Feb 07, 2023  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Information

Parking Information and Campus Maps

For information on USF Parking Services, policies, and regulations, refer to:

USF/USFSP/USFSM Parking and Transportation Services websites:

Sarasota/Manatee Campus:  http://sar.usfsm.edu/parking

Campus maps available:

USF Regulations:
USF 4.0010 Parking General Guidelines, Registration, Penalties and Rates: https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfregulation40010

Also reference 4.00211 through 4-00219 and 4-0023 through 4-0029, FAC, available at: http://regulationspolicies.usf.edu/regulations/

Office of the Registrar

For convenience, offices are located on all three campuses.

Website: http://www.registrar.usf.edu/
E-mail: asktheregistrar@usf.edu
Phone: 813-974-2000
TTY: 813-974-4488

St. Petersburg Campus - Office of Records and Registration

Phone: (727) 873-4645
Fax: (727) USF-4FAX

Sarasota-Manatee Campus - Office of Records and Registration

Phone: (941) 359-4330
Fax: (941) 359-4236

The respective offices maintain the official academic records for all students and course registrations for currently enrolled students. Students are encouraged to contact the office about general questions concerning academic policies and procedures of their current registration or academic record. Note: Each student must be aware of the University’s academic policies and procedures insofar as they affect him/her.


Students use a self-selected personal identification number (PIN) in the University’s Online Access Student Information System (OASIS) to:

  • view registration appointment information
  • view registration hold information
  • view the Schedule of Classes
  • register and drop/add courses
  • view their grades
  • request address changes
  • request privacy
  • request transcripts
  • view financial aid information
  • view and pay bills online
  • apply to graduate

Registration Information

USF Regulation USF4-0101, https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfregulation40101

Register for Classes

To register for classes students must first login to the MyUSF portal using their net ide and password (http://netid.usf.edu/una) and choose OASIS from the Resource menu. Current course offerings and registration requirements are listed in the Schedule of Classes. Note that some courses may require permits from the department/school for registration.

Late Registration

Degree-seeking students who do not register prior to the first day of classes may late-register the first week of classes. A late registration fee is charged during this week. To avoid cancellation of registration, fees and tuition are due and payable for all registered courses of record on the fifth day of classes (end of drop/add period). Students are responsible for verifying the accuracy of their course registration by the end of the drop/add period (i.e. by the fifth day of classes). In the event there are courses incorrectly listed or missing on the record, students should go into OASIS and make the necessary corrections. Course registration not corrected by the end of the fifth day of classes will result in liability of tuition and fees. If courses need to be added or dropped after the fifth day of classes, refer to the Add / Drop sections of the Catalog.

Medical Requirements for Registration

Immunization Policy: University Immunization Policy, USF Regulation 33-002: https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfpolicy33-002

Forms: http://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/student-health-services/immunizations/index.aspx

Student Health Services is charged with the responsibility of evaluating and maintaining medical requirements for registration for all University of South Florida students. Florida law (Section 1006.69 Florida statute) requires that all admitted Florida university students be aware of MENINGOCOCCAL MENINGITIS and HEPATITIS B, two diseases that may be prevented by vaccination. The vaccines for each of these diseases are available at the University of South Florida Student Health Services (with locations at the USF Tampa, USF St. Petersburg, and USF Sarasota-Manatee campuses). Please refer to http://www.shs.usf.edu/immunizations.aspx for further information. In addition, students residing in on-campus housing must present (a) proof of vaccination against MENINGOCOCCAL MENINGITIS, and (b) proof of vaccination against HEPATITIS B or sign a declination of HEPATITIS B document.

According to Florida Administrative Code Rule 6C-6.001(5) “Each student accepted for admissions shall, prior to registration, submit on a form, provided by the institution, a medical history signed by the student.” As a prerequisite to matriculation or registration, the State University System of Florida requires all students born after 1956 to present documented proof of immunity to MEASLES (Rubeola) and RUBELLA (German measles).

