Academic Standards

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It is the responsibility of the student to become familiar with and keep informed about thel policies and regulations of the university and the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, as well as with the special requirements of his or her own academic program area. While the faculty and administration of Southern will assist a student whenever possible, regulations will not be waived nor exceptions granted because a student is unaware of regulations or claims that information was not provided by an adviser. It is also the responsibility of the student to determine requirements of state and federal government agencies for professional certifications.

Academic Honesty Policy

The integrity of scholarship is the cornerstone of the academic and social structure of the university. It is the expressed policy of the university that every aspect of graduate academic life, related in whatever fashion to the university, shall be conducted in an absolutely and uncompromisingly honest manner. Violations of academic honesty are grounds for a failing grade and may result in dismissal from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. For more information, see the Student Handbook or BOR/CSCU Code of Conduct.

Master's Degree Requirements

Minimum requirements for a master's degree for students who come to the program with appropriate and complete requirements of an undergraduate degree must meet the standards listed below. Students must consult the individual program descriptions for requirements that go beyond those of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

1. All master's degree programs at Southern require the successful completion of one or more of the following individual capstone experiences: a thesis, a comprehensive examination, or a special project. The capstone experience is the culminating academic event for students enrolled in a master 's degree graduate program. It requires students to demonstrate their ability to organize and synthesize knowledge and apply skills developed throughout their academic program. The student, with the approval of the graduate program adviser, may change from one option to another until the thesis proposal is accepted by the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies or until the first comprehensive examination is taken. The determination of the capstone experience is by the faculty of the academic department. All master's degrees should include one of the following:

  • Thesis: The master's thesis is a capstone experience of the master's degree candidate and offers evidence of the student's original research and the results of that research. There are five types of theses that may be completed: (1) investigative or experimental, (2) historical or descriptive, (3) interpretive, analytical or critical, (4) creative or (5) qualitative. A thesis proposal must be approved by the thesis adviser, department chairperson, and the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies prior to the preparation of a final thesis. All theses must meet the form, style, and other requirements outlined in the Thesis Guidelines. The thesis must be directed by a member of the Graduate Faculty. The master 's degree is conferred after successful completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits including the thesis. Final theses must be submitted to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies in accordance with the deadlines posted on the Graduate Studies' website.
  • Special Project: The special project provides an opportunity for graduate students to complete an academically rigorous project that contributes in some meaningful way to the student's discipline and professional community. The special project involves the integration and application of discipline-specific knowledge, concepts, theory and skills in the development of a tangible product (a.k.a., deliverable), accompanied by a written report describing the process and results of the product's development. Students choose to complete a special project to demonstrate the ability to make independent use of and apply information and training, and to furnish objective evidence of their aptitude in their chosen field of study. A special project in the major field may be required at the discretion of the graduate program. The special project must be directed by a member of the Graduate Faculty. The master 's degree is conferred after successful completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits including the special project.
  • Comprehensive Examination: The comprehensive examination in the major field is set by the graduate program concerned and may be scheduled any time after at least two-thirds of the planned program have been completed. A candidate who fails the comprehensive examination may petition the graduate program adviser for a second examination if there are extenuating circumstances. If the petition is not granted, the student will be dismissed from the program. Failure in the second examination results in dismissal from the program and exclusion from further candidacy. The master's degree is conferred after successful completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits, including the comprehensive exam.

2. All courses completed for credit toward program requirements must be passed with a minimum grade of "C" (2.0). No graduate degree program may include fewer than 30 graduate level credits (graduate level is defined as 500-level or above.) Some graduate programs require minimum grades of "B" or higher. Courses completed with a grade of less than "C" will not be counted toward the program course requirements but the grade will be calculated in the program and overall graduate grade point average. Students who earn grades of less than "B" in courses may not delete those grades or courses from their programs.

3. Satisfactory completion all additional program degree requirements as defined in the particular graduate program.

4. The University requires a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 to be eligible to graduate from a graduate program.  Graduation is not automatic.  A student must apply to graduate from a graduate program online at SouthernCT.edu/registrar by the published deadline.

NOTE: Well in advance of graduation, students who will graduate with a master's degree that includes teacher certification must check with the certification officer in the School of Education about the Connecticut State Department of Education requirement for subject knowledge testing called Praxis® Core.

Sixth Year Professional Diploma Requirements

Programs leading to the Sixth Year Professional Diploma provide opportunities for experienced and qualified candidates to pursue a  program of advanced graduate work beyond the master 's degree and to develop additional competency in an area of specialization.

