Mar 03, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 
Graduate 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.


Graduate students must be advised each semester before enrolling. Program coordinators will inform students about specific advising procedures when students are first admitted. All degree-seeking students should work closely with their advisors to prepare a plan of study, which will include a list of degree requirements and a projected schedule for completing them

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 discovery occurs  Then
Before the application is complete The application will not be processed and the student will not be admitted
After admission, but before the student enrolls The admission offer will be rescinded
After admission and enrollment The student will be administratively withdrawn from all classes and dismissed from the Graduate School. Financial aid will be terminated retroactively, and all awards made to the student (including tuition) must be repaid
After a degree or certificate has been awarded The degree or certificate will be revoked

Under none of these circumstances will the applicant receive a refund of their 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 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.

Course Audit

To audit a course means to attend class (whether on campus or online) with no expectation of active involvement in class activities such as assignments, exams, or instructor feedback. Students who wish to audit a course must follow regular admission and registration procedures, pay full tuition and fees, and are subject to the university’s academic and behavioral policies. At the end of the semester, students auditing a course are usually assigned a grade of NC (no credit). Audited courses do not count toward fulfilling degree requirements; they also do not count toward enrollment hours required for a half-time or full-time graduate assistantship. Graduate students should contact the UA Little Rock Office of Financial Aid to determine how auditing a course might affect their eligibility for financial aid awards.

Course Load

Fall and Spring Semesters:
For most purposes, 9 hours is full-time enrollment for graduate students.

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. After the end of the late registration period for each semester, any schedule changes must be approved by the student’s graduate coordinator.

Course Numbers and Credit Limits

  • Courses at the 7000-level or higher are reserved for graduate students.
  • Courses with 5000-level numbers are dual-listed (4000/5000) for both undergraduate and graduate credit. Programs often limit the number of 5000-level courses that graduate students may count toward their degrees. (For details, see the section titled Limits on 5000-level Courses below.)
  • Course numbers 1000-4999 (undergraduate courses) and 6000-6999 (UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law) are not included in this catalog.
  • For all UA Little Rock course numbers, the second digit indicates the number of credit hours earned for the course.

Limits on 5000-level Courses

Individual graduate programs typically limit the number of hours that can be repeated for credit between the 4000- and 5000-level to no more than two courses. UA Little Rock students who have completed a 4000-level class as part of a baccalaureate degree may sometimes be able to receive credit for taking the 5000-level version of the course at the graduate level if 1) the program indicates in the course description of the 5000-level course that this is allowed, and 2) the program coordinator and course instructor approve the enrollment. 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-level or above. Individual graduate programs may allow even fewer 5000-level hours. During advising, students should verify with their program coordinators that their degree plans do not exceed the number of 5000-level hours allowed by their program.

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

Graduate students may be able to take graduate-level courses in academic departments outside of their own program and count those courses toward their degree as electives. Students should get their advisor or program coordinator’s approval before taking outside courses for elective credit.

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

2. 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.

3. 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. The 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.

4. 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. The 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.

5. Two Graduate Certificates

Double-counting is not allowed.

There are other dual degree programs involving UA Little Rock and other campuses that are not subjected 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.

The Master of Social Work degree can also be earned in conjunction with the Master in Public Service degree. The program allows students to earn MPS and MSW degrees concurrently with less time and fewer credit hours. Contact the program coordinator for more information.

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.

Undergraduate Dual Credit Programs

Early Entry Program

Exceptional UA Little Rock undergraduate students may apply to select graduate programs and begin working toward their graduate degree while completing their baccalaureate degree. The Early Entry program will allow participating students to combine their undergraduate studies with related graduate-level work. Additionally, it will enable them to complete their graduate degree in a shorter amount of time than the traditional path.

Admissions Requirements

  • Undergraduate students may apply and be accepted at any time after completing 75 or more hours of undergraduate coursework. However, at least 90 hours of undergraduate coursework must have been completed by the time the first graduate course is taken.
  • All applicants must have at least a 3.2 overall GPA.
  • All applicants must complete an application for and be accepted into the desired graduate program and the UA Little Rock Graduate School.
  • All applicants must complete an Early-Entry Program form and have it approved by the graduate coordinator and the Graduate School. This form must be approved before the student begins graduate coursework. Failure to obtain prior approval negates the ability to “double count” courses.
  • Specific programs may have more rigorous admissions criteria. The student should contact the desired program to determine these requirements before applying.

Graduate Credit

  • Once accepted into a graduate program, students can take up to 12 hours of graduate coursework, which will count towards both the baccalaureate degree and the graduate degree. Individual graduate programs may allow fewer graduate hours to be taken at the undergraduate level; students should check with their prospective program to determine these limits.
  • Students must finish their baccalaureate degrees before they complete 15 hours of graduate coursework.

