Policies & Procedures

Academics

1.1. 1. Applying for admission

The School of Graduate Studies does not require scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) although individual programs may (See section 1.1.3).

Applications to the School of Graduate Studies are submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.  The Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions provides information about deadlines established by individual programs, as well as other aspects of program requirements. International students may also be required to present evidence of adequate financial resources to meet educational and living expenses.

Students may apply for admission as a non-degree student.  Students interested in taking courses as a non-degree (non-matriculated) student apply using the same process as for those seeking degrees.  Current policy limits the number of non-degree credits to 12.

Admissions

1.1.2.  International students

Rutgers is committed to creating and sustaining a welcoming community of international graduate students. 

A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test score is required if your undergraduate education was completed in a non-English speaking country.

  • Your scores must be current within 2 years of the semester you are applying to.
  • You are exempt from submitting TOEFL or IELTS scores if you are a Permanent Resident, US citizen, or an international applicant with a minimum of three years undergraduate studies or a master’s degree with the mode of instruction being English.
  • The minimum paper-based TOEFL score is 550. The minimum computer-based TOEFL score is 213. The minimum IBT-internet based TOEFL is Writing 22, Speaking 23, Reading 21, Listening 17. An acceptable IELTS score is bandwidth 7.
  • You must be proficient in the reading, writing, and speaking of English to communicate effectively with graduate faculty and university administrators. Some graduate programs might have stricter requirements. 
  • New international students appointed as teaching assistants are required to take an oral proficiency test regardless of their TOEFL or IELTS scores.

The Rutgers English Language Institute (RELI), offers cross-cultural and cross-linguistic programming to the students enrolled in the School of Graduate Studies.  Rutgers Global offers a wide range of services and advice to international students.

1.1.3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Policy (2019)

The decision about whether to require the GREs for admissions OR allow GREs to be optional will be determined by each program for each of their degree programs or track. 

SGS has created a Qualtrics form to record the decision of each program about whether the GRE is required.  The decisions will be sent to Graduate Admissions.  The GRE policy listed for each program on the Graduate Admission website will then be updated.  Policies can be revised at any time.  The link stays open.

For the Qualtrics Survey link

Click here

The form asks programs to choose one of the four options below for each degree offering or track.

  • GREs Required: GREs will be required for all applicants. Individual waivers will not be granted except under extraordinary circumstances, where "extraordinary" includes only very rare events.
  • GREs Preferred: Applicants may be admitted without submitting GRE scores, however, the program strongly encourages applicants to submit scores.
  • GREs Optional: Applicants may be admitted without submitting GRE scores.
  • GREs Not Taken into Account: GREs will not be taken into account in determining admission.

Programs may also add text to their choices to offer additional advice to applicants or prospective applicants.

1.1.4.  Admissions decisions and certifications

Admission is not official until the certificate is issued by the Graduate Admissions Office, and subject to SGS approval.  Recommendations about graduate admissions are made by individual graduate programs.  Admissions criteria should be set with the reasonable expectation that students will have a high probability of success.  Programs may be asked to refer to past history to provide evidence and rationale to support criteria chosen, where evidence may include factors such as completion rates; academic performance; post-graduation outcomes.

1.2.1. Credits required for degrees

A total of 72 credits are required for the doctoral degree, of which 24 must be research credits.  A minimum of 30 credits are required for the master’s degree, of which 6 (for thesis based master’s) must be research credits.  Research credits do not count toward a non-thesis based master’s degree.  The credit requirements are set by the State of NJ.

1.2.2. Definitions of full-time status

The official university definition of full-time status for graduate students is 9 credits per semester.  Full-time status for doctoral students who have completed the qualifying exam is 1 credit.  International students must consult Rutgers Global to verify that visa and other requirements are being met.  “E” credits, including those representing assistantships, count toward the full-time credit requirements, although they do not count toward credits required for graduation. 

International students who have completed all requirements except for reseaerch should consult Rutgers Global about filing for “reduced course load” to maintain visa status.

1.2.3. Registration for assistantships and fellowships

All students awarded Teaching or Graduate Assistantships must register their assistantship appointments each semester for the appropriate number of credits. Full GA registration is 16:xxx:866; part GA Registration is 16:xxx:876. Full TA registration is 16:xxx:877; part TA registration is 16:xxx:878. Students who are awarded a full assistantship should register for 6 E credits while those who receive one-half of a GA or TA should register for 3 E credits.  All students awarded Fellowships must register their fellowship appointments.  The fellowship registration is 16:xxx:811 for 0 credits.

1.2.4. Requirements of programs (2019)

All programs must inform applicants and current students in writing about requirements, including courses, research, qualifying exams, internships, or other activities, and the expected timetable for meeting the requirements.  Admitted students and enrolled students must be informed about the levels of performance needed to remain in good academic progress within the program.  It is the responsibility of programs to develop a process for informing students and confirming that students have the information.  SGS will periodically review academic requirements, standards, timetables and procedures for communicating information to the students.