Requirements two through four above, which govern the master's degrees, also apply to the Sixth Year Professional Diploma. Applicants to sixth year professional diplomas must hold a master 's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a grade point average of at least 3.0. Requirement one is optional at the discretion of the Sixth Year Professional Diploma Director.

All requirements, including any transfer credit, must be completed within a period of six years immediately preceding the awarding of the Sixth Year Professional Diploma. Credits accepted in transfer must have been completed with a grade of "B" (3.0) or higher and must be approved by the graduate program adviser. Transfer credits being applied for the Sixth Year Professional Diploma have been taken after the master's degree was earned and within the past six years. The sixth year planned program of study requires at least 30 graduate credits with a minimum of 15 credits in 600-level courses, as approved by the department in which the student is enrolled.

Doctoral Program Requirements

Requirements two through four above, which govern the master's degrees, also apply to the doctoral program. Applicants to the doctoral program must hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a grade point average of at least 3.0.

Time Limitation to Complete Programs

All requirements for a graduate degree at Southern must be completed within a period of six years prior to the granting of the master's degree or sixth year professional diploma. The six year period begins with the semester in which the first graduate course is completed that applies to the program or the date of acceptance, whichever comes first. Graduate courses more than six years old at the time of graduation do not count toward meeting degree requirements. This includes transferred courses. If time for completion of courses in a program extends beyond six years, the student assumes the risk of having to meet new requirements. This means that both courses and programs have, at best, a six year validity.

Students enrolled in the doctoral program have seven years to complete the degree.

An extension of the time to complete degree requirements may be granted only if there are compelling extenuating circumstances. To obtain an extension, a student must petition his or her graduate program adviser in writing prior to the expiration of the course or program. The graduate program adviser then forwards the petition, with a recommendation, to the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. The student and the adviser will be notified in writing of the approval or disapproval of the petition. An extension of more than one year is rarely granted.

When an approved program expires, the student must reapply to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Courses that do not meet the six year validity period cannot be applied to a new program of study unless revalidated by examination. Some graduate programs permit revalidation, others do not. If the academic department has a revalidation process, the student's current state of knowledge and proficiency in the content, methodology, and skills of each course must be determined and certified by the graduate coordinator. School of Graduate and Professional Studies' policy does not permit revalidation of more than half of the coursework in a program. Revalidations must be approved and sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions before the student is readmitted.

Change of Program for Graduate Students

If a program is being revised from one academic department to another, the student must file a new application and pay the $50 application fee.  If a program is being revised within the same department, a new application is not required.  Transcripts may also need to be submitted if required by the department to which the student is transferring.

Dual Degree Programs

Students who apply for a dual degree must meet the admission and graduation requirements of each program. Students are also required to be matriculated concurrently in each program. Dual degrees are awarded only when all requirements for each program are met.

English Proficiency

Any student whose native language is not English must present one of the following: a TOEFL score of at least 550 paper based/213 computer based/79 or above on internet based exam; successful completion of ELS 112–English for Academic Purposes, or a score of 6.5 or higher on the IELTs, or a bachelor 's or master 's degree from an accredited institution in the United States. Those students whose scores indicate that they are not prepared for graduate study that is conducted in English will not be permitted to register for graduate work until proficiency in English is demonstrated.

Semester Course Load

A student taking 9 to 12 credits of graduate coursework is considered full-time and the maximum load for a graduate student during the fall or spring term is 15 credits, although some programs have set the maximum to 12 credits. Courses audited do not count toward minimum graduate hours required for classification as a full-time student. Registration for more than 15 credits during any semester may be granted to students who have achieved an average of 3.25 or better in at least 9 credits of graduate work. The student must complete a "Petition for an Irregular Schedule" found on the Registrar's website and obtain signatures of the Academic Advisor, Academic Dean, and the Dan of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. There is an over-registration fee for registration of more than 18 credits (see Tuition and Fees).

Continuous Enrollment

Continuous enrollment requires that every graduate student be enrolled in a course every spring and fall semester from the time of acceptance by the School of Graduate and Professional Studies until completion of all requirements for the graduate program. Failure to meet continuous enrollment requirements will result in an automatic withdrawal from the program.

Students who are not enrolled in any course during the semester in which they are completing work for a thesis, dissertation, practicum, internship, student teaching, or laboratory research must register and pay for IDS 900 Course Continuation (1 credit) or appropriate course continuation for the program.

Class Attendance

Regular class attendance is expected by the University and is the responsibility of the student. It is the responsibility of the student to understand the attendance policy in each course he or she takes, as outlined in each course syllabus.

When absent, students remain responsible for finding out what class activities occurred during the absence, and making up missed work if the instructor permits it. When a student knows in advance that it will be necessary to miss a class session, the student should inform the instructor.

