Q&A - Miscellaneous Information
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Q & A: Miscellaneous Information

Course Substitution:

Currently, the graduate office does NOT use the course substitution form that is in use by the undergraduate teacher education program. In order to request a substitution for core courses, the student must make a formal written request to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (providing as much relevant information as is possible) who will then take the request to the Graduate Committee for a formal vote to approve or not to approve. The Associate Dean of Graduate Studies will inform the student of the decision within 48 hours. All decisions made by the Graduate Committee are final.

In order to make a course substitution for elective courses, the student must make a request in writing to his/her advisory committee chair. If approved by the committee chair, the request should be sent either to the Associate Dean of the School of Education, the chair of the Psychology department, or to the Director of the American Studies program (depending on the program), and then on to the Associate Vice President for Academics. Finally, the request will be considered by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

If approved by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, the three members of the student's advisory committee must come to the Graduate Office and initial the change of the student's plan of study.

Course substitutions should be approved prior to actual enrollment in the course. Failure to do so may result in the student having a course that does not count towards the master's degree.

Please see Section 2 of the Graduate Catalog (page 8) for information concerning arranged classes.

Fee Waivers (Graduate)*:

Non-Oklahoma residents may apply for out-of-state fee waiver. Application must be made each semester through the NWOSU Registrar's Office. Applicants must meet NWOSU Graduate Studies criteria for unconditional admission to be considered for out-of-state fee waiver.

"Hold" on Enrollment:

The Graduate Office will place a "hold" on enrollment if a student does not meet official deadlines for required paperwork OR if a student fails to meet admission standards.

If you discover such a barrier to your enrollment, please check your records to be sure that you are up-to-date with paperwork, including:

  • MAT or GRE score

  • Advisory Committee Selection Form

  • Plan of Study Form

  • Portfolio Milestone 1 or 2 assessment

Contact the Graduate Office periodically to be sure that your file is kept "current" with changes of address, telephone, email, course substitutions, etc.

Load Limit for Final Semester:

The Graduate Catalog represents the university's official policy for all issues concerning the graduate program.  Approved by the Graduate Committee in spring 2004, this policy requires that students be finished with all coursework OR be enrolled in their final courses in the semester in which they take the final comprehensive exam or submit their graduate portfolio, specifically:

  • no more than 9 hours in a regular fall or spring semester;

  • no more than 6 hours in a summer term.


1. When students are enrolled in a full course load in their final semester and are required to take the written comprehensive exam,

  • it often becomes impossible to create an exam that covers a full complement of courses in either the core area or in the students' selected related area of study;

  • it often becomes impossible for them to give sufficient time for study and preparation for the final comprehensive examination.

2. When students are enrolled in a full course load in their final semester and are required to prepare and submit a graduate portfolio,

  • it often becomes impossible for them to locate sufficient artifacts for those courses;

  • it often becomes impossible for them to write adequate reflections for the portfolio;

  • it often becomes impossible for them to give sufficient time to the preparation of the portfolio.

3. The pass rate for students with a smaller course load is significantly higher than the pass rate for students with a full load in the semester in which they (1) take the final comprehensive examination or (b) submit and defend the graduate portfolio.

Time Limit for Completing a Master's Degree:

The master's degree must be completed within six calendar years.  If a student exceeds the six year limit, (s)he must re-take the courses that have expired OR contact the Graduate Office concerning a validation request for those courses. Changes must be reflected in the student's approved plan of study. Remember that transfer courses cannot be validated. See section 2 in the Graduate Catalog for more information.

Transfer Hours:

A maximum of nine credit hours of graduate credit earned at another accredited institution of higher education may be transferred into a degree program at Northwestern, provided the work forms an appropriate part of the student's degree program, is within the six-year time limit for completing the degree, and is approved by the student's advisory committee.

Exception: students in the Adult Education Management and Administration program may transfer 18 hours in the related area of study provided that Northwestern does not offer courses in that area of study. Students should consult with their advisory committee members and with the Graduate Office to be certain that coursework from other universities will be acceptable. Such courses should be listed on the student's plan of study, which should also contain signatures of graduate advisory committee members, thus signifying approval.