Graduate Studies Committee Meeting

March 6, 2013
3:30 PM – 4:40 PM


In Attendance: J. Ruscher, N. Dawers, D. Gaver, T. Ha, J. R. Schmehl (for M. Fink), L. Molix, J. Perdew, A. Robinson, L. Schrader, J. Tasker, C. Zawacki, and S. Borrego

Absent: None

Proposal for reduced tuition rate for non-matriculated special students

  • Non-matriculated special students/post-bacs are typically students looking for courses to supplement their undergraduate work, so that they can apply to a graduate program or earn certifications (e.g., PE).
  • SSE currently has a policy that allows non-matriculated special students to take up to a total of 9 credit hours, but they are charged at the part-time rate of $2406/credit hour (2012-13 tuition rate) plus fees. For one 3 hour course it costs them about $7500.

  • Another option for some departments would be to offer a summer bridge program with 3 courses for ~$9,000 total.

  • Total number of hours allowed for a non-matriculated student was increased from 9 to 15.

  • A vote was proposed by J. Tasker for reduced tuition for non-matriculated students. All voted in favor.

  • A vote was proposed by A. Robinson for a reduced tuition rate of 50%. All voted in favor.

  • Updated information for prospective students appears at

Criterion for Directors of dissertations and theses

  • The current requirement in the SSE handbook requires that committees consist of at least 3 members, the majority of whom are Tulane faculty. Exceptions may be approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs.

  • A discussion followed about the roles tenure-track faculty, research professors, and professors of practice on dissertation/thesis committees. It was agreed that professors of practice cannot supervise a dissertation/thesis, but they can be co-chair. Also, research professors cannot be the committee director, but they can be a member of the committee.

  • The group also recognized that exceptions commonly would be granted for individuals with joint appointments at our partner facilities (e.g., LUMCON).

  • The new language for the SSE handbook is:

    A student should choose a topic or project in consultation with a tenure-track faculty member in the major department who will serve as director. The student, in coordination with his/her director should form a committee of a minimum of three members, which will serve as the thesis or dissertation committee. The majority of the committee should comprise tenure-track faculty at Tulane; other members may include Professors of Practice, Research Professors, and/or faculty at other institutions. Exceptions to these stipulations may be made with the approval of the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs.

Tuition waiver and stipend policy

Discussion of consistent use of tuition waivers will take place at a future committee meeting.

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