On this page
- Program of Study
- Independent Study
- Individual Enrollment
- Continuation Fee
- Graduate Course Scheduling
- Grading System
- Transfer Credits
- Course Audits
- Enrollment Status (Half-Time, Full-Time, Overload)
- Course Add, Drop, and Withdrawal Policy
- Course Refund Schedule
- Graduate Capstone
- Graduate Internship or Practicum
- Graduate Program Completion and Degree Conferral
All graduate students are required to have a written program of study on file at the College of Graduate Studies within the first term after acceptance. The program of study must be approved and signed by the student, his or her advisor, and the associate vice president for the College of Graduate Studies. The program of study specifies each course comprising a graduate program concentration and the term or year in which the course is likely to be taken. Changes to the program of study may be made only with the advisor’s and the associate vice president’s approval. Program of study forms are available from the advisor and the College of Graduate Studies. The associate vice president for the College of Graduate Studies oversees all programs of study.
An independent study is a special, individualized project of one to three graduate credits. The study must cover material not found in regularly offered courses. It requires a contract between the student and instructor specifying the project to be accomplished. The completed Graduate Independent Study form must be submitted with the signed registration form. Independent studies are only available to admitted graduate students.
If extenuating circumstances exist, students may be permitted to register for an individual enrollment. This option only applies to required courses on the student’s approved program of study. To register, an Application for Individual Enrollment must be completed and submitted with the registration form.
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In some circumstances, a graduate student will have completed or will have been enrolled in the prescribed courses or credits listed in their program of study, but may not have completed their degree requirements, such as final completion of a thesis, dissertation, or project. In such cases, where the student’s faculty advisor determines that it will take more than half of the next enrollment period for the student to complete the final degree requirements, the student will be required to pay a continuation fee equivalent to three credits for that period. This fee would also be required for subsequent enrollment periods, if additional time beyond more than half of the period would still be needed. The student will be charged the current in-state or out-of-state per credit tuition rate based on residency.
Download Continuation Fee form
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Graduate Course Scheduling
All courses are identified by a discipline code and a four-digit course number. Graduate courses are identified by a number 5000 or above, (e.g., ED 5030). Mathematics courses numbered MG 3XXX or MG 4XXX may be taken for graduate credit.
Graduate courses are scheduled on a term structure with the exception of Master of Science and athletic training courses, which follow the undergraduate semester schedule. Courses are offered during the following terms:
|Summer||July 1–August 31|
|Fall||September 1–November 30|
|Winter||December 1–February 28 (29)|
|Spring||March 1–June 30|
The term structure allows students to register for multiple courses in a year. The majority of graduate courses are scheduled during evenings, weekends, weeklong institutes, or online. Some degree programs, such as counseling and athletic training, and educator certification options, have specific residency and undergraduate course requirements unique to these areas of study.
Course schedules are released online prior to the term start date.
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All graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 (B) grade point average. The graduate grade range is A through C- and F. There are no D grades as the College of Graduate Studies recognizes C- as the lowest passing grade.
Letter grades, with pluses and minuses noted, are used to assess the relative extent to which students achieve course objectives. Grade point average is calculated on a term and a cumulative basis that takes into account all grades earned by a student during their academic career at Plymouth State, including those earned prior to starting coursework toward a degree or certification program.
Grade Point Average
The following grade point system is used to determine grade point average:
|Points per Credit||4.00||3.67||3.33||3.00||2.67||2.33||2.00||1.67||0.00|
An Administrative Failure (AF) notation is placed on a student’s transcript when an instructor does not have sufficient information to assign a letter grade in a graded course. Frequently, administrative failure stems from failure to formally drop a course. An AF counts as an F grade in grade point average calculation and is not a reason for a course withdrawal.
An admitted graduate student is making unsatisfactory progress if any of the following conditions are present at the end of each term:
- A cumulative grade point average (GPA) below 3.0
- One or more failing grades (F or AF)
Graduate student progress is tracked each term by the program’s administrative staff. Students are notified in writing if they are not making satisfactory progress. A copy of the student’s unsatisfactory progress letter is also sent to the program advisor.
Students who have not made satisfactory progress must meet with their advisor within the current term to review their program of study and plan steps to attain satisfactory progress. Students then have one additional term to improve the conditions of their unsatisfactory progress status. Additional coursework cannot be pursued until the student and their advisor have met and developed a plan to correct the unsatisfactory progress status. If the student does not follow this plan within the time frame or fails to meet with their advisor, dismissal from the degree program will occur. Should the student want to continue, he or she must reapply and be accepted into the program.
