Specific requirements for each degree program and certificate programs are given under the degree heading. Regulations applying to all graduate degrees and certificates are stated below.
Catalog Effective Date
Graduate students will comply with the catalog requirements in effect during their first semester of course work. The Program of Study must comply with the catalog requirements for the degree. There are two exceptions to this policy: 1) when a program accrediting agency enforces changes that apply to all students in a program, no matter when the student began the program, he/she will have to adhere to the program accrediting agency’s authority and 2) 400/4000 courses taken prior to August 2010 may be counted toward the graduate degree (only 5000 or higher level courses can count toward a graduate degree beginning with the fall 2010 semester).
At the post-baccalaureate, graduate, or professional-level programs of study, a minimum of 30 semester credit hours or the equivalent are required. The total number of credit hours required for each master’s and doctoral degree varies and is listed in the description for each degree program. At least one-half of the total hours must be in the major area. Credits in elective areas are specified in the degree program or are approved by the department or school.
Graduate study in any department or school must be preceded by sufficient undergraduate work to satisfy the department or school that the student can continue at the graduate level in the chosen field. Each student’s undergraduate record is examined by the appropriate department or school before admission to a degree program is granted. Since undergraduate courses differ in content and extent, not all prerequisites can be listed in the Graduate Catalog. Specified prerequisite courses may be taken for undergraduate credit or challenged by special examination as a means to verify that a student is prepared for graduate study. Undergraduate prerequisites do not count toward degree requirements.
A majority of all coursework in a graduate student’s program must be taken for graduate credit at UTC. Graduate program faculty will determine the extent of transfer credit acceptable in their respective programs.
To be considered for transfer credit in any graduate degree or certificate program, a course taken at another university must meet the following minimum criteria:
- carry graduate credit from a regionally accredited university,
- have a grade of B or better,
- fit within the timeframe of the student’s program of study, and
- not have been used for a previous degree at the same degree level or for an undergraduate degree.
Initiation of procedures to have transfer credit accepted is the responsibility of the student, who must have one official transcript sent to the UTC Graduate School directly from the institution(s) at which the work was taken. The student should present the syllabus to the program coordinator/director. If the program coordinator finds the coursework comparable in requirements and standards to the relevant UTC coursework and recommends the transfer credit, the course(s) may be listed on the student’s Application for Admission to Candidacy form. This form should then be submitted to the dean of The Graduate School for final evaluation and approval. If approved, the credit will be incorporated into the student’s official academic record.
Doctoral Students with Master’s Degrees
Students admitted to a doctoral program who have completed a master’s degree, or its equivalent, may request the faculty of the doctoral degree program to accept all or parts of the relevant graduate course work to count as fulfilling a portion of the doctoral degree requirements. Students in the Learning and Leadership program may not exercise this option. In programs where this option is allowed a student with a master’s degree may substitute no more than 50% of the doctoral degree requirements with graduate work completed at another institution or within another degree program offered by UTC unless the course work is included in the Doctoral Program of Study Form. Students submitting such a request must understand that the professional accreditation guidelines governing a doctoral program may limit the number of transfer courses.
Although previously completed graduate courses may be used to satisfy a portion of the requirements for the degree listed on the student’s Doctoral Program of Study Form, those courses will not be officially transferred to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and will not be placed on the student’s UTC transcript.
Graduate degree students may be required to complete one or more semesters of full-time study as determined by the major department.
Program of Study
Each degree seeking graduate student must complete and file a Program of Study (form GS #101) by the end of the first semester of enrollment in graduate coursework except where otherwise noted for specific graduate degree programs. All information requested must be provided before the Program of Study will be accepted and approved by the Graduate School. The Program of Study form can be found at https://www.utc.edu/graduate-school/pdfs/prgofstudy101ver23-21-11fwa.pdf . (Program of Study requirement approved by Graduate Council spring 2011)
All core courses in the degree program must be listed on the Program of Study. Elective courses may be listed on the Program of Study at that time, if known, but this is not required. Elective courses will be listed on the Application for Admission to Candidacy (see below) when the student applies for graduation or prior to applying for graduation. Students must list on the Program of Study form (where courses are listed) whether a comprehensive exam is required or not, i.e., comprehensive exam required or comprehensive exam not required and should include any transfer credit work approved for inclusion in their program.
Admission to Candidacy
Admission to a graduate degree program allows the student to demonstrate ability but does not guarantee the right to continue toward a degree unless he or she is admitted to candidacy. (Clarification of Admission to Candidacy approved by Graduate Council spring 2011)
Each degree seeking graduate student must complete and file with the Graduate School an Application for Admission to Candidacy, Certificate Award and Graduation, (form GS #103), at least one semester prior to the semester of his/her anticipated graduation. For example, if a student anticipates graduating in May of a given year, the student must file form GS#103 in fall preceding the anticipated May graduation. The Application for Admission to Candidacy, Certificate Award and Graduation form can be found at https://www.utc.edu/graduate-school/pdfs/candidacy-and-graduation-2-5-11.pdf .
In order to be eligible for admission to candidacy, the student must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or better on all courses taken for graduate credit and have completed prerequisite and designated courses as required by the major department or school and no grade below a C.
In addition, some departments require that applicants for admission to candidacy successfully complete a qualifying examination prior to admission to candidacy for the degree. Please refer to the appropriate department for specific information regarding qualifying examination requirements or other departmental requirements for admission to candidacy. Professional and ethical fitness may also be a factor in granting candidacy.
On the application, any changes in the core courses listed in the student’s Program of Study and all electives completed and those which the student plans to complete to fulfill requirements for the degree must be listed. The application, signed by the student, reviewed and signed by the major adviser and approved by the coordinator of the graduate program, must be submitted to The Graduate School office and approved by the dean of The Graduate School at least one semester prior to the date on which the degree is anticipated. It is the approved Program of Study and Application for Admission to Candidacy forms, rather than any examples that may appear in the Graduate Catalog, which will constitute the student’s graduation requirements.
A student who fails to submit a candidacy form at least one semester before his/her anticipated graduation will not be guaranteed consideration for graduation.
The courses listed on the Program of Study must be thoughtfully considered, as they dictate the academic courses necessary for partial fulfillment of the degree requirements. Students in conjunction with their advisors must pay special attention to include those courses required by the degree program.
Accelerated Graduate Program (AGP)
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) offers accelerated master’s degrees in certain programs. These programs are designed for, and limited to, UTC undergraduate students who exhibit exceptional undergraduate academic performance and are interested in pursuing their master’s degree at UTC.
Students interested in one of the accelerated master’s programs are encouraged to meet with both Undergraduate and Graduate program advisors as early as possible to best prepare for admission into their respective accelerated programs.
As these are accelerated programs, students are required to exceed minimum GPA standards for normal admission into graduate programs. Therefore, a minimum GPA of a 3.3 for undergraduate students is expected for admission. There may be higher GPA requirements or additional requirements based on the program. It is important that the student works with program advisors prior to submitting their graduate program application.
Typically, highly qualified students may apply to an accelerated master’s program during the year just prior to their final undergraduate year (usually during their junior year). Upon acceptance, students may begin taking graduate classes once they have attained senior standing (90+ credit hours of undergraduate work).
Students accepted into an accelerated master’s program will complete their undergraduate degree while having the ability to take up to 12 credit hours of graduate classes that would apply to both their Undergraduate and Graduate degrees (depending on the program guidelines). Normally these are designated classes approved within each program.
