Texas Tech University

Additional Graduate School Policies and Regulations


Students who have been granted admission to the Graduate School are expected to register for coursework whether or not they contemplate degree work. Failure to register in the term for which admission is granted ordinarily requires the student to reapply for admission. Any student who fails to register during a one-year period, and who does not have an official leave of absence from study, is subject to review for readmission by the standards in effect at the time of reconsideration.

The details of registration are under the jurisdiction of the registrar's office, which furnishes complete instructions to each enrollee for all steps in the procedure. Students should carefully follow those instructions and those found below.

Departmental Approval of Courses

The student should have a schedule of courses approved by an official representative of the major department at the time of registration. It is the student's responsibility to see that the Registrar's printout corresponds exactly to the courses listed on his or her schedule request card.

Full-Time Study

Except in unusual circumstances, all students who are seriously pursuing graduate degrees are expected to be enrolled full time. Normal full-time enrollment is 12 hours in a regular semester and 6 hours in a summer term. Under certain circumstances, enrollment anywhere from 9 to 16 hours in a regular semester and 3 to 6 hours in a summer term may be certified as full-time.

Students must be enrolled full-time (at least 9 hours in each long term, and 3 to 6 hours in each summer term) to be eligible to hold fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or other appointments designed for the support of graduate study.

If a student is devoting full time to research and is using University facilities and faculty time, the schedule should reflect at least 9 hours enrollment (6 hours in each summer term). These hours should be reflected regardless of the number of research, independent study, thesis, or dissertation hours previously taken.

Continuous Enrollment

Students who have begun thesis or dissertation research must register in each regular semester and at least once each summer until the degree requirements have been completed, unless granted an official leave of absence from the program for medical or other exceptional reasons.

Registration for Thesis or Dissertation Courses

Registration for a Master's thesis is required for at least 6 hours and for a Doctoral dissertation is required for at least 12 hours, although repeated registration for each of these courses is common. Normally a student should enroll for these courses under the committee chairperson. In those instances where other professors on the committee are making substantial contribution to the student's research, however, it is permissible for the student to enroll under those professors.

Students may not enroll in thesis or dissertation courses before formal admission to a degree program by the Graduate Dean.

Enrollment for thesis or dissertation courses is permitted only during a regular registration period. Students away from the campus may, however, register for such courses online.

Registration When Using University Facilities

Students are required to register for appropriate courses in any term or semester in which they expect to receive assistance or use the facilities of the University, or when taking final degree examinations.

Registration in Session of Graduation

Even though there are only two commencement exercises each year, there are three official graduation dates: December, May, and August. Normally, every candidate for a graduate degree must be registered for at least 3 hours in the session of graduation. Failure to graduate at the expected time requires such additional registrations as may be necessary.

Changes in Schedule and Withdrawal

A graduate student who wishes to add or drop a course must initiate such action with the chair of his or her advisory committee. To withdraw from the Graduate School, the student must make the request at the Office of the Dean of Students. A student who quits a course without official withdrawal is likely to receive an F in that course.

After a schedule has been approved and the fees have been paid, each change will be subject to a charge unless it is made for the convenience of a department of the University.


The grades used in the Graduate School are the same as those used in undergraduate work (A, B, C, D, and F), but graduate credit is allowed only for courses completed with grades of A, B, and C (although grades of D and F are used in computing grade-point averages). Upon departmental request and approval of the Graduate Dean, individually arranged courses, professional seminars, and certain other courses may (at departmental option) be graded P (pass) or F (fail). However, no more than one-fourth of a student's program coursework may be graded pass/fail.

No final grade assigned for a graduate-level course may be raised unless an error has been made. The substitution of another course for one completed with a low grade is not permitted.

Work completed at another graduate school with a grade less than B will not be accepted, nor will grades of Pass or Satisfactory be accepted. Grades on transferred work will not raise the grade average on courses completed at Texas Tech University.

Symbols CR, NC, I, W, and WF

The symbol CR (credit) or NC (no credit) normally is assigned for every enrollment for a Master's thesis or Doctor's dissertation until the completed document has been approved by the student's committee and accepted by the Dean of the Graduate School. At that time a grade of A or B will be entered for the final enrollment.

