Academic Policies and Procedures
The academic calendar lists the dates classes begin and end, dates on which the university is closed for holidays, deadline dates for registration and withdrawal and other dates of interest to the academic community. It may also be accessed at http://www.njit.edu/Calendar/Academic.html.
Registration for Courses at NJIT
Registration is required each semester. The Registrar's office is located in the Student Mall, on the ground floor of the parking deck. NJIT has an advance self-registration system that obligates all students currently enrolled in graduate degree programs to register in advance for their courses.
All admitted students register online via the Registrar's website at www.njit.edu/Registrar.
Currently Enrolled Students
Currently enrolled students are informed of registration procedures for the fall and spring semesters by the Office of the Registrar during April and October, respectively, and must then register during the advance registration period. Instructions for the summer session are provided separately and mailed to students. Currently enrolled distance-learning/online students are informed of registration procedures for fall, spring and summer semesters by the Office of Graduate Studies.
New and Readmitted Students
The Office of University Admissions informs prospective and readmitted students of registration procedures.
New international students are only permitted to register after attending the required international student orientation program. They must then register in person. International students who register appropriately for full-time study will be reported in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) administered by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.
Non-matriculated students should contact the Office of University Admissions for details of admission and registration procedures at least one month before the date of intended enrollment. Online students should contact the Office of Graduate Studies.
Approval of Initial Registration
Students are required to arrange a conference with their graduate advisor, as soon as possible after notification of admission, to formulate a course of study that meets the requirements of the particular degree program, and reflects the interests and aspirations of the individual student. New students are required to obtain advisor approval for initial course registration. Graduate advisors are normally available for international students during the international student orientation program.
Auditing a Course
Students who wish to audit a course must state their intention to do so at the time of registration. Change in auditing status is not permitted once a semester has begun. Students who audit are required to pay full tuition and fees for the course. Financial awards are not applicable to audited courses. Audited courses are not counted in determining full-time status. Students on probation are not permitted to audit. Students who wish to attend a course must have an authorized reason for attendance and a registration in that course (regular or audit) and cannot merely "sit in" at their own discretion.
Undergraduate Registration in Graduate Courses
Undergraduate students who wish to take 500 or 600-level courses must obtain the written approval of the graduate advisor for the program that offers the course and, their undergraduate advisor, and submit an Approval for Undergraduates Taking Graduate Courses form. Undergraduates are not permitted to take 700-level courses. Grades will follow the graduate grading system.
The undergraduate and graduate advisors will review the student's academic record prior to approval. Approval can be granted only to students who have completed the appropriate prerequisites for the course and are in satisfactory academic standing. The approval will be noted on the Approval for Undergraduates Taking Graduate Courses form that requires appropriate signatures and reports the student's cumulative undergraduate GPA. Students shall have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher to be approved for registration in 500-level courses (500G for Architecture), and 2.8 or higher for registration in 600-level courses.
Students whose undergraduate GPA is below the 2.5 or 2.8 minimum, are considering courses outside of their current major, are lacking appropriate prerequisites, have completed any prior graduate courses with a grade below a B, or have already completed nine or more credits at the 500 level and above (15 credits for those in the B.S./M.S. program), or have an excessive number of credits for the undergraduate degree will also need approval by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies.
Undergraduate students should be aware that need-based financial aid may not be sustainable for registration in graduate courses.
Graduate Registration in Undergraduate Courses
To improve their background, graduate students may be asked by their advisor to register in undergraduate bridge courses before they start taking graduate courses. These courses do not count toward the required credits in their program of study.. Enrollment in other undergraduate courses requires the approval of the graduate advisor, and the undergraduate department offering the course. Tuition for these courses is assessed at the graduate rate. Grades will follow the undergraduate grading system.
Multiple Program Registrations
A student cannot be matriculated in more than one degree program at a time. This also applies to programs run cooperatively with Rutgers-Newark and RBHS. Currently enrolled graduate students who wish to enroll in a subsequent graduate degree program should not file an application for admission to the new program until they are in the final semester of their initial program.
Graduate Program Change
Graduate students are admitted to one degree program and not to the university as a whole. Master’s students who wish to change major must file the Graduate Change of Program Form. Interested students are expected to submit the program change form close to the end of the first semester in their current program. There is no guarantee or requirement that the program change will be approved. Those on financial support are liable to loss of support from the original department and cancellation of a current award. Program changes require the approval of two academic advisors (for the current and future programs). Also, international students may require approval of the Global Initiatives Office. Ph.D. students cannot apply for program change. Exceptions may be made by the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies after consulting with graduate advisors,
Students who add a course to their program will be charged the full tuition and fee for the course added; however, the flat rate (12-19 credits) may still apply. All schedule changes are completed via Highlander Pipeline and a schedule change fee will be assessed during late registration as determined by the Registrar.
Students cannot receive credit for courses if they are not registered. Attendance in a class without proper registration for that class is not permitted.
Withdrawal from Courses
Students who wish to withdraw from one or more courses should first determine if the withdrawal would have an impact on their full-time status, financial support, immigration status, or academic standing and progress. They should consult with their advisor. Sometimes their advisor may contact the Office of Graduate Studies to appeal on their behalf (e.g., late withdrawal). International students must consult with the Global Initiatives Office because of the possible impact on their status reported in SEVIS. Withdrawals before the deadline set by the Registrar are completed through Highlander Pipeline. Failure to withdraw by the deadline will result in a final grade other than W.