Formal admission to graduate school is contingent on graduating with your undergraduate degree while maintaining minimum GPAs for admission (3.3 for all UG classes), and an overall 3.0 GPA in all graduate classes taken. Upon completion of their undergraduate degree they are converted into graduate student standing. After formal transition to graduate student status, a student is then eligible for graduate assistantships, scholarships or fellowships.
Additional program specific information, including admission standards for each program, is set based on the program’s curricular requirements.
Each graduate degree student will have a graduate committee. The use of the term graduate committee in this publication represents the thesis/dissertation committee and the student’s advisor committee. For programs requiring a thesis or dissertation, the committee shall consist of a chairperson and the number of graduate faculty as specified by the program. At least two additional members with appropriate graduate faculty status and expertise in the study area must be appointed. All members of the committee must be appointed to graduate faculty status. Special membership status is available to individuals that are not faculty.
For those programs not requiring a thesis or dissertation, the graduate committee shall be the graduate faculty of the program. Subject to Graduate Council policies and individual program requirements, the graduate committee must approve all coursework applied toward the degree, certify the student’s mastery of the necessary skills and knowledge of the profession, and assist the student in completing the requirements of the program. In some instances the graduate program coordinator will advise all students and sign off on their Program of Study on behalf of the graduate faculty, thus certifying that the program polices approved by the faculty are being implemented. The department head and/or program coordinator, dean of the College, and the dean of the UTC Graduate School shall approve each graduate committee for each student.
A graduate certificate program is a planned program of graduate-level study comprised of a minimum of nine hours of graduate-level academic courses.
A candidate for a graduate certificate must satisfactorily complete the minimum requirements for the certificate. These minimum requirements include achieving a 3.0 grade point average in the program itself as well as a cumulative 3.0 GPA on any prior work taken at the University. The candidate must be a graduate student in good standing and in compliance with all other applicable policies.
Students who earn a graduate certificate and subsequently enter a graduate degree program at UTC may transfer into the degree program, courses completed in pursuit of a certificate when all of the following criteria are met:
- the courses carry graduate credit from a regionally accredited university
- the courses being transferred have a grade of B or higher
- the courses fit within the timeframe of the student’s program of study (see Time limits for completing degrees)
- no more than 50% of the credits from a certificate program, with a maximum of 9 credit hours, may be transferred into a degree program. (Paragraph approved by Graduate Council spring 2012).
Students in a graduate degree program simultaneously pursuing a graduate certificate must complete the certificate within the timeframe allotted for the graduate degree. A minimum of 50% of the certificate hours must be course work that is not included as part of the program of study for the degree.
When only a certificate is being pursued and the certificate consists of 9 - 18 hours, it must be completed in three years. Students who expect to complete the requirements for a certificate program must file a Graduation Audit for Degrees and Certificates form with the Graduate School Office within four weeks of the beginning of the semester they anticipate completing the certificate requirements. The application is available on the Website, http://www.utc.edu/graduate-school/.
The Graduate School will monitor verify the completion of the certificate requirements and notify the Office of the University Registrar. Certificates are approved for placement on transcripts at the same time degree conferrals are awarded (May, August, and December). When the student has successfully completed the coursework in the certificate program, the Office of the University Registrar will mail an official UTC certificate of completion to the student.
Graduate students must follow the policy of the program concerning administration of comprehensive examinations. The mode of this examination may be oral or written with the approval of the appropriate graduate committee. To be eligible to take the exam, the student must have a cumulative 3.0 grade point average. If supported by the student’s graduate program, the comprehensive examination may be retaken once. If unsuccessful following such a retake, the student will be dismissed from the program and the Graduate School.
Thesis/Dissertation Defense and Submission
A student pursuing a thesis-option master’s degree or doctoral degree requiring a dissertation is required to present and defend a thesis or dissertation, respectively. The thesis/dissertation should demonstrate the student’s ability to conduct independent research and to present the results of that research in a scholarly format. It should provide a significant contribution to knowledge in the discipline and reflect independent research of high quality.
A student can only defend the thesis or dissertation when he/she is in the last semester of thesis or dissertation hours that complete the required hours for the degree. All theses and dissertations must be scheduled to occur on the UTC campus.
The thesis/dissertation defense shall include a presentation by the student, open to the public, and an oral examination on the thesis/dissertation held before the Thesis / Dissertation Committee and other persons invited by the committee. A Notice of Scheduled Final Defense (http://www.utc.edu/graduate-school/student-resources/thesis.php) must be submitted to the Graduate School two weeks prior to the defense.
- The student must register for departmental thesis/dissertation courses for each semester the thesis/dissertation is in progress and for each semester or term in which the student receives faculty assistance and/or uses University facilities and resources.
- The thesis and dissertation format and other technical matters shall conform to the University’s Theses and Dissertations Standards (available on the Graduate School website, http://www.utc.edu/graduate-school/pdfs/theis-dissertation-standards-9-1-2015.pdf).
- Following acceptance of the thesis/dissertation by the student’s committee, the student will conduct a presentation open to the public and an oral defense of the work before the committee. After the defense, the student’s graduate committee shall approve or reject the thesis/dissertation. Students must make all corrections and changes in the thesis/dissertation as agreed upon and recommended by the committee prior to final approval.
- Upon passing the defense and having the thesis/dissertation approved by the committee the student must submit an electronic copy, using UTC Scholar, to the Graduate School to allow for checking that the document adheres to the University established formatting standards. The student will be required to make all formatting corrections using UTC Scholar.
- Students may also submit their thesis or dissertation to UTC Scholar for storage in an international database. There is no charge to students to submit theses and dissertations. Students submitting a thesis or dissertation will submit to the following site: http://www.etdadmin.com/cgi-bin/school?siteId=91.
Students required to write a thesis must continue to register for 5999r Thesis each fall and spring semester after the initial registration until the thesis is accepted for submission to UTC Scholar. The student must be enrolled for at least two semester hours of thesis during the semester the thesis is submitted. Students graduating in August must register for thesis hours in at least one summer term.
- Grading of Thesis: NP grades for thesis hours will be recorded during semesters when, in the judgment of the thesis advisor, the student fails to demonstrate adequate progress on the thesis. SP grades will be recorded for those semesters during which adequate progress occurs.
- A final grade for the thesis course will not be recorded until the thesis has been successfully defended and accepted by the Graduate School. At that time, the most recent semester hour(s) of thesis credit will be recorded as S or NC on the student’s transcript and can be included on the program of study. All NP grades and SP grades for thesis from previous semesters will remain as NP and SP grades on the transcript. A maximum of 6 hours of SP and S graded thesis credit with a minimum of 1 hour of S can be used as hours in the program of study. A student may not graduate with a NC in the final thesis credit hours. A student who receives a NC in the final thesis credit hours should consult with his/her major professor/thesis advisor to develop a plan of action.
Students required to write a dissertation must continue to register for at least 2 credit hours of 7999r Dissertation each after the initial registration until the dissertation is accepted.Programs may establish specific requirements.
Defense of Dissertation Prospectus: In some programs, the student must prepare and defend a prospectus for the dissertation research. The dissertation prospectus shall include a complete description of the proposed research project and the methods to be used to complete the project. The dissertation committee shall determine the extent to which a proposed project meets the standard for a high quality scholarly project. The student must be enrolled for at least two semester hours during the semester in which he or she defends the prospectus.
