2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Jul 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Academic Rules



Academic Advisement

All students seeking a graduate degree or a graduate certificate 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.

Academic Credit Hour

FSU follows the federal or Carnegie Foundation definition of the academic credit hour, a nationally recognized equivalency that consists of not less than:

1. 750 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 1,500 minutes of out of class student work for one semester hour of credit.

a. Each credit hour corresponds to 50 minutes per week of classroom or direct faculty instruction and

b. A minimum of 100 minutes of out of class work per week for a 15-week semester, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or 

2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in part 1 of this definition for other academic activities or instructional modes of delivery as established by the institution including distance education, hybrid, and face-to-face instruction, laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

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, master’s degree is 30, and doctoral degree is 60. 

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 certificate, master’s degree, or doctoral degree at Fayetteville State University is 3.0.

Academic Misconduct

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.

Academic Standing

The university will evaluate academic standing at the end of each term to determine continued enrollment and financial aid eligibility.

Academic standings are defined as follows. 

Good Standing applies to students who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students are eligible for continued enrollment; however, meeting good standing does not guarantee financial aid eligibility. See Financial Aid, “Satisfactory Academic Progress.” First time students upon initial admission are in good standing. 

To remain in good academic standing, graduate students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken at the graduate level. Students are expected to earn grades of “A” or “B”, or grades of “S”, where applicable, in all coursework attempted for graduate credit. Students should be warned that enrolling in undergraduate courses at the graduate level will affect the cumulative GPA.

Probation Standing applies to students who earn a cumulative GPA below 3.0. Students who fail to meet the GPA standard at the end of any term (fall, spring, or summer) will be placed on academic probation. Students who fail to meet the GPA standard or the SAP standard at the end of any term will be placed on Financial Aid (SAP) Warning or Financial Aid (SAP) Hold. See Financial Aid, “Satisfactory Academic Progress.”

The student is eligible for continued enrollment and may or may not be eligible for financial aid. See Financial Aid, “Satisfactory Academic Progress.” A registration hold is placed on the student’s account. The student’s advisor or coordinator/director must submit a letter to the Office of the Registrar, with the appropriate signatures to include the chair/associate dean of the department/school and dean of the college, which outlines the criteria a student must meet to achieve good standing status. Upon receipt, the student’s hold will be released. A student will remain on probation until meeting the criteria outlined in his or her letter. Students on probation can enroll in no more than the allowable limits as advised in the letter. Students who do not meet the criteria as outlined in their letter, (e.g., after taking nine (9) credit hours of graduate courses), will be dismissed from the graduate program. The Termination Due to Grades policy supersedes the policy on Academic Standing, 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.

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. 

Catalog Policies

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/associate dean 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 fall semester 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. 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. 

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 college, and of the departments/schools from which they take courses. They are also responsible for fulfilling all requirements for their respective degree programs. 

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.

Certificate Completion Requirements

To complete a graduate certificate, a student must be enrolled at Fayetteville State University in the semester they complete the certificate, have a certificate program grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and complete all requirements for the certificate program. All grades of “I,” “IP,” and “U” must be resolved.  

Students do not graduate from a certificate program. Upon completion, they must consult with their graduate coordinator and pay the non-refundable certificate fee using the student self-service portal. Once the department submits the clearance form to the Office of the Registrar, requirements are then verified. Certificates will be awarded at the end of the semester in which the clearance form is received, regardless of when the student completes the required courses. The certificate completion dates are aligned with the graduation dates for the said term. 

After verification, the Office of the Registrar will print and mail the certificate within 4 to 6 weeks.

Certificate Program

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. Faculty must assign an interim grade of failure due to nonattendance (FN) to students who have not attended the first week of class, which may indicate the student’s intention of nonattendance, by the posted deadline.  

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, documentation of a student logging into a class is not enough, by itself, to demonstrate academic attendance by the student. 

