Mar 03, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [OFFICIAL CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures

It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with the academic rules and regulations in this catalog and with departmental and program policies concerning the student’s degree program. These provisions are subject to change, although students will normally be permitted to complete their programs under the regulations in effect at the time of admission.


Advisement procedures and arrangements vary between programs, but generally, the program coordinator will assign a faculty advisor to work with each student to develop an approved program of study. Special, non-degree seeking students are advised by program coordinators for the curricula in which they are seeking admission to classes. Students must be advised each semester before enrolling. Some programs use BOSS to conduct advising, while others do it in a more informal manner.

Falsifying the Graduate School Admissions Application

UA Little Rock expects members of the university community—including applicants for admission—to be honest and professional in all of their dealings with the institution. To evaluate the credentials of an applicant, the Graduate School requires a portfolio of accurate information about the applicant’s academic, professional, and personal history. The Graduate School will take action against applicants who deliberately lie or misrepresent their backgrounds in their application materials.

If the false, misrepresented, or misleading information on the application portfolio is discovered the following time frames and actions will ensure:

  • Before the application process is complete, the application will not be processed and no admission offer will be forthcoming.
  • After admission and prior to enrollment, the admission offer will be rescinded.
  • After admission and enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn from all classes and dismissed from the Graduate School; institutional financial assistance will be terminated retroactively, and all tuition and other awards made to the student must be repaid.
  • After a degree or certificate has been earned, that degree or certificate will be revoked.

Under none of these circumstances will the applicant receive a refund of his/her application fee or tuition and fees. Evidence suggesting that an applicant has lied, misrepresented, or acted to mislead reviewers with respect to any component of the applicant’s background will be brought to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School will evaluate the relevant evidence and consult with any parties involved with the application prior to making a decision regarding the disposition of the application. If the applicant/student/graduate wishes to appeal the decision, an appeal may be made to the Associate Dean of Students, after which institutional student appeals processes will be implemented. No punitive action against the applicant/student/graduate will occur until the issue is resolved.

Standard American English Requirement

Except in certain foreign language programs, Standard American English (SAE) is the language of instruction, examination, and all other forms of professional communication within graduate education at UA Little Rock. Only when communication in another language or in non-standard English is essential to the integrity of the academic process may a thesis / dissertation, major programmatic examination, or other component of the academic process be conducted in a language other than SAE. Students who wish to use a language other than SAE must secure the written permission of the Dean of the Graduate School. When a thesis/dissertation is accepted in a different language, it must contain an abstract written in SAE.

Course Audit

To audit a course means to attend class with no expectation of active involvement in class activities and, in effect, to be a spectator, not a participant. Under normal circumstances, the auditing student will not be given a grade, performance report, or evaluation of any kind. However, to receive transcript recognition for the audited course, the student must attend class with sufficient regularity to meet the instructor’s minimum expectations. These expectations should be made explicit to the student early in the course. Students who audit a course must follow regular admission and registration procedures, pay full tuition and fees, and are subject to the university’s academic policies. Credits accrued through audited courses do not count toward fulfilling minimum credit degree requirements. In addition, audited courses do not count toward those needed to meet the requirements for a full- or half-time graduate assistantship. Graduate students should contact the UA Little Rock Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at (501) 569-3127 to determine the impacts of auditing a course on financial aid.

Course Load

Fall and Spring Semesters:
For most purposes, 9 hours is full-time enrollment for graduate students. On a case-by-case basis, exceptions may be made for special circumstances on appeal to the Admissions and Transfer of Credit Committee.

Summer Term:
For graduate students, 3 hours in any summer term constitutes full-time enrollment.

Students who receive Federal Financial Aid, VA benefits, or other aid may be required to enroll in more hours per term in order to receive aid. A student involved in equivalent academic endeavors, such as approved research projects or thesis writing, may request that the Graduate School dean certify full- or part-time status. Students must have the Graduate School dean’s permission to enroll in more than 15 hours in one semester.

