Our office hours will change for the summer starting on Monday June 5.  We will be available as follows:

  • Mondays – we will be working remotely and can be reached via email (graduateoffice@wesleyan.edu), phone, and can meet you on Zoom.
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – one or both of us will be in the office on campus. Stop in or contact us via email (graduateoffice@wesleyan.edu).

  • Fridays – we will be closed on Fridays through Aug 4. Contact Wesleyan Public Safety if you have an emergency, 860-685-2345.

  • The University be closed for the following summer holidays:
    Juneteenth on Monday June 19
    Independence Day on Monday and Tuesday July 3-4



The Graduate Studies Handbook contains information about degree programs, academic program requirements, and general regulations.

  • Graduate Education at Wesleyan University
    Graduate Studies constitutes an essential element of Wesleyan, an independent university of the liberal arts and sciences founded in 1831. Wesleyan offers Graduate Studies programs leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. There are approximately 175 graduate students in Graduate Studies programs.
  • Degree Programs
  • Administration


    Graduate studies at Wesleyan are overseen by the director of graduate studies and the director of graduate student services. The two directors work closely together on all aspects of the program that are related to academics and Graduate Community Standards Board matters. Matters related entirely to student life are handled by the Office of Graduate Student Services.


    The Office of Graduate Student Services is the administrative center for graduate students enrolled in the master of arts (MA) or doctor of philosophy (PhD) programs at Wesleyan. The general responsibilities of the office include graduate admission, academic records, registration and enrollment, payroll and stipend maintenance, health insurance administration, graduation audit, commencement, and the Graduate Community Standards Board. The Office of Graduate Student Services is also responsible for the administration of services to students in the BA/MA program in the natural sciences, mathematics, and psychology; the graduate German exchange programs; the foreign language teaching assistants in Romance languages, Asian languages, Hindi and Arabic languages; and the writing fellow. 


    The Graduate Council is the advisory board for graduate studies programs. In conjunction with graduate academic departments, the Graduate Council maintains academic standards, approves and recommends changes in broad educational policy at the graduate level, advises the administration on other matters pertaining to graduate education, and oversees the work of the Graduate Community Standards Board. The council consists of one representative from each of the six PhD-granting programs, one representative each from two departments offering two-year MA programs, one non-voting representative from the psychology department, one representative and the president from the Graduate Student Association, and the director of the Office of Graduate Student Services. The director of graduate studies is ex officio chair of the Graduate Council.

  • Application
  • Admission to Candidacy

    Admission to Candidacy


    Prior to initial registration, students will arrange a program of study with the department in which they are accepted. The program may be confined to a single field, or it may include work in more than one field if recommended by the academic advisor in the department in which the degree is to be awarded. Programs generally include research leading to the thesis or dissertation, with the student registering in Advanced Research (549 and 550) courses in their field of study. At least two thirds of the coursework contributing to the  degree program must be carried out under the direction of members of the Wesleyan faculty.


    Evidence of the candidate’s proficiency in the approved program of study shall be determined by 1) an examination, oral or written or both, and 2) a thesis/dissertation.  In addition to the minimum requirements, departments may, at their discretion, set oral or written examinations, or other prescribed work, exercises, or requirements, at any point in the program.

    1. Each degree candidate must pass an oral examination. All examinations are conducted at the University.

    2. The candidate is required to upload a complete final copy of the thesis/dissertation to WesScholar. The thesis must have the approval, in writing, of two or more instructors from the appropriate department.

  • General Procedures



    Graduate students are required to enroll in the University via their Wesleyan portal at the beginning of each semester. A student who fails to complete the semester’s enrollment by the deadline may be charged a fee of $25 for late enrollment.


    Requirements for the degree of master of arts may be satisfied in two years of full-time study. The requirements must ordinarily be met within four years from the start of the semester in which the student was admitted to candidacy. There is a $250 continuation fee per semester after two years of study. The student must have approval of the faculty advisor or chair of the department to continue beyond the first two years.
    Graduate students at the PhD level who are paid a stipend continue to receive full tuition waiver and insurance benefits as part of their compensation for service to the University as either a teaching assistant, a research assistant, or in some other capacity.
    Stipend payments and tuition remission are contingent upon the student remaining in good academic standing and fulfilling the work expectations of the assistantship as defined by the department.


