality of a student’s academic performance.
The Executive Director of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning reviews the documentation submitted by the academic department to affirm adherence to published dismissal procedures. Finding no violation of procedural due process and affirming the process was deemed fundamentally fair, the recommendation for academic dismissal submitted by a graduate program will be confirmed. Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning will provide written notice of the decision to the graduate program and to the student within three (3) weeks of receiving the written recommendation to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning from the graduate program. In the event of a reversal, such written notice shall contain a statement of the basis on which the decision was made.
The appeal procedure for academic dismissal is a closed, internal proceeding. As such, there is no institutional attorney or other representation at a hearing. The decision to reinstate a student will be made in the sole or absolute discretion of Graduate Study and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.
In general, reinstatement may be granted in cases where either the intent of the procedure was not followed or where there are additional, extenuating circumstances that affected the student’s performance that were unknown at the time of the initial recommendation to Graduate Study.
Following receipt of a letter of dismissal from Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, the student has three months to appeal the dismissal. If the student wishes to appeal, the student must write a letter to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, with a corresponding copy to the chair of the relevant graduate program or department. The appeal must cite an appropriate cause for consideration of the appeal, providing information on the reason(s) for reinstatement and substantial evidence or extenuating circumstances in support of reinstatement. Disagreements over evaluation of academic quality or the decision of a graduate program unit to remove a student from an internship, practicum, clinical site, or service-learning placement must be appealed within the academic graduate program.
Within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of a student’s appeal, the Vice Provost for Graduate Education will seek written input from the Chair or Program Coordinator of the relevant graduate program or department. The graduate program or department has fourteen (14) calendar days to send written input to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education. The Vice Provost for Graduate Education will review the case, based upon the appeal and written input from the graduate program and/or department.
The Vice Provost for Graduate Education may either: 1) uphold the dismissal status or 2) reverse the decision of the graduate program and/or department.
If the Vice Provost for Graduate Education is satisfied that there is no valued basis for reinstatement and that the proceedings regarding the student have met the stated procedure and requirements, the appeal for reinstatement will be denied. If there is a reason to overturn the dismissal, the student will be reinstated on academic probation until such time as the student meets all academic requirements and standards or is returned to good academic standing.
The decision of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education is final.
Should the Senior Associate Vice Provost find that the graduate program unit or department did not follow proper procedures, or unprofessional conduct is a concern which might have affected the graduate program decision of dismissal, the appeal may be subject to reversal by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.
In such a case or in any other case deemed appropriate by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, advice from the Graduate Council Subcommittee on Academic Graduate Conduct may be sought at the discretion of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.
Following the investigation or advice from the Graduate Council Subcommittee on Academic Graduate Conduct and the final review by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, the result will be conveyed in writing to the student, the graduate program unit and the dean of the respective College or School.
Master’s Degree Student Policy
In order to maintain active student status graduate students must enroll in a minimum of one course in either the fall, winter or summer semester of each academic year starting in the first semester in which a student is enrolled at Oakland University. The course must be one that is required by their academic program and count toward the degree. This includes semesters in which a thesis or graduate project is completed and will apply until all degree requirements are met.
Should circumstances arise that require an interruption in graduate study, the student must apply for a Leave of Absence. A student on official Leave of Absence is not required to register for a course during the fall, winter or summer semesters. The benefits of applying for a leave of absence are (1) the student’s time-to-degree is extended while the student is covered by the leave of absence; (2) the student’s status as a cohort member is maintained during a leave of absence; (3) the student will not be required to reapply for admission when the leave of absence is concluded.
There are some negative effects of a leave of absence also: (1) the student is not entitled to any services from the university during the leave, including demands upon faculty or adviser time; (2) email and library privileges are be suspended; (3) and receipt of fellowship, assistantship or financial aid will be suspended during a Leave of Absence.
Ph.D. Student Policy
Doctoral education has two stages. During the first stage (precandidacy) a doctoral student enrolls in preliminary coursework to prepare for advanced research. A student who successfully completes this coursework (excluding dissertation credits) and meets program requirements, usually including comprehensive (qualifying) examinations, is advanced to the second stage (candidacy).
The maximum time limit for completing a Ph.D. degree is no more than 10 years from the term of the first course enrollment in the doctoral program.
