The Catholic University of America

Current Graduate Students

Registration

Degree seeking students maintain continuous registration, Spring and Fall of each academic year. Some programs offer graduate classes in the Summer.

Non-degree students register for the semester for which they have been admitted. Registration in subsequent semesters requires prior approval from the Associate Dean, Dr. Laura Mayhall (mayhall@cua.edu).

New students must follow instructions to matriculate as given in the letter of admission.

Class Schedule

Please consult the academic adviser designated in your letter of admission or by your department for degree requirements and course selection.

Academic Calendar

Initial registration must be completed by the first day of classes. Check the Academic Calendar for last day to change enrollment (add/drop deadline).

Tuition and Fees

Our best applicants are nominated for teaching assistantships and fellowships, full doctoral, or half-tuition merit scholarships that are available for full-time, degree-seeking students.

Catholic School Teachers Tuition Discount for half of the student's tuition can be considered for full-time teachers, counselors, and librarians in Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools. Please have your employer provide a letter certifying your full-time employment status on school letterhead to the Office of Enrollment Services (cua-enrollmentservices@cua.edu).

For other funding opportunities consult your department.

FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on-line in the Graduate Announcements.

Auditing a class

Register for the class in Cardinal Station. Check the Academic Calendar for the last date to switch to Audit (midterm). Discuss with your instructor and your advisor.

Submit the Registration Status Change Form to the Dean's Office, McMahon 107.Tuition is the same for credit or audit. Attendance of at least half of the classes is required.

http://policies.cua.edu/academicgrad//reggradfull.cfm#vi

Consortium classes

With the approval of the academic adviser and the dean students may take classes needed for good progress toward their degree in member institutions of the Consortium of Universities.

Application forms and instructions for registration may be obtained in the Office of Enrollment Services (W200 Father O'Connell Hall). A student may take a consortium course only for credit . Limit: one class per semester.

Continuous Registration

Continuous enrollment is required of all students enrolled in programs leading to degrees unless an authorized academic leave has been granted. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment or to obtain an official leave is considered to be evidence that the student has withdrawn from the university. The student must reapply for admission to be reinstated and satisfy current degree requirements.

Non-degree students

Up to three classes completed by a Non-degree student with a grade of B or better may be counted toward requirements for a graduate degree. Non-degree status is approved for one semester only.

Apply for an extension to cover a total of three classes by sending an e-mail to mayhall@cua.edu.

Academic Leave

A student in good standing who must interrupt her or his studies for adequate reason, such as prolonged ill health or military service, may be granted an academic leave for one or two semesters. Please apply by using the Online Request Form, prior to the semester for which the leave is needed.

The period of academic leave stops the dissertation clock. It is not counted as part of the time allowed for the completion of residence or other degree requirements.

Any incomplete (I) grades that are outstanding must be changed in accordance with the policy on Incomplete Grades by the date published in the Academic Calendar (midterm), whether a student is registered for the current semester or not.

If the academic leave extends beyond the period approved by the academic dean, the student will be considered to have withdrawn from the university and must reapply for admission to be reinstated and satisfy current degree requirements.

Reinstatement

Failure to maintain continuous registration requires a request for reinstatement that will be evaluated by the department and the dean. Application available online.

Full-time Status

Master's Students

To be certified as a full-time master's student by the Registrar, one of the following criteria must be met:

  • Enrollment in a minimum of eight semester credit hours.
  • Enrollment in a minimum of six semester credit hours and position as a teaching/research assistant (10 hours per week).
  • Enrollment in a minimum of three semester credit hours and position as a teaching/research assistant (20 hours per week).
  • Enrollment in the M.F.A. program for semester credit and practicum hours totaling at least eight credits.
  • Following completion of all required course work:
  • Enrollment for comprehensive examinations (limit one semester);
  • Enrollment for master's thesis guidance (limit two semesters).

