May 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2021-2022 
Graduate Catalog | 2021-2022 Previous Edition


The Office of the Registrar is responsible for the management of the registration process by which students enroll in, drop, and withdraw from courses. Through the registration process, students assume academic and financial responsibility for the courses in which they enroll. They are relieved of these responsibilities only by formally terminating enrollment by dropping or withdrawing in accordance with deadlines specified in the Academic Calendar and the corresponding prorated refund schedule available on the Student Accounts website at

Registration Deadlines

University policies determine when students may enroll or adjust their enrollment in courses. General deadlines are shown below and specific deadlines for a given term are available online at

Add/Drop Period

The Add/Drop period runs through the sixth business day of the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters (the second business day for first and second half terms).

During the Add/Drop Period, students can:

  • Register for courses
  • Drop a course(s) without record (and remain enrolled in other courses)
  • Drop all courses without record
  • Change the grade type to Audit (refer to Auditing Courses section below)

After the Add/Drop Period students can withdraw from one or more courses in accordance with the Withdrawals policy.

Prerequisites and Permits

All students, including visitors and non-degree students, are required to meet course prerequisites and to obtain the required permissions to enroll in courses through the department which sponsors the course.

Auditing Courses

With the permission of the instructor and Graduate School, a Graduate Student may audit any course in which space is available.  Fees and procedures for this non-credit enrollment are the same as those for a credit enrollment.  The procedure for adding, dropping, or withdrawing from an audit course is the same as for credit enrollments.  In order to audit a class, a student must complete a Graduate Academic Petition and receive approval from the instructor and the Graduate School by the eighth calendar day of a semester.

No student will be allowed to change the designation of a course from audit to credit or from credit to audit after the eighth calendar day of a semester (or a proportional period for Summer terms).  Participation of auditors in course discussions and in tests or examinations is optional with the instructor.  Students who audit receive no University credit, but they are expected to attend the course regularly. 

Early Entry to Graduate Programs

Exceptional undergraduate students at UNC Charlotte may be accepted into some certificate, master’s, and doctoral programs and begin work toward a graduate certificate or degree before completion of the baccalaureate degree.  In those programs offering this option, an applicant may be accepted at any time after completion of 75 or more credit hours of their undergraduate coursework, although it is expected that at least 90 credit hours of undergraduate coursework will have been earned by the time the first graduate course is taken.  These students will have provisional acceptance status in the graduate program, pending the award of the baccalaureate degree.

To be accepted to this program, the student must complete an application online at for the given graduate program and be approved for it. In addition, the student must complete the Early Entry Program Form, which requires approval by the Undergraduate Advisor, the Graduate Program Director, and the Graduate School.  The form is available on the Graduate School website under Current Students [Note: The Early Entry Program Form must be approved by the Graduate School before the student begins the Early Entry graduate coursework.  Failure to obtain prior Graduate School approval negates the ability to “double count” courses in an accelerated Early Entry Program.]  An undergraduate student must have at least a 3.2 overall GPA and have taken the appropriate graduate standardized test and earned an acceptable score.  A given program may have more rigorous admissions criteria.  If an Early Entry student has not met the normal admission requirements of a 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA at the end of their baccalaureate degree, they will be dismissed from the graduate program.

Students accepted into an Early Entry Program will be considered subject to the same policies that pertain to other matriculated graduate students.  However, the undergraduate program will remain the student’s primary program.  Early Entry students are eligible only for undergraduate-level financial aid, grants, and tuition awards.*  Early Entry students are restricted to 15 credit hours of graduate level coursework prior to the completion of the baccalaureate degree.  No courses taken before admission to the graduate program may be applied to a graduate degree.

Some Early Entry Programs permit students to “double count” graduate-level coursework towards outstanding requirements for the undergraduate degree.  The maximum number of graduate credits which may be “double counted” towards an undergraduate degree varies by program.  However, under no circumstances will more than 12 credit hours be double-counted.  Students use the Early Entry Graduate Academic Petition to detail which courses they plan to “double count” and which courses will be taken solely for graduate credit.  Only those graduate-level courses which are applied towards the undergraduate degree are eligible for undergraduate-level financial aid.

58 graduate programs currently offer an Early Entry option.  A list of Early Entry Programs may be found on the Graduate Admissions website at  To be considered for Early Entry admission, a student must complete and submit an application via the Graduate School’s admissions system at and provide supporting documents.

