Graduate Guide

Graduate Guide

Graduate Guide
For Graduate Program Directors, Faculty and Staff
Graduate Guide

UCF Graduate Guide

The Graduate Guide provides information about graduate study at UCF in one resource for graduate program directors, faculty and staff. Please share your suggestions for this guide with the College of Graduate Studies.

Contents

Responsibilities of Program Directors

The following listing of responsibilities is the result of discussions by the UCF Graduate Council and others to identify those activities that will enable our graduate programs to flourish.

Graduate program directors are responsible for coordinating activities within departments in support of graduate programs, graduate students, certificate students, and post-baccalaureate students. They cannot do their jobs without the help and support of the college dean, the college associate dean that is the liaison for graduate affairs, the department chair, the faculty in the department, and the UCF College of Graduate Studies. Outlined in this section are the major responsibilities of the program director.

Supervision and Leadership of Program

Program and Course Development

Recruiting and Admissions

Recruiting is done by the faculty in the program, and the program director assists the faculty in developing recruiting information and servicing prospect inquiries. Relevant recruiting activities could include the following:

Records and Maintenance

Student Funding

Other Responsibilities


Graduate Faculty and Graduate Faculty Scholars

Policy: Graduate Faculty and Graduate Faculty Scholars

The Graduate Faculty

Tenured, tenure-earning, ranked Clinical or ranked Research professors, ranked lecturers or ranked instructors, and ranked librarians are eligible for a Graduate Faculty appointment. A complete list of the Graduate Faculty may be found at the Graduate Catalog website. These faculty members usually hold a terminal degree in a discipline related to their area of participation and also possess current research and/or creative experience in their area of expertise since the last program review. Qualified graduate faculty members may be eligible to serve in more than one graduate program. Graduate faculty members who are outside of a student’s program are eligible to serve as external members of a thesis or dissertation advisory committee.

Special graduate faculty nominations may be made to the Graduate Council fro Program Awards and Review at the discretion of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

All graduate faculty are eligible to teach graduate courses, serve as members of thesis and dissertation committees, and serve as chairs or co-chairs of master’s thesis committees. Please note that the teaching credentials of Graduate Faculty must still be certified through the Faculty Qualifications Management System if serving as an instructor of record in a course.

Graduate Faculty Scholars

Other qualified individuals may serve as graduate faculty scholars in graduate faculty roles confined to specific, well-defined graduate faculty assignments. Graduate faculty scholars play important roles in graduate education at UCF, but their status as graduate faculty scholars is distinct from that of members of the Graduate Faculty.

Graduate faculty scholars may be designated as “Teaching-Only” if their responsibilities will be restricted solely to teaching graduate courses.

Graduate Faculty Appointment Process

All participants in graduate-level instruction must first be nominated for appointment as a Graduate Faculty Scholar or Graduate Faculty by one of the UCF graduate programs. Thereafter, they will be evaluated for reappointment by the Graduate Council Program Review Committee whenever the nominating program is reviewed by the university as part of the seven-year program review cycle.

Requests for appointments must use the nomination form (Nomination and Appointment to Graduate Faculty and Graduate Faculty Scholar). The nomination must subsequently be endorsed by the graduate program director, the chair of the unit overseeing the program (and the academic college, if required) and forwarded to the College of Graduate Studies.

The last unit responsible for endorsing the nominee (i.e., either the department or college if required) should submit the signed form (in PDF) and a recent curriculum vitae (in MS Word or PDF) of the nominee as attachments to gradfac@ucf.edu. NOTE: For newly hired individuals, the nomination form SHOULD NOT be included in the hiring package, but sent directly to the College of Graduate Studies after acquiring the required endorsements.

Nominations will be reviewed and appointments made by the Vice President and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Once appointed, any member of the Graduate Faculty or Graduate Faculty Scholar may be approved for participating in any thesis or dissertation advisory committee at the university if so approved by that graduate program committee without the need to submit any additional paperwork to the College of Graduate Studies.

Best Practices in Selecting Advisory Committees

We are encouraging with the new graduate faculty regulations that those graduate faculty approved by the university may chair a dissertation or thesis for any graduate program where they have the expertise, as judged by the graduate program committee and department chair. Further, that any person who has the expertise may serve on a dissertation or thesis committee if recommended by the graduate program committee and department chair.

Only outside members that have a reasonable chance and a strong desire to attend the dissertation or thesis defense should be chosen as a member of a thesis or dissertation committee.

Thesis committees should consist of three members, two of whom are in the department of the graduate program and one of whom is from outside the department. The outside person could be from another department or outside the university.

Avoiding Conflict of Interest

Absolutely no relatives of the student are allowed on thesis or dissertation committees in any capacity and no relatives of the student can directly employ the student at the university. Also, graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars should not have any personal or financial arrangements (including employment) that may pose a conflict of interest with a student whose thesis or dissertation committee they serve on.

Information to be submitted with the Nomination

Vitae or resumes submitted with the graduate faculty or graduate faculty scholar nomination should contain the following information:

For those who will have supervisory or membership responsibilities (more than teaching only):

And specifically, for a graduate faculty scholar, the following should be put in a cover memo attached to the vitae or resume:

Forms

The Dissertation Advisory Committee Form is used by graduate programs to inform the College of Graduate Studies about the formation or revision of a doctoral dissertation advisory committee and the Notification of Passing Candidacy. The form may be found at graduate.ucf.edu/forms-and-references/.

The Thesis Advisory Committee Form is used by graduate programs to inform the College of Graduate Studies about the formation or revision of a thesis committee.


Program and Course Management

Overview of Curriculum Management

The curriculum is developed and modified by the faculty within a program and it is the program director’s responsibility to facilitate the process. This section provides guidelines for modifying your existing curriculum such as adding, revising, or deleting courses and for the addition of Special Topics courses. It also provides guidelines for making permanent changes to the curriculum such as adding tracks, deleting core requirements, changing the hours required for a degree program, and for proposing new degree and graduate certificate programs.

Usually, additions, deletions, changes to tracks, and course modifications in existing programs are first reviewed by the Program Graduate Committee, followed by the College Graduate Curriculum Committee, and finally by the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee. The Graduate Council Curriculum Committee then makes a recommendation to the Vice President and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies who, depending on the action, has approval authority or recommends the action for final approval by higher authority. The recommendation by the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee may be tracked in the Council Curriculum Committee minutes at www.graduatecouncil.ucf.edu.

If changes need to be made to courses, the syllabus, the prerequisites, the core curriculum, or the number of hours in a program, please submit the Course Action Request Form to your department and college graduate committees.

A Program Recommendation Form must be completed for all additions, deletions or revisions to tracks, programs, or certificates. There are three different Program Recommendation Forms, so use the form appropriate for your request.

Authorization of a new degree program is a two-step process that begins with the faculty and ends with approval by the UCF Board of Trustees (BOT) or the Florida Board of Governors (BOG). Details of the process are located on the Academic, Faculty, and International Affairs (AFIA) website. Details of the process are included in the UCF Procedures for New Academic Degree Program Authorization. The procedures and the pre-proposal form are located at afia.ucf.edu/new-academic-degree-programs/.

A request to establish a market tuition rate program, track, or certificate requires an additional step and appropriate approvals.

Under no circumstance can you advertise a new program or track without first obtaining university permission.

If you are interested in starting a new program, please talk with the College of Graduate Studies to get information about how to do this.

Substantive Changes

The University of Central Florida maintains compliance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) policy, Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges, through the appropriate and timely reporting on areas of substantive change.

Substantive Change is defined as a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution as defined by SACS-COC.

Substantive changes include actions reviewed by the undergraduate and graduate curriculum committees. These include but are not limited to:

At the time such changes are considered, the Undergraduate Program Curriculum Committee and Graduate Council are responsible for bringing the proposed actions to the attention of the dean of undergraduate or graduate studies, as appropriate. The undergraduate and graduate deans are responsible for notifying the UCF SACS-COC liaison in the Office of the Provost and Vice President about potential substantive changes. Certain changes require approval by SACS-COC prior to implementation and can also require a SACS-COC on-site committee visit. Thus, it is important that the internal reporting deadlines denoted in the UCF Substantive Change Procedures matrix be met (usually requires internal notification to UCF SACS-COC liaison 9-12 months in advance of implementation). The UCF SACS-COC liaison will review each proposal to determine if it constitutes a substantive change that needs to go through the notification and/or approval process for SACS-COC.

For additional information see:

UCF policy 4-505 Reporting of Substantive Change
http://policies.ucf.edu/documents/4-505.1ReportingOfSubstantiveChange.pdf

UCF Substantive Change Procedures matrix
afia.ucf.edu/accreditation/substantive-change/.

SACS-COC Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges
www.sacscoc.org/SubstantiveChange.asp

Courses Management

The UCF Course Action Request and Special Topics Request forms are the vehicles by which courses are proposed, revised, or deleted and routed through the program, college, and university levels. The forms may also be found at the Graduate Council website. Procedures for the consideration of Course Action Requests by the Graduate Council are located on the Graduate Council website. All minutes of the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee and their recommendations are located at www.graduatecouncil.ucf.edu. The Graduate Council provides guidelines for submitting recommended curricular changes to them for review. These guidelines can also be found at www.graduatecouncil.ucf.edu/Curriculum in the document entitled Graduate Policies for Curricular Changes. Refer to the graduate catalog for the UCF Credit Hour Policy.

The UCF College of Graduate Studies collects and reviews the Course Action Request forms for completeness, creates a report with course titles, descriptions, and other information, and forwards the forms to the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee for review and approval. A listing of all proposed changes will be circulated via listserv to the graduate program directors and college coordinators as well as the chairs and deans in all colleges for review prior to the Council meeting. The Graduate Council Curriculum Committee normally meets every two weeks so that program requests should proceed quickly.

Remember to attach a syllabus for each course addition and revision or the approved course cannot be forwarded to the state as described below. To receive a course number, the State of Florida uses the statewide Common Course Numbering Committees in each discipline that meet on an infrequent basis throughout the year. Courses sent forward by December of each year will more than likely get a course number from the state in time for publication in the next year’s catalog. For course additions, a prefix and level (5XXX, 6XXX, or 7XXX) must also be supplied, even though it may be changed after being processed by the state.

Scheduling of Graduate Courses

One of the biggest complaints from graduate students is that many courses listed in the Graduate Catalog are seldom offered. In fact, many students have difficulty graduating due to the core and elective courses not being offered in a timely manner. Therefore, a realistic graduate course schedule should be constructed for three years at a time and located on the program website, so that graduate students and faculty can plan programs of study.

It is recommended that program directors and graduate committees review course schedules every two years and delete those courses that have not been taught in the last five years. A Course Action Request Form is located at www.graduatecouncil.ucf.edu/Curriculum and is required to delete a course.

Core classes are usually offered in the Fall term and/or Spring term of every year. The semesters in which the courses will be taught must be listed on the Course Action Request Forms and are recorded in the Graduate Catalog so that students can plan their study accordingly. It is also important to think about the target audience for each course and to provide courses for graduate students during times when they are most likely to take them. For instance, part-time students usually prefer courses at night or on weekends. High-school teachers are more likely to take courses during the Summer B term or a specially designed term, rather than during other semesters.

In scheduling your courses, please be cognizant that the Plan of Study Policy requires that at least 27 credit hours of doctoral programs must include formal coursework and at least 24 semester hours of master’s programs must be core and elective courses exclusive of thesis and research. Also, do not forget that at least half of the credit hours used to meet program requirements in a master’s program must be at the 6000 level. And at least one-half of the credit hours used to meet program requirements in doctoral programs must be in 6000-level or 7000-level courses, including the allowed number of research and dissertation hours. Therefore, please examine course offerings at least once every two years to assure that courses have the appropriate enrollment to be offered and that enough appropriate courses are offered so that students can graduate.

If your students are having difficulty in finding the appropriate courses in order to graduate, it will be necessary for your faculty to realistically reexamine the curriculum. You may want to consolidate or eliminate tracks if you no longer have adequate enrollment or faculty expertise in that track. You may also want to move your students as cohorts through the curriculum as much as possible to assure enrollment in those courses that are absolutely essential to the degree.

Scheduling flexibility is crucial to ensure that students who need to take courses are able to match their schedules to the course offerings. There are a variety of scheduling options available now so that courses can begin before the semester, after the start of the semester, and for various periods of time. Courses that last from three to eight weeks are now more common. Web-based and Web-enhanced courses and complete degree programs are worth developing to meet student needs. For off-campus courses, the UCF Center for Distributed Learning at www.ucf.edu/online/ can assist in offering courses in split sessions, sessions that begin early or end after the close of the term, classes that meet on weekends, and so on.

Adding, Revising, or Deleting Courses

The Graduate Council Curriculum Committee reviews new graduate courses and special topic requests, as well as proposed revisions and deletions of existing courses and makes recommendations to the Vice President and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. They also provide recommendations about all other course-related changes to existing degree programs, such as changing the hours required and adding, deleting, or modifying an option, track, or specialty area.

Normally, course changes are considered at regularly scheduled meetings, usually every two weeks, of the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee. Their schedule is provided at www.graduatecouncil.ucf.edu when it becomes available each September. Council members, department chairs, program directors, and academic deans will be supplied with course descriptions and corresponding proposed changes prior to the Council meeting through the listservs.

All new courses receive course numbers from the statewide Common Course Numbering Committee maintained by the Florida Department of Education. Therefore, because of time constraints in receiving the course numbers, only those requests for changes to courses made by December of each year will receive course numbers in time for the Graduate Catalog for the upcoming year. Course prefixes are not owned by departments but are assigned by the statewide Common Course Numbering Committee on the basis of discipline and the numbers cannot be requested by individual programs.

Each college graduate office has a designated staff member who inputs course (and special topic) requests information to the online Course Database. College approval is required; university-level approval is granted by the College of Graduate Studies after Graduate Council Curriculum Committee recommendation. It is important that course action requests for adding graduate courses to the Graduate Catalog have graduate faculty members who are qualified to teach them.

Please make certain that the faculty member listed as the instructor is qualified to teach the course by checking the graduate faculty database at Graduate Faculty.

Course Overlaps

When developing new courses or modifying existing courses, it is essential that the program graduate committee checks with similar programs to ascertain if they have courses where an overlap of content may occur. You must determine the nature and degree of overlap and resolve the issues between the programs before proceeding further with your proposal. Failure to do so will result in a delay once the requests get to the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee, since they will usually be tabled, pending this discussion between programs.

If a good faith effort by the programs fails to achieve a resolution, the matter should be referred to the college level for assistance. If unresolved issues concerning other programs still remain, these should be indicated on the UCF Course Action Request form before forwarding it to the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee.

If courses appear similar to courses in other colleges or departments, the request may receive “contingency” approval and two notices will be sent — one to the originating department and one to the unit with a similar course — asking for a response. Usually, these notices are sent with the understanding that if no responses are received within two weeks, the course will be approved. Changes that need further clarification to the Graduate Council or to other interested colleges will be returned or held for two weeks until these items are resolved. They may receive automatic approval at that point or be held for the next Graduate Council Curriculum Committee meeting, depending on the Graduate Council recommendation.

Should one program want to participate in or teach a course normally offered by another program, it is expected that discussions will occur between the parties to ensure their mutual cooperation and these should also be noted on the Course Action Request form.

Split-level Courses

Although generally discouraged, UCF allows departments to offer split-level undergraduate/graduate (4000/5000 level) classes, provided that the courses are only one level apart (not 3000/5000 or 4000/6000, etc.). All courses offered in split-level format require the approval of the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee, even if the 4000 and the 5000 level classes have already been separately approved. The intent of Graduate Council review is to ensure that the graduate level course has maintained the greater rigor and content expected in a graduate course. This level of scrutiny is required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS-COC), which is our regional accrediting body.

All graduate split-level courses must be submitted for approval using the Course Action Request form along with separate syllabi for both the graduate and undergraduate courses. The syllabi must include a brief narrative indicating the different assignments and grading expected of undergraduate and graduate students, clearly demonstrating that graduate students are held to an advanced level of critical thinking. Failure to show this is the major reason to have these requests tabled by the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee.

Documentation of split-level class offerings must be maintained in the dean’s office of the academic college. Student materials for both the undergraduate and graduate courses, including both syllabi, are required to be maintained each time the course is taught, to prove that the content and complexity are different. This content is required for review by SACS-COC.

The policies concerning split-level courses do not allow a student to take both the undergraduate and graduate levels of a split-level course for credit. The sole exceptions are for performance and seminar classes that can be taken for credit multiple times. If a graduate student has taken a non-exempt required split-level class as part of his or her undergraduate program, the graduate requirement should be waived and a related course be used as a substitution. As is true for all other graduate course requirements, graduate students must take the graduate level of a split-level course for it to count toward fulfilling graduate program requirements.

Best Practices for Split-level Courses

While certain factors necessitate the teaching of graduate courses in split-level format, because of the presence of undergraduates in these classroom settings, the potential exists for these courses to be taught more toward the level of the undergraduates, rather than the graduate enrollees. Programs, departments, and colleges should remain vigilant that the graduate students taking these classes are receiving graduate-level instruction and that the number of split-level courses in their students’ programs of study (POS) are kept to a minimum.

Graduate Council Actions on Course Changes

Once the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee has made recommendations and they have been approved by the College of Graduate Studies, the Graduate College will send notices to the originating departments informing them of the action. Approval can be seen and tracked on the Course Database, which is available in college offices.

After Graduate Council action, course requests are transmitted to the state for assignment of common course numbering as described earlier in this section.

Approved Special Topics requests are sent to course scheduling so they may be made available for registration.

Program Management

Permanent changes to the curriculum such as adding or deleting tracks, revising core requirements, or changing the hours required for the degree program all require a review and recommendation by the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee. The deletion of programs also requires a review and recommendation by the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee. Guidelines and details about how to prepare a proposal for Graduate Council consideration can be found at www.graduatecouncil.ucf.edu/Curriculum in the document entitled “Graduate Policies for Curricular Changes.” Use the Program Recommendation Form as the routing vehicle for your proposal. If making revisions or additions, pay particular attention to providing a catalog copy showing the track changes so that it is clear what is being changed in your program, track or option. Failure to provide the catalog copy will slow consideration of the proposal.

Requests to change existing degree programs must be received by the end of February to be included in the Graduate Catalog for the next year. Therefore, update all printed and Web information (including program handbooks) at the same time that the Graduate Catalog changes are made each year.

Normally, program changes are considered at regularly scheduled meetings of the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee. Their schedule is provided at www.graduatecouncil.ucf.edu each September. Council members, department chairs, program directors, and academic deans will be supplied with course descriptions and corresponding proposed changes prior to the Council meeting through the listservs.

If your master’s or certificate program has stagnated in enrollment, or it has become difficult to offer, you may want to consider revamping your program. You might reexamine the delivery format or the focus of your program. For example, part-time students who are working professionals are demanding online programs for convenience and UCF is committed to meeting the needs of our region. Therefore, the university has resources to assist you in converting a program to an online format. The Center for Distributed Learning (www.ucf.edu/online) will work with individual faculty to make the transitions to online. Contact the Center for Distributed Learning if you have questions about creating online offerings.

