Classification of Master's and Specialist Degree Students

Effective Date Mar 23, 2021

(Graduate Policy 1.2)

Assignment to one of the following classifications is made at the time of admission.

Regular Student: A student who has earned a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all coursework applied to the most recent undergraduate degree earned, or a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the final 60 semester credit hours of coursework applied to the most recent undergraduate degree earned. Individual academic units may have higher minimum standards. 

Special Student: Special student classifications exist at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and are used for students who, for various reasons, are not enrolled in degree-seeking programs. Specific instances include:

  1. a student taking coursework for credit to apply at another institution;
  2. a student taking courses to fill specific professional or vocational needs; or
  3. a prospective graduate student with generally acceptable undergraduate achievements but with subject matter deficiencies (usually as a result of changing fields) that, in the judgment of the academic unit, preclude immediate acceptance into the degree program.

In the last-mentioned case, the student will normally have the option of pursuing an undergraduate degree in the desired discipline or making up the deficiencies while enrolled as a special student. The student will then be considered for admission to the appropriate graduate degree program once sufficient additional work has been done to form an adequate basis for a decision by the academic unit.

The customary classification of special students will be as undergraduate students, regardless of the existence of previous bachelor’s degrees. A student may, however, be classified as a special graduate student. In such a case, designation and continuation of graduate student status will be at the discretion of the cognizant academic unit, or the director of graduate programs in the case of students who are not seeking eventual admission to a graduate degree program.

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