Nevada State Horizontal Gold and Black Logo

Graduate Student Policies (AE 23)

OWNER: Office of the Provost
Phone: 702-992-2634
CATEGORY: Academic Affairs/Faculty
EFFECTIVE DATE: 09/13/2023
Web – Formatted (this page)
Download Policy


The policies below apply to students in graduate-level programs at Nevada State University (“Nevada State” or “NS”).


 Disqualification: A Graduate Student is dismissed from Nevada State and their graduate program.

 Graduate Student (or “Student” in this policy): A student accepted into a program designated as graduate-level at Nevada State.

 NS Cumulative Graduate GPA: Overall graduate Grade Point Average calculated using only graduate courses taken at the University.

Probation: Academic standing that indicates a student has failed to meet minimum requirements.


I.              Academic Standards

A. No program requirements can be satisfied with a course grade below C. Individual programs may set stricter grade requirements.

B. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grades are used only in designated graduate-level courses. Graduate courses may not be taken as S/U unless the course has been so designated by programs in the NS academic catalog.

C. Two-thirds of the minimum credits required for the specific degree program must be earned in approved courses offered by Nevada State. Remaining credits may consist of approved credits transferred from other regionally-accredited institutions. Individual programs with discipline-specific accreditations will review transferred credits to ensure they meet disciplinary accreditation requirements.

    1. To meet accreditation or licensure requirements, individual programs may limit how old transfer credits may be at the time of admission and/or may require proficiency exams or other demonstrations of proficiency to accept transfer credits.
    2. Individual programs with discipline-specific accreditations may require transfer credits to have been earned under current accreditation standards.

II.            Catalog Rights

Graduate Students who have maintained continuous enrollment at Nevada State may choose to graduate from NS based upon catalog requirements in effect either (1) at the time they entered NS or (2) at the time they graduate from NS.

An approved leave of absence is not considered an interruption in continuous enrollment, providing such absence does not exceed two (2) consecutive semesters. The absence must be consistent with NS policies regarding leave and approval procedures.

Students who have been academically Disqualified lose previously established catalog rights.

III.           Continuous Enrollment

All Graduate Students are required to be enrolled in either: (1) three (3) graduate-level credits per semester; or (2) the minimum number of credits agreed to by the graduate program and the Student prior to the beginning of the term. Any Student in violation of the Continuous Enrollment requirement is subject to Disqualification from the program and the Student’s academic record shall be closed.

The Office of the Registrar shall notify programs before the beginning of each term; programs shall notify Students prior to the beginning of the semester if they are in danger of violating the continuous enrollment requirement. The Discontinuation Notice shall be issued no less than ten (10) business days prior to the beginning of the semester. The Discontinuation Notice shall inform the Student that failure to register for the minimum number of credits violates the continuous enrollment requirement and will result in their Disqualification. If the Student then fails to register for the minimum number of required credits by the add/drop date for the semester, the Student is Disqualified from graduate studies at Nevada State.

If a Student is unable to enroll in the minimum number of credits the next semester, the Student shall apply for a leave of absence through their graduate program. The Leave of Absence form is submitted to the program director. If approved, it is routed to the dean for approval and then routed to the Registrar’s Office for processing.

Failure to submit the Leave of Absence form or to return to the graduate program after the leave of absence has expired shall result in Disqualification from the Graduate Program and the student’s academic record shall be closed. A Student may request reinstatement. The decision to reinstate is at the discretion of the graduate program.

IV.           Course Loads

Full-time enrollment for Graduate Students is nine (9) semester credits. The course load of Graduate Students may not in any term exceed fifteen (15) semester credits without the approval of the program director (or designee).

For financial aid purposes, full-time enrollment for Graduate Students is a minimum of nine (9) credits and half-time enrollment is a minimum of five (5) credits.

V.            Course Numbering

Courses numbered 500 and above designate graduate-level courses. Eligible senior undergraduates may enroll in courses numbered 500-599 only with permission of the program director (or designee). Courses numbered 600 and above are for Graduate Students only.