Schedule Changes

UA Little Rock’s schedule change procedures and deadlines are available on BOSS. Adding or dropping a course, transferring from one section to another, changing credit status in a course, or changing any other schedule must be approved by the graduate program coordinator.

Courses and Credits

Courses with 5000-level numbers are dual-listed (4000/5000) for both undergraduate and graduate credit. That is, each 5000-level graduate course has a parallel 4000-level undergraduate course. UA Little Rock students who have completed a 4000-level class as part of a baccalaureate degree cannot receive credit toward a graduate degree by enrolling in the dual 5000-level course. Courses at the 7000-level or higher are reserved for graduate students. Numbers 1000-4999 (undergraduate courses) and 6000 (UA Little Rock Law School program courses) are not in this Catalog. For all UA Little Rock course numbers, the second digit indicates the number of credit hours earned for the course.

Credit Limits

For most programs, no more than 40 percent of a program’s required minimum credit hours may be earned in 5000-level courses. For example, if a program requires a minimum of 30 hours, no more than 12 hours may be 5000-level and at least 18 hours must be 7000 or above. Individual programs may allow fewer 5000-level hours than the Graduate School.

Independent Study Courses

The Graduate School reserves the right to question and restrict the number of independent or directed study courses applied to graduation requirements. Individual programs may limit the number of such hours credited toward the degree.

Non-program Graduate Courses

A number of UA Little Rock departments that do not offer graduate programs offer one or more graduate courses that may serve as electives in other departments’ programs. Students wishing to apply such course credits to a degree program at UA Little Rock or elsewhere should contact program officials in advance to find out whether the course is appropriate to the contemplated degree program.

Courses Applied Toward Two Degrees

For graduate programs awarded solely at UA Little Rock, courses can be counted according to the following:

  1. Two Graduate Degrees in Distinct Disciplines (as determined by the program)

No more than 12 graded semester credit hours (research hours will not be double-counted), subject to the following conditions:

  • Both degrees are completed within the time allowed
  • Written approval of both graduate program coordinators
  • Written approval of the Graduate School dean
  1. Master’s or Specialist Degree en route to Doctorate in Same Discipline

Upon recommendation by the graduate program, a doctoral candidate may earn a master’s or specialist’s degree in the same discipline, upon completion of the master’s or specialist’s degree requirements or upon completion of specific requirements established by the program. The master’s or specialist’s degree may not be awarded retroactively. The candidate must apply for graduation by the appropriate deadline.

If a student has earned a master’s or specialist’s degree in the same discipline from another university, the student will not be awarded another equivalent master’s or specialist’s degree from UA Little Rock.

  1. Completed Master’s or Specialist’s Degree and Doctoral Degree

All graded semester credit hours (research hours will not be double-counted) earned from a master’s or specialist’s degree awarded by UA Little Rock within the past seven years may be double-counted towards a doctoral degree. Policy is at the discretion of each graduate program. If either program prohibits double-counting, the prohibition applies to the other program as well. Contact the programs for more information.

  1. Completed Graduate Certificate and Graduate Degree

All graded semester credit hours (research hours will not be double-counted) earned from a graduate certificate awarded by UA Little Rock in the past seven years may be double-counted towards a higher degree. Policy is at the discretion of each graduate program. If either program prohibits double-counting, the prohibition applies to the other program as well. Contact the programs for more information.

  1. Two Graduate Certificates

Double-counting is not allowed.

There are other dual degree programs involving UA Little Rock and other campuses that are not subject to this policy.

The concurrent Master of Business Administration/Juris Doctorate degree program is offered through the UA Little Rock Main Campus in conjunction with the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law. The program allows students to earn MBA and JD degrees concurrently with less time and fewer credit hours. Contact the business administration program coordinator for more information.

The Master of Public Administration degree can also be earned in conjunction with the Juris Doctorate degree. The program allows students to earn MPA and JD degrees concurrently with less time and fewer credit hours. Contact the public administration program coordinator for more information.

The Master of Social Work degree can be earned in conjunction with a Juris Doctorate. This program allows students to earn credits that will be counted towards both degrees.

