- 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.
- 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.
Types of Non-Degree Seeking Students include:
- Non-Degree Seeking Students pursuing a Graduate Certificate: The University will produce a graduate transcript reflecting the graduate-level course work taken. Graduate non-degree students seeking a Graduate Certificate must satisfy the same admission standards as fully admitted students.
- Visiting Students: 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. Students must present a Letter of Good Standing from their home institution prior to each semester of registration at Baylor.
- Post baccalaureate: Any person holding a bachelor’s degree that has not been admitted to Graduate School who is taking graduate course work through the undergraduate Admissions Office. An undergraduate transcript will be generated for the student to reflect the post-baccalaureate coursework. Only six hours of graduate level work may be taken by a post baccalaureate student. After the student has been admitted to the Graduate School, they may then petition to transfer the six hours of graduate level work taken as a post-baccalaureate student into their graduate program. This applies to 4000-level courses carrying graduate credit as well as 5000-level or 6000-level courses. A 4000-level course requires a statement from the instructor stating the student completed the extra requirements to receive graduate credit for the course.
- Undergraduates: An undergraduate 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:
- The student must have grade point averages, both overall and in the major field, of at least 3.0.
- The course load (combined undergraduate and graduate course work) may not exceed fifteen semester hours in one semester.
- The student must have taken and successfully completed all prerequisites for the graduate course(s).
- The student will assume the responsibilities of a graduate student in a graduate course.
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. Final approval of the petition must be obtained before the student can register for any graduate course work.
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:
- 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).
- A student is completing a thesis or dissertation and is enrolled in a class specifically identified as being for this purpose.
- 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 of Ph.D. Students
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.
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 from a master's level degree to a doctoral degree must apply to the doctoral program. 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 or approved undergraduates. 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.
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.