The Graduate Student Manual sets forth policies and regulations as approved by the Graduate Council governing graduate students at the University of Rhode Island. All candidates for masters' and doctors' degrees and all non-matriculating students entering, admitted to, or readmitted by The Graduate School are governed by the appropriate edition of this manual.

Any member of the graduate faculty or any graduate student may petition the Graduate School concerning exceptions to the provisions of this manual. Petitions requesting exceptions to or appeals from the provisions of this manual shall be addressed to the Dean of the Graduate School, Quinn Hall.

Only the Graduate Council, or, in discretionary cases, only the Dean of the Graduate School may alter or grant exceptions to the provisions of this manual. In particular, the provisions regarding admissions to graduate study, advanced standing, transfer credit, and approval and amendment of programs of study all explicitly require the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. No one else has the authority to commit the Graduate School in any of these or similar matters.

This manual is distributed to all URI Graduate Faculty and it is available to all graduate students. February, 1998


This manual presents the policies and regulations which govern all persons enrolled in the Graduate School and outlines procedures for them, their advisers, major professors, department chairpersons and plan committees. Information concerning the organization of the Graduate School, the Graduate Council, the Graduate Faculty, and the authorization for graduate plans and courses will be found in the University Manual. Copies of the University Manual are routinely available for use in academic department offices and are present at the University Library. Information regarding specific programs of study and specific courses will be found in the Bulletin of the University of Rhode Island. All plan requirements must be approved by Graduate Council. If a change in plan requirements occurs after a student has matriculated, the student may complete the requirements as specified for the plan when he or she matriculated, or may shift entirely to the most recently approved plan requirements, but may not utilize a combination of both.


Work for a post-baccalaureate or advanced degree involves notably more responsibility and independence on the part of the student than work for the bachelor's degree. The major goals of graduate study are not simply the acquisition of more general education and moderate amounts of information about particular fields or areas of study. The primary objectives of graduate study are the development of sound scholarship and a degree of specialization which will lead to advancement of knowledge and prepare the student for intellectual leadership. In pursuing graduate study, all students are expected to adhere to the accepted standards of scholarly integrity in all presentations, examinations, research, and writing of papers, theses, and dissertations. (See 11.15 and A.13) Where any form of research, development, or related activity involves human subjects, including the use of questionnaires, the policy and procedures of the Institutional Review Board must be followed (see Appendix D). Where research or teaching involves live animals, the policy and procedures of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee must be followed (see Appendix E). Each student is responsible for the timely completion of all requirements for the degree. This includes submission of a satisfactory program of study and thesis proposal as well as completion of courses, required examinations, and theses.


3.10 General Provisions

3.11. Persons holding the baccalaureate degree and wishing to take graduate level courses at the University may do so through admission to the Graduate School as degree candidates or by enrolling as non-matriculating students. General deadlines for receipt of applications and all supporting documents are no later thanApril 15 for Summer admission, July 15 for Fall admission and November 15 for January admission. For International applications, these deadlines are February 15 for Fall admission and July for Spring admission. As noted in the Graduate Plans section of the Bulletin of the University of Rhode Island, certain plans admit students only for September and/or have earlier application deadlines. Please see materials provided by individual departments and plans for information regarding deadlines for specific plans. Applications shall be submitted to the Graduate Plan Director. Appropriate departments will examine the applications and credentials and forward their recommendations concerning admission to the Dean of the Graduate School. Final decisions rest with the Dean of the Graduate School.

3.20 Degree Candidates

3.21. Persons wishing to be admitted for work towards graduate degrees must hold the baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution by the time they begin their graduate studies at URI. A self-administered application package may be obtained from the Graduate Admissions Office. The completed packet must be returned directly to the department to which admission is being sought. The following material must be included in the packet forwarded directly to the Graduate Plan Director of the plan to which admission is being sought:

a.two copies of the completed application form;
b.a check payable to the "University of Rhode Island" for the non-refundable application
c.two official copies of the transcripts of all previous college and post-baccalaureate work, sealed by the Registrar in the envelopes provided;
d.a minimum of two letters of recommendation from instructors, employers, or supervisors, sealed by the referees in the envelopes provided;
e.for plans which require them, two official copies of the standardized test scores listed in the Bulletin of the University of Rhode Island under admission requirements should be sent directly to the Graduate School by the Testing Service. At the time of application or examination, the student must clearly designate the department or code to which the application is being made.

3.22. Persons who have completed a substantial amount of post-baccalaureate work before applying for admission will have this work evaluated with all other credentials submitted in support of admission. Such applicants should note particularly the requirements for Transfer Credit stated in Sec. 3.32 and 7.20 of this manual.

