Graduate Student Advising
All graduate students must meet with their academic advisors at least once a semester to discuss their program. The student is ultimately responsible for his or her program; however, until an advisor has been assigned, the program coordinator or designee will be responsible for the advising.
Registration is available through GoldLink-Online. A calendar of these dates appears in the schedule of classes, published online for each term. Students should contact the initial advisor designated in their letter of admission for assistance in planning and approval of their course registration. Students who have not received a letter of admission should contact the School of Graduate Studies. Please refer to the schedule of classes for information on GoldLink-Online. It is essential that registration be completed during the regular registration period. Late registration generally cannot be accommodated, but students are welcome to return for the next semester during regular registration.
Scheduling of Graduate Courses - A schedule of classes is published each term by the registrar. Graduate students should plan schedules with major advisors prior to registration. Note that graduate courses offered by the College of Medicine adhere to a calendar which may differ from that of the rest of the university.
If a student has not been active in a graduate program for more than a year, a readmission form must be filed and approved by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies prior to re-enrollment.
Every student is required to enroll at the time and in the manner prescribed by the registrar. All charges for the ensuing semester must be paid, or otherwise provided for, before registration is completed.
Continuous Enrollment - Students who wish to use support services of the university (computer, library, laboratories, studios, etc.) and/or require faculty guidance for studies, research, or preparation of a prospectus and are not enrolled for coursework, thesis, or dissertation must be registered for the appropriate non-degree credit course (5990, 6990, 7990) in Readings and Research each term university support or facilities are being used, including summer term. Students who have previously registered for thesis, dissertation, and/or readings and research must be continuously registered for a minimum of one graduate credit hour every subsequent semester, including summer, until completion of the degree.
Readings and Research cannot count toward degree requirements.
Candidates for a master’s degree with a thesis option must continue to register each semester (minimum of one credit) from the time of the initial registration for 5960-Thesis until the thesis is accepted by the School of Graduate Studies. (Individual programs may require minimum enrollments of up to 3 graduate credits.) No less than three credit hours nor more than six credit hours of thesis may be applied toward the master’s degree.
Candidates for doctoral degrees must continue to register each semester from the time of the initial registration for 7960-Dissertation until the dissertation is accepted by the School of Graduate Studies. (Individual programs may require minimum enrollments of up to 3 graduate credits.) No less than 12 hours nor more than 21 hours of dissertation credit may be applied toward the doctoral degree.
A student must be enrolled for a minimum of one graduate credit hour during the term of graduation, with one exception: a student who does not meet the deadlines for completing degree requirements, including thesis/dissertation defense and orals, but does complete all requirements, including approval of the thesis/dissertation by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, before the first day of classes for the following semester, will not be required to register for the term in which the degree is awarded.
Combined Graduate and Undergraduate Enrollment (5xx7 and 5956 Courses) - In some curricula, master’s level students may enroll in 5xx7 and 5956 courses which are co-listed with 4xx7 and 4956 undergraduate courses. A student who has taken the 4xx7 or 4956 course for undergraduate credit cannot repeat the course for graduate credit. Graduate students enrolled in 5xx7 and 5956 courses shall be required to do specified work over and above that required of undergraduate students enrolled in companion 4xx7 and 4956 courses.
Specialist degree students may not enroll for 5xx7 and 5956 courses (except for 5957 “Topic in” courses); they must choose courses from the regular graduate-only series of 5000 and 6000 level courses, with at least one-half of all courses being at the 6000 level.
Doctoral students may not enroll for 5xx7 and 5956 courses (except for 5957 “Topic in” courses); they must choose from the regular graduate-only series of 5000, 6000, and 7000 courses, with at least one-half of all courses being at the 6000 and 7000 levels.
Limitation on 5xx7 and 5956 Courses - No more than 30 percent of all courses taken in any program may come from the 5xx7 / 5956 series. Some doctoral programs disallow 5xx7 and 5956 courses.
Independent Studies, Problems, and Workshops - Students who wish to pursue individual studies, problems, or workshops of special interest may enroll for these courses provided that the topic for study has been defined and approved by the professor and the student’s advisor. Under no circumstances should registration for independent studies, problems, or workshop courses be used to attend a course with a different number or title at any level of course classification.
Limitations on Independent Studies, Problems, and Workshops - No more than 30 percent of the semester hours for a graduate degree program may be taken in independent studies, problems, or workshops or in any combination of these types of courses.
