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Academic Affairs

FSU HomeAcademic AffairsAcademics

    Fayetteville State University
   
 
  Nov 25, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog

Academic Regulations



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 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 to 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 opening of the fall semester following its publication. To receive a degree, a graduate student must complete satisfactorily all requirements described in the Graduate Catalog in effect at the time of first enrollment as a degree student at the university or all requirements described in the Graduate Catalog in effect at the time of graduation. 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.

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.

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 www.uncfsu.edu/policy/policies-listed-by-subject. 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 www.uncfsu.edu/policy/policies-listed-by-subject. 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.

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. Actions outlined in the Fayetteville State University Student Handbook under “Disciplinary System and Procedures” will be followed for incidents of academic misconduct. Possible penalties include automatic failure in a course to expulsion from the University. The student handbook is available online at http://www.uncfsu.edu/handbook/.

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: http://www.uncfsu.edu/policy/general/FSUE-mailFINAL.pdf.

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 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.

Graduate Student Designation

All students (degree seeking or non-degree seeking) holding a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university who attend Fayetteville State University are classified as graduate students. Thus, students seeking a doctoral degree, master’s degree, graduate level certificate, teacher licensure, and professional development all are designated as graduate students and are required to pay graduate student fees. Students seeking a second undergraduate degree are classified as undergraduate students.

Graduate Programs Organization

The organizational structure of graduate programs at Fayetteville State University is a decentralized model. The College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business and Economics, and the School of Education are responsible for the graduate programs within the school or college. The graduate faculty, program coordinators/directors, department chairs, assistant/associate dean, and dean of each school/college are directly responsible to ensure that each degree program is of the highest quality. Each school/college has a School/College Graduate Programs Committee. In addition, there is a university-wide FSU Graduate Council which provides oversight to all graduate programs at the university.

The FSU Graduate Council

The FSU Graduate Council is charged with the responsibility of developing university-wide graduate policies, approving new graduate programs, and revising current graduate programs. All new programs, non-substantive, and substantive program revisions are submitted to the Council for review and approval before submission to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Chancellor for final approval.

The Graduate Council shall consist of one representative from each department having a graduate degree program, one graduate student (a graduate student will be selected from a school or college on a rotating basis), and ex-officio members (Assistant/Associate Deans, Deans, University Registrar, and Director of Admissions). The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will appoint all members to the Council.

Persons serving on the Council by virtue of position (i.e., ex-officio) are considered to be permanent members. An academic department may recommend a change of its representative to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the beginning of the academic year.

The primary functions of the FSU 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 tracks.

Criteria for Selecting and Evaluating Graduate Faculty

The Graduate Faculty

Fayetteville State University (FSU) recognizes that a quality graduate program requires a quality faculty, i.e., one with a high degree of competence and commitment to scholarship. For this reason, FSU maintains a graduate faculty. This document outlines the minimum requirements for appointment to the graduate faculty. To meet program-specific accreditation requirements, a school or college may impose additional guidelines and requirements over and beyond the minimum requirements outlined in this document.

Appointment

Appointment to the graduate faculty is made by the FSU Graduate Council upon recommendation by the Department Chairperson and the Dean of the School or College in which the applicant will teach. Faculty appointed to major administrative assignments (i.e., department chairs or above) 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, including graduate level courses.
  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. 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 Director or Department Chairperson 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 and Dean.
  2. Have a record of active participation in professional organization related to the academic field of specialization.
  3. Evidence of effective teaching, including graduate level courses.
  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 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 download from Digital Measures their record of teaching, scholarship, and other professional activities (vita) and attach to the application form. Department Chairperson/Program Director will review the application form, the Digital Measures report (vita), and evidence of effective teaching and make a recommendation to the Dean. The 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 chair of the FSU Graduate Council will communicate the Council’s decision to approve or disapprove to the faculty member, the department chairperson, and the dean of the college/school. The school/college deans will be responsible for keeping track of the status of graduate faculty within the school/college. A list of the graduate faculty will be posted on the FSU Graduate Council Blackboard site.

Evaluation and Reappointment

All graduate faculty members will undergone 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 chair of department. The chairperson will conduct a comprehensive review of the faculty member based on her/his productivity during the period of previous appointment. The chairperson will make a recommendation to the Dean. The 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 chair of the FSU Graduate Council will communicate the Council’s decision to approve or disapprove to the faculty member, the department chairperson, and the dean of the college/school. The school/college dean will be responsible for keeping track of the status of graduate faculty within the school/college. A list of the graduate faculty will be posted on the FSU Graduate Council Blackboard site.

