Apr 16, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate School Course Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate School Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Information

Graduate Admissions

Admissions Overview

All graduate admission requirements and procedures within and for the School of Graduate Studies at North Carolina Central University were developed to maintain the integrity of NCCU and the University of North Carolina System. These requirements and procedures also were established to meet standards as dictated by the University administration and criteria from accreditation agencies. The School of Graduate Studies manages graduate admission for all graduate and professional programs except Law. Applicants for the Law School apply online through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). The School of Graduate Studies accepts applications to Graduate School through the ApplyYourself® online application process management system by Hobsons.

Graduate and Professional Admissions Requirements

  • Applicants for Graduate and Professional Study must have earned a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree from an accredited institution, having earned a minimum grade point average of 2.75 or a 3.0 average for the last four semesters of study for the bachelor’s degree. Some programs may have higher minimum GPA requirements.
  • Applicants for PhD Study must have earned a bachelor’s or a master’s degree from an accredited institution in a discipline related to the program with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 overall.

Applying to Graduate School

Applications for admission to Graduate School at NCCU are submitted online using the ApplyYourself online application system. Applicants should consult the specific graduate program of interest in the individual colleges or schools for more information about their admission requirements. Applications for admission to Graduate School should generally include the following:

  • One (1) official transcript from each higher educational institution attended must be submitted. Sealed transcripts should be mailed directly to applicant, and the original sealed transcript should be included as part of the graduate school application package.  Admissions staff can obtain NCCU transcripts.
  • For Graduate and Professional Admission-At least two Application Evaluation and Recommendation Forms completed by persons familiar with applicant’s academic work should be included in the graduate school packet. (In the event applicant has been out of school for five or more years, two work references are appropriate.)
  • For PhD Program Admission-three current letters of recommendation from persons qualified to evaluate your academic and professional qualifications are required.
  • International applicants who are graduates of institutions of higher education located outside the U.S.A. in non-English speaking countries are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language, generally by having official scores from the Test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL) submitted as part of the admission packet. International students must also have a Visa clearance form completed by the International Student Advisor at the school currently attending or recently attended and a photocopy of 1-20, I-94 and Visa page of current passport.
  • Applicants for Graduate and Professional Study in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Behavioral and Social Sciences, School of Library and Information Sciences and the School of Education may require GRE scores (individual graduate programs should be consulted for any exceptions). The following programs within the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences do not require students to submit GRE scores for admission to the program: Criminal Justice, Human Sciences, Physical Education and Recreation, the Executive MPA program, and Social Work. The following programs in the School of Education do not require students to submit GRE scores for admission to the program: Educational Technology, School Administration, and Special Education.  The MBA applicants must include a recent score from the GMAT or GRE, and a resume; JD/MBA students may submit a recent score from the LSAT. Applicants may contact the particular college/school or program regarding minimum score requirements on these standardized tests.
  • School of Education applicants should include a copy of current teaching license if currently certified.
  • Applicants for PhD Study must include GRE scores (no more than 5 years old), a Resume, and a Statement of Purpose.
  • Applications for the PhD Program and the Graduate and Professional Programs should be received in the School of Graduate Studies in each college and school by the final deadline for each semester. It should be noted that deadlines are earlier for International applicants. Applications received after the appropriate date will be considered for the next entrance.
  • Prospective student’s application packet and a forty dollar ($40.00) non-refundable application fee should be mailed to the School of Graduate Studies or the appropriate admitting office. If credit is not used, the fee must be in the form of a cashier’s check, certified check or money order payable to North Carolina Central University.

Admissions for International Applicants

For admission purposes, all applicants who are both non-citizens of the United States and are graduates of institutions of higher learning located outside the United States are defined as international applicants. In addition to providing academic credentials and letters (or forms) of recommendation, international applicants must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in the English language by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An interview may be required. The TOEFL score (minimum of 79 on internet-based test or 550 on paper-based test required for admission) must be submitted directly from ETS-TOEFL iBT, P.O. Box 6153, Princeton, NJ 08541-6153 USA, U.S.A. to the Office of the School of Graduate Studies, North Carolina Central University. Proficiency may also be demonstrated by passing a full academic year of college level freshman English (i.e., The equivalent of ENG 1110, ENG 1210) with a grade of “C” or better at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States, or by successfully completing the English Language Program at one of the many English as Second Language (ESL) Centers in the U.S. Exceptions will be made for those whose native language is English or whose medium of instruction has been English.
  2. Generally, international applicants with academic credits from institutions outside the United States should have academic documents submitted directly by the institution to the Office of the School of Graduate Studies, North Carolina Central University. Where original documents are impossible to obtain, properly notarized documents will be considered. The notarization should be done by a proper government official or proper representative of the American Embassy in the country. In addition, students who have attended a college or university outside the United States must submit to the NCCU School of Graduate Studies an official course-by-course evaluation of all courses via one of the following services accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services:

AACRAO International Education Services, 202-293-9161, ext. 6600

Education Evaluators International, 401-521-5340

Educational Credential Evaluations, 414-289-3400

International Education Research Foundation, 310-258-9451

Josef Silny Inc., 305-273-1616

World Education Services,              800-937-3895

  1. International applicants are required to submit documentation certifying their capacity to meet the financial requirements necessary to complete the master’s or Ph.D. degree program.