In addition, new admits (international students and US citizens living abroad) must show proof of screening for Tuberculosis (TB) within the past year. New admits who have not taken the TB test may do so when they arrive, but will not be allowed to register until the test has been taken. (Reference USF Policy 33.003 - https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfpolicy33-002)

All students new to USF are required to submit a signed copy of the official USF Medical History form and submit immunization documentation for the following:

  1. Medical History Form: Sign the Mandatory Immunization Health History Form
  2. Measles 1, Measles 2, Rubella (MMR): Vaccination (2 doses after 1st birthday) OR Titer (lab work) Date &Result
  3. Hepatitis B-1: Vaccination OR Check the declination box OR Titer (lab work) Date & Result
  4. Meningitis: Menactra/MCV4 vaccination at AGE 16 OR OLDER (if living on campus) OR check the declination (if not living on campus)
  5. TB Screening: Tuberculosis Screening required for all International Students and U.S. born students residing at an address outside the U.S. at the time of application.

Forms may be downloaded and printed from the Student Health Services Forms website:  https://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/student-health-services/immunizations/. In order to register, this form, including the required documentation, must be completed, signed, and returned to the Student Health Services Office.  For convenience, offices are located on all three campuses.

Tampa Campus:

Student Health Services
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Avenue, SHS 100
Tampa, FL 33620-6750
Fax: (813) 974-5888
Telephone: (813) 974-4056

St. Petersburg Campus:

University of South Florida St. Petersburg Wellness Center, SLC 2200
140 7th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Fax: (727) 873-4193
Telephone: (727) 873-4422
Sarasota Campus:
All immunization documentation is process through Office of Admissions on Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses.

Administrative Holds

A student may be placed on administrative hold for failure to meet obligations to the University. When a student is placed on administrative hold, he/she may not be allowed to register, receive a diploma, or receive a transcript. Settlement of financial accounts must be made at the University Cashier’s Office. Each student placed on administrative hold should determine from the registrar’s office which office placed him/her on hold and clear the obligation with that respective office. Information for how to remove a hold is online at https://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/student-health-services/holds/.    For holds due to immunization requirements, go to: http://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/student-health-services/immunizations/immunhold.aspx

Cancellation of Registration for Non-Payment

USF Regulation USF4.010, https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfregulation4010

Equal Opportunity Policy

Equal Opportunity Policy Diversity and Equal Opportunity: Discrimination and Harassment Policy: https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfpolicy0-007
DEO website: http://usfweb2.usf.edu/eoa/
Phone: 813-974-4373

The University of South Florida is a diverse community that values and expects respect and fair treatment of all people. USF strives to provide a work and study environment for faculty, staff and students that is free from discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, marital status, sex, religion, national origin, disability or age, as provided by law.

USF protects its faculty, staff, and students from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, as well as gender orientation and express. USF is also committed to the employment and advancement of qualified veterans with disabilities and veterans of the Vietnam era through the VEteran’s Readjustment Asistance Act, as amended (VEVRAA), as part of the effort to maintain an environment that is comfortable for all people and to ensure consistency with state and federal laws. Discrimination, harassment and retaliation are prohibited at the University, and complaints of such conduct must be filed with the Diversity and Equal Opportunity Office (“DEO”) or the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development (SCED) or the appropriate student affairs office at the campus where the discrimination or harassment occurred.

The designated office will review such complaints and provide appropriate response including counseling, mediation, and/or referral for disciplinary action, up to and including termination from employment and/or expulsion from the University. In addition, DEO and OSRR will, as part of their internal processes, report any conduct that may be criminal in nature, such as bias-motivated crimes, to the appropriate law enforcement entitites as set for in section [IV.B] of USF policy 0.007. A student or employee who believes that he or she has not been treated in accordance with the University’s Equal Educational and Employment Opportunity Policy or its Policy on Sexual Harassment may file an Equal Opportunity Complaint.

Additional information about these procedures may be obtained from the Diversity and Equal Opportunity Office. For convenience, offices are located on all three campuses.

Tampa Campus:
Allen Building, ALN 172 or by calling 813-974-4373 or 813-974-1510 (TDD).
St. Petersburg Campus:
Human Resources, BAY 206, or by calling 727-873-4105
Sarasota-Manatee Campus:
C107 or by calling 941-359-4562


It is prohibited for any administrator, supervisor, or other employee of USF to take any retaliatory action against an individual who, in good faith, has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under provisions of applicable law.

