Graduate policies, procedures and forms
The following policies, procedures and forms are specific to School of Sustainability (SOS) graduate programs and courses. Additional details can be found in the student handbooks below. As a student, you should also be aware of university-level policies, which can be found in both ASU Graduate Education’s Policies and Procedures Handbook and the ASU Catalog .
Policies and procedures
Change of Major
If you are a sustainability graduate student wishing to change your degree from sustainability, you must apply and be admitted to the other degree program. If you are wishing to change your degree to sustainability, you must apply and be admitted to the program following posted admission guidelines.
Following admission into the new program, you will be prompted to formally withdraw from your original program. You should meet with an advisor/coordinator from each program before submitting a new application.
Concurrent Degrees and Programs
Additional information about pursuing concurrent degrees and programs can be found here.
If you are a School of Sustainability graduate student wanting to use a course that isn’t already approved to fulfill degree requirements, you can submit a School of Sustainability Graduate Petition for consideration.
In the form, please list the course you want to take, which degree requirement you want to use it for (e.g., methods elective, foundational elective, normative elective, etc.), the course you want to replace (choose a related course from the approved checklist) and details as to why this course should be considered. You will also need to attach a syllabus for the course you wish to take. If you can obtain a syllabus from the course you want to replace, that is strongly recommended as well.
MSUS Students: Please submit the completed form and related documentation to SOSGradAdvising@asu.edu. The graduate coordinator will send the petition to the MSUS Supervisory Committee for review at their monthly meeting and let you know the decision via ASU Email.
MA/MS/PhD Students: Please submit the completed form and related documentation to your committee chair for review. If the chair approves, ask the chair to sign the form or send an approval email to SOSGradAdvising@asu.edu. At that time, you will also need to send the completed form and related documentation to SOSGradAdvising@asu.edu. The graduate coordinator will send the petition to the School of Sustainability administration for the final review and let you know the decision via ASU Email. Please allow up to two weeks for processing.
You can repeat any course in which you earn a grade of “C+” or lower. The School requires a grade of “B-” or above for any courses listed on your plan of study. Grades of “C+” or lower cannot be listed on your plan of study. If a required course results in a grade less than “B-”, then the course must be retaken until an appropriate grade is received. Grades from all course repeats are factored into the cumulative GPA (there is no grade replacement at the graduate level).
Course Withdrawal — Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal
You can be considered for a medical/compassionate withdrawal if you experience an extraordinary medical circumstance (such as serious illness or injury) or an extraordinary personal circumstance not related to your health (such as caring for a seriously ill child or a death in the immediate family) that prevents you from continuing in courses.
Please read the School of Sustainability Medical and Compassionate Withdrawal Policy for additional information and instructions. You may also meet with a graduate coordinator to discuss your situation.
All requests must be accompanied by excellent documentation of the circumstances. Requests without appropriate documentation will not be approved. “Partial” withdrawal requests (requesting withdrawal from fewer than all courses in the semester/session) are rarely approved, unless there is a documentable reason why not all courses were affected (e.g., if you have a broken leg and wish to request a partial withdrawal for a dance movement course).
As a School of Sustainability graduate student, you are required to present your culminating experience, thesis, scientific paper or dissertation.
MA/MS/PhD Students: Thesis and dissertation defenses are part of a formal university process. Your committee must participate and agree on the defense date ahead of time. You must schedule the defense through MyASU, reserve a room and submit an MA/MS Thesis or Scientific Paper Defense Announcement Form , PhD Prospectus Defense Announcement Form or PhD Dissertation Announcement Form , complete with the abstract, logistics of the defense and full committee information. You must submit the form to SOSGradAdvising@asu.edu at least two weeks before the defense.
If you are a MA/MS student doing a scientific paper in lieu of a thesis, you do not need to schedule your defense through MyASU but will follow the same instructions above for the thesis defense announcement, which is due to SOSGradAdvising@asu.edu at least two weeks before the defense.
MSUS Students: You will likely present your culminating experience at the spring School of Sustainability Open House event or in December at the internship and student experience poster presentation event. If you are unable to present at one of these events, you will need to work with the graduate coordinator and MSUS Supervisory Committee to come up with a suitable alternative way to present your culminating experience. The presentation is part of your degree requirements.