Program Restrictions

  • To ensure that they follow the proper degree plan, students must meet with a graduate-level advisor upon acceptance to the Early Entry program to map out the graduate courses they will take.
  • Accepted students will have provisional status in the graduate program, pending the award of their baccalaureate degree.
  • If at the end of his/her baccalaureate degree, an Early Entry student has failed to meet the Graduate School admission requirement of a 3.2 overall undergraduate GPA with no grades below a B, she/he will be dismissed from the graduate program.
  • Students accepted into the Early Entry program will be subject to the same policies as traditionally matriculated graduate students.
  • The Early Entry program may not be used in conjunction with the credit reservation program; therefore, no graduate courses taken before admission to the 4+1 program may be applied to a graduate degree.

Credit Reservation Program

UA Little Rock undergraduate students may take up to 6 hours of graduate-level courses and reserve the credit for their graduate degree. Unlike the 4+1 program, these graduate-level courses will not count toward both the baccalaureate and the graduate degrees. Instead, the student will choose to use the credit towards either one degree or the other. Once a student’s undergraduate degree has been awarded, he or she cannot change the level of credit received for a class. Additionally, students participating in the credit reservation program do not need to be admitted into a graduate program in order to take graduate-level courses.


  • Undergraduate students who wish to take and reserve courses for graduate credit must be within 15 hours of completing graduation requirements and have a 3.2 GPA.
  • Eligible students who plan to enroll in graduate-level courses must submit a form to the Graduate School prior to registration indicating which courses he or she intends to take. This form must be signed by the instructor of the course(s), the program’s graduate coordinator, the department chair, and the Graduate School dean.
  • Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 in all coursework to remain eligible for graduate-level courses. A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.2 will not be allowed to enroll in graduate-level courses the following semester. However, passing graduate courses with a B or greater does NOT guarantee future acceptance into any graduate program at UA Little Rock.


  • Students who have completed their baccalaureate degree and are fully admitted into a UA Little Rock graduate program may request that the graduate credit hours they took and reserved count toward their graduate degree. These courses must have been taken within the last five years.
  • These courses may not have been used for credit toward the student’s undergraduate degree unless the student is in a program in which this has been approved by the Graduate Council.
  • The student’s advisory committee, major professor, or graduate coordinator must submit a petition to the Graduate School requesting that the graduate-level courses be accepted for graduate credit.

Transfer of Credit

Graduate credit may be granted for equivalent coursework from other institutions with the 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. Institutionally or regionally Accredited graduate programs usually accept transfer credits only from similarly institutionally or regionally 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.

Grading and Grading Policies

Grading System and GPA Calculation

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;


W, withdrawal.

Credit/No Credit Grade (CR/NC) 

Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) may be given in certain courses instead of the usual letter grades. In most cases, a student may elect to take no more than one course each semester on a CR/NC basis, and students should be aware that multiple NC grades may negatively affect their eligibility for federal financial aid. Students must request the course instructor’s approval to use CR/NC grading, and that approval must be given at the beginning of the course. Courses for which a department requires CR/NC grading are not included in this limitation.

Withdrawal Grade (W)

 A withdrawal (W) is recorded when a student drops a course after the end of special late registration or withdraws from all university coursework during a semester. A pattern of course or semester withdrawals can indicate unsatisfactory progress and may lead to dismissal from the graduate program, dismissal from the Graduate School, or loss of federal financial aid. If extenuating circumstances have forced a student to withdraw, the student may be able to appeal a loss of financial aid and/or apply for academic clemency. Students should consult with their program coordinator or the staff of the Graduate School for help with filing a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal or applying for academic clemency if needed.

Incomplete Grade (I) 

A student may be given an incomplete grade (I) when the instructor deems that circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented the timely completion of course requirements. Instructors should 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.

A grade of I is given by the instructor only after consultation with the student. The student must be informed in writing of the work to be completed and the date by which the work must be completed. The instructor must also file a copy of this written notice with the department chair. 

Graduate students have one year to complete work for courses in which they have received an incomplete grade. The instructor must submit a grade change in order to change the I to a letter grade. If the instructor does not convert the incomplete grade or submit an extension request within one year, the incomplete grade will be converted to an F. Students with multiple incompletes may be restricted in the number of hours they may take in a subsequent semester; two or more semesters of incomplete grades may also negatively affect the student’s eligibility for federal financial aid. 

If the instructor agrees to extend the time limit for the incomplete coursework, the instructor must submit a request to the Office of Records and Registration before one calendar year has passed since the grade was given. The extension request must include a specific date by which all coursework will be completed; this date will be the new expiration date for the I grade.

Regardless of any extensions that may have been granted, an unconverted I grade will expire on the date 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 Grade (IP)

The In Progress (IP) grade is distinct and different from the Incomplete (I) grade. An IP is used for a 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 (NC). The IP grade is not calculated into the grade point average. In most cases upon the completion of the required work, the instructor will assign a grade of CR. An IP that has not been converted to a grade by the date that grades are due in a semester where the student has applied for graduation will be administratively converted to NC on a date to be set by the Registrar. 

