Mar 20, 2023  
Graduate Catalog 2012-13 
Graduate Catalog 2012-13 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Registration at Western Michigan University is conducted via the schedule and procedures as found on the Registrar’s website, This website should be consulted for information on registration dates, the priority registration schedule, drop/add dates, refund dates, final exam schedules, deadlines and methods of payment, and all policies related to registration. Registration by students signifies an agreement to comply with all regulations of the University whenever approved by Western Michigan University.

Students should be aware that course information, including building, room. instructor, and time may change. The information in the online registration system is the most current.

To begin registration, the student will log in to GoWMU at and follow the script displayed.

Advance Registration

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Western Michigan University offers advance registration for each enrollment period as described on the Registrar’s website. Students are encouraged to take advantage of advance registration but are cautioned that any subsequent change in their schedules should be made before the final day of the drop/add period. See the sections below for more information about changing registration schedules.

Adding or Withdrawing from Classes Before the Final Date to Drop

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Students may enroll in (add) any course through the first five days of classes of a semester or session. The final date for adding courses is published on the Registrar’s website

Only students who have a class that is not officially scheduled to meet during the five-day Drop/Add period will be given an additional opportunity to drop/add.

Students may withdraw (drop) classes through the fifth (5th) day of the semester or session and the course will not be reflected on the student’s official transcript. All withdrawals received after the Drop/Add period will be reflected on the student’s academic record as a non-punitive “W” (Official Withdrawal), as long as the withdrawal complies with the policy explained directly below.

Dropping Classes and Withdrawing from All Classes

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Students may withdraw from one course, several courses, or all courses, without academic penalty from the day after the last day of the drop/add period for the semester or session, through the Monday of the tenth week (Fall/Spring semesters) and through the Monday of the fifth week (Summer I/II sessions). These withdrawals can be processed by the student online, through GoWMU. A non-punitive “W” will be recorded on the student’s transcript for any classes the student withdraws from after the drop/add period.

Students are encouraged to discuss a withdrawal with their instructor before withdrawing as the student may not re-enroll.

Student should also be aware that there may be financial aid implications following a withdrawal. A withdrawal from any course or courses which changes a student’s status from full time to part time may have insurance or other implications.

Withdrawal from a course at any time after the end of the student-initiated withdrawal period is effectively a grade change. As such it will be permitted only through the Grade Appeals Process, as described in the section Students Rights and Responsibilities, “Course Grade and Program Dismissal Appeals.” To change an assigned grade to “W,” documented hardship must be determined to have existed by a GAPDAC Hardship Assessment Panel, as described in the section Students Rights and Responsibilities, “Hardship Status”.

Except for documented and exceptional circumstances, hardship petitions will not be accepted more than on year after the end of the term or session for which the hardship was documented. All petitions filed after the one year timeline must be granted an exception by the Office of the Provost prior to consideration by the Hardship Assessment Panel.

The student is strongly encouraged to consult with the University Ombuds before initiating a hardship-based withdrawal appeal.

After a semester or session has ended, a student withing to withdraw from a course may file an appeal for a late withdrawal, as described in the Course Grade and Program Dismissal Appeals section, in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of this catalog.

The Registrar’s Office will record the drop or withdrawal if approvals are given as listed above.

Graduate Credit and Course Numbers

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To receive graduate credit, graduate students will register for courses offered at the 5000-, 6000-, or 7000-level. Courses numbered 6000 and above are open only to graduate students; courses numbered 5000 through 5990 are open to both graduate students and advanced upperclass students who meet the course prerequisites. Graduate students enrolling in courses at the 5000-level or higher will receive graduate credit.

All 7000-level courses are graded on a “Credit/No Credit” basis, without exception. 

No graduate credit is given for registration in undergraduate courses, nor for any type of correspondence work, regardless of course number.

Graduate Leave of Absence

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Western Michigan University supports a graduate leave of absence policy to assist graduate students who are temporarily unable to continue their programs. The leave of absence may extend consecutively for up to two semesters and two sessions (i.e., up to one year). Extensions of a leave of absence may be possible with a new application. Reasons for requiring a leave usually include bereavement, illness, care giving, maternity, paternity, and call to active military duty. Students requesting a leave of absence must submit an application to their department/school/unit chairperson or director, which then must be forwarded to the Graduate College for approval by the graduate dean. The policy and form can be found at

Preparing the Application for Leave of Absence

In consultation with the supervising faculty member, an Application for Leave of Absence form is to be completed by the student, and signed by both the student and the advisor or supervising faculty member. The application is to be submitted to the chairperson/director for review and signature before being forwarded to the dean of the Graduate College. Whenever possible, application should be made in advance of the anticipated leave or as soon as possible after commencement of the leave. Whenever possible, it is helpful if the commencement and termination of the leave coincide with the beginning of a semester or session.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the proposed leave is compatible with the regulations of any granting agency from which funding would normally be received during the leave period and that such agencies are informed of the proposed leave. Students on student loan programs should clarify the consequences that such a leave may have on their repayment status. International students are advised to consult with the Office of International Admissions and Services regarding their immigration status during a proposed leave.