The Time Limit for Completing a Ph.D. Degree policy requires a student to achieve candidacy within six years from the first course enrollment in the doctoral program. After being advanced to candidacy, a student is expected to complete the remaining degree requirements within four years (including the dissertation defense).
A student who does not achieve candidacy within six years will be placed on academic probation and subject to dismissal from the doctoral program, unless the program petitions Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning to request an extension because of extenuating circumstances. A student advanced to candidacy who exceeds the maximum time limit of 10 years from the term of the first course enrollment in the doctoral program may be returned to precandidacy status OR placed on academic probation and subject to dismissal from the program.
The Continuous Enrollment policy remains in effect through the entire Ph.D. program. Should circumstances arise that may cause an interruption in graduate study, the student must apply for a Leave of Absence. If a Leave of Absence is granted to a doctoral student in precandidacy status, the time limitation for completing coursework and passing comprehensive exams will be extended by the same time as the length of the approved leave. A doctoral student, advanced to candidacy, who has not completed the degree within 10 years, must request an extension with the support of the department, from the Academic Dean and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
Each doctoral program has its own unique requirements, including time lines, for which the student is responsible. These include the monitoring and evaluating of progress toward the degree. A student not making adequate progress may be dismissed from the doctoral program based on recommendation of the department, approval by the Academic Dean and Graduate Study.
Some financial aid has its own requirements concerning time and/or credits per semester. The student is responsible for adhering to these requirements. Some agency and graduate assistantship eligibility may have course-load requirements that exceed the minimum registration requirements while working on the dissertation (e.g., Veterans Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization Service for international students, and federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that are required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.
A doctoral student who does not maintain continuous enrollment and has NOT been granted an official leave of absence is subject to termination of admission to the program based on recommendation of the department, approval by the Academic Dean and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
All doctoral programs have residency requirements. Students are advised to consult the appropriate section of this catalog that pertains to their particular degree program. All doctoral students are required to register for at least one credit of coursework every fall and winter semester after their admission to a program. In cases where the student has completed all of the formal coursework for the degree, the student may register for doctoral or dissertation research. The student must be registered for the semester in which they defend their dissertation.
The continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students requires continuous registration of graduate students for at least one credit hour each semester in the academic year to maintain an active graduate student status. This includes semesters in which the comprehensive, preliminary or qualifying examination is taken, defense, and each subsequent term (fall and winter) until the degree requirements are met and the dissertation is submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
Continuous enrollment is met by registration in a graduate-level course relevant to the student’s academic program. Doctoral students who have completed required credits toward their degree should consult with their adviser to determine what course is appropriate for meeting the continuous enrollment requirement.
Should circumstances arise that may cause an interruption in graduate study, the student must apply for a Leave of Absence. A student on official Leave of Absence is not entitled to any services from the university during the leave, including demands upon faculty or adviser time, or receipt of fellowship, assistantship or financial aid.
Some agency and graduate assistantship eligibility may have course-load requirements that exceed the minimum registration requirements of the Continuous Enrollment Policy (e.g., Veterans Affairs, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for international students, and federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that are required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.
Doctoral students who do not maintain continuous enrollment and have not been granted an official Leave of Absence are subject to termination of admission to the program based on recommendation of the department and approval by the Academic Dean.
Oakland University recognizes a variety of circumstances may require a doctoral student to interrupt progress toward a graduate degree. Doctoral students, temporarily unable to continue their programs, may request a “Leave of Absence” for up to two (2) consecutive semesters (Fall/Winter or Winter/Fall).
Request for Leave of Absence
Doctoral students who are considering a Leave of Absence should seek immediate guidance from their adviser or doctoral committee chairperson. Whenever possible, the request should be made in advance of the anticipated leave or as soon as possible after commencement of an emergency leave. Requests for Leave of Absence will not be granted retroactively. Students who are absent beyond the end of an approved Leave of Absence will be required to apply for readmission to the program.
A student granted a Leave of Absence will have his or her time-to-completion of degree extended by the amount of time granted in the leave of absence. A student on official Leave of Absence is exempted from the requirements set forth in the Continuous Enrollment Policy. While in this status, students are not entitled to any services from the university, including demands upon faculty or adviser time, or receipt of fellowship, assistantship or financial aid during their authorized leave. Leave of Absence Request forms are available through Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning www.oakland.edu/gradstudy.