Doctoral Students

To be certified as a full-time doctoral student, one of the following criteria must be met:

  • Enrollment in a minimum of eight semester credit hours.
  • Enrollment in a minimum of six semester credit hours and position as a teaching/research assistant (10 hours per week).
  • Enrollment in a minimum of three semester credit hours and position as a teaching/research assistant (20 hours per week).
  • Following completion of all required course work, enrollment for the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination (limit two semesters).Following admission to candidacy, enrollment:
  • For doctoral dissertation guidance 
  • For required internship.

Note: International students must be enrolled full-time.

Students who have accepted merit scholarships for full or half tuition should make good progress toward their degree by registering for 9 credits each semester.

Part-time

All students who do not satisfy the criteria for full-time study are part-time students and, except as noted below, must pay tuition in the amount charged per semester hour.

See: http://policies.cua.edu/academicgrad/enrollgradfull2.cfm#iii

Holds on Registration

Failure to matriculate

Prior to your first registration, please follow the instructions for matriculation given in your letter of admission. 

For payment of the enrollment deposit (applied to your bill for tuition and fees) use this link: http://admissions.cua.edu/graduate/apply/deposit.html.

Financial indicator

Prior to your first registration, you must read and accept the Statement of Financial Responsibility.

Please respond to all correspondence from Enrollment Services promptly. Failure to settle your bill will block your registration. View your account on-line through Cardinal Station.

Health indicator

New students are required by law to supply information, such as immunization records, requested by Health Services. For questions about your Health Records call (202) 319-5744.

Drop/Add deadline

Registration deadlines are posted on the Academic Calendar. No additions or changes are possible after the drop/add date.

Failure to register

Requires application for reinstatement. Apply on-line.

Financial Support

Merit Scholarships

Chairs and Deans nominate the most qualified applicants whose application is complete by February 1 for the University wide competition for the Knights of Columbus Fellowship and the prestigious Board of Trustees full-tuition scholarship.

The strongest applicants to a doctoral program (high G.P.A., cumulative verbal and quantitative G.R.E. of at least 312 or equivalent) may be considered for a full-tuition scholarship.

Applicants to Master's programs with a minimum verbal and quantitative G.R.E. score of 300 are considered for a limited number of half-tuition scholarships.

Students receiving merit funding must be enrolled in their degree program continuously and full-time.

Teaching or Research Assistantships/Teaching Fellowships

New and continuing students are nominated for this opportunity by their respective department chairs. Duties and size of stipend vary depending on program and type of position.

Catholic School Teachers' Tuition Waiver

Waivers of one half of the student's tuition are available to full-time teachers, administrators, librarians and guidance counselors employed by a Catholic elementary or secondary school. Please have your employer provide a letter certifying your full-time employment status on school letterhead to the Office of Enrollment Services (cua-enrollmentservices@cua.edu).

Endowed Scholarships

Endowed scholarships are awarded by the department chair, if available.

Financial Aid

The Office of Student Financial Assistance is located in W300 Father O'Connell Hall. For information on federal loan programs, please visit http://financialaid.cua.edu/.

Degree Requirements

Consult your Chair or Adviser for specific program information.

Policies are available on-line:

http://policies.cua.edu/academicgrad//mastersfull.cfm

Master's Degree

Required credits

The program of study to be pursued by the candidate for the Master's degree includes a minimum of 30 to 36 semester hours of graduate work, of which six hours may be in research guidance. 30 semester hours may be applied to the doctoral degree, if an application to the higher degree is approved.

Transfer credits

Six semester hours of graduate work earned at another accredited institution within the past 5-10 years, in which a student received grades of B or above, may be applied toward course requirements for the Master's degree, upon recommendation of the appropriate department and with the approval of the academic dean. Please submit the Transfer Credit Request Form to the Dean's Office, 107 McMahon Hall.