Undergraduate Students in Graduate Courses

Undergraduate UA Little Rock students may enroll in up to 6 hours of graduate courses if they are within 15 hours of completing graduation requirements, have a 3.0 GPA, and have the approval of the graduate program coordinator or appropriate department representative, course instructor, and the Graduate School dean. These courses may be used to satisfy baccalaureate degree requirements, subject to approval of the undergraduate major advisor, or they may be reserved for credit in a graduate program. The request form is available from the Graduate School or program coordinator and must be completed before registration. Passing such courses with a B or greater does NOT guarantee acceptance into any graduate program at UA Little Rock.

Transfer of Credit

Graduate credit may be granted for equivalent course work from other institutions with approval of the appropriate program coordinator and the Graduate School dean. Such credit may not exceed one half of the program requirements, exclusive of thesis or other exit project credits; must be no more than five years old; and must have a letter grade of B or greater.

Courses without letter grades (graded credit, satisfactory, pass) must be accompanied by official evidence that the grades equated to a B or greater at the institution at which they were earned. Accredited graduate programs usually accept transfer credits only from similarly accredited programs. Credit earned at an online university and for-profit institutions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Transfer grades are not computed as part of a student’s GPA. Individual programs may accept fewer transfer hours than the Graduate School maximum. Applications for transfer of credit for previous coursework must be made and recorded within 12 months of admission to the UA Little Rock Graduate School. Credits accepted for transfer will be posted when the student’s Application for Transfer Credit has been approved and forwarded by the Graduate School dean.

Workshop Credit Limits

No more than six credit hours in workshop courses, approved by the program coordinator and Graduate School dean, may be counted toward degree requirements. Individual programs may accept fewer hours. Credit earned at virtual universities and for-profit universities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Grades and Grading Policies

The graduate grading system used by UA Little Rock is:

A – superior work; The Graduate School uses the grade point average (GPA) for the program in which the student is currently enrolled and any other course taken while enrolled in the current program as the standard measure for retention and graduation requirements. The GPA is determined by assigning quality points to each letter grade (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0), multiplying by the number of credit hours in the course, and dividing by the total number of hours attempted. The semester grade report shows both the semester GPA and a cumulative GPA based on all graduate work taken at UA Little Rock. Except when noted in the catalog, a grading scheme of CR/NC must be arranged and agreed upon by the instructor and student before the class begins. The same applies to auditing a class.
B – average work;
C – unacceptable work;
D and F – failing work;
I, incomplete;
IP, in progress,
CR/NC, credit/no credit;
AU, audit; and
W, withdrawal.

Other grading symbols:

Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) may be given in certain courses instead of the usual letter grades.

A student may elect to take no more than one course each semester on a CR/NC basis if the course instructor concurs provided this agreement is established at the start of the course. This course may not be used to meet the general education requirements, major requirements, or minor requirements. Courses in which a department requires CR/NC grading are no included in this limitation.

W – withdrawal after the drop date.

A student may elect to take no more than one course each semester on a CRNC basis if the course instructor concurs provided this agreement is

I – incomplete course work

The designation, I, or incomplete, is appropriate where the instructor deems that circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented timely completion of course requirements. The designation is given by the instructor only after consultation with the student and after the student has been informed in writing of the work to be completed and the date by which the work must be completed; additionally, a copy of the written notice must be filed with the department chairperson.

If grades are posted, it is done in such a way that students can identify only their own grades. Students in debt to the university will not receive a semester grade report until the debt is satisfied. The formal process to appeal a final grade decision is described in the UA Little Rock Student Handbook, found online at

Expiration Date

The work must be completed and the instructor must submit the change to the appropriate grade within one year from the date grades are due for graduate courses. If the instructor does not convert the incomplete grade or submit an extension request within the allowable time frame the Incomplete grade will expire.

A request to extend the deadline to complete an I must be completed by the instructor and forwarded to the Office or Records and Registration prior to the Expiration Date. The extension request must include a specific date by which all course work will be completed, and this date will be the new Expiration Date.

Regardless of any extensions that may have been granted, an unconverted I grade will expire on the dat that grades are due in a semester where the student has applied for graduation.

