The Catholic University of America

General Information

   The University I The Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies I The Schools I Accreditations and Memberships The Degrees I Full-Time Study I Part-Time Study I Enrollment Policies

Contact Information

Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies
116 McMahon Hall
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20064
 
Main Phone: (202) 319-5247
Fax: (202) 319-6174

 

The University

The Catholic University of America is located in the northeast quadrant of Washington D.C., approximately three miles from the U.S. Capitol. Founded in 1887 as a research-oriented institution, Catholic University is comprised of twelve schools and currently has an enrollment of about seven thousand students, more than half of which are graduate students. CUA is among the founding schools of the Association of American Universities and is one of the original sponsors of Oak Ridge Associated Universities, a nonprofit research management corporation of forty-nine universities fostering research in energy, health, and the environment.

Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 Required Disclosure: All prospective students, applicants, employees, and current students of the Catholic University of America should visit the Office of the General Counsel website at http://counsel.cua.edu/ConsumerInformation.cfm to become familiar with specified information regarding Title IV and Title IX.

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The Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies

Dr. James J. Greene is the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.

The Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies is located in McMahon Hall, Room 116.

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The Schools

There are twelve schools at CUA, all of which offer graduate degrees:

The School of Architecture and Planning offers graduate programs that lead to the degrees Master of Architecture (professional degree), Master of Architectural Studies (post-professional degree) Master of City and Regional Planning (post-professional degree) and Master of Science in Sustainable Design (post-professional degree).

The School of Arts and Sciences offers graduate programs that lead to the degrees Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. The departments of the school offering graduate degrees are anthropology, biology, chemistry, drama, early Christian studies, education, English language and literature, Greek and Latin, history, library and information science, medieval and Byzantine studies, modern languages and literatures, physics, politics, psychology, Semitic and Egyptian languages and literatures, and sociology.

The School of Business and Economics offers graduate programs that lead to master's degrees in business analysis, accounting, integrated economic development management, and international political economics. Each one teaches career-oriented skills with an emphasis on respect for the dignity of the human person, and the positive role of business and economics as forces for good in communities, institutions and society.

The School of Canon Law offers graduate programs that lead to the pontifical degrees of Licentiate in Canon Law and Doctor of Canon Law. A dual degree program is also conducted in conjunction with the Columbus School of Law.

The School of Engineering offers graduate programs that lead to the degrees Master of Biomedical Engineering, Master of Civil Engineering, Master of Electrical Engineering, Master of Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Engineering, Doctor of Engineering and Doctor of Philosophy.

The Columbus School of Law offers the LL.M. and the Juris Doctor degree, with a broad curriculum that prepares graduates for a range of professional career opportunities. The school also has joint degree programs with the schools of arts and sciences, library and information science, philosophy, social service, and canon law. Concentrated certificate programs are available in communications law, securities law, law and public policy, and international law. Through a number of clinical programs, students gain professional service and skills experience.

The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music offers graduate programs leading to the degree Master of Music, Master of Music in Sacred Music, Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Musical Arts in Sacred Music and Doctor of Musical Arts. A joint degree program in music librarianship (Master of Arts in Musicology and the Master of Science in Library Science) is also available, as is a concentration in Latin American music within most graduate degree programs.

The School of Nursing offers graduate programs that lead to the degrees Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees. The program leading to the Master of Science degree offers students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in advanced practice roles with concentrations in adult/geriatric, family, and pediatric health. Doctoral study in nursing enables the student to integrate clinical acumen with research knowledge and skills.

The School of Philosophy offers graduate programs leading to the degree Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy and to the pontifical degrees of Bachelor, Licentiate and Doctor of Philosophy.

The Metropolitan School of Professional Studies offers a Master of Arts degree in Human Resource Management and a Master of Science degree in Management by extending the resources and expertise of the University to the Washington area community. Individual programs are designed with a maximum of flexibility to meet the special needs of adult students, while classes are offered evenings and weekends to accommodate nontraditional schedules. The college also works with business and professional groups to meet the professional updating and certification needs of their members. Online master's degrees are also available.