1.2.5. Committees for graduate degree candidates

Master’s degree:  Committees for Master’s degree candidates require three Members, Associate Members or Affiliate Members of the program’s graduate faculty.  Members or Associates may chair

Qualifying Examinations (admission to candidacy): The complete committee should consist of at least four examiners approved by the Graduate Director.  At least three must be Members or Associate Members of the graduate faculty, including the adviser who normally serves as chair.  A fourth member may be selected from outside the program faculty.  If the outside member does not hold a Doctoral degree a copy of their C.V. must be submitted for SGS approval.  If the director of the graduate program is a member of the committee, then another Member of the graduate faculty will be responsible for approving the thesis in place of the Graduate Director; the Graduate Director’s signature can only be counted once even if they hold two roles (Graduate Director and committee chair).

Doctoral degree:  The complete committee should consist of at least four examiners approved by the Graduate Director.  At least three must be Members or Associate Members of the graduate faculty, including the adviser who normally serves as chair.  A fourth member must be selected from outside the program faculty.  If the outside member does not hold a Doctoral degree a copy of their C.V. must be submitted for SGS approval.  If the director of the graduate program is a member of the committee, then another Member of the graduate faculty will be responsible for approving the thesis in place of the Graduate Director; the Graduate Director’s signature can only be counted once even if they hold two roles (Graduate Director and committee chair).

1.2.6. Timetables (2019)

Timetables for meeting program requirements must be realistic and take into consideration factors such as the academic goals of the program, available resources (such as staffing) as well as expected student workload per semester.  SGS has an established policy and process for requiring that doctoral students request an Extension of Time after seven years of study (see 1.2.5).  There is no comparable time limit set by SGS for students enrolled in terminal master’s program.   Master’s programs that wish to adopt time limits must develop specific justifications based on academic considerations, and include processes that allow students to request extensions of time.  Master’s programs may not set upper or lower limits on the number of credits taken per semester without specific academic justification that applies to all students equally within the program.  The timetables and limits on credits per semester must be available for review by SGS.

Master’s students:  Master’s students may request alternative timetables.  Requests should explain how the alternative timetables will allow the student to meet the academic goals established by the program, and allow steady progress toward the degree.  Alternative timetables may include taking more than the recommended number of credits per semester in order to complete the degree earlier (credits above 18 require permission from the program director); or taking fewer than the recommended number of credits per semester.  The program may elect not to grant either of these requests on the grounds of justifiable academic considerations or resource availability.  If needed the School of Graduate Studies dean may be consulted by programs or by students as part of attempts to agree on suitable timetables.  Unresolved disagreements may be grounds for SGS appeal (see #9 below).  Students and programs are responsible for determining and addressing the effect of alternative timetables on non-academic issues, including visa status or eligibility for financial support.

Doctoral students:  Alternative timetables for selected doctoral students may be instituted prior to completion of the qualifying exam.  Alternative timetables for doctoral students (a) may involve taking a fewer credits than required for full-time status, with appropriate justification; (b) must be approved by the program director; (c) do not exempt doctoral students from the SGS policy that requires an Extension of Time to be approved after 7 years of study (see 1.2.5), and (d) must be accompanied by a year-by-year plan for completion of the degree, with the plan updated annually.  Students and programs are responsible for determining and addressing the effect of alternative timetables on non-academic issues, including visa status or eligibility for financial support.  Programs must report annually to the School of Graduate Studies the name and progress of any doctoral students who are following program-approved alternative timetables.

1.2.7.  Individual Development Plans (2021)

Many graduate schools encourage or require the use of Individual Development Plans across disciplinary areas as a means of fostering reflection and communication about the students’ goals, aspirations and accomplishments.  For example, from the National Academic of Sciences The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM (2019):

  • The IDP is a tool for providing structure to mentors and mentees in their work together (Vincent et al., 2015). Developing IDPs requires that mentees think through their short- and long-term career plans and formulate a path to enact the plans with support from their mentor. IDPs provide a mechanism for supporting effective mentorship behaviors in a manner tailored and responsive to mentees career plans as well as their unique skills, interests, and values (Hobin et al., 2014). The use of IDPs supports structured bilateral engagement and personalization in the mentorship exchange (Hobin et al., 2014; Vincent et al., 2015). Assessments of IDPs indicate they are useful in facilitating skills identification and developing the abilities needed to support career success (Hobin et al., 2014). Given that the use of IDPs is correlated with greater reportsof satisfaction and scientific productivity on the part of postdoctoral scientists (Davis, 2009), their expanded use in training programs is expected to benefit a broad range of student scientists (Fuhrmann, 2016).

The Executive Council of the School of Graduate Studies voted on April 20, 2021 to require that all programs provide students with the opportunity to complete Individual Development Plans containing at least the following elements:

  1. Descriptions of progress in completing program requirements;
  2. Current and future plans for support;
  3. Short and long range goals;
  4. Steps and timelines to achieve goals;
  5. Summary of research and other achievements (with comments on availability or need for resources)
  6. Overview of skills acquired or needed relevant to completing the program and moving to careers (for example: learning a new methodology) including transferable skills (such as communication, team building, project management);
  7. Training in scholarly ethics or responsible research;
  8. Access to opportunities to advance diversity and inclusion, including workshops, discussion groups, courses and curricula, training in teaching a diverse cohort of students.

