Graduate School Rules

Rules

Mission Statement

The mission of the Graduate School is to promote excellence in graduate education and to facilitate educational opportunities for graduate students. The Graduate School has the responsibility for oversight and coordination of graduate programs, and for ensuring compatibility among programs and compliance with Graduate School Policies and Procedures.

ARTICLE I: ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION

Section A: Principles

  1. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs Graduate School consists of all graduate programs and courses offered by the campus. The faculty of the Graduate School is responsible for maintaining the high standards and quality of all graduate programs, program options, graduate certificates, and all other graduate courses. The graduate faculty within each discipline and the Graduate Executive Committee (GEC) shall plan, develop, and administer programs approved for the campus in accord with the general standards of excellence and sound academic administration established by the Graduate School. A graduate program is defined as a course of study leading to an approved graduate degree. A program may be administered by one, or more departments, schools, or colleges; a single unit offering multiple graduate degrees will have multiple programs.
  2. There shall be a Graduate School Dean who is responsible for the administration of Graduate School Policies and Procedures.
  3. Details of the administration and organization of graduate programs are determined by the graduate faculty in each department, school, or college.

Section B: The Graduate School Dean

    1. The Graduate School Dean is a member of the campus administration and reports to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Graduate School Dean is responsible for administering the programs in the Graduate School in accordance with the Graduate School Policies and Procedures.
    2. The Graduate School Dean shall have the following responsibilities:
      1. Ensure that all graduate programs and courses are in compliance with the Graduate School Policies and Procedures and that these policies are uniformly applied.
      2. Ensure that all graduate students are in compliance with Graduate School Policies and Procedures and that these policies are uniformly applied.
      3. Call and preside over meetings of the Graduate Executive Committee.
      4. Recommend and develop new policies, as necessary, for approval by the Graduate Executive Committee, Deans' Council, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, and the campus.
      5. Communicate recommendations from the Graduate Executive Committee regarding new degree programs and significant modifications of curricula to the Deans' Council, and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
      6. Maintain and update the Thesis and Dissertation Manual.
      7. Promote cooperative and beneficial relationships among the departments, schools, colleges, and extended studies.
      8. Oversee the general operation of the Graduate School Office.
      9. Oversee data collection in Graduate School Recruitment and Retention.
      10. Appoint "ad hoc" graduate faculty committees as needed (e.g., Merit Fellowship Review).
    3. Approved courses that have been forwarded from departments, schools, and colleges. The Graduate School Dean shall serve in an advisory capacity to the deans and faculties of the departments, schools, and colleges. Upon request of the Chancellor, or Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Graduate School Dean may be responsible for the administration of other campus programs.
    4. The Graduate School Dean is appointed by the Board of Regents upon the recommendation of the Chancellor and the Provost and Executive Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Section C: Graduate Faculty

The graduate faculty is responsible for academic and curricular decisions regarding graduate education at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Graduate faculty empowers the Graduate Executive Committee to oversee the operations of the Graduate School.

Section D: Program Directors

Each department or program that offers a graduate degree through the Graduate School shall have a designated graduate program director. This individual shall be recommended by the department chair (where appropriate) and appointed by the Dean of the school/college. Graduate program directors in collaboration with the program faculty have the responsibility for the curriculum and the integrity of the program. The program director shall work with the graduate advisors and their students to facilitate the admission, progression, and ultimate success of all students. Duties and responsibilities of program directors shall include:

  1. For Prospective Students and Unclassified Students
    1. Provide accurate written information about the program
    2. Recruit new students
    3. Meet with prospective students
    4. Oversee evaluation and admission of applicants to the program
    5. Facilitate a smooth transition from unclassified to classified status for qualified students
    6. Coordinate recruitment activities with the Graduate School Recruiting and Retention Coordinator as needed.
  1. For New and Continuing Students
    1. Monitor progress of provisionally admitted students and request the change of their admission status as appropriate with The Graduate School and Admissions and Records
    2. Ensure students are properly advised, have access to an appropriate advisor, and are expected to complete the program in a timely manner
    3. Work with the department chair or other appropriate persons to schedule and assign graduate courses
    4. Oversee the development and administration of required examinations
  2. For Graduating Students
    1. Verify that all requirements (e.g., coursework, examination, thesis, dissertation, capstone project) have been satisfied
    2. Provide final approval on thesis/dissertation/capstone format, when required
  3. For Program Faculty
    1. Recommend curricular revisions, as necessary
    2. The program director will also bear ultimate responsibility for the paperwork that arise in each category listed below:
      1. Admission forms
      2. Revise admission status when student is admitted "provisionally"
      3. Use of unclassified credit
      4. Transfer of credits
      5. Validation of expired coursework
      6. Advancement to candidacy
      7. Approval of thesis/capstone/dissertation committee
      8. Degree audits

