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Graduate Students
Graduate Students

Online Orientation

Selecting a Graduate Advisor

Graduate student advising is determined by your academic program. Graduate students who are admitted as degree-seeking students are normally assigned an advisor when they enter the program. As a student becomes more acquainted with the graduate faculty, a student may choose to request a faculty advisor. Normally, this will be the faculty member responsible for directing the student's thesis or final project.

Students who are admitted into a graduate degree program are encouraged to meet with their advisor frequently during their academic careers. Students registered as unclassified graduate students may wish to consult the Graduate School for advice on their academic careers.

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Auditing a Graduate Course

You may register to “audit” a course, but this designation means that you will not receive a letter grade or any credit for that course. However, you are still required to pay the same fees as those students taking the course for credit. And, if you do not attend class regularly, instructors may determine that you should not have audited courses placed on your academic record.

You may, with the approval of your program director, change your status from "for credit" to audit (or vice versa) during the first three weeks of the term; thereafter, the change cannot be made. This option is not available for courses that are less than eight weeks in duration. If you receive an assistantship, fellowship or other scholarship you need to check with the Graduate School before changing your status because these types of financial support may be affected. Veterans attending under the GI Bill do not receive benefits for audited classes.

For additional information about the university’s auditing policies, see SIUE Policies.

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Exit Requirements

As a master’s degree candidate, your exit requirements may include both written and oral forms, including a thesis defense. Students following the thesis plan will make an oral presentation and defense of their thesis results. Students who pursue the non-thesis plan of study will make an oral presentation and defense of a final paper and/or take a final written examination. For some programs, exit requirements could include a recital, portfolio, or art expiation. Students will present the thesis or final research paper to the graduate committee composed of at least three members of the graduate faculty. This examination requires advanced application of skills and knowledge. You will be expected to demonstrate an appropriate standard of scholarship and to provide evidence of your ability to think critically, to draw and defend conclusions, and to complete your work in a creditable manner. Report of the results of this examination will be filed with Graduate Records on a form entitled “Summary of Completion of Requirements for Graduate Degrees.”

Contact your department for more specific exit requirement information. 

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Graduate Assistantships

Graduate students who have been accepted into a graduate program as a degree-seeking student are eligible for support through graduate assistantships. Many graduate assistants serve as teaching assistants for their department. The best source of information about teaching assistantships is through your departmental chair or graduate program advisor.

Opportunities for graduate assistantships are posted on the website. You can view current available positions using the Graduate Assistantships link. Each posting provides you with information about the position, qualifications, salary, terms of appointment and contact information, as well as a description of the application materials to submit to the hiring unit.

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Graduation and Commencement

Degrees are awarded and commencement ceremonies are held at the end of the fall and spring terms. In order to qualify for a diploma signifying the award of a graduate degree and to participate in Commencement, students should complete the “Application for Graduation” form on the first day of the term in which you expect to complete degree requirements. The graduate fee of $60 is charged to your account at the time of application. 

For a complete description of what is required for graduation, (i.e. degree audits, final examination requirements, etc.) refer to the on-line Graduate Catalog or contact the Office of Graduate Records at (618) 650‑3167.

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Health Service

If you were born on or after January 1, 1957, you will be required to provide Health Service with a completed Immunization Record Form and proof of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, and tetanus/diphtheria. This requirement is in compliance with legislation enacted by the State of Illinois.

Failure to comply with the immunization requirement means that you will not be allowed to register for any future term at the University and may be subject to a $25 fine and/or class cancellation.

International students should note that a PPD (Mantoux) Tuberculin skin test is required within five months of entering the University. International students must also provide proof of health insurance coverage for every semester of enrollment. Medical coverage must comply with minimum federal requirements 1) medical benefits of $50,000, 2) $7,500 and for repatriation coverage, and $10,000 for evacuation, 3) deductibles that do not exceed $500, 4) at least 80% coverage of medical expenses and psychiatric coverage.

