Revalidating Graduate Coursework

University Policy

The University Regulations Governing the Master’s Degree (§9) require graduate students to complete all degree requirements within seven years of initiating the Program of Study.

The Dean of Graduate Studies or designee may grant an exception to this requirement if warranted by individual circumstances and if the student revalidates the outdated work by retaking the course, passing a comprehensive examination in the relevant course or subject field work, or fulfilling such other demonstrations of competence as may be prescribed by the department in its approved policy on revalidation.

Department Policy

The department may elect to revalidate courses on a student’s program of study. Students must be advanced to candidacy, in good standing, and have a clear plan for immediately finishing the degree. Normally, no more than three courses will be revalidated, and the Philosophy Department will not revalidate any course for which the student received a grade lower than a ‘B’.

If more than three courses on the program of study require revalidation, or if the grade for such a course is lower than a ‘B’, the student will need to retake that course. Alternatively, the student can replace that course with a different course that completes the student’s program of study.

Revalidation Procedures

The student shall be responsible for contacting the graduate advisor and the faculty member who taught the course to request revalidation. The student must provide a written demonstration of current competence, such as (i) an essay discussing at least four primary texts that are currently on that instructor’s syllabus for the course, or (ii) an annotated bibliography and an essay that reviews four secondary sources on the course subject published since the date of the lapsed coursework.

Once the student’s competence has been demonstrated to the faculty member’s satisfaction, the faculty member will forward to the graduate advisor both the submitted work and a memo attesting to the satisfactory completion of the revalidation. The graduate advisor will then petition the College’s Associate Dean and the Dean of Graduate Studies to have the revalidation approved.

If the faculty member who taught the lapsed coursework is no longer available, the student shall notify the graduate advisor, who will consult with current faculty teaching that course and determine whether someone is willing to assess the student’s competence by one of the means outlined above. If no appropriate faculty member consents to overseeing revalidation of a course, the student must find an another substituend (either enroll in a new course or revalidate an alternative course).