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Departmental Policies

Policy on Auditing Courses

  1. Pre-generals and Masters students may not sign up for courses as an auditor or Pass/Fail if the course is graded on an A-F scale.
  2. Post-generals students in the department may take courses on a pass/fail basis with the approval of their adviser and the approval of the course instructor. Generally, courses taken on a pass/fail basis should be outside of the student's primary area of interest.

Graduate Student Vacation Policy

Graduate students are eligible for twenty vacation days (equal to four weeks). This includes nine university holidays:

  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving and the Friday after
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
  • New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day

This leaves a remaining eleven vacation days available to graduate students.

Scheduled vacation time must be arranged with the student’s adviser so as not to interfere with the student’s academic and research responsibilities.

No additional days are given if supported in summer, and, if partially supported during the Academic Year, then vacation time will be reduced proportionally.

Policy on Part-time Employment

The following employment policy is quoted from the Princeton University Graduate School Catalog:

The Graduate School considers employment beyond a maximum full-time assistantship of 18-20 hours per week incompatible with full-time graduate study. If students and their departments judge that part-time employment is both manageable and necessary, however, the students may be employed either on-campus or off-campus (and wherever possible under the Graduate Work-Study Program). These arrangements must be approved by the departmental director of graduate studies and the student's dissertation adviser. If a teaching or research assistantship is offered by the student's department, it must be accepted rather than the off-campus position. If no teaching or research post is available, students may then apply on their own through Student Employment Service for employment of some other kind.

The Graduate School reviews students' on-campus employment records. Accordingly, the Graduate School can and will disallow part-time employment, excluding all service awards, if that employment does not comply with federal immigration and employment regulations, and/or fellowship policies. The following policies will be applicable:

  • Under no circumstance can a U. S. student or permanent resident work more than 20 hours per week from all sources (AI, AR and/or hourly employment). Any work beyond a full AI and/or AR appointment may jeopardize the full-time student status of this and other graduate students (with serious tax implications), and will therefore be closely scrutinized.
  • Under no circumstances can an international student on a visa, with a full AI and/or AR appointment, work even one hour more through hourly employment or otherwise. This not only jeopardizes the full-time student status of this and other graduate students as noted above, but it also violates the terms of the visa status.

International students may not accept off-campus employment without authorization from either the Immigration and Naturalization Service or the J-1 program sponsor.  International students should contact the International Graduate Student Adviser (Office of General Counsel), for further information on employment eligibility.

Part Time Employment Form

Policy on Changes in Course Status

Any changes (grading options, dropping or adding courses etc.), that you may need to make to your program of study after the enrollment period, from which you originally indicated on your semester course enrollment worksheet must be made on a new course enrollment worksheet and signed by your advisor or director of graduate studies. A copy must be submitted to the Graduate Office, and a copy must be taken to the Office of the Registrar, 101 West College, where a Course Change Form will be completed and submitted. The Office of the Registrar is open from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.

You may change your status in a course no later than two weeks prior to the last day of the regularly scheduled class of the semester. After that date, unless a course change form has been submitted, you will be obligated for courses as they appear on your course card.

Policy on PhD and MSE Presentations During Academic Year

No PhD FPO's or MSE thesis presentations are to be scheduled during fall break, winter recess, spring recess, summer break or at any time the semester is not in session during the academic year.

Exceptions will be made only if the student obtains approval from the CEE faculty.  Requests must be submitted in writing to your advisor.  Submission of request must be 1 month prior to your planned presentation, and no later than May 1 for defenses planned between the end of the Spring and beginning of the Fall semester.

Policy of FPO ≥ 5 years after the successful general exam

If a student presents a doctoral dissertation more than five years (i.e. ≥ 5 years) after he or she has passed the general examination, the department is not automatically obliged to receive it for consideration.  In such cases the department must vote formally as a faculty whether or not to receive it for review and examination.