When the dissertation committee has approved the dissertation prospectus and other requirements as specified by the specific doctoral program have been satisfactorily met, the student should file an application for admission to candidacy. The student will continually enroll in at least two semester hours during each semester until he or she has completed the research and is ready to defend the dissertation.
Evaluation of Dissertation: The evaluation of the dissertation defense will consist of one of three outcomes: Pass, Re-examination, and Failure. The evaluation of Pass indicates that a majority of members of the dissertation committee concluded that the student met or exceeded the requirements set forth in the dissertation prospectus/proposal, but may be required to make minor editorial modifications to the dissertation. The members of the dissertation committee will sign the final draft of the dissertation once the student has made the required changes to the dissertation. In the case of a grade of Pass, the final dissertation hours will be graded with a S grade. A student who receives a NC in the final dissertation credit hours should consult with his/her major professor/dissertation advisor to develop a plan of action.
An evaluation of Re-examination indicates that the majority of the members of the committee found substantive problems in the work or the defense of the dissertation, but not warranting failure. The members of the committee will prepare a list of modifications or improvements required of the student’s work before a second dissertation defense will be scheduled. The re-examination will occur in the subsequent semester unless the dissertation committee and the dean of the UTC Graduate School grant additional time for the student to effect the necessary changes.
An evaluation of Failure indicates that the two or more of the dissertation committee members judged the quality of the student’s dissertation and the defense of the dissertation to be below the standards expected of doctoral level scholarly performance and not rectifiable. Failure of the dissertation shall be grounds for the student’s dismissal.
Classified and Proprietary Research
A basic principle in graduate education requiring a thesis or dissertation is that the research conducted by graduate students will be published and made available to other researchers in the field. When a graduate student is involved in classified or proprietary research, and such research is intended to lead toward a thesis or dissertation, prior approval must be secured from the department head and/or program coordinator, and from the dean of the UTC Graduate School. Should the research become classified or deemed proprietary in the course of a project, the department head and/or program coordinator, and dean of the UTC Graduate School must be notified immediately so that proper procedures can be followed. Failure to comply with these requirements may lead to rejection of a thesis or dissertation manuscript.
Research Involving Human or Animal Subjects
Graduate students engaged in any research, regardless of venue or academic requirement, must ensure the ethical treatment of any research subjects involved, as mandated by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, and the Public Health Service. All graduate students engaged in research that uses human participants or animal subjects must obtain approval from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Students may not initiate any research that involves the use of human participants or animal subjects without prior consent of the appropriate review board. Failure to obtain approval prior to the start of research activities may result in forfeiture of any data collected and disciplinary action; refer to the Continuation Policy, Ethical Violations. http://www.utc.edu/research-integrity/pdfs/irb-policy.pdf.
Time Limit of Program of Study
All credit applied toward a master’s, specialist’s, or doctor of physical therapy degree must be earned within a six-year period, for the doctor of philosophy within an eight-year period, for the doctorate in education, the doctor in nursing practice, and the occupational therapy doctorate within a ten-year period beginning with the registration for the earliest course counted. For graduate degrees requiring a thesis or dissertation the time limit includes the semester for defending the final thesis or dissertation. A student may petition his/her graduate committee for a one-year or less extension of the time limits for the degree, and on such petition only, the student’s committee may grant up to a one year extension of the time limit. In such cases, the request must be signed by the major professor/adviser and the dean of the college and submitted to the Office of the Graduate School for final approval.
If, through unusual circumstances, the student cannot work continuously on the thesis or dissertation, the student may request in writing a one-time stop-out. This request must be made no later than the end of the enrollment period of the semester preceding when the stop out will be initiated and must provide a rationale and justification for the stop-out. The stop-out is not to exceed four continuous fall, spring and summer semesters. The stop-out request must be approved by the thesis/dissertation chair/advisor, the program coordinator/director, and the dean of The Graduate School. The Learning and Leadership Doctoral Program has a program specific Leave of Absence Policy; refer to the specific degree program for details. (see Graduate Academic Calendar)
Application for the Degree
Graduate students are responsible for applying for graduation with the Graduate School according to the published deadlines. Students who neglect to file an application by the published deadline must apply for the subsequent graduation ceremony. The applicable deadlines are:
The application form is available in the online through your MyMocsNet account, under the Academics Tab.
In order to be eligible for degree conferral, the candidate must have completed all coursework as specified on the approved Application for Admission to Candidacy form, with no course with a grade below C presented for the degree and with a minimum average of B on each of the following: a) all coursework taken for graduate credit at UTC; b) all coursework transferred to UTC for graduate credit and; c) all coursework completed to fulfill the program approved on the Application for Admission to Candidacy.
Accommodations and Assistance
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and assuring that no qualified individual is, by reason of disability, excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of any services, programs, or activities provided by the University.
The Disablility Resource Center (DRC) reviews each student’s documentation under the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. ADA mandates that accommodations and adjustments be made in programs and activities in order to provide equal access to qualified persons with disabilities. DRC examines the documentation of each student’s disability to protect the civil rights of the student. Individual determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations is made specific to the functional limitations of the disability.
For more information, students are encouraged to contact DRC located at 108 University Center or to call (423) 425-4006.
On substantive matters relating to the academic program and particular courses, each student is counseled by a member of the faculty of his or her major department or school. In programs with related area(s) of study, a representative of the respective department or school should also be consulted.
The dean of The Graduate School is the general advisor for graduate students on procedural matters.
A student admitted to graduate study must maintain a 3.0 grade point average on all courses taken for graduate credit. In the event the student fails to meet this standard, one of the following actions will be taken.
Probation — A student will be placed on academic probation whenever the grade point average falls below a 3.0 on courses completed for graduate credit. (See discussion under Dismissal.) A student will be dismissed if he or she earns a semester GPA below 3.0 while on academic probation for low institutional cumulative GPA.
Academic Dismissal — A student will be dismissed if he or she earns a semester GPA below 3.0 while on academic probation for low institutional cumulative GPA. Decisions regarding continuation will be made by the dean of The Graduate School. Students admitted to graduate study must maintain a 3.0 institutional cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all courses taken for graduate credit.
A graduate student may also be dismissed for a grade of NC, D, or F in any course; more than two grades below a B; failure of the comprehensive/preliminary examination; an unsatisfactory evaluation of a thesis or dissertation; failure of a research defense; or any other failure of a required component pertaining to Graduate School academic requirements. Any, or a combination of these, constitutes sufficient basis for dismissal of a student at the discretion of the degree program and the Graduate School. Individual programs have the right to establish their own criteria; however, the preceding definition must be the minimum standard for continuing in graduate programs.
Graduate students will be placed on academic probation when their institutional cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0. By the end of the next two terms of enrollment (counting the entire summer session as one term), students must raise their institutional cumulative GPA to 3.0 or higher. Students will be academically dismissed if they fail to achieve this institutional cumulative GPA within the two semester probation OR if they fail to achieve a 3.0 or higher for either probationary semester.
Dismissed students may appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School for readmission. Upon readmission, students may resume graduate study on probation with the same continuation standards.
Program Dismissal for Reasons other than Individual Course Grades
Failure to Make Timely Progress
Graduate programs reserve the right to dismiss students that do not register for the required/recommended classes within their respective graduate programs. A student may also be dismissed should the program faculty find that the student has failed to complete degree requirements in a timely manner, received an excessive number of I, NC or NP course evaluations, or failed to pass examinations required by a master’s or doctoral program. The criteria for timely progress shall be defined by each graduate program.
