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 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 Student Code of Conduct.

Academic Standing

University Standards

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.

Program Standards

Graduate education requires continuous evaluation of the student.  In addition, some academic programs set higher standards for academic performance that must be met in addition to university standards.

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. This evaluation may also include performance on comprehensive examinations, acceptance of thesis or projects, but also subjective appraisal by the faculty of the student's progress and potential.

A student may be suspended or dismissed from a graduate program for deficiencies in any of the foregoing.

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.  Students who are dropping all of their courses in a semester should refer 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

A Late Add/Drop Appeal due to extentuating circumstances may be considered by the academic Dean's Office in which the course resides for one-week following the original add/drop period. A student's enrollment status will be adjusted to either full-time or part-time based on a late add/drop approval.

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.

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 Schedules

The academic year consists of a fall and spring semester 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.

Graduate courses and programs at Southern Connecticut State University are almost exclusively evening offerings and a growing number of courses are offered on-line. Courses, laboratory sessions, and other pertinent activities are scheduled in the late afternoon and evening during the fall and spring semesters. During summer sessions, graduate courses are offered in the morning and in the evening. Students may search the annual schedule of courses by subject and course number, instructor or session type.  Graduate level courses are numbered 500 or higher.  Course session types include the following:  

  • On-Ground: a course that meets in-person on the day/time and location listed on the schedule.
    Note: Courses offered with a Hyflex option, where students may participate in an on-ground class remotely via videoconferencing, will list this option in the additional details of the class schedule.
  • Online Synchronous: a course that meets remotely on the day/time listed on the schedule.
  • Online Asynchronous: a course that does not meet on specific days/times, but has an expectation of weekly online academic participation.
  • Hybrid: a combination of on-ground and online (asynchronous or synchronous) meetings.

Some departments also utilize an automated waitlist.  Students may add a course to their waitlist to be notified when a seat becomes available.  Students must register within 24-hours of the notification; otherwise, the seat will be offered to the next student on the waitlist. 

The university reserves the right to cancel courses having insufficient registration and to make changes in the schedule of classes when necessary. Students will be notified of a course cancellation via their Southern e-mail account. A student's enrollment status will be adjusted to either full-time or part-time based after the cancellation. The university also reserves the right to change instructors when necessary.

ENROLLMENT Status

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/college dean, and the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies before they register for classes by completing a Petition for Irregular Schedule.  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

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)

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:

  1. A mathematical or clerical error resulted in the entry of an incorrect grade; or
  2. 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
  3. 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

  1. The determination of grades is the responsibility of the Instructor of the course.
  2. 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.
  3. All parties work in good faith to arrive at a resolution during all stages of the process.

III. General Guidelines

  1. Grade appeals must be initiated on an individual basis by the Student claiming a palpable injustice.
  2. A Student may submit a grade appeal within one of four timeframes (see below).
  3. The week of Spring Break shall not be counted when determining how long the grade appeal has been in process.
  4. 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.
  5. All Grade Appeal forms and documents must be typed; no handwritten forms shall be accepted.
  6. 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.
  7. Students are strongly advised to keep their own copies of all grade appeal forms and supporting documents.

Timelines

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.

IV. Discussion with Instructor

A. Initiate Discussion - 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.

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.)

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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  Semester  8-Week  Summer 
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 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  

Courses completed with a grade less than "C" will not be counted toward program requirements, but all grade will be calculated in the 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". A student's GPA is based solely on courses taken at Southern and does not include transferred courses.

Audit Option

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.

Prior to auditing, students must discuss the criteria for a successful audit and receive written approval from their instructor. While no final grade is submitted, students do have the right to take exams, write papers, and have them evaluated. Once a student 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.

Incomplete Option

A temporary grade of Incomplete (I) is recorded when the instructor has determined that a student has a valid reason for not meeting a particular requirement in a course prior to the termination 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 satisfactory academic progress for financial aid, and when applicable, it does not satisfy prerequisite requirements needed for subsequent course registration. 

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.

Grades & Transcripts

Final Grades

Final grades are made available to students in Banner Web approximately 1-week following the end of a semester or intersession. Current students may log into Banner Web to review unofficial transcripts or request an official transcript.  Official e-transcripts will be delivered by email within 24-hours or students may select the option to be mailed a paper transcript at no charge. 

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.  

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. 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.   

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 attend another institution while on leave must submit a Transfer Credit Request form and receive prior approval.  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 take a leave prior to the end of the 12th week of the semester will receive grades 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 effective date of the leave of absence if it falls within a withdrawal refund period.  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.

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 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. 

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.

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.

Repeating a Course for 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, only 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; although, this is not displayed on the student's official transcript.

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. 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 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

A matriculated graduate student may obtain approval from their Graduate Coordinator to enroll in a maximum of 6 credits of undergraduate coursework at the 300 or 400-level to fulfill requirements towards a master's degree. Undergraduate courses can only be applied to master's degree programs and shall not fulfill requirements for any other graduate program.  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 addition to completing all program specific requirements, to earn their degree.  All courses must fulfill a student’s current program requirements to be eligible for financial aid.

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

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. Students may withdraw from courses in Banner Web and the withdrawal is effective upon the date submitted.  Students should consult Refund Policy for the impact on charges. Students who are withdrawaing from all courses in a semester should refer to the Withdrawal from the University or Leave of Absence policy.  

Students may withdraw from a semester 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 see Calendar.SouthernCT.edu. Students will receive a grade of "W " (Withdrawn) on the transcript for each course submitted; thereafter, students will receive grades as assigned by the instructors. 

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 Course Withdrawal

After regular withdrawal period has ended, students may request a Late Course 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 the form for approval by the department chaiperson.  In the event that the instructor teaching the course is the department chairperson, the dean may approve the late withdrawal. 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.

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 instead.  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 grades 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 effective date of withdrawal if it falls within a refund period.  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.  

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 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. 

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.