Graduate School Academic Regulations
General Academic Regulations
Students may receive quality grades of A, B, C, D, or F on graduate coursework, but grades of D and F are not acceptable for graduate credit. In certain specifically designated courses, the mark of Z is given to indicate that a student has received graduate credit but has been assigned no quality grade in the course; however, in courses approved for the Z mark, instructors may assign the quality grade of F. The only other marks that may be assigned in courses approved for the Z mark are I or W.
The nonquality mark of X designates courses in which the student is registered as an auditor. The nonquality mark of W is given to students to indicate withdrawal from the course. The I mark is given when, for unusual reasons acceptable to the instructor, course requirements cannot be completed within the enrollment period.
The IP mark may be given for specifically designated graduate research-oriented courses in which the nature of the course or the expectations of students in the course cannot anticipate completion within one semester. Students receiving the mark of I are expected to complete the course no later than the last class day of the next regular semester (excluding summer terms). Following this deadline, the I will be computed as an F in establishing a student’s grade-point average. Students receiving the mark of IP are expected to complete the course within one calendar year of enrolling in the course. Following this deadline, the IP will be computed as an F in establishing a student’s grade-point average. An I or IP grade may not be removed by formally enrolling in the same course in a subsequent semester at this university or any other institution. Where a student has at least three outstanding I or IP grades, the student is not permitted to enroll in additional courses until the number of temporary grades is reduced to fewer than three.
Graduate students must maintain at least a B average on all graduate work undertaken. Where a student is required to take, as part of the degree program, more than 12 hours in an area outside the field of specialization, a B average must be presented in both areas, computed separately. No grades or marks are given for courses designated as thesis, doctoral essay, or dissertation. In any situation in which a graduate student wishes to appeal a grade, he or she should contact the dean of the Graduate School for a copy of the Graduate School Appeal Procedure, which shall apply in this case.
Students whose grade-point average falls below 3.0 in any semester will be placed on probation and expected to improve their grades to an acceptable level before the end of their next period of enrollment. If the grade-point average of a graduate student for a semester or term has been unsatisfactory, the dean of the Graduate school may refuse permission for the student to register for further work or change the student’s classification.
Grades for all courses taken by graduate students will remain a permanent part of their transcript. Except for courses identified in the catalog as “may be repeated for credit,” no course may be repeated more than once, and no more than two courses may be repeated and applied toward a degree. In instances of repeated courses, the grade and credit hours for the second attempt will be used to determine eligibility to graduate. Departments may impose higher standards. For those courses that may be repeated for credit, the department offering the course would notify the registrar’s office to rename (or index as I/II, etc.) the course on students’ transcripts at each offering.
The broad purpose underlying student discipline is to order university living in such a way that the interests of the student body as a whole and of the individuals comprising it are best served. The university reserves the right to sever the connection of any student with the university for appropriate reason. In any situation in which a graduate student wishes to appeal a charge of academic dishonesty, he or she should contact the dean of the Graduate School for a copy of the Graduate School Appeal Procedure, which shall apply in this case.
A minimum registration of 3 hours is required of every graduate student in each regular semester and 1 hour during the summer session, including registration for thesis or dissertation.
In the regular session, a graduate student may register for a maximum of 15 semester hours of graduate work per semester, including registration for the thesis or dissertation. In the summer session, the student may register for no more than 6 semester hours each term. Additional restrictions may be imposed by academic departments.
Maximum Load for Graduate Fellows and Assistants
Students receiving a full University Nonservice Fellowship must enroll for at least 9 hours per semester. Enrollments for students holding service appointments are governed by the following schedule:
|Service requirement||Minimum enrollment||Maximum enrollment|
|3/4 time (30 hours/week)||9 hours||13 hours|
|1/2 time (20 hours/week)||9 hours||13 hours|
|1/4 time (10 hours/week)||6 hours||13 hours|
|Less than 1/4 time||3 hours||15 hours|
In order to be eligible to receive a partial tuition scholarship, graduate assistants must enroll for at least 9 hours of graduate credit.
A graduate student registered for 9 or more credit hours during the fall or spring semesters at the university is considered to be a full-time student. In a summer term, a graduate student registered for 4 or more semester hours is considered a full-time student, though, to satisfy residence requirements, the student must enroll for a total of 9 hours during the summer session terms.
