May 27, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Academic Policies



Grading System

Grades and their point values are as follows:

Grade Quality Points Grade Quality Points
A 4.00 C + 2.33
A - 3.67 C 2.00
B + 3.33 C - 1.67
B 3.00 F 0.00
B 2.67    

The highest passing grade of A is awarded for distinguished course work. The low passing grade of C- is awarded for work that is minimally acceptable at the graduate level. D grades are not awarded nor are they accepted in required undergraduate courses. The failing grade of F is given for work that is unsatisfactory.

Standards of Academic Integrity

An academic community, regardless of delivery modality (e.g., in-person, online), must operate with complete openness, honesty and integrity.  Responsibility for maintaining this atmosphere lies with the students, faculty and administration. Therefore, the achievement of personal and academic goals through dishonest means will not be tolerated. Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to:

  1. Cheating: the unauthorized use, access, or exchange of information before or during a quiz, test or semester examination. Unauthorized collaboration on a class assignment, submitting the same work in two courses without the professor’s permission, and buying or selling work for a course are also forms of cheating.
  2. Plagiarism: the representation of someone else’s words or ideas as one’s own. The various forms of plagiarism include but are not limited to copying homework, falsifying lab reports, submitting papers containing materials written by another person, and failing to document correctly in one’s written assignment words, arguments or ideas secured from other sources including content available from websites. Plagiarism detection software may be used with assignment submissions to verify original work.
  3. Providing or receiving assistance in a manner not authorized by the professor in the creation of work to be submitted for academic evaluation including papers, projects and examinations; presenting as one’s own the ideas or words of another for academic evaluation without proper acknowledgement.
  4. Doing unauthorized academic work for which another person will receive credit or be evaluated.
  5. Misrepresenting student identity: posing as another or having someone pose as you is an act of academic misconduct. Identity verification may be required to complete course activities and assessments.
  6. Attempting to influence one’s academic evaluation by means other than academic achievement or merit including unauthorized access to computer systems.
  7. Assisting in misconduct: cooperation with another in an act of academic misconduct. A student who writes a paper, posts a paper or exam questions online, or does an assignment for another student is an accomplice and will be held accountable just as severely as the other. Any student who permits another to copy from his or her own paper, examination, or project shall be held as accountable as the student who submits the copied material. Students are expected to safeguard their work and should not share papers, projects, homework, or exam answers with other students unless specifically directed to by their professors.
  8. Failure to protect University accounts and computer systems such as sharing of accounts, passwords, and other assigned resources whether with intention or through negligence.

Penalties for Academic Misconduct

Penalties for any infraction are cumulative in that they are imposed in light of a student’s record at Mount St. Mary’s. The minimum penalty for the first offense will be a grade of zero for the assignment or examination; an instructor may impose a more severe penalty if circumstances warrant it. A second offense will result in a semester grade of failure (F) for the course in which this second incident occurs. The penalty for the third offense will be expulsion from the University. If a professor has reason to suspect that academic misconduct has occurred, the professor will speak with his/her Program Director and Associate Provost of Graduate, Continuing, and Professional Studies in order to determine the appropriate actions.

If a formal charge is warranted:

The professor will notify the student of the infraction in writing. Ordinarily, notification of the student should come no more than three weeks after the due date of the assignment in question. The professor is responsible for keeping the evidence of academic misconduct in its original form and need not return the original version of the materials to the student. Copies of the student’s work and information about other evidence will be provided to the student upon request.

The professor will notify the appropriate Dean in writing (with a copy of the notification to the department chair) and forward copies of all information and materials. The Dean will consult with the Associate Provost for Graduate, Professional and Continuing Education about prior offenses and then will officially notify the student in writing of the charge and the student’s right to appeal. The Associate Provost will maintain all records of the charge. The Associate Provost will be responsible for maintaining the necessary electronic records that ensure that the penalties for the second and third offenses are administered by the University.

Graduate Appeals Procedure

Students may appeal charges of academic misconduct, and they may appeal a final course grade. An appeal of a charge regarding academic integrity may be made if the student disputes the charge. A course grade appeal may be submitted only on the grounds that a grading policy is either unclear or has been unfairly applied.

In either case, recourse should be made first to the professor concerned, and then to the program director (i.e., MBA, Education). A student wishing to pursue the matter further must register a written appeal to the Associate Provost of Graduate, Continuing, and Professional Education no later than the fourth week following the posting of the grade or the academic misconduct charge. After receiving an appeal, the Associate Provost will meet with the student, faculty member, and appropriate Dean.

