All students seeking a graduate degree, a graduate certificate, and teacher licensure will be assigned academic advisors. Upon admission to a graduate program, students should meet with their advisors to develop the program of study. Students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisors periodically regarding their academic progression; however, students bear final responsibility for adhering to their official approved program of study and for the academic decisions they make.
Acts of dishonesty in any work constitute academic misconduct and will not be tolerated by the University. Such acts include cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation, fabrication of information, and abetting any of the above. Procedures outlined in the Fayetteville State University Student Handbook will be followed for incidents of academic misconduct. Penalties may include a failing grade in the course or even possible expulsion from the University. The student handbook is available online at https://www.uncfsu.edu/current-students/student-resources.
In order to remain in good academic standing, graduate students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all graduate-level courses. Students are expected to achieve a satisfactory grade (“A” or “B”) in all coursework attempted for graduate credit. If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 at any time, the student will be automatically placed on academic probation and a registration hold will be placed on his or her account. The probationary period will last until the student completes nine credit (9) hours, with the expectation that the student will bring the GPA up to at least 3.0. To register for classes during the probationary period, a student must consult with his/her academic advisor or graduate coordinator to receive the best advice possible to ensure success in the program. A student who fails to earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of the probationary period (i.e., after taking nine (9) credit hours of graduate courses) will automatically be dismissed from the graduate program.
The Termination Due to Grades policy supersedes the policy on Academic Probation, as graduate students who receive three (3) “C” grades or one (1) “F” or “U” grade in any graduate level course(s) will not be eligible to register for subsequent semesters at FSU.
Application for Graduation
All students who expect to graduate must submit the online graduation application and pay the non-refundable graduation fee, through their online Banner account. Before doing so, the student should review and discuss their degree evaluation with their advisor to determine if they are on track to meet degree requirements.
Students must apply for graduation in order to participate in commencement exercises. Prospective graduates for Spring Commencement must apply for graduation by January 30 of the same year. The university assumes no responsibility for making special adjustments for students who file late applications for graduation.
Students must check their official FSU student email account on a regular basis for updates on their graduation status. Students must maintain contact with their academic department and/or advisor to ensure that all necessary documents are completed and all graduation requirements are met. Requirements are considered complete only when appropriate documentation is received by the Office of the Registrar. Students are subject to the institutional regulations in effect when they apply for graduation. Changes in institutional regulations may change the graduation requirements specified above. Hence, students are encouraged to know the institutional regulations in effect at the time of their anticipated graduation. Once a degree is conferred, the academic record is closed and therefore no changes may be made relevant to that particular program.
Auditing of Courses
Graduate students who wish to audit a course must register for the courses they wish to audit, then complete and submit the Course Audit Form to the Office of the Registrar for processing. Once processed, students are given a grade of AU for the courses, and the form is submitted to Student Accounts for proper billing of tuition and fees.
Audited classes shall count as part of the student’s attempted hours but not as part of the earned hours, GPA hours, quality points, or the GPA calculation. Audited courses carry no credit. Class participation is required, but the level of participation in class assignments shall be mutually agreed upon by the instructor and student. Students who are not meeting the stipulated requirements should withdraw from the course.
Students registered as auditing classes will not be permitted to change to credit after the close of late registration. Conversely, students registered for credit will not be permitted to change to audit after the close of late registration.
The Fayetteville State University Graduate Catalog is not an irrevocable contract. Regulations published in it are subject to change by the University at any time without notice. University regulations are policy statements to guide students, faculty, and administrative officers in achieving the goals of the institution. Students are encouraged to consult an advisor or department chair if they have questions about the application of any policy, rule, or regulation. The university reserves the right to change any policies, rules, and regulations at any time, including those pertaining to admission, instruction, and graduation.
The university also reserves the right to withdraw curricula and specific courses, alter course content, change the calendar, and impose or increase fees. All such changes are effective at such times as the proper authorities determine and may apply not only to prospective students but also to those who are already enrolled in the University.
Each new edition of the Graduate Catalog becomes effective at the beginning of the summer II session of its publication. Due to changes in programs, a student who has been continuously enrolled on consecutive fall and spring semesters since initial enrollment may select to be guided by any catalog from the time of admission or readmission until graduation. Students must meet all the requirements of that catalog. Any student who changes from one program of study to another must meet requirements of the new program of study in effect at the time of the change.
This policy applies only to degree program requirements, and it does not apply to discontinued programs. Students are governed by the academic regulations of the current catalog. Students must become thoroughly familiar with all current regulations of the university. Students are solely responsible for complying with all regulations of the university, of their school or college, and of the departments from which they take courses. They are also responsible for fulfilling all requirements for their respective degree programs. Requirements to change catalogs are considered complete only when the approved Course/Catalog Substitution or Waiver Request Form is recorded in the Office of the Registrar.
Readmitted Students-Any student who leaves the university for a period of one fall or spring semester or longer and then returns to the university will be required to meet new catalog and program requirements in effect at the time of return.
Change of Program of Study-Any student who changes to another program of study will be required to meet new catalog and program requirements in effect at the time of the change.
Exceptions to these policies may be necessitated by changes in course offerings or degree programs. In that event, every effort will be made to avoid penalizing the student.
For the completion of a graduate certificate, an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher is required. To calculate the average, all grades except “S” and “U” will be counted in all courses that are attempted. All grades of “I,” “IP,” or “U” must be resolved to complete certificate requirements. The Termination Due to Grades/Dismissal policy still applies. All catalog requirements for the certificate program must be completed. Students must be enrolled at Fayetteville State University in the semester they complete the certificate. Students receiving certificates only, should not apply for graduation. Students concurrently enrolled in a certificate program and a degree-seeking program only should apply for graduation in the degree-seeking program. Once the department submits the clearance form to the Office of the Registrar, requirements are then verified, and the students are notified to pay the required non-refundable certificate fee.
The certificate completion dates will be aligned with the published end of term graduation dates, that is, the certificate completion date will be at the end of the term of enrollment, regardless of when a student completes her/his required courses.
A certificate program is a coherent, specialized curriculum, on a topic outside existing degree programs, designed to provide coursework in an applied area of focus. Student proficiency must be verified through a variety of competency evaluations. Certificates are a minimum of twelve credit hours and generally a maximum of twenty-one credit hours. If necessary, justification can be submitted to adjust the maximum number of courses for a certificate.
A student wishing only to apply to a certificate program must complete an online application from the university website to request admission to a specific certificate program. If a student is admitted to a certificate program, the department chair will assign an advisor to the student. If a student applies but is not admitted to a certificate program, the department may recommend professional development status.
A degree-seeking student wishing to add a certificate program to a master’s degree program must submit the Adding Certificate to Master’s Degree Form. The college dean will inform the student, department chair/associate dean, and Office of the Registrar of the outcome of the request.
An involuntarily or a voluntarily discontinued master’s degree student wishing to change from a master’s degree program to a certificate program must submit the Master’s Degree to Certificate Change Form. The college dean will inform the student, department chair/associate dean, and Office of the Registrar of the outcome of the request.
Class Attendance or Participation
Regular attendance at course meetings is expected of all students attending an institution receiving Title IV funds. Students are expected to attend all class meetings, laboratories, and other instructional sessions for all courses in which they are enrolled. Students are also expected to arrive to class on time and remain in class for the entire scheduled period. When students must miss class(es) for unavoidable reasons—i.e., illness, family emergencies, participation in official university sponsored activities, or participation in required religious observances – they are responsible for informing faculty of the reasons for the absences, in advance if possible, and completing all missed assignments. Faculty members will indicate in their syllabi the conditions for making up missed assignments, as well as any penalties for unexcused absences or tardiness.
FSU’s policy authorizes a minimum of two excused absences each academic year for religious observances required by the faith of a student. For more detailed information and forms, see our policy on Religious Observances on https://www.uncfsu.edu/assets/Documents/Office%20of%20Legal%20Affairs/ReligiousObservances.pdf.
Faculty must assign an interim grade of FN to students who never attend class.
Class attendance for face-to-face classes is defined as regularly attending and participating in the course where it is physically located. Class attendance for hybrid classes is defined as attending and participating in a format that combines face-to-face and distance education formats.