Students in year 7 or later will be required to also provide a summary of current status and plans for completing the degree.  This material is will be shared with the School of Graduate Studies (see 1.3.9).

Completed IDPs may be reviewed by faculty advisors or mentors, and by program directors or designates, according to a process developed by the program.  IDPs are intended to provide a basis for discussions between faculty and students.

The specific content of the IDPs may be determined by programs, as long as it contains the elements above.  Programs will be required to periodically submit their IDP forms to SGS.  

IDP format is up to the program.  SGS will, as of September, 2021, make available an online tool to create IDPs and allow students to store and retrieve completed IDPs in a secure Rutgers site.

Student responses and any faculty comments must be stored securely and not contain any personal information such as information about health or finances.  Content that the student wishes to remain confidential must not be entered in an IDP.

To view the Rutgers, School of Graduate Studies Academic Integrity policy

Click here

1.3.1. Program review of student performance (2019)

Programs must conduct periodic reviews of academic performance (grades) no less frequently than once per semester.  Academic review includes written warnings to any student who may not be in good academic progress.  

Satisfactory academic progress will require that students who have attempted 12 or fewer credits have earned a GPA of at least 2.5; those who have attempted 13 or more credits must have earned a GPA of at least 3.0. No more than 9 credits of coursework bearing grades of C or C+ may be used to meet degree requirements (exceptions will be considered for courses taken in the medical and dental schools).

More than one grade of “U” in courses that are graded S/U also constitutes a failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress. 

Failure on a qualifying exam may constitute a failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Programs may establish stricter academic standards than those above.

1.3.2. Repetition of courses (2019)

Matriculated and non-matriculated students are only allowed to repeat up to three courses, each no more than once, during their enrollment. Courses repeated while in a non-matriculated status will count towards the repetition regulation for those students who progress to matriculated student status. Repetition of any course results in both the original grade and the new grade appearing on the transcript; however, with the addition of an E prefix, the original grade is not calculated into the student’s cumulative grade point average. Students repeating a course, including courses from which they withdrew, must re-register for the course and are subject to paying tuition for that course.

1.3.3. Incomplete grades

Incompletes are expected to be made up within one year.  Longer intervals may be requested pending approval by instructor, graduate director and SGS.  Students who have more than one Incomplete will be allowed one semester to reduce the number to one (or none), after which they will not be allowed to register for additional courses until these are completed or abandoned. Abandoned refers to a situation in which students have agreed that the course may no longer

be completed and the program has agreed to allow them to continue with Permanent Incompletes (PIN) on their records.) Responsibility for the monitoring of this process resides with the graduate programs.

There are situations in which a PIN grade may be warranted. a) Students are restricted in the number of incompletes they may carry. In order to continue to register, a student may choose to "abandon" a course by waiving the privilege of completing it. In such a case the student requests a change from IN to PIN. The PIN is not regarded as an outstanding incomplete and does not

hinder further registration, unless it represents part of a pattern which the faculty interprets as warranting a warning or dismissal for unsatisfactory progress. b) Incompletes are to be made up within one year for courses that are offered every year. For courses that are not offered every year, students must make up all coursework by the end of the next semester in which the course is offered. Those not removed in favor of a letter grade may be converted to a PIN to indicate that the option to complete the course has expired.  c) Requests for conversion of Incompletes (IN's) to Permanent Incompletes (PIN's) may be recommended with reasons stated by the graduate program director either by forwarding a letter or submitting a Change of Grade form to at the Office of the Dean. The request for this action should originate from the student.  PIN's are not to be assigned to final grade rosters.

1.3.4.  Academic Warnings (2019, 2021)

Written warnings must be issued by the program each semester to any student who is not maintaining satisfactory academic progress according to the standards established by SGS (#5) and by the program.  Such warnings must be accompanied by recommended steps to improve performance.  These steps include procedures established by the program, such as opportunities for consultation with faculty or program staff for academic help and support.  In addition, students must be informed of resources available in the university [by CAPS, ODS, Learning Resource Centers and ELL.  Students must be informed about the processes for appealing academic decisions established by the program as required under the bylaws of the School of Graduate Studies and the process for appealing academic decisions to the School of Graduate Studies (see #9 below, should the program appeal not be resolved in the student’s favor. 

Notice of failure to maintain good academic progress for two semesters may be accompanied by a formal notification in writing that processes for dismissal may be undertaken.

Programs must maintain comprehensive records of the academic performance of students and be prepared to provide SGS with information about any student who has received an academic warning, including efforts taken by the program and the student to improve performance, and the results of such efforts.

The policy on academic warnings above holds for warnings generated due to failure to maintain academic standards (grades), more than one grade of U on a research course graded as S/U or failure on a qualifying examination. In the case of qualifying exams, a single failure of the exam can result in one academic warning.  Additional warnings due to the qualifying exam can only be issued if the student fails the exam a second time.