If you feel there is an issue with your grade, you should follow the university policy for grade appeal and make every attempt to resolve any grade disputes informally, as outlined in steps A through C.
If a formal grade appeal is warranted, you may submit a School of Sustainability Graduate Petition for review by the School of Sustainability graduate director. Enter all pertinent information about the course, including the semester and year taken, and the name of the instructor. Explain the rationale for your appeal. Attach any relevant supporting documentation you would like the graduate director to see. Be aware that the graduate director will seek instructor feedback, and your appeal may be shared with the instructor.
If an additional review is needed, it will be sent to the School of Sustainability dean. The dean’s decision will be final, and no additional appeals will be considered beyond that point.
Submit the completed School of Sustainability Graduate Petition and related documentation in person to the Student Services Center front desk in Wrigley Hall, Room 108, or submit it electronically to SOSGradAdvising@asu.edu. You will be notified via ASU Email when your appeal has been processed. Please allow up to two weeks for processing.
Incomplete Grade Request
Additional information about incomplete grades can be found here . If you wish to request an incomplete for a School of Sustainability course, you must fill out the Incomplete Grade Request . You will need to work with the instructor to outline the remaining assignments and deadlines for each, which must to be listed on the form. The completed form must be submitted to the School of Sustainability Student Services Center in Wrigley Hall, Room 108, or scanned and emailed to SOSGradAdvising@asu.edu.
The “I” grade will become a permanent “I” on the transcript if not resolved within one year. As a School of Sustainability graduate student, you cannot have more than two “I” grades on your transcript and remain in good standing. Three permanent “I” grades on a transcript may result in dismissal from the School of Sustainability graduate program.
The instructor is not required to provide you with an “I” grade. Additionally, the instructor is not required to give you an entire year to complete the coursework. Therefore, it is important to fill out the incomplete form so you, the instructor and the advising staff know the requirements and deadlines that have been agreed upon.
Late Drop/Add Requests (dropping or adding a School of Sustainability course after the official drop/add deadline)
Late drops from School of Sustainability courses are not allowed. However, you can withdraw from courses following the regular course withdrawal process .
If you wish to add a School of Sustainability course after the official drop/add deadline, you may request special permission to do so. Instructor approval is required; however, instructor approval does not guarantee School approval. Drop/add deadlines are posted on the Academic Calendar .
Complete the Enrollment Change Request form in its entirety. On the back of the form, you must describe how you will make up any late work. You must also obtain the instructor’s signature on the back of the form. A copy of an email directly from the instructor granting you permission to add the course late may be substituted for an actual signature.
Note: the “Advisor” signature on the form is for the graduate coordinator to sign, not your specific faculty advisor or mentor.
Submit the completed form in person to the Student Services Center front desk in Wrigley Hall, Room 108. You will be notified via phone or ASU Email when your petition has been processed. You must pick up the approved form from Wrigley Hall, Room 108, and submit it to the Registrar’s Office in the Student Services building to add the course; you will not be automatically added to the course by the School of Sustainability. The form is only valid for up to five days from the time it is approved.
Course overrides allow you to register for a course you are, for one reason or another, ineligible to register for. There are several types of override: prerequisite, section full, department/instructor consent and time conflict.
Overrides can only be granted by the department/school offering the course. If you would like to request an override for a course offered outside of the School of Sustainability, contact the advising unit for that department/school for their policy and procedure.
To request an override for a School of Sustainability course, please submit the Course Override Request Form.
Proposal/Prospectus/Comprehensive Exam Forms
If you are a MSUS, MA or MS student, you must submit a proposal; if you are a PhD student, you must submit a prospectus. In both instances, you must have it approved before you will be issued overrides to enroll in your culminating experience (MSUS), thesis or scientific paper (MA and MS) or dissertation hours (PhD).
