The following academic policies apply to students in the Graduate School and are updated periodically in accordance with university and Graduate School instructions.
Each degree-seeking student is to have a faculty academic advisor throughout the period of graduate study. The faculty academic advisor plays a major role in working with the student to ensure a planned, disciplined, and well-supervised approach to graduate study. Depending on the program, this advisor may be the Graduate Program Director, a faculty member in the student’s area of concentration, the thesis/dissertation advisor, or some combination of these individuals.
The relationship between advisor and advisee is reciprocal and requires mutual effort in the planning and execution of all aspects of the student's progress. The faculty academic advisor, as a mentor, is to be diligent in providing guidance by being available for regular consultation and by working with the student in scheduling regular meetings of the thesis/dissertation committee should this type of written work be required for the degree.
The student is responsible for actively seeking the guidance of the faculty advisor and, when appropriate, the thesis/dissertation committee members, for all matters pertaining to the student's progression through the program including degree completion.
Students, faculty members, and administrators are strongly encouraged to attempt to resolve informally problems arising from academic matters. The Graduate School hopes that open communication between all parties and mutual confidence in one another's goodwill will lead to the resolution of problems in this manner. When informal attempts at resolution fail, the management of academic grievances involving students of the Graduate School is to proceed according to the formal procedures set forth below.
Students, faculty members, or administrators may invoke the following procedures when academic grievances arise. Academic grievances include dismissal from a program as well as those that arise from matters involving scholarly competence and ethical scholarly behavior; thus, questions regarding evaluation of students, cheating on examinations, falsification or misrepresentation of research data and plagiarism are included within the meaning of "academic." Allegations of misconduct in the design, conduct or reporting of research supported by federal funds shall be handled through the procedures described in the university's policy concerning misconduct in scholarship published by the Office of University Research Services. Problems arising from clearly non-academic matters fall within the jurisdiction of the university's Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution. In cases in which the jurisdiction is unclear or mixed, the Dean of the Graduate School and the vice president for student development will determine the appropriate jurisdiction.
Regarding evaluation of students, the academic grievance procedure applies only to those cases in which the evaluation of the student is alleged to be capricious, in significant violation of clearly established written school policies or a result of improper procedures. An evaluation of a student is capricious if the evaluation is: 1) based partially or entirely on criteria other than the student's performance; 2) based on standards different from those standards of evaluation applied to other students; or 3) based on a substantial departure from announced standards of evaluation. In cases other than those noted above, an evaluation of a student is not a basis for an academic grievance.
Department/Program Grievance Hearing
When informal efforts at grievance resolution fail, students must first address the issue at the departmental or programmatic level. Each University unit has a grievance procedure and this procedure guides the process. If a complainant wishes to appeal the decision reached at the departmental/programmatic level, the complainant can request a Graduate School hearing.
Graduate School Hearing
Request for a Hearing: The grievant is to make a written request for a hearing to the Dean of the Graduate School. The request must specify the nature of the grievance and prior attempts to resolve the matter. The request must be made within thirty days of a decision reached at the departmental/programmatic level. Once such a request is received, the Graduate School will request copies of all materials generated at the departmental/programmatic level.
The Graduate School has a standing hearing board, appointed by the Dean, consisting of at least three members, including one student; in addition, alternate members are available should a member of the standing board be involved in the grievance or otherwise unable to participate. Only members of the Graduate School faculty or Graduate School students are eligible to serve on the hearing board. The hearing board is to have a chairperson, appointed by the Dean, who is responsible for managing all procedures related to the hearing.
The purpose of the hearing is to ensure that all parties have full opportunity to present their views to the hearing board and to allow the hearing board to assure itself that it fully understands the parties' views. The conduct of the hearing is informal. It is not bound by rules of evidence or court procedures. All matters of procedure are to be decided by the chairperson of the hearing board in accordance with the following guidelines.
The chairperson of the hearing board is to set the date, time, and location of the hearing. The hearing is to take place within 30 days of the request for a hearing, if practicable. All involved parties are to receive a timely written notice of the hearing and the matters to be considered. All supporting documentation relating to the matter is to be submitted to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School at least three weeks prior to the hearing. The Associate Dean will distribute it in a timely manner to all involved parties prior to the hearing.
The hearing and material submitted to the hearing board are private and all parties involved in the grievance are to consider their contents confidential. However, if a party disseminates their contents, the party's interest in confidentiality is deemed waived. Electronic recording of the hearing is prohibited.
A party may obtain the assistance of members of the university community in preparing written documentation or in presenting information to the hearing board, provided that the assistants are not attorneys. Individuals from outside the university, including attorneys, are not permitted to serve as assistants. The party must notify the chairperson of the hearing board of the names of the assistants at least one day prior to the hearing.
Each party may present information, both orally and in writing, to the hearing board. All parties are to be available throughout the hearing. Two formats for the hearing exist and are determined by the chairperson of the hearing board: all parties are present together during the hearing or the parties are heard separately at the hearing. Each party may call witnesses at the hearing. The party is to submit to the chairperson of the hearing board the witnesses' names at least one week prior to the hearing; the hearing board will notify all parties of the names of witnesses in a timely manner prior to the hearing. The board may direct questions to any party or witness. All individuals presenting information to the hearing board have the responsibility of presenting truthful information.
