Academic Standards

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It is the responsibility of the student to become familiar with and keep informed about the 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 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.

Academic Honesty

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.

Add or Drop Courses

Students may add/drop courses in Banner Web through the end of the designated add/drop period for the given term (see Calendar.SouthernCT.edu), which will also determine students’ status for the semester as either full-time or part-time.  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 policy.

A dropped course will not hold an academic penalty nor appear on the final transcript.  Tuition and fee charges will be adjusted based on the student's revised full-time or part-time enrollment status.  Financial Aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, as the dropped course may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in a balance due to the University and/or government.

Appeal

To make a late change to registration after add/drop has closed, appeals due to extenuating circumstances may be considered for one-week following the add/drop period, by the Academic Dean’s Office in which the course resides.  A student's enrollment status will be adjusted as either full- time or part-time based on any late add/drop approvals granted.

To add a course late, students must first receive permission from the Department Chairperson by filing the Add/Drop Appeal.  If approved, the Department Chairperson will forward the appeal to the Academic Dean’s Office for final approval. To drop a course late, students may file the appeal directly with Academic Dean's Office for approval, Department approval is not required.  

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.

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 second week of the semester will be reported to the Registrar via the designated electronic reporting portal. The student will be removed from the class roster by the Registrar's office unless approved for reinstatement in the third week.

Group 2: Students who stopped attending/participating Students who have attended at least one class must be reported as attended, but will receive a grade of FS. The faculty member will enter this grade and include the last date of participation when submitting both midterm and final grades. The FS grade will appear as an F on student transcripts.

Auditing a Course

The audit option is a reasonable alternative for a student who wants to take a 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 credits needed for full-time status for financial aid purposes. While no final grade is submitted, students do have the right to take exams, write papers, and have them evaluated.  Prior to
auditing, students must discuss the criteria for a successful audit and receive written approval from their instructor.

Once students select the audit option it will not be possible to revert to a graded option following the add/drop period for the course. The Audit Contract must be approved by the instructor prior to the start of the 4th week of the fall or spring semester, or prior to the start of the 2nd week for courses in a shorter term.

Capstone Experiences

All graduate programs at Southern Connecticut State University are required to include a capstone experience in the curriculum.  The capstone consists of a program-directed educational experience that leads to a special project, comprehensive examination, thesis, or doctoral dissertation representative of the discipline(s). The capstone is defined as a culminating experience of rigorous academic achievement that:

(a)   integrates knowledge from one’s discipline(s);

(b)   applies specific knowledge;

(c)   demonstrates knowledge and expertise to the appropriate disciplinary community; and,

(d)   illustrates readiness for transition into more advanced professional or academic pursuits.  

Each academic department determines whether a student has successfully completed the capstone requirements.  Successful completion of the capstone special project, thesis, or dissertation indicates that the capstone has been approved by two faculty members and the department chair. In addition, successful completion of the thesis or dissertation indicates that the thesis or dissertation has been approved for and submitted to ProQuest for publication.

Requesting an Extension

If a student is making satisfactory progress towards the completion of the capstone but will require additional time for completion, the following options are available:

1. Master’s degree capstone – Master’s students who are making satisfactory progress towards the completion of their capstone but have not yet completed the requirement, may request an Incomplete (I) from their faculty member.  The Incomplete must be resolved no more than 30 days after the next semester begins, or if the faculty member is providing additional time, then the faculty member must file a grade change with the Registrar's Office to Incomplete Extension (I+) with a revised deadline.  Students should be aware that a grade of Incomplete may impact financial aid. Students working towards completion of a capstone may be granted a maximum extension of 12 months, unless an additional extension is expressly granted by the faculty member and approved by the Dean or Associate Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.  

2. Doctoral dissertation – Doctoral students who are making satisfactory progress toward the completion of their dissertation, but have not yet completed and formally submitted the dissertation, will receive an "I" for the course and register for an extension, either EDL 901 Continuing Enrollment for Doctoral Dissertation or NUR 817 Dissertation Advisement Continuation.  The extension courses do not earn credit and a grade of "Q" will be assigned to indicate satisfactory progress. When all work is complete and accepted by the faculty member and/or committee responsible for oversight, the "I" grade for the dissertation course will be changed to the appropriate letter grade for course credit.

