The Catholic University of America

Admission to Graduate Study

Application Requirements

International Student Admission

Registration and Enrollment


New Students

Continuing Students

Consortium Registration


Postdoctoral Auditing Privilege

Course Numbers


Full-Time Study

Part-Time Study

Enrollment of Undergraduates for Graduate Study

Joint Advanced Degrees

Continuous Enrollment

Change of Enrollment

Leave of Absence

Change of Course

Withdrawal from a Course

General Requirements for Graduate Study


Graduate programs at The Catholic University of America have as their objectives the discovery, understanding and dissemination of knowledge. These programs are designed to prepare students as research scholars, as teachers and as professional practitioners of an applied discipline. All graduate curricula are organized to lead students to an in-depth understanding of the principles, problems, and historical development of the specialized disciplines with which they are concerned.

The president and the Academic Senate share the immediate responsibility for the academic governing of the university. Under the supervision of the president, the provost and the dean of graduate studies, jurisdiction in the graduate programs of the university is exercised by the respective deans and faculties. Reviews of the various graduate programs begin at the level of the department or, in the schools that do not have a departmental structure, of the school. Policies developed by departments in the School of Arts and Sciences are reviewed by its Academic Council, in the School of Engineering by its Executive Committee, and in the School of Theology and Religious Studies by its Executive Council. All school policies are in turn reviewed by the Graduate Board, established by the Academic Senate "to exercise general supervision over matters relating to graduate study." The chair of the Graduate Board is the dean of graduate studies and the members are appointed by the Academic Senate.

In addition to these general requirements, each school and department may, with the permission of the Graduate Board, promulgate specific requirements applicable to its programs. Students are advised to consult pertinent sections of these Announcements and the dean or department chair.


The term "residence" denotes enrollment for work leading to a graduate degree that is done under the direction of the faculty of a school. Such residence, as is usually the case in the United States, entails enrollment for specified course hours and credits for which corresponding tuition and fees are charged. The minimum period of residence for the master's degree is one year in full-time enrollment or the equivalent; the minimum period of residence for the doctorate is three years of full-time enrollment (including time spent on the master's degree and in dissertation guidance) or the equivalent. A department or school may, with the approval of the Graduate Board, require longer periods of residence than those stated here. Students are advised to consult the Announcements and other publications of their department and school for special regulations.

The normal minimum course load for a full-time graduate student during the period of required residence is nine semester hours per semester or the equivalent. With the permission of the department chair and the dean, a student may be permitted to register for a maximum of 15 semester hours.

Teaching or research assistants must be full-time students and may not enroll for more than nine semester hours per semester, depending upon the number of hours of teaching or research per week required by their appointments.

Extended Residence

Students who have completed both the minimum residence requirements and all academic requirements for a degree, with the exception of the dissertation and defense, must continue in extended residence each semester until all the requirements for the degree are fulfilled. Extended residence is a form of continuous enrollment that requires registration for research or dissertation guidance, for which tuition is charged at the rate of three credit hours per semester, unless a student is granted a leave of absence or permission to work in absentia. Students in extended residence have full privileges of consultation with their professors and use of university facilities; they also may take courses upon payment of the usual tuition charge.

Students registering in extended residence will be required to observe the deadlines for registration.

Registration in Absentia

Registration in absentia is a form of continuous enrollment open to students who are required to be away from the university but who are not eligible for a leave of absence. A student who wishes to register in absentia should direct a written request for permission to do so to the chair of the department and the dean of the school. Such a request must be made in advance of the semester for which permission is requested and must include the specific reason for the petition. If the request is granted, the student will be registered and pay a fee equivalent to tuition for one semester hour per semester. This entitles the student to library privileges and to minimal contact with advising faculty.

Students registering in absentia will be required to observe the normal deadlines for course registration. In absentia status cannot be granted for the semester in which the dissertation proposal is submitted for approval or the semester during which the dissertation is completed and defended.

Registration for Dissertation Defense

Students whose dissertation is approved by the dissertation committee within the first two weeks of the semester may register for Disseration Defense. The fee is for one credit although no credit is given, and full-time student status is not conferred for the semester in regard to student loans and financial aid.

Master's and Licentiate Degrees

The degrees conferred upon the successful completion of approved programs of study at the master's level are listed above under Schools of the University. The general requirements for the master's degree are given below. The student, however, should consult the appropriate sections of this publication and the dean and department chair for specific information and requirements.


The program of study to be pursued by the candidate for the master's degree shall include a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work, of which six hours may be in research guidance. At least 12 to 18 semester hours usually are taken in one department of study. The 30 semester hours may be applied to the doctoral degree.

Individual schools or departments may prescribe additional requirements. Courses carrying graduate degree credit normally will be scheduled for 14 contact hours for each hour of academic credit. Continuing education courses will not be acceptable in meeting the requirements for graduate degree programs.

Transfer of Credit

Six semester hours of graduate work earned at another accredited institution, in which a student received grades of B or above may be applied toward course requirements for the master's degree, upon recommendation of the appropriate department and with the approval of the academic dean. Students in master's degree programs, which require a minimum of two years of full-time residence, may be permitted to transfer up to the maximum number of credits earned during one year of residence in an accredited program at another university.


Language requirements are determined by the various departments and schools. Students should consult the school or the chair of the department for information on the language requirements applicable to their degree program. All language requirements must be satisfied before a student will be permitted to take the comprehensive examination.

