Registration & Degree Information

Admission to Degree Programs

Admission to all graduate programs at Tulane is on the basis of academic accomplishments and potential, regardless of race, sex, color, religion, national/ethnic origin, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.

Specific admission standards are set by the individual schools, but in general, only applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree from a recognized institution may be admitted if their academic records and personal attributes indicate the ability to pursue advanced study successfully. Applicants must present evidence, to the satisfaction of the department or the program committee concerned, of adequate preparation for the subjects in which they seek to specialize. All students must hold the undergraduate degree before enrolling. Only students with undergraduate averages of B or better, or with undergraduate study of otherwise certifiable equivalent quality, ordinarily are admitted.

A master’s degree is not prerequisite to the beginning of study for the Doctor of Philosophy degree, but a student may be required to qualify for the master’s degree while working toward the doctorate.

Prospective students should consult the graduate admissions offices of their program of interest for additional admission requirements, application deadlines, and degree requirements.

Continuous Registration Requirement

A student admitted in a degree program must be continuously registered in a degree-granting division of the university during the academic year (exclusive of summer session) in either full-time or part-time status (indicated below) from the date of first registration until the awarding of the degree, unless the registration is terminated by resignation or by dismissal for academic or disciplinary reasons.

A student who has not completed the minimum coursework requirements for the degree must either enroll for a minimum of three hours per semester (exclusive of summer session) or register for Master’s Research or Dissertation Research in order to maintain continuous registration. A student who has completed the minimum hours of coursework required for the degree must register for Master’s Research (no credit hours) or Dissertation Research (no credit hours) in order to maintain continuous registration. Some schools may require registration for a higher number of credit hours or may charge a continuous regisration fee.

Failure to be continuously registered is a de facto withdrawal and the school reserves the right not to readmit.  A student who is readmitted is obligated to pay any applicable fee required to maintain continuous registration. Under exceptional circumstances a student may be granted leave by the dean, and during such period of leave, a student will be considered in continuous registration without payment of fee.

Full-Time Registration Status

Full-time registration status consists of registration for at least nine hours of graduate credit per semester, or a combination of coursework and equivalent academic activities such as teaching or research. Students must be in full-time status for at least one academic year (exclusive of summer session), though some schools and programs may require full-time status for a longer period. To hold a Tulane-sponsored fellowship, scholarship or assistantship, a student must be in full-time status. Off-campus employment may disqualify a student from receiving a Tulane-sponsored fellowship, scholarship, or assistantship.

A student who has completed the minimum hours of coursework required for the degree and is registered for Master’s Research (no credit hours) or Dissertation Research (no credit hours) may be classified as a full-time student with full student privileges. Schools, however, may require the department or program committee to certify that the student is engaged in academic activities equivalent to a full-time commitment.

Part-Time Registration Status

Part-time registration status consists of registration for less than nine hours of graduate credit without certification by the department or program committee that the student is engaged in a full-time academic program.

Tenure for Degree Students

Tenure is the maximum period of time normally permitted for the completion of all requirements for a degree, and it is determined on the basis of consecutive academic years from the date of registration for graduate study at Tulane or at another institution. Tenure is not affected by residence status. Under certain circumstances, upon the recommendation of the chairperson of a student’s department or program committee, the dean may extend tenure, but a student whose period of graduate study is unduly prolonged or interrupted may be required to perform additional work. Tenure regulations are applicable to all degree students, regardless of date of first registration. A registration block will be imposed by the school dean for those students who are beyond their time of tenure. The block can only be removed with permission from the dean.

Master’s Degrees

Tenure is five years, although some departments stipulate much earlier completion of all requirements for the degree in their master’s programs.

Ph.D. Degree

Tenure for the Ph.D. degree is seven years.

Registration Policies and Procedures

Registration information for graduate students is the same as that for undergraduate students.

