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Academics

Academics

Graduate Academic Regulations

Registration

Registering for classesEarly registration. A special advisement and early registration period is held each semester. Before early registration begins, all advisors set aside ample time to be available for academic advisement for the upcoming semester. Students are encouraged to make an appointment each semester to take advantage of this opportunity.

Late registration and schedule change. Students who do not register early may register during late registration prior to the first day of classes. Additionally, students who wish to change their schedules may do so during the late registration and schedule change periods.

Students may register via the web by using CougarNet and the Enrollment Services Tab. Please refer to the Columbus State University Class Schedules page on the Web for specific dates and information regarding early registration, late registration and schedule change.

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Course Eligibility

Courses numbered 6000 and above are open only to graduate students. Courses with 5000 numbers are open to both graduate and advanced-standing undergraduate students. In these courses, however, graduate students must do more extensive reading, prepare additional reports, and produce papers or other projects requiring more intensive research.

Undergraduate Students and Graduate Work. Undergraduate students with a minimum institutional grade point average of 2.75 who are within six semester hours of completing the baccalaureate degree from Columbus State University may register for graduate courses upon recommendation of their advisor. The total course load may not exceed 12 semester hours. A grade of B or better in the graduate course is required for use toward a master's degree. No more than nine semester hours of graduate credit may be earned before completion of the baccalaureate degree. Under no circumstances may a course be used for both graduate and undergraduate credit except in the case of approved BS to MS programs. Students must submit an application for graduation prior to registering for graduate courses; the registrar will verify eligibility for enrollment. Students desiring to take College of Education and Health Professions courses must fulfill graduate admission requirements and be accepted for graduate studies in their desired program area prior to enrollment.

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Graduate Assistantships

A student holding an appointment as a graduate assistant must be fully admitted to a graduate degree program, be in good academic standing, and earn a minimum of nine and maximum of 10 semester hours of graduate course work (or required prerequisites) during the period in which the assistantship is held. Work assignments cannot exceed 19 hours per week. Students interested in seeking an assistantship should contact the dean of the college offering the graduate program in which they are enrolled. Students granted an assistantship are not permitted to reduce their course load to less that 9 hours and retain the assistantship.

Study Loads

Maximum Study Load. The maximum course load for any graduate student is 12 semester hours. Students holding graduate assistantships must register for at least nine, but no more than 10 semester hours of graduate credit. In all cases, graduate students are urged to register only for the number of hours they can complete successfully.

Enrollment Status. Enrollment status for graduate students is based on the number of hours enrolled, excluding withdrawn courses, as follows:

Number of Semester Hours Enrolled Graduate Enrollment Status
9 or more Full-time
6 to 8.99 Three Quarter-time
4 to 5.99 Half-time
3.99 or less Less than Half-time
Studying

* For summer terms, enrollment status certification other than for financial aid is determined as follows: 6 semester hours or more, full time; 3-5 semester hours, half time; and 1-2 semester hours, less than half time.

Students on financial aid seeking information about how enrollment status may impact financial aid eligibility should contact the Financial Aid office.

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Class Attendance and Withdrawal

Attendance policy. Attendance policy is ordinarily established by individual faculty. If an instructor does not provide a written attendance policy statement during the first week of classes, a student is permitted to accumulate a total of nine hours of absences in a three credit-hour course, or the equivalent in courses carrying fewer credit hours. Regular attendance at class or laboratory is a student obligation. Students are expected to account to individual instructors for absences and, at the discretion of the instructors, to make up all work missed because of absence. Students absent from a previously announced quiz or test may be given a zero on the quiz or test. To be permitted to take a final examination at a time other than the date and time published on the Web at http://academics.columbusstate.edu/exams/, students must have permission of the instructor and the dean of the college offering the course.

Excessive Absence Policy. Anytime during the semester when a student exceeds the total number of hours of absences allowed, an instructor may drop the student for excessive absences with a grade of WF. Students may regain admittance to a course only by permission of the instructor and the dean of the college offering the course. A student auditing a course who fails to meet class participation and assignment requirements or who exceeds the total number of allowed absences may be dropped from the course by the instructor and assigned a grade of W.

Absence for Military Duty. Military Reservists who are called to active duty or active duty military personnel who receive change-of-station orders or deployment orders during an academic semester may officially withdraw from the university with a full refund of matriculation fees upon providing a copy of the official orders. Those who have completed sufficient work may be awarded a grade and credit or an I (Incomplete) grade. Military withdrawals are not granted for TDY assignments.

Course withdrawals. Students who wish to drop a course after the official schedule change period has ended must officially withdraw from the course. Students must withdraw through CougarNet using the Enrollment Services Tab. 