Section E: Graduate School Executive Committee

  1. Composition of the Graduate Executive Committee: The Graduate Executive Committee consists of the following members:

    a. Graduate School Dean (Chair)

    b. Faculty representative from each graduate program, normally the program director. Each program representative has one vote in the Graduate Executive Committee (programs with master's and doctoral degrees have one vote)

    c. A representative of the library faculty (non-voting member)

  2. Responsibilities:The Graduate Executive Committee focuses on the issues of graduate education including, but not limited to, student affairs, curriculum development, and academic transactions. In particular, the Graduate Executive Committee will:

    a. Approve policies and procedures of the Graduate School (Note that some policies may require further approval by the UCCS Faculty Assembly, the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Chancellor, the University of Colorado System office, or the Regents)

    b. Review all proposals for new graduate programs, new program options/tracks/concentrations/areas of emphasis, and make recommendations to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

    c. Review proposals for significant modification of existing curricula and make recommendations to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (a significant modification will be at the discretion of the Graduate School dean and could include items such as credit hour changes, course overlaps, core course requirements, etc.)

Section F: Standing Committees of the Graduate Executive Committee

The following standing committee is appointed by and responsible to the Graduate Executive Committee:

The Student Affairs Committee is a four member subcommittee of the Graduate Executive Committee, and one student representative appointed by the Graduate School Dean with the approval of the Graduate Executive Committee. This committee is responsible for hearing student problems and appeals. The committee meets as required.

ARTICLE II: GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS

Section A: Independent, Single-Campus Programs

An independent degree program is a program existing under the authority of the graduate faculty and Graduate School Dean of this campus. Faculty members and students participating in an independent program must comply with the rules established by the graduate faculty of that program. Faculty in an independent program has the authority and responsibility for the following:

  1. Initiate recommendations in regard to the appointment of individuals to the graduate faculty of the program
  2. Develop and revise the curriculum, program options/tracts, and new programs
  3. Enforce admission and graduation requirements

Section B: Coordinated Programs, Multiple Campus Programs

Coordinated programs are graduate degree programs that are offered cooperatively by two or more campuses in the University of Colorado System. This may be under the degree granting authority existent on one campus or through the degree granting authority of each participating campus. Administrative authority and faculty responsibilities will be specified in the agreements that establish coordinated programs.

Section C: Program Development and Modification

Proposals for new degree programs/options and/or for significant modifications of existing degree programs will be initiated by the faculty of the sponsoring unit in accordance with its policies and procedures.

New degree programs must follow the Regents' policy and procedures for new degrees (https://www.cu.edu/regents/policy-4j-interim-policy-and-procedures-approving-new-degree-program-proposals) as well as campus policy.

Significant modifications of existing degree programs include changes to required curriculum, changes in total number of credits, degree name changes, and changes in type of examinations required for graduation. Course level changes are made on the normal course inventory which includes review and signature by the Graduate School Dean but not by the GEC.  

New programs, degree options/track proposals, and program modifications must be reviewed by the department(s)/school(s)/college(s) in which they reside. The new program and degree option/track proposals review must include a formal approval from the relevant faculty and dean(s). Once approved in the department/school/college, the proposal will be forwarded to the Graduate School Dean, who will convene the Graduate Executive Committee. The unit proposing the degree option/track or degree modification will present the program option/changes to the GEC. Program modification proposals should include a description of the changes, justification, implications for students, and any expected costs. A proposal for new degrees must include all elements in Regent Policy 4J, including a review by an external reviewer and the program's response to the review. A proposal for new tracks/options will include similar items as a proposal for a new degree but may be shorter in length and does not include an external review. Presentations to the GEC for new degrees and tracks/options should include:

1. A discussion of the program and degree plan(s)
2. Resources needed for the program/option/track
3. The student demand for the new program/option/track
4. Faculty expertise in the area, and
5. Any other information that the department/school/college believes is relevant to the discussion.

The Graduate School Dean will ask the Graduate Executive Committee for their recommendation on the proposal by voting to accept or reject the proposal. The Graduate School Dean will submit the Graduate Executive Committee recommendation and his/her own recommendation to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for approval/denial.

