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2016 - 2017 Graduate Bulletin
Appalachian State University
   
 
  Dec 12, 2017
 
 
    
2016 - 2017 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

List of Academic Policies



Academic Common Market

The University of North Carolina ended its participation in the Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market (ACM) program on June 30, 2012. Students admitted and enrolled under ACM status prior to ending the program will be eligible to continue under ACM provided they continue to meet the conditions below.

  • remain a resident of the home state;
  • complete a full-time schedule in each academic semester (summer enrollment in optional, but full-time enrollment is required to receive the benefit);
  • remain in good standing;
  • remain enrolled in the declared major/concentration.

Adding a Second Major - See Double Major and Double Degree

Admission to Candidacy for Degree Seeking Students

Some graduate programs, including the doctoral program, require admission to candidacy upon completion of a set of courses or other requirements.

Students who have demonstrated their ability to succeed as outlined below may apply for Candidacy, if required, using the Admission to Candidacy form or the Thesis/Dissertation Committee Form, which requires approval of the student’s advisory committee and the Department Chair or Program Director. Students must be in good standing academically (3.0 GPA minimum) to apply for candidacy. It is the student’s responsibility to request to be considered for candidacy if required.

  • Candidacy in a Doctoral Program (required): Candidacy requires satisfactory completion of the Qualifying Exam and Dissertation Prospectus.
  • Candidacy in a Master’s or Specialist Program:
    • Thesis programs (required): Candidacy requires at least one semester of successful graduate study at Appalachian. Admission to Candidacy is contingent upon the recommendation of the applicant’s advisory committee, and a student cannot register for thesis hours until candidacy is granted.
    • Non-thesis programs: Requirements and deadlines for admission to candidacy vary by program; please see the relevant program description in this bulletin for more information.

Denial or revocation of candidacy: If the student is denied candidacy or if candidacy is revoked, the advisor will inform the student in writing regarding the reasons for this action. If the student does not qualify for candidacy by the deadline set within the program, the student will not normally be permitted to continue as a degree-seeking student.

Appeals Processes

Students have the right to appeal any decision concerning course grades, termination from their graduate program or termination from their graduate assistantship. Appeals involving grades or other faculty-related issues are handled through the department and the dean of the academic college or school housing the department. There are detailed procedures and strict timelines for grade appeals. See “Grade Appeals” for more information.

Appeals involving termination from an assistantship or termination from a graduate program (e.g., denial of admission to candidacy, denial of a probationary term, etc.) are handled through the program and the Graduate School. The steps in this procedure are as follows.

  1. Appeal to the program through the Program Director and/or the Department Chair.
    1. Programs are encouraged to include a clearly defined appeals process in the student handbook for the respective program.
    2. Chairs should notify their respective college deans when student appeals are denied at the program/department level.
  2. If the situation cannot be resolved at the program level, the student may appeal to the Graduate School within thirty (30) calendar days of the program’s denial of the first appeal by submitting documentation in writing to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. The program will also be given an opportunity to provide written documentation about the situation.
    1. Programs should provide specific details regarding why the program has denied the appeal and what steps were taken prior to the action, including a record of communication with the student regarding the action.
    2. The Graduate School’s primary role in the appeals process is to review the student appeal and the program decision to ensure that due process has been followed.
  3. Appeals denied by the Graduate School will automatically be sent to the Graduate AP&P’s Appeals Committee for review. The Appeals Committee is an ad hoc subcommittee of the Graduate AP&P consisting of graduate faculty from three departments other than the student’s home department; the committee meets only on demand and does not usually meet with the student or the program. The committee’s decision is binding. If the committee supports the student’s appeal, the program will be required to accommodate the student’s continuation in the program.

Assessment of Student Learning

Appalachian State University routinely defines and measures academic and administrative programs and services. To that end, students should be aware that throughout their careers at Appalachian they will be expected to respond to surveys, complete evaluations, and provide artifacts that the faculty will use to document the institution’s success in fostering student learning.

In some cases, students’ responses to assessment inquiries will be anonymous, but in most cases student responses and artifacts will bear unique student identifiers that will allow cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of assessment results by program. In that the aim of assessment at Appalachian is program improvement, the analysis of results will always focus on programs and not on individuals. Students should also understand that this type of information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), and, except in statutorily specified circumstances, individual student responses will never be reported without explicit permission from the student.

Attendance Policies

Graduate students are responsible for regular class attendance. Individual faculty have the option of setting attendance requirements, which may impact a student’s grade in a course. A student whose attendance in classes is unsatisfactory to the instructor, the advisor, or the Dean of the Graduate School may be excluded from a course, a final examination, or a graduate program.

Auditing a Course

Students enrolled at the University or students admitted with satisfactory records of experience and education may enroll for specific courses as auditors. Students who audit courses must register in the Registrar’s Office, pay regular fees, be regular in attendance, but will not receive grades or credit. A “Request to Audit” form is available in the Registrar’s Office. It must be completed by the student, approved by the faculty member teaching the class, and submitted to the Registrar’s Office by no later than the end of the “Drop-Add Period” indicated in the published Schedule of Classes.

Graduate courses audited by graduate students may not be used to meet a requirement on a graduate program of study.

Cancellation of Courses

The University reserves the right to cancel any course for which there is insufficient enrollment. See also the “Weather Policy” for information on canceling a class meeting.

Certificate Programs

Appalachian offers certificate programs in numerous disciplines. The academic requirements for these programs are detailed in the sections on programs in this Bulletin.

These certificate programs are not degree programs; students who complete the required coursework will receive a “certificate of completion.” The primary purpose of these programs is to provide a student seeking additional expertise with the opportunity to complete a cohesive program of coursework that is less than a graduate degree, but provides advanced training in a specific area.

Applying ASU Graduate Certificate Credits Toward Degree Programs: Hours completed to meet the requirements of an earned Appalachian State University graduate certificate may potentially be applied toward a graduate degree within the same or closely related discipline. The hours must be applied in the degree Program of Study on a course-by‐course basis and must meet the appropriate standards for use in the degree. Certificate hours transferred may not exceed 50% of the total degree program requirements. If these hours are equal to or exceed 50% of the degree program requirements, additional transfer credits are not allowed.

Changing Grades

Once an instructor has reported a grade to the Registrar, it cannot be changed except in the case of an error in either computing or recording the grade. The grade is changed through the Department Chair communicating the change in grade to the Registrar.

Changing Majors

Students are admitted to a major when admitted to the Graduate School. Students who wish to change to another major must have the approval of the department housing the new major and the Graduate School before the change may be made. This approval is not automatic; students are reviewed as applicants to the new program and may be refused admission to the second program. Students interested in changing majors should contact the program to discuss their situation. Change of Major request forms are available from the Graduate School.

Changing to a Different Bulletin

Graduate students may, with approval of the advisor, elect to graduate under any Graduate Bulletin issued after entry into the University and prior to graduation provided they were enrolled in the University during the time when the bulletin was in effect. Graduate students electing to graduate under a new Graduate Bulletin must meet all requirements of the bulletin under which they wish to graduate. In order to change the bulletin under which they intend to graduate, graduate students must notify the Graduate School.