When a student has missed a significant portion of coursework, which may be difficult or impossible to make up, the student should confer with the course instructor to explore options, including withdrawal or late withdrawal from the course. The student also may consult with an Academic Adviser, the Dean of Students or designee, or the Registrar's Office to consider various options.

Absences occasioned by official University activities, such as participation in conferences, intercollegiate athletic events, musical performances, and other events, must be documented in advance through the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. A student that knows that such absences will occur shall confer with the instructor in respect to such absences.

Students may contact the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs with questions about the University's policy on class attendance.

Policy on Reporting Non-Attendance or Non-Participation

In order to ensure compliance with the United States Department of Education (US DoE) financial aid reporting requirements, Southern Connecticut State University monitors attendance and reports all students who stop attending or participating in on-ground classes or stop participating in online classes to the US DoE. This policy pertains to undergraduate and graduate students.

Group 1: Students who never attended/participated:
Students who have never attended or participated in a class by the end of the third week of the semester will be reported to the Registrar via the designated electronic reporting portal. Pending further clarification, the student will be removed from the class roster by the Registrar's office.

Group 2: Students who stopped attending/participating:
Students who have attended at least one class, but subsequently stop attending/participating will receive a grade of "FS." The faculty member will enter this grade and include the last date of participation. The grade should be entered as soon as the instructor is aware of failure to attend/participate but at a minimum when submitting midterm and final grades. The "FS" grade will appear as an "F" on student transcripts.

Leave of Absence

Students who need to take time off from their studies, with the intention of returning, must submit a Leave of Absence form to the Registrar’s Office and are strongly encouraged to meet with their faculty advisor to discuss plans for degree completion.  The leave of absence will be effective upon receipt of the form by the Registrar’s Office, or as indicated by the student if completing the semester, whichever is later.  Leave of absence requests are not retroactive and will not be accepted after the last day of the semester.

Students who take a leave of absence after the add/drop period, and prior to the end of the 12th week of the semester, will receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) on the transcript for each course in which the student is currently enrolled.  Thereafter, students will receive grades as assigned by the instructors. 

Students may take a leave of absence for up to two consecutive semesters (12 months) without the need to reapply for admission when they return.  Students who fail to return within the approved 12-month time frame will be withdrawn from the University and will be required to reapply for admission.  Students on a leave of absence may register for the semester in which they are planning to return, but will not be considered enrolled at the University until they have returned to classes. Students who attend another institution while on leave must submit a Transfer Credit Request form.   Graduate students must complete all degree requirements within a six-year time frame and a leave of absence is counted as a part of that time period.   

Students may take a leave of absence for 100% refund of tuition and fees, less any non-refundable fees, prior to the start of the term.  Thereafter, students should consult the Refund Policy for the impact on charges due to course withdrawal while on a leave of absence.  Financial Aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, as a leave of absence may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in the student owing funds to the University and/or government. In addition, students are considered withdrawn while on a leave of absence and loans may enter repayment.   

A graduate continuous enrollment fee of $150.00 per semester will be charged to any student who is on a leave of absence and has not been charged tuition and fees for the semester.  This fee must be paid through the Student Accounts Office or students will be blocked from course registration, access to grades, and transcript requests until their bill is paid.  This fee is not charged during the summer or winter sessions. 

A student may petition for a waiver of the graduate continuous enrollment fee under certain conditions. A waiver may be authorized if A) the student has medical documentation supporting the waiver request; B) a required course was canceled by the University or the department is not offering a course needed for degree progression this semester; or C) in the opinion of the University President or designee, the student has special circumstances warranting a waiver.  All fee waiver requests must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School or designee.   

Under extenuating circumstances, or due to qualified military service leave, students may file an Appeal of the policies outlined above, within 30 days following the end of the last semester enrolled. 

Leave of Absence Appeal

Students may file an Appeal with the Registrar's Office to request a review of their circumstances in regards to the Leave of Absence policy within 30 days following the end of the semester under appeal. Please be advised that submitting this request does not change any current academic or financial responsibilities, though a review associated charges and financial aid will be conducted. Any reduction to charges authorized by the University President, or designee, will be calculated after any grant or scholarship aid retained. Appeals will generally be reviewed within 2-3 weeks, and a response will be sent to the students University email or the mailing address on file.

The appeal process exists to assist students who can present information for consideration regarding unforeseen personal circumstances beyond their control that may have impacted their ability to remain in attendance at the University. The appeal process also exists for students serving in the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserve, who have been called or ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 consecutive days. Students are expected to first exhaust all academic options with faculty, and are encouraged to explore University services available including Academic Advisement, the Academic Success Center, and the Disability Resource Center.

