• Graduate: Any person holding a bachelor’s degree who has been admitted to the Graduate School, who has enrolled in a graduate program, and who is taking course work to be credited toward a graduate degree. All graduate students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment. Ph.D. students are required to maintain continuous enrollment, including the semester in which the degree is conferred. (See Items 3 and 4 in the preceding section.)
  • Graduate Non-Degree: Any person holding a bachelor’s degree who has been admitted to the Graduate School, but not wishing to pursue a degree. The University will produce a graduate transcript reflecting the graduate-level course work taken. Graduate non-degree students must satisfy the same admission standards as fully admitted students.
  • Transfer of Credit: Any student in Good Standing in a graduate program at another university wishing to take a graduate-level course at Baylor and transfer the credits to their home university.
  • Post baccalaureate: Any person holding a bachelor’s degree that has not been admitted to Graduate School who is taking course work through the undergraduate Admissions Office. An undergraduate transcript will be generated for the student to reflect the post-baccalaureate coursework. After the student has been admitted to the Graduate School, he/she may then petition to transfer the 6 hours of graduate level work taken as a post-baccalaureate student into their graduate program.
  • Undergraduate Senior: An undergraduate senior may enroll in graduate course work (including 5000-level courses and 4000-level courses approved for graduate credit for which the student intends to apply either toward graduate credit or toward undergraduate degree requirements), subject to the following conditions:
    1. The student must have grade point averages, both overall and in the major field, of at least 3.0.
    2. The student may enroll in no more than one graduate course in one semester.
    3. The course load (combined undergraduate and graduate course work) may not exceed fifteen semester hours in one semester.
    4. The student must have taken and successfully completed all prerequisites for the graduate course(s).
    5. The student may include no more than six semester hours of graduate credit within the total semester hours for the undergraduate degree.
    6. The student will assume the responsibilities of a graduate student in a graduate course.

Exceptions to rules 2 and 5 above may be granted for students in joint-degree programs which integrate undergraduate and graduate degree requirements, resulting in simultaneous award of both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In such cases, the student may enroll in no more than two graduate courses in one semester, and the student may include no more than twelve semester hours of graduate credit within the total semester hours for the undergraduate degree. In this context, the full summer is considered as one semester such that an undergraduate senior may take a maximum of two graduate courses during the combined summer sessions.

Permission to take graduate course work requires the student to file a petition to be approved by the professor(s) of the course(s) and the dean of the college of the student’s undergraduate major. Accompanying the petition must be a copy of the student’s transcript so that the undergraduate Dean's office can calculate grade point averages. On the petition, the student indicates whether the graduate course work is to apply toward undergraduate degree requirements. Should the student later be admitted into a graduate program for which the course work is relevant, the student, if they did not count the work toward the undergraduate degree, may petition the Graduate School to transfer up to six hours into their graduate program. The course work may not be counted both ways unless it is part of a joint degree program and has already been approved as part of the curriculum. Final approval of the petition must be obtained before the student can register for any graduate course work.

Full-Time Status

A graduate student is considered full time taking nine credit hours.

Exceptions to the minimum credit hours for a graduate student may be made when:

  1. A student is registered for internship, practicum, or cooperative education activities that require full-time work and will count toward completion of the student’s degree program (upon the request of the Dean of the Graduate School).
  2. A student is completing a thesis or dissertation and is enrolled in a class specifically identified as being for this purpose.
  3. A student is conducting prospectus research prior to admission to candidacy and is enrolled in a class specifically identified as being for this purpose.

The above exceptions may not apply to a student’s eligibility for financial aid (e.g. scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) A student who has questions concerning the enrollment requirements for his or her financial aid should contact the financial aid office and confer with a financial aid counselor.

Continuous Enrollment

Beginning in Fall 2020, Ph.D. students must maintain continuous enrollment until degree completion. Continuous enrollment is defined by the Graduate School as students enrolled in at least one credit hour in consecutive Fall and Spring semesters. Summer enrollment is not required if the student is enrolled in the preceding Spring and the following Fall semesters. A formal leave of absence will not extend the overall time-to-degree cap. Ph.D. students at Baylor have a maximum of eight years after matriculation to complete their degree (although individual programs may set earlier caps). Students who fail to remain continuously enrolled and have not sought a formal leave of absence must reapply to the program.