    Grad students in the BA/MA program: NONE (tuition remission for two consecutive semesters)
    Grad students not on stipend:
         Tutorial/research, first credit $250/SEMESTER
         Regular courses $7,965.25/CREDIT/1 COURSE (2022–2023)
    Grad students supported on stipend NONE (tuition remission)

    Petition for tuition aid in cases of extreme hardship may be made through the student’s home department to the director of graduate studies. Graduate applicants may not be admitted without a stipend unless authorized by the provost and vice president of academic affairs.


    All students are responsible for informing the University of name and address changes so that University records are up to date. Students should enter changes in their electronic portal. Written notice of a change of name should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Student Services.


    Students who complete coursework and continue to conduct research and work on writing a thesis/dissertation are considered
    ABD (All But Dissertation). ABD students fall into one of three categories:

    ABD ENRL (ABD Enrolled): Students may be ABD-ENRL for up to 10 semesters

    · Enrolled in the University
    · Eligible to enroll in courses
    · Registered for Advanced Research (549/550)
    · Not charged a continuation fee
    · Eligible for campus housing
    · Eligible for loan deferment
    · May or may not receive a stipend

    ABD Field: Students may be ABD Field for up to four semesters; the semesters of ABD Field are considered part of the 10 overall semesters of ABD Enrolled

    · Off campus conducting research in the field
    · Not enrolled in courses or research
    · Not eligible for campus housing

    ABD-NOT (ABD Not Enrolled): Students may be ABD-NOT for up to 10 semesters

    · PhD and MA: Not enrolled in courses including Advanced Research (549/550) and tutorials
    · BA/MA: Successfully completed courses as outlined in the program of study including Advanced Research (549/550), but not completed thesis
    · Not receiving a stipend
    · Not eligible for campus housing
    · Charged $250 per semester continuation fee for up to 10 semesters
    · Not eligible for student loan deferment

  • Leaves of Absence, Withdrawal, Separation

    Leaves of Absence 

    Students in a Graduate Studies program may temporarily interrupt study due to personal exigencies or for medical reasons.  There are two types of leave: Graduate Leave of Absence and Graduate Medical Leave. 

    Graduate Leave of Absence (Updated April 2023)

    Students wishing to take a leave of absence must submit a request for leave of absence to the Office of Graduate Student Services. The leave of absence is intended for students not planning to obtain academic credit while on leave. Those students expecting to return from a leave of absence must notify the Office of Graduate Student Services of their intention. This notification must be in writing, with the endorsement of the academic advisor, and must be received no later than April 1 or December 1 prior to the semester of return.

    • Students are not eligible for University funding during their leave of absence. This includes tuition remission and stipend support.

    • Students are not eligible for University graduate housing during their leave of absence.

    • Students on leave are not eligible for the services of the Davison Health Center or Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) during their leave of absence.

    • Students on leave may continue their Wesleyan-sponsored health plan coverage provided that they have fully paid the premium for this coverage while enrolled at the University. For more information, go to gallagherstudent.com.

    A leave of absence is typically granted for one semester or one academic year.  Students may request to extend a leave by contacting the director of graduate student services and his/her faculty advisor. Extensions must be requested prior to the expiration of the original leave. A student on a leave for more than four consecutive semesters will be administratively withdrawn from the university.  Application for readmission is required. 

    Graduate Medical Leave (Updated June 2022)

    During the course of their enrollment at Wesleyan, some students will need to take a medical leave because a medical and/or psychological issue temporarily prevents them from successful and productive participation in the University.

    A medical leave is authorized by the Director of Graduate Studies on the basis of a recommendation from the medical director of Davison Health Center or the director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Students on a medical leave are expected to focus on the evaluation of, treatment for, and management of the illness or condition which necessitated the leave. The Director of Graduate Student Services will communicate the terms of the leave as well as the conditions and procedures for returning to Wesleyan. When a medical leave is authorized, students are withdrawn from the courses in which they are enrolled. In exceptional cases, some incomplete grades may be granted, depending on course content and the date of the leave.

    Please note that any semester in which a grade is given is counted as a Wesleyan semester for purposes of graduation.