Thesis Option

The candidate for a Master's degree choosing the thesis option must submit a Thesis Topic Approval Form to the chair of the department and the Associate Dean of the school for their approval. The student must register for a total of 6 semester hours of thesis guidance. Information on requirements for the preparation and submission of the thesis are available in the individual departments and schools, and formatting requirements for the final deposit, explained in the Thesis Handbook, is available online from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Language Requirements

Language requirements are determined by the various departments and schools. Students should consult the school or the chair of the department for information on the language requirements applicable to their degree program. All language requirements must be satisfied before a student will be permitted to take the comprehensive examination.

Although additional requirements may be specified by individual departments or schools, the generally accepted methods of satisfying modern language requirements are the following:

  1. Present a minimum score of 450 on the Graduate School Foreign Language Test. See Bulletin of Information issued by the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, N.J. Information is also available at the Counseling Center, 127 O'Boyle Hall. Call (202)319-5765 to schedule an appointment.
  2. Pass the noncredit intensive language course offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.
  3. A student whose native language is not English, but a language recognized as a medium for scholarly work relevant to the student's career, shall be considered to have fulfilled the language requirement without examination. Satisfying the language requirement through this method is permissible provided the student's adviser states, in writing, to the academic dean that the language is a language of scholarship for the student's discipline.

In some cases, it may be possible to substitute a research skill for the language requirement. The student should consult the individual program for information. Research skill courses taken in lieu of a language will not be counted as part of the 30 credits required for the M.A. degree.

Comprehensive Examination

A student in the master's program must pass a comprehensive written examination in the major field or, in some programs, must complete an assessment project. The dates for this examination are listed in the current semester's course schedule in Cardinal Station. This examination may be taken in the semester during which the student will essentially complete the major course work. Language/research tool requirements as specified for the program of studies must be completed prior to the examination.

Candidates for comprehensive examinations are required to register for this examination before the drop/add date. Unless classes are taken concurrently, a fee equivalent to one semester hour will be charged. A review of completed and pending degree requirements is conducted in the department and school at the beginning of the semester in order to secure the dean's permission to take the examination.

A comprehensive examination is marked pass or fail. The transcript will note if the student has passed the examination with distinction. A student who did not pass may retake the entire examination or the failed portion once, according to departmental policy. A student who incurs two failures in a comprehensive examination is no longer considered eligible to receive the master's degree. The second failure is recorded on the student's permanent record.

Doctoral Degree

Policies pertaining to the doctorate can be found at

http://policies.cua.edu/academicgrad/doctoralfull.cfm#i

The doctoral degree is conferred upon students who have completed satisfactorily at least three years of graduate study and have met the other conditions prescribed for the degree.

A student who intends to work toward the doctoral degree usually is expected to have earned the Master's degree. Permission to proceed directly to doctoral study must be obtained from the major department and school.

Required Credits

The program of studies to be pursued for the degree includes a minimum of 53 to 60 semester hours of graduate coursework

Transfer credits

Up to 24 semester hours of graduate work earned at another accredited institution within the past ten years in which the student received a grade of B or better may be applied toward course requirements for the doctoral degree upon recommendation of the appropriate department and with the approval of the academic dean. Transfer of credit must be approved before permission is given to take the comprehensive examination. Please submit the Transfer Credit Request Form to the Dean's Office, 107 McMahon Hall.

Language Requirements

Language requirements are determined by the various departments and schools. Each student should ascertain the language requirements applicable to the student's degree program by consultation with the chair of the department or the dean of the school. Students must fulfill all language requirements before taking the written comprehensive examination.

The generally accepted methods of satisfying modern language requirements are the same as those specified for the Master's degree. Additional requirements may be specified by individual departments or schools.

Comprehensive Examination

After fulfilling the language and course requirements in the major subject, the student must pass a written comprehensive examination in this major subject. At the discretion of the department or school, the comprehensive examination may also include a written or an oral examination in the minor subject. After successfully passing the comprehensive examination, the student may be considered for admission to candidacy for a doctoral degree.