Fayetteville State University follows the federal examples that explain acceptable indications of class attendance in distance education courses. Class attendance for distance education courses 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. Faculty teaching distance education courses should post an assignment to be completed and due by the end of the first week of class. If the assignment is not completed by the student and the student has not contacted the instructor, this may be considered an indication of the student’s intention of nonattendance. Faculty are expected to provide information pertaining to class attendance and the FN interim grade in their syllabus. An instructor may request disenrollment of students from his or her class if students fail to attend the first week of class in synchronous meetings or fail to complete the required asynchronous assignment and have not notified the instructor to explain the unavoidable reasons for not being able to attend the first week of class.

The instructor may request disenrollment by assigning the interim grade of FN by the posted deadline. The student is immediately dropped from the course. The student and the instructor of the course will receive an email notification confirming the course drop. If the registration period has not closed, the student can reenroll in the course and notify the instructor of his or her intent. If the registration period has closed and the instructor will allow the student to be reinstated (based on documented and excused rationale of the student, i.e., illness, family emergencies, participation in official university-sponsored activities, or participation in required religious observances), the instructor of record may request the student’s reinstatement by the posted deadline by completing the online Course Reinstatement Form Due to FN Drop. The form is within the current Learning Management System and Faculty Self Service.

An instructor is not required to reinstate a student in his or her class.  A student who has been dropped for nonattendance can seek enrollment in an alternate section of the course, if the registration or reinstatement period has not closed and an alternate section of the course is available.

 

Commencement

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 three times a year, in May, 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 Summer 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 Commencement Policy for Master’s and Doctoral Students

Although students must be enrolled at Fayetteville State University in the semester they intend to graduate, 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:

  1. Non-thesis option students: A candidate shall have no more than six (6) hours remaining toward the completion of his or her degree requirements.
  2. 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 college dean must approve the candidate’s participation in the commencement exercises.
  3. Doctoral students: A candidate must meet the following five (5) requirements – (a) Must have orally defended his or her dissertation by the deadline set by the department/school, (b) the candidate’s Dissertation Chair and other members of the Dissertation Committee must certify that the dissertation is acceptable, except for minor editorial corrections, (c) a copy of the dissertation must have been submitted to the Dissertation Editor, (d) the department chair/associate dean must approve the candidate’s participation in the commencement exercises and make the recommendation to the college dean, and (e) the college dean 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. 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.

Course Level 

The course level, indicated by the numbering for each class, is determined based on the academic expectations and skill sets appropriate for the content at different class standings. Academic program faculty for undergraduate programs develop curriculum maps to identify which courses will be used to present program learning outcomes at an introductory, reinforcement, or mastery level. 

Academic program faculty for graduate programs develop curriculum maps to identify which courses will be used to demonstrate principles and theories derived from current research and those that focus on professional application and practical knowledge, values, and skills. The learning outcomes are assessed and evaluated to verify student proficiency and alignment with the curriculum.

Course Load

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 summer session, with no more than six (6) simultaneous credit hours in any summer term, 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. To do so, the student must submit the Course Repeat form 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/associate dean. The department/school 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. The course repeated must be the same course in which the student received the initial grade of “C”; otherwise, the course will not count as repeated.

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.

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.

Curriculum Review

The curriculum committees of each college within Fayetteville State University act in accordance with the policy on credit hours in their review and approval of all courses and for certifying that the expected student learning for the course meets the credit hour standard. The determination of credit hours is made when a new course or a revision to an existing course is proposed. The submitted syllabus is examined for contact time as well as for assignments and evaluation mechanisms.

Degree Program

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.

Comprehensive Examination

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.

Dissertation

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.

Proposal 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.

Oral Defense

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 999  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:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records;
  2. 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;
  3. The right to request amendment of the student’s education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate or misleading;
  4. The right to be notified annually of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA and;
  5. 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.

Grading Policies

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.”

Other Grades

  • I – Incomplete
  • IP – In Progress (dissertation, thesis, directed studies only)
  • W – Withdrawal
  • WU – Withdrawal from University
  • AU – Auditing (no credit)

Incomplete Grades

The grade of “I” (incomplete) 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.

For students completing a thesis or directed study, to maintain continuous enrollment as required, the student must enroll in the appropriate thesis or directed study course each semester until the thesis or directed study is complete. A final grade of “IP” (in progress) will be recorded for the thesis or directed study course at the end of each semester. At the completion of the thesis or directed study, each “IP” grade will be converted to a grade of “U” (unsatisfactory) or “S” (satisfactory) as submitted by the instructor of record.