Although additional requirements may be specified by individual departments or schools, the generally accepted methods of satisfying modern language requirements are the following:

1. Present a minimum score of 450 on the Graduate School Foreign Language Test. See Bulletin of Information issued by the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, N.J. Information is also available at the Counseling Center, 127 O'Boyle Hall.

2. Pass the noncredit intensive language course offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

3. A student whose native language is not English, but a language recognized as a medium for scholarly work relevant to the student's career, shall be considered to have fulfilled the language requirement without examination. Satisfying the language requirement through this method is permissible provided the student's adviser states, in writing, to the academic dean that the language is a language of scholarship for the student's discipline.

Any registered student is eligible for language examinations.

In some cases, it may be possible to substitute a research skill or computer proficiency for the language requirement. The student should consult the individual program for information. Research skill or computer courses will not be counted as part of the 30 credits required for the M.A. degree.


The candidate for a master's degree with a thesis requirement must submit the thesis topic to the dean of the school and the chair of the department for their approval. The student must register for a total of 6 semester hours of research guidance. Information on requirements for the preparation and submission of the thesis are available in the individual departments and schools, and formatting requirements for the final deposit, explained in the Thesis Handbook, are available in the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

The master's thesis should give evidence of training in research by means of a contribution to knowledge involving a modest problem of investigation. It must prove the candidate's familiarity with the basic methods and techniques of research and also the ability to apply them. Candidates are required to conform to the norms of The Chicago Manual of Style (University of Chicago Press) with whatever adaptations are appropriate in the various disciplines (e.g., MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing of the Modern Language Association of America).

After the thesis has been approved and signed by the director and the reader, one unbound copy must be deposited, by appointment, with the university no later than the date designated in the academic calendar and in accordance with the Thesis Handbook, available from the dean of graduate studies. A fee (see Fees and Expenses) is charged to cover the cost of the binding of the typescript. A check or money order for the fee must accompany the thesis when it is presented. On deposit of the approved thesis, the six semester hours of guidance will be posted to the student's academic record.

A graduate who wishes to publish the thesis must include in the publication a statement of acknowledgement that the thesis was written in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master's degree from The Catholic University of America. For copyright information, please see the section The Copyright under Doctoral Degree.

Candidates for the master's degree in certain fields such as drama and architecture may satisfy the thesis requirement by a production of a creative type. Consult school and departmental regulations.

Option of Degree without Thesis

The master's degree without thesis is available in many departments and schools. The student should consult the listings of the department or school concerning such an option. Such degrees require at least 30 semester hours of graduate work, of which no less than six will be in courses that require significant written reports of a research or professional nature.

Students admitted by their schools to proceed directly to the doctorate may be awarded a master's degree. An application for this degree must be filed in the dean's office indicating that (a) minimum number of credits for degree have been completed, (b) two research papers have been completed and (c) the comprehensive examinations for the doctorate have been passed.

The transcripts of students in all master's programs carry the appropriate notation of "thesis" or "no thesis."

Comprehensive Examination

A student in the master's program must pass a comprehensive written examination in the major field. The dates for this examination are listed in the academic calendar. This examination may be taken in the semester during which the student will essentially complete the major course work. Language/research tool requirements as specified for the program of studies must be completed prior to the examination.

Candiates for comprehensive examinations are required to register for this examination. A review of completed and pending degree requirements is conducted in the department and school at the beginning of the semester in order to secure the dean's permission to take the examination.

A comprehensive examination is marked pass or fail. The transcript will note if the student has passed the examination with honors. A student who did not pass, may retake the entire examination or the failed portion once, according to departmental policy. A student who incurs two failures in a comprehensive examination is no longer considered eligible to receive the master's degree. The second failure is recorded on the student's permanent record.

Completion of Requirements

Students who do not complete all the requirements for a master's degree within three years (or six summer sessions) from the date of completion of course work must submit requests in writing to the dean of their school for an extension of time. An extension of time will normally be granted for one year or one summer session.

Admission to a Doctoral Program

Students in the master's program who wish to pursue a doctorate must submit an application for admission to the Ph.D. program. The completed application should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Doctoral Degree

The degrees conferred after the successful completion of approved doctoral programs are listed under Schools of the University section. The doctoral degree is conferred upon students who have completed satisfactorily at least three years of graduate study and have met the other conditions prescribed for the degree.

A student who intends to work toward the doctoral degree usually is expected to have earned the master's degree. Permission to proceed directly to doctoral study must be obtained from the major department and school.

Admission to a master's program or the awarding of the master's degree, does not constitute admission to the corresponding doctoral program. The doctoral degree is granted only to students who give evidence of superior ability in investigation and of high attainment in the special field in which the major work is done.

The general requirements for doctoral study are given below. The student, however, also should consult the appropriate sections of this publication for specific information.


The program of studies to be pursued for the degree must include a minimum of 53 semester hours of graduate coursework, of which at least 35 semester hours must be in the major subject. The remainder must be completed in a program that has been approved by the department chair and/or the dean of the school.

Individual schools or departments may prescribe additional requirements.

Courses carrying graduate degree credit normally will be scheduled for 14 contact hours for each hour of academic credit. Continuing education courses are not acceptable in meeting requirements for graduate degree programs.