The Graduate School has adopted a Statement of Professional Fitness regarding a student’s ethical and professional skills/behavior responsibilities. Individual programs may also adopt their own professional fitness standards appropriate to the discipline. If after an informal preliminary investigation it is determined that a student’s conduct is in violation of the professional fitness code of The Graduate School or the specific program in which the student is enrolled, any of the following actions may be recommended by program faculty:
- A formal reprimand
- Additional coursework
- Personal counseling
- Additional supervision
- Formal probation
- Dismissal from the program
When a student is dismissed from a graduate program for reasons other than grades, the student is also dismissed from the Graduate School. If the dismissal is upheld at the completion of the appeal process, current and future enrollments will be canceled. Students who have been dismissed from the Graduate School may re-apply for admission.
A student may also be dismissed should the program faculty find that the student’s behavior directly violates the ethical code of conduct governing members of the professional organization for the program’s discipline, or whose personal conduct leads the faculty to conclude that the student is unfit to assume a role as a professional in the discipline. A majority vote of the program faculty will serve as basis for dismissal if the student violates the guidelines for ethical conduct.
A student may also be dismissed for cause if found to have violated UTC’s code of conduct. Refer to the Student Handbook for a review of these expectations.
All students conducting research with human participants or animal subjects must comply with the policies and procedures of the University’s Institutional Review Board or the Animal Review Board. Violation of these regulations shall be considered a violation of ethical behavior.
Failure to Achieve Professional Skills/Behavior/fitness
A student, regardless of academic performance, may be dismissed should he or she fail to demonstrate mastery of essential professional behaviors, which include those skills essential for work in the profession. These skills shall be defined by each graduate degree program. A majority vote of the program faculty will serve as basis for dismissal if the student fails to demonstrate proficiency of professional achievement.
Program Dismissal Procedure
A recommendation for dismissal can be made by a majority vote of the designated departmental committee (or, if no such committee exists, the graduate faculty of the program) if a student earns a semester GPA below 3.0 while on academic probation for low institutional cumulative GPA, fails to achieve professional skills/behavior/fitness, or violates the ethical code of conduct governing members of the professional organization for the program’s discipline. Such recommendation shall be made in writing to the Department Head or Program Director.
Before communicating with the student the Department Head or Program Director will consult with the academic dean of the college where the program resides and the dean of The Graduate School. Other university administrators may be consulted as necessary. Upon the concurrence of the academic dean and the dean of The Graduate School (and others if consulted) with the decision to dismiss, the head or director shall provide written notification of dismissal to the student. Notification must occur within five working days of the consultation with the academic dean and the dean of the Graduate School. Such notice shall inform the student of the right to appeal and specific procedures to be followed.
The student may continue to attend classes during the appeal process or register for subsequent semesters unless the student’s presence poses a continuing threat to persons or property, an ongoing risk of disrupting the academic process, or health/safety concerns. This will be determined on a case by case basis. The program director and instructors will outline specifically what the student must do to be allowed to continue to attend classes, internships, and clinical rotations and may limit the student to an observer’s role in clinical situations. Any such determination shall be included as part of the Department Head/Program Director’s written notification to the student. If the student does not comply with the requirements outlined in this written notification, the student may be immediately removed and may not attend classes while his/her appeal is in process.
Student Appeal Procedure
Following written notification of dismissal from the program, the student has the right to appeal. Students who wish to appeal their dismissal should contact the UTC Graduate School office for the necessary forms and to review the procedures of the appeal. A written appeal, including a documented rationale for the basis of the appeal, must be submitted to the Department Head/Program Director within five working days. In all cases, the program faculty shall be presumed to have taken appropriate action and the student appealing shall have the burden of proof to the contrary.
Step 1. Within five working days of receipt of the student’s written appeal, the Department Head/Program Director will meet with the student and review the student’s written appeal with him/her in person. If the student declines such a meeting, the department head/director will proceed to Step 2.
Step 2. Within five working days of the meeting described in Step 1, the department head/program director (in consultation with the dean of the academic college) will notify and confirm in writing to the student the results of this appeal. The head/director will also notify the dean of The Graduate School regarding the results of this appeal. Copies of this notification will be sent to the program faculty.
Step 3. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Department Head/Program Director, he or she may appeal this decision to the Graduate Council Appeals Committee (the Chair of the Graduate Council and three members of the Council). Such appeal must be made within five working days of notification of the head/director’s decision.
Step 4. Within five working days of receiving the student’s written appeal, the Graduate Council Appeals Committee will meet to hear the student’s appeal. The Chair of the Graduate Council shall preside over this hearing as a non-voting chair. The student may bring such materials and/or witnesses as necessary to support his or her position. The Department Head/Program Director and/or a representative(s) of the program faculty may also attend this hearing in order to explain the reason(s) for the dismissal and answer questions. After hearing, the dean of The Graduate School will notify and confirm in writing to the student the results of this appeal. The graduate dean will also notify the college dean and the department head/director, who will in turn notify the program faculty.
Step 5. If the student remains unsatisfied with this decision, he or she may appeal in writing to the Chancellor of the University. Such request must be made within five working days of notification from the dean of The Graduate School. The dean of The Graduate School shall forward all pertinent information to the Chancellor with a recommendation. The Chancellor’s decision shall be made within ten working days and shall be considered final.
The faculty member of record for the appeal may appeal an overturn of his/her recommendation to the next higher administrative official in the chain of command or to the Chancellor if the appeal was overturned at the Chancellor level.
Note: A student who is dismissed from his or her program of study for reasons other than grades, and whose appeal for readmission to that program is denied through the above process but who is in good academic standing, may apply for admission to another graduate program(s) at the University. Admission to such other graduate program is not guaranteed and is subject to that program’s specific procedures and requirements.
Credit by Special Examination (Proficiency/Challenge/Competency)
Any person admitted as a graduate student is eligible to receive credit by special examination for competence gained through study and/or experience primarily independent of University class activities. Credit by special examination may be given for courses offered in the Graduate Catalog with the exception of:
- Courses described as directed research, tutorial, directed independent study, and practicum or internships.
- Any course from which the student has been exempted by placement examination or which he or she has presented for admission purposes.
- Courses in which the student has received a final grade.
- Portfolio-based experiential learning accomplished prior to entry into a graduate program.
- Refer to the Fee Schedule posted on the Bursar’s Office website for associated fees; http://www.utc.edu/bursar/fee-schedule.php
Graduate students in programs which are not competency based may apply a maximum of six semester hours credit earned by special examination toward the degree.
Correspondence and on-line courses will be subject to all regulations related to transfer credit as found under “Graduate School Regulations” and “Transfer Credit.”
Drug-Free Environment Statement
It is a policy of The University of Tennessee system and of UTC to encourage and maintain a safe, healthful, and drug-free environment. Therefore, University policy prohibits the unlawful use, manufacture, possession, distribution, or dispensing of drugs (“controlled substances” as defined in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 812) and alcohol on University property or during University activities.
Violation of this policy is grounds for disciplinary action which may include immediate and permanent dismissal of the student. Federal and State laws provide additional penalties for such unlawful activities, including fines and imprisonment (21 U.S.C.841 et seq.; T.C.A. 39-6-401 et seq.). Local ordinances also provide various penalties for drug- and alcohol-related offenses. The University is bound to take all appropriate actions against violators, which may include referral for legal prosecution or requiring the individual to participate in an approved drug use or alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.
