General Policies and Financial Information from the Graduate School
The Graduate School maintains a website with extensive information detailing general policies and financial information for graduate students. For information on programs of study, residence requirements, and much more, consult http://gradcatalog.umaine.edu, including general information about tuition and fees, and student financial aid.
Some important information to remember:
- A $100.00 late payment fee will be assessed to students who pay their bills after the due date. To avoid being charged the late fee, students who have not received a bill should contact the Bursar’s Office (http://www.umaine.edu/bursar/).
- A late registration fee of $100.00 is assessed when the initial section enrollment occurs more than seven days after the section start date.
- All graduate assistants, fellows, and trainees who are appointed the equivalent of half-time receive 50% of their University of Maine health insurance costs paid by the University.
In general, any graduate student working toward a master’s degree will be required to present a minimum of 12 hours (exclusive of thesis) of 500- and 600-level course work to partially satisfy requirements for that degree. However, certain degrees have established additional requirements. The same requirement applies to the Certificate of Advanced Study. Only courses at the 400-level and above may be used for graduate credit.
Grades and Credits
Graduate degree credit will be granted routinely only to students admitted to graduate programs. Only those courses listed in the graduate catalog may be counted for graduate credit, and then, only if given by an instructor approved to teach courses for graduate credit.
Normally, only a grade of “A” or “B” is acceptable for course work on a student’s program of study. A grade of “C” may carry graduate degree credit if a student’s advisory committee so recommends and if the Graduate School approves such an exception. No student, however, will be allowed to accumulate more than six hours of “C” grades on a program of study for a master’s degree, nor more than 12 hours of “C” grades on a program of study for a Ph.D. or Ed.D. Since prerequisite and elective courses, as well as required courses, are part of the program of study, the 6- and 12-hour limits apply to all course work for which a student registers while in a particular degree program. Students receiving hours of “C” (or lower) in excess of these numbers will be considered as not having made satisfactory progress toward completing degree requirements. Audited and Pass-Fail Courses are normally not accepted for graduate degree credit.
Incomplete Grades. Incomplete grades, unless made up during the period before the degree is awarded, will remain as I’s on the student’s transcript. Each department offering a course may establish additional requirements for alteration of an incomplete grade. A student may not carry more than three incomplete grades in all enrolled degree programs without permission of the graduate program coordinator(s) and the Graduate School.
Full-time registration for a graduate student is normally defined as six or more degree hours per semester or summer session; part-time status is five hours or less per year. Doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy, psychology and human nutrition students on approved internships, and students in their final semester of study may maintain full-time enrollment status by registering for a minimum of one thesis or internship credit. Registration for a minimum of one thesis credit during the summer session also satisfies the requirement for a full-time registration.
When courses taken at other institutions, outside the UM System, have been accepted toward partial fulfillment of requirements for an advanced degree, only the credit hours (not grades) will be transferred. Evaluation of performance levels and satisfaction of quality standards shall be based entirely on grades earned at The University of Maine.
A maximum of 6 hours of credit in the case of a master’s candidate, and 30 hours beyond the bachelor’s degree in the case of a doctoral candidate (45 hours in the case of an Ed.D. candidate), may be accepted in transfer (subject to the approval of the candidate’s advisory committee) for appropriate courses completed in residence at other institutions prior to matriculation in the Graduate School at The University of Maine. Courses to be accepted must have been taken at a fully accredited college or university which offers a graduate program, and must be acceptable at that institution in partial fulfillment of its requirements for an advanced degree. In no case may the number of credit hours transferred into a graduate degree program exceed 50 percent of the student’s entire course work for the degree.
Credit cannot be transferred for courses which would not, if taken at UMaine, have received graduate credit, courses in which a grade lower than “B” was received, correspondence courses, courses which are inappropriate for inclusion in the student’s degree program, and courses completed at such a date as to exceed time limits prescribed for a particular degree program.
Up to twelve credit hours may be transferred from appropriate course work taken at UMaine before matriculation in a graduate degree program if no other work is being transferred.
All work for a master’s degree and for the Certificate of Advanced Study must be completed within six years of matriculation.
