Enrollment Policies and Procedures

Registration

Consult the UVM Academic Calendar and the Registration Schedule for registration dates. Students register for courses at the time and in the manner designated by the university registrar. Early registration is encouraged for both new and presently enrolled graduate students. Students may not register for courses unless tuition and fees for any current and prior semesters have been paid.

Students should consult with their program advisor before using web registration. All charges for the ensuing semester must be paid, or otherwise provided for, before registration is complete.

Graduate Course Levels

Courses that may apply towards a graduate program are numbered 200 and above. Not all 200-level courses are eligible for graduate credit. The 200-level courses that are eligible for graduate credit when taken by graduate students are included in the Graduate Catalogue course list. These courses have a different level of expectation for graduate students taking the course than for undergraduate or non-degree students. Graduate students enrolled in a  200-level course approved for graduate credit must take the course for graduate credit. Undergraduate and non-degree students receive undergraduate credit for these courses.  Courses numbered 400 or above are limited to candidates for doctoral degrees; courses numbered 300 to 399 are limited to graduate students unless permission to enroll is given by the appropriate instructor, department or program.

Course Loads

Generally, full-time graduate students enroll for 9 to 12 credit hours per semester, with normal maximum enrollment being 15 credits per semester and 9 hours summer. Enrollment in excess of 15 credits requires written approval from the student's advisor and the Dean of the Graduate College.

Auditing Classes

Students wishing to regularly attend a course, but not receive credit, may register as an auditor, with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate College and the instructor.  Auditors have no claim on the time or service of the instructor.  Students must meet minimum levels of performance set by the instructor at the time of registration in order to receive an audit grade.  Tuition is charged at the applicable rate.  Under no circumstances will changes be made after the add/drop period to allow credit for courses audited. Tuition scholarships funded by the academic units or the Graduate College do not cover tuition for audited courses.

Physical Education Classes

Students may not enroll in physical education classes without prior approval by the Dean of the Graduate College. Graduate College or academic unit tuition scholarships do not cover tuition or any fees for physical education activities.

Add/Drop

Courses may be added through the first 5 instructional days of the semester without instructor permission, unless indicated.  Adding a course between the 6th and 10th instructional day will be at the discretion of the faculty member and will occur by means of a faculty override.  Courses may be dropped through the first 10 instructional days of the semester.  During summer and winter sessions, the add/drop period varies from course to course depending on when the class begins and how long it runs. Withdrawing from a course after add/drop will result in a partial or no tuition refund; being added to a new course after add/drop will result in a tuition charge.

Withdrawal from Courses

From the 11th day of instruction until the 2nd business day after the 60% point in the semester, students may withdraw from courses. To do so, students must use the registration system to withdraw from the course. The student’s advisor(s) and dean(s) will be notified. The instructor(s) will be aware of the withdrawal by the Withdraw status on the class roster and the presence of a grade of W on the grade roster.

Between the 2nd business day after the 60% point in the semester and the last day of classes, students may withdraw from 1 or more courses only by demonstrating to the Graduate College studies committee, through a written petition, that they are unable to continue in the courses(s) due to circumstances beyond their control. Such petition must contain conclusive evidence, properly documented, of the illness or other situation preventing completion of the course(s). Acceptable reasons do not include dissatisfaction with performance or expected grade, dissatisfaction with the course or instructor, or desire to change major or program. If the petition is approved, a grade of W will be assigned and recorded on the student’s permanent record. If the petition is denied, the instructor(s) will assign a final grade in accordance with the same criteria applied to all other students in the course(s).  Final decisions rest with the Graduate College.  

Withdrawals will be permitted after the last day of classes only when the student was incapacitated before the end of the term and unable to process a late withdrawal request. To be considered, the request must be made within 60 days of the end of the term in which the course was taken, or before the end of the add/drop period of the subsequent term attended, whichever is sooner.  Final decisions rest with the Graduate College. 

In all instances, withdrawal grades remain on the permanent academic record, but will not affect the grade-point average.  Withdrawn courses are included in the number of credits used for billing purposes.

Definition of a Credit Hour

The Faculty Senate has defined a University of Vermont credit hour as follows:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
  3. “Direct faculty instruction” must include regular and substantive faculty/student contact regardless of delivery mode (for example, face-to-face, hybrid, distance/online).

