Program Requirements

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The Records Office can assist the student and their advisor in answering questions concerning degree progression. The Graduate Records Office is responsible for determining if a student has met the degree requirements of the Graduate School. The Graduate School checks and addresses the basic Graduate School requirements necessary for a degree while the department maintains and determines the specific course requirements for the degree.

A student must have a minimum cumulative grade point overage of 3.0 to graduate. Checklist for graduation clearance:

  • Departmental Clearance form on file
  • Oral defense form (dissertation, thesis, and research papers)
  • Current committee form on file (thesis and dissertation)
  • Grade changes for incomplete or deferred work
  • Transfer of credit (if necessary)


Any graduate student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.00 will be placed on academic probation. Faculty of a degree program-unit may determine its own grade point average requirements (above the grade point minimum for retention in their program).

All 400-and 500-level courses taken after a student is admitted to the Graduate School are considered graduate level, unless the course is specifically designated, “Not for Graduate Credit”, for all students.

As an example, a student placed on probation at the end of the fall 2020 term then has two major semesters in which coursework is completed to raise their cumulative GPA to at least 3.00 or face suspension. Summer coursework may be included (and must be, if completed) but does not count as a major semester due to limited course offerings. Traditionally, if a student continued to register, they would then have to have a CGPA of 3.00 by the end of the fall 2021 term. If a student does not register for coursework during a subsequent term, that term would then not counted as one of the two available to raise their GPA.

Grade point averages for doctoral students are based on graduate credit work completed at SIU after admission to the doctoral program. Grade point averages for master’s degree students and nondeclared graduate students are based on all graduate credit work completed at SIU.

Any graduate student on academic probation whose grade point average remains below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters in which she or he is enrolled, excluding summer sessions, will be permanently suspended from the Graduate School, unless the department and the collegiate dean petition the graduate dean for an exception.

Although summer semesters are not applied toward determining suspension, a student can be placed on probation following a summer term.

Admission to Candidacy:

Admission to candidacy is granted by the Graduate School upon recommendation of the faculty responsible for the student’s program, after the student has fulfilled the residency requirement for the doctoral degree, passed the preliminary examination, and met the research tool requirement of the program. The doctoral degree may not be conferred less than six months after admission to candidacy, except upon approval of the Graduate School. The candidate must fulfill all requirements for the degree within a five-year period after admission to candidacy. If completion of requirements is delayed beyond five years, a student may be required to take another preliminary examination and be admitted to candidacy a second time. All candidates must remain registered until completion of their degree.

The Admission to Candidacy date is determined by the date the Graduate School receives the request. This is different from the date preliminary examinations were completed.

Students with assistantships are not allowed to register for 6 hours unless the Graduate School has received and posted admission to candidacy before the first day of the semester in which the student wishes to register for 6 hours.


Research Papers:

The Records Office is responsible for the format checks and acceptance of all research papers required to be submitted to the Graduate School. Proper preparation is encouraged prior to submission by reviewing the information located here: with particular emphasis placed on the guidelines, template and deadline dates.

Transfer Credit:

All graduate credits earned by a student in good standing at an accredited university, which have not been applied toward fulfillment of requirements for another degree, are eligible for transfer to that student’s degree program, subject to general limitations of Graduate School regulations, residency requirements for doctoral degree programs, and acceptance by the student’s major department. All transfer credits are subject to final review by the graduate dean. No transfer credit will be given for work bearing a grade below B or graded “satisfactory”. In the case of a master’s degree, the student must earn at least half of the credit applied toward fulfillment of degree requirements in courses offered by SIU.

Transfer credit should fall with the student’s time to degree ratio.

Graduate credit earned as a nondeclared graduate student of credit not applied toward a previous degree earned at SIU may be transferred if it is a passing grade.

Courses not applied or more than a bachelor’s degree are not acceptable for transfer credit unless they were specifically taken for graduate credit and the appropriate forms are on file.

Continuing Enrollment:

Registration in 601 (1 hour per semester) is required of all graduate students, whether in residence or not, who are not otherwise enrolled for fall or spring semester. All students in a graduate program, but not enrolled in classes by the Friday of the first week of the fall or spring semester, will be registered in 601 by the Graduate School and charged tuition for 1 hour of 601. This hour will be dropped if the student subsequently enrolls in a class that semester or is granted a Leave of Absence by his/her graduate program by the 8th week of the semester.

Departments need to inform the Graduate School in writing (memo or e-mail) if a student has left the program or is granted a Leave of Absence, this information cannot come directly from the student. To request a leave of absence please contact your advisor or program administrator. Each program has its own policy of whether and when to grant leaves of absence.

Summer semesters are exempt from continuing enrollment (601) unless required by the department, or for international students in their final semester, who must be enrolled unless they have left the country or are on OPT.

Students with assistantships are not allowed to register for 601.