Readmission to the University

Students who began attendance, then subsequently left, may apply to return to the University to continue their studies. Students returning within 12-months, who did not attend another institution, or attempted fewer than 12-credits after leaving Southern, may complete the Readmission Application with the Registrar's Office.

Readmission applications are due no later than one week prior to the start of the semester to allow time for processing and student registration during the add/drop period.

Upon approval, students will be reinstated to their last program of study and will be held to the academic requirements of the catalog previously in effect. In addition, students who left the University and now meet all requirements for graduation based on transfer credit(s), may apply for readmission through the Registrar's Office in order to apply for graduation.

Please note: Students who earned 12 or more credits at another institution, after leaving Southern, are not eligible to apply for Readmission through the Registrar's Office, and must complete a new application with the Admissions Office.

Readmission after 12-months:

Undergraduate students returning after 12–months, and otherwise following the same criteria above, may also complete the Readmission Application with the Registrar's Office; however, students will return as Undeclared majors in the current catalog year. Graduate students seeking readmission after 12-months must complete a new application with the Admissions Office.

Students who are able to present documentation regarding unforeseen personal circumstances beyond their control that may have impacted their ability to return to the University sooner, may complete the Readmission Application and include an appeal to the Academic Dean, to be considered for reinstatement through the Registrar's Office, and to their last program of study and catalog year previously in effect.

Readmission following Academic Dismissal:

Any undergraduate student who has been academically dismissed may continue study as a non-matriculated student. Once he or she has attained a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher he or she may complete the Readmission Application with the Registrar's Office.

A graduate student who is dismissed must complete a new application with the Admissions Office, after the lapse of one semester, and include a petition to the graduate program coordinator describing why he or she will be successful if readmitted.

Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Students

Currently matriculated graduate students may be eligible to apply a maximum of six credits of undergraduate coursework at the 300- or 400-level to fulfill the requirements for a master's degree. This is typically done when a comparable graduate course will not be offered in the near future. Students will need to obtain approval from their Graduate Program Coordinator and the coursework must not be of a remedial nature. Undergraduate courses at the 300- or 400- level can only be applied to master's degree programs and shall not fulfill requirements of certificate programs or professional diplomas, including the sixth-year program.  All students in a master's degree program must still complete a minimum of 30 credits of graduate level coursework at the 500-level or above in order to earn their degree in addition to any undergraduate coursework used to fulfill degree program requirements as above.  For financial aid eligibility, courses must be part of an approved degree program.

Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Students

A senior in good standing, with at least a 3.0 GPA, may take graduate courses for graduate credit to meet undergraduate requirements or to apply graduate courses to a master 's degree at a later time, with the presentation of a completed "Petition for Irregular Schedule." The petition must have the signature of the student's adviser before it is presented to the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies for approval. The petition must also be consistent with departmental stipulations regarding course eligibility. No more than nine semester hours in graduate courses may be earned by an undergraduate student toward a graduate degree at Southern. Graduate courses taken to meet undergraduate requirements may not be used as part of a future graduate program. Undergraduate students are limited to one graduate course per semester. Students in accelerated bachelor's to master's degree pathway programs may take up to two graduate courses per semester and may earn up to 12 graduate credits toward both degrees without a petition.

GRADING SYSTEM

The following grades are used on the academic records:

Letter Grade Quality Point Equivalent Relation to Performance
A+ 4.0 Superior Performance
A 4.0  
A- 3.7 Expected Performance
B+ 3.3  
B 3.0  
B- 2.7 Passing but below Graduate Standards
C+ 2.3  
C 2.0  
C- 1.7 Unacceptable
D+ 1.3  
D 1.0  
D- 0.7  
F 0.0  
P None Pass in Pass/Fail courses
S None Pass in course taken under Pass/Fail option
Z None Audit

In addition, certain codes are used to indicate a course status:

Letter Grade Quality Point Equivalent Relation to Performance
EP None Credit awarded via waiver exam
I None See catalog section on 'Incomplete Courses'
I+ None See catalog section on 'Incomplete Courses'
N None Student never attended
Q None Student successfully progressing through thesis, special project, or dissertation
R None No grade reported
W None Officially withdrawn

 

Some graduate programs require minimum grades of "B" or higher. Courses completed with a grade of less than "C" will not be counted toward the planned program course requirements but the grade will be calculated in the program and overall graduate grade point average. Students who earn grades of less than "B" may not delete those grades from their programs.

Grades/Transcripts

Semester grades are made available to students through MySCSU/Banner Web.  For official documentation of grades, current students may request University transcripts within MySCSU/Banner Web.  Former students may order online at SouthernCT.edu/registrar. 

