Jun 18, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Main Campus Academic Policies and Regulations


Every student at Mount St. Mary’s who wishes to enroll for the upcoming semester must register for classes following the procedures designated by the Office of the Registrar. Current students receive first consideration in enrollment.

Registration information is distributed via campus e-mail. Course schedules are available online. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain these materials.

The following regulations apply:

Registration dates are published in the Office of the Registrar and emailed to students prior to the event.

No student will receive credit for any subject taken in a class or section for which he or she has not been duly registered.

Adding and Dropping Courses

Students may add and drop courses without penalty during the first week of Fall and Spring Terms. Add/Drop deadlines for these and other special sessions are published by the Registrar’s Office.

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.

Incomplete Grade

Given the demands of full time study at Mount St. Mary’s, 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 fall or spring 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 Course

Once the add/drop deadline has passed, a student wishing to discontinue a course must withdraw.

Withdraw forms are available in the Registrar’s Office. A student who seeks to withdraw from a class must submit to the dean of their college/school-by the deadline established in the academic calendar-a withdrawal form signed by his or her advisor and by the instructor of the course in question. No adjustment in tuition (full- or part-time) is made as a result of withdrawal from classes. Note that students must maintain at least a minimum full-time load (12 credits) in order to live in University housing, unless they receive special permission from the associate provost and the dean of students.

When a student withdraws from a course, a grade of “W” remains on the student’s transcript, but does not calculate into the student’s GPA.

Final Exams

The semester examination schedule is published on the Registrar Office’s website.

Students who must travel are encouraged to consult this schedule in making their travel arrangements. Students who are scheduled to take three exams on a single day have the right to move one of these exams to another day, with permission from the requisite instructor. Students should discuss moving an exam with their instructors well before exam time.

Course Load

Student full-time status is defined as earning a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.

The following regulations concerning course load apply:

Full-time students ordinarily register for 15 or 16 credit hours per semester. Those enrolling in science labs, ensemble music performance courses or military science courses may register for 17-18 credits without special permission. In all other cases, students desiring to enroll in more than 16 credits, up to the 21-hour-per-semester maximum, must receive the approval of the dean of their college/school. The cost for full-time students who enroll for credits above 16 in a given semester is $690 per credit hour. Students in the Honors Program who have a 3.75 semester GPA or higher for the previous semester may enroll in a 6th course for no extra charge.

Students who are employed full time may be permitted to take a maximum of nine credit hours during a semester and have this count as resident study during the senior year upon written request to the associate provost.

A student may audit a course, i.e., attend and participate without receiving credit, provided that space is available in the course and written permission of the instructor is obtained. After the course has started, the student’s status cannot be changed from audit to regular grade or vice versa. Audited courses may not be counted as part of the credit requirement for senior year in residence. To receive the audit grade (AU) on the transcript the student must satisfy the attendance and other course requirements set by the instructor for an official audit.

Unit of Instruction

The University operates on the semester system. The unit for counting credit is the semester hour. Mount St. Mary’s University follows the U.S. Department of Education definition of a semester credit hour as found in 34 CFR 600.2.

Credit hour: Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than-

One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

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 in the Core and Major

Students must maintain satisfactory progress toward completing the core program and the requirements in their chosen major(s). Each student is responsible for developing and carrying through his or her own plan to complete graduation requirements. Students should work carefully with their advisors to ensure that major and core requirements are met in a timely way.

Credit for Prior Learning in World Languages

Students who place at the intermediate (201) or advanced (300/400) level of language study on entering Mount St. Mary’s may receive credit for their prior learning.

Students may receive credits for prior learning for each language in which they place at the intermediate or advanced level. Students receiving credit for prior foreign language learning will not be assessed an additional tuition charge. Prior Learning credits may be counted toward both the major and minor in that language.

Such credit will be awarded as follows:

  1. A student who places at the intermediate level and who earns a C+ or better in a 202-level foreign language course taken at Mount St. Mary’s will receive six credits (three for the course and three for prior learning). 
  2. A student who places at the advanced level and who earns a C+ or better in the first 300- or 400-level foreign language course taken at Mount St. Mary’s will receive nine credits (three for the course and six for prior learning).
  3. Prior learning credits are evaluated and applied to the students’ transcripts in the semester following completion of requirements.

