GRADUATE POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND FORMS
We hope you will find the following information helpful. You might begin by reviewing the Guidelines and Responsibilities for Graduate Students. Additional graduate policies and procedures are listed in alphabetical order below. Other forms and information are available through the Office of the Registrar. For more information on any of these policies or if you have any questions, please contact the Graduate Programs Office, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nature of Confidential Records. All personally identifiable information related to particular students used to make decisions about students or for transmittal to others outside the University other than public records as defined above is considered confidential information. This information includes, but is not necessarily limited to: academic evaluations; general counseling and advising records; disciplinary records; financial aid records; letters of recommendation; medical or health records; clinical counseling and psychiatric records; transcripts, test scores, and other academic records; and cooperative work records.
Disclosure of Confidential Information to the Student-Right of Review. A currently or previously enrolled student has the right to inspect and review official records, files, and data directly related to the student as a student. Access will be provided in the presence of a staff member. This right does not extend to applicants, those denied admission, or those admitted who do not enroll. Where such information involves other students, the student is entitled to inspect or to be informed of that portion of the information which pertains to himself or herself only. Requests under FERPA of 1974 have been accepted since January 1, 1975, and are responded to within 45 days. Only in rare situations will the response period ever approach this limit. Offices may require that requests for access be submitted in writing, and may ask for, but not require, the reason for the request.
Definition of Official Records. For purposes of this section, the terms "official records, files, and data" include materials on students pertaining to their status as students held by any unit or department of the University which is intended for University use or is to be available to parties outside the University. It does not include:
- letters of recommendation or statements of reference for students obtained or prepared before January 1, 1975, pursuant to implied or expressed promises of confidentiality or letters of recommendation or statements of reference to which students have waived the right of access;
- employment records of students as University employees;
- campus law enforcement records held in the Campus Security Office;
- clinical, medical counseling, or psychiatric records (these records or copies thereof may be reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choice);
- financial records of the parents of the student or any information contained therein;
- private records kept by individual faculty or administrators possibly used as memory aids unless intended for transmittal to others;
- institutional records of students which may be maintained by the University in a computer printout or similar format (so long as this computerized information is not intended to be distributed outside the University), as long as the original source of computer information is available in the office or department having jurisdiction for the records.
- records which contain only information relating to a person after that person was no longer a student at the University; for example, information collected by the University pertaining to accomplishments of its alumni.
Right to Explanation. A student is entitled, upon reasonable request, to an explanation of any information contained in official records directly related to the student. The student has the opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of such records to ensure that they are not inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise in violation of privacy or other rights; to correct or delete any such inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data; or to insert into the records a written explanation.
The substantive judgment of a faculty member about a student's work (grades or other evaluations of work assigned) is not within the scope of such hearings. A student may challenge the factual and objective elements of the content of students' records but not the qualitative and subjective elements of grading.
Hearing Procedure. The procedure to be followed should a student object to items included in his or her personal records is:
- the student should discuss the objection with the individual responsible for the office where the student record is maintained;
- if not satisfied, the student should discuss the objection with the individual to whom that person reports;
- if not satisfied, the student should discuss the objection with the appropriate vice president or designee;
- if not satisfied, the student should file a written request for a formal hearing with the Vice President for Student Life, Dougherty Hall, Room 202. The hearing will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Waiver of Access. Students may be invited but not required to waive their right of access to confidential letters of recommendation for admission, honors or awards or career planning and placement. Students will suffer no prejudice in admission, financial aid, or other University services by reason of not executing the waiver. If the waiver is signed, the applicant may request a list of all persons making confidential recommendations or statements.
Disclosure of Confidential Information to Third Parties. Third parties do not have access to personally identifiable records or information pertaining to students as students without the written consent of the student specifying the records to be released and to whom the records are to be released. Excepted from this restriction are:
- University officials who require access on an internal need-to-know basis for legitimate educational purposes, such as academic, disciplinary, health, or safety matters; University officials may include, without limitation, the President, Vice-Presidents, Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, faculty members, general counsel, judicial officers, counselors, resident advisors, coaches, and admission officers;
- students in their official capacity as file clerks working in University offices;
- disclosure of appropriate academic records to officials of other educational institutions to which the student seeks or intends to enroll (on condition that the student, upon request, is entitled to a copy of such records) if the student previously directed that the record be sent;
- records released pursuant to judicial order (on condition that an effort is made to notify the student of the subpoena);
- records released in connection with the student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
- appropriate federal and state officials or authorities consistent with federal regulations;
- organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions;
- accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions;
- parents of a dependent student as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954;
- in the case of emergency, the University may release personal information to protect the health and safety of students.