You may also want to consider reforming your program into a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) or a Professional Master’s in Social Sciences and Humanities (PMA) program. These programs are increasingly in demand among professionals seeking programs that are directly tied to the workforce and economic opportunity. These are very practical and applied programs that have an industrial advisory board to help shape the curriculum and to provide internship experiences for students. They typically include a core of advanced disciplinary content as well as professional coursework in business, legal issues, regulatory issues, or other pertinent professional content prized by employers. In addition, the programs usually include an internship in an industrial setting, which often makes the student more marketable upon graduation. Information giving an overview of both PSM and PMA programs can be found at www.cgsnet.org or www.npsma.org.

Interdisciplinary programs are quite applicable to the needs of today’s workforce and thus are being encouraged by UCF. If you have ideas for new interdisciplinary programs or incorporating interdisciplinary elements into existing programs, please let the College of Graduate Studies assist you in the discussion. Especially involve the College of Graduate Studies in the discussion if the interdisciplinary focus spans the expertise of more than a single college.

Tracks or Options

Many programs include tracks or options which possess a unique focus and a unique curriculum that allows students the opportunity to learn and develop skills in specialized areas that are often marketable. Although many tracks or options share several core disciplinary courses, they are unique enough to be published in the Graduate Catalog and are provided with their own CIP and Sub-Plan codes for identification and tracking of students. Tracks, in general, should not require additional resources or additional faculty in order to be offered. Tracks are generally designated to assist with marketing a specialization area consisting of a few courses that would be of interest and benefit to students.

For practical purposes, it is best to keep tracks to a minimum in most programs, so that numerous additional courses do not have to be taught and scheduled. Also, too many tracks confuse students about the real intent of the degree program and could possibly diffuse the faculty strength to such a point that it becomes difficult to sustain the tracks should a few faculty members leave the program.

Information about adding, deleting, or modifying a track or option can be found at www.graduatecouncil.ucf.edu/Curriculum in the document “Graduate Policies for Curricular Changes.” Use the Program Recommendation Form as the routing vehicle to accompany your proposal template. If making additions or revisions, pay particular attention to providing catalog copy showing the track changes so that it is easy to see exactly what is being changed in your program, track or option.

Adding New Degree Programs

Authorization of a new degree program is a two-step process that begins with the faculty and ends with approval by the University Board of Trustees (BOT) or the Board of Governors (BOG). Details of the process are located on the Academic, Faculty, and International Affairs (AFIA) website in “UCF Procedures for New Academic Degree Program Authorization.” The procedures and the pre-proposal form are located at afia.ucf.edu/new-academic-degree-programs/.

Departments should begin the initial planning for new programs at least three to five years prior to the anticipated implementation date. This will allow ample time to develop the plans and resources necessary to support the program. Refer to “Graduate Policies for Curricular Changes” on the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee website (www.graduatecouncil.ucf.edu/Curriculum).

Request to Establish a Market Tuition Rate Program, Track, or Certificate

A request to establish a market tuition rate program, track, or certificate requires an additional step and appropriate approvals. Contact the College of Graduate Studies to obtain information on the process and appropriate forms to be completed.

Suspending or Inactivating Tracks and Programs

The procedures for inactivating (deleting) tracks and programs are given in “Graduate Policies for Curricular Changes” at www.graduatecouncil.ucf.edu/Curriculum and require the completed Program Recommendation Forms for Inactivation and/or Suspension.

If you want to suspend applications for a single semester (for instance, you already have more applications than you can consider), you may do so by notifying the Graduate College (Brandy Pieper at Brandy.Pieper@ucf.edu) and asking for approval for this. The Graduate College will remove the program listing from the application system and we will also include a temporary note in the Graduate Catalog that applications are suspended for that semester.

If you need to suspend applications for more than a single semester, then a formal request must be submitted through the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee explaining the rationale for doing so, what is meant by the suspension, and what will happen to students currently in the program. This is used by a program that is either revamping their curriculum or awaiting the recruitment of a new cohort of students to be admitted in the near future. The suspension will be noted in the Graduate Catalog. The program is still obligated to provide the courses that are needed to allow the current enrollment of students to progress toward graduation in the program. If the suspension is not lifted within three years, the program will be inactivated in the degree inventory at ikm.ucf.edu/academic-programs/.

Program or track deletion may require that courses are offered so that students still enrolled in the program will have time to complete the degree. In this case, the program files the appropriate documents for deletion, marking on the form that students are still in the program and that they will be given a fixed time in which to complete the degree. Once the document has been approved by the Vice President and Dean of the Graduate College, and then the Provost and BOT if a program and the Provost if a track, the program or track description will be permanently removed from the Graduate Catalog and no additional students will be admitted. After the time period has been reached when students should have completed, the program will be inactivated in an inventory of programs.

As you can see, one of the primary concerns when deleting tracks and programs is how to reasonably provide for those students who are currently enrolled in the program. While it may be your intention to delete a program or track as denoted on the Program Recommendation Form, it should take into account currently enrolled students in the program. Therefore, when submitting a proposal for deletion, please include a “teach-out” plan showing how the program will make the necessary provisions to allow the current enrollment to either graduate or transition into another program. This is always of great concern to the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee when reviewing these proposals, and they cannot make a recommendation about the inactivation (deletion) without it.

Graduate Certificates

Graduate Certificates provide a shortened, condensed and focused course of study for non-degree and graduate students that supplements an existing bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. The most popular graduate certificate programs are those that lead to licensure or certification, provide needed on-the-job expertise, or are focused on a timely area of discussion in a discipline. For a quick reference guide on policies associated with certificate programs, please see Graduate Certificate Policy in the Policy Guide and Graduate Certificate Program Policies in the Graduate Catalog.

Graduate certificates are often a way to entice potential graduate students into a formal degree program. It is up to the program as to how many of the credits taken from the graduate certificate can apply toward the degree, but the university allows all of them to be applied with the consent of the department. Since many of the students from a graduate certificate program will ultimately want to continue in a master’s program, the marketing and advising associated with the graduate certificate should be just as seriously considered.

Graduate certificates should be between 9 to 18 hours of course credit hours that are current in content. The curricula are not necessarily permanent but can come and go as the discipline changes (with Graduate Council approval of each change). No course substitutions or transfer hours are allowed. Course substitution is only allowed when there is course overlap between two related graduate certificates that share courses and substitutions are necessary to prevent the double counting of courses in the certificates. Therefore, petitions for extensions are seldom approved without exceptional circumstances.

With all characteristics considered, it is best to design the certificate program with some flexibility from the start with either a choice of courses or recognition that you will closely monitor your content and request changes from the Graduate Council whenever the curriculum needs to be updated. Since student appeals for graduate certificate programs are limited, petitions for course substitutions are evidence that the curriculum needs to be updated.

The procedures for adding a new certificate are given in the “Graduate Policies for Curricular Changes” document at www.graduatecouncil.ucf.edu/Curriculum and requires a completed program Recommendation Form.

The participating departments must gain approval from their graduate committees and college committees before submitting their proposal to the UCF College of Graduate Studies for review. Interdisciplinary programs that have the participation of more than one college must indicate approval of the involved colleges. The proposal is referred to the Graduate Council for evaluation and recommendation to the Vice President and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The Provost will provide final approval.

The Graduate Council Curriculum Committee evaluates the admissions and completions in Graduate Certificate programs every 3 years. For programs without active admissions in the last three years, the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee will recommend that the program be deleted – those students enrolled will be allowed to continue but no new students will be admitted and the program will not be identified in the Graduate Application or Graduate Catalog. For programs with modest admissions and completions, the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee may send a recommendation to the college that the program is monitored and that program admissions and completions will be reviewed in another year. Sunset provisions for deletion shall apply to any graduate certificate program that has no student enrollment for three consecutive years.

In order to delete a graduate certificate program, a Program Recommendation Form must be submitted to the UCF College of Graduate Studies after prior consideration by the unit and the college. This request for deletion of a certificate program should provide a proposed termination date and justification for the request, which could include accreditation concerns, low student demand, lack of centrality to the university’s mission, high cost, lack of sufficient faculty to offer the program, or a change of focus of the department or college that no longer supports the program. In addition, a plan must be included that explains how the program will reasonably provide for currently enrolled students until their graduation or if they choose to leave the program. The submitted request will be forwarded from the College of Graduate Studies to the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee for review.

Program Reviews

Pursuant to Florida Statute, UCF conducts in-depth reviews of our programs at least every seven years. In 1999, the then Board of Regents gave the universities the authority to define their own process within some broader guidelines. UCF developed a process consistent with its strategic planning process. The primary purpose is to examine the quality and productivity of academic programs with a goal to develop recommendations leading to program improvement.

The Academic Program Review process is administered through the Office of Academic Affairs. For additional information about program reviews, please visit the Academic Affairs website at afia.ucf.edu.

Enrollment Management

Enrollment management is one of the most important functions of the programs and colleges. We have a year-long process by which graduate enrollment is managed. First, in the fall semester, you will be asked to complete the Graduate Enrollment Management (GEM) worksheets. These worksheets ask for information about the following aspects of your program:

The fields that you complete and the overall GEM worksheet become your enrollment plan for the upcoming year. Since it involves resources, your academic college must participate in the approval of this plan. These numbers will determine how many students you will admit the next Spring for the upcoming Fall and how many assistantship and tuition waiver offers will be used for your program. The GEM worksheet needs to have the most realistic information possible on enrollment plans for the upcoming year. This is your opportunity to have a frank conversation with your college about its level of commitment to your program, resources that will be available to support students, expectations for the program and the program’s role in achieving university excellence.

Once the academic college signs off on these plans, which are due in November of each year, you must recruit to ensure that you will have enough applicants to reach your enrollment target for your program. The weekly reports sent to you from the College of Graduate Studies can help you determine the number of applicants and admission offers that you need in order to reach your enrollment target. It is important that you track your enrollment target as well as your applicant pool to see if you need to do more active recruiting. To compete for top students, admissions and assistantship offers should go out as early as possible to prospective students.

The Graduate Financials System in the GradInfo portal (www.gradinfo.ucf.edu > Financials menu) is a useful tool to keep track of your commitments to continuing students and the resources that you will have available to offer to newly admitted students.

After you have made recommendations on admissions and offers have been made by the Graduate College you should track the acceptance of each applicant to determine if you need to make more offers, should a student decline admission. After you have entered assistantship offers into the Graduate Financials System and have determined how many of your students may be continued on fellowships the next year, you should review your resources and see if you need to make more offers to achieve your enrollment targets. This should be the most important activity that occurs between March and May of each year.

Students have until April 15 of each year to accept your offer of financial support. You are engaged in a national competition for the best and brightest students, but you must not pressure students to commit to you before then. After April 15, you should solicit responses from students that you have not heard from, and make offers to students on your waitlist to achieve your enrollment targets.

Once your class is finalized in mid-May, make sure to update the entry of all funded students in the Graduate Financials System. You can use this list to complete the assistantship agreement and e-PAF for each graduate assistant. Because of all of the information needed for hiring, this is time-consuming and allowance needs to be made for the time that these processes will take.

Students should be registered for classes as early as possible for Fall so that classes are not canceled before they can register. Once you know your yield for this year, this is important information in predicting your new enrollment target for the next year. The process begins again with the request to complete the GEM worksheets, starting in October of the new academic year.


Recruiting

The purpose of recruiting is to increase the quality, quantity, or diversity in your enrollment mix. Recruiting is best done by faculty, alumni, and current graduate students, because they can provide information about the curriculum, work experience, career choices, and answer the detailed questions that prospects have.

The first phase of recruiting typically starts at UCF in early September with the Graduate Fair. We recommend that the graduate program provide an open house for undergraduate students who may be interested in graduate school early in the fall. Ensure that the information on your website is up-to-date and that you provide links to the Graduate Catalog and the Graduate Application for Admission. We also recommend that you have faculty call colleagues at peer institutions to inquire about potential applicants and then prepare direct e-mails to send to these prospects.

The second phase of recruiting begins when you have finally offered admission to students in February. It is the program director’s responsibility to organize specific faculty and graduate students to call candidates and answer any questions that they may have. The College of Graduate Studies will follow up with an e-mail to all admitted students with information and request an acceptance or rejection of the offer. Please remember that often students will accept the first offer that they receive (particularly international students) and certainly the best offer they receive.

Best Practices in Recruiting

Communications and Advertising

Recruiting Events

Recruiting Resources Available

Timeline of Activities

Schedule Task Information Resource
Weekly or Monthly Pull prospect report from GradInfo and communicate with prospects www.gradinfo.ucf.edu > recruiting > prospect report
Weekly Make admissions decisions of applications received that week
Daily Enter prospects within 24 hours after initial contact https://ww2.graduate.ucf.edu/inquiry/or PeopleSoft
Weekly or Monthly Check the Events Calendar on the Faculty and Staff page for our scheduled events Events Calendar

Annual Recruiting Plan

Month Activity
January Make admissions decisions, communicate with people with incomplete applications and follow up quickly with new inquiries.
February Complete admissions decisions for the fall semester. For non-doctoral and non-fellowship admits, continue to follow up on incomplete applications and new inquiries.
March Survey your current students to determine strengths and weaknesses of the program. Use this information in your recruiting plan.
April Contact local organizations and companies to schedule workshops and presentations for the spring semester to promote your program.
May Work with undergraduate organizations and service departments on campus to schedule workshops and presentations for the spring semester to promote your program. Request UCF undergraduate student lists and invite them to your scheduled presentations.
June Spend time reviewing your website, update program information and contact information to keep current and consistent. Update content for CRM communications.
July Research recruiting fairs at other institutions and industry organizations and plan your recruiting schedule for the fall semester.
August Contact your relationships at potential feeder institutions, companies and organizations to schedule workshops and presentations for the fall. Request SUS student lists and communicate your recruiting plans.
September Attend the Grad Fair! Host a table and bring faculty, students, and alumni to talk with prospects. Also, schedule follow up communications with prospects who visited your table.
October Attend recruiting fairs at key feeder institutions. Also, host online chat/open house sessions for your prospects to answer questions about your program and the application process.
November Communicate with prospective students you have recruited this fall to facilitate the application process before the priority deadline — January 15.
December Take advantage of this time to organize your plans for the spring semester.


Admissions

The Office of Graduate Admissions guides prospective graduate degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students through the application and admissions processes. This office works closely with graduate programs to ensure timely review of applications and communications with prospective graduate students. This office also coordinates the admissions recommendations entered by graduate programs and ensures that the UCF minimum admissions requirements are being met.

The Office of Graduate Admissions provides training to graduate program faculty and staff, as well as a graduate admissions guide. Faculty and staff must complete this training in order to access applicant information through G-WIS. Please contact the office for training registration information.

Admissions Policies

See the following links for the minimum university admissions requirements:

In addition, the Minimum University Admissions Requirements Policy provides guidance on admissions regulations. In certain cases, a score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) can be used in lieu of the GRE/GMAT. Please check with your admissions counselor for information and process.

Students without a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution or a recognized foreign institution are not admitted to graduate degree programs, graduate certificate programs, or graduate non-degree status. The College of Business Administration requires that all degrees must have been earned from a regionally accredited institution.

Graduate programs are encouraged to ask for optional application materials and set higher minimum admissions requirements than the university requirements. Some graduate programs may choose to require letters of recommendation, essays, personal/research statements, and resumes. Programs may also choose to conduct interviews, auditions or require portfolios from their applicants. Applicants to doctoral programs must submit completed applications including three letters of recommendation, resume, and essay or personal/research statement.

Individual program deadlines can be found in the Graduate Catalog Programs by just clicking on the individual graduate program and then clicking on “application deadlines.” Both domestic and international deadlines are given.

Prospective students must apply online by the stated application deadline for your program. The graduate online application can be found at application.graduate.ucf.edu. Transcripts must be official and submitted directly to the UCF College of Graduate Studies from the university. Test scores must be reported electronically to the UCF College of Graduate Studies by the corresponding testing agency. Under no circumstances should applicants send supporting documents to the faculty or graduate program directly; this will slow down the application process for them. Unofficial supporting documents submitted will not be processed. It is important to advise applicants of these policies when you meet with them to ensure a smooth application process. Graduate programs are encouraged to have earlier application deadlines.

Admissions Committees

Admissions committees should include the faculty that represents different specializations within the department. Admissions committees should also be diverse and include a good mix of faculty by gender and ethnicity. Admissions committees should meet together as a group to facilitate the review of applications and make admissions decisions in a timely manner. Committee meetings should be scheduled ahead of time so that they meet no later than two weeks after the program’s application deadline. Admissions committees do not need to wait for all committee members to be present before a meeting can be scheduled.

Committee members should review their program’s admissions requirements in the graduate catalog and develop standard criteria before reviewing the applications. Standard requirements should include criteria for students to be successful in meeting the learning outcomes for the program (institutional effectiveness goals). Requirements and admissions recommendations shall not include preferences on the basis of any category protected by law.

Reviewing Applications

Once the online applications are received and processed by your designated Admissions Counselor, your graduate program will have access to review them within SLATE which is our graduate admission’s management system. In SLATE, your graduate program will have access to all the documents and supporting materials you have required for a complete application. You will be able to both see applications in process and what supporting materials each applicant has remaining as it relates to your programs admission checklist. The review of application happens through reader bins which store all your applicants. Using the reader bins, you will move applicants to different bins based on whether you want to deny admission or have the applicant move to the next round/stage of review. Bins will also include forms which will allow for communication among your admissions committee, notes on individual applicants, and what decision you would like to render.

Making Admissions Recommendations

Policy: Admissions Classifications in Admissions > Information for All Applicants, in the Graduate Catalog.

Admissions recommendations should be made by the graduate program committee within two weeks of the application being processed and no later than two weeks after the application deadline for the term (decision deadlines are established by the UCF College of Graduate Studies each academic year).

Prospective graduate students often accept the first admission offer that they receive, therefore, it is imperative that files are reviewed promptly and recommendations rendered within two weeks of the application being processed and completed. This is especially true for prospective students seeking fellowships and awards.

Graduate programs should identify strong applicants early in the admissions process and nominate them to the colleges to be considered for fellowship awards. The university begins to award fellowships in late January so that those students nominated will be considered quickly for fellowships. If you have a particularly talented individual, it is best not to wait until all admissions decisions are made for all students.

Please note that admission recommendations entered into SLATE by your program are not official offers of admission to the university. Program recommendations will be reviewed by the College of Graduate Studies to ensure that applicants meet minimum university requirements and are admitted to the proper admission classification.

Admission recommendations are finalized by the UCF College of Graduate Studies and an automated admissions letter is sent to the applicant notifying them of their admission to the university. Programs should not communicate admission recommendations or decisions directly to applicants. We greatly encourage you to communicate with students about when they should expect the admissions letter, when you plan on making your recommendations, and also if you need more information before you can finalize an admissions recommendation.

Admissions decisions can be made in one of several categories: regular, conditional, restricted, provisional, restricted/conditional or provisional/conditional.

For students being admitted in the conditional or provisional status, it is imperative that the program follows up with the student to ensure that the conditions are clearly written. For additional information on these admissions categories, please visit the Graduate Catalog.

Notifying Applicants of Admissions Decisions

Applicants should never be given their admissions decision orally. If the need arises, only program directors should be the ones giving applicants information about their decision over the phone and only if the decision has been finalized by the College of Graduate Studies. Should an applicant call you to inquire about an admissions decision, please refer them to the program director.

