Culminating Experience Continuous Enrollment Policy

Reference Number: S19-246
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Presidential Approval Date: 
Monday, May 13, 2019

 Policy #:                       S19-246

Supersedes:                 S08-246

Senate Approval:          04/23/2019

Presidential Approval:   05/13/2019

Effective:                      Fall 2019

Last Review:                 Spring 2019

 Next Review:                 Spring 2029




Renew a mechanism used to maintain graduate student continuous enrollment.



Responsible Unit

Division of Graduate Studies, Dean of Graduate Studies, College of Extended Learning









  • Removes specific deadlines in which the policy expires.
  • Removes language about a specific report from Graduate Studies.









Table of Contents


1) Graduate students enroll in Culminating Experience (CE) course through regular university registration after their Culminating Experience Proposal (including Human/or Animal Subjects approval, if required) has been approved. Enrollment in the CE course should require students to submit a timetable, developed with their graduate coordinator, demonstrating that the CE will be completed within two semesters.

2) Students have the semester they enroll in the CE and the following semester to complete their degree requirements. If all requirements except the CE are completed during the semester students enroll in the CE, they do not need to enroll the following semester.

3) Students who do not complete their CE during the semester of enrollment in the CE or the following semester (the “grace” semester) must enroll in a zero-unit College of Extended Learning (CEL) CE course every subsequent semester until the CE is completed. Enrollment in the CEL CE course provides students access to SFSU libraries, discipline-associated laboratories and facilities, and CE advisors. Students will be assumed to have withdrawn from their degree program if they fail to maintain continuous enrollment status after the grace semester. (For the purpose of this policy, only the fall and spring semesters are counted as semesters.)

4) Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment in their CE course and subsequently return to complete their CE within the 7-year time limit to complete requirements for graduate degrees must be reinstated in their degree program. To be reinstated, students must retroactively enroll in the CEL CE course for all semesters after the initial CE enrollment except the grace semester and file a new Proposal for Culminating Experience. Students who are past the 7-year limit must formally reapply for admission to the program in which they were completing their CE. No guarantee of admission can be assumed. If readmitted, students shall follow the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission and must submit a new Graduate Approved Program to the Division of Graduate Studies.

5) Continuous enrollment CEL CE course fees may be waived for very exceptional, documented circumstances. Graduate student requests for a waiver must include verifiable documentation for serious, medically-related absences, financial hardship, or other extenuating situations. Questions regarding the procedures for the waiver request should be directed to the Graduate Division. The Graduate Council will review fee-waiver requests and advise the Graduate Division on these requests.

6) The fee for the zero-unit CE course will be set annually, following consultation between the Deans of CEL and the Division of Graduate Studies. The fee cannot exceed the Open University laboratory unit fee.

7) Funds generated from Open University enrollment will be returned as follows per enrolled student:

80% to the department, program, or unit from which the student’s degree will be awarded; and·20% to CEL.