Commencement Ceremonies

Commencement ceremonies are held twice a year to honor graduates from degree (master’s, specialist, and doctoral) programs. The Spring ceremony honors Spring graduates and is held in May; the Fall ceremony honors summer and fall graduates and is held in December. Candidates for graduate degrees are encouraged to be present at commencement.

Comprehensive Examination

Most master’s and specialist programs require acceptable performance on a comprehensive examination. In some programs, the thesis defense constitutes the comprehensive examination. The product of learning is required for candidates seeking advanced licensure in teacher education programs and may either replace the comprehensive examination or be required in addition to the examination, depending upon the particular program. Please see the section in this bulletin on the specific program for details. Several rules govern the timing and approval process for all comprehensive exams:

  • Students must be admitted to candidacy, if required for the program, before scheduling comprehensive examinations.
  • Comprehensive examinations must be completed in the last 1/3 of the program.
  • Comprehensive examinations must be evaluated by at least 3 members of the graduate faculty, all of whom must sign the Report of Comprehensive form prior to submission to the Registrar’s Office.
  • The report of successful comprehensive exam completion must be received by the Graduate School no later than the day before final exams begin in the term of graduation.

Course Loads and Full-Time Enrollment

The maximum course load for a graduate student during the regular academic year (Fall and Spring semesters) is 15 hours per semester for a student without an assistantship and 12 semester hours for those holding assistantships.

For each Summer Session, the course load maximum is six (6) semester hours in a four- or five-week term and one course in a two- or three-week term. Graduate students may not earn more than 12 hours over the course of one summer.

To be considered a full-time student, graduate students must be registered for a minimum of nine (9) semester hours during a Fall or Spring semester. During the summer sessions, students may be considered full time in one of two ways: six (6) semester hours in one summer session or a total of nine (9) semester hours over the course of the entire summer.

Coursework Requirements

The minimum number of courses required when establishing a program depends upon the level of the program and whether the program has a thesis option. All coursework on a graduate program of study must be at the graduate level (courses numbered 5000 or above). Each program lists the number of hours required for completion; see the specific program for details. The following rules apply.

  • Master’s degrees that include a thesis component: Minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework; some programs require more.
  • Master’s degrees without a thesis component: Minimum of 36 semester hours of coursework, except the MS in Accounting, which requires 30. Master’s degrees in professional areas or those that lead to licensure typically require more than 36 hours. In some cases, students pursuing a second master’s degree may be exempt from some of the required semester hours for the second degree. Please see the “Second Master’s Degree” information in this section.
  • Specialist degrees require a minimum of 30 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree.
  • Doctoral degrees require a minimum of 60 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree. Students holding the Education Specialist Degree from Appalachian may be exempt from some hours in the Ed.D. program. This exemption is not automatic, and must be approved through the program director. Note: This exemption is not allowed for students holding the specialist degree from another institution.
  • Graduate Certificates require 12-18 hours of coursework, depending on the subject.
  • Graduate Minors require 8-12 hours of coursework, depending on the subject.

Credit by Examination

Upon the recommendation of a graduate student’s committee and with the approval of the chair of the department in which it is listed, one graduate course may be challenged by examination. Credit by examination may not be used to repeat a course. Anyone seeking to pursue credit by examination must be a degree- or certificate-seeking student at Appalachian or must be working towards credit for teacher licensure.

If arrangements can be made with the appropriate department chair, a fee of $50.00 is charged for the examination. A receipt from the Student Accounts Office must be shown to the department chair before final approval can be given and the examination can be administered. If the examination is passed, credit without grade will be noted on the student’s transcript. The department chair will notify the Graduate School using the credit by examination form, to prompt the Registrar to enter the credit on the permanent record and notify the cashier to reimburse the faculty member who administered the examination. If the examination is not passed, no notation is made on the transcript.

Cross-Listed Courses

Certain courses are cross-listed with multiple departments using the same course number and covering the same content (e.g., C I 5045 /SPE 5045  is both a curriculum and instruction course and a special education course). Cross-listed courses are noted at the end of the course descriptions as follows: “(Same as SPE 5045 .)”

Degrees

Appalachian offers programs of study leading to the degrees of

  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Library Science
  • Master of Music
  • Master of Music Therapy
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of School Administration
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Social Work
  • Education Specialist
  • Specialist in School Psychology
  • Doctor of Education

Degreeworks

Degreeworks is an advising tool that allows students to track their progress through their program of study. The default program of study represented in Degreeworks displays the standard curriculum followed by most students in the program. Customization (specific elective choices, substitutions of required coursework, etc.) will not be reflected in Degreeworks until the program has notified the Graduate School that the program of study has been reviewed and approved.

Dissertation

A dissertation is required of all doctoral students. The dissertation should represent the culmination of an independent research project conducted by the student, and will show command of the literature and research methodology of her/his specialty. The dissertation is expected to be written in grammatically correct English and conform to accepted standards used in research writing. In special cases, languages other than English may be used; the substitution is not permitted as a matter of the student’s convenience, but may be allowed when the student has sufficient skill at composition and has a dissertation topic that is, in the judgment of the advisor, especially suited to treatment in the second language. Graduate School approval of the use of a language other than English must be obtained in advance.

The student must have passed qualifying examinations and presented a prospectus to the dissertation committee and received approval of the proposed topic before being permitted to register for dissertation hours. The candidate’s dissertation advisor and at least two graduate faculty members will constitute the dissertation committee. No more than one member of the dissertation committee may be from another institution.

Dissertation grading: Students who are judged by the dissertation committee chair to be making satisfactory progress in the term of enrollment will be assigned a grade of IP (in progress) by the chair for that term. Students who are not progressing satisfactorily will be assigned a grade of U. Students who receive a grade of U will not be permitted to continue.

Completion of dissertation: The dissertation defense should be completed at least 10 calendar days before the last regular class day, and the final draft of the dissertation must be submitted to the graduate school no later than 7 calendar days prior to the last regular class day. The Graduate School will review the dissertation for style and format, and return the manuscript to the student within 15 business days of submission.

Students may be required to make modifications and resubmit for additional review prior to signature by the Dean of the Graduate School. Once the Dean has signed the dissertation, the dissertation requirement is met, and the grade in all dissertation hours will be changed by the Registrar from IP to S. This entire approval process must be completed by the day before the next academic term begins or the student will not be eligible to graduate until the next term. For detailed information on the dissertation process, the student should refer to the Thesis and Dissertation Handbook, available from the Graduate School (http://www.graduate.appstate.edu/graduate-thesis-and-dissertation-manual).

Distance Education Programs - See Field-Based Programs

Double Concentrations

Students wishing to pursue two or more concentrations within the same major must seek permission from the program and notify the Graduate School of the addition. Students with two or more concentrations must complete all required courses for all concentrations. Specifically, a required course from one concentration may not substitute for a different required course in another concentration.

Double Major and Double Degree

Students wishing to pursue a double major or double degree simultaneously at the same level (master’s or specialist) may either apply for both programs simultaneously or petition the Graduate School for consideration to add the second program after beginning the first. Both the Graduate School and the admission committee for the second program must approve the addition. The form to add a second major or degree is available on the Graduate School website.