ARTICLE III: THE GRADUATE FACULTY

Appointment to the graduate faculty of the Graduate School recognizes the ability of the faculty member to contribute to the education of our graduate students. All members of the graduate faculty shall have earned a doctoral degree, the terminal degree appropriate to the discipline, or shall have demonstrated, through experience or other achievements, qualities that qualify them for membership in the graduate faculty. A graduate program includes all graduate faculty members appointed specifically to the faculty of that program. A list of all members of the graduate faculty shall be maintained in the Office of the Graduate School Dean and on the Graduate School website. The appointment list will be updated each semester by the Graduate School administrative staff.

Section A: Types of Membership

  1. Regular membership on the graduate faculty shall generally be limited to full-time tenure-track, or tenured faculty of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs who participate in graduate programs. The term of appointment for regular members of the graduate faculty shall be the duration of their University appointment. Tenured graduate faculty who leave the University, retire, or maintain limited activities on the campus, will have their graduate faculty appointments changed to special members of the graduate faculty, as defined below.
     

    Faculty in the Clinical or Research tracks or Senior Instructors who hold a doctorate degree and who regularly teach graduate courses or supervise graduate student research may be appointed as regular members for the duration of their appointment upon recommendation of the program director and approval of the graduate school dean.

    Appointment to regular membership may be made for other distinctive cases not meeting the above criteria upon recommendation of the program director, and approval of the Graduate Executive Committee. Approval shall be based upon the quality of graduate teaching, thesis/dissertation/capstone supervision, scholarly achievement, and relevant experience.

  2. Special membership on the graduate faculty shall be individual faculty participating in graduate programs who do not qualify for regular membership who may be appointed by the Graduate School Dean, upon the recommendation of the program director. The term of the initial and ongoing appointments may be for up to three years. The appointment may be renewed upon recommendation of the program director and approval of the Graduate School Dean. Those without terminal degrees in their discipline (as noted on the Graduate Faculty appointment form) will be limited to teaching within their area of expertise (i.e., teaching the course(s) specifically hired to teach, thesis/dissertation/capstone committee membership).

Section B: Privileges and Responsibilities

  1. A faculty member holding a regular appointment to the graduate faculty may:
    1. Teach graduate courses
    2. Vote on issues that are before the graduate faculty
    3. Serve on thesis, dissertation, and capstone committees of the Graduate School
    4. Participate in program activities for the specific program(s) for which the faculty member was appointed
    5. Participate in meetings and committees of the campus Graduate School in accordance with the campus Graduate School Policies and Procedures
  2. Special members of the graduate faculty hold the same privileges as regular members, with two exceptions:
    1. They may not vote in Graduate School elections
    2. They may serve as chairs of a graduate examining committee only with the approval of the Graduate School Dean

Section C: Revocation of Membership

The status of a regular, or special member of the graduate faculty may be revoked for cause by a two-thirds vote of the graduate faculty of the member's graduate program. This recommendation must then be approved by the Graduate Executive Committee and the Graduate School Dean.

Section D: Conduct of Business

The full membership of the graduate faculty meets when called, with reasonable notice, by the Chancellor, the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Graduate School Dean, the Graduate Executive Committee, the President of Faculty Assembly, or upon filing a petition with the Graduate School Dean, signed by 10% of the graduate faculty. The petition must set forth, in full, the reason for calling the meeting.

The members present at any meeting of the full membership of the graduate faculty shall constitute a quorum. The meetings shall be chaired by the Graduate School Dean and conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, except that if a vote is called for, it shall be conducted in a manner that will allow all regular members of the graduate faculty present to participate.

ARTICLE IV: ADMISSION TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL

The following are minimum standards for admission of students to a degree program of the Graduate School. Individual programs may adopt additional requirements beyond the minimum requirements.

Section A: Regular Admission

  1. Minimum requirements for admission as a regular degree student:

    1. Hold a baccalaureate degree or a master's degree from an accredited college or university, or demonstrate completion of work equivalent to the baccalaureate or master's degree given at this University.
    2. Have an undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or better ("A" is equal to 4.0).
      OR
      Have a combined undergraduate grade point average and score on a national standardized admissions test that meet criteria determined by the department.
      OR
      Have completed 15 semester hours of relevant graduate course work at an accredited university with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Note that units completed before admission may not all be transferable to a graduate degree program.
    3. Have adequate preparation to enter graduate study in the chosen program, and meet the requirements for admission, as determined by the program faculty.

For students who do not meet the above criteria, program faculty may assign coursework and/or examinations that must be taken in order to make up deficiencies. Students requesting admission to a coordinated degree program must follow the admission procedures established for that program.
Information about program admission standards are available in each department/program office, on the Graduate School website, or from the Recruiting and Retention Coordinator.

