|Definition:||This policy defines a time limit for completion of a Master's degree, requirement of continuous enrollment by students in master's programs, and establishes a policy governing graduate student leaves of absence.|
|Authority:||Academic Senate recommendation.|
|Scope:||This policy applies to all CSUSM students enrolled in the graduate program.|
|Responsible Division:||Academic Affairs|
|Signature Page/PDF:||View Signatures for Graduate Studies Policies Policy|
I. GRADUATE STUDIES: CONTINUOUS ENROLLMENT REQUIREMENT AND TIME-LIMIT TO DEGREE
A) Conditionally Classified or Classified graduate students must be continuously enrolled unless an authorized Request for Graduate Student Leave of Absence has been granted by the program and filed with the Office of Registration and Records. No more than two (2) semesters can be excused through authorized leaves of absence. Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment are dropped from the graduate program and must reapply to the university and the graduate program to be considered for reinstatement.
B) Requirements for the master's degree are to be finished within five (5) years following admission as a Conditionally Classified or Classified graduate student at CSUSM. Authorized leaves of absence do not extend the time limit for completion of the master's degree.
II. GRADUATE STUDENT LEAVE OF ABSENCE
A) Graduate degree students may take an authorized leave of absence for up to two (2) semesters1 Leaves of absence can be authorized for conditionally classified or classified graduate students providing the student is: (1) in good academic standing (as defined by the program's requirements), (2) has completed at least six credit hours of CSUSM coursework toward the graduate degree in the program, and (3) has filed a completed Request for Graduate Student Leave of Absence form. The completed form, including signatures of the student's faculty advisor (where applicable) and the graduate program coordinator, must be filed with the Office of Registration and Records before the end of the add/drop period of the term for which the leave has been requested. A leave of absence will not be authorized if the student has completed all requirements except the culminating experience. Unauthorized leaves and failures to return from an authorized leave of absence will result in the student being dropped from the graduate program. In such cases, the student must reapply to the university and the graduate program to be considered for reinstatement.
B) An authorized leave of absence preserves curriculum rights regarding catalog requirements. A student on a leave of absence may not have access to or use of university resources. Students submitting the completed thesis or final project must be regularly enrolled or enrolled for thesis or project extension credit through the Office of Extended Studies; the completed thesis or final project will not be accepted during the term of an authorized leave of absence.
C) Authorized leaves of absence do not extend the time limit for completion of the master's degree.
D) Students with exceptional circumstances that fall outside this policy may petition the Dean of Graduate Studies for special consideration. A petition must include the recommendation of the graduate program coordinator.