Students approved to pursue two programs will be subject to the following requirements:

  1. A committee composed of a minimum of one graduate faculty member from each program and one additional member appointed by the Graduate School will review and approve the two programs of study before submission to the Graduate Records Staff.
  2. Both programs of study must be reviewed and approved simultaneously. Students who add a second program after submitting a program of study must resubmit.
  3. The two programs of study must meet all requirements for both majors including all admission to candidacy, proficiency, exit (thesis, product of learning), and comprehensive requirements (and associated paperwork), with no more than 50% of the courses from one program of study counting on the other.
  4. Students must complete both programs within 7 years of the initial admission term and must graduate from both programs in the same term.
  5. Students completing a double degree will be responsible for submitting and paying for two applications to graduate (one for each diploma to be issued). Students completing a double major will receive one diploma listing both majors, and so must apply only once.

Dropping a Course

During the Fall and Spring semesters there is a nine-week drop period beginning with the first day of classes. Within the first week of this period-i.e., the first five days of classes-a student is allowed to drop courses without either academic or financial penalty. Within the last eight weeks of this period-i.e., weeks two through nine-a student is allowed to drop courses without academic penalty. Note that there is no refund or adjustment of charges if a course is dropped after the first five days of classes. A student who holds a North Carolina Tuition Scholarship must pay back the prorated remission or award if that student withdraws from courses.

After the nine-week period a course can only be dropped for exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the instructor, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the college/school housing the department. Courses that required Graduate School approval to enroll also require Graduate School approval to be dropped. A drop approved for exceptional circumstances will not be computed in the grade-point average.

A course not officially dropped will receive a grade of “F” or “U”; the “F” will be computed in the grade-point average if the course is listed on the student’s approved Program of Study. The drop periods for the summer terms are much shorter due to the accelerated schedule and are available from the Registrar’s Office.

Dual-Listed Courses

Some courses are noted as being dual-listed. Each dual-listed course has a concurrent undergraduate equivalent, and students in the two courses meet in one classroom. Graduate students who are enrolled in a dual-listed course are expected to complete extra assignments above and beyond those that are assigned to the undergraduates in the class. The syllabus for a dual-listed course will clearly state the learning outcomes for both constituencies, as well as identifying any differences in the assessments. Undergraduate participation in these courses is restricted to seniors. Juniors may petition the department for permission to enroll in these courses.

No more than 12 semester hours of dual-listed courses may be included in a student’s program of study for a 36 semester hour or longer program. Dual-listed courses are noted in the course descriptions as follows: “[Dual-listed with XXX 4xxx.]”

Exit Requirements - See Thesis, Dissertation, Comprehensive Examination or Product of Learning

FERPA - Privacy and Release of Student Information

  1. Purpose and scope of the statement:
    1. Purpose-This statement establishes updated guidelines for the University on the matter of confidentiality of student records. It has been developed in the light of legislation concerning access to and release of information maintained in student records in institutions of higher learning (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974). Any questions on these policies should be referred to the University Registrar.
    2. Scope-These policies encompass all student records maintained by the University. They apply to all students, current or former, at Appalachian State University.
  2. University policy regarding confidentiality of student information:
    1. In response to inquiries from the general public, such as prospective employers, credit investigators, etc., only the following directory information is released without the student’s permission: “the student’s name; local and permanent telephone listing; permanent address; University post office box number; E-mail address; academic classification; enrollment status during a particular academic term (i.e., full-time or part-time); field(s) of study; dates of attendance; degrees, honors and awards received; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight, height, athletic statistics and photographic representations of members of athletic teams.”
    2. Transcripts are released only upon the written request of the student. Transcripts will not be released if the student is financially indebted to the University.
    3. A student has the right to inspect the contents of her/his educational records with the exception of documents submitted to the University in confidence prior to January 1, 1975. Transcripts on file from other institutions are property of Appalachian and will not be returned to the student or sent elsewhere at her/his request.
    4. If parents or guardians request academic or personal information other than that specified in statement II.A., the request will not be honored without the student’s written permission unless the parent can present evidence of the student’s being dependent upon the parent for support as defined by the Federal Internal Revenue code.
    5. As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which a student’s education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records - including a student’s Social Security Number, grades, or other private information - may be accessed without the student’s consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to a student’s records and PII without the student’s consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to a student’s education records and PII without the student’s consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when the University objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive a student’s PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without a student’s consent PII from the student’s education records, and they may track a student’s participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about the student that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

Students’ Education Records at The University of North Carolina General Administration

Certain personally identifiable information about students (“education records”) may be maintained at The University of North Carolina General Administration, which serves the Board of Governors of the University system. This student information may be the same as, or derivative of, information maintained by a constituent institution of the University; or it may be additional information. Whatever their origins, education records maintained at The University of North Carolina General Administration are subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

FERPA provides that a student may inspect her or his education records. If the student finds the records to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights, the student may request amendment to the record. FERPA also provides that a student’s personally identifiable information may not be released to someone else unless (1) the student has given a proper consent for disclosure or (2) provisions of FERPA or federal regulations issued pursuant to FERPA permit the information to be released without the student’s consent. A student may file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning failure of The University of North Carolina General Administration or an institution to comply with FERPA. The policies of The University of North Carolina General Administration concerning FERPA may be inspected in the office at each constituent institution designated to maintain the FERPA policies of the institution. Policies of The UNC General Administration may also be accessed in the Office of the Secretary of The University of North Carolina, General Administration, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Further details about FERPA and FERPA procedures are to be found at The UNC General Administration in the referenced policies. Questions about the policies may be directed to the Legal Affairs Division, The University of North Carolina, General Administration, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Mailing address: P.O. Box 2688, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688; Tel: 919-962-4588).

Field-Based Programs

Designed specifically for part-time students, selected master’s and specialist’s degree programs, the doctoral program, and several certificate programs provide the opportunity for students to complete the program in a location other than Boone. The admissions process is the same, as are the requirements for completing the degree or certificate.

Most of the programs offered off campus are managed in a cohort format: Students are admitted to a cohort and that cohort completes all classes together on a schedule set at the start of the cohort. The Office of Distance Education works with the graduate program directors to plan, advertise, and coordinate the off-campus cohort. Contact the Office of Distance Education for information on programs offered in this manner (http://distance.appstate.edu). See also the specific program section in this Bulletin for information on the location of instruction.

GPA Requirements - Good Standing

Grades on coursework may not average lower than 3.0 at any time in the program. No student may include more than 3 C-level grades in a program of study. No graduate course with a grade of “F” or “U” will be credited toward the degree.

Grade Appeals

Students wishing to appeal a grade must follow the procedure detailed in the “Final Grade Appeal Procedure” page available from the Office of Academic Affairs (http://www.academicaffairs.appstate.edu/). Below is a summary of the steps involved. Students should obtain and follow the detailed steps in the appeal procedure document as soon as possible after the grade is assigned.