Types of Graduate Admissions

Unconditional Admissions

A student holding the bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central University or any other accredited institution is eligible for unconditional admission to the Graduate Studies under the following provisions:

  1. The overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of the applicant must be at least 2.75 with degree completion. Also there must be an average of 3.0 GPA (“B”) or better reflected in 30 semester hours or more of the undergraduate record of the applicant in a major that is in the same or a related area of the proposed graduate program.
  2. Applicants must meet any additional minimal requirements for the department offering the proposed graduate program. Additional minimal requirements, if there are any, will be indicated in this catalog under the sections for individual academic departments and programs.
  3. Applicants who intend to qualify for a graduate teaching licensure must hold the initial licensure or its equivalent.

Conditional Admission

Conditional admission may be granted to the applicant if:

  • The previous academic record does not satisfy levels for unconditional status; or
  • The prerequisite course work in the chosen discipline is insufficient; or
  • The applicant has not provided some official information required by the graduate program or the School of Graduate Studies.

Such applicants may be admitted for a trial period as an opportunity to exhibit academic performance equal to or greater than minimum level, to successfully complete prescribed prerequisites, and/or to submit official information missing in the graduate application.

Deferred Admission

Applicants who have been admitted to a graduate program at NCCU may defer their admission up to one year with the approval of the academic department.  If the applicant wishes to defer admission he/she must notify the department in writing with this request. If the department approves the request to defer, then the department must contact the School of Graduate Studies to initiate notification of the student and modification of the student’s admission status.

Special Graduate Students

The School of Graduate Studies recognizes the admission classification of special graduate students. This designation is a temporary classification for persons who wish to take courses for licensure renewal, for transfer to another institution, or for personal satisfaction. Students admitted as special graduate students are not candidates for a graduate degree. Special graduate students may take courses for graduate credit. Should the student later complete a graduate application and successfully be admitted to a graduate program, the special graduate student classification terminates. A maximum of nine (9) semester hours of credits earned during special graduate student status may be applied toward the fulfillment of the requirements of the Master’s degree provided:

  1. The action is recommended by the chairperson of the academic department and approved by the dean;
  2. The academic work is not more than two years old;
  3. The academic work is “B” level or better, and
  4. The academic work has not been taken to remove admission deficiencies.


Students use the NCCU Eagles Online (EOL) website to access Self Service Banner (SSB) for web registration.   SSB is for registration and is available during the period of time regulated by the Academic Calendar for each semester.  Additionally, not only does SSB afford students the opportunity to register, but students can also view their class schedules, institutional (NCCU) transcripts, student account information, financial aid information, and grades as well as track their academic progress.

The Alternate PIN (personal identification number) is used during the registration process.  Students must get an Alternate PIN to register for classes. The Alternate PIN is changed each semester to insure security and to encourage students and advisors to meet at least twice each academic year to review the students’ progress. Students are required to meet with their advisors prior to registration to discuss curricula plans and course schedules and to receive their Alternate PIN.

As designated by the Academic Calendar of the University, the registration period officially ends on the day designated as the last day of late registration and schedule adjustments.  At this time course schedules will be canceled for students who have not made satisfactory payment arrangements.

Late fees for registration are imposed on the date indicated on the Academic Calendar.  Classes may not be added or dropped after the last day for schedule adjustments as indicated in the Academic Calendar.

Full Time Graduate Enrollment

Full-time enrollment in Graduate School at NCCU is satisfied at nine (9) semester hours each regular academic semester.

Half Time Graduate Enrollment

Half-time enrollment in Graduate School at NCCU is satisfied at four and one-half (4.5) semester hours each regular academic semester.

Minimum Enrollment for Financial Aid

To receive financial aid, students must be enrolled for 4.5 semester hours or more. Students may not receive financial aid beyond 150% of the attempted hours required by a program for graduation.

Changed in Registration

During the late registration period students may drop and/or add courses with the approval of the faculty advisor and the dean of their college or school.  Students may drop classes using the online Self Service Banner system during the drop/add period and may add any class that is open.  After the fifth class day, students may add classes with a drop/add form signed by the advisor and instructor and presented to the Registrar’s Office before the end of the last day of the drop/add period.  Students may still drop classes using the online Self Service Banner system until 5 p.m. of the last day of the drop/add period. After the end of the drop/add period, students may not add a class.  Also, they will not receive a refund or adjustment in the amount owed for classes dropped.

