Course Registration Information   

Student Responsibility                                                                                                                

It is the student’s responsibility to insure that courses taken meet degree requirements. Courses taken without a graduate program coordinator’s permission may not be approved for a degree program. All students accepted by the Division of Graduate Studies must follow a program approved by a graduate program coordinator. Substitute courses may replace required courses only if approved by the appropriate graduate coordinator.

General Program Information

Students should be aware that additional requirements may be imposed for certification or licensure (even once a plan of study has been prepared) if such requirements are imposed by outside licensing or accrediting agencies. A plan of study may be subject to revision to reflect such additional requirements. 

Course Schedules

For courses offered, consult the university web site, using the Open/Close system, or the Division of Graduate Studies at (203) 837-8244. 

The school deans in conjunction with graduate coordinators and the Associate Director of Graduate Studies reserves the right to make changes in faculty assignments and, if necessary, cancel announced courses. The deans also reserve the right to limit class size and to refuse registration when class limits have been reached. 

Student Independent Study (SIS)

The SIS provides an opportunity for matriculated students, with faculty sponsorship and approval of the graduate coordinator, to design and develop their own projects and learning experiences. Graduate students planning a SIS must complete the approval process by the last day of the drop/add registration period for a semester or term.

Faculty Developed Course

Occasionally, an academic department may offer an experimental course, labeled X98, to determine its value to the total departmental program or in response to a particular request from a group of students. 

Registration Procedures

Graduate students may register for classes in one of four ways:

Web: Matriculated graduate students who have a PIN are able to register via the web. Students who wish to obtain a PIN should visit any of University Computing’s staffed computer labs in White Hall 031 or Westside 117, or the Student Technology Training Center in Student Center 225. Web registration is available to matriculated students only. 

Fax: Students may register by fax, using the registration forms available on the web site or at the Division of Graduate Studies Office, Old Main 206. The registration fax number is (203) 837-8326. No faxes will be accepted prior to midnight of the registration dates listed above. Any faxes received prior to that date will be processed at the end of the calendar day. 

Mail: Students may mail their completed registration form with check or credit card authorization to:  Division of Graduate Studies, Western Connecticut State University, 181 White Street, Danbury, CT 06810 

In Person: Students may register in person (see dates listed above) in the Division of Graduate Studies Office, Old Main 206. 

Credit/Semester Hours

To make satisfactory progress students must complete the required credits/semester hours within the time frame allowed for the degree. 

Many graduate programs include one or two courses which must be taken after most other degree requirements are met. For example, in the M.S. in Education program, students opting for a non-thesis approach will register for ED 501 and ED 592 after completing at least 18 credits, including ED 500 and specific department requirements. Students are advised to check with their graduate program coordinator to determine the specific requirement of their program. 

Generally no course may be taken for extra credit. The only exception to this rule may be made when the extra credit will complete a student’s degree requirements during the current semester or term. This exception is contingent upon the instructor’s willingness to arrange additional work whereby the student may earn one extra credit over and above that allowed for the regular class. In such instances an additional tuition payment for the extra semester hour is required. 

Registration for summer courses is ordinarily limited to two courses per session. Graduate students who wish to exceed that number must obtain permission from their graduate program coordinator or, if they have not yet been assigned a coordinator, from the Division of Graduate Studies. 

Only matriculated graduate students may earn credit for a Student Independent Study (SIS). Proposals for such study must be approved by the graduate coordinator before the last day of the add/drop registration period for the semester or term. 

Graduate students may register to audit a class in the same way that they register to enroll. They receive no credit for an audited class but pay the same tuition as those who are taking the course for credit. 

Withdrawal from a Course (and how it may affect your grade)

Students who finds it necessary to drop a course must immediately notify the Division of Graduate Studies in writing. An official form for this purpose may be obtained in the Division of Graduate Studies. Failure to withdraw in writing will generate a grade of “F” for the course. Ordinarily, students do not withdraw from a course after mid-semester. It is not possible to withdraw by phone. 

Students may withdraw from a full-semester course without penalty until the end of the tenth week of the semester. Withdrawals are recorded on the student’s transcript with the notation “W.” There is no penalty attached to this notation. Withdrawals after the tenth week of a course normally result in an automatic penalty of “WF.” Withdrawals through the tenth week are initiated by the student in the Division of Graduate Studies office. Later requests for withdrawal from a course without penalty are initiated through conference with the instructor. 