Section B: Provisional Admission

An applicant not meeting the criteria for admission as a regular degree student may be recommended by the faculty for admission as a provisional student. The recommendation for admission as a provisional student must include a letter from the program/department/school stating the conditions which the student must meet in order to become a regular degree student. When the conditions for regular status are met, the program director must reclassify the student's status to fully admitted, and inform the student in writing.

Provisional students are subject to the same standards of performance required of regular degree students, in addition to other requirements as specified by program faculty, imposed as conditions of the provisional admission status.

Section C: New Applications

Applications for admission to an advanced degree program should be made online through the the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Office of Admissions' graduate application. The complete application must include:

  1. The graduate application
  2. Official transcripts of all academic work completed to date, sent directly from the academic institution attended.
  3. A nonrefundable application processing fee.
  4. Test scores, letters of reference, and other materials as required by specific department/program/school/college.
  5. For international applicants, a score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IELTS, or an equivalent if the program/department/school/college agrees to use an alternative proof of language proficiency (e.g., participation in ESL program), and proof of financial support.

See specific program/department/school/college for admission deadlines as well as any other requirements they may have.

A student who wishes to change the major field of study after acceptance in to a program must submit a new graduate application through the online admission application to the new program/department/school/college. The new program/department/school/college faculty will evaluate the student for admission. No additional graduate application fee will be required.

At times, departments/schools/colleges may accept partial applications for a student's regular or provisional admission as long as the applicant submits all material by the deadline date determined by the graduate director.

Section D: Applications by Former Students

A student who was previously admitted to a graduate program, did not complete the degree, is no longer eligible to register at the University, and now wishes to return to school must do the following:

  1. Clarify status with the program to determine eligibility to return and pursue the same degree.
  2. After receiving program approval to continue working on the degree, the student must submit a new application to the admissions office before deadlines have passed for the semester of expected return.

A former student will not be charged the graduate school application fee unless any coursework to be applied to the degree was taken more than six years prior to the student's return.

A student applying to a doctoral program from a master's program in the same department, with no break in attendance, will not be charged an application fee.

Section E: Transfer Credits

Transfer credits may be applied to a graduate degree only with the approval of the program director. Each master's program will establish, with the concurrence of the Graduate Executive Committee, the maximum number of semester hours (not to exceed 30% of the required credits) that may be transferred from another accredited institution and applied toward its graduate degree. Additional transfer credits for doctoral programs may be allowed at the discretion of the program director, with approval of the Graduate School Dean. The following provisions will apply:

  1. All transfer courses must have a minimum grade of B or above.
  2. Some programs may require that credit will not be accepted for transfer until the student has established a satisfactory academic record at this university.
  3. For master's degree students, all work accepted for transfer must have been completed within the six-year time limit, or be validated and approved by program faculty.
  4. Courses applied towards a master's degree or bachelor's degree may not be used towards another master's degree.
  5. Requests for transfer of credit must be made on the form specified for transfer of credit and an official transcript of course credit must accompany the requests or be on record in Admissions and Records.
  6. Master's degree students must submit transfer requests to the program director by the deadline determined by the program.
  7. Doctoral degree students must submit transfer requests to the Graduate School before submitting the application for admission to candidacy.
  8. Students transferring in credits from international institutions to count towards degree requirements must have courses evaluated by a professional service to determine  the work is graduate level, equivalency of grades and number of credits. Please visit the Transfer office website at https://www.uccs.edu/transfer/transfer-credit-advising (See Office of Admissions and Records for suggested service providers). If UCCS has a contracted agreement with an international institution, course evaluation will not be required.

Section F : Credit Earned at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs before Admission to the Program

  1. Seniors at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs may transfer up to nine semester hours of coursework, provided such work meets the following requirements:
    1. Completed with a grade of B or above in the senior year at this University
    2. Falls within the time limit for the completion of the graduate degree
    3. Does not apply toward requirements of the bachelor's degree
    4. Is approved by the program director prior to beginning the graduate degree
  2. Courses must be at the 0500/5000 level or higher and taught by a faculty member with an appointment to the Graduate Faculty.
  3. Graduate coursework must be substantially different than undergraduate coursework, with the graduate coursework demonstrating more rigor and exceeding undergraduate course expectations.
  4. Completion of the same graduate and undergraduate courses will not be allowed.
  5. Retroactive changing of undergraduate credit to graduate credit is not allowed.
  6. Credits earned while an undergraduate at another institution may not be transferred to the Graduate School.
  7. Credits earned as an unclassified student at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs may be applied to a graduate degree only with the approval of the program director. Each program will determine the maximum number of credits as an unclassified student not to exceed 12 semester hours. If a program would like to transfer in more than 12 credits hours, they can request an exemption through the Graduate School.