Discontinued attendance, or verbal approval alone to withdraw, will not result in a W and most likely will instead result in an undesirable final grade, generally an F or U.
Project, Thesis and Dissertation
Students should not register for master's project, master's thesis or Ph.D. dissertation credits until they arrange for a department or program-approved faculty advisor to supervise their work. Continued registration for additional thesis or dissertation credits within the overall time limits for completion may be allowed with approval of the academic and research advisors. A master's project registration is only for one semester and the incomplete (I) grade cannot be assigned. Credits for which a U (unsatisfactory) grade is given are not counted as degree credits toward completion of the thesis, project or dissertation.
Master's project and master's thesis registration must be at least 3 credits during a semester. Summer session registration, if needed to allow completion for the August 31st degree date, must be at least 3 credits of project or thesis. Students who were already enrolled in the Ph.D. program before August 2015 must register for at least three credits of dissertation research each semester until the accumulation of 24 pre-doctoral and doctoral dissertation research credits (20 credits for YWCC students). A student may then register for one dissertation research credit each semester until graduation; a minimum of 36 credits in pre-doctoral and doctoral research courses is needed to meet program requirements. The required doctoral dissertation research credits for students who entered the Ph.D. program after August 2015 are based on program milestones.
Maximum credit registration each semester is 12 credits for the doctoral dissertation, six credits for the master's thesis and three credits for the master's project. Additional credit registrations will require the approval of the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies. It is highly recommended that the Master's thesis registration be only three credits in a semester unless a single semester completion is anticipated.
Once a student has begun master's thesis or doctoral dissertation work, the student must register for the respective courses each semester until the thesis or dissertation is completed. Unapproved interruptions in thesis or dissertation registrations are subject to billing for omitted credits.
Students must be registered in project, thesis or dissertation in any semester or summer session in which completion is expected. The advisor for thesis or dissertation assigns the final grade of P when the Office of Graduate Studies confirms it has received all documents in final and approved form and all related bills have been paid.
Approval by the graduate program advisor and the Office of Graduate Studies must be obtained if, for extenuating circumstances, the student wishes to interrupt the thesis, project or dissertation for a semester or more. Students may neither maintain registration, nor fail to register without notifying and getting approval from the graduate program advisor and the Office of Graduate Studies. If a master's project is not completed after two semesters of registration (with prior approval of the Graduate Studies Office to repeat the project course), a final grade of F is given. Failure to complete a master's project by students who received financial support to do the project may result in academic dismissal. The university complies with all state and federal laws related to military service.
Although up to two semesters of master’s thesis registration is allowed, additional registration requires an appeal of the academic and research advisors to the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies. However, no more than four semesters and two summers of registration for a master's thesis are permitted. Failure to complete a master's thesis within this period will result in a final grade of U and may result in dismissal.
No more than six years of registration for pre-doctoral and doctoral dissertation research is permitted. Failure to complete a doctoral dissertation in this period will result in a final grade of U and dismissal from the program.
All students must have the program advisor's approval and appropriate section identification each time they register for project, thesis, dissertation, pre-doctoral research, co-op, or Independent Study. Students must register within the deadlines established by the Registrar.
Continuous Registration Requirement, Programs
Once admitted to a degree program, students must be continuously registered for credit each semester until they complete all degree requirements, unless they have been approved for a leave of absence.
Continuous Registration Requirement, Thesis/Dissertation
Once a thesis or dissertation has begun, students must register in MS thesis or dissertation research each semester until completion. Maintaining registration is not permitted in place of a credit registration for thesis or dissertation work. The grade of I is not permitted for the MS thesis or doctoral dissertation courses.
Students who complete work for thesis or dissertation over several semesters receive a final grade in the semester in which the work is completed, and after approval of the final document by the Graduate Studies Office.
Domestic students enrolled in graduate programs who find it necessary to temporarily discontinue their studies may either maintain registration, request a leave of absence, or voluntarily discontinue. A discontinuance form must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies. International students may not discontinue studies without approval from the Office of Global Initatives, but should seek approval for a leave of absence at which time maintaining registration may be authorized. PhD students may maintain registration only by permission of the Office of Graduate Studies. Students who have discontinued must follow procedures defined by the offices of University Admissions and Graduate Studies to resume their studies.
Leave of Absence
Students who anticipate a protracted absence from the university may request a leave of absence from the Office of Graduate Studies. Students requesting a leave of absence for medical reasons will be required to consult with the Dean of Students office first. Leaves are granted for up to one year and may be extended for a second year. Leaves of absence are not counted toward the time limit in which the degree must be completed, but rules regarding expiration of credit do apply for course work, MS project, MS thesis and doctoral dissertation research. Students returning on-time from an approved leave of absence are generally not required to apply for readmission, but are required to inform the Office of Graduate Studies on their return. International students may be required to apply for readmission and file new financial documents. They also are required to consult with their graduate advisor. The university complies with all state and federal laws related to military service.
To All Students, Advisors and Faculty
The university continues to make every effort to protect student's academic and personal information. Moreover, maintaining the confidentiality of student's medical information is a legal and ethical duty, as defined by federal and state laws and regulations, and by the courts. Whenever students have a personal situation that affects their academic standing, it should be brought to the Dean of Students. This includes medical or psychological documentation to support a student's claim. Students should not bring such information to their instructors, nor should it be requested by a faculty member. The Dean of Students has staff to evaluate such information to verify its legitimacy. The Dean of Students will then notify the faculty member(s) if a student has a legitimate absence and will ask that the student receive consideration in making up any missed course work or exam. This process ensures student privacy and, just as important, consistency in dealing with such matters.
