The Graduate School at UNO

In recognition of its duty to provide a center of learning for the community of New Orleans, the University established a graduate division in 1963, which later became The Graduate School in 1966. Beginning with master’s degree programs in chemistry and physics, the Graduate School furthered the expansion of knowledge with graduate programs across the disciplines. In 1965, six graduate degrees were conferred at commencement: one Master of Science in Chemistry and five Masters of Education. In May 1967, the University of New Orleans conferred its first Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The Graduate School, in coordination with the Graduate Council, regulates graduate policy across the University. The University currently offers advanced degrees in 30 master's programs and 9 doctoral programs. The programs are designed to provide students with opportunities for comprehensive training in special fields of study, to instruct them in methods of independent investigation, and to foster the spirit of scholarship and research.

The pursuit of research and free inquiry demand rigor, and graduate students are expected to exceed minimum requirements and to master subjects rather than pass courses to simply comply with formal requirements. Coursework at the graduate level should lay the foundation for the individual scholarship of students.

Admission

Types of Admission and Requirements
Degree Program Admission

Applicants for admission to the Graduate School in a degree program are expected to have the following qualifications:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from a university or college approved by a recognized accrediting agency.
  2. Point-hour ratios of at least 2.5 for undergraduate work and 3.0 for all graduate and post-baccalaureate work for which a grade is given. (A-4, B-3, C-2, D-1, F-0)
  3. Satisfactory academic standing at the last university or college attended.
  4. Satisfactory admission test scores (see below).

An applicant who meets all of the above requirements may be granted unconditional admission, if accepted by the program. Program admission standards may be higher than the minimum Graduate School requirements. Many programs also require application materials beyond transcripts and test scores.

Applicants who fail to meet all the admission requirements may, in rare instances, be considered for probationary admission, but only upon very strong recommendation by the department concerned on the grounds of other evidence of ability to carry out the graduate program successfully. The Graduate School will consider the merits of the case and determine whether probationary admission is warranted.

Applicants who are unable to provide a final transcript because they are currently enrolled in a university program may be granted conditional admission provided all records, except for the semester in progress, have been submitted. In such cases the final transcript must be received not later than 30 days after the first day of classes in the fall and spring semester and not later than 15 days after the first day of classes in the summer session, or admission may be cancelled. Eligibility for admission cannot be determined until the application and complete official transcripts from each college and university attended have been received.

Non-Degree Graduate Admission

An applicant who has already earned a baccalaureate degree and who does not intend to pursue another undergraduate or graduate degree should apply to The Graduate School as a non-degree student. Students who apply for non-degree status are not required to submit admission test scores but must submit official copies of the transcript certifying their baccalaureate or graduate degree. Students are strongly encouraged to carefully consider the problems that may arise in selecting this status. Short-term benefits such as temporarily avoiding the admission test may be exchanged for long-term serious disadvantages such as not being able to apply credits earned toward a degree program or not being eligible for prompt consideration for admission to a degree program until admission test scores or complete official transcripts are available. Also, some 6000-level courses are closed to non-degree students. Non-degree students are not eligible for federal financial aid.

Up to 12 hours earned as a non-degree student may be applied to a graduate degree program if and only if the courses carry graduate credit, the work is appropriate to the program, the appropriate graduate faculty recommends the acceptance of the credit hours, and the student is accepted into a degree program.

Non-degree students must read and comply with these provisions and departmental regulations to avoid serious problems.


Procedures

Applicants should submit the online University application along with the $40 application fee and required credentials at least 30 days prior to the beginning of registration for the semester for which they are applying. Graduate School priority dates are July 1 for fall semester admission; November 1 for spring semester; and May 1 for summer session.

Credentials include admission test scores (if required) and official transcripts of all undergraduate (including community college) and graduate college work taken, showing any degrees awarded. Transcripts must be sent directly to the Admissions Office from each and every college attended even if no credit was earned and even though the work may be shown on another transcript.

RE-ENTRY Students who have not been enrolled for one full calendar year (12 months) must re-file an online application for admission and submit transcripts of any work taken at another institution during the interim.

MULTI-CAMPUS STUDENTS enrolled in graduate programs at other UL System universities who wish to take courses at UNO should inquire at the Graduate School of their home institution for the procedure to be followed.