Semester courses must span the full term (15 weeks in fall and spring) of the semester in which they are offered, with a minimum of 45 hours of total effort per credit. Part-of-Term courses in the semester or summer must span the full part-of-term in which they are offered and distribute the 45 hours of effort per credit over a shorter time window.

Undergraduate Student Course Enrollment for Graduate Credit (non-accelerated master's students)

UVM Senior undergraduates may enroll for up to 6 graduate credits at UVM under the following circumstances: course must be available for graduate credit and and is not an independent study, practicum, internship, or research credit course; approval to take the course for graduate credit is obtained from the Dean of the Graduate College and the dean of the undergraduate school or college in which the student is enrolled prior to taking the course; and the course must not be computed as part of the bachelor’s degree. Students may request graduate credit for a course by completing the form found on the Faculty and Current Student Resources page of Graduate College website. Graduate credit can be used as transfer credit into a UVM graduate program if the course is deemed appropriate by the student’s advisor for the particular graduate program and the student earned a grade of B or better. The transfer is credit only (not grade) and does not count towards the minimum graded credit required after matriculation into the graduate program.  Generally, other institutions will not accept such credit, earned before award of the bachelor's degree, in transfer to their graduate programs.

Non-Degree Student Course Enrollment for Graduate Credit

Graduate Credit earned at UVM after completion of the bachelor's degree but prior to admission to a graduate program is transfer credit; only the credit and not the grade is transferred and is subject to the transfer of credit policy.

Non-degree students who enroll in 200-level courses for the purpose of transferring the credits into a graduate degree may do so for up to 6 credits under the following circumstances: The 200-level course is available to earn for graduate credit, and is not an independent study, practicum, internship, or research credit course; approval to take the course for graduate credit is obtained from the Dean of the Graduate College prior to taking the course by completing the form found on the Graduate College website; the student earns a grade of B or better. The course may then be used as transfer credit into a UVM graduate program if it is deemed appropriate by the student’s graduate program. The transfer is credit only and does not factor into the graduate GPA. These credits also do not count towards the minimum graded credits required after matriculation into the graduate program, and may not be able to transfer as graduate credit to another university. All courses requested to transfer are subject to the Graduate College’s transfer of credit policy.

Non-degree students who enroll in courses at the 300- or 400-level may transfer the credits into a graduate degree provided they meet the transfer of credit policy.

Distance Education Student Status

A distance education student is a student whose primary affiliation with UVM is as a student matriculated in a distance education degree or academic certificate program where the majority of content is delivered at a distance. There may be a minimal residency component of the program that is exclusively available to the matriculated distance education students. A distance student may not register for an on-campus course; however a residential student may register for courses offered through a distance program on a space availability basis.

Students are billed according to their primary affiliation with UVM. These categories are residential or distance and may be program specific. When tuition differs between these categories, tuition is billed according to the primary affiliation of the student for any courses taken.       

Dismissal

Academic: Students whose academic progress is deemed unsatisfactory at any time may be dismissed from the Graduate College by the dean upon consultation with the student's department or program. In addition, students may be dismissed if they receive two grades or more below a B (3.00), or they receive a U (Unsatisfactory) or UP (Unsatisfactory Progress) in Thesis or Dissertation Research, Seminar or Clinical Practicum. Students will be dismissed from the graduate program if they fail the comprehensive examination on both the first and second attempt or if they fail a thesis or dissertation defense on both the first and second attempt.

Professional: Students whose professional integrity is deemed unsatisfactory at any time may be dismissed from the Graduate College by the dean upon consultation with the student's department or program. Breaches of professional integrity include, but are not limited to, violations described in the Misconduct in Research and Other Scholarly Activities policy, violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, and actions that violate the standards of professional practice in the discipline of study or in duties associated with an assistantship.

A student has the right to appeal a dismissal on the following grounds: 1) procedural error unfairly and materially affected the dismissal decision, 2) material evidence has been discovered that was not reasonably available at the time of the dismissal, or 3) there was clear abuse of discretion in the dismissal decision.  The appeals process begins at the program level with the Program Director. If unsuccessful, the appeal may be made to the Dean of the Graduate College, whose decision is final.  Students may have a support person accompany them to any meetings related to the appeal. This person may not be legal counsel.