Readmission After Voluntary Discontinuance
Students who have voluntarily discontinued their studies without receiving a leave of absence, and who have not been dismissed from an NJIT graduate program, must apply for readmission to the Office of University Admissions by the application deadline. A non-refundable application fee must accompany applications. Applicants are subject to all probationary and unmet conditions in force at the time they discontinued their studies. Program requirements at the time of readmission will apply in addition to satisfaction of any prior unmet conditions.
Maintenance of Registration
Students enrolled in a degree program who find it necessary to temporarily discontinue their studies are permitted to maintain registration with approvals as noted above, for a fee for each semester they do not register and for a maximum of two consecutive semesters. Students working on a MS project, MS thesis or doctoral dissertation are generally not permitted to register for maintaining registration. International students on F-1 and J-1 visa status may not maintain registration unless they have obtained prior written permission from the Global Initiatives Office.
Students who maintain registration are mailed registration notices for the following semester and are not required to reapply for admission. After receiving approval to maintain registration, students must register for "Maintaining Registration" on the course registration website.
Each semester in which registration is maintained is counted in the total time period allotted to complete degree requirements except for students with an approved leave of absence. Generally registration holds are placed on students who maintain registration for two semesters or more.
Responsibility for Registration
NJIT emails notices in advance, but cannot guarantee delivery. Regardless, students are expected to obtain all necessary information and comply with all registration procedures on time.
Scheduling of Classes
Graduate courses are, in general, scheduled for late afternoon and evening hours. Special programs, such as the Executive Management and some online programs, have their own schedules.
The university does not guarantee offering all or any of the courses listed in this catalog. When there is inadequate registration, a course may be canceled without notice. The Registrar will attempt to notify all students of course cancellations before the first meeting of the semester.
Room and laboratory changes are in the online schedule maintained by the Registrar via Highlander Pipeline.
Courses Taken at Other Colleges
Students may take courses at Rutgers-Newark provided that the:
- Course is used toward a degree.
- Course is not offered at NJIT, or, because of a conflict in schedule, cannot be taken at NJIT.
- Approval is obtained, in advance, from the student's advisor.
- Approved cross-registration form is submitted by the student to the host school. The course must also be included on the NJIT registration form.
Students in joint programs should register at the school that admitted them to their current degree program. Students from Rutgers-Newark must be matriculated in graduate programs at their home institution to cross-register for NJIT courses. Students from Rutgers-Newark who cross-register into NJIT are considered NJIT non-matriculated students and are therefore limited to 9 credits maximum. In order to take more than 9 credits, these students would have to apply and be admitted as matriculated students for an NJIT graduate degree program.
Summer course registration procedures, and inclusion of courses on NJIT transcripts for students wishing to take courses at Rutgers-Newark, are determined by the Transfer of Credits policy outlined below. In general, cross-registration cannot occur for summer sessions.
Registration at Another College
To take graduate courses at colleges other than those in the cross-registration program or during the summer sessions at Rutgers-Newark, students must obtain prior approval from their advisor and the Office of Graduate Studies. Students should review the section on "Transfer of Credits" if they wish to transfer these courses to an NJIT program. Tuition remission from NJIT is not available for courses taken at educational institutions not participating in NJIT's cross-registration program.
Transfer of Credits
Transfer credits are calculated by NJIT according to the total number of instructional minutes earned at the other institution. The equivalent instructional minutes of a maximum of 9 credits of graduate work, taken within seven years, from accredited US educational institutions may be transferred and applied to degree requirements at NJIT. Credits from educational institutions outside the United States (except Canada) cannot be transferred as individual courses. The university does not grant transfer credit for work experience or other non-instructional activities.
Groups of courses may sometimes be accepted as a block of credits toward some types of programs. Subject to specific MBA program conditions, an equivalent block of 12 credits can be accepted from a graduate degree previously awarded by a US AACSB accredited management program or internationally from a program accredited by AACSB or an AACSB-affiliated accrediting agency. For the MBA program, the proposed block must be based on courses with grades of B or better and on courses with equivalent credit values of 3 or more credits
Credits are transferred only if the courses were taken for full academic credit, were never applied to any other degree, and a final grade of at least B (3.0 GPA equivalent) was attained. In addition, the student's graduate advisor and the Office of Graduate Studies must agree that such courses directly relate to the student's program of study at NJIT before they can be transferred.
Requests for transfer credit must be submitted on a form available from the Office of Graduate Studies, accompanied by course descriptions from the other educational institution. Students must also arrange for the other institution to send an official transcript to the Office of Graduate Studies at NJIT. Requests may be submitted and approved at any time but are not added to a student's record until matriculation is granted and one semester completed. Grades that are transferred will not be calculated in cumulative GPAs.
Transfer of Credits Within NJIT
A student may transfer credits from one program to another program within NJIT under certain circumstances. This type of transfer requires consultation of the advisor with the Office of Graduate Studies but does not require completion of a transfer credit form or submittal of NJIT transcripts. All graduate credits taken at NJIT, regardless of the major, appear on a general transcript.