3.23. To be accepted as a graduate degree candidate, applicants are expected to maintain an average of B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in their undergraduate work and have satisfactory scores on the appropriate, designated nationally-administered test. Applicants with undergraduate averages below the B level, but not less than 2.00 may be admitted to degree candidacy upon the submission of other evidence of academic potential, i.e., satisfactory performance in post-baccalaureate work (see Sec. 3.30), relevant professional experience as evidenced by publications or letters of recommendation, and/or high scores in the standardized tests referred to above. All students are expected to maintain a cumulative average of B (3.00) or better. Students who do not maintain a cumulative B (3.00) average will have their status reviewed and may be placed on provisional status as indicated in Sec. 10.22.

3.24. Under the provisions of the New England Regional Student Program for graduate students, administered by the New England Board of Higher Education, the University charges a regional student tuition rate to residents of another New England state who are matriculated graduate students in certain plans. (The current regional student rate at the University is 150% of the Rhode Island resident rate.) The specific plan must be one which is not available at the student's home-state university. Normally, these plans are listed in the New England Regional Student Program Graduate Level booklet ("Apple Book"). Applicants must clearly indicate, both in their initial inquiries and on the application forms, that they are seeking admission under the terms of the New England Regional Student Program. Those seeking admission to the general subject area, e.g., History, must specify precisely the area of specialization they wish to follow. In addition, they must file a Certificate of Residence signed by the clerk of the city or town where they claim legal residence. These forms are available from the Graduate School Office. Inquiries and requests for further information may be directed to the Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Rhode Island or to the New England Board of Higher Education, 45 Temple Place, Boston, Massachusetts 02111. If a student transfers to another plan, the Regional Student status is automatically terminated. Where appropriate, the student may apply for Regional Student status in the new plan.

3.30 Non-Matriculating Status

3.31. People holding a baccalaureate degree who are not candidates for an advanced degree may take courses during the academic year or in the summer in non-matriculating status. Normally, to take courses for personal satisfaction or professional advancement, post-baccalaureate students enroll through the College of Continuing Education. Any non-matriculating student wishing to take courses on the Kingston Campus must file an application with the Office of the Registrar. If non- matriculating students later wish to be admitted to a degree plan they must complete the regular admission procedure.

3.32. Non-matriculating students do not have the privileges regularly enjoyed by degree candidates. For example, on the Kingston Campus, they cannot register until one week before classes begin, are required to make payment before accessing the telephone registration system, and their enrollment is subject to the accommodation of degree candidates wishing to take these courses. In addition there is a limit to the number of courses taken in this status that may be used as advanced standing to satisfy degree requirements. Non-matriculating students are not eligible for financial aid.

3.33. Advanced standing refers to credits taken at the University of Rhode Island by a non- matriculating student, by a matriculating student while on non-degree status, or by a student in one degree plan before acceptance to any other degree plan. Credits earned at the University of Rhode Island by a non-matriculating student may be applied as advanced standing toward degree requirements only upon the recommendation of the student's major professor and the Graduate Plan Director and with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. To be eligible, these credits must have been earned within a five year period before matriculating into the degree plan. The following cases apply:

a. For a Master's degree plan, advanced standing may not total more than two-fifths of the degree requirements. Transfer credit for courses taken elsewhere (see section 7.20) and credits by examination or equivalent (see section 7.30) must also fit within this two- fifths limitation .

b. For Ph.D. candidates admitted without a master's degree, advanced standing may not total more than one-fifth of the degree requirements. Credits by examination or equivalent (see section 7.30) must also fit within this one-fifth limitation.

c. Ph.D. candidates admitted with a Master's degree in the same or a closely related area are limited to a maximum of 6 or 9 advanced standing credits as described in section 7.21c-d.


4.10 General

4.11. It is expected that students who are admitted to graduate study will demonstrate a seriousness of purpose by completing their work as soon as possible. An interruption in a student's plan, especially in the latter stages, also causes inconvenience and expense to the University. Graduate students are expected to remain continuously enrolled, except for summer sessions which are optional, until they have completed all requirements and received their degrees. Students who do not register and do not comply with the regulations governing withdrawal, or leave of absence, must pay the continuous registration fee each semester if not enrolled for courses until the degree for which they have been accepted has been formally awarded. Graduate students who plan to take courses only in summer session, however, must give written notice of this intent to their departments and to the Graduate School, and must thereafter register for each consecutive summer session until they have completed all degree requirements.

4.12. Before initial registration degree candidates shall confer with their adviser to select appropriate coursework for the first semester (see 8.21).