Academic Advisement

All students seeking a graduate degree, a graduate certificate, and teacher licensure will be assigned academic advisors. Upon admission to a 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.

Auditing of Courses

A graduate student may audit a course if space is available and if approved by the instructor, department chair, and dean of the school or college. The student must pay the required fees. Classes audited shall count as part of the student’s load; however, no grade or credit will be assigned. Class attendance 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 auditing classes will not be permitted to change to credit after the last date courses can be added. Further, students registered for credit will not be permitted to change to audit after the last date courses can be added.

Change of Degree Program

To change to a new degree program, students must submit an application for admission to the coordinator of the new program for review by the graduate faculty and the department chair. The department chair will submit a recommendation to the dean of School or College. The dean will notify the Office of Admissions and Office of the Registrar.

Change of Graduate Degree Program of Study

To make changes to a graduate degree program curriculum, a student must obtain approval from the department chair and the Dean of School or College. The student will be notified by the Dean of School or College of the outcome of the request. The required Change of Graduate Degree Program of Study Form is posted on the Graduate Programs website.

Class Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend class regularly and punctually and are responsible for completing all assignments, including those missed due to absences, regardless of the reasons for the absences. Each instructor determines the attendance regulations for his or her classes. Whenever possible, students are expected to seek the permission of the instructor prior to absences.

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 four times a year, in May, June, August, and December. Diplomas bearing the official degree conferral date are mailed to graduates four to six weeks after the Registrar verifies completion of all requirements. Diplomas and transcripts will be withheld from any graduate with unpaid university bills.

Commencement is a traditional academic ceremony that celebrates students who have attained the important milestone of degree completion. The conferral of degrees by the Chancellor at commencement is for ceremonial purposes and does not guarantee official degree conferral.

Commencement is conducted once a year, at the end of the spring semester.

Graduates with degrees conferred in December are eligible to participate in the spring commencement immediately following degree completion. Prospective graduates with degree conferral scheduled for May, June, or August will be permitted to participate in commencement of the same year as scheduled degree conferral if they are enrolled in all outstanding courses required for degree completion, which may include one or more summer terms.

All students must apply for graduation and pay the graduation fee regardless of whether they participate in commencement or not.

Summer Graduation Policy for Master’s Students

Students who meet the following criteria may participate in the May Commencement with the understanding that they are expected to complete their graduation requirements over the subsequent summer terms:

  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 dean of the College or School must approve the candidate’s participation in the commencement exercises.

Diplomas and transcripts for students who complete requirements in the summer will indicate the date at end of the summer term the student completes requirements. This option is only available for May commencement.

Concurrent Registration in Other Graduate Programs

A student registered in a graduate degree program at Fayetteville State University may not enroll concurrently in an undergraduate program or any other graduate program (except as permitted in the guidelines for Graduate Certificate admissions).

Continuous Enrollment Requirements

Students who are in good academic standing must maintain continuous enrollment by enrolling each fall and spring semester. Students who are working on theses and dissertations and have exhausted the thesis and dissertation credit hours must enroll in 899 or 999, respectively, in order to maintain continuous enrollment.

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 six (6) credit hours of work during a summer session, unless otherwise noted in an approved curriculum in the current catalog or unless approval is granted by all of the following: the student’s advisor, the department chair, dean of the school or college.

Course Substitutions and Waivers

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, students must submit a request on the appropriate form to the advisor. The request must be approved by the advisor, department chair of the discipline in which students are seeking a degree, and the dean of the school or college. Only requests for academically defensible substitutions or waivers and accompanied by appropriate documentation will be considered. The required form is posted on the Graduate Programs website.

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.

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.

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” 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.

An “I” grade must be removed before the end of the next regular (fall or spring) semester immediately following the semester or term in which the “I” grade was assigned. If the “I” grade is not removed within the stipulated time limit (see the academic calendar), the grade will be converted to a grade of “F.” Students are responsible for initiating the actions necessary to remove “I” grades.

In the case of a thesis, dissertation, or directed study in progress, a grade of “IP” (in progress) will be recorded each semester of registration for credit until completion of the thesis, dissertation, or directed study, at which time a final grade of “S” (satisfactory) or “U” (unsatisfactory) will be assigned. The “IP” grade requires continuous enrollment, excluding summer sessions, or it is converted to a grade of “U.”

