Feb 29, 2020  
2018-2019 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2018-2019 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

7. Academic Policies and Procedures


7.1 Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for knowing the published rules, regulations, policies, and standards of the University and of their degree program.

Each academic program has procedures and requirements that must be satisfied before a degree will be awarded. While the University provides faculty and staff advisors to assist students in planning their programs and schedules, the students themselves are responsible for following procedures and meeting degree requirements.

7.2 Dismissal from Graduate Programs

Unsafe, unethical, illegal, or, unprofessional conduct, as well as academic dishonesty is cause for denying admission to graduate studies or for dismissal from graduate studies. A student dismissed for these reasons will not be eligible for readmission to any graduate program at MUW. If a graduate program denies admission to or dismisses a student for unsafe, unethical, illegal, or unprofessional conduct the student may appeal the decision by following the procedure outlined below under Academic Grievances. If the Academic Standards Board denies admission to or dismisses a student for academic dishonesty, the student may appeal the decision to the President, as outlined below under the Academic Dishonesty Policy.

7.3 Academic Grievances

Students may appeal dismissal for unsafe, unethical, illegal, or unprofessional conduct by following the procedure outlined below.

In addition, a student who wishes to appeal a grade received for a project, paper, course, etc., should first attempt to resolve the issue with the instructor. If an agreement cannot be reached, the student should next appeal to the Department Chair/Program Director of the course and then to the Dean. Grievances should be brought to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) only after these preliminary options have been exhausted. The student has only 45 days to appeal the grade in writing. This period begins at the conclusion of the term in which the grade was assigned. If a grievance hearing is required, the process will be initiated by the CAO.

The Student Grievance Committee and procedures outlined below have been established to provide a hearing for those students who feel their academic rights have been violated. The Graduate Council serves as the Student Grievance Committee for graduate students. In this role, the purpose of Graduate Council is to adjudicate student academic grievances that have not been resolved at the program level (i.e., via instructor, Department Chair/Program Director of the course, and Dean).

Procedure:

  1. A student who believes that his/her academic rights have been violated and his/her complaints have not been resolved to their satisfaction at the program level (i.e., via instructor, Department Chair/Program Director of the course, and Dean) may petition the Student Grievance Committee to consider his/her complaint. Requests must be made in writing and must state both the grievance and the procedure the student has followed in trying to resolve the problem. The request must be made within 45 days following the semester in which the alleged violation of academic rights occurred. Requests must be addressed to the Student Grievance Committee and submitted to MUW’s Office of Academic Affairs.
  2. If the grievance involves any member of the Committee, that member will abstain from participation on the Committee while that particular grievance is being considered. The CAO will recommend a replacement.
  3. When a grievance is submitted, the Committee must convene within three regularly scheduled school days to determine what data and materials must be obtained from the student and/or the faculty member. Any requests for materials will be made in writing from the Committee.
  4. The Committee chair will set a hearing time that does not conflict with the class schedules of any Committee member, student, or faculty member involved. All persons will receive written notification of the meeting at least three days in advance.
  5. All evidentiary and background materials concerning a case should be submitted to the Committee at least three days prior to the hearing. This will allow the Committee adequate time to examine the facts thoroughly prior to adjudicating the matter.
  6. At the time of the hearing, both the student and the faculty member appearing before the Student Grievance Committee may have a representative or advisor of their choice present at the meeting. The advisors will be introduced to the Committee for the record and must identify their relationship to the student or faculty member. The student and faculty member may consult with their advisor(s) during the proceedings, but the advisor(s) may not address the Committee or question witnesses. Students and faculty members will be given full opportunity to present evidence and witnesses that are relevant to the issue at hand. Evidence introduced at the hearing must be confined to the particular ground or charge that has been made.
  7. The decision will be made by the Committee in closed session and will be based on sufficient and credible evidence. All persons involved in the grievance will be notified in writing of the resolution within one week of the hearing.
  8. Decisions reached by the Committee must be immediately enforced; however, both students and faculty have a right of appeal.
  9. The final level of appeal for both students and faculty members will be to the President of the University.

7.4 Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Integrity is engaging honestly and responsibly in academic work. Students enrolled at Mississippi University for Women agree to abide by the MUW Honor Code, which is “to uphold the highest standards of honesty in all phases of university life,” and, therefore, they agree to refrain from any dishonest academic behavior. Violations of Academic Integrity can lead to severe penalties, from a zero grade for a test or assignment to expulsion from the University. Violations of Academic Integrity include cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, or other actions that violate commonly accepted intellectual and ethical standards within academic and scientific communities. Academic Integrity applies to work in progress as well as completed work.

