Jul 12, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Continuing Studies Academic Policies and Regulations


Students in the Continuing Studies programs must register at the Frederick location. Since many students register for more than one session at a time, registering early assures a much better choice of classes.

Registration information, schedule forms and course schedules are available from the Frederick Office and online at www.msmary.edu/adult. This website is updated regularly, providing the most accurate information. Students are encouraged to visit the site regularly.

Please register for all sessions on one registration form. If you need to download a registration form, please go to: www.msmary.edu/adult. Or register online at www.msmary.edu/adult-undergrad-reg-form

Registration may be completed:

By fax: 301-682-5247

Online: www.msmary.edu/mountadult

In person, by e-mail, or by mail: Mount St. Mary’s University, Frederick Campus, 5350 Spectrum Drive, Frederick, MD 21703

No registrations will be accepted by phone.

Course Load

Students may register for no more than two courses per session (e.g. Fall 1) due to the nature of the Continuing Studies program. One course per session is the norm and is strongly recommended.

Independent Studies and Tutorials

An independent study is an advanced-level study undertaken with a faculty mentor, generally though not always within a student’s major. In most cases, only juniors and seniors will have the requisite knowledge and experience to undertake such a study, though exceptions may be approved. Satisfactory completion of independent study must involve a substantial scholarly or creative project that the student designs in concert with the mentor. Presentation of the results of independent study to the faculty and students within the appropriate program is encouraged but not required. Independent studies must be approved in advance by the faculty mentor, the mentor’s department chair, the dean of the student’s college/school, and the associate provost.

A tutorial is a specially offered version of a regular course. Students take tutorials when they need such a course but because of unavoidable schedule conflicts cannot take it in the ordinary way. On rare occasions, students who have completed an advanced course may continue their study on a tutorial basis. All tutorials must be approved in advance by the instructor, the instructor’s department chair, the dean of the student’s college/school, and the associate provost.

Progress/Maintaining Enrollment

Because of the accelerated pace of Continuing Studies programs and the demands of students’ lives, students often find it necessary and beneficial to choose not to register for a course from time to time. The Mount’s programs are designed to be responsive to those needs. Hence, students may maintain enrollment under the program in force at initial registration as long as one course per year is satisfactorily completed.

Students who do not complete at least one course within a calendar year must re-apply to the program and will be subject to the curricular requirements and policies in effect at the time of re-application.

Class Attendance

Missed Classes

Attendance at all classes is expected. Failure to attend class does not constitute a withdrawal. Should an emergency arise, the instructor should be contacted prior to that class. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor or, if unable to reach the instructor, the Frederick Campus (301-682-8315). All instructors are free to determine attendance regulations to govern the courses they teach. Any absences or tardiness will be handled between the instructor and the student involved. It is the instructor’s prerogative to apply grade penalties in the event of missed classes. Missing one class is equivalent to missing 20% of the course (for a five-week course).

Grading System

Each faculty member at Mount St. Mary’s is free to devise any system of student evaluation that is based on reason and results in professional judgments of student academic performance and achievement.

Ordinarily, this means faculty members base grades on the following criteria:

  • Understanding of material
  • Articulation and communication of course material
  • Application and integration of material
  • Fulfillment of basic course requirements

Faculty and students share an understanding that

A = Excellent

B = Good

C = Satisfactory

D = Poor

F = Failure

Grading policies for each course must be published in the syllabus distributed at the beginning of the term.

Letter grades and corresponding quality point values per credit hour are as follows:

A 4.00 points C 2.00 points
A- 3.67 points C- 1.67 points
B+ 3.33 points D+ 1.33 points
B 3.00 points D 1.00 points
B- 2.67 points D- 0.67 points
C+ 2.33 points F 0.00 points

Adding Classes

The deadline to add a class is 5 PM on the Friday before the course begins.

Students pursuing a B.S. in Education may add a course after missing the first class only with the instructor’s permission. Students may add using the Registration Form available on the Continuing Studies website, or may obtain a form in the Continuing Studies office.

Dropping Classes

The deadline to drop a Continuing Studies 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 two weeks before the class begins Full Tuition Refund
5 PM Friday of the week before class begins Full Tuition Refund minus $25 drop fee
5 PM Monday of the second week of class 80% Tuition Refund

Drop forms are available on the Continuing Studies website for download: http://msmary.edu/mountadult

Coursework Deadline

The deadline for all graded course assignments is the last scheduled day of the 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 term.


