Students are expected to attend all their scheduled classes and laboratories and not to be absent without adequate reason.
Deficiency in any required work resulting from absence from class must be made up to the satisfaction of the instructor.
A student who is absent from a course without adequate reason may be assigned a failing grade. Students who are registered as Auditors are subject to the same attendance regulations as those registered for credit. Those Auditors who are reported for their excessive absence from class will receive a grade of LW in the course.
By action of the University Faculty Senate, the responsibility for defining attendance expectations is left to the individual faculty member, subject to the guidelines given below. Thus, it is of great importance that early in each course the instructor make clear to each student what the attendance expectations are, and how absences due to “relatively minor” illnesses, as described below, are to be communicated. Students should check the syllabus for attendance expectations and means of communicating about minor illnesses.
It is the policy of the University of Delaware not to cancel classes on religious holidays. However, students and faculty are encouraged to exercise their own judgment pertaining to their attendance on these days. In addition, faculty are encouraged not to schedule examinations or require the submission of special assignments on the following days: the evenings before as well as the first two days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in the fall term, Good Friday and the evening before and the first two days of Passover in the spring semester.
- Absence on religious holidays listed in University calendars is recognized as an excused absence. Nevertheless, students are urged to remind the instructor of their intention to be absent on a particular upcoming holiday.
- Absences on religious holidays not listed in University calendars, as well as absences due to athletic participation or other extracurricular activities in which students are official representatives of the University, shall be recognized as excused absences when the student informs the instructor in writing during the first two weeks of the semester of these planned absences for the semester. Absences due to similar events that could not have been anticipated earlier in the semester will be recognized as excused absences upon advanced notification of the instructor by an appropriate faculty advisor or athletic coach.
- Absences due to serious illness or death within a student’s family are recognized as excused absences. To validate such absences, the student should present evidence to the Assistant Dean’s Office of his or her college. Documentation must be provided in English. The Assistant Dean’s Office will then provide a letter of verification to all of the student’s instructors for the term.
- Absences due to serious illness of the student (e.g., hospitalization, surgery, or protracted medical illness or convalescence) shall also be recognized as excused absences. To validate such absences, the student should present evidence of the illness to the Assistant Dean’s Office of his or her college. Documentation must be provided in English. Supportive evidence will be provided on the student’s request by the Student Health Service directly to the respective Assistant Dean.
- For relatively minor, short-term illnesses of students (e.g., colds and flu, where attendance in class in undesirable), or their immediate family, the University system depends upon reasonable communication between students and faculty. If possible, students should report such illnesses before the affected class, following the directions of the instructor as provided at the beginning of the semester.
- Absence due to short-term military duty in the National Guard or active reserve is recognized as an excused absence. To validate such an absence, the student should present evidence to the Assistant Dean’s Office of his or her college. The Assistant Dean’s Office will then provide a letter of verification to all of the student’s instructors for the term.
- Students are not to be penalized if absent from an examination, lecture, laboratory, or other activity because of an excused absence. However, students are fully responsible for all material presented during their absence, and faculty are encouraged to provide opportunities, when feasible, for students to make up examinations and other work missed because of an excused absence.
All matriculated students should register in advance for spring and fall semesters and winter and summer sessions. Registration periods are scheduled for returning full-and part-time graduate students in late April for fall semester and in late November for spring semester. Advance registration periods also precede the summer and winter session. Newly admitted or returning graduate students should register during the appropriate time. Contact the Registrar’s Office or the Office of Graduate and Professional Education for information on advance registration. For newly admitted students unable to advance register for fall semester, special permission may be sought from the Office of Graduate and Professional Education to waive the late registration fee.
Graduate students are required to maintain continuous registration each fall and spring semester to be eligible to continue in a graduate degree program. Failure to comply with the requirement of maintaining continuous registration in the fall and spring semesters either in courses, in sustaining credit, or with approved leave of absence will be taken as evidence that the student has terminated his/her graduate program, and the matriculated status to the graduate program will be terminated. The date of termination will be recorded on the student’s record in the student record system.
Policy Regarding Incompletes
A student who has incompletes in three or more courses may not register in the next regular semester (i.e., fall or spring) for additional courses without the approval of the Associate Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education.