Cheating is taking credit for work which has been completed by another person, or assisting others in the misrepresentation of their academic work. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. giving or using prohibited written and/or oral information during tests, quizzes, or examinations;
  2. stealing, buying, selling or in any way distributing an examination before it has been administered;
  3. copying ideas or facts from another’s paper during an examination or quiz;
  4. submitting the same paper multiple times in different classes, even if the paper is the student’s original work;
  5. obtaining or providing previously undisclosed test questions or information pertinent to an exam that has not yet been administered;
  6. willfully altering any assignments or any of the instructor’s markings in order to obtain a higher grade;
  7. copying from or writing computer programs for another student;
  8. substituting for another person during an examination or allowing such substitution for oneself;
  9. engaging in an unauthorized collaboration with another student on tests or assignments;
  10. misappropriating privileged information or making use of information in breach of confidentiality;
  11. interfering in any way with the research or academic performance of another student;
  12. violating any federal, state, university, or program policy or regulation governing research and academic procedures, integrity, and conduct;
  13. obstructing the investigation into academic dishonesty.

Plagiarism is defined as the appropriation of ideas, facts, phrases, or additional materials (such as maps, charts, artwork, or computer programs) from any source without giving proper credit or offering appropriate documentation. Any material in a paper, report, artwork, or computer program which is not acknowledged is understood to be the original work of the author, unless such material is considered general knowledge. The rules against plagiarism extend to work completed in online courses in addition to those offered in a traditional format. Students who are unsure whether they have used and documented source material correctly should consult with their instructor before submitting the assignment.

Fabrication and falsification include the following:

  1. fabricating and/or falsifying laboratory and clinical experiences, internship records, attendance records, research data, survey results, research methods, research results, research conclusions, or any other information and/or process used in the collection and presentation of academic, scientific, or professional materials.
  2. misrepresenting, falsifying, or withholding information concerning admission requirements, university enrollment or status, financial aid applications, health records, or other materials required by the University.

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

  1. A student who violates university, college, program, and/or course policies regarding academic integrity will receive one or more penalties selected by the course instructor from the following list.
    a. an oral reprimand
    b. a written reprimand
    c. an assignment to repeat the work, to be graded on its merits, for full or partial credit
    d. a lower or 0 grade on the test, project, or assignment
    e. a lower grade in the course
    f. a failing grade in the course
    g. referrel to academic and/or behavioral counseling
    h. the successful completion of an online course on academic integrity
    i. other options as called for by a special circumstances (e.g. lab, internship, travel, etc.) with the department chair’s approval.

    Faculty members will publish on their course syllabi a statement of the consequences for academic dishonesty, as well as the link to the full Academic Integrity Policy.
     
  2. When a faculty member determines that academic dishonesty has occurred, the faculty member will request a meeting with the student to discuss the incident and proposed penalty and to give the student the right to defend or explain the student’s actions. The faculty member will contact the student using the university’s email system. the university’s official means of communication. The meeting may take place in person, by phone, or over video conference. If the student does not respond to the faculty member’s request for a meeting within three working days, then the faculty member will note the student’s failure to respond to the meeting request in the Academic Integrity Incident Report. The student maintains the right to appeal to the chair and/or dean whether or not a meeting with the instructor takes place.
  3. For sanctions beyond an oral or written reprimand, the faculty member will file an Academic Integrity Incident Report online describing the event and the sanctions to be imposed, and uploading any supporting documentation necessary. This report will be sent to the student, department chair, dean, and Office of the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) for their records. This notification will remain confidential in compliance with policies protecting student privacy.
  4. For instances of Academic Dishonesty that are especially egregious, such as purchasing essays that are submitted as the student’s own work, cheating with other students on an exam, or falsifying or misrepresenting student records, the faculty member, department chair, and/or dean may ask the CAO to review the case to refer it to the Academic Standards Board to consider additonal sanctions, such as 1) placement on disciplinary probation; 2) removal of the student from the course; 3) suspension from the university; 4) expulsion from the university. A student dismissed for this reason will not be eligible for readmission to the University.
  5. The student has the right to appeal the allegations of academic dishonesty and/or the suggested penalties before they are imposed. The student may only appeal for the following reasons: 1) failure to follow proper procedure; 2) the assigned penalties are unreasonably harsh; or 3) new evidence comes to light. The student may appeal a faculty member’s decision to the department chair, in writing, within five working days of the date of the faculty member’s Academic Integrity Incident Report. The student’s rights are as follows:

