Frequently Asked Questions

Defending soon? Need to find a CGR Representative for your committee? Filling out a program of study? Need to schedule an exam? Use these forms that are relevant to graduate school processes.


When should I complete and submit my program of study?

“M.S. students entering in the fall should file a program by the end of winter term. Ph.D students entering with a bachelor's degree have 5 terms to file a program.” -BPP Handbook

This is not necessarily true. All graduate committees and graduate student advisors have different expectations for when committees should be formed, meet, and approve of a program of study. This should be an open conversation between students and graduate advisors. But sooner is always better than later and be aware that the graduate school requires this document on file, complete, and signed XXX days before graduation.

What is a blanket credit?

A “blanket” credit is received after completing a course coded 50X or 60X from any department. These are usually 1 credit courses in professional development, orientation, or seminar. Both MS and PhD programs have a maximum number of blanket courses that can be included on programs of study. Thesis and Research courses which are coded 50X or 60X DO NOT COUNT AS blanket courses.

What is the difference between a blanket credit and a regular credit?

Regular credits are non-blanket courses from any department. For example, 525, 547, or 561 are all non-blanket courses. Both MS and PhD programs have a minimum number of regular courses that are required to appear on programs of study.

More than half of the required number of regular credits should be graduate stand alone. These can be gained by completing a course that does not have an undergraduate equivalent.

Slash or undergraduate equivalent courses must not account for more than half of the minimum number of regular courses for a program of study. Undergraduate equivalent courses are common and are coded this way: STAT 411/511.

How can I be sure that a the credits from a course meet the requirement as graduate stand alone credits (is a non-slash course)? 

Every course available on campus appear in the Course Catalog where each course has its own page and a table that lists course details such as title, instructor, term, meeting time, and meeting place. In this table there is also a ‘comments’ field. If this field is empty for a graduate course (500 or 600 level), this usually means that this course meets the graduate stand alone requirement. This field may read, “Does not meet the Graduate Stand Alone Requirement,” which indicates that it is a slash course or a course with an undergraduate equivalent. Occasionally, the comments field will be empty although the course has an undergraduate equivalent. Any course that has an undergraduate equivalent does not meet the requirements as a graduate stand alone.

How many credits should be included on my program of study? 

The minimum. Programs of study are binding contracts and any credits or courses included must be completed (changes can be made but should be avoided). Include only the minimum number of regular courses required and use Thesis (503 and 603) to fill in the rest of the required credits. You may choose to take other courses, and you are unlikely to list all courses appearing on your transcript on your program of study.