Graduate Policies

Repeated Courses

Unless there are extenuating circumstances, a student may repeat only those courses in which they earned a C or lower grade at The College of St. Scholastica. In the case of extenuating circumstances, students may appeal through the Registrar's Office for permission to repeat a course in which they earned a "B-" or higher grade at St. Scholastica. Consideration of an appeal will be made in consultation with the course instructor. In either case, both grades will remain on the student's permanent record but only the grade earned in the second enrollment will be used in grade point computations; similarly, credit will be awarded only with the second enrollment. Except in very unusual circumstances, courses may not be attempted a third time.

Courses failed at The College of St. Scholastica may not be repeated at any other college. 

Culminating Graduate Experience

Each graduate level program requires a culminating experience, e.g.,:

  • a thesis
  • research study
  • final project
  • internship
  • and provides its own guidelines.

Transfer Credits

Students may transfer a maximum number of six semester graduate credits appropriate to the program, earned from a regionally accredited college or university, toward completion of their St. Scholastica degree. Departments are looking for corresponding outcomes and other curricular requirements to the completed transfer courses and the courses within our curriculum.

Exceptions to this policy for individual students may be made by individual departments. The transfer credit must have been completed no more than seven years prior to the date the St. Scholastica degree is completed. Forms to request transfer of credits can be obtained online and submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions. 

The College of St. Scholastica will consider transfer credits from students who:

  • Submit a Graduate Credit Transfer Application form.
  • Submit an official transcript sent directly from the regionally accredited institution.
  • Submit the course syllabus, catalog, or other pertinent descriptive information to determine equivalency of course content.
  • Have earned a course grade of 3.0 or better.
  • Completed the course not more than seven years prior to graduating from the St. Scholastica program.

Degree-seeking students planning to enroll in courses at another institution with the intent to transfer the credits to The College of St. Scholastica will need to send a written request and supporting course documentation to the program director prior to enrolling in the course. Written approval will be provided if the course is acceptable for transfer.

Course Load

The full-time student load at the graduate level is 6 semester credits for academic and financial aid purposes. Additional fees are assessed dependent on the number of credits a student is taking.

A student's graduate enrollment status is based upon the number of credits as indicated below. These credits are used for deferment reporting and financial aid.

Enrollment Status Course Load
Full-Time 6 or more credits
3/4 Time 5 credits
1/2 Time 3-4 credits
Less than 1/2 Time Fewer than 3 credits

Grade Definitions

Graduate students must maintain an average GPA of 3.0 and no grade lower than a C.  A student's performance is recorded in grades as follows: 

Letter Grade Description
A 4.0 grade points
A- 3.7 grade points
B+ 3.3 grade points
B 3.0 grade points
B- 2.7 grade points
C+ 2.3 grade points
C 2.0 grade points
F 0.0 grade point
Letter Grade Description
A Evidence of exceptional and outstanding work.
B Evidence of acceptable work.
C Minimally acceptable if the required overall GPA is maintained for that program.
F Failing work.
P The P (pass) may be used if agreed upon ahead of time by the faculty and student. The P grade indicates successful completion of course requirements.
N The N (no credit) grade is used when Pass/No Pass has been agreed upon and when course requirements have not been successfully completed.
I The I (incomplete) grade is given to students who have requested an I grade because they are unable to complete the course requirements by the end of the course/semester due to extraordinary circumstances. The request must be made to the faculty on the Graduate Course Incomplete Contract form. The I grade must be converted to a letter grade (A through F) or P or N within the contract time frame.
IP The IP (in progress) grade is used to signify courses that are usually not completed within the term due to the nature of the course. The IP grade must be converted to a letter grade (A through F) or P or N within 12 months from the time the course was ended.

Graduate Incomplete Policy

  1. An incomplete may be assigned by the instructor at their discretion at the end of a term.
  2. Faculty and student must complete an Incomplete Contract Form. This form is available at http://resources.css.edu/Registrar/forms/incomplete_grade_contract.pdf
  3. A limit will be placed on the length of time that "I" may stand on the student's record: that limit, unless extended by the instructor, will be the fifth week of the subsequent term. "Incompletes" must be resolved before the student can officially graduate.

Completion of the Graduate Degree

Time Limits for Completion of the Graduate Degree

The credits required for obtaining a graduate degree, including transfer credits, must have been earned within seven years. Transfer credits approved early in the program may not apply toward the degree if they become older than seven years before all of the degree requirements are completed.

Commencement

In order to be awarded the graduate degree or certificate, students must complete an Application to Graduate. The process for applying can be obtained from the Registrar at https://www.css.edu/administration/registrar/ and should be completed before Oct. 1 for Fall commencement and Feb. 1 for Spring commencement. 