Some graduate programs (e.g. Nursing, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy) may require that applicants and/or current students pass a drug screening test as a condition for admission or enrolling in a specific course(s). This is typically done to ensure the safety of patients in a clinical setting. Programs that require drug testing will provide details as part of their program description in the Graduate Catalog, in their program-specific guidebooks for graduate students, and/or on their departmental Web pages.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga adopts email as an official means of communication with students.
Each student, upon enrolling, is issued a UTC email account with an address on the mocs.utc.edu domain. This is the account used for University business and official University communications to students. Students are expected to regularly check their UTC accounts for University communications. Students may use the UTC account for personal communication at their discretion.
UTC accounts remain the property of the State of Tennessee. The University reserves the right to disable accounts after graduation or other severance from the University.
The expanding reliance on electronic communication among students, faculty, staff, and administration at UTC is motivated by the convenience, speed, cost-effectiveness, and environmental advantages of using email rather than printed communication. Because of this increasing reliance and acceptance of electronic communication, email is considered an official means for communication.
Implementation of these guidelines ensures that students have access to this critical form of communication. These guidelines seek to ensure that all students can access email as the need arises.
These student email guidelines regard the following aspects of email as an official means of communication: University use of email; assignment of student email addresses; and student use of and responsibilities associated with UTC email.
Use of University Email
Email is an official means for communication within UTC. Some communications may only be made by email. Therefore, the University has the right to send communications to all students via email and the right to expect that those communications will be received and read in a timely fashion.
Assignment of student email addresses: UTC will assign all students an official University email address. It is to this official address that the University will send email communications; this official address will be the address listed in the University’s records database for that student.
Expectations regarding student use of email: Students are expected to check their official email address on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with University communications. The campus recommends checking email several times a week at a minimum, in recognition that certain communications may be time-critical.
Educational uses of email: Faculty expect that students’ official email addresses are being accessed, and faculty may use email for their courses accordingly. Faculty members determine how email will be used in their classes. Faculty may have email requirements and expectations that they specify in the course syllabus.
Appropriate use of student email: Email is not appropriate for transmitting sensitive or confidential information. All use of email will be consistent with the Administrative Guidelines Statement on Use of Electronic Email and UTC’s Acceptable Use Practices. Confidentiality regarding student records is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). All University use of email will be consistent with FERPA guidelines.
The Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Technology will review these guidelines as needed. Changes will be authorized by the approval of the Information Technology Coordinating Council and the Chancellor’s Executive Council. Students with questions or comments about these guidelines should contact the UTC Help Desk at (423) 425-4000.
Extension of Incomplete and In-Progress Grades
A student may not register for additional courses if he or she has earned two incomplete (I or IP) grades. If the student has no incomplete grades but receives two incomplete grades in the current semester of attendance, any classes the student has registered for will be dropped if the incomplete grades are not removed by the time the student would begin the next set of classes.
It is the responsibility of the student to contact the instructor of record to request a first extension of an incomplete (I) or in-progress (IP) grade. If the instructor of record determines the student has made satisfactory progress prior to the deadline for submitting grade changes, it is the prerogative of the instructor to request in writing to the Dean of The Graduate School an extension of the grade. Extension requests should be submitted to the Dean of The Graduate School as noted below:
Extension Request for Incomplete Grade (I) Deadlines Term of course enrollment
Fall semester: In the following spring semester, two weeks prior to the last day to submit grade changes for fall semester incompletes as noted on the university academic calendar
Spring semester and Summer terms: In the following fall semester, two weeks prior to the last day to submit grade changes for spring semester or summer terms incompletes as noted on the university academic calendar
First Extension Request for In-Progress Grades (IP) Term of course enrollment
Fall semester: Two weeks prior to the following fall semester’s deadline for submitting semester grades as noted on the university academic calendar
Spring semester: Two weeks prior to the following spring semester’s deadline for submitting semester grades as noted on the university academic calendar
Summer terms: Two weeks prior to the following summer corresponding terms deadlines for submitting grades as noted by term on the university academic calendar
The instructor of record and the student should agree upon a first extension deadline date. Once the instructor of record notifies the Dean of The Graduate School of the extension request and the date of extension, the Dean of The Graduate School reviews the request. If approved, the Dean of The Graduate School notifies the Office of the University Registrar, in writing, of the approved request and copies the student and the instructor of record. The Office of the University Registrar officially records the extension date.
Incomplete (I) and In-Progress grades that are not extended will be changed to F by the Office of the University Registrar.
It is the responsibility of the student to appeal for a second extension of an incomplete (I) or in-progress (IP) grade through the Graduate School office. The student must complete a graduate petition form obtained from The Graduate School Web site. The student must allow appropriate time for departmental and/or departmental committee signatures in order to submit the appeal to the Graduate School two weeks prior to the first extension deadline. The appeal should include a requested second extension completion date. If the Appeal is approved by the dean of the Graduate School, Graduate School staff will notify the Registrar and the second extension date will be officially recorded. The instructor of record and the student will be advised of the decision. If the Appeal is denied, the student may appeal the decision of the dean with the Graduate Council Appeals Committee.
Incomplete (I) and In-Progress grades that are not extended will be changed to F by the Office of the University Registrar.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
A student’s record is regarded as confidential, and release of the record or of information contained therein is governed by regulations of the federal law on “Family Educational Rights and Privacy.” Only directory information such as a student’s name, address, telephone listing, major fields of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student may be released by the institution without consent of the student unless the student has asked UTC to withhold such information. The law also provides for the release of information to University personnel who demonstrate a legitimate educational interest, other institutions engaged in research (provided information is not revealed to any other parties) and certain federal and state government officials.
A student may inspect and review records and is entitled to challenge the content of records. However, the student may be denied access to a parent’s financial statement and to confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the University’s records prior to January 1, 1975.
Full-time and Half-time Enrollment
Graduate students will be considered full-time students if they are enrolled in nine or more semesters for graduate credit (with the exception of the Doctorate in Learning and Leadership which 6 semester hours is considered a full-time enrollment equivalent). Graduate students enrolled in less than six hours of thesis or dissertation credit at the end of their program of study will be considered full-time equivalent for Academic Clearinghouse purposes. To be eligible for financial aid or to hold a graduate assistantship a graduate student must be enrolled for at least five semester hours, or nine hours, respectively.
Non-Standard Enrollment Status for Student-Veterans Receiving VA Educational Benefits
This Non-Standard Enrollment Status Policy applies only to student-veterans receiving VA Educational Benefits. It is not representative of the official enrollment status reported to the National Student Clearinghouse. This policy is only for purposes of reporting to the Veterans Affairs Administration for benefit purposes.
Graduate student-veterans receiving VA Educational Benefits enrolled in a (non-standard) part-of-term will have training time reported according to the length of the session. The conversion chart for graduate student-veterans is listed below. Graduate student-veterans must be enrolled in graduate level courses.
Undergraduate student-veterans receiving VA Educational Benefits enrolled in a (non-standard) part-of-term in a Spring or Fall semester will have their training time determined by the Veterans Affairs Administration.
Undergraduate student-veterans receiving VA Educational Benefits enrolled in summer will have their training time determined by the Veterans Affairs Administration.