For distance education courses, Fayetteville State University follows the federal examples that explains acceptable indications of class attendance in distance education courses. Examples can include student submission of an academic assignment, student submission of an exam, documented student participation in an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction, a posting by the student showing the student’s participation in an online study group that is assigned by the institution, a posting by the student in a discussion forum showing the student’s participation in an online discussion about academic matters, and an email from the student or other documentation showing that the student initiated contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course. Documentation of a student logging into a class is not enough, by itself, to demonstrate academic attendance by the student in distance education classes.
An instructor may request disenrollment of students from his or her class if students fail to attend the first class meeting of the semester or term and do not make contact to notify or explain the unavoidable reasons for not being able to meet the first day of class.
The instructor may request disenrollment by assigning the interim grade of FN on the first day of class to students who fail to attend and does not contact the instructor to notify or explain the unavoidable reasons for not being able to meet the first day of class. The student and the instructor of the class will receive an email notification confirming the interim grade. Students must take the necessary steps to attend class, contact the instructor, drop the course (if registration is still open), or withdraw from the course (if registration is closed).
Faculty can also remove the interim FN grade up until the date specified on the academic calendar, based on the documented and excused rationale of the student, i.e. illness, family emergencies, participation in official university sponsored activities, or participation in required religious observances.
Official degree conferral and commencement are two distinct events.
Degrees are officially conferred only after the Registrar verifies that a student has completed all degree requirements and designates a degree conferral date on the student’s official transcript. Degrees are officially conferred four times a year, in May, June, August, and December. Diplomas bearing the official degree conferral date are mailed to graduates four to six weeks after the Registrar verifies completion of all requirements. Diplomas and transcripts will be withheld from any graduate with unpaid university bills.
Commencement is a traditional academic ceremony that celebrates students who have attained the important milestone of degree completion. The conferral of degrees by the Chancellor at commencement is for ceremonial purposes and does not guarantee official degree conferral.
Commencement is conducted once a year, at the end of the spring semester.
Graduates with degrees conferred in December are eligible to participate in the spring commencement immediately following degree completion. Prospective graduates with degree conferral scheduled for the end of Spring or any Summer session will be permitted to participate in commencement of the same year as scheduled degree conferral if they are enrolled in all outstanding courses required for degree completion, which may include one or more summer terms.
All students must apply for graduation and pay the graduation fee regardless of whether they participate in commencement or not.
Summer Graduation Policy for Master’s Students
Students who meet the following criteria may participate in the May Commencement with the understanding that they are expected to complete their graduation requirements over the subsequent summer terms:
- Non-thesis option students: A candidate shall have no more than six (6) hours remaining toward the completion of his or her degree requirements.
- Thesis option students: A candidate must meet the following four (4) requirements – (a) Must have orally defended his or her thesis, (b) the candidate’s Thesis Advisor and other members of the Thesis Advisory Committee must certify that the thesis is acceptable, except for minor editorial corrections, (c) a copy of the thesis must have been submitted to the Thesis Editor, and (d) the dean of the College or School must approve the candidate’s participation in the commencement exercises.
Diplomas and transcripts for students who complete requirements in the summer will indicate the date at end of the summer term the student completes requirements. This option is only available for May commencement.
Concurrent Registration in Other Graduate Programs
A student registered in a graduate degree program at Fayetteville State University may not enroll concurrently in an undergraduate program or any other graduate program (except as permitted in the guidelines for Graduate Certificate admissions).
Continuous Enrollment Requirements
Students who are in good academic standing must maintain continuous enrollment by enrolling each fall and spring semester. Students who are working on theses and dissertations and have exhausted the thesis and dissertation credit hours must enroll in 899 or 999, respectively, in order to maintain continuous enrollment.
Students enrolled for nine (9) or more credit hours during a regular semester and six (6) or more credit hours during a summer session are classified as full-time students. The graduate student course load is lower than the normal undergraduate load because of the extensive reading, independent thinking, and individual research required of graduate students. Students should consider their academic ability as reflected in their academic history and the amount of time they have available for study in deciding how many hours in which they will enroll. No more than twelve (12) credit hours of work may be taken in one regular semester or six (6) credit hours of work during a summer session, unless otherwise noted in an approved curriculum in the current catalog or unless approval is granted by all of the following: the student’s advisor, the department chair/ associate dean, and the college dean.
Course Repeat Policy
A student who receives a grade of C in a graduate course may repeat that course once without permission. The Course Repeat form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. To repeat a second course in which a student earned a grade of C, the student must seek permission from the graduate coordinator and department chair. The department must submit the Course Repeat form to the Office of the Registrar. The grades earned on the first attempt and on the repeat attempt will remain a part of the student’s permanent record and will be shown on the student’s transcript. The grade and hours earned in the first attempt will not be computed in the grade point average. Enrollment will be terminated if a student receives a grade of “F” or “U” in a repeated course. A course may be repeated one time only.
Course Repeat Policy for Teacher Licensure-Only Students
A Teacher Licensure-Only student is an individual who holds a baccalaureate degree and wishes to pursue a licensure program in Teacher Education. A Teacher Licensure-Only student must maintain a GPA of 2.7 or higher and earn passing grades with no more than three “Cs” in all education and concentration courses.
A Teacher Licensure-Only student is allowed to repeat no more than three (3) courses without penalty. The Course Repeat form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. “Without Penalty” means that only the higher grade will be calculated into the student’s Grade Point Average. All original entries and grades will appear on the student’s permanent record with the designation that the lower grade has been excluded from the Grade Point Average.
All repeated courses are included in a student’s total attempted hours.
If an “F” is earned in a course, the student must repeat the course during the next semester it is offered. The student must pass the repeated course with a grade of “C” or higher.
Course Substitutions and Waivers
A student may request a course substitution or waiver; however, only under exceptional circumstances will a course substitution or waiver from the prescribed courses in a curriculum be permitted. To substitute or waive a course, the appropriate completed Course/Catalog Substitution or Waiver Request Form is submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Only requests for academically defensible substitutions or waivers and accompanied by appropriate documentation will be considered. The required form is posted on the Office of the Registrar’s website.
The following terms apply to a student’s enrollment and academic record:
1. Credit hour – At Fayetteville State University, the minimum credit hours required for any graduate certificate is 12, graduate licensure is 18, master’s degree is 30, and doctoral degree is 60. FSU follows the federal definition of a credit hour. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than
a. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
b. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (a) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
2. Attempted hours – The credit hours in which a student is enrolled at Fayetteville State University, to include hours transferred from other institutions.
3. Earned hours – The credit hours for each course in which a student earns a final grade of C or better at Fayetteville State University and credit hours transferred from other institutions with a grade of B or better.
4. GPA hours – The credit hours used in the calculation of a student’s GPA. The minimum GPA required for any teacher licensure-only program is 2.7, and the minimum GPA required for any certificate, master’s degree, or doctoral degree at Fayetteville State University is 3.0.
Cross-Listing and Cross-Level Listing Guidelines
Cross-listing and cross-level listing courses links courses together for scheduling purposes. Cross-listed and cross-level courses meet in the same location, on the same days, and at the same times of day. Types of acceptable cross-listed and cross-level courses include the following.
- Cross-listed courses where two or more disciplines use the same course title, description, fixed (non-variable) credit hours, repeat rules, instructor, curriculum, and prerequisites. Cross-listed courses must be approved and removed through the academic proposal process: all units responsible for a cross-listed course must endorse the proposal to cross-list a course; if a unit wishes to remove an existing cross-list, all affected units must agree to remove a cross-list, and the unit must contact the affected units before submitting the request. A cross-listed course becomes the responsibility of all units listing it. Scheduling of a cross-listed course involves coordination of all units included in the cross-listing. Approved cross-listed courses must be noted at the end of catalog course descriptions as follows: This course is cross-listed with FINC 415.
- Cross-level courses taught within the same discipline in which the subject is related, but the course numbers differ by level within a numbering range of 400-699 to ensure academic rigor. Undergraduate courses of 399 or below shall not be cross-listed with a graduate course. Cross-level courses must be approved through the academic proposal process: the differentiation of cross-level courses and student learning outcomes must be explained and demonstrated in attached syllabi (requirements, readings, grading, rigor, etc.). The university will apply the appropriate grading basis for the student’s designated academic career. Approved cross-level courses must be noted at the end of catalog course descriptions as follows: This course is cross-level listed with MGMT 491.
Sections cannot be approved as cross-listed or cross-level courses in the following situations.
- They can be offered for variable credit.
- They satisfy different General Education requirements.
- They are traditional independent study, honors thesis, practica, internships, directed readings, master’s thesis, or dissertation courses.