Please note: Financial Aid recipients who are registered less than half-time may have their loans enter repayment. 

Change of Program 

Graduate students currently enrolled in a degree program may seek to change to another degree program within the same department.  Students may discuss this option with the Graduate Coordinator and submit a Change of Program Form for their approval.  For programs involving educator certification, approval from the College of Education is also required before submission to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.  

If the program is in another department, students must complete a new Graduate Application, pay the $50 non-refundable application fee, and ensure they have fulfilled any departmental requirements as indicated on the application.

Course Cancellations

Students will be notified of a course cancellation via their Southern e-mail account that their course was cancelled. Student accounts will be credited based on the student's current enrollment status.

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.

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.

Effective for the Fall 2020 semester only:

Students on academic probation during the Fall 2020 semester and students who were placed on academic probation following the Fall 2020 semester must raise their GPA to 3.0 within their next 18 credits. If, after attempting an additional eighteen credits, the student has not achieved a GPA of 3.0, then the student will be dismissed from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. 

Students whose last semester of coursework was Spring 2020, and whose GPA fell below 3.0 during that semester, will be placed on academic probation and given up to two semesters to raise their GPA to the 3.0 level required for graduation. If after completing two additional semesters of work, the student has not achieved a GPA of 3.0, then the student will be dismissed from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Dual Program Enrollment

Graduate students currently enrolled in a degree or certificate program may seek dual enrollment in an additional certificate program.  Students in the MSW-Social Work program may also seek dual enrollment in a secondary degree program: MA-Women's & Gender Studies.  Students may discuss these options with the Graduate Coordinator and submit a Dual Program Enrollment Form for their approval.

Once approved by the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, students are required to maintain concurrent enrollment in both programs.  Tuition and fees will be assessed for all courses based on the rate for the student's primary degree program.  As noted on the form, not all certificate programs are eligible for financial aid.  Upon completion of both program's requirements, a separate diploma or certificate will be issued.

Full-time and Part-time Status

The academic year is divided into two semesters, each approximately 16 weeks long. Most courses carry three units (or semester hours) of credit and meet for either three 50-minute periods or two 75-minute periods per week. Some laboratory courses follow a different schedule and may carry more or less credit. Students are expected to spend a minimum of two hours weekly on out-of-class preparation for each credit hour they carry.

To maintain full-time status, students must be admitted to a graduate program and registered for 9-15 semester credit hours.  Normally, a full-time student carries 12 credits each semester and students wishing to take more than 15 credits may request permission from their academic adviser,  school or college dean, and the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies before they register for classes by completing a Petition for Irregular Schedule.  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. There is an over-registration fee for registration of more than 18 credits (see Tuition and Fees).

Part-time students registered in at least 6.75 credits are considered 3/4 time, at least 4.5 credits are ½ time, at least 2.25 credits are ¼ time, and less than 2.25 credits are less than ¼ time enrolled.

Students may change their status through the end of add/drop of the semester based on registered credits, and should consult the Student Accounts Office and Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to discuss the impact of a status change on billed charges and financial aid awards.

Grade Appeal

Preliminary Information

In accordance with SCSU's educational mission, this policy articulates the procedure and criteria for the appeal of a final course grade. This Grade Appeal Procedure is intended to be fair, equitable and transparent.

Following discussion with the Instructor, the Grade Appeals Procedure consists of two parts:

Level 1 – Mediation with Department Chairperson / Program Director (hereafter referred to as 'Chairperson')

Level 2 – University Academic Standing Committee (UASC)

See Section V. below for detailed information about each part of the appeal process.