All work for a doctoral degree must be completed within eight years of matriculation. Students must be admitted to candidacy within four years of registration as a doctoral student; the dissertation must be completed within four years of admission to candidacy.
If requirements for an advanced degree or certificate are not completed within the time specified, he/she must file a petition for “Exception to Regulation” requesting an extension which must first be approved by his/her department and then by the Graduate School. If the student has broken enrollment and exceeded the time limit of his/her program, he/she must apply for readmission before being allowed to continue working toward the degree. Courses exceeding the time limit for the degree may be counted only if revalidated by the instructor. If the application for readmission is approved, the student’s program of study will be revised in view of the work completed and/or revalidated.
In the Master’s degree and Certificate of Advanced Study programs, at least 50 percent of course work applied toward the degree must be taken through The University of Maine. An institutional unit graduate committee may increase this minimum residence requirement. Residence requirements for doctoral students may be found in the descriptions of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education elsewhere in this catalog.
The graduate student, in conjunction with his or her advisor, is responsible for initiating activities to establish the student’s advisory committee, which is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School, as early as possible in the student’s course of study. The student’s major advisor or thesis advisor normally acts as chairperson of this advisory committee. The committee for a master’s candidate is composed of a minimum of three members of the Graduate Faculty; a five member committee is required for a doctoral student. It is highly recommended that one committee member be selected from the Graduate Faculty of a department other than that of the student’s intended major. The advisory committee guides the student on course work and the thesis, and often serves as the examining committee for the master’s final examination and as the core of the examining committee for the doctoral final examination. Advisory committees may not be required for students in professional degree programs. Graduate students should consult with their advisors to clarify this requirement in relation to the degree being pursued.
Program of Study
The program of study is an outline of all academic work to be undertaken by a graduate student, and must include prerequisite and elective courses taken while enrolled in a graduate program. It is planned by the student and his or her advisory committee as early as possible in the course of study, and in order to continue to register for graduate courses, this program must be submitted to the Graduate School before the end of the first semester of study for students holding a master’s degree. Those holding only a bachelor’s degree must file this form by completion of 12 credit hours or by the third registration, whichever comes first. (A doctoral student with a master’s degree should submit a program of study by the end of the first year of study.)
The entire program of study is to be presented on a form available from the Graduate School. When it is approved by the student’s advisory committee and filed in the Graduate School it becomes the student’s required curriculum. Changes in the program of study may be made by submitting a “Request for Change in Program” form approved by the student’s advisory committee. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain approval of major changes in the course of study at the time such changes are made. Minor changes may be made and the “Request for Change in Program” form filed at the Graduate School during the semester in which graduation occurs.
Certain non-thesis programs such as the M.Ed., C.A.S., M.B.A., and M.P.A. have prepared curricula in photocopied form which satisfy the requirements for a program of study. These are available from the appropriate departmental offices.
Foreign Language Requirement
Each institutional unit designates the foreign language requirement, if any, in its catalog description. There is no overall Graduate School language requirement.
A final examination is required of all students in thesis programs and in many non-thesis programs. Other members of the faculty may be invited to attend and participate in the questioning, but only members of the committee may evaluate the student’s performance.
Application for Graduation
Candidates for degrees must submit an Application for Graduation Form to the Office of Student Records according to the following schedule: by November 15, for degrees to be awarded at the end of fall semester; by July 15, for degrees to be awarded at the end of summer session; and March 15, for degrees to be awarded at the end of spring semester.
Forms are available in the Graduate School and in the Office of Student Records, at http://studentrecords.umaine.edu/graduation/applygrad.htm, or by Fax-to-Fax by dialing (207) 581-1285 and following the prompts. Note: A student completing requirements in May term, is an August degree candidate.
Graduation Timeline: Final certification of degree completion will be done within each college according to the following timetable.
- December graduation: January 30
- May graduation: June 30
- August graduation: September 30
Each department or college has the responsibility to notify any student who has applied for graduation but who is taken off the graduation list before the Office of Student Records notification is sent to that student.