A student charged with academic dishonesty may not withdraw from a course in which the alleged offense occurred unless the charge has been overturned through the appeals process. The CSU Office of Judicial Affairs may be consulted for more information about filing an appeal.

Students that have been reported to the registrar as excessively absent will not be permitted to withdraw from the course.

A grade of WF will be assigned when the student withdraws online past the published deadline, or when the student submits a roll correction form after the deadline. A student may appeal the assignment of a WF grade by submitting the Grade Appeal Form to the office of the registrar once all appropriate signatures and substantiating documentation have been obtained. The appeal will then be forwarded to the Academic Standards Committee for review. The Committee will notify the student of the decision rendered. Refer to http://registration.columbusstate.edu for specific dates and additional information regarding course withdrawal.

Administrative withdrawal. An academic dean may withdraw a student from a course when, in consultation with the instructor, the dean determines that the student has not satisfied the prerequisites for the course.

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Grades and Grade Point Averages

Columbus State University uses a 4.0 grade point system.

  Grades Averaged in the GPA

Grade Grade Points Per Semester Hour
A, Excellent 4
B, Good 3
C, Average 2
D, Poor, passing 1
F, Failing 0
WF, Withdrawal, failing* 0

* WF is assigned when a student withdraws from a course after the W grade deadline or when an instructor drops a student for excessive absences.

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Grades Not Averaged in the GPA  

Grade Description
I Indicates that a student was doing satisfactory work but, for non-academic reasons, was unable to meet the full requirements of the course. The requirements for removing an I grade and the length of time for completing work (not to exceed 12 months) are left to the instructor. The student will, however, receive a copy of the written plan for completion of the course (also copied to the department chair). The instructor has the option of reporting a default grade if the work is not completed by the completion date. If no default grade is submitted the grade of I will be changed to F by the registrar.
IP Indicates that credit has not been given in a course that requires a continuation of work beyond the semester for which the student signed up for the course. The use of this grade is approved for dissertation and thesis hours, directed studies, internships, practica, project courses, and exit examinations. This grade cannot be substituted for an I grade.
W Indicates that a student was permitted to withdraw without penalty. Withdrawals without penalty will not be permitted after the W grade deadline except in cases of hardship as determined by the Academic Standards Committee. A W grade may also be awarded in the case of credit by examination courses and for excessive absence when auditing a course.
S Indicates that credit has been given for completion of degree requirements other than academic course work. These are limited to clinical practica, internships, and exit examinations as specified in the course descriptions section of the catalog.
U Indicates unsatisfactory performance in an attempt to complete degree requirements other than academic course work. These are limited to clinical practica, internships, and exit examinations as specified in the course descriptions section of the catalog.
V Indicates that a student audited a course. Students may not change from audit to credit status or vice versa after the first week of the semester.
K Indicates that a student was given credit for a course through examination.
WM Withdrawn for military purposes/deployment.

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Explanation of Grade Point Averages

The following grade point averages are computed and are used to determine the fulfillment of academic requirements:

Semester grade point average is computed using GPA hours attempted and grade points earned for the semester.

Graduate cumulative grade point average is computed using the total number of graduate GPA hours attempted at Columbus State University and the total number of graduate grade points earned at Columbus State University, regardless of the number of times a course is attempted.

Graduate institutional grade point average is computed by dividing the total number of graduate grade points earned at Columbus State University by the total number of graduate GPA hours attempted at Columbus State University after omitting grades in previous courses which have been taken and repeated at Columbus State University.

Graduate overall grade point average is computed by dividing the total number of graduate grade points earned at Columbus State University and all hours accepted from other institutions by the total number of graduate GPA hours attempted at Columbus State University and all other institutions attended. The Graduate overall GPA will be used to determine both academic standing and graduation except as noted in the Exception Policy.

Graduate program GPA is computed using all program course work attempted at Columbus State University as well as courses transferred from another institution and applied to the program of study; disregards grades from earlier attempts of any repeated courses except courses that may be repeated for credit.

An explanation of how to compute a GPA can be found under the Undergraduate Academic Regulations section.

Exception Policy: With the approval of the college Graduate Council/Graduate Appeals Committee and the Dean, a graduate student may change majors one time and have the GPA re-set so that the GPA going forward applies only to the new program of study, i.e. the student will be allowed to use the Graduate Program GPA rather than the overall GPA to determine both Academic Standing and Graduation.

Grade Changes

Final grades will not be changed after one calendar year from the date assigned except by appeal to, and subsequent approval by, the university's Academic Standards Committee. A grade that appears to be incorrect should be reported to the instructor promptly.

Grade Reports and Transcripts.

