Forms and Policies

The Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities sets forth the Student Bill of Rights along with the national, state and city laws and Rensselaer policies that guide Institute and judicial actions in support of Rensselaer student success.

The Graduate Student Supplement to the Rensselaer Student Handbook of Rights & Responsibilities sets guidelines specifically applied to graduate students and graduate education

TA Handbook


Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA to remain in their graduate program and to graduate. Students who drop below a 3.0 will be contacted and may be put on academic probation. Graduate students may not receive a course letter grade of D for any course they are taking.

The Graduate Student Request for Change of Status is used for a variety of academic situations such as a change in degree program due to adding an MS degree, switching programs, and a leave of absence. The form cannot be used to add a PhD program. Regular admissions procedures apply to students wanting to add or switch doctoral programs.

Graduate Student Change of Status form (PDF)

If you need to take a leave of absence from your graduate program, first discuss this with your adviser and Graduate Program Director and then contact the Office of Graduate Education (OGE). Leaves of absence are granted on a semester-by-semester basis, with a maximum two-year limit. While on leave, the registrar will change your student status to "Inactive." This means that you forfeit your campus privileges, including housing, meal plans, email, and library access. In most cases, the time limit to completion of your degree is not changed by a leave of absence. Your department and OGE will review your file before readmitting you from a leave, assuring that all admission criteria have been satisfied.

If you don't finish your thesis/dissertation by the May completion date, you may submit your thesis/dissertation by the August completion date. You may then attend the graduation ceremonies the following year. (For example, if you finished in August 2017, you may attend the May 2018 Commencement ceremony.)

If you don't finish your thesis/dissertation by the August deadline, you will need to register in the following fall semester in order to graduate. Full-time students must register for a minimum of twelve credits, and pay full tuition costs and fees. Part-time students must register for at least one credit at the part-time tuition rate and also pay student fees if applicable.

If faced with financial hardship, the Rensselaer Union has an Emergency Student Loan fund where students can request a cash loan. Your bursar account must be in good standing to be eligible.

If there are circumstances that cannot be accommodated by the loan fund, you may seek campus employment in a non-academic position or work outside of the institution. International students are restricted to only campus employment, and only that of a non-academic nature. Under no circumstances can you be employed on a part-time basis for work that would normally be performed by a Teaching or Research Assistant.

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