I. Grounds for Grade Appeals: Palpable Injustice

In the interest of clear communication to Students about University standards and procedures, the following definitions and descriptions of the acceptable grounds for a grade appeal are presented:

The sole acceptable basis for a grade appeal is the demonstrable commission of a "palpable injustice" in the determination of a Student's final grade by the Instructor. Students may use the appeals process when there is evidence to show that:

A. A mathematical or clerical error resulted in the entry of an incorrect grade; or

B. A final grade was determined by methods and criteria different from those used for determining the final grades of others in the same class; or

C. A final grade was assigned arbitrarily, capriciously, or on the basis of bias or prejudice, without reference to grading criteria as established (for instance) in the syllabus, assignment instructions, and/or University catalog.

The University Academic Standing Committee (UASC) shall make its determination in appeals brought before it solely upon the grounds listed above; a grade change is not warranted, for instance, when the Committee simply disagrees with the grade assigned by the Instructor, would have assessed the Student's work differently, would have graded differently, would have rounded off to the next highest grade, or would have preferred a different evaluation procedure.

II. Assumptions

A. The determination of grades is the responsibility of the Instructor of the course.

B. Grade appeal procedures apply only to the change of a grade under conditions specified in section 4.2.2.2 of the faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement. The appeal process may be initiated after a final grade has been submitted or after a request for a late withdrawal has been denied by the Instructor.

C. All parties work in good faith to arrive at a resolution during all stages of the process.

III. General Guidelines

A. Grade appeals must be initiated on an individual basis by the Student claiming a palpable injustice.

B. A Student may submit a grade appeal within one of four timeframes:

First - Appeals are reviewed in the fall or spring semester that follows the semester in which the grade was earned, hereafter referred to as Appeal Semester (see V. A-D). This applies to courses taken during summer, winter, or spring break sessions. For courses of an 8-week (or fewer) duration, the grade appeal may be made in either of the next two 8-week course periods directly following the semester in which the grade was earned, or during the summer if applicable. The deadlines for the 8-week courses appear in parentheses after the description of each level of the appeals process in section V of this document.

Second - If a grade earned during the spring semester or a summer term prevents a Student from continuing in the Student's program or major, an appeal may be filed during the summer (see section VI.).

Third - If a Student is appealing an "F" grade for which the origin was an "Incomplete" grade that reverted to "F" after the expiration of the thirty-day period to complete coursework after the beginning of the following semester, the appeal timetable shall begin when the "F" grade becomes available to the Student and shall follow the normal academic-year appeal schedule, adjusted to allow for the same number of weeks.

Fourth - Graduating Students shall typically appeal the grade following the established Grade Appeal Procedure. If, however, a graduating Student is appealing a grade that prevents the Student from graduating, it is recognized that time of graduation may be affected if the established Grade Appeal Procedure is followed. In this case, the Instructor, Department Chairperson, and UASC shall expedite the student's appeal with all due procedural promptness.

C. The week of Spring Break shall not be counted when determining how long the grade appeal has been in process.

D. If the Student's graduation may be delayed due to the appeal process, permission may be given by a Department Chairperson for the Student to take subsequent or required courses within the Department.

E. All Grade Appeal forms and documents must be typed; no handwritten forms shall be accepted.

F. For purposes of record-keeping and administrative accounting to governmental regulatory authorities, a copy of the grade appeal form must be filed with the Dean of the Instructor's school or college at each stage of the appeal process. The Chairperson is responsible for forwarding copies to the Dean's office for Level 1 appeals, and the UASC is responsible for forwarding copies to the Dean's office for Level 2 appeals.

G. Students are strongly advised to keep their own copies of all grade appeal forms and supporting documents.

IV. Discussion with Instructor

A. Initiate Discussion

Deadlines: end of week 1 of the Appeal Semester for Student to initiate discussion of disputed grade with the Instructor; end of week 2 to reach agreement. (8-week courses: same.)

Student initiates discussion with the Instructor. The Student and Instructor attempt to settle the matter in good faith. If an agreement is reached to change the grade, the Instructor shall submit the grade change to the Registrar's Office within one week. If an agreement has not been reached by the end of week 2, the Student may initiate a Level 1 appeal by submitting the Grade Appeal Form to the Instructor's Chairperson by the end of week 3.

