Academic Year 2020-2021

Email sent June 8, 2020 regarding FICA tax assessment for graduate students working over the summer:

Academic Year 2019-2020

Email sent May 28, 2019 regarding FICA tax assessment for graduate students working over the summer:

Academic Year 2018-2019

Email sent June 28, 2018 regarding FICA tax assessment for graduate students working over the summer

Academic Year 2017-2018

Summer Term Enrollment Requirements for Graduate Assistants

Email sent March 13, 2018 regarding summer enrollment requirements -

Graduate School award deadlines information

Email sent March 13, 2018 regarding Graduate School Award Deadlines for AY 2018-2019 -

Students Who Fail to Find a Major Advisor

There are times when students are making satisfactory academic progress, but are unable to complete graduate studies with their initial major professor. Oregon State University has an ethical responsibility to assist such students in identifying a new major professor. The Graduate Council and Faculty Senate policy for

provides guidance for these situations.

Transfer credit policy

The transfer credit policy has substantially changed. Grades of “C” are now accepted for internal OSU transfer work, and grades of B- for external work. Learn more about the transfer credit change.

Pursuit of second Ph.D.

Students may enroll for a second PhD degree if they have previously obtained a PhD from OSU or elsewhere. Learn more about the pursuit of a second Ph.D.

Cumulative G.P.A.

For students starting winter 2018:
A grade-point average of 3.00 (a B average) is required: 1) for all courses taken as a degree-seeking graduate student, and 2) for courses included in the graduate degree or graduate certificate program of study. Grades below C (2.00) cannot be used on a graduate program of study. A grade-point average of 3.00 is required before the final oral or written exam may be undertaken. Enforced graduate-level prerequisite courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C. View this policy in the catalog.

Academic Year 2016-2017

In spring term 2016, the Graduate Council and Faculty Senate approved several policy changes regarding graduate education, admission and mentoring. The following policy updates are effective beginning fall term 2016. Please read the summaries below and refer to the Graduate Catalog for additional information.

In addition, graduate programs may bring forward proposals to allow for alternative summative assessments in lieu of final oral exams for any non-M.A. or non-M.S. master’s degrees. Read more below.

Graduate programs also have the option of validating that professional and/or three-year degrees appropriately prepare students for study in their particular degree program. Read more below.

Policies governing all graduate programs  


The option of using majors from institutions formerly part of the OSU system was removed. See catalog. 

Transfer credit

The section regarding courses delivered electronically was updated. See catalog. 

Minimum registration, Leaves of Absence and Continuous Enrollment

Students will be expected to enroll for 3 credits or be on leave, but leaves are unlimited as long as time to degree constraints are met (7 years for master’s and certificates, 9 years for doctoral degrees). Doctoral students must still complete their degrees within 5 years after passing the oral preliminary exam. Leaves will be approved for up to three terms at a time, but must be renewed. Students who fail to enroll or file necessary leave forms must apply for readmission, which is not guaranteed.

Minimum registration  

Leave of Absence  (the same section in catalog but please scroll down to find it) 

Admissions re-enrollment caveat 

Graduate admissions policies

Admission of certain post-bac, non-degree or graduate certificate students: The former “24-hour rule” credit requirement for possible reclassification/admission of non-degree and post-bac students has been changed. See graduate admissions requirements (item b. in 24/15 hour rule)

Acceptance of 3-year international degrees as fulfilling admissions requirements - Graduate Council Recommendation

Programs should have the option of validating that professional and/or three-year degrees appropriately prepare students for their graduate program of study.

  1. Colleges, or programs within a college, may develop a list of countries, or schools and degree programs within certain countries, that are acceptable. The list will be reviewed and approved by the Graduate Council and the Graduate School. If reservations, then the list will be sent to Graduate Admissions Council for review and approval.
  2. When programs submit the Departmental Action Form is requesting admission of the candidate, they will annotate that the student has earned a three-year degree from a country/school on their approved list.
  3. Programs may use a petition process to the Graduate Admissions Committee for individual student situations.

Doctoral policies

Doctoral students beginning a program in fall 2016, or later, have 9 years to complete all work, including course work, thesis (if required) and all examinations. For transfer of courses onto a program of study, the thesis committee and student are advised that all transfer credits must be approved by the student’s thesis committee. In approving transfer credits, the committee should consider whether the courses are relevant to the degree and area of specialty. Further, the committee should pay attention to the currency of the information in the transfer course, particularly in regards to courses that were completed several years prior to matriculation. It may be appropriate to ask a student to repeat a course if information in the field is expected to have advanced in the time since the course to be transferred was completed. Although there is no time limit on how old a course may be transferred, the university seeks to assure that student training is as up-to-date as possible for the benefit of the student and responsibility for this lays with the thesis committee in regards to transfer courses. Extensions will be considered if a petition is submitted to the Graduate School. See catalog.

The OSU Faculty Senate in December 2016 approved a proposal to reduce the minimum number of didactic (non-blanket) course credits required on a PhD program of study from 36 to 27. Learn more about how this affects students.

Doctoral students must complete the program of study in consultation with their advisory committee. This signed plan must be submitted to the Graduate School by the end of the fifth term of study.

Master’s policies

Item (a) has been updated to include the possibility of completing a degree with an integrative capstone experience. See catalog.

M.A. degree language requirements: The timeline for completing foreign language requirements has been updated. See catalog.

Alternative summative assessments

Graduate Council Recommendation

For all non-M.A., non-M.S. master’s degrees, (e.g. MBA, MENG, MAT, MFA, MPH) programs may bring forward a proposal to allow for an alternative summative assessment in lieu of the final oral exam requirement. The alternative could include, for example, a national licensure/credentialing exam or substantive project portfolio review. In the case of national licensure exams, individual thesis review committees are usually not necessary. For most other types of summative assessments at least two faculties must grade the final assessment and have a provision for a third faculty member to participate if there is not consensus. Proposals should include a description of how the three university-level graduate learning outcomes will be adequately assessed by the program using the alternative summative assessment. Programs may also request an exemption from a Masters-level graduate learning outcome but should provide a strong rationale for doing so (e.g. provide evidence of similar alternative approaches used by other universities with equivalent degrees). Any alternative summative assessment and/or variation from the standard faculty composition of the examination composition must be approved by the Graduate Council and listed by the program in the course catalog.

Policy for mentor training

  • All faculty that are being nominated for the first time to graduate faculty approval level 4 (direct masters theses) and/or level 5 (direct doctoral theses) as of Fall term 2016 will be required to complete the so-called Epigeum online training prior to obtaining graduate faculty status.
  • A new graduate faculty nominee will receive approval (for level 4/5) for 3 terms, by which time the training modules will need to be completed, or the conditional approval will be revoked.
  • Participation in a group mentoring “Learning Community” facilitated by the Graduate School will be voluntary, but strongly encouraged for new faculty.
  • Experienced faculty already approved at level 4/5 for one or more programs, but being nominated to serve at level 4 and/or 5 in additional programs, are strongly encouraged to complete 2 modules of their own choosing within 2 terms.
  • The Graduate School will create and assess outcomes related to the Epigeum mentoring modules, and collect information on faculty satisfaction and suggestions for improvement. Assessment and satisfaction data will be provided to the Graduate Council after 3 years, at which time the Council may renew this requirement or discontinue the program.

Faculty can request access to view the mentoring modules in Canvas by filling out this form.