Graduate students generally participate in commencement at the Fall or Spring ceremony following completion of all degree requirements. In those programs (or tracks) where the final requirement is an off-site internship/field placement, e.g. occupational therapy, students who are making normal progress toward their degree may participate in the ceremony prior to completing the final requirement.

Students in other programs or tracks who have special circumstances may participate in commencement with the permission of the Graduate Program Director and the School Dean. Participation in the ceremony does not confer the degree. The degree is conferred when all requirements have been completed and appear on the official transcript.

Disciplinary Policies

Students may be placed on probation, or dismissed, for academic and behavioral reasons. Most lapses in ethical or academic standards will be addressed with probation, but some may be severe enough to warrant dismissal.

A student may be placed on probation only once during the timeframe of a given program. Exceptions to this policy for individual students may be made with approval of the program department and the School Dean.

Academic Probation

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and completion ratio of 67 percent. If the cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 or completion ratio below 67%, the student is placed on academic probation.

Academic dishonesty such as plagiarism, falsification of data, or cheating will result, at a minimum, in failure of the assignment involved, and may result in failure of the course. Course failure will result in academic probation. More than one instance of academic dishonesty will result in dismissal. However, in cases of serious dishonesty, dismissal may result after the first instance. Any instance of academic dishonesty and the resultant disciplinary actions must be reported to the School Dean.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The federal government requires institutions to monitor recipients of federal financial aid to ensure that they are meeting satisfactory academic progress standards. At St. Scholastica, students must demonstrate that they are making satisfactory academic progress towards their degree and this is reviewed each semester. For financial aid purposes, the definition of satisfactory academic progress includes three required components:

  • The graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 or better;
  • The graduate student must successfully complete at least two-thirds (67%) of all credits they attempt;
  • The graduate student cannot exceed more than 150% of the credit hours required to complete their degree.

If the student does not meet this, they are put on financial aid (FA) probation for 1 semester (still eligible for FA). If at the end of the 2nd semester they do not meet the requirements, they move to FA suspension (ineligible for FA).

Behavioral Probation

Students are expected to conform to professional standards of behavior. Some examples of reasons for behavioral probation are minor infractions in the following areas:

  1. Lying, stealing, or breach of confidentiality when dealing with a patient/client or related health-record data.
  2. Behavioral or emotional problems that are incompatible with competent and/or ethical performance as a graduate student.
  3. Failure to abide by the code of ethics governing the discipline.
  4. Impeding the learning of other students in the program through disruptive behavior, lack of cooperation, or other actions or lapses.
  5. Unprofessional behavior while in clinical/practicum/internship settings.

The student and the faculty of the department will create a set of expectations to address the problems (i.e. a contract), and a specified period of time will be set in which to correct them. Failure to conform to the terms of the probationary contract will result in dismissal from the program.

Students will normally be put on probation before being dismissed unless the student has committed acts of gross or irreparable unethical nature.

During a probationary period:

  1. Standards must not be higher than those of other students in the program; however, students on probation may be monitored more frequently or more intensively than other students.
  2. Clear descriptions of the reasons for probation, and expectations for the future, will be laid out in a written communication; copies to the student, the faculty advisor, any other faculty member involved in coursework, and the Program Director.
  3. Faculty involved must follow up with the student and with the Program Director at regular intervals and give factual evidence of progress (example; weekly or bi-weekly grade reports or clinical evaluations).

At the end of the probationary period:

  • If the student has completed the probationary period satisfactorily, and has corrected all problems laid out in the probation agreement, the student is returned to regular status.

Dismissal

Students will be subject to dismissal for severe and/or repeated academic or behavioral issues whereby expected academic or behavioral standards are not met.

Examples include:

Academic Dismissal

  1. Failure to maintain an overall 3.0 GPA and/or completion ratio of 67%.
  2. Incursion of a second probationary status for either academic or behavioral cause.
  3. Repeated or serious plagiarism or other infractions of academic dishonesty.
  4. Failure to meet stipulations of an academic probationary contract.
  5. Failure to meet the conditions of a provisional/probationary admittance contract.

Behavioral Dismissal

  1. Failure to meet expectations outlined in a probationary contract designed to correct any behavioral infractions.
  2. Commission of acts of a gross or irreparable unethical nature.
  3. Incursion of a second probationary status for either academic or behavioral cause.

Dismissal Procedure

In cases of continued violations during the probationary period, unsatisfactory progress during the probationary period, or in cases of single but severe violations, the department may proceed with dismissal according to specific procedures outlined in their department policies and procedures handbook.