university sealEditor's notes:

 

POLICY TITLE: Carnegie Mellon University Doctoral Student Status Policy

DATE OF ISSUANCE: This policy was approved on February 28, 1991 and most recently revised on June 1, 2011.

ACCOUNTABLE DEPARTMENT/UNIT: University Registrar’s Office. Address specific questions about your status to your home department/school. Questions on general policy content should be directed to university-registrars-office@andrew.cmu.edu, 412-268-8250.

 

ABSTRACT: Policy covers time limits on doctoral degree student status, a definition of All But Dissertation status, a definition of In Residence and In Absentia status for doctoral students and the tuition and fees charged for students In Residence and students In Absentia.


Doctoral Student Status Policy

The university has a policy that covers: time limits on doctoral student status,  a definition of All But Dissertation status, a definition of In Residence and In Absentia status for doctoral students and the tuition and fees charged for students In Residence and students In Absentia.

 

These rules apply to all doctoral students. Students who began their doctoral studies prior to the date of this policy’s revision may follow time-to-degree requirements from the previous policy, but all other rules set forth in this policy will apply immediately to all doctoral students.

 

Time to Degree

 

Students will complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within a maximum of ten years from original matriculation as a doctoral student, or less if required by a more restrictive department or college policy.  Once this time-to-degree limit has lapsed, the person may resume work towards a doctoral degree only if newly admitted to a currently offered doctoral degree program under criteria determined by that program.

 

Under extraordinary circumstances, such as leave of absence, military or public service, family or parental leave, or temporary disability, a school or college may, upon the relevant department's recommendation and with the written approval of the dean, defer the lapse of All But Dissertation status for a period commensurate with the duration of that interruption. Students, who are pursuing the Ph.D. degree as part-time students for all semesters of their program, as approved by their program, may also appeal to their program or department for extension of the time to degree limit.

 

All But Dissertation Status

 

All But Dissertation, ABD, status is intended for students whose only remaining requirements are the completion and defense of their thesis. Once a student meets the departmental criteria [1], All But Dissertation status must be approved by the department in writing to university-registrars-office@andrew.cmu.edu.

 

In Residence versus In Absentia

 

Once students achieve All But Dissertation status, they must choose whether to complete their dissertation In Residence or In Absentia. A doctoral student In Residence maintains student status and all consequent student privileges and continues to be actively engaged with the university. A doctoral student In Absentia status, ABS, is one who has left the university with the intent of completing their dissertation but not actively engaged with the university and does not require university resources as outlined below. When a student decides whether to pursue All But Dissertation In Residence or In Absentia, he/she must complete a Doctoral Student Status Agreement form, which is available through their academic department or on the HUB web site. Once the agreement has been approved by the student’s department, the student may change his/her status from In Residence to In Absentia multiple times. A student In Residence or In Absentia must meet the specific criteria noted later in this policy.

 

No student In Absentia will be verified by the university as a "student" for immigration or loan purposes. All But Dissertation students in J1 or F1 immigration status must continue to follow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations [2].

 

All But Dissertation Students In Residence

 

All But Dissertation students In Residence receiving any financial support (such as tuition, stipend, fees or health insurance, whether full or partial), tied to activities that are integral to their doctoral program that is  paid by or administered by the university must be enrolled for at least thirty-six units to maintain full time student status and all subsequent student privileges. Exceptions to the thirty-six unit enrollment requirement may be granted by the Provost. [3]

 

All But Dissertation students In Residence who are not receiving any financial support (such as tuition, stipend, fees or health insurance, whether full or partial), from the university tied to activities that are integral to their doctoral program should consult their college policy to determine the number of units for which they must be registered in order to maintain full-time student status and all subsequent privileges.

 

All But Dissertation students In Residence who are pursuing their doctoral degree on a part time basis and are not receiving any financial support (such as tuition, stipend, fees or health insurance, whether full or partial), from the university tied to activities that are integral to their doctoral program should consult their college policy to determine the number of units they must be registered for in order to maintain part time student status and all subsequent privileges.  Note that doctoral students must be a full time graduate student for at least one academic year or more if required by the student’s home college.

 

All But Dissertation students who are employed by the University in a capacity independent of their educational program and are pursuing a doctoral degree part time, may register for the number of units required by their department in order to remain in part time status so long as they are not receiving any financial support (such as tuition, stipend, fees or health insurance, whether full or partial), tied to activities that are integral to their doctoral program by their college, school or department.  Questions about eligibility for tuition benefits should be referred to the Benefits Department.

