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Graduate Studies - Academic Policies

Rose‑Hulman's Department of Graduate Studies operates with a set of expectations and regulations for all students and faculty. Any questions concerning rules, procedures, etc., relating to graduate work should be directed to the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning.


It is assumed that all students who come to Rose-Hulman have an earnest desire to take advantage of the opportunities offered and will be ready to cooperate with the faculty in eliminating practices which interfere with or lessen the efficiency of the work of instruction.

Membership in the student body carries with it a responsibility for accepting and living within the rules, policies and regulations of the Institute. Every student will, therefore, be held accountable by college authorities for his or her conduct on all occasions.

No student will be permitted to continue in school if he or she fails to observe the obligations he or she has assumed upon entrance to the program.

Any questions concerning rules, procedures, etc., relating to graduate work should be directed to the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning.

Academic Standing

The programs of study indicate the course requirements for the various degrees in the order in which they must be taken. The grades earned in the various courses are based on the quality of daily work and the results of tests and examinations and are expressed in letters according to the following scale:

A = 4 
B+ = 3.5 
B = 3 
C+ = 2.5 
C = 2 
D+ = 1.5 
D = 1 
F = 0

Cumulative grade point averages are computed at the end of each term. Students must progress at a level of at least 3.00 to avoid academic probation. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 is required for graduation. Any questions concerning rules, procedures, etc., relating to graduate work should be directed to the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning.

Academic Probation

A graduate student whose cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) falls below 3.0/4.0 is automatically placed on academic probation. Probationary status is removed only when a graduate student's cumulative GPA equals or exceeds the minimum 3.0/4.0 required to earn the Master's degree. A graduate student who remains on probation after completing 12 credit hours since being placed on probation will be dismissed from the program. Students on probation cannot hold a graduate assistantship or receive a tuition grant. Additionally, they may not enroll for more than 12 credit hours per quarter. A student whose cumulative GPA drops below 2.5/4.0 will automatically be dismissed from the graduate program. Any questions concerning rules, procedures, etc., relating to graduate work should be directed to the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning.


All graduate students, whether in thesis/project or course-based programs, must select a chairperson/adviser to assist with registering for coursework and/or advising thesis/project research for the duration of their graduate program. The Request for Appointment of Advisory Chairperson form is due by Friday of the 10 th week of the first term of graduate study.

Changing Majors/Programs

Graduate students may change majors only by submitting an online application and application requirements for the new program to the graduate office.

Students who wish to change from a course-based program to a thesis/project-based program must do so by the second term of their graduate study.

Students wishing to change from a thesis/project-based program must do so by the 4 th quarter of their graduate study. Please see the financial assistance page of the graduate studies website as there are financial ramifications for making this change.

Computer Requirements

Since the Fall Quarter of 1995, all entering undergraduate students have been required to purchase a laptop computer of the type specified by the Institute for the year they enter. Graduate students, on the other hand, are not mandated to buy an Institute laptop. However, graduate students must also have a laptop to complete their graduate studies successfully. This laptop will be essential for completing in-class activities, homework assignments, projects, and exams. The Office of Graduate Studies encourages each incoming graduate student to consult with their respective department head before purchasing a laptop as requirements may vary.

Credit Requirements

All Master's degrees require satisfactory completion of all courses identified on an approved plan of study with a grade of C or better in each course, and with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. All master's programs require the satisfactory completion of 48 to 52 hours, depending on the program. Twelve credit hours per quarter is a full-time load for regular, on-campus graduate students.

Students should refer to the Programs of Study section for specific discipline/program degree and course requirements. Students in either the MSEM or environmental engineering project-based programs must successfully complete eight credits hours of project work as part of their required hours, students in the thesis-based programs must successfully complete 12 credit hours of thesis research as part of their required hours, and students in the course-based programs are not required to have thesis or project credits as part of their credit hour requirement.

Courses taken on a S-U or pass/fail basis do not count toward a graduate degree with the exception of thesis and project course credit hours. The Institute's normal grading system applies to graduate courses as do the rules pertaining to withdrawal from a course. Any course change or withdrawal requires approval signed by the instructor of the course, the student's advisor, and the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning. No grade replacement for courses in the student's plan of study will be accepted.

Any questions concerning rules, procedures, etc., relating to graduate work should be directed to the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning.

Course Guidelines

In addition to all 500-level courses, the advanced undergraduate courses listed as Graduate Studies Eligible (GSE) are available for graduate credit. The following points must be observed:

  • No more than 16 credit hours of 400-level coursework is allowed to count toward the graduate degree requirements.
  • For course-based degree programs, under rare circumstances, 20 hours of 400-level coursework can count toward degree requirements.
  • In this situation, the Department Head and Graduate Study Committee must pre-approve the additional four credit hours.
  • For thesis- or project-based programs, 16 credit hours is the absolute maximum allowed to count toward degree requirements.
  • No courses below the 400-level may be applied to the Master's degree.
  • No 400-level courses can be dual-counted toward undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.
  • No course that satisfies the requirements for any degree granted by another institution may be transferred for graduate credit.

