The Faculty as Student Policy specifies that one may not simultaneously be an OSU faculty member and an OSU graduate student.

Policy Statement

Although faculty members are eligible to enroll for courses at staff fees, such course work may not be applied to a graduate degree without prior approval of the Dean of the Graduate School.* Exceptions may be granted by the Dean of the Graduate School.

This policy is consistent with practices at other universities and is in keeping with appropriate graduate education practice. Exceptions will be granted only in cases in which the individual requesting the exception has presented a compelling case justifying such an exception including assurance that there are no issues of conflict of interest deriving from the petitioner's student status and faculty employment. Issues that come to bear on the interpretation and application of this Rule include:

  • Potential conflict of interest
  • Timely progress toward degree
  • Inappropriate responsibilities relative to one's student and/or faculty peers
  • Equity in regard to terms of employment for all members of an employment class

The basic conditions delineated in the Petition Process (below) are minimal conditions that must be met in order for the request to receive formal consideration by the Dean; satisfaction of the conditions does not result in automatic granting of an exception.

* Professional faculty members are not required to submit petition materials.  However, a professional faculty member’s employment supervisor cannot serve as a major professor or graduate program committee member.  

Petition Process

The following materials are required from the student or faculty member who is requesting the waiver, for consideration of the granting of an exception:

  1. Written documentation that each of the following basic conditions for exception will be met:
    • The unit/program of enrollment is separate and distinct from the unit/program of employment.
    • The faculty members associated with the employment and responsible for the employment supervision of the petitioner are not members of the petitioner's graduate committee and are not responsible for evaluation of the petitioner's performance as a graduate student.
    • The petitioner is not involved in any duties that include instruction or evaluation of other graduate students.
    • The petitioner is not involved in any academic decisions within the unit/program of enrollment.
    • The duties of the employment will not interfere with any time limits associated with the petitioner's degree.
    • It is not feasible to offer the position as a graduate assistantship rather than as a faculty position.
    • The unit/program of enrollment has no objection to the faculty appointment.
  2. Letter of support from the unit/program of enrollment including verification that each of the basic conditions (see #1 above) will be met and justification for seeking an exception.
  3. Letter of support from the unit/program of employment including verification that each of the basic conditions (see #1 above) will be met, justification for seeking an exception, and strong rationale for offering the position as an academic position rather than as a graduate assistantship.

Please submit petition materials by email to the Graduate School. Be sure to include the name of the petitioner in the subject line of the e-mail.