Academic Progression

Program Status and Progression

All degree requirements must be completed within a maximum of seven years of matriculation, although individual academic programs may require completion in a shorter time frame. Each student is responsible for reviewing the requirements for their particular program. A student’s failure or inability to register does not extend the amount of time allowed to complete the program. Students should be registered by the first week of each semester (fall, spring, and, where indicated, summer).  Course credits earned in programs of graduate study are valid for a maximum of seven years unless an extension is granted by the program director and the Bouvé associate dean of graduate education.

After establishment of candidacy for the PhD degree, a maximum of five years will be allowed for completion of the degree requirements, unless an extension is granted. In order to progress in clinical courses that are sequenced, a student must receive a passing grade in all prior courses in the sequence. In the event that a student fails a clinical course that is not part of a sequence, progression is at the discretion of the student’s academic advisor and/or the program director. When a student fails a clinical course that is part of a sequence of courses, the course instructor must notify the Bouvé Office of Graduate Student Services. Course material related to the student’s failure (e.g., examination reports, clinical reports) must be made available to the student for review.

Provisional and Conditional Acceptances

A student who is accepted conditionally to a graduate program at Bouvé College of Health Sciences must meet the conditions set in the acceptance letter before they matriculate into the program and prove that they have fulfilled the stated conditions. Examples of conditions include receipt of official verification of previous degree completion, completion of missing prerequisite courses, receipt of a missing recommendation, standardized test scores, and translation of international documents.

A matriculated student who is accepted provisionally to a graduate program at Bouvé College of Health Sciences must meet the conditions set forth in the acceptance letter. Examples of provisions include maintainence of a GPA of 3.000 and completion of all prerequisites as outlined in the acceptance letter.

Program Extension Procedures 

Students may seek extension beyond the seven years to complete their program of study only under documented extenuating circumstances. The student must complete the program extension form and an action plan to complete the degree requirements. The program extension form is available in the Bouvé Graduate Handbook. The form and the proposed action plan must be submitted to the program director and to the Bouvé Office of Graduate Student Services for approval. After the form is reviewed, a program extension may be granted. The Bouvé Graduate Program Extension form can be found in the Bouvé Graduate Handbook, Appendix 8. 

Leave of Absence 

If a student plans on being absent for more than one semester, the student must notify the Bouvé Office of Graduate Student Services and submit the leave of absence request through MyNortheastern. Students should meet with their academic advisor to discuss their intention to submit a request for a leave of absence. After meeting with their academic advisor, the student should submit the petition through the myNortheastern portal. Students returning from a leave of absence should notify the Bouvé Office of Graduate Student Services of their intent to return at least one month prior to the start of the semester. Students with an approved leave of absence who do not return at the end of the leave of absence period will be withdrawn by the university. Please refer to the Graduate Schools Academic Policies section of the catalog for more information and policies on leave of absences.

Withdrawal Procedures

Students can withdraw from the university only through the myNortheastern portal. Students are responsible for dropping any courses in which they are currently registered and should have an exit interview with their financial aid advisor. Faculty members are not responsible to notify the university of a student's withdrawal. For information about withdrawal and refund policies, please refer to the Student Financial Services website

Grading Policies

Requirements for fulfillment of a degree in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences graduate school varies by program. Students must consult their individual academic program's requirements, as well as program directors (if applicable), for specific credit and noncredit requirements necessary to achieve a specific degree.

Directed Study Registration 

Students who wish to take a directed study course must complete the following process before starting the directed study: 

  1. Obtain the Graduate Directed Study Registration form from the Office of the University Registrar and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences Graduate Directed Study form found in the Bouvé Graduate Handbook, Appendix 1. 
  2. Meet with the faculty member who will supervise the directed study to determine syllabus, course credits, and criteria for completion. Students should include the description of the proposed directed study focus, activities, learning objectives, and how the directed study will be evaluated using measurable criteria. 
  3. Present both forms to the program director or department chair for review and approval. 
  4. Submit both signed forms to the Bouvé Office of Graduate Student Services for review and approval. 
  5. The Directed Study Registration form will be processed by the Office of the University Registrar after it has been verified and approved by the college.

Directed study courses are not intended to substitute for a required course in the program. 


An incomplete (I) grade may be reported by the instructor when a student has failed to complete a major component of a required course. Only the course instructor can make the decision to grant an incomplete grade to a student. The student must complete an Incomplete Grade Contract, sign the agreement, obtain the instructor’s signature, and leave a copy with the instructor, who will seek approval from the academic dean’s office before sending it to the Bouvé Office of Graduate Student Services. The student should keep a copy for their record. Any exception to this policy must be recommended by the college’s Academic Standing Committee (ASC) and must be forwarded in writing by the ASC to the registrar for implementation. The agreed-upon course work must be completed within one calendar year from the end of the term in which the course was offered.

Advanced Standing (PhD or MD)

Students with a PhD or MD may be eligible for advanced standing, which is determined on a case-by-case basis. To apply for advanced standing, the student must complete the Advanced Standing form and gain approval from the student's academic advisor and the Bouvé Office of Graduate Student Services. If the request is approved, a student may be exempt from a maximum of two courses (not to exceed 6 credits). The Advanced Standing form can be found in the Bouvé Graduate Handbook