Policies Governing All Graduate Programs

Graduate Major

A graduate major is the area of academic specialization in which the student chooses to qualify for a graduate degree. Upon completion of a graduate degree, the degree awarded and the graduate major are listed on the student's transcript.

Graduate Option

Options are for students of a specific major. An option is one of several distinct variants of course aggregations within a major that focus on an area of study designed to provide a student with specialized knowledge, competence, and skills while sharing a minimum core of courses.

A graduate option consists of a minimum of 12 designated quarter credits of related course work (excluding thesis credits), comprised of course work offered by the sponsoring unit as well as by other academic units. The option may be comprised of specific courses, completion of a designated number of credits from a longer list of alternative courses, or a combination of specific and alternative course lists. Approved options may be added to a graduate program of study, and approved by the faculty advisor(s) and the director of the sponsoring unit. On the program of study, there should be no overlap in course credits between options (the same course cannot be used to satisfy credit requirements in multiple options). When the unit submits the final examination card to validate awarding of the major to the Graduate School, the unit will also validate that the requirements of the option have been completed.

Graduate Area of Concentration

A graduate area of concentration is a subdivision of a major or minor in which a strong graduate program is available. Areas of concentration may be referenced on the student's program of study, but they are not listed on the student's transcript.

Graduate Minor

A graduate minor is an academic area that clearly supports the major. Master's program minors must include a minimum of 15 quarter credits of graduate course work; doctoral minors require a minimum of 18 credits. On a master's or doctoral program, a minor may be:

  1. an academic area available only as a minor,
  2. a different major,
  3. the same major with a different area of concentration, or
  4. an integrated minor.

An integrated minor consists of a series of cognate courses from two or more areas. These courses must be outside the major area of concentration, with most of the courses being outside the major department. The graduate faculty member representing the integrated minor must be from outside the major department. Graduate minors are listed on the student's transcript.

Concurrent Master’s Degrees

Students who earn two master’s degrees at Oregon State University must complete all degree requirements for each degree. This requires filing separate programs of study forms for each degree, filing separate commencement applications for each degree, completing separate projects or theses for each degree, scheduling separate final oral examinations for each degree, and passing final oral examinations for each degree. For additional information, please refer to the Transfer Credit section of this catalog.

Dual Majors

For the MA, MS, EdM, MF, or PhD degree, a student may select two graduate major areas to pursue instead of the traditional single major. Only one degree is awarded, and the student basically must satisfy all degree requirements for majors in both areas. For more details, contact the Graduate School.

Graduate Certificate

A graduate certificate program is a structured progression of graduate-level courses that constitute a coherent body of study with a specific defined focus within a single discipline or a logical combination of disciplines. It is designed for a student who has completed a baccalaureate degree and is in pursuit of advanced-level learning. Graduate certificates reflect the educational mission of the university.

Transfer Credit

Students may only transfer course credits from regionally accredited institutions (or equivalently recognized institutions outside the U.S.). Students who wish to transfer graduate credits from other schools must provide transcripts for courses already completed to the Graduate School prior to the submission of a study program. Undergraduate students at OSU may receive credit for graduate courses (500 and 600 level) in excess of the requirements for a baccalaureate degree. Graduate courses taken at OSU while the student was a non-degree graduate student, a post-baccalaureate student, a professional degree-seeking student (PharmD or DVM), or an undergraduate student, are considered transfer courses.

Courses to be transferred must be graduate level. It is the responsibility of the student wishing to transfer the course to provide the necessary documentation to satisfy the OSU guidelines.

All courses on a program of study require final approval by the student’s program of study committee and the Graduate School. Committees are free to deny inclusion of any course if they believe that the earned grade is not sufficient; the course is not appropriate, sufficiently current, sufficiently rigorous based on syllabus content; or for any other reason. To be considered for inclusion on a graduate program of study, OSU courses whether taken as either an enrolled graduate student or pre-graduate admission, must have an earned grade of C or better. To be considered for inclusion on a graduate program of study, courses from another institution (transfer courses) must have an earned grade of B minus or better.