Final Grade Change

Once an instructor of a course has reported a grade to the Registrar, it cannot be changed except in case of error in calculation, reporting, or recording. Any change must be approved by the instructor, department chair, dean of the school or college, and the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. 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, Dean, and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Registrar’s Office will inform (by email) the student, the instructor and the department chair 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. If the department chair rejects the appeal, the student may submit the appeal to the dean of the college/school of the instructor. If the dean rejects the appeal, the student may submit the appeal to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. If the department chair or 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, department chair to dean, and dean to provost. The department chair and 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 dean, with the chair) to propose a means of re-evaluating the student’s final grade. The chair and 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 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.

Course Repeat Policy

A student who receives a grade of C in a graduate course may repeat that course once without permission. 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. The department must submit the Course Repeat form to the Office of the Registrar. The grades earned on the first attempt and on the repeat attempt will remain a part of the student’s permanent record and will be shown on the student’s transcript. The grade and hours earned in the first attempt will not be computed in the grade point average. Enrollment will be terminated if a student receives a grade of “F” or “U” in a repeated course. A course may be repeated one time only. The tuition surcharge will apply for all hours attempted beyond 140 credit hours and eight semesters.

Course Repeat Policy for Teacher Licensure-Only Students

A Teacher Licensure-Only student is an individual who holds a baccalaureate degree and wishes to pursue a licensure program in Teacher Education. A Teacher Licensure-Only student must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher and earn passing grades with no more than three “Cs” in all education and concentration courses.

A Teacher Licensure-Only student is allowed to repeat no more than three (3) courses without penalty. The student must submit the Course Repeat form to the Office of the Registrar. “Without Penalty” means that only the higher grade will be calculated into the student’s Grade Point Average. All original entries and grades will appear on the student’s permanent record with the designation that the lower grade has been excluded from the Grade Point Average.

All repeated courses are included in a student’s total attempted hours.

If an “F” is earned in a course, the student must repeat the course during the next semester it is offered. The student must pass the repeated course with a grade of “C” or higher.

Academic Probation

In order to remain in good academic standing, graduate students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all graduate-level courses. Students are expected to achieve a satisfactory grade (“A” or “B”) in all coursework attempted for graduate credit. If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 at any time, the student will be automatically placed on academic probation and a registration hold will be placed on his or her account. The probationary period will last until the student completes nine credit (9) hours, with the expectation that the student will bring the GPA up to at least 3.0. To register for classes during the probationary period, a student must consult with his/her academic advisor or graduate coordinator to receive the best advice possible to ensure success in the program. A student who fails to earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of the probationary period (i.e., after taking nine (9) credit hours of graduate courses) will automatically be dismissed from the graduate program.

The Termination Due to Grades policy supersedes the policy on Academic Probation, as graduate students who receive three (3) “C” grades or one (1) “F” or “U” grade in any graduate level course(s) will not be eligible to register for subsequent semesters at FSU.

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.

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 readmission is resolved.

Continuous enrollment rules apply in the circumstance of termination. Students who are terminated from their programs because of failure to maintain continuous enrollment and/or who have not been granted a leave of absence during a fall or spring semester will be required to reapply for admission and pay the application fee again if they wish to resume their graduate study at Fayetteville State University.

Petition for Readmission after Termination/Dismissal from Graduate Program

When special circumstances warrant, a graduate student who has been terminated/dismissed from the graduate program due to poor performance may petition for consideration for conditional admission to improve upon his or her performance. In the petition, a student must provide very strong evidence to have any chance of a successful review. That is, a student who wishes to petition for conditional admission must realize that he or she will be required to provide evidence to show that his or her performance will improve if given a second chance. A request for conditional admission must be submitted to the department chair/director, who will ask the program faculty members familiar with the student’s academic performance to evaluate the petition. In evaluating the petition, the program faculty members will, among other factors, consider the special circumstances presented by the student and his or her potential to improve upon her performance. If the program faculty members opt to readmit the student, a conditional readmission recommendation will be sent to the department chair/director, who will transmit the recommendation to the college/school Dean. The Dean will review the recommendation and notify the student, the department chair, and graduate coordinator of his or her decision. Approval of the conditional readmission may be contingent upon the student meeting additional requirements imposed by the program faculty. If the student satisfies the conditions and improves upon his or her performance, the conditional status will be removed. A conditional readmitted student who receives an additional grade of C or F will be permanently dismissed from the graduate program.

