Academic Advising


When a student enters a graduate program, the graduate coordinator should ensure that the student is advised on the necessary coursework and all other requirements for completing the certificate or degree (e.g., comprehensive exams, oral proposal defense, dissertation defense, graduation application), as well as the order in which the program requirements should be met.

In addition, coordinators should make sure that all students in their programs are advised each semester before the students register for classes. Please remember that the full course load for graduate students is nine hours per semester. Students wishing to take more than nine hours must get permission.

Graduate coordinators can request that BANNER place an advising hold on the accounts of students in their program. The hold requires students to be advised before they can register for the semester. The Graduate School encourages the use of the advising flags and degree plans to keep students on track for a timely graduation and to prevent students from attempting to “back door” their way into a program to which they have not been officially admitted.

Degree Plans

The most effective method for continual advising (especially in programs with more than one academic advisor) is the use of a degree plan checklist for each student. A degree plan allows the advisor to track and check off completed program requirements when the student is advised each semester. A generic Registration and Advisement form is available if needed.

To graduate, students must fulfill the program requirements listed in the Graduate Catalog for the year they enrolled. For example, if a student starts a program in fall 2013, he will graduate under the degree plan listed in the 2013-2014 catalog. When a student begins your program, record his beginning catalog year and T-number of his degree plan to ensure future accuracy.


Graduate Schools admissions coordinators are NOT allowed to give students advice regarding their program of study. Similarly, faculty and graduate coordinators may not ask admissions coordinators to register their students in classes. The Graduate School will only register graduate students at the students’ request and only when absolutely necessary.

Transfer Credit

If a student wishes to transfer credit from another graduate school, the credit must meet the degree criteria for the UALR program in which the student is enrolled. His or her advisor must fill out the Request for Transfer of Credit form. This form must be signed by the graduate coordinator as well as the advisor before being sent to the Graduate School. Please include an official transcript with the form.

Transfer work will only be accepted within five years of its completion. Consequently, it is important to file transfer paperwork as soon as possible (e.g., when the student begins your program or right after he or she completes a course at another institution) to make sure the coursework will count toward graduation. Coursework older than five years will NOT be accepted by the Graduate School.

Course Substitution

If a student takes a course at either UALR or another institution that substitutes for a required course or elective that is listed in the catalog, a Substitution of a Course for a Required Course or Elective form must be completed and submitted to the Graduate School. This will be required for graduation processing.

Return to Graduate Coordinator Handbook