After the hearing board has gathered all information necessary to understand fully the parties' views, the board will deliberate in private. In reaching its decision, the board will examine all documents and other exhibits and consider fully statements of all parties and witnesses. The decision of the board will be determined by a majority vote of participating board members.
The Associate Dean of the Graduate School will notify the parties in writing of the board's decision within two weeks of the hearing.
A party may appeal the decision of the hearing board to the Dean of the Graduate School. The party is to request an appeal in writing within 30 days of notification of the hearing board's decision. The request must include an explanation of the basis for the appeal. The Dean will notify all parties of the request for an appeal and will provide an opportunity for a response. The Dean will obtain from the parties and the hearing board information necessary to consider fully the parties' views and the hearing board's decision.
The Dean may affirm, modify or reverse the hearing board's decision. The Dean will notify the parties of the disposition of the appeal within 30 days of receiving the appeal, if practicable. The Dean's decision is final in all cases (including dismissal from a Graduate School program), except those involving possible expulsion from the university (i.e., a permanent prohibition of enrollment at the university); the penalty of expulsion may be imposed only by the university's provost or senior vice president for health sciences.
The Graduate School retains copies of all documentation related to the management of grievances under its jurisdiction.
Academic honesty is an expression of an ethic of interpersonal justice, responsibility and care, applicable to Loyola University Chicago faculty, students and staff, which demands that the pursuit of knowledge in the university community be carried out with integrity.
Academic dishonesty is characterized by the failure to apply this ethic; i.e., any action whereby faculty, student or staff misrepresents the ownership of academic work submitted in her or his name. A student's failure to practice academic honesty, depending upon the seriousness of the misconduct, will result in a sanction ranging from the grade of F for the assignment to expulsion from the university.
Boundaries of Academic Honesty and Dishonesty
The following sections discuss specific expressions of academic honesty and dishonesty.
Examinations: Obtaining or distributing materials prior to the scheduled examination without the intention of the teacher; providing information to or obtaining information from another student during the examination; or attempting to change answers after the examination has been submitted are violations of the examination process.
Papers, Theses and Dissertations: Plagiarism is the use of ideas, language, or work of another without sufficient public acknowledgement that the material is not one's own. The following acts are regarded as such violations:
Submitting another person's work as one's own
Submitting a rewritten or paraphrased version of another person's work
Allowing another or paying another to write a paper for one's own benefit
Original Research: Thesis and dissertation work is guided by the expectation of making an original contribution to the field. The determination of what constitutes "original research" is made by the thesis/dissertation committee and the Graduate School.
Research Procedures: Data misrepresentation or fabrication are clearly unethical. Ownership of data and programs and privileged information and confidentiality of data need to be clarified and respected by all those involved in the research process.
Authorship: In all cases of joint authorship, individuals working together should establish ahead of time the criteria for their co-authorship. Final determination of authorship should reflect effort and contribution, not rank or status. Dissertations and theses may not be co-authored.
Copyright: Laws of the United States and the university need to be respected. Faculty and students are responsible for knowledge and implementation of university policy in this area.
Teaching: Intellectual honesty characterizes the teaching endeavor. Teachers have the responsibility of clearly stating at the beginning of a course any and all responsibilities of the course and specifying in percentages how the final grade is to be calculated. Furthermore, teachers will inform themselves of appropriate guidelines for the composition of course syllabi and ground rules.
Failure to Practice Academic Honesty
A student's failure to practice academic honesty, depending upon the seriousness of the misconduct, will result in a sanction ranging from the grade of F for the assignment to expulsion from the university. Channels for resolution of matters regarding academic honesty will originate with the relevant faculty members and student and will extend to the program and Graduate School levels as necessary. All instances of academic dishonesty must be reported to the director of the graduate program and the Graduate School.
A degree-seeking student is in good academic standing if he or she: 1) meets the standards of quality of his or her academic program and the Graduate School; 2) makes satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements within the established time limit; 3) fulfills the Graduate School's requirement regarding continuous registration; and 4) fulfills the Graduate School's requirement regarding grade-point average. Students who are not in good academic standing are not eligible to receive a degree and cannot hold an award.
All students, including those who have completed all coursework, are required to register during the regular academic year (not including summer sessions) until all degree requirements are met, unless they have received a leave of absence (see below).
Students who have completed all coursework and are preparing for comprehensive examinations and/or preparing a thesis/dissertation proposal are to register for Doctoral/Master's Study. Registration in doctoral study is normally limited to two semesters; after this, students must enroll in thesis/dissertation supervision.
Students working on a dissertation or thesis are to register for Dissertation or Thesis Supervision, even if they are registered for other courses.
Failure to remain continuously enrolled at the thesis or dissertation stage of a student's career carries a financial penalty as well. Doctoral students engaged in dissertation supervision and master's students at the thesis supervision stage face a reinstatement fee should they fail to maintain continuous registration. For doctoral students, the fee will be based on the dissertation fee for the terms missed plus an additional penalty of $100. For master's students in a program with a thesis requirement (or who have opted to write a thesis in a program where this is a choice), the fee will be based on the thesis supervision fee for the terms missed plus an additional penalty of $100.