Student Ombuds - BOG Regulation 6.011

For convenience, offices are located on all three campuses:

Tampa Campus: SVC 2057
(813) 974-0835 - http://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/ombuds/

St. Petersburg Campus
PNM 104B
(727) 873-4184 -studentombuds@usfsp.edu
Sarasota-Manatee Campus
SMC C312
(941) 359-4414 -afarrington@sar.usf.edu

The Ombuds Offices at USF are confidential, impartial, independent and informal resource for students who wish to convey their experiences at USF to explore alternatives for resolving problems or compliants through informaal means. The mission of the Ombuds Office is to facilitate fair and equitable resolution processes that promote student success. The Ombuds Offices are not official offices of notice for the University of South Florida. Rather, the Student Ombuds, as a neutral facilitators, will listen to concerns and help students develop a range of options in an informal attempt to achieve resolution. The Ombuds may also refer students to appropriate individuals and offices and to clarify University policies and procedures. All information disclosed in the Ombuds Offices will be held confidential unless otherwise authorized by the student or otherwise required by applicable law, including Chapter 119, Florida Statutes.

Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Protection

The Center for Victim Advocacy & Violence Prevention (part of the Division of Student Affairs) provides free and confidential services to students, faculty, and staff of all gender identities who have experienced crime, violence, or abuse for incidents occurring on or off campus, recently or in the past. Services are provided by professional Victims Services Practitioners and may include: crisis intervention, emotional support, personal and systems advocacy, court accompaniment, victim helpline, safety planning, and assistance filing for injunctions (protective orders) and crime victim’s compensation claims. We also provide prevention and education presentations, programs and events.

Appointments are available in our office or other safe locations on campus. Walk-ins are welcome, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After hours, weekends and holidays, an advocate is available for victims of violent crimes through the Victim Helpline.

For convenience, offices are located on all three campuses:

Tampa Campus:

Victim Helpline: (813) 974-5757
Office: (813) 974-5756
Student Services Building (SVC) 0067
St. Petersburg Campus:
Student Life Center: (727) 873-4422
After hours (727) 873-4422
Sarasota-Manatee Campus:
New College of Florida Counseling & Wellness Center
(941) 487-4254
5800 Bay Shore Road, CWC 120
Sarasota, FL 34243

Student Accessibility Services

In accordance with Section 504 0f the Rehabilitation Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act and The ADA Amendments Act, the University of South Florida provides reasonable classroom accommodations for otherwise qualified students who have documented disabilities. Students seeking accommodations must register with the Student Accessibility Services Office. See http://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/student-disabilities-services/; https://www.usfsp.edu/disability/; http://www.usfsm.edu/campus-life/campus-resources/disability-services/index.aspx; for a list of common accommodations and more information on the accommodations process. Admissions: Students with disabilities apply under the same guidelines as all students through the Office of Admissions.

Course Substitution: Students with disabilities requesting substitution of coursework for General Education, or Foreign language requirements should contact Students Accessibility Services on the USF campus where the course is being taught. Students with declared majors requesting substitution of departmental graduation requirements will need to contact the chair of their department. In either case, students will be requested to submit documentation to SDS to support their request for an exception.

Parking: Students with state parking privileges need only supply their state card as documentation for eligibility to Parking and Transportation Services. Students without state privileges need medical documentation to be considered for on-campus parking. For more information: http://www.usf.edu/administrative-services/parking/ Housing: Accessible on-campus residence hall housing is available for students with special needs. Specific information is available through Housing and Residential Education. For more information: http://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/housing/

If you are interested in applying for accommodation at the University of South Florida, we suggest that you visit the U.S. Department of Education website:  Students with Disaiblities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities.

Diversity Inclusion and Equal Opportunity

Students with disabilities are encouraged to participate fully in all University events, programs, and other campus activities. Information on whom to contact to request accommodation or assistance should be listed on program information and advertisements. If unable to secure the requested assistance or if additional help with accessibility is needed, contact the ADA Coordinator in Diversity Inclusion and Equal Opportunity (DIEO) at http://www.usf.edu/diversity/  Or visit the office, conveniently located on all three campuses:

Tampa Campus:

Reasonable Academic Accommodations and Services for Students
Ms. Deborah McCarthy, Director
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Student Services Building (SVC) 1133, Tampa, FL 33620- 6500
(813) 974-4309 (Voice), Email Contact: dmccarthy@usf.edu,
Web Contact: http://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/student-disabilities-services/

St. Petersburg Campus:
BAY 208

Sarasota-Manatee Campus:
SMC C107

Office of Veteran Success / Military and Veterans Success Center

The primary mission of this office is to provide a seamless transition for our nation’s veterans from military to collegiate life by enhancing personal development and academic success.