The decision of the Associate Provost is final.

Repeating a Course

Students may retake any course in the graduate programs. If a student retakes a course, the original grade will continue to appear on the transcript, but in the computation of the cumulative grade point average the new grade will replace the original. In the event that the new grade is lower than the first, the original, higher grade will be retained.

If a student repeats a course that was originally passed (with a grade of C- or better), no additional credits will be earned.

Auditing a Course

Current students may audit a graduate-level course under the following conditions:

  • there must be space available
  • the student has at least a bachelor’s degree
  • permission is granted by the program director
  • course registration has been submitted to the program director, with the letters AU noted in lieu of credit hours

The charge for auditing a graduate course is $85 per credit. An audit symbol will be recorded on the student’s transcript and cannot subsequently be changed to a letter grade. The Course Audit Request form is available in MyMount under the Student Forms tab.

Academic Probation

Should a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) fall below 3.0, he or she will be placed on academic probation until such time as his or her cumulative GPA rises to 3.0 or above. Students who do not maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for two or more sessions may be academically dismissed from the program at the sole discretion of the program director.

All academic dismissals are final and may not be appealed.

Coursework Deadline

The deadline for all graded course assignments is the last scheduled day of the sub-term or the last day of class (often the final exam date), whichever comes first. Professors are not permitted to extend assignment deadlines beyond the last day of the sub-term.


Given the accelerated, compressed nature of graduate programs, students are strongly encouraged to complete their courses on time and to not withdraw. In certain limited cases, a professor may grant the student a grade of Incomplete (“I”), allowing the student additional time to complete the course work.

A faculty member may grant an Incomplete grade only when the following conditions are met: 1. The student has a serious reason to make the request, such as a medical or family emergency; 2. The student requests the Incomplete; and 3. The student has completed at least 75% of the work, and is able to finish the course with minimal assistance from the professor.

The professor must submit an Incomplete Form detailing the terms for finishing the course requirements to the Registrar’s Office, and enter a grade of “I” by the grading deadline. Once required work is complete, the professor submits a grade change form. If the Incomplete is not resolved by the end of the term following the one in which the incomplete grade was received, an Incomplete reverts to the grade specified on the form or to an F, and is entered as such on the official transcript. Grades of incomplete may not remain on a student’s transcript for more than one semester.

Failing Grades

A student is permitted one failing grade (F, FA, or I converted to F). Two failing grades on a transcript will result in academic dismissal from the program.

Adding Classes

Courses with MBA, MHA, and MSSM designations:
The deadline to add a class is 5 PM on the Friday two weeks before the course begins.

All other courses: The deadline to add a class is 5 PM on the Friday of the first week of classes.

Graduate Course Registration is a streamlined online process in MyMount. Visit the Registration tab in MyMount to add courses to your schedule.

Dropping Classes

The deadline to drop a graduate class is 5 PM Monday of the Second Week of classes.

The refund schedule for dropped classes is as follows:

If dropped by… Student receives
5 PM Friday of the first week of class Full Tuition Refund
5 PM Monday of the second week of class 80% Tuition Refund

Visit MyMount to drop courses from your schedule under the Registration tab.

Withdrawing from a Class

After 5 PM Monday of the second week of class students cannot drop a class but may withdraw.

For 5 Week Classes, the deadline to withdraw is Friday of the 3rd Week of Class.

For 7 Week Classes, the deadline to withdraw is Friday of the 5th Week of Class.

For 8 Week Classes, the deadline to withdraw is Friday of the 5th Week of Class.

For 15 Week Classes, the deadline to withdraw is Friday of the 11th Week of Class.

Refund Policy for 15 Week Classes only:

  • Withdrawal by the end of the 2nd week of school:80%
  • Withdrawal by the end of the 3rd week of school: 60%
  • Withdrawal by the end of the 4th week of school: 40%
  • Withdrawal by the end of the 5th week of school: 20%
  • After five weeks of school there will be no refund of tuition.

A grade of “W” will appear on the student’s transcript and there will be no refund of tuition.

After the withdrawal deadline for a given course, the student receives the calculated letter grade for the course.

The Withdraw form is available on MyMount under the Student Forms tab.

