University Studies 1290R and Departmental 1290R ("RP Policy" Continuous Enrollment Guidelines)

Per S17-5, University Policy, Required Enrollment for Culminating Graduate Students, graduate students who have completed all degree program requirements except the culminating experience must enroll in the 1-unit UNVS or departmental 1290R for the purpose of continuing enrollment.  Students of whom all of the following are true are subject to the policy: 

  • Graduate student
  • RP issued in Spring 2012 or thereafter for thesis or project course
  • Enrollment in no other courses
  • Completion of all degree requirements other than thesis, dissertation, project, comprehensive examination, or other program culminating experience
  • Effective Fall 2018, S17-5 will be implemented in courses-only programs
  • Note: Appointments for the 1290R require a filed graduation date set in the current or future semester

See: Continuous Enrollment Guidelines in Outline Format


In accordance with Academic Senate policy S17-5 (Required Enrollment for Report-in-Progress Units), the Fall 2012 semester marked the start of enforcement of the policy in each fall and spring semester (summer and intersession semesters are exempt). Graduate students with an RP grade in a thesis (299) or project (often 298) course in the Spring 2012 or later semester are required to enroll in a 1-unit supervisory course, either UNVS 1290R or the 1290R course in the student’s own department if available. Enrollment must be repeated in each semester until degree completion except in cases in which the department requires repeated enrollment in the original project or thesis course. There are no class meetings for the course as it is supervisory in nature; however, there will be a fee associated with it of approximately $280. “Stopping out,” or voluntary absence from the university, will not be permitted in the sense that registration will be compulsory for this unit each semester. Failure to register will result in a hold being put on graduation until the unit is retroactively added; a late fee will be associated with the retroactive action. 

The policy applies only to students who are taking no other courses. All degree requirements must have been completed, as once students are converted to “special session eligibility” status, they will not be able to return to regular session status. Should any requirements other than the thesis or project remain, special permission will have to be obtained from the Associate Vice President or Associate Dean of Graduate Studies to return to “non-RP status.” The basis of this stipulation is that, whereas it is conceivable that students are working on theses or projects before completing the remainder of their degree requirements, they should continue to take units in those subjects each semester. Students who have RPs on their records only prior to Spring 2012 are not subject to this policy unless they earn another RP in subsequent semesters. In addition, students on university-approved, formal leaves of absence will be exempt from this policy.

The policy includes language that allows for a waiver of UNVS 1290R or Departmental 1290R enrollment if the student can document a lack of reasonable attention or guidance by the thesis or project supervisor. If the student has been prevented from making satisfactory progress toward completion of the culminating experience by the advisor, the case can be presented in writing to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

Registration Process

Because enrolling in the 1290R requires converting the student record from regular to special session, Registration for the 1-unit UNVS 1290R or Departmental 1290R course must be delayed until students are given the opportunity to enroll in other courses. For this reason, appointments open shortly after the last day to add classes. If students have the RP, a filed graduation date in the current or future semester, and do not enroll in other courses, they will be eligible for enrollment in UNVS 1290R or Departmental 1290R. The Registrar’s Office determines the students who are eligible and will notify the students via a MySJSU message. The students may then register online through an appointment opened in their MySJSU account. No permission or add code is needed. They will have until the end of course instruction that semester to register for the course if they are domestic or nonresident (non-international) students. To maintain their immigration status, international students must register for the course within one week after the Add Deadline. In each subsequent fall and spring semester, students completing their culminating experiences will have to register for this course and will be precluded from registering for any other. The RP grade in the project or thesis course remains on the official record until a culminating memo is submitted by the graduate advisor to the Office of Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluations (GAPE), the course instructor in which the RP was received has petitioned for a grade change, and the student has submitted a current Application for Award of Master's Degree form to GAPE.