Section G: Credit Earned at Other University of Colorado Campuses

Programs may accept graduate credits earned at other campuses of the University of Colorado. Refer to the program/department/school/college for each programs' specific policy on other University of Colorado campus credit transfers.

Section H: Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate certificate programs require the student to meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements and any additional program requirements. Refer to the appropriate program/department/school/college for specific admission requirements to the certificate program. Each graduate certificate program must: (1) require a minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate coursework unless there are specific accreditation requirements that require additional coursework, (2) have a named director, or academic advisor, (3) have a clearly defined completion and exit process, and (4) be approved by the Graduate School Dean. Additionally, admission to a graduate certificate program does not constitute admission to a degree program. Certificate students must maintain a 3.00 GPA once admitted to the certificate program. Students falling below a 3.00 GPA will be placed on probation or removed from the program following the program's policy.

Section I: Non Degree Seeking Admissions from Other Graduate Programs

Students who are enrolled in a certificate, are taking pre-requisite courses, or want to take a certain class without being degree seeking can enroll as a non-degree seeking student, if they meet the requirements for admission. Graduate level courses taken as non-degree credit may be used towards a degree with permission from the graduate program.

A graduate student in "good standing" from another institution may take graduate courses for transfer to that institution when there is space available, with the approval of the program director.

ARTICLE V: GRADUATE DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The following are minimum requirements for a degree program in the Graduate School. Individual programs may adopt additional requirements that are more restrictive.

Section A: Course Requirements

  1. Master's Degree *
    1. Plan I (thesis): 30 semester hours (minimum), including 3-6 hours of thesis credit counted toward the degree requirements. At least 24 semester hours must be at the graduate level.
    2. Plan II (non thesis): 30 semester hours (minimum). At least 24 semester hours must be at the graduate level.

    *Department(s)/school(s)/college(s) determine whether to use one or both options.

  2. 2. Doctoral Degree

    Students are required to complete 60 semester hours (minimum) of graduate level credit, including dissertation credits. Each doctoral program shall determine how many credits from an earned Master's degree may be included in this total. Ph.D. programs will require 30 units of dissertation credit; however, other types of doctoral programs may require fewer research credits.

  3. Graduate Level Courses

    A graduate level course is any course that bears the graduate number appropriate to the discipline (i.e., 0500/5000, 0600/60000, 9500-9790) and is taught by a member of the graduate faculty.

  4. Use of Undergraduate Courses

    No lower division undergraduate courses (e.g., 0100/1000, 0200/2000), or undergraduate courses designed to improve basic skills may be used as credit towards a graduate degree.

    A program may require a student to take undergraduate courses as a means of making up deficiencies but the credits generated in these courses may not be counted towards the minimum number of credits required for the graduate degree.

  5. Independent Study

    Independent study credit hours may not exceed 25% of the minimum number required for the degree.

Section B: Grades and Quality of Graduate Work

1. Minimum Grade Point Averages

To remain in good academic standing in the Graduate School and to receive a graduate degree, a student is required to maintain at least a B (3.0) graduate program grade point average, which includes all work required for the degree while taken at this University (classified and unclassified) and may differ from the University grade point average.

2. Grades Below B.

A student who receives a grade below B in a course may repeat the course once, with the approval of the program director, provided the course has not been previously applied toward a degree. The grade received in a repeated course may substitute for the original grade and only the latter grade will be used in calculating the graduate program grade point average required for graduation; however, all grades received during the student graduate school experience will appear on the student's transcript and will be used in calculating the student's University grade point average.

3. Minimal Acceptable Grades

Any graduate level course applied to a master's degree must have a grade of C or better; undergraduate level courses applied to a master's degree must have a grade of B or better.

Any course applied to a doctoral degree must have a grade of B minus or better.

4. Grades received before admission to the Graduate School

Courses transferred from another institution are not included in the calculation of the University grade point average, or in the graduate program grade point average. The University grade point average does not include any courses taken while in unclassified status; however, the graduate program grade point average will include all unclassified courses applied to meeting the degree requirements.

5. Incomplete and In Progress Grades

A grade of "I" will convert to "F" if the work is not completed within the one-year maximum period of time according to University policy. A grade of "I" should be given only when the following conditions are met:

  1. The student requests an incomplete grade
  2. Reasons for not completing course requirements are beyond the student's control
  3. A substantial amount of coursework has been completed at a passing level by the student
  4. The instructor sets the conditions whereby the course will be completed, including deadlines of less than one year.