If the transfer credit is from a foreign university, the student must provide copies of the original transcript and an English translation of the transcript, with the courses to be transferred clearly indicated. Grades and credits for the courses must be clearly identified. In some countries, the first university degree, which OSU considers to be equivalent to a baccalaureate degree, may take five years or more to complete. All of the course work toward such a degree is considered a requirement for the first university degree, and hence none of it can be transferred to a graduate certificate or graduate degree at OSU.

Students may not transfer courses graded on a nonstandard basis (e.g., Pass/No Pass, Credit/No Credit, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) to their graduate certificate or degree programs unless it can be verified from the registrar of the university offering the course that the grade is equivalent to a B (3.00) or better.

Graduate courses to be transferred from another institution to an OSU master's degree must not have been used to satisfy the requirements for a bachelor's degree, master's degree (or equivalent) or a doctoral degree.

Graduate courses to be transferred from an OSU master's degree to a second OSU master's degree must meet the following three requirements:

  1. Credits used to satisfy the residency requirements of one master's degree may not be used to satisfy the residency requirements of another master's degree.
  2. Students who earn two master's degrees at Oregon State University must complete all degree requirements for each degree. This requires filing separate programs of study forms for each degree, filing separate commencement applications for each degree, completing separate projects or theses for each degree, scheduling separate final oral examinations for each degree, and passing final oral examinations for each degree.
  3. Such credit will be granted only for graded course work earned at Oregon State University and completed with a grade of B or higher.

Up to 15 graduate credits may be transferred toward a 45-credit master's degree. Up to 6 graduate credits may be transferred toward an 18-credit graduate certificate.

Graduate courses to be transferred to a doctoral degree program can be courses that were used to satisfy the graduate course requirements for a graduate certificate or a master's degree (or equivalent). Selected 700-level courses that have been deemed equivalent to graduate-level learning may be used on doctoral programs of study upon approval of the student's graduate committee. There is no limit on transfer credit toward the doctoral degree as long as the doctoral residence requirement is satisfied.

Credits earned in fulfillment of a graduate certificate program may be applied to a graduate degree, so long as they meet the appropriate standards for use in the degree and the criteria to transfer credit as defined herein. Courses completed for a degree program may likewise be applied toward a certificate program.

Preparation Required for Graduate Major

Preparation for a graduate major is ordinarily an undergraduate major in the same subject, or a fair equivalent. Preparation for a graduate minor is ordinarily at least one year of upper-division work in addition to foundation courses in the subject.

Academic performance is not the sole criterion for admission to and continuation in certain courses and programs at the university, such as practicum courses and internships. The university may find it necessary to evaluate a person's background to determine his or her likelihood of maintaining standards of professional conduct necessary in the academic discipline or profession. An evaluation may consider current performance as well as past experiences and actions that could affect a student's ability to perform in the particular course or program.

Qualifying Examinations. Some departments and programs require graduate students working for advanced degrees to take oral and/or written examinations in their major and minor fields to determine overall preparation and background. The examination serves as a guidance examination, the results of which are used in setting up the graduate study program. A poor showing in any area may result in a student's taking undergraduate courses without graduate credit to gain the necessary background to proceed with the graduate program. The examination usually is taken during the first quarter of graduate enrollment.

In lieu of their own qualifying examination, departments and programs may accept a satisfactory showing in the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or some other standard test. Check with the anticipated major department or program to find out which exams are appropriate.

Registration Requirements



Full-time status as a graduate student is defined by Oregon State University as enrollment in 9 credits per term. The maximum load for a full-time graduate student is 16 credits. A student may exceed this limit only with the approval of the Graduate School. Students receiving approval to exceed 16 credits will be assessed a per-credit overload fee.

Full-time status (i.e., a minimum of 9 credits per term) may be sufficient to qualify for purposes of veterans’ benefits, visa requirements, external fellowships, and federal financial aid.

To assure full compliance with visa regulations, international students must consult with the Office of International Services (OIS) for additional information about registration requirements.

Continuous Enrollment


I. Minimum Registration

Unless on approved leave of absence (see Section II), all graduate students in graduate degree programs must register continuously for a minimum of 3 graduate credits until their degree is granted or until their status as a credential-seeking graduate student is terminated. This includes students who are taking only preliminary comprehensive or final examinations or presenting terminal projects. Students must register for a minimum of 3 credits and pay fees if they will be using university resources (e.g., facilities, equipment, computing and library services, or faculty or staff time) during any given term, regardless of the student’s location. If degree requirements are completed between terms, the student must have been registered during the preceding term.

