Policies

General Graduate Policies

Student Responsibility to Keep Informed

It is the student's responsibility to keep informed of all rules, regulations, and procedures required for graduate studies. Graduate program regulations will not be waived or exceptions granted because students plead ignorance of the regulations or claim failure of the adviser to keep them informed.

Student Responsibility for University Communication

Please refer to the General University Policy regarding student responsibility for communication.

University Admission Standards

The university seeks to enroll students of the highest quality. In addition, the university encourages applications from a diverse population and values diversity in our graduate programs. Admissions recommendations are made by the academic programs on the basis of a wide variety of information submitted as part of the student's application package. Admissions committees consider factors such as students' academic qualifications, research and work experiences, professional goals and skills, match with program objectives and professional qualifications, the number of openings available in the program, and the resources available to support the student. An applicant's character, integrity and general fitness to practice a particular profession may also be considered in the admission process. Admission is limited and, in most programs, not all qualified students can be admitted. While UCF supports students obtaining multiple UCF degrees at different levels or in different programs, students who have received a degree in a UCF graduate program are not eligible for admission to the same program, even if it has tracks that have substantively different curricula.

In general, graduate admission to the university requires that students must have obtained (prior to the start of the term for which the student is admitted) the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or from a recognized foreign institution. Students without the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or a recognized foreign institution are not admitted to graduate degree programs, graduate certificate programs, or graduate nondegree status. All applicants for graduate admission must submit official transcripts for all academic work. In addition to the above, all admitted students must submit evidence to document their attainment of the following minimum requirements.

Minimum UCF Requirement

(1) This regulation applies to all students admitted to graduate programs.

(2) Each admitted student to a graduate degree program or to a postbaccalaureate professional program must meet the following minimum requirements:

(a) Earned a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or its equivalent from a foreign institution AND

(b) Earned a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) or better in all work attempted while registered as an undergraduate student working for a baccalaureate degree, OR

(c) Earned a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) or better in all work attempted while registered as an upper division student working for a baccalaureate degree. OR

(d) Earned a previous graduate degree or professional degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or its equivalent from a foreign institution in a field related to the discipline of the program to which the applicant is applying.

(3) Additionally, all applicants to doctoral programs must meet the following specific requirements:

(a) Each applicant to a doctoral degree program shall present scores that are acceptable for the program to which the student is applying on the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative, and writing), or an equivalent measure on the GMAT, whichever is deemed most appropriate to the program. Students, including international students, who already have a graduate degree obtained from a regionally accredited institution in the same or in a related area are not required to take the Graduate Record Examination or GMAT unless it is required by the program.

(b) In addition, doctoral applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, a resume or a curriculum vita, and a written essay.

(c) The submitted materials must be used in the context of a holistic credential review process.

(d) Each doctoral program may determine other requirements for admission, consistent with their mission and purpose. Any additional admissions requirements so imposed by doctoral programs must be published annually in the Graduate Catalog and on the website of the doctoral program; further, such requirements shall be reviewed and updated annually.

(e) These requirements shall not include preferences in the admissions process for applicants on the basis of any category protected by law.

(4) Additionally, all applicants to master’s programs must meet the following specific requirements:

(a) A score on standardized exams such as the GRE or GMAT is not required by the university for admission to a master’s degree program, although individual programs may still require the exams for admissions purposes.

(b) Each master’s program may determine other requirements for admission, consistent with their mission and purpose. Any additional admissions requirements so imposed by master’s programs must be published annually in the Graduate Catalog and on the website of the master’s program; further, such requirements shall be reviewed and updated annually.

(c) These requirements shall not include preferences in the admissions process for applicants on the basis of any category protected by law.

(d) For international students in master’s programs that do not require a GRE or GMAT, a course-by-course evaluation of the student’s official transcript must be submitted by a credential evaluation service recommended by UCF that shows a GPA equivalent from an earned degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

(5) In addition to the above requirements, international students must show proficiency in written and spoken English by

(a) proving they are from a country where English is the only official language; or

(b) establishing that a prior bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree was earned from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States; or

(c) establishing that a prior bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree was earned from a country where English is the only official language, or a university at which English is the only official language of instruction; or

(d) submitting a qualifying score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Qualifying scores are: a TOEFL computer-based score of 220; a TOEFL internet-based score of 80 (or equivalent score on the paper-based test); or an IELTS score of 6.5. Specific programs may establish higher scores for qualification, and such information must be included in the Graduate Catalog and program website information for that specific program.

    Students who are non-native speakers of English (and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution) must pass the SPEAK exam administered by the UCF Center for Multilingual Multicultural Studies before they will be permitted to teach as a Graduate Teaching Associate or Graduate Teaching Assistant.

(6) Exceptions to the above requirements:

(a) In any academic term, up to 20 percent of the graduate students may be admitted in a given degree program as exceptions to the minimum requirements for graduate admissions as defined in (2).

(b) Students who do not meet the admissions criteria and who wish to enroll in courses but not degree programs at the postbaccalaureate level may enroll under the classification of nondegree seeking students. Graduate programs wishing to admit these students to graduate degree programs after the students have satisfactorily completed up to nine hours of graduate course work may do so provided that the number so admitted is included as part of the 20 percent exception, as defined in paragraph 6(a) above.

(c) It is noted that due to federal regulations around international student visas 8 CFR 214.3(k), the College of Graduate Studies will only admit international graduate students in a degree program under the Graduate Status - Regular and must meet all relevant admission criteria under this status.

(7) Applicants may appeal an admissions decision by following the university admissions appeal procedure. Information regarding this procedure is available in the Admissions section in the Graduate Catalog.

Student Admissions Classifications

Students may be admitted into graduate status in the categories defined below. Classifications within a graduate status may be viewed in the Admissions section of the catalog.

Degree-seeking Students

A degree-seeking student is a student who has been formally admitted into a master's, specialist, or doctoral program.

Graduate Certificate Students

Students who have applied to and been accepted into a graduate certificate program are classified as graduate certificate students. Graduate certificate students who subsequently apply to and are accepted into a graduate degree program may, at the discretion of the program adviser, transfer the credit hours from one earned graduate certificate program into a graduate degree program.

Nondegree Students

Students are classified in nondegree status if they have not applied to and been accepted into a graduate degree or certificate program. Some students in this status are completing application requirements for a graduate program. Courses taken prior to acceptance to a degree program may be used to fulfill degree program requirements as transfer credits only with the approval of the program director. There are strict transfer credit limits – please see the transfer credit policy (link) and consult with the specific program director.

Program of Study

A Program of Study is a listing of course work agreed to by the student and the degree program specifying course degree requirements. A specific Program of Study, which may vary from student to student, must be formulated jointly by the student and the appropriate committee or adviser in the program area and approved by the college. A Program of Study form can be obtained from the graduate program director. This form should be prepared and signed by the adviser and student, then given to the graduate program director for review and filing in the student's permanent file. It must comply with the student's relevant catalog. 