Any questions concerning rules, procedures, etc., relating to graduate work should be directed to the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning.

Grade-Point Average

Occasionally, a graduate student will be required to take coursework designed to remedy deficiencies in the preparation provided by his or her Bachelor's degree program. Such coursework is remedial or background in nature and does not fulfill specific content requirements of the Master's degree program. The student's department and the Graduate Studies committee are concerned that the student demonstrate satisfactory progress in the background coursework as well as in the coursework stipulated by his or her plan of study. Therefore, grades in both background coursework and coursework making up the specified plan of study will be examined in evaluating the student's progress.

A satisfactory background course grade point average (BGPA) is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for successful completion of the requirements for an MS degree program. The status of any student whose BGPA falls below 3.0 will be reviewed by his or her graduate program advisor and by the department head of the program in which he or she is enrolled. Upon recommendation of the department head, the Graduate Studies Committee can act to place such a student on probation or to drop him or her from the graduate program. However, the Graduate Studies Committee cannot unilaterally take such action.

The student's grade point average (GPA) will be computed on the basis of student achievement in all those courses completed at Rose-Hulman while a graduate student for which a grade is issued. Thesis credit hours, which receive a satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) grade, will be excluded. The GPA will be the grade point average used by the Graduate Studies Committee to evaluate all questions related to satisfactory progress toward completion of the MS degree (e.g., probation, continued enrollment, financial assistance), unless it has received a recommendation from the department head as outlined in the preceding paragraph.

The procedure described in the preceding paragraph places a direct responsibility on the graduate student, his or her advisory committee, and his or her department to stipulate those courses which will make up the student's plan of study and thus will count toward the completion of the student's MS program. Courses not on the plan of study, while not counting toward completion of the degree, will be included in the student's GPA.

Any questions concerning rules, procedures, etc., relating to graduate work should be directed to the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning.

Time Limit

All requirements for the Master's degree must be fulfilled with courses completed within six calendar years of the graduation date. Credit over six years old must be replaced by new course credit. Exceptions to the time limit must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Regular, full-time students are expected to complete their program within five quarters. It is recognized that many off-campus students are not able to take full loads each quarter so their completion may exceed six quarters but they are still expected to complete their program in a timely fashion, normally within 12 quarters (four years). All on-campus students must request an extension to continue their program for any term beyond the sixth quarter, off-campus/part-time students beyond the 12th quarter. This extension request must be submitted to the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning at least four weeks prior to the end of the sixth [12th] quarter or previously approved extension quarter. The extension request must include a discussion of progress toward completing your program (updated discussion if not the first extension request), an anticipated completion date, a statement of support from your advisory committee and department chair. The Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning will approve or deny the requests within one week of receipt. Any requests denied will automatically be forwarded to the Graduate Studies Committee for reconsideration. The Graduate Studies Committee may request the student to appear before the committee prior to their making a final decision.

A student who has not been registered for one or more quarters, summer not included, before completing their program must request and receive, in writing, approval of the advisory chair and the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning in order to register for any credit hours.

Any questions concerning rules, procedures, etc., relating to graduate work should be directed to the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of 12 quarter hours of graduate course credit completed at other graduate schools may be counted toward completion of the Master's degree at Rose-Hulman with the approval of the student's advisory committee and the chair of the department that would offer an equivalent course. Graduate courses (5xx) completed at Rose-Hulman with a B or better grade and not required toward the undergraduate degree may be accepted as transfer credit under the same 12 quarter hour limit. Transfer credit will not include a grade, and as such, will not impact the GPA.

Alternatively, Rose Hulman undergraduate students may elect to have both the credit hours and grade included as part of their graduate transcript by adhering to the following procedure:

  • The courses must be included in the Department of Graduate Studies Bulletin as approved for graduate credit.  See graduate course list.
  • The courses must not be used to satisfy the requirements for a BS degree.
  • They must also be a part of his/her plan of study to be included in the required hours for the graduate degree program. (Those not included on the plan of study would still appear on the graduate transcript and impact the overall GPA.)
  • The student must request permission to receive graduate credit prior to enrollment in the course.

Exceptions to the allowed transfer credit as outlined above must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. Any questions concerning rules, procedures, etc., relating to graduate work should be directed to the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning.

Dr. Craig Downing

Dr. Craig Downing

Dr. Craig Downing is the Director of Graduate Studies, Interim Dean of Lifelong Learning, and Head of the Department of Engineering Management. He holds degrees in mechanical engineering, mathematics and statistics, manufacturing systems and workforce education and development.
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Phone: 812-877-8403
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