The Graduate College
Overview

Overview

Providing excellence in graduate education

Frequently Asked Questions

I have been admitted to an NEIU graduate program. Now what?

I am an International Student. What should I do?

I have met with my advisor and I'm registered in classes. What else do I need to know?

I'm in a program that isn't the right one for me. What are my options?

I can't finish my program in six years. What should I do?

I am finishing my graduate program. What should I be doing?

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 I Have Been Admitted to an NEIU Graduate Program. Now What?

 What should I do if I can't start school right now?
Deferred Admission

A student who is admitted to a program but does not wish to enroll in the semester that admission was given may request to defer enrollment. Generally, students are allowed to defer enrollment for one academic year. If the student fails to enroll within one academic year, their files are inactivated and the student will be required to request, in writing, for reinstatement whenever they plan to return. However, if there has been a change in admission requirements to the program, the student will be required to comply with the new program requirements.

 How do I register for classes?
The Registration Process

Continuing and newly admitted students are eligible to register for classes according to the published deadline in the class schedule. Registration information is mailed from the office of admissions and records each semester.

Confirmation

To guarantee the registration of classes, all students must confirm their registration with the cashier's office by the initial payment due date whether or not a bill is received. Failure to confirm by the due date will result in cancellation of registration. All students must confirm their registration with the Bursar's Office including students with financial aid, scholarships or students with a credit or zero account balance. Refer to the schedule of classes for more information.

Enrollment Status

Students enrolled for fewer than nine hours of graduate credits per semester are considered part-time students.

Students enrolled for nine or more hours of graduate credits are considered full-time students, except in the calculation of tuition, for which twelve or more credit hours is considered full-time.

Check the current Schedule of Classes for advance and on-campus registration and enrollment procedures, drop/add periods, tuition and fees, confirmation deadlines, and other University charges and services.

 Is there any financial support for graduate education at NEIU?
Graduate Merit Tuition Awards

The College of Graduate Studies and Research gives a limited number of merit tuition awards to qualified students in good academic standing upon the recommendation of Graduate Advisor(s)/Coordinator(s) of their program of study. Students must apply to the College of Graduate Studies and Research for consideration of a part-time or a full-time award each semester. A Selective Service form must be completed and signed by each male student accepting an award once each calendar year. To apply, fill out an online application at  http://www.neiu.edu/graduate-college/financial-aid/merit-tuition-award-application.html

Graduate Assistantships

  • Students interested in an appointment as a tutor or teaching/research assistant or other appropriate assignment should consult with their department for eligibility
  • Graduate Assistants have varied duties that may include assisting departments in various ways or assisting faculty with research
  • The length of Assistantship awards may vary based on department and program needs
  • Students may only begin an Assistantship if they have been admitted to the College of Graduate Studies and Research and continue an Assistantship if they are in a good academic standing
  • Assistantship compensation may be applied during a Fall or Spring term
  • Earned compensation must be used during the academic term of the assistantship appointment and cannot be deferred to a later academic term
  • To apply, fill out an online application at  http://www.neiu.edu/graduate-college/financial-aid/graduate-assistantship-application.html 

    Graduate Assistantship Compensation:
  • 20 hours of work per week = $550 stipend per month PLUS tuition and fees waiver for 3 courses (9 credit hours) per semester
  • 15 hours of work per week = $412.50 stipend per month PLUS tuition and fees waiver for 2 courses (6 credit hours) per semester
  • 10 hours of work per week = $275 stipend per month PLUS tuition and fees waiver for 1 course (3 credit hours) per semester

 Graduate Advisor/Program Coordinator

Each program has a Graduate Advisor/Coordinator who serves as an important link with the College of Graduate Studies and Research. A Graduate Advisor/Coordinator evaluates and processes applications for admission to a program in the College of Graduate Studies and Research and for graduation from the College, advises on programs of study, informs students of departmental regulations and procedures, monitors students' academic progress, provides guidance for students regarding the College of Graduate Studies and Research policies and procedures, and recommends students for merit tuition awards.