International Students

Applicants from countries other than the United States may be admitted to the university subject to the following regulations in addition to the general admission requirements:

  1. Accompanying the application must be an official English evaluation of the transcripts if the academic transcripts are in a foreign language. The Graduate School will determine whether the applicant's grades and coursework are equivalent to a bachelor's degree from UNO. A Statement of Financial Support must also be submitted, indicating financial ability to remain at the University long enough to complete degree requirements.
  2. Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not completed their education in a country recognized as English-dominant (e.g., Australia, Belize, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, U.K., U.S.) are required to submit proof of English proficiency. The following are measures of English proficiency currently accepted by the Graduate School. Only scores for tests taken within 2 years prior to the entrance term are considered valid.

    TOEFL
    Test of English as a Foreign Language

    Internet-based test score of 79 total or Computer-based test score of 550.
    Scores are considered official if reported electronically to UNO by ETS.  The institution code for reporting TOEFL scores to UNO is 6379. 

    IELTS
    The International English Language Testing System

    Overall band score of 6.5

    PTE
    Pearson Tests of English

    Academic score of 58

    IELP
    Intensive English Language Program

    Satisfactory completion of the Intensive English Language Program at UNO

    Minimum Scores on IELP Test:

    Listening Comprehension:  70
    Grammar/Reading/Vocabulary:  63
    Writing/Composition:  75

  3. International graduate assistants who have primary responsibility for teaching a course (Teaching Associate)are required to have a TOEFL score of 100 (internet-based score) or 600 (paper-based). IELTS overall band score of 7.5 or PTE academic score of 61. Individual graduate programs may have higher requirements.
  4. An affidavit of support is required indicating the source of funds being made available to the student and the amount of money being provided and the length of time the funds will be made available.
  5. Medical insurance. A health insurance fee will be assessed at the time of enrollment. An international student may purchase his or her own insurance. However, the policy must meet or exceed UNO's Student Health Insurance Plan.

Fees and Financial Resources

(Consult Fees section.)

GRADUATE REGULATIONS

Failure of students to acquaint themselves fully with the organization and regulations of the University and Graduate School may lead to complications for which the student must assume full responsibility.

Degrees for Faculty and Staff

The Graduate School will not award the doctoral degree to full-time faculty of UNO above the rank of instructor or to other employees who in the opinion of the Graduate Council are of equivalent status; nor will it permit such persons to register for credit toward a UNO doctorate.

Meeting Degree Requirements

Graduate degrees are not conferred merely upon the basis of number of courses passed or on length of time spent in residence, but rather upon the basis of the quality and scope of a candidate's knowledge and power of investigation. Degree requirements must be interpreted with the understanding that the Graduate School prescribes only minimum standards. Individual departments may demand performance well in excess of the minimum Graduate School requirements. Meeting specific requirements does not guarantee admission or permission to enter whatever course or program a student desires to take.

Courses

All graduate courses for which the student meets the prerequisites are open to graduate students. Courses numbered above 6000 are graduate courses and only open to graduate students. Graduate credit is awarded for courses numbered 5000-level and above. Graduate credit is not awarded for courses numbered 4000-level and below. Graduate courses are taught by a member of the graduate faculty, and are taken while the student is enrolled as a graduate student, or under the limited conditions in which an undergraduate may earn graduate credit (see Work by Undergraduates). Graduate students who enroll in 5000-level courses will be expected to complete assignments conforming to the higher standards of scholarship and research that guide the Graduate School.

Maximum and Minimum Course Loads

Graduate students enrolled in at least nine semester hours for the fall and spring semesters and six semester hours for the summer are considered full-time enrolled.  Students on graduate assistantships, scholarships or fellowships are required to be enrolled full-time.  Registration for course loads greater than fifteen semester hours for the fall and spring semesters and twelve semester hours for the summer requires program and Graduate School approval.

Catalog in Force

Generally, a student must meet all the requirements for a degree outlined in one catalog. The student may elect any catalog in force during his or her enrollment at the University, provided enrollment is continuous. A student who has a break in enrollment for five calendar years may not elect a catalog earlier than the one in force at the time of re-entry. Under no circumstances may a catalog more than 9 years old be used. In some instances, program or college graduation requirements may be imposed that are not included in the catalog under which the student has chosen to graduate. These additional or different requirements are well publicized by the colleges involved.