    a. During the course of the appeal process, the student shall maintain full academic and student standing in the course.
    b. If a student is given the sanction of an “F” grade or “no credit” for the paper/assignment, the student has the option to withdraw from the course if it is done by the published withdrawal deadline. The faculty member may choose to assign the grade of WF, if applicable.
    c. If a student is given the sanction of a failing grade for the course, the student may not withdraw from the course in order to avoid the sanction.
    d. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the department chair, the student may appeal to the dean within 5 working days of the decision of the department chair. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the dean, the student may appeal to the CAO for a hearing before the Academic Grievances Committee. Policy #3523 governs the appeals process to the Academic Grievances Committee.
     
  6. The Office of the Chief Academic Officer will maintain records of Academic Integrity Incident Reports and the sanctions imposed. If a student receives a third incident report, the CAO will review the cases and may refer the student to the Academic Standards Board to consider additional penalties, such as 1) placement on disciplinary probation; 2) suspension from the university; 3) expulsion from the university.
  7. For any case that the CAO sends to the Academic Standards Board for review, the CAO will notify the student that the case has been submitted to the Board and will notify the student of the results of the review. The student may appeal the decision of the Academic Standards Board to the Academic Grievances Committee. Policy #3523 governs the appeals process to the Academic Grievances Committee.

7.5 Scholastic Policies

The policies below apply to MUW Graduate Studies in general. However, individual graduate programs may set more stringent scholastic policies, which are outlined later in the Graduate Bulletin.

Grading Policy

The following designations are used in student grade reporting:

Grade   Grade Points Per Credit Hour  
A+, A, A- Excellent 4  
B+, B, B- Above Average Competency 3  
C+, C, C- Average Competency 2  
D+, D, D- Below Average Competency 1  
F Failure 0  
I Incomplete 0  
AU Audit -  
NA Non-Attendance -  
P Pass -  
W Withdrew from Class -  
WP Withdrew Passing -  
WF Withdrew Failing 0  

Each semester’s record stands alone. Grades from one semester (passing or failing) cannot be improved with work from another semester.

Repeated Courses

A graduate student may repeat only one course only once during his or her graduate career. Students may not repeat a course for which they received an A (including transfer courses). The second grade will stand as the official grade, and both grades will be calculated into the student’s grade point average. However, credit hours for the course will be counted only once in the total number of hours earned. This policy does not apply to courses designated as repeatable in the bulletin (see individual course descriptions). Students may audit a course in which they previously received a grade of A.

Incomplete Grade

A grade of I or Incomplete, indicates that the student-for reasons satisfactory to the instructor as well as the Department Chair/Program Director and the Dean-has been unable to complete the requirements of the course by the end of the semester. The instructor as well as the Department Chair/program Director and the Dean may limit the number of hours that a student with an incomplete may take the next semester.

Until an I has been removed, it is evaluated as an F in computing the student’s grade point average. However, for the purpose of determining graduate expulsion, the I will be excluded from the student’s GPA. Students who receive an I in a course and subsequently complete the required work within the prescribed time will receive the grade assigned by the instructor.

For credit in a graduate course, the work must be completed by the last class day of the next semester (including summer) but may be shorter than that, as specified by the instructor. If the work is not completed by the deadline indicated on the Request for an Incomplete Form, then the grade of I converts to an F and cannot be changed. Thesis research is the only exception to the incomplete policy.

Withdrawal Grade

A grade of W, indicating that the student has withdrawn from the course, will not be calculated into the grade point average, provided the course is dropped by the date indicated in the academic calendar. After that designated date, students withdrawing will receive either a WP or WF, depending on their performance in the course up to that time. A date is established in the academic calendar beyond which a student may not withdraw from a course without special permission from the Department Chair/Program Director, Dean, and the Chief Academic Officer.

Non-Attendance Grade

Auditors who do not attend at least 70% of the class meetings will receive a grade of NA or Non-Attendance. This mark is recorded on the student’s transcript, but is not computed in the grade point average. 