Programs of Study for students seeking a master's or specialist degree should be on file with the College of Graduate Studies by the end of the student's second major term (based on full-time enrollment) and must be on file by the end of the term prior to the term of expected graduation. Programs of Study for students seeking a doctoral degree should be on file with the College of Graduate Studies by the end of the third major term of enrollment (based on full-time enrollment), and must be on file prior to the change to candidacy status.

All graduate programs of study must include independent learning as part of course and other assignments. This may be accomplished by research papers and reports, evidence of reflective learning in individual portfolios, creation of original works, and/or demonstration of integration of knowledge as part of course work in a capstone course and other requirements for the degree.

The student and his/her advisory committee may make changes in the program of study at any time with approval of the graduate program director. However, once established, the program of study cannot be altered solely due to poor academic performance of the student.

Course Category Definitions

(Please see specific policies under Master's degree and Doctoral degree program requirements for the proper use of hours that can be applied to degrees.)

In an effort to establish a balance among the essential components of graduate degrees, the 2008-2009 Policy Committee of the Graduate Council categorized the wide variety of graduate courses offered at UCF into the three essential components of graduate education: (1) formal course work; (2) research and independent scholarly work; and (3) disciplinary training. While many courses offer a combination of these elements of graduate education, most can be classified as predominantly addressing one of these components. The following definitions were established to help establish a common vocabulary for this categorization.

  • “Courses” – All enrollment hours with an official class number.
  • Core/Required courses – Courses that cover a certain body of knowledge that is central to a program of study. These courses must be taken to fulfill degree requirements, and may only be substituted by equivalent course work.
  • Elective courses – Courses that cover a certain body of knowledge that is important, but optional for a program of study.
Formal Course Work
  • Formal courses – Existing UCF courses that involve standard class instruction of a defined body of disciplinary knowledge. These courses involve interactions between a formal course instructor and the students that make up the class, and can be traditional, face-to-face courses, web courses, and media-enhanced courses. Such classes include both core/required courses as well as elective courses, seminar courses and independent study courses (XXX 6908), but are distinguished from the various categories of individualized research and scholarly courses.
  • Independent Study (XXX 6908) – A course of study created outside of the standard-format formal courses offered by the university. Independent Study must have a formally defined core of knowledge to be learned by the student(s). The core of knowledge to be learned by the student(s) must be specified in written form and approved by the student(s), the instructor, and the program coordinator prior to enrollment in Independent Study.
Research and Scholarly Work
  • Directed Research (XXX 6918, XXX 5917) – Graduate-level research/scholarly work. Research hours taken at the graduate level. These can include laboratory rotations in addition to standard research and scholarly endeavors directed toward completion of a project.
  • Doctoral Research (XXX 7919) – Doctoral-level research/scholarly work. Research hours at the doctoral level taken prior to passing candidacy. These can include laboratory rotations, preparation for candidacy exams, or standard research and scholarly endeavors directed toward completion of a project or a dissertation.
  • Doctoral Dissertation (XXX 7980) – Research or scholarly hours taken after advancement to candidacy and directed toward completion of a dissertation.
  • Thesis (XXX 6971, XXX 6973) – Research hours directed toward completion of a thesis.
  • Research Report (XXX 6909)

Satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) grades are used to reflect student progress in these research and scholarly work courses. Other grades may not be assigned in these courses. Should a student in a given term be given an incomplete (I), then this grade should be changed to an S or U upon completion of the work. Students who do not maintain satisfactory progress in their research, as determined by their thesis or dissertation advisory committee, may be placed on probation or dismissed should unsatisfactory progress continue.

Disciplinary Training
  • Internships (XXX 6946) – Courses that provide training experiences for students in their discipline. It is not a “formal course,” but may be a required element of some programs.
  • Practica and Clinical Practice (XXX 5944 or XXX 6946)

Graduate programs must select the grading scale for these disciplinary training courses to be either on an A–F or Satisfactory (S)/Unsatisfactory (U) scale, but not both in any one section.

Grade System

The university uses an alphabetic system to identify student grades and other actions regarding student progress or class attendance. This system, with a grade point equivalent per semester hour, is as follows:

Grades   Grade Points Per
Semester Hour of Credit
    A 4.00
    A- 3.75
    B+ 3.25
    B 3.00
    B- 2.75
    C+ 2.25
    C 2.00
    C- 1.75
    D+ 1.25
    D 1.00
    D- 0.75
    F 0.00
    NC No Credit*

* Available only in CHM 1032, CHM 2045C, CHS 1440, ENC 1101, ENC 1102, MAC 1105H, MAC 1105, MAC 1114, MAC 1140, MAC 2147, MAC 2233, MAC 2241, MAC 2253, MAC 2281, MAC 2281H, MAC 2311, MAC 2311H, and STA 2014C. In these classes NC replaces the use of D+, D and D-.

Other Actions

I Incomplete
N No grade reported by instructor
R* (followed by grade) Repeated course (Grade Forgiveness)
S Satisfactory (with credit)/Satisfactory Progress (Research, Thesis, or Dissertation)
T* (followed by grade) Subsequently repeated (no credit)
U Unsatisfactory (no credit)
W Withdrawn
WF Withdrawn Failing
WH Health Form Withdrawal
WM Medical Withdrawal
WP Withdrawn Passing
X Audit (no credit)

* "R" and "T" actions only apply to undergraduates.

The designation of "N" will be temporarily assigned by the Registrar's Office only in the case when a grade has not been submitted by the faculty by the "grades due" deadline. The designator will be replaced by the earned letter grade at the earliest opportunity in the semester that immediately follows. The "N" designator may not be assigned by faculty.

Grade changes other than medical withdrawals will be considered only during the semester immediately following the one in which the grade was assigned, except that grades assigned during the spring semester may be changed during either the following summer term or fall semester. A change in grade must be approved by the dean of the college or school. If an academic action such as dismissal or probation has been taken by the university before a grade change, the action will remain in effect regardless of the grade change. A grade will not be changed after a degree has been conferred.

Course_Requirements

Course Levels of Graduate Work

7000-Level Courses—courses for doctoral students. Master's and nondegree students may enroll in 7000-level courses with permission from the program.

6000-Level Courses—courses for graduate students. Nondegree students should check with the colleges about their ability to enroll in 6000-level courses. Students in accelerated undergraduate/graduate programs should check with their academic adviser before registering for 6000-level courses. Undergraduate registration in 6000-level courses is allowed only in special situations with prior approval by the college. Undergraduate students must be within nine hours of graduation, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and not register for more than a total of twelve hours in that term. See also the catalog section on Senior Scholars.

5000-Level Courses—courses for graduate students. Nondegree students and seniors may enroll in 5000-level courses with permission from the program.