  1. The student should first attempt to resolve the issue with the course instructor.
  2. If the student is unable to reach an agreement with the instructor, the student must file the written appeal with the department chair within 14 calendar days after consulting with the instructor.
  3. If there is failure to reach an agreement through consultation with the chair, the student may file the written appeal with the Grade Appeals Committee through the Dean of the academic college or school in which the grade was awarded. The student must file this written appeal within 30 calendar days after the beginning of classes in the next semester after the contested grade was awarded.

Grades and GPA

At the end of an academic term, grades are given in each course by letters that indicate the quality of work done by the student. At the graduate level, the final grade-point average (GPA) is calculated only on grades assigned to courses within the approved Program of Study. However, all courses taken at the graduate level are included in the cumulative grade-point average until the Program of Study is approved by the Graduate School. Graduate grades and grade points are given as follows:

A Superior graduate accomplishment; 4.0 grade points per semester hour
A- 3.7 grade points per semester hour
B+ 3.3 grade points per semester hour
B Adequate graduate accomplishment; 3.0 grade points per semester hour (3.0 is the overall GPA needed to remain in good standing)
B- 2.7 grade points per semester hour
C+ 2.3 grade points per semester hour
C Inadequate but passing; 2.0 grade points per semester hour
C- 1.7 grade points per semester hour
F Failing grade; 0.0 grade points per semester hour
AU Audit, no credit
I Incomplete, assigned because of illness or some other unavoidable cause. An “I” becomes an “F” or “U” if not removed within the time designated by the instructor, not to exceed one semester. An Incomplete is not given solely because assignments were not completed during the semester.
IP In Progress grade assigned for dissertation, product of learning or continuation courses.
NR Grade Not Reported (hours not counted in computing GPA).
W Withdrawal, either from a course or from the University
WF Withdrew Failing, course dropped with failing grades after the last drop date in a term
WP Withdrew Passing
WU Withdrew Unsatisfactory
S Satisfactory, given for a practicum other designated courses. Also assigned to thesis hours upon final approval.
SP Satisfactory Progress, given for thesis hours until final approval by the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies.
U Unsatisfactory, given for a practicum and other designated courses.
UP Unsatisfactory Progress, given for thesis hours; students assigned a grade of UP must seek permission to continue to enroll in thesis hours

There are no grades of “D” at the graduate level; any grade of “D” assigned by a faculty member will be changed to an “F.” All grades of “F”, “I”, “IP”, “NR”, “U”, “WF” and “WU” in courses on the approved graduate Program of Study must be removed at the time of graduation.

Graduation

Degree-seeking graduate students must apply for graduation; this application initiates the ordering of diplomas and the official review of the student’s transcript to verify completion of all degree requirements. The deadlines for applying are the last working day of February (for Spring), June (for Summer), and September (for Fall). The application form is online and may be accessed via the student Appalnet account, for more information on the in the online application process visit: (www.graduate.appstate.edu/enrolled-students/graduation/graduation-app-online).

If qualified to apply for North Carolina Teacher Licensure, the candidate must also file an application for a teaching license. This form may be obtained from the Licensure Office in the Reich College of Education, and must be submitted with the appropriate fee to the Dean’s Office in the Reich College of Education for submission to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Graduate students cannot graduate at the end of the academic term in which they were admitted nor at the end of a term in which they have not been registered. All graduate students must be enrolled in at least one hour of graduate credit during the academic term in which they graduate.

Students who apply to graduate and are not registered will be automatically enrolled in one hour of the appropriate graduate enrollment continuation course, GRD 5989/6989/7989. Other students who do not need access to Department or University resources other than the Library may seek permission from the Graduate School to enroll provided they have no program of study coursework remaining.

Graduation Requirements

A degree will be conferred upon a student who has successfully completed all program of study and exit requirements. All graduating students must adhere to all requirements and regulations, such as time limit, academic standing, transfer, and non-degree course limitations. Persons who wish to graduate in a certain term must:

  1. be registered for at least one semester hour for that term;
  2. apply for graduation by the deadline for that term; and
  3. have completed all graduation requirements or be able to complete all graduation requirements by the end of that term.

Note: Students must apply for graduation and pay the diploma fee regardless of whether they intend to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Harassment and Discrimination Policies

Appalachian State University is committed to providing working, learning, and living environments free from harassment and discrimination. Harassment based upon race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information or disability is a form of discrimination in violation of federal and/or state law and Appalachian State University policy, and will not be tolerated. It is the internal policy of Appalachian State University to prohibit harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Retaliation against any person opposing or complaining of harassment is in violation of federal and state law and Appalachian State University policy, and will not be tolerated.

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex and falls within the scope of institutional policies and procedures regarding discrimination. As with other forms of discrimination, the University is committed to maintaining an environment free of sexual harassment. In accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the University defines sexual harassment as unwelcome and unsolicited sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic decisions;
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct may be used as a basis for an individual’s employment or academic decisions; or
  3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, learning, and living environment.

Applicable grievance procedures for students, faculty, and staff are established and are outlined in the Appalachian State University Policy Manual and the Code of Student Conduct. Violations of the harassment and discrimination policies may lead to disciplinary action, including reprimands, suspension or dismissal of offenders. For more information, please visit:

http://edc.appstate.edu/harassment-discrimination

Incompletes

Faculty may assign a grade of “I”-incomplete-when a student is unable to complete coursework at the end of the term because of illness or some other unavoidable cause. An “I” becomes an “F” or “U” if not removed within the time designated by the instructor, not to exceed one semester. An incomplete is not given solely because assignments were not completed during the semester.

Students intending to graduate must clear all incomplete work prior to the first day of the next academic term or they will not be able to graduate until the next term.

Independent Study

With the approval of the instructor, the department chair, the dean of the college, and the Graduate School, graduate students may register for independent study in their major field. Students registered for independent study must be scheduled for regular conference periods at least weekly. To register for an independent study, a “Special Course Form” must be completed with departmental signatures before obtaining the Dean’s signature.

No more than six (6) semester hours of independent study may be applied toward a graduate degree, and no more than 25% of the student’s degree program may be taken in a combination of selected topics and independent studies.

Individual Study

With the approval of the instructor, the department chair, the dean of the college or school housing the department, and the Graduate School, a graduate student may arrange to take graduate courses listed in this Bulletin and Course Catalog on an individual basis. Appropriate forms for requesting permission to take a course by individual study are furnished by departmental chairs.

Individual studies are required to cover the material normally addressed in a regular section of the course.

To register for an individual study, a “Special Course Form” must be completed with departmental signatures before obtaining the Dean’s signature.

Internship, Practicum and Other Courses involving Field Experiences

Internships and practicums provide students with opportunities to gain experience with professional practice in their disciplines by offering realistic on-the-job experiences and personal contacts with employers.

The following administrative standards govern internships, practicums, and other field experiences for graduate credit at Appalachian:

Eligibility: Students seeking to pursue an internship, practicum or other field experience must be degree-seeking, certificate-seeking or working toward teacher licensure. Other students must have special permission from the dean of the college or school housing the department and from the Graduate School.

