Graduate School Handbook

Regulations for Enrollment, Registration, and Graduation (from Chapter 15 of the Louisiana Tech University Catalog)

Continuous Enrollment and Registration

Graduate students should remain continuously enrolled while they pursue their graduate program. If circumstances prevent continuous enrollment for one or more quarters (except Summer Quarter), graduate students must apply for readmission upon their return. Graduate students must remain continuously enrolled during the research/practicum phase of their program. Graduate students must comply with time limitations for completion of programs set by policy for the graduate program in which they are enrolled.

Graduate students will conform to the registration schedule of the University and may not enter later than the last allowable date set by the University Registrar. Students requiring a faculty member's time and assistance, laboratory facilities, library services, etc., while engaged in research or practicum, or preparing for or taking examinations must register for a minimum of 3 hours of graduate credit in 551.

During their first quarter of graduate study, and before registering for successive quarters, a graduate student must obtain his or her advisor's approval of his/her proposed program (plan of study).

Graduate Status for Graduation

Graduate students are required to register for graduation in the quarter during which they complete all degree requirements. Students who register for graduation and then withdraw must appeal in writing and receive permission from their college and the Dean of the Graduate School to register for graduation in any subsequent quarter.

Note: Graduate International students are required to be enrolled for a minimum of 6 graduate credit hours in their degree program each term until graduation to maintain student visa status.

A candidate for graduation who fails to pass the final examination in only one course during the last quarter's work may be permitted to take a "deficiency examination" in this course. If the student fails the "deficiency examination," the course must be repeated.


Commencement exercises are held and advanced degrees may be conferred at the close of any quarter, including the Summer Quarter. A student who is scheduled to receive a degree at the end of a quarter is expected to attend the commencement exercises. Degree candidates are required to arrive at the place of assembly no later than 1 hour before commencement exercises are scheduled to begin. A candidate can petition to be absent through a written request to the University President.

The applicant for graduation must be registered at Louisiana Tech University. Applications for graduation must be reported to the appropriate director for graduate studies and to the University Registrar by Friday of the third week of the quarter in which the student expects to graduate. Arrangements for caps, gowns, and hoods should be made in the University Bookstore.

Transfer Credits

Upon approval of the department involved 1/3 of the hours required for the master's degree, a maximum of 12 semester hours of graduate resident credit, may be transferred for degree credit from a U. S. regionally accredited college or university. The grade earned must be B or above, and the credits must be accepted as applicable to the master's degree program by the student's academic college. No correspondence credits are applicable toward a master's degree.

Transfer credit for graduate courses will be posted on the student's transcript only by written request from the student's graduate committee chairperson and approved by the college graduate director. Transfer credit will be posted only for courses listed on the student's approved Plan of Study.


A thesis subject should be selected by the student in consultation with the student's advisor and must be approved by the Advisory Committee. With permission of the Advisory Committee, a student not in residence but who has satisfied all course requirements may complete the thesis "in absentia."

The research and thesis must be certified by registration in and completion of all requirements of the research and thesis courses numbered 551. If the student does not complete the course during the quarter in which he or she is registered for it, an incomplete or I grade will be given in the course until such time as all requirements are completed, including the thesis. The limit on clearing this grade is graduation. The thesis, in order to be approved, must be written in correct English and in scholarly form. It must show independent thought, both in its recognition of a clearly defined problem and in its method of treatment. It must reveal the sources of information and a knowledge of the bibliography of a special field. If a student's thesis contains proprietary information that the student wishes to retain as proprietary after submitting his or her thesis to the Graduate School and the Library, the student is permitted, based upon the recommendation of the chairperson of the committee responsible for approval of a student's thesis to the Graduate School, to substitute sample data for actual data, facsimile illustrations for actual illustrations, and "what-if" situations for actual situations, as appropriate, in the document being released to the public domain. The student will include an appropriate disclaimer in the thesis to state that samples, facsimiles, etc., are being substituted for proprietary information in the document being released to the public domain.

The publication "Guidelines for the Preparation of Your Thesis or Dissertation" is available in the Graduate School Office and on the Graduate School website ( and should be used as a guide in the preparation of the thesis. The approved final copy of the thesis must be submitted to the college director of graduate studies 10 working days before the expected date of graduation, to the Dean of the Graduate School 7 working days before the expected date of graduation, and to Prescott Memorial Library 3 working days before the expected date of graduation.

The Department of History also maintains guidelines for theses (click here for these guidelines). Students in the MA program in history are expected to be familiar with and to comply with both departmental and Graduate School guidelines and expectations.

The director of graduate studies will notify the academic dean and the Graduate School that the candidate has completed all requirements other than the final quarter's grades and is eligible to receive the appropriate degree prior to graduation. A student will not be permitted to graduate unless all grades are cleared.

Students requiring a faculty member's time and assistance, laboratory facilities, library services, etc., while engaged in research and/or practicum will be required to register and pay fees.


Oral and/or written comprehensive examinations will be administered by the Advisory Committee sufficiently in advance of graduation in order that the dean of the academic college (or a representative) in which the student is a candidate for a graduate degree may notify the Graduate School Office. This notification should be made at least 1 week before commencement and should state that all requirements have been satisfied, contingent upon satisfactory grades for the final quarter. Otherwise, the candidate will be delayed 1 quarter in receiving his or her degree. A student who does not successfully pass the comprehensive examination is entitled to one repeat examination. No oral or written comprehensive examination is required for the MBA and MPA.

Time Limit for Degree

A time limit for the completion of all requirements for the master's degree has been set at 6 consecutive calendar years from the time of initial enrollment. Failure to do so will result in the student's immediate suspension from the master's degree program. Reinstatement appeals should be directed to the Dean of the Graduate School and the Graduate Council through the college director of graduate studies. The Graduate Council shall stipulate the conditions of possible reinstatement.

A Second Master's Degree

A student pursuing a second master's degree must earn a minimum of 15 additional graduate hours at Louisiana Tech and must satisfy the requirements for a minimum number of exclusive graduate courses, in addition to the thesis or practicum if required, to be taken in the area in which the second degree is being earned. Some colleges may require more than 15 hours. A student pursuing a second master's degree may be allowed to apply from a previous graduate degree a maximum of one-half the credits required for the second degree. Transfer hours will not be approved on a second master's degree.

International students wishing to pursue a second master's degree or advance to a doctoral program need to obtain a new I-20 to comply with INS regulations.

Dual-Degree Programs

Students wishing to pursue two degrees simultaneously must provide the Graduate School with documentation for the Primary and Secondary degree program from the college(s) in which the degree program(s) resides. Appropriate admission procedures and separate applications must be followed and submitted for each degree program. If the programs are in different colleges, an application fee must be paid for each program application. Any program changes must be reported by the appropriate college(s) to the University Registrar and the Graduate School immediately. Degree audits are required for each program being pursued. The Primary program must be completed first. Each degree program must be supervised by an appropriate Advisory Committee with complete paperwork, including Plan of Study, completed and submitted for each program being pursued. All published guidelines, policies, and procedures are applicable to these programs.