B. Absent Instructor

An Instructor shall be deemed absent when either of the following apply: 1) the Instructor is no longer employed by the university; 2) the Student, with the help of the Instructor's Chairperson, has not succeeded in eliciting from the Instructor a response to his or her queries over a period of two (2) weeks. In this case, the Student may initiate a Level 1 appeal by submitting the Grade Appeal Form to the Instructor's Chairperson by the end of week 3.

V. Appeals

A. Level 1: Deadlines: end of week 3 of the Appeal Semester for Student to submit Grade Appeal Form to Instructor's Chairperson; end of week 5 to reach agreement. (8-week courses, end of week 3 to submit and end of week 4 to reach agreement).

1. Mediation with Instructor's Chairperson

The Student completes the Grade Appeal Form for Level 1 and sends it to the Chairperson by the end of week 3 (8-week courses, end of week 3). The Chairperson shall assist the Instructor and the Student in an attempt to settle the matter. If an agreement is reached to change the grade, the Instructor shall submit the grade change to the Registrar's Office within one week of the agreement. The Chairperson shall confirm that the grade has been changed within two weeks of the agreement. The record of the appeal and of any agreement shall be filed by the Chairperson with the appropriate Dean. If these parties fail to reach an agreement by the end of week 5 (8-week courses, end of week 4), the Student may go to Level 2 of this grade appeal procedure by submitting the Grade Appeal Form to the UASC by the end of week 6 (8-week courses, end of week 5).

If the Instructor is the Chairperson, the Student may appeal the grade directly to the UASC (Level 2).

2. Absent Instructor

In the case of an absent Instructor (as defined in IV.B.), the Student completes the Grade Appeal Form for Level 1 and sends it to the Chairperson by the end of week 3 (8-week courses, end of week 3). The Chairperson shall have the authority to adjust or uphold the grade. If an agreement is reached to change the grade, the Chairperson shall submit the grade change to the Registrar's Office within one week of the agreement. The record of the appeal and of any agreement shall be filed by the Chairperson with the appropriate Dean. If these parties fail to reach an agreement by the end of week 5 (8-week courses, end of week 4), the Student may go to Level 2 of this grade appeal procedure by submitting the Grade Appeal Form to the UASC by the end of week 6 (8-week courses, end of week 5).

B. Level 2: University Academic Standing Committee (UASC)

Deadlines: end of week 6 of the Appeal Semester for Student to submit grade appeal form to UASC, via the Faculty Senate President; end of week 9 for UASC to render decision. (8-week courses, end of week 5 to submit and end of week 7 to reach decision.)

The Student completes the Grade Appeal Form for Level 2 and sends it to the President of the University Faculty Senate, who shall forward it to the UASC by the end of week 6 (8-week courses, end of week 5). Upon receipt of the Grade Appeal Form, the UASC shall forward notice of the appeal to the appropriate Dean.

The sole basis for the UASC's deliberations and decision concerning a Student's grade appeal shall be the standard of "palpable injustice" as defined by Article I of this document. The UASC shall render its decision by the end of week 9 (8-week courses, end of week 7), following a hearing to which Instructor, Student, and others deemed appropriate shall be invited. The Student shall have the right to be accompanied by an advisor or support person, who is a silent non-participant in the hearing. Delays shall not be allowed on the basis of an advisor or support person's scheduling conflicts. The Student, Instructor, Chairperson, and relevant Dean shall be notified in writing of the Committee's decision, which shall include a written rationale. The UASC shall notify the Registrar within one week of the decision if a grade change is required. The decision of the UASC shall be final.

C. Deadlines and deadline extensions

1. "By the 2nd week" means 2 weeks (14 calendar days) into the semester, starting with the 1st day of classes. Other deadlines are to be interpreted similarly.

2. A Dean of the appropriate school or college may extend any grade appeal deadline, only at the Student's request, and only if the Student provides written evidence that significant extenuating circumstances led to the missed deadline. The request must be made, in writing, no later than the end of the first week of classes following the original grade appeal semester.