Transfer of Credit

Up to 24 semester hours of graduate work earned at another accredited institution in which the student received a grade of B or better may be applied toward course requirements for the doctoral degree upon recommendation of the appropriate department and with the approval of the academic dean. Transfer of credit must be approved before permission is given to take the comprehensive examination.


Language requirements are determined by the various departments and schools. Each student should ascertain the language requirements applicable to the student's degree program by consultation with the chair of the department or the dean of the school. Students must fulfill all language requirements before taking the written comprehensive examination in the major subject.

The generally accepted methods of satisfying modern language requirements are the same as those specified for the master's degree. Additional requirements may be specified by individual departments or schools.

Comprehensive Examination

After fulfilling the language and course requirements in the major subject, the student must pass a written comprehensive examination in this major subject. At the discretion of the department or school, the comprehensive examination may also include a written or an oral examination in the minor subject. After successfully passing the comprehensive examination, the student may be considered for admission to candidacy for a doctoral degree.

Students must register before the conclusion of the Add/Drop Period for the comprehensive examination for the semester in which they plan to take it. Upon approval of the student's credentials by the dean of the school and, where appropriate, the department chair, the student will be granted written permission by the dean to take the comprehensive examination.

The student may not sit for the examination until he or she has received this permission. The comprehensive examination is marked pass or fail. If the student fails the examination, he or she may retake the examination only once. Depending on school/department policy, the student must retake either the entire examination or just the failed portion. A student who fails the comprehensive examination twice may not be considered for admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree. A second failing grade is noted on the student's permanent records.

Admission to Candidacy

Admission to a doctoral program does not automatically include admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The faculty of the school and department must evaluate the progress of the student and determine that the student has completed all course and other requirements, has passed the comprehensive examination, and is otherwise qualified to fulfill the requirements of the doctoral dissertation. Schools and departments may follow different procedures for formal admission to candidacy. The student should consult with the department chair or dean for information on these procedures.

Candidacy for the doctoral degree begins formally on the first day of the semester following successful completion of the comprehensive exam. The student has five years from this date of formal admission to candidacy to complete, defend and deposit the dissertation. However, individual schools and departments may, at their discretion, set different time limits for completion, as long as these do not exceed the five-year limit. If more than five years, or the time set by the schools or departments, elapse between formal admission to candidacy and oral defense of the dissertation, permission to continue as a candidate must be sought from the dean. The doctoral candidate may be required to retake the comprehensive examination or fulfill additional requirements. This is a determination made by the school and department.

Completion of Requirements and a Request for Extension

A student who anticipates, for valid personal or academic reasons, being unable to complete the dissertation within the 5-year time limit may petition, in writing, to the dean of the school for an extension of time. Unless a leave of absence has been previously granted, an extension may normally be granted for one year.


After the student has been admitted to candidacy, the department, the school and the dean of graduate studies must approve the dissertation topic and dissertation committee. The dean of graduate studies, acting on behalf of the Academic Senate, will seek the assistance of a faculty reviewer in evaluating the topic and committee.

The student may not proceed beyond the preliminary stage in the investigation of the topic until both the topic and the dissertation committee have been granted final approval by the dean of graduate studies. If human subjects are involved in the research, the dissertation proposal must be submitted for certification to the Committee for the Protection of Human Research Subjects prior to final approval by the dean of graduate studies. Certification by the committee indicates that the proposed research involving human subject participation is compliant with federal guidelines according to 45 CFR 46. The committee will send the student and the dean of graduate studies written notification of its approval of the proposal's research methods.

The department chair, the dean and the dean of graduate studies must also approve any subsequent changes either to the title of the dissertation or to the composition of the dissertation committee.

Forms for these changes are available in the office of the department chair, the dean, and the dean of graduate studies Web site at

Dissertation proposals must be submitted for department and school approval no later than two years after formal admission to candidacy. Deans may extend the deadline for cause. If this is necessary, arrangements must be made in advance with the dean's office.

The dissertation proposal should contain the following elements:

1. A brief statement of the problem to be studied and the background or antecedents of the problem which have led the student to propose a study of this particular topic;

2. A specific statement of the purpose or purposes of the proposed study;

3. A description of the methodology to be used. If the study involves the testing of a hypothesis, the hypothesis should be spelled out clearly. Where applicable, the student should describe the techniques, statistical measures, sampling methods and any other essential methodological features he or she will be using in the research;

4. An explanation of the specific or unique contribution which this study will make to the field of knowledge under consideration;

5. A brief selected bibliography of the most important primary and secondary sources relevant to the study.

The doctoral candidate submits the proposal for dissertation topic and committee on the form Doctoral Dissertation Topic and Committee: Request for Approval, online at and from the department, the school, and the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Instructions for submission are listed on the back of the form, which can be obtained from the CUA Web site at As stated above, the student has five years from the date of formal admission to candidacy to complete, defend and deposit the dissertation, unless the department and/or school have set a different deadline. If the student is unable to complete the dissertation within this time period, the dean and department chair will inform the candidate that he or she must submit a request for a reasonable extension. If the student fails to request an extension, the dissertation topic may be withdrawn. In this case, the doctoral candidate will be subject to dismissal from the program. Another student may then submit the topic for approval. The completed dissertation in definitive form must be submitted for approval to the student's dissertation committee no later than the date specified by the school and department for each graduation date. The department and school establish the procedures for submission of the dissertation to the dissertation committee.

