For Returning Students

FAQ for students who are inactive and return to finish their MA degrees

This information is for graduate students who have become “inactive” and wish to finish their MA degree in Spanish or French in the Department of World Languages & Cultures. There are several steps they must complete with the Office of Graduate Services.

  • Graduate students have seven (7) years to complete their program as per College policy.
  • Students must maintain continuous enrollment to be maintain “active” status as per University requirements. Please see the Graduate Handbook, page 7, for information regarding the continuous enrollment policy:

“Continuous enrollment is defined as registration for a total of six or more semester hours during all consecutive 12-month periods until completion of degree requirements. Completing degree requirements includes requirements such as thesis/dissertation. The semester of completion is defined as extending until the first day of the next semester on the academic calendar.

All students in graduate degree programs are required to maintain continuous enrollment. This policy is designed to eliminate the need for readmission to the university, provide the opportunity for continuous use of facilities such as the library, and maximize the probability of completing the degree program within the time limitations set by college regulations.

For students who have completed all course work, but have not yet completed all degree requirements, this enrollment can be accomplished by registering for research hours. Unless granted an approved leave of absence, a graduate student who fails to meet the continuous enrollment requirement will be placed on inactive status. To resume studies, it will be necessary to formally apply for re-entry into the university and to the degree program. As a consequence, completion of the degree will require meeting any changed or additional requirements approved in the interim.

A student who finds it necessary to be excused from continuous enrollment in a graduate degree program must formally request a leave of absence from the college. The application for leave must be approved by the department and the academic associate dean. Leaves will be granted only under exceptional circumstances, such as military obligation or major illness, or for program-related activities, such as fellowships abroad, that prohibit the student from enrolling in courses. When there is no mutual agreement the decision will be made by the academic dean. Pending development of a university leave policy, all leave requests must also be approved by the Associate Provost for Academic Programs.”

  • If a student has become “inactive” and wishes to return to complete the MA degree in Spanish or French, s/he must formally apply to reenter the program. Please contact Ms. Joyce Kane ( in the Office of Graduate Services to notify her of your request and complete the application to reenter online (
  • If a student has already applied to graduate previously but now needs to change her/his graduation date, s/he will need to do so through the University Registrar: (
  • If a student has not registered for graduation, s/he needs to petition to get on the current semester graduation list. Contact Mr. Chad Van Gorden ( ) in the Office of Graduate Services to notify him of your request and follow his instructions.
  • If a student has experienced or undertaken any deviation from the program (e.g., fall into “inactive” status, take more than seven years to complete the degree, write a thesis without having registered for 8999 Thesis Research, etc.), then s/he needs to file a petition for deviation from the program ( Petitions for deviation from established programs are reviewed once per semester at the beginning of the semester.
  • To return to “active” status and comply with the continuous enrollment policy in order to be eligible to graduate, the student must register for at least six hours (i.e., generally Spanish 8895 or French 8895) and pay tuition and fees. If the deadline for registering for classes has passed, late registrations require that the Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures (WLC) send a request to the Office of the Registrar. The student should send an e-mail to the Chair to make this request.
  • If a student is reentering a program after becoming “inactive”, s/he must complete all degree requirements as stipulated in the semester in which s/he wishes to graduate. As noted in the Graduate Handbook, “completion of the degree will require meeting any changed or additional requirements approved in the interim” (7). It is incumbent upon the student to ensure that s/he has met any new or changed requirements since falling into “inactive” status.