USF is approved for the education of veterans, eligible dependents/spouses, members of the selected reserve, and active-duty personnel who are eligible for benefits under public laws now in effect. All majors currently offered at USF are approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Students who may be eligible for benefits are urged to contact the Office of Veteran Success/Military and Veterans Success, conveniently located on all three campuses:

Tampa Campus Office of Veteran Success
USF Veteran Success website: http://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/veterans/
VA toll free number is 1-888-442-4551
Location/Phone: Student Services Building (SVC) 2088; (813) 974-2171

St. Petersburg Campus
TER 301/302

Sarasota-Manatee Campus

Career Services

Career Services provides USF students with comprehensive career planning and job search services. A staff of experienced professionals is available to help students choose a career; gain career-related work experience and plan their job search. Career Services also provides information on employment opportunities and creates venues where students can network and interview with local, state, national and international employers. For convenience, offices are located on all three campuses:

Career Center (Tampa Campus ): https://www.usf.edu/career-services/

Career Center (St. Petersburg Campus ): https://www.usfsp.edu/career-center/

Career Services (Sarasota-Manatee Campus: http://www.usfsm.edu/campus-life/career-services/index.aspx/

Tobacco and Smoke Free University

USFSP 0-607SP: https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfpolicy6-026

USF is committed to providing a safe, healthy and enjoyable learning, living and working environment. All USF campuses are tobacco and smoke free. Smoking and use of tobacco products are not allowed in any indoor or outdoor area, including parking garages, grounds, sidewalks or recreational areas. This policy also includes the use of e-cigarettes.

Academic Term and Student Information

Semester System

USF operates on a semester system. Semesters begin in August and January with Summer Sessions beginning in May and June. See Academic Calendar   for appropriate dates. For information on converting quarter hours to semester hours, for purposes such as transfer of credit and the required GPA for admissions, refer to: http://www.grad.usf.edu/inc/linked-files/gpa.pdf

Academic Load

See Enrollment Requirements  in the Academic Policies Section

Academic Standing

Class Standing - A student’s class standing is determined by the number of credits he/she has earned without relation to his/her GPA.

6M - Graduate student admitted to a major in a Master’s Degree Program
6A - Graduate student admitted to a major in a Specialist Degree Program
6D - Graduate student admitted to a major in a Doctoral Degree Program (not eligible to register for dissertation hours)
6C - Graduate student admitted to Doctoral Candidacy (eligible to register for dissertation hours)
7A-7D 1st-4th year professional Degree Program (M.D.) or post-doctoral status

Also see “In good standing ” in the Academic Policies Section

Student Definitions

Degree Seeking Students:
Students who have been accepted into a major within a degree program

Graduate Certificate Seeking Students:
Students who have been accepted into a Graduate Certificate. Students who are non-degree seeking, but who are admitted to a Graduate Certificate may register during the same registration period as Degree-Seeking Students. For more information about Graduate Certificates and specific requirements, refer to Graduate Certificates  .

Non-Degree-Seeking Students:
Students who have not been accepted into a major within a degree program or Graduate Certificate. Non-Degree-Seeking students may enroll and enter classes on a space available basis by obtaining appropriate approval from the degree-granting college or academic unit in which the courses are offered. Non-Degree-Seeking students must meet all prerequisites for courses in which they wish to enroll. Certain classes are available only to degree-seeking students and may not be available for Non-Degree-Seeking students.

Should a student be accepted into a graduate degree major, refer to the Application of USF credit policy for information on what credits may be applied to satisfy graduate degree requirements. Prior to completing twelve (12) hours in a specific major it is strongly recommended that a Non-Degree-Seeking Student apply for admission and be accepted to the major to continue taking courses in the major. Majors may have additional requirements, so check with the major of interest for more information.