Zero Credit Courses

Zero credit hour courses, by definition, have no impact on the overall program hours and should not be used to add fundamental discipline content. A zero credit hour course must not exceed the expected time commitment associated with one credit hour, that is, the amount of work "that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester ... or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time" (SACSCOC Credit Hours Policy Statement). A zero credit hour course can include laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work.

Split-Level Classes

Although generally discouraged, UCF allows departments to offer split-level undergraduate and/or graduate classes. In such cases, two courses approved for different levels of instruction (e.g., a 4000- and 5000-level course) are offered together in the same room, at the same time, and with the same instructor, but under two different course numbers. In limited cases, classes taught in split-level format may comprise undergraduate and graduate level courses. In general, split-level classes are restricted to situations where the enrollment in one of the courses would be insufficient to allow the course to be offered on a stand-alone basis. When such split-level classes are scheduled, the following conditions must be maintained:

  • Both the graduate and the undergraduate courses must have been approved previously through the established university process for approving courses so that there are two separate and complete syllabi for each course, and the syllabi clearly demonstrate more advanced subject matter and expectations for the graduate course than the undergraduate course. The graduate course documents submitted for approval must indicate that the course will be offered in a split-level format.
  • Graduate split-level classes must only be assigned to faculty members who meet the university-wide minimum qualifications for teaching graduate-level courses.
  • Courses may not be combined into a split-level class if the course numbers of the two courses are more than one level apart. For example, 4000- and 5000-level courses may be combined into a split-level class; 4000-level courses may not be combined with 6000-level courses.
  • Students may not take both the undergraduate and graduate levels of a split-level course for credit, except in the case of performance and seminar classes, which can be taken for credit multiple times. Graduate students must take the graduate level of a split-level course for it to count toward fulfilling graduate program requirements.
  • The graduate and undergraduate courses must have distinct requirements and performance expectations. Graduate students must have course requirements or assignments that require more in-depth analysis and understanding of the topics, provide broader coverage of the content area, demonstrate higher knowledge and skills, and/or show greater independence of thought and application of concepts than what is typically required of undergraduate students. The level and amount of learning by graduate students must be equivalent to what is typically expected in 5000-level or higher courses. The different requirements and expectations must be spelled out clearly in the course syllabi for the respective courses.
  • Documentation of split-level class offerings must be maintained in the dean's office of the academic college, in expectation of future audits. Copies of both syllabi must be provided to the Undergraduate and Graduate Deans for all classes offered in split-level format

Language Requirements

Foreign language requirements shall be at the option of the individual departments or appropriate units consistent with their college regulations.

Credit by Examination or Waiver

Students who believe they have mastered the content of a graduate-level course should present a portfolio to the graduate program director documenting the learning experience. If the committee, after examining the portfolio, believes the student has mastered the content presented in a graduate-level course, the student should be allowed to demonstrate that mastery through examination. Examination credit may be used to satisfy program course requirements, but not credit hour requirements.

Correspondence courses are not acceptable toward a graduate program of study; however, credit-bearing extension or continuing education courses may be accepted. The acceptance of courses from unaccredited agencies or institutions threatens the integrity and value of the graduate degrees awarded by UCF. Graduate-level course work demands the mastery of skills, theories, and concepts at a much higher level than undergraduate-level course work. Therefore, the university will not allow students to transfer course work from professional societies, independent agencies, employees, or companies unless they are ACE (American Council on Education) certified.

Full-time Enrollment Requirements

A full-time degree-seeking graduate student must take at least 9 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters. A half-time load is defined as enrolled in at least 4.5 credit hours in fall and spring terms. During the summer term, full-time is 6 credit hours and half-time is 3 credit hours. There are two exceptions to this policy:

  1. For master's students pursuing a thesis option, full-time enrollment is defined as 3 hours per semester [including summers, of only thesis hours (XXX 6971)], after completion of all course work and until successful completion and defense of thesis. Students enrolled in thesis hours simultaneously with coursework hours must be enrolled in a combined nine credit hours to be considered full time for the fall and spring semesters, or six credit hours to be enrolled full time in the summer semester. 
  2. For doctoral students who have passed the candidacy exam and are registered for doctoral dissertation (XXX 7980) hours only, full-time is 3 hours per semester, including summers, until successful completion and defense of dissertation.  

Special Considerations

One exception to this policy is for students pursuing the Clinical Psychology PhD program that requires a 12-month, full-time pre-doctoral internship (CLP 6949) in which registration for one hour per semester (for a total of three semesters) is also defined as full-time.

All international students on F or J visas must maintain full-time, degree-seeking status, regardless of financial support received from the university. F and J visa holders should contact the International Services Center (ISC) to ensure that their enrollment conforms to the full-time definition for their visa status. International students should not change their course schedule or drop classes without advisement from the International Services Center. All international students who enroll in less than 9 hours per term must submit to ISC a Reduced Course Load Form that explains the nature of the reduced hours and must obtain approval from ISC (see www.intl.ucf.edu for Reduced Course Load Form). This requirement also applies to international students who are enrolled in less than 9 hours per term in thesis or dissertation hours.

Students who receive financial support from outside UCF and who have loan obligations are responsible for enrolling in the number of credit hours that meet the full-time or half-time criteria specified by the funding source. Enrollment certification is provided by the Registrar's Office based upon the UCF definition of full-time graduate status.

Students who do not satisfy these full-time enrollment requirements may have to start repaying student loans and will not qualify for graduate assistantships, fellowships or tuition support. Students receiving financial aid should refer to the Program Eligibility Charts on the Office of Student Financial Assistance website (http://finaid.ucf.edu) under "Receiving Aid" to determine their specific enrollment requirements.

Students receiving veterans benefits should contact Veteran's Affairs (www.va.sdes.ucf.edu) for additional information about course loads.

Nondegree-seeking students must be enrolled in 12 credit hours or more to be considered in full-time status.

Dual Degree Shared Credit Policy

The following policies apply to course credits that are counted toward fulfilling the requirements in two degree programs (dual degree shared credit). These policies do not extend to certificate programs. Policies governing credits shared between two certificate programs or between degree programs and certificate programs can be found under either the Graduate Certificate Program Policies or the Master’s or the Doctoral Transfer Credit Policies. 

The following policies serve to supplement and extend the shared credit policies that can be found in the existing Master’s and Doctoral Transfer Credit Policies.

General Limit to Use of Credits for More Than One Degree

No credit hours may be counted for more than two degree programs.

Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Programs

  • Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s programs have a limit of 9 SCH shared credit for graduate degrees requiring up to 36 credit hours.  For graduate degrees requiring more than 36 credit hours, accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s programs have a limit of 12 SCH shared credit. Proposals for accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s programs must include a strong curricular rationale that can support the streamlining of credit requirements in the two degrees.
  • Shared credit is limited to formal course work, exclusive of independent study. Grades below a B- are not acceptable to fulfill Master’s degree requirements if taken while in undergraduate status.
  • Only outstanding students may enter accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s programs (explicit requirements may be specified by the graduate program). All students in these programs must have met the undergraduate general education requirements. Students must apply and be formally admitted to the master’s program following receipt of the bachelor’s degree.
  • Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s programs must be approved by the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee. Such programs must not unduly delay the completion of the bachelor’s degree nor limit the breadth of the student’s undergraduate experience.