Incomplete Due to Deployment: Active-duty military students who are preparing to deploy or have deployed (with deployment confirmed by our military-affiliated staff) may request that faculty assign an incomplete grade. This will allow these students to complete necessary assignments upon their return or while away. An active-duty service member who is not able to complete the necessary assignments by the end of the subsequent semester may request a university withdrawal due to extenuating circumstances. An active-duty service member’s spouse may be included in this exception with appropriate documentation.  

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.

Grade Appeals

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.

The Graduate Council

The Fayetteville State University (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/school having a graduate degree program, deans of colleges that offer graduate programs, and assistant/associate deans as designated by their respective college deans. Departmental/school 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, executive director of admissions, and a faculty senate representative 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/school may recommend a change of its representative to the respective college dean at the beginning of the academic year. If approved, the college 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 Graduate Council are to:

  1. Advise the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to ensure quality and integrity in issues that pertain to graduate education.
  2. Recommend policies and procedures affecting graduate study, including, but not limited to curricula, graduate credit, and certification and degree requirements.
  3. 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.
  4. Consider and make recommendations concerning exceptions to graduate policy.
  5. Review and act on all nominations for appointment to graduate faculty status.
  6. Receive and review proposals for the planning and establishment of new graduate programs and program concentrations and specializations.
  7. Facilitate and collaborate on the hiring process for graduate assistants.
  8. Collaborate on the creation of content for printed publications, social media, websites, and other platforms to promote the success of graduate programs, faculty, and students.
  9. Represent FSU in the UNC System and other national and global events to increase the visibility of graduate programs. 

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

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Hold tenured, tenure track, or clinical faculty (with the exception of Clinical Lecturer) appointment as a faculty member.
  3. Have demonstrated competence in research by having written a book or published at least one significant publication in a professional journal.
  4. Have a record of active participation in professional organizations related to the academic field of specialization.
  5. Evidence of effective teaching at the graduate level.
  6. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Hold tenured, tenure track, or clinical faculty (with the exception of Clinical Lecturer) appointment as a faculty member.
  3. Have a record of active participation in professional organizations related to the academic field of specialization.
  4. Evidence of effective teaching.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Have a record of active participation in professional organization related to the academic field of specialization.
  3. Evidence of effective teaching.
  4. 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.

Application Process

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.

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.

Graduate School

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Independence of thought and more extensive and intensive reading is required.
  3. Greater emphasis is placed on creativity and research.
  4. 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 except students seeking a second undergraduate degree and/or a teacher licensure-only program. Thus, students seeking a doctoral degree, master’s degree, graduate level certificate, 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 and/or a teacher licensure-only program are classified as undergraduate students.

Graduation Policies

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 by the deadlines posted on the Graduation Information site. Before doing so, the student should review and discuss their degree evaluation with their advisor/coordinator/director to determine if they are on track to meet degree requirements. Students must apply for graduation to participate in commencement exercises. 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/school and/or advisor/coordinator/director 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 awarded, the academic record is closed and therefore no changes may be made relevant to that particular program.

Graduation Requirements

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 enrolled in a degree program and certificate program concurrently must complete requirements for both to receive the degree and certificate at the time of graduation. If a student completes the degree requirements and not the certificate requirements at the time of graduation and desires to graduate with the degree, then the certificate must be dropped. To complete the certificate requirements afterward, the student must then apply to the certificate program, pay the application fee, and be readmitted into the certificate program to complete requirements.

Students must complete at least one-third of the total earned credit hours required for a graduate or a post-baccalaureate professional degree at Fayetteville State University. Requirements for transfer equivalency remain in effect. 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.

Students must apply for graduation by the deadlines posted on the Graduation Information site. Students should seek advice from their advisor/coordinator/director before applying for graduation. Students must pay the required graduation nonrefundable 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.

Graduation Clearance

Doctoral/Graduate Process for Degree Completion

The Office of the Registrar uses a combination of Degree Works, the university’s official degree evaluation and degree clearance tool, and departmental clearance forms for degree verification and clearance process for doctoral and graduate students. The degree clearance process takes approximately 4 - 6 weeks.