Criteria for Dissertations

Dissertations will be judged according to the following criteria:

1. The dissertation should constitute a contribution to knowledge. Such contributions may include:

a. the discovery of new facts;

b. the establishment of new relations among facts already known;

c. the solution to a problem or problems hitherto unresolved;

d. the formulation of a new or improved method or technique;

e. the construction of a theory involving new principles; or

f. a critical study correcting errors or establishing negatives.

2. The following are not considered to be contributions to the body of knowledge:

a. Mere compilations or a digest of that which is already known about a given subject;

b. Translations of foreign language works without commentary or critical analysis;

c. Bibliographies or other mere instruments of research, however needed or useful they may be; or

d. Essay-type works not based on detailed factual investigation.

3. The dissertation should demonstrate the candidate's familiarity with the most recent and best methods and techniques of research in the subject and the ability to apply them. Research results must have been achieved through advanced methods or techniques. The dissertation should demonstrate academic maturity in discovering and formulating the broader and more generic aspects of the data collected.

4. The dissertation should demonstrate knowledge of the contributions of previous investigators working on both the subject area of the dissertation and on closely or organically related subjects.

5. The dissertation should give evidence of the candidate's ability to interpret the gathered data both independently and constructively, and to recognize their bearing upon related data and problems.

6. The dissertation should give evidence of balanced, objective and critical judgment.

7. The dissertation should give evidence of the candidate's ability to marshal facts and evidence, to organize material around the major unifying idea or ideas, to emphasize important points, and to present data in an orderly sequence.

8. The dissertation should be written in clear and direct language, proving the candidate's mastery of style and expression.

9. The dissertation must follow the approved format, which conforms to the norms of The Chicago Manual of Style (University of Chicago Press), with whatever adaptations are appropriate for the candidate's discipline (e.g. the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing of the Modern Language Association of America).

10. The dissertation should include:

a. A precise definition of the proposed contribution to knowledge and a summary of the work of previous investigators of the problem. An exposition of the methods and/or techniques used by the candidate should precede the presentation of data;

b. The presentation of the additional data assembled by the candidate and the exposition of the candidate's contribution to knowledge;

c. A brief summary stating the major results achieved or the contributions made by the dissertation;

d. A bibliography and an index, whenever called for by the nature of the dissertation.

Oral Examination

Upon completion of the dissertation, but prior to final approval, the candidate must defend the dissertation in an oral examination in the presence of an examination board appointed by the academic dean of the school with the approval of the dean of graduate studies.

At least three weeks prior to the proposed examination date, the dean must submit to the dean of graduate studies the form Oral Examination for the Doctorate: Request for Approval. The examination may not be scheduled until all members of the dissertation committee have informed the dean, in writing, that the dissertation is ready for defense. At least one week before the examination date, the dean's office shall publish a leaflet publicly announcing the defense and containing a summary of the dissertation and biographical information on the candidate.

The oral examination board shall include, in addition to the candidate's dissertation committee, two faculty members from outside the major department or school, one serving as chair and the other as secretary during the examination. The duration of the oral examination shall not exceed two hours. Oral examinations will not be scheduled during the summer sessions. No one may be admitted to the examination room without the permission of the dean of the school. Each member of the examination board has one vote. In order to pass, the candidatemust receive a "pass" vote from at least four examiners. If merited, a notation of "with distinction" will be recorded. The examination board is not permitted to pass the candidate conditionally.

After successful completion of the final oral examination, the candidate may proceed with arrangements for deposit and publication of the dissertation (see below).

If a candidate fails in the first oral examination, he or she must obtain permission from the school to retake the examination. A candidate will not be permitted to retake the final oral examination until at least one semester, or an equivalent period of time, has elapsed from the date of failure. If the candidate fails a second time in the oral examination, he or she ceases to be a candidate for the doctoral degree.

Publication of Dissertation

Following the successful defense and final approval of the dissertation by the dissertation committee, the candidate must arrange for the deposit, microfilming and publication of the dissertation. The CUA publication Doctoral Dissertation Handbook, available in the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies, provides detailed information on formatting and printing the manuscript; preparing the abstract; registering the copyright; and arranging for the deposit, microfilming, publishing and binding of the dissertation. All candidates preparing to write a dissertation should obtain a copy of this publication by contacting the coordinator of graduate student Services in the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies. The coordinator will review the manuscript with the candidate for formatting errors. If the graduate wishes to publish or republish the dissertation, he or she must include in the publication a statement of acknowledgement that the dissertation was written in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a doctoral degree from The Catholic University of America.


Copyright ownership of a thesis or dissertation prepared by a student toward degree requirements shall remain with the student, provided that, unless otherwise agreed in writing, by submitting the work for credit or degree requirements, the student shall automatically be deemed to have granted a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to the university (1) to make available to the university community through electronic or other means the entire dissertation; (2) to make available to the broader public a limited number of copies of such thesis or dissertation; and (3) to use electronic means without limitation on quantity of access or copying.

Grades and Academic Standing

Reports of grades assigned are made available on the Web by the registrar at the end of each term.

Graduate students are graded under the following system:

Grading System

















Passing but Marginal












Administrative Failure

By resolution of the Academic Senate, grade point averages are calculated for all graduate students having entered the university in the 1996 fall semester or after. Only grades earned in courses at and above the 500 level will be calculated.

For satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree, each student should consult school or department regulations which may specify a maximum number of C grades, depending on the nature of the courses, permitted in a degree program.

At the end of each semester, the chair of each department may submit to the dean a report stating the names of students who, in the judgment of the department, should not continue studies for advanced degrees. Such students are so notified by the dean and advised or directed to discontinue graduate work. The admission to graduate studies or to candidacy for the doctorate may be withdrawn by the dean.


Free electives may be reported on a pass/fail basis upon written application to the academic dean, prior to the announced date. Once approved, this status cannot be changed back. Neither such grade will affect the student's cumulative average but a fail will earn no degree credit. The pass/fail option is not available to students in the schools of engineering and architecture and planning.

Incomplete Grades

A provisional grade of I (incomplete) may be given only to a student who has not completed the requirements of a course for legitimate reasons, provided that work thus far completed in the course is of passing quality. The grade of I may not be given to a student who has simply failed to meet the academic requirements of the course on time. An instructor must have the permission of the dean to give a grade of I.

Incomplete grades must be removed by the midsemester of the succeeding term, as specified in the academic calendar, whether or not the student is registered. If the incomplete grade is not removed by the midsemester, the incomplete will be recorded as a grade of F (failure). Under extraordinary circumstances, but before the date of the mid-semester following the reported incomplete grade, a student may petition the instructor of the course and the dean of the school in which the student is enrolled for an extension of the period normally allowed for removal of the incomplete grade.

Change of Grade

A grade assigned for work in a course is not subject to change except (a) in the case of a specific error, which may be corrected upon the request of the teacher of the course, in writing, to the dean not later than one month after the beginning of the succeeding semester, or (b) in the case of a successful challenge to a failing grade of F after action in accordance with established procedures outlined in the university policy entitled Appeal of Failing Grades. A successfully challenged grade of F is changed to pass (P), and credit is given for the work in question; no other grade may be assigned. All changes in transcript information must be requested and approved by the end of the semester following registration and grading of a particular course.

Good Standing

A student is considered to be in good standing (a) who has not become subject to dismissal for academic reasons, (b) whose record of conduct is satisfactory, and (c) who has met all financial obligations to the university or made satisfactory arrangements for their discharge with the Office of Student Accounts.


A graduate student who incurs two or more failing grades in formal coursework after being admitted to graduate study is subject to academic dismissal, as are graduate students who fail to meet additional or more rigorous academic standards imposed by individual departments or schools. Graduate students are directed to consult their school or department for such standards.

The university reserves the right to have appropriate academic officials review records at any time for the purpose of determining whether a student meets the standards necessary for graduation. If, in the opinion of the university, this review reveals serious shortcomings, the student may be dismissed. Academic dismissal is made by the dean of a school upon recommendation of the faculty or department.

Withdrawal from the University

Students who wish to withdraw from the university must:
1. Inform their Academic Dean and adviser or department chair;
2. Use the Web ( drop or withdraw from all courses;
. Report to Housing Services, 160 Cardinal Hall (campus residents only);
4. Report to the Office of Financial Aid, 6 McMahon Hall;
. Report to the Registrar's Office10 McMahon Hall to submit a Registration Change Form;
6. Report to the Department of Public Safety,120 Leahy Hall, to surrender CUA photo ID card;
7. Report to the Office of Student Accounts,10 McMahon Hall (those who expect a refund and wish to request immediate payment).

Withdrawal is not official until these procedures have been completed. Students who fail to withdraw officially are assigned a grade of failure in each course.

Academic Dishonesty

The university adopted a revised policy on academic dishonesty in April, 2007. The related procedure is available on the University Policies Web site at

  1. Introduction

    Academic honesty is one of the foundations of the educational mission and Catholic commitment of this university. Academic dishonesty, including such practices as cheating, plagiarism and fabrication, undermines the learning experience, and, as it involves fraud and deceit, is corrosive of the intellectual principles and is inconsistent with the ethical standards of this university. Academic dishonesty damages the sense of trust and community among students, faculty and administrators.

    This policy sets forth the standards of honesty which student members of our academic community are expected to follow. The faculty is also bound to adhere to the strictest standards of academic honesty. All members of the academic community have an obligation to familiarize themselves with these standards and to conduct themselves in accordance with both their letter and their spirit. Individual schools in the university have committed themselves to implementing these standards and to educating faculty, staff and students on the importance of academic honesty and on the application of these standards in a variety of academic settings.

    Accompanying this policy are procedures that set forth a system for enforcement of these standards, including the application of sanctions where violations have been found. Sanctions are necessary to demonstrate that the university treats violations of academic honesty seriously and will act aggressively, when necessary, to deter wrongdoing. The effectiveness of the enforcement scheme depends in large measure on the conscientious cooperation of members of faculty in the implementation of the standards. Faculty members are therefore charged with the responsibility of seeking to assure student compliance with the requirements and initiating enforcement proceedings where appropriate

  1. General Provisions

    A. This policy applies to each school in the university and to all students enrolled in these schools. Individual schools (or departments) are initially responsible for handling individual cases of alleged academic dishonesty. A school (or department) may follow more elaborate procedures if it has its own established procedures for handling suspected cases of academic dishonesty or if required by its professional accrediting agency and particularly if required by the rules and practice of the particular professional discipline involved.