Students only receive credit for the single section of the cross-listed or cross-level course for which they are registered. Credit will not be awarded for a course where credit has been awarded for a cross-listed or cross-level course. If the number of students enrolled in all sections of a cross-listed or cross-level course is less than the cap for one course, then all sections of a cross-listed or cross-level course count together as one course for instructional load purposes.
Degree-seeking students must complete all requirements of a degree program within a department, including all correlative requirements, such as a concentration or specialization. A degree program represents a degree-seeking student’s primary field of study. A degree program is an approved structured plan of study requiring a minimum of 30 credit hours.
Admission to the university does not guarantee admission to a specific degree program. Therefore, students must complete an online application from the university website to request admission to a degree program. If a student is admitted to a degree program, the department chair will assign an advisor to the student. If a student applies but is not admitted to a degree program, the department may recommend professional development status.
A degree-seeking student wishing to change to a new degree program should recognize that the hours completed for the initial degree program may not be applicable to a new degree program, which may delay the student’s progress toward graduation. Hence, students should take advantage of the educational guidance offered by advisors, administrative officers, the catalog, and the online degree evaluation program, before changing degree programs.
To change a degree program, a student must apply and be admitted to a new degree program. If a student is admitted to a new degree program, the department chair will assign an advisor to the student. If a student applies but is not admitted to a new degree program, the department may recommend professional development status.
All degree-seeking students are required to be admitted to a degree program. Students without a degree program cannot graduate. Professional development and special visiting students must complete an online application from the university website to request admission to a degree program. Professional development, special visiting, and conditionally admitted students are not eligible for federal financial aid.
Degree Program Concentration or Specialization
A concentration or specialization is a well-defined area of study within an approved degree program. A concentration or specialization has a maximum of twenty-four credit hours, when applicable. If necessary, a justification can be submitted to adjust the maximum number of courses for a concentration or specialization.
A student wishing to change a concentration or specialization within an approved degree program should recognize that the hours completed for the initial concentration or specialization may not be applicable to the new concentration or specialization, which may delay the student’s progress toward graduation. Hence, students should take advantage of the educational guidance offered by advisors, administrative officers, the catalog, and the online degree evaluation program, before changing concentrations or specializations.
To change a concentration or specialization within a degree program, a student must submit the Request to Change Concentration or Specialization Form. The college dean will inform the student, department chair/associate dean, and Office of the Registrar of the outcome of the request. If needed, the department chair will assign the student a new advisor.
Degree Time Limit
All master’s degrees, including the thesis, directed study, internship, and comprehensive examinations, must be completed within six (6) calendar years from the date of the first course(s) carrying graduate degree credits applicable to the student’s degree program. All graduate certificate programs must be completed within six (6) calendar years from the date of the first course(s) carrying graduate credits applicable to the student’s graduate certificate program. Doctoral degree requirements, including the dissertation and transfer credits, must be completed within eight (8) calendar years from the date of enrollment in the first course(s) carrying graduate degree credits applicable to the student’s program. One exception may be granted at the discretion of the college dean due to extenuating circumstances.
Dishonesty in Academic Affairs
Acts of dishonesty in any work constitute academic misconduct. Such acts include cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation, fabrication of information, and abetting any of the above. Plagiarism in particular presents pitfalls to be avoided: failure to document any words, ideas, or other contributions that do not originate with the author constitutes plagiarism. Widespread use of the World Wide Web (Internet) requires particular attention to proper documentation practices. Individual course syllabi offer additional clarification about requirements for proper documentation. Procedures outlined in the Fayetteville State University Student Handbook will be followed for incidents of academic misconduct. The student handbook is available online at https://www.uncfsu.edu/current-students/student-resources. Non-disclosure or misrepresentation on applications and other university records will make students liable for disciplinary action, including possible expulsion from the university.
Doctoral Degree Requirements
Admission to Doctoral Degree Candidacy
Doctoral students must file the Admission to Candidacy for a Doctoral Degree form after successfully completing a minimum of 54 credit hours and passing the comprehensive examinations.
In addition to regular examinations, a final Comprehensive Examination on the content of the degree program is required of all candidates for the doctoral degree. Students must pass the comprehensive examination before beginning the dissertation process.
The Comprehensive Examination will cover topics as outlined by the department. The written examination will be constructed by the faculty and administered by the department chair or director. The examination must be administered no more than eight (8) weeks after the doctoral student has completed a minimum of 54 credit hours successfully. A student is eligible to take the examination after completion of all course work or while the final courses are in progress. Students also must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better to be eligible to take the comprehensive examination. Students may take the written examination twice, but must wait at least one (1) semester to retake the examination. Students who fail the written examination on the second attempt will be terminated from the program.
If an oral examination of the written comprehensives is required, it will be administered by a committee of three (3) graduate faculty members recommended by the department chair/director and approved by the appropriate dean. A unanimous vote by the committee is required to pass the oral comprehensive examination. Passing of the examination may be conditional and dependent upon the completion of additional work to the satisfaction of the committee. A formal re-examination will not be required in this case. To request a review of the results of the comprehensive examination, students must follow the Comprehensive Examination Appeal guidelines, as outlined in the catalog. Graduate faculty members are invited to attend the oral comprehensive examination sessions for all graduate degree students. Discussions and decisions of the examination committee are confidential. Applications for the Comprehensive Examination are available online on the Graduate Programs website. Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to apply for the Comprehensive Examination.
A written dissertation and its defense are required for all doctoral candidates. The purpose of the dissertation is to provide an experience in scholarship, which will be of enduring value to the student in understanding how new knowledge is developed. The dissertation provides tangible evidence of the candidate’s development as a scholar and especially his or her capacity to discover and communicate research findings effectively. The dissertation should also increase the body of knowledge in the candidate’s chosen field. Dissertations prepared by candidates for the doctoral degree in Educational Leadership must represent a well-defined investigation into a subject, which has been approved by the Dissertation Committee and the college dean. The candidate may register for EDLE/ ELHE 740 - Dissertation in Educational Leadership I & II (fall semester of third year) only after completing 54 credit hours, passing the comprehensive examinations, and being admitted formally to candidacy. The doctoral candidate must be enrolled continuously until the dissertation has been completed and defended successfully. After doctoral candidates earn six credits in EDLE/ ELHE 740, they may enroll in EDLE 999 - Doctoral Dissertation Continuation - Non Credit, until the dissertation is completed and defended.The candidate should seek counsel from the academic advisor regarding continuous enrollment.
The college dean will ensure that all guidelines and policies governing the dissertation are adhered to in order to ensure the successful completion of requirements for the dissertation.
Dissertation Advisory Committee
A dissertation committee will be established through the coordinated efforts of the Director of the Ed.D. Program. The committee will consist of a minimum of three (3) graduate faculty, one (1) of whom must be the chair of the Dissertation Committee and one from outside the candidate’s major department. All committee members must have current graduate faculty status. The committee membership must be approved by the department chair/director and the college dean. The Dissertation Advisory Committee Membership Form is posted on the Department of Educational Leadership and School Administration website. If the approved committee membership changes, a new form indicating the proposed new committee membership must be submitted for approval.
Each candidate must submit a proposal to write a dissertation. The proposal approval process involves a series of specific steps. First, the candidate confers with the Dissertation Advisory Committee Chair until they can agree on a potential topic. Once the candidate and Chair agree on a topic and a draft of the proposal is completed, the Chair schedules a proposal meeting with the full Dissertation Advisory Committee. At this point, the committee may approve, modify, or disapprove the proposal. The candidate must continue to work on the proposal until it has been approved by all committee members. After the proposal has been approved by the full committee, it is forwarded to the doctoral program director, the department chair, and the college dean for approval.
The dissertation requirements culminate with the oral defense, which has a rich tradition in doctoral level studies and is to be taken seriously. Three (3) weeks prior to all oral defense requested dates, the chair of the committee will send the Dissertation Oral Defense Scheduling Form to the director who will review and send to the college dean for final approval. The director, in collaboration with the college dean will select a date for the oral defense. The defense must be scheduled by the director at least four (4) weeks before graduation.
The oral defense is an academic evaluation of the dissertation by the committee, and is open to the committee members, dissertation students, and FSU faculty. Two (2) weeks prior to the oral defense the director, in consultation with the college dean, will announce to the university faculty the time and place of the defense.