Work by Undergraduates
A UNO undergraduate student who lacks not more than twelve semester hours for a UNO bachelor’s degree may be permitted, after scheduling all required work for the degree, to register for up to 9 hours of graduate credit. This privilege applies only to students who have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.2. It is extended only upon recommendation of the dean of the student’s college and by permission of the department. This approval must be obtained prior to the start of the semester involved. The courses for graduate credit must also be approved by the professor under whom the student intends to do major work as a graduate student. The total amount of work, graduate and undergraduate, for which a student covered by this provision may register may not exceed 15 semester hours.

Auditors
A student may be admitted to classes as an auditor by obtaining admission to The Graduate School in the regular fashion and by receiving the written permission of the instructor of the course. Auditors will not receive university credit, nor will they be permitted to take a credit examination on work audited.

Students may not change from audit to credit after the last day to add a course. With permission of the instructor, they may change from credit to audit within the first 15 class days of the semester (7 class days in the summer).


Examinations

A student must be enrolled in the University to receive credit in any examination (general, comprehensive, oral defense, etc.) or to satisfy other requirements for advanced degrees. A student may meet this requirement by registering for Examination or Report/Thesis Only (Course Number 7040) and paying a fee of $15 at registration. Registration for Examination Only (that is, registration in 7040) normally allowed for only one semester. However, in exceptional circumstances a student may be allowed to enroll in 7040 one additional time. The request should be initiated by a faculty member in the student's degree program and include information about the student's progress towards the degree.

At a minimum, the student must have turned in a completed draft of the manuscript to the student's thesis/dissertation committee. If the student is completing a non-thesis master's program, they must have initiated the comprehensive examination or project report. The decision regarding a second enrollment will be made by the Graduate School. No exceptions will be granted beyond a second enrollment in 7040.

Failure to Drop or Resign as Prescribed
Once enrolled in a course, there is a prescribed procedure for either dropping or resigning. It is the student’s responsibility to follow the required procedures and to meet the deadlines in this catalog for dropping courses and resigning from the University. Failure to comply usually results in a grade of F.

Correspondence Study
No graduate credit is allowed for work done by correspondence study.

Transfer of Credit
The majority of credits toward a graduate degree (either master’s or doctoral) must be earned at the University of New Orleans. The maximum hours that can be transferred for doctoral degrees vary. The specific program of interest should be consulted for the limitations and conditions on transfers for doctoral degrees. Only credits earned in courses with a grade of "B" or higher may be transferred; thesis/dissertation research credits may not be transferred.

  • A maximum of 12 hours earned as a non-matriculating student may be used in a master’s degree program, if approved by the program and the College.
  • A maximum of one-third of the credit hours required for the degree transferred from other schools may be used in a master’s degree program, if approved by the program and the College.
  • A maximum of one-half the credits required for a second degree may be applied from a prior master’s degree at UNO, if approved by the program and the College.
  • No more than 50% of the hours required for a doctoral degree may be transferred. However, most doctoral programs allow fewer hours. The specific program of interest should be consulted for the limitations and conditions on transfers for doctoral degrees.

To petition for acceptance of these credits, the student must be currently enrolled, must have completed at least 9 hours of graduate course work in a degree program at UNO, and must be in good academic standing. Transfer of credit is approved only for course work taken as a graduate student; no work graded lower than a B can be transferred, unless the course is a joint degree program requirement. Transfer credit offered toward a degree is subject to the same time limits as course work taken at UNO.

Graduate work transferred from other institutions may be applied toward degree requirements, but the grades earned will not be computed in the UNO graduate average, unless the course is a joint degree program requirement.