An advisor also encourages students to participate in departmental activities, to engage in and complete research projects in a timely manner, and to participate in professional meetings related to his/her area of study. Students are encouraged to participate in non-classroom academic and professional activities which enrich the graduate school experience. From entry to graduation the Graduate Advisor/Coordinator serves as a mentor who assists the matriculating student. Students are urged to keep in contact with their advisors on a regular basis.

 University Services--You need this information to be successful at NEIU
Student Computing Services

Student Computing Services provides service to students to support instruction and research. Computer terminals are available for student use in the Library (4th floor, ext. 4639), Bernard Brommel Hall (Room BBH 208, ext. 4641) and Lech Walesa Hall (Room LWH 2109, ext. 4643).

Child Care

Northeastern's Child Care Center is located on campus just north of the Foster Avenue entrance and provides for the care of children aged fifteen months through kindergarten. It operates Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Half and full-day sessions are available. The Center is licensed by the State of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Contact the Center at ext. 4540.

Counseling

The Counseling Office provides counseling services and counseling related programs to any student of theUniversity. Services include career counseling, personal counseling, addictions counseling, conflict resolution, and crisis and emergency intervention during regular office hours. All services are free of charge and confidential, as required by state law and professional ethics. The Counseling Office is located in Room D 024, ext. 4650.

Accessibility Center

The Accessibility Center provides various types of academic assistance based on diagnosed needs to students with documented physical and/or learning disabilities. Contact the Accessibility Center in Room D 104 or at ext. 4595 for information about the services provided.

Library

The resources of the Ronald Williams Library, ext. 4400, are available to help Northeastern students cultivate their intellectual capabilities and research skills. Special features include numerous study areas, facilities for the disabled, private study areas for faculty and graduate students, and a classroom for library instruction. For a full list of library resources, please see Appendix E.

Office of Career Services

Some students seek to complete a graduate degree in order to change career fields. The Office of Career Services assists students in exploring and developing career choices and to prepare for the job search. The Office of Career Services offers assistance with resume preparation as well as a computerized Resume Expert system. Other services include employer outreach and contacts, individual job search counseling and a career resources library. Contact the Office of Career Services in Room B 119 or call ext. 4680 for information about the services provided.

Veteran's Services

Veteran's Services assists with benefits and educational planning while also offering workshops and programs to meet the special needs of the veteran. The office is located in Room D 108. Call ext. 4028 for information about the services provided.

 

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 I am an International Student. What should I do?

The Office of International Programs

Northeastern Illinois University values the role played by the international students who contribute to the diversity of the Northeastern community and enrich the educational dialogues in the classrooms. Making international students feel at home is the ultimate goal of the Office of International Programs. The staff of the Office of International Programs strives to service international students in the following ways:

  1. To make the pre-admission application process clear and expedient
  2. To conduct orientation sessions to facilitate a smooth transition to life at Northeastern and in the Chicago area
  3. To provide advisement on immigration regulations and health insurance

The Office of International Programs provides advising service to international students and handles their visa and status-related matters. The office is located in Room LWH 00045. The office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Contact the office at (773) 442-4796, fax (773) 442-6020, or e-mail Ryan Miller at R-Miller12@neiu.edu.

Maintaining Lawful Student Visa (F-1) Status

Being an international student in the U.S., it is very important for you to maintain your status. Maintaining your status means that you must observe the following laws and regulations governing your non-immigrant F-1 student status.


