Academic Policies


Grades in the MIDP Program are as follows: A, B, C, F, I, X, Z, and W.

I (incomplete) indicates that some portion of the student’s work is lacking, for an acceptable reason, at the time the grades are reported. Sanford School graduate students have up to one year to resolve an incomplete (I), or it will become a permanent part of the student’s record. The student and instructor should coordinate a timeline for submission of the missing work. Program or continuation fees may be assessed for students who must register for an additional semester to resolve an incomplete. Incompletes may not count towards graduation requirements.

The grade of X indicates that a student has missed the final examination for a course and must make it up by the end of the fifth week of the following semester to receive a grade for the course.

The grade of Z indicates satisfactory progress at the end of the first semester of a two-semester course. For graduate students enrolled in the summer session, a temporary I for a course may be assigned after the student has submitted a written request. If the request is approved by the instructor of the course, then the student must satisfactorily complete the work prior to the last day of classes of the subsequent summer term.

A grade of W indicates that the student officially withdrew from the course.

A grade of F in a core course will normally result in dismissal. Failure to maintain at least a 3.0 (B) cumulative grade point average or receiving a grade below a B- in any core course or an F in any other course will result in academic probation. To remain in good academic standing, and to graduate from the MIDP Program, students must maintain at least a 3.0 (B) cumulative grade point average. Students falling below this average jeopardize their financial support and are subject to dismissal.


Master’s Students. Full-time master’s candidates must register for a minimum 9.0 course credits per semester to maintain full-time status. Full-time students may enroll in less than 9.0 course credits only in their final semester of study if they are assured that they will graduate from their program upon completion of that semester.

Registration Periods. All students enrolled in the MIDP who have not been granted a leave of absence must register each academic semester until all degree requirements are completed. New students will register upon matriculation to their program or during new student orientation; continuing students register during the announced registration periods set by the Office of the University Registrar.

Late Registration. All students are expected to register at the times specified by the university. A late registration fee is charged to any student who registers after the specified time period.

Summer Registration. Students enrolling in summer classes may begin registering mid-spring semester. The exact Drop/Add schedule will be determined and published each year by the Office of the University Registrar. Summer session students may drop and add courses according to the dates set by the Registrar’s office. Graduate students who are completing coursework remaining from a previous semester due to an incomplete grade must register for CONTPPS 1-01 during the summer semester and pay the continuation fee.

Paying Tuition and Fees. The university provides tuition and fees statements online. All tuition and fees should be paid at least five full working days prior to the first day of class (see summer session calendar). Students who fail to register and pay all tuition and fees before this deadline will be assessed a penalty by the Bursar. Failure to pay tuition and fees by the end of the Drop/Add period will result in administrative penalty. Please see the Bursar’s website for full information.

Additional Registration Requirements. It is necessary to be a full-time student, according to Duke’s regulations, in order to be eligible for student loans and the Student Health Center service, including student health accident and sickness insurance.

Full-time students in any degree program may audit courses without charge during the fall and spring semesters, if approved by the faculty member teaching the course. Students should obtain faculty permission prior to registering for the class. If the student is not in full-time status, an audit fee is charged.

Transfer of Credits. After successful completion of the first year of study, a maximum of 6.0 course credits of graduate credit may be transferred for graduate courses completed at other universities. Such credits will be transferred only if the student has received a grade of B (or its equivalent) or better and if the work is not more than two years old. To be awarded a degree, the recording of transfer credit must be completed before the conclusion of the Drop/Add period of the final semester of study. Requests for transfer must be submitted on the approved Sanford School form. Students enrolled in the one-year degree program are not eligible for transfer credits. Credit hours, not content, are transferable.

Retroactive Credit. Credit for graduate courses taken at Duke by a student (not undergraduate) before degree admission to the Sanford School or while registered as a nondegree student may be carried over into a Sanford graduate degree program if

  • the action is recommended by the student’s director of graduate studies;

  • the amount of such credit does not exceed 12.0 course credits;

  • the work has received grades of B or better;

  • the work is not more than two years old; and

  • the student applies for and is granted formal admission into a Sanford graduate degree program.

Time Limit for Completion of the Master’s Degree. Students who are unable to complete the master’s degree requirements within 150 percent of the normal time for completion may appeal for an extension due to extraordinary circumstances or reasons approved by the dean. Students must submit an appeal to and obtain the approval of their director of graduate studies and the associate dean for academic programs. The change of an expected graduation date may be subject to the completion of new program requirements.

Leave of Absence. Unforeseen circumstances (e.g., family crisis, medical issue) may require a student to take a leave of absence (LOA) from the program for a period of up to two semesters. A request for a leave of absence should originate from the student and be endorsed by the director of graduate studies. Students who have been on a leave of absence and intend to resume a degree program must give their director of graduate studies and program administrators a written notice of intention thirty days before registration. Typically, a student can request an LOA only after completion of at least one full semester of the program.

Withdrawal from a Course. If a course must be dropped after the official Drop/Add period ends for a given semester, the fellow must formally withdraw from the course by obtaining the approval of the instructor and DGS via an online request process. All withdrawals will be noted on the permanent record as Withdrew (W).

Withdrawal from the Program. In the event of death, refund of full tuition and fees for the term will be granted. In all other cases of withdrawal from the university, students may have tuition refunded according to the refund schedule which is updated annually on the Bursar’s website and provided below. Tuition charges paid from grants or loans will be restored to those funds on the same pro rata basis and will not be refunded or carried forward. The student health fee will not be refunded.

Withdrawal before classes begin

Full refund, including fees*

Withdrawal during the first or second week of classes

80 percent refund*

Withdrawal during the third, fourth, or fifth week of classes

60 percent refund*

Withdrawal during the sixth week of classes

20 percent refund*

Withdrawal after the sixth week

No refund*

*Fees are not refunded after the start of the term.