Admissions | Graduate | Rules and Regulations | NDU

Rules and Regulations


Students enrolled at Notre Dame University may take courses at other recognized institutions of higher education.

A student registered at NDU may be permitted to cross-register if:
  • He/She expects to graduate at the end of that particular semester and the said course is not offered at NDU but is a graduation requirement.
  • The course to be taken carries the same content as that offered at NDU.
  • The student's academic advisor sends a written statement to the NDU Admissions and Registrar's Offices who in turn contact their counterparts of the concerned university to confirm the above-mentioned conditions.

Students enrolled at other recognized institutions of higher education may take courses at Notre Dame University.

Students studying at other universities and who wish to take courses at NDU must secure the following to facilitate cross-registration:
  • Written permission by the academic advisor to take specified courses at NDU (if any of the above mentioned conditions apply to the incoming student)
  • The permission of the concerned Faculty at NDU.
  • The above documents are submitted to the NDU Admissions and Registrar's Offices by their counterparts.
  • Finalize registration according to cross-registration procedures at NDU.


Provided that they have satisfied the admission requirements, candidates that are interested in auditing graduate courses will be issued letters of acceptance as auditors.


To meet graduation requirements, students may take courses on a tutorial basis. Registration for a tutorial course can only happen after the consent of the concerned professor and the approval of the respective faculty.

Course / Program Changes

Any change from one graduate degree to another requires students to reapply and meet the admission requirements of the requested graduate program. Required courses may be substituted upon the recommendation of the student's graduate advisor and the approval of the respective Faculty. A maximum of 9 substitute credits will be considered.

Grades upon Change of Major

Upon the approval of change of major or area of concentration, all grades on courses taken by a student in his/her old major/area concentration that are not transferable for the new major must remain of his/her official transcripts; but must no longer be computed in his/her grade-point average in the new major. Thus these courses and their credits shall not be counted toward the total number of credits required for graduation for the new major.


Upon admission, students will be assigned an academic advisor who will guide and assist the student in planning a course of study. When applicable, a thesis advisor will be assigned. After consultation with the Faculty Dean, every faculty will set its own guidelines for thesis defense. Candidates are required to give a public presentation. Thereafter, the Thesis Committee will notify the Dean and schedule the final defense.

Courses and Grades

Courses taken as part of a student's graduate study program fall in one of two categories, graduate or prerequisite, with different grading systems.

Graduate Level Courses

These are normally numbered 600 and above. The minimum passing grade for a graduate course is B. Students in graduate study are required to maintain a cumulative average of at least B in all courses taken for graduate credit. According to the NDU Attendance Policy, a student who is absent without excuse from more than one third of the number of sessions in any one course, or who fails to sit for scheduled examinations, or fails to fulfill required written or oral work, will be given F. Results of tutorial courses, projects, or theses will be reported as Pass (P) or Fail (F).

Prerequisite Courses

These are usually undergraduate courses, taken to make up for any particular deficiencies. They do not carry graduate credit. The minimum passing grade for a prerequisite course is B; however, a department or program may set a higher minimum passing grade.

Probation and Dismissal

Graduate students may be placed on academic probation by the faculty graduate committee if they:
  • Fail any course taken for graduate credits,
  • Do not maintain a cumulative average of B.

Even though an adequate cumulative average is attained, the probation of graduate students may be removed only by action from the appropriate faculty graduate committee if:
  • Students have completed a minimum of 9 credits of graduate level courses within two consecutive semesters after being placed on probation, have passed all courses, and have obtained a cumulative average of B. If students fail to meet any of these conditions, they will be dismissed from the program.
  • The department or program in which students are studying recommends the removal of the probation.

The faculty graduate committee may discontinue a student from graduate study if:
  • The probation status is not removed within a period of two semesters,
  • In the opinion of the department or program, and irrespective of the grades obtained, the work of the student is deemed unsatisfactory,
  • The student fails the comprehensive examination twice, or fails the thesis defense twice.

Comprehensive Examination

Where applicable, a student must pass a comprehensive examination after completion of most of the course requirements for the degree. The concerned department will schedule the examination. The purpose of the examination is to ascertain the student’s knowledge of the field of specialization and related areas. A student who does not pass the comprehensive examination may repeat it only once after a time lapse of at least three months but only with the approval of the concerned graduate committee.


In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the master's degree, a student must submit a thesis, when applicable, based on results of original and independent research. Except in departments or programs in which the medium of instruction is not English, the thesis must be in English.

