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Graduate Student Research Leave

All Ph.D. students in good standing can enroll in a one semester .25 research leave in either the fall or spring semester of their 2nd or 3rd year in the program.  The research leave takes the place of .25 teaching assignment. Students may work on a faculty member’s project or they may pursue their own line of research.  All research assistants (RAs) must be supervised by a faculty member. Faculty members will provide guidance throughout the research assistantship and ultimately assign a grade of satisfactory/unsatisfactory at the end of the semester.


  1. The student contacts a faculty member (does not have to be the advisor) to discuss the possibility of working with her/him.  The faculty member must agree to work with the student on the research leave project. However, your advisor must approve the research leave.
  2. Once an agreement has been reached, the student fills out a form that requires:
    1. A brief description of the project
    2. Timeline/Deliverables for completion
    3. Signature of supporting faculty member
    4. Signature of advisor
    5. The form can be requested from the Graduate Secretary or accessed here
      This step must be completed by October 15 for Spring and March 15 for Fall.
  3. The student registers for 1 hour research credit (COM 699)
  4. The student submits a brief summary of the work completed to the coordinating faculty member at the end of the semester
  5. Faculty member assigns S(satisfactory)/U(unsatisfactory) grade


High Density Panel or Scholar-to-Scholar Poster Session