Academic Council

Authorizes Release:

Vice President for Administration and Finance

Responsible Area:

Academic Affairs

Review Cycle:

Annually or as required

Last Review:

July 2023

Related Policies and Additional References:


Once dissertation work begins, the student should enroll in three dissertation hours each semester (and summer for professional programs with a 12-month calendar), until the dissertation, or until nine dissertation hours are completed, whichever comes first.  The nine hours are comprised of a three-course sequence, with each class constituting three of the required nine hours. Thus, students are allotted three semesters of course work to complete the dissertation. A passing grade for a dissertation course does not indicate the acceptance, failure, or passage of a dissertation proposal or defense. If during dissertation course sequence students receive a non-passing grade or a grade of incomplete or in-progress, they may not enroll in the next course in the sequence but must instead enroll in Continuous Graduate Enrollment (6000x) until the course is passed or completed.

In all cases, a maximum of nine dissertation credit hours are allowed in total for a program. Students enrolled in a course providing 3 hours of dissertation credit are full-time students.

Students may need to continue work on a dissertation beyond the three allotted semesters. Or, work on the dissertation may be interrupted from time to time for a variety of reasons. These circumstances are considered exceptions to the preferred sequencing of courses outlined in doctoral students’ degree plans and require advisor permission.

In order to accommodate these realities, doctoral students may register for Continuous Graduate Enrollment (6000X) to ensure continuous enrollment without incurring the costs and responsibilities of additional courses.  Matriculation is halftime enrollment. Doctoral students must meet the following eligibility criteria prior to enrolling for matriculation:  

  • MFT doctoral students must have 1) completed their comprehensive exams and 2) completed CN8390
  • CES doctoral students must have 1) completed their comprehensive exams and 2) completed CN8390

Students registering for Continuous Graduate Enrollment (6000x) receive minimum faculty supervision and are limited to a maximum of two years (six semesters) total of matriculation registration following the successful completion of the doctoral comprehensive examination. In addition, students may not exceed the seven-year time period for completing the doctoral degree. 

Under extraordinary circumstances, a student may appeal to the dean of his or her school for an exemption to this policy. The Office of the Provost will be notified if such an extension is granted.

Back to top