Graduate Course Load - The course load for full-time graduate students is 9 credits per term. Graduate students in a master’s degree, doctoral degree, or certificate program may not enroll in more than 15 hours per term without the permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Non-degree graduate students may not enroll in more than nine hours per term without the permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Graduate Assistant and Tuition Scholars Course Loads - Full-and half-time graduate assistants and tuition scholars are required to take a minimum of nine semester hours of graduate credit each semester. Full-time graduate assistants and tuition scholars may not exceed 15 graduate-level credits each term; half-time graduate assistants may not exceed 15 graduate-level credits each term. Graduate assistants and tuition scholars may take more than 15 semester hours only by approval of the departmental advisor and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Requests for exceptions to this policy will be decided individually through consultation with the graduate coordinator and with the approval of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies prior to the beginning of each term.
Courses for Graduate Assistants - Graduate Assistants are required to register for the following courses during fall and spring terms, as appropriate to their assigned responsibilities in teaching, research, or administration: 5019 Supervised Experience in Teaching, 5029 Supervised Experience in Research, or 5039 Supervised Experience in Administration. The assigned grading scales for all these courses are “S” (Satisfactory) and “U” (Unsatisfactory).
Class Attendance - It is expected that students will attend class regularly and provide the faculty with a reason for any absence. Failure to attend class regularly can affect students’ grades and financial aid. East Tennessee State University does not specify a fixed number of class absences as university-wide policy, but each department within the university has the right to set a maximum number of absences (including absences due to university activities and illnesses) permitted during an academic term. Departmental class absence policy is subject to approval by the dean of the school/college. At the beginning of the course each faculty member must provide a written statement governing attendance policy (including laboratory/clinical sessions where applicable) for the course so that all students may be fully informed of their attendance responsibilities, including penalties that may be imposed for failing to meet these responsibilities. If a student is not in attendance during the class meeting in which the class attendance policy is discussed it is the student’s responsibility to ascertain the policy in that class.
Auditing Courses - Students are permitted to enroll in regular university courses as auditors. Registration fees are the same for audit as for credit. Regular attendance is required. Audit enrollment will not be considered part of the minimum credits required for full-time enrollment. Audit enrollment will be counted in determining overloads.
After the published “Last Day to Add a Course” students may not change their enrollment status in a course from credit to audit or from audit or credit.
Instructors may administratively drop auditors for unsatisfactory class attendance.
Enrollment of Disabled Persons and Persons over 60 Years of Age - (a) Audit Enrollment. Persons suffering from a permanent disability that totally incapacitates them from employment and persons 60 years of age or older may audit courses without the payment of fees. (b) Credit Enrollment. Disabled persons described in (a) above and persons 65 years of age or older may enroll for credit by payment of a service fee required to defray the cost of record-keeping. Special course fees may be required.
Enrollment of such disabled persons and persons 60 years of age or over is restricted to those who are domiciled in Tennessee and may be further limited or denied on an individual classroom basis according to space availability. Acceptable documentation of disability and age is required. Enrollment in classes offered through the James H. Quillen College of Medicine and the Bill Gattton College of Pharmacy is not included in the provision.
Adding a Course - A course(s) may be added through the late registration/late add period without special permission, unless the course has reached the established maximum enrollment. To add any class that has reached the enrollment limit requires permission of the instructor and department chair. After the late registration/late add period, special permission must be obtained from the instructor, the department chair, the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, and the registrar and may be granted only in extenuating circumstances.
Dropping a Course - A course(s) may be dropped during the first eight calendar weeks of a regular semester. Courses dropped during the first four weeks will not appear on the student’s permanent record. Students who drop a course after the fourth full week of classes through the eighth calendar week will receive a grade of “W”. (During the summer session or when courses do not conform with established term dates, this schedule is adjusted appropriately to fit the condensed time frames. Consult the Schedule of Classes for exact dates.)
After the eighth week a student may not drop a course, except where verifiable extenuating circumstances can be demonstrated. A petition for a late drop may be presented by the student for consideration by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Verifiable extenuating circumstances may include illness, accidental injury, or other appropriate reasons. A course may not be dropped if there is an unresolved charge of academic misconduct.
If approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies, the student will receive a grade of “W” (Withdrawn) or “WF” (Withdrawn-Failing), as assigned by the instructor of the course. All approved petitions for late drops must be received in the Office of the Registrar no later than 4:30 p.m. two days before the end of classes for all academic terms. Under no circumstances will a student be permitted to drop a course after that time.
Change of Field of Study - Students seeking to change their field of graduate study from one program to another must formally apply to the new graduate program. The student is responsible for ensuring that all admissions materials required by the new program are on file in the School of Graduate Studies prior to any program deadlines. Students must resign from the program in which they are currently enrolled prior to accepting admission into the new program. Students seeking to change concentrations within a program may do so by completing a Change of Program of Study form, which can be obtained from the School of Graduate Studies.