Maintaining Continuous Enrollment

In the doctoral program, each participant/candidate must remain continuously enrolled in course work at UTC or another institution. Continuous enrollment in the doctoral program applies to the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. During the core program of study, each participant is required to enroll in 6 core credit hours as described in the core course sequence. Enrollment in more than 6 core credit hours requires Program Director/Advisor pre-approval in writing.

Once the core program of study has been completed, the participant is required to remain continuously enrolled in course work (between 3-6 elective credit hours per semester) followed by LEAD 7700 Pre-Dissertation Seminar (3 credit hours). If a participant enrolls in approved elective coursework at another institution and does not enroll at UTC for the given semester, the participant must provide the LEAD Program Office with official proof of enrollment by the end of the UTC registration period in order to satisfy continuous enrollment standards.

Participants who have successfully completed all pre-candidacy requirements with the exception of the Comprehensive Assessment are required to maintain continuous enrollment by enrolling in LEAD 7995 Comprehensive Assessment Continuance (minimum of 2 credit hours) in order to prepare for successful defense of the Comprehensive Assessment. Participants may enroll in LEAD 7995 Comprehensive Assessment Continuance a maximum of two semesters. Failure to complete the Comprehensive Assessment within two semesters after finalizing the core program of study will result in program dismissal.

Following admission to candidacy, the candidate is required to continuously enroll in LEAD 7999 Dissertation (minimum of 2 credit hours) every semester through the successful defense of the Dissertation and acceptance of the Dissertation by the Graduate School. Failure to remain continuously enrolled will result in program dismissal.

Requesting a Leave of Absence

During any stage of the doctoral program, a participant/candidate may request a one-time leave of absence by emailing the Program Office (utclead@utc.edu) with a detailed reason for the request. The Program Office will provide a pre-populated form for the participant to digitally sign and return to the Program Office (utclead@utc.edu). If approved at the program level, the request will be submitted for review to the Graduate School. The leave of absence may not exceed one calendar year (maximum of three semesters). The complete Leave of Absence policy, including the Pregnancy / Childbirth / Adoption Leave policy, is available in the Graduate Catalog (link: Academic Policies for Graduate Students).

Pre-Candidacy

If the participant has not yet advanced to candidacy prior to the leave of absence, s/he will not be permitted to enroll in any course work during the leave of absence (core, elective, or transfer credits). The participant’s academic standing will not be affected by the leave of absence. If a participant fails to enroll once the leave of absence has expired, s/he will be dismissed from the program.

Re-engagement: In order to return to the program following an approved leave of absence, the participant should contact the Program Office (utclead@utc.edu) in writing a minimum of 14 days prior to the start of the semester to request to re-engage. If approved, the participant will need to apply for readmission to the Graduate School and must meet all graduate regulations in effect upon readmission. Following readmission, s/he will receive advisement on completing academic coursework.

Candidacy/Dissertation Researcher:

If the participant has advanced to candidacy prior to the leave of absence, s/he is not permitted to conduct any material work on the Dissertation or collect any data during the leave of absence. The leave of absence is not an opportunity to conduct work on the Dissertation while avoiding Continuous Enrollment. If a candidate fails to enroll once the leave of absence has expired, s/he will be dismissed from the program.

Re-engagement: In order to return to the program following an approved leave of absence, the candidate should contact the Program Office (utclead@utc.edu) in writing a minimum of 28 days prior to the start of the semester to request to re-engage and will be required to provide an estimated timeline for degree completion. If approved, the candidate will need to apply for readmission to the Graduate School and must meet all graduate regulations in effect upon readmission. Following readmission, s/he will resume enrollment in Dissertation.

Request to Withdraw

If a participant/candidate elects to withdraw completely from the doctoral program, s/he must notify the Program Office (utclead@utc.edu) in writing of his/her intent to withdraw. At that time, the Program Office will provide instructions for next steps, including the process to drop any currently enrolled courses. The participant/candidate is accountable for fulfillment of any outstanding financial or academic responsibilities. Once withdrawn (or dismissed), a participant/candidate would need to reapply to the doctoral program in order to return. Readmission would require full participation in the program admission process and all regulations in effect at the time of readmission.