Academic Policies

Applying for Graduation

Students who will complete their degree at the end of a given semester, and have met all graduate deadlines to do so, must submit an application for the degree and diploma fee online. This is commonly referred to as registering to graduate, although it is unrelated to whether or not the student will attend commencement. Keep in mind that there is a deadline each semester to apply for the degree.

ATMO 681 Attendance

Attendance at the department seminars is mandatory, regardless of whether or not a student is registered in ATMO 681. Students typically do not enroll in 681 if they will already have 9 hours of course work and it would be a 10th hour. Instead, students may wait until course work is completed and enroll in one less research hour to both accommodate ATMO 681 and remain in 9 hours. Ultimately, however, it is the advisors decision when a student shall enroll in ATMO 681. Both the M.S. and Ph.D. program require 2 hours ATMO 681.

Continuous Registration

M.S. (thesis option) and doctoral students who have completed all course work on their degree plan, with the exception of 691 (Research), are required to register each semester and 10-week summer term until all degree requirements have been completed. Students may register for as little as one hour, unless they wish to hold a graduate assistantship or fellowship, for which the university requires full-time enrollment.

Full-Time Enrollment

Full-time enrollment is defined as 9 hours in Fall or Spring semester and 6 hours in any combination of Summer terms.

Be aware that full-time enrollment is required of students holding graduate assistantships or fellowships. International students may be required by their immigration status to enroll full-time, and should refer to ISS for further guidance.

In-Absentia Registration

A student who will spend a semester or summer term away from the College Station campus, but must enroll due to the continuous registration policy, may be eligible to register in-absentia. Students registered in-absentia are not charged certain fees since they are not in residence to access or use those campus services. In-absentia enrollment is limited to ATMO 691 or 685. This is of beneficial to students who complete out-of-town summer internships or those who take a job elsewhere while finishing up their thesis/dissertation. International students must submit an In Absentia Letter and receive authorization from ISS to register in-absentia.

Letter of Completion

Students who clear and need a statement from the university certifying completion, before the diploma will be received, may request a Letter of Completion from OGS. This can be helpful for job seekers or those whose new employer needs verification that the degree has been obtained, when commencement (and hence the diploma) may be a few months away.

Missing Graduate Deadlines

Sometimes things do not work out as planned and graduate deadlines are missed. In the event a student is registered for graduation, but then misses a deadline and will not graduate until the following semester, there are two important issues to keep in mind.

First, one must cancel the application for the degree using the Graduation Cancellation Form. Cancellations after the application deadline will not receive a refund of the diploma fee. Second, if the thesis is clears before the add/drop deadline of the semester in which the student will graduate, registration in that semester will not be required. If the thesis/dissertation cannot clear until after that date, the student will need to enroll in at least one hour to meet the continuous enrollment requirement.

Scholastic Requirements

The university requires graduate students maintain a GPR of 3.000 (B average based on a 4.000 scale) for all courses on the degree plan, and all graded graduate and 300- and 400-level undergraduate course work eligible to be applied toward a graduate degree (cumulative). The department additionally requires Ph.D. students maintain a 3.00 GPR in core course work in order to be admitted to candidacy.

Students whose degree plan or cumulative GPR fall below 3.000 will be considered scholastically deficient. The first time that the cumulative GPR falls below 3.000 at the end of a term, the student will receive a letter from the department head providing warning of scholastic deficiency. If the cumulative GPR stays below 3.000 at the end of the following term, the student will be permitted to continue in the program on scholastic probation. The student shall be informed in writing of the terms of his or her probation in accordance with university regulations.

Only grades of A, B, C and S (Satisfactory) are acceptable for graduate credit. Grades of D, F or U (Unsatisfactory) must be repeated and a grade of C or higher or S achieved. While all grades remain on the transcript, only the most recent one will be used for calculating the GPR. Certain course work, such as 691, may only be taken S/U. Any other course work taken on an S/U basis may not be used on the degree plan.

Travel Outside the U.S.

Students traveling outside the U.S. for any reason related to the university (e.g. conference attendance or presentation, research site visit, etc.) must submit online emergency notification information through Study Abroad Programs, even though that travel may not be study abroad per se. This system was established in the wake of the 2005 tsunami disaster in an effort to identify and locate Texas A&M affiliated individuals during a crisis situation overseas.

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