Graduation Requirements

For the completion of a graduate degree program, an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher is required for graduation. 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 during the semester during which they 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 must apply for graduation the semester prior to the semester they plan to graduate and must pay the required graduation fee. Students cannot graduate with an “I,” “IP,” or “U” on their transcripts; all requirements to remove these grades must be met before graduation. For a graduate certificate program, an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher is required for completion.

Procedures to Verify and Clear Students for Certificate Completion

  1. Clearing Students for Certificate Completion
    1. Department chair will send clearance form to the Dean; the Dean will review and forward the form to the Office of the Registrar.
    2. The Office of the Registrar will verify the student’s record based on the catalog requirements.
    3. If the student does not meet all the catalog requirements, the Office of the Registrar will notify the dean, the department chair and/or coordinator (director) and wait for the necessary documentation.
    4. If the student meets all the catalog requirements, the Office of the Registrar will notify the dean, the department chair and coordinator/director that the student has met all the requirements, as outlined in the Catalog. The Dean’s Office will send a final email to the Office of the Registrar to approve the award of the certificate. The Dean’s Office will notify the student via email to pay the required certificate printing fee and also to verify their mailing address on file.
    5. Students will pay $35.00 certificate printing fee.
    6. The Office of the Registrar will print certificates and send to the student’s mailing address on file.
  2. Certificate Completion Dates
    To ensure consistency in certificate completion dates and to better monitor when students graduate, the certificate completion dates will be aligned with the published end of term graduation dates. That is, the certificate completion date will be at the end of the term of enrollment, regardless of when a student completes her/his required courses.
  3. Catalog Requirements
    The courses that are listed on a student’s clearance form must align with the catalog requirements. If there are any deviations from the catalog requirements, department chairs/coordinators/directors must submit course substitutions, waivers etc., through the normal approval process.

Application for Graduation

All students who expect to graduate must submit the online graduation application and pay the non-refundable graduation fee, through their online Banner account. Before doing so, the student should review and discuss their degree evaluation with their advisor to determine if they are on track to meet degree requirements.

Students must apply for graduation in order to participate in commencement exercises. Prospective graduates for Spring Commencement must apply for graduation by January 30 of the same year. The university assumes no responsibility for making special adjustments for students who file late applications for graduation.

Students must check their official FSU student email account on a regular basis for updates on their graduation status. Students must maintain contact with their academic department and/or advisor to ensure that all necessary documents are completed and all graduation requirements are met. Requirements are considered complete only when appropriate documentation is received by the Office of the Registrar. Students are subject to the institutional regulations in effect when they apply for graduation. Changes in institutional regulations may change the graduation requirements specified above. Hence, students are encouraged to know the institutional regulations in effect at the time of their anticipated graduation. Once a degree is conferred, the academic record is closed and therefore no changes may be made relevant to that particular program.

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.

Enrollment Verification Policy

Students may request verification for current or previous enrollments using their online student Banner account. Online requests are mailed out the next business day. All written, walk-in, and mailed-in requests for verification of previous or current enrollment will be processed within five (5) business days upon receipt in the office. During peak periods, such as registration, commencement, and grading periods for mid-terms and final examinations, the processing period is ten (10) business days for all categories. Walk-in applicants must present proper identification. For more details, visit the Office of the Registrar website at http://www.uncfsu.edu/registrar/degree/enrollment-verification.

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 http://www.uncfsu.edu/registrar/students/transcript-request. 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.

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. Actions outlined in the Fayetteville State University Student Handbook under Disciplinary System and Procedures will be followed for incidents of academic misconduct. The handbook may be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs located in the Collins Administration Building. Non-disclosure or misrepresentation on applications and other university records will make students liable for disciplinary action, including possible expulsion from the university.

Independent Study

With the approval of the instructor, department chair, and dean of the school/college, graduate students who have been admitted to candidacy may register for independent study in their major field. Students registered for independent study must be scheduled for regular conference periods at least weekly. No more than three (3) semester hours of credit for independent study may be earned in any one semester, and no more than six (6) semester hours of credit for independent study may be applied toward a graduate degree.

An existing course listed in the Graduate Catalog may not be taught as an independent study. Anyone seeking to pursue independent study must be a candidate for a degree at Fayetteville State University.