Students registered for 9 credits or more in a semester are considered full-time. Also, PhD students and MS students completing an MS thesis may be considered full-time under certain conditions. Please, contact the Graduate Studies Office or visit its website for further details. International students must be in full-time status every semester. The Office of Global Initiatives will report, in SEVIS, international students who meet the full-time definition under F-1 regulation 8CFR 214(f)(6). Any international students unsure of their status should contact the office at 973-596-2451 or e-mail to email@example.com. Students who are not registered for 9 credits and do not meet the conditions for full-time certification are considered part-time.
The Office of Graduate Studies may certify students as full-time even if they are not registered for 9 credits, under any of the following circumstances:
- If a master's thesis registration is included in a prior semester, an additional semester (maximum of two semesters) with only a master's thesis registration is acceptable. The student must be in good academic standing.
- Students have fewer than 9 credits remaining for completion of all degree requirements and are registered for all credits needed to complete the degree. This certification can only be given for one semester.
- Doctoral candidates who completed all required course work and meet the minimum dissertation registration requirements as per NJIT’s outlined policy (see below).
- Students originally registered for 9 credits but have substantial extenuating circumstances that require a reduction in course load. Normally this certification applies only in cases of medical or similar emergencies that incapacitate a student for a significant part of a semester. Improper course registration, failure to seek proper advisement, inadequate academic progress, or risk of earning a weak or failing grade are not extenuating circumstances. Inability of an international student who had earlier filed a financial attestation to pay tuition and fees, is also not an extenuating circumstance.
- Students on a full-time cooperative education assignment are registered in a graduate co-op work experience or equivalent course. The Office of Graduate Studies should be consulted for limits on cooperative education because cooperative education has an influence on full-time certification and allowable time to complete the degree.
- Audited courses and withdrawn courses do not count toward full-time status; ESL (English as a Second Language) courses may not count as one course each.
For federal, financial aid, and other reporting purposes, half-time graduate student status may be defined for students registered for 6 credits or fewer during a semester. Contact the Office of Graduate Studies for more information.
The following grades are used for graduate courses:
|AU||Audited (no academic credit)|
|S or U||Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory|
|P||Passing for Master's Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation|
(Unlike undergraduate courses, there is no D grade for graduate courses. Assigned grades must be consistent with the level of the course and not the matriculation level of the student in the course. Grades used in GPA calculations (A, B+, B, C+, C, and F) are not to be used as grades for dissertation research (790), pre-doctoral research (792), master's thesis, 0, 1/2, and 1 credit seminars, co-op, teaching methods, and ESL courses. Incompletes are not assignable for these courses with the exception of co-op as described later.)
Grades in MS Project, MS Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation
Grades for these courses are S or U until completion. Students who do not complete a thesis or dissertation in a semester, regardless of accumulated credits, must register again for 3 credits of thesis, or at least 1 credit of dissertation (per program requirements) in the following semester.
Letter grades bearing on the GPA are given for satisfactory completion of an MS project. The final grade for a completed and approved thesis or dissertation is P. Theses and dissertations require a successful defense before a thesis or dissertation committee as well as submission of the final thesis or dissertation documents to the Office of Graduate Studies, after which the P is assigned by the research advisor.
Semester and cumulative GPA calculations by the Registrar only include courses for which a letter grade is given. Letter grades cannot be given for work not submitted. Receipt of two U grades for project, thesis, dissertation, or pre-doctoral research can result in dismissal from the program.
Regular letter grades are assigned for special topics courses.
Regular letter grades are assigned for Independent Study (normally numbered 725 and 726) courses.
A grade of I (Incomplete) is given when courses cannot be completed because of special circumstances. Students on academic probation are not permitted a grade of Incomplete without permission from the Office of Graduate Studies. Required course work may be finished at the discretion of the instructor, no later than the end of the subsequent semester. Receipt of an I does not require or suggest attendance in the course in the following semester. A letter grade must be assigned by then or a grade of F will be automatically assigned. Students nominated for financial awards must have I grades resolved by the fourth week of the subsequent semester to allow a determination of their eligibility for the award. The new grade cannot be changed.
A grade of I cannot be given for thesis, project, dissertation, seminar, pre-doctoral research, or English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Students in joint programs or cross-registered from Rutgers-Newark should note that NJIT has a different and much earlier deadline for resolution of I's before they automatically become F's. Some departments may assign an initial I for co-op courses, which may be changed to an S or U based on submittal of a report by the student to the co-op advisor. Students continuing for a second consecutive registration period in co-op with the same employer will have an I assigned as a grade for the first registration. This will be changed to S or U, based on co-op performance and evaluation by the co-advisor at the end of the second registration period.
Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory
The grades S and U report progress in project, thesis, dissertation, and pre-doctoral research courses. These also can be final grades in seminar, co-op, teaching methods and ESL courses. The grade of S is given for satisfactory progress and U is given for unsatisfactory progress. Students who fail to meet with the instructors of these courses or do not satisfy relevant attendance requirements will receive a U grade. Credits for courses in which U is received cannot count toward a degree.
The Registrar no longer issues grade reports. Grades may be viewed using a confidential password and identification number at http://www.njit.edu/Registrar, the registrar's home page.
Grade change requests will not be accepted after the end of the subsequent semester. Students should carefully monitor their records and contact the Registrar or the Office of Graduate Studies about any missing or incorrect grades no later than the end of the following semester.