1.3.5. Recommendations for dismissal (2019)

Programs may initiate processes to dismiss a student following the second semester of written warnings of failure to maintain good academic progress, where the second consecutive warning is accompanied by a formal notification that a process for dismissal is being initiated.  Recommendations for dismissal must be approved by the Program Director in consultation with relevant faculty, such as the student’s major advisor, thesis committee members or committees established within the programs to carry out academic reviews and set academic standards. 

Students must be informed in writing that processes for dismissal are being undertaken by the program.  Students must also be informed of the availability of counseling and other university services, including CAPS, ODS, Learning Resources Centers and ELL the process for appealing academic decisions to the program as required under the bylaws of the School of Graduate Studies; and the process for appealing academic decisions to the School of Graduate Studies (see #9), should the program appeal not be resolved in the student’s favor. 

Should the appeals process within the program not rule in the student’s favor, a recommendation for dismissal may be sent to the SGS Dean who may delegate the process of initial review to one or more senior deans within SGS.  Initial review may result in (a) a delay in dismissal accompanied by specific recommendations to the program for improving the academic performance of the student; (b) recommendation that the student file a formal appeal with the School of Graduate Studies (see #9 below), or (c) decisions to process the dismissal of the student from the School of Graduate Studies.

Programs may not adopt alternative procedures as part of any attempt to circumvent the above policies, such as registration blocks.  Programs must make students aware of their right to withdraw at any time, including after exhaustion of all appeals, but programs must not encourage withdrawal in lieu of the processes outlined above, including full informing students of their rights, and informing students of available university or program resources to improve academic performance.

1.3.6. Appeals (2019)

In the case of a recommendation to dismiss a student, or any other academic disagreement that cannot be resolved within the appeals process established by the program, students may appeal to the School of Graduate Studies.  Appeals will be sent to the SGS Dean who may delegate a process of initial review to one or more senior academic deans within SGS.   If initial review is not undertaken or fails to resolve the dispute, the student may file a formal appeal with SGS, which will be considered by the SGS Appeals committee according to the procedures specified in the SGS bylaws.  Appeals must be filed no later than one semester following the occurrence of the issue that prompted the appeal.   In the case of an unsuccessful appeal of a dismissal, students must be informed of their right to voluntarily withdraw.

1.3.7. Continuous registration requirement, restoration and readmission 

All students are expected to maintain continuous registration while enrolled in the School of Graduate Studies.  Students who fail to maintain continuous registration are at risk of formal dismissal, where dismissal of such students may be initiated by the program or by the School of Graduate Studies, and must be approved by the School of Graduate Studies. 

Doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy and who do not maintain continuous registration may apply for “restoration of active status”.  This application must be approved by the program director and accompanied by a fee of one credit in-state tuition for a maximum of 5 semesters (payable to SGS).

All students who have not maintained continuous registration (including doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy) must apply for readmission to the School of Graduate Studies before filing for degrees.

1.3.8. Matriculation Continued (2019)

Under some circumstances, graduate students (master’s or doctoral) may register for “matriculation continued”.  Matriculation continued is a zero-credit offering that allows students to remain enrolled while not registered for either courses or research credits.  Matriculation continued is not available to doctoral students who have completed the qualifying exam (admission to candidacy).   A maximum of two semesters of matriculation continued is allowed.  International students on visas are responsible for verifying the effect of registration for matriculation continued on their visa status. 

1.3.9.  Policy on timely completion of degrees by doctoral students (December 2018)

Completion of doctoral degrees in a reasonable period of time is one of many factors that characterize the responsible conduct of both mentors and mentees. The School of Graduate Studies contributes to this effort in many ways, including: offering opportunities for professional development, advising programs on goals and requirements, facilitating the sharing of guidelines for responsible conduct by mentors and mentees, and providing advice and assistance in cases of students who are encountering special situations or obstacles. The School of Graduate Studies will also act as an advocate for degree completion by identifying and reporting to the university any identified obstacles to completion of the degree due to policies or to lack of appropriate resources.

Another way that SGS contributes to earning of degrees in a reasonable period of time is by monitoring the progress of students who have been enrolled in their graduate programs for more than 6 years. SGS will work with programs and with students to identify and remove obstacles to progress, and to assist in the formulation of realistic and achievable timelines that allow students to achieve their learning and professional goals. In cases where the efforts of SGS and the programs do not succeed, procedures to terminate enrollment may be invoked.

