Graduate School Bulletin - Spring 2006


Registration and Classification

All students expecting graduate credit must be enrolled in the Graduate School . Graduate students will conform to the general registration schedule of the University and may not enter later than the last allowable date set by the Registrar.

Before registering, graduate students should obtain approval of their proposed schedule from their advisor(s).

Changes in the Graduate School Requirements

When Graduate School or degree program requirements are changed after a course of study has begun, the students shall have the option of fulfilling either the old or the new requirements. If students elect to fulfill the old requirements but find that necessary resources (e.g., courses, instruction in particular skills) are no longer available, they may make reasonable substitutes with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School upon recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies.

In the event that students interrupt their work on a graduate degree (i.e., are not enrolled) for one calendar year or more, the Dean of the Graduate School shall determine, upon recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies, whether the old requirements or the new requirements shall apply. In the event students have not completed the requirements for the graduate degree five years after the effective date of a change in degree requirements, the new requirements shall apply unless determined otherwise by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Student Responsibility

It is the student's responsibility to be informed concerning all regulations and procedures required by the course of study being pursued. In no case will a regulation be waived or an exception granted because a student pleads ignorance of the regulation or asserts that information was not presented by advisors or other authorities. Therefore, the student should become familiar with the Graduate School Bulletin, including 1) the section presenting the requirements for degrees and 2) the specific program offerings and requirements.

The Director of Graduate Studies in the student's major program should be consulted concerning course requirements, any deficiencies, the planning of a program, and special regulations. Programs may have degree requirements that are not listed in the Bulletin. It is to be noted that the Dean of the Graduate School interprets the Graduate School Bulletin. Only the Graduate Council may waive requirements stated in this Bulletin.

Confidentiality of Student Records

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, University of Kentucky students have the right to review, inspect, and challenge the accuracy of information kept in a cumulative file by the institution unless the student waives this right in writing. Records cannot be released other than in emergency situations without the written consent of the student, except in the following situations:

Questions concerning this law and the University's policy concerning release of academic information may be directed to the Student Records Office of the Graduate School.

Graduate Courses

All courses numbered 500 through 799 may be counted for credit toward a graduate degree provided they are approved as an appropriate part of the student's graduate program by the student's graduate advisor or committee. Courses numbered 400G to 499G carry graduate credit for non-majors only.

Courses numbered at the 800 or 900 level are normally not accepted for credit toward a graduate degree. Exceptions can be made if permission is granted by the Graduate Council to a program to offer specific professional courses as part of its academic program. Prior approval to take a course must be obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies, the Dean of the Graduate School and the dean of the professional college. Without such approval, professional courses may not be counted toward satisfying degree requirements. Courses numbered at the 600 or 700 level should be taught by members of the Graduate Faculty or by such other instructors as are approved by the Dean of the Graduate School .


The Graduate School follows the rules of the University Senate as administered by the Registrar's Office.

Academic Load

The total semester or term academic load of a student is the sum of all credits and credit equivalents (e.g., graduate language courses, undergraduate courses, courses audited, etc.) being carried. The normal academic load of a graduate student during any semester is nine credit hours or equivalent. Under no circumstances may it exceed 15 credit hours or equivalent. During the summer term, the maximum academic load for the second summer term is nine credit hours, and for the first summer term it is four credit hours. The maximum academic load for any combination of the first and second summer terms is 12 credit hours. For the student who is a full-time teaching assistant or whose service to the University requires approximately 20 hours per week, the academic load shall not exceed 10 hours. This maximum may be increased to 12 hours for students with lighter service loads upon recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies and approval of the Dean of the Graduate School .

Students satisfactorily completing nine course credits, or equivalent, of graduate level work during a semester, are classified as full-time students by the University. Students satisfactorily completing five course credits, or equivalent, during a summer term are classified as full-time. Those completing less than these amounts are classified as part-time. Full-time students who fall below the minimum full-time equivalent as the result of failing or dropping one or more courses are reclassified as part-time students for that semester or term.