Graduate students who have successfully completed all course and noncourse requirements in accordance with diploma deadlines (see the Graduate School website) are not required to register during the subsequent term.

Nonthesis master’s degree students who complete all degree requirements during a term for which they are registered will not be required to register for the subsequent term.

Doctoral and thesis master’s students who fail to meet all deadlines and complete all course and noncourse requirements during the term will be required to register for a minimum of 3 graduate credits during the subsequent term. However, only if library copies of the thesis have been submitted to the Graduate School within the first two weeks of the subsequent term and the thesis is the only outstanding requirement remaining for certification of the student’s graduate degree may an exception to this rule be considered.

Graduate students who use facilities or faculty/staff time during summer session to engage in academic or research activities in support of their thesis/pursuit of degree are required to register for a minimum of 3 credits during the summer session. Graduate students who use facilities or faculty staff time during summer session purely in service to the university and not to engage in academic or research activities in support of their thesis/pursuit of degree are not required to register during the summer session. 

Graduate students do not need to submit a Leave of Absence/Intent to Resume Graduate Study form if they do not enroll in summer term.

It should be noted that graduate assistantship eligibility requires enrollment levels that supersede those contained in this continuous enrollment policy. Various agencies and offices maintain their own registration requirements that also may exceed those specified by this continuous enrollment policy (e.g., those of the Veterans Administration, Immigration and Naturalization Service for international students, and those required for federal financial aid programs.) Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that may be required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.

II. Leave of Absence

On-leave status is available to students who need to suspend their program of study for good cause. Students who desire a leave of absence will work with their major professor, program administrator, and the Graduate School to arrange authorized leave. Students understand that while on leave they will not use university resources. Graduate faculty members are students’ most important resource at the university and will work closely with graduate students to ensure timely completion of academic goals, understanding of the continuous graduate enrollment policy, and that graduate students enroll each term other than when they are on authorized leave. The Graduate School will assist graduate students and graduate faculty members with administrative procedures related to the continuous graduate enrollment policy. The Graduate School recognizes the diverse circumstances and unpredictability of graduate students’ lives and will work in partnership with the graduate community in arranging leaves and responding to unanticipated situations.

A graduate student intending to resume active graduate student status following interruption of his or her study program for one or more terms, excluding summer session, must apply for leave of absence to maintain graduate student standing in his or her degree program. (See Section IV below). Leave of Absence/Intent to Resume Graduate Study Forms must be received by the Graduate School at least 15 working days prior to the first day of the term involved. The time the student spends in approved on-leave status will be included in any time limits relevant to the degree (See Sections C.1. and C.2. below). Students in on-leave status may not a) use any university facilities, b) make demands upon faculty time, c) receive a fellowship or financial aid, or d) take course work of any kind at Oregon State University.

A. Eligibility
Only graduate students in good standing are eligible for leave of absence.

B. Leave of Absence Categories

  1. Regular. Regular leave of absence is granted on a term-by-term basis in cases where the student demonstrates good cause (e.g., illness, temporary departure from the university for employment, family issues, financial need, personal circumstances). Students who request a leave of absence must:
    1. be in good standing,
    2. submit the Leave of Absence/Intent to Resume Graduate Status form indicating each term for which leave is requested, and
    3. complete all degree requirements within the time limits established in this catalog.
  2. Family and Medical Leave. This leave is different from regular leave in that it is for 12 continuous weeks that may span multiple terms and must meet FMLA leave requirements as determined by the Office of Human Resources. See policy at http://gradschool.oregonstate.edu/sites/gradschool.oregonstate.edu/files/imce/progress/graduate-student-family-and-medical-leave-policy.pdf

C. Limits

  1. Regular Leave of Absence is granted for a specified time period that may not exceed three terms, excluding summer session.
  2. Time spent in on-leave status will be included in all time limits pertaining to the student’s degree program.
  3. Students who matriculate fall term 2016 or later may use unlimited leaves as long as time to degree constraints are met (7 years for master's degrees and graduate certificates; 9 years for doctoral degrees). Leaves of absence may be approved for up to three terms at a time, but must be renewed to retain student status. Failure to renew the leave of absence or register will result in the loss of student status.
  4. Family and Medical Leave is available for 12 continuous weeks that may span multiple terms and must meet FMLA leave requirements as determined by the Office of Human Resources. These absences will not be included in all time limits pertaining to the student’s degree program. Contact the Graduate School for additional details.