D. For purposes of record-keeping and administrative accounting to governmental regulatory authorities, a copy of the grade appeal form must be filed with the Dean of the Instructor's school or college at each stage of the appeal process. The Chairperson is responsible for forwarding copies to the Dean's office for a level 1 appeal; the President of the Faculty Senate is responsible for forwarding copies to the Dean's office simultaneously with forwarding a Level 2 appeal to the UASC; and the UASC is responsible for forwarding copies to the Dean's office after a Level 2 appeal has been completed.

VI. Summer Grade Appeal

A. Assumptions/Conditions

If a Student earns a grade in a course in the spring semester that prevents the Student from continuing in a program or major, the Student is eligible to appeal the grade during the summer.

B. Required Procedures

Summer session grade appeals follow the procedures described in Section V, subsections A through D, above, except that the deadlines for each part of process shall be amended as follows:

1. Discussion with Instructor: one week after course grades become available to Students.

2. Level 1—Mediation with Instructor's Chairperson: end of week 2 to submit and end of week 3 to complete mediation.

3. Level 2—UASC: end of week 4 to submit and end of week 6 for UASC to render final decision.

When the timeline established for the summer appeals process by this document would result in a delay of the Student's progress towards degree completion, all parties shall expedite the student's appeal with all due procedural promptness.

Instructors are strongly encouraged to participate in the Summer Grade Appeal Process either in person or remotely.

C. Faculty Compensation

Insofar as the Summer Grade Appeal would not take place during the Academic/Contract year, the Instructor and the members of the UASC shall be compensated for their participation according to the following formula unless they are employed under a full-year contract. The members of the UASC shall receive 4 hours of non-teaching credit load for each appeal; the chair of the appeal hearing shall receive 6 hours of non-teaching credit load for each appeal; the Instructor shall receive 2 hours of non-teaching credit load for each appeal.

VII. Interpretation

This section may not be invoked with respect to the interpretation of any item of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. If an issue develops concerning interpretation of this document, whether initiated by the Faculty Senate, a Faculty Member, or any member of the Administration, a binding decision on such an issue shall be made:

A. by agreement between the President of the University and a majority of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate or, failing to obtain agreement on an issue by this method;

B. by a committee consisting of one member selected by the Senate Executive Committee, one selected by the President of the University, and one selected by the first two committee members, who, by a two-thirds vote shall decide such an issue.

VIII. Implementation and Amendment

A. This document shall take effect upon approval by a two-thirds vote of the Faculty Senate with the concurrence of the President of the University.

B. This document may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Faculty Senate with the concurrence of the University President.

Grade Appeal Process Timeline

  • For academic-year appeals, all events are counted from the first week of the semester following the semester in which the disputed grade was earned ("the Appeal Semester").
  • For 8-week courses, all events are counted from the first week of either of the next two 8-week course periods following the semester in which the disputed grade was earned.
  • For summer appeals, all events are counted from the time that course grades become available to Students.
  • For "F" grades, automatically assigned after expiration of an "I" grade, all events are counted from the time that the "F" grade becomes available to Students and the schedule is modified accordingly.
  Spring/Fall  8-Week Course Summer Appeal
Initiation of Discussion with Instructor Week 1 Week 1 Week 1
Completion of Discussion with Instructor Week 2 Week 2 Week 1
Level 1: Initiation of Mediation with Chairperson / Program Director (Grade Appeal Form—Level 1, Part 1) Week 3 Week 3 Week 2
Level 1: Completion of Mediation with Chairperson / Program Director (Grade Appeal Form—Level 1, Part 2) Week 5 Week 4 Week 3
Level 2: Appeal to University Academic Standing Committee (Grade Appeal Form—Level 2) Week 6 Week 5 Week 4
Level 2: Grade Appeal Hearing with University Academic Standing Committee ASAP ASAP ASAP
Level 2: Decision by University Academic Standing Committee Week 9 Week 7 Week 6

Grade Replacement

A student may retake a course for a different grade by registering for the course again. Although both grades will appear on the student's transcript, the higher of the two course grades will be used to calculate the student's University GPA. Students may not utilize grade replacement for a course taken as pass-fail.  If the student receives the same grade in both semesters, the new grade will replace the old grade, and the new grade will be used to calculate the current semester's GPA. The student shall receive credit for the course only once.