Prior to graduation clearance, the Advisor or Coordinator should:

  • Review their students who have applied for graduation on the weekly graduation report.
  • Contact their students to discuss their Degree Works degree evaluation and any remaining degree requirements to include, but not limited to, courses, GPA, and total degree credit hours.
  • Review the degree evaluation for any courses that fulfill dual requirements to determine if the student will need to complete additional electives to ensure completion of the minimum credit hours required by the degree program.
  • Make an appointment with the appropriate graduation team member to immediately discuss and clear up any discrepancies between Degree Works and the department’s internal clearance process, to include, but not limited to substitution and waivers and transfer equivalencies.
  • It is noted that students bear final responsibility for the decisions they make.

Prior to graduation clearance, the Student should:

  • Review your student record to verify your name as listed is what will be printed on your diploma. If you have had a name and/or address changes, visit Student Information Updates for the procedure for name and/or address changes. 
  • Consult with your advisor, coordinator, or department chair of your degree program to discuss your degree evaluation.
  • Run your Degree Works degree evaluation. Submit your graduation application after conferring with your advisor or coordinator.
  • Stay on track for your graduation year.
  • Run your Degree Works degree evaluation at the beginning and end of each semester to ensure you are meeting degree requirements.
  • Ensure to take courses per your Degree Works degree evaluation plan in consultation with your advisor.
  • Notify your advisor of any discrepancies in your Degree Works degree evaluation.

Prior to graduation clearance, the Graduation Team must:

  • Review the weekly reports to ensure student data matches on all degree related forms.
  • Meet with the advisors or coordinators to clear up any degree discrepancies.  

During the Degree Works degree clearance process, the Graduation Team must:

  • Ensure all student grades have been submitted. Contact the departments for any missing grades.
  • Ensure Degree Works denotes that student has completed a minimum of one-third of the total earned credit hours required for the degree program curriculum in residence at Fayetteville State University. 
  • Verify all requirements are met by ensuring all met requirements are denoted with a green check mark.
  • Review the free electives area to determine if courses can be appropriately rearranged to meet unmet requirements.

After the Degree Works clearance process, the Graduation Team must:

  • Ensure students are appropriately coded with the “G” graduation status code for degree awarded.
  • Ensure no changes are made to a student’s record after the student has been awarded.  
  • Inform students via email that they have been awarded and can begin to request transcripts.

Guidelines for Online Learning Environments

To determine appropriate credit hours for online learning environments, FSU follows guidelines suggested by Laurie Isenberg, Director of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at Life Chiropractic College West, in the Blended and Online Learning Constituent Group of EDUCAUSE:

  1. In courses offered synchronously online (i.e. live online seminars or videoconference courses), credit hour definitions may be identical to traditional face-to-face courses. 
  2. In courses offered asynchronously online, the “direct contact”/”hours outside of class” dichotomy does not accurately apply to all learning activities. 
  3. Activities that may qualify as “direct contact” would have the direct oversight or supervision of the course instructor. Examples include:
    1. Interaction with posted modules or lessons written or procured by the instructor
    2. Chat room, phone, in-person, email, or video-conference discussions with the instructor and/or other students 
    3. Discussion board or wiki posting 
    4. Presentations
  4. Activities that may qualify as “hours outside of class” are independently pursued and would include:
    1. Reflection and study
    2. Research
    3. Reading
    4. Writing, particularly writing outside of discussion boards
    5. Individual or group projects

Independent Study

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, should 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 stipulated in the approved leave of absence, the student must reapply to the university and the said program.

Licensure

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 and an MAT 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 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. See the undergraduate catalog for further information about teacher licensure-only programs at FSU. The initial licensure programs at the graduate level are MAT programs as described in this graduate catalog. 

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:

  1. 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.
  2. The college dean processes the application and notifies the student, the department chair/associate dean, and the graduate coordinator of the action taken.
  3. 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.

Comprehensive Examination

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/school. The written examination will be constructed by the faculty and administered by the department chair/associate dean 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. A comment will be placed on the student’s transcript indicating Comprehensive Examination Met with the effective month, day, and year. 

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.