Withdrawing from Courses

Students may withdraw from individual courses without penalty with the permissions of the academic advisor and the dean by presenting a signed withdrawal form to the Registrar’s Office by the last day for students to withdraw from courses; however, there will be no adjustment in tuition bills if courses are withdrawn during this period. The grade received for these courses will be “WC.” Graduate students may not withdraw from courses after the last withdrawal day designated in the Academic Calendar.  (This date is the same for undergraduate and graduate students.)  Students who “unofficially withdraw” from courses by not attending classes will receive the grade of “NF,” which computes the same as an “F.”

CAUTION:  Withdrawing from courses may adversely affect financial aid eligibility.  Before withdrawing from a course, students should consult with the NCCU Office of Scholarships and Student Aid or with the entity providing their financial aid.

Continuous Registration

Graduate education at NCCU requires continuous enrollment based on a regular academic year, exclusive of the summer sessions. The regular academic year at NCCU begins in August for the fall semester and ends in May for the spring semester. Following admission as a degree-seeking student in a graduate program at NCCU, students are generally required to register each semester until the degree is earned.  This continuous enrollment requirement in most graduate programs is exclusive of the summer sessions; however, students should check program specific requirements. For instance, the Communications Disorders program requires students to enroll for summer sessions. Students not maintaining continuous enrollment in graduate courses will be required to seek readmission and adhere to prevailing program requirements if readmission is granted.

If a graduate student in full standing expects to interrupt his/her continuous enrollment, then he/she should request a leave of absence from the Graduate School before registration ends for the academic term in which the leave is to begin. If the graduate student does not secure a leave of absence and his/her continuous enrollment is interrupted, then the student must apply for readmission, should he/she seek to return to Graduate School.

Leave of Absence

Graduate students may request a leave of absence from graduate study by completing the Request for Leave of Absence form which is provided by the School of Graduate Studies. Signature approval for a request for leave of absence is given by the chair/academic dean of the graduate program and the dean of the Graduate School. Students on an approved leave of absence will automatically be readmitted effective the semester of return indicated on the Request for Leave of Absence. Time limits for graduate degree programs in the case of approved leaves of absences are paused when the leave begins and restarted when the leave ends.

Graduate Readmission

Any new graduate student who does not enroll in courses during the academic term to which he/she was initially admitted must apply for readmission in the next consecutive semester with an updated application.

Any graduate student who skips enrolling in courses for a semester in a regular academic year must apply for readmission in the immediate next regular academic semester before being permitted to resume graduate study. The readmission application should be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies at least two weeks prior to the opening of registration for the academic term in which the student wishes to resume graduate study.

The request for readmission to a graduate program must include

  1. An application for readmission
  2. An academic record review with chronology of the student’s previous work and academic progress in the respective Program;
  3. An itemized statement of the work which remains to be done for completion of the Program and a specific timeline for completion of that work.  This includes an itemized plan of action or steps (an academic success plan) that ensures a reasonable probability of success in completing the Program within the set time limit. 
  4. If the student does not currently have at least a 3.0 GPA, then the student’s academic plan must outline how the student will have acquired a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 within one academic year of readmission.
  5. The student’s academic success plan must also include any other courses required or specified by the Department.

Any graduate student who has not been enrolled in his/her program of study for two or more consecutive regular academic semesters or longer than a regular academic year must apply for readmission and must meet the current admission requirements of the graduate program at the time of the request for readmission.

Time limits for graduate degree programs are still in effect with readmission. Time limits begin on the date of the student’s registration in his or her first course for Master’s degree or PhD degree credit at North Carolina Central University. Therefore, if a student has not been enrolled in Graduate School for two or more consecutive regular academic semesters or longer than a regular academic year, the student must consult with his/her academic and/or research advisor before making a formal request for readmission.

If the time limit for the graduate program has not expired for the student seeking readmission, then the request for readmission must include an academic record review and a plan of completion within the graduate program time limit.

If the time limit for the graduate program has expired for the student seeking readmission, then the request for readmission must include an academic record review, a plan of completion with a time limit of two years. If readmission to Graduate School is granted for students with expired time limits, then the graduate student must submit a request for extension of time to complete the graduate program to the Graduate School during the first semester he/she is readmitted.

Tuition and Fees

Graduate, PhD, or law students who carry nine or more hours must pay full tuition and fees. Tuition rates and fees are posted on the University’s web site at: http://www.nccu.edu/admissionsandaid/tuitionandfees/

The basis for determining the appropriate tuition charge rests on whether a student is a North Carolina resident or a nonresident for tuition purposes.  Each student must make a statement as to the length of his or her residence in the state, and the university will use that to determine whether the student qualifies for the in-state rate.  The general rule is that to qualify as a resident of North Carolina for tuition purposes, a person must become a legal resident and remain one for at least 12 months.