Change of Courses

Students wishing to add or drop courses should consult the Schedule of Classes for deadlines and instructions. Failure to make schedule adjustments promptly and accurately may result in financial or academic penalties.

Change of Departmental Program

A student who has been admitted to a degree program in one department and wishes to transfer to a program in another department must obtain the approval of the chair of both departments concerned and the approval of the dean of the school before the change is official. The necessary form for such changes is available in the dean’s office.


Grades are reported as follows:

C+ A course in which a grade of C+ or less is earned cannot be counted toward a graduate degree.
I Incomplete – This grade will automatically become F unless the work is made up within 30 days after the beginning of the following semester, excluding Summer School. This grade is not to be used as an automatic extension but only for unavoidable delays caused by illness or other emergencies.
 R Research – In those cases where research or experimentation, or both, cannot be completed within the 30-day limit following the end of the semester, this grade will be given to indicate this circumstance. This grade carries a different meaning from that of IP which is given at the end of the first semester of a two-semester course.
IP  In Progress – Satisfactory progress at the end of the first semester of a year-long course; grades are assigned upon completion of the course.
W Courses may be dropped without record within six weeks of the first day of classes. Refer to Academic Calendar for exact dates each semester. Withdrawals with the grade of W after these dates may be accomplished only if the instructor notifies the dean that the student is passing and recommends permission to withdraw. WF (withdrawn failing) will be assigned if the student’s work in a course is unsatisfactory at the time of withdrawal.
 In some departments grades for certain courses are reported as follows:
S Satisfactory
U Unsatisfactory

In some departments, grades for certain other designated courses may also be reported simply as S or U at the student’s option, provided that the option is declared by the student no later than the end of the second week of class.

Transfer Credit 

Acceptance of graduate credit for work done at other graduate institutions or in another division of Tulane University must be approved by the department concerned and by the dean of the appropriate school. In general, a maximum of 12 semester hours of transfer credit may be accepted toward a master’s degree, and a maximum of 24 semester hours of transfer credit may be accepted toward the Ph.D. Some schools may allow fewer transfer credits.

Medical Excuses

Students are expected to attend all classes unless they are ill or prevented from attending by exceptional circumstances. Instructors may establish policies for attendance of their classes, which are announced at the beginning of the semester. Students who find it necessary to miss class must assume responsibility for making up the work covered during that session, including quizzes, examinations, and other exercises; they also are responsible for obtaining notes on material covered in lectures or other class sessions.

Students are responsible for notifying professors about absences that result from serious illnesses, injuries, or critical personal problems. However, medical excuses are not issued by the University Health Service, except in instances of illnesses or injuries that involve hospitalization.

Required Withdrawal and Denial of Enrollment

A student may be required to withdraw from any course or from the university, temporarily or permanently, for any of the following reasons:

  1. Work below the standard specified by the college in which the student is enrolled.
  2. Violation of the honor system or other misconduct.
  3. Possibility of danger to the health of the student or to other students if enrollment is continued.

The university reserves the right to forbid any student’s continued enrollment without assignment of reason. The school, however, will provide a student with a statement of reason in writing from the department. An appellate procedure has been established in cases involving academic performance or possible infringement of academic freedom. Schools also have appellate procedures in cases involving non-reappointment of fellowships or scholarships when the formal terms of the first award have given reasonable expectation of renewal. Such procedures may also apply to cases in which a graduate, teaching, or research assistant, is relieved of a position before the end of the term of the appointment or is not reappointed when the formal terms of the first appointment have given reasonable expectation of reappointment. Copies of these procedures are available in the dean’s office.

Resignation from a graduate program must be made in writing to the dean. The student who finds it necessary to withdraw or to resign should report to the dean’s office to complete a withdrawal or resignation form.

Conferring of Degrees

All degrees are conferred by Tulane University. Degrees earned at the graduate level are awarded three times a year in December, May, and August. There is one commencement program each year in May. Candidates for degrees are required to complete an application for degree form on or before deadline dates, as stipulated by each school.