Faculty and Staff Information
Running a DARS Audit
Graduate DARS audits are not yet available online for student and faculty use. As soon as they become available, instructions on how to run DARS audits will be available here.
To earn a graduate degree, students must meet the degree requirements published in a single, valid PSU Bulletin (catalog). The requirements in a catalog are valid for seven years; for example, the 2012-2013 Bulletin can be used through summer 2019 graduation. Students can only use a catalog year during which they were both admitted and enrolled. (At the time a graduate program has a change to their curriculum approved, they may set more restrictive limits about which set of requirements can be used.)
When running a DARS audit, you must select a catalog year. OGS began encoding requirements starting with the 2009-2010 PSU Bulletin. If you are unsure which catalog to use, OGS recommends running an audit with the current term first. If that doesn't give you the expected results, then run one with the student's term of admission or Fall 2009, whichever one is most recent. If you still aren't getting the results you expect, contact the appropriate OGS processor for help.
Reading a DARS Audit
Troubleshooting Unmet Requirements
When reviewing a DARS audit, you will need to pay close attention to the unmet requirements and ask yourself the following questions:
- Has the student taken all the coursework needed for the degree?
- Have course substitutions been approved for this student?
- Does the student have any coursework that has been waived by the department?
- Does the student have any transfer courses that should be counting toward the requirements? If so, have these courses been approved with a GO-21?
- Does the student have any PSU pre-admission courses? If so, have these courses been requested for use via the Graduate DARS Exception form?
- Does the student have any required courses that have expired?
- Does the student have any required courses that have an Incomplete (I), Missing (M), or X grade?
There are certain people (faculty and/or staff) designated by each department to act as exception requesters. These faculty and/or staff members have been given access by OGS to the Graduate DARS Exception Request Form.
If you have a student who needs an exception to his/her DARS report, you will need to go through the proper channels established in your department to have an exception approved. Once an exception has proper department approval, the request is made to OGS by the department’s exception requester.
The actual work flow will look something like this:
- Student and/or adviser identifies an issue on the DARS report.
- Adviser determines if an exception is needed and talks to department chair or graduate committee chair about an exception for the student.
- Department chair or graduate committee chair approves exception.
- Exception information is given to proper exception requester.
- Exception requester completes the online form.
- OGS processes the exception.
Graduate DARS Exception Request Form
The online Graduate DARS Exception Request form is what departments use to communicate DARS exceptions to OGS. Your department's exception requester will use this online form for many different types of requests. Here is a list of the most commom types of exceptions:
- Course substitutions
- Course waivers
- C grade approvals
- Removing department admission conditions
- Requesting use of PSU pre-admission credits
- Requesting use of reserve credits
- Requesting 501/503 course conversions
- Other department-specific information that may be on the DARS report (i.e. exam dates or concentration areas)
If you have any questions about DARS exceptions, the exception process, or using the online exception form, please contact the Graduate DARS Coordinator, Beth Holmes, at email@example.com.