Students must register before the conclusion of the Add/Drop Period for the comprehensive examination for the semester in which they plan to take it. Upon approval of the student's credentials by the dean of the school and, where appropriate, the department chair, the student will be granted written permission by the dean to take the comprehensive examination.

The student may not sit for the examination until he or she has received this permission. The comprehensive examination is marked pass or fail. If the student fails the examination, he or she may retake the examination only once. Depending on school/department policy, the student must retake either the entire examination or just the failed portion. A student who fails the comprehensive examination twice may not be considered for admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree. A second failing grade is noted on the student's permanent records.

Admission to Candidacy

Admission to a doctoral program does not automatically include admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The faculty of the department or program must evaluate the progress of the student and determine that the student has completed all course and other requirements, has passed the comprehensive examination, and is otherwise qualified to fulfill the requirements of the doctoral dissertation.

Candidacy for the doctoral degree begins formally on the first day of the semester following successful completion of the comprehensive exam. The student has five years from this date of formal admission to candidacy to complete, defend and deposit the dissertation. Submit the Application for Admission to Candidacy to the Dean's Office, 107 McMahon.

Request for Extension

A student who anticipates, for valid personal or academic reasons, being unable to complete the dissertation within the 5-year time limit may petition, in writing, to the Associate Dean of the school for an extension of time. An extension may normally be granted for one year. Requests should be sent to Dr. Laura Mayhall (mayhall@cua.edu).

Dissertation: Topic Approval

After the student has been admitted to candidacy, the department, the school and the dean of graduate studies must approve the dissertation topic and dissertation committee. The dean of graduate studies, acting on behalf of the Academic Senate, will seek the assistance of a faculty reviewer in evaluating the topic and committee.

The student may not proceed beyond the preliminary stage in the investigation of the topic until both the topic and the dissertation committee have been granted final approval by the dean of graduate studies.

The department chair, the dean and the dean of graduate studies must also approve any subsequent changes either to the title of the dissertation or to the composition of the dissertation committee. Submit the Title Change Request and Committee Change Request forms as needed.

Dissertation proposals must be submitted for department and school approval no later than two years after formal admission to candidacy. Deans may extend the deadline for cause. Submit the Doctoral Dissertation Topic and Committee Request to the Dean's Office, 107 McMahon.

Criteria for Dissertations

http://policies.cua.edu/academicgrad/doctoralfull.cfm#ix

Oral Examination

Upon completion of the dissertation, but prior to final approval, the candidate must defend the dissertation in an oral examination in the presence of an examination board appointed by the academic dean of the school with the approval of the dean of graduate studies.

At least three weeks prior to the proposed examination date, the dean must submit to the dean of graduate studies the form Oral Examination for the Doctorate: Request for Approval. The examination may not be scheduled until all members of the dissertation committee have informed the dean, in writing, that the dissertation is ready for defense.

The oral examination board shall include, in addition to the candidate's dissertation committee, two faculty members from outside the major department or school, one serving as chair and the other as secretary during the examination. The duration of the oral examination shall not exceed two hours. Oral examinations will not be scheduled during the summer sessions. No one may be admitted to the examination room without the permission of the dean of the school. In some programs, a candidate discusses his or her research methods and findings in a presentation open to the public. Consult your director/chair about this option. In the examination that follows, each member of the examination board has one vote. In order to pass, the candidate must receive a "pass" vote from at least four examiners. If merited, a notation of "with distinction" will be recorded. The examination board is not permitted to pass the candidate conditionally.

After successful completion of the final oral examination, the candidate may proceed with arrangements for deposit and publication of the dissertation.

Forms Online

School of Arts and Sciences

Dissertation Forms

Scholarship Nominations (For Chairs and Program Directors)

Available in the Office of Enrollment Services, W200 Father O'Conn

  • Consortium Registration Form

Special Services