Report CardReports of final grades are available through CougarNet and the Enrollment Services Tab on the Web. The academic transcript includes all undergraduate and graduate credit courses taken at Columbus State University. Transcripts should be requested at least one week prior to the date needed. University policies regarding release of academic records and compliance with regulations under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (the "Buckley Amendment") are published in the Columbus State University Student Handbook.

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Repetition of Courses

Students repeating a course for which credit has already been earned either at Columbus State University or by transfer of credits from another institution forfeit the previous credit in that course (except in the case of courses that may be repeated for credit). The student's final grade in the course will be the one made on repetition (even if the grade in the previous course is higher). No more than two courses may be repeated and for no more than one time each. Only courses with grades C or below may be repeated. After earning a graduate degree at Columbus State University, a student will forfeit credit earned for courses taken as repeats after graduation (except in the case of courses that may be repeated for credit).

Academic Misconduct

The university recognizes honesty and integrity as central virtues of academic life and as fully necessary to its very existence. The university also recognizes and accepts that cooperation, discussion, and group studying outside of the classroom are essential elements of the academic experience, and that students may seek assistance in their studies, such as tutoring and peer review. However, while such practices are acceptable and even encouraged, students must understand the parameters of accountability in their academic performance and need to respect the academic freedom of the faculty. Students are responsible for adhering to the regulations pertaining to academic misconduct published under Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Student Handbook available in the Student Life Office and on the Web at http://students.columbusstate.edu/.

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Academic Standing

Non-degree Status. Non-degree students seeking re-certification, endorsement, or professional development must also meet the following academic standing requirements.

Students classified as non-degree cannot use these credits toward any degree at Columbus State University unless previously approved by the appropriate graduate program director.

Required Academic Standing. Students enrolled in a degree program must maintain a minimum graduate overall grade point average of 3.0 for the masters and specialist degrees and a 3.25 for the Doctor of Education. The overall GPA of 3.0 also applies to undergraduate courses which are required in some graduate programs. Students must be in Good Academic Standing to be eligible for graduation and for admission to Doctoral Candidacy.

Courses earned with grades of "D" may not be used toward a graduate degree or certificate, but will be calculated in the overall grade point average.

Courses with earned grades of "C" or below may not be transferred from another institution for credit toward a graduate degree or certificate.

A maximum of two courses (not to exceed eight semester credit hours) with a grade of "C" may apply to a masters degree.

A maximum of one course (not to exceed four semester credit hours) with a grade of "C" may apply to a specialist degree in education.

A minimum graduate program grade point average of 3.25 is required in the doctoral program. A maximum of one course with a grade of C may apply to the Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Leadership. Courses with earned grades of D or below (including grades of D, F, or WF) may not be used toward degree or certification completion, but will be calculated in the overall graduate grade point average.

Graduate students are expected to maintain Good Academic Standing as they progress toward completing their programs. Students will be evaluated each term on the basis of the overall GPA. The academic standing of graduate students is classified as follows:

  1. Good Academic Standing
  2. Academic Probation
  3. Academic Exclusion

Good Academic Standing. Good Academic Standing is defined for graduate students as an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Academic Probation. A student whose overall grade point average falls below 3.0 (3.25 for the Doctor of Education) after the completion of at least nine (9) hours of graduate work in their program begins the next term on academic probation. . A student must earn a term GPA of 3.0 or higher (3.25 for the doctoral degree) each term while on Academic Probation.

One of three possible actions will be implemented for a student on Academic Probation at the end of each term of enrollment:

  1. A student who earns a term GPA of 3.0 or higher and raises his or her overall GPA to 3.0 or higher will return to Good Academic Standing.
  2. A student whose term GPA is 3.0 or higher, but whose overall GPA remains below 3.0, will remain on Academic Probation.
  3. A student who earns a term GPA below 3.0 while on Academic Probation, regardless of the overall GPA, will be excluded for one term.

In 1-3 above, the minimum requirement for the doctoral degree is 3.25.

Removal from Probation. Occurs when, at the end of a probationary term a student's graduate overall grade point average equals or exceeds 3.0; 3.25 for the Doctor of Education.

Academic Exclusion. Occurs when a student on academic probation earns a term GPA below 3.0. regardless of the overall GPA.

The length of exclusion will be a minimum of one term. One term is defined as the Fall, Spring, or Summer term. The Summer term includes all sessions; thus, an excluded student is required to sit out all sessions that comprise the Summer term. The student must apply to be reinstated by the program and college.

Reinstatement for the Masters and Specialist Degrees. After the mandatory period of exclusion, a student on academic exclusion must apply for reinstatement by the appropriate program, either to a degree program or to non-degree status, in order to continue graduate study.

The student on Academic Exclusion is not guaranteed the opportunity to return to the University. The excluded student must apply for reinstatement to return to the University and program after the one term absence. Reinstatement criteria are established by the college or school which houses the student's graduate program.