The advisory committee chair will serve as facilitator for the defense. The chair will ask the candidate to present a brief summary of the dissertation, and will then entertain questions from the committee. Once the committee has completed its questions, members of the audience may raise questions. After all questions have been exhausted, the chair will ask the candidate and audience to leave the room while the committee debates the outcome. The results can be an unqualified pass, a modified pass depending on recommendations for changes, or a failure. The defense must be at least four (4) weeks before graduation, and a Dissertation Oral Defense Results Form must be sent within three (3) days of the defense to the college dean.
If the candidate fails the first defense, he or she will be allowed one more opportunity at a later date. The advisory committee chair must file the necessary forms through the office of the director of the program and should be forwarded to the college dean for a second defense.
Submission of Dissertation
All theses and dissertations should be reviewed to ensure they adhere to The Fayetteville State University Graduate Programs’ Guide for the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations and the Dissertation Writing Manual. After the candidate has made the revision requested in the dissertation oral defense and at least three (3) weeks before graduation, the student must submit one (1) copy of the dissertation to the college dean for review. Once the review is complete, the college dean will email feedback to the student and the Dissertation Advisory Committee Chair. The student, in consultation with the Committee Chair, should make the necessary corrections and submit one (1) copy of the revised dissertation to the college dean for verification that the corrections have been made. The college dean will notify the student and the Advisory Committee Chair when the draft is approved for submission as the final document.
Once the final document is approved by the college dean, the student must submit four (4) unbound copies of the dissertation in final form along with a completed Dissertation Approval Form to the college dean prior to graduation. Detailed information on forms and dissertation organization is presented in the Dissertation Writing Manual. Students must pay the required dissertation processing fee at the FSU Cashier’s office before the final submission of the dissertation.
Policy on Completion of Dissertation
Candidates who have completed their course work and the number of dissertation hours for credit required in their doctoral degree program must take one of two actions as follows:
Candidates who will continue to use Fayetteville State University resources in completing their degrees must enroll in EDLE 990 and pay tuition and fees for not less than three (3) hours of continuing completion of dissertation credit each semester. These hours will not count toward the degree and will carry a different course number than those dissertation courses that are included within the hours designated for the degree.
Candidates who will not use Fayetteville State University resources should apply for a leave of absence with the Request for Leave of Absence form. Regardless of the course of action selected, all candidates must be enrolled in EDLE 740 or EDLE 999 during the semester in which they complete their graduate work or are scheduled to receive their degrees.
See the Degree TIme Limit section of the online catalog for completion limits for the doctoral degree.
Dropping and Adding Classes
Students may adjust their schedule of classes through the official dropping and adding processes until the last day of late registration. After this date, students will be permitted to adjust their schedules only for unusual and documented circumstances beyond the student’s control. Students are cautioned that adjustment of their official schedule may affect tuition, fees, and financial aid eligibility, and may require additional payment and/or reimbursement of financial aid awards. Cessation of class attendance does not constitute official dropping of a course and attending a class does not constitute official adding of a course. Students who stop attending class without officially withdrawing will receive an “F” grade and will be removed automatically from the University.
Electronic Mail Policy
Fayetteville State University provides to each student, free of charge, an electronic mail account that is easily accessible via the Internet. The University has established email as the primary mode of communicating with enrolled students about impending deadlines, upcoming events, and other information important to student progression at the University. Students are responsible for reading their email on a regular basis to remain aware of important information disseminated by the University. The University maintains open-use computer laboratories throughout the campus that can be used to access electronic mail. Students making inquiries via email to FSU faculty and staff about academic records, grades, bills, financial aid, and other matters of a confidential nature are required to use their FSU email account. Rules and regulations governing the use of FSU email may be found at https://www.uncfsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/departments-and-offices/office-of-legal-affairs/policies-and-procedures.
Enrollment Verification Policy
Students may request enrollment verifications through the National Student Clearinghouse for current or previous enrollments. For more details, visit the Office of the Registrar website at https://www.uncfsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/departments-and-offices/office-of-the-registrar/degree-and-enrollment-verification.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (The Buckley Amendment)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, guarantees certain rights to students and qualified parents regarding a student’s education records. Fayetteville State University adheres to those statutory rights and has implemented this policy in order to comply. Specifically, students are afforded the following rights with respect to their educational records:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records;
- The right to consent to disclosure of the student’s education records to third parties, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent;
- The right to request amendment of the student’s education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate or misleading;
- The right to be notified annually of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA and;
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by FSU to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
FSU will not disclose or release personally identifiable student information in education records or allow access to those records without prior consent of the students, except as provided by FERPA. Such consent must be written, signed and dated, and must specify the records to be disclosed, the party to whom the records are to be disclosed, and the purpose of the disclosure.
To consent to disclosure or release of student educational records to a specific individual, see https://www.uncfsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/departments-and-offices/office-of-the-registrar/ferpa.
The FSU Graduate Council
The FSU Graduate Council is charged with the responsibility of developing university-wide graduate policies, approving new graduate programs, and revising current graduate programs. All new programs, non-substantive, and substantive program revisions are submitted to the Council for review and approval before submission to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Chancellor for final approval. Minor course changes (titles, prerequisites, non-substantive changes in descriptions) do not require review by the FSU Graduate Council and can go straight to the College Dean for final approval, unless discipline-specific standards require further oversight.
The Graduate Council shall consist of one representative from each department having a graduate degree program, deans of colleges that offer graduate programs, and assistant/associate deans as designated by their respective deans. Departmental representatives, deans, and assistant/associate deans are eligible to vote. A graduate student (recommended by each college on a rotating basis) shall serve as a voting member of the council. The university registrar and director of admissions shall serve as ex-officio, non-voting members of the council. At the beginning of each academic year, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs will appoint all members to the council, based on recommendations of the deans.
An academic department may recommend a change of its representative to the respective dean at the beginning of the academic year. If approved, the Dean will recommend the change to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall appoint the Chair of the Graduate Council. The Chair of the Graduate Council also serves as FSU’s representative on the Graduate Council of the University of North Carolina system.
The primary functions of the FSU Graduate Council are to:
- Advise the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to ensure quality and integrity in issues that pertain to graduate education.
- Recommend policies and procedures affecting graduate study, including, but not limited to curricula, graduate credit, and certification and degree requirements.
- Review matters pertaining to graduate degree programs such as academic regulations, curriculum proposals, review of the catalog, and university-wide standards and procedures for graduate degree programs.
- Consider and make recommendations concerning exceptions to graduate policy.
- Review and act on all nominations for appointment to graduate faculty status.
- Receive and review proposals for the planning and establishment of new graduate programs and program tracks.
Criteria for Selecting and Evaluating Graduate Faculty
The Graduate Faculty
Fayetteville State University (FSU) recognizes that a quality graduate program requires a quality faculty, i.e., one with a high degree of competence and commitment to scholarship. For this reason, FSU maintains a graduate faculty. This document outlines the minimum requirements for appointment to the graduate faculty. To meet program-specific accreditation requirements, a school or college may impose additional guidelines and requirements over and beyond the minimum requirements outlined in this document.
Appointment to the graduate faculty is made by the FSU Graduate Council upon recommendation by the Department Chairperson/ Associate Dean and the Dean of the College in which the applicant will teach. Faculty appointed to major administrative assignments (i.e., department chairs, directors, etc.) who are full or associate members of the graduate faculty at the time of their appointment will not be subject to the regular reappointment requirements until they relinquish their administrative roles. Whenever such administrative appointments are concluded, such persons shall be granted a five-year extension of membership, after which each shall be evaluated using the prevailing criteria in the normal three- or five-year cycle.
Categories and Functions of Membership
The three categories of membership shall be designated full, associate, and special. Full membership and associate membership shall be restricted to individuals who hold tenured, tenure track, or clinical faculty (with the exception of Clinical Lecturer) appointments as faculty members.
Full membership shall involve a five (5) year appointment and must be renewed after five (5) years. Faculty members with full membership serve without any restriction(s) and may teach any course designated for them by their department, and may chair a dissertation or thesis committee. For reappointment, faculty will be evaluated on activities occurring during that five (5) year period.
Faculty appointed as full members must meet the following criteria:
- An earned terminal degree in an appropriate discipline which meets the qualifications required by FSU, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and/or other specialized accreditation bodies.
- Hold tenured, tenure track, or clinical faculty (with the exception of Clinical Lecturer) appointment as a faculty member.
- Have demonstrated competence in research by having written a book or published at least one significant publication in a professional journal.