As an international student in the U.S., it is very important for you to maintain your status. Maintaining your status means that you must observe the following laws and regulations governing your non-immigrant F-1 student visa:

  • Maintain a valid passport at all times.
  • Attend the university/college you are authorized to attend.
  • Maintain full time enrollment (nine credit hours or more for graduate students).
  • Limit on-campus employment to twenty hours a week during the academic year. (Full-time on-campus employment is permitted during vacation periods, such as summer, as long as you are enrolled full-time the term before and intend to be full-time the following term).
  • Never work off-campus without INS authorization. Limit off-campus employment with authorization (through economic hardship or practical training) to twenty hours per week while school is in session.
  • Apply for program extensions at least one month before the completion date on the form I-20.
    Follow INS procedure for changing from one program or educational level to another (e.g., from B.A. degree to M.A. degree).
  • Report changes of address within ten days of such a change by completing and mailing a form AR-11 to the INS.

From January 1, 2003, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) launched by the INS became effective. Northeastern Illinois University is a SEVIS service approved school. In compliance with SEVIS regulations, all international students MUST report to the office of International Programs any of the following events within ten days of their occurrence:

  • Change of address, major field of study, or financial situation
  • Termination of studies: withdrawal date and reason.
  • Transfer to another school: term of transfer and school transferred to.
  • On-campus or off-campus employment: employer's name and address, job description, hours per week, start date and end date.

If you drop below full-time enrollment, you must confer with an international student advisor BEFORE you drop. If you plan to travel outside the U.S., you must get your I-20 signed by an international students advisor at least two weeks in advance.

Working in the United States

Off-campus employment through Optional Practical Training or Economic Hardship requires INS employment authorization ninety days in advance. Curricular Practical Training also requires authorization in advance. If you fail to get authorization in a timely manner, you will be in violation of your status. Come to the office of International Programs to find out the eligibilities and procedures for applying for Practical Training and Economic Hardship.

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 I have met with my advisor and I'm registered in classes. What else do I need to know?

Staying in Graduate School: The Minimum Standards of Performance
Unsatisfactory Performance

The following will constitute unsatisfactory performance in any academic term:

  • a GPA of less than 3.0 in any term;
  • receipt of a failing grade of "F" in any course

All graduate credits within the scope of the specific master's program, not only those actually applied, must average at least B (3.0). No more than six hours of C credit is acceptable. Grades below C bear no credit toward the degree. Upon receiving a third grade of C, the student must petition the dean of  the College of Graduate Studies and Research, in writing, providing full rationale for permission to continue in the program. A petition must be filed within sixty days from the time the status was affected. The petition will be reviewed by the dean and the graduate advisor and the student will be informed of the decision within thirty days after the petition is received. The student will become ineligible for the degree and will be dropped from the program upon receiving grades below "B" in four courses (three for the Exercise Science Program).

Satisfactory Progress

To remain in good standing in a degree program in the College of Graduate Studies and Research, the student must make continuing satisfactory progress. Lack of progress in four consecutive semesters will normally result in the student being dropped from the program.

Transferring Courses

Courses taken as a student-at-large with a degree at Northeastern Illinois University by students denied admission into a graduate program will not be accepted in a master's program. A student-at-large may be permitted to transfer up to a maximum of nine graduate credits upon admission to a master's program. Such work must correspond to specific program requirements and satisfy all scholastic requirements of  the College of Graduate Studies and Research. In addition, a maximum of nine graduate hours of transfer credit from other colleges/universities may be accepted (see procedure below). Workshops, institutes, practical internships or similar courses are generally not eligible for transfer credits. The criteria for acceptance are:

  • The work must have been completed at an accredited institution which offers an advanced degree in the academic area.
  • The course must carry graduate degree credit at the institution offering it and be applicable to that institution's comparable graduate degree program.
  • It must be relatively recent.
  • The grade must be at least B.
  • The course must be applicable to the degree sequence at NEIU.
  • The course must meet the academic rigor and standards expected of a graduate course.
  • The course must not have been used in a previous degree.
  • In the case of graduate credit taken at colleges/universities outside of the United States, recommendation of the appropriate department and approval of the Graduate Dean are required. Documentation of work abroad will be necessary, and consultation with an outside agency may be required.
  • A maximum of six credit hours taken at Northeastern Illinois University, prior to the granting of the bachelor's degree, may be considered for acceptance in a masters program if these credits have not been applied to the baccalaureate degree, are applicable to the student's masters degree program, and were completed no more than twelve months prior to the date of baccalaureate graduation.