A student granted a leave of absence will have his or her time-to-completion of degree extended by the amount of time granted in the leave of absence. The continuous enrollment policy will also be held in abeyance during this time.

Graduate Appointees Requesting a Leave of Absence

A graduate student holding an assistantship, associateship, or fellowship who is granted a leave of absence will have his or her salary and stipend (where applicable) suspended during the period of the leave. During the absence, a student replacement will serve usually on a temporary basis. Whenever possible, the remainder of the appointment will be held for the student upon his or her return to the next term. However, in situations where research activity has progressed substantially during the absence, the original appointee may no longer be able to resume the appointment. In situations where the student is returning in the next academic year, efforts will be made for that student to resume his or her appointment if possible.

In the event that a student appointee and chairperson/director disagree on the leave or its arrangements, students may follow the dispute resolution process available under the policy on Adjudication of Situations Involving Graduate Students Rights and Responsibilities.

Annual Review of Graduate Students

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A graduate student’s academic performance, professional development, research progress, and, where applicable, professional/ethical behavior will be reviewed annually to determine the student’s eligibility to continue in the program.Annual review forms for doctoral and master’s students may be found at Upon the student’s initial enrollment in a graduate certificate, master’s, specialist, or doctoral program, the department shall provide a document to the graduate student outlining the annual review criteria and procedures. The review will assist the student in measuring timely progress toward completion of the program of study and in providing documentation for awards or assistantships or, if deficiencies are apparent, note them and indicate corrections necessary. Uncorrected deficiencies and/or unsatisfactory progress, performance, or behavior may result in a student’s dismissal from the program.

Registration in Master’s Thesis, Specialist Project, Doctoral Dissertation

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A student who intends to register for the courses Master’s Thesis (7000), Specialist Project (7200), or Doctoral Dissertation (7300) for the first time is required to file a completed Permission to Elect form (available at with the Graduate College before registering to ensure that the student is informed about the regulations pertaining to the preparation and submission of the manuscript and the requirements for research involving regulated subjects and hazardous materials.

Registration for Continuous Enrollment in Master’s Thesis, Specialist Project, Doctoral Dissertation

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Following a student’s first enrollment in the courses Master’s Thesis (7000), Specialist Project (7200), or Dissertation (7300), the student must have continuous enrollment in that same course until all thesis or project or dissertation requirements are completed satisfactorily and approved by all appropriate bodies. Registration deadlines apply. For students not enrolled in the Summer I and Summer II sessions, pre-enrollment in the subsequent Fall semester is necessary for access to library resources during Summer I and Summer II.

Continuous enrollment is defined as enrollment in all Fall and Spring semesters from the initial enrollment to the semester in which the student graduates (some programs may require students to be enrolled during Summer sessions as well as Fall and Spring semesters; student should refer to respective program handbooks). If the student will graduate in the Summer I or Summer II session, the student must be enrolled in that session. Students who desire to have remote access to WMU’s library databases during the Summer I and Summer II sessions may do so by paying the customary computer fee for each session in which computer and remote library services are desired.

Research Subject Protection and Registration

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Students conducting research that involves human or animal subjects, biohazards, genetic materials, or nuclear materials/radiation must have prior approval of the research proposal by the appropriate University board/committee/official, thus assuring compliance with the regulations for the protection of such subjects or for the use of such materials. (For resources on the different kinds of regulated subjects and materials, see There are no exceptions to this requirement. Registration for courses in which research is conducted that requires such prior approval should not be attempted until the appropriate University board grants approval. The department requiring the course is responsible for assuring that the student has complied with federal, state, and WMU requirements. The student completing such regulated research for a master’s thesis, specialist project, or doctoral dissertation must include the written approval or exemption letter from the appropriate board/committee/official as an appendix to the thesis, project, or dissertation, and a student completing such regulated research for a course report, paper, or project must include the written approval or exemption letter from the appropriate board/committee/official as an addendum to the report, paper, or project. For more information, call the Office of the Vice President for Research, (269) 387-8298.


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