Graduate Grading System
Grades in the Graduate School have these meanings:

A has a value of four quality points per semester hour and indicates superior work.
B has a value of three quality points per semester hour and indicates satisfactory work.
C has a value of two quality points per semester hour and is below the expected level of performance. In some departments a course with a C grade may be accepted toward a degree, but, strictly speaking, this grade represents work below the standard expected of a graduate student and should be construed as a warning that further work in the subject may be unwise. No more than six semester hours of credit with a grade of C may be applied to a Master’s degree.
D has a value of one quality point and indicates unsatisfactory work by the student. A course with a D grade may not be accepted toward a degree.
F has no quality point value and indicates grossly unsatisfactory work by the student.
I If a student, because of extenuating circumstances, is unable to complete all of the requirements for a course by the end of the semester, the instructor may assign an incomplete ("I") for the course. The "I" may be used only when all of the following conditions are met: (a) the student has satisfactorily completed a substantial portion of the course; (b) the student is unable to complete all course work or final exam due to unusual circumstances acceptable to the instructor; and (c) the student and instructor agree on the assignment of the 'I" grade before grades rosters are due. . A grade of "I" must be changed to a completed grade before the last class day of the following regular semester (including summer) that the course was taken, or before a degree is awarded.  If the "I" grade is not removed by the end of the following semester (all summer sessions count as one semester) or graduation; whichever comes first; the grade will convert to an "F." Receiving an "I" grade may have financial aid consequences; therefore, students should check with the Office of Financial Aid before agreeing to take an Incomplete. Students may not re-register in a course for which a grade of "I" has been assigned to them.  Students may not
register in any course that requires a course for which a grade of "I" has been assigned to them (example – you may not register in ENGL 1158 if you have received a grade of "I" in ENGL 1157).
S is a grade given for satisfactory work in certain seminar and research courses, as well as in thesis (7000) and dissertation (7050) progression. If petitioned by the teacher or major professor within 45 calendar days after the last day for submitting final grades, a grade of S may be changed to a regular letter grade.
U is a grade given for unsatisfactory work in certain seminar and research courses, as well as in thesis (7000) and dissertation (7050) progression. A grade of U serves notice of serious and immediate concern with regard to the student’s advancement in the degree program. If petitioned by the teacher or major professor within 45 calendar days after the last day for submitting final grades, a grade of U may be changed to a regular letter grade.
W means withdrawal. This grade is given when a student drops a course or resigns from the University before the appropriate deadline (see calendar). Credit hours for which a grade of W is recorded are not used in calculating the student’s average.

Grade Appeal Policy
The course final grade appeal policy provides the student with a safeguard against receiving an unfair final grade in a course, while at the same time respecting the academic freedom of the instructor which is vital to the integrity of the teaching process at the University of New Orleans. The course final grade appeal process strives to resolve a dispute between student and instructor in the assignment of a course final grade at the collegial level. Every student has the right to have a request for consideration of his or her final grade reviewed by the chair of the department and a departmental Grade Appeal Committee. The course final grade appeal is confined to charges of unfair action against an individual student and may not involve a challenge of an instructor’s class grading standard. It is incumbent on the student to substantiate the claim that his/her final grade in the course represents unfair treatment, compared to the standard applied to the remainder of the class. Only the final grade in a course may be appealed.

The following grade­ appeal procedure affords informal and formal mechanisms for arbitration of a grade disagreement between student and instructor.  (To see the full policy and administrative guidelines, go to http://www.uno.edu/student-affairs/student-policies/grade-appeal-policy.aspx

If a student believes that the final grade in a course is unfair, the student shall meet with the instructor to try to resolve the issue. If the dispute remains unresolved the student shall submit a formal written statement to the Department Chair no later than the end of the fourth week of the following semester (whether or not the student is actually enrolled at the University).

The Department Chair will attempt to resolve the conflict between the student and the instructor.  If the dispute cannot be resolved through informal mediation, the student may request in writing that the Department Chair initiate a formal appeal procedure through the departmental Grade Appeal Committee.  The Committee makes the final decision regarding the grade.

If either the instructor or the student wishes to challenge the outcome on procedural grounds (not the outcome of the appeal) he/she may appeal to the Director of the Graduate School. If it is determined that the procedures were not properly followed and the violations could have been material to the outcome of the hearing, the Director will direct the process be resumed at an appropriate point.

Academic Performance Standards
A cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 is considered by the Graduate School to be the minimum standard of academic performance. A student who fails to maintain a cumulative 3.0 average on graduate course work taken at UNO will be placed on academic probation and denied a graduate assistantship.