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their faculty adviser or graduate program coordinator before pursuing a replacement grade. Replacement may be pursued only once per course, and only for a total of two courses. The first two courses retaken will be the ones for which the grade will be replaced.  Once awarded a degree, a student may not go back and grade replace individual courses within that degree.

Please Note: Some programs at Southern may require that all grades be used to calculate the student's program GPA.

Grade System

The following grades are used on the academic records:

Letter Grade Quality Points 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 Incomplete
I+ None Incomplete Extension
N None Never Attended
Q None Dissertation Extension
R None Grade Not Reported
W None Officially withdrawn

Grade Point Average (GPA)

In order to determine a student's Grade Point Average (GPA) letter grades are assigned grade points as follows:

A+ = 4.0 B+ = 3.3 C+ = 2.3 D+ = 1.3 F = 0
A = 4.0 B = 3.0 C = 2.0 D = 1.0  
A- = 3.7 B- = 2.7 C- = 1.7 D- = .7  

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. 

A student's GPA is determined by dividing the total number of quality points received by the number of credits attempted.  The following grades earn zero quality points and have no effect on the GPA: "EP", "I", "I+", "N", "P", "Q", "R", "S", "W", and "Z".

If a course is repeated, credit may only be earned once; however, both grades will be used in determining the cumulative GPA, unless excluded by the Grade Replacement Policy. A student's GPA is based solely on courses taken at Southern and does not include transferred courses.

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 complete a Transcript Request online. 

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.

Graduation

Catalog

The graduation requirements of the University as published in the catalog in effect at the time of the student's initial enrollment are those which must be met for completion of a graduate program provided that the student maintains a continuous matriculating status. For all students, the initial enrollment shall be the first day of classes following matriculation in a regular semester at the University.

Courses listed in this catalog are subject to change through normal academic channels. New courses and changes in program requirements are initiated by departments and approved by the Graduate Council and the Provost. Subsequent changes in program requirements, as published in the catalog, or amended by proper authority, may be substituted at the option of the student.

University Requirements

The University requires a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 to earn a graduate degree or certificate. 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.

Program Requirements

Students should be acquainted with the Programs and Degrees section of this catalog and with the requirements of their degree program. Students are responsible for maintaining regular contact with their academic advisers. Students are responsible for fulfilling the specific program requirements for their own degree program. The department chairperson has the authority to waive or provide substitute course work for departmental requirements.

Students should be aware that additional requirements may be imposed for certification or licensure (even once a plan of study has been prepared) if such requirements are imposed by outside licensing or accrediting agencies. A plan of study may be subject to revision to reflect such additional requirements.

Diplomas and Transcripts

A student's official graduation, or conferral date, is determined by a student's final course completion date, once all academic program requirements have been met. The degree or certificate awarded will be reflected on the student’s official transcript. Diplomas and certificates will be mailed to the permanent address on file with the university within approximately 30-45 days.  Visit the Student Records website for more information on how to obtain an official transcript or diploma following graduation.

Commencement

Students earning a degree, or sixth-year certificate, in the current academic year will be invited to participate in the commencement ceremony held annually each May. This includes students who graduated in the most recently completed fall or winter term, and students pending graduation for the upcoming spring or summer term. 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.  Visit the Commencement website for more information and details about the event.

Incomplete Courses

A temporary grade of Incomplete (I) is recorded when the instructor has determined that a student has a valid reason for not meeting a requirement in a course prior to the end of the semester.  The student must request an Incomplete grade from the instructor, and if granted, the Incomplete must be removed no more than 30 days after the next semester begins. 

If the student fails to complete the work within this time frame, the grade automatically becomes a failure, "F." If the instructor is providing 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. 

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.

Leave of Absence

Graduate students must 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 need to take time off from their studies, with the intention of returning, must submit a Leave of Absence form and are strongly encouraged to meet with their advisor to discuss plans for degree completion.  