The following limitations apply:

  • Students may receive such credit only once for each language.
  • Students who withdraw from a 202-level or first advanced course in a particular language forfeit the possibility in the future of earning credits for prior learning in that language.
  • Students may not receive credit for prior learning if they have received foreign language credit via a course not taken at Mount St. Mary’s.
  • Students must take these courses within 48 credits of attempted Mount credit.

Class Attendance

All instructors are responsible for the attendance regulations that govern the courses they teach. Attendance regulations will be included in the syllabus and explained by the instructor in each class at the beginning of each semester. Any absence or tardiness will be handled by the instructor and the student involved. The associate provost’s office and Learning Services provide assistance to students who are absent due to emergency events, medical issues, and other personal circumstances.

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 grading policies for each course must be published in the syllabus distributed at the beginning of the term.
A = Excellent B = Good C = Satisfactory D = Poor F = Failure

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

Other Grade Classifications:

P/F Pass/Fail
W Withdraw
FA Failure due to non participation (0 points)
I Incomplete (0 points)
AU Audit (0 points)

See explanations on following.


Pass/Fail means a grade of either P (pass, credit earned) or F (failure, no credit) will be entered on the transcript, with no point values calculated in the grade point average. Sophomores, juniors and seniors have the option of taking one course each semester on a pass/fail basis in accordance with the following stipulations and with the permission of the chair of the department in which the course is taken:

  1. The total number of credit hours taken under the pass/fail option must not exceed 12
  2. The course is in a subject outside the major field, minor field, and the core curriculum
  3. In the computation of GPA, a pass grade will not be counted while a fail grade will be counted with a value of zero.
  4. Students choosing the pass/fail option at the time of registration with the permission of the department chair are not allowed to revert to regular status, nor can they revert from a regular grading course to pass/fail.
  5. The professor must be advised that the student is taking the course under the pass/fail option.
  6. The student satisfies the same requirements for the course expected of the regularly enrolled students.
  7. The professor has the right to deny the student registration under the pass/fail option in a specific course, but the denial must be clearly indicated at the time of registration.
  8. Student may take no more than one pass/fail course in any one semester.
  9. Students declare their intention to take the pass/fail option by completing the PASS/FAIL AUTHORIZATION FORM prior to the end of the Add/Drop Period at the beginning of the semester.

Grade Options for Courses Not Completed

W (Withdraw)

This grade is posted for students who withdraw from a class after the end of the official add/drop period. Students who seek to withdraw from a class must submit to the dean of their college/school-by the deadline established in the academic calendar-a withdrawal form signed by his or her advisor and by the instructor of the course in question. No adjustment in tuition (full- or part-time) is made as a result of withdrawal from classes. Note that students must maintain at least a minimum full-time load (12 credits) in order to live in University housing, unless they receive special permission from the associate provost and the dean of students.

FA (Failure because of non-participation)

This grade is posted for students who miss an excessive number of class periods, assignments or exams as determined by the instructor or who do not take a final exam.

I (Incomplete)

The grade of I is given in exceptional cases to a student who, because of illness or other reasons beyond his or her control, is unable to complete the requirements of a course for which the student has completed at least 75% of the work, and is able to complete the remaining coursework with minimal assistance from the professor. See Incomplete Grade

Semester Examinations

Semester examinations or the appropriate equivalent assignment are required for all courses at the end of each term. Absence from semester examinations is permitted in the case of serious illness or some other emergency; in those cases, the final examination will be rescheduled as soon as possible after semester’s end.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average is computed by dividing the total number of quality 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, nor are any Mount St. Mary’s courses carrying the grade of Pass (P). Courses carrying a grade of F or FA are entered as zero points.


Students who are on academic probation may be required to change their major. The change of major is required when the follow conditions pertain: a) the student does not have a path to graduation in the current major, b) the student faces dismissal from the university due to inadequate performance within that major, and c) the student’s grades outside the major show aptitude and interest in other areas of study.

Students who are required by the associate provost to change their major may apply to the associate provost to exclude a failed or poor grade from their GPA calculation. The grade remains on the transcript, but it will be marked in parentheses. The associate provost has the right to deny the request to exclude a grade from the GPA calculation. The following conditions must apply:

  • The student’s GPA in courses outside the major must be at least a 2.0.
  • The exclusion is allowed only once during a student’s academic career.
  • The policy applies to a maximum of two courses.
  • The application for the GPA adjustment must be made at the time of the change of major.
  • The policy cannot apply to courses in which the student has been charged with academic dishonesty.
  • GPA adjustment will be reversed if a student returns to a major for which grades were excluded.