Thesis Information

A matriculated graduate student who has completed all courses for a degree and is completing a thesis or research project is required to register each fall and spring semester for GRA 799: Graduate Thesis Advisement. A fee equivalent to one graduate credit plus a service fee is charged each semester.

Requirements for the Thesis Approach

After being accepted into a master’s degree program, a student who chooses to write a thesis must prepare and secure approval of a thesis topic and outline from the graduate program coordinator and the dean of his/her respective school. The student may then register for Independent Thesis Research, which must be the final course in his/her program. Concurrently with the approval of the outline, a thesis adviser will be appointed to work individually with the student on the content of the particular thesis. 

Students enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Professional Writing program should contact the M.F.A. graduate coordinator for thesis/PDE requirements.

Filing an Approved Thesis Outline

An approved copy of the thesis outline with appropriate cover sheet must be filed in the Division of Graduate Studies immediately after approval and prior to registration in the Independent Thesis Research course.

Studies Accepted for the Thesis Requirement

The types of theses which have been defined as acceptable in meeting the requirements are:

  1. A conventional study, usually of the hypothesis-testing types which may be either historical or theoretical.
  2. A study emphasizing the development of generalizations from comprehensive data.
  3. A creative project, involving the formulation of new problems, the elaboration of new implications, or the development of new relationships.

Thesis Form

“A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations” by Kate L. Turabian, sets forth the form required in the thesis. Copies are available in the University Bookstore. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and/or the CBE Style Manual (latest edition) from the Council of Biology Editors, Inc., may also be used in certain departments. The department of English requires that all research components of the master of art theses follow the Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines. Students should consult their thesis adviser for specific information about thesis guidelines. Any graduate student writing a thesis has the right to petition through his/her thesis adviser to the dean of their respective school in order to obtain permission to use a different style format for his/her thesis.

Approval of the Completed Thesis

The completed thesis will be read and approved by the faculty and/or thesis adviser and by the dean of the student’s school.

Submission of the Completed Thesis and Abstract

Students must file with the dean of their school one complete typewritten copy of the approved thesis, bound in an officially approved thesis spring binder. Thesis spring binders can be purchased in the Western Bookstore.

Students must submit to the Division of Graduate Studies one original and five copies of a five hundred (500) word or less, abstract or digest of the thesis. Paper of twenty (20) pound weight and at least twenty-five (25) percent rag content should be used. Contact the Division of Graduate Studies to inquire about any additional forms regarding your thesis submission that may be required by your program.

Time Limit for Thesis

A student has a maximum of two years to satisfactorily complete and file the necessary copies of the thesis and the abstract with the dean of the student’s school so that the student may receive the appropriate approval or credit for the thesis, providing it is completed within the six year time limit for fulfilling degree requirements.

Final Date for Filing Thesis

The approved thesis and the required number of copies of the abstract must be filed with the dean of the student’s school by March 1, June 1, or November 1 for graduation in May, August, or January, respectively.

Dissertation Information

Students in the Ed.D. program should visit the web site ( or contact the Ed.D. graduate coordinator at (203) 837-9121 for information about the dissertation process. 

Guidelines for a Second Master of Science Degree in Education

Western Connecticut State University does not offer a sixth year degree in education. It does offer students an opportunity to get a second master’s degree for an additional 30 credits. 

Other criteria for obtaining a second master’s degree include:

  1. Credits earned toward the first master’s degree cannot be credited toward the second master’s degree.
  2. Admission into a specific master’s degree program is required. You may concentrate in special education, curriculum, reading or instructional technology but not repeat a concentration and course that you took previously.
  3. ED 500, Contemporary Education, must be retaken if the course was taken more than five years ago.
  4. Students must meet with their adviser and acknowledge the program requirements before being admitted into a second master’s program.
  5. Second master’s degree students do not need to repeat ED 501 and ED 592. However, they must complete a six credit-hour approved project (approval given by the Dean of Professional Studies and the program coordinator) or work on a six credit-hour approved thesis (approval given by the Dean of Professional Studies and the program coordinator).
  6. Students with a master’s degree or equivalent from another accredited institution of higher education must adhere to the appropriate master’s degree requirements. In case of a duplicate degree required course, a course substitution may be granted with the approval of the graduate program coordinator.

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