Students who do not meet the requirement of continuous registration are considered inactive and not in good academic standing. To request reinstatement to active status, the inactive student should discuss the matter with the graduate program director (GPD) and complete the Reinstatement Request Form (found on the Graduate School website). The form requires multiple levels of approval and the students should complete the required supporting material with care. Reinstatements are not automatic and students whose requests are denied will not be permitted to continue in their programs. Repeated failure to maintain continuous registration is, itself, grounds for denying a request for reinstatement.
The program may require additional information of the student as it reviews her/his request. In addition, the program may recommend completion of additional requirements (e.g., coursework or examinations) as a condition of reinstatement because of the time that has elapsed since discontinuation of studies at Loyola.
Given the continuous creation of new knowledge and new technologies within academic disciplines, and in order to ensure that students have adequate knowledge of the current state of the field and the specialty, if a Ph.D. student who has been inactive (i.e., not registered) for more than two years applies for reinstatement in a program, the Graduate School will require the student to retake and complete successfully the program's doctoral comprehensive examination requirement if more than five years have elapsed since the student initially completed the requirement. The program may recommend to the Graduate School an alternative to the comprehensive examination as a means of satisfying the requirement that the student demonstrate currency in the field.
The graduate program director will forward to the Graduate School the student's written request for reinstatement and the program's recommendation regarding the request. The Graduate School will notify the student and the program of its decision regarding reinstatement.
A student who has been awarded a relevant master's degree by another institution may petition for advanced standing toward the coursework required for a doctoral degree program. A maximum of thirty credits of advanced standing may be awarded. Some doctoral programs may impose a lower limit or may not permit advanced standing at all. Requests for advanced standing should be made during the student's first year of enrollment in the Graduate School. Requests for advanced standing must be made to the Graduate Program Director (GPD) of the student's doctoral program, who will make a recommendation to the Graduate School for final review and approval. This recommendation will include both the number of advanced standing credits to be awarded and the number of credits of coursework that remain to be completed for the degree through registration in the Graduate School. Advanced standing does not alter a student’s doctoral degree requirements outside of coursework (such as comprehensive exams) or confer candidacy. The number of approved credits of advanced standing will be recorded on the student's transcript but will not contribute to the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA). Students entering their doctoral program with Advanced Standing should refer to Graduate School policy on time limit for completion of degree requirements for students.
Also see Transfer Credit Policy.
The transcript reflects a student’s actual academic record and the GPA includes all grades earned during the pursuit of the degree. Students must maintain at least a 3.0 or higher GPA for all graduate-level and undergraduate-level courses.
If a student, with the authorization of the Dean and graduate program director, retakes a course, only the most recent grade earned for the course will be used when evaluating whether or not all degree requirements have been met.
No more than two courses for which a student receives a final grade of C+ (2.33) or C (2.00), and no course for which a student receives a final grade of less than a C (2.00), may be applied toward the fulfillment of degree or certificate requirements. Such grades, however, will be used in the calculation of a student's overall grade point average.
Official notices are presented to students through the Dean's website or via Loyola e-mail. Students are individually responsible for this information and should check their college's board and e-mail regularly.
For reasons of confidentiality, as well as efficiency, communications to students will be sent to students’ Loyola email accounts and not to any other email address. Students are responsible for checking this account and/or setting up a forwarding system. The Dean’s Office may refuse to provide confidential information using a non-Loyola email account.
Most programs require the completion of written and/or oral comprehensive (or qualifying) examinations to assess the student's knowledge of the field and competency to undertake independent research. The comprehensive examinations, if required, are to be completed successfully before the student prepares a thesis/dissertation proposal for review by her or his committee. If a student fails all or a portion of the examinations, reexamination may be permitted, but only once. Failure of the reexamination will result in dismissal from the program. Students who have not completed the coursework for their programs, including outstanding incompletes, will not be permitted to sit for comprehensive exams, nor will students on academic probation.
Graduate students may only receive credit toward a degree or certificate from courses at the 400-level and above.
Undergraduate courses, including all 100, 200, and 300-level courses, do not apply toward fulfillment of graduate coursework requirements; such courses may, however, be used to fulfill prerequisite or research tool requirements (e.g., a 100-level language course may be used to fulfill a program's language requirement). These courses do not count in a student’s cumulative graduate GPA.
Policy change effective for all students admitted Fall 2022 and beyond.
Students are to apply to receive a PhD, MA or MS degree through LOCUS. The should select a degree conferral term at the end of which they expect to complete all degree requirements. Deadlines for degree conferral application are:
|Conferral Term||Deadline to Apply for Graduation|
|FALL (December)||August 1|
|SPRING (May)||December 1|
|SUMMER (August)||February 1|
Please note that students submitting a thesis or dissertation must fulfill all degree requirements, including defense and submission of final copies, prior to degree conferral.
The Graduate School's commencement ceremony is held once per academic year, in May. For more information, see Loyola’s Commencement website: http://www.luc.edu/commencement/.
Several master's programs require the completion of a thesis; all Ph.D. programs require the completion of a dissertation. To ensure that standards of quality are maintained consistently across programs, the Graduate School oversees matters relating to dissertations and theses.
The student has primary responsibility for preparing and submitting the dissertation or thesis to the Graduate School. The Graduate School's website provides information http://www.luc.edu/gradschool/formatting.shtml and http://www.luc.edu/gradschool/forms/studentmanaged.pdf) and the necessary forms (http://www.luc.edu/gradschool/servicesandresources_forms.shtml) for establishing a thesis/dissertation committee, submitting an approved proposal and documenting approval of the text and oral defense. The Graduate School's Format Manual for Theses and Dissertations contains information on the preparation and submission of the final copies to the Graduate School.