Grade Point Average

The quality points for each grade are multiplied by the number of credits for the course. Total quality points for all courses are added and the sum is divided by the total number of course credits attempted. The result is the student's grade point average (GPA).

The following grades earn zero quality points, have no effect on the GPA, but do count as attempted credits:  "EP", "I", "I+", "N", "P", "Q", "R", "S", and "W".

The following grades earn zero quality points, have no effect on the GPA, but do not count as attempted credits:  "E" and "Z".

Grade Appeal

A student may submit a grade appeal only in instances in which a palpable injustice can be claimed. A palpable injustice occurs when a faculty member has been demonstrably inconsistent and unfair to the student. Grade appeals can be submitted only in the fall or spring semester after the grade is received (Appeal Semester). This includes courses taken during summer, winter, or spring break sessions. See Grade Appeal Procedures for additional details and important deadlines.

The Grade Appeal Procedure consists of three levels:

  1. Level 1 - Discussion with Instructor
  2. Level 2 - Mediation with Chairperson
  3. Level 3 - University Academic Standing Committee (UASC)

Grade Appeal Procedures and Deadlines

LEVEL 1 - DISCUSSION WITH INSTRUCTOR

If a student decides to appeal grade based upon palpable injustice, the student completes and submits the Grade Appeal Form to the Instructor before the end of Week 1 of the Appeal Semester. The student and Instructor will attempt to reach a resolution regarding grade appeal.

Level 1 Resolution Deadline: End of Week 2 of the Appeal Semester

LEVEL 2 - MEDIATION WITH CHAIRPERSON

(Note: If Instructor is also Department Chairperson, student may skip to Level 3)

If a resolution regarding the grade appeal is not reached between the student and the instructor after Week 2, the student may submit the Grade Appeal Form to the Department Chairperson before the end of Week 3 of the Appeal Semester. The Chairperson will act as mediator during the continued grade appeal discussion between the student and Instructor.

Level 2 Resolution Deadline: End of Week 5 of the Appeal Semester

LEVEL 3 - UNIVERSITY ACADEMIC STANDING COMMITTEE (UASC)

If a resolution regarding the grade appeal is not reached after the Week 5 and following mediation with the Chairperson, the student may submit the Grade Appeal Form to UASC by the end of Week 6 of the Appeal Semester. UASC will review the grade appeal and render a final decision.

Level 3 Final Decision Deadline: End of Week 9 of the Appeal Semester

Pass-Fail Option

With the approval of their graduate program adviser, matriculated students who have completed at least 9 credits of graduate work with a "B" (3.0) or higher average are eligible to register for certain courses on a pass-fail basis. The Pass-Fail option is blind in that the instructor is not aware of the student's use of the Pass-Fail option until after the grades are submitted.

The final grade will be reported as "S" if the final grade earned is "C" or higher.  This grade earns zero quality points, has no effect on the GPA, but does count as attempted credit.  If the final grade earned is "C-" or below, the final grade will be reported as "F".  This grade earns zero quality points, but will impact the GPA, and does count as attempted credit.

Required courses may not be taken under the Pass/Fail option and no more than one elective course in any program may be taken under the Pass/Fail option. Undergraduate courses listed in any program that students are required to take to strengthen their academic backgrounds may not be taken under the Pass/Fail option. There is no limit on the number of courses, which are not a part of the program that may be taken under the Pass/Fail option.

The application form is available online or in the Registrar's Office and must be approved by the advisor and submitted to the Registrar's office prior to the beginning of the fourth week of the semester.

Repeating a Course

A course may be taken more than once but, unless specifically noted otherwise, credit may be offered only once toward degree requirements. If a course is repeated, both grades will appear on the permanent record and will be used in determining the cumulative GPA. Course repeats may not be covered by financial aid. Please see the Financial Aid policy for more information: https://inside.southernct.edu/onestop/financial-aid/financial-aid-repeat-coursework-policy.

Incomplete Courses

A temporary grade of incomplete (I) is recorded when a student has a valid reason as determined by the instructor for not meeting a partial requirement in a course prior to the termination of the semester.  The student requests incomplete status from the student's instructor.  If granted, the incomplete must be removed not more than 30 days after the next semester begins. 

If the student fails in the student's responsibility to complete the work, the grade automatically becomes a failure, "F." If the instructor is giving the student longer than the 30-day period to complete coursework, then the instructor must file a Grade Change with the Registrar's Office to "Incomplete Extension" with a revised deadline.

Students should be aware that a grade of incomplete may impact financial aid. 