Course Waivers

If a student has a strong undergraduate background or significant professional experiences in a field, he or she may request to have a core course waived by the director. A waiver is not an award of credit, but it permits the student to substitute an approved higher-level course in place of the core requirement. Waivers are awarded to strengthen a student’s academic program.

Students may request waivers for a maximum of nine semester hours for a degree program or a maximum of three semester hours per certificate. The combination of transferred credits from other institutions and waived credits may not exceed nine semester hours for degree programs or three semester hours per certificate.

Students interested in pursuing a course waiver may request an application for waiver from the program director.

Transfer of Graduate Credits from Other Institutions

Except where noted otherwise, students may transfer a maximum of nine semester hours of graduate-level credit from another accredited institution, subject to approval by the program director. A maximum of three transfer credits may be applied toward a certificate. The combination of transferred and waived credits may not exceed nine semester hours per degree or three semester credits per certificate.

  • Transfer courses must be compatible with the graduate program curriculum.
  • Students must have earned a grade of at least B in each course considered for transfer credit.
  • Non-academic courses (seminars, workshops, symposiums, etc.) are not acceptable as graduate transfer credit.

Grades earned in transferred courses are not calculated in the student’s grade point average. Request an application for transfer credit from the Academic Affairs page.

Withdrawal from the Program/Inactivity/Time Limit

If a student finds it necessary to withdraw permanently from a graduate program, he or she should notify the program director in writing. A student is not officially withdrawn from the graduate program until the student receives written confirmation that his/her letter has been received by the program director.

If a student plans to temporarily withdraw from the program for a period of two years or less, no action is necessary. Provided the student is in good academic standing, he or she may re-enroll in classes at any time.

If a student chooses to remain inactive for a period of two or more years, without notifying the program director in writing, the student’s status will be converted to “withdrawn.” After such time, he or she will be required to re-apply for admission and will be subject to any changes in the curriculum that may have occurred in his or her absence.

The time limit to complete a graduate program is 5 years. If a student has not completed their graduate program within the 5 year time limit, they must schedule a conference with the director and dean of their program to discuss their remaining requirements and agree upon a deadline for completion.

Change of Program

Changing from Non-degree to Degree Status

A student who wishes to change from graduate non-degree status to a degree program must apply for admission to the appropriate program. The student must submit any additional documents required by the specific graduate program. The file will then be reviewed by the Program Director of the degree being sought and the Assistant Director of Admissions. Admission as a non-degree student does not guarantee admission to a degree program. See specific degree programs for the number of credits that can be transferred from non-degree to degree status.

Changing from One Graduate Program to Another

A student enrolled in a degree or certificate program who wishes to change to another degree or certificate program must submit a Change of Program Request Form found on MyMount under the Student Forms tab and  are encouraged to set up an advising appointment with the Program Director to review the request. Students wishing to change to another degree in a different school division should be aware of any program requirements. Please see admission requirements for each program for more information to ensure success in the program. Change of program requests will be reviewed by the Program Director of the degree/certificate being sought and a decision will be rendered.

Credits earned in the original program may apply to the new program if approved by the Program Director. Approval of transfer requests will be conditional on academic performance in all graduate coursework. A maximum of 15 credits (with a grade of C or higher) may be applied from one graduate degree program to a new degree program. Courses transfer with the letter grade awarded. The number of internal transfer credits accepted when changing from a post-baccalaureate certificate to degree program varies by program. See specific programs for additional information.

Deadline: Students must submit the Change of Program Request Form before they complete their current program or earn 15 credits in it, whichever comes first.

Second Master’s Degree

Upon completion of one master’s degree from Mount St. Mary’s University, a student may enroll in a second master’s degree.  A maximum of 12 hours of graduate credit may be applied from the first master’s degree program to the second one. Courses eligible for transfer must have been completed no more than seven years from the start of the second graduate program. Courses transfer with the letter grade awarded. The seven-year time limit will begin with enrollment in the first new course of the second graduate program. Students planning to pursue a second degree must apply through the appropriate graduate program.

Enrollment in Multiple Graduate Programs 

Students who are enrolled in a graduate degree or certificate program and wish to earn more than one certificate or degree simultaneously, must complete the Change or Addition of Program/Certificate Form found on MyMount under the Student Forms tab. After consultation with the Program Director or Assistant Director of Graduate Programs and review of the student’s academic record, a decision will be rendered by the Assistant Director of Admissions and in consultation with the appropriate Dean.