Courses designated 7000 to 7999 are graduate courses to which qualified undergraduate students are admitted for undergraduate credit with the permission of the Department Chairperson. Courses designated 8000 to 9999 are normally intended for graduate students only.
Please note that only students who have a matriculated status and who are seeking a degree are eligible for federal loans. International students and students holding a non-matriculated, special status or those pursuing certificate programs are not eligible for federal aid. Also, your status as a full-time or part-time student could be critical. Please visit the Financial Assistance webpage for additional information and eligibility criteria. Any questions should be directed to the Financial Assistance Office at: email@example.com or (610) 519-4010
Grades are recorded at the end of each semester or summer session. The student receives his grades on the University NOVASIS website. Any inaccuracy must be reported by mail to the Registrar immediately.
The work of the student is graded according to the following scale:
IP In Progress
WX Approved Withdrawal
Students are not required to repeat courses in which the grade of F has been received, unless the courses are specifically required by the program in which they are enrolled, the decision resting with the chairperson of their major department.
An N (incomplete) grade indicates the instructor is not prepared to give a definite grade for the course in view of the student's not having completed all the assigned work. The N grade automatically becomes an F if the work is not completed and submitted to the instructor. For the fall semester, students must submit all work by the last Friday in January. For the spring semester, all work must be submitted by the last Friday in June. Faculty members, in turn, submit grade changes within two weeks of these dates to the Registrar. Change of grades to C+ or higher cannot be made without the approval of the professor, the department head, and the Dean of the Engineering College.
Grades are part of the student's permanent record. Grade changes other than conversion of N grades can be made only with special permission from the Dean's Office.
In graduate study, the student is expected to do more than pass the required courses. In addition, students must maintain a specific average. This average, known as the grade point average, derived from the grades and credit hours of the courses taken, is computed by multiplying the number of credits for each course the student has attempted by the authorized quality points for the grades received and dividing the total quality points by the total credit hours attempted. The grade A merits 4 quality points; A- = 3.67; B+ = 3.33; B = 3; B- = 2.67; C+ = 2.33; C = 2; F = 0; N = 0.
The student is required to maintain a grade point average of at least 3.00 and cannot be approved for the comprehensive examination or graduation unless this average has been maintained.
Full Time: Minimum credit load for full-time status is 6 credits for fall or spring semester. Students may also be considered full-time if their credit load in a semester falls below this minimum but they meet any of the following conditions:
- The student is a graduate assistant or tuition scholar. Graduate assistants and tuition scholars must be enrolled in at least one course, which may be credit-bearing or non-credit-bearing.
- The student is enrolled in Thesis (3 cr) or Dissertation (3 cr), Independent Study (3cr.).
- The student is enrolled in Thesis Continuation (0 cr), Dissertation Continuation (0 cr), or Independent Study Continuation (0 cr).
Part Time: 3 credits
Inactive: A graduate student is deemed inactive if (s)he not enrolled in a graduate course four consecutive fall and spring semesters (summers not counted).
Students who expect to be graduating have the responsibility of applying for graduation. Please see Commencement Information for Graduate Engineering Students for semester deadlines to complete the required Prospective Graduate Form in MyNova.
- Intent to Complete Graduate Degree Requirements (through MyNova)
- Prospective Certificate Completion Application
- Request to Walk in Graduation Ceremonies for Bachelor's / Master's students whose degree requirements will not be met.
- Request to Walk in PhD Graduation Ceremonies for PhD students whose degree requirements will not be met.
There is no language requirement in any of the graduate programs of the College of Engineering. However, foreign students are required to submit their scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in their application for admission. A score of at least 550 is required.
Normally degree requirements must be completed within seven-years. This time period is counted from the student's first registration to the date of completing the degree. For part-time PhD students the maximum completion time is 9 years.