Graduate students must have health insurance, and must either provide evidence of credible coverage of their own coverage or enroll in the statewide plan offered by all UNC System campuses. The three criteria that invoke the requirement for the student insurance plan are: enrollment in a degree-seeking program, enrollment in six or more credit hours of on-campus classes, and eligibility to pay the campus student medical fee.  Students who do not meet the criteria are eligible to enroll in a voluntary plan.

Financial Assistance for Graduate Students

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step toward getting federal aid for graduate school. FAFSA data is used to determine a student’s eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use FAFSA information to determine whether the student qualifies for their aid. Therefore, the FAFSA should be completed whether the financial aid being sought is scholarships, fellowships, or loans.

Federal Financial Aid

Graduate and professional students who apply, are awarded, and accept a loan from the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program will be awarded an Unsubsidized Loan for the maximum amount of

$20,500 for the academic year in addition to a Graduate Plus Loan up to the cost of attendance.


  • NCCU does not certify private/alternative loans.
  • Direct Loan funds are from federal government.
  • FAFSA is required annually; Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.
  • Loan Limits (Aggregate)-Graduate & Professional: $138,500 including undergraduate borrowing.
  • Graduate/Professional students must be enrolled in at least half-time (4.5 hours).

Repayment begins 6 months after cessation of at least half-time enrollment; a deferment is possible; and there is no interest subsidy on unsubsidized loan


  • NCCU does not certify private/alternative loans.
  • Direct Loan funds are from federal government.
  • FAFSA is required annually; PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.
  • No annual or aggregate amounts.
  • Graduate/professional student may not borrow more than the difference between the cost of attendance and any other financial assistance student expects to receive.
  • No adverse credit history approved and must not be in default on a Federal Loan.
  • Graduate/Professional students must be enrolled at least half-time (4.5 hours).
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen and the borrower is responsible for all the interest.
  • Repayment begins 60 days after loan is fully disbursed.
  • Loan is deferrable while enrolled.

Special Student Restriction

Students with admittance status of Special Student are not eligible for financial aid which includes all Federal Loans. Students must be admitted to a degree seeking program in order to receive financial aid.

Graduate Licensure Status

A student who is admitted into a graduate licensure program, will be awarded as an Undergraduate student and will not be eligible for grants. The maximum award will be $12,500. Graduate students in the licensure program must be enrolled in at least half-time (6 hours).

Graduate Assistantships

NCCU offers financial assistance in the form of Graduate Assistantships, Graduate Tuition Awards, Graduate Tuition Remissions, and PhD Fellowships. These graduate financial assistance resources at NCCU are limited and are administered through the School of Graduate Studies. The School of Graduate Studies makes allocations of these funds to the graduate programs by way of the college and school deans who then inform the graduate program department chairpersons. Assistantships for graduate students may also be supported through faculty research grants as Research Assistantships and through departmental teaching funds as Graduate Teaching Assistantships. Additionally, departments may also have other sources of graduate student aid such as endowed funds from donors, foundations, or corporations. Therefore students should contact their graduate program departments for information on available financial support.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for graduate assistantships administered by the School of Graduate Studies includes the following:

  • Unconditional admission to a graduate degree program
  • Full-time graduate enrollment (typically a minimum of 6 or 9 credit hours per term)
    • A regular graduate student must be registered for at least 9 credit hours and at most 12 credit hours in order to receive a graduate assistantship.
    • A thesis level graduate student must be enrolled in 3-6 credit hours to receive a graduate assistantship.
  • A master’s seeking graduate student cannot receive an assistantship from the University for more than two years.
  • Ph.D. students may not have an assistantship for more than 5 years.
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and
  • Good academic standing and a record of clear progress toward completing the degree program.

Rules regarding grant/contract related graduate assistantships:

  • Graduate students receiving assistantships from contracts and grants are to comply with the terms of the grant or contract as determined by the agency.
  • All paperwork required to initiate an assistantship for a graduate student on a contract or grant must be signed off by the graduate dean for reporting and fund tracking purposes.

Types of Graduate Assistants

Graduate assistantships are university funds or contracts and grants that are to be given to full-time students who will work and offer assistance to department is the following areas:

  • Helping professors with research and data collection that will lead to publications for the professor and/or the student.
  • Assisting professors with classroom instruction by performing such tasks as proctoring exams, grading papers, reading papers, assisting in laboratory experiments
  • Helping departments in the areas of accreditation preparation, required university and other reporting
  • Aiding academic and administrative units with student support and other services that will provide the student with skill sets that will make them marketing in their field of study

There are three categories of graduate assistantships:  graduate assistants, graduate teaching assistants, graduate research assistants.