Thesis and dissertation committees have official standing only upon appointment by the Graduate School. Only a full member of the faculty of the Graduate School may serve as director of the committee. Full and associate members of the faculty of the Graduate School, other Loyola University Chicago faculty members and individuals from other institutions may be recommended to serve as readers.
If a director's status as a full member of the faculty of the Graduate School is discontinued (e.g., the individual leaves the university), he or she may, with the approval of the Graduate School, continue to serve as the director of the committee for up to one year after the change in status. Following this one-year period, a full member of the faculty must be named as either co-director (along with the original director) or director of the committee.
The minimum number of voting members required for a committee at the lakeside campuses is two for a thesis and three for a dissertation; at the Medical Center Campus, the minimum required number is three for a thesis and five for a dissertation. Individual programs may have additional requirements.
For all committees, at least one half of the committee members must be full or associate members of the faculty of the Graduate School.
On occasion, it may be necessary for students to change the composition of their committee, either by removing and/or adding one or more committee members, including possibly the committee chair. The new committee must align with the Graduate School’s other regulations requiring committee composition. To change the composition of their committee, the student creates a new committee form in GSPS, and the approval process is repeated. It is recommended that the committee chair or the Graduate Program Director inform the committee member/s who is to be removed and/or added of the rationale for this decision prior to submitting the material. All previous iterations of the committee remain on file.
Thesis and dissertation proposals should include: 1) a discussion of the purpose or end of the proposed research; 2) a review of the related literature and 3) a discussion of the project's research methodology/procedure. Committee members are allowed one month to vote on a proposal. To secure committee approval of the proposal, the student must receive unanimous, unqualified approval from all committee members by written ballot.
As noted below, a student proposing to conduct research involving the use of human and/or vertebrate animal subjects must secure approval of the university's Institutional Review Board for Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) and/or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) after the dissertation/thesis committee approves the proposal and prior to undertaking the research.
Upon committee and (if necessary) IRB and/or IACUC approval of the proposal, and after paying the thesis/dissertation registration fee, the student is to submit to the Graduate School a copy of the proposal, the committee ballot and a copy of the approval letter from the IRB and/or the IACUC. The Graduate School will not record final approval of your proposal until all required documentation is received.
Text and Oral Defense
A public oral defense is required of all dissertations and most theses (see individual programs' requirements). The committee must indicate approval of the text to the student before the date of the oral defense is established; no oral defense may take place without the prior agreement among the committee members that the text is substantially in its final state, with no major revisions necessary.
All voting members of the committee must participate in the oral defense. In all cases the director of the committee must be present at the oral defense, and ordinarily all readers must be present as well. However, in exceptional circumstances and upon the approval of the director of the committee, readers may participate in the oral defense via telephone or video conference. The Graduate School will not accept a committee's approval of a thesis or dissertation if one or more voting members does not participate in the oral defense. The only exception to this policy is in the case of non-participation due to an emergency; in such cases, the Graduate School will accept the result of the oral defense only after consultation with all non-participating committee members.
In the case of a two-member thesis or three-member dissertation committee, approval of the text and oral defense must be unanimous. In the case of a lakeside thesis committee with more than two members, and in the case of all four- and five-member committees, approval of the text and oral defense must be with no more than one dissenting vote.
The committee may award "Distinction" to designate outstanding work on both the text and oral defense; this designation should be made only on rare occasions of truly exceptional work. Votes of "Distinction" must be unanimous. This designation will appear on the student's transcript.
The results of the committee's evaluation of the text and oral defense are noted on a written ballot, which the student is to submit to the Graduate School as soon as possible after the oral defense.
Final Copies of the Text
Students are required to submit to the Graduate School a final, approved electronic copy of the text and other necessary material in proper format. Deadlines for format check and final copy submission are published on the Graduate School website. In addition, in order to ensure that all theses and dissertations are accessible to the academic community and the interested public, all dissertations and theses must be published through ProQuest.
Students must submit final copies with approved revisions within one semester of a successful defense (e.g., if a student’s defense falls within a Fall semester, their final copies must meet the Spring semester submission deadlines). After one full semester a student may be discontinued and be required to apply for reinstatement (Approved 4 May 2021)
The requirements for doctoral candidacy are: 1) successful completion of all specifically required coursework; 2) fulfillment of all research tool requirements; 3) successful completion of all comprehensive examinations; 4) approval of the dissertation proposal by the approved dissertation committee, the IRB and/or the IACUC (if necessary) and the Graduate School.
Students have five years after admission to doctoral candidacy to complete all of their remaining degree requirements, including all dissertation requirements.
Please see below for details about time limits for degree requirements.
The Graduate School's English-language requirement is intended to further students' academic success and allow them to attain a level of proficiency expected of students completing a graduate program at a U.S. university. As stated in letters of admission, the requirement applies to degree-seeking students who have not received a bachelor's degree from an institution where English is the language of instruction. The requirement includes assessment of students' English skills and, depending on the results of the assessment, coursework. The English-language requirement is a degree requirement; students who have not fulfilled the requirement will not receive a degree. In addition, students must complete the requirement in their first term in order to be eligible for continued enrollment in the Graduate School and for renewal of awards.