The Preliminary or Qualifying Examination serves as the last major step toward the Ph.D. degree, except for the completion and defense of the dissertation. The purpose of the examination is to determine the readiness of a pre-candidate to perform dissertation research. Successfully completing preliminary coursework (excluding dissertation credits) and passing the examination constitutes formal Admission to Candidacy. The preliminary examination is distinct from the oral defense of the dissertation project.
When dissertation research involves human subjects, experimental animals, recombinant DNA, or the use of radioactive substances, special approval is required, as explained under the section Protective Research Standards.
After the student has completed all other requirements for the Ph.D., including the writing of a dissertation, the committee will approve an oral defense of the dissertation to be scheduled. The examining committee will inform Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning in advance of the date, time, place, and dissertation title for the public presentation. Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning will publicize the defense on the Web site www.oakland.edu/gradstudy.
Further research, analysis, or rewriting may be required by the committee as a result of discussions arising during the defense.
A student must be registered in the term of the oral defense of the dissertation and in good academic standing.
After the examination committee has approved in writing the successful defense of the dissertation, the student submits three (3) approved copies to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning. The dissertation must comply with the University format standards as published in the “Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations.”
University Microfilms International (UMI) publishing requirement
Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning requires every doctoral dissertation to be published for the purpose of archiving the significant work of Oakland University graduate students.
Doctoral students completing a dissertation are required to publish their dissertations through UMI (a division of Proquest) and to pay the appropriate publishing fee. Publication of the doctoral dissertation through UMI is a graduation requirement for all Oakland University Ph.D. candidates. Dissertations that have been approved for publication by the Thesis/Dissertation Coordinator can only be submitted to UMI by Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
Doctoral students must participate in the Survey of Earned Doctorates by submitting the online SED questionnaire during the dissertation final approval meeting with the Thesis/Dissertation Coordinator. SED is a long-standing national survey of doctoral students conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago for the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and other supporting institutions. Student personal data remains confidential.
Credit and Course
At Oakland University, the unit of credit is the semester hour. A credit (credit hour) is defined as one class hour per week or its approved equivalent requiring a minimum of two hours of preparation per week carried through a semester. No more than one graduate credit will be awarded per week of instruction.
The University considers full time for graduate students as enrollment in 8 credits in each fall and winter semesters. Graduate Assistants are required to register for at least 8 credits each semester of their appointment.
The maximum number of credits for fall and winter semester is 12 credits. No graduate student may register for more than 12 credits, without written authorization. Students may request an exception to University policy by completing the online form Request to Exceed Maximum Credits.
Oakland University assigns a three-digit number to courses according to the level of the course.
- Courses numbered 100 to 299 are introductory or intermediate undergraduate courses and cannot be used toward a graduate degree.
- Courses numbered 300 to 499 are advanced courses primarily for undergraduates. A graduate student, with the approval of departmental adviser, may use a maximum of 12 credits of 400-499 courses taken at Oakland University toward a graduate degree.
Some graduate programs adopt standards that set a credit limit less than the 12 credit maximum. In such cases, the graduate program standard will take precedence over the graduate catalog.
In a limited number of approved interdisciplinary degree programs, graduate credit may be granted for up to12 credits in select courses numbered 300-499. These courses may NOT be in the students’ major field of study.
- Courses numbered 500 and above are primarily for graduate students. Qualified undergraduates may enroll in a class numbered 500 to 599 provided they have obtained written permission to do so from the department or school offering the class.
- Courses numbered 600 and above are restricted to graduate students.
- Courses numbered 700 and above are primarily for doctoral students, but qualified master’s students may enroll provided they have obtained permission from the department or school offering the class.
Slash courses (400/500) are courses simultaneously offered at both the upper-division undergraduate level and graduate level within the same department. Students requiring undergraduate credit register for the 4xx number and those requiring graduate credit register for the 5xx number. Only 400-level undergraduate courses may be slash listed with 500-level graduate courses.