Given the accelerated, compressed nature of the Continuing studies program, 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 all 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.

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 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.

A grade of “W” will appear on the student’s transcript and there will be no refund of tuition. Withdrawal forms are available on the Continuing Studies website for download. Fax all withdrawal forms to 301-682-5247, email to holden@msmary.edu, or bring them in person to the Frederick office.

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

Grade Point Averages

The grade point average is computed by dividing the total number of grade points achieved by the total number of course credit hours attempted. The University transcript records both the cumulative grade point average and the average for each semester at Mount St. Mary’s. Transfer credits for courses taken at other institutions are not computed in the grade point average.

Retaking a Course

Students may retake any course in the program. 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. This policy will apply regardless of whether the new grade is higher or lower than the first. If a student repeats a course that was originally passed, no additional credits will be earned. Students may not repeat a prerequisite course if subsequent dependent courses have been passed.

Academic Standing

Academic standing is based on the cumulative grade point average and the total number of credits earned. To continue to progress toward graduation in the Continuing Studies program, students must achieve the minimum GPA and number of Mount St. Mary’s credits listed below:

Mount Credits Completed Minimum GPA
After 12 credits 1.75
After 24 credits 2.0
To graduate:  
Business major 2.0
Criminal Justice major 2.0
Elementary Education, Elementary/Special Education major 2.75
Human Services major 2.0

Academic Dismissal

Any student who falls out of good academic standing is subject to dismissal from the program. Academic records are periodically reviewed by the Program Director and the Executive Director of Graduate, Continuing, and Professional Studies. It is the prerogative of the Executive Director to issue a warning and to allow a probationary period for the student to raise his or her grades to achieve good academic standing. The probationary period may not exceed one semester.

Mount St. Mary’s University Standards of Academic Integrity

An academic community 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 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 material written by another person, and failing to document correctly in one’s written assignment words, arguments or ideas secured from other sources.
  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. Attempting to influence one’s academic evaluation by means other than academic achievement or merit.
  6. Misconduct assistance: cooperation with another in an act of academic misconduct. A student who writes a paper or does an assignment for another student is an accomplice and will be held accountable just as severely as the other. Any student who knowingly 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, or homework with other students unless specifically directed to by their professors.

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 in that course or in any other course will result in a semester grade of failure (F) for the course in which this second incident occurs. The penalty for the third offense may be expulsion from the University.

Procedural Guidelines for Academic Misconduct

If a professor has reason to suspect that academic misconduct has occurred, the professor will speak with his/her Program Director and Executive Director 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 Executive Director in writing (with a copy of the notification to the department chair) and forward copies of all information and materials. The Executive Director will consult with the Associate Provost about prior offenses and then will officially notify the student in writing of the charge and the student’s right to appeal. The Executive Director 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.

Procedures for Appeals of Academic Misconduct Charges

A student may appeal a charge of academic misconduct, though not the specific penalties. He or she may register an appeal with the associate provost, who will determine whether or not to convene an academic appeals board. Written appeals must be registered with the associate provost within four weeks of formal notice of the charge to the student by the divisional dean.

Grade Appeals

A student may appeal the final grade in a course only on the grounds that a grading policy is unclear or has been unfairly applied. Recourse should be made first to the professor concerned, then to the Program Director in which the course is taken, and then to the Executive Director. A student wishing to pursue the matter further must register a written appeal with the Associate Provost no later than the fourth week of the semester following the posting of the grade. Upon receiving the appeal, the Associate Provost will determine whether or not to convene an academic appeals board.

Academic Appeals Board

An academic appeals board addresses student appeals in cases of cheating and plagiarism and in grade protests taken beyond the department level. The board is convened by the Associate Provost. The board will include two members of the student government association Academic Committee and three faculty members appointed by the Undergraduate Academic Committee, one of whom shall be from the department affected in the dispute. The Associate Provost will name one of the faculty members to serve as chair of the appeals board. On the basis of written information provided by the instructor, the student and any other relevant party, the board will then determine by majority vote whether an appeal is warranted. If the board decides to hear an appeal, it will invite spoken testimony from the student and professor involved in the case and may, at its discretion, solicit other pertinent information. Decisions in appeals hearings will be made by majority vote. The board’s decision may be appealed to the Associate Provost by the student(s) or by the professor involved. The associate provost has final jurisdiction in such matters.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Mount St. Mary’s University complies with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, and any regulation promulgated thereunder. A copy of the Mount St. Mary’s University institutional compliance statement is located in the Office of the Registrar and will be made available upon request.