Grading System and Grade Requirements

Graduate-degree credit is granted only for graduate-level courses in which the student earns an A, B, or C. No more than six semester hours of graduate credit evaluated as C may be applied toward any graduate program, whether degree or non-degree.

To remain in good standing, the student must maintain a minimum 3.0 MUW cumulative GPA on all graduate courses attempted with no more than two grades of C, with no grade of D, and with no grade of F. Moreover, any student who receives a graduate degree or certificate must possess a 3.0 MUW cumulative GPA and a 3.0 overall GPA. No student on probation will be eligible for a degree or certificate.

Academic Probation and Expulsion from Graduate Programs

A graduate student who does not maintain a 3.0 MUW cumulative GPA (including grades of I) will be placed on probation. If the student on probation fails to earn a 3.0 MUW cumulative GPA (excluding grades of I) at the end of the probationary semester, the student will be removed from the graduate program and will not be allowed to enroll in any graduate program at MUW. If the student on probation earns a 3.0 MUW cumulative GPA (excluding grades of I) at the end of the probationary semester, the student may continue in good standing unless the student earned a grade of I during the probationary semester, in which case the student may continue on probation.

A student who makes more than two grades of C, a grade of D, or a grade of F will be removed from the graduate program and will not be allowed to enroll in any graduate program at MUW.

A student who is removed from the graduate program may appeal that decision to the Graduate Student Scholastic Appeals Committee. A graduate student may appeal to this committee only once during his or her graduate-student career. The student’s appeal shall consist of a letter, in her/his own words, addressed to the Committee in care of the Director of Graduate Studies. It should contain salient information detailing possible reasons and explanations for sub-standard academic performance, any extenuating circumstances, etc. In addition to the student’s own letter, any letters of support for the student from outside parties should also accompany the letter. The Director of Graduate Studies shall forward the appeal information to the Chair of the Graduate Student Scholastic Appeals Committee. Students may file an appeal for academic work within twelve months after grades are posted. The deadline for the Graduate Office to receive appeals is five business days prior to the published registration date for the semester for which the student intends to register within that twelve months. Neither the student, nor any other parties, shall be granted the privilege of a personal appearance or hearing before the Committee. The Committee shall reserve the right to seek any relevant academic information pertaining to the student, such as class attendance records and transcripts, before rendering a final decision on the expulsion of the student. The Committee shall have the right to impose certain academic requirements or conditions on any student it readmits to the university. These may include, but are not limited to, prescribing certain courses, determining semester course load, requiring a specified level of scholastic performance, and requiring academic counseling. A written statement concerning the actions of the Committee on each student’s appeal shall be forwarded to the Director of Graduate Studies, who will then notify the student in writing of the Committee’s action with copies to the Registrar and the student’s Academic Department. The Graduate Student Scholastic Appeals Committee represents the highest performance review board to which the student may appeal an academic expulsion. The decisions of the committee are not subject to review or change by any other university authority.

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

MUW values the assessment of student learning. To assess student learning, MUW administers national tests and develops local evaluations. Students eligible to take national tests will be notified. In addition, learning assessments administered as part of a course may be retained by the University for use in program and/or University assessment of effectiveness.

7.6 Registration Policies

Academic Advising

New students are assigned a faculty or academic staff advisor who will counsel them regarding their academic progress. The appropriate academic Department will assign students a faculty or staff advisor specific to their major.

Before each registration, students must consult with their advisors. All MUW students should see their advisor not only for program planning prior to each registration, but also for guidance and evaluation throughout the school year. An advising period is published during the fall and spring semesters. See the academic calendar for specific dates.

In all academic programs at MUW, some courses are required while others are elective. It is the student’s responsibility to make certain that all required courses of the chosen curriculum are completed. Faculty advisors are available to assist students in planning their academic work. Not all courses are offered every semester; some are only offered in alternating semesters or alternating years. The University is not responsible for scheduling problems that result from the student’s failure to take these intermittent courses when they are available, nor is the institution responsible for those students in an accelerated program who cannot be accommodated by the regular course rotation or students who are off sequence due to failing courses.

Students who have questions regarding their major fields of interest or who want help with decisions are invited to consult their advisors, Department Chairs/Program Directors, or Deans at any time during the school year.