Slash courses must provide students who are enrolled for the 500-level credit with education and training that satisfies all of the following conditions. Approval of slash-courses will be contingent on meeting the following requirements:
- The courses must contain the same title, credits, description, prerequisites and grade options;
- Credits for slash courses must be the same for both course components;
- Slash courses must provide two separate syllabi, undergraduate and graduate, each clearly differentiating learning outcome criteria for 400-level and 500-level credit;
- Students enrolled for the 500-level credit component must present work that is significantly more rigorous in both depth of study and methodology (analysis, synthesis and evaluation of knowledge or skills) contrasted to the students enrolled for the 400-level credit component;
- When making qualitative evaluations of students, the instructor must hold students enrolled for the 500-level credit component to a standard higher than those students enrolled for the 400-level credit component;
- A distinctive statement must be included at the end of the catalog course description that identifies the 400-level and 500-level course as a slash course;
- Students may not register for one course (SYS 569) if the other course has been completed (SYS 469).
To qualify for a graduate degree, a student must have an overall average of at least 3.0 in all courses taken at Oakland University as a graduate student. No grade below 2.0 may be applied toward a graduate degree. Many programs have more stringent grade requirements for credit and retention. Specific information may be found under the appropriate program area of this catalog. The graduate grading system, implemented fall 1984, is described below.
- The basic graduate grading system at Oakland University is a 32-point system of numerical grades of 0.0 and 1.0 through 4.0 by tenths and non-numerical grades of (W), (I), (P), (U), (S), (R), and (Z).
- The meanings of non-numeric grades are as follows:
- The W (Withdraw) grade is assigned by the registrar if a student withdraws officially from a course or all courses between the end of the no-grade period and the last day for withdrawal specified in the Schedule of Classes each term.
- The I (Incomplete) grade is temporary and may be given only after the cut-off date for use of the (W) grade. It is used in the case of severe hardship beyond the control of a student that prevents him or her from completing course requirements. Student work to remove an (I) grade for credit courses and faculty submission of the grade must be completed within one year from the faculty grade submission deadline for the appropriate semester. If course requirements are not completed within one year and no semester has been registered for, the Incomplete (I) grade shall become permanent. A student who wishes to receive an Incomplete (I) grade in a course must present a Student Request for Incomplete (I) Grade form to the instructor by the day of the scheduled final examination. This form, which indicates the instructor’s willingness or unwillingness to grant the (I) and the schedule he or she sets for completing the term’s work, is available in department offices.
- The P (Progress) grade is a temporary grade that may be given only in a course that cannot be completed in one semester. Prior approval must be obtained from the appropriate committee on instruction and the Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning for each course in which (P) grades are to be assigned. The (P) grade is given only for satisfactory work. (P) grades must be removed within two calendar years of the date of assignment; otherwise the (P) converts to a permanent Incomplete (I) which remains on the transcript.
- The S (Satisfactory) grade is given in certain selected courses and is meant to imply 3.0 or better. Courses in which S/U grading is used must be approved by the appropriate committee on instruction and the Executive Director of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, who will notify the registrar.
- The U (Unsatisfactory) grade is given to graduate students only when a course is graded S/U and implies a non-passing grade of less than 3.0.
- The SP (Satisfactory Progress) grade is a permanent grade that may be given only in selected research courses. The grade of (SP) is given for satisfactory progress made toward completion of a thesis, dissertation or doctoral project. Courses in which (SP)/(NP) grading is used must be approved by the appropriate committee on instruction and the Executive Director of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, who will notify the registrar.
- The NP (Unsatisfactory Progress) grade is a permanent grade that may be given only in selected research courses. The grade of (NP) is given for unsatisfactory progress made toward completion of a thesis, dissertation or doctoral project.
- The R grade is a temporary grade assigned by the registrar in the absence of a grade from the instructor or in the case of the award of an inappropriate grade.
- The Z grade is assigned upon registration for a course as an auditor. The student’s declaration of intention to audit is required at the time of registration, and it is understood that no credit for the course is intended that term. An audit registration for a course is permitted only during the late registration period each term. Permission of the instructor to audit and admission to the university are both required before such a registration will be permitted. Regular tuition applies to all courses.
- All grades and marks assigned will appear on a student’s transcript. However, only numerical grades are used in computing the student’s grade-point average.