MA/MS/PhD Students: If you are an MA or MS student, you must write a research proposal in conjunction with your entire supervisory committee. You will hold a formal committee meeting in which you present your research proposal. If the committee approves, you must sign the MA/MS Thesis/ Scientific Paper Proposal Form . You must then submit the signed form and your proposal paper to the School of Sustainability Student Services Center in Wrigley Hall, Room 108. The original form must be submitted, but the proposal can be sent by email to SOSGradAdvising@asu.edu. After the proposal is approved, you can successfully request a course override when ready to register for either a thesis or scientific paper.
MSUS Students: You will submit a Culminating Experience Proposal as part of the SOS 582 Project Management course requirements. Once approved by the MSUS Supervisory Committee, you can successfully request a course override when ready to register for your culminating experience course (if applicable).
PhD Students: If you are a PhD student, you must pass the written comprehensive exam and have your committee sign the PhD Comprehensive Exam Results Form . Please submit the original form to the School of Sustainability Student Services Center in Wrigley Hall, Room 108.
You must successfully defend your prospectus within six months of passing the written comprehensive exam. Prospectus defenses are open to the public (this requires a room reservation and defense announcement) and requires committee participation. Upon passing the prospectus defense, your committee will sign the PhD Prospectus Defense Results Form . You must submit the original form to the School of Sustainability Student Services Center in Wrigley Hall, Room 108. The graduate coordinator will enter the results of the comprehensive exam and the prospectus defense into the university system. You will then advance to “PhD Candidate” status. At that time, you can successfully request a course override when ready to register for dissertation.
If you have been discontinued from the university and would like to resume taking courses toward your degree, you must submit a new graduate school application. Applications will be evaluated against the current application pool. If you reapply, you do not have an added advantage over first-time applicants. If you are readmitted, earned credits are subject to limitations on pre-admission credit policies listed in ASU’s Graduate Education Policies and Procedures Handbook .
Registering for Thesis, Scientific Paper or Dissertation Credits
MA/MS Students: If you are a MA or MS sustainability student who wishes to register for thesis or scientific paper credits, you must first have an approved proposal on file. At that point, you can submit a Course Override Request Form for each semester you want to register for thesis or scientific paper credits.
PhD Students: If you are a PhD student who wishes to register for dissertation credits, you must have reached candidacy first. Once you’ve reached candidacy, you can view it on your MyASU page. At that point, you can submit a Course Override Request Form for each semester you want to register for dissertation credits.
Reserving Space in Wrigley Hall (WGHL)
School of Sustainability students can reserve conference rooms if:
- They are reserving the room for a thesis, dissertation, or other type of culminating experience defense, but they must have already confirmed their defense day and time with all faculty on their committee and the Graduate Coordinator. Room reservations for this purpose should be made at least two weeks prior to the defense.
- They are reserving the room on behalf of a faculty or staff member that will be present with them during the meeting.
School of Sustainability students can reserve the enclaves under the following circumstances:
- They can only reserve the enclaves between 8am-5pm (and cannot be in the building past 5pm unless there is a faculty or staff member with them).
- Their reservation may be cancelled if a faculty or staff member needs the space for a meeting.
- Their group isn’t larger than the capacity that the enclaves hold (i.e., they cannot move chairs into the enclave to accommodate more students)
- They are not using the space as individual study space.
- They should check-in at the front desk on the 3rd or 4th floor before their reservation.
In both instances, they are responsible for providing their phone number for the reservation and making sure the room is cleaned up at the end of the meeting. Those reserving conference rooms for students should designate in Outlook when the reservation is for a student.
Here are options to recommend to students looking for space:
- WGHL breezeways and 1st floor tables on the patio
- Computing Commons and Coor Hall Team Rooms/Group Study Areas
- Noble Library Study Rooms
- Hayden Library Study Rooms
- Music Library Study Rooms
- Polytechnic Campus Library Study Rooms
- The Memorial Union has lots of open/informal space and the new Student Pavilion has spaces specifically for student organizations.
- Students that are trying to reserve classrooms for a student organization can reserve them through classroom scheduling once they have a designated contact set up with classroom scheduling.
- Their contact information is (480) 965-6578 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional questions regarding Graduate Policies and Procedures can be directed to SOSGradAdvising@asu.edu (for the MA, MS, MSUS, or PhD), OnlineMSL@asu.edu (for the MSL) or EMSL@asu.edu (for the EMSL).