Students are expected to resolve disputes about grades with their instructors. If they cannot reach a satisfactory settlement with their instructor, students are permitted to request the intervention of the chairperson of the department. NJIT's grade appeal policy is available at the Office of the Provost's website.
A maximum of two courses may be repeated in matriculated graduate study. The grade received in a repeated course is calculated in the cumulative GPA, but the first grade still appears on the transcript. Students may not repeat a course without prior approval from the department. Non-matriculated students, including certificate students, may repeat a maximum of one course. Students who receive an F in a course will be required to repeat that course.
The academic advisor may contact the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies if the course is no longer offered or not applicable to the student's current program, or other extenuating circumstances are believed to exist.
Progress Toward Degree
Academic Performance and Satisfactory Progress Policy
Students must maintain satisfactory progress in working toward a degree. Federal and state regulations governing financial aid and awards require that students receiving aid from government agencies must meet academic performance and progress requirements defined by the university and approved by the appropriate government agencies.
NJIT reviews the academic standing of all graduate students at the end of each semester. To have satisfactory academic standing, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, must have a GPA in two consecutive semesters of 3.0 or higher, must meet all university requirements and must be making satisfactory progress toward a degree. Students who do not have satisfactory academic standing are subject to academic warning, academic probation or academic dismissal.
Students who have completed at least one full-time semester (or its equivalent of 9 credits) and do not have satisfactory academic standing should meet with their graduate advisor to review their academic record.
Students who have completed at least 9 credits and do not achieve satisfactory academic standing may be placed on academic probation or be subject to dismissal. Conditions for continuing graduate study at NJIT are sent to students on academic probation. The academic advisors will work with students to determine approaches toward successful program completion. Academic probation is noted on the permanent academic record. Students on probation for two consecutive semesters are subject to dismissal from the graduate program.
Students may be dismissed from graduate gtudies for cause at any time. Cause shall include, but is not limited to:
- Failing to meet the conditions of admission.
- Failing to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 after completing one semester or attempting at least 9 credits.
- Failing to make satisfactory progress toward a degree.
- Failing to meet the requirements for graduation.
- Failing a required or repeated course more than once.
- Failing to satisfy requirements for project, thesis, or dissertation within the required time limits.
- Failing doctoral qualifying and similar examinations required for continuing studies in the program, or failing to take examinations within prescribed time limits.
- Professional conduct offenses as defined in the NJIT Code of Professional Conduct.
- Making a false representation relating to admission, registration, or the awarding of financial support.
- Failure to pay all tuition, fees and other charges within the required time limits.
Dismissal is noted on the permanent academic record.
Decisions relating to a graduate student's academic status are made in accordance with regulations approved by the faculty and its standing committees.
Students who disagree with a decision should attempt to resolve the matter with those immediately responsible. When a matter cannot be resolved at this level, students should appeal to the Chairperson of the department and then to the Dean of their school or college.
Readmission if Dismissed
Students dismissed from NJIT for academic reasons may apply for readmission to another degree program after at least one calendar year.
Dismissed students who seek readmission should apply to the Office of University Admissions at least two months before the date of intended readmission. These students must complete, in full, the application for admission and provide all requested documentation, regardless of previous applications. Readmission is treated as a new application. Readmits compete against all other applicants for admission that semester. The circumstances and conditions of the dismissal will be considered in the readmission process.
Students dismissed for professional conduct offenses or for making false representation will not be readmitted to NJIT.
Students who reapply should also include supportive material to justify readmission. Such material may include, but may not be limited to, scores obtained in the GRE or GMAT, grades obtained in graduate level work at other institutions, letters of recommendation, and a statement by the applicant. A non-refundable fee must accompany applications.
General Graduate Degree Requirements
Graduate degree candidates must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all graduate-level courses (500 level and above) and satisfy other academic and non-academic requirements. These include financial obligations to the university. Students whose programs require a thesis or dissertation must complete these within time limits and policies prescribed by the Office of Graduate Studies. Master's theses and doctoral dissertations must be submitted for final approval to the Office of Graduate Studies. Master's projects need to be submitted only to the advisor.
At least three program approval signatures are required for master's theses; at least five are required for doctoral dissertations (at least four signatures are required for the Urban Systems program). Fees that must be paid include, but are not limited to, the binding fee, publishing fee, copyright fee.
Grade Point Average Calculation
GPAs are calculated for each semester and cumulatively for the entire graduate record. In order to obtain a graduate degree, candidates must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 when considering all graduate-level courses. All 500 level (500G for Architecture) or higher graduate courses are included in the cumulative graduate GPA. Only the initial grades for graduate courses that have been repeated (with a maximum of two allowed) are excluded from GPA calculations. Undergraduate credits taken by graduate students are not counted. Some programs also may require a 3.0 GPA in designated core course requirements.
In addition, the cumulative GPA for all courses counted for the degree must be 3.0 or better. Grades for the master's project must be B or better. Successful completion of a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation, along with defense, will be assigned a grade of P for passing. The P grade is for the thesis or dissertation credits taken in the student's final semester.
Graduation Certification Course Exclusion
The graduate student’s academic advisor may suggest the exclusion of specific courses for the calculation of the student’s GPA. These courses will not count for graduation certification and degree requirements. Prior approval of the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies is needed. The required form may be requested only by the advisor by contacting the Office of Graduate Studies and justifying the request.