Grades and Grade Point Averages

The official grades of graduate students are recorded in the Office of the Registrar. The grading in graduate courses is done according to the following scale:

A-High achievement - 4 grade points per credit
B-Satisfactory achievement - 3 grade points per credit
C-Minimum passing grade - 2 grade points per credit
E-Failure - 0 grade points per credit
I-Incomplete - See explanation below
S-Satisfactory - See explanation below
U-Unsatisfactory - See explanation below

D grades may not be awarded to graduate students. Graduate courses (400G-799) may not be taken Pass/Fail.

A grade of I (incomplete) may be assigned to a graduate student if a part of the work of a course remains undone and if there is a reasonable possibility that a passing grade will result from completion of the work. All incompletes (I grades) must be replaced by a regular final letter grade within 12 months of the end of the academic term in which the I grade was awarded or prior to the student's graduation, whichever occurs first. If an I grade has not been replaced within the allowable period, the University Registrar shall change the I grade to a grade of E on the student's permanent academic record and adjust the student's grade point average accordingly, unless otherwise approved because of exceptional circumstances by the Dean of the Graduate School upon recommendation of the Director of Graduate Studies in the student's program.

Instructors who assign an I grade must file with the student's Director of Graduate Studies information which includes 1) the name of the student, 2) the course number and hours of credit, 3) the semester and year of enrollment, 4) specific information on the work to be completed before a final grade can be assigned, and 5) the time frame in which the specific requirements are to be met (not to exceed 12 months). Graduate students should consult with their Director of Graduate Studies concerning procedures relative to the awarding of I grades and the conditions under which they may be removed.

All I grades must be resolved to a regular letter grade before a student may sit for the final examination, or the qualifying examination for doctoral students. Exceptions to this rule will be considered in unusual circumstances, and require the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and the Dean of the Graduate School.

A grade of S (satisfactory) may be recorded for students in graduate seminars, independent work courses, and research courses which extend beyond the normal limits of a semester or summer term. This grade may not be given to a student in a course carrying credit if the student has done unsatisfactory work or failed to do a reasonable amount of work, in which case a grade of U (unsatisfactory) will be assigned. The project must be substantially continuous in its progress. All S, and U grades must be removed prior to the final examination (or qualifying examination for doctoral students), except for those given in Residence Credit 748, 749, 768, and 769, or in graduate courses which carry no credit.

An overall average of B (3.0) on all graduate work in the program must be attained before an advanced degree may be awarded. Graduate-level courses (numbers 400G-799) are computed in the graduate grade-point average, with the exception of 400G courses in the student's program.

Once a grade other than I, S, or U has been reported to the Registrar's Office, it may not be changed unless an error was made at the time the grade was given and recorded, and then only upon the written unanimous approval of the instructor, the Registrar, and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Repeat Option

A student may repeat a graduate course and count only the second grade as part of the graduate grade point average. This action will be initiated by petition of the Director of Graduate Studies to the Dean of the Graduate School , and may be used only once in a particular degree program or in post-baccalaureate status.

Transfer of Credits

The Director of Graduate Studies and the Dean of the Graduate School may approve the transfer of regular graduate course credits, completed at an accredited university and earned prior to admission to a given graduate degree program. These credits must meet the following criteria:

Credit hours can be transferred to meet the minimum requirements of Master's or Specialist degrees only. Transfers into doctoral programs are not permitted.

Credit Equivalence

Certain research courses carry no credit hours or grades but do contribute to the residence requirements of graduate degrees. For these courses the credit equivalent is stated in the course descriptions.

Scholastic Probation

When students have completed 12 or more semester hours of graduate course work with a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0, they will be placed on scholastic probation. Students will have one full-time semester or the equivalent (9 hours) to remove the scholastic probation by attaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA. If probation is not removed, students will be dismissed from the Graduate School .

Students who have been dismissed from the Graduate School for this reason may apply for readmission to the Graduate School after two semesters or one semester and the eight-week summer term. If they are accepted by the program, admitted students will have one full-time semester or the equivalent (9 hours) to remove the scholastic probation by attaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Exceptions to this policy can be made only by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Students placed on scholastic probation are not eligible for fellowships or tuition scholarships and may not sit for doctoral qualifying examinations, or master's or doctoral final examinations.