The following describes the SGS policies regarding time to completion of the doctoral degree:

  • WHO IS AFFECTED: Each spring semester the School of Graduate Studies compiles a list of students in the 7th year or later of full time study beginning with the first enrollment in the program. “First enrollment” is defined by the start of the accumulation of credits at Rutgers that will count toward the doctoral degree. Semesters of approved leaves of absence, and (for students not admitted to candidacy) semesters registering for “matriculation continued” (maximum 2 semesters) do not count toward the accumulated time. Students and programs will be reminded that a formal Extension of Time (EOT) request will need to be completed (see point #3), and approved, by the start of the following fall semester in order for the student to remain in good standing and be permitted to register (students intending to file for October degrees need not request an EOT). It is the responsibility of the student to initiate the request for an EOT.
  • LENGTH OF THE EXTENSION: Extensions are granted for a period of 1 year, ending in August of the following academic year. Thus, if a student files for an EOT in May of year 6, and the request is approved, the EOT is granted until August of year 7. In the event the degree is not completed when the EOT expires, students have the option to file again for an EOT, subject to the restrictions in point #4 below.
  • HOW TO REQUEST AN EXTENSION:  Traditionally, the EOT request is made by using the form provided by SGS. SGS asks for detailed information about the student’s progress, and a summary of the plan for completion of the degree, including a detailed timeline. Requests are subject to approval by the program’s Graduate Director. Completed forms indicating approval or denial by the Graduate Director must be submitted according to the instructions on the form. Approvals by the Graduate Director and by SGS are needed in order to remove any blocks on registration. [NOTE: Extension of time request were not required during academic year 2019-2020 and 2020-1.  The decision about whether the require submission of EOT forms, and if so in what format, during academic year 2021-2 has not yet been made. 
  • CRITERIA FOR GRANTING EOT REQUESTS: The deans of the School of Graduate Studies will look for convincing evidence that: (a) the student, the faculty mentors, and the program have agreed on a realistic plan and timetable for degree completion, (b) the supporting infrastructure is available within the program so that the plan may be completed, and (c) any obstacles to degree completion have been or are being addressed. Evidence of a realistic plan may include a written proposal for the dissertation that has been approved by the thesis committee. In some cases, SGS may ask for additional information from the student or the program. Requests for EOTs from students who are entering year 8 or later, who have received repeated EOTs, will be given very close scrutiny. SGS is aware that the program faculty and the individual student share responsibility for creating an environment where the student can accomplish the goals stated in the plan for completion of the degree. SGS deans may also initiate discussions with programs for the purpose of evaluating the requirements, mentoring practices, and admission processes should it be the case that a large proportion of students are requiring EOTs.
  • DENIAL OF EOT: In the event the program director decides not to approve the EOT, the program may request to SGS that the enrollment be terminated. In the event that the deans of the School of Graduate Studies decide not to approve the extension, enrollment may be terminated.  
  • APPEALS: Students may appeal the decision to terminate enrollment in accordance with the formal appeals process in the bylaws of the graduate program and the bylaws of the School of Graduate Studies.

Students registered in the School of Graduate Studies who must interrupt their studies temporarily, should apply for a leave of absence in writing to the School of Graduate Studies through their graduate program directors. A SGS student may be granted a leave (or leaves) of absence for a period not to exceed a total of 12 months.  Written notification of the student's intent to return must be received by SGS at least one month prior to the expiration of the leave. Registration is not required and funding support may be affected by the leave.

International students who wish to temporarily leave the United States under this policy must obtain permission of their advisor, graduate program director and the SGS 30 days prior to their travel, and should contact the Rutgers Global International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office to receive advice and most current information regarding their legal status. Taking a leave of absence from the program requires appropriate student's SEVIS record and the ISSS office will direct students to the process appropriate in their situation. Students granted permission then apply for a new I-20 or DS-2019 to return to the U.S. in a future semester as approved by their program and SGS. Any international student who leaves the United States under this policy without the consent of their Graduate Director is subject to disciplinary action.

Students NOT returning from leave of absence within the approved date may be required to reapply to the Graduate School and undergo a new admissions process.

This policy applies only to status as a student of SGS.  Questions about financial support need to be directed to the unit that is providing the support.

1.5.1. Use of undergraduate course credits toward graduate degrees (November 2020)

The School of Graduate Studies allows use of up to a maximum of 12 undergraduate credits at the 300 or 400 level toward completion of a doctoral degree or master’s degree (including the master’s component of a bachelor’s/master’s program). The credits cannot have been counted toward the number of credits required to earn the undergraduate degree, including the bachelor’s component of a bachelor’s/master’s program.  SGS considers 120 credits as the number required to earn the bachelor’s degree, which means that credits over 120 are eligible to be transferred to the master’s degree, given program approval. 

The School of Graduate Studies places no limit on the use of program-approved graduate courses taken while an undergraduate toward completion of the doctoral or master’s degree provided (as noted in #1) that the credits did not count toward the number of credits (set as 120) required to earn the undergraduate degree.

Credits earned in research courses taken while an undergraduate cannot be counted toward the credits earned for the master’s degree, including the bachelor’s component of bachelor’s/master’s programs.  An undergraduate research thesis, such as honor’s thesis or the equivalent, cannot be used to meet a master’s thesis requirement.  SGS has no policies regarding the extent of overlap of the research done to meet a master’s degree thesis requirement and the research done while an undergraduate.  