- Have a record of active participation in professional organizations related to the academic field of specialization.
- Evidence of effective teaching at the graduate level.
- Evidence of continuing professional development.
Associate membership is intended for faculty members who will have responsibilities within the graduate program, but do not meet the criteria for full membership. Associate membership shall involve a three (3) year appointment, and must be renewed every three (3) years. Associate members may teach any graduate level course. An associate member may serve on, but not chair, a dissertation or thesis committee.
Faculty appointed as associate members must meet the following criteria:
- An earned terminal degree in an appropriate discipline which meets the qualifications required by FSU, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and/or other specialized accreditation bodies.
- Hold tenured, tenure track, or clinical faculty (with the exception of Clinical Lecturer) appointment as a faculty member.
- Have a record of active participation in professional organizations related to the academic field of specialization.
- Evidence of effective teaching.
- Evidence of continuing professional development.
Special membership shall be accorded faculty who for some determined, specific expertise or experience is able to contribute to a particular area. Special membership shall involve a two (2) year appointment, and must be renewed accordingly. Such members shall teach specific courses related to their area of expertise, and which are designated by their department unless a service-only non-teaching special status is recommended. A special member may serve on but not chair a dissertation or thesis committee.
Faculty appointed as special members must meet the following criteria:
- An earned terminal degree in an appropriate discipline which meets the qualifications required by FSU, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and/or relevant specialized accreditation bodies; the terminal degree appropriate for his or her academic field; or experience/skills that uniquely qualify him or her to teach a specific course. In lieu of the terminal degree, the department chairperson/associate dean shall provide justification for such an exception. The justification shall be used by the FSU Graduate Council in rendering a recommendation to the department chairperson/associate dean and college dean.
- Have a record of active participation in professional organization related to the academic field of specialization.
- Evidence of effective teaching.
- Evidence of continuing professional development.
Newly hired faculty members may be approved for temporary graduate faculty special membership for the first semester immediately following hiring upon the review and recommendation of the requisite college dean. The recommendation documents that the faculty member meets the minimum criteria for graduate faculty special membership. A memo documenting this temporary status will be submitted to the chair of the FSU Graduate Council chair prior to the start of the semester in which the new hire assumes teaching duties. The new faculty member will submit a graduate faculty application at the appropriate level by the end of his/ her first semester at FSU.
To apply, faculty members will complete a one-page application form. In addition, they will attach a curriculum vitae with their record of teaching, scholarship, and other professional activities to the application form. The department chairperson/associate dean will review the application form, the curriculum vitae, and evidence of effective teaching and make a recommendation to the college dean. The college dean will make a recommendation to the FSU Graduate Council. A simple majority of members of the FSU Graduate Council will constitute a quorum to review and approve or disapprove the recommendation for the type of graduate faculty membership requested on the application form. The FSU Graduate Council chair will communicate the council’s decision to approve or disapprove to the faculty member, the department chairperson/associate dean, and the college dean. The college deans will be responsible for tracking the status of graduate faculty within the college. A list of the graduate faculty will be posted on the FSU Graduate Council Canvas site.
Evaluation and Reappointment
All graduate faculty members will undergo continuous review as part of the annual faculty evaluation process. At the end of the term of appointment, the graduate faculty member will submit an application for reappointment to the department chairperson/associate dean. The department chairperson/ associate dean will conduct a comprehensive review of the faculty member based on her/his productivity during the period of previous appointment. The department chairperson/associate dean will make a recommendation to the college dean. The college dean will make a recommendation to the FSU Graduate Council. A simple majority of members of the FSU Graduate Council will constitute a quorum to review and approve or disapprove the recommendation for the type of graduate faculty membership requested on the application form. The FSU Graduate Council chair will communicate the council’s decision to approve or disapprove to the faculty member, the department chairperson/associate dean, and the college dean. The college dean will be responsible for tracking the status of graduate faculty within the college. A list of the graduate faculty will be posted on the FSU Graduate Council Canvas site.
The following final grades are assigned to indicate the quality of students’ academic performance:
- A – Superior
- B – Good
- C – Marginal (acceptable for graduate credit)
- F – Failure (any level of performance below “C”)
- S – Satisfactory (reported only for dissertations, theses, directed studies, internships, and practica)
- U – Unsatisfactory (reported only for dissertations, theses, directed study, internships, and practica)
Only grades of “S,” satisfactory, or “U,” unsatisfactory, are reported as final grades on dissertations, theses, directed studies, internships, and practica. The university calculates the grade point average using all grades except “S” and “U.”
- I – Incomplete
- IP – In Progress (dissertation, thesis, directed studies only)
- W – Withdrawal
- WU – Withdrawal from University
- AU – Auditing (no credit)
The grade of “I” may be assigned only when a student has maintained a passing average but for reasons beyond his or her control, is unable to complete a specific course requirement such as a report, field experience, experiment, or final examination. An Incomplete Grade may not be assigned to students who have failed to fulfill multiple requirements in a class.
The final grade must be submitted no later than the due date for all final grades of graduating or non-graduating students in the next regular fall or spring semester immediately following the semester or summer term in which the “I” grade was assigned. If the “I” grade is not removed within the stipulated time limit, the grade will be converted to a grade of “F.” Students are responsible for initiating the actions necessary to remove “I” grades.
In the case of a thesis or directed study in progress, a grade of “IP” (in progress) will be recorded each semester of registration for credit until completion of the thesis or directed study, at which time a final grade of “S” (satisfactory) or “U” (unsatisfactory) will be assigned. The “IP” grade requires continuous enrollment, excluding summer sessions, or it is converted to a grade of “U.”
Final Grade Change
Once an instructor of a course has reported a grade to the Registrar, it cannot be changed except in case of error in calculation, reporting, or recording. Any change must be approved by the instructor, department chair/associate dean, college dean, and graduate school director. Students wishing to appeal a final grade must follow the grade appeal process outlined below.
If a student thinks that a final grade is inaccurate, he or she should first consult with the faculty member who awarded the grade. The university expects the majority of grade appeals to be resolved by the student and instructor. If the instructor agrees to change the student’s grade, the instructor must submit a grade change form for approval by the department chair/associate dean, college dean, and graduate school director. The Registrar’s Office will inform (by email) the student, the instructor, and the department chair/associate dean about the grade change. If these informal efforts are unsuccessful in resolving the student’s concern, the student may initiate a formal grade appeal.
The formal grade appeal must include documentation that one or more of the following occurred: 1) the instructor made an error in calculating the final grade; 2) the final grade was based on criteria and/or standards at variance with the course syllabus; and/or 3) the final grade was based on factors other than student achievement/performance. Failure to address one or more of these three reasons is a basis for rejection of that appeal. Students must recognize that they bear the burden of proof in the grade appeal process and that a grade appeal will not be successful without appropriate documentation.
The student must submit the written appeal, with documentation, first to the instructor. If the instructor rejects the appeal, the student may submit the appeal to the instructor’s department chair/associate dean. If the department chair/associate dean rejects the appeal, the student may submit the appeal to the college dean of the instructor. If the college dean rejects the appeal, the student may submit the appeal to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. If the department chair/associate dean or college dean supports a grade appeal, he or she will forward to the next administrative level for review. The grade appeal will be considered at each administrative level only after it has been reviewed at all previous levels. To ensure review of appeals at each level, each respondent to the appeal will send a copy of the response to the next higher review, i.e., faculty will send copy to department chair/associate dean, department chair/associate dean to college dean, and college dean to provost. The department chair/associate dean and college dean will respond to the grade appeal either by upholding the original grade or working with the faculty member (and, in the case of the college dean, with the department chair/associate dean) to propose a means of re-evaluating the student’s final grade. The department chair/associate dean and college dean do not have the authority to change a student’s grade.
If the student submits the written appeal to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the appeal will be submitted for review to the FSU Graduate Council. If the appeal is based on grounds other than the three specified above, the FSU Graduate Council will reject the appeal without further review. If the appeal is based on one of three grounds specified above, the FSU Graduate Council will discuss the appeal with the instructor and the student and, after a careful review of all relevant information, recommend either that the original grade be upheld or that a new grade be awarded. If the FSU Graduate Council upholds the original grade, the student will be informed in writing of the decision of the Council. If the FSU Graduate Council recommends a new grade and the recommendation is approved by the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the FSU Graduate Council’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Registrar, with a copy to the faculty member, for notation on the student’s record.
