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UK uses an online course registration system called myUK with fixed registration “windows.” Most registration issues must be solved via your online account. Also, we recommend registering for courses the moment your window opens. Some courses require departmental registration, in which case you’ll contact our department’s student services assistant, Jessica Guillen.

If a course is closed or if you’d like a faculty member to consider holding you a place, YOU MUST CONTACT THE FACULTY MEMBER DIRECTLY. If you are having trouble with the system, contact Jessica as she is the only staff member with access to the registration system. The DGS does not have this access.

Continuous Enrollment

Please note that graduate students in all programs are required to remain continuously enrolled throughout the duration of their programs unless a leave of absence is specifically requested. Master’s students must stay enrolled until the completion of coursework. Doctoral students must stay enrolled through the completion of the dissertation including all semesters of dissertation research. Doctoral students must be enrolled during the semester in which they take their qualifying exams and they must also be enrolled during the semester in which they hold their dissertation defenses (with the exception of summer months). Failure to sustain continuous enrollment requires readmission to the University and remittance of the Graduate School application fee.

Leave of Absence

Each student is allowed two leaves of absence during his/her program of study, not including the summer terms. Each leave is one semester in duration. A student may take leave for two separate semesters or may take leave for two consecutive terms. If you’d like to request a leave of absence, you must make your request the SEMESTER PRIOR to when the leave will be effective. Your request must be sent to the Graduate School admissions office with a copy to the DGS and to Jessica Guillen. The request can be made by email and is required unless you wish to reapply to the University and pay the Graduate School application fee. NO EXCEPTIONS! Once doctoral students pass their qualifying exams they must remain continuously enrolled in EPE 767 until the dissertation defense and cannot take a leave of absence.


If for some reason you decide to sit out of your program for more than two semesters, you must reapply to both the department and the Graduate School to be readmitted. An application for readmission to the department consists of a letter explaining how you intend to complete your degree in a timely manner and a letter of support from a current member of the department faculty.

Applications for readmission will be reviewed by the full faculty at a regularly scheduled faculty meeting. (Note: the department faculty does not meet during the summer.) Readmission should not be assumed, especially if some time has passed. Obligations by the student’s major professor or advisory committee assembled prior to leaving the program must be reestablished if readmitted. Students taking extended time off from graduate study are strongly encouraged to stay connected to department faculty. Graduate School policies regarding time to degree will also have to be considered. Petitions for time extensions will only be made to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School under rare and unique circumstances.

Annual Review

Each May, at the department retreat, the faculty review the progress of each student and provide feedback to those identified as not making satisfactory progress. The department’s minimum GPA to be considered in good standing is a 3.0, however a “C” grade in any course is considered a warning that your performance is below that necessary to successfully pass your master’s exam or doctoral qualifying exam. “B” grades typically accompany faculty recommendations for specific improvements, but are not necessarily “bad” grades. “B” grades in subjects you consider your core may be a warning sign that you are not reaching an appropriate level of expertise in that area. If the faculty determine that you are not making successful progress to degree, you will be contacted by your advisor or the DGS to develop a plan for improvement.

Time to Degree

Our department supports both part-time and full-time students and tries to make sure part-time students are able to find research and experiential learning opportunities that work with their schedules. Full-time graduate students typically take 9-12 hours per semester. Part-time students take 3-6 hours. All programs of study must be approved by the student’s advisory committee.

Our master’s degree programs require 31 hours of coursework in addition to passing an exam developed by the faculty, or based on a scholarly paper.

Our doctoral degree programs require 43 hours of course credit. In a limited number of cases, if a student holds a master’s degree in a strongly related field, their advisory committee may agree to allow less coursework. For example a student with a master’s degree in US history might take fewer hours to prepare for a doctoral program focusing on the history of education in the US than a student with an MBA preparing for a doctoral program focusing on equity issues in higher education admissions.


Read the Graduate School recommendations carefully regarding residency requirements. The student’s advisory committee makes the final decision regarding length and content of program, but all doctoral students must complete at least 36 hours of residency.


Sometimes life gets in the way of scholarship. If for some reason you feel you cannot complete the requirements of a course during the semester period, you may ask your instructor for an incomplete. Read the Graduate School Bulletin regulations about incompletes carefully. Note, an incomplete may only be assigned if “…a part of the work of a course remains undone and if there is a reasonable possibility that a passing grade will result from completion of the work.” It is important that you negotiate a new completion date and any changes in requirements at the time you request the incomplete grade.

S&U Grades

When pursuing independent research (dissertation and master’s research in particular), a grade of S for satisfactory progress or U for unsatisfactory progress will be awarded. Again, read the Graduate School Bulletin carefully for policies regarding I,S, & U grades.

Termination from the Program

Following the guidelines stated in the Graduate Bulletin, the department faculty may terminate a student’s enrollment in an EPE degree program if:

  • Scholastic probation (GPA less than 3.0) for more than three enrolled semesters.
  • Having failed twice the examination for the master’s degree or doctoral qualifying exam.
  • Two semesters of unsatisfactory progress following the qualifying exam. In the case where a student has not made satisfactory progress for two semesters, the student’s advisory committee may recommend to the faculty that the student’s enrollment in the program be terminated. Each case is decided on its own merits. Students will be given ample warning of expectations and deadlines; however, receipt of a U grade should be considered official warning that progress to degree is not being made.

From the Bulletin: “In cases where the student’s advisory committee recommends termination after the qualifying examination has been passed, the Graduate Faculty in that program will meet to vote on the recommendation. When the Graduate Faculty of that program concurs and the student dissents, the student will have an opportunity to meet with the Graduate Faculty of the program, after which a second vote will be taken and a final recommendation will be made to the Dean of the Graduate School.”