An instructor may award an incomplete grade to a student whose work in a course has been qualitatively satisfactory, but who is unable to complete some portion of the work required because of illness or other circumstance beyond the control of the student.
A student who wishes to receive an Incomplete (I) grade in a course must present a Student Request for Incomplete (I) Grade Contract to the instructor AFTER the cut-off date for awarding a (W) grade. The Incomplete (I) grade is offered entirely at the instructor’s discretion as a temporary measure for extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student.
In awarding the temporary grade of Incomplete (I) for graduate courses, the instructor must complete the Student Request For Incomplete (I) Grade Contract submitted by the student requesting the Incomplete (I) grade. The contract will specify the work remaining to be completed. It must be signed by the instructor and the student and maintained by the department offering the course. The student is responsible for providing a copy of the contract to the Executive Director of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning. An Incomplete (I) can remain in place on a student’s transcript for a maximum of one year.
The evaluation of academic work is the prerogative of the instructor and the rules for determining final course grades should be established by the instructor and given to the students in a course syllabus at the beginning of the semester. All final course grades assigned by instructors are considered final, except Incomplete (I) and Progress (P) grades.
The assignment of final course grades requires an appeal procedure to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of faculty and students are properly recognized and protected. The grade appeal procedure is not to be used to review the judgment of an instructor in assessing the quality of the student’s work.
No changes to a final course grade will be approved on the basis of course improvement or re-examination.
A student who believes grounds exist for an appeal of a final course grade must complete the appeal process within the semester time limits specified in the table below AND within the time limits specified in the various steps below. These time limits represent the maximum time limit for a student to appeal a final course grade. In the event that a graduate program publishes more stringent time limits, the graduate program time limits will take precedence. Once the appeal process is initiated, the burden of proof is on the student. Written verification of each step below is critical.
|Semester Final Course
Grade Posted on SAIL
|Maximum Time Limit to Complete Final Course
||End of subsequent Winter semester
||End of subsequent Fall semester
||End of subsequent Fall semester
Step 1 - Informal discussion with instructor
Students who have questions about final grades for the semester are required to contact the instructor who issued the final course grade by e-mail or in writing to request a review of the grade.
STEP 1, an informal conference with the instructor, must be initiated no later than 10 working days after final grades are posted on SAIL to determine if an error has been made.
If the instructor is on leave, on sabbatical, or is not currently on the faculty during the time range stipulated in STEP 1, the student should contact the chair of the academic department that offered the course.
The instructor must respond to the student within 10 working days of being contacted by the student and explain to the student how the grade was determined. If an error was made in calculating the grade, the instructor submits a Grade Change Request to the Office of the Registrar modifying the final grade.
If a resolution with the instructor is not reached (STEP 1), the student can initiate a Formal Grade Appeal Review (STEP 2). The grade appeal procedure is not to be used to review the judgment of an instructor in assessing the quality of the student’s work. The burden of proof, however, rests with the student to demonstrate that the grade decision was made on the basis of any of the following conditions:
- The student believes that the grade received conflicts with the grading policy on the syllabus;
- The student believes that there is an error in calculation with the grade;
- The student believes that the grade was given arbitrarily, or with capriciousness or prejudice.
Step 2 - Formal appeal
Chair of the academic department
The STEP 1 review MUST be concluded before the student can initiate the Formal Grade Appeal Review.
The request for a Formal Grade Appeal Review of a final course grade must be submitted to the chair of the academic department that offered the course no later than 10 days after contact with the instructor.
The student must identify one of the three reasons permissible for the grade appeal review, and submit the Grade Appeal form, along with the following documentation:
- A thorough explanation of the reason identified for this review, including any relevant written materials - letters, memos, e-mails, or notes;
- A brief outline of the outcome of the grade review contact/meeting with the instructor;
- A copy of the course syllabus outlining assignments, tests, and examinations, along with their respective weights to the final grade calculation; and
- A demonstration of the error in calculation by which the final grade was determined.
Since the written appeal will be the basis for the Grade Appeal Review, the student should ensure that it is clear, complete, and inclusive of all documentation the student wishes to have considered in the appeal process. It is the student’s responsibility to present written evidence that the instructor made an error or acted arbitrarily or capriciously in assigning the grade.