Individual graduate programs may impose lower limits on the number of allowed undergraduate credits, may impose additional restrictions on the list of approved course or on the requisite workload of the courses, or may disallow use of undergraduate credits entirely. The director of the graduate program is responsible for reviewing and approving the use of any courses taken while an undergraduate toward completion of the graduate degree.

The School of Graduate Studies does not prohibit programs from approving that a specific course or courses used to meet the requirements of the undergraduate degree also be credited toward the graduate degree.  In cases where the use of a course or courses toward both degrees appears to be academically unsound, the School of Graduate Studies may require additional justification from the program or decide to disallow that the specific course or courses to be used for the graduate degree. 

Applications for transfer of credit for courses taken while an undergraduate at Rutgers see ***
1.5.2. Transfer of graduate credits earned at another institution (December 2018)

Up to 24 of credits required for a doctoral degree, and up to 40% of the required credits for the master’s degree, may be transferred from another institution under the following restrictions:

 Credits must not have been used toward meeting the requirements of the undergraduate degree.

 Official transcripts must be provided.

 The courses must be relevant to the student’s program of study

 The student must have earned at least 9 credits at Rutgers and be in good standing in a graduate program prior to the transfer request.

 Transfers may be disallowed under the following circumstances: (a) courses were taken six or more years earlier; (b) courses do not meet standards of graduate courses, (c) grades were less than B.

Requests for approval of transfer of credits should be made using the fillable form available on the website of the School of Graduate Studies. For some programs, requests may be made in writing to a senior dean of the School of Graduate Studies (if you are not certain which dean to contact, send email to acadean@grad.rutgers.edu). All requests must include the official transcript, and indicate the approval of the Graduate Director, including the name of the Graduate Director and contact information. In some cases, a statement explaining the relevance to the program of study, and verifying that the courses meet starts of graduate courses may be required.

Applications for transfer of graduate credits taken at another institution are found **

Option 1: Individualized doctoral program:

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs may be arranged in rare cases for individual students who wish to pursue a program of study that cuts across the boundaries of existing programs.

The contributing disciplines must be existing programs of doctoral study at Rutgers University. The planned interdisciplinary program must be within the areas normally provided by the participating programs and not be a totally new, unoffered area. 

Students wishing to pursue an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree must first be admitted by one of the existing graduate programs.  Students may request transfer to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program at any point during their doctoral studies using the current “change of program” process accompanied by a formal proposal for the Interdisciplinary course of study that includes (in a single PDF file):

  • Proposed degree title
  • Proposed title of dissertation
  • Statement justifying the need for the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. and relevance to student’s research and career goals.
  • List of courses to be used toward the degree (required and options for elective)
  • Chair and members of the committee for the qualifying examination and for the dissertation.
  • Format and method of administration of the qualifying exam.
  • Timeline for completion of the degree.
  • Plan for advising, annual assessments of the student’s performance and progress, process for academic appeals, opportunities for professional development, opportunities to have a voice in the activities of the participating programs.  The above must specify the participation and resources of the programs contributing to the interdisciplinary study and designate who will serve as Graduate Director for the student.
  • Statement that the student will have access to professional development and related activities offered by the participating programs.
  • Statement of plans for financial support for the duration of the course of study including summers.
  • Statement that the student has the option of changing their program of study to one of the programs making up the interdisciplinary plan, and any contingencies attached to such a return.
  • Statements from the designated faculty advisor and all Graduate Directors of the participating programs that indicates support and endorsement of the entire interdisciplinary plan.

 

Option 2: Interdisciplinary Track:

Two or more programs may collaborate to create an Interdisciplinary Track.  Proposals for Interdisciplinary Tracks need to be reviewed and approved following the process for approval of courses and programs outlined in the School of Graduate Studies bylaws, followed by approvals of the chancellors.  Tracks must be based on integration of existing programs.  (Proposals for entirely new programs must be submitted as program proposals, not tracks.)  As is the case for Option 1 above, students are admitted to an existing doctoral program and may transfer to the interdisciplinary track.

Proposals must contain the following:

  • Proposed title of the track and list of contributing programs.
  • Statement justifying the need for the Interdisciplinary track, specifying benefits to students’ research and careers and referring to any comparable programs at peer institutions.
  • List of courses to be used toward the degree (required and options for elective)
  • Format and method of administration of the qualifying exam.
  • A plan for the content and administration of the qualifying exam
  • Timelines for completion of the degree, with key steps and milestones indicated.
  • Detailed plans for administration and management including selection and admission of students, advising, annual assessments of the students’ performance and progress, process for academic appeals, opportunities for professional development, opportunities for students to have a voice in the activities of the participating programs.  The above must specify the participation and resources of the programs contributing to the interdisciplinary study as well as a statement that the student will have access to professional development and related activities offered by the participating programs.
  • Description of the process for deciding who will serve as Graduate Director for the track and how that person will be determined with the constraint that the Graduate Director must be a current Graduate Director of one of the participating programs.
  • Statement of plans for financial support for the duration of the course of study including summers.
  • Statement that the student has the option of changing their program of study to one of the programs making up the interdisciplinary track, and any contingencies attached to such a return.
  • Statements from the Graduate Directors of the participating programs that indicates support and endorsement of the track

Collaborations with other institutions

The Inter-University Doctoral Consortium is open to doctoral students from participating schools who have completed at least one year of full-time study toward the Ph.D. The Consortium accommodates students only in the arts and sciences and in the field of education. Students may, with the required permissions, attend courses at any other participating school as part of their home school registration.