Once an I expires, it will be administratively converted to an F on a date to be set by the Registrar.

In Progress (IP) Grade

An In Progress grade (IP) is used for thesis, dissertation, or other similar classes that have a time obligation that is longer than the traditional semester or session. IP indicates that the student is making satisfactory progress in that class. Students who do not make satisfactory progress will be granted no credit. The instructor assigning the IP grade will replace it with a letter grade that reflects the quality of the finished work. In unusual circumstances, such as a student not finishing the obligation in a length of time deemed reasonable by the professor or the professor assigning the grade being unable to change the grade, the graduate coordinator, after consulting with the Graduate School dean, may change the grade to CR in the CR/NC scheme or A-C in the A-F scheme. The IP grade is distinct and different from the Incomplete (I) grade. The IP grade is not calculated into the grade point average. IP grades will be administratively converted to CR/NC or A-F, as described above, after six years have elapsed.

Repeated Grades

If a student repeats a course for credit, only the last occurence of the course shall be counted toward credit hours or cumulative grade points, except in circumstances or academic integrity.

The earlier grade will remain on the transcript with an “E” indicating exclusion from the grade point average. If there have been any changes in course numbers or titles, the student must obtain approval from the chairperson of the department offering the course to be assured it is an identical course. Once a degree has been awarded, a course included in that degree may not be repeated for credit.

Changing Grades

The course instructor has the responsibility for assigning grades. In the event that an instructor cannot issue a grade, the chair of the department offering the course may issue the grade, using whatever evidence is available.

Grades must be submitted to the Registrar by the date assigned in the academic calendar. If the grade has not been entered by this deadline, the symbol MG (missing grade) shall be entered. Missing grades should be changed to a final grade no later than three business days prior to the first day of classes in the subsequent academic term.

Grades may be changed through the Grade Appeal process, through the conversion of an Incomplete to a grade, through the conversion of an IP to a grade, and through the Grade Change Process.

Grade Change Process: Under some circumstances not covered by an Incomplete or In Progress, a grade may be changed by the course instructor through submission of a grade change request. The request must be reviewed by the chair of the department offering the course.

Reporting Grades

The schedule and method of reporting grades to the student are determined by the Registrar’s Office.

Academic Probation

Graduate students who do not maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA (B average) on all courses in their current program will be on academic probation at the end of the semester, regardless of whether or not they receive notification. Students who fail to remove the probationary status by raising their GPAs to 3.0 or better within 12 credit hours are subject to dismissal from the Graduate School.

Note: Some programs may have higher GPA or course program performance requirements.

Academic Clemency

Any UA Little Rock Graduate School student who has previously attended UA Little Rock and whose attendance at UA Little Rock or any institution of higher education has been interrupted for a period of at least one year may qualify for academic clemency providing he or she meets all of the criteria specified below and was not dismissed for non-academic reasons. Under this policy, a Graduate School student may apply to have Graduate School grades and credits earned at UA Little Rock previous to the separation removed from his or her grade point average (GPA). Approval of a request for clemency requires the signature of the student’s program coordinator and the Graduate School Dean.

After reentering UA Little Rock following a separation of at least one year from any institution of higher education, a graduate student may request academic clemency at the Graduate School. The student shall specify the term(s) for which clemency is desired. The request will be forwarded, along with appropriate permanent record information, to the student’s program coordinator for approval. The coordinator shall forward the request to the Graduate School Dean.

Clemency shall cover all credits earned during the semesters (i.e., spring, summer, fall) for which clemency is requested. If more than two semesters of credit are needed to return the student to good academic standing, a special petition must be filed with the Graduate School. The student’s complete record will remain on the transcript with the added notation of academic clemency received. Any petition for academic clemency must be requested and granted prior to the awarding of the degree. Once the degree is awarded, the record is closed and the academic clemency policy cannot be invoked. Academic clemency may be approved only once. For purposes of degree requirements, a student who receives clemency must follow the provisions of the Graduate Catalog in effect at the time of re-enrollment.