    Requesting a Medical Leave

    1. Meet with the Director of Graduate Student Services to discuss a potential medical leave.
      1. The Director of Graduate Student Services can assist in facilitating a meeting with the medical director of Davison Health Center or the director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
      2. In cases where a primary medical provider or therapist is off campus, students may request a letter (sent directly to the medical director of Davison Health Center or CAPS) recommending and supporting a medical leave. The letter should include details regarding the condition, illness or diagnosis, and an anticipated plan of evaluation and treatment.
    2. After the request has been reviewed by the appropriate Wesleyan staff member, the medical director of Davison Health Center or the director of CAPS will forward their recommendation to the Director of Graduate Student Services. The Director of Graduate Student Services will confer with the Director of Graduate Studies and communicate the terms of the leave as well as the conditions and procedures for returning to Wesleyan.

    The minimum duration of a medical leave is the balance of the semester in which it is authorized. Students are eligible to initiate a request to return once they have received appropriate treatment and consulted with their CAPS therapist or Davison Health Center.

    Engaging in on-campus activities while on medical leave cannot be considered part of a student’s treatment plan.

    Mandatory Medical Leave

    In situations where a student is unable or unwilling to carry out substantial self-care obligations, where current medical knowledge and/or the best available objective evidence indicates that a student poses a significant risk to the health or safety of others, or where a student poses an actual risk to their own safety (not based on speculation, stereotypes, or generalizations about individuals with disabilities) and the student does not want to take a leave voluntarily, the Director of Graduate Studies has the authority to place the student on a medical leave.

    Returning from a Medical Leave

    Students currently on a medical leave should notify the Director of Graduate Student Services when they are prepared to return to Wesleyan. Indication of intent to return are due by June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. 

    The primary provider responsible for treatment during the leave should provide diagnosis and treatment documentation directly to the medical director of Davison Health Center or the director of CAPS by June 15 and November 15 respectively. The deadline for receipt of all required materials and interview is July 1 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester.


                                         For Fall Semester         For Spring Semester  

     Intent to Return Notification

     (to Davison Health Services or CAPS and Director of Graduate Student Services)


     June 1

    March 20 in order to participate in course pre-registration and housing selection.

    November 1

     Provider’s Documentation

     (to Davison Health Services)


     June 15 

     November 15

     Final interview

    (Davison Health Services or CAPS)


     July 1

     December 1


    After the case has been reviewed by the appropriate Wesleyan staff member, the medical director of Davison Health Services or the director of CAPS will meet with the Director of Graduate Student Services concerning the student’s preparedness to return to the University as a full-time student. The Director of Graduate Studies will make the final decision concerning the student’s return. The Director of Graduate Student Services will communicate the decision to the student, and coordinate the student’s return to campus. After returning from a medical leave, students will be expected to meet with appropriate staff member(s) as directed. Periodic meetings with the Director of Graduate Student Services will also be expected.

    Students who believe the implementation of these policies or procedures are in violation of ADA/Section 504 statutes, should contact Wesleyan’s vice president for Equity & Inclusion.

    Parental Leave (updated June 2022)

    Graduate students who receive University-funded stipends are eligible for a twelve-week paid parental leave. This applies to both birth and adoption. In most cases, the twelve-week leave should be taken when the child is born or adopted. In some instances, subject to approval, the leave may be delayed but not usually beyond six months of the child coming into the home.

    Graduate students will receive six weeks of pay from Wesleyan and six weeks of pay from the State of Connecticut in accordance with the State of Connecticut Paid Leave (CT PL), effective Jan 1, 2022, which states:  The state will provide income-replacement benefits for up to 12 weeks while you take time away from work for the “birth of a child and bonding with child”. To apply for CT PL benefits, you must contact the State of CT directly via their online portal at www.ctpaidleave.org or telephonically at 877-499-8606.  Claims cannot be submitted more than 30-days prior to the birth of child. You will not receive payments that exceed 100% of your pay.  During your leave of absence you will receive two payments –one from Wesleyan and one from the State of Connecticut (through AFLAC).  

    Voluntary Withdrawal

    This term applies to a student who withdraws from a program of study at any time on the student’s own initiative, but with the approval of the graduate department or program chair, and of the director of graduate studies.