Scheduling and Registration Procedure

Graduate students will schedule classes during the time allotted their classification. Students are required to meet with their advisors to prepare a tentative schedule in advance of registration, to receive their Registration Access Pin (RAP), and to obtain approval for any alterations in their previously confirmed schedule. Unclassified students may receive their RAP from the Office of Graduate Studies. Students are responsible for entering their approved courses in the Banner system. The student confirms his or her registration by paying fees to the Comptroller. All fees and expenses are due at registration. Students who have registered for classes but decide not to attend the University must drop all of their classes by registration day of that term. Students will be held responsible for payment of tuition and fees and will receive failing grades if they neglect to drop classes by the designated date.

Change of Registration

Courses may be added or dropped without penalty during the first few days of a term. Students should check the academic calendar, student handbook, and/or student activities calendar for all important dates concerning dropping a course, adding a course, or changing their grade status in a course.

Auditing

With permission of the Department Chair/Program Director of the student’s major, MUW students may enroll in courses as auditors who do not attempt examinations and do not submit written assignments. The fee charged for auditing is the same as if the student were taking the course for credit. Auditors must attend at least 70% of classes or they will be assigned a grade of NA (Non-Attendance). Note: Audit classes carry no credit, do not count toward graduation, and are excluded in the certification of total credit hours for scholarships, VA, loans, insurance, etc.

Continuous Enrollment, Readmission, and Withdrawal from Graduate Programs

Students who wish to return to a graduate program within a year after withdrawing from classes will not need to re-apply for graduate study or pay another fee. However, they should notify the Office of Graduate Studies and the individual graduate program office that they wish to continue in their program so that their files can be re-activated. They will also have to complete a new application form to update personal data and provide transcripts for any classes that were taken at another institution in the interim. Students who wish to return to a graduate program a year or more after withdrawing from classes will have to re-apply for admission to that program. Readmission will not be automatic. Application for readmission may be made only once, and the student will be held to the requirements effective at the time of readmission. Students choosing to leave a Graduate Program and enroll as an undergraduate must submit a letter to the Graduate Office stating their intentions. 

See also 2.6 Withdrawal Procedures .

Late Administrative Withdrawal

The University acknowledges that there may be rare special circumstance in which a late withdrawal is appropriate, i.e. withdrawal from MUW after the published deadline for withdrawal from the University. Students may apply for a Late Administrative Withdrawal for only one term during their academic career. The University will only accept applications for late withdrawals from students who are unable to complete the term because of circumstances beyond their control. The following are acceptable circumstances for which a student may appeal for a Late Administrative Withdrawal:

  1. Medical (documentation must be provided);
  2. Relocation (documentation must be provided indicating that the relocation was required by an employer).

It is the responsibility of the student to apply for Late Administrative Withdrawal. The appropriate offices and individuals will review and process the application as quickly as possible, but students should allow at least one week for review and processing of an application before any action will be reflected on the student’s academic record.

All applications for Late Administrative Withdrawal must be submitted to the Dean of the college and must include the following:

  1. A letter from the student containing a detailed explanation of the circumstances necessitating a late withdrawal as well as relevant and compelling documentation to support the request;
  2. The student’s last date of attendance, documented by the instructor for each course from which the student seeks to withdraw;
  3. The approval of the student’s academic advisor and Department Chair.

The Dean will decide whether the documentation provided is appropriate and sufficient and may request additional information from the student. The Dean adjudicates all requests for Late Administrative Withdrawal. The decision of the Dean may be appealed to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs whose review is final.

If the application is approved, all courses and the grades for the semester will remain on the student’s transcript; however, the courses for that one term will not impact the student’s grade point average and can never be used toward graduation at Mississippi University for Women. Nevertheless, these grades may be used to determine admission into graduate and professional programs. In addition, the student must repeat any required courses from the term.

Late Administrative Withdrawal applies only to courses taken at MUW. In addition, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that he/she meets scholarship and/or financial aid enrollment requirements.

Note: Under Veterans’ Administration and federal financial aid rules and regulations, students will not be eligible for reversal of fees under this Late Administrative Withdrawal policy for any term in which they received benefits.

7.7 Course Administration

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes, laboratory periods, and other meetings that constitute a regular part of their University program. Parents cannot excuse students from their obligation to attend University classes. Excessive absences from classes can lead to dismissal from the University and loss of course credit. The student must consult the instructor concerning required makeup work and will be held responsible for all work missed. Any college/school within the University may formulate a policy governing class attendance. An instructor may establish his/her own more rigorous policy, subject to the approval of the Department Chair/Program Director. In no instance may a student who misses 50% or more of the class meetings receive course credit. Alternative attendance policies established by departments and/or individual instructors will be communicated to students in the course syllabi that are made available in the first week of the semester.