The Office of Admissions and Records must be advised, in writing, of a student's intention to petition to apply those courses to a master's program. The above applies only to Northeastern Illinois University graduates. Please refer to the Policy on Exemption of Courses from an Undergraduate Degree at Northeastern Illinois University in the section titled, "Information on University Policies."

The procedures for requesting transfer credit are as follows:
  • The student must first be admitted to a degree program.
  • The student must submit the transfer of credits/ waiver form to Graduate Admissions and Records, D-101D identifying the course for which transfer credit is requested.
  • The course in question must be identified by title, number, college/university. A catalog description must be provided along with verification of the course's applicability to a comparable graduate degree at the institution where it was taken.
  • This verification may be a letter from the institution stating that the course is applicable to their degree program.
    The course in the master's degree program for which substitution is requested must be identified; i.e. NEIU's specific required or elective course.
  • An official transcript of the work must either be on file or sent to Graduate Admissions and Records. The transcript may accompany the petition provided it is in a sealed, unopened envelope.
  • The six-year time limit for completion of the degree program applies to all coursework applicable to the program including transfer credit. Time extensions are not granted for transfer credit.
I don't think my course grade was fair. What can I do?

All students have a legitimate right to seek redress when they consider their final grade in a course to be unreasonable, unjust, or capricious. A grade appeal procedure is in place, and must be initiated during the term immediately following receipt of the grade in question. In cases involving special and unusual circumstances, this time period may be reasonably extended. For more information concerning the grade appeal procedure, contact the College of Graduate Studies and Research Office or the Dean of Students Office.

Doing a Thesis

The Course Schedule Maintenance for Thesis Seminar form may be obtained from the Graduate Enrollment Services. Completed forms must be submitted to the Graduate Enrollment Services - Records Office at least two weeks prior to registration. Completion of all Admission conditions is a prerequisite for registration for the Thesis Seminar.

The Manual of Thesis Procedures is available without charge on this website under Academics > Current Student Resources. Students who write a thesis or do a project as part of their graduate degree requirements are expected to be familiar with, and to follow, the guidelines as indicated in the Thesis Manual.

Student Conduct

Graduate students are expected to comply with the rules, regulations and policies of the University and the College of Graduate Studies and Research, and to exhibit the highest standard of academic integrity. Any student formally charged with committing an act of misconduct or falsification of information provided to the University will be subject to disciplinary procedures as outlined in the University Student Conduct Code.

Academic misconduct consists of acts of dishonesty in fulfilling academic requirements relating to course instruction at the University, such as but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism. Non-academic misconduct are acts not in the academic context described above but as described in the University Student Conduct Code.

A student who is formally charged with an act of misconduct is entitled to the right of due process as described in the University Student Conduct Code. A copy of this code may be obtained from the office of the Dean of Students or the College of Graduate Studies and Research. Students are expected to know and comply with the specifics of this code.

Can I be exempted from a course?
Waiver

Students applying for a waiver of specific course requirements through demonstration of competence or completion of a similar/same course at another institution may petition the College of Graduate Studies and Research. An Application for Transfer of Credit / Waiver of an Elective / Waiver of course must be submitted to Graduate Enrollment Services, D-101D. This Application is available on this website under Academics > Current Student Resources. If a waiver is approved for a graduate course, the student must complete an equal number of alternate approved graduate degree credits.

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I'm in a program that isn't the right one for me. What are my options?

A student who wants to change from a current degree program to another degree program should proceed as follows:
Examine the requirements of the new program and submit all additional documents in support of the program change which may not have been required for admission to the student's original program.

Submit a Request for Change of Study Program form, along with all required documentation, to Graduate Enrollment Services, D-101D. The form is available on the website under Academics > Current Student Resources. This will initiate a reevaluation process for admission into a new program. Normally, only one program change is approved.

