Course Interruptions

Overview of policies & procedures for interrupting / not completing a course or program:


These policies apply to Master's programs only. 

Mutual Commitments and Obligations

For an institution to offer a graduate program and for a student to participate in a graduate program entails a high degree of commitment by all concerned. The College dedicates its facilities and the services of highly qualified faculty and staff to offer each of its academic programs, and each student dedicates significant time and resources in order to participate in graduate education. If a student discovers that, for any reason (illness, family emergency), s/he will not be able to dedicate the time and resources necessary to complete coursework in the allotted time, it is in his/her best interest to follow all applicable policies and procedures, so that all concerned will have an accurate, shared understanding of the student’s status.

Policies and Procedures

An overview of relevant policies and procedures is provided here. For complete information, please see the current catalog of the School of Graduate Studies. This catalog is available online through the School of Graduate Studies WebPages (Academic/Catalog), as are the necessary forms (Academic/ Registrar). Forms may also be obtained in the School of Graduate Studies office, St. Joseph Hall, third floor, Room 78. All students are responsible to read the entire Graduate Academic Catalog and to know all of the information published therein as well as any additional requirements specific to particular programs. Doctoral students should follow policies and procedures for doctoral programs.

Financial Considerations

The business office handles financial matters. Full refunds of tuition are made for courses dropped prior to the first day of the semester/session, although the Change of Registration fee applies to all changes made at any time. After the first day of the semester/session, see the current Academic Catalog and Course Guide for the College’s refund policy and information about whether any portion of tuition may be refunded. Students should be aware that dropping or withdrawing from courses may have an impact on eligibility for financial aid.

Interrupting/ not completing graduate courses for which a student has registered
In regard to individual courses that a student determines that s/he cannot complete as intended, the student has the following options:

1. Drop the course

The Academic Calendar in the Course Guide for each semester indicates the date of the last day to drop/ add classes. The student should contact the Registrar’s office as soon as possible, so that staff can fill out a Change of Registration form on his/her behalf in a timely fashion. The Change of Registration fee is noted on the Course Guide for each session/ semester.

2. Request withdrawal (W) from the course

Please note that different policies and procedures apply before and after the halfway point in the course.


Before the halfway point or the start of the second class in infrasession courses, complete a Course Withdrawal Form and submit it to the School of Graduate Studies Office. The Academic Calendar in the Course Guide for each semester indicates the date of the last day to withdraw from a class without failure.

After the halfway point or the start of a second class in an infra-session, students must initiate the withdrawal process through discussions with the Instructor and the Program Coordinator/ Department Chair, following the policy and procedure in the current academic catalog.

3. Request grade of incomplete (I) for a course

A request for a grade of Incomplete (I) must be made to the course Instructor before the last class or final exam. Requests for Incompletes are warranted when, for serious reasons, unanticipated circumstances, or illness requiring medical intervention, a student who has already satisfactorily completed most course requirements needs additional time to complete one or more assignments.

If the Instructor decides that an incomplete grade is warranted, the student and Instructor must complete a Course Incomplete Form, including reasons for the Incomplete and a description of course requirements to be completed by the student by a specified deadline, normally not more than one term later. This form must be signed by the student, Instructor, Program Chair/ Coordinator, and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

If a student does not complete course requirements satisfactorily, including attending classes, and also does not exercise any of the above options following the required policies and procedures, grades of W/F (withdrawal with failure), F (failure), C+, or C, depending on particular course requirements and the extent of the incomplete work. If a matriculated or non-matriculated student receives a grade of C, C+, or F in a course, the policies regarding probation or dismissal from a program apply.

Interrupting/ not completing or discontinuing graduate programs  

All requirements for masters’ degrees should be completed within six years of matriculation. Doctoral students should check policies for doctoral programs. In regard to a need for absence from a masters’ program, students have these options:

1. Request leave of absence

A student who believes it may be necessary to interrupt his/her course of studies is encouraged to discuss options with advisors and/or Program Coordinators/ Department Chairs as soon as possible. A student who finds it necessary to interrupt his/her course of study should follow the policies and procedures regarding Leave of Absence in the current Academic Catalog and all applicable policies and procedures regarding any incomplete courses or courses in which a student is currently enrolled.


A form for requesting a leave of absence is available in the office of the School of Graduate Studies. On the recommendation of the program/department, the School of Graduate Studies may grant leave up to three consecutive terms/ one year. A student who does not enroll in a course for three consecutive terms and who has not been granted a leave of absence is considered to have withdrawn from the program.

2. Notify school of plans to discontinue a graduate program

A student who plans to discontinue a graduate program is asked to notify the Department Chair/ Program Coordinator and to send a letter to the School of Graduate Studies, so that your student file will accurately represent your status as a student or former student.