Retaking a Course

Students may retake courses with the following two exceptions: students may not repeat a prerequisite course if a subsequent dependent course has been passed, and students may not repeat the First Year Symposium. 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 cases where the new course grade is lower than the original grade, the original grade will be retained. If a student repeats a course that was originally passed (with a grade of D- or better), no additional credits will be earned.

Grade Reports

Grades are available on the portal (portal.msmary.edu) at the close of the semester provided that a student has met all University obligations. Midterm grades are used to show student’s progress but are not posted on the student’s final transcript.

No report of grades is made at the end of the school year for a student whose financial account with the University has not been settled.

If an error has been made in the final semester grade, it is the responsibility of the student to see that the correction has been made within one month after the beginning of the following semester. No correction will be made beyond this date.

Academic Standing


Students are considered to be in good academic standing if they achieve a cumulative grade point average according to the following schedule:


Semesters Completed











GPA Requirement












In addition, a student must complete at least 67% of courses attempted. The completion rate is determined by evaluating total credits earned compared to total attempted credits. Attempted credits include grades of Withdraw (W), Failure due to excessive absences (FA), Incomplete (I), and Audit (AU).


Student who fall below these standards will be placed on academic probation or dismissed from the university.

Determination of Rank

Freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior rank is determined at the time of matriculation. Students advance in rank upon completion of each semester at the Mount. When a student submits an Intent to Graduate form, the Office of the Registrar reevaluates his/her rank based upon credits earned.

Effective with the Spring 2021 semester, rank is based on credits achieved as follows:

Freshman: 0-29 credits

Sophomore: 30-59 credits

Junior: 60-89 credits

Senior: 90 or more credits

Academic Probation

Any student who falls below the minimum grade point average standards above will be placed on academic probation at the close of the appropriate semester. Academic probation is an official alert for students that their academic performance must improve if they are to progress toward graduation.

All students on academic probation must make satisfactory progress during the following fall or spring semester or risk being dismissed for academic reasons. Satisfactory progress is attained by maintaining full-time status and achieving no less than the minimum GPA and credit levels specified above under the Academic Standing section.

Academic Dismissal

A student’s academic record is reviewed at the conclusion of each semester by the Academic Review Board, chaired by the associate provost. Students who do not meet the minimum grade point standards noted above are subject to dismissal. Students with below 1.0 in a single semester and students failing to maintain full-time status and make satisfactory progress in total credits earned are also subject to dismissal.

The University reserves the right to dismiss at any time any students who fail to meet minimal standards of academic responsibility or who are deemed to be a detriment to themselves or to others, as determined by the Provost or Vice President for Student Affairs. Such grounds for dismissal could include but are not limited to ceasing to attend classes and disrupting the life and work of the University community. Any student who is on academic and disciplinary probation at the end of a given semester is subject to dismissal from the University. In such instances, the associate provost will evaluate the academic status and disciplinary status to determine whether in combination they are serious enough to warrant dismissal.

Students dismissed for academic deficiencies are eligible for readmission after one semester of the regular academic year has elapsed (summer sessions are not included). To be eligible for readmission, students must demonstrate their ability and motivation to do acceptable academic work by completing at least three courses (9 credits) at another institution with a grade of C or higher in each course and maintaining an overall GPA of 2.0. Students intending to seek readmission to the University should receive prior approval for courses from the associate provost.

All students are eligible to reapply to the University following their first academic dismissal; however, a student’s second academic dismissal is permanent. Students reapplying for readmission are cautioned that readmission is never automatic. The student’s overall undergraduate record (academic and disciplinary) is considered, as is his or her performance in all courses taken during academic suspension from the University.

Leave of Absence and Medical Leave

Students may apply for a leave of absence, typically for a period of one or two semesters. Students with a serious medical problem that prevents their continuing study during a given semester or prior to a new semester may apply for a medical leave. In both cases, such application (together with appropriate documentation from a healthcare professional, if necessary) should be made to the associate provost. Return to study after a leave is contingent on the student’s meeting the conditions established by the associate provost at the time the leave is granted. No extensions are granted for a leave. If a student does not return at the end of the prescribed period for the leave, the leave automatically becomes an administrative withdrawal from the University.