The College of Graduate Studies provides applicants being offered admission a way to accept/decline their offer. The link to electronically accept/decline is found on myUCF. If an applicant notifies a program directly that they will accept or decline an offer of admission, please notify the College of Graduate Studies by email with this information.

The College of Graduate Studies encourages programs to communicate with admitted students about orientations, registration, and other matters after the admissions letter has officially been sent from the university.

International Admissions

For specific information about visa issues and other information once an admissions decision has been made, please see the section on International Services.

International applicants are admissible to master’s and doctoral degree programs only. International applicants seeking an F or J visa cannot be admitted as non-degree seeking. They also cannot be admitted to certificate programs unless they have been previously admitted to a degree program.

International applicants have additional requirements and must follow earlier deadlines due to the amount of time it takes to process their immigration paperwork in order for them to be able to obtain a student visa.

International students, except those who are from countries where English is the only official language, those who have earned a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or those who have earned a degree from a country where English is the only official language or from a university at which English is the only official language of instruction, are required to submit a score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS before they can be admitted to the university. The University of Central Florida strongly prefers the TOEFL exam to the IELTS.

For all doctoral and master’s applicants to programs that require the GRE, the applicants must also submit official transcripts to be evaluated by our college. The College of Graduate Studies employs two International Credential Evaluators that review the academic credentials of applicants (excluding applicants to master’s programs in the College of Business Administration and Rosen College of Hospitality Management) that receive their undergraduate degree at a college or university outside of the United States. They conduct a complete assessment of all required credential documents (official transcript(s) and official certification of degree) submitted by the applicant, including the record of all academic coursework.

The International Services Center handles the visa documents checklist for each international applicant. International applicants face additional challenges and need sufficient time to obtain appointments to receive their visa. Therefore, it is extremely important in making admissions recommendations for these applicants as soon as their files are completed and before the international decision deadline for the term.

International Transcript Evaluations

The College of Graduate Studies offers transcript evaluations at no cost that provide U.S. degree equivalence of foreign education for all international applicants to all of our doctoral programs and any master’s programs that require the GRE (excluding those applicants to master’s programs located in the College of Business Administration and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management).

For master’s programs that do not require a GRE, a course-by-course evaluation is required from an evaluation service. If a more in-depth analysis of the applicant’s transcript is needed or a course-by-course evaluation, applicants will need to contact World Education Services, Inc. (WES) or Josef Silny.

Graduate programs should prioritize requests for evaluations. Prioritizing the best applicants will help with the fellowship nominations process and the admissions decisions. Please see your program director if you would like a high priority for a particular applicant. Doctoral fellowships are awarded through a university committee starting in January, therefore, it is important to submit requests as soon as possible so transcript evaluations can be done for the best applicants prior to this time.

For instructions on how to request a transcript evaluation and an explanation of the priority system, refer to International Transcript Evaluations – Priority Request.

Generally, the peak time for transcript evaluations occurs between the months of October and March, in conjunction with International application deadlines for the upcoming fall semester. It is important to follow the deadlines within this timeline when requesting evaluations.

Please see the International Applicants section for more information on International Admissions, particularly with regard to visas and other concerns of international applicants.

Admissions to Graduate Certificate Programs

All students, including current UCF master’s, specialist, or doctoral students, must complete an application that designates the graduate certificate. The student should apply online (https://application.graduate.ucf.edu/) as soon as possible, preferably as soon as they begin taking the required courses.

Students that do not submit an application and gain admittance to the graduate certificate program will not be processed for graduate certificate completion.

Appeals of Admissions Decision

Programs should never deny an admission based on criteria that are not stated in the Graduate Catalog. Applicants with disabilities may take the GRE or GMAT under special conditions to compensate for the disability. Scores obtained in this manner may then be used in the same way as scores for any other students because the compensation would have already been taken into account. The College of Graduate Studies notifies applicants that are denied.

Applicants denied admission that meet the minimum university admission requirements to graduate status but do not meet the more stringent program requirements may request reconsideration by written request to the program director within thirty days of the date of denial, as required by university regulations (UCF 2.003 (9)). The program director may ask the department or program graduate committee to examine the necessary documentation and recommend a response to the appeal. The program director will recommend an admission action to the department chair.

Should the department chair deny the appeal, and there are new circumstances, facts, or other matters that the student feels warrants consideration, the student may request further consideration from the graduate college by writing a letter to the Vice President and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies indicating the desire to appeal further and the reasons why an appeal is sought. The Vice President and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies may ask the Graduate Council Appeals Committee to examine the necessary information and recommend a response to the appeal.

The College of Graduate Studies and Graduate Council do not normally assess the academic judgment of an admissions decision, which is the province of the graduate program. The College of Graduate Studies does investigate admission appeals to ensure that the admission process has been conducted fairly. The College of Graduate Studies usually asks the graduate program for information regarding its admission process, as well as the number of applicants and admitted students for the semester in question, and the average GRE and GPA for applicants and for those who were admitted. The decision of the Vice President and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies is final.

International Services

Students, scholars, and researchers are eligible to study or work in the United States with various visa types. These visa types have many benefits and restrictions that foreign nationals need to comply with in order to stay in this country. To familiarize yourself with the different policies and interpretations, please visit UCF Global. The most important item to remember is not to advise these individuals without knowing the policies since providing incorrect advice could result in the termination of their status.

International Recruiting

UCF Global actively recruits international students to bring diversity and international recognition to the campus. They find the best recruitment tool abroad is developing a systematic feeder program through relationship building with international universities, organizations, and students. Faculty members are the most effective in developing these relationships and are thus encouraged to participate in recruitment activities and establish agreements with universities when traveling abroad. Recruitment activities may include giving presentations, meeting with prospective applicants, and making connections between students/institutions abroad and UCF. Faculty members are also encouraged to provide program information to UCF Global recruiters in order to assist the recruitment team in promoting available UCF graduate degree options. UCF Global is able to assist faculty by providing resources, recruiting materials and information on establishing agreements with institutions abroad.

International Admissions

For general information about admissions please see International Admissions. This section contains specific information about what happens after the admissions decision has been made and how the appropriate homeland security issues are handled. UCF Global is responsible for ensuring students are eligible to receive a Form I-20 as part of the UCF international admissions process. Without this form, admission is not final and students are unable to apply for a visa. The process of applying and getting a visa approved varies by country and generally takes one week to four months. Most students apply to various institutions and usually accept the first admission they receive to ensure they are able to start a program on time. To stay competitive, faculty responsible for making admissions decisions need to make them as early as possible, but no later than the scheduled admissions deadlines for international students.

February is the best month to admit an international student for the fall semester, and August is the best month to admit an international student for the spring semester. Please keep in mind that international applicants are not admissible to certificate or degree programs that are exclusively online.

Every semester UCF Global creates a list of admitted students who have incomplete immigration files and forwards the list to the department coordinators. Please use the list to email students encouraging them to submit outstanding immigration documents.

International students tend to be less familiar than domestic students with the U.S. higher education system and often have many questions during the application process. Please make every effort to respond to academic and program related inquiries in a timely manner. For questions on transcript evaluations and English language requirements, please see the Admissions section. If students have immigration-related questions, do not hesitate to forward the inquiry to UCF Global at INTLadmissions@ucf.edu.

Once students arrive at UCF, they are required to attend one of many available SEVIS immigration orientations. To obtain the dates for orientations, please view the UCF Global website or contact INTLadmissions@ucf.edu. When communicating with international students about their arrival date to UCF, note that immigration regulations do not allow students to arrive prior to 30 days before the start of classes. UCF Global recommends students arrive two weeks before the start of classes to allow ample time to attend orientations, register for classes and settle in their new homes.

Advising

In addition to the challenges of dealing with cultural adaptation and academic success, international students holding an F-1 or J-1 visa are required to learn and comply with immigration regulations to maintain lawful immigration status. Although program and graduate policies may allow students to engage in certain activities, federal immigration regulations and UCF Global policies may prevent students from doing so. Failure to comply with regulations, even when students are misadvised by faculty members, can result in serious consequences, such as termination of immigration status.

Faculty members have opportunities to assist international students with adapting to their new environment and reaching the greater academic achievement. We encourage you to use UCF Global as a resource to help international students with their social and academic adjustment. Additionally, faculty should consult or refer students to UCF Global when uncertain that a particular action may violate an immigration regulation and place the student in jeopardy.

Below are the most important immigration regulations students must follow:

Employment and Taxation

All foreign nationals (individuals who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents) employed by UCF must meet with UCF Global Employment and Taxation before starting work to complete their payroll sign-in procedure. They must also complete the I-9 Form prior to their work start date. Please request international students who will be paid by UCF to make an appointment with the IAGS office as soon as possible after arrival.

Faculty involved with the signing and submission of electronic Personnel Action Forms (ePAFs) for assistantships need to be very mindful of the submission process and deadlines. All financial support documentation is required by August 15 of each year for continuing and August 31 for NEW international graduate assistants. Failure to submit the ePAF within the deadline will prevent the graduate assistant from receiving an assistantship and health insurance for that semester. This can be financially detrimental, particularly to new international students who are overspent from immigration fees, travel/moving expenses, and large housing and utility security deposits. Please review the International/Non-Resident Alien (NRA) Employment at UCF Human Resources for instructions on the hiring process, or contact UCF Global at 407-823-2337 and ask to speak to Employment and Taxation. UCF Global copies departments on email reminders to UCF employed foreign nationals prior to their I-9 expiration date, which must be active during the length of employment. Please remind employees to update their I-9 form prior to expiration and for the following:

If you or your department is interested in sponsoring a foreign national for an H-1B work visa, please contact UCF Global Employment and Taxation for guidance. UCF Global works as a liaison with the Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, P.C. law firm to assist with this process.

In addition, if you are deciding to end the relationship with an H-1B employee and/or not renew the employment contract, the department should notify the employee and then send a notification letter to UCF Global immediately. The department should consult with the employee as to his or her intention to remain in the United States or return to the home country. If the employee plans to return home, the hiring department should either purchase a ticket or reimburse the employee for the cost. The department should consult with UCF Global prior to making any final decisions.

Advising Students

Proactive student advising is integral to student success. The College of Graduate Studies provides resources to assist programs with the proactive advisement of graduate students. This section focuses on helping program directors and graduate faculty with advising their graduate students and ensuring a well-rounded graduate student experience and successful student completion.

A general Graduate Student Handbook is available at graduate.ucf.edu/student-handbook/.

Advising and Mentoring Students

One of the most important lessons learned from nationwide retention studies is that events that bring faculty and students together, such as research seminars, coffees, discussion groups, etc. are very important to a student sense of belonging and caring and that this translates directly into students staying in the program. In numerous studies, the credentials of students who leave and students who stay in graduate programs are identical; students frequently leave for other than academic or performance-based reasons.

One of the most important components of graduate education is the advising and mentoring of graduate students. UCF retention studies show that our students rely heavily on their advisors for guidance in both degree requirements and in navigating the administrative structure of the university. Therefore graduate program directors must first ensure that their students are receiving advisement from either themselves or some other faculty member, and second, that the faculty are offering appropriate and accurate advice. One of the best practices in several of our programs involves the annual updating of the program faculty by the program director on recent policy and procedural changes. The content of this section of the handbook will provide an excellent resource for advising students.

Advisement and mentoring become even more critical if your program is a thesis or dissertation based program with students engaged in independent research. Often the most profound education that our students receive comes from the research guidance and the relationship offered by their faculty mentors. However, we must remember that for the most part, few faculty members ever receive formal training in mentoring students and thus it is incumbent on the program director and department chair to ensure that new and junior faculty members receive appropriate guidance in advising and mentoring students. This is one reason why less experienced faculty members should first be nominated and appointed to the graduate faculty as associate members until they acquire some additional experience in mentoring students.

Creating a Supportive Program

Another aspect of graduate education that our studies show is extremely important but often overlooked is the intellectual atmosphere of the program. Graduate students crave to become part of the community of scholars in your program and only you and your program faculty can develop an intellectual atmosphere that not only challenges our students but also boosts their confidence and pride in your program. Achieving an intellectual environment requires more than hours spent in laboratories; it requires the creation of opportunities for students and faculty members to interact with one another by exchanging and debating ideas in seminars, symposia, and journal clubs. Exposing students to different perspectives to those currently found in your program by hosting visiting scholars/faculty and outside speakers and allowing graduate students to meet and interact with them is very worthwhile. Viewing our graduate students as junior colleagues rather than just students or employees helps to establish the supportive atmosphere important to student success.

Creating an intellectual environment does not necessarily cost a large amount of money but it does require a commitment and expectation on the part of the faculty that they will participate in this endeavor. It is interesting that our retention study found that almost all program directors and their department chairs agreed that this environment was desirable and necessary to nourish our students. Those of our programs that do promote this environment appear to have better retention of their students. Perhaps one of the most important contributions that you can make to create an intellectual and supportive environment in your program is to promote research seminars, symposia, and journal clubs in your program.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

One of the most uncomfortable positions for program directors is mediating a dispute between a student and his/her advisor. The most serious cases usually occur when a student seeks to leave an advisor’s laboratory for another advisor or leave the program in favor of another program. This scenario creates a classic conflict between a student’s responsibility to his or her advisor or program who may have invested time and money in the student and the right of a student to seek a change if he/she becomes seriously disgruntled with the current arrangement.

It may be difficult but we must understand that the overwhelming majority of students do not seek such changes lightly and usually are quite fearful of being ostracized by other faculty in the department. They are also fearful of losing considerable time that they have already invested in the program. On the other hand, one must realize that the advisor or program may be caught completely unaware by the request for change since many students are very reluctant to openly express their dissatisfaction to their advisor, and thus understandably the advisor may feel betrayed and upset with the student. In these cases, it is usually best not to affix guilt to either the student or the advisor unless blatant misbehavior is found which is rare. Try to seek reconciliation if possible but be prepared to assist the student in finding another advisor if reconciliation is not possible, and assuage the faculty member if necessary. We should not admit students if we have concerns about their abilities and their fit in the program.

Student Expectations vs. Reality

Unless students have considerable experience in research and prior graduate work, they often enter your program with lofty expectations. There is nothing wrong with this, and in fact, it is desirable, unless the reality of your program falls short of their expectations. Students expect to be challenged intellectually and most expect to work harder in their graduate programs than in their undergraduate programs. Usually, students do well in their formal courses since they are long accustomed to structured lectures and tests. But most have never experienced “independent learning and exploration” which is a cornerstone of graduate education and thus have little knowledge of the laborious nature of solid research whether it is library, field, or bench research. They have never anticipated the hours of toil and frustration that are often required before they experience success. Unfortunately, in many cases, the reality undermines their lofty expectations and unless we build a support structure to help them weather their disappointment, we will lose many bright students. This is not just symptomatic of UCF but is found throughout the national higher education community which may explain a large number of people who identify themselves as “ABD’s” (All But Dissertation) as if the ABD is a legitimate degree.

Some of us may ask ‘why should we expend effort on those who cannot survive?’ as if graduate education is a Darwinian experience where only the fittest can survive. And, truthfully, there are some students who in spite of our best admissions criteria are not equipped to complete a graduate degree and enter a discipline. UCF research shows that the vast majority of students who leave doctoral programs had the same entering credentials as those who stay. About 50-60% of students in our doctoral programs have considered leaving; there are many who are in danger of leaving but possess the ability to be accomplished scholars and could thrive with the appropriate guidance. These are the students about which we are concerned and therefore the real question is ‘how do we as graduate faculty members build a support structure for our students so that their expectations can be reconciled with reality and still maintain their drive and enthusiasm?’ Part of the answer lies in the environment mentioned in a section above. Our students must be fully assimilated into the program and given the opportunity to build support networks with other students and faculty through interaction in seminars etc. Another part of the answer lies in our curriculum in that we must offer challenging courses in a timely manner and introduce our students to research early in the program so that they can appreciate the reality of research. Finally, we as faculty members must be aware that graduate students are entrusting their future to us. Therefore, we must honor this trust by being diligent in offering guidance, truthful but measured in our criticism, and encouraging in our manner, because in the end, the accomplishments of our graduates will clearly reflect on the quality of the training and education that we have provided.

Best Practices for Advising Students

As part of effective advising, faculty should understand the current university policies, and any changes that may have occurred, office staff should follow up to ensure that all petitions have been filed and student progress is being made, and the graduate program committee should identify planned professional development activities annually for graduate students. In this section, we have prepared a list of best practices that we have observed throughout the university in various graduate programs that is particularly helpful in creating a stimulating and supportive environment.

Prepare a 3-Year Course Schedule

In order to advise graduate students effectively and efficiently, it is best to organize the departmental functions so that the course schedule is stable. It should be planned out for 3 years with few substitutions and specificity about what is to be taught each semester.

Locate your course schedule on the program website for easy access by students and faculty, and indicate in the Graduate Catalog copy as well as the 3-year course schedule the courses that will be taught each semester. It is helpful to not list courses as “occasional” but to have a realistic plan of actual offerings so that students can determine for themselves what is available to take. This plan should be included in the curriculum section of the program handbook. Refer to the Program and Course Management section of this guide for more information on course scheduling and other topics on the curriculum.

Build Plans of Study based on the 3-Year Course Schedule

Once the course schedule has been planned, it is possible to build an effective Plan of Study for students. A Plan of Study (POS) is a listing of coursework and other degree requirements agreed to by the student and the degree program specifying what is needed to successfully complete the program. It should be used as an advising tool to help students plan their course of study and to identify deficiencies or petitions of policy at an early stage. Having strong POS planning processes will prevent delays in meeting graduation requirements. Policy information about POS is located in the Graduate Catalog.

The Plan of Study is different than a GPS (Graduate Plan of Study) audit, in that the GPS audit only includes courses that have already been completed or registered for and does not include future enrollment. The POS also identifies formal coursework, transfer work, course substitutions, and petitions that need to be completed for the student.

The only time it is necessary to submit a new Plan of Study for a student is when the student changes tracks or the catalog year of a program and at the time of graduation if the Plan of Study has changed.

Plans of Study must be on file for doctoral and master’s students before the completion of 12 credit hours of coursework. POS submissions must come through the eform process. Students who do not have a POS on file by this time will receive a hold on their student records that blocks registration. At the same time you submit the POS to the College of Graduate Studies, please also submit all petitions that are needed as well as any eforms required to process transfer work.

The Graduate College places a checklist item on all active degree-seeking graduate students in myUCF in the “to do” list section when a POS is not on file. The notification is removed once the POS is received in the Graduate College. If your department does not have its own template, then you can find suggested POS templates in the Forms and References section of this website.

We require that all parties are aware of the program of study, including students, the faculty adviser, and program director. However, electronic submission of the POS is encouraged using electronic signatures. We will accept faxes of POS as long as the POS is signed by the parties.

If you would like to know which students have approved POS, please visit GradInfo at www.gradinfo.ucf.edu in the Reports section and this will help you track your students. The Active Student Report lists all active students and a status indicator in the POS Status column. Indicators include an “I” for initiated and “C” for completed.
Stay Informed of Graduate Policy

Program directors should keep informed of new graduate policies and revisions to graduate policies by reviewing the Graduate Council website, reading the notices of policy updates sent to the Graduate Program Directors listserv, and attending the Program Directors Updates Meeting in June each year hosted by the College of Graduate Studies.