Notification of Student Rights under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should contact the registrar to schedule an appointment to review the education records and receive an explanation or interpretation of the records requested.
  • The right to request amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Anyone who believes his or her rights have been violated may file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

Students and others who wish to have specific information regarding their rights of access to institutional education records maintained in their name should contact the Office of the Registrar at 301-447-5215.

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. 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.

Advising of Students

All students will be assigned an academic advisor. Students should consult frequently with their advisor about course selection and scheduling.

Graduation Procedure

Students are required to fill out an Intent to Graduate form by the end of the summer preceding the academic year of anticipated graduation (e.g., summer 2017 for May 2018 graduation). This includes students who anticipate completing all degree requirements by the end of fall semester of that academic year.

Collection of these forms provides the Office of the Registrar with accurate student information and allows for a timely review of student academic records to determine eligibility to graduate. Such review will also provide students with an opportunity to complete during the spring semester any degree requirements that may have been overlooked during their time at Mount St. Mary’s. Students who have unmet requirements will be notified by the registrar.

Information regarding how to petition to graduate will be emailed to students in June. The form is available online at portal.msmary.edu. Please note that the form must be returned to the Registrar’s Office by the due date indicated on the form. Failure to complete and return this form by the designated deadline will indicate to the University that you do not intend to graduate. Consequently, a diploma will not be ordered.

Participation in Graduation

Degrees are conferred three times a year in December, May and September. There is only one ceremony held in May. All students who complete graduation requirements by the end of the spring semester are expected to participate in baccalaureate and commencement unless they receive approval, in writing, to miss one or more of the events. Such approval must come from the associate provost (301-447-5333).

In order to take part in Commencement ceremonies in May, students must have obtained no fewer than 120 credits by the end of the Spring semester. This means that students need to have obtained a minimum of 104 credits by end of the Fall semester prior to graduation, and have registered for their remaining requirements in the Spring term. Any exceptions must be approved by the Provost.

If a student does not complete these requirements by May 31st of their senior year, the student will not be considered a Mount St. Mary’s graduate for that May, and the student’s degree (diploma) will be awarded at the end of the term following the completion of all requisite requirements. Note that students who complete requirements in the summer term(s) will receive their degree in September.

Degrees with Honors

Honors graduates must have completed a minimum of 45 hours through Mount St. Mary’s. Degrees conferred by the University are awarded with honors for exceptional quality as follows:

Cum laude: minimum grade point average of 3.400

Magna cum laude: minimum grade point average of 3.650

Summa cum laude: minimum grade point average of 3.850

Transfer of Credit

Students may transfer into the program up to 75 credit hours from regionally accredited institutions. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with the University Registrar & staff at the Center for Professional and Continuing Studies Frederick for any credit hours beyond the normally allotted amount (60). At least 30 credit hours must be satisfactorily completed at Mount St. Mary’s. Prospective students should have all transcripts sent to the Center for Professional and Continuing Studies Office for initial evaluation. Official transcripts must be submitted to the Center for Continuing Studies by the time the student completes eight Mount St. Mary’s courses. Note: Official determination of credit awarded will be made by the registrar. Tentative evaluations completed by Center for Continuing Studies staff are contingent upon the registrar’s approval.

Transfer credit will be granted for applicable courses in which students have earned a grade of “C” or better. Grades of C- and lower are NOT transferable. Age limits apply to some courses.

General Elective Transfer Credit Limit

Mount St. Mary’s University will transfer only the number of general elective credits required beyond the Core and Major requirements to get to the 120 credits required for the degree. The transfer coordinator sets this amount during the student’s initial transfer evaluation, subject to change should additional electives be required later in the student’s career.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

Adult students gain knowledge and develop skills in a variety of ways, often from their work and lived experiences. Recognizing and honoring this, Mount St. Mary’s University offers Credit for Prior Learning (CPL). When properly documented, CPL can be equated to academic coursework and credits at MSMU.

CPL can be earned in several ways: by way of portfolio, by examination (e.g., CLEP), by way of military training/service per guidelines established by the American Council on Education (ACE), and by way of successfully completing training in an accredited law enforcement academy. The maximum number of credits that can be granted for CPL is 45. Of these, no more than 30 can be from portfolio assessment or from CLEP/DSST.