The Graduate School may grant a student an exemption from the English-language requirement if the student has written and orally defended a thesis or dissertation as part of completing a graduate program at an institution where English is the language of instruction. All requests for exemption must be in writing and include appropriate supporting documentation. Requests must be sent first to the student's graduate program director, who is to then send it to the Graduate School with a written recommendation regarding the request. The Graduate School will not grant an exemption without receiving a positive recommendation from the graduate program director. Requests for exemption must be received by the Graduate School: at least one week before the placement test preceding the student’s first semester as a degree-seeking student. The Graduate School will determine whether the student qualifies for an exemption and will notify the student and the graduate program director of its decision.
As indicated above, the English-language requirement includes a placement test to assess students' English skills. This placement test is administered by Loyola University Chicago's Department of English as a Second Language (ESL) and is not the same as either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), taken before admission.
Students entering a Graduate School program as a degree-seeking student during the Summer or Fall Semesters must take the placement test scheduled prior to the beginning of their first Fall Semester. Students entering a Graduate School program as a degree-seeking student during the Spring Semester must take the placement test scheduled prior to the beginning of their first Spring Semester.
The ESL department will notify students of the results of the test. Students whose score on the placement test indicates they have attained acceptable English proficiency will have fulfilled the English-language requirement. Students whose scores indicate they are in need of additional English instruction will be required to complete coursework. Students who take the placement test will not subsequently be eligible for an exemption from the English-language requirement.
As noted above, students whose score on the placement test indicates they are in need of additional English instruction will be required to complete coursework in Loyola's ESL department to improve their English reading, writing and speaking skills. This coursework will be in addition to the courses required in the student's graduate program and must be taken immediately following the placement test.
Students are expected to attend all classes and complete all assignments. Students must receive a grade of CR (credit) for each required course; courses for which students receive a grade of NC (no credit) will not apply toward fulfillment of the English language requirement.
If extraordinary circumstances prevent one from taking required coursework in the first semester, the student may request to defer coursework for one semester. Requests for deferrals must be in writing and sent first to the student's graduate program director, who is to then send it to the Graduate School with a written recommendation regarding the request. Requests for deferrals must be received by the Graduate School within one week of notification of placement test results. The Graduate School will notify the student and the graduate program director of its decision.
Students with questions regarding the Graduate School's English-language policies should contact their graduate program director or the Graduate School. Students with questions regarding the nature of the placement test or coursework should visit the ESL department's Website
While academic advising is available from the student’s program or department, each student is responsible for developing an accurate and appropriate schedule of classes each term. Students are allowed to change their registrations in conformity with the guidelines established by the Office of Registration and Records and the Bursar's office. Students are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of their enrollment and understanding the academic and financial consequences of adding or withdrawing courses.
Student Enrollment Status
Fall and Spring Semesters
Students are considered full time if they are either: 1) enrolled in at least eight credit hours of coursework; or 2) enrolled in Thesis Supervision (course #595), Master's Study (#605), Dissertation Supervision (#600), Doctoral Study (#610), or a full-time clerkship, internship or practicum course.
Students are considered full-time if they are either: 1) enrolled in at least six credit hours of coursework; 2) enrolled in Thesis Supervision (course #S59), Master's Study (#S65), Dissertation Supervision (#S60), Doctoral Study (#S61), or a full-time clerkship, internship or practicum course; or 3) enrolled in and hold a full graduate assistantship or fellowship. Students are considered half-time students if they are enrolled in at least three but less than six credit hours of coursework.
Full- and part-time status are reported to loan companies and to the U.S. government, including the INS. Full- and part- time status are not necessarily related to eligibility for health insurance, or to Loyola’s fees.
Final examinations are given during the scheduled examination period in each session. Students are expected to take no more than three final examinations in one day. Tests or examinations may be given during the semester or summer sessions as often as deemed advisable by the instructor. Students who miss a final examination should contact their instructor.
The grades (and associated grade-point values) in the Graduate School are as follows:
The Graduate School expects students to complete all coursework by the end of the term during which the courses were taken. However, if a student and the instructor make arrangements in advance, a student may receive a grade of I (Incomplete) at the end of the term. The student is to complete the outstanding work and submit it to the instructor according to a schedule approved by the instructor, subject to the following Graduate School policies.
For Incompletes assigned in Fall 2006 and later, the student must complete and submit all outstanding work to the instructor by the last day of the semester following the term in which the I grade was assigned. (For purposes of incomplete grades, the summer sessions are counted together as one term.) If the student does not turn in the work by the deadline, the I will automatically become an F. The Graduate School will not approve a change of grade if the student does not complete and submit the work to the instructor within one term of the assignment of an I grade.
For Incompletes assigned before Fall 2006, the student must complete and submit all outstanding work to the instructor within two calendar years of the assignment of the I grade. The Graduate School will not approve a change of grade if the student does not complete and submit the work to the instructor within two years of the assignment of an I grade.
Withdrawal from Courses
If a student withdraws from a course before the published withdrawal deadline, the student's transcript will show no record of the course. If the student withdraws after the withdrawal deadline, but before the WF deadline, the student's transcript will show a W for the course. If a student withdraws after the University’s WF deadline, the student will receive a WF for the course. The WF is a penalty grade, and is figured into the student's GPA.