D. Approval
Approval of the major professor, department/program chair, and graduate dean are required.

III. Student Fees

Students with approved on-leave status are not required to pay tuition or fees. However, students who must register as per section I, "Minimum Registration," must pay both tuition and student fees.

IV. Unauthorized Break in Registration

A graduate student who takes an unauthorized break in registration by failing to maintain continuous enrollment or by failing to obtain regular or planned leave of absence will relinquish his or her graduate standing in the university. Students who wish to have their graduate standing reinstated will be required to file an Application for Graduate Readmission and pay the readmission fee. The readmission application must be approved by the student’s major professor, department/school/program chair, and graduate dean. Acceptance back into a graduate program is not guaranteed even if the student departed in good standing. The petitioner for readmission will be required to meet university and departmental admission requirements and degree completion requirements that are in effect on the date of readmission. Review of the Application for Graduate Readmission may also result in a change of residency status from resident to nonresident.

V. Appeal

In the case of extraordinarily extenuating circumstances, students may appeal the provisions of the continuous graduate enrollment policy by submitting a detailed request in writing to the dean of the Graduate School.

Implementation of Continuous Enrollment Policy

All graduate students, excluding certificate-only students, including those enrolled prior to fall 2002, are subject to this policy.

All graduate students should be enrolled for a reasonable number of credits sufficient to represent their use of university space, facilities or faculty time.

Registration Requirements for Graduate Assistants

In addition to the above registration requirements, the following requirements apply to graduate teaching assistants (GTA) and graduate research assistants (GRA).

As a condition of their academic appointments, graduate teaching and research assistants are required to register for 3 credits above the minimum full-time load (i.e., a minimum of 12 credits) each term of the appointment during the academic year (fall, winter, and spring.) During summer session, a minimum registration of 3 credits is required for graduate assistants. Audit registrations, course withdrawals, and enrollment in INTO OSU courses may not be used to satisfy enrollment requirements for graduate assistant salary/stipend, tuition remission, salary supplement or health insurance benefits. Tuition charges associated with INTO OSU enrollment are not covered under graduate assistant tuition remission.

Grade Requirement

A grade-point average of 3.00 (a B average) is required: 1) for all courses taken as a degree-seeking graduate student, and 2) for courses included in the graduate degree or graduate certificate program of study. Grades below C (2.00) cannot be used on a graduate program of study. A grade-point average of 3.00 is required before the final oral or written exam may be undertaken. Enforced graduate-level prerequisite courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C.

Course Numbers


Graduate Courses

All graduate courses will be designed around well-defined objectives or student learning outcomes, and instructional opportunities should be designed to help students achieve these outcomes. Student learning outcomes encompass the range of student attributes and abilities that students should be able to demonstrate after successful completion of the course.


500-Level Courses

These courses are graduate courses offered primarily in support of graduate certificate or master's degree programs but which are also available for use on doctoral level degree programs.

Undergraduates of superior scholastic achievement may be admitted to these courses on the approval of the instructor, and they may, if admitted, under some conditions, use a limited number of these courses toward a graduate certificate or a graduate degree program. These courses have one or more of the following characteristics:

  1. They require upper-division prerequisites in the discipline.
  2. They require an extensive theoretical base in the discipline.
  3. They increase or re-examine the existing knowledge or database of the discipline.
  4. They present core components or important peripheral components of the discipline at an advanced level.

600-Level Courses

These are graduate courses offered principally in support of doctoral level instructional programs but also are available for use on graduate certificate or master's level degree programs. In addition to exhibiting the characteristics of 500-level courses, these courses typically require 500-level prerequisites and they build on and increase the information presented in 500-level courses.