 

Final Semester Tuition for All But Dissertation Students In Residence

 

 Students who are supported by the university must be registered for thirty-six units   for the entirety of their final semester and will be assessed their college’s full-time tuition. If a student completes all Ph.D. degree requirements and is certified by:

·         September 30th (in the fall), or February 28th (in the spring), tuition will be adjusted to $0; however, they will remain enrolled for thirty-six units for the semester.

·         October 31st (in the fall), or March 31st (in the spring), tuition will be adjusted to 50% of the full-time tuition; however, they will remain enrolled for thirty-six units for the semester.

·         After October 31st (in the fall), or after March 31st (in the spring), but BEFORE the first day of the next semester, tuition will not be adjusted and they will remain enrolled for thirty-six units for the semester.

·         Fees will not be adjusted.

 

Students registered for less than thirty-six units are not eligible for a tuition adjustment, regardless of certification date.

 

All But Dissertation Students In Absentia

 

An All But Dissertation doctoral student may, upon departmental certification, be regarded as In Absentia when, and so long as, the following three conditions apply:

 

·         The student has been enrolled as a full-time graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University for at least one academic year or more if required by the student's home college. Part-time graduate enrollment may, at the department's discretion, be counted pro-rata toward this requirement.

·         The student does not receive any financial support (such as tuition, stipend, fees or health insurance) tied to activities that are integral to their doctoral program that is paid by or administered by the university.

·         The student does not require substantial use of university resources. Departmental certification of this condition shall be subject to guidelines established by the school or college.

According to university guidelines, students In Absentia may [4]:

 

May not:

 

Employment of All But Dissertation Students In Absentia

 

As noted above, All But Dissertation students In Absentia are extended only minimum access to university resources. The student does not receive any financial support (such as tuition, stipend, fees or health insurance, whether full or partial), tied to activities that are integral to their doctoral program paid by or administered by the university.  An All But Dissertation student In Absentia cannot be hired for work by Carnegie Mellon University directly related to completing his/her dissertation and/or make substantial use of resources for work toward the doctorate as noted above [4]. In order to be in compliance with these policies, the university's employment policies and the Internal Revenue Service, an All But Dissertation student In Absentia may only be hired for university employment through the appropriate employment process. Questions should be referred to Human Resources.

 

Tuition and Fee Effects of In Absentia Student Status including the Final Semester

 

While an All But Dissertation student is In Absentia, no tuition will be assessed. The student will, however, be responsible for all applicable fees. An All But Dissertation student who is In Absentia, who returns to defend their dissertation must change from In Absentia to In Residence and shall be required to register and pay for at minimum five units of graduate study, based on their current school/college’s tuition before the degree is certified.

A student who receives support(such as tuition, stipend, fees or health insurance, whether full or partial) paid for or administered by the university, must follow the policy for Final Semester Tuition for All But Dissertation Students In Residence (see above) and is eligible for the tuition to be pro-rated as identified in the schedule.

A student who is not receiving any financial support (such as tuition, stipend, fees or health insurance, whether full or partial), paid for or administered by the university will be assessed for the 5 units and the tuition rate will not be adjusted based on certification date. 

 


Footnotes:

[1] General examples of having met All But Dissertation requirements may include completing all courses and passing qualifying exams; completing all courses and acceptance of thesis proposal; etc. as defined by program, department or school.

 

[2] The intent of the DHS regulations is that the student continues to pursue completion of the degree on a full-time basis under the jurisdiction of the university that will award the degree. International students who enter All But Dissertation status must remain In Residence and be registered full-time as defined in this policy to preserve F1 or J1 immigration status while they complete their degree. Questions about All But Dissertation status and immigration requirements should be addressed to the Office of International Education.

 

[3] If granted exception results in the student’s enrollment being reduced to less than half time, tax consequences may apply.

 

[4] An All But Dissertation student In Absentia may be hired as an university employee without switching to active student status so long as the hiring department certifies that the student is not hired at Carnegie Mellon for work directly related to his/her dissertation and that the student does not inappropriately make substantial use of resources for work towards the doctorate as noted above.  As an employee, an individual would be eligible for benefits that apply to his/her status as an employee, not as a graduate student.

 

[5] University Health Services is not available to students in In Absentia status, except in an emergency, or on a case by case basis. All inquiries may be directed to the Manager of Business Operations, University Health Services.

 

[6] Graduate students are not considered employees of the university as their primary affiliation with the university is as a student.

 

 [7] An individual whose primary relationship with the university is as an employee and who as Ph.D. student moves to the status of ABD In Absentia will be eligible for benefit that apply to his/her status as an employee.



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