Transient Students:
USF 10.001 Transient Student Policy: https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfpolicy10-001

The State University System Transient Student program enables a graduate student to take advantage of resources available on other SUS campuses. A Transient Student, by mutual agreement of the appropriate academic authorities in both the sponsoring and hosting institutions, receives a waiver of admission requirements and application fee at the host institution and a guarantee of acceptance of earned credits by the sponsoring institution. A graduate advisor, who will initiate a visiting arrangement with the appropriate faculty of the host institution, must recommend a Transient Student. USF degree-seeking students who wish to enroll at another accredited institution MUST HAVE PRIOR WRITTEN APPROVAL from their college academic advisor to receive credit for courses taken.

For more information contact the Registrar’s Office. For convenience, offices are located on all three campuses:

Tampa Campus :
Registrar’s Office at (813) 974-2000.

St. Petersburg Campus :
Office of Records and Registration
(727) 873-4645

Sarasota-Manatee Campus
Office of Records and Registration

Graduate Assistantships (GA), Research Assistantships (RA), and Teaching Assistantships (TA): Graduate Assistantships are intended to recruit quality students to graduate study at USF and to enhance the graduate learning experience. Graduate assistantships exist within academic departments or other university offices on campus. Graduate assistants may teach, conduct research, or perform other tasks that contribute to the student’s professional development. Graduate students may be classified as Graduate Assistants (GAs), Graduate Teaching Assistants/Associates (GTAs), Graduate Instructional Assistants (GIAs), and/or Graduate Research Assistants/Associates (GRAs). All graduate assistants at USF work under a contract negotiated by the Graduate Assistants United (GAU) and the USF Board of Trustees. The GAU is the labor union certified as the exclusive bargaining agent for graduate assistants at USF. To receive an assistantship, the graduate student must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Accepted in a graduate major;
  • Maintain an overall minimum grade point average (GPA) and major GPA of 3.00;
  • Enrolled full-time during the semester(s) appointed as a graduate assistant;
  • For teaching assistantships, demonstrate proficiency in spoken English (if student is not from an English speaking country).
  • Maintain a satisfactory work performance evaluation for all previous work performed as a Graduate Assistant.

Full-time enrollment is considered nine (9) graduate credit hours in the fall semesters and six (6) graduate credit hours in the summer semester. If a graduate assistant is enrolled in the last semester of his/her program of study, the number of registered semester hours may be less than the full-time requirement. Graduate assistants must comply with all Office of Graduate Studies enrollment requirements to retain their assistantship as stated in the Graduate Catalog.

For specifics regarding Graduate Assistantship requirements, guidelines, and policies, refer to the Graduate Assistantships Resource Center online at: http://www.grad.usf.edu/assistantships.php, https://www.usfsp.edu/graduate-studies/graduate- assistantships/,the Graduate Catalog Academic Policies Section, and also the Graduate Assistants Policies and Guidelines Handbook.

Student Identification Card (USFCard and ID Badge) Policy

Policy Reference: USF 0-517 - https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfpolicy0-517

University policy requires all students obtain and carry the USFCard while on campus. The USFCard is primarily used for identification, for verification of USF status, and for using University services, such as the Library, the purchase of parking decals, obtaining passes for University sporting and theatrical events, and other related events/services.  Legal Identification (passport, driver’s license, or State/ Government Photo Identification card) must be presented to obtain a USFCard. For the issuance of a family card, the student (with their USFCard) must accompany the family member(s) who must also provide legal identification. All privileges extended to the family(s) are discontinued when the Sponsor is no longer a student. Use of the USFCard by anyone other than the person to whom it was issued is strictly prohibited. The cardholder is responsible for any and all losses associated with their card. Fees for issuance of the first and replacement cards are in accordance with USF 5.018. The initial cost of the card is $10.00. Refer to the fee schedule for costs of each additional family member card. Financial services, long distance telephone services, and other features are options available at the user’s discretion. USFCards are the property of the University of South Florida and must be returned on request.

