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Policies and Procedures

The policies and procedures of the Graduate School have been established to ensure that a consistent set of standards are followed from the admissions process all the way through to the awarding of degrees for every Graduate School program. 

Graduate School Policy Handbook

Please note that, while the Handbook undergoes an update each calendar year, the PDF document for each year's Handbook may be updated at any time throughout the year to reflect minor changes, such as new or edited web links (URLs), addresses/locations, revised personnel or contact information, and correction of typographical errors. The Graduate School recommends that faculty, staff, and students click to open the most current PDF linked below each time you need a policy reference, rather than rely upon a previously downloaded PDF or hard copy of the Policy Handbook.

policy_2016-17 2016–2017

Policy_2015-16 2015–2016

Recent Changes to Graduate School Policy, Annotated

These changes begin with the 2015–2016 academic year, when the Graduate School Policy Handbook was first published as an interactive PDF document.

Policy Affected

Handbook Page

Date of Change


Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Plan


Fall 2015

Number of required credit hours, course level, and maximum research hours added to clarify requirements.

Dismissal Appeals


Fall 2016

Dismissal policy and procedure wording updated to clarify roles of program coordinator, graduate school dean. Dismissal Appeals changed from subtopic to topic.

FERPA Statement


Fall 2016

New content. Notification of Rights under the Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act (FERPA) and Disclosure of Education Records in Health and Safety Emergencies policy statements added.

Academic Renewal

1, 26

Fall 2016

Updated Form GS00, “Request for Academic Renewal.” Clarified that Graduate School approval of form indicates consideration for readmission.



Fall 2016

New policy. Drafted 2/26/16, approved by Council 3/18/16; approved by Academic Council 3/31/16; outlines conditions and procedures for readmission to the University following a dismissal as a result of an undocumented/unapproved leave of absence.

Continuous Enrollment


Fall 2016

Updated policy. Verified 2/26/16 and adopted 3/31/16; approved 3/8/16 by Council; approved 3/31/16 by Academic Council. Topic updated to cross-reference new Leave of Absence policy and Readmission policy. Includes section on failure to maintain continuous enrollment.

Leave of Absence


Fall 2016

New policy. Verified and adopted 3/16/16; approved 3/8/16 by Council; approved 3/31/16 by Academic Council; outlines conditions under which a student may request a time-specific leave of absence, and procedure for doing so.

Academic Grievance


Fall 2016

“Procedures for Academic Grievance Committee” (p. 13) updated to replace requirement for transmission of paperwork by certified mail with transmission via secure email.

Application for Resident Status


Fall 2016

Under “State resident status,” clarified procedure and added link to Form GS35, “Request for Certification of South Carolina Residency.”

Appendix B: Statutes Governing In-state Residency Status


Fall 2016

Updated all residency status content excerpted from South Carolina Code of Laws/Regulations and included section endnotes.

Need Help Navigating the Policy Handbook? Click Here!

The Handbook includes interactive PDF features that will help you search topics, access links, and navigate within the document:

  • Table of Contents — Each entry is a clickable link to the text section for that topic.
  • Side tabs — The color-coded tabs at the left side of every page (including the cover) will take you to the start of each main section of the Handbook with a click.
  • Links (Hyperlinks) — Colored orange throughout the text, active links lead to Clemson University webpages, non-university pages, downloadable informational documents and forms, or related sections and topics within the Policy Handbook. Links in page footnotes are colored black but will still function.
  • “Back” button — Clicking the orange BACK button at the bottom right corner of any page will take you back to the last page and view you visited, much like the back button in a web browser.

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Graduate Catalog*


Previous Academic Years

*hosted on the Registrar's website

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)