A student must earn a semester grade point of 3.0 or better each semester while on probation until a cumulative grade point of 3.0 is achieved. Failure to earn a semester grade point of 3.0 while on probation will result in being dropped from the University for one semester (not including summer).

Any student who returns after being dismissed returns on probationary status and must maintain a 3.0 semester grade point or else be dismissed permanently from the University. A student who is admitted to a graduate program on probation, must make a 3.0 grade-point average in each semester in which the first twelve hours of graduate work is completed or the student will be dismissed from the Graduate School. (For these purposes, the summer session is regarded as a semester.) Failure to meet specific academic performance standards established by the department may also result in the imposition of academic action against the student.

Academic Requirements for a Degree
To receive a graduate degree, the Graduate School requires that the student have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on all graduate course work, as well as all course work applied specifically to the degree. A grade of D or F in any course may not be used to satisfy degree requirements. Students may not graduate if they have any incomplete (I) grades outstanding. A student may not graduate during a semester in which academic probation is imposed. (See also the sections on Graduate Grading System and Academic Performance Required.)

Graduation Requirements
Generally, a student must meet all the requirements for a degree outlined in one catalog. The student may elect any catalog in force during his or her enrollment at the University, provided enrollment is continuous. A student who breaks enrollment (either voluntarily or by compulsion) for five calendar years may not elect a catalog earlier than the one in force at the time of re-entry. Under no circumstances may a catalog more than 9 years old be used. In some instances, program or college graduation requirements may be imposed that are not included in the catalog under which the student has chosen to graduate. These additional or different requirements are well publicized by the colleges involved. There are several requirements which must be completed by all students prior to graduation. The student must:

  1. complete all academic requirements for a degree.
  2. ascertain, that his or her Program of Study is accurate and complete. All Program of Study, Concentration or Option changes should be done not later than one semester prior to graduation. Submit an application for graduation and diploma fee to the Registrar’s Office during the registration period of the last semester in residence.
  3. Dissertation students will be charged an additional fee to defray the cost for processing the manuscript.
  4. A student who has previously paid a diploma fee, but who failed to graduate at the time expected, must reapply and pay the application fee again.
  5. have all financial indebtedness to the University cleared prior to graduation.
  6. exit interview for financial aid.

A student who does not follow and complete the above requirements and procedures will not be allowed to graduate.

Graduate Assistantships, Fellowships and Scholarships

A number of teaching, research, and service assistantships are available for qualified students in all areas of the University. Graduate assistants may be appointed for the academic year (nine months), fiscal year (12 months), or summer. Graduate assistants must be enrolled as full-time (9 graduate credit hours in Fall and Spring) students and maintain a 3.0 grade point average. International graduate assistants who have primary responsibility for teaching a course (Teaching Associate) are required to have a TOEFL score of 100 (internet-based score), IELTS overall band score of 7.5 or PTE academic score of 61. Individual graduate programs may have higher requirements.

Assistantships provide a salary, and a waiver of the non-resident fee. Inquiries and applications should be made directly to the student's degree program or University department.

Graduate Scholarships

The Graduate School at the University of New Orleans distributes merit-based awards once each year.  Scholastic performance and test scores are among the criteria evaluated.  Applicants must be newly and unconditionally accepted to a UNO graduate program in a Fall semester, have a suitable GRE or GMAT score, meet the GPA requirements for the award and maintain nine credit hours of graduate coursework each semester (spring and fall).  In addition, applicants must be nominated for an award by the program to which they have been admitted.  Students should contact their graduate coordinator to initiate the process.  All awards are renewable annually for up to two years for master's degree students (three years for MFA students) and four years for doctoral degree students, provided that students maintain the required cumulative GPA, successfully complete nine graduate credit hours each semester, and retain the support of their degree program

Master's Student Award

Any student fully admitted into a Master's degree program, with 3.0+ undergraduate and/or 3.5+ graduate GPA is eligible to be nominated for this award. This scholarship provides a waiver of tuition and graduate enhancement fee for the academic year (fall and spring). Due Date: March 15.