USFCards may be obtained at the USFCard Center. For convenience, offices are located on all three campuses:

Tampa Campus:
SVC 1032

St. Petersburg Campus:
Nelson Poynter Memorial Library-POY 221
(727) 873-4409

Sarasota-Manatee Campus
Parking Services

Student Records Policy

Reference: USF2.0021 - https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfregulation20021

Pursuant to the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”; 20 USC Par. 1232g), 34 CFR Par. 99.1 et seq, Florida Statutes Sub. Par. 228.093 and 240.237 and USF Rule 6C4-2.0021, Florida Administrative Code, students have the right to:

  1. Inspect and review their education records;
  2. Privacy in their education records;
  3. Challenge the accuracy of their education records; and
  4. Report violations of FERPA to the FERPA Office, Department of Education, 400 Madison Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202 and/or bring actions in Florida Circuit Court for violations of USF 4-2.001, Florida Administrative Code.

Copies of the University’s student records policy, USF 2.0021, may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar in Tampa, Office of Registration and Records in St. Petersburg,  Office of Records and Registration in Sarasota or USF Office of General Counsel.

Academic Record

The student’s academic record shall not be changed after the student has graduated. Except in cases of administrative error, the student’s academic record shall not be changed once the semester has rolled.

Release of Student Information

Pursuant to requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the following types of information, designated by law as “directory information,” may be released via official media of USF (according to USF policy USF2.0021 Student Records): Student name, local and permanent addresses, telephone listing, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, full- and part-time status, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, and other similar information. The University Directory, published annually by the University, contains only the following information: student name, local and permanent address, telephone listing, classification, and major field of study. The Directory and other listings of “directory information” are circulated in the course of University business and, therefore, are accessible to the public, as well as to students, faculty, and staff. Students must inform the USF Office of the Registrar in writing (forms available for that purpose), if they wish directory information to be withheld. Such requests must be received within the first two (2) weeks of the semester and will remain in effect until the student has not been enrolled at USF for three (3) consecutive terms. Notification to the University of refusal to permit release of “directory information” via the University Directory must be received no later than the end of the first week of classes in the Fall Semester.


Members or former members of the faculty who hold or have held the rank of Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor are not eligible to be granted degrees from USF, except upon prior authorization of the Office of Graduate Studies and the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee.

In cases where a member of the immediate family of a faculty member is enrolled in a graduate major, the faculty member may not serve on any advisory or examination committee or be involved in any determination of academic or financial status of that individual.

Course Information

Academic Credit hours

Reference – USF Policy 10-065 - https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfpolicy10-065

Florida Statute 6A-10.033 - https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ruleno.asp?id=6A-10.033

Academic credit provides the basis for quantifying the amount of engaged learning time expected of a typical student enrolled in traditional classroom settings, laboratories, studios, internships and other forms of experiential learning, and distance and correspondence education. Credit hours are a measure of learning, and support a wide range of activities, including the transfer of students from one institution to another, awarding financial aid, and credentialing for employment. Because of the significance of awarding credit hours, an institution is obligated to ensure that credit hours for courses and majors conform to the commonly accepted standards of higher education, as stated in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Federal Requirements 4.9 (Definition of Credit Hour) and the SACSCOC Credit Hours Policy Statement. This Policy is intended to ensure that all credit-bearing courses and programs offered by the University of South Florida (USF) meet the requirements of the Federal definition of a credit hour and the Credit Hours Policy Statement issued by the SACSCOC.

In determining the maximum number of credits that may be assigned to a course, the following guidelines apply.

  • For courses taught in a “traditional” classroom format in a 15-week semester, the maximum number of credits to be assigned is limited to the weekly number of 50-minute contact periods (or their equivalent) with the instructor. Underlying this statement is an assumption that each 50-minute contact period requires a minimum additional two hours of student work outside of the class involving reading, exercises, etc. Where this assumption does not hold true (as may be the case with some laboratories, for example), then the maximum number of credits may be significantly less than the weekly number of 50-minute contact periods.
    • For a lecture class, one unit is considered to be one hour of lecture class time and two hours per week of homework. For the typical three-unit class, a student spends three hours per week in class and should do six hours per week of homework. The total number of class contact hours per semester equals the credit hours multiplied by 15 weeks.
    • For a laboratory class, the hours per week are considered to be all in class with no outside assignments. Thus, one unit is three hours per week of laboratory time.
    • Where a course includes “by arrangement lab hours,” these generally take the place of the hours assigned to homework, since the student is required to use supervised college facilities to do assignments related to homework. An example might be a 3-unit lecture course which requires the student also to work two hours per week in the computer lab. There would be only four hours per week of additional homework required.
  • In all cases, but particularly in cases such as online learning where seat time is non-verifiable, credit hours are awarded on the basis of documented student learning outcomes that reflect the amount of academically engaged time for a typical student in a traditional format, and on the basis of documentation of the amount and type of work a typical student is expected to complete within a specified period of academically engaged time. The number of credit hours awarded is based on the number and/or rigor of student learning outcomes, with the higher number of credit hours awarded yielding greater number and/or rigor of outcomes.