Leave of Absence

A student in good academic standing who must interrupt his or her graduate program for good reasons may request a leave of absence from graduate study for a definite period not to exceed one year. The request must be made in writing and should be made at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester the student plans to take the leave of absence. Upon the approval of the student’s department chair/program director, and dean of the school or college, 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.)

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 session(s) delivered by their departments or school/college during the semester in which they begin graduate study. The orientation sessions focus on academic policies, regulations, and procedures.

Program of Study

All students must have a program of study developed in consultation with their academic advisors and signed by the student, advisor, and department chair. 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. Any changes to the program of study must be requested by submitting the Request for Change of Graduate Degree Program of Study form posted on the Graduate Programs website. A copy of the updated program of study must be submitted when applying for admission to candidacy.

Program Transfer Appeal

Students who seek to transfer to another program but who have earned an “F” grade in a previous graduate program must submit a petition to the Dean of the school or college, who will refer the appeal to the Admissions Committee of the appropriate department in the school or college. The Admissions Committee will make a recommendation to the chair of the department, who will submit a recommendation to the Dean of the school or college. The dean of the college or school will make the final decision and notify the student, the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Admissions of the decision.

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 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.

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, local and permanent address, email address, telephone number, enrollment status (undergraduate, graduate, full-time or part-time), date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, honors, degrees and awards (including scholarships) received, participation in officially recognized activities/organizations and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended.

Under FERPA, a student has the right to request that the disclosure of directory information be withheld as long as the student is enrolled at FSU. If a student wishes to have the student’s directory information withheld, the student should submit a written request to the Office of the Registrar by completing the Request for Non-Disclosure of Directory Information Form (http://www.uncfsu.edu/documents/registrar/forms/nondisclosure.pdf). 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 http://www.uncfsu.edu/documents/policy/students/Student_Education_Records-FERPA.pdf.

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.

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.

Thesis and Dissertation Editor Review

The Thesis and Dissertation Editor will review all theses and dissertations to ensure they adhere to The Fayetteville State University Graduate Programs Guide for the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations. (This document and The Thesis and Dissertation Checklist are posted on the Graduate Programs website http://www.uncfsu.edu/graduateschool). After the student has made the revisions requested in the thesis/dissertation oral defense and at least three (3) weeks before graduation, the student must submit one (1) copy of the thesis/dissertation to dean of the school or college for review by the Thesis and Dissertation Editor. The thesis/dissertation must be submitted with the Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form with all the required signatures. Once the Editor’s review is complete, the dean of school or college will send the Editor’s feedback to the student and Thesis/Dissertation Advisory Committee Chair. The student, in consultation with the Advisory Committee Chair, should make the necessary corrections. The Thesis Committee chair will notify the dean of school or college after his final review and approval of the edited thesis. After reviewing the final (edited) thesis, the dean of school or college will notify the student and the Advisory Committee Chair that the thesis is ready to be printed. The student submit 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 dean of school or college.

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. Only courses that counted toward a degree at a regionally accredited institution will be considered for transfer credit. Correspondence courses at any institution will not be accepted.

Students wishing to transfer credits must submit the “Transfer of Course(s) 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 and dean of that college 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 and the dean of the school or college prior to taking the courses. Students should submit the “Request to Pursue Courses for Transfer to Fayetteville State University” form. The form is posted on the Graduate Programs website.

Withdrawal from a Class

Students may withdraw from individual classes until the deadline each semester, term, or session. (See Academic Calendars for specific dates.) Students who complete the class withdrawal process will receive a grade of “W.” Tuition and fees are not adjusted for withdrawing from individual classes. Failure to attend classes does not constitute official withdrawal from that class. Students who stop attending classes but do not officially withdraw will receive a final grade of “F” and automatically will be withdrawn from the University.

Withdrawal from the University

Students who voluntarily leave the University before the close of the semester must withdraw officially from the university. Note that if students are enrolled in only one (1) course and voluntarily leave the University, they also should withdraw officially from the University instead of withdrawing from the course. Students must initiate the process by going to the Center for Personnel Development and obtaining appropriate signatures. The withdrawal form must be taken to the Registrar’s Office to complete the process. Students who leave the University before the close of the semester without officially withdrawing will receive a failing grade for each course in which he or she is enrolled. A graduate student receiving a failing grade is automatically suspended from the University and must appeal for reinstatement.