Dual Degree Programs

Definition

 Dual degree programs lead to two different degree citations on the transcript and two separate diplomas. These may combine master's programs, doctoral programs, and professional degree programs. The purpose of a dual degree program is to allow students to undertake complementary programs of graduate study simultaneously through streamlined curricular arrangements that allow dual credit for a specified set of courses.

Approval

Dual degree programs must be approved by the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee; individualized dual degree programs for specific students are not allowed. Proposals for all dual degree programs must include a strong curricular rationale that can support the streamlining of credit requirements in the two degrees. Dual degree programs that include a new degree program as one of the component degrees must instead be approved by the Graduate Council Program Review Committee. 

Shared Credit Limit

A minimum of 50% of required credit hours must be unique to each degree and cannot be used for dual credit. Departments and programs may impose more stringent shared credit limits, but may not exceed the university limit. 

Student Admission

Students may be admitted directly to a dual degree program. Upon admission, the Graduate School will place an indicator on the student's record to activate the second program of the dual degree option prior to the completion of 18 SCH in the first program. No admissions requirements established by the Graduate School or by either individual program may be waived. For example, if one dual degree program requires acceptable scores for the GRE and the other does not require it, the applicant must take the standardized exam to be considered for admission to both degrees. International students must contact the International Services Center prior to applying to a dual degree program. Students that apply to the regular program without the dual degree option and later become interested in the dual degree option must contact the dual degree program director prior to completing 18 SCH in the regular program.

Academic Requirements

Formal proposals for dual degree programs must include -

  1. a clear rationale for specifying whether joint or distinct documents can satisfy the thesis/dissertation or capstone requirements for each of the component programs;
  2. a clear rationale for specifying whether joint or distinct examinations can satisfy the requirements for each of the component programs; and
  3. specifications concerning the composition of the advisory committee, with representation from both programs.

 All students must have two co-advisors, with one from each program.

 Should a student fail to make satisfactory academic progress and be placed on probation, the student should consult with both advisors about the future course of action.  Please refer to the section on Academic Progress and Performance for options for students who are dismissed as a result of unsatisfactory academic performance.  Please note that students dismissed from a dual degree program may only pursue retention and readmission options with one of the degree programs and may not be retained in or readmitted into the dual-degree program. 

Student Financial Support

Formal proposals for dual degree programs must include a clear structure for the financial arrangements for supported students.

Other Policies 
  •  All standard policies apply.
  • The graduate status GPA minimum must be met for both programs.
  • Students enrolled in dual degree programs must have both degrees conferred simultaneously. No dual degrees will be awarded retroactively.
  • Dual degree proposals must include statements concerning the handling of grievances, intellectual property issues, and the assigning of teaching “credit” and fees. 

Limited Nondegree Students Enrolling in Graduate Classes

All students who wish to enroll as limited nondegree students at the graduate level will be accepted as nondegree-seeking students at the graduate level. Students wishing to enroll should complete the online graduate application, pay the application fee, provide transcripts from previous institutions, and complete residency forms.

The UCF College of Graduate Studies will make available the nondegree graduate application form to those faculty who are meeting classes for the first time at an off-campus site or regional campus; those faculty should collect the appropriate information and forms. These materials should be returned directly to the UCF College of Graduate Studies, where they will be processed and students will be registered.

Students will be placed on hold for the following semester's registration, awaiting the transcript from a previous institution that verifies the bachelor's degree. 

Academic Progress and Performance 

Review of Academic Performance

The primary responsibility for monitoring academic performance standards rests with the degree or certificate program. However, the academic college and the UCF College of Graduate Studies will monitor a student's progress and may dismiss any student if performance standards or academic progress as specified by the program, college or university are not maintained. Satisfactory academic performance in a program includes maintaining at least a 3.0 graduate status GPA (defined below) in all graduate work taken since admission into the program. Satisfactory performance also involves maintaining the standards of academic progress and professional integrity expected in a particular discipline or program. Failure to maintain these standards may result in dismissal of the student from the program. 

Graduate Status GPA

A graduate status GPA will be calculated based on the graduate courses taken at UCF since admission into each degree or certificate program. The graduate status GPA is used to monitor the student's progress in the program. The university requires that students must maintain a graduate status GPA of at least 3.0 or higher in order to maintain regular graduate student status, receive financial assistance, and qualify for graduation. This GPA requirement cannot be waived.

In addition, a graduate status GPA will be calculated for nondegree students based on graduate courses taken at UCF while in nondegree status.

 Please note that the graduate status GPA does not carry forward from one program to another or from nondegree status into a degree or certificate program.  

Probationary Status, Dismissal and Readmission - Students in Nondegree Status

Nondegree students whose graduate status GPA or cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 will be immediately dismissed from the university. (A graduate student’s cumulative GPA is the GPA for all courses taken at UCF as a graduate student. The graduate status GPA is defined above.) Dismissed students are not allowed to enroll in courses unless they are readmitted either to a graduate program or as a nondegree student.

 Nondegree students whose graduate status GPA drops below 3.0 but remains above 2.0 will be automatically changed to academic probationary status by the College of Graduate Studies. Students will receive a notice of probation at the beginning of the probation period, and the notice of probation will be imprinted on the student's advising transcript. Students have up to nine credit hours of letter-graded course work (graded A-F) to attain a graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher, at which point they will be removed from probationary status. If the student has not attained a graduate status GPA of 3.0 by the end of the probationary nine credit hours, he/she will be dismissed from the university.

Students dismissed from nondegree status may seek admission from a graduate program at any time, but must wait one full year from the term of their dismissal to seek readmission to nondegree status. Dismissed students seeking readmission must submit a complete new application. A readmission decision will be made and the decision is final with no additional opportunity for appeal. If a dismissed student is readmitted, they will be admitted in a restricted status for 9 hours. If at the end of the 9 hours a 3.0 graduate status GPA and a 2.0 overall GPA is not achieved the student will be dismissed with no opportunity to return as a non-degree seeking student.

Probationary Status and Dismissal - Students in a Degree or Certificate Program

 Students whose graduate status GPA falls below 2.0 will be immediately dismissed from the university. Dismissed students are not allowed to enroll in courses unless they are readmitted either to a graduate program or as a nondegree student.

 Students whose graduate status GPA drops below 3.0 but remains above 2.0 will be automatically changed to academic probationary status by the College of Graduate Studies. Unsatisfactory performance may also be indicated by a "U" grade in graduate course work. Under such circumstances the program may elect to place the student on academic probation.