Thesis

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 to Non-Thesis

Should a student desire to change from a thesis degree program to non-thesis degree program, the student must submit the Thesis to Non-Thesis Change Form.

All previously earned credits and grades for all thesis-related courses will remain on the student’s record but will not count toward the degree. Students may be required to enroll in additional course credits to meet the non-thesis degree program requirements. Any grades of “IP” assigned for thesis-related courses will be changed to “S” or “U” as appropriate by the professor of record using the Office of the Registrar’s online change of grade process. If enrolled in a thesis course for the current term, the student may drop the course, if the registration drop/add period is open. If the registration drop/add period is closed, the student must request a late drop using the Late Withdrawal Policy form. 

A statement will appear on the transcript noting the transfer from the thesis to non-thesis option with the effective month, day, and year. 

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.

Proposal Approval

The student must submit a written thesis proposal to the Thesis Advisory Committee. The proposal must be approved by the Committee.

Oral Defense

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 should be reviewed to ensure they adhere to The Fayetteville State University Graduate School Guide for the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations. After the student has made the revisions requested in the thesis oral defense and at least three (3) weeks before graduation, the student must submit one (1) copy of the thesis to the college dean for review. The thesis must be submitted with the Thesis Approval Form with all the required signatures. Once the review is complete, the college dean will send feedback to the student and Thesis 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 Advisory 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 Thesis 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. 

Medical Insurance

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.

Orientation

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.

Petition for Reinstatement after Termination/Dismissal from Graduate Program

A graduate student who has been terminated/dismissed from a graduate program due to poor performance may petition for consideration for reinstatement with conditions to improve upon his or her performance. A student who wishes to petition for reinstatement with conditions must provide strong evidence to show that his or her performance will improve if given a second chance. This request must be submitted to the department chair/associate dean, who will ask the appropriate program faculty members/committee to evaluate the petition; the appropriate faculty members/committee must be familiar with the student’s academic performance and/or serve on a relevant committee. The program faculty members will, among other factors, consider the special circumstances presented by the student and the student’s potential to improve upon performance. After the program faculty members make a recommendation, they will submit a recommendation letter to the department chair/associate dean, who will review and make a recommendation to the college dean for review. The college dean will review the recommendation, make a final decision, and notify the student, the department chair/associate dean, the graduate coordinator/program director, and the Office of the Registrar. The college dean’s decision is final. Approval of the reinstatement may be contingent upon the student meeting additional conditions as required by the program faculty. A student reinstated with conditions who receives an additional grade of C or F or does not meet the conditions of the reinstatement letter will be permanently dismissed from the respective graduate program and will not be allowed to submit an additional petition.

If a student does not enroll in the subsequent fall or spring semester, the student must be readmitted and be guided by the Readmission policy.

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.

Readmission

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 must do the following:

  • Submit a complete application with a $50.00 non-refundable fee. (The application fee is waived for students who have not attended the university for a maximum of two consecutive semesters, excluding summer).
  • Furnish official transcripts from all institutions attended since their last enrollment, if applicable. 
  • Receive clearance by contacting the Offices of Student Accounts, Student Affairs, and Registrar, prior to applying. The registration process may be impacted for students who have not been cleared.

In addition to the above requirements, applicants for readmission with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) below 3.0 in their last semester, have attempted 150% or more of the degree program total hours, or have a completion rate of less than 67% for all attempted classes, must do the following:
 

  • Meet with a Graduate Coordinator to complete the Academic Appeal Form and an Academic Success Plan
  • Apply for readmission if the appeal is approved. Appeal approval does NOT guarantee re-admittance to the University.  Students must also meet the Office of Admission requirements.
  • Visit the Academic Appeals web site for additional information


Students readmitted to the university will be subject to the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission (see “Catalog Policies” in “Academic Rules”).

Registration

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, photograph, campus email address, enrollment status, 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.

Student Responsibility

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.

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
Phone: 910-672-1185

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

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 Policies

Class Withdrawal

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. Administration will request assistance from Housing and the One Card office to determine last date(s) of utilization of university services for the purpose of calculating final student charges for billing purposes. 