For students transferring between graduate programs, the advisor must submit the form within a month after the student enrolls in the new program.
Theses and Dissertations
Theses and dissertations submitted for graduate degrees must follow a prescribed university format. The approved format is based on the Estrin/Roche manual: Guidelines for Scientific and Professional Theses. The Office of Graduate Studies provides seminars, guidance documents and continuing assistance for students. The office or its website should be consulted for more information.
Degrees cannot be certified until the Graduate Studies Office receives and approves the final thesis or dissertation documents with all related requirements completed. The Graduate Studies Office will notify the advisor and the registrar that these documents have been approved before a final grade of P can be assigned. The NJIT Library posts completed theses and dissertations on the NJIT website and works with the external bindery. Students are notified by the Library about availability of completed and bound theses and dissertations, typically several months after degree completion. The Graduate Studies Office can make arrangements, for a specified period, for sequestering a completed thesis or dissertation for proprietary or patent reasons, if requested by the student and the advisor.
Special Topics courses are occasionally offered by departments to present new areas of high demand where rapid developments in the field have not allowed time for formal approval of such courses. These are announced by the departments in time for registration and are typically well-enrolled. They may be at the master's or doctoral level. There is no university limitation on the number of special topics courses that may be taken.
Independent study is for students who want highly specialized study with a specific faculty member in areas in which specifically titled courses are not normally available. Students should see their advisors regarding independent study options. For students in doctoral programs, a maximum of two independent study courses may be used to partially satisfy the 700-level course requirement. Enrollment in independent study may be as low as one student under a faculty section number.
Expiration of Credit
For all degrees, credits expire seven years after completion of the semester in which they are earned. Expired courses cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements and must be replaced by current credits. Exceptions can be made by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies after receiving an appeal from the student's academic advisor.
Degree requirements must be generally completed within seven years of original admission. For Ph.D. students entering the program after August 2015, the limit is six years of attendance. Approved leaves of absence do not count against these limits although the validity of individual courses may still expire during the seven-year period. Requests for waivers of the seven-year limit for extenuating circumstances, other than mere failure to register, are made to the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies after receiving an appeal from the student's academics advisor. The technical content and remaining currency of courses is considered in evaluating these requests. The majority of courses in rapidly changing fields are not likely to be accepted after seven years.
Awarding of Degrees
Degrees are awarded three times each academic year: August, December and May. The university conducts its commencement ceremony once per year, normally in May. Candidates for graduation must file an Application for Graduation with the Registrar. The application must be consistent with the student's program of admission and current record. Forms are available at www.njit.edu/registrar. Applications received after the specified deadline are accepted for the requested degree date at the discretion of the Registrar and are subject to a late fee. Unsuccessful applications will be automatically added to the next commencement list and students will be billed for the appropriate fees. This will be done a maximum of three times.
Students who have not completed all requirements for the degree cannot participate (walk) in the May commencement.
Advisors of applicants for the August, December or May degree dates whose master's thesis or doctoral dissertation is substantially complete, but who are unable to submit it in final form by the specified date, may request a deadline extension from the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies. Such students may then apply for the next scheduled graduation without having to pay for additional thesis or doctoral dissertation credits. Advisors should contact the Office of Graduate Studies for further information.
Students who do not meet the deadline waiver will be required to register for master's thesis or doctoral dissertation in the subsequent enrollment period to allow formal completion.
Master's Degree Requirements
NJIT offers Master's degrees in a variety of disciplines through the five degree granting colleges and schools: Newark College of Engineering, College of Science and Liberal Arts, Ying Wu College of Computing, Martin Tuckman School of Management, and College of Architecture and Design. NJIT also offers master's degrees in interdisciplinary areas that may include coursework from a number of colleges or schools. The programs are flexibly arranged to allow new specializations and to allow new programs to be developed in response to changing needs. All current programs are listed in another section of the catalog. Students seeking more than one Master's degree should consult the Office of Admissions and the Office of Graduate Studies. There are options available that can reduce the time and number of credits for completion of the second degree.
Most master's degree programs require a minimum of 30 credits to complete. Some master's degree programs, particularly those in professional areas, require additional credits beyond 30 credits. Specific program sections of the catalog describe these requirements. In general, courses for master's programs must be numbered at the 600 level or above; some programs will allow up to two courses numbered 500-599. Some programs may also require a master's thesis or a project.
Up to 9 credits from outside NJIT, subject to approval by the advisor and the Graduate Studies Office and based on NJIT transfer credit policies described elsewhere, may be applied to master's degrees. Generally, NJIT does not allow transfer of credits already used as part of the credit requirements for a prior degree awarded by another university. However, students who have completed a master's degree elsewhere that includes more than the typical 30 credits for a master's degree and are considering an NJIT master's degree that also includes much more than the typical 30 credits, such as an MBA or an MArch degree, will be considered for a block transfer of up to 12 credits from the prior degree toward the NJIT degree. These types of transfer will require approval of the advisor and the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies.
Students who seek a master's degree in an academic discipline different from that of the bachelor's degree may be admitted to a master's degree program but may be required to complete appropriate undergraduate and/or graduate prerequisites in addition to the normal graduate degree requirements of the program. The program of courses will be individually designed in consultation with their graduate advisor. Bridge courses must be completed before 9 credits of graduate degree courses are earned. Bridge courses are not counted as degree credits but do count in graduate GPA calculations if the course is numbered 500 (500G for Architecture) or higher.