The National Catholic School of Social Service offers programs that lead to the degrees Master of Social Work and Doctor of Philosophy. The Master of Social Work Program prepares students for advanced entry into the social work profession with theoretical knowledge, practice skills, research utilization and professional values. M.S.W. candidates concentrate in clinical social work with individual adults; with children and adolescents; in family practice; or in social policy, planning and administration. The program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree prepares candidates for research and theory development roles in clinical practice, policy development and social justice, or teaching.

The School of Theology and Religious Studies offers graduate academic and ministerial programs that lead to the degrees Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, Master of Religious Education, Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Philosophy and to the pontifical degrees of Bachelor, Licentiate, and Doctor of Sacred Theology. Academic areas of study include Biblical Studies, Church History, Hispanic/Latino Studies, Historical Theology, Liturgical Studies/Sacramental Theology, Moral Theology/Ethics, Pastoral Studies, Religion and Culture, Religious Education/Catechetics, Spirituality, and Systematic Theology. Joint degree programs are available in Catholic education leadership, history of religions and religious studies and library science. Theological College, under the direction of the Sulpician Fathers, provides for diocesan seminarians the spiritual formation and the opportunity for personal integration that are necessary for ordination to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church.

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Accreditations and Memberships

The Catholic University of America is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Specialized Accreditations

Institutional Memberships

Specialized Memberships

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The Degrees

For a list of all graduate degrees offered by CUA, please visit the Graduate Admissions website.

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Full-Time Study

Graduate students must be continuously enrolled while pursuing a degree. The certification to governmental agencies of all students - citizen and noncitizen - as full-time students of The University is determined by full-time academic activity as attested by the Office of Enrollment Services.

Failure to maintain continuous enrollment can significantly affect a student’s academic progress, financial obligations and, in the case of international students, their immigration status.

A. Masters Students
To be certified as a full-time master's student, one of the following criteria must be met:
  • Enrollment in a minimum of eight (8) semester credit hours.
  • Enrollment in a minimum of six (6) semester credit hours and hold a half-time appointment as a teaching/research assistant (ten [10] hours per week).
  • Enrollment in a minimum of 3 semester credit hours and hold a full-time appointment as a teaching/research assistant (nineteen [19] hours per week).
  • Enrollment in the M.F.A. program for semester credit and practicum hours totaling at least eight (8) credits.
  • Enrollment for the Comprehensive Examination (limit one semester);
Following completion of all required course work, one of the following criteria must be met:
  • Enrollment for master's thesis guidance (limit two semesters).
  • Enrollment in a distance learning course for pastoral supervision.
  • For the School of Music, enrollment for master's graduate recital and at least one (1) credit of private instruction.
B. Doctoral Students
To be certified as a full-time doctoral student, one of the following criteria must be met:
  • Enrollment in a minimum of eight (8) semester credit hours.
  • Enrollment in a minimum of six (6) semester credit hours and hold a half-time appointment as a teaching/research assistant (ten [10] hours per week).
  • Enrollment in a minimum of three (3) semester credit hours and hold a full-time appointment as a teaching/research assistant (nineteen [19] hours per week).
  • Enrollment for the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination (limit two semesters).
Following admission to candidacy, one of the following criteria must be met:
  • Enrollment for doctoral dissertation guidance.
  • Enrollment for required internship.
  • For the School of Music, enrollment for doctoral recitals, doctoral compositions, or completion of repertoire list.
Note: There is a time limit for the period of candidacy.
 
Individual schools may require full-time students to register for a greater number of semester hours than those listed above in order to qualify for full-time enrollment.
Graduate Students Not Considered Full-Time

Graduate students on Academic Leave cannot be certified as full or part time. The period of Academic Leave is not counted as part of the time allowed for the completion of residence or other degree requirements. Any incomplete (“I”) grades that are outstanding must be changed in accordance with the policy on incomplete grades by the date published in the Academic Calendar.

Certification

The certification to governmental agencies of all students - citizen and noncitizen - as full-time students of The University is determined by full-time academic activity as attested by the Office of Enrollment Services. The school or department must notify the Office of Enrollment Services by memorandum or e-mail of teaching or research assistantships.