    The Office of Graduate Student Services must be informed, in writing, of the desire to withdraw. This notice must include a statement from the department or program chair stating the conditions of termination, recommendations for recording grades, and the conditions of readmission, if applicable.


    This designation refers to students required to resign for academic reasons. This category of discipline is used when the student’s academic deficiencies are so serious as to warrant the student’s departure from the University. The director of graduate student services receives written notification directly from the faculty advisor or department chair. The notation “separated” will be entered on the student’s official transcript.


  • Grades and Completion of Work in Courses

    Grades and Completion of Work in Courses

    A student’s work toward the MA or PhD degree is graded as follows: A, excellent, numerical value, 95; B, good, 85; C, 75; D, 65; E, 55; and F, 45. Letter grades may be modified by the use of plus and minus signs.

    A faculty member, in designing any course or tutorial, has the option of giving grades of CR (credit) or U (unsatisfactory) to all members of the course. This option is declared when the course is submitted to the department for inclusion in the curriculum, and information that the course is to be graded on a CR-U basis should be available to students before their registration in the course. Any faculty member employing the CR-U system shall submit a written evaluation of each student’s work in the course to the registrar.

    In programs leading to the degree of doctor of philosophy or master of arts, the student must earn a grade of B- (80) or better in courses where letter grades are awarded. This required minimum grade also applies to the student’s performance on the oral examination in the department’s master’s program, to the thesis independent study, and to thesis research. Stipend payments and tuition remission are contingent upon a student remaining in good academic standing and fulfilling the work expectations of the assistantship as defined by the department.

    In case of failure to complete the required work of a course, the grade of IN (incomplete) may be awarded to a graduate student to provide an extension for the student to complete the requirement no later than 30 days after the last day of exams. Grades of incomplete will be accompanied by a provisional grade that will become the final grade if the outstanding work in the course is not submitted by deadline (no later than 30 days after exams).
  • Degree Requirements

    In addition to the department degree requirements posted in the University Catalog, graduate students in the PhD and MA programs who receive a stipend are required to enroll in one semester of graduate pedagogy. Degrees are awarded once each year at Commencement in May. Students who complete the requirements for the degree at other times during the year will receive the degree at the next Commencement.

  • Fees and Financial Aid


    In programs leading to the degrees of doctor of philosophy and master of arts, the tuition for the two semesters of the academic year 2022–2023 is $63,722, $7,965.25 per credit.  Most PhD and MA students receive full tuition remission. 

    Schedule of Special Fees for MA and PhD Candidates:

    Basic Student Health Insurance through Gallagaher Insurance: Refer to gallagherstudent.com
    Fees for Wesleyan-sponsored health insurance will be charged to the student’s account. Fees charged to the student’s account are the responsibility of the student.

    HMO Health Insurance through Cigna: Refer to cigna.com

    Graduate Student Activity Fee: $40 per academic year

    Financial Aid

    Arrangements for assistantships and the awarding of scholarships are made through individual graduate departments. Stipend arrangements vary by department. Applicants should refer to respective departments for details. Under current U.S. federal tax regulations, assistantship stipends to cover the cost of room and board are generally subject to U.S. federal income taxes. Students should consider consulting with a tax advisor regarding their particular situation. Limited dependency allowances are available for those who demonstrate financial need.

    Student Loans

    Graduate students may be eligible to borrow through the Federal Stafford Loan Program providing they are
    matriculated at least half-time and are either U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens.

    Graduate students may obtain information and application forms from the Financial Aid Office. Forms may be downloaded from wesleyan.edu/finaid. A separate Federal Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) is required from a lender. Once eligibility is determined, students will receive instructions regarding the steps to take to allow loan processing by the Wesleyan University Financial Aid Office. Application processing can take up to four weeks.

    International Students

    Passports must be valid for six months beyond the date on the Certificate of Eligibility (SEVIS Form I-20AB or DS-2019), which is provided by Wesleyan or the sponsoring agency. Students are responsible for maintaining the validity of passports throughout their time in the United States. The nearest consulate of the student’s home country will revalidate the passport or issue a new one if necessary. International students should contact the Designated School Official (DSO) for more information.

  • Graduate Community Standards Board
  • University Health Services
  • Graduate Housing
  • Graduate Student Association
  • Graduate Departments