    B. This policy supersedes all earlier and other statements on academic dishonesty published or appearing anywhere before its approval.

    C. This policy applies to all academic conduct in the broadest sense, including submitted drafts and final coursework, research, comprehensive examinations and the preparation of theses or dissertations.

    D. Sanctions for violations of this policy, which may include the revocation of a previously awarded degree, certificate or award, may be applied whenever a determination is made that a violation has taken place.

    E. Confidentiality shall be observed in all proceedings under this policy, to the extent possible, except where otherwise specifically provided.

    F. The faculty member is the individual who has initial responsibility for initiating the procedures provided in this policy. The term "faculty member" includes any individual or committee with responsibility for a class, project or activity, for example, a professor of a course, director of composition in the School of Arts and Sciences, a dissertation committee or the dean of a school. Other university employees, such as graduate assistants, are expected to bring any suspected cases of academic dishonesty to the attention of the responsible faculty member who will proceed in accordance with the procedures stated in this policy. The faculty member's dean shall maintain the case file containing the relevant documents.

    G. The Office of the Registrar will maintain a register, which will include a listing of incidents of academic dishonesty that have been reported by the school deans' designees in accordance with this policy and after all appeals and/or periods of appeal are over. The Register will be confidential and information contained therein will be made available only as authorized by this policy. Within five years of a student's departure from the university, the entries in the Register shall be transferred to University Archives.

    H. If information is received by a member of the university community alleging that a graduate of the university engaged in academic dishonesty at the time he or she was a registered student but the alleged dishonesty was discovered after graduation, the information shall be brought to the attention of the dean of the school where the graduate was matriculated, who shall determine the procedures to follow and the appropriate sanction.

  1. Categories of Academic Dishonesty

    The following are the major categories of academic dishonesty:

    A. Plagiarism is the act of presenting the work or methodology of another as if it were one's own. It includes quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing or utilizing the published work of others without proper acknowledgment, and, where appropriate, quotation marks. Most frequently, it involves the unacknowledged use of published books or articles in periodicals, magazines, newspapers and electronic media. However, any unacknowledged use of another's words, ideas or electronic processes constitutes plagiarism, including the use of papers written by other students, oral presentations, interviews, radio or TV broadcasts, any published or unpublished materials (including Web-based materials, letters, pamphlets, leaflets, notes or other electronic or print documents), and any unauthorized or inadequately credited use of foreign language, scientific and/or mathematical calculation and/or modeling programs or online services.

    B. Improper use of one's own work is the unauthorized act of submitting work for a course that includes work done for previous courses and/or projects as though the work in question were newly done for the present course/project.

    C. Fabrication is the act of artificially contriving or making up material, data or other information and submitting this as fact.

    D. Cheating is the act of deceiving, which includes such acts as receiving or communicating or receiving information from another during an examination, looking at another's examination (during the exam), using notes when prohibited during examinations, using electronic equipment to receive or communicate information during examinations, using any unauthorized electronic equipment during examinations, obtaining information about the questions or answers for an examination prior to the administering of the examination or whatever else is deemed contrary to the rules of fairness, including special rules designated by the professor in the course.

    E. Attempts to engage in any of the conduct described above or the facilitation of any of this conduct by another individual will be treated as conduct constituting academic dishonesty for purposes of this policy.

    F. The preceding forms of academic dishonesty are stated in general terms. The individual schools (or departments) may deem it appropriate to supplement the present statement of policy with specific interpretations that relate its terms and provisions to the individual programs of the schools (or departments). In addition, the individual schools (or departments) are responsible for implementing programs to educate faculty, staff and students in the requirements of this policy and to answer any questions that may arise regarding specific interpretations of this policy.


Each candidate who has fulfilled all degree requirements and has been recommended to the Academic Senate by the faculty is required to attend the commencement exercises, unless excused by the provost of the university. A student so excused must notify the dean and registrar that he or she will not be in attendance. Arrangements must be made with the registrar for forwarding the diploma. The list of candidates for degrees approved by the Academic Senate and deposited in the Office of the Registrar is the official record of students who have graduated from the university.


At the commencement exercises, the university awards a diploma to each student upon whom a degree is conferred provided a diploma application has been filed. The diploma is awarded under the student's name of record. Subsequent requests for issuance of replacement diplomas will be honored only upon submission by the student of a notarized statement that the original has been lost, stolen or destroyed and upon payment of the required fee. A graduating student who has an outstanding bill with any department of the university will not receive a diploma until such balance is paid in full.

Records and Transcripts

Name of Record


Student Life

See Undergraduate Catalog

Office of Campus Ministry

The role of campus ministry is to support the members of CUA community in their growth as individual persons and as a community able to celebrate and live the message of the Gospel.

The staff exercises its ministry in a variety of ways: through gathering the community for prayer and liturgy; through social justice projects, community service, educational and social events; and through sacramental preparation, pastoral counseling, spiritual direction and retreats. As we strive to grow into a more faithful community at CUA, it becomes obvious that campus ministry is not the work of a few, but of many. Members of the student ministry staff live in community at The House, giving witness to the Gospel by sharing their time and energies with the larger community. They do this through liturgy, programs and personal presence.

The professional campus ministry staff, composed of clergy and laity, seeks to be an open and affirming presence for students, faculty, administrators and staff.