Faculty as Candidates for Advanced Degrees
Members of the University faculty at the instructor level or above may become candidates for advanced degrees from any college or school of The University of Maine other than The University of Maine College or school in which they hold faculty appointments.
Requests for Exceptions to Regulations
Students may request exceptions to the Graduate School Policies and Regulations but must submit convincing evidence the exception is needed and is warranted. Forms for this purpose may be obtained from the Graduate School or from the web site www.umaine.edu/graduate/forms.htm.
Students who withdraw from graduate study must notify the Graduate School in writing.
Graduate students are encouraged to secure a copy of the Student Handbook from the Office of Student Affairs or at www.umaine.edu/handbook. Although primarily for undergraduates, this publication contains many of the University’s policies and regulations with which students should be familiar.
Recognizing the highly individualized nature of graduate programs, a student filing an academic appeal is encouraged to request that his/her thesis advisor or other faculty member of his/her choice act as a counselor and/or representative at any level of the appeal process which is as follows: 1. The student should discuss the concern with the appropriate faculty member(s); 2. If the concern persists, the student should follow the department’s written appeal procedures if they exist, or if not, consult with the graduate program coordinator or chairperson/school director, (or the college dean, if there is no department); 3. If the complaint remains unresolved, the student should write to the Dean of the Graduate School, outlining the situation, and requesting a review. The Dean of the Graduate School or his/her designee will discuss the situation with the college dean and/or appropriate members of the department or graduate program. The Dean of the Graduate School or his/her designee will then meet with the student and attempt to resolve the problem; 4. If this resolution is not satisfactory, the Dean of the Graduate School will refer the appeal to the Executive Committee of the Graduate Board for one final review. After hearing from the student and the faculty member(s) involved, the Executive Committee will render its decision, which shall be considered binding. The decision will be communicated to the student by the Dean of the Graduate School.
Most graduate students support themselves through school with a graduate assistantship:
Graduate Assistantships. Awarded by individual departments or offices, graduate assistantships are generally available in most academic fields which offer a degree program, as well as in such areas as admissions, student aid, and residence life and programs. Some assistantships and fellowships are also awarded competitively through the Graduate School each spring for the following academic year. For most assistantships, up to nine hours of tuition per semester is paid, exclusive of audited and pass/fail courses, and courses numbered below 400-level, as well as 50% of the premium for the University’s student health insurance. In some cases, a limited amount of tuition for the summer following the academic year in which the assistantship appointment is effective may also be paid by the sponsoring unit.
Graduate assistants normally devote half-time (20 hours per week) to work activities and are prohibited from working elsewhere in addition to the assistantship. Most graduate assistants are required to register for at least six hours of degree credit in the fall and spring semesters. Exceptions are doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy, doctoral students in Psychology who are taking clinical internships, master’s students in dietetic internships, and graduate students in their final semester. In these instances, one credit may be considered full-time. If an assistantship continues through the summer, the graduate assistant must register for at least one graduate credit hour.
Admission to the Graduate School is required before appointment to a graduate assistantship is made. Because these assistantships are awarded by the departments, the student should correspond directly with the department concerned regarding the availability of assistantships. Announcements of many graduate assistantships are available on the Graduate School’s FirstClass conference.
Limited summer funding is available from a variety of sources on campus:
- Some Graduate Research Assistantships receive a tuition waiver during the summer following the academic year of the award.
- Some Graduate Research Assistantships continue through the summer. If this is the case, the graduate assistant must register for at least one graduate credit hour.
- To be eligible for Summer Session financial aid, students must have applied for federal financial aid for the previous year. For example, students applying for financial aid for Summer Session 2006 must complete the 2005-2006 FAFSA. Generally, financial aid is limited to any remaining Federal Stafford Loan eligibility (subsidized and/or unsubsidized). Federal Work-Study may also be available and requires a separate application, which is available early in the Spring Semester and must be turned in prior to the deadline listed on the application. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid (http://www.umaine.edu/stuaid/) to request further information; the best time to discuss specific eligibility is midway through the Spring semester and after the student is pre-registered.*
* All information is taken from The University of Maine Graduate School Catalogue website