If a student's request for reinstatement is approved by the program that excluded the student by any other program, the student returns to the University on Academic Probation.  One of three possible actions will be implemented for a reinstated student on Academic Probation at the end of each term of enrollment:

  1. A reinstated student who earns a term GPA of 3.0 or higher and raises his or her overall GPA to 3.0 or higher will return to Good Academic Standing. 
  2. A reinstated student who earns a term GPA is 3.0 or higher, but whose overall GPA remains below 3.0, will remain on Academic Probation.
  3. A reinstated student who earns a term GPA below 3.0 while on Academic Probation, regardless of the overall GPA, will be academically excluded from the University.

Reinstatement for the Doctor of Education Program. Mandatory period of exclusion is a minimum of one term. Students must apply for reinstatement after the period of exclusion to the College of Education and Health Professions Doctoral Admissions Committee.

College, Department, or Program-Specific Academic Standards

General Academic Standards apply to all graduate programs, which include both degree and certification programs. Some colleges/school, departments, or programs have additional and/or different academic standards which govern a student's progress toward program completion. Students should be aware of the academic regulations that apply to their programs of study and to the process and requirements for readmission.

Process for Applying for Readmission Following Exclusion

The student on Academic Exclusion is not guaranteed the opportunity to return to the University.

Steps to be followed for students seeking to be reinstated are:

  1. Following the period of exclusion, the student must apply for readmission to the university.
  2. The student should submit a letter indicating justification for reinstatement to the Chair of the Department that houses the student's program of study (or to a new program of study).
  3. The Department Chair obtains input from faculty in the program of study and makes a recommendation (and any conditions) a representative group designated by the dean for reviewing such appeals (e.g. Doctoral Program Admissions Committee, college Graduate Council, or similar groups designated by Dean for making reinstatement decisions.). Recommendations made by the Council/Appeals Committee are reviewed by the dean who renders a decision.

    If an appeal for reinstatement is denied at the college level, it may be appealed to the Office of the Provost.
  4. With a positive recommendation by the Dean and committee, the student will be reinstated on probation and allowed to continue his or her coursework, subject to the prevailing course schedule and all provisions or conditions established by the Department Chair, Dean, or committee.
  5. The student being reinstated must sign a statement indicating that he or she understand the conditions under which reinstatement is occurring such as, the requirements for returning to Good Academic Standing, the consequences for obtaining a term GPA lower than 3.0 (3.25 for the doctoral program), and the knowledge that students must be in Good Academic Standing to be eligible for graduation and for admission to Doctoral Candidacy.

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Residence and Time Limits

Residence requirement. A minimum of 75 percent of the graduate credit hours required for a master's degree must be taken at Columbus State University. For the specialist degree, the minimum residence requirement is 20 graduate credit hours taken at Columbus State University. For the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Leadership, students are required to complete 48 hours in residence, to include 15 hours of research and 9 hours toward the dissertation.Asynchronous (online) and distance learning courses administered through Columbus State University constitute courses taken in residence. 

Time Limits. All work credited toward a graduate degree must be completed within seven years. For the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Leadership, all work toward the degree must be completed within 10 years. Extension of time may be granted only on conditions beyond the control of the student. In each instance a formal statement outlining the conditions upon which the extension of time is requested should be addressed to the director of the specific graduate program.

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Graduation

Applications for graduation should be submitted in CougarNet through the Enrollment Services Tab one semester prior to the anticipated semester of completion; the last day of classes of the prior term is the final deadline for submission. A non-refundable graduation fee of $60 is required whether or not participating in the ceremony. Fee will be applied to student's account during the first month of their intended graduation term and must be paid by midterm. Students participating in the graduation ceremony are required to have the appropriate graduation regalia - i.e. cap, gown and hood.Graduation

Candidacy requirements must be completed no later than the official graduation candidacy deadline of the intended term of graduation. Candidacy requirements are:

  • Enrollment in all courses required for degree completion. Students enrolled in other institutions during the final term must submit proof of enrollment.
  • Removal of all "Incomplete" grades applying towards degree requirements from their record.
  • Verification of approved substitutions.
  • $60.00 graduation fee
  • 3.0 graduate overall GPA
  • Meets all program requirements

Students who satisfy the above requirements will be considered candidates for graduation and will be eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies.

Students who do not satisfy degree requirements must delete their application in CougarNet and submit a new graduation application for a future term.

Graduation Ceremony. A graduation ceremony is held at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Students who do not plan to attend the ceremony must indicate so on the application for graduation.

Fall and Spring candidates may only participate in a graduation ceremony in the term of which their degree requirements are completed.

Students completing the requirements at the end of a summer term may participate only in the fall semester graduation ceremony.