Graduate Assistants.  Graduate assistants who are not teaching or research assistants may serve a variety of purposes that are critical to the goals and mission of the department they serve. Graduate assistants support departmental processes and a variety of administrative tasks including:

  • Preparation of Power Point presentations
  • Data entry and analysis
  • Web site development
  • Facilitate projects in an office with other students; serve on short-term college project teams
  • Creating and of marketing materials, peer advising/mentoring, conducting campus tours and orientation activities, and delivery of presentations

Graduate Teaching Assistants.  Graduate teaching assistants are assigned to faculty to enhance the undergraduate classroom experience. GTAs work under faculty guidance and are assigned a variety of instructional responsibilities (depending upon their interests and experience). Graduate Assistants are primarily assigned to general education courses.  Their responsibilities include: 

  • Grading papers
  • Setting up laboratory experiences
  • Keeping class records
  • Preparing instructional materials
  • Other instructional duties. 

Graduate teaching assistants may not be first year graduate students.

Graduate Research Assistant.  Graduate research assistants are assigned for the purpose of assisting with faculty and staff with university research.  This research may or may not relate directly to the student’s thesis. A student appointed as a GRA works under the direct supervision of the administrator of the research, who often may be his/her major professor.  Their responsibilities include:

  • Conducting research and analyzing data
  • Setting up laboratory experiments
  • Writing data results
  • Preparing Power Points and other various presentations for conferences

Duration of Appointments

Most appointments are for an academic year (fall and spring semesters).  Appointments may, however, be for a single semester.  Graduate assistants follow the same calendar as faculty (e.g. they are expected to start work the week before classes and continue through the week of final exams). Graduate assistants are not expected to work during periods when classes are not in session (e.g. Thanksgiving break, spring break, between semesters). Finally assistantships are not guaranteed for the following year.

Hiring a Graduate Assistant

Recommendation for the appointment of a graduate assistant is prepared by the department that wishes to employ the graduate assistant.  Once a faculty member has identified a student to recommend:

  • The funding specialist for that department will complete the Recommendation to Employ a Graduate Assistant Form and submit it to the Graduate Dean’s Office.
  • The Graduate School’s Funding Specialist will review the forms for accuracy. 
  • The student will be notified once the funding has been approved by the budget office.  The funding specialists may contact the graduate school for updates on the students behalf.

Supervision & Evaluation

Graduate assistants are assigned a supervisor at the time of their appointment. Supervisors are responsible for providing guidance to the graduate assistants by ensuring that GAs are prepared to carry out their duties.  Faculty and staff supervisors determine the assignments, supervise the work, and have the authority to recommend continuation or renewal at the end of the appointment period. Appointments and reappointments are approved by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. 

Students are evaluated at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters (twice a year) to determine whether their work objectives were met. The supervisor is responsible for evaluating the graduate assistant for carrying out the assigned duties and responsibilities.  This should be measured against the performance standards created by the supervisor and the student at the appointment. The process for conducting the evaluation is expected to include the following:

  • A written evaluation
  • Evaluation of the success of the graduate assistant in carrying out assignments duties according to the performance standards;
  • A conference in which the supervisor reviews the evaluation with the graduate assistant;
  • A signed copy of the evaluation by the graduate assistant to acknowledge receiving a copy of the evaluation and participating in the evaluation conference; and
  • Forwarding a copy of the evaluation signed by the graduate assistant to the Dean of the Graduate School for inclusion in the official personnel file of the graduate assistant.

Salaries and Stipends

To be competitive in the recruitment and retention of high quality graduate students, the University provides a compensation package. The key components of the compensation package are competitive stipends combined with tuition assistance.

All salaries and stipends for graduate assistants, whether in research, service or teaching, are determined by University policies. Stipend levels for graduate assistantships paid from grants or other sources must conform to University guidelines, however they may be at a higher pay level.  The amount of a full assistantship is set by Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies in consultation with the academic deans.  Each year, the department chairs via their college/school dean will be informed of the number of full assistantship allocated to them.  Based on the department needs, the chair may choose to divide some of the full assistantships and award half assistantships.  Each department will determine the criteria for awarding full assistantships vs. half assistantships.

Graduate Tuition Awards

Graduate Tuition Awards are for residents of North Carolina and pays for the cost of in-state graduate tuition. Non-residents may also receive a Graduate Tuition Award to pay the instate component of tuition. Fees are not covered by these funds. Students must have a full or half graduate assistantship or provide some form of service such as Federal Work-Study or University Work-Aid of value at least $1,000.00 per semester to qualify for a Graduate Tuition Award. For continued tuition award support, the graduate student must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0.

Graduate Tuition Remission

Graduate Tuition Remission is for students classified as non-residents and reduces the cost of out-of-state tuition to that of the in-state rate. Fees are not covered by these funds. Students must have a full or half graduate assistantship or provide some form of service such as Federal Work-Study or University Work-Aid of value at least $1,000.00 per semester to qualify for a Graduate Tuition Remission. For continued tuition remission support, the graduate student must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0.