*Note: While students admitted to an Early Entry Program are not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship since they have not completed a baccalaureate degree, they may be considered for a Student Temporary Wage position. Students admitted into an Early Entry Program pay undergraduate fees and undergraduate tuition for all courses (graduate and undergraduate) for which they register until such time that the baccalaureate degree is completed (typically within two semesters).

Accelerated Master’s Programs

Exceptional undergraduate students may be accepted into an Accelerated Master’s Program whereby they simultaneously pursue the baccalaureate and master’s degrees and gain invaluable mentoring and research experience along the way.  The Accelerated Master’s Program may also be accelerated in which up to 12 hours earned at the graduate level may be substituted (“double counted”) for required undergraduate hours.  A list of Accelerated Master’s Programs may be found on the Undergraduate Admissions website at

In the programs offering this option, an applicant may be considered for admission to the Master’s Program directly from high school with a minimum GPA 3.75 or above (on a 4.0 scale) and a minimum score of 1220 on the SAT.  For details, see the Undergraduate Admissions website at

Note:  Students admitted to an Accelerated Master’s Program (undergraduate + graduate degrees) are not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship until their final year of study when they are only taking graduate courses.  In the Accelerated Master’s Program of study, when only graduate courses are taken (typically the final year of study), students are considered “graduate” students and are charged graduate tuition and fees.

Dual Undergraduate and Graduate Registration

First undergraduate degree students at UNC Charlotte who are required to take fewer than 12 credit hours of undergraduate work to fulfill all requirements for the bachelor’s degree may be allowed during their final semester to enroll in certain courses for the purpose of obtaining graduate credit.  Dually enrolled students will continue to be considered undergraduate students and be charged for the courses taken at the undergraduate level.  To be considered for dual enrollment, students should submit the online graduate application for admission as a post-baccalaureate student, submit a Special Request to the Graduate School requesting permission to be considered for dual enrollment, and attach to the Special Request a program of study outlining the requirements of the first undergraduate degree.  The total credit hours to be carried in this status shall not exceed 12 credit hours, of which no more than nine may be for graduate credit.  On the basis of work attempted prior to the final semester, such students must meet the grade point criteria for admission to a graduate degree program at the University.  No course for which credit is applied to an undergraduate degree may receive graduate credit.  Permission to take graduate courses under dual registration does not constitute admission to any graduate degree program at the University.  (Undergraduate students may also take graduate courses if admitted to an Early Entry Program or an Accelerated Master’s Program.)

Note: Only UNC Charlotte students pursuing their first undergraduate degree are eligible for dual undergraduate and graduate registration.  Fifth year undergraduate students (i.e., students pursuing a second undergraduate degree) are not eligible for dual undergraduate and graduate enrollment.

Inter-Institutional Registration

An inter-institutional registration program is available, for a limited number of undergraduate and graduate students, with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina Central University. The registration process is initiated in the Office of the Registrar and requires the approval of the student’s College Dean and the Associate Dean of the Graduate School.  The proposed course cannot be offered at UNC Charlotte.  Enrollment for Inter-Institutional is normally limited to the following:

  • Fall and Spring terms: two courses per term for a graduate or professional student provided that the student is also registered for the balance of their normal load at UNC Charlotte.
  • Summer terms: one course per summer term provided the student is also registered for at least three hours per session at UNC Charlotte.

Tuition will be billed by UNC Charlotte for all courses taken, including the Inter-Institutional courses, at the prevailing tuition rate.  Fees will be waived at the visiting institution unless there is a special fee associated with a particular course. In such a case, the student is responsible for payment of the fee.  Students must adhere to the academic calendar for all adds, drops, and withdrawals at both institutions.

UNC Online Registration

Graduate students at UNC Charlotte are eligible to enroll in both graduate and undergraduate courses via UNC Online at  UNC Charlotte students who enroll in a course through UNC Online are billed by UNC Charlotte.  However, courses taken through UNC Online are not considered residence credit.  Such requests are subject to the Transfer Credit policies outlined herein.  Students are advised to consult with their program before registering for a course through UNC Online.

Continuous Registration

Students in graduate degree programs are required to maintain continuous registration (Fall and Spring semesters) for thesis, dissertation, project, or directed study until work is completed.  Students are not required to enroll in any Summer term unless they are using University resources or they are completing degree requirements in that term.  Students using University resources should enroll in the number of graduate credit hours that best reflects the amount of resources being used (typically three (3) or more graduate credit hours).  The continuous registration requirement begins with the semester in which the student first registers for their thesis, dissertation, project, or directed study.  