Full-Time and Part-Time Status
Students enrolled in at least nine credit hours or in sustaining credit are considered full-time students. Those enrolled for fewer than nine credit hours are considered part-time students, although students holding assistantships are considered full-time with six credits. Generally, a maximum load is 12 graduate credit hours; however, additional credit hours may be taken with the approval of the student’s adviser and the Office of Graduate and Professional Education. A maximum course load in either summer or winter session is seven credit hours. Permission must be obtained from the Office of Graduate and Professional Education to carry an overload in any session. Some graduate programs have different thresholds for full-time status due to the shorter and accelerated nature of those programs. For example, enrollment in six credits for the accelerated seven-week MBA Online program terms is considered to be full-time.
Students who are permitted by special arrangement to conduct a portion of the research for their thesis in governmental or other laboratories off-campus must register for this work so that it may count toward degree requirements. This work must be under the direct supervision of a member of the faculty of the University. The amount of credit earned is determined and approved by the student’s advisory committee.
Course Load Requirements for Full-Time Students Holding an Assistantship or Fellowship
A student must be classified as full-time to be eligible to hold an assistantship or fellowship. Students holding a teaching assistantship, a research assistantship, a graduate assistantship, or a tuition scholarship must register for at least six credit hours of graduate-level courses each fall and spring semester to meet full-time status. (Some programs may require students to be registered in more than six credits.) Students holding a fellowship must register for at least nine credit hours of graduate-level courses each fall and spring semester to meet full-time status. These graduate-level courses must be taken for credit and must be maintained throughout the semester. Listener or undergraduate-level courses may be taken in addition to the minimum of six or nine hours of graduate-level courses in each semester that the student is on contract. Students on contract in fall or spring semester who are completing a thesis or a dissertation and who have not submitted it to the Office of Graduate and Professional Education may register in sustaining status to meet full-time status.
Students who are supported by the University as research assistants during the summer months are required to be registered in at least three credits during the 7 1/2 week summer session under the following guidelines: the work must be related to the student’s degree program, and the funding amount must meet the minimum requirement per month in June and July. Students may register in 868-800 (research), 869 (thesis), 964 (pre-candidacy study), 969 (dissertation), 864 (internship), sustaining, or a regular graduate course needed for the degree and offered in the 7 1/2 week summer session. Except for 864, 869, or regular courses, all courses are graded pass/fail.
Sustaining Status for Candidates Completing Thesis/Dissertation/Executive Position Paper
Once a graduate student who is completing a thesis, dissertation, or education leadership portfolio has completed registration in all required course credits needed for the degree (including the registration of six credits of Master’s thesis  or nine to twelve credits of dissertation ) and all other degree requirements except the submission of the thesis, dissertation, or education leadership portfolio) the student must maintain matriculation in the degree program during the fall and spring semesters by registering for either Master’s Sustaining: Thesis (UNIV 899 ) or Doctoral Sustaining (UNIV 999 ). All students, including sustaining students, must be registered in the semester in which the degree is officially awarded. Sustaining registration is required for summer and winter session only if the degree is awarded at the conclusion of the summer or winter session. Students in sustaining status are considered full-time.
Sustaining Status for Master’s Candidates Pursuing Non-Thesis Degree Option
Once a master’s student pursuing a non-thesis option has registered for all required course credits needed for the degree, but has not completed other non-thesis degree option requirements such as a portfolio, research option paper, comprehensive examination, art show or exhibit, or incomplete grades, the student is required to maintain his/her eligibility for the degree program during the fall and spring semesters by registering for Master’s Sustaining: Non-thesis (UNIV 895). All students, including sustaining students, must be registered in the semester in which the degree is officially awarded. Sustaining registration is required for summer and winter session only if the degree is awarded at the conclusion of the summer or winter session. Students in sustaining status are considered full-time.
Changes in Registration
Authorization for changes in registration after the University’s published deadlines must be requested in writing from the student’s advisor and must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Education.