The same refund policy that applies to students who withdraw during the semester will apply to students granted a leave.

Students granted a medical leave prior to the 5th week of the semester are subject to the refund policy identified here . Students granted a medical leave after the fifth week of the semester for an unforeseen medical emergency may apply to the provost requesting special consideration of the institutional refund policy. Any refund granted after the fifth week may only be credited to a subsequent semester’s tuition balance.

All financial aid refund policies remain intact. See Main Campus Financial Aid .

Students who fail to register for classes during the fall or spring term and have not requested a leave of absence will be administratively withdrawn from the University.

Mount St. Mary’s University 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 acknowledgment.
  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 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. No student charged with a second offense may withdraw from the course in which this offense 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 department chair and dean in order to determine the appropriate actions. The associate provost may be included.

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 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 about prior offenses and then will officially notify the student in writing of the charge and the student’s right to appeal. The dean 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. 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 chair of the department in which the course is taken, and then to the appropriate dean. 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. Students who wish to withhold directory information may do so by filling out the Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form found in the Registrar’s office and online at: www.msmary.edu/registrar. Directory information includes: name, address, telephone number, dates of attendance, previous institutions attended, major fields of study, enrollment status, awards, honors, degree(s) conferred (including dates), 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.


Official transcripts will be provided to schools, employers or to the individual at a cost of $3.50 for printed, mailed and pick up orders. Transcripts can be issued in either paper or electronic format (no charge for electronic transcript).

Written request must be made for each transcript. The request will be made online through this link: https://inside.msmary.edu/registrar/transcript-requests.html.

No request can be honored until the financial account has been cleared by the Finance Office. Requests will be processed as expeditiously as possible; however, a minimum of five working days should be allowed for processing. During examination periods, registration and the two-week period immediately before and after the end of semesters, there may be an additional delay.

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 (i.e., 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 when the intent form is opened. The form is available online at portal.msmary.edu. Please note that the form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the due date indicated on the website. 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 printed and the student will not be able to participate in the commencement ceremony in May.

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 31 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

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

Grade point averages are not rounded.

Grades earned prior to matriculation at Mount St. Mary’s will not be included in the grade point average. A minimum of 45 hours is required at Mount St. Mary’s for honors eligibility. Qualification for honors will be determined by the final cumulative grade point average, which includes the grades of the final semester in which the student completes degree requirements.

Dean’s List and President’s List

The Dean’s and President’s Lists are published at the end of the fall and spring terms. To qualify for these designations a student must be degree seeking, have the qualifying term grade point average at the time of evaluation, and have a minimum of 12 earned credits with no in-completes. Qualifying students will receive one of the following:

  • President’s List is awarded to students who have a 4.0 grade point average for the term;
  • Dean’s List is awarded to students who have a 3.4 or higher grade point average for the term.

Students will be notified by letter, and transcripts will indicate each semester in which the honor has been achieved.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

To earn a second bachelor’s degree, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university. A maximum of 90 transferable credits will be applied toward the second bachelor’s degree and the student will not have to complete Core Curriculum requirements. Second bachelor’s degree students must complete a minimum of 30 new credits at Mount St. Mary’s University and meet all requirements for the major. These 30 credits may not be met through the credit for prior learning option.

Detailed requirements:

  • You must complete all requirements for the major. If any of the requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new courses must be satisfied with courses related to the major.
  • For purposes of determining which major requirements apply, the applicable date is the date you started coursework at Mount St. Mary’s University after being admitted into the second undergraduate program.
  • From the start of your second Bachelor’s degree pathway, continuous enrollment at Mount St. Mary’s University is required.
  • A minimum grade point average of 2.0 is required for graduation. For those completing a Bachelor of Science in Education, a 2.75 GPA is required.
  • Second bachelor’s degree students cannot pursue a minor or a double major.
  • You must submit an official transcript showing that you were awarded your first bachelor’s degree in order to be considered for admission to a second bachelor’s degree program. If you earned your first bachelor’s degree at Mount St. Mary’s you do not need to submit official transcripts, but your record must indicate that your first degree was conferred.
  • Students who complete 30 credit hours with the requisite GPA will receive their degree with honors as listed above under Degrees With Honors.
  • The degree is conferred and the diploma awarded on the May, September, or December conferral date following completion of all requirements.