Other Courses:


700-Level Courses

These are advanced professional or technical courses that may be applied toward a first professional degree (e.g., DVM, PharmD). They make up the bulk of the course work for these professional degree programs. In general, these courses are not considered graduate-level courses, and may not be applied toward graduate certificate, master's level or doctoral level (PhD or EdD) degree programs. However, selected 700-level courses that have been deemed equivalent to graduate-level learning may be used on doctoral programs of study upon approval of the student's graduate committee.


800-Level Courses

These courses are in-service courses aimed at practicing professionals in the discipline. These courses have an in-service or retraining focus, and provide the professionals new ways to examine existing situations or new tools to treat existing problems. These courses generally have none of the characteristics of 500-level courses. They are not graduate-level courses, and they may not be applied to graduate certificate or graduate degree programs nor to professional degree programs.

Blanket-Numbered Courses

Blanket-numbered courses have a zero middle digit. Those that carry graduate credit may be repeated up to the maximum totals indicated below.

No more than 9 credits of blanket-numbered courses, other than thesis (or research-in-lieu-of-thesis for nonthesis programs), may be applied toward the minimum 45-credit master's degree. While internship credit (510) is not considered a blanket-numbered course, no more than 6 credits of internship may be applied toward a 45-credit master's degree. The internship credit limit is in addition to the 9-credit blanket-hour limit.

No more than 15 blanket-numbered credits may be applied toward the minimum 108-credit doctoral program.

No more than 3 credits of blanket-numbered courses in each field of study may be used in the MAIS program; thesis credits or research paper credits are exempt from this limitation.

Blanket-numbered transfer courses will count toward the maximum totals specified above.

Courses Graded on Nonstandard Basis

Graduate students may elect to take courses on an S/U basis only if those courses are not in their graduate certificate or graduate degree program or are not required for the removal of deficiencies. Graduate students may use courses taken at OSU on a P/N basis in their graduate certificate or graduate degree programs.

4xx/5xx Courses

No more than 50% of courses used for a graduate program of study may be the 500-level component of a dual-listed course. Courses bearing dual-listed numbers (400/500) must provide students who are enrolled for 500-level credit with graduate-level learning.

Expectations for learning outcomes in the graduate component of dual listed (400/500 level) courses are the same as for stand-alone 500-level courses. A distinction should be made between learning outcomes for students taking the course for undergraduate credit (400 level) and those taking the course for graduate credit (500 level). In most cases this distinction should include emphasis on developing skills in analysis, synthesis, and/or evaluation for the 500-level credit. The different student learning outcomes should be accompanied by appropriate differences in instructional opportunities and evaluation procedures.

Repeating 4xx/5xx Courses

A graduate student who has taken a 4xx course may not normally include the corresponding 5xx course on his or her graduate program.

Remote Access for Graduate Committee Meetings

It is generally expected that all members of graduate committees should be physically present at all required graduate committee meetings (i.e., program meetings, preliminary examinations, and final examinations). However, it is permissible for the student, and/or committee members to participate from a remote location provided the conditions listed below are met:

  1. Advance agreement of the student and all committee members has been obtained;
  2. All participants join in with two-way audio and video connections; audio-only connections must be approved by the major professor if the video connection is not possible. When the student is the remote participant, his or her connection must be an audio and video connection;
  3. Any visual aids or other materials have been distributed in advance to the remote participants;
  4. The committee members participate in the complete meeting, discussion, presentation, and evaluation; and
  5. The student is responsible for making arrangements.


A student wishing to deviate from normal Graduate School regulations and procedures may submit a request and the reasons for it to the Graduate School in a letter signed by the student and his or her major professor. In reaching a decision, the Graduate School may seek advice from the Graduate Council. The student will be advised of the decision when it has been made. Action taken on a petition will not be considered precedent for future action.

Diploma Application

Graduate students wishing a printed diploma must complete a Diploma Application form. This form should be submitted prior to taking the final examination, indicating the term the student intends to graduate. Participation in Commencement ceremonies requires earlier submission of this form.

Institutional Review Board Approval of Human Subjects Research

It is Oregon State University policy that the OSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) must review all research that involves human subjects. The results from studies conducted without obtaining IRB review and approval may not be published or widely distributed, nor can such data be used to satisfy master's thesis or doctoral dissertation requirements.