 Students will receive a notice of probation at the beginning of the probation period, and the notice of probation will be imprinted on the student's advising transcript. Students have up to nine credit hours of letter-graded course work (graded A-F) to attain a graduate status GPA of 3.0 or higher, at which point they will be removed from probationary status.  If the student has not attained a graduate status GPA of 3.0 at the end of the probationary nine credit hours, he/she will be dismissed from the graduate program unless an approved Conditional Retention Plan is in place as described below. Students who have not remedied the unsatisfactory "U" performance, as defined by the program, may also be dismissed from the program.

The graduate program will also be notified at the time of probation and given an opportunity during the 9-hour probationary period to formally prepare a "Conditional Retention Plan". The Conditional Retention Plan should show how the student can realistically regain his/her regular graduate status (GPA 3.0) within a reasonable time (usually one semester). It should also define the courses to be taken and the timing of the courses to regain his/her graduate status. In addition, the plan could include other conditions as necessary for the continued enrollment of the student in the program such as retaking courses requiring better performance, taking remedial course work in specified areas, or completing special projects to better prepare the student for success in the program. The plan is developed by the graduate program director so that ideally the student and the faculty will know exactly what conditions are required for the continued enrollment of the student. Failure to meet the conditions will result in dismissal without any further appeal of retention. An approved Conditional Retention Plan will usually include an extension of the probationary period, if needed, thus allowing the student to continue without interruption in his/her program even should the student fail to succeed in his/her initial probationary period. The plans are signed by the student and the graduate program director and submitted to the College of Graduate Studies for review and approval. The primary responsibility for monitoring the progress of the student in meeting the Conditional Retention Plan rests with the degree or certificate program, although the appropriate academic college and the College of Graduate Studies may also monitor the plans for compliance. 

International students placed on probationary status will be sent to the International Services Center for advisement regarding the immigration status implications of this action.

After dismissal, the following options are available:

 OPTION A. The Program Requests Retention of the Student Within One Year After Dismissal.

The dismissed student may not take program-related course work during this process, which must occur within the next semester following dismissal. The request for retention should include reasons for readmitting the dismissed student, as well as provide a "Conditional Retention Plan" as described above. If the request is approved by the College of Graduate Studies, the student will be readmitted into the program under the Conditional Retention Plan in restricted status; failure to meet the conditions will result in dismissal without any further appeal of retention. Requests for retention that are submitted to the College of Graduate Studies early enough for adequate review and approval prior to the late registration period will enable students to re-enroll in the next semester and not have a "dismissal" on his/her transcript.

 OPTION B. The Dismissed Student Applies for Entry into the Program from Which He/She Was Dismissed After One Year of Nonenrollment in that Program.

In this case, the student must submit a complete new application (application fee, letters of reference if applicable, AND a statement describing why the student thinks he/she is more capable now to successfully complete the program). The program must submit a "Conditional Retention Plan" (as described above) if they choose to support the former student. The Conditional Retention Plan must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies for approval before an admissions decision is made.

A student that is admitted back into a program from which he/she was dismissed will continue to have the original dismissal denoted on the transcript and will continue with the same graduate status GPA that the student held prior to dismissal. Also, the student is admitted as a restricted student and must meet the conditions prescribed by the Conditional Retention Plan to enter regular graduate status.

 OPTION C: Apply to Another Program.

This option is always available and requires a complete new application. Previously dismissed students accepted into new programs will be admitted under restricted status and have a new graduate status GPA (see Graduate Status GPA section above).

Students with a graduate status GPA of less than 3.0 seeking admission to a different graduate program will be admitted under restricted status with conditions as prescribed by the new program.

Dismissed students will not be allowed to enroll in graduate courses unless they have been admitted to another graduate program or admitted as nondegree students taking classes with permission from the department.

 NOTE: Individual graduate programs may have more stringent grade requirements than described above. Students must abide by the academic performance standards of their graduate program. 

Maximum Hours of Unsatisfactory Grades

“C” grades (C, C+, C-), as well as D, D+, D-, F, and U grades, are all considered unsatisfactory grades.

A student may apply a maximum total of six semester credit hours of “C” grades, or the “C” grade credits associated with at most two classes, whichever is greater, to satisfy degree program requirements.

Exceeding six semester credit hours of unsatisfactory grades is grounds for dismissal for all degree-seeking and nondegree students. A course in which a student has received an unsatisfactory grade may be repeated, however, both grades will be used in computing the GPA. There is no forgiveness policy for any course taken while in graduate status. 

Incomplete Grades

A grade of "I" (incomplete) is assigned by the instructor when a student is unable to complete a course due to extenuating circumstances, and when all requirements can clearly be completed in a short period of time following the close of regular classes. In all circumstances where an "I" grade is received, the student and faculty member must complete an agreement form that specifies how and when the incomplete grade will be made up. This agreement form is submitted with the instructor grade rolls at the end of the semester, and a copy of this agreement is given to the Graduate College for further follow-up. For those students on financial assistance such as loans, the incomplete (I) must be made up by the agreement date. Failure to complete course requirements by that date may, at the discretion of the instructor, result in the assignment of an "F" grade, or a "U" grade for thesis, dissertation, or research report hours. It is the student's responsibility to arrange with the instructor for the changing of the "I" grade.

Grades of "I" must be resolved within one calendar year or prior to graduation, whichever comes first. Incompletes in regular course work left unresolved will be changed to "F" if not changed in the allowed time period, and this time period may be sooner for those receiving financial assistance. The exception to this is enrollment in thesis (XXX 6971) and dissertation (XXX 7980) hours where the incomplete grade will be allowed to continue until graduation. UCF fellowship students cannot receive fellowship funds while holding Incomplete grades and have thirty days from the issuance of the Incomplete to remedy it in order to continue to receive fellowship funds. 

Enrollment

Students must be enrolled in order to take exams, to conduct research or to use any university resources and to graduate. Students who have completed all degree requirements may enroll in IDS 6999 during their semester of graduation.

Continuous Enrollment and Active Student Status

Students must be enrolled for at least one semester of every three consecutive semesters in order to maintain active student status. Students who do not meet this enrollment requirement breach continuous enrollment and will be removed from active student status. These students must reapply for admission. Readmission is not guaranteed.

Students with extenuating circumstances that will compel them to be unenrolled for three consecutive semesters or more may complete a Leave of Absence Form to petition to remain in active student status. This form must be submitted no later than the end of the add/drop period of the third semester of non-enrollment. See the section below for details.

  1. Because of current U.S. government regulations, international students must be enrolled every fall and spring semester. For students in this category, a Leave of Absence is only available for documented medical reasons.
  2. A student who is discontinued for breach of continuous enrollment will lose the option of fulfilling the degree requirements originally listed in his/her official program of study already on file and will instead be subject to the degree requirements listed in the graduate catalog in effect at the time the student is readmitted to the program.  