Individuals may only attend classes in which they are registered. Once a student drops or withdraws from a course he/she is no longer eligible to attend the course. Exceptions require prior approval of the instructor, department chair, and dean of the course.

Attendance Policy for Financial Aid

Students who receive Financial Aid awards can only receive funds for attendance in the semester’s courses. The MUW Attendance Policy for Financial Aid addresses two issues-1) students who never attended class and 2) students who stop attending classes but have not officially dropped the course nor have withdrawn from the University.

Students who have never attended classes - The amount of aid disbursed usually depends on the number of credit hours scheduled for the semester. The University must, however, determine that the student has attended at least one class meeting in each course to validate the disbursement of aid funds for each course in the schedule. Faculty members are requested to carefully monitor attendance during the first three weeks of classes and report those who have never attended their class or never signed in for an online course.

A student who has not attended any class meetings for a course will have a pro rata reduction of his/her award and funds will be returned to the programs/lender that provided the award. Unfortunately, MUW has already collected tuition and fees from these aid funds and the student will now have an unpaid tuition and fee balance. Thus, the attendance monitoring process has an impact on both the student’s account and MUW’s budget. Faculty must report no shows immediately after the close of the last day to add/register for classes.

Students who stop attending classes but have not officially dropped the course nor have withdrawn from the University - The amount of aid that is disbursed to a student is intended for attendance throughout the semester. If a student officially withdraws from all courses, a refund calculation is performed using the actual date of withdrawal to determine the amount of funds earned by the time of attendance and the amount of unearned funds to be returned to the programs that provided the aid.

For those students who do not officially withdraw but stop attending and earn all F and/or WF grades for the semester, the last date of attendance (LDA) will determine the time attended and the amounts of aid earned and unearned. The longer a student attends the more aid a student earns. Generally, if a student attends for at least 60% of the semester, the full aid award is considered earned.

For students who stop attending class at some point during the semester, faculty members are requested to indicate the last date of attendance or participation in a class event or activity at the time they report the F as the final grade. If attendance dates cannot be determined, the mid-term date will be used for the calculation and only 50% of the aid can be earned. Again, the accuracy of reporting can have an impact on the student’s account and on MUW’s budget.

Student Appeal Process - If a student disagrees with the no show or last date of attendance reported by the faculty, the student must submit an appeal in writing to his/her Dean. The Dean will review the appeal with the faculty member and department chair. The Dean/Institute Director will then send a recommendation to the Provost. The Provost will contact the Registrar and the Director of Financial Aid concerning the outcome of the appeal. The final level of appeal will be to the President of the University.

7.8 General Degree Requirements

All Mississippi University for Women post-baccalaureate, graduate, and professional degrees require the student to earn no fewer than 30 credit hours.To complete a program of study in Graduate Studies, the requirements listed below must be followed:

Credit Hour Policy

Mississippi University for Women (MUW) measures course and program credits in semester credit hours. MUW follows the policy of its governing board, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL Board), which specifies a minimum course meeting time of “2,250 minutes per three semester hour course, which may include final exam time,” and “the number of weeks must meet Federal financial aid requirements” (IHL Board Policy, Section 506, p. 79). For purposes of implementing this policy, MUW defines “credit hour” as follows: “For most classroom lecture/discussion courses, one credit hour equals one hour of classroom instruction and at least two hours of work outside of class for a minimum of fifteen weeks. For online or independent study classes that do not have regular meeting times, students are expected to achieve learning outcomes comparable to a traditional classroom course and to exert the equivalent student effort of three hours’ work per credit hour. Laboratory and studio courses normally meet with an instructor a minimum of one and a half hours per week per credit hour; in laboratory/studio classes, one credit hour represents a total of three hours of laboratory/studio time and preparation. For courses that meet in abbreviated time periods, such as summer sessions, students must attend the same number of class hours and spend the same amount of time in preparation as in the regular academic term, as well as achieve comparable learning outcomes.

Hour Requirements

All semester hours in a student’s program of studies for the Master’s Degree must be completed in courses numbered 500 or above. All semester hours in a students’s program of studies for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice Degree must be completed in courses numbered 700 or above, the graduate level Biostatistics course may be at the 500 or above level.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of six semester hours of graduate credit may be accepted for transfer. However, at the time the coursework was completed, the transfer institution must have been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or a regional accrediting association. No course will be accepted for transfer in which the student has received less than a B.