Graduate Student-Veteran Conversion Chart for Non-Standard Parts-of-Term
Summer Full Term (12 weeks)
Full-Time 8-9 Graduate Credit Hours
Three-Quarter Time 6-7 Graduate Credit Hours
Half-Time 3-5 Graduate Credit Hours
Quarter-Time 1-2 Graduate Credit Hours
Summer Part-of-Term (6 weeks)
Full-Time 4-9 Graduate Credit Hours
Three-Quarter Time 3- Graduate Credit Hours
Half-Time 2- Graduate Credit Hours
Quarter-Time 1- Graduate Credit Hours
Spring and Fall Parts-of-Term (7 weeks)
Full Time 5-9 Graduate Credit Hours
Three-Quarter Time 4- Graduate Credit Hours
Half-Time 3- Graduate Credit Hours
Less than Half-Time 2- Graduate Credit Hours
Quarter-Time 1- Graduate Credit Hours
Graduate School Grades
Grades in The Graduate School have the following meaning:
A – is given for work distinctly superior quality and quantity accompanied by unusual evidence of enthusiasm, initiative, thoroughness and originality
B - is given for work showing the above qualities to a lesser extent
C - represents fulfillment of the minimum essentials of a course
D - represents a passing grade, but cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements (approved by Graduate Council spring 2012)
F - indicates unqualified failure
S - is given for courses completed on a satisfactory/no credit basis. The hours are not computed in the grade point average. Satisfactory grades are limited to research, internships, practicums, and elective courses and must be designated as such by course and not by individual student. No more than six hours of satisfactory credit may be applied toward a master’s degree; no more than six hours of satisfactory credit may be applied toward a specialist’s degree; and no more than thirteen hours of satisfactory credit may be applied toward a doctoral degree. Graduate Council has approved an exception to this rule for the MSN: Nursing: Anesthesia program which requires 42 hours of practicum credit (NURS 5610, 5620, 5630, 5640, 5650, 5660, 5670, 5680), all of which is graded on a Satisfactory/No Credit basis and an exception for the Doctor of Physical Therapy which requires 22 credit hours of clinical education: PHYT 7133 (4 hours); PHYT 7231 ( 4 hours); PHYT 7232 (5 hours); PHYT 7332 (9 hours). The Occupational Therapy Doctorate which requires 18 hours of clinical education and 11 hours of Internship is graded on a Satisfactory/No Credit basis. The S grade is used for grading the final thesis or dissertation credit hours.
NC - represents failure to complete the requirements in satisfactory/no credit courses. The attempted hours are not computed in the grade point average. The NC grade is limited to research, internships, practicums, and elective courses and must be designated as such by course and not by the individual student. The NC grade is used for grading the final thesis or dissertation credit hours. A student who receives a NC in the final thesis or dissertation credit hours should consult with his/her major professor/thesis advisor to develop a plan of action.
SP - is given for thesis or dissertation credits to indicate satisfactory progress. The hours are not computed in the grade point average. Standard letter grades are not given for thesis or dissertation hours.
NP - represents failure to make satisfactory progress when registered for thesis or dissertation credits. These hours are not computed in the grade point average.
I - may be given to a student whose work has been of passing quality and who has valid reason for not completing some requirement of the course. Removal of an Incomplete must be submitted by the instructor to the Office of the University Registrar no later than three weeks before the last day of classes in the next regular semester, or the Incomplete will become an F. The Incomplete grade will not be computed in the grade point average during the interim. An Incomplete may not be used to allow the student to do additional work to bring up a grade. A student may not register for additional courses if he or she has earned two incomplete (I or IP) grades. If the student has no incomplete grades but receives two incomplete grades in the current semester of attendance, any classes the student has registered for will be dropped if the incomplete grades are not removed by the time the student would begin the next set of classes. The IP grade may not be given for thesis or dissertation.
IP - is used as an interim grade to indicate work in progress requiring more than the normal limitations of a semester except for thesis. It is restricted to graduate level courses (5000 and above) and has a one-year limitation for removal. The instructor will determine the IP designation in the first half of the semester or term. A student may not register for additional courses if he or she has earned two incomplete (I or IP) grades. If the student has no incomplete grades but receives two incomplete grades in the current semester of attendance, any classes the student has registered for will be dropped if the incomplete grades are not removed by the time the student would begin the next set of classes. The IP grade may not be given for thesis or dissertation.
W - indicates official withdrawal from one or more classes after the first two weeks of classes and up to the last six class weeks before the final examinations. Comparable deadlines apply to each of the summer terms.
AU- indicates an audited course in which the student attended at least 75% of the class sessions.
NA-indicates an audited course in which the student did not attend at least 75% of the class sessions.
Grade Point Average Computation
Continuation in the University, rank in major and eligibility for graduation and honorary organizations are based on the overall cumulative grade point average. This average is computed by totaling the number of attempted graduate hours and dividing this total into the number of quality points earned in graduate courses.
No credits earned with grades below C will be accepted for courses that make up the program of study and candidacy for a graduate degree. However, grades of D and F are computed into the institutional cumulative graduate grade point average. When a course is repeated, all grades are included in computing the institutional cumulative graduate grade point average. Satisfactory (S) grades and Satisfactory Progress (SP) grades and grades earned in courses taken for undergraduate credit are not used in computing the institutional or program of study graduate grade point average. No grade below B will be accepted for transfer credit.
Each faculty member has the prerogative and responsibility to determine in accordance with his or her best judgment the grade for each student. Whenever a student feels that his/her rights and interests have been seriously jeopardized by unfair, arbitrary, or malicious exercise of faculty grading prerogative, the student may appeal a grade. Failure to receive the grade desired or expected is not sufficient reason to appeal a grade. If at any step in the appeals process the University fails to respond to the student within the time specified, this shall be treated as a denial of the appeal and the student may proceed to the next step of the process.
The appeal procedure is designed to provide graduate students with a clearly defined method for appealing a grade which is deemed to have been assigned unfairly, arbitrarily, or maliciously. The following procedure is to be followed for all grades (including comprehensive examinations) that are included on a student’s transcript. In all cases, the instructor shall be presumed to have assigned the proper grade and the student appealing shall have the burden of proof to the contrary.
Step 1. The student shall consult with the instructor within 5 working days after grades are made electronically available to students. If an agreement is reached, the appeal process ends.
Step 2. If the student cannot reach the professor or if the complaint is not resolved, the student must contact the department head or director within 10 working days of the date grades were mailed. The department head/director will attempt to resolve the complaint in consultation with the instructor and the student individually or together. Within 5 working days of the initial contact by the student, the department head/director will notify or confirm in writing to the student the results of this consultation. The department head/director will also notify the graduate coordinator of the program in which the student is enrolled. If an agreement is reached, the process ends. If the department head/director is the instructor of the course involved in the complaint and the problem cannot be resolved through Step 1, the department head/director will notify the student in writing of his/her decision, and the student may proceed with Step 3.
Step 3. If an agreement is not reached at the departmental level and the student wishes to appeal, the student must obtain, complete, and return to The Graduate School office a grade appeal form within 10 working days after being mailed notification or confirmation by the department head of the departmental decision. The form includes a place for the signature of the department head or director indicating that the first two steps have been followed, the signature of the dean of the appropriate college or school, a request for a hearing before the Graduate Council Appeals Committee, and supporting information to justify the student’s appeal.