Before deciding to withdraw from the university, a student should consult with his or her advisor to discuss the reasons for the withdrawal, and the student’s plan for continuing his or her education. A student who wishes to withdraw from all classes must complete the official university withdrawal process, which is initiated in the Center for Personal Development located in the Spaulding Building, Room 155. The appropriate steps in the process are as follows:

Upon entering the Center for Personal Development, the student will be asked to have a conference with a counselor to discuss the reasons for the possible withdrawal. If unable to resolve the problems, the counselor will ask the student to complete the top portion of the withdrawal form.

If the student is a boarding student, he or she will be directed to the Housing Office to complete all steps for moving out of the residence hall.

A representative of the Center for Personal Development will contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine if the student is a financial aid loan recipient and if he or she has had a Federal Perkins Loan. Based on the student’s status, the following actions will be taken: If the Financial Aid Office advises that the student does not have financial aid, he or she is directed to the office of the dean of school or college. The Personal Development staff member will indicate on the withdrawal form the name of the Financial Aid staff member with whom he or she spoke.

If the Financial Aid representative indicates that the student has received any loans through our institution or previous institutions, but no Federal Perkins Loan funds, the student will be directed to a Financial Aid counselor for processing. Once the student has completed all financial requirements, he or she will then be directed to the office of the dean of school or college.

If the Financial Aid representative indicates that the student has a Federal Perkins Loan, the student will be directed to the Federal Perkins area within the Business and Finance office. Once the appropriate Federal Perkins Loan documents are completed, a Federal Perkins Loan staff member will sign the withdrawal form and the student will then be directed to the Financial Aid office to complete the final exit form. Once completed, a Financial Aid counselor will direct the student to the office of the dean of school or college. The student is responsible for securing the signature of the dean of school or college or his or her designee’s signature and submitting the completed form to the University Registrar’s office for final processing. The official date of the student’s withdrawal from the university is based on the date when the Registrar approves the form.

Upon receiving the withdrawal form from the Registrar’s office, the Business office will make the appropriate adjustment to the student’s account and notify the student of any remaining balance or refund of tuition and fees paid.

When extreme emergencies prevent a student from completing the withdrawal process in person, he or she must call the Center for Personal Development at 910-672-1203 within two working days of his or her departure from the university, and request special permission to process the withdrawal by mail. The appropriate forms must be returned within one week from the date they are mailed to the student. The student will be required to submit a written justification along with the forms before they will be accepted by the university. All correspondence must be directed to the Center for Personal Development.

When extreme emergencies prevent a student from completing the withdrawal before the published deadline, the student must make the request for withdrawal from the university, in writing, to the dean of school or college. This request must include documentation of the circumstances that prevented the student from completing the process according to published deadlines. Such requests must be made by the end of the next regular semester after the semester for which the university withdrawal is requested.

Fayetteville State 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 check. After the end of the official withdrawal period, which is ten (10) weeks for the Fall and Spring Semesters and four (4) weeks for the Summer Sessions, adjustments can be granted only if exceptional circumstances are documented. Also within the official withdrawal period, students may request an increased withdrawal adjustment if exceptional circumstances are documented. These requests must be submitted with the appropriate documentation to the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance. After an administrative review, the university will notify the student of its decision.

A student is not officially withdrawn from the university unless and until he/she has completed the withdrawal process. The official withdrawal date is the date the Registrar approves the form. (See “Expenses ” section of the catalog for information about financial adjustment.)

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 dean of school or college 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/program director. The department chair submits the signed application for candidacy form to the dean of college or school.
  2. The dean of school or college processes the application and notifies the student, the department chair, and the graduate coordinator of the action taken.
  3. Copies of the letter are sent to the student, advisor, department chair, 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. The written examination will be constructed by the faculty and administered by the department chair or an appointee of the chair. The examination must be administered at least eight (8) weeks before the end of the semester in which the candidate expects to receive the degree; the date is specified on the Graduate Programs Calendar. A candidate is eligible to take the examination after completions of all course work or while the final courses are in progress. 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 chair of the department. The department chair will submit a copy of the results to the dean of school or college, who will submit a copy to the Office of the Registrar.

If an oral examination of the written comprehensive examination is required, it will be administered by a committee of three graduate faculty members recommended by the department chair, and the appropriate dean of the school or college. 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 of his or her graduate program. Upon receipt of the appeal, the department chair will appoint one graduate faculty member to review the appeal and the grading, and report findings to the chair. If the faculty member agrees with the decision to fail the student (i.e., if the three faculty members unanimously agree), the department chair 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 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 will inform the 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 chair will inform the Dean and the student that she or he has passed the comprehensive examination.