The out-of-state tuition waiver is automatically applied to students’ accounts when the following three criteria are met (this does not apply to level 46 bachelor’s/master’s students whose out-of-state tuition cannot be waived):

  • the student’s appointment is entered in PeopleAdmin by the hiring department
  • the student meets the earnings criteria described above
  • the student meets the GPA criteria described above
  • the student has registered for the semester

Academic Load

Graduate assistants must be enrolled as full-time graduate students (minimum of nine semester hours and a maximum of 12 semester hours during each regular fall and spring semester; minimum of 6 hours for summer). Load above 9 hours must be approved by department chair. Graduate assistants are expected to enroll only in course work directly related to the completion of their degree requirements. Students who withdraw from classes during the term and fall below the minimum number of hours will have their assistantship revoked. Students holding instructional assistantships should not carry a combined teaching and course load in excess of fifteen semester hours.

Academic Conflict

The primary goal of the assistantship program is to facilitate the progress of the student toward the prompt and successful completion of the degree program. In no way should the graduate assistantship interfere or conflict with the educational objectives of the student.

Job Conflicts

If problems or conflicts arise in the performance of duties, the graduate assistant should discuss the situation with his/her immediate supervisor. If the problem is not resolved at that level, then the problem should be taken through the following levels until a resolution is reached: the department head, the appropriate college dean, the Dean of School of Graduate Studies.


Students offered an assistantship must sign the Graduate Assistantship Agreement form sent to them by the HR office, which is a contract between the student and department. The agreement should stipulate the beginning and ending dates of the contract, the type of appointment, and amount of the monthly stipend. 

Taxes: Federal and state taxes, if applicable, are withheld from the assistantship stipend check, which is issued monthly at approximately the first and sixteenth of each month.

Accepting Additional Employment

Unless specified otherwise in the assistantship agreement contract, graduate students receiving assistantships are not prohibited from seeking additional employment; given the cumulative total of the work hours for both assignments do not exceed 20 hours per week. Students should consult with their academic advisor and/or assistantship supervisor as applicable regarding the fulfillment of their assistantship and graduate study responsibilities. Students must notify the Graduate School about any additional employment, including the period of employment, name and contact of employer, and job title or short description of duties. 

Termination of Contract

A student may terminate their assistantship at any time by providing 2 weeks, written notice to the Department Chair, Graduate Program Director, and the office of Graduate Studies.  If for any reason a student leaves the assistantship appointment before the end of this contract, please refer to the table below for tuition responsibility.  The reporting supervisor may also terminate an appointment for reasons such as absenteeism, inferior work performance, poor academic performance or conduct code violation.  Supervisor must provide written notice of termination to the student, Dean of the School/College, Graduate Program Director and School of Graduate Studies.  

Research at NCCU

Library Facilities

Library resources at North Carolina Central University are located in the James E. Shepard Memorial Library, the Music Library, the School of Library and Information Sciences Library, the School of Law Library, and the Curriculum Materials Center located in the School of Education.  These libraries contain a total of over 850,000 volumes.  They subscribe to a total of 6,165 periodicals, 25,000 electronic full-text journals and books, 120,000 government documents and 225 electronic databases.

NCCU is a member of the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN).  TRLN is a cooperative comprised of libraries at Duke University, NCCU, UNC at Chapel Hill, and NC State University, with combined collections of over 10 million volumes.  NCCU students can borrow directly from any of the TRLN institutions by presenting a valid NCCU student ID card.  Borrowing privileges at TRLN libraries are extended to faculty, staff, and administrators who present a current University ID card.  Additional library resources are available at the remaining thirteen institutions in the UNC System, where graduate students and faculty have direct borrowing privileges.  Electronic access to these collections is provided via Search TRLN and UNC Express, which are integrated online catalogs.

Human Subjects

Research involving human subjects is required by federal regulation [45 CFR 46.102] to be reviewed and approved or declared exempt by an Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Research Subjects. The NCCU Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research reviews and approves all requests to use humans as subjects in research.  This includes educational tests, survey procedures, interview procedures or observations of public behavior, as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regulations. The NCCU Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research has the authority to review, approve, or disapprove all research endeavors initiated, promoted, and supported by the university. All proposed research involving human subjects conducted under the auspices of a department, school, or research unit within the university requires completion of the Request for Review of Research Involving Human Subjects and the Research Protocol forms and submission to the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs (OSRP) prior to submitting a proposal for extramural funding to support such research.

Animal Subjects

NCCU endorses the Principles for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health; has implemented the recommendations of The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (1996); and is complying, and will continue to comply, with the Animal Welfare Act and other applicable statues and regulations concerning the care and use of laboratory animals. NCCU recognizes that laboratory animals are sentient creatures. Their use is a privilege accompanied by an ethical and legal obligation for their humane care and handling. Individuals whose work requires them to use animals in research or instruction must understand and be committed to fulfilling the legal and moral responsibilities of such use. The NCCU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews and approves all requests to utilize vertebrate animals in research or education, evaluates research protocols and inspects animal laboratory housing facilities.

NCCU Research Institutes

NCCU’s Julius L. Chambers Biomedical Biotechnology Research Institute (JLC-BBRI) is an innovative research and training Institute dedicated to the advancement of fundamental knowledge of human diseases, particularly those that disproportionately affect under-represented minority groups. The JLC-BBRI facility provides 40,000 sq. ft. of basic research space, which includes eleven modern research laboratories. Additional research support facilities include warm and cold rooms, cell culture laboratories, an animal facility, and computing and visualization laboratories. The JLC-BBRI is supported by NCCU and through a variety of other public and private sources. Investigator-initiated RO1 grants, cooperative agreements, and training grants with various federal agencies constitute the major sources of research and training funds for the JLC-BBRI.

The University’s Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) leads our research and training in biotechnology and biomanufacturing. BRITE has a strong research focus, particularly in the areas of drug discovery and manufacturing technology. The BRITE facility features 21,000 square feet of classroom and office space, as well as 31,000 square feet of laboratory space. In addition there are common equipment rooms and industry-inspired core laboratories including the following: Drug Discovery Core Facility; Protein Expression, Purification and Formulation Core Facility; Imaging Core Facility; Monoclonal Antibody Production Core Facility; and Technology Core Facility.

Admission to Candidacy for the Master’s Degree (Thesis Option)

Admission to Candidacy for the Master’s degree when the thesis option is selected usually follows successful completion of a minimum number of credit hours of graduate course work in the program and passing a comprehensive written examination or acceptance of thesis proposal by the college/school. Once the graduate student has met eligibility requirements, the student’s Graduate Faculty Advisor starts the recommendation for admission to candidacy by preparing application forms provided by the School of Graduate Studies. 

The student in consultation with his/her Graduate Faculty Advisor (must have graduate faculty status) identifies two or more other graduate faculty members to serve on the student’s Graduate Committee for the thesis.  The Graduate Faculty Advisor serves as the chairperson of the student’s Graduate Committee. The student with his/her Graduate Committee develops a plan for the thesis. The Title and Plan for the Thesis is approved by the academic department for the graduate program.

After department and college/school approval, the application for Admission to Candidacy for the Master’s Degree is submitted to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. The Dean of the School of Graduate Studies reports the admission to candidacy to the University Registrar for posting on the student’s transcript and notifies the graduate student that he/she is approved as a Candidate for the Master’s Degree.

Admission to candidacy should be met no later than one semester before the student wishes to apply for graduation. Students should refer to program specific eligibility requirements for candidacy in non-thesis, internship/practicum portfolio or coursework option graduate programs. 

Admission to Candidacy for the Master’s Degree (Non-Thesis Option)

When the non-thesis option is selected, students should consult their specific graduate program as admission to candidacy for non-thesis Master’s degree programs requirements, if any, varies. 

Master’s Thesis

Candidates for the master’s degree must produce an acceptable Thesis when this is the chosen option in the graduate program.  The preparation of the thesis should show the capacity of the student under guidance to accomplish independent investigation, and it must demonstrate mastery of the methodology of research.  It is not expected or required that the thesis in every case be an original contribution to knowledge.  The student, in the preparation of the thesis, is concerned with knowledge and the evidential bases on which the knowledge rests. Each semester the student is working on thesis he/she must be registered for at least one (1) credit hour of thesis course.  Credit equal to that of one full course (3 semester hours) will be granted when a thesis is successfully defended. A maximum of six credit hours can be awarded for a thesis. The student’s Graduate Committee chaired by the Faculty Advisor serves as the student’s graduate examining committee for the thesis and oral defense. Review and approval of the thesis is the responsibility of the student’s graduate examining committee and the academic department for the graduate program.

An electronic copy of an acceptable thesis must be inspected in the Graduate Office for compliance with the Graduate School’s requirements of form and style. Final approved documents must be recorded in the Office of Graduate Studies-Enrolled Student Services not later than the date specified in the academic calendar.  A copy of the regulations regarding form, style, and physical requirements for theses and procedures for electronic submission may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies-Enrolled Student Services.


Candidates for the master’s degree produce an acceptable project when this is the chosen option in the graduate program.  The Non-thesis Project Option varies in form depending on the specific graduate program requirements. Typically, students have specific course requirements associated with the project option; carry out a research investigation under graduate faculty supervision; write and submit a scholarly document on the research; and defend the research project in an oral examination. Credit equal to that of one full course (3 semester hours) will be granted when a project is successfully defended. A maximum of six credit hours can be awarded for a project. The student’s Graduate Committee chaired by the Faculty Advisor serves as the student’s graduate examining committee for the project and oral defense. Review and approval of the project is the responsibility of the student’s graduate examining committee and the academic department for the graduate program.

Internship/Practicum Portfolio

Candidates for the master’s degree must submit an acceptable Portfolio when this is the chosen option in the graduate program.  There is no course credit granted for the portfolio requirement.  The purpose of the portfolio is to demonstrate competency in knowledge and skills in the proposed area of study. Since various types of portfolios are required by different program areas, students must consult with their Graduate Faculty Advisor or the Graduate Coordinator about specific program portfolio requirements. Students should keep a written log of the projects and papers that they plan to submit as part of their portfolio.  Student projects should be reviewed each semester with the student’s advisor.

PR Grade

The PR grade denotes that a student registered in a thesis, project, research, or internship/practicum course has made satisfactory progress but has not successfully completed the required work. Upon successfully defense of the written thesis or project, the PR grade in the previously registered thesis or project course may be changed to an appropriate grade.

Electronic Submission of Theses and Dissertations

Once the student has successfully defended his/her thesis or dissertation and the content of the thesis or dissertation has been approved by the student’s committee, the student must submit the thesis or dissertation document electronically to the ProQuest ETD (electronic theses & dissertations) site for publishing.  (ProQuest Dissertation Publishing, formerly University Microfilms (UMI) and now part of ProQuest, is a business in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that has created Dissertation Abstracts, an index of over 2 million dissertations.)

The ProQuest electronic submission tool is called UMI ETD Administrator. If the ProQuest/UMI Traditional Publishing option is chosen, submission is free.  Supplementary materials, such as audio, video, and spreadsheets that are integral to the thesis or dissertation can submitted as supplementary files during the online submission process. A copyright of the work can be registered for an additional fee.

The student must complete the thesis, secure Committee signatures, and submit to the School of Graduate Studies a Thesis/Dissertation Submission Request and Document Approval Form before ETD access is given. The deadline for to submit the Thesis/Dissertation Submission Request and Document Approval Form to the School of Graduate Studies is ten business days before the University Registrar’s deadline for theses/projects as posted in the academic calendar. The Dean of the School of Graduate Studies issues to the student a log-in and password to the ProQuest ETD and reports the results of the oral defense of the theses/projects to the University Registrar for posting on the student’s transcript.

ETD submissions are reviewed for formatting by an Administrator in the NCCU School of Graduate Studies. If the Administrator requires corrections to be made, an email is sent to the student requesting revisions. The student must make a new ETD submission of the revised version of the document with the corrections.  When the submission has been accepted by the Administrator, the student will receive email confirmation. The approved ETDs will be released to ProQuest/UMI after the end of the term the student applied to graduate.  It can take 8-12 weeks before the ETD is available online by ProQuest/UMI Dissertation Publishing.

Final Master’s Examination

The final examination for the Master’s degree is the evaluation of the written thesis or project and is the oral examination covering the thesis or project and its application in the major and minor subjects, or may be the oral or written defense of the culminating internship or practicum portfolio.  For the School of Education, a Comprehensive Written Final Examination covering the courses within the major is required. A student failing to pass the final examination(s) may, after the lapse of a semester, apply for and secure reexamination. Should a second failure occur, approval for a third examination must be granted by the department chair or academic dean, as appropriate. In the event of a third failure, the student has no recourse and he/she is dismissed from the graduate program and admission to Graduate School terminated. The Graduate Faculty Advisor serves as the chair of the student’s Graduate Committee and the student’s Graduate Committee serves as the examining body for the thesis, project or internship/practicum portfolio and for the oral final examination.

The Second Master’s Degree

The program of graduate study of a student who wishes to earn a second Master’s degree must conform to the following criteria:

  1. Each candidate may not enroll in more than 9 credit hours of course work in a second master’s degree before being admitted to that degree.
  2. Each candidate may be admitted to the second master’s degree at any time by satisfying all requirements for admission to that program.
  3. Each candidate must complete a minimum of 18 semester hours in addition to those completed for the first master’s degree. After having completed nine semester hours,each student’s performance will be evaluated by the department awarding the second master’s degree.
  4. In addition to the minimum 18 semester hour requirement,each candidate must complete a research thesis, project or internship/practicum portfolio in the area in which he or she wishes to earn the second master’s degree.
  5. The department chairperson or department representative of the second master’s degree has the responsibility for recommending a program of study for each prospective candidate to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. 


All requirements including the coursework; comprehensive written examination; foreign language requirement; thesis, project or internship/practicum portfolio;  and the oral final examination must be completed by the dates listed in the academic calendar in order for a student to receive his/her Master’s degree during the desired semester. 

Students must apply for graduation at the beginning of the semester of the intended graduation date.  Applications, which are available through the Registrar’s Office, must be submitted by the deadline announced in the University Calendar.  In addition to this requirement, students must complete a Request for Degree Checkout with their Graduate Coordinator.  If requirements are not met for graduation during the semester of graduation, students must apply again in the Registrar’s Office. 

Eligibility for graduation with honors by graduate students usually requires the following cumulative grade point averages:

  • Summa Cum Laude:             3.92 - 4.00;
  • Magna Cum Laude:              3.85 - 3.919;
  • Cum Laude:                           3.77 - 3.849.

Students should consult their specific graduate program on eligibility requirements for honors as there may be differences in some cases.