Note: Students must be enrolled during the term (semester or summer) in which they graduate from the University.  For details, see the course descriptions for GRAD 7999 /GRAD 9999  and GRAD 7800 /GRAD 9800 .

Leave of Absence

Degree-seeking graduate students who are in good standing, are not enrolled, and are not using University resources may apply for a leave of absence.  Students choosing this option must file a Graduate Academic Petition for a leave of absence that states they will not use University resources during the leave period.  If the leave of absence was approved for 2 consecutive semesters, the student must contact the Graduate School prior to returning. The student will be required to update their Residency Determination Service (RDS), Educational History, and complete the Campus Safety Standard questions. If applicable, a Criminal Background Check will be required prior to registration.  If the leave of absence extends beyond one calendar year, the student’s matriculation is closed and the student must re-apply for active status in the graduate program.  All students must remain continuously enrolled until the thesis, dissertation, project or directed study is completed.  Those international students who wish to apply for a leave of absence are advised to consult with the International Student/Scholar Office prior to filing the Graduate Academic Petition for leave of absence, as it may have implications for their visa status.  Students experiencing a medical emergency or other crisis should contact the Dean of Students Office.  Students with questions about the leave of absence option can contact The Graduate School.

Transfer Credit

The student’s Graduate Program Director is responsible for determining the applicability of transferred credits to graduate program requirements. See the appropriate “Degree Requirements” sections of this Catalog for program-specific policies. General rules governing transferred credit are:

  1. To obtain approval to receive transfer credit, the student must submit a Graduate Academic Petition for Transfer of Credit into a Graduate Degree Program, available on the Graduate School website under Current Students, approved by the Graduate Program Director, to the Graduate School.  If the courses being transferred are from another institution, the student must include an official copy of the transcript along with the request, as well as valid course descriptions from that institution and a course map aligning the transfer courses with UNC Charlotte equivalent courses. The University is not obligated to accept any courses for transfer credit.
  2. No more than twenty percent (20%) of the total credit hours required will be accepted for transfer into a master’s degree program.  Up to six (6) credit hours may be accepted for transfer in master’s programs requiring 30 credit hours; up to 9 credit hours may be accepted for master’s programs requiring 45 credit hours; up to 12 credit hours may be accepted for master’s programs requiring 60 credit hours, and so forth.  Partial/fractional credits are not awarded.  The amount of transfer credit that may be accepted into a doctoral program varies by degree type and program, but may not exceed 30 credit hours.  See degree and program specific policies in this Catalog.
  3. Undergraduate courses are not transferable for graduate credit.
  4. Graduate courses that appear in the undergraduate section of a transcript are only transferable if the Registrar of the institution where the credit was received can verify in writing that the graduate courses in question were not counted toward the student’s undergraduate degree requirements.*
  5. Courses which have been taken as part of any graduate program at UNC Charlotte or another institution for which the student has received a master’s or doctorate degree are not transferable into a certificate program or a second master’s degree program. The transferability of master’s degree or doctoral coursework into a doctoral program varies by program. See program specific policies in this Catalog.
  6. Any course considered for transfer credit which was completed at another university must have been passed with a grade of B or above, as defined by UNC Charlotte (a 3.0 or above on a 4.0 grade point scale).  Coursework that has been graded on a Pass/No Credit or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis will not be accepted for transfer. It should be noted that, although the credit for a course may transfer, the grade will not be used in the calculation of the cumulative graduate-level GPA at UNC Charlotte. Typically, grades of C earned in coursework completed at UNC Charlotte are not permitted to transfer between programs; however, with program support, grades of C earned in courses may be considered.  Programs may request an exception when a student has an equal number of A grades to offset the C grades, maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA.  Under no circumstances will a grade of C earned in coursework at another institution be accepted for transfer credit.
  7. With program and Graduate School approval, up to 6 credit hours of Thesis credit may transfer into a Doctoral program. Thesis credit may not apply towards core coursework or dissertation research.
  8. No more than 6 credit hours completed as a post-baccalaureate student may be considered for transfer into a degree or certificate program.
  9. Courses accepted for transfer are subject to the same time limitation as courses taken in residence.
  10. To be considered for transfer credit, the courses must have been undertaken at a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body.
  11. Courses taken at an accredited institution using the quarter system may be transferred but the quarter hours will be converted to semester hour credit.
  12.  Courses in which credit is accepted must be appropriate for approved University programs and curricula in which the student is enrolled.
  13. Transfer credit is not awarded for non-degree seeking graduate students (i.e., post baccalaureate students).
  14. Students may transfer the credits earned in a graduate certificate program toward a single degree that they pursue either in conjunction with the graduate certificate or after the certificate has been awarded. However, students may not transfer credits earned in one certificate program toward the satisfaction of requirements in a second certificate program.