Incompletes and Withdrawals

Incompletes and withdrawals are viewed unfavorably by the graduate faculty, graduate dean, and prospective employers. An incomplete (I) grade must be requested by the student and is given when the instructor deems that circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented timely completion of course requirements. An instructor does not give an incomplete (I) grade to a student who stops attending class without prior instructor approval or who fails to earn a passing grade during the course of the semester term. A written contract, signed by the instructor and student, sets the date and condition for completing the class. Most I grades can be removed within 90 days; all must be removed within one year, or these grades are converted to Fs. Students with excessive incompletes may be restricted in the number of hours they may take in a subsequent semester. A withdrawal (W) is recorded when a student drops a course after about the first week of classes or withdraws from all university course work during a semester. A pattern of class or semester withdrawals can indicate unsatisfactory progress and may lead to dismissal from the graduate program or Graduate School. (See also “Academic Probation,” Schedule Changes,” and “Withdrawal from the University” in this section of the catalog.)

Transcript Policies

UA Little Rock transcripts are issued from the Office of Records and Registration only at the request of the student. No transcript or other evidence of attendance is issued to or for a student who is in debt to the university. Each transcript includes the student’s complete record at UA Little Rock. Transcript requests must be made at least one week before the desired date of issue. A small fee is charged for each transcript issued. Contact the Cashier’s Office at Transcripts presented for admission or evaluation of credit to UA Little Rock become part of the student’s permanent record and are not reissued. Transcripts from another institution must be sent to UALR directly from that institution.

Graduation Requirements and Policies

All UA Little Rock graduate degree programs require at least 30 hours of graduate credit and graduate certificate programs require at least 12 hours of graduate credit. All programs require a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on all graduate courses taken for or during that program for graduation. In extremely rare circumstances and with the approvals of their graduate coordinators and the Dean of the Graduate School, students can take up to nine hours beyond their program requirements to achieve the minimum GPAs.

Doctoral programs require a residency as described in the sections on specific degrees. The Residency Plan Form must be submitted before the end of the first semester of the residency. All requirements must be completed within seven consecutive calendar years for master’s degrees and within ten consecutive calendar years for specialist and doctoral degrees. Time lost for military service is excluded from the time requirements.

Individual programs may have additional graduation requirements or higher credit hour or GPA minimums. Students should check the graduation requirements for the specific programs listed in this catalog.

Program Advising

All degree-seeking students should work closely with their program advisors to prepare a plan of study. For doctoral students, the process may involve filing an Advancement to Candidacy notice. Students seeking degrees should meet with their advisors immediately after being admitted. The program’s advising form lists degree requirements and the plan of study for satisfying them.

Doctoral students are awarded candidacy status by their programs after demonstrating the ability to satisfy degree requirements and showing significant commitment to earning a degree through fulfilling the residency requirement. Program requirements for advancement to candidacy differ and may include cumulative or comprehensive examinations or the proposal and defense of a dissertation topic. Advancement normally is the starting point for formal dissertation work.

Graduate Student Responsibilities

Graduate students are responsible for all aspects of their academic progress and for being familiar with UA Little Rock’s graduate education policies and procedures at the programmatic, departmental, college, and university levels. These include, but are not limited to academic requirements, timetables and important dates, and research compliance and integrity issues. These requirements may be communicated in a variety of fashions, including:

  • The UA Little Rock Graduate Catalog
  • The university’s student handbook
  • The university’s graduate handbook
  • The program’s graduate student handbook
  • The program’s website
  • Information sent to the student’s UA Little Rock email address

For multi-institutional programs, the joint graduate student handbook and any corresponding documents from the other participating institution(s) may also apply. Each student should communicate regularly with his/her advisor, advisory committee, and/or graduate program coordinator to ascertain clear expectations for degree or certificate completion.