Information on Change of Degree

Students who wish to change their degree from a doctoral degree to a master's level degree must ask their department to submit a Change of Degree Form available on the Graduate School website. Students who wish to change their degree from a master's level degree to a doctoral degree must reapply. Please contact the Admissions Director, Tosha Hendrickson, at Tosha_Hendrickson@baylor.edu to help with the process. Additional questions regarding a change of degree should be directed to Alana Schaeper, at Alana_Schaeper@baylor.edu.

Course Numbering System

The numbers applied to each course indicate level, semester hours of credit, and sequence. Selected courses numbered 4000-4V99 are open to both advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Graduate credit will not be conferred for courses numbered below 4000, or for 4000-level courses which do not appear in the Graduate Catalog. Courses numbered 5000 and above are limited to graduate students. The first digit in the number indicates the level. The second digit in the number indicates the value in graduate credit hours. Thus, “3” as a second digit indicates three credit hours. Some courses may be taken for a varying number of credits, typically from one to three semester hours. In such cases, instead of a digit for the second place in the course number, the letter “V” is used, and the varying amount of credit is indicated at the right of the course title. The last two digits are reserved for departmental indication of preferred sequence of courses.

Course Load

The maximum number of credit-hours per semester for traditional, on-campus programs is 16 for master’s students and 12 for doctoral students. No more than 8 credit-hours may be taken in each of the summer sessions. The credit limits for some online, accelerated, and professional programs vary.

Grading System

Grades for graduate students are:

Grade Grade Points
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
D- .067
F 0.0

If a grade of C-, D+, D, D-, or F is made in a required course, the student must repeat the same course at Baylor and make a grade of C or better to meet the degree requirements for graduation. In addition, a C-, D+, D, D-, or F will not apply toward the total number of hours for program completion, but will calculate in the student’s grade point average. Graduate courses may be repeated according to the following conditions:

  1. A course may only be repeated one time
  2. A course in which a student previously received a B-, C+, or C may be repeated when a petition is approved by the Graduate Program Director and Graduate School.
  3. A course in which a student previously received a C-, D+, D, D-, or F may be repeated without requiring a petition.
  4. No more than three courses may be repeated within a degree program.

Note: For purposes of this policy, an attempt includes registration for any course that results in either a grade or a W notation on a student’s record. Graduate Courses may not be repeated if a grade of B or higher was previously received.

The grade point average (GPA) is calculated by totaling the number of grade points earned and dividing by the number of credits applied toward the GPA. The resulting grade point average is truncated following the second decimal (e.g., 1.99672=1.99). The university does not round the GPA. This method of calculation is used for all academic purposes such as academic standing, graduation, and scholarship eligibility.

The grade of “I,” incomplete, may be given only when the completed portion of the course work is of passing quality. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the course requirements and to see that the incomplete grade is removed from the record. A student may not graduate with an “I” incomplete on their transcript. The incomplete grade will change to an “F” when the student reaches their time limit, is certified to graduate, or withdraws from the program.

Students may not register in a course other than 5V99, 6V99, or scientific research for which they may already carry a grade of incomplete. Students who receive one or more incomplete grades during a semester may have their schedule for the following semester reduced by the number of hours of “incomplete” received. In certain practicum-oriented and internship-based courses in the major or minor field, a grade of “Pass,” “Fail,” “Credit,” or “Non-credit” may be given, provided the grading system for the courses has been approved by the Graduate School, and has been coordinated with the Registration and Academic Records Office prior to course offering. Students registering for dissertation (6V99) or thesis (5V99) will receive a grade “Credit” or “Non-credit” rather than a letter grade. A student may be given an “I” in dissertation (6V99) or thesis (5V99) until the work is completed and successfully defended.

Change of Grade Policy

Changes to grades may be initiated by the instructor of the class and must be approved by the department chair and the dean of the Graduate School (with notification to the dean of the school in which the class was offered). Changes to grades may be initiated by an instructor when the original grade resulted from an error, the original grade was an Incomplete, or in cases where the student’s performance was affected by extenuating circumstances. Changes resulting from an error or extenuating circumstances may only be made within one calendar year of the original grade assignment and may not occur once a degree has been conferred or the student’s time limit has expired. Further, changes to Incomplete grades may be made only in compliance with Graduate School policies on Incompletes (see policies below).

Beyond changes to grades for reasons stated above, changes may occur when initiated by the Provost based on the finding of a violation of academic integrity or when a grade is successfully appealed through the appropriate process. The one-year time limit does not apply to these changes.