Master's Thesis Advisor, Committee, and Defense
A master's thesis committee should be formed at the start of the second semester of thesis registration (or at the start of the first semester if a single semester completion seems certain). The committee must have at least three members. All members of the committee must hold faculty rank.
The chair of the committee must be a tenured or tenure track faculty member in the department or program offering the degree. At least one other member of the committee must hold a tenure-track position or be a research professor in the department or program offering the degree. The Guidelines for Graduate Faculty membership at NJIT must be followed (http://www5.njit.edu/provost/grad-study/) when forming a committee. Approval of the committee is made by the program director and reported to the Graduate Studies Office on a standardized thesis committee appointment form.
The thesis defense must be defended in a publicly forum. Successful defense of the thesis is determined by vote of the thesis committee. The committee members must be present at the defense. Every member of the thesis committee must sign and date the approval page of the final thesis document. A report on passage, conditional passage, or failure of the defense is completed by the thesis committee chair, signed by the thesis committee members, and sent to the Graduate Studies Office on a standardized form.
Ph.D. Degree Requirements
Detailed descriptions of the degree requirements for specific degrees or degree/discipline combinations may be found in the Degree Programs section of this catalog.
PhD degree requirements for students entering a Ph.D. program after August 2015
1. Ph.D. coursework registration requirements
Ph.D. students with a recognized Master’s degree or equivalent are required to take four 700-level 3-credit courses (12 credits). Ph.D. students with a recognized Baccalaureate degree are required to take eight 600-level or 700-level 3-credit courses (24 credits) of coursework beyond the Baccalaureate degree as well as four additional 700-level 3-credit courses (12 credits), for a total of twelve 3-credit courses (36 credits). Master’s project (course 700), Master’s thesis (course 701), or more than two independent study courses (courses 725 and 726) cannot be used to satisfy these coursework requirements. A Ph.D. student may substitute a 600-level course for a 700-level course only after the academic advisor appeals on behalf of the student to the Office of Graduate Studies and receives approval. A Ph.D. program may define an additional set of required courses that must be pre-approved by the academic college (multiple colleges may be involved for interdisciplinary programs). Whether or not a program requires additional courses above the aforementioned minimum requirements, a Ph.D. student's dissertation committee may ask the student to take additional courses.
2. Ph.D. dissertation registration requirements
Ph.D. students who pass the Qualifying Examination (QE) must then register for 3 credits of pre-doctoral research (792B) per semester until they defend successfully the dissertation proposal.
Ph.D. students who defend the dissertation proposal successfully must then register for the 1-credit dissertation course (790A) each semester until they complete all degree requirements.
Students may take courses simultaneously with the 790 or 792 course as per Ph.D. program guidelines or dissertation committee recommendation.
Students who do not meet the following deadlines will be dismissed from the Ph.D. program.
The required coursework for the Ph.D. program and the (major part of the) QE must be completed successfully by the end of the second year in the program.
The dissertation proposal must be defended successfully either by the end of the third year in the Ph.D. program or four semesters after registering for the first time in the 792 pre-doctoral research course, whichever occurs earlier.
The dissertation must be defended successfully by the end of the sixth year in the Ph.D. program.
(Note: The credit requirements for any joint Ph.D. program, for which the names of multiple universities appear on the diploma, follow the explicit requirements of the joint program.)
PhD degree requirements for students entering a Ph.D. program before August 2015
The number of credits required for completion of doctor of philosophy degrees varies with the program and the level of entry into the program. Students holding a prior master's degree generally require a minimum of 60 graduate credits beyond the master's degree (which is assumed to have included at least 30 graduate credits beyond the bachelor's degree). Students entering the doctoral program with a bachelor's degree and who do not wish to complete a master's degree while pursuing the doctoral degree will be required to complete a minimum of 84 graduate credits beyond the bachelor's degree for programs offered by the Newark College of Engineering and 78 graduate credits beyond the bachelor's degree for programs offered by the College of Science and Liberal Arts.
Students who enter an NJIT doctoral program with two or more master's degrees already completed or a large number of appropriate prior graduate credits may be considered for a reduction in the credits required at NJIT. The evaluation of the requirements will be made by the program advisor in consultation with the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies. The minimum credit requirement for the doctoral degree at NJIT is 36 dissertation research credits, regardless of any other requirement waiver.
Doctoral program credit requirements for joint programs for which the names of multiple universities appear on the diploma, are to follow the requirements of the program as approved by the universities, generally a minimum of 72 credits beyond the bachelor's degree.
In addition to overall credit requirements, each program includes the following minimal requirements:
- For those entering the program with master's degrees, 24 credits of course work beyond the master's degree of which at least 12 credits must be at the 700 level and none at the 500 level or lower.
- For both entry levels; baccalaureate or master's start-point, at least 12 credits of course work at the 700 level; no more than two independent study courses may be used to satisfy this requirement. master's project or thesis cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.
- 36 credits minimum of doctoral dissertation research for programs offered jointly with other universities.
- 30 credits minimum of doctoral dissertation research for the programs offered by the College of Computing Sciences.
- Dissertation research credits in accordance with the program approval documents for programs offered jointly with other universities.
- Seminar attendance each semester or as required by the program. Nominal credit values, if any, for registration in seminar do not count toward fulfillment of overall credit requirements.
