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graduate programs: frequently asked questions

Policy/Procedure Information and Questions

Program Plan Information

Before completing the first nine credits of coursework, students are required to submit a program plan:

  • Students who have not filed a contract after completing 9 credits of coursework will have a hold placed on registration until it has been filed with the Graduate Programs office.
  • This document must be completed with the assistance of the program advisor and submitted to the Graduate Programs office for final approval.
  • As a conditional student, it is necessary for one to complete the requirements for admission to become a fully admitted.
    • Students have only one term to complete the requirements to become a fully admitted student.

Any transfer credit used in a Master’s degree program must be documented with an official sealed transcript from an accredited university and a course substitution form.

How do I transfer classes into my program?

Only graduate-level course work acceptable to the granting institution for Master’s degree programs with grades of A or B can be transferred. A maximum of 15 credits from an accredited university may be accepted. (Non-admit credits also are limited to 15 credits to bring into a program.) Credits are transferred by providing the Graduate Office with official transcripts and a Change of Program Request: Course Substitution Form signed by your advisor.

Time Limit to Complete a Master’s Degree

Coursework and requirements for a Master’s degree program must be completed within a period of five years. This includes all WOU (residence) credit, all applicable transfer credit and required final evaluation. The five-year limit also applies to a thesis, field study, professional project, portfolio, comprehensive exams, and all other exit requirements.

WOU does not require a student to be continually registered during each term while progressing through a Master’s degree. A special fee is required when engaged in research such as developing or collecting data, preparing for final examinations, or any aspects of a thesis or professional project development in which university facilities or library resources are used and the student is not registered for graduate courses. The non-registered continuing student fee is assessed through the Business Office. If a student fails to register for classes for more than four consecutive terms, they will be required to re-enroll.

Academic Load

The full-time course load for graduate students is 9 graduate credits, including coursework, portfolio, professional project, field study, or thesis credits. The maximum course load for graduate students is 16 credits with any combination of courses (graduate or undergraduate) during fall, winter, or spring term. Nine credit hours is the maximum load for graduate students during the six-week summer term.

Paperwork Questions

Can I send in my paperwork electronically?
Forms that require an advisor or other institutional signature need to be printed and delivered to the appropriate office for signing. Some forms that only require a student signature can have a typed (electronic) signature as long as the box marked “By typing your name below, you agree that this as valid as your signature” is checked. Any of these forms can be e-mailed to the appropriate destination as long as the person emailing the form recognizes the following: When sending sensitive information (e.g. social security number or other personal information) from a wou.edu address to another wou.edu address, the attachment is sent through a secure , encrypted source and should be viewed as protected. If, however, you send sensitive information from a non-wou.edu email address, we cannot guarantee the safety of your information and advise against doing this. For students who do not feel comfortable using an electronic signature, please fill out the form electronically, print it out, and then sign by hand.

Does the graduate programs office need my original forms?
The graduate programs office does require the original form in regards to your program plan or endorsement contract. If you are an online student and have emailed the form to the Graduate Office this will serve as the original document.

Re-enrollment Questions

Why would I need to re-enroll?
WOU does not require a graduate student to be continually registered during each term as he/she progresses through a Master’s degree. Students who have not enrolled in courses for more than four consecutive terms will have their student status inactivated. They will be required to submit a re-enrollment application along with advisor approval and a $15 fee in order to enroll in courses or have their degree, endorsement, or authorization recorded by the Graduate Office.

Holds, Name and Address Changes

I have a hold on my account, what do I do?
If you are told that you have a Graduate Office hold on your account, please contact Amber Deets immediately. Otherwise contact the department in which the hold has been placed.

How do I change my name?
To make changes to your name, please work with Budget/Payroll using the name change form.

How do I change my address?
Access your Personal Information tab in Wolf Web, choose Update Address and Phone; make appropriate changes. If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate Office at 503-838-8492.

What is a revolving charge account form?
A Revolving Charge Account form is required by all enrolled students at Western Oregon University. Please submit this form to the Business Office to prevent future student holds. This form provides the Business Office with a contract to allow them to use your student account as a revolving charge account and to be able to assess fees, interest, and future payment plans. It also allows for you to hold a balance on your account.

Financial Aid Questions

Financial Aid says that I am not admitted, what do I do?
Financial Aid will provide you this alarming statement if they do not have program verification. In order for our office to provide program verification, we must have a program plan on file and you must be fully admitted from our office. Our office will provide immediate verification once we receive the program plan.

Matriculation Fee Questions

What is a matriculation fee?
The matriculation fee is used to fund graduate student orientation and other activities that support graduate students.

Who is a matriculated graduate student?
A matriculated student is one who is both admitted and enrolled in a graduate program of study leading to a degree or teaching license including an endorsement, certificate, or authorization at Western Oregon University. A graduate student’s “matriculation term” is the first term in which a graduate student is both admitted and enrolled at WOU.

How much is the fee?
The matriculation fee is a one-time fee of $300.

If a graduate student does a complete withdrawal in their matriculation term, will they be assessed the fee?
Students who withdraw on the first day of classes or after will be assessed the matriculation fee. Those students who do a complete withdrawal from WOU before the first day of classes, will NOT be assessed the fee.

Will students pay the fee again if they move the undergraduate to graduate level studies at WOU?
Yes, students will be assessed a matriculation fee for graduate level studies at WOU if they are an admitted graduate student and enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or teaching license including an endorsement, certificate, or authorization.

Do re-enrolling students pay the matriculation fee?
Previously matriculated students who re-enroll/re-register do not pay a matriculation fee, regardless of their actual matriculation term. Returning students that were not admitted to the graduate programs before will be charged the matriculation fee.