An abstract not exceeding 350 words must be submitted with the thesis. If the thesis is in a language other than English, the abstract must be written both in that language and in English.

The concerned Department must ensure the availability of a copy of the Thesis Manual, which provides instructions on the preparation of theses. Its application is mandatory and theses not conforming to its requirements will not be accepted. For all matters not discussed in the manual, theses must follow the form and style described in the latest edition of K. L. Turabian, Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations (University of Chicago Press), or any other form specified by the department or program provided this conforms to the manual.

Copies of the thesis, unbound but ready for binding, should be submitted to the members of the thesis committee at least two weeks before the defense. Copies may be obtained by any legible and durable form of reproduction. Additional copies may be required, as specified by the concerned department or program.

Thesis Committee

The master's thesis committee should be composed of at least three members recommended by the department or program and approved by the faculty graduate committee. The proposal of the thesis topic and the selection of the advisor and the members of the thesis committee for candidates for the master's degree should have been approved by the faculty or school graduate committee at least four months before the student defends the thesis. It is advisable that the thesis committee includes one external member. This member may be from an institution other than NDU. All committee members should hold professorial ranks. The thesis committee approves the thesis topic and research program and conducts the thesis defense examination.

Thesis Defense

The thesis defense maybe open to the public and must be carried out no later than June 10, October 30, or March 1, for students who wish to graduate at the end of the summer session, the fall, or the spring semester respectively.

Pass or Fail is reported for the combined thesis and thesis defense. If fail is reported, the student may resubmit the thesis and defend it after a period of at least three months. Failure on the second attempt results in discontinuation from graduate work.

Students must be registered for the thesis or at least one course in the session in which they expect to graduate in order to present their defense.

Deposit of the Thesis in the University Institutional Repository (IR)

After passing the thesis defense examination, the student is required to deposit an electronic copy of the final approved thesis, including a scanned copy of the signature page, in the University Institutional Repository (IR). After the Library verifies deposit of the thesis in the IR they will inform the Office of the Registrar so that the student will be awarded the degree. When submitting the thesis to the IR the student must sign a release form, indicating whether or not the University Library is authorized to supply copies of the thesis to other libraries or individuals. The non-authorization option is valid for a period of two years only, after which copies of the thesis will be supplied on request.


For Graduation in Fall Spring Summer
Deadline for approval of thesis topic and committee June 20 Oct. 20 Feb. 1
Deadline for thesis defense Oct. 30 March 1 June 10
Deadline for deposit of thesis in the IR
Jan. 15
June 15
July 31
The Libraries, in collaboration with the Registrar’s Office and the OIT, also implemented an electronic thesis hold for all graduate students pursuing the thesis option which is cleared once the thesis is deposited and checked by library staff to make sure that all required elements are present (signature page, correct formatting according to the guidelines approved by the COD, correct pagination, summary of thesis is provided). If there are any issues with the thesis the library staff follow up with the concerned student to rectify the problems so the thesis deposited in the IR can be approved and the thesis hold lifted.


Course Requirements

Two types of Master degree programs are available:

A thesis based on independent research work. Students following this program are required to take a minimum of 24 graduate credit hours; a maximum of 9 credits may be in tutorial courses.

A non-thesis program where students are required to take a minimum of 33 graduate credit hours and should follow a course of study approved by the department or program and by the graduate committee of the faculty.

Language Requirements

Aside from English proficiency requirements, there are no special university language requirements for the master's degree. However, individual departments and programs may set their own language requirements either as a general rule or in specific cases. The faculty graduate committee will determine examination procedures.

Residence Requirements

To meet the minimum residency requirements for the master's degree, students must register and be in residence, as graduate students, for at least two semesters, one semester and two summers, or four summers.

All requirements for the master's degree must be completed within a period of four years after admission to graduate study. Students attending summer sessions only must complete all requirements within a period of six summers after admission to graduate study. Extension beyond the maximum period of study requires the approval of the graduate committee of the faculty.