Special Project/Thesis/Dissertation in Progress

The grade of “Q” is given for any Special Project, Thesis, or Dissertation course in which the Special Project, Thesis or Dissertation is still in progress. This grade indicates that the student is making satisfactory progress toward the completion of the Special Project, Thesis or Dissertation but that the Special Project, Thesis or Dissertation has not yet been completed. The “Q” grade should be the letter grade used for all Special Project, Thesis or Dissertation courses and/or for sections of IDS 900 related to Special Projects, Thesis or Dissertation until all work is completed and the Special Project, Thesis or Dissertation has been accepted by faculty member and or committee responsible for the oversight of the Special Project, Thesis or Dissertation and the School of Graduate and Professional Studies so notified. At that time, the “Q” grade for the Special Project, Thesis of Dissertation course should be changed to the appropriate letter grade to be awarded to the student for the successful completion of the Special Project, Thesis or Dissertation.

Independent Study

Matriculated students who have completed at least 9 credits of graduate work and have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA ("B") or better are eligible to take an independent study with the support of their faculty adviser.  Students who are considering an independent study should first review the policies and guidelines section on the Application for Independent Study - Graduate form located on the Graduate School's website.

Participating students must complete the entire application form before obtaining signatures from their faculty adviser, graduate coordinator, and the department chairperson.  The student will next present the signed application form to the Academic School Dean's Office for final approval and electronic submission to the Registrar's Office.  The student will then be allowed to register for the independent study once the Registrar's Office has processed the completed application.

Waiver Exam Policy

Competency-based waiver exams may be available for graduate students who have the requisite skills and/or prior coursework necessary to waive one or more courses in their programs of study. These exams provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate competencies and receive credit for a particular course requirement. Graduate students seeking a waiver exam are encouraged to contact their department to determine if this option is available, for a particular program, or course.

The following graduate students may be eligible to petition to take a waiver exam:

  1. Working professionals with a strong academic and employment background in their field who can demonstrate competency for the waiver of a course requirement in their program of study.
  2. Those who have taken relevant coursework more than six (6) years ago that is equivalent to a course requirement in their program of study.

A graduate student who receives a satisfactory grade on a waiver exam as determined by the program, earns three (3) credits or the equivalent credit(s) of the course, and the course is waived from the student's program of study. 

Waiver credits are not considered when calculating a student's GPA. An "EP" is recorded on a student's transcript to indicate credit received through successful completion of a waiver exam.  A waiver exam may be taken only once. The Waiver Exam Fee for a waiver exam is $250.  

Transfer Credit

The amount of graduate work transferable to a graduate degree program is limited to a maximum of 9 credits for programs requiring 30 to 35 credits or 25 percent of the total credits for programs requiring 36 credits or more, not including prerequisites. Many graduate programs have more restrictive policies. Courses applied to a previously earned degree are not transferable. In order to be transferred, a course or courses must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduate level from a regionally accredited institution authorized to grant graduate degrees
  • Courses from institutions without Regional Accreditation, but that are licensed to operate in Connecticut, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Provost or his/her designee
  • Passed with a grade of "B" (3.0) or higher; ( pass/fail courses may not be transferred)
  • Within the six year limit at the time of graduation
  • Recorded on an official transcript from the granting institution
  • Included on the planned program by the graduate program adviser
  • Not used toward another degree

Students must submit an official transcript showing proof of completion of the course(s) to be transferred. Credit hours only, not grades, may be transferred. No transfer credit will be posted until the student has been accepted into a graduate program and has successfully completed at least one semester at Southern. The GPA is computed for grades earned at Southern only.

Transferred courses cannot be revalidated if beyond the six year limit for inclusion in a graduate program.

Waiver of Regulations

Students who wish to deviate from School of Graduate and Professional Studies' regulations and procedures must present a written petition to the graduate program adviser. He or she will review the petition and forward it, with a written endorsement, through appropriate department and academic school procedures, to the Dean of Graduate Studies who will make the final decision.

Dismissal and Probation

Any matriculated student who attempts nine or more credits that impact the GPA, and that results in an overall grade point average of less than 3.0, is automatically on probation. If, after attempting an additional nine credits, the GPA is still below 3.0, the student will be dismissed from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

A student whose overall GPA falls below 3.0 during the last semester of coursework will be placed on probation and given one semester to raise the GPA to the 3.0 level required for graduation. If, after completing an additional semester of work, the GPA is still below 3.0, the student will be dismissed.

A student who is dismissed may apply for readmission to the same program after the lapse of one semester. To be readmitted, the student must submit a new application and application fee as well as a petition to the graduate program coordinator describing why he or she will be successful if readmitted. The Graduate Program Coordinator will return the petition to the student with reasons for disapproval or will forward it to the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies with a recommendation for approval.