Residence Requirements

All coursework except the six hours of transfer credit must be completed at MUW.

Correspondence Study

No Master’s Degree credit may be earned by correspondence study.

Workshop Credit

Credit for coursework completed in a workshop may or may not be accepted.

Course Load

The minimum load for a full-time graduate student is nine semester hours; the normal full-time load is twelve semester hours. Students must have written permission from the appropriate program coordinator/director to exceed thirteen semester hours in the regular sessions or six semester hours in a single summer session.

7.9 Application to Candidacy

Once graduate students have accumulated at least six hours of graduate credit at MUW, they must apply for candidacy by the end of their next semester of enrollment. To initiate the application to candidacy, students should meet with their faculty advisors. Admission to Graduate Studies does not qualify a students as candidates for advanced degrees. Candidacy depends upon approval of a written request for admission. All students desiring admission to candidacy must meet the following conditions:

  1. Completion of all requirements for full admission status to Graduate Studies and to a specific program,
  2. Completion of a minimum of six semester hours of graduate credit at MUW with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on coursework,
  3. Submission of the completed application for admission to candidacy to the Graduate Program Coordinator/Director in which the student is enrolled.

Admission to candidacy must also be approved by the Program Coordinator/Director, the Department Chair, the College Dean, and the Director of Graduate Studies. Students will receive written notification of admission to candidacy.

Time Limitation

A student must complete his or her Master’s Degree or DNP Degree within six years from the date of his/her first enrollment in the program.

Thesis Option

Information about the thesis option can be obtained from the specific program director/coordinator.

Comprehensive Examination

Each student may be required to pass a comprehensive examination covering his or her major field as a requirement for the Master’s Degree. The comprehensive examination may be written and/or oral and must be completed at least ten days before the date of graduation.

Financial/Administrative Requirements

The student is expected to satisfy all financial and administrative responsibilities prior to conferral of the degree. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the settling of all University accounts, the payment of fines, and the return of books to the library. The University reserves the right to withhold diplomas or transcripts for students who do not satisfy their obligations to the University.

7.10 Application for Degree

A student must complete an application for a degree and pay the degree audit fee by the deadline listed on the Academic Calendar. Applications are available in the Registrar’s Office. Once an application is filed with the Office of the Registrar, a formal degree audit will be prepared and mailed to the student and the student’s advisor. Degrees are conferred in December, May, or August upon successful completion of all requirements. Should a student not complete graduation by the date indicated, another application must be filed and another degree audit fee paid. See the Academic Calendar  for deadlines.

7.11 Transcripts

Official transcripts are issued by the Office of the Registrar and bear a raised seal and the Registrar’s signature. There are three ways to order an official transcript from Mississippi University for Women.

  1. Ordering Transcripts Online: The National Student Clearinghouse (www.studentclearinhouse.org) has been authorized by Mississippi University for Women (MUW) to provide our transcript ordering service via the internet. Current and former students can order transcripts online using a major credit card at any time of the day or week. Your credit card will only be charged after your order has been completed by MUW’s Office of the Registrar. Please note that MUW only processes transcript orders Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT on the days that the University is open. Online transcript requests submitted while MUW is closed for holidays will be processed in the order they were received when offices reopen. Transcripts are not released for students who have not settled all University accounts (financial or otherwise).
  2. Ordering Transcripts Directly from MUW via Mail: Current or former students may order copies of their academic coursework at MUW by sending a written, signed and dated request to the Office of the Registrar, 1100 College Street MUW-1605, Columbus, MS 39701-5800. A charge payable in advance will be made for each copy. Transcripts are not released for students who have not settled al University accounts. Transcript request forms are available online at (http://web3.muw.edu/registrar/students/records/transcripts).
  3. Walk In Requests: Current or former students may request a transcript at the service counter of the Office of the Registrar located in Welty Hall, Room 105. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT, on the days that the University is open. Transcript requests are taken until 4:45 p.m. CT. If you are coming in person, you must have a picture ID. If a third party will be picking up your transcript, that person must have your written permission to release the transcript. Payment must be made upon receipt of the transcript. Please limit to no more than five (5) copies.

Transcripts forwarded in support of transfer student admission will not be released by MUW, but they can be reviewed in the Registrar’s Office. Such documents can be obtained from the institution originally issuing the record.