*Note: This does not affect graduate courses taken while a student is enrolled in Early Entry status at UNC Charlotte.  Such courses appear in the Graduate section of the official transcript, and do not need to be transferred into the graduate program.

Credit by Examination

A student currently enrolled in a certificate or degree program at UNC Charlotte may pass a specially prepared challenge examination and receive credit for a University course without having to do the required coursework. The student contacts the program in which credit is sought to request administration of an examination. Since it may not be appropriate to award credit by examination for some courses, the decision to offer an examination is that of the program. If the graduate program authorizes an examination, the student is instructed to pay the fee for credit by examination and to bring the receipt of payment to the examination. Credit by examination will be indicated on the transcript, but no grade points will be awarded.  The grade will appear as a Pass or Unsatisfactory grade.  Failure on such an examination will incur no grade-point penalty. No student may challenge a course for which either a passing or failing grade has been received at UNC Charlotte.

Change of Degree Program

To change from one degree program to another, a graduate student must complete the application for admission to the new program, pay the requisite application fee, submit a Statement of Purpose, and provide supporting documentation as specified in this Catalog in a timely manner and be recommended by the Graduate Program Director for admission to the new program of study, with the Graduate School rendering the final decision. The student should also provide the Graduate School with a letter indicating withdrawal from the initial degree program.

Note: Students on F-1 or J-1 visa status who change from one degree program to another may be required to submit proof of sufficient financial resources, especially if the change to another degree program requires the issuance of a new Form I-20 or DS-2019.

Application for the Degree and/or Graduate Certificate

All graduate students, including certificate students, must submit the Online Graduation Application no later than the published deadline in the term of graduation.  The Online Graduation Application can be found at under “Student Records”.  Degrees and certificates are conferred at commencement exercises held at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters; however, the diploma, graduate certificate, and/or transcript will reflect the term in which all requirements were completed.  Master’s diplomas and graduate certificates are mailed directly to the student after graduation clearance has been completed.

Students completing their degree and/or certificate requirements in May participate in the May commencement ceremony.  Students completing degrees and/or certificates in a summer term, as well as those completing in December, participate in the December commencement ceremony.

Degree Audits

DegreeWorks (available via contains the definitive degree audit for each graduate student, based on the approved curriculum for the program.  Students are encouraged to review their individual audit each semester to ensure they are making satisfactory progress towards graduation.  In the term of graduation, each candidate’s DegreeWorks audit will be reviewed for accuracy by the graduate program and the Graduate School.  All program requirements specified in DegreeWorks must be met before the degree or certificate will be awarded.  If an audit does not appear accurate, a student should consult with the director of their graduate program to determine if an academic petition is necessary.

Earning a Second Degree

A student is permitted to earn a second graduate degree subject to the following conditions:

  1. no work applied to a previously awarded degree may be applied to the new degree program
  2. the student must be admitted to a degree program different from that of their previous graduate degree(s)
  3. the student must successfully meet all requirements for the new degree

Dual Master’s Degrees

In certain instances, it may be possible for a student to obtain dual degrees in two master’s programs through the development of an integrated curriculum.  A dual master’s degree requires a special arrangement and should be viewed as atypical to standard practice. No degree program is obligated to enter into such an arrangement.

Although other restrictions may apply, basic admission and degree requirements are specified below:

The student must apply to each program separately and be admitted to both by the start of the third semester.  No admission requirements established by the Graduate School or by either individual program may be waived. For example, if one degree requires acceptable scores for the GRE and the other the MAT, the applicant must take each standardized exam to be considered for admission to both degrees.