Please go over new policy changes with faculty in department meetings and at graduate program committee meetings to ensure faculty members are kept up-to-date with current policies.

Policy information can be found in the Policy Guide and the Policies section in the Graduate Catalog. For policy drafts, minutes, and policy committee schedule, see the Graduate Council website.

Faculty members should not contradict university policies, nor promise or commit the university to decisions contrary to university policies. Faculty should be knowledgeable about the override, petition and appeals processes and know when each is appropriate.

Proactively Monitor Student Progress

Ensure that there is a systematic way to proactively track information regarding student progress each semester. This includes identifying students in academic distress, ensuring that graduation issues are resolved, and filing petitions are on time. Refer to the section on Academic Progress for guidelines and resources available to assist you with helping your students maintain successful academic progress. Conditional Retention Plans are a way to assist students who are in danger of being dismissed and we strongly advise programs to file these plans BEFORE students are dismissed, provided that the program believes the student can succeed.

Several reports are available to help you in tracking students. In the Reports menu in GradInfo (www.gradinfo.ucf.edu) includes reports for Active Students, Inactive Students, and Graduated Students. Many options are available to you to choose the data to be included on the Active Students report, for example, whether a student has a Plan of Study, has filed an intent to graduate, is enrolled and the number of credit hours, their admit and candidacy terms, any academic progress issues such as program actions and reasons, academic standing.

Employ a Separate Academic Adviser for Large Programs

Departments of more than 100 graduate students should employ a separate A&P adviser to assist the graduate program director in tracking student progress.

File Petitions Early

Petitions should be submitted early in the student’s Plan of Study, as soon after the student enters the university as possible. Petitions should be submitted and approved prior to the submission of a final Plan of Study. Reference the Policy Guide for guidelines and deadlines relating to petitions.

Submit Requests for Transfer Work, Course Substitutions, and Traveling Scholar Work Early

These requests should be submitted as early as possible in the student’s career, prior to the submission of a final Plan of Study. Early submission and approval will preempt any possibility for delays in certification for graduation. Reference this section of the faculty guide for guidelines and deadlines relating to requests for transfer work, course substitutions and traveling scholar work.

Identify Graduation Deficiencies Early

Complete a pre-certification of graduating students in the semester before students are intending to graduate. The Graduate Council will not approve petitions for master’s students in their last semester. Any petitions for exceptions to university requirements must be made in the semester before students will graduate.

For doctoral students, please complete the pre-certification process at candidacy when all coursework is completed and the only remaining requirement is the doctoral dissertation.

The College of Graduate Studies has graduation certification checklists and a timeline of all graduation deadlines available to assist you with planning the graduation processes. The checklists can be found in Forms and References for masters, certificate, specialist, and doctoral programs.

Conduct Program Orientation

Host program or college orientations for new graduate students. Fall orientations are best held to coincide with the Graduate Orientation, held each August by the College of Graduate Studies. In program orientations, the most important information that you can provide to new students is what you expect from them. Often students new to graduate school experience do not know the culture or expectations for graduate school and need the implicit made much more explicit. Provide students with the tools and resources needed to navigate their graduate career.

Program and college orientations need to include information on Plan of Study, meeting coursework requirements, and policies. Also include information about holidays and breaks in your department, assistantships, and meeting the requirements of teaching or research advisers. Have information regarding a good thesis or dissertation and a timeline for good academic progress, annual reviews of their performance for doctoral students, ethics in research, and what professional behavior is. There are other topics pertinent to the discipline as well that need to be covered.

Host General Advising Sessions

Host general advising sessions for your graduate students each semester, so that all advising can take place at one time. This will save you time and is more convenient for staff and students. Those that need to take special courses such as thesis and dissertation can have their forms approved and entered at once. If you have a computer set up, then students who wish to take regular courses can enter these into the registration system and problems can be solved in real-time. It is helpful to hold a brown-bag lunch session one week prior to this where you let each student know what they should bring to the advising session (note from faculty about independent study, thesis/dissertation, etc.).

Register Students Early

Graduate students need to register early for their courses. It is helpful to establish the curriculum so that a standard first-semester course schedule is developed and you can register students into it without waiting for students to attend the graduate program orientation. Any adjustments can be made at the program orientation. Please handle exceptions early.

Maintain a Current Graduate Program Handbook for Students

A graduate student handbook is required that carefully describes the program’s expectations for student progress, in both coursework and in independent learning experiences. The College of Graduate Studies provides an online Graduate Program Handbooks site to assist you with this task. Having a handbook that describes policies and expectations for graduate students is a requirement by SACSCOC.

Maintenance of the handbook is important and should be done annually at the time that Graduate Catalog copy is due, for consistency of information. Plan to make updates to your handbooks every spring semester, prior to June 1.

Track Registration in Dissertation Hours

Confirm that all students registered for dissertation hours have passed candidacy and that the status change and dissertation advisory committee have been submitted to and received by the College of Graduate Studies. Students should only be registered for dissertation hours after they have passed candidacy. Reference the Graduate Summary in PeopleSoft to see if a student’s status has changed to Doctoral Candidacy (DCD) and the Dissertation Advisory Committee is recorded correctly.

Academic Progress for Doctoral Students

Please monitor student progress milestones from entry to graduation. All doctoral students should have successfully passed qualifying examinations within the first year, and certainly no later than the middle of the second year. Admission to candidacy for doctoral students will normally take place near the end of the third year and coursework should be completed during this time. Doctoral students should meet with their doctoral advisory committees each semester during their dissertation work.

Dissertations in progress for more than two years should be reviewed by the doctoral advisory committee, which should notify the program director if there is lack of progress or problems.

All doctoral students must be evaluated each year by the graduate program committee to determine if they are making progress to degree.

Advising of Graduate Teaching Assistants

SACSCOC requires that all teaching assistants have a faculty supervisor. Please inform your faculty supervisors that they are to meet with the GTAs at least weekly and are required to provide an evaluation at the end of each semester on their teaching performance before the GTA can be employed the next semester. The evaluation form is the GTA Performance Assessment Form. This form does not require teaching evaluations completed by students in the class before it can be completed. The GTA Performance Assessment Form focuses on the professional teaching experience and development of the GTA student during their assistantship.

Graduate Awards

The College of Graduate Studies recommends to departments and colleges that they offer awards for outstanding achievements and contributions made by graduate students. They should also nominate graduate students for the university-wide awards such as the Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching Award, the Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, and the Outstanding Dissertation and Thesis awards.

The College of Graduate Studies recognizes outstanding poster presentations each year during the Graduate Research Forum. Please encourage your faculty and students to attend and participate.

In addition, the Graduate College is always interested in thanking our outstanding faculty who selflessly mentor doctoral students. The Award for Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Doctoral Students is offered annually to the two best mentors in the disciplinary categories (see Awards and Recognition for more details).

Establishing the Curriculum to Make Advising Easier and Better


Academic Integrity

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. The UCF commitment and expectations are included in the Faculty Handbook (Ethical Conduct of the University Community, pages 45-47) and in the Golden Rule and its associated UCF regulations (UCF-5.008, www.regulations.ucf.edu/chapter5/index.html). Guidance may be found in Information Literacy and the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (Classroom Management, Academic Integrity) and is reinforced through the offerings of the University Writing Center, the UCF Libraries, and other services on campus.

To maintain this atmosphere in the UCF graduate community, it is crucial that all students are made aware of the expectations of academic integrity, the responsibilities associated with research and scholarly work, and the consequences associated with the failure to abide by these expectations. Faculty plays an important role in this effort.

In support of this effort, the College of Graduate Studies and the Office of Research and Commercialization coordinate a series of ethics/responsible conduct of research (RCR) workshops. The online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) “Responsible Conduct of Research” training is available free.

While the fostering of academic and scholarly integrity applies to all students, the Graduate Council and Faculty Senate have approved a policy requiring doctoral students entering UCF in Fall 2011 and later to complete Academic Integrity Training prior to the student’s advancement to candidacy. For more details, see the pages listed below on this website.

Advising Students about Academic Integrity

Information for UCF Graduate Students

UCF Resources

Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

Information Literacy, Students, Avoiding Plagiarism Using MLA Style

UCF Libraries, Grammar and Writing: Avoiding Plagiarism

Other Resources

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Research Integrity (http://ori.hhs.gov/Handling Misconduct—Case Summaries)

Academic Integrity Training Requirement

Starting Fall 2011, all students newly admitted to doctoral programs must complete training designed to inculcate an awareness and understanding of the fundamental issues of academic integrity and the responsible conduct of research (RCR) in a manner that is consistent with federal regulations. This happens through the Pathways to Success Program offered through the Graduate Student Center.

A doctoral student who has not completed the required training in academic integrity and the responsible conduct of research by their appropriate deadlines will not be advanced to candidacy.

Note: Doctoral students who are readmitted with a new catalog year are required to meet the academic integrity requirements. Doctoral students who are moved forward in catalog year administratively are not required to meet the academic integrity requirements.

Policy

Required Training

The academic integrity required training includes:

  1. The online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Responsible Conduct of Research training in the appropriate disciplinary area; and
  2. Four face-to-face ethics/RCR workshops coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies and the Office of Research and Commercialization or an approved alternative training offered as a program requirement for all students in the program. Students must take at least two CORE workshops and at least two other CORE or ELECTIVE workshops for a total of four workshops. Students in a program that has approved alternative ethics/RCR training must still complete the online CITI Responsible Conduct of Research training in the appropriate disciplinary area.

Both the CITI training and workshops are provided at no cost and are open to all UCF graduate students and postdoctoral associates. For the ethics/RCR workshops, priority is given to doctoral students who are required to complete these workshops prior to advancement to candidacy.

CITI Responsible Conduct of Research Training

The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program is an organization that provides online research ethics education to all members of the research community, including more than a thousand U.S. and international institutions. Provided at no cost to researchers, this training includes several training courses with options for different disciplines.

You are encouraged to take advantage of this free CITI training. This educational resource is open to all faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral associates. Please consult the UCF Institutional Review Board (IRB) for guidance on CITI training required for specific research projects.

Creating-a-CITI-Account-for-the-First-Time

Read the instructions carefully before you begin so you will know what you must do in order to receive credit for completing the Responsible Conduct of Research training. You may choose to complete the training in one session or in multiple sessions. Always follow the instructions carefully in order to save your work and remember to check your progress as you go.

Once you have completed your CITI training, please send a copy of your certificate of completion to gradworkshops@ucf.edu.

Waiver from Attending Ethics/RCR Workshops

The academic integrity and responsible conduct of research (RCR) policy allow the required ethics/RCR workshops to be waived if the doctoral program provides an approved alternative training that is required of all students in the program. The following guidelines provide instruction to those doctoral programs desiring to develop alternative training as a substitute for the required workshops.

  1. A course that has significant content addressing fundamental academic integrity/RCR concepts must be specified and required of all doctoral students in the program. A syllabus of the specified course showing the content and the course format (lectures, discussions of case studies, online chat rooms, etc.) must be filed with the College of Graduate Studies for approval. While programs are strongly encouraged to weave a thread of academic integrity/RCR training throughout their curriculum, it is necessary to have one course identified that addresses fundamental ethical/RCR concepts so that the student can be verified on his/her degree audit as meeting the academic integrity/RCR requirement at the time of candidacy. Students are only waived from the face-to-face ethics/RCR workshops after completing the specified course.
  2. The specified course must include content that addresses the following fundamental ethical/RCR concepts:
    • Avoiding plagiarism, including a discussion of self-plagiarism
    • Attributing authorship, including discussions of collaborative scholarship and the appropriate assignment of credit to the collaborators
    • Integrity in data collection, including discussions of the fabrication of data (i.e., making up data) and the falsification of data (i.e., manipulating research data through omission or massaging of the data, or by manipulating processes, materials or equipment so that the research is not accurately represented in the record)
    • Personal integrity in an academic setting, including discussions of recognizing conflicts of interests (both personal and financial), integrity in face-to-face and online examinations, and respectful and professional behavior when interacting with others
  3. The specified course should include case studies that lead to free-flowing discussions of the fundamental ethical/RCR concepts described above. Online courses that are specified for meeting the ethical/RCR requirements must show that they have mechanisms that encourage such discussion. The National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Council of Graduate Schools have strongly recommended that education in ethics and the responsible conduct of research include open discussions among students and faculty members that are centered on case studies.

It is recognized that the above is not a comprehensive listing of all of the ethical training that your students may need in their doctoral education. Therefore, programs are strongly encouraged to not only reinforce the above concepts throughout the curriculum but also train your students in the other areas of ethical conduct as required by their research and your profession.

Programs Currently Approved for Waiver

Questions?

Contact Dr. John Weishampel in the College of Graduate Studies if you have questions about requesting this waiver.

Contact the College of Graduate Studies (407-823-2766 or gradworkshops@ucf.edu) if you or your students have questions about academic integrity training.


Advising Thesis and Dissertation Students

Faculty advisers, committee members, and program directors all play key roles in providing the guidance and support that students need to complete a thesis or dissertation successfully.

Thesis and Dissertation Office

The Thesis and Dissertation Office in the College of Graduate Studies advises students about UCF electronic thesis and dissertation requirements, information regarding graduation deadlines and formatting of the manuscript.

Students should become familiar with the thesis and dissertation section of www.graduate.ucf.edu. Once students have a thesis or dissertation committee in the university system, they can log in to the Thesis and Dissertation Services site and ask format and process questions. They will use this same site to request format review of their thesis or dissertation, print their defense approval form, and complete their final submission.

The Thesis and Dissertation Office may be reached at editor@ucf.edu, and the semester deadlines for theses and dissertations are listed in the UCF Academic Calendar.

For a thesis/dissertation student planning to graduate in the semester, the Graduate College requires that the student:

Setting the Groundwork: Program Handbook

Having a detailed Program Handbook can help students know what to expect at all stages of their graduate study in your program, including the thesis and dissertation stage. Here are some essential elements:

Thesis and Dissertation Stages

This guide defines the following six stages of thesis and dissertation work and provides guidance and best practices for each stage.

Stage 1. Initiating Thesis/Dissertation Work
Stage 2. Enrolling in Thesis/Dissertation
Stage 3. Research Phase
Stage 4. Thesis and Dissertation Review
Stage 5. Defense
Stage 6. Thesis and Dissertation Final Submission

In addition, the following resources provide detailed information that will be helpful to you during thesis and dissertation advising:

Samples of Thesis and Dissertation Services student site, Approval Form, and Thesis and Dissertation Release (Dissemination) Option Form

FAQs related to the thesis and dissertation process

Policies Related to Thesis/Dissertation

Dissemination (Release) of Theses and Dissertations

Graduate Faculty and Graduate Faculty Scholars

Human Subjects Research

Patent and Invention Policy

Proprietary and Confidential Information

Review of Theses and Dissertations for Original Work

Viewing Thesis/Dissertation Status and Release Options

Programs:

PeopleSoft GRAD Custom > Graduate Summary > Academic Progress page

PeopleSoft GRAD Custom – thesis/dissertation status fields being added to Intent to Graduate lists

DocView – Document name is T_D RELEASE OPTION

Students:

myUCF Student Center > Graduate Students section > Thesis and Dissertation Status page

Thesis and Dissertation Services website > Home page

Best Practices for Thesis and Dissertation

Stage 1. Initiating Thesis/Dissertation Work

Research and Scholarly Work Process and Policy Feedback and Evaluation
Outline a project that can be realistically completed

Identify potential journals for publication of research, so your student can become familiar with the types of work published and the formatting guidelines

Review proper use of citations

Advise student about good practices in scholarly writing in your discipline

Advise student to review university policies for thesis and dissertation

Have student review the program handbook and the Graduate Student Handbook, with special attention to expectations and requirements

Advise the student to attend ethics/responsible conduct of research workshops

Complete a Program of Study

Plan for the advisory committee to meet at least once per year

Best Practices

Research and Scholarly Work

Process and Policy

Feedback and Evaluation

Stage 2. Enrolling in Thesis/Dissertation

Process and Policy Feedback and Evaluation
Complete candidacy requirements in time for enrolling in dissertation hours (7980) – must be completed prior to first day of classes

Assess program of study completion

Review preliminary degree audit

Submit advisory committee form (and Graduate Faculty nominations if necessary)

Have student attend Thesis and Dissertation formatting and beginning/completing the process workshops

Advise student concerning advisory committee composition

Forms

Doctoral Committee/Candidacy Status Form

Thesis Advisory Committee Form

Nomination and Appointment to Graduate Faculty and Graduate Faculty Scholars Form

Best Practices

Process and Policy

Students may only register for dissertation hours once they have officially been changed to candidacy status. This point is the final check for the student before graduation so that the only remaining requirement is successful completion of the dissertation. Students must have completed this requirement before the first day of classes of the semester in which they wish to enroll in dissertation hours. Students enrolling in dissertation hours for the first time during the summer must have their paperwork submitted prior to the first day of classes for Summer C, regardless of which summer session they will enroll.

Feedback and Evaluation

Stage 3. Research Phase

Research and Scholarly Work Process and Policy Feedback and Evaluation
Lay out the basic thesis/dissertation structure

Set a schedule for research and thesis/dissertation completion

Work on writing skills and proper use of citations

Have student assist in review of publications

Review chapters as drafts are available

Discuss intellectual property handling with the student Maintain student progress: Meet regularly and review the completion schedule

Assign appropriate S/U grades

Best Practices

The biggest problem during this period will be to ensure that the student is making timely progress on the thesis/dissertation. Good practice says to meet regularly with your student. Meeting once a week is recommended, although this will vary by subject matter and expectations.

Please refer back to the schedule that you developed with the student about chapter delivery at your regular meetings with the student to ensure that the schedule is being maintained. If not, then either redo the schedule or have a frank discussion with the student about your expectations for progress. If necessary, please document in writing the progress to date at certain points.

Research and Scholarly Work

Lay out the thesis or dissertation with the student, so they can see the chapters that must be written, and provide assignment deadlines for the chapters that are realistic. This will help students with procrastination and motivation issues and keep everyone on track. The deadlines can be flexible as the research warrants.

Process and Policy

Feedback and Evaluation

Stage 4. Thesis/Dissertation Review

Research and Scholarly Work Process and Policy
Advise student about good practices in scholarly writing in your discipline

Review the final draft in its entirety with the student

Advise student to file Intent to Graduate form

Review degree audit

Check committee composition

Advise student to ask formatting questions and request help in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site

Advise student to submit for Format Review approval in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site by the semester deadline

Agree upon the dissemination of the thesis/dissertation and have the student submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option Form in the myUCF Student Center

Have student provide the Approval Form to you and check it for accuracy

Submit draft document to advisory committee at least two weeks prior to defense and ask for feedback before scheduling the defense

Best Practices

Research and Scholarly Work

Process and Policy

Feedback and Evaluation

Stage 5. Defense

Research and Scholarly Work Process and Policy Feedback and Evaluation
Prepare the student for what to expect at the defense and conduct at least one practice session

Encourage the student to attend other defenses in your program

Schedule the defense with your graduate program office and the advisory committee

Announce the defense

Review and sign the Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form

Review structure of the exam

Review the Review for Original Work results with the advisory committee at the defense

Best Practices

Process and Policy

Stage 6. Thesis/Dissertation Final Submission

Research and Scholarly Work Process and Policy
Have student make required changes Student must complete Final Submission to the Graduate College by the semester deadline in order to graduate

Best Practices

Process and Policy

Review for Original Work

The University requires all students submitting a thesis or dissertation as part of their graduate degree requirements to first submit their electronic documents through iThenticate for advisement purposes and for review of originality. The thesis or dissertation chair is responsible for scheduling this submission to iThenticate and for reviewing the results from iThenticate with the student’s advisory committee. The advisory committee uses the results appropriately to assist the student in the preparation of their thesis or dissertation.