2009-2010 Fees and Expenses

The fees listed below are those in effect for the academic year 2007-2008. No student is considered registered until his or her balance is paid in full, is current with the payment plan payments, or has applied for and accepted financial aid to cover the balance. The university reserves the right to require all charges to be prepaid in full if the account has a history of delinquency.

Prior to the beginning of each semester, students whose educational expenses will be assumed by a religious community, diocese, or military or government agency must complete and return the form provided to the Office of Student Accounts. After doing so, students will be considered registered and the responsible organizations will be billed. However, all students remain ultimately responsible for the payment of their tuition and fees.

Tuition-2009-2010 Academic Year

Tuition-2010 Summer Sessions

Mandatory Fees



Application Fee

Registration Deposits

Miscellaneous Charges

Program Fees

Payment Plan

Refund Policy

University Financial Support

All university graduate scholarships and grants are school specific. Graduate applicants should contact their school for information relating to scholarship and grant availability, requirements and application procedures.

Application Procedure

A completed application for admission must be on file by Feb. 1 to be considered for the Knights of Columbus, the Board of Trustees and the St. Vincent Pallotti scholarships. We recommend that students applying for the other merit-based scholarships also submit their applications by Feb. 1. Admission is required before financial aid is granted.

To be considered for graduate scholarships, applicants must submit scores on the General Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination even if the scores were not required in connection with the application for admission. Graduate scholarships are usually awarded for September entrance and for up to three years with reapplication required annually.

Applicants for graduate assistantships who are international students, not permanent residents of the United States, or who are members of religious institutes and orders with a vow of poverty, are not required to submit either the FAFSA or the CUA application.

International Students

Government-funded scholarships, fellowships and other forms of financial support are restricted to United States citizens or resident aliens. Graduate students who are not citizens are eligible for very limited university-funded aid. All international students must be prepared to meet the costs of education and living expenses in this country with personal or family funds or with funds from other institutions.

Please consult the International Student Web site for the most current information about the minimum amount of funding in U.S. dollars required of an admitted international student before the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or where appropriate, IAP-66) will be issued.

For additional information concerning financial aid, the applicant should contact the United States Information Agency, the Institute of International Education, the American consulate in the applicant's country, or the government of that country.

University Scholarships

Note: Students do not apply for these merit scholarships. Chairs and deans nominate their most qualified applicants.

Knights of Columbus Scholarship/Fellowship

The graduate scholarship committee awards these prestigious scholarships to CUA's most exceptional applicants. It provides full tuition and a living stipend for full-time, lay students in all programs except law.

Board of Trustees Scholarships

These awards provide full tuition for outstanding applicants, those with superior undergraduate records and GRE scores. Some schools and departments also provide a living stipend with this award. Students must be full time to qualify.

St. Vincent Pallotti Fellowship

This is a special, competitive, full-tuition scholarship for those interested in serving the Church for two years after graduation. Interested applicants for full-time study should describe their plans for post- graduation service in a letter to their prospective deans.


Agencies of the federal government may provide traineeships for graduate study in the schools of nursing and social service. Interested students should write directly to the dean of the appropriate school.

Doctoral Scholarships

These scholarships are full-tuition awards for students entering one of the university's doctoral programs full time. To be considered for these awards, applicants must have strong undergraduate records and cumulative verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 1300 or above.

Half Scholarships-University and Centennial Halves

These half-tuition scholarships are open to most prospective full-time graduate students with strong undergraduate records and combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 1200 or higher.


Teaching and research assistantships are available to students who want to apprentice or gain professional experience in their fields. Most of these pay stipends. Interested students should contact their prospective chair or dean.

Magi Scholarships

The Magi Endowment for the Liturgical Arts offers scholarships to students whose post-graduation goal is to serve the Catholic Church as a teacher, composer, choral director, sculptor, craftsman in bronze or iron or some other mediums. The scholarships are restricted to half tuition only.

Tuition Remission for Seminarians

Remission of one-half of tuition is granted to diocesan seminarians and members of religious institutes preparing for ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood. To be eligible, seminarians must have been admitted to a degree program. A separate Seminarian Tuition Remission Form, with certification of the applicant's status from his bishop or major superior, is required. This form may be obtained on the CUA Web site
at the following address: under Scholarship Forms.

Divinity Hall Burses

A limited number of partial tuition awards are available for candidates for the priesthood or for priests from particular archdioceses and dioceses. Applications must be directed to the ordinary of the diocese, whose recommendation is required for receipt of the award.

Endowed Scholarships

The university is endowed with several other scholarship awards. These vary widely in intent and amount. A few are described below. Consult your prospective dean to learn if you may qualify for an endowed scholarship.

The Johannes Quasten Scholarship

This award is made to students admitted to the School of Theology and Religious Studies and School of Philosophy.

Basselin Scholarships

An integral part of the university, the Basselin Foundation provides scholarships for a special course of studies to young men preparing for the Catholic priesthood. It receives candidates who have finished two years of the classical curriculum in an American Catholic college and carries them through three years to the completion of the seminary course of philosophy and one year of postgraduate work in philosophy. Students admitted to the Basselin course of studies must qualify for the honors program of the School of Philosophy and must maintain an acceptable average to retain their scholarships. A distinctive feature of the training, in fulfillment of the will of Theodore Basselin, is the attention given to voice culture, elocution and the art of writing.