Academic and Research Integrity

Academic integrity is a cornerstone value of the Graduate School at UA Little Rock. Every UA Little Rock graduate student is expected to perform his/her academic, research, artistic, scholarly, and other creative activities in a fashion reflective of the highest standards of the university, his/her profession, and a functional civil society. Academic dishonest is considered to be a violation of those standards. Academic dishonesty involves cheating in the most general sense of the word and includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • The giving or receiving of any unauthorized assistance between multiple students
  • The giving or receiving of unfair advantages
  • Plagiarism (i.e., claiming that one owns the ideas, calculations, words, or other work of others.)
  • Falsification of data
  • Attempting any of the acts described above

A student’s instructor, advisor, graduate advisory committee, program director, department chair, dean, or their representatives may initiate actions against a graduate student who is suspected of academic dishonesty. Disciplinary actions will follow procedures found in the UA Little Rock Academic Integrity and Grievance Policy (

UA Little Rock is equally committed to complying with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations, as well as professional and societal standards related to the ethical and honest conduct of research. The irresponsible conduct of research includes, but is not limited to, violation of laws, regulations, and professional standards in the following areas:

  • Data acquisition, management, sharing, and ownership
  • Conflict of interest and commitment
  • Human subjects
  • Animal welfare
  • Research misconduct (e.g., misuse of research funds)
  • Publication practices and responsible authorship

Collaborative Science

For additional information about the responsible conduct of research with respect to human and animal subjects, pathogens, chemicals, radiation, and other potentially dangerous materials, see the section on Research Compliance in the catalog. When allegations of misconduct arise in the research arena, policies and procedures found in the Research Compliance Policy will be followed. A student’s instructor, advisor, graduate advisory, committee, program director, department chair, dean, or their representatives may initiate actions against a graduate student who is suspected of research misconduct, in accordance with procedures found in the UA Little Rock Academic Integrity and Grievance Policy (

While a student is under investigation for academic dishonesty or research misconduct, he or she may not drop a course or withdraw from the university, sit for a program examination (thesis or dissertation defense or degree capstone examination), or have his or her thesis or dissertation accepted by the Graduate School. If the student is found to have violated academic integrity, he or she may be subject to a variety of disciplinary actions, including dismissal from the Graduate School.

Research Compliance

All graduate students at UA Little Rock must perform their academic, research, artistic, scholarly, and other creative activities in compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. These activities should reflect the highest standards of the university, the student’s profession, and functional civil society. Student researchers are expected to ensure the responsible and judicious treatment of humans and animals and the safe handling of biological materials (such as recombinant DNA, living tissue, pathogens, etc).

Before collecting data that involves human subjects, animals, or biomaterial, graduate students must consult with the UA Little Rock Research Compliance Officer and submit all research protocols to the appropriate research compliance committee for review and approval. Please note: under no circumstances can compliance approval be given retroactively. Students who fail to obtain this approval before beginning their research will be considered to be in violation of research ethics as well as federal laws and regulations. As a result, he or she may face disciplinary action, including dismissal from the Graduate School. Reports of possible research compliance violations should be reported to the UALR Compliance Officer.

UA Little Rock’s Research Compliance committees include the following:

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) for human research subjects
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for animal research subjects
  • Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) for biological research

Without approval from one of these committees, students may not present their research findings in any public forum, including but not limited to:

  • Publications in public domain literature (such as books, journals, conference proceedings, etc).
  • Oral presentations at public conferences, workshops, or other meetings
  • Dissertations or theses submitted to the Graduate School or ProQuest Database

Information related to UA Little Rock research compliance may be obtained from the UA Little Rock Research Compliance Office located on the fifth floor of the Ottenheimer Library. Contact the Research Compliance Officer at (501) 569-8583.


If a thesis is required, it should be started at least one year before the planned graduation date. The doctoral dissertation should be commenced shortly after acceptance into the doctoral program. Document titles and the names of committee members should be filed on an Appointment of Supervisory or Examining Committee Form with the Graduate School at the beginning of their projects. The UA Little Rock Dissertation and Thesis Guidelines are available online.