STEP 1 review MUST be concluded before the student can initiate the Formal Grade Appeal Review.
The chair of the academic department will discuss the Formal Grade Appeal with the instructor. In departments that have a committee charged with the responsibility of hearing student grade appeals, the chair may refer the matter to the committee. The role of the chair is to ensure procedural process; it is not to re-grade the work completed by the student for the course.
If the instructor is also the chair of the academic department, the dean of the school (or the dean’s designee) will discuss the Formal Grade Appeal with the instructor.
The chair of the academic department and the instructor of the course must review the Formal Grade Appeal before the Official Withdrawal date in the semester subsequent to the semester the final grade was posted in SAIL.
- Fall Semester Final Grade Posted in SAIL Official withdrawal date in subsequent Winter semester
- Winter Semester Final Grade Posted in SAIL Official withdrawal date in subsequent Fall semester
- Summer Semester Final Grade Posted in SAIL Official withdrawal date in subsequent Fall semester
At the conclusion of this review, a written and dated decision must be provided to the student. If the student does not receive a response from the chair by the Official Withdrawal date, the student may advance their written grade appeal to the next level.
Step 3 - Formal appeal
Dean of the school offering course
A student who does not believe their final course grade concerns were resolved in review with the chair of the academic department (or academic department committee) may advance their written grade appeal to the dean of the school (or the dean’s designee) that offered the course.
The request for a Formal Grade Appeal of a final course grade must be submitted to the dean of the school that offered the course no later than 10 working days after the written decision of the chair of the academic department.
The dean may utilize any resources available to resolve the grade appeal before the end of the semester class date. When appropriate, the dean shall convene a committee to review the case. Within the structure provided by the dean, the committee shall design its own rules of operation and select a chair other than a faculty representative from the department concerned.
If feasible, the committee should meet with the student and the instructor together in an attempt to resolve the difference. The committee shall consider all aspects of the case before making its recommendation. The committee shall make a written report with recommendations and provide copies to the dean. The dean shall make a final decision after full consideration of the committee’s recommendation.
The dean must provide a written, dated decision to the student, instructor and chair of the academic department before the end of the semester class date. The decision of the school dean is final and ends the grade appeal process for the student; there is no higher level of appeal.
- Fall Semester Final Grade Posted in SAIL End of class date in subsequent Winter semester
- Winter Semester Final Grade Posted in SAIL End of class date in subsequent Fall semester
- Summer Semester Final Grade Posted in SAIL End of class date in subsequent Fall semester
For University purposes, “domicile” is defined as the place where an individual intends his/her true, fixed and permanent home and principal establishment to be, and to which the individual intends to return whenever away. Upon admission to the University, a student is classified either as a Michigan resident or a nonresident based upon information relating to the student’s domicile. A determination of Michigan domicile is required for in-state tuition rates to apply, except as stated below. An individual whose activities and circumstances, as documented to and found by the University, demonstrate that the individual has established a Michigan domicile will be classified as a resident. An individual whose presence in the state is based on activities or circumstances that are indeterminate or temporary, such as (but not limited to) educational pursuits, will be presumed not to be domiciled in Michigan and will be classified as a nonresident. To overcome a presumption of nonresident status, a student must file an Application for Reclassification of Residence Status and document with clear and convincing evidence that a Michigan domicile has been established. The burden of proof is on the applicant.
Evidence of domicile
Certain circumstances, although not controlling, support a claim of domicile. Other circumstances create a presumption against domicile.
Circumstances supporting a claim of domicile include:
- Dependence upon a parent domiciled in Michigan as demonstrated by permanent employment and establishment of a household in the state;
- Employment of the student or the student’s spouse in Michigan in a full-time, permanent position, and that employment is the primary purpose for the student’s presence in Michigan;
- Residence with Michigan relatives who provide more than half of the student’s support including educational costs. This necessarily means that no non-Michigan resident claims the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
The fact that certain indications of domicile may apply to a student does not mean that the student automatically will be classified as a resident or that the student is relieved of the responsibility for filing an application. See Residency application process below.