Before the student may be approved for final submission to the university, the thesis or dissertation chair must indicate completion of the Review for Original Work requirement by signing the student’s Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form.

Fostering Academic Integrity

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning has posted guidance regarding Academic Integrity for university faculty.

Requesting Access to iThenticate.com

For information about iThenticate at UCF, please see the iThenticate section on the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) website. For iThenticate’s login (set-up) actions and/or system-related questions, thesis and dissertation chairs should contact RCR at rcr-ucf@ucf.edu for guidance.
Request for iThenticate Report

The best practice is for committee chairs to continue to run the iThenticate report themselves and complete the review before scheduling the student’s defense. However, for those who need assistance, the College of Graduate Studies will be available to run the standard Similarity Report for the full text of the document and will send the mhtml file (a portable file that offers limited interactivity) to the chair. The College of Graduate Studies will not review or interpret the report.

To request a report:

Faculty are encouraged to run the iThenticate report and take advantage of the site’s features, as there are distinct advantages to faculty running the reports, including the ability to:


Student Services and Academic Records

Advising your graduate students requires understanding academic services and records for graduate students at UCF. This section serves as a guide to policy, processes and related reports and forms so that you can properly advise your students and support their degree completion.

Academic Progress

Academic progress involves processes and actions taken by the College of Graduate Studies with regard to graduate student performance. It is expected that graduate students perform at a level substantially higher than expected of undergraduates. Therefore, the academic performance of graduate students is closely monitored through the use of the Graduate Status GPA. The Graduate Status GPA is defined as all UCF graduate-level coursework taken since admission into the graduate program. The Graduate Status GPA does not include transfer courses from another institution, from another UCF graduate program, or any undergraduate or non-degree coursework.

The College of Graduate Studies will review all Graduate Status GPA’s and take appropriate actions on student records including:

The Graduate College also provides a series of reports designed to help program directors advise and support their students to give them the best chance for success in their Plan of Study. For more about these reports, please refer to the section on Probation and Dismissal Reports (below).

The College of Graduate Studies will take action to place a student on probation or dismiss a student based on their Graduate Status GPA and the program may also make a recommendation to place a student on probation via the Graduate Probation Recommendation with Conditions Form or dismiss them based on other factors via the Dismissal Recommendation Form.

Any questions regarding academic progress or the submission of a Conditional Retention Plan or Recommendation for probation or dismissal for any graduate student may be directed to Graduate Student Services and Graduation at gradrcrd@ucf.edu or 407-823-2766.

The processes are completed and actions are taken immediately following the finalization of grades for the semester.

Probation

Students whose Graduate Status GPA drops below a 3.0 but above a 2.0 are placed on academic probation by the College of Graduate Studies. Students placed on academic probation have the next nine semester hours of letter-graded graduate coursework (Grades A-F) to attain a 3.0 Graduate Status GPA. Grades of “U” are also considered unsatisfactory performance and the program may elect to place the student on academic probation.

Students who have been in regular status and have fallen below the required 3.0 graduate GPA will be placed on probation. A report of students placed on probation is provided to the programs in the GradInfo downloads section for Student Services files and an email sent to the listservs when the report is available. Communication will be sent to graduate students and scanned into their permanent records in the following scenarios:

  1. All students placed on probation will receive an email informing them that they have been placed on academic probation and allowing them up to 9 graduate credit semester hours to improve their graduate GPA to the required minimum of 3.0 or they will be dismissed from graduate status.
  2. Students admitted in the provisional status will receive a different email informing them that they have been placed on academic probation and that they must attain a 3.0 GPA as outlined in their provisional admissions letter or they will be dismissed from graduate status.

Students who were previously placed on probation and have raised their graduate GPA above the required 3.0 will be removed from probation. An email is sent to the student notifying them of this and a report of students placed on probation is provided to the programs in the GradInfo Downloads section for Student Services files.

Students who have been placed on probation but have not completed 9 semester hours will be continued on probation and a report of these students is provided to the programs in the GradInfo Downloads section for Student Services files and an email notification is sent to the listservs when the report is available. No communication is sent to these students. A report of students continued on probation is provided to the programs in the GradInfo Downloads section for Student Services files.

Being placed on probation by the College of Graduate Studies is not appealable.

Conditional Retention Plans

Graduate programs have the option of being proactive with regard to students who are on probation. If they believe that a student may not be able to fulfill their probationary period satisfactorily and also believe that the student has the ability to succeed in their program, although they have had difficulties that would place them on probation, they may file a Conditional Retention Plan that outlines requirements for them to finish their degree programs. The plan must outline feasible goals that facilitate the student’s successful completion of the program and should be reviewed each semester until the student meets the terms and/or graduates. This plan is an agreement between the student, the program, and the College of Graduate Studies and failure to meet the terms will result in dismissal. Please refer to the academic progress section of the graduate catalog for post-dismissal options at www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu, under Policies.

We recommend that a Conditional Retention Plan is designed during the probation period that would avoid the dismissal of the student from the program, for students that you think will ultimately succeed, Programs are not obligated to submit Conditional Retention Plans for any students if in their best judgment the students should not be retained or reinstated. Use the Conditional Retention Plan and include program requirements essential for the student to be successful in their program. These requirements should be ones that can easily be tracked so that the College of Graduate Studies can verify that the requirements have been met.

Dismissal

Students who have been on probation for 9 or more semester hours and have not achieved a 3.0 Graduate Status GPA and have not submitted a Conditional Retention Plan are reviewed and dismissed by the College of Graduate Studies. Also, those who have an approved Conditional Retention Plan but have not met the requirements of their plan, are reviewed and dismissed from their academic program by the College of Graduate Studies. The dismissal will be recorded on the transcript.

A student whose Graduate Status GPA drops below a 2.0 is immediately dismissed from a graduate program.

It is possible for the program to submit a Conditional Retention Plan after a dismissal has occurred. If the program wishes to do this, the program director should submit a Conditional Retention Plan by the first day of classes should a student want to enroll that semester. If the Conditional Retention Plan is approved, the student will be placed on “restricted” status, the dismissal will still show on the transcript, but the student will be allowed to continue with classes in the restricted status. Failure in any semester to meet the conditions of the Conditional Retention Plan will result in dismissal from the program, with no appeal. Some of the requirements of the Graduate College for students in a Conditional Retention Plan that must be met include:

Please refer to the section on Probation and Dismissal Reports (below) for a listing and location of the dismissal report. An email notification is sent to the listservs when the report is available. The College of Graduate Studies then communicates this action to the students via email and a copy of this communication is scanned into the student’s permanent file.

If a student wishes to file a Conditional Retention Plan after dismissal and after a break in enrollment for more than three semesters, the student will have to reapply to the degree program and have an approved Conditional Retention Plan submitted by the graduate program.

Probation and Dismissal Reports

All reports are provided in GradInfo in the Other menu > Downloads > Student Services Files.

Admission Revoke – Lists all students who are removed from active status for not enrolling in their first semester of admission – also referred to as “no show.”

Continued on Probation Report – Lists all students previously placed on probation who still have less than a 3.0 Graduate Status GPA and have not yet completed 9 credit hours since probation placement.

Discontinued for Non-Enrollment – Lists all students who are discontinued for no enrollment for 3 consecutive terms.

Dismissal Report – Lists all students dismissed for the semester based on low Graduate Status GPA. The program may choose to retain a dismissed student by submitting a Conditional Retention Plan.

Enrolled in Dissertation and Not Passed Candidacy – Lists all students enrolled in dissertation hours but not coded as having passed candidacy.

Low Grade Report – Lists all courses in which students have earned a grade of C+ or lower, “I” incomplete, “U” unsatisfactory, “W” withdrawal and “WF” withdrawal failing.

Probation Report – Lists students whose graduate status GPA has fallen below the required 3.0 and have been placed on probation.

Provisional and Restricted Status – Lists all students admitted in either provisional or restricted status. This report is designed to help the program review the students’ academic progress against the terms of their provisional or restricted admission agreement.

Removed from Probation Report – Lists all students previously on probation who have raised their graduate status GPA above the 3.0 minimum.

Forms Associated with Probation and Dismissal

All forms are located on the Graduate website in the Forms and References.

Student Communications about Probation and Dismissal

The College of Graduate Studies sends communications to the Knights email accounts for all graduate students who are placed on probation or dismissed. The following list indicates when students will receive these communications.

Petitions for Exception to University Academic Policy

Exceptions may be considered to university requirements when compelling reasons are provided and approval does not compromise the quality of the student’s graduate education. When an exception is needed, the program or student should request this exception immediately via submission of the Graduate Petition Form.

Proactive student advising is integral in identifying needed exceptions early in the student’s graduate career. This will afford the student ample time to submit a request and receive a response, well in advance of the finalization of the Plan of Study. When advising students, it is important to consider that the Graduate Appeals Committee generally convenes twice per month during fall and spring terms, and less often during the summer term. Please refer to the Graduate Council website for the meeting schedule. The Graduate Petition form should be submitted by the appropriate deadline along with any relevant supporting documentation.

Exceptions to program requirements, including course substitutions, are facilitated by the graduate program. Approved course substitutions should be clearly indicated on the student’s Plan of Study and GPS audit form, as this is particularly important for graduation certification. Course substitutions for graduate certificate programs must go through the petitions process. Exceptions to college requirements, such as the internship requirements in Education, are facilitated by the college. If an exception is granted for a college requirement, documentation should be provided to the College of Graduate Studies for inclusion in the student’s permanent record. Having this information in the student’s file facilitates the graduation certification process.

If an exception to university policies or procedures is desired, then the request for exception must come to the College of Graduate Studies for a decision, with a recommendation from both the program and the home college. A Graduate Petition Form is completed by the student, clearly explaining the nature of the petition and the specific request that is being made. Students are notified of the final decision after the Graduate Council Appeals Committee has reviewed the case and a decision has been made by the College of Graduate Studies.

If the petition requires an exception to a program policy or rule, the student may request in writing that an exception is made at the program level. Should the student wish to appeal the program decision, the student or program may request in writing that the university reconsider the decision.

Academic Records

The College of Graduate Studies maintains the official graduate student records for the university. Included in this section are listings of documents that will be maintained by the College of Graduate Studies, as well as documents that should be maintained by the programs and colleges. Documents are organized into admission, student services, and financial categories.

Please keep in mind that a student’s file is a public record, which may be reviewed by the student, department, college, or university for petitions and appeals or for other purposes. Personal opinions, comments, and communications related to the student should not be included in the student’s file.

The time limit for document retention for students is:

The time limit for document retention for applicants and admits who did not enroll is:

The College of Graduate Studies maintains the following records for all graduate students and these are available in DocView for each student:

Admission documents

Student Services documents

Financial documents

Documents that should be retained by the program or college include the following student service documents:


Degree Audit / Graduate Plan of Study

The degree audit system currently in use at UCF for graduate education is called Graduate Plan of Study (GPS). The GPS is an advising tool for students and advisers to track progress toward a degree or certificate completion.

It provides a record of a student’s academic progress toward completion of their academic degree or certificate program. This feature permits the student to review courses they have taken, monitor in-progress courses, and assess the number of courses needed to complete their degree. The report also shows students and advisers a student’s progress toward non-course requirements such as publications, qualifying exams and dissertation steps. The GPS can also assist students and advisers in planning for current and future courses as they pertain to the student’s degree requirements.

The requirements on the GPS are determined by each college and mirror the requirements published in the Graduate Catalog each year. New curriculum requirements go into effect each summer with the publishing of the Graduate Catalog.

Students follow the requirements of the “catalog year” during which they are admitted to the program. For example, a student admitted in summer 2014, fall 2014, or spring 2015 will be following the requirements outlined in the 2014-2015 Graduate Catalog.

The GPS is also used to track some university-level requirements that apply to all students regardless of their entry date. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog policies to view all of the university-level degree requirements.

In addition, the GPS is used for certifying degree completion. Colleges review the GPS at the beginning and end of the graduation term to ensure that the student has met all degree requirements. The College of Graduate Studies does a final review and certification of all graduating students.

Students can access their GPS by logging into the myUCF portal and selecting the gray Graduate Plan of Study (GPS) link found under the Home Page. There is functionality to produce a “What-If” audit to assist students and advisers in determining how a student’s courses would apply if they are admitted to another program. This tool does not take into account transfer credit minimums between programs. Students should seek advising by the new program before making any decisions.

Faculty and staff who are officially designated as advisers in the PeopleSoft system have access to the GPS through the myUCF portal and navigating to Faculty/Advisor Self-Service – Advisors – View Any Student and then choosing the Graduate Plan of Study (GPS) from the drop-down box under Academics. A help guide is also available for faculty/advisers.

Staff members who are not officially designated as advisers must become designated advisers from the College of Graduate Studies by completing the GRD 001 training course.

If you have questions or concerns, please e-mail the Student Services and Graduation staff in the College of Graduate Studies at graddegr@ucf.edu.

Training Information

How to Process an Interactive GPS Report (Staff)

How to Process an Interactive GPS Report (Faculty)

How to Read an Interactive GPS Report

How to Read a .PDF (Staff)

How to Process a WHAT IF Report (Staff)

How to Update a Checklist and Post Comments in the GPS (Staff)

How to Review a Students GPS for Graduate Checking

How to Process a Batch Report (Staff)

The Graduate Plan of Study eFORM Training Guide

Video Tutorials

How to Process an Interactive GPS Report (Staff)

How to Process an Interactive GPS Report (Faculty)

How to Read an Interactive GPS Report

How to Read a GPS pdf Report

How to Process a WHIF Report

How to Update Checklists and Post Comments

How to Review the Student’s GPS for Graduate Checking

How to Process a Batch Report

How to Process the eForm


Administrative Record Changes

Colleges may request Administrative Record Changes after the add/drop deadline to rectify errors made during the initial registration process. Requested actions include late adds, drops, and withdrawals as well as “swaps” of doctoral research hours for dissertation hours during the term as long as the student passes candidacy prior to the midpoint of the term. The College Request for Administrative Record Change form is available in GradInfo in Downloads > Student Services Forms. The request should include justification of the need for the change, a copy of the student’s schedule and the dean’s signature.

Students wishing to request an Administrative Record Change for extenuating circumstances that are not a result of college/department error must e-mail gradservices@ucf.edu for inquiries on the process and to request the forms.

Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is the university’s policy regarding non-academic discipline of students and limited academic grievance procedures for graduate (grade appeals in individual courses, not including thesis and dissertation courses) and undergraduate students. Information concerning the Golden Rule can be found at www.goldenrule.sdes.ucf.edu. Student conduct (academic integrity issues not involving thesis/dissertation, behavior, etc.) should be filed through the Student Rights and Responsibilities Office and not through the College of Graduate Studies. The College of Graduate Studies only handles academic issues and integrity in thesis/dissertation.

Grade Appeals

Grade appeals are handled by the Golden Rule process, section 5 (UCF-5.016). The program director will review the three criteria for grade appeals in the Golden Rule handbook and determine whether the appeal meets one of the three criteria. The appeal cannot go forward unless the basis for it is one of the three criteria. The appeal written by the student should specifically identify the academic action that is being appealed as well as the resolution being sought.

Academic Grievance Procedure

The College of Graduate Studies follows the procedures outlined in the Golden Rule, section 5 (UCF-5.017). Academic matters are those involving instruction, research, or decisions involving instruction or affecting academic freedom. The academic grievance procedure is designed to provide a fair means of dealing with graduate student complaints regarding a specific action or decision by a faculty member, program or college, including termination from an academic program. Academic misconduct complaints associated with sponsored research will invoke procedures outlined by the Office of Research and Commercialization.

Students who believe they have been treated unfairly may initiate a grievance. The procedure provides several levels of review, and at each level of review the participants are further removed and have a broader outlook than where the grievance originated. Procedures for initiating an academic grievance can be found in the Golden Rule at www.goldenrule.sdes.ucf.edu.

Status Changes

Once students are enrolled, the program or college may submit an eform to request changes to a student’s sub-plan, catalog year, and admission status (i.e., change from restricted to regular status).

It is not necessary to submit a Status Change eform for changing conditional and provisional admits to regular status. The College of Graduate Studies will change the admission status to regular once the student has met all the requirements.

Course Substitutions

Course substitutions should be finalized early in the student’s graduate career to provide clear expectations and help prevent graduation delays. Included are the deadlines by when students must complete the process to substitute courses into their Plan of Study.

Certificate students may not substitute courses into a certificate Plan of Study. The only time that a course substitution can be made is when a student is enrolled in two graduate certificate programs where the courses overlap and a substitution must be made for one of the certificate programs in order for the total hours to be earned.

Master’s and Specialist students should finalize any course substitutions by the end of the second major term of enrollment – no later than the term prior to graduation. This should precede or coincide with submission of the finalized Plan of Study.

Doctoral students must finalize transfer credit by the end of the third major term of enrollment – no later than the change to candidacy status. Again, this should precede or coincide with submission of the finalized Plan of Study.

Course substitutions for elective courses are approved at the discretion of the program adviser for students in master’s, specialist, and doctoral degree-seeking programs, and do not require a petition. Simply place them on the Plan of Study for the student.

However, course substitutions for required courses are generally discouraged. There are some instances in which it is appropriate to substitute for a required course, and if this is done, this needs to be noted in the comment section of GPS. Those instances in which it would make sense to substitute for a required course are:

There are circumstances under which a course substitution of a required course is strongly discouraged. These situations are:

Frequently, requests are received for substituting thesis for directed research or vice versa. These requests should be submitted to the Graduate Council Appeals Committee for review because even though they appear to be like courses, the lack of formal assessment outcomes for these particular courses often makes it difficult to determine if the substitution is warranted. The rationale as part of the request for substitution should include what was actually delivered as part of this coursework, so the Graduate Council Appeals Committee can determine if the substitution is appropriate.

Substituting thesis or dissertation hours for formal coursework is not allowed. Thesis hours cannot be used in the 24 hours of core and elective coursework required for master’s programs. Dissertation hours cannot be used in the 27 hours of formal coursework requirement in doctoral programs, but can be used in the remaining discretionary hours of the Plan of Study, should the program wish.

In master’s programs, the 24 hours of core and elective courses can consist of both formal coursework and independent study. However, for doctoral programs requests to substitute the independent study for the requirement of 27 hours of formal coursework will not be allowed.

Transfer Credit

Credits taken prior to the admission into a graduate program are considered transfer credits. Transfer credit should be finalized early in the student’s graduate career. Only a limited number of transfer credits may be used to satisfy program specific requirements and it is important that students know what can or cannot be transferred as soon as possible after they have been admitted into their degree program. Included are the guidelines and deadlines by when students must complete the process to transfer credits into their Plan of Study.