Master's and Doctoral Level Award

Marcus B. Christian Graduate Scholarship
African-American and other under-represented U.S. minority students accepted to Doctoral and Master's degree programs with a 3.0+ undergraduate GPA and/or 3.5+ graduate GPA are eligible to be nominated for this award.  Strong preference is given to Louisiana residents and to graduates of Southern University in New Orleans and other historically black institutions. This scholarship provides a waiver of tuition and graduate enhancement fee for the academic year (fall and spring). Due Date: March 15.

Doctoral Student Award

Any student fully admitted into a Doctoral degree program, with 3.0+ undergraduate and/or 3.5+ graduate GPA is eligible to be nominated for this award. This scholarship provides a waiver of tuition and graduate enhancement fee for the academic year (fall and spring). Due Date: March 15

Student Financial Aid

For detailed information go to www.uno.edu/finaid .

Career Services

The Career Services office assists students with their career planning and provides information and materials on career development and employment opportunities. Career Services is a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and follows NACE's principles. Current students can register for the Career Compass that automates the entire career connection process for student profiles, resume uploads, job postings, and internships/cooperative experiences.

Affiliated Research

Oak Ridge Associated Universities

The University of New Orleans is affiliated with the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) which provides research collaboration opportunities with federal research facilities, other universities within the southeast, and corporate organizations. Together the universities work toward acquiring joint opportunities to compete for large research projects, to acquire shared information technology and to work in additional ways made possible by the critical number of universities involved. ORAU also offer opportunities to faculty and graduate students to participate in research through fellowships for graduate students and research affiliations for faculty.

Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium

The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) is an organization of public universities in the state including the University of New Orleans. LUMCON was chartered in 1979 to develop coordinated marine research and education within the state university system and provide coastal facilities for these programs.

LUMCON's principal facility is the Universities Marine Center at Cocodrie. The Marine Center consists of a fifty thousand square foot laboratory-dormitory complex, ninety-five foot and fifty-five foot research vessels, numerous small vessels and collecting equipment, and docking and service facilities for all the vessels. Satellite facilities with laboratories, accommodations, and small boats are operational at Port Fourchon and at Fearman Bayou. The Port Fourchon Laboratory provides ready access to salt and brackish marshes, the bays and bayous of the Timbalier and Barataria Bay systems, beaches, and the Gulf of Mexico; while the Fearman Bayou Laboratory provides access to a wildlife refuge on Vermillion Bay, brackish and fresh water marshes, and coastal cheniers.

College courses in the marine sciences offered at all three facilities emphasize extensive field experience and studies of living organisms in their natural habitat and in the laboratory. Enrollment in each course may be limited by space and accommodations available at a particular laboratory, but applicants from member institutions of LUMCON will be given priority. Students enrolled at UNO will register for LUMCON courses through UNO and will pay tuition based on the UNO fee schedule. Credit for such courses will be awarded by UNO and will be recorded on student transcripts. For details of marine science courses to be offered at LUMCON facilities see course offering in Biological Sciences, and consult the Chairs of the Departments of Biological Sciences and Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LAMP)

The University of New Orleans is a recipient of funds from the National Science Foundation through the Louisiana Board of Regents to implement and administer a program on the UNO campus called the Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LAMP). LAMP goals are to expand and reinforce systemic mentoring, including research participation and guidance to graduate students. The overall goal is to improve minority participation in science and math education and technology. Various LAMP programs introduce students to research tools and methods, provide hands-on research experience, build computer and technology skills, and help students prepare for graduate school.

Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA)

The University of New Orleans has been a member of the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) since 1993. SURA is a consortium of colleges and universities in the southern United States and the District of Columbia established as a non-stock, nonprofit corporation. SURA serves as an entity through which colleges, universities, and other organizations may cooperate with one another and with government in acquiring, developing, and using laboratories and other research facilities and in furthering knowledge and the application of that knowledge in the physical, biological, and other natural sciences and engineering.

SURA's goals are to foster excellence in scientific research, to strengthen the scientific and technical capabilities of the nation and of the Southeast, and to provide outstanding training opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers.

The most recent consortium emphases of SURA have focused on Information Technology (IT) and Internet II, advanced materials research, and coastal research activities.