 Continuous Enrollment

 Students engaged in thesis or dissertation work must be continuously enrolled every term. Doctoral students who have begun taking dissertation hours and Master’s students who have completed their required course work and are completing their thesis requirement are required to be continuously enrolled (including summer) until the thesis or dissertation is completed. For details, see the Master’s and Doctoral enrollment policies under Thesis and Dissertation Requirements below. Students with extenuating circumstances that will prevent them from enrolling continuously may submit a Leave of Absence Form. See the section below for details.

Enrollment in Multiple Graduate Programs

  • Students are allowed to enroll in multiple master's and doctoral degree programs.
  • Approval of the program(s) where the student is currently enrolled is not required for application to or enrollment in additional program(s).
  • The College of Graduate Studies shall inform the program(s) of current enrollment when a student is accepted for enrollment in a new program.
  • Students will be held responsible for showing academic progress in each program in which they are enrolled.

 Special Leave of Absence

 A Leave of Absence may be granted to a student to temporarily waive the continuous enrollment requirement.   

  • A leave may be requested in cases where the student can demonstrate good cause (e.g., illness, family issues, financial difficulties, personal circumstances, recent maternity/paternity, employment issues). The specific reason for the  Leave of Absence request must be indicated by the student on Leave of Absence Form
  • Students may request up to 6 consecutive semesters of non-enrollment.
  • Time spent in a Leave of Absence will not reduce the total time limitation for degree completion (see the policy regarding Time Limitation for Degree Completion in the master's, specialist, and doctoral policies).
  • If a student fails to enroll in the semester following the last term in the approved Leave of Absence, the student will have failed to maintain continuous enrollment and must apply for readmission to the university.

A  Leave of Absence will be granted only after approval from the Graduate Program Director for the student's program of study and the College of Graduate Studies (and the International Services Center for international students, when applicable). 

For students seeking a temporary waiver of the continuous enrollment policy, the  Leave of Absence Form must be submitted no later than the end of the add/drop period of the third semester of non-enrollment. 

For thesis and dissertation students, the Leave of Absence Form must be submitted when a student will not be enrolled for any number of terms. For those students, the Leave of Absence Form must be submitted no later than the end of the add/drop period of the term of non-enrollment.  

Readmission

To file for readmission, students must complete a new application, submit the application fee, and update their residency information and health history (if applicable). Students should apply for readmission if they were previously admitted and enrolled in a graduate program but have been absent for three consecutive semesters. For more information on readmission, please visit the Graduate Students website. 

Academic Grievance Procedure

The UCF College of Graduate Studies allows for petitions of university requirements and their academic matters. Academic matters are those involving instruction, research, or decisions involving instruction or affecting academic freedom.

The academic grievance procedure is designed to provide a fair means of dealing with graduate student complaints regarding a specific action or decision by a faculty member, program or college, including termination from an academic program. Academic misconduct complaints associated with sponsored research will invoke procedures outlined by the Office of Research and Commercialization.

Students who believe they have been treated unfairly may initiate a grievance. The procedure provides several levels of review, and at each level of review the participants are further removed and have a broader outlook than where the grievance originated. Procedures for initiating an academic grievance can be found at The Golden Rule  www.goldenrule.sdes.ucf.edu/ (see section 11). 

Petitions of Graduation Requirements Procedures

Students have the responsibility to familiarize themselves with policies and procedures of the university, college, and program. Students are responsible for knowing the degree requirements and for following the policies that govern the academic program. However, when unusual instances arise, making it appropriate for students to request exceptions of existing graduate academic policies for graduate students, graduate students may petition the appropriate unit for an exception to this requirement. The university is always looking for the compelling reason that an exception is warranted, so this needs to be carefully described in any petition. The procedures are:

  • The graduate student completes a Graduate Petition Form and submits it to the graduate program director, specifying the requirement (either a program or university requirement) and the exception desired. The graduate student needs to provide a compelling reason for an exception to be made.
  • The graduate program director may ask the program graduate committee to examine and provide advice about the petition to the graduate program director. The graduate program director will then make a recommendation about the exception to the unit head. The unit head will then make a final recommendation.
  • The petition will then be sent to the College of Graduate Studies for a final decision. The Vice Provost and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies may ask the Appeals Committee of the Graduate Council of the Faculty Senate to examine the information provided in the petition at their next scheduled meeting and make a recommendation concerning the petition to the Vice Provost and Dean.
  • The Vice Provost and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies may consider the input of the Appeals Committee of the Graduate Council and will make a final decision about the petition for the university. 

Degree or Certificate Completion 

Application and Certification for Graduate Degrees

Students planning to graduate in the next term must complete the Application for Graduation (Intent to Graduate available at https://my.ucf.edu). Students who have not applied for graduation by the last day of classes in the term preceding the graduation semester may not be listed in the Commencement Program. If the student does not graduate in that term, a new application for graduation must be filed at the beginning of registration for the term of anticipated graduation. Graduating students must be enrolled at UCF during the term of graduation. Graduates may contact the Registrar's Office for Commencement ceremony and guest ticket information.

Assuming that the student is in good standing at the university, degrees will be awarded only after successful completion of the degree requirements stated in the Graduate Catalog under which the student plans to graduate and final recommendation from the faculty and dean of the respective college.

The college of the degree program must certify through the college dean that all program and college requirements have been met. Degree certification forms (Degree Audit forms or program of study with approval signatures) are forwarded to the UCF College of Graduate Studies for final determination that all program, college, and university requirements have been met. 

Application and Certification for Graduate Certificates

In order to be processed for completion of a graduate certificate program, students must file an application for completion (Graduate Certificate Completion form) with the office that offers the certificate program. The Graduate Certificate Completion form should be filed by the time that the student is registering for the final course in the certificate program, and such forms must be filed no later than the end of the semester in which the student enrolls in the last course required for the certificate program. Forms can be found on the UCF Graduate Students website (www.graduate.ucf.edu).

The college of the graduate certificate program must certify through the college dean that all program and college requirements have been met. Completed Graduate Certificate Completition forms (available at www.graduate.ucf.edu) are forwarded to the UCF College of Graduate Studies for final determination of program, college, and university requirements. For each certificate program, the graduate program director will certify successful completion of the program's academic requirements. The certificate is mailed to the student unless the student or the graduate program requests other arrangements. Certificate recipients are not recognized at commencement.

Thesis and Dissertation Requirements

An oral defense of an original thesis or dissertation is required with the approved thesis or dissertation being prepared in accordance with program, college, and university requirements.

The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation Manual describes UCF's formatting requirements for theses/dissertations and outlines the steps graduate students must follow to submit their thesis or dissertation electronically. Graduate students can obtain the manual and formatting instructions from Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) on the Graduate Students website.  Additionally, the Thesis/Dissertation Office offers workshops to inform graduate students about procedures, deadlines, and requirements associated with preparing a thesis and dissertation.

Academic dishonesty in thesis, research report and dissertation work may result in reversion to postbaccalaureate status or termination from the degree program. Our emphasis on academic honesty requires quotations or ideas of others to be accompanied by appropriate citations.