General Guidelines

Internal transfer work is defined as those courses taken at UCF prior to enrolling in the program for which the degree is sought. For external transfer requests of credits from another institution first, check the records for conflicts with the university limitation for external transfer hours. If there is no conflict and the student is currently enrolled, please send transfer requests to the College of Graduate Studies through the eform process.

Courses with a grade of “B-” (2.75) or higher may be transferred to a graduate program.

Please refer to the Transfer Credit policy for a full description of the rules that govern transfer credits:

The College of Graduate Studies would be happy to address any questions you might have at graddegr@ucf.edu or 407-823-2766.

Program-Specific Guidelines and Deadlines

Certificate students may only request to transfer internal credit hours into a certificate program. Students must have courses approved for transfer into a certificate only if they are part of the certificate’s official course listing in the graduate catalog. Credit hours taken at other institutions may not be applied to a graduate certificate program at UCF.

Graduate credit hours taken at UCF from a prior baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree may be applied toward a certificate, with the consent of the program, provided they are no more than three years old in the expected completion term and that they are part of the certificate’s official course listing in the graduate catalog.

Master’s and Specialist students should finalize transfer credit by the end of the second major term of enrollment – no later than the term prior to the term of graduation. This should precede or coincide with the submission of the finalized Plan of Study.

In master’s programs, students can transfer up to 9 hours of external transfer credits and up to as many 50 percent of the program requirements consisting of 9 hours of external transfer credits and the remainder as internal transfer credits.

Courses completed in the last seven years are normally accepted.

A petition, approved by the program director must be submitted for any courses older than 7 years.

Doctoral students must finalize transfer credit by the end of the second major term of enrollment – no later than the change to candidacy status. Again, this should precede or coincide with submission of the finalized Plan of Study.

For students without an earned master’s degree in doctoral programs that require a master’s degree for admission:

For students who have an earned master’s degree in doctoral programs that do not require a master’s degree:

A course-by-course transfer request of the earned master’s degree is required if the degree is not in the same discipline.

All transfer work should be finalized by the dates given above. These deadlines apply to all students, regardless of their catalog year, and are not appealable. Please submit Plans of Study, including transfer credits to the College of Graduate Studies within these timeframes.

Finalizing students’ Plans of Study early will pave the way for increased retention of your students. Students are more likely to successfully complete their degree if they are aware of what is required and have an understanding of expectations early on.

Advisers may choose to transfer up to 9 external graduate credit hours of graduate coursework OR an earned UCF graduate certificate. If the graduate certificate coursework exceeds 50% of the program requirements, all credits in the certificate program will be transferred as the sole transfer work. Therefore, no other internal credits and no external credits will be transferred.

For those programs that award a master’s along the way as a student is working on a doctoral program, the credits used in the master’s along the way are not considered to be transfer work and are dealt with separately. If you have questions about this, please call the College of Graduate Studies for more information.

If courses are part of an earned graduate degree, the 7-year rule does not apply.

A petition, approved by the program director must be submitted for any courses older than 7 years that are not part of an earned graduate degree.

Continuous Enrollment

Failure to enroll in three consecutive semesters is considered non-continuous enrollment. Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment will be discontinued, dropped from any future enrollment, and must file for readmission to the university. Readmission is not guaranteed. A student who breaks continuous enrollment will lose the option of fulfilling the degree requirements originally listed in the official Plan of Study already on file, and will instead fulfill the degree requirements listed in the graduate catalog in effect at the time the student resumes his/her attendance.

Additionally, all (domestic and international) students taking thesis or dissertation hours are required to be continuously enrolled (including summers) until the thesis or dissertation is completed.

Traveling Scholars

The Traveling Scholar program enables UCF graduate students to take advantage of special resources available on another campus that are not available at UCF. Scenarios include:

General Guidelines

Requests for traveling scholar work should be made as far in advance as possible using the Traveling Scholar Form. UCF should receive the transcript from the traveling institution as soon after the term is completed as possible, to finalize the process well in advance of graduation certification.

A traveling scholar must be recommended by his or her own graduate adviser, who will initiate a visiting arrangement with the appropriate faculty member of the host institution.

A traveling scholar will normally be limited to a total of six credit hours.

Students must submit the Traveling Scholar Form prior to the add/drop period of the semester they will attend the traveling scholar institution.

Credits earned at another institution while in Traveling Scholar status will be considered resident credits and are not counted as transfer credits under the nine-hour rule.

Traveling Scholar courses to be used in a graduate Plan of Study must be graduate level (5000 or higher).

Traveling Scholar credits are guaranteed to be accepted as earned UCF credits, as long as the grades obtained are B- or higher.

Students engaged in Traveling Scholar status cannot receive UCF resources such as tuition waivers to be used at the other institution.

Graduate students may not be traveling scholars in their final term. Once the student has completed the course, they must request that a transcript be sent to the UCF College of Graduate Studies. Please note that degrees cannot be certified until the final transcript is received from the Traveling Scholar institution.

Special Leave of Absence

A Special Leave of Absence may be granted to a student in order to temporarily waive the continuous attendance requirement. A student may request such a leave in cases where the student can demonstrate good cause (e.g., illness, family issues, financial difficulties, personal circumstances, recent maternity/paternity, and employment issues). The specific reason for the Special Leave of Absence request must be indicated by the student on the Special Leave of Absence Form.

A Special Leave of Absence will be granted only after approval from the Graduate Program Director for the student’s Plan of Study, College Graduate Coordinator, International Services Center (required for international students), and College of Graduate Studies.

Students may request up to 3 consecutive semesters away from graduate study. It is highly recommended that the application for a Special Leave of Absence must be filed by submitting the Special Leave of Absence Form prior to need. Some instances can be an emergency and the leave request can be submitted after the fact.

Time spent in a Special Leave of Absence will stop the time limitation for degree completion (see the policy regarding Time Limitation for Degree Completion in the master’s, specialist, and doctoral policies in the Graduate Catalog). For instance, a 2-semester leave will give the student an extra 2 semesters – if needed – to complete the degree beyond the 7-year limit.

Graduation

Students who intend to graduate must complete the online Intent to Graduate Form in their myUCF Student Center by the appropriate semester deadlines. Deadline dates are published in the Academic Calendar each term.

Once the online form is completed, students will receive e-mail communications from the College of Graduate Studies at various stages of the review process. Students can also check the status of their Intent to Graduate at any time by logging into myUCF Student Center – Intent to Graduate: Status.

Designated faculty advisers and staff within the program and college have access to review the Intent to Graduate forms for individual students within PeopleSoft. These designated individuals can also produce queries to find students within a particular college who have filed the form.

The Student Help Guide in order to assist students in completing the online form. A few key things to note when assisting students with graduation questions:

Additionally, please refer to the Policies section the Graduate Catalog for specific information regarding degree or certificate completion.

Information regarding the commencement ceremony is available here.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to e-mail the College of Graduate Studies at graddegr@ucf.edu.

Thesis Advisory Committee

Before a master’s student can enroll in thesis hours, a Thesis Advisory Committee Form must be submitted and approved, so the committee is recorded in the student’s record in the university system. Also, any time changes in committee members and/or their roles on the committee occur, a Thesis Advisory Committee Form must be resubmitted and approved.

The Committee must contain the following:

For the policy, see Master’s Program Policies.

Form: Thesis Advisory Committee Form. (Remember to resubmit this form anytime there are changes to the student’s committee.)

Dissertation Advisory Committee

After a doctoral student has passed candidacy, a Doctoral Committee/Candidacy Status Form must be submitted and approved to record the change to candidacy status and receive approval of the student’s Dissertation Advisory Committee. Also, the Form must be resubmitted and approved anytime changes occur in committee members and/or their roles on the committee.

The Committee must contain the following:

Chair (Graduate Faculty member who is eligible to chair a dissertation committee)

Minimum of four committee members (All must hold a Graduate Faculty or Graduate Faculty Scholar appointment)

For the policy, see Doctoral Program Policies in the Graduate Catalog.

Form: Doctoral Committee/Candidacy Status Form. (Remember to resubmit this form anytime there are changes to the student’s committee.)

Doctoral Candidacy

Candidacy is the time when doctoral students have demonstrated that they have successfully passed their coursework and have a plan for their research. It is important that students be advised to start working on their research in the first year of doctoral study and to transition to more research as they progress in their program. Programs have reported to us that this transition between coursework and research is a point at which attrition can occur because students feel somewhat disconnected from the department activities. Programs that can offer regular meetings for seminars or other activities will help to keep students engaged while they are beginning their research.

In order to establish candidacy for an individual student, please ensure that the student has completed all coursework and has prepared or will shortly prepare a dissertation prospectus. As program director, please tell faculty to let you know when a student will be ready for candidacy. Many faculty do not know the sequence of events that should happen or the proper forms to use to make this a smooth transition for the student.

Once a candidacy exam has been successfully passed, the program should submit a Doctoral Committee/Candidacy Status Form to inform the College of Graduate Studies of the passing of the exam and the formation or revision of the dissertation advisory committee. Students who fail to do this before the first day of classes for the semester in question will not be allowed to enroll in dissertation hours in that semester. Students enrolling in dissertation hours for the first time during the summer must have their paperwork submitted prior to the first day of classes for Summer C, regardless of which summer session they will enroll in.

For the policy, see “Candidacy” in the Doctoral Program Policies in the Graduate Catalog.


Student Funding

Information about assistantships and university fellowships is extremely helpful to prospective and current graduate students. and is important to put on your website in a prominent location. This section of the Graduate Guide will provide you with the essentials of graduate student funding. The authoritative description of the details of student financial support can be found in the Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog. More information can be found in the Funding Policies located in the Policy Guide.

When students interested in financial support contact you, please reply to them promptly with information about assistantships in your program and how they can apply for one. In support of the University of Central Florida’s commitment to Equal Opportunity Employment and Affirmative Action, you are expected to consider all eligible applications.

Also, please refer domestic students to the Office of Student Financial Assistance should they need a student loan. There are also work-study opportunities for graduate students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Please nominate those truly outstanding doctoral students for fellowships by mid-January of each year so that they can be eligible for consideration. There are other opportunities for fellowships that may be available in your college or through private foundations.

UCF Funding Packages

The basic forms of financial support for graduate students are fellowships, assistantships, tuition remission, and health insurance. Loans and external fellowships are also available. Some short descriptions of each follow:

University Fellowships

Assistantships

Tuition Remission

Health Insurance

Components of Complete Funding Packages
Stipend Tuition Remission Health Insurance
Assignment Category FTE
(FULL or HALF assistantship)
Stipend Tuition Out-of-State Fees Health Insurance Paid by the Graduate College
GTA 0.50 (FULL) Pay for 20 hrs/wk Waived Not charged Yes
0.25 (HALF of split 0.50) Pay for 10 hrs/wk 1/2 waived Not charged Yes
0.25 (HALF) Pay for 10 hrs/wk 1/2 waived Charged No
GRA 0.50 (FULL) Pay for 20 hrs/wk Waived or paid by grant or unit Not charged Yes
0.25 (HALF of split 0.50) Pay for 10 hrs/wk 1/2 waived or paid by grant or unit Not charged Yes
0.25 (HALF) Pay for 10 hrs/wk 1/2 waived or paid by grant or unit Charged No
GA 0.50 (FULL) Pay for 20 hrs/wk Paid by employer Not charged Yes
0.25 (HALF of split 0.50) Pay for 10 hrs/wk 1/2 paid by employer Not charged Yes
0.25 (HALF) Pay for 10 hrs/wk 1/2 paid by employer Charged No
Fellows No work assignment Fellowship stipend Waived Not charged Yes

In instances noted “Not charged,” students who are non-Florida residents will be charged a differential out-of-state fee of $0.00 that will replace the standard out-of-state fee. Thus, the standard out-of-state fee and nonresident financial aid fee will not be assessed. In instances noted “Charged,” the standard out-of-state fee and nonresident financial aid fee will be assessed.

If the number of GTA appointments exceeds the GTA waiver allocation, in-state tuition must be covered in the manner shown for GRA and GA appointments.

Graduate Financials Schedule

PDF File: 2018-2019 Graduate Funding Schedule

Assistantships Schedule

Fall 2018- Summer 2019: Assistantships Schedule – Final Deadlines 2018

GTA Schedule

For GTA training and SPEAK Test dates, see graduate.ucf.edu/graduate_teaching/.

Reminder: Students being hired as Graduate Teaching Associates (9183), Graduate Teaching Assistants (9184), or Graduate Teaching Graders (9187) must complete all required training prior to the start of the semester. Visit GTA Training Requirements for more information.

Visit Graduate Teaching for more information on the English Speaking Test requirement for students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution.

Assistantships

Assistantships are a means to attract high-quality, full-time, graduate students and provide them with professional experiences while at UCF that will prepare them for their future work in teaching, research or other activities. Graduate students enrolled in fully online programs that exempt them from paying campus-based fees are not eligible for graduate assistantships.

Students are eligible for full financial support (stipend, full tuition remission, and health insurance) only if they receive at least a single 0.5 FTE or two 0.25 FTE assistantship positions.

Assistantships awarded to students for performing duties that are outside of their program requirements are compensated per hour of work. GTA appointments of 0.5 FTE (20 hours per week) normally require the teaching of no more than 2 courses or laboratories. All assistantship appointments of 0.25 FTE (10 hours per week) must be for duties that require, on average, 10 hours of work per week.

Bridge Funding Program

The Bridge Funding Program provides limited interim research support to faculty who have supported a graduate assistantship student for a minimum of two years but expect a gap in their funding. To be considered for funding through this program, please submit the Bridge Funding Program application to gradfellowship@ucf.edu.

Outside Employment

Graduate Studies’ philosophy is that full-time graduate assistants with a full-time course load should not pursue outside employment. Programs may discourage graduate assistants from taking outside employment, but cannot prevent graduate assistants from doing so. Please indicate to assistants who choose to take outside employment that they will be held to the same standards in terms of their work and academic progress as others who do not.

Under no circumstances can international students take outside employment during the fall and spring semesters unless UCF Global has verified that there is a curricular connection with a UCF affiliate (for more information, see global.ucf.edu).

Full-time UCF employees, regardless of classification (Staff, A&P, other OPS, or other classifications) are prohibited from simultaneously receiving a graduate assistantship while working full-time.

Other Employee Classifications

Graduate assistantship students are not allowed to be simultaneously employed as any other UCF job code (undergraduate OPSSTU, adjunct faculty, OPSGRD, or A&P, Faculty, Staff, etc.).

Assistantship Titles

A UCF graduate assistant may be hired as:

Type Job Code Tuition Remission
GTA 9183, 9184, 9187 waiver or tuition payment
GRA 9181, 9182 waiver or tuition payment
GA 9186 waiver or tuition payment

UCF graduate assistantships are strictly defined as job codes 9181, 9182, 9183, 9184, 9186, and 9187. Please assign assistantship job codes to your students that are appropriate with their duties.

Assign your GTA students to instructional duties according to the university definitions for these positions. GTA students must complete all training requirements for their job code before they begin their assignments. Under no circumstances are students in GRA or GA job codes allowed to engage in instructional assignments.

Assistantship Job Code Assignment Instructional Assignment
Graduate Teaching Associate 9183 Instructor of record for undergraduate courses in the specific discipline in which the student has the graduate-level expertise and 18 hours of graduate coursework (cannot be the instructor of record for graduate courses). They should be attached to the courses in the Student Records Instructor Schedule. YES—serve as instructors of record
Graduate Teaching Assistant 9184 Teaching-related duties under the supervision of a faculty member. The student may assist a faculty member in any aspect of course instruction but cannot serve as the primary instructor of record. YES—do NOT serve as instructors of record
Graduate Teaching-Grader 9187 Grading papers or assisting a faculty member in the non-instructional aspects of course teaching. These students may have no direct instructional contact with students. YES—do NOT serve as instructors of record
Graduate Research Associate 9181 Research or research-related duties; this code is usually for those supported by C&G funds; although not exclusively. NO
Graduate Research Assistant 9182 Research or research-related duties; this code is usually used for those supported by C&G funds; although not exclusively. NO
Graduate Assistant (contract) 9186 General educational administration duties NO

Non-degree seeking students may be employed but may not be classified as graduate assistants. Others that do not meet criteria for being a graduate assistant should be hired as OPS (temporary) employees.

Graduate students can be hired into the OPSGRD job code; however, it is not an effective mechanism to attract students to your program. OPSGRD appointments do not qualify for tuition remission or health insurance coverage. Use of this job code does exclude graduate students from being assessed FICA taxes on their earnings. Students may not have assistantship and OPSGRD appointments concurrently.

University Standard Assistantship

Assistantships are standardized at 0.5 FTE (full-time, 20 hours per week) and 0.25 FTE (half-time, 10 hours per week) appointments. Assistantships are provided either for the Academic Year (fall and spring semesters) or Calendar Year (fall, spring, and summer semesters; August 15 to August 14 next year).

Assistantships are accompanied by tuition remission (full for a 0.5 FTE appointment and half for 0.25 FTE appointment). See Tuition Remission for more information about this topic. See also Health Insurance for information about the Graduate Studies-paid health insurance coverage for qualifying assistantship and university fellowship students.

Full-time assistantships (.50 FTE) require students to perform assistantship assignments for 20 hours per week during the period of assignment. Half-time assistantships (.25 FTE) require students to perform assistantship assignments for 10 hours per week during the period of assignment. Additional compensation will be expected for service over semester breaks.

A graduate assistantship appointment may be less than .25 FTE (10 hours per week); however, students on such appointments will not be eligible for graduate tuition remission or Graduate Studies-paid health insurance coverage unless they have other qualifying assistantship appointments.

Assistantship Stipend

The University of Central Florida requires that all graduate assistantships be paid stipends in amounts commensurate with previous appointment averages in the program, but certainly greater than the university minimum stipend levels indicated below. Please pay more than these minimum stipend amounts if you hope to attract high-quality students to your program. Stipends for graduate assistants must be at a rate that is higher than minimum wage, commensurate with your competitor institutions.

UCF Minimum Stipend Levels Effective Fall 2016

FTE FALL/SPRING
DOCTORAL
ANNUAL
DOCTORAL
SINGLE SEMESTER
DOCTORAL
SINGLE SEMESTER
SUMMER
DOCTORAL
.50 $12,000 $18,000 $6,000 $4,500
.25 $6,000 $9,000 $3,000 $2,250

 

FTE FALL/SPRING
MASTER’S
ANNUAL
MASTER’S
SINGLE SEMESTER
MASTER’S
SINGLE SEMESTER
SUMMER
MASTER’S
.50 $10,000 $15,000 $5,000 $3,750
.25 $5,000 $7,500 $2,500 $1,875

For student appointments that are summer only and do not include the break before or after the summer semester, the minimum stipend amounts are based on .75 of the single semester rate to account for fewer pay periods in the semester.

Employment of International Students

According to INS regulations, graduate students who are on an F-1 or J-1 visa may accept employment on campus without prior INS approval as long as students are enrolled full-time and employment does not interfere with their studies. Off-campus employment, however, must be at locations affiliated with the university either through contractually funded projects or associated with the university curricula. Curricular Practical Training is authorized by the International Services Center only to students who qualify for Curricular Practical Training for off-campus employment.

