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Graduate Student Handbook

Schedule Limitations

All graduate students using Lehigh University resources and facilities must be registered.  A full-time graduate student (no employment) may register for no more than 15 credit hours.  Graduate students who are full-time employees of the university may not take more than 6 credit hours of graduate work in any one semester.  Half-time graduate student employees of the university (e.g., half-time teaching assistants or half-time research assistants) may not take more than 10 credit hours of graduate work in any one semester.  Graduate students under contract to devote not more than one-third of their time to university employment may take a maximum of 12 credit hours in any one semester.  Graduate students who are employed elsewhere and can devote only part of their time to graduate work must restrict the size of their course load proportionately.  The maximum registration in a single summer term is 6 credits, for a maximum of 12 credits across the two summer terms.  Registration is typically done online.  Contact your program coordinator for more information.

Full-time Status

Graduate students who register for a minimum of 9 credit hours each semester or 3 credit hours in each summer term are eligible for certified full-time student status.  After fulfillment of degree credit-hour requirements, full-time status may be maintained for students registered for fewer than 9 credit hours, provided they are registered for at least 3 credits (if a master’s or doctoral student) or 1 credit of maintenance of candidacy (if a doctoral candidate with an approved dissertation proposal).  There are also some circumstances in which full-time status may be maintained while registered for fewer than 9 credits, for example when completing an internship or practicum with full-time on-site responsibilities.  Graduate students who have completed all degree credit-hour requirements may also be able to maintain full-time status while continuing a program of full-time research and not otherwise employed.  In all cases, full-time status must be certified by the Department Chairperson and dean’s office, using the university’s full-time status form.

Full-time status for a graduate student is important for at least five reasons: 1) only full-time students are eligible for financial aid; 2) international students may require full-time status for compliance with visa requirements; 3) most financial institutions require full-time status in order to defer repayment of loans; 4) the university is bound by IRS regulations relating to assigning of full-time status to students; and 5) since such information is reported in university and national graduate education surveys, it needs to be accurate.

Registration

Registration should be done online (https://reg-prod.ec.lehigh.edu/StudentRegistrationSsb/ssb/registration).  The university uses an online registration procedure that allows students to electronically register from on or off campus. Students need first to meet or speak with an adviser.  Once this is done, the adviser assigns an “Alternate PIN” to allow students to register online at: https://connect.lehigh.edu

Instructions for web-enabled registration are available on the Registrar’s Office home page.  Before new students can register, they must activate their accounts at: https://accounts.lehigh.edu/open/ 

Any student registering for a course that needs special permission (for example, a course in another college, undergraduates registering for graduate courses, departmental permission, etc.) must obtain a departmental override for web registration or secure appropriate signatures on the paper registration form.  Registration for graduate students is held for two weeks during the previous term at a time designated in the university calendar (refer to the Registrar's website or the university catalog).  Graduate students are strongly urged to register during this period of time; graduate students who do not register by a certain date are assessed late registration fees.  Students should consult with their advisers concerning appropriate course selections.

Each semester, courses to be offered in the College of Education are posted at: https://ed.lehigh.edu/academics/course-listings-registration  This listing is continually updated, with the date of the revision in the upper right-hand corner.  In addition to courses offered in a particular semester, this site also has the COE Master Course List that describes all approved COE courses.  A list of courses to be offered each semester outside the COE is posted at: http://catalog.lehigh.edu/courselisting/  

Auditing Courses

(As stated in Rules & Procedures of The Faculty, 3.21.5) With the consent of the appropriate college dean, the chairperson of the major department, and the chairperson of the department concerned, a graduate student may attend as an auditor one or more courses, which shall be outside the approved program of studies for the degree, provided that in the case of a part-time student his or her total hours, including the courses for which he or she is registered and in which the student is an auditor, may not exceed the limits set forth for employees of the university (as defined in R&P 3.21.4 Limitation of schedules).  A student who has attended a course as an auditor shall not be given an anticipatory examination for credit in that course and may not register for the course for credit in the future.