Awarding of Certificates

Certificates are awarded on the May, September, or December conferral date following completion of all coursework required for the certificate, unless they are part of a degree program. Students should complete the Intent to Complete Certificate Form found on MyMount under the Student Forms tab one month prior to completion.


Degrees are awarded in May, September, and December. May conferral is awarded to students completing all degree requirements by May 31st. September conferral is awarded to students completing all degree requirements by August 31st. December conferral is awarded to students completing all degree requirements by December 31st.  There is a commencement ceremony in May at the main campus in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

An Intent to Graduate form is available on MyMount under the Student Forms tab and must be completed by February 1 of the graduation year for those expecting to graduate in May. If you expect to graduate in September, please complete the Intent to Graduate form by August 15 of the graduation year. If you expect to graduate in December, please complete the Intent to Graduate form by October 1 of the graduation year.

Official graduation documents are mailed to each candidate by the Registrar’s Office. In order to participate in Commencement, students must be registered for all courses required to complete the degree by the end of the Spring semester.

Students who will complete their requirements in the first summer term may participate in the May Commencement.  Students who complete all of their degree requirements by May 31st will receive a May degree conferral. Students who complete requirements in the first or second summer term will receive their degree in September.

Graduation with Honors

Graduate degrees conferred by the University are awarded with honors for exceptional quality. Graduation with honors is awarded to those students who earn a cumulative graduate grade point average of 4.0.

Graduate Non-Degree Seeking Students

Mount St. Mary’s University graduate programs offer graduate courses for individuals interested in non-degree studies for continuing education, professional development, or personal enrichment. Up to six credits taken as a non-degree seeking student may apply towards degree requirements for a masters or certificate program. Students must take pre-requisites specified.  Students who have never taken graduate coursework at Mount St. Mary’s University must complete the non-degree seeking graduate application prior to registering for courses, as well as submit an official undergraduate transcript showing a bachelor’s degree conferred.

Visiting Students

Visiting students are those enrolled in graduate programs at other colleges. In order to attend classes at the Mount, visiting students should:

  • Complete an application for admission.
  • Request a “letter of good standing” from the college or university you are currently enrolled in or submit official undergraduate transcripts to the graduate program office.

International Students

Mount St. Mary’s seeks and encourages the cultural diversity that international students bring to programs. International Students become eligible to participate in full time graduate programs by obtaining an F-1 Visa. F-1 students are not eligible to enroll in part time graduate programs, such as post-baccalaureate certificates. Due to residency requirements, F-1 students cannot enroll in programs that are offered one hundred percent online.

All international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language. International students demonstrate proficiency by:

  • Submitting official test scores from TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
  • A minimum overall TOEFL score of 100 (internet-based) or 250 (computer-based test) is required.


  • A minimum overall IELTS score of 7.0 is required.


  • Holding a U.S. high school diploma or U.S. General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or international high school diploma, e.g., U.S. military base, business/diplomat expat community, etc., in which instruction is delivered primarily in English


  • Completing (with passing grades of C or better in all courses) a minimum of two (2) academic terms at a regionally or nationally accredited U.S. post-secondary institution in which instruction is delivered primarily in English


  • Holding the equivalent (evidenced by credential evaluation) of a U.S. baccalaureate degree from a non-U.S. institution in which instruction is delivered primarily in English

In order to enroll, international students must:

  • Submit certified course by course evaluations in English translation from World Education Services (, or an equivalent service, of college/university transcripts.
  • Complete an International Student Information Sheet so that Mount St. Mary’s can process the I-20 form. More information about international students’ rights and responsibilities can be found on the Mount’s website at

Confidentiality of Student Records

Mount St. Mary’s University accords all rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

The University does not release personally identifiable information or education record information by any means without written consent of the student, except in those cases exempted by FERPA. The online FERPA release form to authorize third parties to contact Mount St. Mary’s University on the student’s behalf about educational or financial records is located on MyMount under the Student Forms tab.

Mount St. Mary’s releases directory information unless a student requests in writing that this information be withheld. Directory information includes: name, address, telephone number, dates of attendance, previous institutions attended, major fields of study, enrollment status, awards, honors, degrees conferred, and date and place of birth.

A complete text of the University’s institutional compliance statement is available in the Office of the Registrar. Inquiries regarding compliance should be directed to the registrar 301-447-5215.