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Graduate School Handbook, Annotation of changes, 2015-16

of the Graduate School Handbook

Policy changes from the 2014-2015 to the 2015-2016 edition are detailed below. New language is presented in bold. Some changes in the 2015-2016 edition are typographical or minor edits for clarification and are not detailed here.


Change: EDU T&L 5901.05 is no longer offered and has been removed as a course option

Upon arrival, an international student from a country where the first language is not English is required to sit for an ESL Composition Placement Essay. Based on the essay result, students needing English writing instruction will be placed in EDU T&L 5901/5901.05 or 5902. The student is expected to complete EDU T&L 5902 within one calendar year after beginning graduate school. The Graduate Studies Committee in the student’s graduate program may request an extension of the time limit. Such requests must be sent to the Graduate School for review. The Graduate School will monitor the student’s progress toward completing the ESL course sequence.


Change: Updated how spoken English tests are scored.

New international graduate students for whom English is not the first language must certify their proficiency in spoken English before assuming Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) duties. They may become certified by scoring 28 or higher on the spoken portion of the TOEFL iBT, 8.5 on the IELTS, or by scoring at the appropriate level on the Oral Proficiency Assessment (OPA) administered by the ESL Spoken English Program.


Change: Update on Professional Doctoral Examination section to include notification to Graduate School

 Professional Doctoral Examination. Students are required to take a professional doctoral examination testing the student’s understanding of the theoretical and applied fundamentals of the field as well as the student’s readiness to engage in a sustained clinical or professional experience. The timing of the professional doctoral examination is set in accordance with the requirements of professional preparation but generally precedes a sustained clinical or professional experience. The student must submit an Application for Professional Exam form at least two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the exam.


Change: Updated post- and pre-tax status of healthcare benefits.

Healthcare premium deductions for graduate associates enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan are now taken on a post-tax basis. Language referring to a pre-tax healthcare premium deduction has been removed.


Change: Clarification of process for continuation of graduate committee service for faculty who retire or leave the university

Other faculty who retire or leave the university. Graduate programs mustapprove a request to continue graduate committee service prior to a Graduate Faculty member’s retirement or resignation. A Committee and Examination Petition form is initiated by the student on GRADFORMS to begin this approval process. With the approval of the graduate program and the Graduate School, such faculty (including emeritus faculty who do not wish to retain Graduate Faculty status):


Change: Clarification of documentation required for Category P nomination

Nominations, Appointment, and Notification. The Graduate Studies Committee appoints Category M Graduate Faculty members and notifies the Graduate School of its actions. The Graduate Studies Committee submits nominations for Category P membership on the Graduate Faculty to the Graduate School and certifies by appropriate documentation that those nominated meet published Graduate School criteria as detailed in Section XV.4 of this Handbook. Graduate programs may establish additional local criteria.


Change: Update on guidelines for video conferencing to include notification to the Graduate School 

Graduate programs must adhere to the following guidelines if a master’s examination, the oral portion of the doctoral candidacy examination, or the final oral examination involves video conferencing.

  1. Prior approval of the Graduate School to conduct the examination using video conferencing is required. The student must submit a Committee and Examination form at least two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the exam.

[There are eight further guidelines which have not been modified.]


Change: Update on notification of leaves of absence for students on Graduate School Fellowships

Requests for short-term absences and leaves of absence are handled at the local level. When in need of a short- term absence or a leave of absence, the funded graduate student must make a request as promptly as possible to his/her immediate academic or administrative supervisor. In the case of short-term absences, the supervisor will make the decision. In the case of leaves of absence, the supervisor must consult with the student’s advisor and chair of the Graduate Studies Committee in the student’s program of study. The appointing unit may designate additional individuals who must approve requests for leaves of absence. In some cases it may be necessary for the supervisor and/or student to consult with other entities (such as a funding agency, the Office of International Education, etc.). For students on a Graduate School fellowship appointment, the student’s program of study must notify the Office of Fellowship Services of the student’s leave of absence.


  1. English as a Second Language (ESL) Requirement II.6
  2. Spoken English Requirement II.7
  3. Professional Doctoral Programs VII.17
  4. Benefits Information IX.5/ Health Insurance
  5. Eligibility XV.1
  6. Catagory Level XV.3
  7. Guidelines for Video Conferencing Relating to Master’s and Doctoral ExaminationsAppendix B
  8. Guidelines Applying to All Short-term Absences and Leaves of Absence Appendix E, Section C
  9. Childbirth/Adoption Leave of Absence Appendix E. Section G

Change: Change in adoption leave policy, allowing for up to six weeks leave for one adoptive parent.

Adoption Leave of Absence

  • If both adoptive parents are funded graduate students who are eligible for leave:
    • One adoptive parent’s stipend will be maintained for up to six weeks or until the last day of the appointment, whichever comes first.
    • The second adoptive parent’s stipend will be maintained for up to three weeks or until the last day of the appointment, whichever comes first.
  • If only one parent is a funded graduate student who is eligible for leave:
    • For an adoptive mother, the stipend will be maintained for up to six weeks or until the last day of the appointment, whichever comes first.
    • For an adoptive father or domestic partner, the stipend will be maintained for up to three weeks or until the last day of the appointment, whichever comes first.