Registration cancellation. Students who decide not to attend any of the registered courses before the end of the first 10 days of classes must complete withdrawal procedures using UDSIS Personal Access. The approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Education is not needed, but the student is required to give notice in writing to the department and the Office of Graduate and Professional Education. If the notification is received before the end of the first 10 days of classes, the registration is canceled.
Drop-Add procedures. Students who advance register and wish to change their registration by either dropping courses or adding others may do so within the free drop-add period during the first two weeks of classes using UDSIS personal access. After that period and until the end of the first six weeks of classes, a fee is charged for each drop-add form processed. Approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Education must be sought for all changes after the free drop-add period.
Withdrawal after the free drop-add period. If the notification of the intention to withdraw from all registered courses is made after the free drop-add deadline, the student must request in writing permission to be withdrawn by the Office of Graduate and Professional Education. A tuition rebate is made only for course withdrawals made before the end of late registration in the fall and spring semesters and before the end of the first week of classes in either summer session. If a student withdraws unofficially, registration is continued until the end of the term and the student receives failing (Z) grades in all courses. Rights to any rebates to which the student might have otherwise been entitled are also forfeited.
Leave Of Absence and Parental Accommodation
Leaves of Absence and Parental Accommodation
The University of Delaware recognizes the importance of having a leave policy for graduate students. The policy helps balance the responsibilities of graduate studies and personal, medical, or professional circumstances. The University’s policy encourages graduate students to initiate a dialogue with their advisors and immediate supervisors so their career paths can be maintained while assuming the added responsibilities of a temporary leave or parental accommodation. Graduate students are expected to inform their advisors as early as possible when considering a potential leave of absence. In many circumstances, it is possible to reach an arrangement that permits the student to continue with academic work without requiring a leave of absence.
Students who wish or need to interrupt their study temporarily may request a leave of absence or parental accommodation. There are four types: personal, medical, professional, and parental. Each type is described below. The student must make the request in writing. The general policies that apply to all types of leave are:
- All leaves of absence must be approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Education following the recommendation of the student’s advisor, department graduate program coordinator, and department chair. Medical leaves also require the recommendation of a medical doctor. See Medical Leave of Absence.
- Students in graduate programs may be granted a leave for one term or one academic year. Except for a student approved for accommodations for parental responsibilities, the period of absence will not alter the limitation of time for completion of the degree requirements, as given in the student’s official letter of admission. See the policy for time extension requests .
- In exceptional circumstances, the maximum leave period may be extended to up to two years upon approval of a written request. Students who fail to register for the term following the end of an approved leave will be considered to have withdrawn from the University.
- Students on leave may complete, by the appropriate deadline for the term in which the course was taken, outstanding work in courses for which they have been granted grade(s) of incomplete. They may not, however, fulfill any other degree requirements during the time on leave. Students who intend to work toward the degree while away from the University must request registration in absentia. Students who in fact make progress toward the degree while on leave will have their registration changed retroactively to sustaining for the period of the leave.
- Upon written request students may be granted access to or use of specific University facilities while on medical leave.
- Students on leave of absence do not have to file a formal application for readmission. However, they must petition the Office of Graduate and Professional Education in writing to request an extension of the leave of absence. Such notification should be given at least six weeks prior to the end of the approved leave. Extensions are reviewed and must be approved.
- Students funded through sponsored activity must also abide by the guidelines of their respective funding agencies.
- International students holding visas must contact the Office of International Students and Scholars to discuss the impact of a leave of absence on their immigration status.
- Except for a student approved for accommodations for parental responsibilities, students on leave are not eligible to hold assistantships (graduate, research, or teaching) or fellowships.
- Students on leave who have purchased the Student Health Insurance will continue to be covered for the duration of the plan period for which they have enrolled. Students on leave of absence are not eligible to re-enroll in the Student Health Insurance.
Personal or Professional Leave of Absence
A student who is current with his or her degree requirements and who wishes to interrupt study temporarily because of personal exigencies or professional obligations may request in writing a personal or professional leave of absence. The general policies governing leaves of absence are described above. Students are eligible for personal or professional leaves after satisfactory completion of at least one semester of study. Normally, students in doctoral programs are not eligible for personal or professional leaves after the fourth year of study. Personal and professional leaves cannot be granted retroactively and normally will not be approved after the tenth day of a term.