Students who wish to complete a master's degree while pursuing a doctorate in the same field must be approved for this by the doctoral department, the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, and the director of graduate admissions, and satisfy all requirements for the master's degree, including any thesis or project requirement. In general, such permission is given only after passage of the research proposal exam or if the student is near completion of the doctorate. Students in doctoral programs initially, who terminate their studies at the master's level, will lose further eligibility for support.
Students must pass a qualifying examination within two years of being admitted into a doctoral program. Students are only permitted to take the examination twice. The passage of qualifying examinations is reported to the Office of Graduate Studies on the Qualifying Examination form. Each department determines its own policies with regard to format, grading, and review of examinations by faculty and students. Students are, at their request, permitted to view their examination papers in the presence of a designated faculty member and to see correct examination answers.
Dissertation and Pre-Doctoral Research Credits for Students Already Enrolled in the Ph.D. Program Before August 2015
Students who entered the Ph.D. program before August 2015 may register for doctoral dissertation credits (course number 790) only after passage of the qualifying examination. They may register for a maximum of 6 credits of pre-doctoral research (course number 792) prior to passage of the qualifying exam. These credits may count toward the required number of dissertation credits for the degree. Dissertation and pre-doctoral dissertation credits are graded as S or U except that P is assigned to the last registration for doctoral dissertation upon completion of the degree.
Dissertation Advisor, Dissertation Committee and Research Proposal
Doctoral students are required to have a dissertation advisor selected, a dissertation committee formed, and research proposal approved within one year of passage of the qualifying examination.
The department chairperson or doctoral program director is responsible in the student's department/program for approving originally the formation of dissertation committees. The committee must be finally approved by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies. The Guidelines for Graduate Faculty membership at NJIT must be followed when forming a committee (http://www5.njit.edu/provost/grad-study/). The committee consists of a minimum of five members (four for the Urban Systems program), one of whom is external to the program or to NJIT. The majority of the committee members are tenured or tenure-track faculty from the student's program or department having research experience or developing research interests related to the dissertation research. The dissertation committee chairperson typically is the doctoral candidate's dissertation advisor, but other faculty may be selected, provided they are from the student's program or department. The dissertation committee chair must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in the program. Two committee members, including an external member, may serve as co-advisors. The advisor or at least one of the co-advisors must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member from the program.
Former students of any committee member, who are less than four years beyond doctoral completion, are specifically excluded from membership. The external committee member should either have appropriate faculty rank elsewhere or have sufficient research expertise to warrant inclusion on the dissertation committee.
Part-time doctoral students pursuing the doctorate with industry collaboration (i.e., collaborative Ph.D.) may have at least one dissertation committee member from the participating industrial partner whose research credentials would otherwise be appropriate for a member of the university faculty. Committees for joint doctoral programs with other universities shall either follow these policies or the specific policies for the joint program consistent with the program approval and related documents.
Each doctoral program has specific requirements for preparing, presenting and accepting proposals. Research is expected to investigate or develop a unique contribution to science and technology. Research may be experimental, analytical, applied, or theoretical, provided it satisfies this criteriion and is approved by the dissertation committee. It should be of a quality to warrant scholarly presentation or paper submission to reputable journals in accordance with program practice.
Doctoral candidates must spend at least one academic year in full-time residence. This requirement is sometimes waived with the approval of the dissertation committee and the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies. Such waivers are granted when a candidate's dissertation research requires use of research facilities at an approved off-campus site. A typical example for residency requirement waiver would apply in the case of students in the collaborative doctorate option.
Doctoral candidates are doctoral students who have completed all other requirements for the degree except the completion of the dissertation and the defense. This includes, as a minimum, passage of the doctoral qualifying examination, approval of the research proposal and completion of all course work. Status as a doctoral candidate does not imply candidacy for the degree. A degree candidate will be both near degree completion and have made a formal degree application for a particular graduation date.
Dissertation and Defense
The dissertation should be a scholarly publication of the quality to warrant conference presentation or paper submission to reputable journals. The dissertation must be defended in a publicly announced oral defense. Successful defense of the dissertation is determined by vote of the dissertation committee. All members of the committee must be present to hear the defense.
In regard to dissertation format, the standard reference is the latest edition of the Estrin/Roche Manual: Guidelines for Scientific and Professional Theses. Office of Graduate Studies policies on number of copies, document submission deadlines, fee payments, information documents, and grade submission for acceptance of the final dissertation and for doctoral degree certification are to be followed. The Office of Graduate Studies provides guidance and assistance to students working on formatting their dissertation. Students should contact the office for appointments early in the final semester. The review of format should proceed well in advance of final document approval and dissertation defense.
Every member of the dissertation committee must sign and date the approval page of the final defense dissertation document that will be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies.
Graduate Certificate Requirements
Certificates require completion of at least 12 specified credits with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Only one course repetition is permitted for certificate students to improve their GPA. The cumulative GPA of the entire graduate record must be at least 3.0 if the student also pursues a relevant master's degree. Graduate certificate credits may be applied to a relevant master's degree. Dual use of credits from a completed first master's degree to a second and following certificate is not permitted.
Students in certificate programs are usually considered to be non-matriculated students for the duration of the certificate program. Graduate certificate programs are normally completed before students are admitted to a following matriculated master's program. Students who did not apply for admission to a certificate program initially and instead complete the certificate requirements as part of a completed graduate degree program may be permitted to receive a certificate also with approval of the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies.