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Graduate Registration Procedures

Graduate students who have been admitted to a degree program should plan their coursework with their advisers before registering.

Students who wish to work toward a graduate degree should file a graduate application available on the Student Services tab in blueView.

Students who wish to receive federal financial aid must be fully admitted to their programs.

General Requirements

A candidate for a master’s degree must complete a program of study with at least a 3.0 grade-point average. A candidate for a doctoral degree in the School of Education must complete a program of study with at least a 3.5 grade-point average. Graduate students enrolled in 100-199 numbered courses approved for graduate credit are required to do extra work and exhibit a higher degree of competency than students taking the courses for undergraduate credit.


Credit for degree purposes is limited to those courses passed with grades of "A," "B," or "C." Students must progress satisfactorily by maintaining a 3.0 grade-point average. This average is based on all work taken for graduate credit at Drake University. Grades of D and F are used in computing the average even though credits do not count for degree purposes.

Students seeking an M.B.A., M.P.A., MAcc, or M.F.M. degree must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average for all graduate coursework and may not have more than two "C" grades in their graduate programs.

Upon recommendation of the graduate program adviser and approval of the department or college/school, a graduate student may repeat one time, and only one time, any graduate course in which a grade of C or below was earned. Ordinarily, a maximum of two courses may be repeated within the program. Only the highest grade and credit hours earned are used in computing the student’s cumulative grade-point average. Lower grades removed from the computation by the student repeating a course appear on the student’s permanent record marked by a designated symbol ("XX").

The mark “I” (Incomplete) indicates a student has not submitted all evidence required for a final grade. The student must make satisfactory arrangements with the instructor to complete the work by the end of the next semester of enrollment (excluding enrollment in summer or January terms). The instructor writes out the conditions that must be met to remove the incomplete. As a component of these conditions, the instructor may demand an accelerated deadline (e.g., the midterm of the following semester) or may provide an extended deadline if special circumstances warrant (e.g., a semester abroad, student teaching, etc.). The instructor will indicate the final grade for the course in the event the work is not completed. Marks of incomplete are changed to a final grade either by the instructor (upon completion of the work) or by the Office of Student Records (if the work is not completed after one semester has passed). Marks of incomplete are not computed in the grade-point average.

The mark of “IP” (In Progress) may be given in certain courses where special conditions make the grade of Incomplete unrepresentative of the status of the students at the close of the semester. The grade of “IP” is appropriate only when the coursework could not be finished during the semester for the entire class (e.g., internships, practicums, or courses that do not fit the standard academic calendar; fieldwork or research presentations that may take place after a semester has ended; theses or dissertations; or other special situations where coursework extends beyond one semester). A grade of “IP” must be changed to a final grade by the instructor by the end of the next semester. The instructor must indicate to the appropriate dean’s office in what courses students will be assigned an “IP”.

A student may not graduate/earn a degree from Drake University with an "I" (Incomplete) or an "IP" (In Progress) notation on his/her transcript.

On satisfactory completion of all requirements, the mark of "CR" is awarded for enrollments in 299 or 399 credits.

Curricular Modification

Adding/Dropping a Course

A student may add a course through the end of the first five class days of each semester or, in the case of a short course beginning later in the semester, may add the course before the second class-meeting of the course.

The time during which a student may drop from a class with no mark of "W" recorded and a full tuition refund (if appropriate) is as follows:

  • Courses offered in a standard format during the fall or spring semester – intent to drop must be submitted to the college/school dean’s office or to the Office of Student Records by the end of the 10th business day after the start of the semester.
  • Summer or J-term courses – intent to drop must be submitted to the college/school dean’s office or to the Office of Student Records by the end of the first business day following the first meeting of the course.
  • Weekend courses - intent to drop must be submitted to the college/school dean’s office or to the Office of Student Records as follows:
    • Classes that start with an evening session: by noon the day following the first evening session.
    • Classes that start with a full day session: by the end of the first day of class.
  • Online courses: the drop schedule conforms to requirements for corresponding term lengths; e.g. in courses that are scheduled in a standard semester format intent to drop must be submitted by the end of the 10th business day after the start of the semester. In classes scheduled to last for 3 to 6 weeks, intent to drop must be submitted by the end of the second business day after the class begins.

Intent to drop must be filed using the procedures specified for the type of course and term in which it is offered:

  • For courses meeting during the day on campus, intent to drop a course must be filed with the college/school dean’s office or with the Office of Student Records and Academic Services by the time specified above.
  • For online courses and weekend courses intent to drop may be handled in one of the following ways (the intent must be in text form):
    • Submit a notice of intent to drop to the instructor.
    • Send an email to the Office of Student Records or to the office of the dean of the college in which the course is offered.

Attendance records will be used to verify attendance dates.

Withdrawal from a Course

Addendum (the wording in the following paragraph replaces the subsequent text in italics, effective December, 2013)

A student may drop a course up to five class days (Monday - Friday) after the midpoint of the semester (or the midpoint of a course that meets less than a full semester).  For drops that occur during that period, the administrative mark of "W" officially is recorded.  A student may drop a course after that point only if the instructor or dean's office finds extenuating circumstances that would make the withdrawal appropriate, in which case the administrative mark of "W" officially is recorded.  In cases where extenuating circumstances were not identified, the instructor of the course will be responsible for assigning the grade earned by the student in that course.

When a student withdraws from a class after the “no W drop date” as specified above, but before the midpoint of the semester (or midpoint of a course that meets less than a full semester), the administrative mark of “W” is officially recorded. A student may withdraw from a course after the midpoint of the semester (or the midpoint of a course that meets less than a full semester), only if the instructor or dean’s office finds extenuating circumstances that would make the assignment of the “W” appropriate. In cases of withdrawal from a course after the midpoint of the semester where extenuating circumstances were not identified, the instructor of the course will be responsible for assigning the grade earned by the student in that course.

  • In practice, for weekend students the end of the second full weekend accounts for 67% of the direct instructional time of a course. Withdrawal anytime between the start of day 2 of the first weekend and the end of day 2 of the second weekend should result in a "W" on the academic record. Notices of intent to withdraw that are received after the second full weekend but prior to the third full weekend can be backdated in the system as appropriate to reflect the actual date that intent was submitted, and to meet this standard regarding aid eligibility.

Individual colleges and schools may have additional academic regulations that are stated under the ‘‘Policies" of that college or school in the catalog. Information on the academic regulations of the Law School appear in the Law School Student Handbook.

Withdrawal: The Impact On Financial Aid

Tuition Adjustments Based on Enrollment Changes (other than complete withdrawals)
A reduction of credit hour enrollment within the time specified for dropping without a mark of "W" for the term length and type of course may occur without tuition penalty. After the “no 'W' drop date”, a change from full-time to part-time status or a reduction in credit-hour enrollment, other than a complete withdrawal, will not change tuition charges. For example, a student enrolled full-time will receive no tuition adjustment if he or she drops below full-time enrollment after the "no ‘W’ drop date.” Tuition adjustments for increased enrollment continue throughout the term.

Financial Aid Adjustments

Changes in Enrollment (other than complete withdrawals)
Financial aid may be adjusted until the “no W drop date” based upon changes in enrollment and changes in tuition and fees. Eligibility for financial aid for increased enrollment is not automatically calculated with an enrollment change. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Planning to discuss changes in enrollment and financial aid eligibility.


At least two-thirds of the total required hours of course credits needed for a master’s degree must be taken in courses offered by Drake University, exclusive of credit for 299-Graduate Project hours. See specialist program and specific doctoral program sections of the Graduate Catalog for specific requirements for residency for those degrees.

Transfer of Credit

Graduate course credits may be considered for transfer that are (1) within five years preceding completion of a Drake degree for all masters programs in the College of Business and Public Administration and within five years preceding admission for programs in the School of Education, (2) at least "B" grade, and (3) directly related to the student’s Drake graduate program and recommended by the adviser.

Masters Programs: A maximum transfer of one-third of the course credits in a masters program (EDUC 299-Graduate Project hours excluded) may be considered if they meet the foregoing requirements.

School of Education Specialist Program: The same maximum number of credits (as for the masters programs) for transfer can be considered, except that such credits in addition to the foregoing requirements must have been earned after having completed a master’s degree program and must be from an institution offering specialist and/or doctoral degrees.

School of Education Doctoral Program: See sections of this catalog regarding doctoral programs and transfer of credit for such programs.

Although credits are not transferable, non-graded workshops and seminars from regionally-accredited graduate schools may in some cases be used for waivers of up to six hours of Drake graduate credit. This allows consideration of graduate workshops and seminars where “S” for Satisfactory or “CR” for Credit have been designated on a transcript. Waivers for such credit are limited to a maximum of six hours of credit out of the total transfer of credit limitation for the particular degree program. This same waiver of credit provision for a Drake masters program also is available for consideration of graduate credits from an undergraduate college without graduate degree programs, provided approval for offering graduate credits on a limited basis has been given that college by the regional accrediting association.

When formally admitted to a masters degree program at Drake University, a student may request adviser’s and dean’s approval for transfer of appropriate extension (off-campus) credits from another institution prior to any enrollment in such courses. (Request detailed information from your assigned adviser.) Off-campus credits from another institution cannot be applied to the Drake specialist or doctoral degrees.

Drake University has special procedures for courses with certain Iowa colleges and school systems concerning limited credit arrangements for individual students. Inquiries regarding any such arrangements should be directed to the student’s graduate adviser.

All arrangements under this Transfer of Credit section must be recommended by the student’s adviser, meet limitations and requirements for a particular degree, and be approved by the department or college/school.

Student Load

The maximum load permitted a graduate student during a regular semester is 15 credit hours. The maximum load for the summer session is 12 credit hours. Students are considered full-time if they carry 9 or more hours per semester and part-time if they carry less than 9 credit hours per semester.

Continuous Graduation

During any given semester or summer session, a graduate student must give early notice to the college/school and the appropriate department of intent to graduate. If the student is certified to have met all graduation requirements, this is reported to the Office of Student Records. The following month, a diploma is mailed. (See Summary of Requirements in this catalog for specific schedule of requirements for graduation.) Commencement ceremonies are held in May and in December each year.

FERPA Policy Statement

The Provost’s Office and its various subdivisions maintain student education records as an integral part of providing student services. All student education records and the information contained therein are subject to the provisions of the federal privacy act known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and, subject to exceptions stated in FERPA, are not available for inspection by others without a written release from the student unless the person making the request is a University faculty or staff member with legitimate educational interests. Such personnel might include a faculty adviser, professor, dean or a counselor. Parents may or may not be excluded from seeing their student’s education records or receiving information from the records without a release signed by their student, depending on the applicable provisions of FERPA (see “Special Note from the Provost”).

Student Right to Review Education Records

Generally, students may inspect their own education records at any time the record keeping office is open. Prior notice is required to inspect your own file as inspections are done under the supervision of the office staff. Students may copy the contents of their own education records, although if the file is extensive there may be a reasonable copying charge. The following restrictions apply to student review of education records:

  • Students may not see their parents’ Financial Aid Form or other financial records.
  • Where records involve two or more students, the student may view only that part of the record that pertains to him/her.
  • Students do not have a right to access records of instructional, supervisory or administrative personnel if those records are kept in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except substitute personnel.
  • Students do not have the right to access or review the records of Campus Security if the records were created for the purpose of law enforcement.

In all cases where access to records is denied, the student and supervisor of the record shall attempt to informally resolve the matter. If the situation is not resolved in this manner, then the Provost, or his/her designee, shall make a final and binding decision regarding access after reviewing the arguments for access and denial of access.

If students find objectionable material in their files, they should call it to the attention of the supervisor of that record and if the supervisor agrees, the material can be deleted or amended. If the supervisor of the record does not agree to a student’s suggested deletion or amendment after the student has had a chance to present all evidence in his/her favor, then the student may add additional or explanatory material to the file, which will be kept as part of the educational record.

University files pertaining to students are normally purged after five years, although each department and College follows its own procedures.

Directory Information

FERPA also prevents the University from releasing certain information about students to persons outside the University without first notifying the student.

Drake University may release the following “directory information” about each individual student without prior consent unless the student has previously requested these records be withheld:

  1. Student’s name, Drake ID number, local address, telephone number and e-mail address
  2. Parent’s name, address and telephone number
  3. Date and place of student’s birth
  4. College/school of enrollment
  5. Curriculum (major field of study)
  6. Year in School
  7. Participation in recognized organizations, activities and sports
  8. Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  9. Degrees and awards received
  10. The most recent previous educational institution attended by the student.
  11. Job title(s) and Date(s) of employment held while enrolled as a student.

Any student not wanting the above-referenced “directory information” released to the public must timely notify the appropriate office. Forms are available from the Office of Student Records and Academic Information. A notice remains in effect until the student requests lifting of the hold in writing. If personally identifiable information is removed from education records, they can be disclosed without student notification.

Personally identifiable information other than directory information can be released without prior approval under the following circumstances:

  • contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other outside service providers used by a school district or postsecondary institution to perform institutional services and functions. A contractor (or other outside service provider) that is given access to education records under this provision must be under the direct control of the disclosing institution and subject to the same conditions on use and redisclosure of education records that govern other school officials;
  • a school district or postsecondary institution may disclose education records, without consent, to officials of another school, school system, or postsecondary institution where a student seeks or intends to enroll;
  • organizations, including state or federal education agencies, conducting studies for, or on behalf of the disclosing institution for purposes of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests; administering student aid programs; or improving instruction;
  • Ex parte court orders under USA Patriot Act, or other lawful subpoenas;
  • As part of a health or safety emergency.

Special note from the Provost on University Policy concerning release of student education records to parents and guardians:

Generally, it is Drake University’s policy to request a signed consent from the student before the University will release the student’s education records (including grades) to parents. The University treats students as adults and encourages parents to become partners with their students. The University believes that this approach reinforces the importance of autonomy and accountability in student development.

There is no law forbidding students from voluntarily sharing all their information with parents after the student receives it from the University, and no consent form is required for such voluntary sharing between student and parent.

Under the following special circumstances, the University may release student education records to parents or others without student consent:

  1. In an emergency, federal law (FERPA) allows the University to contact parents and other appropriate persons and disclose the information necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons;
  2. FERPA allows the University to disclose to parents or legal guardians information about their students’ violation of any federal, state or local law, or any rule or policy of the institution governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, if (a) the student is under the age of 21; and (b) Drake determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession of alcohol or controlled substances;
  3. The University may disclose to parents or guardians a student’s education records or information therein to the extent necessary to process the student’s financial aid request and for such related purposes as to:
    1. determine eligibility for the aid;
    2. determine the amount of the aid;
    3. determine the conditions for the aid; and/or
    4. enforce the terms and conditions of the aid; and
  4. Finally, consistent with FERPA, if the student decides not to grant permission, then parents will have access to their student’s records if they can provide evidence that meets the “dependent for tax purposes” requirement. (A dependent is an appropriate relative or member of the taxpayer’s household who receives more than half of his/her support for the calendar year from the taxpayer. Scholarships are not taken into consideration. 26 U.S.C. § 152.)

The University’s policy regarding disclosure of student information to parents is explained to parents and students at summer orientation. The release form is available on the web through the Student Services tab in blueView (the campus web portal). A separate release form is required for each office from which information is requested.

Questions regarding FERPA, University policy or parental access to student education records can be addressed to the Office of Student Records and Academic Information, 515-271-2025 or to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Academic Excellence at 515-271-3751.

More information about FERPA can be found at

Adopted by the Faculty Senate, May 9, 2002
Supplemented by Provost to reflect University Policy concerning release of student education records to parents and guardians, November, 2007
Revised by Provost to reflect full FERPA disclosure details, January 2012

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