  • Current Mount students must complete and earn a bachelor’s degree before they can pursue a second bachelor’s degree. Please note: Students pursuing a double major as part of their first bachelor’s degree receive one diploma.

Transferring Credits from Other Institutions

Students are not permitted to take courses at another institution during the fall or spring semesters. Any exceptions must be approved in advance in writing by the dean of their college/school and the associate provost. Students are permitted to enroll in limited courses at other institutions during the summer and, if possible, winter inter-sessions with the written approval of the Office of the Registrar.

Core courses must be taken at Mount St. Mary’s. Any exceptions must be approved in advance by the Office of the Registrar. With the prior approval of a student’s major department chair, he or she may be permitted to take a limited number of major courses at another institution.

Students who wish to take courses at another institution in an effort to be readmitted to Mount St. Mary’s following a first academic dismissal should contact the associate provost immediately following their dismissal to secure written, advance approval for such courses to ensure that the course credits will transfer back to Mount St. Mary’s. See Academic Dismissal for more information.

The following policies and procedures apply in all cases:

  • A maximum cumulative total of 12 credits may be transferred following initial enrollment at Mount St. Mary’s. Ordinarily, students who have transferred 75 credits to Mount St. Mary’s University may not exercise this option.
  • Students who have earned 60 or more total credits, including transfer credits, may take courses elsewhere only at four-year institutions.
  • All courses must be approved in advance by the Associate Registrar or the Registrar; written authorization is then issued to the student and the other institution by the Office of the Registrar. (A written description of the requested course is required prior to approval.) Authorization forms are available in the Office of the Registrar, as well as through the university’s website.
  • Effective for Fall 2020, students taking courses at another institution must attain a grade of C- (1.67) or better in an applicable course in order to transfer credits. Relevant courses with a non-letter grade, such as Pass or Satisfactory, will be accepted for transfer as long as the transcript clearly notes that such grades are equivalent to a C- or better. All transferred credits are recorded as Pass (P). Credits previously evaluated for transfer are excluded from this policy.
  • Credits are formally transferred only upon receipt of an official transcript from the University where the credits were earned. Students are responsible for ensuring such transcripts are forwarded to the Office of the Registrar.

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. Students may transfer 100-level elective credits (from an accredited post-secondary institution). Effective for students entering the University in Fall 2020, all 100 level and above courses and credits completed with a grade of “C-” or better at a regionally-accredited institution are transferable to Mount St. Mary’s University as free elective credit. Courses with a non-letter grade, such as Pass or Satisfactory, will be accepted for transfer as long as the transcript clearly notes that such grades are equivalent to a C- or better. Other criteria may be necessary for transfer of credits to be approved as satisfying core or major requirements. Developmental/remedial, personal development and orientation course do NOT transfer. Courses previously evaluated for transfer are excluded from this policy. At least 30 credit hours must be satisfactorily completed at Mount St. Mary’s University.

Credit from Military Transcripts

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 by way of military training/service per guidelines established by the American Council on Education (ACE).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

Transfer and Articulation Agreement Policies & Procedures

Mount St. Mary’s University has developed an articulation agreement with Catholic Distance University (Hamilton, VA). The Division of Education also has an agreement with all community colleges in the state of Maryland. Under the terms of these agreements, students who complete the programs outlined in the other institutions’ catalogs and maintain the standards prescribed by the Transfer Coordinator and the Dean of the appropriate College/School at Mount St. Mary’s 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.

The School of Natural Science and Mathematics has articulation agreements with Shenandoah University School of Nursing (Winchester, VA), University of Maryland School of Nursing (College Park, MD), and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (Erie, PA). For further details on these agreements, please see program offerings in the School of Natural Science and Mathematics. Students interested in these programs should seek guidance from the Dean of the School of Natural Science and Mathematics at Mount St. Mary’s University.

Mount St. Mary’s University has also developed an articulation agreement with Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law (Washington, DC). Third-year students (juniors) or fourth-year students (seniors) are offered direct admission to Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, provided they meet specific requirements set forth by both Mount St. Mary’s University and Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. Students interested in these programs should seek guidance from the Director of the Pre-Law Program.