For additional information about immunization requirements, call (618) 650‑2843; for other services available through Health Service, call (618) 650‑2842 or go to the Health Service website.

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University Housing: Finding a Place to Live

As a graduate student you may choose to reside on campus in the apartments at Cougar Village or at Bluff Hall, both of which are just short walks from classrooms, the library, and campus events. At Cougar Village, single students and family residents reside in smoke-free two- and three-bedroom apartments that include a full kitchen with appliances, dining room, bathroom, and living room. Single student apartments are fully furnished. Family residents may choose between furnished and unfurnished accommodations. At Bluff Hall, residents will occupy a four-person non-smoking suite with a common bath. Students may access the SIUE computer network from their room, as well as take advantage of the 24-hour computer lab and laundry facilities. Bluff Hall also features a multifunction room for activities, classroom, and the Bluff Hall Cafe.

All utilities, except off-campus telephone calls are included in the University Housing contract payment. Persons residing in Bluff Hall will be required to purchase a declining meal plan, while meal plans are optional at Cougar Village.

If you desire a more controlled living environment, “Graduate Student,” “24-Hour Quiet” and “Substance-Free” buildings are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Graduate students living in Bluff Hall will be assigned to the same general area.

To apply for housing at SIUE, you must complete and sign the application/contract and pay a nonrefundable $25 application fee, $75 reservation deposit (which becomes a damage deposit when you become a resident of University Housing), and a $200 advance payment. Your application/contract will not be accepted without the required $300 deposit. You should apply for housing as soon as possible due to limited availability. The preferred application deadline for fall semester is May 1; December 1 for Spring Semester.

For additional information visit University Housing.

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Lovejoy Library

The Elijah P. Lovejoy Library maintains a collection of more than 1,000,000 volumes and subscribes to more than 6,500 serials and periodicals. The Library's collection includes 1,500,000 microform items, 540,000 U.S. government documents, 150,000 maps, 43,000 multimedia titles, and thousands of special research items.

You can access many of the Library’s services (including Interlibrary Loan, periodical databases, and Course Reserves).

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Requests for Course Overloads or Underloads

The normal course load for graduate students during the academic year is 9 credit hours per semester. The normal course load for students serving as graduate assistants is six credit hours per semester during the academic year.

For a Graduate Assistant
If you need to enroll in fewer or more than the required number of credit hours allowed, you will need to complete the Overload/Underload Petition. Your request must be based on academic program needs, and not on assistantship appointment requirements. If you are a graduate assistant and need to carry an overload (more than 12 hours) or an underload (less than 6 hours) during any semester, you will need to obtain the Graduate Dean’s approval before enrolling in classes.

You may initiate such a request by completing the “Overload and Underload Petition for Graduate Assistants and Awardees,” which is available online on the Graduate School Forms section of this website. After your major advisor and graduate program director sign the Petition Form, you will need to submit it to the Graduate School for consideration. The Graduate School will notify you by mail of the Graduate Dean’s response to the Petition.

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Campus Parking Decals

If you have a vehicle on campus, you are required to display a valid parking decal. Student decals may be purchased at Parking Services, Room 1113 in Rendleman Hall. Lots are color coded to match the decals; signs at the lot entrances indicate the color of decals that may be used on each lot.

Each term, special decals are made available for graduate students to park in the green decal lots for evening classes. You should apply early because availability of these decals is limited.

Graduate Assistants are eligible to receive regular green decals for parking anytime.

For more information about parking regulations and decals, go to Parking Services or call them at (618) 650‑3680.

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Research Grants for Graduate Students (RGGS)

The Graduate School offers an award called the Research Grants for Graduate Students (RGGS) Award. This award offers small grants on a competitive basis to support research initiated and conducted by students to enhance their academic progress. To be eligible, you must be a classified (degree seeking) graduate student and must have successfully completed more than 6 semester hours of graduate credit.

Although faculty advisors oversee the research, the purpose of this program is to support student research, particularly as it relates to the thesis or final project. The maximum award is $500. Students may receive no more than one RGGS award. The Graduate School provides workshops to help with the RGGS application process.