Please note that unsatisfactory progress may impact veterans’ and eligible dependents’ receipt of GI Bill benefits.
Inactivity or Withdrawal from the College of Graduate Studies
Graduate program applicants have an obligation to show progress toward earning a degree. Students who do not take at least one course during any two-year period will be considered inactive and informed of this status in writing. Once notified of their inactive status, students must request reactivation in writing and submit a Graduate Continuation Fee. The student’s program of study must still be completed within the original six-year program period. An inactive student will lose access to myPlymouth, and his or her student ID will be deactivated.
After three years of inactivity, a student will be automatically withdrawn from the graduate program and will receive written notification of the withdrawal. At that time, the student’s enrollment documents will be destroyed, unless the student immediately submits a written request for continuation and the Graduate Continuation Fee. If, at a later date, the student decides to re-enroll in the graduate program, new application materials must be submitted for the admissions review team to evaluate for readmission.
Students who choose to withdraw from the program must notify the College of Graduate Studies in writing.
Students are allowed to retake any course. Credits and grade points for the first grade will be deleted from the cumulative record, while the grade itself will remain on the transcript and the repeat noted with an “E” (Exclude) next to the grade. The course information will be listed in the usual manner the second time it appears on the transcript. The most recent grade counts, even if lower than an earlier grade. This policy does not apply to courses that are repeatable, such as independent studies or special topics offerings.
Students are urged to recognize the importance of participation in class activities and to be aware that grades may be affected by absences or lack of participation during online coursework. Instructors shall determine the class attendance policies.
Instructors outline attendance policies and the effect multiple absences have on final grades in the course syllabus. Course syllabi are distributed during the first class meeting, posted online, or can be requested from the instructor in advance. In classes that use online classroom management software (e.g., Blackboard), online student activity is recorded and may be used to determine participation. Instructors maintain records to show the attendance policy is being followed.
Fair Grading Policy
Fair and equitable grading reflects values to which all members of the Plymouth State community commit themselves. Grades are used to assess the relative extent to which students achieve course objectives in all for-credit courses.
Academic freedom allows instructors to determine course objectives within the bounds of established curricula, and the means by which a student’s mastery of those objectives will be evaluated; and evaluate the quality of work on individual exams or assignments.
Standards for Fair Grading
To achieve fair and equitable grading, instructors shall inform students, in writing, (i.e., via a syllabus) of the course objectives and the means by which student mastery of those objectives will be determined. Instructors are expected to share this information with students during the first class meeting and to provide this information, in writing, no later than the second class meeting. These arrangements cannot be altered after the class has met for one-quarter of its scheduled class meeting time if the changes negatively impact the student. The student’s grade shall be based solely on the criteria known to all students in the class and all such criteria shall apply to mastery of stated course objectives.
Examples of violations of the fair grading policy include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Allowing alternate work to substitute for coursework assignments for a particular student or group of students when that option has not been stated in the syllabus as available to all students
- Allowing a student to perform extra work, over and above that described in the syllabus, to influence her or his grade, when that same opportunity has not been made available to all students
- Allowing students to perform extra work after final grades have been submitted to improve their grade
Exceptions to the above violations may be allowed in cases related to documented learning disabilities when alternative testing arrangements have been made through Plymouth Academic Support Services (PASS) and in cases where there are documented serious extenuating circumstances.
Incompletes and Extensions
An instructor may decide to enter a grade of incomplete (IC) on a student’s record if unusual circumstances prevent completion of the course on time, and a minimal portion of the total class work needs to be completed. The course must be completed by the date specified by the instructor which cannot exceed one year beyond the original term of course completion. If the course is not completed by this date, the grade specified by the instructor will be recorded. If no grade is specified, a default grade of F will be recorded. The instructor is responsible for documenting and notifying the student of the work to be completed and the deadline. A student may not graduate with an incomplete on his or her transcript.
The extension (E) grade is reserved for courses that are designed with requirements that may extend beyond one term. The course must be completed by the date specified by the instructor which cannot exceed two years beyond the original term of course completion. If the course is not completed by this date, a default grade of F will be recorded. A student may not graduate with an E on his or her transcript.