The student may appeal to the dean of the college/school 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 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 dean of the student’s school or college. The department chair and the dean of school or college will ensure that Graduate Programs guidelines and policies are adhered to and will signify completion of requirements for the theses.

Thesis Advisory Committee

The student must choose a thesis committee in consultation with the major advisor. The committee will consist of a minimum of three (3) graduate faculty members, one of whom must be the chair of the Thesis Advisory Committee and one must be from outside the student’s major department. All committee members must have current graduate faculty status. The committee must be approved by the chair of the department/director and the dean of the school or college. The 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 dean of school or college 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 dean of the school or college 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 dean of school or college. 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

The Thesis and Dissertation Editor will review all theses and dissertations to ensure they adhere to The Fayetteville State University Graduate Programs Guide for the Preparation and Submission of Theses and Dissertations. (This document and The Thesis and Dissertation Checklist are posted on the Graduate Programs website http://www.uncfsu.edu/graduateschool). After the student has made the revisions requested in the thesis/dissertation oral defense and at least three (3) weeks before graduation, the student must submit one (1) copy of the thesis/dissertation to dean of the school or college for review by the Thesis and Dissertation Editor. The thesis/dissertation must be submitted with the Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form with all the required signatures. Once the Editor’s review is complete, the dean of school or college will send the Editor’s feedback to the student and Thesis/Dissertation Advisory Committee Chair. The student, in consultation with the Advisory Committee Chair, should make the necessary corrections and submit one (1) copy of the revised thesis to the department chair and dean of school or college for verification that the corrections have been made. The Thesis Committee chair will notify the dean of school or college after his final review and approval of the edited thesis. After reviewing the final (edited) thesis, the dean of school or college will notify the student and the Advisory Committee Chair that the thesis is ready to be printed. The student submit 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 dean of school or college. 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.

Degree Time Limit

All master’s degree requirements, including the thesis, 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. No courses, including transferred or substituted courses, can be older than six (6) calendar years at the time a student graduates.

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 Dean of the College of Education. The candidate may register for EDLE 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 740 , they must enroll in EDLE 999 - Doctoral Dissertation Continuation  - Non Credit, until the dissertation is completed and defended.

The dean of the college or school 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 chair of the department/director and the Dean of the School of Education. The Dissertation Advisory Committee Membership Form is posted on The Graduate Programs 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 Director of the Doctoral Program, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the College of Education 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 Dean of the College of Education for final approval. The Director, in collaboration with the Dean of the College of Education 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 Dean of the College of Education, 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 Dean of the College of Education.

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 Dean of the College of Education for a second defense.

Submission of Dissertation

The Thesis and Dissertation Editor will review all theses and dissertations 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. (The Guide and The Thesis and Dissertation Checklist are posted on the Graduate Programs website). 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 Dean of the College of Education for review by the Thesis and Dissertation Editor. Once the Editor’s review is complete, the Dean of the College of Education will email the Editor’s 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 Dean of the College of Education for verification that the corrections have been made. The Dean of the College of Education 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 Dean of the College of Education, the student must submit four (4) unbound copies of the dissertation in final form along with a completed Dissertation Approval Form to the Dean of the College of Education prior to graduation. Detailed information on forms and dissertation organization is presented in the Dissertation Writing Manual. Students must pay the required dissertation processing fee at the FSU Cashier’s office before the final submission of the dissertation.

Policy on Completion of Dissertation

Candidates who have completed their course work and the number of dissertation hours for credit required in their doctoral degree program must take one of two actions as follows:

Candidates who will continue to use Fayetteville State University resources in completing their degrees must enroll in EDLE 990 and pay tuition and fees for not less than three (3) hours of continuing completion of dissertation credit each semester. These hours will not count toward the degree and will carry a different course number than those dissertation courses that are included within the hours designated for the degree.

Candidates who will not use Fayetteville State University resources should apply for a leave of absence. Candidates choosing this option must file a formal petition in writing with the Dean of the College of Education for a leave of absence that states that they will not use university resources during the leave period. Candidates granted a leave of absence must re-apply by submitting an application to the Dean of the College of Education to activate their status in the doctoral program. 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.

Degree Time Limit

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. No courses, including transferred or substituted courses, can be older than eight (8) calendar years at the time a student graduates.