Grading System

The University uses the following grading system for the graduate programs:

Grade Description Quality Points/Credits Interval
A+ Outstanding 4.0 100-97
A Excellent 4.0 96-93
A- Skillful 3.7 92-89
B+ Very Good 3.3 88-85
B Good 3.0 84-81
B- Reasonably Good 2.7 80-77
C+ Satisfactory 2.3 76-73
C Passing, but not satisfactory 2.0 72-70
F Failure 0.0 69-0
UW Unofficial Withdrawal 0.0  
W Official Withdrawal    
I Incomplete    
P Passing    
R Repeat    
PR Progress, re-enroll    
UP Unsatisfactory Progress    
U Audit    
I Progress, re-enroll    
I: This grade is given by an instructor only when there is reasonable expectation that a student will successfully complete course requirements. If this grade is unresolved by the eighth week of the following semester, the office of the Registrar will automatically convert it to the grade of F. Degree candidates should be aware that an I grade received during the last semester in any of the courses required for graduation will result in the delay of graduation.

PR: This grade is used to indicate progress on research for the Master's thesis or project up to time of completion, when the appropriate letter grade is entered on the transcript.

UP: This grade is used to reflect that unsatisfactory progress is being made in a Master's research project or thesis.

W: The grade W indicates withdrawal without academic penalty. This grade is issued by the Registrar's office to students filling in an official course withdrawal form by the scheduled deadline. The grade W is not counted in the grade point average and may not be changed to any other grade under any circumstances.

UW: The UW is assigned by the instructor when a student has never attended a class or has ceased attending and has not submitted an official course withdrawal to the Office of the Registrar. This grade is counted as an F in the grade point average.

U: Students have the option of auditing courses instead of receiving credits and grades for them. A U will appear on the student's permanent record.

Attendance Policy

Classes are held from Monday to Friday. Graduate courses are offered in the afternoon as of 4:00 P.M.

Students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory sessions. Absence, whether excused or not, does not absolve a student from the responsibility for the work done or from conforming to any announcement made during his/her absence.

Instructors are responsible for clearly informing the students in writing of the attendance requirement for each course and the consequences of poor attendance. For legitimate reasons a student is allowed to be absent for a maximum of 6 hours per three-credit course.

Academic Advisor

Students are responsible for the proper completion of their academic programs. They must be familiar with the rules and regulations of Graduate Studies, as well as the general academic regulations promulgated by individual Faculties and departments. The offices of the deans and department chairpersons, in cooperation with student advisors and faculty members, endeavor to follow each student's academic progress, and students are encouraged to seek counsel whenever there is a need. If advisors are unable to satisfactorily resolve problems, they will refer students as is deemed appropriate and necessary.

Academic Honesty Policy

It is the expressed policy of the University that every aspect of graduate academic life, related in whatever fashion to the University, should be conducted in an absolutely and uncompromisingly honest manner by graduate students.

The University Disciplinary Committee will deal with apparent and alleged breaches of this policy.

Academic Standards

Continuation in the graduate programs requires satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree. Evidence of such progress includes maintaining a 3.0/4.0 cumulative average throughout the course of graduate study. Furthermore, in order to graduate, a student must have at least a 3.0/4.0 cumulative grade point average.

Failure to obtain a G.P.A. of 3.0/4.0 for the first twelve credit hours will result in notification of probationary status. Any student on probation must remove probation at the end of the following semester provided the student enrolls in at least 6 credits. Failure to meet either of these requirements will result in suspension from the University.

A graduate student will also be suspended if he/she obtains two Fs.

Withdrawal Policies

Leave of Absence

Graduate students may request a leave of absence from a program through written appeal to their advisors. The advisor will forward the request along with a recommendation to the Dean of the Faculty who will answer on behalf of the University. A student who does not register for courses for more than one calendar year must reapply for admission to the University and to the graduate degree program.

Withdrawal from courses

After the date of dropping and/or adding courses, students are allowed until the end of the twelfth week as of the beginning of a semester to withdraw from courses. W will be inscribed on their records. No withdrawal is allowed beyond this period.

Withdrawal must be made by the deadline set for dropping a course. Late withdrawal may be accepted only in case of illness or circumstances beyond control.

Application for Graduation

Students who expect to graduate must complete and submit the Application for Graduation to the Office of the Registrar.

Degrees earned during any semester or summer will be awarded only at the following commencement exercises. Commencement is held once a year.

Participation in commencement Exercises

The University requires June graduates to participate in the Commencement exercises. Summer and fall graduates may participate provided they notify the Registrar's Office of their intent by mid-June at the latest.

Summer Session

The University may offer the opportunity to pursue graduate studies during the summer. Although graduate-level courses are offered during the summer session, the University does not guarantee that any particular course will be offered. A student may register for a maximum of six credit hours in the summer.

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