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Part-Time Study

All students who do not satisfy the criteria for full-time study are part-time students and, except as noted below, must pay tuition in the amount charged per semester hour. Graduate students employed in certain governmental agencies for not more than three (3) days per week may be permitted, upon written agreement with the agency, to enroll as part-time students for not more than ten (10) semester hours, will be considered to be in three-quarters residence, and will be charged three-fourths of the tuition for full-time study.

A graduate student who is pursuing a program of ministerial studies in any neighboring institution (religious house of studies, theologate, and the like) will not be permitted to register for more than six (6) semester hours of graduate study per semester.

A school dean may authorize as many as nine (9) semester hours in a given semester for a graduate student who has been enrolled on a part-time basis for at least the previous two (2) semesters and who is within seven (7) to nine (9) semester hours of completing degree requirements. In this instance, tuition will be charged at the rate for part-time study.

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Enrollment Policies
A. Continuous Enrollment

In order to qualify for a graduate degree from The Catholic University of America, a graduate student must maintain continuous enrollment. Graduate students should be aware of many important factors that affect continuous enrollment, including registration, drop/add and withdrawal dates on the Academic Calendar.

There are minimum academic standards one must uphold in order to maintain scholarships. Furthermore, academic leaves and term withdrawals from The University not only affect the graduate student’s status as a continuously-enrolled student, but also negatively affect the student’s loan eligibility. It cannot be over-emphasized that failure to be enrolled continuously has significant consequences that may hinder the progress toward one’s graduate degree.

Finally, failure to maintain requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress will affect one’s government loans. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to define successful completion of coursework to maintain eligibility for financial aid. The Catholic University of America is required by federal, state and District of Columbia regulations, as well as institutional policy, to determine whether a student is meeting SAP requirements. SAP evaluation for graduate students occurs once a year at the conclusion of spring semester.

The student’s entire academic career history must be considered when determining SAP status, regardless of whether or not the student has received financial aid during each period of enrollment.

The qualitative component measures the quality of the student’s SAP by conducting a review of the student’s cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). To meet the qualitative requirement, the student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Specific federal, state, and institutional scholarships and grants may require a higher GPA for continued eligibility. This is a separate and distinct factor in renewing or continuing eligibility for these specific financial aid funds. The GPA for specific scholarships and grants supersedes the GPA requirements referenced above. Information about the terms and conditions of specific student aid programs that have GPA requirements are provided to the student at the time the award is offered.

The quantitative component measures the pace at which the student must progress through his or her program of study to ensure completion within the maximum timeframe permitted and provides for the measurement of the student’s progress at the time of the evaluation. To meet the quantitative requirement, the student must complete at least 67% of the classes that he/she attempts.
 
B. Academic Leave and Withdrawal

1. Academic Leave

Because The Catholic University of America is a term-based credit-hour institution, it cannot offer a federally approved Leave of Absence (LOA) option. However, students may request to be place on Academic Leave for a future semester.

A student in good standing who must interrupt his/her studies for adequate reason, such as prolonged ill health or military service, may be granted an Academic Leave for a stated period, usually not to exceed two (2) semesters or one (1) year.

To request an Academic Leave, a student must first discuss the issues surrounding Academic Leave with their adviser, department chair (where applicable), and school dean. Following these discussions, the student must make a formal application at go.cua.edu/gradstudies, prior to the first day of the semester in which the leave would be taken. Final approval of the request for an Academic Leave is made by the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.

An Academic Leave, if granted, will be effective as of the last day of the semester in which the student was most recently enrolled. The period of Academic Leave is not counted as part of the time allowed for the completion of residence or other degree requirements. Any incomplete (“I”) grades that are outstanding must be changed in accordance with the policy on incomplete grades by the date published in the Academic Calendar, whether a student is registered for the current semester or not.

Students on Academic Leave are expected to return to The University when their stated duration of leave has expired, unless they have applied for and have been given an extension. Students who do not return from an Academic Leave when scheduled will be subject to Permanent Withdrawal during the semester in which they failed to return. If the student thereby withdrawn from The University desires to return to graduate studies at The Catholic University of America, he/she must apply for readmission and satisfy current degree requirements to be reinstated.