Guidelines and application forms, program deadlines, and for a listing of workshop times and locations are posted on the website for the Office of Research and Projects under Graduate Student Support.

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Second Majors and Specializations

If you are considering a second major or a specialization, you may do so by: (1) completing all of the requirements for a degree in the first major; and (2) applying to the Graduate School and the appropriate academic unit and completing no less than two-thirds of the total hours required for a degree in the second major as well as all other requirements for the second major.

If you would like to pursue a second major concurrently with the first, your adviser in each major must approve the combination of studies. With approval of directors of both graduate programs, you may jointly satisfy such requirements as one committee, one project or thesis, and/or one final examination.

For more information, contact Graduate Admissions at campus extension 3770.

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Accessing Your Student Account (CougarNet)

You have online access to your student records at the university through the CougarNet system. It allows you, among other things, to check the availability of classes, view your current schedule, request an unofficial transcript, and view your grades. You can also check on the status of your financial aid, update you local, billing and email addresses, and search the system for a student job using the Job Finder tool.

To access your CougarNet account, go to CougarNet website. To log on to the site for the first time, enter your ID number (your SSN) and your birthday as your initial password. The system will then prompt you to change your password to any four-digit number.

If you have additional questions about your student account, contact the Service Center at (618) 650‑2080.

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Graduate Student Conduct Code

Students enrolling in the University assume responsibility for conduct compatible with the learning environment of the University. Students are expected to be familiar with the Student Conduct Code and the Student Academic Code. These documents describe the University’s expectations for student social and academic conduct, the process utilized for adjudicating alleged violations, and sanctions that may be imposed for violation of the standards.

The University gives high priority to matters of academic ethics and abhors all types of cheating, including plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as including, without limitations, the act of representing the work of another as one’s own. It may consist of copying, paraphrasing, or otherwise using the written, electronic, or oral work of another without proper acknowledgment or consent of the source or presenting oral, electronic, or written material prepared by another as one’s own. Plagiarism also includes using information from electronic resources, including the Internet, without the use of citations.

Instructors may impose sanctions for academic cheating in accordance with the Student Academic Code. Sanctions, which may be imposed for violation of the Student Academic Code, range from a failing grade on an individual assignment through separation from the University. Students who have questions relative to academic ethics and academic misconduct should consult with their advisers or instructors.

Copies of the Student Conduct Code and Student Academic Code are available in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the offices of Graduate Studies and Research and Admissions and Records, and the Office of the Dean in the School of Dental Medicine.

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Student Services Center

SIUE students can take care of most of their admission- and registration-related business in one office.
The Service Center, at the west end of the first floor of Rendleman Hall (Room 1309), offers the following services:

  • Class registration
  • Tuition calculation
  • Most Bursar's Office transactions (excluding picking up paychecks or refund checks, picking up a university key, or making department deposits)
  • Program changes (adds, drops, withdrawals)
  • ID Cards
  • Voluntary Meal Plan deposits
  • CougarNet and Cougar Job Finder access
  • Transcript requests
  • Applications for admission
  • Illinois residency applications
  • Address, name and ID changes
  • Graduate Student needs (applications, information, thesis, requests for policy exceptions, degree audit and graduation check, enrollment problems, graduate catalogs)
  • Help understanding your SIUE bill
  • Evening and Saturday assistance and liaison with instructors
  • Forms and general information related to a variety of undergraduate and graduate student concerns
  • VA Certification is in Rendleman Hall, Room 1207.

Most routine needs will be met in the Service Center. For questions or needs that cannot be met by the Service Center, students will receive a written referral to ensure they reach the person and office best able to help.

For more information, visit the Student Services website.

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Summer Tuition Waiver For Graduate Assistants

After holding an assistantship for two consecutive semesters (e.g. Fall and Spring Semester), you may apply for a Summer Tuition Waiver.

The Summer Tuition Waiver does not require you to work and is available to you one time during your SIUE graduate career. This waiver must be used during the Summer term immediately following two consecutive semesters of service as a graduate assistant and there is no limit to the number of class hours for which you may register.