Students may elect to take a leave of absence due to a variety of personal or professional reasons.  A student should consider taking a leave of absence if a required course is not being offered in a given semester or if they are completing a comprehensive exam in a given semester and will not be taking any additional coursework.  

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 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.

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.   Students who attend another institution while on leave must submit a Transfer Credit Request form and receive prior approval.  

Students who take a leave of absence prior to the end of the 12th week of the semester, will receive a grade(s) of W-Withdrawn; thereafter, students will receive grades as assigned by the instructors. Tuition and fee charges may be adjusted based on the student's revised enrollment status.  Financial Aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, as this change in enrollment status may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in a balance due to the University and/or government.

A graduate continuous enrollment fee of $150.00 per semester will be charged to any student who is on a leave of absence for each fall or spring 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 and transcript requests until their bill is paid. 

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.   

For the Fall 2020 Semester Only:

The deadline to take a leave of absence and receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) is extended to December 15, 2020.

Leave of Absence Appeal

The appeal process offers students the ability to request an adjustment to their effective date of withdrawal due to a leave of absence prompted by unforeseen extenuating circumstances that 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 may file an Appeal to request a review of their circumstances 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 be reviewed within 4-6 weeks, and a response will be sent to the students University email.

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.

Pass-Fail Option

With the approval of their graduate program advisor, 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.  

Courses taken for pass-fail might not be accepted for transfer credit when attending another institution; are excluded from GPA calculations which may impact a student’s ability to meet certain GPA requirements needed for their program or graduation; and may not be satisfactory in meeting prerequisite requirements when applying to other graduate programs.

Once a student selects the pass-fail option it will not be possible to revert to a graded option following the add/drop period for the course. The Pass-Fail Contract must be approved by their advisor prior to the start of the 4th week of the fall or spring semester, or prior to the start of the 2nd week for courses in a shorter term.

For the Fall 2020 Semester Only:

On a department-specific basis, and with the approval of their graduate program advisor, matriculated students are eligible to register for certain required or elective courses on a pass-fail basis. 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.  Please review the list of courses excluded from the pass-fail option at https://inside.southernct.edu/onestop/pass-fail-fall2020.

During the fall 2020 semester, there is no limit on the number of courses, that may be taken under the Pass-Fail option. The final grade will be reported as "P" if the final grade earned is "C" or higher. This grade earns zero quality points and 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.

Students must submit a complete contract to their advisor no later than December 15, 2020.  Once the pass-fail contract is submitted by the student it will not be possible to revert to a graded option. The pass-fail option is blind to the instructor, they are not aware of the student's use of the pass-fail option until after the grades are submitted. In the event the student's advisor is also the instructor for the course, please submit the contract to the Department Chairperson for approval.

Program Requirements: Doctoral Degrees

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.

Program Requirements: Master's Degrees

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 or special project proposal has been submitted for a final grade 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 and department chairperson, prior to the preparation of a final thesis. All theses must meet the form, style, and other requirements outlined in the Thesis Guidelines. The master 's degree is conferred after successful completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits including the thesis.
  • 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 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, and if taken outside of the Grade Replacement Policy, the grade will be calculated in the program and overall graduate grade point average.

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.  

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.

Program Requirements: Sixth Year Certificates

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.

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, outside of the Grade Replacement Policy, 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.

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
Education EDU
Educational Foundations EDF
Educational Leadership EDL
English ENG
Environmental Education EVE
Exercise Science EXS
French FRE
Geography GEO
Health and Movement Sciences HMS
History HIS
Information and Library Science ILS
Interdisciplinary Studies IDS
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

Teacher/Educator Certification Programs

The academic standards below apply to all programs that prepare candidates for CT teacher/educator certification.

Fingerprinting and Background Check

Connecticut law requires all candidates in teacher/educator certification programs to undergo state and national criminal history background checks before participating in school-based field experiences and student teaching. All candidates enrolled in a course requiring entering a P-12 school to complete an assignment, field experience requirement, and student teaching placement will be required to have a background check completed with the school they are placed in. If a candidate does not pass the background check, s/he may be unable to complete the program. The University will not be responsible for a candidate's inability to complete the program.