Most activities in which information about humans is recorded, including all theses and dissertations and some class projects, require approval by the UA Little Rock Institutional Review Board (IRB) before they are initiated. Any project that involves vertebrate animals must have approval from the UA Little Rock Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before it may be initiated. Faculty and graduate students are responsible for understanding and complying with all institutional regulations regarding human and animal subjects. Failure to obtain prior approval constitutes unethical conduct of research and has serious consequences. For additional information regarding IRB or IACUC requirements see the ORSP website or contact the chair of the appropriate committee.

The thesis/dissertation committee is chosen by the project advisor and the student. A thesis committee must comprise a minimum of three members, including the advisor; a dissertation committee must comprise a minimum of four members, including the advisor. Further parameters for committee selection can be obtained from graduate coordinators.

The Graduate School no longer requires bound copies of theses and dissertations; check with your individual program as they may have different requirements. However, the electronic submission of theses and dissertations to ProQuest is required. Students may elect to pay for bound copies of theses/dissertations at the Cashier’s Office, and the Graduate School will forward copies for binding. (See UA Little Rock Dissertation and Thesis Guidelines for more information and fees.)

One typed, unbound copy of the completed and approved document must be delivered (either physically or via email) to the Graduate School before the planned graduation date. After review by the Graduate School Dean, it will be returned to the student for corrections, for copying, or for binding by appropriate deadlines. Deadlines for the receipt of all graduation requirements are given on the Graduate School website at The transcript showing the degree earned will not be released until the Graduate School has received copies of the thesis or dissertation and ProQuest has received a fully-correct electronic version. The electronic version submitted to ProQuest must be correct per Graduate School guidelines and approved by the chair of the defense committee.

Comprehensive Examination

Comprehensive examinations are required in many programs. Each program defines specifications for its examination, and the examining committee is appointed by the Graduate School dean on the recommendation of the program coordinator.

Graduation Application

Students may graduate at the end of fall, spring, or summer terms. The Graduate School Graduation Application should be completed and the graduation fee (required of doctoral students only) paid the semester before the student expects to complete degree requirements. This form certifies that all requirements have been or will be fulfilled by the graduation date, and it must be approved and signed by the program coordinator and Graduate School Dean. Timely submission of the Graduation Application is essential. (Deadlines can be found in the UA Little Rock Guide and Schedule of Classes available on BOSS) Failure to apply to graduate by the published deadline will result in the degree being awarded the following semester.


The Graduate School expects all graduate students to participate in the Commencement Program close to or in the semester they complete degree requirements. Commencement ceremonies are conducted twice a year, at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Master’s students may participate (march) in spring commencement if they expect to graduate during the following summer terms. However, summer graduates’ names will appear in the fall graduation program. Specialist and doctoral students must be completely finished with all elements of their degrees before they may march. Caps and gowns may be ordered through the UA Little Rock Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

Academic Honors

Alpha Epsilon Lambda

UA Little Rock is home to the Zeta chapter of Alpha Epsilon Lambda, The Academic Excellence and Leadership Honor Society of Graduate and Professional School Students. Students are nominated for membership on the basis of proven leadership capabilities and an academic record placing them in the top 35% of their class.

Who’s Who Among Students

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, a national honors program, recognizes exceptional students who have distinguished themselves in scholarship, citizenship, and campus and civic contributions. Students are nominated by faculty, staff, and colleagues; their biographies are reviewed by a special University committee of faculty, staff, and students; and students selected to receive the honor are presented to the Office of Student Activities coordinator, who presents the names to be included in the national publication.

Course Attendance

All graduate students at UA Little Rock are expected to attend class regularly. Each faculty member has the right to establish requirements for attendance and participation unique to each of his/her courses. Course requirements (e.g., homework assignments, examinations, oral presentations, laboratory experiments/reports, participation in discussion, etc.) are not waived due to absence from class. Instructors may establish the academic consequences, including course failure, of excessive absences. When students will be away from class for reasons of health, family matters, or other personal or professional reasons, the student should inform the instructor at his/her earliest opportunity. The student and the instructor should discuss whether and how missed work can be made up, how the absences may affect the grade, and other academic issues.