Registration: Students must contact the appropriate academic department advisor for instructions on approval and registration procedures. The academic department will make the final determination as to whether the student’s proposed internship/practicum experience is appropriate for the academic program requirements; whether the proposed internship adheres to all University, state, and federal guidelines; and whether the internship/practicum supervisor is adequately qualified.

To register for an internship or practicum, student information must be entered into the internship inventory; please refer to the department office for further information. Students must register in internship/practicum credit for the entire length of the experience. Internship credit will not be awarded retroactively.

Contract: An internship/practicum contract will be completed and entered into the internship inventory outlining the responsibilities of the University, of the student, and of the participating agency or internship host.

Liability Coverage: Appalachian State University requires general and professional liability insurance coverage for all courses coded as internship, practicum, field experience, and clinical. When a student registers for one of these courses, a fee will be applied to the student’s account to purchase liability insurance. For information about coverage, go to internships.appstate.edu/insurance

International Internships: A student seeking an international internship or practicum experience must ensure that the office of International Education and Development has certified that the student has completed all required pre-departure paperwork and procedures.

Minors

A graduate (MA) minor consists of 8-12 semester hours in certain approved subjects and is intended to complement the program of study for a master’s degree. Those areas that offer approved minors are listed below, and the specific requirements are detailed in the section for the program in this bulletin.

Students wishing to pursue a graduate minor must inform the Graduate School and complete the required coursework. The coursework for the minor must be approved by the department housing the major and the department housing the minor. There are no restrictions on double counting courses in the major and the minor, except that students may not receive both a major and a minor in the same discipline.

National Board Certification Credit

Appalachian State University does not award graduate credit for certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

A graduate student enrolled in a graduate program while working concurrently on NBPTS certification may (with prior approval from the program and from the Reich College of Education) integrate, but not substitute, work toward certification with either elective or required coursework for the degree.

Non-Degree Coursework

Degree- or certificate-seeking students wishing to count a course taken at Appalachian prior to enrollment admission into the program: A student may, with permission of the program director, request approval from the Graduate School to include on a program of study up to 9 hours of graduate coursework taken as a graduate student at Appalachian prior to the term of admission into the degree or certificate program at Appalachian. These requests are not automatic and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. These hours are subject to the seven (7) year time limit requirement at graduation.

Applying ASU Graduate Certificate Credits Toward Degree Programs: Hours completed to meet the requirements of an earned Appalachian State University graduate certificate may potentially be applied toward a graduate degree within the same or closely related discipline. The hours must be applied in the degree Program of Study on a course-by-course basis andmust meet the appropriate standards for use in the degree. Certificate hours transferred may not exceed 50% of the total degree program requirements. If these hours are equal to or exceed 50% of the degree program requirements, additional transfer credits are not allowed.

Non-degree students wishing to take a graduate course: After admission as graduate non-degree, students must obtain permission from the instructor and either the department chair or graduate program director to enroll in a graduate course. This permission is not automatic, and several programs do not allow non-degree students to enroll in their courses. The form for this purpose is available from the Graduate School.

Off-Campus Courses

Courses offered off campus are specifically for field-based, cohort students. Students wishing to take coursework in a cohort other than their own may seek permission for entry to the course(s). Permission to enter is subject to approval by the academic coordinator (or department chairperson) of the cohort program. To request enrollment as a non-cohort member in a course(s) delivered to an off-campus cohort program, contact the Office of Distance Education (800.355.4084 or distance.appstate.edu). See “Field-Based Programs” for additional information.

Off-Campus Programs - See Field-Based Programs

Pass-Fail Option for Graduate Courses

Graduate students may not elect the Pass/Fail option for graduate coursework.

Probationary Status

After being suspended from graduate study for poor academic performance, a graduate student may appeal for a semester on probation. If the program and the Graduate School approve an appeal from the student, the student will be granted one semester to bring the GPA up to 3.0 or better or to repeat a course with a failing grade. That student will be considered enrolled under probationary status during the post-appeal semester. Restrictions:

  • A student can have only one probationary term per degree program. If the student was admitted provisionally, the first term counts as the probationary term.
  • A student enrolled under probationary status cannot hold a graduate assistantship, fellowship, or NC Tuition Scholarship.
  • A transfer course may not be used to substitute for a course in which a student earned a grade of “F” at Appalachian.

    Programs wanting to retain a suspended student under probationary status must submit a retention plan for the student to the School of Graduate Studies. This plan is an agreement among the student, program, and the Graduate School outlining the conditions for probation from both the program and the Graduate School. The retention plan should include the following:
  1. Term of probation requested;
  2. Program’s reason(s) for retaining the student; and,
  3. Conditions/requirements required by program during probationary period.

Product of Learning

The product of learning is required for candidates seeking advanced licensure in classroom teacher education programs and may either replace the comprehensive examination or be required in addition to the examination, depending upon the particular program. Please see the specific program for details. Several rules govern the timing and approval process for the product:

  • Product of learning presentations must be completed no earlier than in the last 1/3 of the program.
  • The Product of Learning presentation must include practicing K-12 teachers and university faculty. The Product of Learning Report form must be signed by the chair of the student’s committee, the graduate program director, and the department chair prior to submission to the Registrar’s Office.
  • The report of successful product of learning presentation must be received by the Graduate Records staff in the Registrar’s Office no later than the day before final exams begin in the term of graduation.

Proficiency Requirements

Candidates for many of the graduate degrees are expected to demonstrate proficiency in a skill required for research or practice in the field. These may include one or more of foreign language, computer science, statistics, or the use of technology. Please see the programs for specific information on these requirements.

Foreign Language. Reading knowledge of a foreign language may be required. Two years of successful college study in a language will meet the requirements. Students who have not completed two years of college credit must take a language examination, and should apply for the language examination directly to the chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures not later than three weeks before the date the examination is scheduled. The departmental chair will submit a report of the student’s performance to the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School will inform the student and the student’s advisor by campus email whether the student has passed the examination.

Computer Science, Statistics. Students required to demonstrate proficiency in one of these areas should consult the departmental chairs in the Department of Computer Science or the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Typically, completing coursework in the area will satisfy proficiency.

Use of Technology. Students required to demonstrate proficiency in the use of technology should consult their program director for information.

Program of Study

Degree-seeking students: Students must work with their advisors on a program of study that follows the approved curriculum as described in this bulletin and presented in Degreeworks. All electives and any deviations from the approved curriculum must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval after receiving approval from the academic advisor and either the program director or department chair. All deviations in required coursework must be explained.

The following is a list of the credit limitations for programs of study for degree seeking students. Please refer to individual notations in this section for further information on each item.