All theses and dissertations that use research involving human subjects, including surveys, must obtain approval from an independent board, the Institutional Review Board (IRB), for this prior to starting the research. It is imperative that proper procedures are followed when using human subjects in research projects. Information about this process can be obtained from the Office of Research and Commercialization (www.research.ucf.edu). Failure to obtain this prior approval could jeopardize receipt of the student's degree.

Students who wish to complete their degree requirements in a given semester must take their oral defense and submit the final electronic copy of their thesis or dissertation by the dates shown in the Academic Calendar. All students are required to submit their thesis or dissertation electronically. 

Traveling Scholars 

The Traveling Scholar status enables a UCF graduate student to take advantage of special resources available on another campus that are not available at UCF (for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories, and library collections). Provided the appropriate approval described below is obtained, Traveling Scholar credits are guaranteed to be accepted as earned UCF credits, as long as the grades obtained are B- or higher.

A Traveling Scholar must be recommended by his or her own graduate adviser, who will initiate a visiting arrangement with the appropriate faculty member of the host institution. After agreement by the student's adviser and the faculty member at the host institution, graduate deans at both institutions will be fully informed by the adviser and have the authority to approve or deny the academic arrangement. A student will register at the host institution and will pay tuition and/or registration fees according to fee schedules established at that institution. The Traveling Scholar Form must be completed by the student and approved by the UCF College of Graduate Studies before any course work can be taken.

 Each university retains its full right to accept or reject any student who wishes to study under its auspices. A Traveling Scholar will normally be limited to one term for a total of six credit hours taken as a traveling scholar at another institution.

 A Traveling Scholar is not entitled to displacement allowance, mileage, or per diem payments. The home university, however, may at its option continue its financial support of the traveling scholar in the form of a fellowship or graduate assistantship with any work obligation to be discharged either at the home or at the host institution.

 To obtain credit for approved Traveling Scholar courses, the student must request an official transcript be sent from the host institution to the UCF College of Graduate Studies (Millican Hall 230, P.O. Box 160112, Orlando, FL 32816-0112; Phone 407-823-2766), and the graduate program director must complete the Transfer Request Form so that the credits can be entered into the student database. Credits earned at another institution while in Traveling Scholar status will be considered internal transfer credits and do not count toward the student’s graduate status GPA. These hours may count toward UCF residency requirements if prior approval is obtained. Graduate students are not allowed to be traveling scholars in their final, or graduation, term except by prior approval of the UCF College of Graduate Studies.

 An international graduate student who is registered at another educational institution besides UCF as a Traveling Scholar or as a transient student is required to complete a Reduced Course Load Form to satisfy SEVIS requirements of being enrolled full-time. International graduate assistants employed at UCF must be enrolled full-time at UCF. 

Assistantship Opportunities

As part of a program's professional development plan for students, full-time graduate students may be offered the opportunity to gain experience as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (or Associate or Grader; GTA), Graduate Research Assistant (or Associate; GRA), or Graduate Assistant. Please visit the Financial Information section in the catalog for more information.

Assignments to these professional development activities are intended to supplement the student's academic program of study in order to give the student professional experiences that will enhance the student's development and prepare him/her for postgraduation employment. While these activities provide the opportunity for students to be graduate assistants, their overriding purpose is to help develop the skills, abilities, and professionalism of the student.

All graduate assistants (GTAs and GRAs) must be assigned to at least a half-time appointment (0.25 FTE assignment, approximately equivalent to 10 hours per week). However, the standard assignment for graduate assistants is a full-time appointment (0.5 FTE assignment approximately equivalent to 20 hours per week). Students who desire more than a full-time appointment during fall and spring semesters must complete a Supplemental Assignment Form. The UCF College of Graduate Studies will only grant exceptions to this policy in rare circumstances and for compelling reasons related to the student's professional development. Exceptions are granted only rarely during the first year of a student's program of study. Decisions are based on the student's academic record, the appointment FTE, the relationship of the assignments to the student's program of study, support from the graduate program director, and related factors.

 Student FICA exemption. Graduate assistants who are enrolled at least part-time (5 hours in fall, 5 hours in spring, or 3 hours in summer) will be exempt from FICA/Medicare taxes during pay periods that overlap with the academic term and during breaks of less than five weeks. Breaks longer than five weeks where graduate students are on a graduate assistant appointment but not enrolled will result in withholding FICA/Medicare taxes.

 Academic Common Market Scholars

The University of Central Florida is a participating institution in the Academic Common Market (ACM) program with other southern universities sharing unique academic programs on the undergraduate and graduate level. However, the University of Central Florida only participates at the graduate level.

The Academic Common Market offers students the opportunity to enter degree programs that are not available in their home state, while still being eligible to pay in-state tuition rates. Students taking part in this program must be admitted by a participating university (notifying that university of their planned attendance as an ACM Scholar), and will need to obtain a letter of certification from their respective ACM state coordinator.

The first step is to contact your respective state coordinator for information on how to apply for the Academic Common Market. Contact information for state coordinators can be found on the following website: http://home.sreb.org/acm/states.aspx.

After making contact with your state coordinator, if you are eligible for the ACM, you can apply to the University of Central Florida online through the website at https://application.graduate.ucf.edu/. When filling out the Florida Residency Classification section, select the option that states "I am a Florida Resident for tuition purposes" and fill out the entire section. Before saving the page, you will need to add an explanation for your Florida residency. Please select the letter "N," which states "I am a Southern Regional Education Board's Academic Common Market graduate student."

Upon submission of your application, and your program's required admissions criteria, you will receive a decision from the program in which you have applied. If accepted, you can present that information to your state coordinator, who will then be able to provide UCF with a certification letter. With that letter, UCF will then be able to offer you Florida residency for tuition purposes.

The participating universities are located in the following states:

Alabama Louisiana Tennessee
Arkansas Maryland Texas*
Delaware Mississippi Virginia
Florida* North Carolina West Virginia
Georgia Oklahoma  
Kentucky South Carolina  
*Only Florida, North Carolina, and Texas participate at the graduate level.

For more information, please contact the UCF College of Graduate Studies at 407-823-2766 (Millican Hall 230, P.O. Box 160112, Orlando, FL 32816-0112). Additional information on the Academic Common Market, including contact information for state coordinators and all available academic programs, can be found on the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) website, www.sreb.org. 

Proprietary and Confidential Information

It is the intent of the University to foster the professional development of its faculty and students. In particular, the proprietary and patent policies serve to protect the interests of UCF graduate students so that they can engage in research that will ultimately be published. In no circumstances should the University knowingly enter into agreement with outside agencies that would prevent the ultimate publication of the graduate student's work, as a thesis or dissertation or other means. These policies also help to clarify protections for intellectual property contained in theses/dissertations for students who engage in employment outside the University.

If thesis or dissertation work is supported by a contractual agreement with an outside agency, and provision was made in the agreement to delay disclosure of the study's results for the purpose of filing a patent or copyright, then this section describes procedures for handling the thesis/dissertation. (See also Patent and Invention Policy below for explanations of rights associated with patents and copyrights.)