Thesis Supervision (course #595), Master's Study (#605), Dissertation Supervision (#600), Doctoral Study (#610) and certain other graduate courses are graded on a credit/no credit basis. A grade of P (pass) indicates that the student made satisfactory progress toward completion of course or degree requirements. A grade of NP (no pass) indicates that the student did not make satisfactory progress toward completion of course or degree requirements.
Auditors are not required to complete course assignments, including examinations and term papers. Class attendance is required, and auditors have a right to participate in class discussions. A grade of AU indicates satisfactory attendance; students who do not meet the attendance requirement will receive a grade of W. Auditors are assessed one-half tuition.
The Pass/Fail option is not available for courses taken for graduate credit. The Pass/Fail option is available for other courses (e.g., foreign-language courses taken to fulfill a research-tool requirement).
Graduate Student's travelling internationally on university-related business (including research and conference attendance/participation) are expected to abide by university travel policies. The Graduate School provides financial assistance through travel awards, including support for the Insurance for International Travel fee.
Loyola University Chicago is a member of the Midwest Catholic Graduate Schools Consortium. Through an agreement with Marquette University, University of Notre Dame, and Saint Louis University, students matriculated in the Graduate School may, with approval, take course work at one of the partner schools to apply to their degree requirements at Loyola. This is not transfer credit, but rather consider in-residence credit earned in visitation to a partner school. The student is enrolled in a degree program at their home university (Loyola), and all financial arrangements are made through the home university, but the student attends the host university on a short-term basis with prior approval. Students who are interested in learning more should contact the Graduate School.
Official leaves of absence are intended for students who wish to discontinue temporarily their graduate studies due to special circumstances (e.g., medical, personal or professional reasons). Students who are on a leave of absence may not use University resources, including faculty time. A leave of absence postpones all deadlines concerning completion of degree requirements for the duration of the leave of absence.
The Leave of Absence form is available through the Graduate Student Progress System at https://gsps.luc.edu/. Please log in to create this form for approval.
Decisions regarding the approval of leaves of absence rest with the Graduate School; when reviewing requests for a leave of absence, the Graduate School may require additional information or documentation from the student and the graduate program director. In cases where the graduate program director recommends that the leave of absence not be granted, the student may petition the Graduate School to consider her/his request. International students admitted to the United States on temporary visas must also receive approval from the university's Office of International Programs for information regarding eligibility for a leave of absence.
Leaves of absence are limited to a period of one full academic year. If a student is not prepared to return to active status after one year, the student may request a renewal of the leave of absence for a period of up to one year; in such cases, the graduate program director and the Graduate School will review the student's record and future plans to determine whether an additional leave is in the best interests of the student, the program and the Graduate School.
In order to be reinstated to active status, the student must notify the Graduate School in writing upon returning from a leave of absence. Unless the student is granted a renewal of a leave of absence, the student must return to active status in the semester following the expiration of a leave of absence; failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program. If a student does not return from a leave of absence after two consecutive years, s/he must complete an to the program.
Students who have been called into the armed services of the United States and who are consequently withdrawing from the university before the end of the withdrawal period will receive a refund of all tuition and fees paid for the period in question but no academic credit. If they withdraw after the end of the withdrawal period, they will receive full academic credit for the semester with grades as of the date of withdrawal but no refund of tuition.
The qualifying students will receive their full stipend from the Graduate School for up to 60 calendar days (the equivalent of 8 work weeks). The leave time must be taken consecutively.
Either parent is eligible. If both parents are full time funded Graduate School students from the LUC lakeside campuses, and both are in good standing, both students may submit an application, but with the understanding that only one parental leave is allowed at a time (e.g., maximum total of 60 calendar days), and therefore can be divided but not duplicated.
Qualifying students must be the primary caregiver, devoting at least 40 hours per week to the direct care and supervision of the child.
Please see the full Parental Leave Policy for the complete list of procedures and the application process.
The Policy recognizes that Graduate Assistants are able to continue their enrollment and associated financial support while absent for limited periods of time from their graduate assistantship role due to personal illness. With the exception of Graduate Assistants who are supported by extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health (and so subject to NIH policy), the University permits Graduate Assistants to be absent due to personal illness from their graduate assistantship role for up to (but no more than) fifteen calendar days (consecutive or non-consecutive) per academic year. Graduate Assistants are expected to inform their faculty mentor as soon as possible about their need for an absence from their graduate assistantship role due to illness, but in any event no later than the beginning of the period of the absence. Graduate Assistants who miss coursework due to illness are still held to normal course and grading policies for the relevant department(s) or course instructor(s). Graduate Assistants who must be absent from their graduate assistantship role due to illness for more than fifteen consecutive days should ordinarily request a medical leave of absence from the University. Please see the Policy below for additional information.
Effective Fall 2022
Students who fail to maintain a grade-point average of at least a 3.00 may be placed on academic probation. In such cases, if the student does not raise the grade-point average to at least 3.00 during the next two consecutive terms in which the student registers, the student will be dismissed for poor scholarship.
Students who are near the end of their programs must raise their cumulative GPAs to 3.00 in order to receive a degree. Students will not be permitted to continue taking courses after they have completed all of their program hours in the hope of raising their cumulative GPAs.
A student who earns multiple grades of C or lower, or who otherwise fails to maintain good academic standing, is subject to review and possible dismissal from the program.
