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Nondegree status is designed for two types of applicants who hold the baccalaureate:
- Individuals who do not wish to pursue a degree, but want to take courses for professional or scholarly reasons or for personal enrichment.
- Individuals who have been out of school for several years or whose baccalaureate was obtained in a different field of study, and who wish to take a few courses before deciding whether to apply for a degree program.
Nondegree applicants may either apply to a specific program as an "assigned" nondegree student (if the program accepts nondegree students), or, more commonly, they apply as an "unassigned" nondegree student under program code 20FS1780NDEG. Assigned nondegree applications, like degree applications, are sent to the graduate program office for review and recommendation. The department may require submission of transcripts and/or other credentials, as stated in the program's listing in the Graduate Catalog. Assigned nondegree students who register will also appear on the program's tenth day verification list along with the degree students. If a program agrees to accept a nondegree student it is expected to provide advising and other educationally related services to these students.
The department should be aware that students may transfer a maximum of 12 semester hours from nondegree to degree status. Although nondegree students are informed in their admission letter about the 12 semester hour limit on transferring nondegree credit, programs are urged to remind their nondegree students of this policy.
In addition, nondegree students are not eligible for assistantships, tuition and service fee waivers, or fellowships.
Nondegree applicants must submit an application form, the application fee, and proof that they hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution of recognized accreditation (copy of diploma or degree verification on transcript). Some graduate programs may require additional credentials, if the applicant is applying as nondegree to that program.
International students on an F1 or J1 visa may not be admitted on nondegree status. The spouses of international students (on F2 or J2), however, may be admitted on nondegree status.
Acceptance as a nondegree student does not guarantee the student the right to register for specific courses, nor does it guarantee later acceptance as a degree student. Some programs do not accept nondegree students at all, some programs will not admit nondegree students to their degree programs, and some limit access to certain courses. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the graduate program office to determine eligibility for registration in that program's courses.
Restricting Nondegree Students From Department Courses
If the department wants to restrict specific courses to degree seeking students it may make arrangements with the Class Schedule Office to limit registration in the courses to students with specific program codes. Exceptions to the restriction can then be made on a case-by-case basis by the department offering the course by using the override procedure for registration.
Changing From Nondegree To Degree-Seeking Status
Nondegree students who wish to be considered for a degree program must complete a Graduate Application and submit all missing credentials by the deadline for degree applications. Admission to a degree program is not automatic nor guaranteed. Students admitted as nondegree may not change to degree status in their initial term of nondegree enrollment (for that same term).