Policies and Graduate School Regulations

Academic Difficulty: Warning, Probation, Termination

See the Graduate School's Policy


During any semester when a student is registered and paying for coursework, one free audit is permitted.

Beginning Spring 2019, students no longer have the option to self-select audit when enrolling for a course and must submit an Audit Request form to the Graduate School for processing. Permission from the student’s advisor, instructor of the course, and Director of Graduate Program (DGP) is required for a student to audit a course. All requests to add or change a course to audit must be submitted prior to Census Day (the 10th day of class). Any form submitted after Census Day will require a justification and may not be approved.

As a reminder, audited courses do not count towards full-time enrollment nor towards the student’s Graduate Plan of Work (GPOW). While auditors receive no course credit (it registers as 0 credit hours), they are expected to attend class regularly. The extent to which auditors participate in class beyond regular attendance is up to the individual instructor. An instructor who believes that an auditor has failed to participate as stipulated is justified in filing a grade of "NR" (no recognition). As an auditor, you are responsible for finding the basis on which you will receive a grade of "AU."

See the Graduate School's Policy.
See the
Graduate School’s Form page.

Continuous Enrollment Requirement

See the Graduate School's Policy

Course Loads

A full-time graduate course load is 9 credit hours per semester (audits do not contribute towards fulfilling full-time registration since they carry zero credit hours) .  See the Graduate School's Policy.  

Students in thesis programs (MFA) are considered full-time during the final semester even if fewer than 9 hours are required to complete the degree.

Students in non-thesis programs (MA and MS) who have been enrolled full-time throughout their graduate career may also be eligible for full-time classification in their final semester even if they need fewer than 9 hours to complete their degree.  To qualify for this classification, you must be engaged in capstone research and enrolled in ENG 675 or 676.  To request this classification (that is, to request an exception to the courseload policy), contact the DGP after you register and before the end of the add/drop period. 

Teaching Assistants are not permitted to take more than 9 hours in a semester. The DGP may approve overloads only in special circumstances when overloading is required to maintain a student's anticipated graduation date. Course overloads for TAs require consultation with the student's teaching supervisor. 

Dropping Courses

To receive a full tuition adjustment, a student may drop a course at any time BEFORE the deadline set by Registration and Records, usually by the end of the second week of classes. Beyond that, you may still drop a class without a grade, usually by the eighth week of classes. However, you will not receive a tuition adjustment. After that, in order to drop a course, your advisor and the DGP need to sign the drop form. Drop forms may be obtained in Tompkins 246 and then must be turned in to Registration and Records.  (For deadlines, see Registration and Records calendars).

See the Graduate School's Policy

Incomplete ("IN") grades

The grade of Incomplete ("IN") may be given at the discretion of the instructor for work not completed because of a serious interruption in a student's work (usually late in the semester) not caused by the student's own negligence. An "IN" is only appropriate when the student's combined record of attendance and course assignments is already well established and is passing.

A student who receives an "IN" must complete the unfinished work to have the Incomplete converted to a final grade as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the next semester in which the student is enrolled. Otherwise, the "IN" will be automatically converted to an "F" or a "U," according to the grading approved for the particular course. All grades of "IN" must be cleared prior to graduation. NB: The responsibility for making sure that incomplete work is completed in time lies entirely with the student.

See the Graduate School's Policy.

Inter-Institutional Courses
(Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, ...)

Inter-Institutional courses are not treated as transfer credit; they show up on your NCSU transcript. There is no limit on the number of Inter-Institutional courses you take as long as you earn 18 hours of letter-graded course work here at NCSU.

See the Graduate School's Policy

S/U (Pass/Fail) Courses

There is no limit on the number of Pass/Fail (e.g., 600-level) courses you take as long as you earn 18 hours of letter-graded graduate course work here at NCSU.

See the Graduate School's Policy

Time Limit for Completion of Degree

See the Graduate School's Policy

Transfer Credit

Transferring Courses from Another Institution

A student may transfer a total of six hours of graduate work from another institution, provided those hours were not applied to a prior degree.

Transferring PBS/NDS Credit to a Master's Program

Students may transfer a total of twelve hours of PBS/NDS hours of graduate work if they are later accepted into a master's program.

Students with the PBS classification have not been admitted to a graduate program, have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher previously, and have been approved for Non-Degree Studies (NDS). See Registration and Record's website for more information on Non-Degree Studies. 

How to Receive Transfer Credit

If you have any courses you wish to be considered for transfer credit in the MA and MS, you must notify the DGP and complete the Transfer Credit form. Such credits do not have to be requested until after having earned 15 credit hours, but requesting transfer credit sooner can assist you in planning your future schedules and required or elective courses.

Present the DGP with as complete a description of the transfer course as possible. This should include at least an official syllabus (electronic or paper) but may also include an official catalogue description, a list of texts, course requirements, and copies of papers or exams. These materials will be used by an appropriate faculty member in our department to establish the correspondence with our course offerings. Any course taken elsewhere that is used as part of a program at this university must have been taken within the six-year time frame for the degree.

NB: The graduate school will not accept courses for transfer credit that were used to satisfy any requirements for a degree that has already been awarded.  Only courses completed with a grade of "B" or higher will be accepted.

See the Graduate School's Policy