2. Term Withdrawal

Students who wish to temporarily leave The University during a semester in which they are enrolled in classes will receive a Term Withdrawal for that term.

During Registration Drop/Add Period - Students enrolled in classes who subsequently drop all their classes within the Registration Drop/Add Period will be considered to be on a Term Withdrawal, effective as of the date they notify The University or, if they do not notify The University, on the date they drop the last class in which they are enrolled. They will receive a notation on their transcript that they dropped every class in which they were enrolled, and are subject to the tuition refund schedule policy.

If the separation from The University is intended to be for the duration of the current semester only, no further action is required, and the student will be eligible to enroll for the next semester. If the separation is expected to go beyond the start of the next semester, they must apply for an Academic Leave (see above).

After End of Registration Drop/Add Period - Students who are currently enrolled in classes and who decide to withdraw from all their classes after the last day of the Registration Drop/Add Period will be considered to be on a Term Withdrawal, effective as of the date they notify The University or the date they withdraw from the last class in which they are enrolled if they do not notify The University. They will receive a grade of “W” in every class in which they were enrolled, and are subject to the tuition refund schedule policy.

Students are encouraged to discuss issues surrounding a Term Withdrawal with their adviser, department chair (where applicable), and school dean prior to submitting a Term Withdrawal application. The formal application for a Term Withdrawal is found at go.cua.edu/gradstudies, and is submitted online to the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, who gives final approval to the request.

3. Permanent Withdrawal

Graduate students who no longer wish to continue their studies at The Catholic University of America must submit an Application for Permanent Withdrawal, found at go.cua.edu/gradstudies. This application is submitted online to the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.

Permission for Permanent Withdrawal from The University is not required. It is necessary, however, to inform all the appropriate offices and individuals, including the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, the adviser, the school dean, and the department chair (where applicable) in writing of the decision to withdraw permanently from The University. This letter is in addition to the online Application for Permanent Withdrawal. Furthermore, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the adviser, school dean and department chair (where applicable) to determine if there are additional requirements for withdrawal, such as a letter of resignation and/or an exit interview.

Students who make the decision to leave before finishing the semester in which they are enrolled will be withdrawn as of the date they notify the administration. For those students who inform The University of their intent to withdraw for a future semester, the withdrawal date will be the last day of the semester in which they are currently enrolled.

Students who withdraw from The University during a semester in which they are enrolled are subject to the tuition refund schedule policy, regardless of the reasons for their withdrawal. Exceptions to the refund schedule will be considered by the Withdrawal Committee (Dean of Students, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, Director of Financial Aid, Academic Representative appointed by the Provost). Students who withdraw during a semester will receive a “W” grade in each class in which they were registered.

Students who do not enroll in The University for a given semester and do not inform The University of their intention to leave on a temporary or permanent basis will be administratively withdrawn from The University as of the last date to enroll in any class offered for that semester.

NOTE: Students who withdraw permanently from The Catholic University of America will be reported to the National Student Clearinghouse as “not enrolled” with an effective date of the day their Permanent Withdrawal is declared official. Recipients of Federal Student Loans will enter their loan grace period, and if they have previously used up their loan grace period, will immediately enter into loan repayment.

If a student who has withdrawn from The University subsequently decides to return to The Catholic University of America, he/she must submit an application for re-admission to the Office of Graduate Admissions. If a student who has withdrawn from The University without receiving a degree applies for re-admission to a degree program, no credits earned by the student more than seven (7) years before the time of re-admittance will be applied toward a degree unless they have been evaluated and approved by the school to which the student is applying.

C. Residence and Extended Residence

Residence - The term "residence" denotes enrollment 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 school or department (where applicable) may, with the approval of the Graduate Board and the Academic Senate, require longer periods of residence than those stated here. Students are advised to consult their school and department (where applicable) for special regulations.

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 one (1) credit hour per semester, unless a student is granted an Academic Leave. 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 as found in the Academic Calendar.

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