Progress in the Program and Certification

After admission, all candidates must complete assessments designated by the College of Education and their specific certification program. All candidates must have a Tk20 account to submit these assessments.

Candidates must maintain good standing in the program to qualify for a recommendation from Southern Connecticut State University for State of Connecticut teacher certification. They also must demonstrate the following:

  • Personal attitudes and dispositions that affect their performance as teachers;
  • Professional behavior appropriate to the context that shows realization that actions reflect directly upon the status and substance of the profession;
  • Confidentiality of all information concerning colleagues and students obtained in the educational process; and
  • Integrity and honesty in written and verbal communication, documentations, and coursework related.

To be recommended for certification candidates must successfully complete all program requirements, be in good standing, and pass all assessments mandated by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) (e.g. licensure exams, etTPA). CSDE assessment requirements vary by certification area (https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/Certification/assess_for_cert.pdf).

Please note, candidates must meet the certification requirements in effect on the date the CSDE receives the certification application. If CSDE regulations change, candidates may need to meet the new requirements to be eligible for certification. Candidates are responsible for familiarizing themselves with Connecticut's teacher certification regulations and keeping abreast of changes to those regulations. Certification news and alerts are available on the Connecticut State Department of Education website.

Student Teaching (Master of Arts in Teaching programs only)

Student teaching requires a full-time commitment. As such, teacher candidates are not permitted to take other courses during the semester in which they student teach, other than the student teaching seminar that is taken simultaneously with student teaching. In rare cases, the department may petition the College of Education Dean for a waiver of this requirement. Additionally, candidates must have all courses and academic requirements completed prior to the semester of student teaching.

Revocation of Admission to the Professional Program

Candidates may be dismissed from the professional program for the following:

  • Demonstrated unprofessional behavior or an inability to respond appropriately in various contexts which affects their performance as a teacher and based on the Level 2 review of the College of Education following the procedure to establish a Scaffolding for Success Action plan;
  • Falsified or misrepresented documentation or information provided for programmatic, academic, or professional qualification/competency purposes;
  • Not achieving an acceptable standard on the performance assessments required by the College of Education, the Educator Preparation Provider Council (EPPC), or the certification program;
  • Conviction in a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude or of any crime of such nature that in the opinion of the university would impair the standing of the College of Education professional program; or
  • Other due and sufficient cause.

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 School of Graduate and Professional Studies. 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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

Withdrawal from a Course

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.

For the Fall 2020 Semester Only:

The deadline to withdraw from a course(s) and receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) is extended to December 15, 2020.

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.

For the Fall 2020 Semester Only:

Late course withdrawals may be considered past the last day of classes for students in an Incomplete status.

Withdrawal from the University

Students who wish to withdraw from the university must submit a University Withdrawal form.  As an alternative, those students who need to take time off from their studies, with the intention of returning, should consult the Leave of Absence policy to maintain their matriculation status.  University Withdrawal will be effective upon receipt of the form or upon the date a student completes withdrawal from all courses.  

Students who withdraw prior to the end of the 12th week of the semester will receive a grade(s) of W-Withdrawn; thereafter, students will receive grades as assigned by the instructors.  Tuition and fee charges may be adjusted based on the student's revised enrollment status.  Financial Aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, as this change in enrollment status may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in a balance due to the University and/or government, and to discuss loan repayment and exit counseling requirements.

Students who stop attending the university without notification will be withdrawn at the end of the semester and will receive grades as assigned by their instructors.  Financial aid return calculations will be performed as of the midpoint of the semester, or the last reported date of attendance, whichever is later.  Students who do not take leave or return the following semester will also be withdrawn from the university.  

For the Fall 2020 Semester Only:

The deadline to withdraw from the university and receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) is extended to December 15, 2020.

Withdrawal Appeal

The appeal process offers students the ability to request an adjustment to their effective date of withdrawal prompted by unforeseen extenuating circumstances that 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 may file an Appeal to request a review of their circumstances 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 be reviewed within 4-6 weeks, and a response will be sent to the students University email.

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.