Circumstances that do not in themselves support a claim of domicile include:
- enrollment in high school, community college or university;
- employment that is temporary;
- employment in a position normally held by a student;
- ownership or lease of property;
- presence of relatives in the state, except as described above;
- possession of a Michigan driver’s license or voter’s registration;
- payment of Michigan income or property taxes;
- the applicant’s statement of intent to be domiciled in Michigan.
In cases where the university determines that an applicant has not demonstrated establishment of Michigan domicile, unless substantial and new information arises that clearly demonstrates the establishment of domicile, the university will require the applicant to document one year of continuous physical presence in the state as one of the criteria for determining eligibility for resident classification in any subsequent application. The year of continuous presence is never the only criterion used for determining resident eligibility, and, in itself, will not qualify a student for resident status. In documenting the year of continuous physical presence in Michigan, the applicant will be expected to show actual physical presence by means of enrollment, employment, in-person financial transactions, health care appointments, etc. Having a lease or permanent address in the state does not, in itself, qualify as physical presence. A short-term absence (summer vacation of 21 days or less, spring break and break between fall and winter term), of itself, will not jeopardize compliance with the one-year requirement. In determining the effect of a short-term absence, the nature of the absence will be assessed to determine whether it is contrary to an intent to be domiciled in Michigan.
Presumption of domicile
Certain circumstances create a presumption of domicile. However, the presence of such a circumstance does not mean that the student will be classified automatically as a Michigan resident or that the student is relieved of the responsibility to file an application. These circumstances include:
A student is presumed to be a dependent of his or her parents if the student is 24 years of age or younger and has been primarily involved in educational pursuits or has not been entirely financially self-supporting through employment.
The following applies only if the student has not taken steps to establish a domicile outside of Michigan or any other action inconsistent with maintaining a Michigan domicile.
- A dependent student whose parents are domiciled in Michigan is presumed to be eligible for resident classification.
- A dependent student whose parents are divorced is presumed to be eligible for resident classification purposes if one parent is domiciled in Michigan.
- A student who is living in Michigan and is permanently domiciled in Michigan does not lose residence status if the parents leave Michigan, provided: (i) that the student has completed at least the junior year of high school prior to the parents’ departure, and (ii) that the student remains in Michigan, enrolled as a full-time student in high school or an institution of higher education.
A dependent student whose parents are domiciled outside the state of Michigan is presumed to be a nonresident.
Absences from the state
Individuals domiciled in Michigan immediately preceding certain types of absences from the state may retain their eligibility for resident classification under the following conditions:
- An individual domiciled in Michigan for 5 years just prior to leaving the state for less than one year may return to the university as a resident for admission and tuition purposes.
- An individual domiciled in Michigan at the time of entry into active missionary work, Peace Corps or similar philanthropic work does not lose eligibility for resident classification as long as he or she is actively and continuously performing philanthropic work and continuously claims Michigan as the state of legal residence for income tax purposes. Dependent children of such an individual also are eligible for resident classification provided: (i) that they are coming to the university directly from high school or they have been continuously enrolled in college since graduating from high school, and (ii) that they have not claimed residency elsewhere for tuition purposes.
- An individual who is domiciled in Michigan immediately preceding an absence from the state for full-time enrollment in school or for a medical residency program, internship or fellowship does not lose eligibility for resident classification provided that the individual has maintained significant ties to the state during his or her absence (e.g., parents still in the state, payment of state taxes, active business accounts), and that the individual has not claimed residency for tuition purposes in another state.
Resident status of aliens
Notwithstanding the above, except for those aliens holding a permanent resident visa, the only aliens eligible for consideration for classification as a resident are those who are on a visa other than a student visa; and who are engaged in permanent employment in the United States; and whose employer has filed or is in the process of filing for permanent resident status on behalf of the alien. An alien will be eligible for consideration if the alien’s parents or spouse meet(s) the alien requirements above and dependent status also exists.
Application of in-state tuition rates in special circumstances
Regardless of domicile, in-state tuition rates apply to the following persons:
- Graduate students who hold an assistantship or fellowship awarded through Oakland University;
- Students employed in Michigan in full-time, permanent positions;
- Students admitted to approved on-line degree or certificate programs; and
- Students who are active duty members, or the spouse or dependent child of an active duty member, of the Armed Forces of the United States, while that active duty member is stationed in Michigan and during the student’s continuous enrollment in the academic degree program in which he or she is enrolled if that active duty member is transferred to an active duty location outside Michigan; or if the student is the child of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States who was stationed in Michigan but is transferred to an active duty location outside Michigan within the one-year period preceding the student’s initial enrollment and the student continues to live in Michigan.