Withdrawal from the University

Students voluntarily withdrawing from the university must complete a Withdrawal Form and an exit interview with a staff member in the Office of Records and Registration (not the Graduate School) and the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid if receiving financial aid. If unable to withdraw in person, students should contact the Office of Records and Registration. Students who fail to withdraw officially and do not complete academic assignments will be reported as having failed in their work for the semester and will receive F grades on their official transcripts.

The last day to officially withdraw from the university without a grade penalty is posted with refund information in the UA Little Rock Registration Guide and Class Schedule for each semester or term. Graduate students who have questions about voluntary withdrawal from the university should contact the Office of Records and Registration or the Graduate School dean.

Student Records and Directory Information

As custodian of educational records, the university assumes the trust and obligation to ensure the full protection of these records. The university’s policies and procedures are in full accord with the final regulations implementing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Copies of this act and its implementing regulations are on file in the Offices of the Dean of Students and Records and Registration and are on reserve in the Ottenheimer Library. Only records that are reasonably necessary or useful to the University’s purpose are maintained. Students have the right to see their records and to request amendment if necessary. Policies and procedures regarding student records are detailed in the UA Little Rock Student Handbook found online.

Student educational records maintained by the university fall into two general categories: directory information and student records. Directory information is public information and includes a student’s name; local and permanent addresses, email, and telephone numbers; photograph; date and place of birth; nationality; religious preference; marital status; parents’ or spouses’ names and addresses; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height (if athletic team member); student classification; hours enrolled in and completed; major field of study; dates of attendance; degrees, scholarships, awards, and honors received; matriculation and withdrawal dates; and most recent previous educational institution attended. This information is available to the public. The University publishes a Student Directory of enrolled students each fall. Currently enrolled students may request that all or part of their directory information not be made public by completing an appropriate request form in the Office of Records and Registration no earlier than the first or later than the eleventh day of class. This request will remain in effect until changed by the student in writing, and the data will be treated as student records information. Please consider carefully the consequences of withholding this information. The university does not assume liability for honoring the request to withhold these records, nor does it assume responsibility to contact a student for permission to release them.

Student records information is confidential and includes all other information about a student such as grade reports, transcripts, financial aid records, etc. This information is available only to the student, university officials, and other authorized persons as described in the UA Little Rock Student Handbook.

Student Conduct

Graduate students neither lose the rights nor escape the responsibilities of citizenship through enrollment at UA Little Rock. It is expected that Graduate School students will conduct themselves professionally and honorably throughout their association with the university. It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with the UA Little Rock Student Handbook, which details student rights, responsibilities, and expected conduct; rules and regulations of the university; and procedures for grievance, appeals, due process, etc.

In addition, students are expected to exemplify and adhere to the codes of conduct prescribed by the professional organization in their fields of study. Students who fail to adhere to these standards are subject to dismissal from their graduate program and the Graduate School.

Appeals and Grievance Procedures

Graduate programs have established processes for appeal of admission decisions and other academic matters. Admission matters are handled by the appropriate program coordinator and the Graduate School dean. Other matters may involve the appropriate department chairpersons or college deans.

Appeal and grievance procedures for academic and behavioral problems are detailed in the UA Little Rock Student Handbook, available at the Information Center and the Office of the Dean of Students or online. The Handbook outlines student rights, responsibilities, and behavior; provides information on conduct; details due process procedures for grades and other academic matters; and addresses behaviors such as cheating, plagiarism, and other breaches of acceptable conduct.

For more information about the Grade Appeals policy, view Grade Appeals – 501.6.

Graduate Student Association

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) provides assistance and support for new and continuing graduate students, offers leadership and organizing experiences and opportunities for creative interaction between students in different programs, and aids the Graduate School in addressing the needs and issues of its students. All graduate students, full-time or part-time, are automatically members and are encouraged to participate.

The GSA elects and appoints students to committees that perform various services for the student body and campus community. The GSA has membership in the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students.

GSA takes an active part in campus life and provides social, academic, and policy interaction among students and faculty. For example, each spring, the GSA participates in the Research Expo, at which students present creative and scholarly works to the University community. For more information about the GSA, visit the GSA website.