A grade of "IP" may be given only for master's thesis, capstone projects, and doctoral dissertation work "in progress". Typically, IP grades are given upon completion of the thesis/capstone/dissertation defense unless the department/program has a policy about giving grades at specific milestones. The committee chairperson must submit a grade change for the "IP" grade to the student's final grade.

6. Student Ethics

Students are expected to adhere to the highest codes of personal and professional ethics, as set forth by the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, which appear in the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Student Academic Ethics Code. Students who do not meet these standards may be dismissed from the Graduate School by the Graduate School Dean upon recommendation of the program director and college/school dean of the student's graduate program. A student may appeal such action under the provisions of Article VI.

7. Probation and Dismissal

  1. Academic Probation: A student who has completed 9 or more semester hours at UCCS in the Graduate School and whose graduate program grade point average falls below 3.00 will be placed on academic probation until such time as the graduate program grade point average is raised to 3.00. The student will have a maximum of one calendar year to be removed from probation, or the student may be dismissed from the Graduate School.
  2. Dismissal from the Graduate School: Any student whose graduate program grade point average is below 3.00 after the one-year probationary period will be subject to automatic dismissal. The Program Director will notify the Graduate School Dean and the student will be dismissed from the Graduate School. Under extenuating circumstances, the program director may petition the Graduate School Dean for an extension of the probationary time period.

    Students may be dismissed from the Graduate School if they do not satisfactorily complete program requirements (e.g., pass examinations, make progress on thesis/dissertation projects, adhere to professional standards) as determined by the program. 

    A dismissed student is eligible to reapply for admission after one year. Approval or rejection of this application rests with the student's program/department.

8. English Proficiency

A student who is noticeably deficient in the written and/or oral use of the English language cannot obtain an advanced degree from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Each program judges the qualifications of its students in the use of English. The department chair/program director is responsible for deciding whether a student is proficient in the use of English.

9. Pass/Fail Grading

Courses applied to graduate degrees must not be taken as pass/fail with the exception of clinical practicum and internship coursework.

Section C: Thesis and Dissertation Committees

Thesis Advisory Committee: A thesis advisory committee must be established for each student pursuing a master's degree under Plan I (thesis option). This committee will consist of the thesis advisor, and at least two other members of the graduate faculty, possibly including a member from an allied program. Upon the recommendation of the thesis advisor, the committee is appointed by the program director with the approval of the college/school dean and forwarded to the Graduate School.

Dissertation Advisory Committee: A dissertation advisory committee shall consist of five members of the graduate faculty, including one member of an allied department. One of the five members must be from an outside department and that outside member may be from another institution, provided the faculty member has been granted Special membership on the Graduate Faculty. Upon the recommendation of the dissertation advisor, the committee is appointed by the program director with the approval of the college/school dean and forwarded to the Graduate School.

Section D: Capstone/Project Committees

Clinical Doctorate Advisory Committee: This committee shall consist of a capstone chair and at least two other committee members of the graduate faculty. One member of the committee may be from another institution, provided the committee member has been granted Special membership on the graduate faculty. Upon the recommendation of the advisory committee chair, the committee is appointed by the program director with the approval of the college/school dean and forwarded to the Graduate School.

Master's Capstone Committee: Programs may use capstone committees in different ways for requirements within a master's program; however, all members of a capstone committee who make decisions about students' grades or judgments about successfully fulfilling program requirements must be appointed as graduate faculty prior to serving on the committee.

Section E: Examinations

1. Master's Degree Examinations

Most master's degree programs require a comprehensive examination or a thesis defense after the other requirements for the degree have been substantially completed. A student must be registered at the time in which the comprehensive examination or thesis defense is held.

Comprehensive Examination

This examination is administered by a committee of at least three graduate faculty appointed by the program director. A majority of the examination committee must vote affirmatively for the student to pass. A student who fails the examination may not attempt it again until at least two months have elapsed. The student may retake the examination only once.

Thesis Defense

After the thesis has been accepted by the student's thesis advisor, a thesis defense will be administered by the thesis advisory committee. A majority of the committee must vote affirmatively for the student to pass. A student who fails the thesis defense may not attempt it again until at least two months have elapsed. A student may have only one additional defense.

2. Doctoral Degree Examinations

Each doctoral program will require one or more of the following types of examinations. A student must be registered at the time any of these examinations are taken. Successful completion of either a comprehensive examination or a specialty examination must precede advancement to candidacy.