Participating schools are:

  • Columbia University, GSAS
  • CUNY Graduate Center
  • Fordham University GSAS
  • Graduate Faculty, New School University
  • New York University, GSAS
  • Princeton University-The Graduate School
  • Rutgers University, School of Graduate Studies (SGS)
  • Stony Brook University
  • Teachers College, Columbia University

How to Enroll

Students enroll using the consortium form and follow its directions. (For Princeton, please use this form.) Students register at their home institutions and tuition charges are applied at the home institution. Students are governed by the academic policies of the host institution while attending a course, except that Rutgers students receiving the grade of incomplete have only one year to complete the course, regardless of the incomplete rule at the host institution. The one-year rule also applies to visiting students from other member institutions. (Please read the specific instructions for Columbia University.)

Forms for students who wish to take courses at:

From the Big Ten Academic Alliance website

“Since 1963, the Traveling Scholar Program has allowed Big Ten Academic Alliance doctoral students to spend up to a full academic year pursuing specialized courses of study, researching unique library collections, and working in advanced laboratories and facilities at other Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions —with no change in registration procedures from their home university or additional tuition. The University of Chicago is also participating in the Traveling Scholar Program.

Doctoral-level students interested in the Traveling Scholar Program must first consult their advisor who will determine whether the off-campus opportunity is likely to enhance the student’s course of study and ascertain that it is not, in fact, available on the home campus. The instructor/advisor at the host campus must also approve before a student completes the online application.”

For more information

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Rutgers offers many options for partnerships with institutions worldwide.   Many of these partnerships involve Rutgers students traveling to other institutions or students from other institutions traveling to Rutgers for courses, research or both.

To learn about existing partnerships and requirements for setting up a new partnership

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Faculty who are proposing new partnerships or exchange programs involving students enrolled in the School of Graduate Studies, or graduate programs of the School of Graduate Studies, must provide the information listed on the SGS supplement international 2021 form in addition to the information required by Rutgers Global and other Rutgers units involved with the partnership.  Please contact the School of Graduate Studies for more information if you are planning to propose a new partnership.

New courses and certificates

Graduate programs may submit proposals for new courses and programs to the School of Graduate Studies.  Proposals will be reviewed by the Academic Cluster Committees of SGS following the processes outlined in the SGS Bylaws (V.2). 

Proposals for new courses must include course number, proposed title, pre-requisites if any, expected enrollment, likely instructors, a brief description, documentation of any possible overlaps with existing courses, data of approval by the program, and a full syllabus with learning goals, assignments, readings and a detailed academic integrity statement.  A form is available here.

Click here to access the form

Proposals for new degree programs, certificates (internal or self-standing), tracks within programs, or revisions to curricula must be submitted to SGS for review.  There is no form.  Proposals are expected to include an executive summary; statement of goals and needs addressed; rationale of the approach; details of requirements; timetables; likely enrollment (number and descriptions of student population); relationship to existing programs and documentation of any possible overlap with existing programs.  Proposals must be written clearly enough to be understood by academics in different disciplines.

All proposals must be submitted by the Graduate Director and contain the date that the proposal was approved by a vote of the program faculty.  Electronic voting is permitted.

Certificates for academic credit at Rutgers are of two basic categories:

Internal certificates are designed for students already admitted to and enrolled in a degree program. The certificate’s credits are earned toward the degree program, and the certificate is granted to those in the degree program. Certificates of this restricted type within degree programs may be established at the school and Chancellor level without any additional approval process required (though the University Registrar should be notified when these internal certificates are established). However, if certificates within degree programs allow enrollment of both students enrolled in a degree program and students not enrolled in a degree program, then the approval process for stand-alone certificates applies.

Stand-alone certificates may be earned and awarded outside of a degree program. The State of New Jersey requires that credit-bearing certificates that are offered to students not enrolled in a degree program be vetted through the institutional and state approval processes. A list of your approved stand-alone certificate programs is attached. The University Registrar’s office has noticed an increase in the number of certificates being requested to post to the records of students not enrolled in a degree program and for which the certificate programs have not been approved through the institution-level and state processes. If a school wishes to offer a credit-bearing stand-alone certificate to students not enrolled in a degree program, here is the approval process: 

After all approvals by the faculty, Dean, and Chancellor’s Office, a brief proposal should go to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (with copy to burkley@instlres.rutgers.edu that covers the following: title and purpose of the certificate program; need/demand; admission requirements; curriculum; required credits; learning outcomes; relationship if any to a degree program; mode of delivery (hybrid/distance education); location(s) to be offered; and resource issues. Following administrative approval, the Office of Institutional Research and Academic Planning prepares an information item to the Board of Governors and sends the information to the state. Please note that this process applies only to credit-bearing certificates.