The Dean of the Graduate School may terminate enrollment in a particular program for the following reasons:

Each program sets specific requirements and standards of performance, evaluative procedures and criteria, and procedures for terminations of all students. The student should be informed of these criteria at the time of enrollment by the Director of Graduate Studies of the program.


Assessment of Doctoral Student Progress

All programs are now required to assess the progress of their doctoral students. The Graduate Faculty of each doctoral program will define good progress to completion of the doctoral degree. This information will be included in the program's Graduate Student Handbook. The consequences of lack of good progress may also be included in the handbook. Each doctoral student's good progress toward the degree will be reviewed (at least) annually by either the Graduate Faculty in the program, the doctoral advisory committee, or other graduate education committee. Each student will be informed in writing of the results of that meeting by the Director of Graduate Studies or the chair of the advisory committee, or their designee.

Examinations for Graduate Credit

A special examination for graduate credit in a student's program requires the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School . Students must complete the Special Examination form (available in the Registrar's Office) and have it approved and signed by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Dean of the Graduate School . Students must be enrolled in the Graduate School during the semester they wish to sit for a special examination.

Students Changing Programs

Students who plan to change programs must have the consent of the Director of Graduate Studies in the new program. A letter of acceptance from the DGS must be sent to the Graduate School. Also, students must request in writing that this change be made official by the Graduate School.

Off-Campus and Short Courses

Short courses are defined as courses of less than a term in length. A short course may not carry more credits than the number of weeks during which it is offered. Two short courses of four weeks or less may not be taken simultaneously. Instructional standards for off-campus and short courses should be the same as those established for on-campus and regular courses. A comprehensive final examination will normally be required to assess the student's capability for scholarly thinking in the subject matter area. Practicum or laboratory short courses should require other experiences of comparable rigor.

Distance Learning Graduate Programs

A number of departments offer selected courses or entire graduate degree programs off campus or via the Internet. Instruction is provided by various distance-learning technologies and/or on-site meetings of students with faculty. The Graduate School provides coordination and support for the off-campus sites and assures a high standard of graduate work. The school assists with: student recruitment; administration of the distance learning graduate program sites; liaison among students, programs, and UK support units; and liaison with the cooperating regional universities. All distance learning graduate programs function within the policies and rules of the Graduate School. See <>.

Graduate degree programs to be delivered at distance learning locations (either on site or via technology) shall be reviewed by the Graduate Council prior to their submission for appropriate review at higher levels. Distance learning graduate degree programs shall be reviewed periodically and their effectiveness assessed during regular institutional unit reviews, or, when circumstances warrant, by a special review process initiated by the Dean of the Graduate School.

UK Students as Visitors

University of Kentucky graduate students who attend another graduate school as a Visiting Student must have the permission of their University of Kentucky advisor and the Graduate School before the courses are taken in order to transfer credits earned (see Transfer of Credits). Visiting Student status may be granted only to a student who is in good standing in a degree program.

Graduation (Commencement)

Graduate degrees may be conferred at the close of either semester or the second summer session, but Commencement exercises are held only in May. Students who are eligible to receive degrees at the end of the summer session or the fall semester may participate in the spring Commencement exercises. Appropriate academic regalia must be worn.

To be eligible for a degree, a student must file Application for Degree Cards in the Graduate School within 30 days after the beginning of the semester (15 days in the summer session) in which they expect to graduate.



Diplomas for graduate students are ordered after certification of the degrees has been completed. If a letter of certification is needed, the Graduate School will provide one upon written request or by coming in person to Room 106 of The Gillis Building.

Outstanding Accounts

All outstanding accounts due to the University must be cleared before a degree is awarded.

Advanced Degrees for Faculty Members

Members of the faculty having a rank higher than that of Instructor may not be considered as candidates for degrees in the discipline in which they are employed and hold academic rank.

The Graduate School | UK Research | University of Kentucky | An Equal Opportunity University