Policy for changing incompletes:

  1. Baylor Policy requires that incompletes be removed from the student’s transcript when the student graduates, withdraws from the program, or their time limit has expired, with the exception of dissertation (6V99) or thesis (5V99) hours. The Graduate School will administratively initiate the change of grade form to change the incomplete to an “F” if the instructor has not already submitted the change.
  2. The instructor of record for the course may require the student to complete the course and remove the incomplete at any time prior to the Graduate School deadline as stated above. The instructor may not exceed the Graduate School deadline unless a formal extension to the student’s time limit has been petitioned and approved by both the Graduate Program Director in the student’s department and the Graduate School.
  3. A student may be given an “I” in dissertation (6V99) and thesis (5V99) until the work is completed and successfully defended. Once completed and defended, the instructor of record will submit a change of grade changing the “I” to “CR” for semesters in which the student registered for dissertation (6V99) or thesis (5V99).


A student may audit a course with permission from the Graduate School. A student's department must complete an Add/Drop Form along with a petition in order to register a student for an audited course. The type of petition needed is included in the Add/Drop form located in OnBase. Students do not have access to OnBase. Faculty/staff must use a VPN to log into OnBase off campus. For additional questions, please contact Alana Schaeper, at Alana_Schaeper@baylor.edu.

The fee for auditing a course is $370. Tuition funds may not be used to cover classes that are being audited. Only lecture courses may be audited. Audit enrollment is subject to the instructor’s willingness to have nonparticipating students. Students who drop an audited course by the fifth class for the fall or spring semester are eligible for a full refund. Full refunds also apply to students who drop an audited course by the third class day for the full summer session, by the second class day for Summer I and II, and by the first class day for the Minimester. No refunds are given after the designated drop date.

Audited courses may not exclude a student seeking credit, may not be repeated at a later date for credit, may not be changed in status after the registration period, and are not considered part of the course load. The course will not count toward degree requirements.


A student who is admitted to Graduate School on probation must maintain a “B” (3.0) overall grade point average for the first nine semester hours of graduate course work. Failure to do so will result in notification of dismissal by the Graduate School. The Graduate School is not required to hear student appeals of this decision. Students will have an option to appeal the dismissal one time. The form to be completed for the appeal will be included in the dismissal letter received. Students are automatically removed from probation upon completion of the first nine semester hours of graduate-level course work if an overall 3.0 grade point average is attained.

Any fully admitted student whose overall GPA falls below a “B” (3.0) average during any semester will be placed on probation for the next nine semester hours of graduate course work. If, after completion of the ninth semester-hour credit, the student’s overall grade point average is still below 3.0, the student will receive notification of dismissal from the Graduate School. Students receiving assistantships must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 to avoid being placed on probation. Probationary status prevents the student from academic assistantship/fellowship or enhancement award eligibility.


Individuals who do not attain the required minimum grade point average of 3.0 during the probationary period will be notified in writing by the Graduate School of their dismissal. 

The student will be precluded from all registration and enrollment privileges at that time. Should the student’s circumstances be so unusual as to warrant special consideration, the dismissal letter will include directions and provisions for engaging in an appeals process. A student can appeal a dismissal one time. Should a student be dismissed a second time, they will be unable to appeal the decision. 

Commencement Participation

For a student to walk at a commencement ceremony, the student must be eligible for either certified or non-certified commencement. Certified Commencement requires a student to complete all degree requirements and be certified for the degree in order to participate in a commencement ceremony. Non-Certified Commencement provides the opportunity for a student close to completing all degree requirements to participate in a commencement ceremony.

Doctoral candidates must be certified as having completed their degree in order to participate in commencement ceremonies at the end of a term.

A student seeking a bachelor’s, master’s, or Education Specialist degree, who was enrolled in or has completed sufficient coursework to complete degree requirements in a term, may participate as a degree candidate in commencement ceremonies at the end of a term. (For the purposes of determining sufficient coursework under this policy, a student must have received a final grade, an incomplete notation (I), or a withdrawal notation (W) for relevant coursework.)

Students who withdraw from the University in the term and have not been certified for completion of a degree may not participate.

Posthumously Awarded Degrees

A student in his/her final year who has successfully completed 75% of the degree requirement, who is enrolled in good standing, making satisfactory academic progress, meeting all minimum grade point average requirements for his/her degree program, and dies before completing his/her degree may be awarded the degree posthumously upon the recommendation of the Graduate School Dean and with the approval of the Provost.