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Home » Rackham Graduate School Academic Policies » 1. Admission, Matriculation, and Tuition

1. Admission, Matriculation, and Tuition

The Rackham Graduate School administers applications for graduate and graduate/professional degrees in more than 200 master’s and doctoral programs. Applications and information about procedures, requirements, fees, deadlines, and links to descriptions and requirements of individual graduate programs, are available online. The Rackham application fee is non-refundable and subject to change.

Persons with a master’s or doctoral degree are not eligible to apply for admission for another degree at the same level and in the same field except for the following instances. Admission to a master’s program in the same field may be allowed if the previous master’s program was not accredited. A person who already holds a doctorate (i.e., Ph.D., D.Phil., D.M.A., etc.) may apply to a doctoral program, but only in a new field or for a different doctoral degree in the same field. Admission requires the approval of the chair and faculty in the second doctoral program. Students who wish to apply to a second graduate program in a new field must comply with regulations for dual degree programs (section 6).

Students may not, under normal circumstances, enroll in two doctoral programs simultaneously. Those seeking an exception must submit a Rackham OARD “Petition for Modification or Waiver of Regulation.”

For the purposes of professional development, University of Michigan tenure track faculty, clinical instructional faculty, research faculty, and lecturers may apply to a graduate degree or certificate program. Faculty may not apply to degree programs offered by their own departments. In schools or colleges that do not have a departmental structure, faculty and lecturers may not enroll in degree programs offered by their school or college. In all cases, the chair and dean of the applicant’s unit of appointment must approve the application.

A student who has been permanently dismissed from an academic program of the Rackham Graduate School because of academic or professional misconduct, or who has withdrawn voluntarily rather than participate in an investigation of allegations of academic or professional misconduct, may not apply to or enroll in any other Rackham program for five years from the date of dismissal or for the period specified in the letter of dismissal.

1.1 Admission to Graduate Programs

Upon the recommendation of the graduate programs, the graduate school grants admission to applicants who meet its requirements. Admitted students are required to provide the graduate school with an official transcript (i.e., one bearing the official seal of the school and the Registrar’s signature) indicating satisfactory completion of all coursework, title of the bachelor’s degree or equivalent, date of conferral, and any additional documents as required.

An applicant may be conditionally admitted before providing an official transcript. A graduate program also may conditionally admit a student under certain prescribed conditions, such as the maintenance of a minimum grade average in specified courses. Conditionally-admitted students must meet all requirements before any degree milestone (i.e., taking preliminary or qualifying exams, advancing to candidacy, or receiving the degree) will be recorded in the official academic record or any transfer credit will be accepted.

Students must register for the term to which they are admitted or request the program to defer their admission. Students may defer admission for up to a year. Students who defer for more than a year are required to submit a new application with application fee.

1.2 Admission as Non-Candidate for Degree

Qualified applicants may be admitted with Non-Candidate for Degree (NCFD) status. These students may take a limited number of courses for professional development or to test their capabilities in a graduate setting. Graduate students visiting from another institution may also be admitted as NCFD students.

Those seeking NCFD status may either apply for admission to a department or program, or for admission to the graduate school more generally (i.e., unclassified admission) (section 2.11).

NCFD students with departmental admission may enroll for no more than two terms. NCFD students with unclassified admission may enroll for one term and take no more than two courses in that term, with no more than one course in a single degree program. Upon successful completion of their courses and with permission from Rackham, students with unclassified admission may continue for no more than one additional term. Requirements and application forms are available online.

An NCFD student cannot count credits earned under this status toward a Rackham degree unless admitted to a program as a regular degree-seeking student and with approval by the program’s graduate chair.

Rackham students who are dismissed for violations of academic or professional integrity are ineligible for admission to NCFD status for five years from the date of dismissal or for the period specified in the letter of dismissal.

1.3 Tuition and Fees

The Regents of the University determine tuition and fees, which are subject to change without notice. Programs that require an enrollment deposit apply this to tuition for the term in which the student is admitted. It is not refundable. Mandatory fees are charged for Registration, Michigan Student Assembly (MSA), Student Legal Services, and Rackham Student Government, and students are responsible for paying these unless they receive a financial aid award that covers them.

The Registrar provides an annual schedule of tuition and fees for each school and college with Rackham degree programs.

1.3.1 Residency Regulations and Tuition

The university sets tuition at different rates for Michigan residents and those from out-of-state. To be eligible for resident classification a student must demonstrate compliance with the University’s Residency Classification Guidelines. Students are responsible for using the correct university residency classification when applying for admission and registering.

1.3.2 University Assistantships

Depending on the appointment fraction, Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) and Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSAs) receive tuition grants under the terms of the university’s collective bargaining agreement with the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO). Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRAs) receive tuition grants according to university policy. For information, contact the Office of Academic Human Resources.

1.3.3 Indebtedness to the University

Students must pay all accounts due the university in accordance with regulations established by the university’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. A hold credit will be placed on the account of a student who does not meet financial obligations to the university which may prevent the student from registering or receiving transcripts or diplomas.

1.4 Required Fee Totals for the Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) Degree

For students in Doctor of Musical Arts programs, the Required Fee Total (RFT) designates the number of fee hours for which payment of tuition is required. D.M.A. students must accumulate at least 36 fee hours to be recommended for candidacy and a total of 68 fee hours to receive the doctorate. If a student has earned a master’s degree from an accredited institution that the admitting department deems relevant to the D.M.A., the RFT required for candidacy may be reduced to 18 fee hours, and 50 fee hours for the doctorate.

Precandidate tuition is not charged for more than 9 credit hours per full term (5 for a half term or up to 9 for a combined spring/summer term), and a precandidate who enrolls for more than 9 credit hours in a full term earns no more than 9 fee hours. A candidate normally earns a maximum of 8 fee hours, but a candidate who pays for an additional course earns a corresponding number of fee hours. Courses that are taken outside the university that are used to satisfy the cognate requirement (section 4.1) and courses elected during candidacy that are taken without tuition charges (section do not count toward the RFT.

A deficiency at the time of admission to candidacy or at the time of completion of the degree may be made up by payment at the current rate per credit hour without actual enrollment.