On-campus employment is limited to no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. Such employment may be full-time during vacation periods for students who are eligible and intend to register for the subsequent academic term. On-campus employment is not permitted after completion of the program of study unless the student is issued a Form I-20A-B to begin a new program and intends to enroll for the next regular academic year, term, or session.

Students who received a bachelor’s degree at one school and will start a master’s degree at UCF are eligible to work during the summer at either the original school or UCF as long as a Form I-20A-B was issued for the new master’s program.

International students on an F-1 visa are eligible for one year of optional practical training after completion of their program. This is a wonderful opportunity for international students to get practical experience while at the same time learning about the employment culture in the U.S. Please encourage your international students to consider this opportunity upon graduation.

Those who are on dependent visas, either F-2 or J-2 cannot be employed by the university in these visa statuses and must change their visa status to F-1 or J-1 before they can be assigned duties as an OPS employee or graduate assistant. Also, those in H-1B visa categories cannot be enrolled full-time in graduate coursework or be employed as a graduate assistant without violating their visa status, since the H-1B visa is sponsored by an employing agency and requires them to work.

For more information about employing international students, contact the UCF Global at 407-823-2526 or visit their website at global.ucf.edu.

Resignation Process

Graduate assistantship students are encouraged to tender a letter of resignation if they are leaving their position before the end of their assistantship contract (e.g., withdrawing from the university, changing from salary to wages or changing status from student employment to faculty or staff). The student submits the letter to the appropriate program supervisor or payroll representative.

The College of Graduate Studies recommends that you complete an Exit Form for Graduate Assistants when graduate assistants leave the university, transfer to another university, have stopped out for a period of time, or have filed a leave of absence with the university. A sample Exit Form is available in the Forms section.

Students leaving appointments early generally will owe charges for graduate tuition waivers received. It is strongly advised that you or the student contact gradassistantship@ucf.edu to determine what effect the end of the appointment will have. If the student has financial aid (i.e., student loan), the student should also contact a counselor in the Office of Student Financial Assistance (finaid@ucf.edu).

Termination before End of Appointment

In some circumstances, a graduate assistant’s supervisor may find it necessary to terminate a graduate assistant before the end of the student’s appointment period. The reasons for a premature termination may include, but are not limited to:

Except in cases of gross misconduct that require immediate termination, a supervisor must follow the procedure outlined below in order to end an appointment early.

Assessment of Graduate Assistants

Assessment plays an important role in assisting graduate students in their professional development. Faculty should evaluate their graduate assistants each semester and provide feedback and guidance for improvement.

The College of Graduate Studies recommends that this assessment be documented in the faculty supervisor’s records. The assessment should be discussed with the student, and the student should be given an opportunity to respond to the assessment in writing.

The Graduate Council Program Review Committee has adopted a template that may be used by programs in providing annual progress assessments of their doctoral students. The program may use any format for annual progress assessments that they choose, but annual progress assessments are required for all doctoral students.

The section on Graduate Teaching Requirements specifically addresses assessment of the supervision of GTAs.

Hiring Procedures

UCF requires graduate departments to follow university-approved standards and procedures in hiring their graduate assistants.

The hiring of graduate assistants must be processed through the College of Graduate Studies (Millican Hall 230) and the Office of Human Resources. The Graduate College requires that an Assistantship Agreement and ePAF be submitted with any accompanying information. It is important to have all of the information assembled before entry and to have provided this to your staff.

See the Graduate Financial Assistance Schedule for the relevant deadlines. Our goal is for the faculty, staff and offices around campus to work together to ensure that graduate assistants get paid promptly and accurately. Hiring submitted after the deadlines result in delayed first payment to graduate assistants at the beginning of the semester.

Changing Assistantship Agreements

CAUTION: Changes to existing assistantships may affect your student’s tuition remission status, possibly causing them to be removed in the middle of the term. Please make sure you understand the consequences of assistantship changes prior to submitting them to the College of Graduate Studies.

Changes to Assistantships

For a change in… Do this in the ePAF System …
Job code (employee class change) Edit Existing Job and attach new Assistantship Agreement
Rate of pay Edit Existing Job and attach new Assistantship Agreement
Appointment period Edit Existing Job and attach new Assistantship Agreement
Standard hours/FTE (increase or decrease) Edit Existing Job and attach new Assistantship Agreement
Funding account Edit Existing Job
End date (termination prior to the end of the agreement) Edit Existing Job

Policy Guide

UCF requires graduate departments to follow university-approved standards and procedures in hiring their graduate assistantship students. Contact Human Resources (www.hr.ucf.edu) for this information:

Critical Dates for Assistantship Processing

See the Schedule for a detailed list of important dates for the 2018-2019 year.

For the 2018-2019 assistantship hiring dates, see Assistantships Schedule Final Deadlines Flyer.

The “Last day to submit financial support documentation” dates will be strict deadlines for submitting the documentation for supported students, including assistantship agreements with a tuition waiver and payment authorizations.

Late documentation will be considered on a case-by-case basis only for extenuating circumstances. Valid justifications include assistantship appointments for:

Assistantship ePAFs submitted late for valid reasons must attach the Late Assistantship Justification Form explaining the nature of the justification. Please include the details of the justification. The form must be signed by your Director or College Associate Dean, approving the late justification. Agreements and ePAFs submitted after the deadline with missing or incomplete Late Assistantship Justification forms will be recycled. The “Last day to complete assistantship hiring” is the final deadline even for exceptions.

Graduate Financials System

The Graduate Financials System in the GradInfo intranet is used by hiring departments and programs to manage the funding support for their graduate students. In this system programs make assistantship offers, create assistantship agreements and have them signed electronically by hiring officials and students, manage their GTA waiver budget, and do oversight of their funded students.

Access and training requests for the Graduate Financials System should be sent to Jennifer Parham at gradassistantship@ucf.edu (823-4337).

Assistantship Offers

Graduate programs are required to enter assistantship offers for newly admitted students in Assistantship Offers in the Graduate Financials System. You may also enter assistantship offers for continuing graduate students in Assistantship Offers. The College of Graduate Studies sends official financial offers to you via email. Although Graduate Studies sends the e-mail offers, you make the decisions on the details of the offers.

Questions regarding how to enter assistantship offers should be directed to gradassistantship@ucf.edu.

Assistantship Agreements

Assistantship agreements are created in the Graduate Financials System (GFS). Assistantship data entered through Assistantship Offers and Awards in the Graduate Financials System flow into the Agreement web form that is sent through an approval workflow. When an agreement is Ready for EPAF status, staff save the approved agreement PDF from the Graduate Financials System to their computer and attach it to the assistantship ePAF Form in PeopleSoft.

Assistantship Agreement Guides and Handouts

Supplemental Assignment

Policy Guide: Supplemental Assignment

In rare circumstances, students may be granted more than a full-stipend assistantship. Requests for this exception must be submitted using the Supplemental Assignment Form. Supplemental Assignment approval requires the student to have an academic review and possibly consultation with the student’s graduate program director, approval from both the department and the college, and then approval from Graduate Studies. For nonresident alien students on F-1 visas, guidance and verification from International Affairs and Global Strategies (IAGS) is required before allowing the student to begin the assistantship.

The Supplemental Assignment Form may be completed for all terms of the assistantship appointment; however, only the first semester is considered approved if the appointment extends for multiple semesters.

Please note that with supplemental assignment approval, students hired in the Graduate Assistant (9186) role may be appointed for a total of 30 hours per week maximum on a single appointment or on a combination of assistantship appointments (e.g. 20 hours per week GA and 10 hours per week GTA).

Supplemental Assignment Requirements

Period Full-stipend Assistantships Supplemental Assignment Approval Required Restrictions for Nonresident Alien Students on F-1 or J-1 Visa
Fall .50 FTE (20 hours per week) FTE for all appointments combined exceeds .50 FTE Not permitted to work more than 20 hours per week
Spring .50 FTE (20 hours per week) FTE for all appointments combined exceeds .50 FTE Not permitted to work more than 20 hours per week
Summer .50 FTE (20 hours per week) Not required GTAs and GRAs may work up to 40 hours per week (assuming the student is “in status” and has been asked by the employer to work the hours). Students on GA (9186) positions will be approved for a maximum of 30 hours.
Official school breaks* 1.0 FTE (40 hours per week) Not required GTAs and GRAs may work up to 40 hours per week (assuming the student is “in status” and has been asked by the employer to work the hours). Students on GA (9186) positions will be approved for a maximum of 30 hours.

*Includes semester breaks in December/January, April/May, and August, as well as spring break.

Completing the Supplemental Assignment Form

The Supplemental Assignment Form should be completed by the hiring department and approved by the student’s academic department to ensure that the additional hours will not interfere with the student’s academic performance and progress. This form should not be completed by the student.

Student Information: Make sure the student’s name and EmpliID are correct.

Hiring Unit Information:

The student should be able to give you the names of the thesis/dissertation adviser and graduate program director. Send the form by e-mail attachment to the student’s thesis/dissertation adviser, if applicable, or to the graduate program director.

Questions about completing this form should be sent to gradassistantship@ucf.edu.

Reviewing Supplemental Assignment Approval in PeopleSoft

Navigation: Menu > GRAD Custom > UCF Graduate Summary > Financials Summary

When Supplemental Assignment requests are approved, Graduate Studies enters the approval in PeopleSoft Comments. You can view this record for an individual student in the “Assistantship Supplemental Assignments” section on the Financials Summary webpage.

Assistantships by Term Calendar

Assistantship start and end dates should fall within the following assistantship term calendar, in order to be properly reported for the terms. For example, if you are appointing a student on a fall/spring assistantship, the start date could be August 24 and the end date could be May 6. If you are appointing a student on an annual assistantship, the start date should be August 15 or later. You may, of course, have different start/end dates for your fall/spring or single term assistantships; however, you should use this term calendar to plan your assistantships. With this calendar, “break appointments” are just other, shorter appointments within the broader term dates.

Assistantships by Term Calendar

Term From Date To Date
Fall August 15 December 31
Spring January 1 May 9
Summer May 10 August 14

Start or Renew Assistantships in Fall Term

All assistantships must start or renew with Fall term each year.

Semester Break Appointments

Semester break appointments are the periods when classes are not in session at the university. These include the periods in December/January, Spring Break, April/May, and August. Dates for the semester break may vary, so you should consult with Human Resources Records for these dates.

You should clearly explain expectations for assistantship appointments to your students. Multiple-semester assistantship contracts may include additional funds to include break times. Another option is an additional assistantship agreement for the break time only; however, you should be careful not to exceed 40 hours per week total (1.0 FTE).

ePAF Attachment Requirements

The College of Graduate Studies requires the following graduate forms to be attached to the student’s assistantship ePAF form:

If Graduate Studies receives ePAFs without required attachments, we will recycle the ePAF with a comment indicating what attachments are needed.

Completing the Teaching Qualifications – Graduate Teaching Associate (Job Code 9183) Form

Please complete the Teaching Qualifications for 9183 Form with the student’s first GTA 9183 assistantship agreement and for subsequent GTA 9183 agreements if the student’s instructor assignment changes or the teaching discipline changes. For students with an earned master’s degree in the teaching discipline, submit this form for subsequent GTA 9183 assistantship agreements only if the teaching discipline changes.

Fellowships

Fellowships Schedule, 2018-2019 (includes fellowship nomination and application deadlines)

Many fellowship opportunities exist for graduate students, and these may be at all levels from departmental and college fellowships to university-wide fellowships. For a list of university-wide fellowships, see Fellowships at graduate.ucf.edu/funding/. Fellowships are intended only for the very best applicants in an entering class to entice them to come to UCF rather than choose another institution. If a student is not clearly in the very top of your applicant pool, then they probably should not be nominated for a fellowship.

The Office of Student Financial Assistance (SFA) has a listing that provides additional financial assistance information. See the SFA website.

General Fellowship Requirements

See Graduate Fellowship Requirements in the Policy Guide for more details of fellowship requirements and links to the graduate catalog.

Fellowship Nominations

All admitted graduate students are automatically eligible for consideration in the fellowship nomination process. Presidential and Trustees fellowships are university-wide doctoral fellowships, and for these fellowships, the university provides tuition waivers and health insurance. Awardees of these fellowships are selected by a University Graduate Fellowship Committee, consisting of representatives of the colleges and the UCF College of Graduate Studies. Early identification of these nominees is essential to taking advantage of these opportunities for your students.

Departmental, college or foundation fellowships may require an application. Tuition remission for these fellowships must be provided from the department, college or foundation funding the fellowship. Some university fellowships, such as the Graduate RAMP, McNair, and Delores A. Auzenne Fellowships, require students to complete and submit applications to the College of Graduate Studies and are reviewed by a Special Fellowships Committee. For additional information on these awards and other fellowship opportunities for graduate students, see Fellowships Overview.

Some important things to remember about nominating students for fellowships are:

UCF Doctoral Fellowship Nominations

To nominate a student for a doctoral fellowship (Trustees or Presidential), the Graduate Program Director should submit a Doctoral Fellowship Nomination Form to the College of Graduate Studies at gradfellowship@ucf.edu.

Nominators should review the fellowship details of each award prior to submitting nominations. Since this is a university-wide fellowship competition, please nominate the most exceptional students as early as possible; the final deadline is February 8.

MFA Provost’s Graduate Fellowship Nominations

The MFA Provost’s Graduate Fellowship requires students to be nominated by their programs directly to the College of Graduate Studies. All students nominated for MFA Provost’s Graduate Fellowships should have qualifications that meet or exceed the top 25 percent of the entering class from the previous year in that program. The university provides tuition waivers and health insurance for MFA Provost’s Graduate Fellowships.

To nominate students for the award, the MFA Graduate Program Director should send an Excel spreadsheet with a ranked list of nominees and alternates to the College of Graduate Studies at gradfellowship@ucf.edu. Be sure to include each student’s first and last name and EmplID on the spreadsheet.

Graduate Dean’s Fellowship Nominations

The Graduate Dean’s Fellowship supplements a standard assistantship or outside fellowship. The Graduate Dean’s Fellowship requires students to be nominated by their programs directly to the College of Graduate Studies. All students nominated for this fellowship should be newly admitted for Summer 2017 or subsequent semesters and have qualifications that meet or exceed the top 25 percent of the entering class from the previous year in that program.

To nominate a student for a Graduate Dean’s Fellowship, the Graduate Program Director should submit a Graduate Dean’s Fellowship Nomination Form to the College of Graduate Studies at gradassistantship@ucf.edu. The assistantship offer details must be entered in the Graduate Financials System in Gradinfo with the Dean’s Nomination checkbox checked.

Nominators should review the fellowship details prior to submitting nominations. Nominations for the Graduate Dean’s Fellowship supplements an assistantship or outside fellowship stipend. If the Graduate Dean’s Fellowship will be supplementing an assistantship, the assistantship should be entered in the Assistantship Offers area of the Graduate Financials System in GradInfo. If the nomination is awarded by the Graduate College, the offer will be sent with the assistantship offer by the College of Graduate Studies.

If the Graduate Dean’s Fellowship will be supplementing an outside fellowship, please see the nomination form for instructions.

International Students Receiving Fellowships

Fellowship Offers

Fellowship awards are offered in letters sent by the College of Graduate Studies. Prior to sending these letters, the programs are contacted to see whether the fellowship student will be offered an assistantship in addition to the fellowship. Offer letters will be configured to accommodate these multi-component offers, and the programs can review the letters before they are sent to students.

Best Practices in Fellowships

Fellowships Overview, 2018-2019

Please see Fellowship links for details.

Fellowship Award and Duration Academic Level* Restrictions New or Continuing Students Nomination Process
Trustees Doctoral Fellowship $25,000 (4 years) Doctoral None New Automatic Consideration
Presidential Doctoral Fellowship $20,000 (4 years) Doctoral U.S. New Automatic Consideration
Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Completion Fellowship $10,000
(1 semester)
Doctoral None Continuing College-nominated (see flyer)
Multidisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship $20,000 (3 years) Doctoral None Continuing College-nominated (see flyer)
ORC Doctoral Fellowship $25,000 in year one
(years 2-4 variable)
Doctoral None New College-selected
MFA Provost’s Graduate Fellowship $10,000 (2 years) MFA None New Automatic Consideration
Graduate Dean’s Fellowship $5,000
(1 year)**
All None New Automatic Consideration
Professional Doctoral Diversity Fellowship $3,000 (3 years) Doctoral None New Program-nominated
UCF Graduate RAMP Fellowship (Doctoral) $10,000 (4 years) Doctoral U.S. New Student Application
UCF Graduate RAMP Fellowship (Master’s) $10,000 (2 years) Master’s U.S. New Student Application
UCF Graduate McNair Fellowship (Doctoral) $17,000 (4 years) Doctoral U.S. New Student Application
UCF Graduate McNair Fellowship (Master’s) $10,000 (2 years) Master’s U.S. New Student Application
Summer Mentoring Fellowship (Master’s) $3,500 (Summer) All U.S. Minority New Student Application
McKnight Doctoral Fellowship $12,000 (5 years) Doctoral U.S. Minority New Student Application
Delores A. Auzenne Fellowship $5,000
(1 year)
All FL resident for 2 years. Minority New or Continuing Student Application
Boyd Lyon Memorial Fellowship $18,000 (2 years) Doctoral Conservation Biology Ph.D. Program New Automatic Consideration

* “Master’s” designation includes MFA and Specialist degrees.

** Supplements a standard assistantship or outside fellowship stipend.

Disbursement of Fellowships

Most fellowships are disbursed through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the UCF College of Graduate Studies. Student Financial Assistance does not disburse fellowship funds or any other aid until after the registration and add/drop period has ended (usually about 2 weeks into the term). he add/drop period, their fellowship will be cancelled. Students are responsible for paying the balance of tuition and fees by the payment deadline published in the UCF Academic Calendar to avoid being charged a late payment fee.

Upon enrollment in full-time hours, students receiving fellowships will have their tuition deferred (up to the amount of the fellowship) until they receive their fellowship payment. If students are not enrolled in full-time hours by the end of t

Fellowship payment will first be applied toward the student’s account balance. Remaining funds will be disbursed to the student as a direct deposit into the student’s bank account (this should be set up in myUCF by the student).

Short Term Advances

Fellowship students may receive a Short Term Advance of up to $600 (or up to the fellowship amount if less than $600) for the purchase of books and supplies. Students can go directly to the Office of Student Financial Assistance to request a Short-Term Advance–there is a $5.00 processing fee. Fellowship students with greater needs should contact Graduate Studies at gradfellowship@ucf.edu.

Tuition Waivers for Fellowships

University-wide fellowship programs that include a graduate tuition waiver as part of the award package receive a full tuition waiver during each semester of the fellowship disbursement.

There is only one tuition waiver level for fellowships: full tuition. Entry of the tuition award occurs when the College of Graduate Studies processes the fellowship for disbursement.

Full tuition = 100% of resident tuition (does not include local fees) and, if the student is nonresident, the nonresident tuition and fees will be $0.00

Payment Priority

Tuition waivers for fellowships take priority over those received for assistantships.

EXAMPLE: If a student has a qualifying fellowship and a half-stipend assistantship (.25 FTE), the student receives a tuition waiver based on the fellowship for the duration of the fellowship. When the fellowship expires, then the student’s tuition waiver is based on the assistantship, if the student has one.