4.13 . The following changes in registration for plan courses may be made with the approval of the candidate's adviser or major professor, and, in the case of doctoral plans, the plan committee:

a.Courses may be added during the first two weeks of the semester and first three days of a summer term;

b.Courses may be changed from audit to credit during the first two weeks of the semester and first three days of a summer term;

c.Courses may be dropped up to mid-semester or mid-term.

d.For a course dropped after mid-semester, the instructor is required to submit a final grade, which may be a failure. Appropriate changes in the program of study should be requested on forms available in the Graduate School Office.

4.14. Non-Matriculating students may register for courses for which they have completed the prerequisites and have received the permission of the department chairperson, subject to enrollment limitations and the accommodation of degree candidates.

4.20 Full-Time and Part-Time Registration

4.21 . Students who desire or who are required to register for full-time study during any semester or summer term must register and pay tuition and fees for full-time work. In order to qualify for full-time registration, students (except as indicated below) must register for at least 9 credits during a regular semester or 6 credits during a summer term. A normal work load is 12 credits for any semester. Maximum loads are 15 per semester and 8 per summer term. Students registering for credits in excess of these limits will be charged the appropriate part-time per credit tuition for each credit over the limit. Enrollments at Kingston and CCE locations are combined when determining these limits. Dropping overload credit at either location after the end of the add period does not reduce term bills.

4.22. All students, except graduate assistants and graduate research assistants, registered for fewer than 9 credits during the fall and spring semesters are considered part-time students. Those taking fewer than 6 credits in any term of the summer session will be considered part-time students.

4.23. Students holding appointments as graduate assistants and graduate research assistants will be considered registered for full-time work, and billed accordingly. They must take a minimum of 6 credits each semester. Such persons should not register for more than 12 credits without consulting their major professor.

4.24. Students who hold appointments as fellows or trainees are required to register for full- time work during each semester of their tenure to retain their appointments. When the appointment is for a 12-month tenure period, the candidate shall in addition register for full-time work in each of the two summer terms.

4.30 Leave of Absence

4.31. Students who must leave the University for a period of one semester or more, whether before or after they have completed the work prescribed in their program of studies, due to military service, prolonged illness, extraordinary financial hardship, or other unusual circumstances should apply for a Leave of Absence. The request should be made in writing by the student to the Dean of the Graduate School, accompanied by an Interruption of Study form, carrying the endorsement of the Graduate Plan Director. This written petition must be sufficiently specific to enable the Dean to determine whether the leave is warranted. A Leave of Absence, granted under such unusual circumstances, has the effect of suspending time limitations such as those for completion of the degree or for the removal of incomplete grades. Accordingly, a leave will be granted only for sufficient reason and only if it is to be for one year or less. It may be renewed for a maximum of one additional year if circumstances warrant. Registration materials will be sent directly to the students from the Registrar for the term in which they are scheduled to return. (See 4.52 for effects of failure to register or request leave.)

4.40 Continuous Enrollment Graduate students are expected to remain continuously enrolled until they have completed all requirements and have received their degrees. During the Summer Session, enrollment is required only for students who plan to take comprehensive examinations or to defend theses or dissertations, for those who plan to graduate, and for those who plan to take courses only in Summer Sessions (see 4.11).

4.41. Once students have completed all the coursework and research specified in their program of study, they must register each semester as indicated below or they will be considered to have voluntarily withdrawn from graduate status (see 4.52). a.If they are actively engaged in research, register for an appropriate number of credits of thesis research, non-thesis research or special problems per semester (as determined by their major professors or plan committees), for which they will receive a grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory, and pay the associated fee, or b.If they have completed all requirements for the degree and do not need the privileges afforded by graduate student status, register for continuous registration (CRG 999) each semester for which no grade or credit is given, and pay the associated fees. If a student does not register in the above manner once all required coursework and research credits are completed, the provisions of 4.52 will take effect.

4.42. A student registered for CRG does not have the privileges of consulting regularly with professors on research or thesis work nor of using the laboratory, computer, and other educational facilities of the University. Therefore, CRG is to be used by students who have completed all requirements except for making up incompletes, taking the master's comprehensive exam, or submitting the final version of a research project, thesis or dissertation. Students who are still actively engaged in research after having taken the research credits required by their program of studies must register and pay for additional research credits (as determined in consultation with their major professors or plan committees). Such additional research credits may be accumulated without limit and will appear with the associated grades on the student's transcript.

4.50 Withdrawal

4.51. Permanent withdrawal from the University is a serious matter which deserves careful consideration by the student in consultation with her/his adviser or major professor. If the student concludes that a leave of absence is not in her/his best interest, then s/he need only fill out a permanent withdrawal form at the Graduate School Office to officially terminate her/his graduate status.