The petition with the endorsement will be filed in the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. If it is approved by the Dean, a copy will be sent to the Graduate Program Coordinator and the student. A petition that is not approved will be returned to the coordinator with a letter stating the reasons for not approving the petition.

A readmitted student must achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in the next 12 credits of coursework taken. Should the student fail to achieve 3.5, the student will be dismissed from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies with no option for readmission.

Some academic programs set higher standards than those of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies for academic performance. Students matriculated in those programs are subject to the higher standards required in their programs.

Academic Disqualification

Graduate education requires continuous evaluation of the student. This evaluation includes not only periodic objective evaluations such as grades, performance on comprehensive examinations, and acceptance of thesis or projects, but also subjective appraisal by the faculty of the student's progress and potential.

Continuation in a graduate program is contingent upon positive, ongoing faculty evaluation of the graduate student's grades, professional or scholarly attributes, and performance in real or simulated professional situations. A student may be suspended or dismissed from a graduate program for deficiencies in any of the foregoing.

In the event of alleged academic misconduct, the incident will be handled as outlined in the Southern Connecticut State University Student Handbook.

Disciplinary Disqualification

Southern Connecticut State University defines student misconduct as behavior that is in violation of regulations established by the Board of Regents for Higher Education, of University regulations, and of rules governing residence on University property. Graduate students, as citizens, are subject to all federal and state laws, in addition to all University regulations governing student conduct and responsibility. A student may be suspended or dismissed from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies for violating laws, rules, or regulations.

Appeal of Dismissal/Student Grievances

Upon dismissal from an academic program and the recommendation of the School Dean, students also may be subject to dismissal from the University, from admission to matriculation in other academic programs, and from further course registration. Students should refer to the Southern Connecticut State University Student Handbook for detailed information on University policies and procedures regarding grievances.

Graduation

The University requires a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 to be eligible to graduate from a graduate program.  Degrees are awarded at the end of the fall, winter, spring, or summer term in which all degree requirements have been met.

Graduation is not automatic, students must apply to graduate from their program online at SouthernCT.edu/registrar by the published deadline.   Diplomas are mailed approximately two months after the degree has been awarded.

Students who wish to participate in the annual graduate commencement ceremony must complete the Commencement Participation Form online at: www.SouthernCT.edu/grad by the published deadline.  Academic regalia for commencement are available through the Southern Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

Course Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from a course online through their student web account, effective upon the date submitted, during the withdrawal periods outlined below. Any student considering a course withdrawal should confer with his or her instructor and academic adviser, in order to understand his or her class standing, before withdrawing from a course. If withdrawing from all courses in a semester, please refer instead to the Withdrawal from the University or Leave of Absence policies.

Students may withdraw from a full term course prior to the end of the 12th week of classes; for an eight-week course prior to the end of the 6th week of classes; or for shorter terms per the Registrar's Calendar. Students will receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) on the transcript for each withdrawn course submitted after the add/drop period, and prior to the deadlines outlined above; thereafter, students will receive grades as assigned by the instructors.

Students should consult Refund Policy for the impact on charges. A student's status as full-time or part-time will not change due to course withdrawals submitted after the add/drop period for the term; however, financial aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, as the withdrawn course(s) may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in the student owing funds to the University and/or government.

Late Withdrawal from a Course

After the scheduled time to withdraw from a course (see above) students may request a late withdrawal from their instructor. In a case where the instructor has determined that due to extenuating circumstance(s) a late withdrawal is justified, the instructor must submit a Late Course Withdrawal form to the Registrar's Office, approved and signed by both the instructor and the department chairperson. In the event that the instructor teaching the course is the department chairperson, the dean must also sign the form. No late course withdrawals will be accepted after the end of classes.

Students should consult Refund Policy for the impact on charges. A student's status as full-time or part-time will not change due to course withdrawals submitted after the add/drop period for the term; however, financial aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, as the withdrawn course(s) may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in the student owing funds to the University and/or government.

Add/Drop Policy

Students may add or drop courses online through their student web account through the end of the designated add/drop period for the given term, which will also determine students’ status for the semester as either full-time or part-time.  For specific dates please refer to the Registrar’s Calendar on the website.   This policy does not apply to students who are dropping all of their courses in a semester.  If dropping all courses in a semester, please refer instead to the Withdrawal from the University or Leave of Absence policies.

A dropped course will not hold an academic penalty nor appear on the final transcript.  Students charges will be adjusted based on their revised full-time or part-time enrollment status, after added and dropped courses are considered, and according to the published tuition and fee rates for the term.   Financial Aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, as the dropped course may reduce your financial aid award, which could result in you owing funds to the University and/or government.