College and Department Fellowships

For college or department fellowships, the Student Award Request (SAR) must be delivered to the College of Graduate Studies by June 1 for fall, November 15 for spring, and April 1 for summer.

Graduate Teaching Requirements

UCF graduate teaching assistantships are defined as position codes 9183, 9184, and 9187. Students in GTA position codes should be assigned to instructional duties according to the university definitions for these positions and should complete all training requirements for their position before they begin their assignments. Students in GRA (9181, 9182) or GA (9186) positions are not allowed to engage in instructional assignments.

Graduate Teaching Associates (9183)—This position code is reserved for students who have completed the required GTA training and have either a master’s degree in their teaching discipline or have completed 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline, direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluation. For students who may have grades of C+ or less in the 18 hours of course work, an informal explanation of the qualifications of the student should accompany the hiring package.

GTA Training Requirements

In order to be appointed as a GTA (graduate teaching associate, assistant, or grader), students MUST have completed the UCF GTA Training requirement by the appropriate deadline prior to the start of the semester in which they will teach. There are NO exceptions to the GTA Training requirement.

The deadline for completing the GTA training requirements is the Friday before the first day of classes.

GTA Assignment GTA Grader Training GTA Assistant Training GTA Associate Training SPEAK Test
GTA Associate (9183)—Instructor of record for undergraduate courses in the specific discipline (cannot be the instructor of record for graduate courses). They should be attached as instructor for courses in the Student Records instructor schedule. Required Required Required Score of 55 or 60 required
GTA Assistant (9184)—Teaching-related duties under the supervision of a faculty member. The student cannot be an instructor of record or a discussion leader. Required Required Not Required Score of at least 50 required
GTA Grader (9187)—Grading papers or assisting a faculty member. These students may have no direct contact with students. Required Not Required Not Required Not Required

For Graders (9187) and Assistants (9184), the training is completely online. For Associates (9183), the training consists of two components: an online component as well as a face-to-face one-day training workshop. Registration is required for the online and face-to-face training. Training that must be completed by the dates given above, so please instruct your students to check out the Graduate Teaching website to find all the details about GTA appointments, requirements, and registration for training.
NOTE: Completion of the 12-week Preparing Tomorrow’s Faculty Program (previously named GTA Certificate Program) presented by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning satisfies the requirement for all categories of GTA Training. The course must be completed by the semester prior to the teaching semester. It is not sufficient to attend the Certificate course concurrently with the student’s first teaching experience to fulfill the GTA training requirement.

English-Speaking Ability for Graduate Teaching Associates and Assistants

UCF requires an oral proficiency exam of English-speaking skills for all new international students who will be appointed as Graduate Teaching Associates (9183) and Graduate Teaching Assistants (9184). The SPEAK test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187) or for those who score 26 or higher on the speak portion of the ibT TOEFL.

The oral proficiency requirement applies to all Graduate Teaching Associates (9183) and Graduate Teaching Assistants (9184) from countries where English is not the native language; however, such students will be exempt if they have completed a previous degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, from a country where English is the only official language, or from a university at which English is the only official language of instruction. The purpose of the oral proficiency exam is to evaluate the GTA’s spoken proficiency of the English language.

The university provides students with free English-speaking training if their score is between 45 and 55 on the initial SPEAK Test taken at the beginning of Fall or Spring semester.

See English-speaking Ability for Graduate Teaching Assistants at Graduate Assistantships in the current Graduate Catalog regarding the details of the university’s payment for this training and the student’s responsibilities in order to receive this funding.

Please give the English Speaking Test and OCI Training Updates flyer to your international students who you plan to appoint as Associates (9183) or Assistants (9184) and who will need to take the Versant Test.

English Speaking Test

The Versant exam is used by UCF to assess the English language speaking proficiency of Graduate Teaching Associates and Assistants. This test is not required for those who score 26 or higher on the speak portion of the ibT TOEFL. The oral proficiency exam is administered by the Center for Multilingual Multicultural Studies. This exam is used by UCF to assess the English language speaking proficiency of Graduate Teaching Associates and Assistants.

Versant Score

Passing scores for the Versant test depend on the level of GTA appointment:

GTA Appointment Type Job Code Minimal Versant Test Score
Grader 9187 Not required
Assistant 9184 58
Associate 9183 69

Students must register in advance for the Versant test at English Speaking Test. For inquiries regarding the SPEAK Test, please contact the English Language Institute (Global UCF, Suite 200) at 407-823-5515.

Oral Communication for Internationals (OCI)

English-speaking language instruction is offered to students who do not pass the English Speaking exam for one semester and is paid for by the university. Only international students who are appointed as GTA assistants or graders and who do not achieve the required test results are eligible to enroll in OCI.

The OCI training lasts for about ten weeks and a Versant test is given at the completion of the instruction in that semester. Only those who attend regularly and take the final Versant exam will have their instruction paid for by the university. Should students fail to attend the course or to take the final Versant test, a bill will be sent to them for the cost of the instruction.

See also Graduate Teaching for details.

GTA Performance Assessment

The teaching-related performances of all Graduate Teaching Associates (9183), Graduate Teaching Assistants (9184), and Graduate Teaching Assistant-Graders (9187) must be assessed at the end of each term that the student serves as a GTA. If we don’t have the forms returned by the first day of the next semester, then the student will have to be reassigned and will not be allowed to teach, since the evaluation is a requirement of SACS.

Graduate Studies requires that the GTA performance assessment be documented through the submission of the university GTA Performance Assessment Form. See Submitting GTA Performance Assessments for instructions on completing the form and submitting the GTA Performance eForm in PeopleSoft. The GTA Performance Assessment Form constitutes a summary rating based on the areas of performance that were required in the GTA’s teaching-related assignment(s). The GTA’s assigned Faculty Supervisor (the person so listed on the student’s GTA agreement) must complete the assessment after appropriate consultation with the Department Chair, Graduate Program Director, or other relevant individuals. This summative assessment will be discussed with the student, the student will be given an opportunity to respond to the assessment in writing, and both the faculty supervisor and student will approve the completed assessment form electronically via the GTA Assessment eForm in PeopleSoft.

The GTA performance assessment is based on the faculty supervisor’s interaction with the GTA over the course of the term. While the GTA performance assessment is a SACS requirement for documenting the mentoring we provide our GTAs, the true benefit promoted by the completion of the assessment form is the opportunity it offers for our GTAs and their faculty supervisors to engage in a valuable end-of-term discussion. These discussions can be used to review the highlights and difficult aspects encountered during the class, for the faculty to offer insights from their expertise to the GTAs they are supervising, and to discuss the strengths of their students’ teaching performance as well as strategies they might use to improve their teaching. This part of the GTA experience is crucial to helping prepare our students to be better teachers and for future independent teaching jobs. In order to be most effective in the mentoring process, it is critical to have the discussion and complete the form before the end of the term. Completion of these assessments should not be delayed in order to include student evaluations that become available only well after completion of the term. The student is given an opportunity to respond to the assessment in writing.

Faculty should submit the GTA Performance Evaluation via the GTA Performance Eval area in myUCF (my.ucf.edu) > Faculty/Advisor Self Service > Instructors > GTA Performance Eval. Once logged in, faculty will see a list of any pending assessments, including those from past semesters. To submit the evaluation (1) select the rating for the student, (2) enter a comment (optional – this will be visible to the student, and (3) hit submit. These steps should be repeated for all pending assessments. An eForm will be generated based on your submission and will be routed to the student for her or his review in myUCF. This assessment is required even for graduating GTAs. The College of Graduate Studies will store the completed GTA Performance Assessment eForm electronically in ViewStar in the student’s academic file and record the completion in PeopleSoft. Questions regarding GTA Performance Assessment Form processing may be sent to gradassistantship@ucf.edu.

In addition to the GTA Performance Assessment departments and colleges may use additional assessment tools that are available and gather information from any source that they determine to be relevant in order to conduct assessments of GTAs. For example, departments may rely upon classroom visits, other informational observations, other input from students, interviews and discussions with the GTA and other evidences of performance that are available to the department.

Tuition Remission

Tuition remission is defined as tuition costs paid for by some unit within the university, a fellowship agency, or as part of a formal, written university-approved agreement. Tuition remission is always part of a complete financial package that includes tuition remission, an assistantship or fellowship stipend, and university-provided student health insurance. The types of tuition remission are:

Waivers of In-State Tuition

Tuition Payments of In-State Tuition

Out of State Tuition

Local Fees

Standard tuition remission does NOT cover local fees; these may be paid by the hiring unit. Tuition remission is assigned to students as part of the Graduate Assistantship Agreement. Payment of local fees can also be included on the agreement. UCF charges local fees to fund building and capital improvement, financial aid, activity and service, athletics, and access to campus transportation and other things. These local fees add to the student’s tuition bill and are NOT covered by standard tuition remission. Students are responsible for paying the remaining balance on their accounts by the payment deadline for the term (published in the UCF Academic Calendar).

Best Practices for Tuition Remission

Student Obligations

Students receiving tuition remission from the university are obligated to maintain their full-time enrollment and their graduate assistantship or fellowship. See “Student Obligations” in the Graduate Tuition Support section of the current Graduate Catalog for more information.
Assigning Tuition Remission to University-wide Fellowship Students

When completing a Graduate Assistantship Agreement for a University fellowship student who is receiving a tuition waiver paid by the College of Graduate Studies, enter Waiver Department Number 2044 in the Stipend and Resident Tuition Remission area of the agreement.

For a list of University fellowships for which the College of Graduate Studies provides tuition waivers, visit Graduate Fellowships in the current Graduate Catalog.

Assigning Tuition Remission to College- or Department-funded Fellowship Students

If making a college or departmental award to a student, please continue to follow the instructions for completing the Student Award Request Form on the Office of Student Financial Assistance website.

If you are providing tuition remission, complete a Department Request Form and send it separately via e-mail to the Office of Student Accounts to authorize tuition and/or local fees payments. Please note that students receiving college/department funded fellowships only are not eligible to receive health insurance paid by the College of Graduate Studies.
Assigning Tuition Remission to Assistantship Students

The authorization for tuition waivers and tuition payments will be done on the Assistantship Agreement at the same time that the assistantship is processed. Graduate Studies will process tuition waivers and record tuition payments using the Assistantship Agreement. Student Accounts will process tuition payments for students using reports from the Graduate Financials System. Departments can also pay the local fees (optional) through the Assistantship Agreement.

For details on completing the Assistantship Agreement, see the tutorials in the Assistantships section.
Fee Invoice and Local Fees

UCF charges local fees to fund building and capital improvement, financial aid, activity and service, athletics, and transportation access. On students’ PeopleSoft Customer Account and Fee Invoice, the Graduate Rate and Graduate Nonresident Rate show a combined charge for tuition and local fees, based on the total number of credit hours the student is enrolled. The local fees portion of these charges is not covered by university tuition waivers. Hiring departments who pay tuition payments for resident tuition are not required to cover local fees, but they may do so if they wish.

On the Assistantship Agreement, “Optional Fees” refers to these local fees. Hiring departments may authorize payment of Optional Fees on the Assistantship Agreement.

Students are responsible for paying the remaining balance on their accounts by the payment deadline for the term (published in the UCF Academic Calendar).

Graduate Studies Communications to Tuition Remission Students

Graduate Studies sends the following e-mail communications from gradassistantship@ucf.edu to assistantship students and from gradfellowship@ucf.edu to university-wide fellowship students regarding their tuition remission each semester.

Schedule Students Message
Two weeks before classes begin All assistantship students Advise students of full-time enrollment requirements and when tuition remission will show on their student accounts
During first week of classes but before the end of add/drop All assistantship students Remind students of full-time enrollment requirements
Remind students of full-time enrollment requirements Assistantship students who are not enrolled full time Inform students that they are not enrolled full time and their tuition waivers or payments and health insurance have been removed; can be reinstated if there is an administrative add in progress
Four weeks after classes begin Tuition waiver and/or payment students who do not have a qualifying assistantship or fellowship Inform students that their tuition waivers and/or payments and health insurance have been removed because they do not have a qualifying assistantship or fellowship
Four weeks after classes begin Tuition waiver and/or payment students who received full tuition remission but have a half assistantship or fellowship Inform students that their tuition waivers and/or payments have been reduced due to their half assistantship or fellowship
When enrollment change report is run (every two weeks) Tuition waiver and/or payment students who are not enrolled full time Inform students that they are not enrolled full time and their tuition waivers and/or payments have been removed; can be reinstated if there is an administrative add in progress

Health Insurance

UCF participates in the State University System of Florida Student Health Insurance consortium. The health insurance provider for UCF is UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, serviced by Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk.

Assistantship and fellowship students must submit the Health Insurance eform in their myUCF Student Center in order to accept or decline the health insurance coverage.

Policy

Contact in the College of Graduate Studies

Jennifer Parham, 407-823-4337 or jennifer.parham@ucf.edu

Process

For all university fellowship students, the Graduate College will handle all communications to the students and enroll them in health insurance coverage.

For all assistantship students, the Graduate College will

Regarding health insurance holds placed on international students by UCF Health Services, here are the things the Graduate College will do to help these students register:

Requirements for Health Insurance Coverage

Graduate assistants must meet the following requirements to receive health insurance:

A single half (10 hours per week) assistantship does not qualify for health insurance coverage. Also, no assistantship less than half (10 hours per week, .25 FTE) can be counted in the appointments to qualify a student for health insurance coverage.

Coverage

The coverage is the Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan, underwritten by United Healthcare Insurance Company and serviced by Gallagher Student Health and Special Risk. See the flyer on the Gallagher Student Health website for coverage details.

A student is covered for each term that he/she has a qualifying assistantship or fellowship. Assistants and fellows who qualify in Spring will also receive Summer coverage.

Students are required to Accept or Decline the health insurance offer by submitting the Health Insurance eForm in their myUCF Student Center. The College of Graduate Studies only enrolls students in health insurance coverage if they Accept it.

Fall coverage: August 15-December 31
Spring-Summer coverage: January 1-August 14

Students starting a qualifying assistantship or fellowship in the summer will receive summer health insurance coverage, from May 1 to August 14.

More Information about Health Insurance

Funding > Health Insurance

Gallagher Student Health website, insurance underwritten by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company: www.gallagherstudent.com/FloridaUSystem

Gallagher Student Health contact information:
Toll-free phone number: 1-877-535-3127
Email address: UCFstudent@gallagherstudent.com

International Students and Health Insurance Coverage

The State of Florida requires international students to have health insurance coverage that meets the state’s specific criteria, and the UCF Student Health Insurance Plan meets these requirements. UCF places a registration hold on international students that is released only upon documentation of adequate health insurance coverage. For international students receiving paid student health insurance as part of their financial package, the College of Graduate Studies will request adjustment of the health insurance hold from Health Services.

Student Funding Reports

Fellowship Reports

Navigation: www.gradinfo.ucf.edu > Graduate Financials System > Downloads

Top 25 percent report – Uses the previous fall semester admissions to provide GPA, GRE, and GMAT.

Anticipated fellowships report – Lists the fellowships that have been offered and accepted by students for the coming academic year or semester.

Fellowship paid report – Provides a list of fellowships paid in a specific academic year.

Assistantship Reports

Navigation: www.gradinfo.ucf.edu > Graduate Financials System > Downloads

Assistantships – Lists all graduate assistantships approved by the Graduate College and by Human Resources; pulls the assistantship details from the PeopleSoft Human Resources Job Data record. Views the Job Data records through a term calendar.

Assistantship Agreement Reports

Navigation: www.gradinfo.ucf.edu > Graduate Financials System > Agreements > Reports

Assistantship Agreements Report – Includes assistantship agreement details from the Graduate Financials System, based on selected criteria.

Waiver Department Report for GS Approved Status – Lists assistantship agreements and GTA waiver level for a specific Waiver Department Number.

Department/Project Payment Report for GS Approved Status – Lists assistantship agreements and tuition payment level and optional fees details for a specific department/project number.

GTA Reports

Navigation: www.gradinfo.ucf.edu > Graduate Financials System > Downloads

Enrollment and GTA Eligibility Report – The Enrollment and GTA Eligibility Report pulls all students whose status is Active in Program (last 3 semesters, including the current semester) and provides enrollment details and eligibility to serve as a GTA, based on training attendance and SPEAK test score. You may run this report for All students, Enrolled students, or Not Enrolled students.

GTA Performance Assessments Report – The GTA Performance Assessments Report pulls GTA students who require a completed GTA Performance Assessment form. All GTAs are entered with a Rating of PENDING at the time the ePAF/Assistantship Agreement is approved by the College of Graduate Studies. Later, when the assessment is received by Graduate Studies, the student’s actual Rating (HIGH, ACCEPTABLE, or LOW) is entered. Assessment forms and corrections to the report should be sent to gradassistantship@ucf.edu.


Graduate Resources

Graduate News

The best ways to stay in touch with graduate education at UCF is to read the emails sent to the graduate listservs, attend meetings and training sessions, and contact the College of Graduate Studies anytime you need help.

At the national level, see these sources, among others, to stay in touch.

Graduate Listservs

The College of Graduate Studies has set up listservs for discussion of graduate issues in the university community. These listservs are also used to make announcements, forward emails about graduate issues, and distribute minutes and other documentation for graduate faculty and staff review.

Before you send a message to a listserv, you must first be a member of the listserv and the e-mail for you on the listserv must be current. If you have more than one email, the email for you on the listserv must be the one you will use to send messages to the group. Please remember that a message sent to one of these listservs is seen by the entire group. If you want a message to go to one person, then you must send it to that person’s individual email.

To send a message to a listserv, type the e-mail of the listserv in the To area of the message.

To request changes to a listserv (change e-mail, delete email, add new people, and so on), contact the listserv administrator as identified below.

College Associate Deans (those responsible for oversight of graduate education for their colleges)

Graduate Program or Departmental Directors

Graduate Faculty

Graduate Staff

Thesis/Dissertation Defense Announcement Listservs

These listservs are used exclusively for distribution of defense announcements for thesis/dissertation students. Colleges not listed here have other means for distributing these announcements.

College of Arts and Humanities

College of Education and Human Performance

College of Engineering and Computer Science

College of Sciences

College of Graduate Studies Public Websites

The College of Graduate Studies hosts the following public websites for students, faculty, and staff.

College of Graduate Studies Internal Websites

UCF Graduate Summary in PeopleSoft

Navigation: Grad Custom > UCF Graduate Summary

The Graduate Summary is the easiest way for faculty and staff to see a student’s current academic information, including enrollment/application data, tests & previous education, financial summary, administrative record changes, academic progress (advisory committees, thesis/dissertation status, and program requirements), professional development.

UCF Graduate Data

UCF Institutional Knowledge Management
ikm.ucf.edu/

UCF College of Graduate Studies, GradInfo > Reports menu

National Education Statistics

Council of Graduate Schools
www.cgsnet.org/

National Association of Graduate-Professional Students
www.nagps.org/

Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education
carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/

Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections 2012-2022
www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

National Research Council, A Data-based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States
www.nae.edu/53780.aspx

National Science Foundation
www.nsf.gov/

WebCASPAR- Integrated Science and Engineering Resources Data System
ncsesdata.nsf.gov/ids