Academics and Policies

The staff of the Graduate School, in partnership with graduate faculty and other UNC Charlotte administrative departments, are responsible for leading changes in academic programs and policies to keep pace with socioeconomic changes in the Charlotte region. Staff also play a leading role in ensuring adherence to academic and research standards. 

Course Requirements & Policies

Program requirements and graduate policy is located in the Graduate Catalog.  

Course & Curriculum Changes

Make suggested changes to academic programs and policy through Curriculog, the Course and Curriculum Management System (log-in required). Curriculog and other planning resources are available on the Office of the Provost’ Curriculum and Catalogs page.  

Graduate Certificate Renewal

Graduate certificate programs are established for a five-year period. At the completion of the five years, the certificate program may be considered for renewal. Program Directors may find procedures in GPDNet (sign-in required). The renewal process take place through Curriculog.

Graduate Council

Proposed changes in policies and programs go before the Graduate Council for consideration. The Graduate Council's role is important in ensuring graduate education is responsive to the changing needs of the Charlotte region.  For more information and a list of Graduate Council members, please visit the Graduate Council page of Faculty Governance or contact Annette Parks. Graduate Council liaison.

Suggested Responsibilities for Graduate Program Directors

Graduate Program Directors (GPD) play a vital role in making graduate programs successful. While the specific responsibilities vary from program to program, there are a number of typical responsibilities associated with this role. Download the suggested List of Responsibilities.

Expectations for Graduate Student Progress

The Graduate School sets time limits for the completion of each degree at the graduate level. It is the responsibility of students and faculty in each program to ensure that students make adequate progress toward the completion of their degree. To aid in that effort, the Graduate School outlines expectations for graduate students and graduate program faculty.

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Graduate Student Achievement Metrics

Because no national, universal assessment of graduate student achievement exists, the Graduate School uses its own internal assessment. Key indicators are retention and graduation rates for master's and professional or research doctorate students. These indicators are closely monitored to ensure programs can successfully achieve the productivity requirements of the UNC System. Retention and graduation data are updated annually and available to key stakeholders and the public via Tableau dashboards on the Institutional Research website. Additionally, the information is discussed at meetings of the Graduate Program Directors and University administrators via the Graduate Enrollment Management (GEM) Workgroup, the Graduate Council, and Graduate Program Director meetings.

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Student Policies

The Graduate Catalog is the reference for all program requirements and graduate policy. The Graduate School assists in processing updates to the Graduate Catalog each year, a process generally beginning in the fall. A GPD is responsible for yearly updates that reflect approved changes to courses or program requirements.

It is the GPD's role to advise their students on the numerous University and Graduate School policies found within the Catalog. The current Catalog, as well as archives, are available online at the University Catalogs website.

Academic Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research Training

Designed to benefit graduate students throughout the university, these two courses are an introduction to several aspects of a successful professional career. Graduate students should be encouraged to enroll where required. For course information, visit the Center for Graduate Life and Learning website.

Student Tracking and Progress Resources

A major responsibility of the Graduate Program Director or Coordinator is the tracking of student progress. This includes oversight of enrollment each semester, qualifying exam benchmarks, candidacy, research productivity, commencement deadlines and time-to-degree. The Graduate School monitors students that do not meet enrollment guidelines and may fall to non-degree seeking status, as well as time-to-degree. However, the GPD/C should be proactive in oversight of these processes. Best practices include: developing a tracking spreadsheet for the students in the program, holding orientations to assure active communication, and requiring annual progress reports that specify yearly goals and timelines to program-specific benchmarks.

Thesis and Dissertation Resources

All students enrolled in thesis-based master's programs or Doctoral programs must submit a thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School. The details of the submission process, semester deadlines, FAQs, as well as resources for the writing and formatting of the manuscripts are detailed on the Thesis and Dissertation Manual page. Both Master’s and Doctoral Students have the option of submitting an electronic version of their document so it is critical that program Directors and Coordinators become familiar with the ETD process and discuss the deadlines and processes with students at the beginning of the semester.

Graduation Clearance

For more information on Doctoral or Master's Graduation Clearance, please contact your College Liaison or visit the Graduate School.

Quick Reference

Below please find weblinks to some of the policies and procedures of the Graduate School and UNC Charlotte:

Course and Program Development

Graduate Council

Graduate Faculty

Academic Policy