The request for program change will be evaluated by the new department/program, which may or may not accept any work completed in the previous program, within limits defined by the College of Graduate Studies and Research for transfer credit.

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I can't finish my program in six years. What should I do?

College of Graduate Studies and Research policy states that all credits applicable to the degree must have been completed within a maximum of six years prior to the granting of the Master's degree. This includes transfer credits, submission of thesis, defense of thesis, submission of research projects, completion of practical or completion of internship and the course credits required for the degree. Extensions beyond this period are not routine, but may be granted only under special circumstances. The student must submit a Request for Extension of time to Complete Degree form, which is available at Graduate Enrollment Services, D-101D or form this website at Academics > Current Student Resources. An action plan to complete degree requirements, developed in consultation with the advisor, will facilitate the evaluation of the request. The student will be notified of the outcome of his or her request generally within three to four weeks of the receipt of the petition in the College of Graduate Studies and Research. However, time extensions are not granted for transfer credits from other institutions.

Enrollment Leave

A student in good academic standing may be given a leave of absence upon the student's request and subsequent approval by the dean. Such leaves are still counted within the six year time limitation for degree credits.

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I am finishing my graduate program. What should I be doing?

Applying for Graduation

A student must file Application for Graduation during the term in which s/he expects to graduate. Specific filing periods are as follows: for May graduation, file this application during the previous January; for August graduation, file in May; for December graduation, file in August. The filing periods are publicized in the Schedule of Classes in the section entitled "Graduate College Deadlines." Because a non-refundable and non-transferable graduation fee must accompany the application, students must have a reasonable expectation of completing all other degree requirements, such as thesis, departmental proficiency examination, removal of incomplete grade(s), etc. by the final day of class. Students will be permitted to file for graduation in the term in which they are taking their last course(s) at Northeastern Illinois University.

The Graduation Ceremony

Commencement ceremonies are held twice yearly for all Northeastern graduates, including master's degree recipients. The December ceremony includes graduates for the Summer and the Fall terms of that academic year. The May ceremony includes the Spring term graduates. The University Events Office sends information to eligible graduates during March and October for the May and the December ceremonies respectively.

How do I prove that I finished my program?
Certification of Status

If a graduate student has completed all academic requirements and is awaiting the formal awarding of a degree, the dean of  the College of Graduate Studies and Research, upon that student's submission of a Board Completion Letter Request form , will issue a letter certifying his or her status. Such letters are normally accepted by employers, boards of education for salary increment purposes and by other universities as certification that the degree has been earned. Board Completion Letter Request forms are available from Graduate Enrollment Services, D-101D, or on this website under Academics > Current Student Resources.

Applying for a Job: How Can NEIU Help?

Some students seek to complete a graduate degree in order to change career fields. The Office of Career Services assists students in exploring and developing career choices and to prepare for the job search. The Office of Career Services offers assistance with resume preparation as well as a computerized Resume Expert system. Other services include employer outreach and contacts, individual job search counseling and a career resources library. Contact the Office of Career Services in B 119 or call ext. 4680 for information about the services provided.

Degree Transcripts and Diplomas

All Northeastern Illinois University transcripts are issued by the office of Admissions and Records upon students' requests. One copy of the degree transcript is automatically mailed from the Admissions and Records Office to the student after graduation.

Enrollment Services will send written notification to each graduating student when diplomas are available. A student may elect to pick up his/her diploma at a specified time and place, or ask to have it mailed.

Being an NEIU Alumnus

The Alumni Association enhances the mutual relationship that exists between graduates and the University. All graduates of Northeastern become members of the Alumni Association. Active membership status is conferred on graduates who support the Annual Fund. Membership allows graduates to participate in many cultural, social and educational events and activities after leaving the University. Graduates are encouraged to maintain their ties with and to participate in the many activities sponsored by the University.

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