To apply, you will need to complete a Summer Tuition Waiver Authorization form available through the Graduate School, obtain the required signatures, and submit it to the Graduate School for approval. Upon acceptance, it will be entered into your University financial records and a confirmation will be mailed to your home address.

You are not entitled to a second Summer Tuition Waiver, even if you serve for additional academic terms under a new appointment or begin a second degree.

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Thesis or Final Project

For some graduate programs, the completion of a thesis is an exit requirement, while other programs may require a final project. While working on a thesis or a final project, you will be required to register for a course numbered 599 or an equivalent number, specifically designated for this purpose.

The thesis ordinarily may be counted for not more than 6 but no less than 3 semester hours of credit. Under special circumstances, a student’s advisory committee may recommend that a student be permitted to apply for as many as 10 hours of thesis credit toward fulfillment of degree requirements. In such instances, prior approval of the Graduate Dean is required. The request is made on a “Request for Extended Thesis Credit” form, which provides for the written recommendations of all members of the thesis advisory committee. The form is available on the web at Graduate Student Forms. If the thesis or project is not finished after the student has enrolled in the maximum number of credit hours allowable, the student is expected to enroll in UNIV 500 each term until the work is completed. UNIV 500 is a no-credit course for which a fee of $37.50 is charged. This form of enrollment enables the student to maintain access to such resources as faculty, library, computers, and parking.

Each master’s degree thesis must be supervised by a committee of at least three members of the graduate faculty. Emeritus faculty may serve on thesis committees but may not serve as chair unless the chair position was held prior to retirement. The thesis proposal must be approved by the committee and the title of the thesis registered with Graduate Records in the Service Center. It is recommended that thesis registration be completed no later than the last day of classes in the term preceding the one in which the student expects to graduate. In order to comply with federal regulations, proposals that involve human subjects, animals, Biohazards, or recombinant DNA must be cleared by the appropriate University committee and approved by the Graduate Dean before data collection begins. Information and guidelines for research with human subjects are available in Graduate Studies and Research or on their website.

“Registration of Thesis Title” forms and “Guidelines for the Preparation of Theses” are available on the web at Graduate Student Forms. Approval of the thesis by the student's advisory committee is validated on a thesis approval page. The original and an acceptable copy of the approved thesis must be presented to Graduate Records for review no later than the last day of classes in the term in which graduation is expected. A student’s responsibility for fulfilling this requirement does not end until the thesis has been formally accepted in the Graduate Records office. Students in graduate programs that do not require a thesis are governed by specific requirements of the appropriate programs, and their work is generally directed by an advisory committee of at least three graduate faculty members. Research papers or other projects required in lieu of a thesis are not filed with Graduate Records. For detailed information on mandatory compliance with federal regulations on research involving human subjects, animals, biohazards, and recombinant DNA, contact the Graduate.

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Time Limit Extensions

When making a request to have lapsed credit apply to your degree you will need to complete the “Graduate Student Request Form.” This form is available on the Graduate Student Info section of this website.

Time limits vary for master’s and specialist programs. You will need to check the degree requirements section listed in Chapter 2 of the Graduate Catalog for descriptions of these degree programs.

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Graduate Student Travel Support

The Graduate School offers a graduate student travel support program that provides you with funding to support travel for major paper presentations and for certain eligible exhibits and performances.

To be eligible, you must be a classified (degree seeking) graduate student who is in good academic standing and who is currently enrolled at SIUE. There are no application deadlines for this program. Applications may be submitted to the Graduate School anytime during the year. Go to Graduate Student Support Section on the website for the Office of Research and Projects to obtain a copy of the guidelines and application form.

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Tuition and Fees for Graduate Students

The tuition and fees charged students are established by the Board of Trustees and are subject to change whenever conditions warrant. View current tuition and fees.

You can find out additional information about your tuition and fees, including methods of payment, etc by visiting the Bursar’s website.

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