Repeated Grades

If a student repeats a course for credit, only the last occurrence of the course shall be counted toward credit hours or cumulative grade points, except in circumstances of 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 the 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. Students in debt to the university will not receive a semester grade report or transcript until the debt is satisfied. 

Appealing Grades 

The formal process to appeal a final grade decision is described on the UA Little Rock policy website at

Prior Learning Assessment

At UA Little Rock, we value the life experiences of our students, and we are committed to helping working and adult learners achieve their higher education goals. We are proud to offer pathways for certain experiences to be counted toward graduation requirements through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). PLA is the evaluation and assessment of an individual’s life learning for college credit, certification, or advanced standing toward further education or training.

Prior Learning Assessment Programs and Policies 

UA Little Rock recognizes several methods for earning university credit for undergraduate and graduate-level learning, including rigorous high school curricula, professional or military experience, professional licensures and certifications, and work experiences.

In order to receive university credit, these competencies must undergo systematic evaluation against established program or course learning outcomes.* A student may earn a maximum of 50% of program degree requirements through PLA (excluding the General Education Core); however, some academic programs may enforce a lower maximum for PLA credits. The PLA credit awarded for a specific program of study may not be recognized should the student change majors, programs, or transfer to another institution. Finally, PLA credit may not be awarded for project hours, thesis hours, dissertation hours, field research, or field professional experience hours.

To be eligible for PLA, the student must be currently admitted and/or enrolled in the university and in good standing. All PLA credits must be awarded prior to the student’s last semester before graduation. Prior learning credits will be noted on the student’s transcript as having been awarded through PLA. Credit through PLA is not recorded as grades on the student’s transcript and does not affect the student’s GPA.

*Graduate programs will specify if they will accept PLA, what forms of PLA they will accept, and the maximum percentage or number of hours they will accept.”

Further restrictions on PLA credit: 

  • Credit through PLA cannot replace a failing grade; 
  • Credit may only be awarded for courses applicable to the student’s declared degree plan;
  • A student may not receive credit twice for a course that has been awarded through PLA; 
  • PLA credits do not count toward the residency requirement for the student’s degree program; 
  • PLA credits do not satisfy eligibility requirements for financial aid or loan deferment.

For information on graduate degree programs that consider PLA credit, please contact the Graduate School at or by phone at 501-916-3206.

Academic Probation 

Any graduate student whose cumulative GPA on all courses taken for graduate credit falls below 3.0 at the end of a semester will be placed on probation. Students will be removed from probation when their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or above. Failure to make at least a 3.0 in each semester while on probation or receiving two or more C grades (or lower) during the probation period will result in the student being dismissed from the Graduate School. During their first semester on probation, students must meet with a Graduate School advisor in addition to their program advisor to develop a plan to regain good academic standing.

Academic Clemency

UA Little Rock graduate students who have received low grades for one or more semesters of coursework may be eligible to apply for academic clemency. Academic clemency removes a limited number of grades and credits from a student’s grade point average (GPA). In some cases, academic clemency can restore a student to good standing in cases where the student’s GPA has fallen below 3.0; it may preserve a student’s eligibility for a graduate assistantship or enable a student to be removed from academic probation.

Clemency removes from the student’s GPA all grades and credits earned during the semesters (i.e., spring, summer, fall) for which clemency is requested. The student’s complete record will remain on the transcript with the added notation of academic clemency received.

Graduate students are eligible to apply for academic clemency if 

  • they were not dismissed from UA Little Rock for non-academic reasons 
  • they have not been enrolled at any higher education institution for at least 1 year 

Students may apply by completing and submitting the Graduate Level Clemency Request form located at Students may request clemency for up to two semesters of credit. The request will be forwarded to the student’s program coordinator for approval. Upon approval, the coordinator shall forward the request to the Graduate School Dean. 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.

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. 

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. To submit a transcript request, visit”. 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. Note: Per policy 404.13, a D grade is a failing grade that can not be used to satisfy program requirements. 

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.

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 their 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 their academic, research, artistic, scholarly, and other creative activities in a fashion reflective of the highest standards of the university, their profession, and a functional civil society. Academic dishonesty 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, they may face disciplinary action, including dismissal from the Graduate School. Reports of possible research compliance violations should be reported to the UA Little Rock Research 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 human subjects research, animal research, or biological research 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) 916-6207.


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 recommended by the program coordinator.

Graduation Application

Students may graduate at the end of fall, spring, or summer terms. Students should complete the graduation application in BOSS early in the semester they expect to graduate; check the academic calendar for the deadline to apply each semester. Timely submission of the graduation application is essential. Failure to apply to graduate by the published deadline will result in the degree being awarded the following semester.


Commencement ceremonies are conducted twice a year at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Students graduating in the fall or spring should participate in the ceremony that takes place the semester they complete their degree requirements. Students who will graduate during the summer are welcome to participate in spring commencement, but their 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 participate in commencement. Caps and gowns may be ordered through the UA Little Rock Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

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 their 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 their 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 that can be found on the Office of Records and Registration website. 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 amendments 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.