Andrew White Fellowship

This award provides tuition plus fees and a book allowance for study in the School of Philosophy.

Philosophy Scholarships

The Anna Hope Hudson Scholarship, the Most Reverend Francis M. Kelly, D.D., Scholarship, and the John K. Ryan Scholarship provide partial remission of tuition for study in the School of Philosophy.

Penfield Fellowship

This award provides partial support for studies in diplomacy, international affairs and belles lettres. Applicants must have completed one year of graduate work. Not available every year.

Social Service Scholarships

A number of endowed scholarships are available to students in the National Catholic School of Social Service. The amount of the award and requirements vary. Specific information may be obtained from the dean of the school.

Drama Work Grants

A limited number of work grants are available to students in drama. Inquiries should be directed to the chair of the Department of Drama.

Music Scholarships

Awards based on musical ability, academic record and financial need are available each year to students in the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. Among these awards are the John Paul Music Scholarship, the David Burchuk Memorial Scholarship, the Marie Fitzgerald Connor Scholarship, the Clifford E. Brown Scholarship, the William Masselos Scholarship and the Benjamin T. Rome Endowment Scholarship and Graduate Scholarship. Applicants should write directly to the dean of the school.

Lorraine Elizabeth Cella Memorial Award

This award is reserved for students of medieval studies who demonstrate financial need. Information may be obtained from the director of the Medieval and Byzantine Studies Program.

Euphemia Lofton Haynes Student Loan Fund

This fund provides low interest loans of up to $5,000 per academic year to students in the Department of Education.

Nursing Alumni Fund

Loans for nursing students are available through the Loan Fund of the School of Nursing Chapter of The Catholic University of America Alumni Association.

Mary McCarthy Memorial Fund

Provides small grants to assist doctoral students in the School of Nursing with the final production of their dissertations. Apply to the Office of the Dean, School of Nursing.

Heltzel Memorial Scholarship

The Heltzel Memorial Scholarship is designated for Roman Catholics from the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, enrolling in the School of Engineering.

School of Nursing Scholarships

A number of endowed scholarships, including the Archbishop Hannan and the Loretta Beale Manderfield, are available to undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Nursing. The awards are small and are based on academic achievement, documented need, and participation in School of Nursing activities. Applications are accepted twice each year and the application form is available in the School of Nursing.

Other Scholarships

The David Lynch Scholarship is available to students from Massachusetts. Preference is given to descendants of the parents of the donor. It is not available annually.

The Walter E. Norris Scholarship is intended for a needy student with preference given to students from the state of Vermont. This scholarship is not available annually.

Catholic School Teacher's Tuition Waiver for one half of the student's tuition is available to full-time teachers, administrators, librarians and guidance counselors who are employed by a Catholic elementary or secondary school.

A limited number of Provost's Scholarships worth up to $5,000 are available to new students in the School of Library and Information Science and the National Catholic School of Social Service.

Office of Financial Aid

The information contained in this section is subject to change or modification as state and federal regulations and/or institutional policies are revised.

Financial Aid Office
McMahon Hall, Room 6
Phone: 202-319-5307
Toll-Free: 888-635-7788
Fax: 202-319-5573
Federal Aid Title IV Code: 001437

The Office of Financial Aid at The Catholic University of America is available to assist degree seeking graduate students in obtaining loan financing by certifying loan eligibility for federal and commercial loan programs.

Federal Loan Programs

To apply for any federal loan, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA, for the applicable school year In addition, you must be admitted as a degree seeking student and be enrolled at least half-time. Federal student loans include the Federal Stafford (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) Loan, Federal PLUS Loan for Graduate Students and the Federal Perkins Loan.

A student who is a member of a religious order that directs his or her course of study and who also takes a vow of poverty is eligible for unsubsidized federal loans or commercial loans. Subsidized federal funding is not available to a student that meets both of the above criteria.

Stafford Loan

All Stafford Loans are either subsidized (the government pays the interest while you're in school) or unsubsidized (you pay all the interest, although you can have the payments deferred until after graduation). To receive a subsidized Stafford Loan, you must be able to demonstrate financial need.

With the unsubsidized Stafford loan, you can defer the payments until after graduation by capitalizing the interest. This adds the interest payments to the loan balance, increasing the size and cost of the loan. All students, regardless of need, are eligible for the unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

Starting on July 1, 2007, graduate students can borrow $20,500 per year (up from $18,500), although only $8,500 of that is subsidized.

Repayment begins six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. The standard repayment term is 10 years, although one can get access to alternate repayment terms (extended, graduated and income contingent repayment) by consolidating the loans

Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan is awarded to students with exceptional financial need. This is a campus-based loan program, with the school acting as the lender using a limited pool of funds provided by the federal government. It is a subsidized loan, with the interest being paid by the federal government during the in-school and nine-month grace periods. There are no origination or guarantee fees, and the interest rate is 5 percent. There is a 10-year repayment period.

The amount of Perkins Loan you receive is determined by your school's financial aid office.

Graduate and Professional Student PLUS Loans

Graduate or professional students are eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan Program up to their cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance. The requirements for this loan program include a determination that the applicant does not have an adverse credit history, repayment beginning on the date of the last disbursement of the loan, and a fixed interest rate of 8.5 percent.