Withdrawal from a Course
Registration for a course makes the student responsible for attending that course until the course is completed or until, with the approval of the instructor and the dean of the Graduate School, the registrar authorizes withdrawal from the course. The last day that a student may withdraw from a class without a record of enrollment in each semester is listed in the Academic Calendar.
Courses numbered between 500 and 599, unless otherwise noted, are limited to graduate and upper-division undergraduate students. To receive graduate credit for a 500-level course, the student must do work in addition to that required of the undergraduates enrolled in the course. Courses numbered 600 and above are open only to graduate students.
Graduate Credit for Senior Undergraduates
Undergraduate students may earn graduate credit under two distinct circumstances.
Program for Accelerated Advanced Degrees
The University of Mississippi offers the opportunity for high-performing, advanced undergraduate students to earn credit toward a graduate degree through the Program for Accelerated Advanced Degrees (PAAD). PAAD programs are designed to support accelerated completion of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees such that a student will be able to earn both degrees within five years. Students who enter their undergraduate studies with a large number of credit hours prior to their freshman year may be able to complete such bachelor’s + master’s PAAD programs in less than five years. Not all graduate programs participate in the PAAD (see the Graduate School website for a complete listing of participating programs).
Undergraduate students may apply to a PAAD graduate program after successfully completing 90 hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Typically, the student may apply to the Graduate School in the final semester of their junior year. Students interested in participating in a PAAD graduate program must apply to the Graduate School with approval from the PAAD graduate program coordinator. Permission to take graduate courses will be granted by the Graduate School if the student meets the above criteria. Students enrolled in PAAD graduate programs may enroll in graduate credit at the 500 or 600 level. In such cases, up to 15 credit hours of graduate enrollment (taken at the 500 level) may be counted toward the completion of the undergraduate degree. Additional graduate credit hours completed beyond those 15 hours will not be counted toward satisfying the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. Courses with a 500 level number taken by undergraduates for graduate credit must be designated with the suffix G, whether or not such courses count toward the completion of the undergraduate degree. Undergraduate students who participate in a PAAD graduate program may not complete more than 30 graduate credit hours prior to completion of the bachelor’s degree.
As undergraduate students participating in a PAAD graduate program near the completion of the bachelor’s degree, they should follow the typical application process for the relevant graduate degree program. Generally this will involve making application for entry into the graduate program via the formal Graduate School application during the fall or spring of their senior year. Upon completion of the bachelor’s degree, students participating in PAAD graduate programs will be automatically transferred into the relevant graduate degree program if they received a decision of accept or they will be transferred to nondegree-seeking graduate student status if they were not accepted into the graduate program.
Undergraduate Students Not Seeking a Graduate Degree
Under certain conditions, University of Mississippi seniors within 30 semester hours of the bachelor’s degree may enroll for a maximum of 3 semester hours of graduate courses at the 500 level, and seniors within 15 semester hours of the bachelor’s degree may enroll for a maximum of 6 semester hours of graduate credit at the 500 level. The conditions are that the student must have an overall grade-point average of at least 3.00 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work and be otherwise qualified for admission to the Graduate School, that these courses must not be counted toward satisfying the requirements for the bachelor’s degree, and that the department chair concerned and the dean of the Graduate School must have approved the courses for graduate credit before the undergraduate enrolls in them. Whereas the general rule is that a maximum of 9 semester hours can be earned by an undergraduate for graduate credit, this maximum can be extended for students who enter as an undergraduate student at the University of Mississippi with 18 or more credit hours. Courses with a 500 level number taken by undergraduates for graduate credit must be designated with the suffix G. Under no circumstances may undergraduates enrolled in graduate courses outside of PAAD graduate programs enroll in courses at the 600 level or above.
Transfer of Graduate Credit from Another Institution
A student may receive credit toward a graduate degree for work accomplished in recognized institutions upon the recommendation of the department and the approval of the dean of the Graduate School. Only courses for which the student received the grade of B or higher may be transferred. Transfer of credit from another institution will not be accepted for workshops, internships, and other courses of a similar nature, and for courses in which regular letter grades are not awarded. Grades from other institutions may not substitute for unsatisfactory grades earned at the university; nor may the grade of A or B earned at another institution be used to offset a lower grade earned at the university. Transfer work from another institution that constitutes an overload while enrolled as a full-time student at the University of Mississippi will not be accepted.