To apply for a personal or professional leave of absence, the student must petition in writing and make the request before the beginning of the term for which the leave is requested, explaining the reasons for the proposed leave and stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave and the address at which the student can be reached during the period of the leave. The student will be informed in writing of the action taken on the request for leave. Students who do not apply for a leave of absence, or who apply for a leave but are not granted one, and who do not register for any term, will be considered to have withdrawn from the University.
Students on a personal or professional leave of absence are not eligible for financial aid, including loans, or for the use of University facilities normally available to registered students, except as specified in general policies above. For federal purposes, a leave of absence is defined, and reported, as a non-enrollment period. This may result in the end of deferment of student loans and, possibly, in the loans entering the repayment period. Students with federal student loans should contact their loan services to determine how a leave may impact their loans; in some instances, students may be able to request a forbearance if they are not in a position to repay at that time. Students may also contact Student Financial Services to understand the implications of a leave of absence on their financial aid.
Medical Leave of Absence
A student who must interrupt study temporarily because of illness or injury may be granted a medical leave of absence with the approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Education and the written recommendation of a physician.
The Office of Graduate and Professional Education reserves the right to place a student on a medical leave of absence when on the recommendation of the Director of the Student Health Services it is determined that the student is a danger to others because of a serious medical condition.
The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above. A student is eligible for a medical leave any time after matriculation. Before re-registering, a student on medical leave must secure written permission from a physician to return.
Students on a medical leave of absence are not eligible for financial aid, including loans, or for the use of University facilities normally available to registered students, except as specified in general policies above. For federal purposes, a leave of absence is defined, and reported, as a non-enrollment period. This may result in the end of deferment of student loans and, possibly, in the loans entering the repayment period. Students with federal student loans should contact their loan services to determine how a leave may impact their loans; in some instances, students may be able to request a forbearance if they are not in a position to repay at that time. Students may also contact Student Financial Services to understand the implications of a leave of absence on their financial aid.
Students on a medical leave of absence may be permitted to pay the Student Health Service Fee and in doing so, retain access to the Student Health Services and the Center for Counseling and Student Development.
Accommodations for Parental Responsibilities
A student who is making satisfactory progress toward his or her degree requirements and wishes to, or must, interrupt study temporarily for reasons of pregnancy, maternity, or paternity care including adoption, may be granted accommodations for parental responsibilities. For many students, short-term arrangements, rather than a leave of absence or parental accommodation as outlined here, are possible. Any student planning to have or care for a child is encouraged to meet with his or her advisor and director of graduate studies to discuss the parental accommodation and other short-term arrangements at least three months prior to the start of the accommodation. A student who is making satisfactory progress toward his or her degree requirements is eligible for a parental accommodation any time after matriculation.
Full-time graduate students in years one through six who wish to modify their academic responsibilities because of the birth or adoption of a child may request parental support and relief during or following the semester in which the birth or adoption occurs. For the full semester in which the support and relief are requested, the student may request for the academic clock to stop, effectively adding an additional semester to the total time to degree. During this period, the student remains registered; if on contract, receives for a six-week period of time the full financial package as specified in their contract letter of the year of the accommodation; and will have academic expectations modified to best suit the specific situation. The precise nature of the academic responsibilities undertaken or modified during this period should be a matter of consultation among the student, the advisor, and the Office of Graduate and Professional Education with the understanding that students are entitled to full relief for at least a six-week period. The student is eligible for a total of 14 course weeks (one semester) of unpaid leave in any 12-month period due to parental responsibilities. The University policy will support a total of two periods of parental accommodation for students on contract for maternity or paternity care during the period of the student’s matriculation in a graduate program. Funding under the parental accommodation does not extend the total years of funding available to the student.
Resignation From The University
A graduate student wishing to resign from the University (i.e., terminate his/her association with the University and a specific degree program) may do so by submitting a letter to the Office of Graduate and Professional Education indicating the reasons for the resignation. The Office of Graduate and Professional Education will cancel the student’s matriculation and indicate the effective date of the resignation in the student record system.