  1. Doctorate of Philosophy Degree
    1. Preliminary Dissertation Examination. An examination to ensure that a student is qualified for doctoral study.
    2. Comprehensive Dissertation Examination. An examination in the field of concentration and related fields. This examination may be written or oral or both, and will test the student's mastery of a broad field of knowledge, not merely the formal coursework which has been completed. The comprehensive examination shall be conducted by an examining board of at least three members appointed by the program director.
    3. Specialty Examination. An examination in a specific area of the general field of concentration. This examination may be written or oral or both, and will test the student's mastery of a single subject that may well go beyond formal coursework that has been completed. The specialty examination shall be conducted by an examining board of at least three members appointed by the program director.
    4. Dissertation Proposal. An examination to determine the student's preparedness and appropriateness of the topic, prior to commencing work on the dissertation.
    5. Dissertation Defense. After the dissertation has been accepted by the student's dissertation advisor, a final examination of the dissertation and related topics will be conducted by the Dissertation Advisory Committee. The examination is open to anyone who wishes to attend. A successful candidate must receive the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the dissertation committee. In case of failure, the examination may be attempted once more after a period of time determined by the committee. A student must be registered for at least 1 dissertation credit or candidate for degree status during the semester (or summer session) in which the dissertation defense is held. The Graduate School must be notified of the dissertation defense at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled date of the defense, which must be no later than 18 days before the final day of the semester of graduation.
  2. Clinical Doctorate Degree
    1. Capstone/Project Proposal. An examination to determine the preparedness of the student and the appropriateness of the topic, prior to commencing work on the capstone project.
    2. Capstone/Project Defense. After the capstone/project is completed, a final examination will be conducted by the Advisory Committee. The examination is open to anyone who wishes to attend. A successful candidate must receive the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the capstone committee. In case of failure, the examination may be attempted one time after additional requirements determined by the committee are completed. A student must be registered for at least 1 credit hour or as candidate for degree during the semester in which the capstone defense is held. The Graduate School must be notified of the capstone defense at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled date of the defense, which must be no later than 18 days before the final day of the semester of graduation.

Section F: Foreign Language Requirement

The decision on foreign language requirements for doctoral degrees is the responsibility of the graduate faculty of each graduate program.

Section G: Application for Admission to Candidacy

Master's Degree

For each student pursuing a master's degree, an Application for Admission to Candidacy should be completed during the first five weeks of the semester of intended graduation. This application will certify that all requirements for the degree have been met or are in progress.

Doctoral Degree

A doctoral student who wishes to become a candidate for a degree must file an Application for Admission to Candidacy online. Admission to candidacy will be granted only to students who have completed a significant fraction of the required course work and have passed the comprehensive examination and language requirement (if any).

Section H: Thesis/Dissertation Requirements

Master's Thesis

Every candidate pursuing a master's degree under Plan I (thesis option) is required to write a thesis, which may be a research expository, critical or creative type. Each thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master's degree must satisfy the specifications of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Thesis and Dissertation Manual, and shall represent 3-6 semester credit hours of work. Each program will have specification on the credit total a thesis in that discipline will require with delineation of why different credits are available within the same program if applicable.

Doctoral Dissertation

Every candidate pursuing a doctoral degree is required to write a dissertation based upon original investigation and showing mature scholarship and critical judgment, as well as familiarity with tools and methods of research/scholarship within their field. The subject must be approved by the student's program director. Each dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a doctoral degree must satisfy the specifications of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Thesis and Dissertation Manual. The dissertation shall represent a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of work for Ph.D. candidates, but may be less in other doctoral programs.

Ph.D. Doctoral Dissertation Credit Hour Requirements

  1. Dissertation credits are expected to be taken when a student is working on the dissertation project.
  2. A doctoral student may take no more than one half of the total number of dissertation credit hours required for the degree prior to or during the semester in which the comprehensive examination is passed.
  3. Following successful completion of the doctoral comprehensive examination, a student may register for 1 to 10 units of dissertation credit in a semester (no more than 7 credits hours in summer) until the requirements for the degree are completed.
  4. A student must be registered for at least 1 dissertation credit or candidate for degree status during the semester (or summer session) in which the dissertation defense is held.
  5. Students must follow departmental policies and procedures for maintaining satisfactory progress through the program. Departments should communicate these procedures and standards to students.
  6. A doctoral student is typically expected to be enrolled continuously; however, students are considered inactive after 12 months of no enrollment has occurred. If a student is classified as inactive, they will need to reapply to the program using the online application (other materials not required) and receive the department's approval for continuing in the program to be reclassified as active.