Add/Drop Appeal

Late add/drops will be considered by the academic Dean's Office in which the course resides for one-week following the add/drop period, under documented extenuating circumstances, or due to qualified military service leave. To add a course late, students must first receive permission from the Department Chair, and then may file the Add/Drop Appeal with the academic Dean's Office for final approval. To drop a course late, students may also file the Add/Drop Appeal, but are not required to seek approval from the Department Chair. Students enrollment status will be adjusted as either full-time or part-time based on any late add/drop approvals granted.

Withdrawal from the University

Students who wish to withdraw from the University, without the intention of returning, must submit a University Withdrawal form to the Registrar’s Office.  As an alternative to withdrawal, those students who need to take time off from their studies, with the intention of returning, should consult the Leave of Absence policy

Withdrawal will be effective upon receipt of the University Withdrawal form or upon the date a student completes withdrawal from all courses.  Students who withdraw after the add/drop period, and prior to the end of the 12th week of the semester, will receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) on the transcript for each course in which the student is currently enrolled.  Thereafter, students will receive grades as assigned by the instructors. 

When official notification has not been submitted, students who begin attendance in the semester, but then stop attending all courses, will be withdrawn from the University within 30 days following the end of the semester and will receive grades as assigned by the instructors; however, financial aid return calculations will be performed as of the midpoint of the semester, or the last date of attendance, whichever is later.  Students who do not return the following semester and have not taken a leave of absence, will be withdrawn from the University within 30 days of the start of the semester.

Students may withdraw from the University for 100% refund of tuition and fees, less any non-refundable fees, prior to the start of the term.  Thereafter, students should consult the Refund Policy for the impact on charges.  Financial Aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, as withdrawal may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in the student owing funds to the University and/or government, and to discuss loan repayment and exit counseling requirements.  For student who wish to return, please see the Readmission Policy, as readmission is not automatic.

Under extenuating circumstances, or due to qualified military service leave, students may file an Appeal of the policies outlined above, within 30 days following the end of the last semester enrolled.

Withdrawal Appeal

Students may file an Appeal with the Registrar's Office to request a review of their circumstances in regards to the University Withdrawal policy, within 30 days following the end of the semester under appeal. Please be advised that submitting this request does not change any current academic or financial responsibilities, though a review associated charges and financial aid will be conducted. Any reduction to charges authorized by the University President, or designee, will be calculated after any grant or scholarship aid retained. Appeals will generally be reviewed within 2-3 weeks, and a response will be sent to the students University email or the mailing address on file.

The appeal process exists to assist students who can present information for consideration regarding unforeseen personal circumstances beyond their control that may have impacted their ability to remain in attendance at the University. The appeal process also exists for students serving in the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserve, who have been called or ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 consecutive days. Students are expected to first exhaust all academic options with faculty, and are encouraged to explore University services available including Academic Advisement, the Academic Success Center, and the Disability Resource Center.

Auditing a Course

Audit status is a reasonable alternative for a student who wants to take a particular course, but does not have the proper background. Students who audit a course pay the same tuition and fees they would if they opted for a grade. However, they receive no academic grade or grade points, and the course may not be included in the 9 credits needed for full-time status for financial aid purposes. Although no final grade is submitted, students do have the right to take exams, write papers, and have them evaluated.

Students may register to audit a course or change from credit to audit any time before the end of the third week of classes. However, the deadline for changing back to a traditional grade is the end of the period for adding or dropping courses. Prior to auditing, students must discuss with the instructor the criteria for a successful audit and receive the written approval of the instructor. Forms are available online or in the Registrar's Office.

Subject Abbreviations for Courses

Course listings include those courses which have been offered within the past five years.  The subject abbreviations for graduate courses are:

Anthropology ANT
Art ART
Athletic Training ATH
Biology BIO
Business Administration MBA
Chemistry CHE
Coastal Resilience CSM
Communication Disorders CMD
Computer Science CSC
Counseling and School Psychology CSP
Educaion EDU
Educational Foundations EDF
Educational Leadership EDL
English ENG
Environmental Education EVE
Exercise Science EXS
French FRE
History HIS
Information and Library Science ILS
Interdisciplinary Studies IDS
Instructional Technology ITC
Italian ITA
Marriage and Family Therapy MFT
Mathematics MAT
Nursing NUR
Physics PHY
Political Science PSC
Psychology PSY
Public Health PCH
Reading RDG
Recreation and Leisure REC
Research Measurements RSM
School Health SHE
Science Education SCE
Sociology SOC
Social Work SWK
Spanish SPA
Special Education SED
Sport Management SMT
Teaching English Learners (TESOL) TSL
Women's Studies WMS
World Language and Literatures WLL