The Graduate School

Grad School Clocktower

The Graduate School at UNCW remains open and operational as the university responds to the global outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19).  All instruction is moving to an online format and research operations have been limited.

Our offices continue to function without interruption but may be operating in a remote capacity.  Response/processing times may be extended, and your patience is appreciated as offices acclimate to remote work.

Applications to our graduate programs will continue to be processed and reviewed.  All questions regarding registration, graduation, and degree requirements will continue to be addressed.  And we will continue to support programs, faculty, and students through this unprecedented situation.

We appreciate your patience and flexibility.  As always, do not hesitate to reach out to us at  Stay well!

Graduate School Policy Changes for Spring 2020

The Graduate Council met on March 26, 2020 to consider a variety of temporary policy options to aid graduate students during the Spring 2020 semester.

  • Withdrawal from individual courses – Consistent with changes in withdrawal policy at the undergraduate level, the deadline for withdrawing from individual courses will be extended until April 6. Following that deadline, any requests for withdrawal should be routed through program coordinators (
  • Withdrawal from the university – Requests for complete withdrawal will be considered on a case by case basis using established procedures (
  • Leave of Absence – Any student who anticipates being absent for more than one term should request a Leave of Absence using established procedures (
  • Degree Time Limits – Students who are in jeopardy of violating the Graduate Degree Time Limit Policy ( can petition for extensions through their program as described in the policy.  Such petitions will be considered in a manner to provide maximum flexibility for the student and the program.
  • Incomplete course extension – Any incomplete courses that were expected to be completed in Spring 2020 can be considered for an extension until December 15, 2020. Extensions can be requested by the course instructor by notifying
  • Application for Graduation – The graduate application for Spring 2020 graduation has been extended until April 3. After that date no further extensions or additions will be considered.
  • Deadline for submitting final drafts of theses and dissertations – Graduate students who are graduating in Spring 2020 can turn in final drafts of their thesis or dissertation no later than May 15, 2020. Please note that all defenses and oral exams will need to be completed by April 29, 2020.
  • Pass/Fail Policy for Spring 2020 – In light of the current emergency and the sudden alteration in course delivery mode across the curriculum, the Graduate School has adopted the following modifications to our Pass/Fail Policy for Spring 2020 graduate courses only:
    • Full instructions for selecting the Pass/Fail option are listed here.
    • Pass/Fail Process – All courses will be graded normally, but students may choose to make ANY elgible course grade Pass/Fail AFTER grades are submitted. Students have until Tuesday, June 30 2020 to make this choice.
    • Pass/Fail Definitions – Unless designated Pass/Fail already at the start of the Spring ’20 semester, a “P” grade for Spring ’20 requires a C or better final grade. 
    • Pass/Fail Credit Application and Exemptions – “Pass” hours earned in any Spring 2020 course will be counted towards credit hours required for graduation.  P/F credits can be applied to program credit.  Deans, in consultation with departments and programs, can exempt certain courses and/or programs from the P/F option when accreditation or other considerations require letter grading.  A list of exempted courses will be centrally available.
    • Courses taken as P/F in Spring 2020 will not count against the 6 credit cap on graduate P/F courses.
    • A grade of pass will not be factored into GPA; however, eligible courses taken for a pass WILL count towards earned semester hours, hours in residence, and prerequisite requirements (for courses or major admission) except where the catalog requires a specific minimum grade higher than a C.
    • Fail grades will be included in GPA calculations as an F.
    • Graduate students earning an F will be subject to the Graduate Retention Policy.
    • Transcripts from UNCW will bear a note indicating the semester was disrupted by the global Covid-19 emergency.