Step 4. The dean of The Graduate School will arrange a grade appeals meeting to be held within 10 working days after receiving the grade appeal form. Present at the meeting will be the Graduate Council Appeals Committee (the Chair of the Graduate Council and three members of the Council), the student, the faculty member, the dean (or his/her designated representative) of the college or school in which the appeal originated, the dean of The Graduate School, and up to two non-voting faculty members of the department affected. The student will be given time to present his/her case with a question-answer period following. The faculty member will then present his/her response followed by another question-answer period. The student and faculty member may be present during both presentations and during both question-answer periods, and both presentations must adhere to the issues covered in the written appeal. When the committee deems it has sufficient information to determine the case, the student, faculty member, and visiting members of the department will be asked to leave, and the committee will begin its deliberation and make its decision. If the committee decides that additional information is needed, the chair may request such information orally or in writing before the committee makes a decision.
Step 5. The committee will recommend that 1) the grade previously assigned be upheld; or 2) the faculty member be asked to change the grade; or 3) the grade of I be assigned until completion of specified requirements agreed upon by faculty and student. The dean of The Graduate School will send a copy of the recommendation to the student, the faculty member, the graduate coordinator, the department head/director, and the academic dean. Within 10 working days after being mailed the recommendation, the student and faculty member must each notify the dean of The Graduate School of an intention to accept or reject the recommendation. If both faculty and student agree to accept the recommendation of the committee, the process ends. If that recommendation includes a grade change, the faculty member will make the necessary change and notify the dean of The Graduate School that the change has been made. The graduate dean will then notify the student of the change. If no response is received after 10 working days, then the recommendation of the grade appeal committee is upheld as the final decision.
Step 6. If either the student or faculty chooses to reject the recommendation and wishes to continue the appeal process, the dean of The Graduate School will notify the faculty member as well as the graduate coordinator, the department head or director, and the dean. The dean of The Graduate School will then submit all materials to the Chancellor who may request additional information/materials from either/both parties. The Chancellor’s decision is final, and a copy of that decision will be mailed to the student, the faculty member, the graduate coordinator, the department head/director, the dean, and the dean of The Graduate School.
A copy of the Graduate Student Grade Appeals Form, the results of the hearing, and the chancellor’s decision (if applicable) will become a part of the student’s file. A permanent record of all grade appeals reviewed by the Grade Appeals Committee shall be maintained in The Graduate School office.
Grievances vs. Faculty (other than grade appeals)
Occasionally, students may have issues or complaints regarding members of the faculty that are unrelated to grading. Section 5.3.1 of the Faculty Handbook (Faculty/Student Relationships in the Classroom) includes the following guidelines on Academic Disputes:
“Complaints or grievances will arise occasionally in the faculty-student relationship and should be clarified at the earliest possible time and at the level closest to the locus of the complaint. Students who have such complaints are urged to address them directly to the faculty member in an appropriate setting. It is understood that some issues may need to be addressed to the nearest administrator, generally the department or program unit head. Every effort should be made to resolve such matters informally by conversation. A matter unresolved on the departmental level may be brought to the appropriate dean and, after that, the provost. Specific policies for grade appeals and for allegations of sexual harassment are found elsewhere in this publication and the Student Handbook.”
The Honor Code is based upon the assumption that the student recognizes the fundamental importance of honesty in all dealings within the University community and that education is a cooperative enterprise between student and teacher and between student and student. Any act of dishonesty violates and weakens this relationship and lessens the value of the education which the student is pursuing. The Honor Code, and its procedures are detailed in the UTC Student Handbook.
Institutional Review Board Compliance
All graduate students engaged in research that uses human participants or animal subjects must obtain approval from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Animal Subjects Review Board. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Graduate students engaged in any research, regardless of venue or academic requirement, must ensure that they comply with the policies and procedures established by the review boards. Students may not initiate any research that involves the use of human or animal participants without prior consent of the review board. Disregard of board policies and procedures may result in forfeiture of any data collected and disciplinary action.
In an attempt to maintain a healthy campus environment, The University of Tennessee campuses require that all new entering students born after 1956 to submit documentation of two MMR immunizations unless contraindicated by a medical condition documented by a physician’s statement, laboratory proven documentation of immunity supplied by a health care provider or contraindicated due to religious beliefs (must be accompanied by a signed statement of refusal). Students are also required to provide information regarding immunization against meningococcal disease and Hepatitis B. Students must also provide either proof of having had chicken pox (Varicella) or being immunized against the disease. A verification of immunization, signed by a health care provider, must be returned to Student Development. Evidence of the immunization is not required for admission but is required for course registration.
Exception: Students admitted to online only programs do not have to provide proof of immunization to register and take courses (Tennessee Department of Health, Health Services Administration, Communicable and Environmental Diseases Rule 1200-14-01-.29). Registration for any courses other than online will be blocked. In the event the student wishes to take a course that meets on campus, the student must provide proof of immunization before he/she will be allowed to register for the course.
Petitions and Appeals
Student petitions for readmission, late candidacy, extension of candidacy, course waiver/substitution, request to take excessive hours, and requests for second extensions of IP grades will be heard at the program level. The dean of the Graduate School will act on decisions made at the program level. In cases where a student wishes to appeal a petition decision at the program level or decision by the dean of the Graduate School, the Graduate Appeals Committee will hear the appeal. Residency petitions are submitted directly to the Dean of The Graduate School.
The Graduate Council policy on petitions is as follows:
- The burden of proof is on the petitioner, and petitions will not be routinely accepted but considered on their merits as exceptions. This basic rule applies at each step of the petitionary procedure.
- Petitioners are responsible for stating clearly, in writing, the basis of their petition. They are also responsible for giving, in writing, clear and cogent reasons supporting their request.
- Each department, or other responsible unit, shall have a committee empowered to receive petitions of graduate students. The committee, consisting of at least three members, should meet formally to consider any petition, and each member of the committee should sign the recommendation of the committee and forward the original petition and supporting documentation to The Graduate School Office. The petition will be accepted as is, with modification or denied by the Dean of the Graduate School.
- The department committee may decline petitions. A student may appeal a declined petition to the Graduate Council and, if declined there, to the chancellor. Appeals to the Chancellor should be made in writing within five days after being informed of the decision.
The petition form is available on The Graduate School Web site: www.utc.edu/graduateschool.
The Graduate Council policy on appeals is as follows:
- The burden of proof is on the person appealing.
- Appeals of petition decisions must supply all documentation provided as part of the petition. No additional documentation beyond that supplied as part of the petition can be submitted. It is the responsibility of petitioners to ensure that their petition documentation is thorough and complete.
- The Graduate Council Appeals Committee will hear appeals in accordance with the general rules defined in the UTC Student Handbook and in this catalog. See elsewhere in this publication. Only in cases of grade appeals will the student and faculty instructor be requested to appear before the Appeals Committee. The procedure for grade appeals is provided elsewhere in this catalog. For all other appeals the Appeals Committee will consider the documentation provided. The Appeals Committee will inform the Dean of The Graduate School of any decision regarding the appeal.
- The Dean will inform the student appealing of the decision. The appropriate university offices will be notified as necessary of appeal decisions.
- The student (or faculty member) may appeal decisions of the Graduate School Appeals Committee to the Chancellor in writing within five days after being informed of the decision.
The appeals form is available on The Graduate School Web site: www.utc.edu/graduateschool.
Records and Transcripts
The Office of the University Registrar maintains a permanent record on any student who has ever attended UTC. This record currently includes the student’s name, birth date, UTC ID, student level, and courses transferred from other colleges. It includes all courses which a student has taken at UTC with credit hours, grades and cumulative grade point average. Academic suspension or dismissal is recorded as well as academic probation.