Availability of Courses

USF does not commit itself to offer all the courses, majors, and majors listed in this catalog unless there is sufficient demand to justify them. Some courses may be offered only in alternate semesters or years, or even less frequently if there is little demand.

Mandatory First-Day Attendance Policy

All students are required to attend class the first day a class meets, for both online and on-campus courses. Students unable to attend must contact the instructor prior to the first day to ensure they are not dropped from the course. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.).   To avoid fee liability and academic penalty, the student is responsible for insuring that he/she has dropped or been dropped from all undesired courses by the end of the 5th day of classes. (See USF Regulation – Registration – 4.0101,https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfregulation40101

Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students

In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10) (g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfpolicy10-045

Students are expected to notify their instructors at the beginning of each academic term if they intend to be absent for a class or announced examination, in accordance with this policy. Students absent for religious reasons, as noticed to the instructor at the beginning of each academic term, will be given reasonable opportunities to make up any work missed. In the event that a student is absent for religious reasons on a day when the instructor collects work for purposes of grading (homework, pop quiz, etc.), the student shall be given a reasonable opportunity to make up such work or shall not have that work averaged into the student’s grade at the discretion of the instructor.

Cross-listing 4000/6000 Courses

It is expected that the 4000 and 6000 courses will have distinct syllabi demonstrating different depth and breadth of the subject matter as reflected in the course requirements. The courses presuppose different audiences, and the intention is to offer them at distinct levels.

Course Currency

All courses, with the exception of those approved for transfer of credit, should meet the time limit specified for the degree and be academically relevant as determined by the faculty in the graduate major. Courses used for the graduate degree requirements can be no more than ten years old at the time the degree is conferred.

Course Descriptions

For a listing of the most current, approved course descriptions refer to the USF Course Inventory Database available online at https://www.systemacademics.usf.edu/course-inventory/ or in the course description listing in the Graduate Catalog.

Course Syllabi Policy

Refer to USF Policy 11-008


After a student has completed his/her registration on the date assigned, he/she may add a course(s) during the drop/add week (i.e. through the fifth day of classes) through the OASIS system. Courses may be added with instructor approval and verification up to the last day to withdraw without academic penalty. See Academic Calendar  for deadlines. Courses may not be added after the deadline to withdraw without academic penalty or retroactively except in cases of University Administrative error.


A student may drop a course(s) during the drop/add periods (first five days of classes) in order for the course(s) not to appear on any permanent academic records. No tuition or fees will be assessed for course(s) dropped within that period. Courses may not be dropped after the last day of classes except in cases of University Administrative error.

Withdrawal - A student may withdraw from a course(s) between the second and tenth week of the semester (except for summer sessions - see the Summer Schedule of Classes for dates). However, tuition and fees will be assessed for any course(s) withdrawn by the student after the first week. The student’s academic record will reflect a “W” grade for any course(s) withdrawn between the second and tenth week of the semester. Under specific conditions, consideration for refund of tuition and fees may be requested if a Fee Adjustment Request form accompanied by verifiable supporting documentation is submitted to the Office of the Registrar within six (6) months from the end of the semester to which any refund would be applicable. Students who withdraw may not continue to attend classes.

Effective Fall 2016, all graduate students will be limited to a total of two course withdrawals while enrolled as a degree-seeking or a non-degree seeking taking graduate courses at USF. Only in extenuating circumstances will approval be granted for more than two course withdrawals. Appeals for additional course withdrawals due to extenuating circumstances must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies via the Graduate Petition process.

Fee Adjustment Options

Students who receive approval to drop a course during the second through tenth week of classes are liable for tuition and fees. However, the student may apply for a Fee Adjustment through the Registrar’s Office if the student has expereinced exceptional circumstances. The Fee Adjustment form may be submitted after the petition to drop is approved and processed. The Registrar will determine if a fee/tuition refund is applicable.