All transfer of credit is subject to the following conditions: (1) The residence or degree credit requirement is not reduced. (2) The other graduate school must offer a graduate degree in the field in which the work has been completed. (3) The credit must be recommended by the student’s department in the university as specifically applicable to the student’s degree program.
With department approval, a student may transfer up to one half, but no more than 12 hours, of the graded coursework credit hours required for a master’s or specialist degree program (e.g., up to 12 hours may be transferred if the degree program requires 24 hours of graded coursework, or up to 9 hours if the degree program requires 18 hours of graded coursework). There is a six-year time limit on the applicability of transferred credit, as there is on all credits applicable toward the master’s degree.
With department approval, a student may transfer up to one half, but no more than 24 hours, of the graded coursework credit hours required for a doctoral degree program (e.g., up to 12 hours may be transferred if the degree program requires 24 hours of graded coursework, or up to 9 hours if the degree program requires 18 hours of graded coursework). There is a six-year time limit on the applicability of transferred credit. Beyond the 24 credit hour limit, departmental doctoral program requirements may be waived or reduced as a result of graduate work completed at other institutions; however, Graduate School minimum degree requirements must be met, and students must take at least 50% of their graded credit hours applied toward the doctoral degree at the University of Mississippi.
Two exceptions to the limit on credit hours for transfer of doctoral credit apply. First, a student who transfers to the University of Mississippi following the recruitment of their faculty advisor as a new faculty member at the University of Mississippi may submit a request to apply additional transfer credit hours toward their doctoral degree. However, the comprehensive exams and dissertation must be completed at the University of Mississippi. Second, when there is a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Mississippi and another university in which specific courses for transfer are approved by the program faculty and Graduate School, programs may allow additional hours to transfer. The student must complete at least 18 graded doctoral hours at the University of Mississippi and must complete the comprehensive exam and dissertation at the University of Mississippi.
No work from another institution or work used in fulfilling the requirements of another degree may be accepted for transfer to a graduate certificate, but, with department approval, graduate certificate program requirements may be waived as a result of work completed at other institutions, subject to the student being required to take alternate coursework to meet the minimum number of hours required for the graduate certificate.
Transfer of University Graduate Credit to a Graduate Degree
A 6-hour transfer policy applies to credits completed within the institution, setting 6 as the maximum number of hours that can be transferred. However, there are two exceptions to this policy.
First, the 6-hour transfer policy’s limit does not apply for credits completed in fulfillment of one or more graduate certificates that are later (after the awarding of the graduate certificate) applied to a graduate degree in the same field. No credit completed in fulfillment of a graduate certificate that is earned concurrent to a master’s or doctoral degree may be applied toward that master’s or doctoral degree. All credits earned in pursuit of a graduate certificate can be applied toward a first master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree in the same field. This exception to the 6-hour transfer policy does not allow for the same credits from a graduate certificate to be applied toward two separate master’s degrees.
Second, the 6-hour transfer policy’s limit also does not apply to credits completed by undergraduate students who completed graduate courses as part of an accelerated graduate degree (i.e., Program for Accelerated Advanced Degrees). Limits on the number of credit hours an undergraduate student can complete and count toward a graduate degree are governed by the academic catalog (see other sections in this policy on Graduate School Academic Regulations).
Transfer of University Graduate Credit to a Graduate Certificate
Graduate credits earned in pursuit of a graduate degree cannot be applied toward a graduate certificate. Students who completed credits in pursuit of a graduate minor but who opt to complete a graduate certificate instead of the minor can apply credits from the minor only toward a graduate certificate. Such credits cannot be counted toward a graduate degree.
Transfer of University Graduate Credit to a Second Master’s Degree
A 6-hour transfer policy applies within the university. No more than 6 hours, subject to departmental approval, may be applied from a previous master’s degree to a second master’s degree.
The Graduate School does not accept coursework taken by correspondence.
Application for a Degree
A student is expected to submit an application for a degree during the last semester or summer term of resident enrollment. If the student is not able to complete degree requirements at the end of that period, the student will resubmit the application during the semester or summer term at the end of which the student expects to graduate. A student must be formally admitted to the degree program prior to the beginning of the semester in which the degree is awarded and must meet the requirements of the catalog under which he or she was admitted or readmitted.
All students planning to receive their graduate degrees must be enrolled for at least 3 hours (thesis, dissertation, or coursework) during the fall or spring semester in which they take the final oral and/or written examination. Those planning to graduate during the summer must be enrolled for at least 1 hour.