Because of the diversity of graduate work in different branches of knowledge, individual graduate programs have varying requirements about undergraduate prerequisites, graduate coursework, research tool requirements, comprehensive examinations, theses and dissertations and other matters. Please consult your department's website for individual program requirements listed via the Degree Programs list, as well as the programs’ individual websites and publications for specific information. In cases where there is a conflict between a program's publications and this catalog, the catalog governs.
A graduate student preparing to conduct research involving the use of human or vertebrate animal subjects, whether or not such research is pursued in connection with a thesis or dissertation, must secure approval of the university's Institutional Review Board for Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to undertaking the research.
Please consult the IACUC website for complete information.
Graduate teaching or research assistants who are in a COVID-19 high-risk category, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control, or who live with someone in a high-risk category, may be eligible for an accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is a modification that enables the student to perform the essential duties of their position, with some modification, without creating an undue hardship to the unit or to the completion of their assistantship duties. For more information, please reach out to the Student Accessibility Center at email@example.com.
In order to be certified as active students and to have access to university resources, both new and continuing students are to register before each term in which they are taking courses, working on a thesis or dissertation, completing a practicum or internship or otherwise engaged in graduate study. Applicants must be officially admitted to the Graduate School before they will be permitted to register. Students are responsible for registering for courses in a timely manner through the university's registration system.
No one is permitted to attend any class without first officially registering for that class. Students may not register for classes after the late registration period. A fee is charged for late registration.
Registration at Loyola University Chicago is done through the LOCUS on-line registration system. For specific information on registration, please visit the Office of Registration and Records website.
Registration for Directed Study, Directed Readings and Independent Study
Individual programs/departments may require students to receive approval prior to registering for these types of courses. Students may request notation on of a specific title on the transcript by submitting to the Graduate School a completed Request for Course Title form.
Students intending to take a course outside the academic unit that includes their program must obtain approval from the course instructor and the "host" unit. Students should contact the host unit for information about registration procedures. They should also consult with their home program to see if these courses will count toward the degree.
Auditing a Course
The decision as to whether to designate particular graduate courses as open to auditors is made by the academic unit offering the course. In order to audit a course, a Graduate School student must 1) complete the Audit Request form and 2) receive approval from the academic unit offering the course and the Graduate School. The completed form must be received by the Graduate School by the end of the second week of the semester or by the end of the first week of the summer or intersession term. The Graduate School will not approve a request received after the deadline. Once a course is converted to "audit" for a student, it will not be re-classified as a "for credit" course (i.e., a course that is being audited may not at anytime be counted as credit hours completed toward degree requirements). Completion of the form does not constitute registration for the course; the student is responsible for registering for the course via the university's registration system and must do so prior to the late registration deadline to avoid a late registration fee.
Class attendance is required, and auditors have a right to participate in class discussions. A grade of AU indicates satisfactory attendance; a grade of W will be assigned in cases of unsatisfactory attendance. Auditors do not complete course papers, examinations or other assigned projects. A course that is audited does not count as hours attempted and therefore is not considered in determining a student's enrollment status (i.e., whether the student is classified as full- or part-time) and is not eligible for coverage by a tuition award.
Withdrawal from a Course
Students can withdraw from a class until the last day to receive a W. Once the system switches to assigning WF’s student can only withdraw from a class with the permission of the Dean and according to the procedure for change in registration. Please see our Key Dates and Deadlines page for specific withdrawal deadlines, which are maintained by the Office of the Bursar.
Students who stop attending a class but have not officially withdrawn will receive the final grade of "WF," which is a penalty grade and equivalent to a grade of "F". Students will incur full financial obligation to the university. Voluntary and repeated unofficial withdrawals from class may result in the student being barred from further attendance in the university. Students may withdraw from class with the final grade of "W" through the first ten weeks of the semester or first four weeks of a summer term.
Students contemplating official withdrawal from a class and receiving or expecting to receive financial assistance should consult with the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Adding a Course
Students who would like to add a course after the regular registration period must complete a Change of Registration form and obtain the approval of their graduate program director. The form is then submitted to the Graduate School for approval. Such requests are approved only in extraordinary circumstances; forgetting to enroll or enrolling in the wrong course do not constitute adequate grounds for a late add.
Number of Courses Allowed
Registration for nine credit hours per semester is considered the normal full-time courseload. The maximum courseload for Graduate School students is 12 credit hours per semester and six credit hours per summer session.
Registration of Undergraduate Students in Graduate Course
Undergraduates who are judged capable of pursuing graduate studies may be admitted to graduate courses with the approval of the course instructor and the chairperson of the department offering the course. Such courses are ordinarily applicable only toward the student's undergraduate degree; however, under certain circumstances such courses may be applied towards a graduate degree (see the policy on transfer credit below).
Repetition of Course
Students may repeat a course in which they previously received a passing grade only with the specific authorization of the graduate program and the Graduate School Dean. Authorization to repeat courses merely to improve the grade will rarely be given.
In an authorized repetition of a course the student will not receive credit hours toward graduation for both courses. The student will only receive credit hours toward graduation for the most recent attempt.
A student who repeats a course without permission of the Dean and graduate program earns neither credit hours nor quality points for the repeated course.