A complete record of the grade appeal process will be placed in the student’s permanent file. The Registrar’s Office will inform (by email) the student, the instructor, and the department chair/associate dean about the grade change.
The decision of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs regarding a grade appeal is final and may not be appealed further.
Timeline for Formal Grade Appeal Process
Students must initiate the formal grade appeal process no later than the 20th day of class in the next fall or spring semester after the contested grade was received. Grade appeals submitted after this deadline will not be considered. Grade appeals will be resolved before the end of the semester in which they are submitted.
Grade appeals are not considered during the summer.
Graduate students who initiate a formal grade appeal in the same semester that they plan to graduate should be aware that the grade appeal will very likely NOT be resolved in time for graduation clearance.
Graduate Programs Organization
The university-wide FSU Graduate Council provides oversight to all graduate programs at the university, and the Graduate School provides support to all graduate programs at the university. The Broadwell College of Business and Economics, the College of Education, the College of Health, Science, and Technology, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences are responsible for the graduate programs within the college. The graduate faculty, program coordinators/directors, department chairs, associate deans, and college deans are directly responsible to ensure that each degree program is of the highest quality. Each college has a College Graduate Programs Committee.
The mission of the Graduate School is to encourage and support student and faculty participation in research, scholarship, and service. The Graduate School is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service and to preparing graduates to lead meaningful and productive lives. The Graduate School strives to increase enrollment, retention, and graduation of students in all disciplines.
Graduate study involves the extension of knowledge. However, it is more than a mere continuation of undergraduate study. Graduate study is different from undergraduate study in the following respects:
- The graduate student is expected to assume greater responsibility by exercising critical analysis, engaging in scholarly inquiry, and exhibiting a high degree of individual initiative.
- Independence of thought and more extensive and intensive reading is required.
- Greater emphasis is placed on creativity and research.
- Instruction is provided in greater depth by graduate faculty in specialized areas.
Graduate Student Designation
All students (degree seeking or non-degree seeking) holding a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university who attend Fayetteville State University are classified as graduate students. Thus, students seeking a doctoral degree, master’s degree, graduate level certificate, teacher licensure, professional development, and special visiting admission all are designated as graduate students and are required to pay graduate student fees. Students seeking a second undergraduate degree are classified as undergraduate students.
Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater to fulfill graduation requirements. The Termination Due to Grades/Dismissal policy still applies (three (3) “C” grades or one “F” or “U” grade in any graduate level course). Graduate students who receive a third “C” or one “F” in the semester they intend to graduate are terminated from the program and are not eligible for graduation until a petition for reinstatement in the graduate program is resolved. To calculate the average, all grades except “S” and “U” will be counted in all courses that are attempted. All courses in the student’s approved program of study must be completed. Students must be enrolled at Fayetteville State University in the semester they intend to graduate. For students in Master’s degree programs, courses cannot be older than six (6) years at the time of graduation. For students in the Doctoral degree program, courses cannot be older than eight (8) years at the time of graduation. Students should apply for graduation early in the semester they plan to graduate. Students should seek advice from Graduate Coordinators before applying for graduation. Students must pay the required graduation application fee. Students cannot graduate with unresolved grades of “I,” “IP,” or “U” on their transcripts. All requirements to remove these grades must be met before graduation.
With the approval of the instructor, department chair/associate dean, and college dean, graduate students who have been admitted to candidacy may register for independent study in their major field. Students registered for independent study must be scheduled for regular conference periods at least weekly. No more than three (3) semester hours of credit for independent study may be earned in any one semester, and no more than six (6) semester hours of credit for independent study may be applied toward a graduate degree.
An existing course listed in the Graduate Catalog may not be taught as an independent study. Anyone seeking to pursue independent study must be a candidate for a degree at Fayetteville State University.
Leave of Absence
A student in good academic standing, who must interrupt his or her graduate program for good reasons, may request a leave of absence from graduate study for a definite period not to exceed one year. The request must be made with the Request for Leave of Absence form no later than the end of the late registration period of the semester in which the leave of absence is to apply. Upon the approval of the student’s department chair/associate dean, and college dean, the student will not be required to register during the leave of absence. The time that a student spends on an approved leave of absence will be included in the time allowed to complete the degree or graduate certificate (i.e., six years for the master’s degree and graduate certificate; eight years for the doctoral degree). If a student does not return within the period of time stipulated in the approved leave of absence, the student must reapply to the University and the said program.
Education – Preparing licensed teachers is a state responsibility that is delegated to state approved Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs). The North Carolina state legislature creates laws that become State Board of Education policies and requirements for those desiring to teach. Fayetteville State University’s College of Education is a state approved, nationally accredited EPP. The requirements for teacher licensure are a four-year degree or equivalent course work from an educator preparation program approved by the State Department of Public Instruction, results from nationally published examinations and other state requirements such as internship. The examinations vary according to teaching discipline and level. The current tests include Praxis CASE, Praxis II, Foundations of Reading, Content Knowledge in Math, and edTPA. The FSU College of Education also participates in national reviews by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, which allows FSU graduates to be eligible for reciprocity with other states.
Nursing – The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is a nationwide examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States. After graduation from FSU’s School of Nursing, students are required to take the NCLEX exam to receive a nursing license. A nursing license gives an individual the permission to practice nursing.
Social Work – The North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board (NCSWCLB) is the acting regulatory authority for social workers in the state. Upon completion of FSU’s Master of Social Work degree, graduates are eligible to take the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) exam. The LCSW allows individuals to practice as a clinical social worker.
Master’s Degree Requirements
Admission to Candidacy for the Master’s Degree
Admission to Fayetteville State University in a degree program does not carry with it admission to candidacy for the graduate degree. Students should apply for admission to candidacy once they have completed at least twelve (12) credit hours but no more than eighteen (18) credit hours of study at Fayetteville State University. Approval of degree candidacy by the college dean certifies that the student’s academic performance has been reviewed and that permission to pursue the program of study to completion has been granted. To be admitted to candidacy for a graduate degree, the student must have:
- Been admitted to a degree program;
- Completed at least twelve (12) credit hours (600 level courses in the MBA program) but not more than eighteen (18) credit hours of graduate study at Fayetteville State University, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher at the time of application for admission to candidacy;
- An advisor assigned by the departmental or area;
- An approved program of study; and
- Satisfied all other conditions affecting admission.
Failure to meet the requirements will result in denial of admission to degree candidacy and administrative withdrawal from the stated degree program. The following is the procedure for requesting admission to degree candidacy:
- After completing twelve (12) semester credit hours of graduate courses at Fayetteville State University, the student submits to the graduate coordinator an application for admission to degree candidacy. The application form must be signed by the student’s graduate advisor and department chair/associate dean. The department chair/associate dean submits the signed application for candidacy form to the college dean.
- The college dean processes the application and notifies the student, the department chair/associate dean, and the graduate coordinator of the action taken.
- Copies of the letter are sent to the student, advisor, department chair/associate dean, and graduate coordinator/director.
Note: Students who have completed eighteen (18) credit hours and have not applied for admission to candidacy will not be permitted to enroll in additional courses.
In addition to regular examinations, a final Comprehensive Examination on the content of a degree program is required of candidates in some master’s degree programs. The Comprehensive Examination will cover topics as outlined by the department. The written examination will be constructed by the faculty and administered by the department chair or an appointee of the chair based on the schedule determined by the Graduate Committee of each program. The Comprehensive Examination may be taken when all courses are completed or when the final courses are in progress. The examination(s) must be scheduled in conformance with deadlines shown in the university registrar’s calendar. Students also must have been admitted to candidacy and must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better to be eligible to take the comprehensive examination. Candidates may take the written examination twice, but they cannot retake the examination in the same semester. Candidates who fail the written examination on the second attempt will be terminated from the program. Students will be notified of their examination results by the department chair/associate dean. The department chair/associate dean will submit a copy of the results to the college dean, who will submit a copy to the Office of the Registrar.
If an oral examination of the written comprehensive examination is required, it will be administered by a committee of three graduate faculty members recommended by the department chair/associate dean, and the appropriate college dean. A unanimous vote by the committee is required to pass the oral comprehensive examinations. Passing of the oral examination may be conditional and dependent upon the completion of additional work to the satisfaction of the committee. A formal re-examination will not be required in this case. Graduate faculty are invited to attend the oral comprehensive examination sessions for all graduate degree candidates. Discussions and decisions of the examination committee are confidential.