The requirements and other relevant details vary by type of CPL:

Portfolio Assessment

  • Students must be enrolled at MSMU with at least part-time status for the semester in which portfolio is taking place at MSMU-Frederick.
  • Must have taken GE 200.
  • Must have three years of work experience.
  • Take a one credit online Portfolio Seminar to understand how to write the portfolio. The Mount requires a one-credit online seminar designed to help a student document experiences that duplicate the knowledge and skills taught in the classroom. Credit for prior learning earned in this manner may be applied to any requirements including major and core.
  • May not have taken the same course before or received a grade in the equivalent course
  • Will be applied to only core and major requirements

Portfolio credits will not count toward the minimum number of credits taken from a four-year institution or toward the 30-credit minimum (residency requirement) for graduation from Mount St. Mary’s[WC1] .

Credit by Examination

  • Students must consult with an MSMU-Frederick advisor to identify coursework for credit by examination
  • Take either CLEP or DSST at a testing location
  • Have official transcript score sent to MSMU-Frederick location

Credit will be awarded based on score and may not exceed 45 and will be counted as part of the 75 credit maximum.

Military Credit 

Students must provide an official Joint Services Transcript (JST), or an official transcript from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) 

  • CCAF credits are accepted at face value, as elective credits or potentially as satisfying specific requirements if approved by the appropriate Dean/Program Manager/Department Chair 
  • All JST’s include credit evaluations by the American Council on Education (ACE).  This includes a notation for the type of credit: V (vocational), L (lower level credit), or U (upper level credit). 
  • The Mount accepts up to 30 Lower level credits based on JST transcripts, regardless of content, as free electives or potentially as satisfying specific requirements if approved by the appropriate Dean/Program Manager/Department Chair 
  • The Mount also accepts all Upper level credits based on JST transcripts, regardless of content, until the student has reached the maximum of 45 CPL credits. 
  • Repeat credits and Vocational credits are not accepted

Law Enforcement Credit

  • Students must consult with an MSMU-Frederick advisor to explore this option
  • Students must provide an official transcript from their police academy

A maximum of 12 credits can be awarded for properly documented academy training in consultation with the appropriate program director or department chair.

Transfer and Articulation Agreement Policies & Procedures

The Department of Sociology (under the heading of the College of Liberal Arts) has developed an articulation agreement with Frederick Community College (Frederick, MD) for its Criminal Justice program. Under the terms of this agreement, students who complete the AS in Police Science at Frederick Community College and maintain the admissions standards prescribed by the Center for Professional and Continuing Studies will be admitted to the university. Under ordinary circumstances, these students will be able to complete the requirements for the BA in Criminal Justice in two years.

The Division of Education has an agreement with all community colleges in the state of Maryland. Under the terms of this agreement, students who complete the AAT at a community college and maintain the admission standards prescribed by the Center for Professional and Continuing Studies will be admitted to the university. Under ordinary circumstances, these students will be able to complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in two years. Students interested in this program should seek guidance from the Director of the Education Division and the academic advising staff at the Center for Professional and Continuing Studies.

Honor Societies

Adult Learner Honor Society (Alpha Sigma Lambda)

At the end of the fall semester, students eligible for membership in Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL) are sent invitations to join this adult learner honor society. To become eligible, students must complete a minimum of 24 graded semester hours at Mount St. Mary’s with a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 on a 4.0 scale. Only the highest 10 percent of the class who meet these qualifications are invited to join. An induction ceremony for each year’s inductees is held on the main campus or in Frederick in April. Students must attend the ceremony to become a member. Senior ASL members are recognized at the Mount’s Honors Convocation each spring.

Pi Lambda Theta

Pi Lambda Theta is an international education honor association that recognizes scholarship and leadership in the field of education. The University’s chapter, Gamma Tau, hold an initiation ceremony once each spring semester. Nomination for initiation is made by Education faculty. To be nominated, a candidate must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5, have achieved sophomore status, and have a demonstrated record of leadership.

Alpha Phi Sigma

Alpha Phi Sigma recognizes academic excellence of Undergraduate and Graduate students of Criminal Justice, as well as Juris Doctorate students. The goals of Alpha Phi Sigma are to honor and promote academic excellence, community service, educational leadership, and unity. For more details about eligibility, contact the Mount’s Criminal Justice Program Director.