Doctoral Capstone/Project

Students pursuing clinical doctoral degrees are required to complete a capstone or culminating project in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a clinical doctorate at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. The capstone/project courses shall represent 10 semester credit hours of work. Style requirements and format for the capstone/project are determined by the department.

Section I: Time Limits for Completion of Degrees

Master's Degree

Although students are normally expected to complete a master's degree in one to three years, master's degree students have six years, from the date of the start of course work, to complete all degree requirements (which includes filing the thesis if Plan I is followed). A student who fails to complete the degree in the six-year period must file a petition for extension with the program director and have it approved by the Graduate School Dean. The petition, giving reasons why the student should be allowed to continue in the program, must be endorsed by the program director. The program director must approve applying any course to the degree that was taken more than six years prior to the semester of graduation, and all such courses must be validated by special examination.

Doctoral Degree

Doctoral students are normally expected to complete all degree requirements within seven years from the date of the start of coursework in the doctoral program. A student who fails to complete the degree in the seven years must file a petition for extension with the program director and have it approved by the Graduate School Dean. The petition, giving reasons why the student should be allowed to continue in the program, must be endorsed by the program director or by three members of the student's dissertation advisory committee. If the Graduate School Dean approves, the student may continue studies for an additional year. If the Graduate School Dean does not approve the request, the college/school dean, with the concurrence of the program director, may dismiss the student from the program. If the Graduate School Dean and the program director do not agree on whether a student should be continued in the program, the Graduate Executive Committee shall make the final decision.

ARTICLE VI: GRADUATE STUDENT APPEALS

Section A: Final Responsibility

  1. All appeals regarding course grades shall follow the procedures established by the school/college in which the course was taken.
  2. Final authority on appeals submitted by graduate students concerning actions (other than grading) taken by faculty members, program directors, the Graduate School Dean, or other administrative officials, rests with the Graduate Executive Committee. If such appeal involves a matter affecting two or more University of Colorado campuses, the final action rests with the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.

Section B: Student Appeal Procedures

The procedures for a student appeal to the Graduate School Dean and the Graduate Executive Committee are:

  1. An appeal will be officially accepted from a student only after it has been determined that the student has exhausted the appeals process in effect in the program, department, school, and college.
  2. If a resolution to the problem identified in the student's appeal cannot be reached on the department or unit level, the student may submit a written appeal to the Graduate School Dean. The written appeal must descript in detail the basis in fact for the opinion that the student has been treated unfairly academically and must describe actions taken to resolve the problem at the departmental level.
  3. Upon receipt of a written appeal from a student, the Graduate School Dean will contact the appropriate departmental officer to get a response to the questions or objections raised by the student. In some cases, a written response from the department may be requested. The response and appeal is then sent to the Student Affairs Committee of the Graduate Executive Committee. This committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Graduate School Dean and will forward their findings and recommendations to the Graduate School Dean.

    The Graduate School Dean will make a decision in the case. This decision may be appealed by either party to the full Graduate Executive Committee, but only if the decision of the Graduate School Dean is in disagreement with the recommendation of the Student Affairs Committee. In this case, the decision of the Graduate Executive Committee is final.

ARTICLE VII :: IMPLEMENTATION AND AMENDMENTS

Section A: Implementation

These Policies and Procedures of the Graduate School shall take effect immediately upon approval by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Any program not in compliance with these policies and procedures at that time shall have two years to demonstrate full compliance. A program whose existing requirements exceed one or more of the basic requirements of these policies and procedures shall submit in writing all such differences to the Graduate Executive Committee.

Section B: Amendments

  1. Changes to the Graduate School Policies and Procedures for the purposes of correction, clarification, or compliance may be made by the Graduate School Dean with the unanimous concurrence of the Graduate Executive Committee.
  2. Amendments* to these policies and procedures may be proposed by:
    1. A majority of the Graduate Executive Committee
    2. A signed petition of 10% of the regular members of the graduate faculty


    *For approval, an amendment must be favored by a two-thirds majority of those who return ballots in a vote of all regular members of the graduate faculty.

  3. Changes in these Graduate School Policies and Procedures will not become effective until they have been reviewed by the Graduate School Dean, the Deans' Council, and approved by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  4. Graduate School Policies and Procedures should be reviewed every five years by the Graduate Executive Committee.


Approved by the Graduate Executive Committee: November 11, 2011


Approved by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs January 11, 2012


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