Extenuating Circumstances Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from individual courses or from the university for extenuating circumstances without academic penalty, meaning the grade(s) you may have received will be replaced with a W or WU.

Once the extenuating circumstance withdrawal is approved,

  • W or WU will be recorded on the transcript;
  • Course(s) count in attempted hours;
  • Course(s) do not count in GPA calculations;
  • Course(s) are subject to Title IV regulation (SAP rules and calculations).

Extenuating circumstances include:

  • Military Service Obligation: Duty on a voluntary or involuntary basis in connection with service in the Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard including, but not limited to active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, and inactive duty training.
  • Serious Medical Debilitation of the Student: Illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition requiring inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility.

Documentation required includes:

  • Military Service Obligation: Verification of the student’s voluntary or involuntary basis in connection with service in the Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard including, but not limited to, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, and inactive duty training. Acceptable documentation may include, for example, copies of orders, letters from a commanding officer, etc.
  • Serious Medical Debilitation of the Student: A certificate issued by the treating health care professional(s) stating each of the following:
    1. Approximate date on which the student’s condition began;
    2. Extent to which the condition has impacted the student’s pursuit of a degree;
    3. Relevant and appropriate medical facts regarding the student’s condition.

Extenuating Circumstances Withdrawal Review Process

The student will submit a statement and all required documentation to the Counseling and Personal Development Center. The statement must include:

  • Student name and Banner ID, date of request, names and section numbers of requested course(s) for withdrawal, and detailed reason the student is requesting withdrawal for extenuating circumstances.

The Counseling and Personal Development Center will review the request and documentation and forward with a recommendation to the college dean and the Office of the Registrar.

If approved by the college dean (or designee), the Office of the Registrar will process the withdrawal for extenuating circumstances. If not approved by the college dean (or designee), the college dean’s office will contact the student and the advisor to determine the best course of action for the student. A student may appeal a denial through the Office of the Provost.

Late Withdrawal

Students seeking to withdraw from individual courses or from the university after the published deadline, before courses have been graded, and who do not meet the criteria for an extenuating circumstances withdrawal, must make the request for late withdrawal by completing the online Late Withdrawal Request form. This request must include documentation of unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances that prevented the student from meeting the published deadline.

Administration will request the assistance of the assigned instructors to verify attendance and participation in classes, as well as assistance from Housing and the One Card office to determine last date(s) of utilization of university services for the purpose of calculating final student charges for billing purposes.

Such requests must be made no later than the end of the semester in which the course was taken.

Mandatory Withdrawal from the University

The university reserves the right to request the withdrawal of a student at any time if (1) the student’s conduct is judged to be undesirable; (2) the student persistently disregards the regulations of the university; (3) the student fails to maintain an acceptable standard of work; or (4) the student’s mental or physical health precludes satisfactory academic progress or becomes detrimental to others.

Retroactive Withdrawal

Students seeking to withdraw from individual courses or from the university after the published deadline, for which courses have been graded and who do not meet the criteria for an extenuating circumstances withdrawal, must make the request for retroactive withdrawal by completing the online Retroactive Withdrawal Request form. This request must include verifiable documentation of unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances which prevented the student from meeting the published deadline.

Administration will request the assistance of the assigned instructors to verify attendance and participation in classes, as well as assistance from Housing and the One Card office to determine last date(s) of utilization of university services for the purpose of calculating final student charges for billing purposes. 

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.

University Withdrawal

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. However, administration will also request assistance from Housing and the One Card office to determine last date(s) of utilization of university services for the purpose of calculating final student charges for billing purposes. 

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 who officially withdraw from the university will receive a WU grade in all 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.

Unofficial Withdrawal

At the end of each semester, students who were assigned all grades of F, FN, I, or W or a combination are considered unofficially withdrawn from the University.

Adjustment of Tuition and Financial Aid for Unofficial Withdrawals: The university’s policy and schedule for refunds will be applied to students who unofficially withdraw from the university. Financial aid will be adjusted based on the unofficial withdrawal date, which may result in the requirement for recipients of financial aid to repay all or some of the aid they received for that semester. Administration will also request assistance from Housing and the One Card office to determine last date(s) of utilization of university services for the purpose of calculating final student charges for billing purposes.