The requirements for IRB review of research involving human subjects is based upon research ethics and federal law, and the implications of conducting human subjects research without IRB approval are significant. Failure to follow this policy places both the individual and the institution at risk: the individual may be subject to university sanctions and/or incur personal liability for negligence and harm; the university could lose access to federal funding or be forced to cease all human subjects research. For more information, please send an email to irb@oregonstate.edu or visit the IRB website at http://research.oregonstate.edu/irb/.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee IACUC

The Oregon State University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) requires prior review and approval for all live vertebrate animal use in research, teaching, testing, per the IACUC Scope of Work Policy. An eligible principal investigator must be identified in order to submit an ACUP to the committee, per PI Eligibility Policy. Review leading to approval is accomplished via submission of an Animal Care and Use Protocol form (ACUP) to the IACUC.

The requirements for IACUC review are based on the ethics of animal use, and our assurances to agencies that provide federal oversight, funding, and program accreditation. Implications regarding conduct of animal research without IACUC approval and oversight are significant. Failure to secure and maintain approval can result in the student’s inability to continue research or publish data. In addition, OSU could lose accreditation, lose access to funding and/or be required to pay significant fines. Please contact IACUC@oregonstate.edu for more information.

OSU Scientific Diving and Scientific Boating

Scientific Diving

OSU personnel (graduate or undergraduate students, faculty, staff, approved volunteers) who work underwater as a part of their research must have their diving activity pre-approved by the OSU Diving and Small Boat Safety Officer (DBSO) and the OSU Diving Control Board. OSU is an organizational member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) and all OSU scientific diving is conducted in accordance with AAUS standards. For more information visit http://research.oregonstate.edu/diving/ or contact the Diving and Small Boat Safety Office (diving.safety@oregonstate.edu).

Scientific Boating

OSU personnel (graduate or undergraduate students, faculty, staff, approved volunteers) who operate vessels (motorboats, personal watercraft, and non-motorized craft) as a part of their research must conduct their activities in accordance with OSU scientific boating standards. For more information visit http://research.oregonstate.edu/boating/ and contact the Diving and Small Boat Safety Office (diving.safety@oregonstate.edu) to ensure that your planned research boating activities are in compliance with OSU standards. OSU is a member of the Scientific Boating Safety Association (SBSA).

Graduate Work by Faculty Members

The Faculty as Student policy specifies that one may not simultaneously be an Oregon State University faculty member and an OSU graduate student. This policy pertains to all OSU faculty members (both ranked and professional), is consistent with practices at most universities, and is in keeping with recognized appropriate graduate education practice.

Although faculty members are eligible to enroll for courses at staff fee rates, such course work may not be applied to a graduate certificate or graduate degree without prior approval from the graduate dean.

Graduate Student Teaching

Appointment as Instructor of Record. For a graduate student to be appointed as the Instructor of Record for a graduate course (including the 500-level component of a slash course):

Appointment as Teaching Assistant. For a graduate student to be appointed as the Teaching Assistant for a graduate course (including the 500-level component of a slash course), the Director of the Graduate Program must ensure that potential conflicts of interest are avoided to the maximum extent possible. This may include:

If neither of these criteria are met, the program must have a conflict of interest plan approved by the Graduate School.

Graduate Appointments

Graduate assistants are represented by the Coalition of Graduate Employees, American Federation of Teachers Local 6069 (CGE). Terms and conditions of employment for service not performed as a requirement for their degrees are prescribed in the collective bargaining agreement between OSU, OUS, and CGE. The CGE contract can be found on the OHR website at http://hr.oregonstate.edu/ercc/gradstud.

Persons interested in assistantships should write directly to the department program concerned.

To qualify for appointment as a graduate assistant the student must:

  1. Be a regularly admitted, conditionally admitted, or provisionally admitted graduate student at Oregon State University (i.e., not a graduate nondegree-seeking, postbaccalaureate student, or PharmD or DVM student).
  2. Be enrolled as a full-time degree-seeking graduate student at Oregon State University, completing a minimum of 12 credits of instruction each term (9 credits during summer session). Audit registrations, course withdrawals, and enrollment in INTO OSU may not be used to satisfy these minimum enrollment requirements.
  3. Be making satisfactory progress toward an advanced degree.

