Graduate students are expected to master subjects and to devote substantial time in independent library or laboratory investigation. Additional time is associated with academic research leading to the successful completion of the student’s thesis, project or dissertation and includes scholarly work such as reading and synthesizing scientific literature; technical writing; laboratory work; data management; graphics and presentation preparation; and quantitative and/or qualitative analyses. Graduate students are expected to network with fellow scholars by attending seminar presentations and regional and national professional meetings and conferences. There is no limit to time spent on studies and research relating to the advanced degree.

All graduate students receiving graduate assistantships of 15 to 19.6 hours/week are expected to maintain daily working hours as do faculty and staff. Graduate students are eligible for all University staff holidays (e.g., New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving). Undergraduate student holidays and semester breaks are not graduate student holidays. These periods provide an excellent opportunity for concentrated research and/or meeting supervised experiential learning hours on or off campus.

Graduate students are responsible for keeping their faculty advisor informed of their status and how they may be reached. Graduate students on assistantship must have approval from their faculty advisor to take vacations during the semester, including spring break. All vacations and leaves must be planned in advance and written approval obtained from the student’s faculty advisor. For example, graduate students should discuss their winter break plans with their advisor at least one month before their desired leave, and this leave is typically up to two weeks.

Graduate assistants are required to work the required number of hours as designated in their assistantship offer letter on teaching or doing research for their faculty advisor, while being enrolled as a full-time student. This is in addition to course work and research for their thesis or dissertation. Their assistantship, thesis, and dissertation research activities, along with academic coursework, may constitute considerably more than a full-time job.