Petitions

Overview

Petition procedures described below are required in all cases so that the Graduate School of Engineering may maintain a complete and accurate record for all students. All petitions, unless otherwise noted, must be formally made on a Graduate School of Engineering petition form and approved by a student’s academic advisor, department graduate director (if applicable), and by the Graduate School of Engineering. Other approvals may be required as stipulated by the graduate school upon petition review. Students should refer to the Graduate School of Engineering website for additional instructions.

Elective Outside of the Approved Program Curriculum

Courses approved for each degree program are found in the Northeastern University Graduate Catalog. Students must follow the curriculum of their program of study published in the year in which they matriculate. If a student wishes to take a course that is not on the list of approved courses for his or her program, the student must request permission from the academic advisor to take the course prior to registering for that course. Failure to obtain permission to take a  course that is not part of the approved curriculum, as listed in the catalog, may result in that course not counting toward the student’s graduate degree. The petition must be submitted to the Graduate School of Engineering for review. Final decision on all the requests made by a petition form rests with the Graduate School of Engineering.

Note: Students enrolled in a PhD program are not subject to this requirement. Course selection is considered a matter among the student, academic advisor, and department.

Course Waiver

A student may petition to waive any core course (also known as a required course) when he or she has completed equivalent or similar course work elsewhere. The student must submit a completed petition form along with a course description and an official transcript from the institution where he or she completed the course.

Note: Course waivers do not decrease the number of required semester hours in any program of study. Submission of a waiver petition does not guarantee a waiver. All waiver petitions are subject to review by the academic advisor, department graduate director (in applicable cases), and the graduate school. The waived course must be replaced by an advisor-approved course.

Extension of Time Limit to Complete Program

All Northeastern University graduate course credits earned in a program of study, or accepted for transfer credit, are valid for a maximum of seven years. To request an extension, students may submit a petition to their academic advisor, including the reason(s) for the request, an intended course of action, and length of time needed to complete degree requirements.

In the case of the Doctor of Philosophy degree, after the establishment of degree candidacy, a maximum of five years is allowed for the completion of degree requirements. To request an extension, students may submit a petition to their academic advisor, including the reason(s) for the request, an intended course of action, and length of time needed to complete degree requirements.

Change in Status (Full-Time, Part-Time)

Students may petition to change their student status from full-time to part-time study within the same program by filing a petition form, signed by their program advisor, graduate program director (in some departments), and submitted to the Graduate School of Engineering. In all cases, students who hold an assistantship, or whose department requires full-time students to complete a project or thesis, must have departmental approval to change status.

Students who wish to change status from part-time to full-time study within the same program must have completed a minimum of 8 semester hours of course work with a minimum 3.000 grade-point average (GPA). Students in this case must submit a petition to change status to their advisor or departmental graduate officer for approval.

Students should discuss the financial implications of changing their student status with the Office of Student Financial Services. 

International students are subject to the rules governing their immigration status and should consult with an advisor in the International Student and Scholar Institute before filing a status change petition.

Change in Degree Concentration

A student who wishes to change degree concentration within the same program must submit a completed  Change of Degree Program/Concentration form to the program advisor of the new concentration—and, in some cases, to the chair of the graduate committee of their department—for approval. The form must then be forwarded to the Graduate School of Engineering for final review and processing. Students should refer to the Graduate School of Engineering website for additional instructions.

Change in Degree Program

A student who wishes to change his or her degree program must apply for admission to the desired program. This means a new online application must be submitted. The application fee is waived. In addition, the student must submit a completed Change of Degree Program form to the advisor of the desired program. The form must then be forwarded to the Graduate School of Engineering for final review and processing. Students should refer to the Graduate School of Engineering website for additional instructions.

Change in Degree Level

A student who wishes to change the degree level from MS to PhD must apply for admission to the PhD program. This means a new online application must be submitted. The application fee is waived. In addition, the student must submit a completed Graduate School of Engineering Change of Degree Level form to the director of the PhD program to which he or she is applying. The form must then be forwarded to the Graduate School of Engineering for final review and processing (if admitted). Students should refer to the Graduate School of Engineering website for additional instructions.

A student who wishes to change the degree level from PhD  to MS  within the same degree program must submit a  Change of Degree Level form to the academic advisor—and, in some departments, to the chair of the graduate committee—for approval. If approved, the Change of Degree Level form must then be submitted to the Graduate School of Engineering for final review and processing. Students should refer to the Graduate School of Engineering website for additional instructions.