Applications for the Comprehensive Examination are available online. Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to apply to take the Comprehensive Examination.
Comprehensive Examination Results Appeals
If a student fails the comprehensive examination, he or she should first consult with the graduate coordinator for his or her program. The graduate coordinator will arrange to have faculty members who graded the examinations to provide feedback to the student. If this initial step is unsuccessful in resolving the student’s concern, the student may initiate a formal appeal.
The formal appeal of the results of the comprehensive examination must include documentation that one or more of the following occurred: 1) the faculty members who graded the examination made an error in calculating points from the grading rubric; 2) the decision to fail the student was based on criteria and/or standards at variance with the grading rubric; and/or 3) the decision to fail the student was based on factors other than student achievement/performance. Failure to address one or more of these three reasons is a basis for rejection of the appeal.
The student must submit the written appeal, with documentation, to the department chair/associate dean of his or her graduate program. Upon receipt of the appeal, the department chair/associate dean will appoint one graduate faculty member to review the appeal and the grading, and report findings to the department chair/associate dean. If the faculty member agrees with the decision to fail the student (i.e., if the three faculty members unanimously agree), the department chair/associate dean will uphold the original decision and inform the student that he or she has failed the examination. If the faculty member disagrees with the decision to fail the student (i.e., if the three faculty do not reach a unanimous decision), the department chair/associate dean will call an emergency meeting of the entire graduate faculty to review the appeal. If a simple majority of the graduate faculty members agree with the decision to fail the student, the department chair/associate dean will inform the college dean and the student that she or he has failed the examination and may not appeal further. Alternatively, if a simple majority of the graduate faculty members disagree with the original decision to fail the student, the department chair/associate dean will inform the college dean and the student that she or he has passed the comprehensive examination.
The student may appeal to the college dean whose role will be to review the appeal procedures to ensure that the appeal was given full consideration and that the student was treated fairly. The student must bear in mind that the role of the college dean is NOT to review the faculty’s decision regarding passing or failing the comps, but to make sure the appeal process is conducted fairly.
A written thesis and its defense are required for candidates in several master’s degree programs. Students should consult the Graduate Catalog for program requirements for their specific programs. The purpose of the thesis is to provide an experience in scholarship, which will be of enduring value to the student in understanding how new knowledge is developed. The thesis provides tangible evidence of the student’s development as a scholar and especially his or her capacity to discover and effectively communicate research findings. The thesis should also enlarge the body of knowledge in the student’s chosen field. The thesis must represent an original investigation into a subject, which has been approved by the Thesis Advisory Committee and the student’s college dean. The department chair/associate dean and the college dean will ensure that Graduate Programs guidelines and policies are adhered to and will signify completion of requirements for the theses.
Thesis Advisory Committee
The student must choose a thesis committee in consultation with the major advisor. The committee will consist of a minimum of three (3) graduate faculty members, one of whom must be the chair of the Thesis Advisory Committee and one must be from outside the student’s major department. All committee members must have current graduate faculty status. The committee must be approved by the department chair/associate dean and the college dean. The Thesis Advisory Committee Membership Form is posted on the Graduate Programs website. If the approved committee membership changes, a new form indicating the proposed new membership must be submitted for approval.
The student must submit a written thesis proposal to the Thesis Advisory Committee. The proposal must be approved by the Committee.
Once the thesis is completed, a Thesis Oral Defense Scheduling Form must be filed with the college dean by the chairperson of the Thesis Advisory Committee. The application must be filed at least two (2) weeks prior to when the defense is to be held and must be accompanied by certification that the thesis is complete except for revision which may be necessary as a result of the oral defense and of the review of the thesis by the Thesis and Dissertation Editor. A written notice of the time and place of the defense of the thesis will be sent by the college dean to the candidate, each member of the committee, and the faculty at Fayetteville State University. The oral defense is an academic evaluation of the thesis by the committee, and is open to the committee members, university faculty, and approved guests. During the defense, the Thesis Advisory Committee may ask the candidate questions regarding subject matter in the student’s major field. The defense must be at least four (4) weeks before graduation, and a completed Thesis Oral Defense Results Form must be sent within three (3) days of the defense to the college dean. A student may defend the thesis a maximum of two times. Maximum credit allowed for the thesis is six (6) semester hours.
Submission of Thesis
All theses and dissertations should be reviewed to ensure they adhere to The Fayetteville State University Graduate Programs Guide for the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations. After the student has made the revisions requested in the thesis/dissertation oral defense and at least three (3) weeks before graduation, the student must submit one (1) copy of the thesis/dissertation to the college dean for review. The thesis/dissertation must be submitted with the Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form with all the required signatures. Once the review is complete, the college dean will send feedback to the student and Thesis/Dissertation Advisory Committee Chair. The student, in consultation with the Advisory Committee Chair, should make the necessary corrections and submit one (1) copy of the revised thesis to the department chair/associate dean and college dean for verification that the corrections have been made. The Thesis Committee chair will notify the college dean after final review and approval of the edited thesis. After reviewing the final (edited) thesis, the college dean will notify the student and the Advisory Committee Chair that the thesis is ready to be printed. The student submits four (4) copies of the thesis (with original signatures of all Advisory Committee members on the title page), along with the ProQuest form and the required fee, to the office of the college dean. The student must pay the thesis processing fee at the FSU’s Cashier’s Office and attach a receipt to the four (4) copies of the thesis.
See the Degree TIme Limit section of the online catalog for completion time limits for the master’s degree.
FSU requires all undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in six or more credit hours on the main campus to have medical insurance and provides a medical insurance plan for each student. Medical insurance fees are automatically assessed as part of a student’s overall tuition and fees. A student may waive the medical insurance fee for the entire fiscal year by completing an Insurance Waiver Form at the beginning of the fall semester or by completing the waiver form by the last day of posted registration for each semester online only at www.studentinsurance.com. Documentation of proof of insurance is needed to waive the student medical insurance fee.
All graduate students should attend a graduate student orientation delivered by their department or college during the semester in which they begin graduate study. The orientation focuses on academic policies, regulations, and procedures.
Program of Study
All students must have a program of study developed in consultation with their academic advisors and signed by the student, advisor, and department chair/associate dean. The program of study must list all required courses and electives. As students complete courses, the program of study should be updated by the academic advisor to indicate the semester courses were taken and the grades earned.
Students who are terminated from their programs because of failure to maintain continuous enrollment and/or who have not been granted a leave of absence during a fall or spring semester will be required to reapply for admission and pay the application fee again if they wish to resume their graduate study at Fayetteville State University.
Students are responsible for registering for classes according to procedures and deadlines established by the Office of the Registrar. Attending a class does not constitute official enrollment in a class. Students will not receive credit or a grade for any class for which they are not officially registered. The classes for which a student is registered at the close of the official registration period constitute the student’s official schedule and course load. Tuition and fees are based on the student’s total hours of enrollment at the close of the official registration period.
Release of Directory Information
Unless a student requests in writing to the contrary, FSU is permitted to release directory information without consent. FSU recognizes the following as directory information: a student’s name, local and permanent address, email address, telephone number, enrollment status (undergraduate, graduate, full-time or part-time), date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, honors, degrees and awards (including scholarships) received, participation in officially recognized activities/organizations and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended.
Under FERPA, a student has the right to request that the disclosure of directory information be withheld as long as the student is enrolled at FSU. If a student wishes to have the student’s directory information withheld, the student should submit a written request to the Office of the Registrar by completing the Request for Non-Disclosure of Directory Information Form (https://www.uncfsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/departments-and-offices/office-of-the-registrar/forms-documents-and-tutorials). Directory information may be released without permission for students no longer enrolled at FSU unless that student, at his/her last opportunity as a student, requested otherwise.
A student or parent may not use the right to opt out of directory information disclosure to prevent FSU from disclosing or from requiring a student to disclose the student’s name, identifier, or institutional e-mail address in a class in which the student is enrolled.
A copy of complete FERPA policies and procedures may be obtained online at https://www.uncfsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/departments-and-offices/office-of-legal-affairs/policies-and-procedures.
Second Master’s Degree
Students pursuing a second graduate degree must complete successfully all school/college and departmental/area requirements. Students with graduate degrees previously earned at Fayetteville State University or at another accredited institution may petition to transfer up to six (6) semester hours taken internally and up to six (6) semester hours taken externally to be applied to a new degree program. Graduate work must not be older than six (6) years at the time the degree is awarded.