A student may inspect and review records and is entitled to challenge the content of records. However, the student may be denied access to the parent’s financial statement and to confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the University’s records prior to January 1, 1975. A more thorough explanation of records maintained on students and copies of records may be obtained from the Office of the University Registrar. The registrar or the dean of The Graduate School will further explain and clarify the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to students, parents or interested parties upon request.
Transcripts of a student’s record are released only with the student’s written authorization. Transcript requests are now processed through the National Student Clearinghous. More information is available here: https://www.utc.edu/registrar/transcriptordering.php.
Transcripts are not released for students who have an indebtedness of any type to the University.
All UTC students are responsible for registering themselves for courses. The Office of the University Registrar updates MyMocsNet each semester with registration appointment times. Students may register any time after their registration appointment time but not before. Students must be advised to receive their alternate pin. Students must register online through MyMocsNet. Online registration requires an advisement code.
A graduate student may repeat a course only with approval of the student’s major adviser, and all grades earned will be included in computing the institutional cumulative grade point average. However, only the last grade earned in a repeated course will be included in the program of study and candidacy graduate grade point average.
Residency Classification for Paying Fees
At the time of admission, each student is assigned a residence classification for fee purposes. A student’s residence status will be determined in accordance with the following general rules:
- Every person having his or her domicile in this state will be classified “in-state” for fee and tuition purposes and for admission purposes.
- Every person not having his or her domicile in this state will be classified “out-of-state” for said purposes.
- The domicile of an unemancipated person is that of his or her parent.
- The spouse of a student classified as in-state shall also be classified in-state.
It is presumed that an emancipated person does not acquire domicile in Tennessee while enrolled as a full-time student at any public or private institution of higher education in this state, as such status is defined by such institutions.
Exceptional cases, including guardianships, are given special consideration and are determined on the basis of the particular circumstances in each case. The regulations, which are used to determine a student’s residence classification, are published in the Student Handbook and also may be obtained from The Graduate School Web site.
Graduate students classified as non-residents may appeal this classification by submitting a petition and supporting evidence to the Graduate Admissions Office on or before the last day to register for class for each respective semester. These deadlines also apply to students seeking to pay in-state fees due to their full-time employment in the State of Tennessee or receive the Regional Tuition discount. Decisions on appeals made before the deadline will be effective for that semester. Petitions received after the deadline, if granted, will be effective the following semester.
Students who wish to appeal their residence classification should submit the residency petition form to The Graduate School office. The appeal should include appropriate evidence to support the establishment of domicile in the state of Tennessee.
If students classified out-of-state apply for in-state classification and are subsequently so classified, their in-state classification shall be effective as of the date on which reclassification was sought. However, out-of-state tuition will be charged for any semester during which reclassification is sought and obtained unless application for reclassification is made to The Graduate School office on or before the last day of regular registration of that semester.
Out-of-State Students Employed in Tennessee (Paragraph 4)
Students who are classified as out-of-state residents and work full-time in the State of Tennessee may enroll up to 8 hours of graduate credit at in-state rates. Students who wish to enroll in more than 8 credit hours are not eligible for paragraph 4 tuition rates. In order to be eligible for paragraph 4 as an out of state student and receive in-state tuition, students must enroll in courses part time (up to 8hrs), and be, regular, full-time employees of a business, company, or organization in Tennessee. Each semester, these students must submit a letter on the company’s letterhead to The Graduate School office from their employer stating the length of their employment history, position, and hours of employment per week.
Schedule Limit (Course Loads)
Full-time graduate students may enroll for a maximum of 15 semester hours in the fall and spring semester (nine hours are usually considered a full-time class load) and a maximum of 12 hours over the summer term; students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master’s of Nursing and the Occupational Therapy Doctorate are exempt from this requirement.
During the summer semester, the maximum load is six hours per short summer term with the total not to exceed 12 hours over the entire summer term. The Occupational Therapy Doctorate program is exempt from this requirement. A graduate student is advised not enroll in more than six hours of course work for any term during which the student will be gainfully employed full time.
Registration for more than 15 hours during fall/spring semesters or 12 hours over the summer term is not permissible without prior approval from the dean of The Graduate School.
A full-time (20 hours per week) graduate assistant may register for up to 12 hours in the fall and spring semester and 6 hours over the summer term; anything over this amount is an overload and requires approval of the dean of the Graduate School.
Prior to Fall 2010, it was possible for students to take selected 400 (now 4000) level courses for graduate credit, provided that there was a substantial difference in expectations and work performance for graduate students. Up to nine semester hours of such course work could be applied toward a graduate degree. As of Fall 2010, graduate credit will only be awarded for courses with numbers of 5000 and higher. However, subject to the nine-hour limitation and the applicable program of study time frame, graduate credit earned in 400-level courses prior to Fall 2010 may still be used toward degrees/certificates awarded after August, 2010.
Students admitted to an Accelerated Graduate Program should refer to that program description, presented elsewhere in this catalog, for more information.
Information about parking, including campus maps, parking regulations, the Mocs Express Shuttle schedule, and more, is available online at: http://www.utc.edu/Administration/ParkingServices.
For current information on Veteran’s Benefits, contact Veteran Student Services.
Once a student has registered for a semester or summer term, he or she is considered to be enrolled, is liable for fee payment, and is expected to attend all classes until or unless he or she notifies The Graduate School office or the Registration Office in writing. Appropriate forms are available at www.utc.edu/graduateschool or in The Graduate School office, 103 Race Hall. A student who drops out of classes without officially withdrawing will receive a grade of F.
During the first two weeks of a semester, a student may officially withdraw without prejudice from any class and no grade will be recorded. After that period and up to the last six weeks of class, a student who officially withdraws will be graded W. Except in unusual circumstances, no withdrawals are permitted in the last six weeks of classes. A student who drops out of class during this six-week period is graded F. Comparable periods apply to summer terms, and specific dates are printed in the schedule of classes.
To change registration in any way after the deadline, a student must present the request, together with documentary evidence of extenuating circumstances, to The Graduate School. If the request is approved, The Graduate School office will notify the Office of the University Registrar, which will enter the change on the student’s permanent record.
Graduate students will have one calendar year from the beginning of the semester for which they wish to petition The Graduate School for late withdrawal for extenuating circumstances. Students should understand the burden of the argument for withdrawal is theirs to make. Longer time periods result in a need for extensive documentation and have less likelihood of approval. Students are advised that late withdrawal is not an option to remediate a cumulative grade point average.
Pregnancy/ Childbirth/ Adoption Leave
This policy provides an academic accommodation for students who request and receive a leave from graduate study due to pregnancy, childbirth, and/or adoption of a child under the age of six. This leave will allow students experiencing these situations a means of extending time limits regarding graduate coursework, advancement to candidacy, and graduate degree completion.
Time spent on an approved leave due to pregnancy, childbirth, and/or adoption will not count toward time limits pertaining to the graduate degree being sought. Multiple leaves may be taken for pregnancy, childbirth, and/or adoption of a child under the age of 6, but the cumulative time taken away from graduate progress may not exceed 12 months.
This request must be made no later than the first day of the semester in which the leave of absence takes effect and must provide a rationale and justification for the leave. The leave request must be approved by the thesis/dissertation chair/advisor, the program coordinator/director, and the Dean of The Graduate School. By the end of the leave a student must apply for readmission and reengagement with the graduate program. If a student fails to enroll once the leave has expired, that student will be dismissed from the program.