  • The Graduate School must receive notification about program of study approval prior to completion of 50% of the minimum required hours for the program. Students who do not have approved programs by the deadline will be blocked from registering for additional coursework.
  • The program of study must include at least the number of hours required for the program as specified in this Bulletin. The program of study should include all required coursework as listed; substitutions must be approved by the advisor, program, and Graduate School.
  • The program of study may not include more than the allowed number of transfer hours (6 or 9 depending on the type of program). Transfer hours must be approved by the advisor, the program, and the Graduate School, and must have grades of “B” or better (note: B- is not an acceptable grade).
  • The program of study may not include more than nine (9) hours of coursework taken before the term of admission to the degree program. Use of these hours must be approved by the advisor, the program, and the Graduate School.
  • The program of study may not include more than six (6) hours of independent study (5500/6500/7500) and also no more than 25% of independent study (5500/6500/7500) and selected topics (5530-5549, 6530-6549, 7530-7549) coursework combined.
  • The program of study GPA must be at least 3.0, may not include any courses in which a grade of “F” or “U” was received, and may not include more than three (3) courses with C-level grades.
  • All coursework on the program of study must meet the seven (7) year time limitation at the date of graduation.
  • Courses numbered 5989 and 7989 may not be used on a program of study.

Certificate-seeking students: Students must work with their advisors on a program of study that follows the approved curriculum as described in this bulletin and presented in Degreeworks. Students must work with their advisors to submit the Notification of Certificate Completion form when they have completed the coursework required for the certificate. The following is a list of credit limitations for certificates. Please refer to individual notations in this section for further information on each item.

  • The program of study must include at least the number of hours required for the program as specified in this Bulletin.
  • The program of study should include all required coursework as listed; substitutions are strongly discouraged and must be approved in advance by the advisor, program, and Graduate School.
  • The program of study may not include more than 25% transfer hours. Transfer hours must be approved by the advisor, the program, and the Graduate School, and must have grades of “B” or better.
  • The program of study may not include more than nine (9) hours of coursework taken before the term of admission to the certificate program. Use of these hours must be approved by the advisor, the program, and the Graduate School.
  • The program of study may not include more than 25% of independent study coursework (5500/6500/7500), and not more than 50% independent study and selected topics (5530-5549, 6530-6549, 7530-7549) coursework combined.
  • The program of study GPA must be at least 3.0, and may not include any courses in which a grade of “F” or “U” was received.
  • All coursework on the program of study must meet the seven (7) year time limitation at the date of completion.
  • Courses numbered 5989 and 7989 may not be used on a program of study.

Qualifying Examination

Doctoral programs require acceptable performance on a qualifying examination prior to registering for dissertation credit. More detail on the qualifying examination may be found at http://edl.appstate.edu/current-students/qualifying-examinations.

Registration

Graduate students register at the time specified on the University’s academic calendar. Students must register for standard courses through the Appalnet Registration Self-Service area.

Registration material and instructions are available from the Registrar’s website (http://registrar.appstate.edu). Students may adjust schedules during the drop-add period, which is the first five days of classes during the Fall and Spring semesters, and the first day of class in each Summer session.

Repeat Rule

No more than one Program of Study course may be excluded from the GPA by repeating it once for a higher grade. The hours for the first program of study course that is repeated will automatically be excluded.

The second grade always stands for a repeated course. The hours earned will be counted only once if both grades are passing. If the second grade is “F”, the hours earned for the first course will be discounted. A student may not graduate with an “F” or “U” on the Program of Study.

Research Credit (Courses Numbered 5989/7989)

Graduate courses numbered 5989/7989 were designed primarily to fulfill an enrollment requirement of one credit hour for graduation or for access to facilities needed to complete research for a thesis, product of learning or other capstone experience. The 5989/7989 course number may also be used by a student who needs full-time status, provided that the student meets the following criteria: a) the student has already completed all required and elective course work; and b) the student is actively engaged in research for a thesis, product of learning, and/or other capstone course.

  • A student may enroll in one to three (1-3) hours of courses numbered 5989/7989 during any given semester to count toward full-time status for a tuition remission, a scholarship, or an assistantship.
  • Graduate courses numbered 5989/7989 cannot be included for credit in a program of study.
  • A student will be charged the regular tuition rate for course work numbered 5989/7989 used toward full-time status rather than as the continuous enrollment requirement (reserved for students whose only graduation shortage is either a thesis or product of learning defense, or a comprehensive exam).

Second Master’s Degree

A student holding a master’s degree already may apply for admission to a second master’s degree in another discipline, following the usual admission procedures.

During the first semester of study for a second master’s, students plan with their advisors a program of study to include a minimum of 30** additional semester hours. Other than the reduced number of hours required for the second degree, all other policies related to coursework and requirements apply, including time limits, transfer limitations, etc.

In addition, graduate course work from another earned degree (from Appalachian or elsewhere) cannot be included in the second master’s degree program of study.

**NOTE: In the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling, a second master’s degree requires meeting all program course requirements with a minimum of 39 semester hours.

Special Course Form

This form is available in each department and is used to register a student in a course that is not published in the official schedule of classes during a particular term, i.e., does not have a Course Reference Number.

In particular, this form is used for all independent study (5500, 6500, 7500), thesis (5999, 6999), and dissertation (7999) courses or for courses that the student will be taking under the direction of a faculty member as a practicum, internship or individual study.

Students are expected to register for courses no later than the end of the add period in a given term. For Fall and Spring semesters this is the end of the fifth day of classes. In the summer terms, the add period lasts until the end of the first day of classes.

Standards of Scholarship

In all work for a degree, scholarly performance is expected. The student is expected to demonstrate academic competence, intellectual honesty and responsibility, a willingness to do more than the minimum required, and the ability to think critically and constructively. North Carolina State statutes concerning standards of scholarship are as follows:

14-118.2. Assisting, etc., in obtaining academic credit by fraudulent means.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association to assist any student, or advertise, offer or attempt to assist any student, in obtaining or in attempting to obtain, by fraudulent means, any academic credit, or any diploma, license or other instrument purporting to confer any literary, scientific, professional, technical or other degree in any course of study in any university, college, academy, or other educational institution. The activity prohibited by this subsection includes, but is not limited to, preparing or advertising, offering, or attempting to prepare a term paper, thesis, or dissertation for another and impersonating or advertising, offering or attempting to impersonate another in taking or attempting to take an examination.
  2. Any person, firm, corporation or association violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Provided, however, the provisions of this section shall not apply to the acts of one student in assisting another student as herein defined if the former is duly registered in an educational institution and is subject to the disciplinary authority thereof. (1963, c.781; 1969, c.1224, s.7.)

Study Abroad

Students studying at the graduate level in an official exchange program, i.e.,one for which Appalachian has an agreement with the foreign institution, are expected to register and pay for graduate credit at Appalachian. In this situation, students should enroll in graduate placeholder courses (GRD 5800-5810) in a one-to-one correspondence to the courses that will ultimately be transferred back to Appalachian.

When the student returns to campus, an official transcript should be submitted to the Graduate School for review. If the course is documented as post-baccalaureate level and the grades are equivalent to a B or higher, then the courses will be transferred in to replace the placeholders.

Students who wish to take undergraduate coursework in an exchange program should use the undergraduate placeholder course (US 3800) for the relevant number of hours.

Substance Abuse Policy

Appalachian State University is committed to maintaining an environment that supports and encourages the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. All members of the academic community-students, faculty, administrators and staff-share in the responsibility of protecting and promoting that environment and all are expected to exemplify high standards of professional and personal conduct. The illegal or abusive use of alcohol and other drugs by members of the academic community adversely affects this educational environment. North Carolina and federal laws restrict or prohibit the use of alcohol and other drugs in various contexts. The illegal or abusive use of alcohol and other drugs is not compatible with personal health and welfare and the pursuit of academic excellence, and will not be tolerated by Appalachian State University on the campus or as part of any institutional activities.