Graduate assistants may be appointed on an academic term basis, an academic-year basis (nine months) or a full-year basis (12 months). No appointment can be for less than .30 FTE or more than .49 FTE per term. A graduate assistant on less than .49 FTE may take on extra duties; however, the total stipend plus salary from all sources at Oregon State University may not exceed the equivalent of .49 FTE for any term.

All graduate assistants are required to provide duties to OSU to justify their stipends. Teaching assistants are expected to provide duties related to the university's instructional program (e.g., teaching laboratories or discussion sections, grading papers, advising). Research assistants provide duties related to the research function of the university. Whatever the type of appointment, the graduate assistant should be regarded as a student providing service as part of a learning experience rather than as an employee whose education is secondary.

The work schedule and the duties to be performed by the graduate assistant shall be established by the department or program sponsoring the assistantship.

Graduate assistants must register for and complete a minimum of 12 credits of instruction each term except during summer session, when a minimum of 9 credits is required. Audit registrations, course withdrawals, and enrollment in INTO OSU courses may not be used to satisfy these minimum enrollment requirements. (See section on 'Registration Requirements for Graduate Assistants' for complete details.)

Persons interested in assistantships should write directly to the department or program concerned.

International Graduate Teaching Assistant English Language Requirement

If the Graduate School determines that an applicant or current student’s native language is not English, the proposed IGTA is required to take the Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) test before being appointed as a graduate teaching assistant.

Potential IGTAs scoring below 22 on the speaking section of the iBT can be appointed, but will be required to undertake further English language training.

If a department wishes to offer a student with an iBT speaking score of 18 to 21 an assistantship, the unit must:

  1. Affirm that the graduate student will be enrolled in IEPA 098NC Communication for IGTAs (with the unit paying the cost of this training).
  2. If at all possible, assign the graduate student assignments (such as paper grading, reagent preparation, etc.) that do not require personal contact with undergraduate students.
  3. If (b) above is not possible, and if possible, pair the IGTA in the laboratory or classroom with another TA who is a native speaker of English.
  4. Monitor the quality of IGTA performance using student evaluations and the evaluations of the supervising professors. The unit will document for each student the results of their evaluation of the student’s performance as a GTA.

If the unit agrees to meet these conditions, the IGTA appointment can be made.

The scheduling of IEPA 098NC will be coordinated with the units so that students can attend the course and conduct teaching assistantship duties. Please check the OSU online schedule of classes for confirmation of the time and date:


Students with an iBT speaking score of less than 18 cannot be assigned teaching assistantships.


Dismissal from Graduate School

Advanced-degree students (regularly, conditionally, and provisionally admitted) are expected to make satisfactory progress toward a specific academic degree. This includes maintaining a GPA of 3.00 or better for all courses taken as a graduate student and for courses included in the graduate program, meeting departmental or program requirements, and participating in a creative activity such as a thesis.

If a student is failing to make satisfactory progress toward an academic degree, as determined by the major department/program or the Graduate School, the student may be dismissed from the Graduate School.

Any doctoral student who fails the preliminary oral examination with a committee recommendation that the student's work toward this degree be terminated may be dismissed from the Graduate School.

Any student who fails a final oral examination may be dismissed from the Graduate School.

Academic dishonesty and other violations of the Student Conduct Code may serve as grounds for dismissal from the Graduate School.

Student Conduct Regulations

Graduate students enrolled at Oregon State University are expected to conform to basic regulations and policies developed to govern the behavior of students as members of the university community. The regulations have been formulated by the Student Conduct Committee, the Student Activities Committee, the university administration, and the State Board of Higher Education. Violations of the regulations subject a student to appropriate disciplinary or judicial action. The regulations and the procedures for disciplinary action and appeal are available via the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards website at http://studentlife.oregonstate.edu/studentconduct/.

Grievance Procedure

All students desiring to appeal matters relating to their graduate education should request a copy of Grievance Procedures for Graduate Students at Oregon State University from the Graduate School. These procedures are also available on the Web at http://gradschool.oregonstate.edu/progress/grievance-procedures. Graduate assistants whose terms and conditions of employment are prescribed by the collective bargaining agreement between OSU and the Coalition of Graduate Employees, American Federation of Teachers Local 6069 should also refer to that document.