Several programs have established a "research tool" requirement (e.g., knowledge of a foreign language, proficiency in statistics) to ensure that students are adequately prepared to conduct research in their field. Students in these programs must meet the program's deadline for completing the requirement (i.e., prior to sitting for comprehensive examinations or prior to completing a thesis/dissertation proposal).
In support of the University Mission and in accordance with federal regulations effective January 2010, Loyola University Chicago has implemented a Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship program that incorporates ethics education into the curriculum for all students.
Beginning fall 2011, the Graduate School requires RCRS training for all matriculating PhD students and master’s students who are writing a thesis. Graduate Program Directors in non-thesis master’s programs may recommend RCRS training for their students.
All PhD students and Master’s students* who are writing a thesis must successfully complete the Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship training as part of the degree requirements. It is strongly recommended that students complete this two-day training before beginning the dissertation/thesis stage of the program.
*Students in the School of Education and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing receive separate RCRS training.
At times, students with disabilities may wish to avail themselves of the university's ancillary services. Students who would like accommodations at the university need to contact the Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities. Contact information is available at www.luc.edu/depts/lac/disabilities.
Students must complete all Ph.D. degree requirements, including the dissertation, within eight years of beginning the first course at Loyola University Chicago applicable toward the doctoral degree. However, students who completed a relevant master's degree (or a significant amount of relevant graduate coursework) at another institution prior to entering the doctoral program must complete all Ph.D. requirements, including the dissertation, within six years of beginning the first course at Loyola University Chicago applicable toward the doctoral degree.
In addition to these limits, Ph.D. students must also make good progress at the dissertation stage. If a doctoral candidate does not successfully defend and submit the dissertation within five years after becoming a doctoral candidate (by approval of the dissertation proposal), the student will be dropped from candidacy. The student must then pass a second comprehensive examination or program-specific equivalent to be reinstated as a doctoral candidate, and the time limit for submitting the dissertation will be determined by the Dean of the Graduate School and the candidate's committee. Exceptions to the five-year time limit require a petition to the dissertation chair, who forwards the petition to the Graduate Program Director and then the Graduate School. This policy will become effective for students achieving candidacy in the fall 2006 semester or later.
Students must complete all master's degree requirements within five years of beginning the first course at Loyola University Chicago taken as a degree-seeking student.
Extensions of Time Limits
A student may request an extension of the time limit for completion of degree requirements due to special circumstances (e.g., medical, personal, professional, or research related reasons). A student requesting an extension shall complete an Extension of Time Limit for Completion of Degree Requirements form, which can be accessed by logging into GSPS, attach required information, and contact the dissertation/thesis director (if applicable) and the graduate program director. These faculty members are to then make a recommendation on the student's behalf to the Graduate School. Decisions regarding the approval of extensions rest with the Graduate School; when reviewing requests for an extension, the Graduate School may require additional information or documentation from the student or the graduate program. In cases where the graduate program recommends that the extension not be granted, the student may petition the Graduate School to consider her/his request.
Extensions are ordinarily limited in duration to one full academic year. If a student has not completed all degree requirements by the extended deadline, the student may request an additional extension for a period of up to one year; in such cases, the graduate program and the Graduate School will review the student's record and future plans to determine whether an additional extension is in the best interests of the student, the program and the Graduate School. Students who do not complete all degree requirements within the required time limit are subject to dismissal from the program.
All courses taken by the student and other relevant academic information are included on the student's official academic transcripts, which are maintained by the university's Office of Registration and Records.
It is ordinarily expected that all work towards a master's degree will be completed in the program at Loyola University Chicago. However, up to six credit hours of graduate work completed in another Loyola program or at another institution may be applied toward a master's degree with permission of the program’s Graduate Program Director (GPD) and the Graduate School. Students may request transfer of credit, and the program can make its recommendation to the Graduate School during the student's first semester in the Graduate School. The Graduate School maintains responsibility for approving transfer credit. To ensure that each student is well prepared for undertaking scholarship in the student's current field of study, the Graduate School's decision regarding transfer credit will be based on the quality of the student's work, the time interval since its completion and its relevance to the student's program of study at Loyola. Coursework below a B grade will not be accepted. Students may not transfer coursework that has been awarded as part of a conferred or completed degree program. If a course fulfills the learning outcomes of a requirement in the student’s master’s program, and upon department recommendation, a specific required course may be substituted with an elective chosen in concert with the student’s program director.
For students entering a PhD program with prior graduate work completed in another Loyola program or at another institution, up to one-half of the total number of semester hours required by the doctoral program at Loyola may be applied toward the PhD degree. It may be possible for a completed relevant master’s degree to be applied towards the PhD, and this is further elaborated in the Advanced Standing policy (Approved May 4, 2021).
An enrolled student who wishes to withdraw from the university during any semester must notify the Dean’s office and his or her graduate program director in writing (email is sufficient). A student is considered to be in attendance until such notice has been received by the Dean or the Graduate Program Director. All financial refunds or obligations are dated from the date of the formal notice of withdrawal and not from the date of the last class attended; see the Bursar's for more information. It is the student's obligation to inform the Dean promptly of the intention to withdraw. Telephone messages or non-attendance in class are not official notification.
A student may be required to withdraw from the university because of academic deficiency, lack of sufficient progress toward completion of degree requirements, failure to adhere to university requirements, degree requirements and/or regulations for conduct or failure to meet financial obligations to the university.