College of Education *
College of Education *
Graduate Studies Student Services Office

College of Education
Graduate Policies And Handbooks


Graduate Student Life Handbook


As a student in the College of Education you are responsible for meeting University, Graduate School, College and program requirements.  Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for Graduate School requirements.  Listed below are some of the policies that we often receive questions about.

Satisfactory Progress Requirements

Graduate students admitted to the Graduate School, College of Education, must make satisfactory progress in meeting programmatic requirements, must demonstrate the ability to succeed in his or her course of studies or research, and must attain performance minima. The College of Education has set the minimum satisfactory progress requirements. Please note that program requirements and deadlines may exceed those established by the Graduate School and/or College of Education.

The satisfactory progress requirements for doctoral students are available in the Progress to Degree for the Doctoral Degree: Expectations for Completion document (pdf)

The satisfactory progress requirements for master’s students are available in the Progress to Degree for the Master’s Degree: Expectations for Completion document (pdf)

Examinations Required

Most College of Education graduate students are required to complete examinations in partial fulfillment of their master's (thesis option), doctoral degree, or the Advanced Graduate Specialist (A.G.S.) Certificate. Some master's (non-thesis) programs (M.A., M.Ed.) require a comprehensive examination. Programs determine what constitutes an examination, preliminary and comprehensive examinations are developed by the individual programs.

The Program of Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation is the only program in the College of Education that requires a doctoral preliminary examination, early in the program. A few areas of concentration under the master's non-thesis option degrees (M.A. or M.Ed.) do not require a comprehensive examination.

Examinations are administered through the individual program. Students should check with their program on examination requirements, application procedures and deadlines.

Exceptions to Policy and Extensions

If you wish to request an exception to any established College or program policy, it must be made by submitting a petition form. Many policies exist and there are specific forms for the type of exception being requested.

Students seeking an extension to the amount of time permitted to complete their degree, should file the Request for Time Extension for Completion of Graduate Degree form. Support documentation must include a letter of explanation and justification, a time-table for completion, and a support letter from the Program Director or Graduate Studies (DGS). If an extension is approved, it is usually granted in one-year time allotments, for a maximum of two years.

Students seeking permission to register for coursework after the registration deadline, or to make adjustments to their course schedule WITHIN THE CURRENT SEMESTER ONLY, must submit the Graduate Studies Registration/Adjustment Petition form to the College of Education, room 1204 Benjamin Building. This is the only petition that can be approved or denied at the College level without additional review by the Graduate School.

Master's students and pre-candidacy doctoral students may request a waiver of registration by filing the Petition for Waiver of Continuous Registration . Waivers of registration do not stop the student's time-to-degree clock. Students who meet the criteria may file a Request for Leave of Absence. A leave will stop the students' time-to-degree clock.

Other petitions must be endorsed by the College and undergo final review for approval or denial by the Graduate School, and are requested by submitting the Petition for Waiver of Regulation form.

Important Dates/Published Deadlines

Students who are graduating must file the required forms in support of graduation by the deadlines listed in the document called "Important Dates". Important Dates are published each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) by the College of Education. College deadlines are shown to be earlier than Graduate School deadlines, to assure meeting the deadline for forms that must be approved and processed through the College Graduate Studies Office, prior to submission to the Graduate School. Programs may make earlier deadlines.


Newly admitted students must register for course work in the first semester of admission. This initial registration confirms and completes the admission process. Additionally, students must be registered in the semester of expected graduation.

Continuous Registration Policy mandates that students must register each semester. The registration should accurately reflect the work that is currently being undertaken. Pre-candidacy doctoral students, and master's students may request a Waiver of Continuous Registration(except for the first semester and semester of graduation). A waiver of registration does not stop the student time-to-degree clock .

Students who meet the criteria may request a Leave of Absence . A leave of absence will stop the students' time-to-degree clock.

It is recommended that students register prior to the first day of classes to avoid any late registration fees. Students must be registered within the first ten days of the semester, even if only taking thesis or dissertation credit (a $20.00 late fee is assessed starting with the first day of the semester). Any student dropping a course on or after the first day of the semester is charged a percentage of tuition. If a student adds and drops a class of equal credit, within the first ten days of the semester ONLY, there will be no additional fees assessed. Students are advised to check the "Schedule of Classes" for drop policies, and other registration policies at the Testudo Website.

Students may register through the Testudo Website. Walk-in and fax options are also available.

Some registration restrictions require that a student receive certain permission or approval before being permitted to register. Mandatory advising stamps, and special permission stamps for registration, are administered electronically by the program. Students should contact the appropriate program coordinator in the programs to which they are admitted for registration procedures and approval stamps.

If you have missed the deadline to register, or need to adjust your schedule in the current semester, you will need to petition by filing the  Graduate Studies Registration/Adjustment Petition. Late fees may be assessed.

Time to Degree

  • Master's students are given five years from the time of admission to complete master's degree requirements.
  • Advanced Graduate Specialist (A.G.S) Certificate students are given five years from the time of admission to complete the A.G.S. requirements.
  • Doctoral students are given five years from the time of admission before Admission to Candidacy is expected. After Admission to Candidacy, the student is awarded an additional 4 years to complete degree requirements. If a student was admitted to candidacy early, the Graduate School awards 9 years from the date of the original admission to complete the doctoral degree requirements.
  • Students who have been granted a "Leave of Absence" will have their time-to-degree clock stopped for the period of time that was approved.

Transfer Credit

All credits to be transferred or included as part of a student's program, must be approved by the advisor, Department, and College. All course work must meet University criteria. Transfer credit may be considered from an outside institution, from the Advanced Special Student status at the University of Maryland, or from another program/department at the University of Maryland in cases where a student changes admission from one program/department to another. Any request for transfer course work from an outside institution must be accompanied by an official transcript from that institution showing the grade earned for the coursework to be transferred. Official transcripts are not necessary if the course work to be transferred or included was taken at the University of Maryland.

  • Master's Level
    Transfer course work for a master's student must have been taken within the five years permitted for completion of the degree program at University of Maryland. The only exception to this policy may allow course work taken within 7 years upon approval of a revalidation request from the program. This applies to course work transferred outside of the University of Maryland, and to course work within the University of Maryland from another program/department, or from the Advanced Special Student status.

A limit of six credits may be transferred from an outside institution. An additional twelve credits may be transferred from the Advanced Special Student status (at University of Maryland), in order to request the inclusion or transfer of credit toward a master's degree you must submit the Request for Transfer or Inclusion of Credit for the Master's Degrees form.

  • Doctoral Level Course work to be included in a doctoral program is approved at the program level. The program determines the number of credits that can be applied toward the doctoral degree. Course work that is approved by the program, should be listed on the student's Doctoral Program form. An official transcript from the institution where the course work was taken must be submitted to the College Graduate Studies Office. Transfer credit at the doctoral level does not appear on the University of Maryland transcript.