4.52. A student who does not register for a term, does not comply with the regulations governing withdrawal or leave of absence, and does not pay the continuous registration fee, will be assumed to have voluntarily withdrawn from the University. The interpretation of this inaction will be that the student does not intend to return for graduate study. If he or she subsequently desires to return to the University to complete their degree requirements, he or she must follow the procedures outlined in 4.60. If after a review of the student's entire record such permission is given, t he or she will be required to pay, retroactively, the CRG fees for every semester for which t he or she has been deficient. (This would not include summer sessions except for those students who have approval to attend during summer only.)

4.60 Re-enrollment

4.61. If a student does withdraw as provided in 4.51 or 4.52 and later desires to resume graduate work, she or he will be required to re-apply to the Graduate School by completing the "Request for Permission to Re-enroll" form available in the Graduate School. It will be to the student's advantage to submit her or his request as early as possible. The student must obtain the approval of her or his Graduate Plan Director and the Dean of the Graduate School. Permission to re-enroll will be granted only after a review of the student's entire academic record and only if she or he can be accommodated within the department's course offerings and research facilities for that semester, and can be reasonably expected to complete all degree requirements within the time limits based on original admission.

4.70 Registration for Research or Study Off-Campus

4.71 Students who wish to register for credits to be counted toward a degree but to be earned through off-campus activities such as research or independent study at a national laboratory must receive prior approval from their major professors, plan committees, and the Dean of the Graduate School by having these activities listed as part of their programs of study. These students must register for an appropriate number of credits of research or directed study (also see 4.52). Credit evaluation should conform to provisions in the University Manual as far as practicable -- one credit for three hours per week per semester -- and may not exceed the limits of full-time registration, namely 15 credits per semester and 8 per summer term.

4.80 Intellectual opportunity Plan (Pass-Fail Option)

4.81. In order to encourage Graduate Students to explore new areas of knowledge without fear that their scholastic average will suffer from a venture into an area in which they have had no previous training, the Graduate Council has approved the following Intellectual Opportunity Plan:

a.A Master's degree candidate may choose to register for a maximum of 4 credits on a pass-fail (S or U) grade option which may be taken for credit as part of her/his Program of Studies. A Ph.D. candidate may register for a maximum of 8 credits including any taken as a Master's candidate under the same option. To be eligible for this option, the student's major professor or adviser must certify on a form provided by the Graduate School that the course or courses are outside the student's major field of study, are not entrance deficiencies, and are not specific requirements of, but are relevant to the student's plan. The exercise of the option must have the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School.

b.A student receiving a grade of S (satisfactory) will receive credit toward the fulfillment of degree requirements, but the grade of S will not be used in calculating the student's quality point average. A grade of S will be given for all courses taken under this option provided the student earns a grade of C (2.00) or better.

c.A grade of U will be given for a C-, D or F. A student receiving a grade of U (unsatisfactory) will receive no credit toward degree requirements nor will the U be included in calculating her/his quality point average, although it will appear on her/his official transcript.

4.90 Dismissal for Scholastic Reasons

A student failing to maintain good scholastic standing is subject to dismissal from a graduate plan (see 10.10 Scholastic Standing, and 10.20 Acceptable Averages). A student may be dismissed for failure to satisfy stipulations imposed upon admission to the plan. If a student has been admitted and matriculated in a graduate degree plan, is not on an approved Leave of Absence, and has not made progress in coursework or thesis/dissertation research applicable to that plan for 12 consecutive months, then the student is subject to dismissal. If a student has failed to satisfy plan requirements in timely fashion according to established policies or has exceeded the time limit set forth in Sections 7.42 and 7.51 for completing all degree requirements, then that student may be dismissed. A student who has been dismissed for scholastic reasons usually must wait at least one year before they are eligible to petition to re-enroll or re-apply to a URI graduate plan.

4.95. Dismissal for Other Reasons

A student in good scholastic standing is also subject to dismissal from a graduate plan and from the Graduate School for falsification of application materials. Satisfactory progress in a plan also involves maintaining the standards of academic and professional integrity expected in a particular discipline or plan; failure to maintain these standards may result in dismissal from the plan and the Graduate School. A graduate student may be dismissed for a serious infraction of University standards and policies, as outlined in the University of Rhode Island Student Handbook. This would include, but not be limited to, such infractions as intent to plagiarize, purposeful falsification of data or experimental results, knowingly presenting false data in journals, publications or at conferences, malicious destruction of laboratory equipment, or making false claims about credentials or progress. A student who has been dismissed for non-scholastic reasons is not eligible to re-enroll or to re-apply to the Graduate School.