Dec 14, 2019  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
    
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Admission to Graduate School


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Once the Graduate School has received a complete application packet, the packet is forwarded to the intended department of study. When the designated department(s) receives the application packet, the department will then recommend the admission or denial of the applicant to the Graduate Dean, who will make the final decision on admission status. Students may be accepted to the Graduate School with either full or provisional admission status. Students receive notice of their admission from the Graduate Dean. Graduate students who are denied admission have the right to appeal the decision if they have evidence that admission policies and procedures were not considered.

Students applying to the School of Law or Medicine should refer to these schools for instructions. The Deans of of these schools are the respective admitting authorities for these programs.


Classification of Graduate Students

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The designation “graduate student” applies only to those who have been granted full or provisional admittance. All other students holding a baccalaureate level degree not admitted to a graduate program, yet wishing to take graduate coursework at the University, will be designated as special graduate students.

Full Admission

Full admission to a graduate degree program is granted when the applicant satisfactorily meets all of the following requirements:

  1. Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from an institution with full regional accreditation for that degree.
  2. A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.7 on conferred degree and/or graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework.
  3. All other academic requirements of the specific graduate program are fully met. Such requirements are detailed in this catalog under the departmental listings and may include specific graduate test scores, prerequisite coursework, and/or other admission requirements.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission may be granted to an applicant who does not meet the conditions for full admission but who gives evidence that he/she may be capable of graduate level work. Reasons for provisional admission include, but are not limited to:

  1. Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from an institution not having full regional accreditation.
  2. An undergraduate cumulative GPA below 2.7 on conferred degree and/or graduate cumulative GPA below 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework.
  3. Deficiencies in departmental requirements for undergraduate education or other prerequisites for study toward a graduate degree in that academic program.
  4. Outstanding admission documents including official transcripts conferring undergraduate degree.

In order to gain full admission, the student must demonstrate that he/she is capable of meeting the provisions stated in the admission letter or maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or better during the first semester of study, whichever is more stringent. Once this has been demonstrated, upon recommendation from the department, the Graduate School will notify the student of full acceptance.

Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Student Status

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Students with non-degree seeking status are not admitted to a graduate degree program. A public university has an obligation to make its resources available for a broad range of purposes including ongoing education for the interested public. As a result, anyone holding an undergraduate regionally accredited baccalaureate or professional degree may register for individual courses at the graduate level without submitting an application to a degree program.

The non-degree seeking student is not required to furnish transcripts or recommendations and there is no minimum GPA requirement. A student in this classification may register for classes and must meet prerequisite conditions for courses. A student who is designated as a non-degree seeking graduate student has not been admitted to the Graduate School; he/she has only been given permission to enroll in graduate courses. The Graduate School does not maintain files on non-degree seeking students but has access to the records. Should a non-degree seeking graduate student wish to earn a graduate degree, he/she will be required to apply for admission to a degree program. Students with non-degree seeking graduate student status are not eligible for financial aid, including graduate assistantships.

Courses taken as a non-degree seeking student may be applicable to a graduate degree only by special action of an admitting department and permission of the Graduate Dean. Credit earned by a student enrolled in coursework as a non-degree seeking graduate student may or may not be acceptable toward a degree. Only nine graduate credit hours earned as a non-degree seeking student may apply toward a degree once the student has been accepted.

Denial of admission to a degree program does not prohibit the applicant from enrolling as a non-degree seeking student. The non-degree seeking student may enroll for individual courses for which he/she is qualified but he/she cannot pursue a degree as a special student. Regular acceptance is required to pursue a degree.

Undergraduates Taking Graduate Courses

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Undergraduate students who have successfully completed ninety (90) credit hours may register for up to twelve (12) graduate credit hours at the 500 or 600 level with the approval of the Graduate Dean serving as designee for the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Such permission does not constitute admission to the Graduate School or graduate program as a degree seeking student.

Moreover, undergraduate students who qualify for and are approved to a graduate program through an official early, fast-track admission practice may register for graduate program requirements and these credit hours may apply to both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.

Students shall pay graduate tuition, and the courses shall be recorded on a graduate transcript. Undergraduate students without a baccalaureate degree enrolled in graduate credit have an undergraduate status and are considered special students in the Graduate School. Evidence of an earned bachelor’s degree is required for full admission to the Graduate School.

Forms for petitioning to enroll in graduate courses before completing a bachelor’s degree are available at link.usd.edu/3367. Applications for advanced admission to select graduate programs can be found on the Graduate School website at: www.usd.edu/graduate-school.

Advisor and Committee Assignment

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An advisor is assigned to each student at the time of admission. This faculty member will serve as the student’s advisor for the first registration or until a permanent advisor or committee chairperson is assigned by the department. If applicable, an advisory committee is to be appointed following admission to a program.