VI.           Course Repeat

A Graduate Student who receives a grade that does not meet program-specific minimum grade requirements must retake the course; only one (1) retake opportunity is available. Unit credit for the course will be granted only once unless the course is repeatable as specified in the academic catalog. The repeat grade will replace the original grade in the Student’s GPA calculation, even if the retaken grade is lower than the original grade.

Students cannot retake a class in which they earned a grade that meets program-specific minimum requirements.

VII.         Course Substitutions

Substitutions will be reviewed and granted by the individual program director (or designee) on a case-by-case basis.

VIII.        Enrollment

Graduate Students may register only after being fully admitted to NS, per the guidelines of their specific program. Any student who attends classes but fails to register for those classes through the Office of the Registrar will not receive credit for those classes. An advisor’s or program director’s approval is required prior to registration for Graduate Students returning from academic Disqualification and those on academic Probation.

Failure to begin attending a course at the beginning of the term may result in being administratively dropped from the course. Failure to complete and provide documentation of all prerequisite requirements may result in a Student being administratively dropped from a course.

IX.           Graduation Application Requirements

A. Graduation Information and Application Process for the Graduate Degree: To qualify for graduation, Students must complete all requirements for the graduate degree by the official graduation date listed in the academic calendar. Graduation is not automatic upon the completion of requirements. Students who intend to graduate must take the initiative and should follow the key steps listed in IX.B and IX.C. While Students are ultimately responsible for completing all degree requirements, assistance is available through faculty advisement and the Office of the Registrar.

B. Application for Graduation: The Application for Graduation entitles students to an official graduation evaluation of progress toward meeting graduate degree requirements. Students qualifying for graduation by the designated graduation date may participate in the annual commencement ceremony. Commencement participation does not constitute proof of the successful completion of degree requirements. The Application for Graduation is available from the Office of the Registrar. Application deadlines are published in the academic calendar. Failure to meet the deadline for the term in which a Student wishes to graduate may delay their graduation.

C. Participating in Commencement Ceremonies: Students who have completed degree or credential requirements the previous summer or fall terms are eligible to participate in the ceremony along with those who plan to complete their work in the spring or subsequent summer term and have filed an Application for Graduation. Names of graduates and degree candidates who have applied for graduation by the deadline will be published in the Commencement Program unless a student has requested otherwise by filing a Withhold Directory Information (FERPA) form with the Registrar.

X.            Minimum Graduate Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students should refer to the minimum grade and cumulative graduate GPA requirements published by their graduate program. Academic honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude) are not awarded to Graduate Students.

XI.           Multiple Graduate Degrees and Programs

Students who have finished one graduate degree may be awarded another graduate degree when they have finished the requirements for the second degree as set forth in the NS graduate catalog. Students cannot pursue multiple graduate degrees simultaneously unless agreed upon by the directors of both programs.

Students must meet all the requirements of the second degree, including coursework, tests, thesis, foreign language, experience, age of credits, departmental recommendations, and/or other requirements as specified. The department housing the second program/degree will evaluate graduate credits and identify which coursework/credits may be applied to the second degree. Students may apply a maximum of twelve (12) department/program credits from one graduate degree or degree program to a second or additional graduate degree.

XII.         Policy Appeals

Policy appeals should be made in writing using the Exception to Policy form available from, and submitted to, the Office of the Registrar. Appeals must be initiated by the Student and endorsed by the appropriate graduate program advisor or director (or designee). The appeal must contain adequate justification for the exception requested.

XIII.        Prerequisite Courses

Undergraduate courses taken to satisfy prerequisite requirements for admission to a graduate program may not be included in the minimum number of units required for completion of the graduate program.

XIV.        Previous Graduate Credit

Students may include in a graduate degree program a maximum of twelve (12) graduate semester credits completed before admission to graduate studies at NS. These credits must be from a regionally-accredited university, approved by the department for inclusion in a degree program, no more than six (6) years old at the time of program completion, and not part of an undergraduate degree. Students must have earned a B- or above on any transferred coursework. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the program graduate director or coordinator. Appeals are made in writing by the Student by completing an Exception to Policy form.