A professor may give CR when a student's work in other research courses is not finished but is satisfactorily in progress at the end of a semester. This symbol must be replaced by a standard letter grade if credit is to be granted for the work. CR is not an appropriate grade for regularly organized courses.

The symbol I (incomplete) may be given by a professor when a student's work in a course has not been completed at the end of a semester and when the failure to complete the work has been due to causes beyond the student's control. It is not used as a substitute for F. The instructor should file a form with the Graduate Office at the time the I is given, specifying the reasons for the grade and the work remaining to be done.

When a student officially withdraws from a course by the specified date early in the term, a grade of W will be assigned. A withdrawal after the specified date will result in a grade of W or WF, according to the assessment of the student's work in the course up to the time of the official withdrawal.

Proficiency in English

A student found deficient in English may be required to satisfactorily complete certain specified courses in English usage (without graduate credit) before being considered for admission to candidacy for a graduate degree.

Statement of Intention to Graduate

A student planning to graduate must file a "Statement of Intention to Graduate" with the Graduate Office before the semester of the intended graduation date. No candidate's name will be placed on the "Tentative List of Graduates" for any graduation date unless this statement has been received at the Graduate School by the specified deadline.

A candidate who fails to graduate at the expected time is required to file a new "Statement of Intention to Graduate" for any subsequent graduation.

Letter of Completion

Students who have completed all requirements for degrees, but for whom final transcripts or diplomas are not yet available, may request a letter from the Graduate School certifying that they have met all requirements and that further enrollment is not necessary. Completion letters will be sent to employers upon the student's request.

Deadlines for Graduation

All students who have indicated intent to graduate in a given semester will be sent a list of deadlines for graduation. Deadlines to be met include filing the "Statement of Intention to Graduate" and the official thesis or dissertation title form, paying the diploma fee, removing grades of "I" and "CR," and so forth. Failure to meet scheduled deadlines will delay graduation.

School of Music Procedures

Graduate students wishing to pursue a complaint related to substantive academic issues must observe the following procedural chain of notification. The student discusses the complaint with the unit's Graduate Advisor or degree program Coordinator. The student can proceed directly to Chair or Director if the Graduate Advisor or program Coordinator is a party named in the complaint. If the matter is not resolved at this stage, the student discusses the complaint with the Chair or Director, who issues a summary judgment. If the Chair or Director is involved in the complaint, the student contacts an Associate Chair or Director of the unit. Should the student be dissatisfied with the outcome, he/she notifies the Chair, Director, or Associate and requests a hearing by the Graduate Academic Committee (GAC). The unit administrator then confers with the Dean of the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts or the Associate Dean charged with graduate and faculty issues to ascertain whether the dispute meets criteria for a hearing by the GAC.

The Associate Dean charged with this responsibility ordinarily requests GAC service from (in order of preference) appropriate faculty members from the home unit identified in consultation with the Chair or Director, members of the TCVPA Graduate Committee, TCVPA Awards & Research Committee members, and/or other qualified faculty members in the TCVPA. In consultation with the Chair or Director, the dean's representative invites a graduate student to participate as a fully-functioning GAC member. The GAC issues the final decision in this process of complaint through departmental channels of communication. (For additional information, see the TCVPA Graduate Academic Committee) Students deviating from the departmental process shall receive written reprimand at the first infraction; the second may result in disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from the program.

Students remaining dissatisfied have the option of filing a formal Appeal or Grievance using the procedures discussed in OP64.07, Graduate Student Appeals.

Credit and Time Requirements

Pursuant to the Texas Tech University Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog, the Texas Administrative Code, and in accordance with norms stated in the NASM Handbook, the credit and time expectations for School of Music courses are as follows:

For studio-based or project-based courses at the graduate level, in-class contact hours typically include a combination of individual meetings and group activities that may vary by studio discipline and instructor. Total time expectations for in-class and out-of-class student activity typically range from 45 to 60 hours per credit hour per semester.

For traditionally delivered three-credit-hour graduate lecture-based/seminar-based courses during a regular semester, students should expect to be in class for 3 hours per week, and work outside of class a minimum of 6 hours per week. For three-credit-hour graduate studio-based/project-based courses, students should expect to devote a total of between 9 and 12 hours to the course per week.


Return to the Graduate Handbook home page.