The use and abuse of alcohol or other drugs can have serious negative consequences. High-risk choices can lead to significant academic, legal, financial, job performance and relationship problems, as well as problems with physical, mental and emotional health. The use of alcohol and other drugs is also a factor in injuries and deaths related to overdose, accidents, and crimes. Problems related to the use of alcohol and other drugs affect not only the user, but also friends, family, classmates, coworkers, and the entire Appalachian community.

Students, faculty members, administrators and other employees are responsible, as citizens, for knowing about and complying with the provisions of North Carolina law that make it a crime to possess, sell, deliver, or manufacture those drugs designated collectively as “controlled substances” in Article 5, Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Any member of the University community who violates pertinent state or federal law, either within the University community, or in a manner that otherwise affects the academic community, thereby violates University policy. Any employee convicted of any criminal drug statute violation occurring within the University community must notify the appropriate supervisor or management person no later than five (5) calendar days after such conviction. (Any employee who fails to provide notification shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.) Disciplinary action against an employee convicted of a drug offense within the University community must commence within 30 days after receipt of notice of the conviction.

Penalties will be imposed for violation of the policies of Appalachian State University only in accordance with procedural safeguards applicable to disciplinary actions against students, faculty members, administrators and other employees. The penalties that may be imposed range from written warnings with probationary status to expulsion from enrollment and discharge from employment.

Every student, faculty member, administrator and other employee of Appalachian State University is responsible for being familiar with and complying with the terms of the policy on illegal drugs adopted by the Board of Trustees. Copies of the full text of that policy appear in the Faculty Handbook, and The Student Handbook of Rights and Responsibilities. Copies of the policy and pertinent NC General Statutes are on file in the offices of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Student Development, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Graduate Studies and Research, Belk Library and Information Commons, Office of Human Resource Services, Residence Life, University Police, and the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership. Students will find information pertaining to violations of the alcoholic beverages policy in The Code of Student Conduct. Alcohol related problems for staff are handled under the personal conduct section of the Staff Employee Handbook.

University and Community Resources

A wide array of resources may be required to meet the counseling and rehabilitation needs of individuals who have substance abuse problems. These services generally include assessment and referral, social and/or medical detoxification, in-patient treatment, halfway house facilities, out-patient individual and group therapy, after-care programs and self-help groups. Obviously, not all substance abusers are in need of all the services listed; however, the availability of services affords an individual the opportunity to address substance abuse problems adequately and responsibly. The following services are available to members of the University community:

Campus-based

  1. The Counseling and Psychological Services Center offers individual and group out-patient therapy and referral information for students.
  2. The Student Wellness Center, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, offers individual and group substance abuse counseling for students. Students are also offered alcohol and other drug information and education via media campaigns, classes, presentations, peer education, theatre production, resource center and campus-wide events.
  3. The Office of Human Resource Services has established an awareness and education program that will inform employees of the stipulations of the Drug- Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act Amendments of 1989 to promote their understanding and increase their knowledge of dangers of workplace drug abuse, address and identify drug problems in their lives, and offer alternatives.
  4. Counseling for Faculty and Staff, located in the Hubbard Center, offers assessment, referral, and individual and group out-patient therapy for faculty and staff on a space-available basis. Contact the Hubbard Center for information.

Community-based

  1. New River Behavioral Health Care provides substance abuse services including: evaluation, detox, outpatient treatment, and referral entry for inpatient treatment.
  2. A number of practitioners in the community offer individual out-patient therapy for persons preferring a private practice setting.

A variety of local self-help groups are available with each group establishing its own criteria for membership.

Suspension and Dismissal

Appalachian reserves the right to exclude, at any time, a graduate student whose performance is unsatisfactory or whose conduct is deemed improper or prejudicial to the best interest of the University. Graduate students who do not maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.00 cannot register for classes without the written recommendation of the advisor and the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School (see “Probationary Status”).

Degree candidacy is discontinued for the student who has received four grades of “C,” and if a graduate student receives a grade of “F” or “U,” the student may not continue in Graduate School unless the advisor submits, in writing, an acceptable recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School. In no case may a graduate student be permitted to repeat more than one course to improve the grade, and the student who receives a second grade of “F”, “U”, “WF” or “WU” may not continue toward the graduate degree under any circumstances.

Graduate credit accepted in fulfillment of the requirements for a graduate degree shall average not lower than 3.00, and no credit toward the degree shall be granted for a grade of “F”, “U”, “WF” or “WU.” A grade of “F” or “U” is assigned to a student who arbitrarily discontinues meeting a class or who withdraws without making proper arrangements with the Registrar’s Office.

Course work reported “Incomplete” must be completed within the following semester of the official ending of the course. Any extension of this period must be approved by the appropriate dean and the Registrar.

Thesis - Master’s or Specialist

The thesis should represent the culmination of an independent research project conducted by the student, and demonstrate understanding of the related literature and research methodology. The thesis is expected to be written in grammatically correct English and conform to accepted standards used in research writing in the discipline of study, as well as conforming to the formatting requirements established in the Graduate School Thesis Manual. In special cases, languages other than English may be used; the substitution is not permitted as a matter of the student’s convenience, but may be allowed when the student has sufficient skill at composition and has a thesis topic that is, in the judgment of the advisor, especially suited to treatment in the second language. The Graduate Dean’s approval of the use of a language other than English must be obtained in advance.

The department chair may approve any member of the department’s graduate faculty to act as chair of the thesis committee and to supervise the writing of the thesis. The candidate’s thesis advisor and at least two graduate faculty members will constitute the thesis committee. One graduate faculty member from another department or institution may be appointed with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. No more than one member of the thesis committee may be from another department or institution.

Before being permitted to register for thesis credit, the student must:

  1. be admitted to candidacy
  2. have presented a prospectus or research abstract to the thesis committee, and
  3. applied for any necessary IRB or IACUC approval to work with human or animal subjects,

For all students pursuing the thesis option in a program, all thesis hours will be considered program of study hours, some of which may be over and above the minimum stated hours for the degree.

Thesis grading:

Students who are judged by the thesis committee chair to be making satisfactory progress in the term of enrollment will be assigned a grade of SP by the chair for that term. Students who are not progressing satisfactorily will be assigned a grade of UP.

If a grade of UP is assigned, the thesis committee must determine if the student should be allowed to enroll in further thesis hours, and report its decision to the Graduate School. Before being allowed to continue graduate study, students who are not approved to enroll in further thesis hours must request and be approved for a change of program out of the thesis option. Thesis hours will not count in the resulting revised program of study, and the thesis grades will remain SP/UP on the transcript.

Completion of thesis:

The thesis defense should be completed at least 10 calendar days before the last regular class day, and the final draft of the thesis must be submitted to the graduate school no later than 7 calendar days prior to the last regular class day. The Graduate School will review the thesis for style and format, and return the manuscript to the student within 15 business days of submission.