Questions about the process may be directed to James Burkley in Academic Planning at burkley@instlres.rutgers.edu. I appreciate your compliance with this approval process

Ombudsperson

One of the most important responsibilities of the School of Graduate Studies and the constituent graduate programs is to ensure that all students and faculty can accomplish goals in an environment of the highest levels of professionalism (see School of Graduate Studies Code of Responsible Conduct and Professionalism in Graduate Education).  Students need to be aware of the avenues available to hear and address concerns. It is also important that programs encourage positive behaviors, and that students be able to seek and obtain advice about issues that do not rise to the level of the inappropriate behaviors or ethical violations described in the Code.

To facilitate the programs’ ability to support and implement these goals, SGS requires that each program designate a Member of their graduate faculty to serve as an Ombudsperson. The Graduate Director may, at the discretion of the program, serve as the Ombudsperson, or take on one or more of the responsibilities of the Ombudsperson listed below. By early spring, 2020, programs must share the name of this person with dean of SGS, as well as sharing the name and list of responsibilities (see below) with their program faculty, students and graduate student organizations.

 

Programs will be required to report on their activities relevant to all seven responsibilities listed below as part of the annual SGS program assessments to be conducted in spring, 2020.

The responsibilities of the programs are the following:

 Ensuring that all faculty and graduate students are aware of the expectations for professional conduct as summarized in the School of Graduate Studies Code of Responsible Conduct and Professionalism.

 Holding periodic (once/year or more) events or workshops for students and faculty, calling upon SGS or university experts for assistance as needed, in order to promote professional conduct and facilitate communication among faculty and students. One-time only events (for example, at the students’ entry into the program) are not sufficient, nor are events that are all directed solely to students without any with faculty participation.

 Sharing information with students and faculty about events or initiatives related to responsible conduct and professionalism organized by SGS or other units.

 Providing information to students about the available avenues for resolving concerns, complaints and appeals, consistent with and adhering to program bylaws, SGS bylaws, and the requirements for mandatory reporting of inappropriate behaviors (see Note on mandatory reporting below). The avenues open to students within the program may include consultation with either the program’s ombudsperson, the program’s Graduate Director, or faculty committees established by the program. Avenues open outside the program include reports to the deans of School of Graduate Studies (especially Senior Associate Dean Barbara Bender, who is in charge of Problem Resolution), or other offices within the university (see “Note on mandatory reporting below”).

 Advising students of the avenues available within or outside the program for discussing commonly-encountered issues that are typical of faculty-student or student-student interactions, and do not involve misconduct, inappropriate behaviors or ethical violations. The avenues within programs may include consultation with either the ombudsperson, the graduate director, or designated faculty committees. Avenues outside the program include the deans of School of Graduate Studies (Senior Associate Dean Barbara Bender who is in charge of Problem Resolution), the university counseling service (CAPS) or the offices listed below under “Notes on mandatory reporting”.

 Making sure that program faculty and students are aware of mandatory reporting requirements (see Note on mandatory reporting below) for harassment or misconduct.

 Incorporating training in the “Responsible Conduct of Research” into the graduate program. RCR deals with ethical practices in research, authorship, publication and collaborations and is relevant to all disciplines. Programs that do not already offer RCR training covering the topics proscribed by groups such as the US Office of Research Integrity (ORI) or the National Academy of Sciences may consider designing their own events or sending students to the CITI Training free online course (Rutgers Office of Research Integrity site). The Rutgers ORI site also contains many useful resources for faculty. Programs may contact the Rutgers Office of Research Integrity for assistance in developing courses, workshops or events.

Note on mandatory reporting: Legal obligations to report instances of harassment, assault or misconduct are summarized here, and here on Title IX compliance, and on University Ethics and Compliance

“Confidential resources” are people in the university who are not obligated to share any personally identifying information about a report of sexual violence (such as the survivor or accused’s name) with law enforcement, the Title IX Coordinator, or any other University administrator. Confidential resources include SGS Senior Associate Dean Barbara Bender as well as organizations listed here.

Code of Responsible Conduct and Professionalism

We expect and encourage:

Honesty and Integrity Respect and tolerance

Sensitivity to differences among individuals

Professionalism

Attention to goals and responsibilities

Timely and constructive feedback

Acceptance of constructive feedback

The following are inappropriate behaviors:

Mistreatment, abuse, bullying, or harassment, whether by actions or language

Unprofessional criticism

Requests for personal services

Assigning tasks as punishment or retribution Sexual assault or sexual harassment

Discrimination

Indifference to inappropriate behaviors that are witnessed

University Code of Student Conduct

All policies are subject to amendment. Please refer to the Rutgers University Policy Library website for the official, most recent version. To download the policy

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Rutgers School of Graduate Studies Bylaws

To see the Bylaws of Rutgers, School of Graduate Studies

Click here