  1. Only for those theses and dissertations where a prior written agreement was made between UCF and an outside agency or where the University wishes to pursue a copyright/patent may publication of the thesis/dissertation be delayed, or in exceptional circumstances as determined by the University on a case by case basis. Review and delay of disclosure of the thesis/dissertation may take up to 6 months.
  2. The review by the outside agency or by the University for the purpose of copyright or patent will follow the oral defense of the document. If it appears that the review process will delay certification of the degree or if the delay of disclosure is exercised, the certification process will be completed but the thesis or dissertation will not be released for up to 6 months.
  3. No graduate degree will be awarded when the thesis or dissertation, after a reasonable interval, is not available to the public. If material is sensitive, classified, or will be patented, the thesis or dissertation will not be released for up to 6 months.
  4. Contractual agreements that contain provisions for review and delay of disclosure shall be reviewed by the Office of Research and Commercialization. Exceptional cases may include a delay of disclosure for more than six months and/or review prior to the oral defense.
  5. The student and the student's Adviser shall be informed of the possibility of the delay of disclosure at the time of appointment of the Adviser. 

Patent and Invention Policy

The "Patent and Invention Policy" for graduate students is included here in its entirety. Departments and colleges should discuss this policy with graduate students at orientations.

 PREMISE: UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention.

  1.  University Authority and Responsibilities: Florida Statute Section 1004.23 authorizes the University to take any action necessary to secure letters of patents, copyrights, and trademarks on any work products and to enforce its rights therein. This policy applies to graduate students who are considered University personnel.

  2.  Definitions: For the purposes of this policy the following definitions shall apply:

    1. A work includes any copyrightable material (other than journal articles) such as printed material, computer software or databases, audio or visual materials, circuit diagrams, mask works, architectural and engineering drawings, lectures, musical or dramatic compositions, choreographic works, pictorial or graphic works, and sculptural works.
    2. An Invention includes any discovery, invention, process, composition of matter, article of manufacture, know-how, design, model, technological development, strain, variety, culture of any organism, or portion, modification, translation, or improvement of these items, and any mark used in connection with these items.
    3.  Instructional Technology Material includes motion pictures, film strips, photographic and other similar visual materials, live video and audio transmissions, computer programs, computer-assisted instructional course work, programmed exhibits, and combinations of the above materials, which were prepared or produced in whole or part by a graduate student, and which are used to assist or enhance instruction.
    4.  University Support includes the use of University funds, personnel, facilities, equipment, materials, or technological information, and includes such support provided by other public or private organizations when it is arranged, administered, and/or controlled by the University.
    5.  Student-generated Effort means that the ideas come from the graduate student alone outside the field or discipline for which the graduate student is employed by the University, the work was not made with the use of University support, and the University is not held responsible for any opinions expressed in the effort.
    6.  Research means the inquiry or examination in some field of knowledge undertaken to establish facts or principles that are true. Research, as used in this policy, does not include work done in an internship or coop setting where new knowledge in a field is not actively sought, but rather a setting that offers a real life experience for the graduate student.

  3.  Work(s)

    1.  Student-generated Effort—A work made solely by the graduate student, outside the field or discipline for which the graduate student is employed by the University, is the property of the graduate student, who has the right to determine the disposition of such work and the revenue derived from such work.
    2.  University-supported Efforts—If the work was not made solely in the course of student-generated efforts, the work is the property of the University, and the graduate student shall share in the proceeds therefrom.
    3.  Disclosure
      1. Upon creation of a work that is potentially patentable, and prior to any publication, the graduate student shall disclose to the Office of Research and Commercialization any work made in the course of University-supported efforts, together with an outline of the project and the conditions under which it was done.
      2. The Office of Research and Commercialization shall gather information to assess the relative equities of the graduate student and the university in the work.
      3. Within 120 days after such disclosure, the Office of Research and Commercialization will inform the graduate student whether the university seeks an interest in the work.
      4. The graduate student and the university shall not commit any act which would tend to defeat the university's or graduate student's interest in the work and shall take any necessary steps to protect such interests.

  4. Invention(s)

    1. Student-generated Efforts
      All inventions made outside the field or discipline in which the graduate student is employed by the university and for which no university support has been used are the property of the graduate student.
    2. University-supported Efforts
      An invention made in the field or discipline in which the graduate student is employed by the university, or receiving university support, is the property of the university and the graduate student shall share in the proceeds therefrom.
    3. Disclosure
      1. A graduate student as inventor or co-inventor shall fully and completely disclose to the Office of Research and Commercialization all inventions which the inventor(s) may develop or discover while a graduate student of the University, together with an outline of the conditions under which it was done. With respect to inventions made during the course of approved outside employment, the graduate student as inventor or co-inventor may delay such disclosure, when necessary to protect the outside employer's interest, until the decision has been made by the outside employer whether to seek a patent.
      2. The Office of Research and Commercialization shall inform the graduate student as inventor as well as all other inventors within 120 days of disclosure as to whether the University wishes to assert an ownership interest in the intellectual property.
      3. The division of proceeds generated by the licensing or assignment of an invention, shall be according to the established royalty division set forth in the patent policy of the University of Central Florida Research Foundation.
      4. The graduate student as inventor(s) and the University shall not commit any act which would tend to defeat the University's or inventors' interest in the invention and shall take any necessary steps to protect such interests.

  5.  Release of Rights

    At any stage of making the patent applications, or in the commercial application of an invention, if it has not otherwise assigned to a third party the right to pursue its interests, the Office of Research and Commercialization, may elect to withdraw from further involvement in the protection or commercial application of the invention. At the request of the graduate student in such case, the University shall transfer the invention rights to the inventor(s), in which case the invention shall be the inventor(s) property, and none of the costs incurred by the University or on its behalf shall be assessed against the inventor in whole or in part.

  6.  University Policy

    1. The University has a policy addressing the division of proceeds between graduate students and faculty when the research is done and results in a dissertation, University Regulations, 6C7-2.029 Copyrights and Patents). The University also has a policy addressing the division of proceeds between UCF inventor(s) and the University (see University Regulations, 6C7-2.029). It is also contained in the Patents and Copyrights Policy of the UCF Research Foundation. This same division of royalties will apply in the disbursement of royalty income to graduate students as inventor(s), unless this has been negotiated in a separate contractual agreement.
    2. All sponsored research done by graduate students enrolled at the University for and with companies must have a contractual agreement with UCF negotiated at the start of that research. Graduate students must be informed at the start of the research about any contractual agreements that would concern future publication of their research work.
    3. Dissertation or thesis dissemination can be delayed because of patent or proprietary information concerns of a sponsor. This can occur when a prior contractual agreement has been entered into that includes provisions for a research sponsor's review between the sponsor and University. (See Proprietary and Confidential Information above in the Graduate Catalog.)

top