A “delete” completely removes the course from the record with no history that it was ever part of the record. Courses will not be deleted from a student’s record except in cases of University Administrative error. Requests for course deletions must be submitted only during the semester in which the error has occurred and only with written explanation from college faculty or administrative staff verifying the error. Such requests must be submitted by the last day of classes and approved by the College Dean or designee and the Office of Graduate Studies Dean/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in St. Petersburg or Sarasota or designee. Retroactive requests for course deletions will not be approved. Faculty and students are encouraged to review course enrollment to verify accuracy of registration. In the event of extenuating circumstances such as documented medical emergencies, military leave or University error, students may request special consideration for deletions or retroactive deletions in writing to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Retroactive Actions

Requests for retroactive actions will no longer be considered/approved. Also see Academic Record.

Auditing Privileges and Fees

A student who wishes to sit in on a class to review the course material may do so; however, the student is not allowed to take exams, earn grades, or receive credit. The student’s status for that class is an audit and his/her presence in the classroom is as a listener. Audit status must be obtained only during the first five days of the term by filing an Audit Form and a date-stamped permit from the college/department on the campus where the course is being offered, with the Registrar’s Office. Audit forms should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office/Office of Records and Registration at the St. Petersburg or Sarasota Campus .  IN-STATE fees are assessed for all audit courses. Procedure and forms for requesting to audit are available on the Registrar’s websites: http://www.registrar.usf.edu/

Cancellation of Registration before First Class Meeting

Students may cancel their registration by notifying the Office of the Registrar/Office of Registration and Records at the St. Petersburg and Sarasota Campus in writing prior to the first day of classes. If fees have already been paid, the student may request a full refund of fees and tuition from the Cashier’s Office. For convenience, offices are located on all three campuses:

Tampa Campus : Cashier’s Office: (813) 974-6056
St. Petersburg Campus Cashier’s Office: (727) 873-4107
Sarasota-Manatee Campus Cashier’s Office: (941)359-4220

Voluntary Withdrawal (from the major)

A student may voluntarily withdraw from their graduate major. A Voluntary Withdrawal cannot be retroactive. The effective date of the withdrawal will be entered into the student’s record by the Office of the Registrar as the first business day after the end of the semester in which the request for Voluntary Withdrawal is submitted. Students who wish to withdraw must submit a Voluntary Withdrawal Form, available from the Office of Graduate Studies:  https://www.usf.edu/graduate-studies/forms.aspx


Once processed, the student’s status will be changed from Graduate Degree Seeking to Non-Degree Seeking. A change to Non-Degree Seeking status could adversely impact financial aid. Questions regarding the impact on financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office. For convenience, offices are located on all three campuses:
Tampa Campus : (813) 974-4700
St. Petersburg Campus : (727) 873-4128
Sarasota Campus : (941)359-4459.
The student will remain financially and academically responsible for any course(s) they have registered for. The student may request to drop or delete courses they are registered for by submitting an Office of Graduate Studies Petition.

Academic Dismissal

Students may be academically dismissed from their graduate major for a variety of reasons. Once processed, the student’s status will be changed from Graduate Degree Seeking to Non-Degree Seeking. A change to Non-Degree Seeking status could adversely impact financial aid. Dismissal cannot be retroactive. The effective date will be entered into the student’s record by the Office of the Registrar as the First Business Day after the end of the Semester in which the student is academically dismissed, except in cases of academic dismissal due to academic dishonesty or disruption of academic process. Some of the reasons for academic dismissal include*:

  • Failure to successfully satisfy requirements to meet Conditional Admission by the deadline established by the major.
  • Receiving an “FF” grade
  • Failure to maintain “good standing”
  • Failure to make satisfactory progress

*students may be dismissed for other reasons, such as violations of student conduct. Refer to the USF Policy – 6.0021 Code of Student Conduct USF (https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfregulation60021) for more information.

To be readmitted, the student will need to reapply for admission, meeting the admission criteria in place at the time. Graduate students who are assigned an “FF” grade will be academically dismissed from the University and will not be eligible to apply to any graduate major at USF.