Each student is responsible for adhering to the Graduate Catalog, for the proper completion of his or her academic program, for maintaining the required grade point average, and for meeting all other degree requirements. While the academic advisor will provide advisement and guidance, the final responsibility for adhering to policies, procedures, and requirements remains that of the student. Each student is required to have knowledge of and adhere to all FSU policies and regulations pertaining to campus life and student behavior. The complete code of student conduct is available online at https://www.uncfsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/departments-and-offices/office-of-legal-affairs/policies-and-procedures. Each student is responsible for checking his/her FSU email regularly, maintaining communication with the university, and keeping a current address, including ZIP code and telephone number on file with the Office of the Registrar at all times. The email policy is available online at https://www.uncfsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/departments-and-offices/office-of-legal-affairs/policies-and-procedures. Each student is expected to participate in the Fayetteville State University academic community in a manner that will reflect credit upon the integrity of the student and the university.
Termination Due to Grades/Dismissal Policy
Graduate students who receive three (3) “C” grades or one (1) “F” or “U” grade in any graduate level course(s) will not be eligible to register for subsequent semesters at FSU. This applies to any current graduate program and any courses transferred or applied to the current graduate program.
Graduate students who receive a third “C” or one “F” in the semester they intend to graduate are terminated from the program and are not eligible for graduation until a petition for reinstatement in the graduate program is resolved.
Continuous enrollment rules apply in the circumstance of termination. Students who are terminated from their programs because of failure to maintain continuous enrollment and/or who have not been granted a leave of absence during a fall or spring semester will be required to reapply for admission and pay the application fee again if they wish to resume their graduate study at Fayetteville State University.
Petition for Reinstatement after Termination/Dismissal from Graduate Program
When special circumstances warrant, a graduate student who has been terminated/dismissed from the graduate program due to poor performance may petition for consideration for conditional reinstatement to improve upon his or her performance. In the petition, a student must provide very strong evidence to have any chance of a successful review. That is, a student who wishes to petition for conditional admission must realize that he or she will be required to provide evidence to show that his or her performance will improve if given a second chance. A request for conditional reinstatement must be submitted to the department chair/associate dean, who will ask the program faculty members familiar with the student’s academic performance to evaluate the petition. In evaluating the petition, the program faculty members will, among other factors, consider the special circumstances presented by the student and his or her potential to improve upon her performance. If the program faculty members opt to reinstate the student, a conditional reinstatement recommendation will be sent to the department chair/associate dean, who will transmit the recommendation to the college dean. The college dean will review the recommendation and notify the student, the department chair/associate dean, and graduate coordinator of his or her decision. Approval of the conditional reinstatement may be contingent upon the student meeting additional requirements imposed by the program faculty. If the student satisfies the conditions and improves upon his or her performance, the conditional status will be removed. A conditionally reinstated student who receives an additional grade of C or F will be permanently dismissed from the graduate program.
Textbook Rental Policy
In order to make textbooks more affordable for students, Fayetteville State University has adopted a Textbook Rental Program. This program includes an across the board charge to all students. The Textbook Rental Program includes hardback and paperback textbooks that are required for courses. Paperback textbooks must have a new retail value of $50.00, or above. The Program also excludes any course materials with a retail price of less than $50.00, course packs, or any course materials with a one-time use, ancillary study guides, and lab books. Exception for Graduate Students: The Textbook Rental Program allows graduate students the option to participate in the Rental Program or to purchase books. This option must be exercised at the time the graduate students register each semester and cannot be changed during the semester.
Transcript, Diploma, and Certificate Distribution
Students can begin to request official transcripts through their online Banner account four weeks after the commencement ceremony. Diplomas and certificates will be mailed to students four weeks after the commencement ceremony. Students must satisfy all financial obligations to the university and complete the financial aid exit interview, if applicable, to receive a diploma, certificate, and/or transcript.
Transcript Request Policy
Students may request transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse for the required processing fee. For more details, visit the Office of the Registrar’s website at https://www.uncfsu.edu/faculty-and-staff/departments-and-offices/office-of-the-registrar/student-resources. Students who request transcripts using mail-in or walk-in method will be charged $10.00 per transcript. Faxed requests are not accepted. Transcripts are released only when the student’s account is paid in full and loan payments are current. Mail-in requests for transcripts should be mailed to:
Office of the Registrar
Fayetteville State University
1200 Murchison Road
Fayetteville, NC 28301-4298
Students who request to pick up a transcript will be assessed the $10.00 transcript fee. The transcript will be addressed to the student and the envelope labeled “Released to Student.” Transcripts are not available on demand.
Indebtedness to the University
All indebtedness to the university must be satisfactorily settled before a transcript of record will be issued.
Change of Name and Address
Students should notify the Office of the Registrar of any change in name or mailing address. Legal documentation is required for name changes.
A student’s official name as recorded in university records during the period of attendance will appear on the diploma.
Transfer credits for graduate courses with a grade of B or higher may be accepted at Fayetteville State University toward completion of a master’s degree. Transfer credits may account for no more than twenty five percent of the total degree credit hour requirement. Individual master’s programs may restrict the maximum number of transfer credits to six hours. The doctoral program allows for up to twenty five percent of the total degree credit hour requirement to consist of transfer credits; however, these transfer hours may not be used in the program core. The remaining hours must be earned in residence.
Course work successfully completed at colleges and universities recognized by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) will be considered for transfer credit. College level coursework completed at other US Department of Education nationally accredited colleges/universities or equivalent which are not listed above may be considered for transfer credit. Correspondence courses at any institution will not be accepted.
Students wishing to transfer credits must submit the Transfer Course Evaluation Form, official transcripts, and other appropriate course identification information (e.g., copy of course description from catalog, course syllabus) to the advisor for initial approval. The recommendations of the advisor should be forwarded to the department chair/associate dean and college dean for approval. Course work may be transferred upon the student’s admission into a graduate school program. Course work transferred must not be older than six years at the time the intended master’s degree or eight years at the time the intended doctoral degree is awarded.
Students wishing to pursue courses at another university to transfer to Fayetteville State University must obtain the approval of the department chair/associate dean and college dean prior to taking the courses. Students should submit the Transfer Courses form. The form is posted on the Graduate Programs website.
Withdrawal from a Class
Students may withdraw from individual classes until the deadline each semester, term, or session. (See Academic Calendars for specific dates.) Students who complete the class withdrawal process will receive a grade of “W.” Tuition and fees are not adjusted for withdrawing from individual classes. Failure to attend classes does not constitute official withdrawal from that class. Students who stop attending classes but do not officially withdraw will receive a final grade of “F” and automatically will be withdrawn from the University.
Withdrawal from the University
Before deciding to withdraw from the university, a student must consult with his or her advisor to discuss the reasons for the withdrawal, and the student’s plan for continuing his or her education. The student can then begin the official university withdrawal process by submitting the online University Withdrawal form. Students who are under 18 years of age must have the approval of a parent or guardian before withdrawing from the university. The official date of withdrawal (for purposes of computing charges and grades) will be the date the student submits the online form. The university will not make any refund of tuition/fees or room and board charges until four (4) weeks after the student completes the official withdrawal process. All refunds will be made by the method selected by the student for refunds. Students may withdraw from the university until two weeks prior to the beginning of final exams (see Academic Calendars for specific deadlines).
Students seeking to withdraw from the university after the published deadline and who do not meet the criteria for “Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances” must make the request, in writing, to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. This request must include documentation of unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances that prevented the student from meeting the published deadline. Such requests must be made no later than the end of the next regular semester after the semester for which the university withdrawal is requested.
Students who officially withdraw from the university will receive a WU grade in all of their classes (see “Grading Policies”). Students who receive WU grades may re-enroll in the next regular semester or summer term without making application for readmission but cannot enroll in the same semester for an 8-week term. Students who seek to withdraw from the university within the deadline but have earned grades in the previous 8-week session will retain those grades. The student will be assigned a WU for the remaining courses.
Hours with a grade of WU count as hours attempted but not completed for the purposes of financial aid. Withdrawal from the university may therefore have an adverse effect on financial aid. In addition, a student who withdraws from the university the semester after being placed on Academic Probation will be considered to have two consecutive semesters below 3.0 for the purposes of calculating academic standing. Withdrawal from the university may therefore have an adverse effect on academic standing as well. A student may be requested to submit a Letter of Academic Appeal to determine financial aid eligibility.