Any student desiring to challenge his or her initial residency classification may appeal the determination to the Residency Reclassification Appeals Office, 101A O’Dowd Hall,
(248) 370-3455. The Associate Registrar makes the initial determination of residency. The Registrar is the second level of appeal and the Residency Reclassification Appeals Committee is the third level of appeal. The committee convenes only as necessary. The determination of the Residency Reclassification Appeals Committee is final.
Residency application process
It is the student’s responsibility to apply for admission under the proper residency classification. If a student indicates Michigan resident status on the admissions application and the admissions office questions that status, the student will be classified as a nonresident and notified of the need to file an Application for Reclassification of Residence Status with the Residency Appeals Office. The fact that a student’s claim to residency for university purposes is questioned does not necessarily mean that he or she will be ineligible for resident status; it simply means that the student’s circumstances must be documented and reviewed. Failure on the part of admissions staff to question a student’s claim to resident eligibility does not relieve the student of the responsibility to apply and register under the proper residency classification. Furthermore, the university may audit enrolled or prospective students at any time with regard to eligibility for resident classification and may reclassify students who are registered under an improper residency classification.
The presence of any of the following factors will result in an initial classification as a nonresident:
- Out-of-state employment within the last three years;
- Living out of state at the time of application to the university;
- Attendance or graduation from an out-of-state high school (applies if the individual is 24 years of age or younger);
- Attendance or graduation from an out-of-state high school and involvement in educational pursuits for the majority of time since graduation from high school.
Residency reclassification documentation
The following are required:
- a completed application,
- a written, signed statement explaining why Michigan is one’s true home,
- a letter from the employer of the family member providing the major support for the student, stating the family member’s position title, when the Michigan employment began, and, for aliens, the status of any application for permanent residency; and
- documentation of the Michigan home (lease or home purchase document) must be included.
Applicants also are responsible for providing any other documentation necessary to support their claim to resident eligibility. Additional documentation may be required by the university.
Misrepresentation and falsification of information
Applicants or students who provide false or misleading information or who intentionally omit relevant information in any document relevant to residency eligibility may be subject to legal or disciplinary measures including revocation of admission or expulsion. Students improperly classified as residents based on this type of information will have their residency classification changed and may be retroactively charged nonresident tuition for the period of time they were improperly classified.
A graduate student wishing to terminate his or her graduate student standing with the university may do so by submitting a letter to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning. Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning will cancel the student’s admission status, effective the date the letter is received. If the student is registered for classes at the time of his or her resignation, Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning will ask the Office of the Registrar to withdraw the student effective the date of the resignation. The University Refund Policy applies for resignation after the first day of classes. If a refund is due, it will be mailed to the student.
A graduate student, who after resigning from the university later wishes to return to a graduate program, must reapply for admission. The former student is subject to all graduate admission general and program requirements. Should the student be admitted to a graduate program, he or she may be required to repeat previously completed courses (see time limits for relevant degree or certificate programs).
Graduate programs continue to expand the number of course prerequisites that are automatically confirmed by the Banner SAIL system at the time of registration. When a student attempts to register through SAIL for a course with a prerequisite rule, Banner will check current registration and Banner academic history for that student.
- If the student meets the prerequisite requirements, registration is permitted.
- If a student fails the prerequisite check in Banner, an error message “Prereq and Test Score Error” is returned and registration is denied.
A graduate student who fails the prerequisite check in Banner, but believes the prerequisite course has been satisfied, must obtain approval for a prerequisite override from the chairperson of the department offering the course (Prerequisite Override Form).
In most cases the form is approved by the department chairperson, but in some cases approval is required by the faculty teaching the course or a student’s faculty adviser. Once the form is completed and approved it should be brought to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, 520 O’Dowd Hall. Approved forms will be reviewed and a prerequisite override entered into Banner. A student is then able to register for the course in Banner Sail.