XV.         Probation, Disqualification, and Reinstatement

Academic Probation

Academic Probation at the graduate level is a non-punitive mechanism used to ensure Graduate Students who are not successfully progressing in their graduate programs are provided with clear information and requirements to guide them to appropriate progression and successful program completion.

A Graduate Student will be subject to academic Probation if, after attempting nine (9) or more graded units,

  • the Student’s cumulative graduate NSC GPA falls below 3.0;
  • the Student fails to earn satisfactory grades, including two or more Incompletes;
  • the Student fails to meet approved requirements in their program’s graduate handbook.

Probationary Students will be advised of their status via NS e-mail. The communication will include conditions for removal from Probation and the circumstances that would lead to Disqualification. All Probationary Students are required to seek advising no later than the second week of the following enrolled term. Students shall be removed from academic Probation once they have received such advising and a) the cumulative graduate GPA at NS is 3.0 or higher or b) the student meets approved requirements and timelines set by their program.

Academic Disqualification

A Graduate Student on academic Probation will be academically Disqualified for any of the following:

  • the Student’s GPA in all units attempted at NS falls below 2.5;
  • the Student fails to meet the requirements for removal from academic Probation within the prescribed time frame;
  • the Student fails to follow degree program handbook requirements.

Students cannot be placed on Probation for the first time at NS and be Disqualified in the same semester.

Student will be informed of Disqualification via NS email. A Student may appeal academic Disqualification up to thirty (30) calendar days from the date of academic Disqualification. Appeals should be made to the Office of the Provost or designee. Typical grounds for a successful appeal include significant improvement toward meeting the GPA requirements and/or extraordinary circumstances beyond the Student’s control. A successful appeal of Disqualification will result in the Student returning to Probationary status. Students who appeal unsuccessfully will need to apply for reinstatement as specified below if they wish to continue at NS.


A Student may submit a petition for reinstatement into a graduate program no later than thirty (30) calendar days before the beginning of the term in which the Student wishes to return. The College will only consider the petition for reinstatement of a Student who has remained outside of the College for at least one regular (Fall or Spring) semester after Disqualification. The Student may be required to reapply to their desired degree program.

A Student who is Disqualified, reinstated, and becomes Disqualified a second time will not be granted a second reinstatement to the program.

XVI.        Program-Level Accreditor Policies

Individual programs may pursue discipline- or industry-relevant accreditations as appropriate. Students must comply with policies and meet requirements required by accrediting agencies for their individual program.

XVII.      Residency

Two-thirds of the minimum credits required for the specific degree program must be earned in approved courses offered by NS; the last two terms of coursework must be earned in residence at Nevada State. Specific programs may have additional standards or limitations.

XVIII.     Thesis Grading

Students who complete a thesis may enroll in a thesis course that spans multiple terms. The course may be assigned a grade of In Progress (IP) until the thesis is completed and a final grade is assigned to the thesis course.

If a student enrolls in a thesis course and is passing but does not complete the thesis, a grade of Thesis Incomplete (INC) will be assigned for the final term of the thesis course. This grade is available only to graduate students enrolled in a multiple-term thesis course

XIX.        Time to Degree Completion

After being admitted, a Student in a graduate program has a maximum of six (6) calendar years to complete a graduate degree program, beginning with the semester the Student is admitted. The time-to-completion calendar re-starts for students who have been re-admitted into a degree program after reinstatement.

Admitted Students who fail to complete the degree within the time-to-completion period will be dropped from the program and must re-apply for admission to the degree program with evaluation of all credits taken to date and pay the application fee. The degree program director will work with the Office of the Registrar to notify students they have been dropped from the program for violating the time-to-completion period.

Students who are using NS resources during the six-year period, including faculty consultation, laboratories, library resources, or scheduling and completing final examinations, must register for a minimum of three (3) graduate-level credits per semester or the minimum number of credits agreed to by the graduate program and the Student prior to the beginning of the term.




Office of the Registrar
Phone: 702-992-2110




Approved by Dr. Tony Scinta, Interim Provost, 7/28/2023.
Approved by Dr. DeRionne Pollard, President, 9/13/2023.