  1. Once admitted, the student must develop a suitable plan of study that is acceptable to both programs and to the Graduate School. This plan of study must be done within the first semester of a student’s matriculation in the Graduate School and in conjunction with Graduate Program Directors. The plan of study must be forwarded to the Graduate School for review and approval.
  2. In cases where one program offers a concentration, the dual degree will replace the concentration and no concentration will appear on the student’s transcript.
  3. The student’s advisory committee must have representation from both degree programs. If there is no advisory committee, the student must have two advisors; one from each program.
  4. The number of required credit hours for both degrees must not be less than 75% of the total minimum hours required to complete each degree separately. For instance, if degree program X requires 30 credit hours and Y 30 credit hours, a proposed dual degree should at a minimum require 45 credit hours.
  5. The director of each degree program must agree on which courses may be applied to both sets of graduation requirements.
  6. The student must complete the capstone requirements for both programs. For example, if program X requires a written thesis and program Y requires a comprehensive exam, the student must meet both degree obligations.
  7. If there is a compulsory qualifying exam in each curriculum, it may be possible for the student to take a single exam as long as the examination committee agrees that the assessment covers sufficient background information for each discipline. If only one program requires a qualifying exam, the student is obligated to take the exam.
  8. If the student withdraws or is suspended from one of the participating programs, the dual degree arrangement is automatically nullified.
  9. All standard policies relating to transfer of and minimum GPA required to graduate, apply to any dual degree arrangement.
  10. All of the coursework in the combined program of study must be completed before the student can apply for either of the degrees.
  11. No dual degrees will be awarded retroactively.

Termination of Enrollment

Once a student has registered for classes and it becomes necessary to terminate the registration, there are two possible courses of action: (1) cancellation of enrollment, or (2) withdrawal from classes and/or from the University.  The method of registration termination depends upon the circumstances in each individual case.

Cancellation of Enrollment

A Cancellation of Enrollment will be processed for any student who has not paid their tuition and fees or made arrangements by the due date listed on the academic calendar at  A Cancellation Notice will be emailed to the student’s UNC Charlotte email address.  Other circumstances that may also result in a cancellation include, but are not limited to: being academically ineligible to continue in school; failure to pay tuition and fees; documented emergency; military deployment; and student conduct sanctions.

The Dean of Students Office may authorize a Cancellation of Enrollment through the University’s Office of the Registrar within the add/drop period for documented medical or personal crises or for reasons related to military deployment or required military training.

Dropping all courses prior to the last day of the add/drop period is the process by which a student cancels enrollment for the term. A student who wishes to cancel enrollment must do so via My UNC Charlotte at  In cases where a new graduate student fails to enroll in the first term following admission to a graduate program, the Graduate School will withdraw the student’s admission.


Students are allowed opportunities to withdraw themselves from classes and receive a grade of W. The deadline to withdraw from one or more courses (including withdrawal from all courses) is at the 60% completion point of the term.  The precise date for each term will be published in the Academic Calendar at  After this deadline, late withdrawal will only be allowed for approved extenuating circumstances.  A grade of W will be recorded for each withdrawal without extenuating circumstances.  Courses marked W do not count in GPA calculations, but do count in attempted hour calculations for all graduate students.

International students on F-1 or J-1 visa status must carry a full course load each academic semester.  (Some exceptions apply.  See the International Student and Scholar Office for further information.)  Students who withdraw from UNC Charlotte are advised to consult the International Student and Scholar Office for information on maintaining valid F-1 or J-1 status, or reinstatement to valid F-1 or J-1 status.

Note: In situations where a student withdraws from all courses, the student must terminate all financial obligations with the University such as financial aid, housing, assistantships, etc., by completing necessary paperwork in each office.

Withdrawals (for Extenuating Circumstances)

Students who experience a current term personal or medical crisis or military deployment may request a withdrawal with extenuating circumstances through the Dean of Students Office.  In very rare circumstances, students who wish to request a withdrawal with extenuating circumstances for past terms must submit an academic petition to the Graduate School.  If a student’s request for a withdrawal with extenuating circumstances is approved, the student will be removed from registered classes with a transcript notation of “WE” and a withdrawal tag will be placed on the student’s registration.  If a student’s request for a withdrawal with extenuating circumstances is denied, graduate students may appeal that decision to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Termination by the University

The University maintains the right to terminate a student’s enrollment in a course for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: course schedule changes, course cancellation due to low enrollment, or the student’s nonfulfillment of course prerequisites.  The University maintains the right to terminate a student’s enrollment in all courses in a term for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: academic suspension, suspension for violation of the Code of Student Responsibility, or suspension in violation of the Code of Student Academic Integrity.  Students who have been suspended for academic or disciplinary reasons must either appeal or reapply for admission as described in the Readmission of Former Students policy.  See Academic Standing/Appeal Procedure .