Late Registration Penalties

A late course registration fee will be charged for any full-time graduate student (includes one certified as full-time) who has not begun the registration process by the end of the initial registration period.  Students who have not completed the registration process by the tenth day of the regular academic semester or by the fifth day of a summer session will not be permitted to attend class.  Please refer to the Bursar Office website (https://financeadmin.lehigh.edu/bursar ).

Dropping a Course

A student dropping a course within the first 10 days of the semester (5 days for summer sessions) will have no record of the course on the transcript.  A student dropping all courses for which he or she is registered is considered to be withdrawing from the university.  A student who drops a course after the tenth day of instruction and before the end of the eleventh week of instruction will have a grade of "W" assigned to the course.  A student who drops a course after the eleventh week of instruction and before the end of classes receives a "WP" or "WF" at the discretion of the instructor.  A "WF" is considered to be a failing grade.  An Add/Drop Form signed by the student's adviser must be submitted to the Registrar's Office before the deadlines noted above.  It is possible to Add/Drop with the approval of adviser and instructor, when applicable. Adding a course late, however, requires the approval of both the adviser and instructor, and you must petition to do so.  

Incompletes

An incomplete final course mark (N) is used to indicate that one or more course requirements have not been completed.  It is the obligation of the student to explain to the satisfaction of the instructor that there are extenuating circumstances (for instance, illness or emergency) that justify the use of the N mark.  If the instructor feels the N grade is justified, he or she assigns a mark of N, supplemented by a parenthetical letter mark, for example: N(B).  The parenthetical mark represents the instructor’s assessment of the minimum mark the student should receive if no further work is submitted.  Some instructors choose to employ F as the parenthetical mark as an indication that the student has failed to complete all requirements of the course.

Graduate students have one calendar year to remove final course incomplete marks, unless the instructor specifies an earlier deadline.  Incomplete final course marks that are not removed automatically convert to the parenthetical mark (or to F if no parenthetical mark was assigned).  Parenthetical marks are not required for research courses and research project N grades may remain beyond one year, being removed only once the work is completed.

Absent from the Final Exam

The grade X is used to indicate absence from the final examination when all other course requirements have been met.  The instructor also assigns a parenthetical mark that represents his or her assessment of the minimum mark the student should receive if the exam is not completed within one calendar year (or sooner if so specified by the instructor).  Some instructors routinely employ F as the parenthetical mark in such cases, since the student has failed to complete all requirements of the course.  The X grade may be removed by a make-up examination if the absence was for good cause (for example, illness or other emergency).  To be eligible for a make-up examination, a graduate student must file a petition and the petition must be approved by the Committee on the Standing of Graduate Students (SOGS).  The instructor schedules and administers the make-up exam.  Parenthetical marks and subsequent petitions are not required to remove X final marks in research courses.

The grade Z is used to indicate both absence from the final examination and incompletion of one or more other course requirements.  The instructor also assigns a parenthetical mark that represents his or her assessment of the minimum mark the student should receive if the exam and other incomplete work are not completed within one calendar year (or sooner if so specified by the instructor).  Once again, some instructors routinely employ F as the parenthetical mark in such cases to indicate that the student has failed to complete all requirements of the course.   The Z grade may be removed by the procedures described above for removal of the X grade. Z grades which are not removed remain on the record of graduate students.  All petitions for exceptions are sent to the Registrar's Office.  Parenthetical marks and subsequent petitions are not required to remove Z final course marks in research courses.

Degree Registration

A student must be registered in the semester in which the degree is conferred.  A spring or summer registration will satisfy the registration requirement for the awarding of a degree at January commencement, provided all work is completed and cleared before the 10th day of class in the fall semester.

Transcripts

Official and unofficial copies of your Lehigh University transcript may be requested in writing by mail or fax, in person, or online (most efficient) via the secure area, or via the Banner tab within the student portal.  A signature is required for the release of a transcript; therefore, telephone requests cannot be honored.  Transcripts are normally mailed within two to four days from the receipt of the request.  Please allow extra time around holidays and at the beginning and end of the semester, and for multiple copies if desired.  There is no charge for transcripts; however, all financial obligations must be cleared with the Bursar before we can release your transcript.  Refer to https://ras.lehigh.edu/content/transcripts for more specific information on transcripts.