- Ph.D. Program Enrollment Acknowledgement Form
- COE-PHD-01 Ph.D. Program Handbook of Policies and Procedures (updated 9/15/21)
- COE-PHD-02 Ph.D. Degree Program Checklist, Ph.D. Timeline
- COE-PHD-03 Ph.D. Qualifying Examinations Guidelines
- COE-PHD-04 Application for Ph.D. Qualifying Examinations
- COE-PHD-05 Ph.D. Appointment of Advising Committee (updated 5/8/20)
- COE-PHD-06 Ph.D. Plan of Study
- COE-PHD-06.1 Prior Course Approval
- COE-PHD-06.2 Permission to Change Plan of Study
- COE-PHD-07 Application for Ph.D. Proposal Defense
- COE-PHD-07.1 Instructions for Oral Portion of the Proposal Defense Examination (updated 9/15/21)
- COE-PHD-07.2 Report of Proposal Defense Examination (updated 5/8/20)
- COE-PHD-08 Application for Admission to Ph.D. Degree Candidacy
- COE-PHD-09 Application for Final Dissertation Defense
- COE-PHD-09.1.1 Record of Dissertation Defense (updated 6/22/20)
- COE-PHD-09.2 Report of Ph.D. Dissertation Defense (updated 3/30/20)
- COE-PHD-10 Thesis and Dissertation Preparation Guide
- EGR 9150 Professional Development/Curricular Practical Training
- Request Recording of Defense
- Dissertation ProQuest Submission Guidelines
A student whose G.P.A. falls below the required minimum of 3.0 is placed on probation. A student on probation who fails to improve his academic performance may be withdrawn from the program by the Dean of Engineering upon recommendation by the department chairperson.
Information concerning the following items about individual students is public:
- From the Office of the Registrar - full name, address, telephone number, date of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, class year, degrees and awards received, most recent previous educational institution attended.
- From the Department of Athletics - participation in officially recognized University athletics, weight and height of members of athletic teams.
- From the Student Activities Office - participation in officially recognized University activities and student organizations.
The foregoing public information may be released or published without the student's consent. However, students who do not wish such information to be released or made public, may inform the appropriate office in writing at the time the information is originally sought from students.
In those cases where an MS thesis is required or elected, the student is expected to do as a minimum the equivalent of six semester hours of work toward the thesis. The thesis is to be prepared under the supervision of a faculty member in the department of the student. Because thesis requirements vary by program, consult your advisor for details.
Transfer credits toward graduate engineering degrees will, in general, be granted for appropriate academic work completed with a grade of "B" or better (or equivalent) at an accredited university and the requested transfer credit(s) were not used to fulfill any previous degree requirements. A maximum of six graduate credits may be transferred toward graduate degree requirements and normally these credits must have been earned within the seven year period in which a student is expected to complete the degree. Transfer credits are not included in the calculation of the grade point average.
Course Drop / Add
A student may drop and/or add courses during the first five (5) class days of a semester without incurring academic penalty or affecting the student's official transcript.
Engineering student requests for authorized withdrawal from a course will be automatically approved by the Assoc. Dean for Graduate Studies until the date given in the academic calendar. After that date the student must present a valid reason for the request, such as serious personal or medical problems. The Assoc. Dean for Graduate Studies will decide whether or not to grant these requests based on the information supplied by the student, recommendations from the faculty member teaching the course and the chairperson of the department in which the student is majoring. The Assoc. Dean will inform the student of his decision and the reason for it.
Graduate students in engineering who withdraw voluntarily from the program for any reason should notify the Assoc. Dean for Graduate Studies in writing, email Dr. G.F. Jones. Graduate students who are withdrawn and wish to resume their studies in engineering must request approval for their readmission to the program in writing from the Assoc. Dean for Graduate Studies.
Important Healthcare Information for International Students
The healthcare system in the United States is very different than those in other countries, and private health insurance is a very important component in the U.S.
When estimating the costs of attending school in the U.S., it is important for all prospective students to include the cost of obtaining private health insurance that provides comprehensive coverage for medical care and prescription medication.
Villanova University requires all international students to provide evidence of comprehensive health insurance coverage as a condition of enrollment. Insurance coverage may either be purchased through a plan developed specifically for Villanova students or through another source, as long as the coverage that is purchased is comprehensive.
For purposes of estimating costs of attendance, the annual cost of student health insurance for international students who purchase the plan developed specifically for Villanova students is approximately $2,300, for Academic Year 2020-21.
For more information regarding the plan developed specifically for Villanova students, please refer to the Villanova University Student Health Center website.