Students may be required to make modifications and resubmit for additional review prior to signature by the Dean of the Graduate School. Once the Dean has signed the thesis, the thesis requirement is met, and the grade in all thesis hours will be changed to S. This entire approval process must be completed by the day before the next academic term begins or the student will not be eligible to graduate until the next term. For detailed information on the thesis process, the student should refer to the Thesis and Dissertation Handbook, available from the Graduate School (http://www.graduate.appstate.edu/graduate-thesis-and-dissertation-manual).

Time Limit Requirements

All graduate credit offered for the degree must have been earned within seven (7) calendar years after the year of admission. For example, students entering in 2010 have until December 2017 to complete their degrees.

Coursework expires seven (7) years after the date the initial grade is awarded and may not be used for the degree after this date. For example, courses taken in Spring 2010 may be used on a program of study for graduation until May 2017.

Transcripts

Transcripts must be requested in writing from the Registrar’s Office (http://registrar.appstate.edu). Transcripts will not be issued to students having unpaid accounts with the University.

Transfer Credits

A degree- or certificate-seeking student may, with permission of the program director, request approval from the Graduate School to transfer graduate course work to Appalachian from another accredited graduate school. This coursework must be at the same or higher level than the student’s program at Appalachian and must be acceptable in a graduate degree program at the credit-granting institution.

Permission to use transfer hours on a program of study must be granted by both the student’s program and the Graduate School. Transfer credit should be reported to the Graduate School as soon as possible, but will not be posted to the student’s official Appalachian transcript until official transcripts are received.

Students should arrange for official transcripts to be sent directly to the graduate records staff in the Graduate School as soon as grades are posted.

Graduate work included in an earned degree from another institution cannot be included on a program of study.

Time limit:

Transfer credits are subject to the 7-year time limit requirement at the time of graduation.

Number of hours:

The maximum number of hours of transfer allowed is 9 hours for degree-seeking students, and 25% of the number of hours required for certificate-seeking students.

Minimum Acceptable Grades:

The grades earned must be at least “B” (3.0/4.0). A “B-” is not acceptable. Courses with grades of “P” meaning “Passing” or “Pass/Fail” option and grades of “S” meaning “Satisfactory” are not acceptable for transfer.

Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Level Courses

Students enrolled as undergraduates at Appalachian State University may request permission to take graduate courses if they will be seniors in the semester of enrollment and have at least a 3.0 GPA. The request form can be found on the Graduate School website, and it requires both department and Graduate School approval.

Students may count up to 12 semester hours taken under this classification toward a later graduate degree program, provided that the 7 year time limit for graduate courses is not exceeded; that the course credits are not used to meet the requirements of the undergraduate degree; and that the graduate program approves their inclusion on the graduate program of study.

Weather Policy

Appalachian State University reserves the right to cancel or delay classes during severe weather conditions. In determining whether to do so, the Chancellor consults with the Provost, Vice Chancellors, and other appropriate personnel. Only the Governor of North Carolina has the authority to close the institution due to adverse weather conditions.

The Office of Public Affairs, or its designee, has the responsibility for publicizing the Chancellor’s decision to cancel or delay classes. Every effort will be made to reach such a decision by 6:30 a.m. of the affected day. The information will be disseminated via the ASU home page and AppalNET, and to local radio and regional TV stations able to report the university’s status in sufficient detail (e.g., the expectations for staff members or the time until which classes are being delayed). Also, a recorded telephone message announcing any change in normal operations is available at (828) 262-SNOW. Faculty are reminded that media do not announce individual class cancellations.

Staff employees (SPA) should follow the State’s adverse weather policy as distributed on the Human Resource Services web page: http://hrs.appstate.edu/faculty-staff/benefits/types-leave.

Information concerning any cancellations or delays of ASU classes offered at off-campus sites will be accessible at http://distance.appstate.edu.

“Classes are cancelled” means that no classes will be held on the day or night indicated, and such notices will state the expectations for staff employees. Announcements of class delays will specify the point during the day at which classes will resume meeting at their regularly scheduled times. “The University is closed” means that all classes and other activities are cancelled and that only essential personnel who can reach campus safely are expected to report.

Though it is impossible to describe precisely the conditions that may warrant interrupting normal operations, the people involved in such determinations will consider both the University’s educational responsibilities and the physical welfare of all members of its community. The assessment of the situation will also take into account, as one factor, the status of the AppalCart bus system.

Because weather and road conditions often vary significantly within this area, the decision whether to travel must rest with the individual. When there has been no general cancellation of classes, individual faculty who are unable to meet their classes but have access to e-mail should send students timely notice that they will not meet. The faculty member must also notify the departmental chair by e-mail or telephone. Faculty are encouraged to make reasonable accommodation, including the opportunity to make up any missed assignments or examinations, for students who live at a distance from campus and have been absent from class because of dangerous weather or road conditions.

Withdrawal

A student is allowed to officially withdraw (i.e., cease enrollment in all courses) without academic penalty during the first nine weeks of a Fall or Spring semester. In order to officially withdraw, the student must formally contact the Registrar’s Office.

A grade of “W” (Withdrawal) will be assigned to each course if the student withdraws during the first nine weeks of a Fall or Spring semester (the last day to withdraw without academic penalty is indicated in the Schedule of Classes available from the Registrar’s Office.

A student who officially withdraws after the first nine weeks of a Fall or Spring semester will receive a grade of “WF” (Withdrawal/Failing) or “WU” (Withdrawal/Unsatisfactory) for each course in which she or he is enrolled in at the time of withdrawal. The following are two exceptions to this policy:

  • A student can petition for withdrawal without academic penalty for compelling medical or psychological reasons. Students seeking a medical withdrawal must contact Student Health Services; those seeking a withdrawal for psychological reasons must contact the Counseling and Psychological Services Center. Supporting documentation will be required. If a medical or psychological withdrawal is approved, the student will receive a grade of “W” in each course for which she or he is enrolled.
  • A student can petition for withdrawal without academic penalty for extenuating reasons (i.e., other than medical or psychological). The student must formally notify the Registrar’s Office. The reasons for the withdrawal should be clearly stated, and supporting documentation may be required. Consideration will be given to the reasons for the withdrawal and grades may be assigned on a course-by-course basis, as deemed appropriate.

Other policies governing withdrawing from courses:

  • If a student does not regularly attend an audited course, the instructor may request an administrative withdrawal grade to be assigned. The instructor should provide documentation to the Registrar’s Office with the recommendation.
  • A student who holds a tuition scholarship or award must pay back the entire remission or award if that student withdraws from courses.
  • A student who ceases to attend all classes prior to the end of an academic term, and does not officially withdraw by notifying the Registrar’s Office, will automatically receive a “Failing” grade on each enrolled course.
  • Distance Learning students enrolled in an extension program should initiate withdrawals in the Office of Distance Education.
  • A student who officially withdraws from the University will receive a refund based on the date of notification. The refund percentage is published in the Schedule of Classes for each semester. The term refund should be understood to mean either: a) the repayment of money received by the University for tuition and fees, or b) a reduction of charges if tuition and fees have not yet been paid.