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Policies & Procedures

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Academic Advising

SIS has a formal Academic Advising Policy. Please familiarize yourself with the protocol related to advising at SIS. 

Course Load

The maximum course load for a graduate student is 15 hours in the fall and spring semesters and 12 hours in the summer. A full load in all semesters, including summer, is 9 hours. Courses audited do not count toward minimum graduate hours required for SIS graduate assistantships or other financial assistance. Audited courses do not appear on transcripts.


An incomplete (I) is a temporary grade indicating that a student has performed satisfactorily in the course but, due to unforeseen circumstances of a serious nature, has been unable to finish all requirements. An I is not given to enable a student to do additional work to raise a deficient grade. An incomplete must be removed within one year. If the incomplete is not removed, the I changes to an F. The course will not be counted in the cumulative grade point average until a final grade is assigned.

A student must request an incomplete in writing from the instructor using a standard form available online at The request form must contain a persuasive rationale, and may require supporting evidence, and the projected date for completion of the work. The form must be approved and signed by the instructor. The instructor's decision to accept or reject the petition is final.

Continuous Enrollment and Leave of Absence (LOA)

All degree-seeking graduate students are expected to make a full commitment to their graduate and professional study in order to ensure that they can complete all degree requirements without unnecessary delay. Graduate students are therefore required to maintain an active status through continuous enrollment from the time of first enrollment until graduation.

If extenuating circumstances arise that make it necessary for students to interrupt their studies temporarily, a Request for a Leave of Absence (LOA) for a maximum of 2 years may be granted by the Graduate School upon approval by the School of Information Sciences.

More information regarding enrollment policies and leave of absence can be found here.

Requirements for Admission to Candidacy and Graduation

Application for admission to candidacy for the M.S. degree should be completed when the student registers for the final semester. The Admission to Candidacy Master's Degree form must be submitted with appropriate signatures to the UT Graduate School.

A graduation packet can be obtained from the coordinator of student services. The student is responsible for completing the Admission to Candidacy Master's Degree form and submitting the form to the SIS coordinator of student services who gathers the appropriate signatures and forwards it to the Graduate School. The Graduation application for diploma must also be completed and submitted online through MyUTK.