PRP 3463 - Graduate Admissions, Withdrawal, Course Repeat, Transfers, and Graduation Requirements

Issued by: Dr. James Mackin, Provost and VPAA
Effective Date: Fall 2008
Notes: Endorsed by Graduate Council. 12/1/00 Approved by Bloomsburg University Curriculum Committee, 2/14/01. Endorsed by Graduate Council. 12/11/06 Approved by Bloomsburg University Curriculum Committee, September 26, 2007. Endorsed by Graduate Council. 1/25//08. Presented to BUCC 02/06/08 as Information Item. Presented at University Forum 2/27/08 as Information Item.

1. Graduate Admissions

A. Admission

Admission to the Graduate School at Bloomsburg University is determined by the applicant's academic and program specific qualifications. Decisions are reached without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, or disabilities.

Applicants must be graduates of, or seniors in, bachelor's programs at accredited four-year colleges or universities.

International applicants must have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree from a recognized foreign institution.

Acceptance to a graduate program is determined by the Dean of Graduate Studies upon recommendation of the graduate program coordinator.

Acceptances are tentative if based on evaluations of transcripts that show work in progress; final action is taken after complete transcripts have been received and evaluated.

B. Entrance Requirements

Entrance requirements to graduate studies at Bloomsburg University vary according to program. Minimum requirements for applicants for graduate study include a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university or the equivalent degree from a foreign institution, and a minimum undergraduate quality point average (G.P.A.) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Some programs require either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), National Teacher Examination (PRAXIS), or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) as required by the program. Any testing fees must be paid by the student. Students not meeting the minimum admission requirements may be admitted with provisional status upon the recommendation of the graduate program coordinator and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

C. Initial Teaching Certification

Students seeking initial certification through a graduate program must have an overall GPA of 3.0 for their bachelor's degree. These students must complete the admission to teacher education packet. For secondary education initial certification, the graduate student must pass the Praxis I and Praxis II tests prior to admission to teacher education. For an initial K-12 certification (e.g., business education, elementary, early childhood, foreign languages, special education, deaf/HOH, speech-language pathology), the graduate student must pass Pennsylvania Praxis I tests prior to admission to teacher education. The student must pass the Pennsylvania Praxis II tests before graduation.

D. Certificate Programs

Admission to post-baccalaureate certificate programs requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.5 (on a four point scale). Admission to post-master's certificate programs requires a master's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a four point scale). Credits earned as a non-degree graduate student or in a master's program may not be applied towards the requirements of a certificate program. Credits earned in a post-baccalaureate certificate program taken at Bloomsburg University may be applied towards a master's degree program with the permission of the graduate program coordinator and the graduate dean as long as the credits taken in the master's program are not reduced below 21.

2. Special Categories

International Students:

Individuals from foreign countries must complete a separate Graduate Admissions Application for International Students which is available in the Office of Graduate Studies or Office of International Education. This form can also be downloaded from the BU web page. International applicants must have official results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Test of Spoken English (TSE), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) submitted directly to the Office of Graduate Studies. A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, and 79 on the internet-based TOEFL or equivalent scores from other testing systems, taken within two years prior to the date of submission, is required. All international applicants must have their applications complete at least four months prior to the start of the semester for which they are applying.

Admissions Categories:

In addition to regular admission to graduate programs, several other admissions categories are available:

Provisional - A student may be admitted as provisional in a degree program when the student possesses a baccalaureate degree but does not meet the criteria for regular admission as specified by the program. The reasons for a student's provisional status will be specified in the letter of admission. When these specified conditions are met, transfer to regular student status is automatic upon certification by the student's advisor. If the conditions are not met, the student may be dismissed.

Transfers - The criteria and procedures described under admissions also apply to transfer students. Transfer of credit is described under section three.

Non-Degree - Students may be admitted to the Graduate School with non-degree graduate status for the following purposes:

  • taking graduate-level university instruction with no intention of pursuing a master's degree;
  • auditing graduate courses;
  • taking courses for Act 48 credit only;
  • taking courses before applying for regular admission or without having completed the regular admission process prior.

A non-degree student may apply to the Graduate School for transfer to provisional or regular status. However, no more than 12 semester hours earned as a non-degree student may be applied toward a master's degree, except when special permission is granted by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Adjunct - An adjunct student is one who enrolls in off-campus graduate courses without being admitted to a program. He/she may take 6 semester hours of graduate course work in this status before applying for regular or non-degree status.

Readmission - If a graduate student has not enrolled in a graduate course for a two-year period, the student's record is marked "withdrawn" and placed in the inactive files. A new application and application fee must then be submitted for reactivation.

Graduate Courses in Senior Year - A current Bloomsburg University undergraduate may register for graduate course work under the following conditions: first, graduate courses may be taken only during the student's senior year; second, a recommendation from the student's faculty advisor must be presented to the office of graduate studies; and third, the graduate courses may not be applied to the undergraduate degree. An undergraduate student wishing to take graduate courses must follow the regular application process for non-degree graduate students. A maximum of 12 graduate credits is allowed.

Audits - Courses may be audited for self-improvement. Students must follow the regular graduate application process, pay all the required fees, and obtain the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Students auditing a course are not required to take tests. Upon completion of an audited course, a grade of V is recorded on the student's transcript.

Transfer of Credits

Internal transfer of credits

Internal transfer of credit (attained with a grade of B (GP of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better, generally as a non-degree or adjunct student) is limited to 12 credits of course work. They must be relevant to the degree program the student is pursuing and must be approved by their program coordinator and Dean of Graduate Studies.

Under certain conditions, credits applying to an earned degree may apply to a subsequent degree. Courses transferred must be relevant to the program in which the student is matriculating. The transfer must be approved by the graduate program coordinator and the Dean of Graduate Studies. Transferred credits must not reduce the number of credits earned in the program below 24. Credits transferred in this manner do not contribute to the GPA when determining academic standing.

External transfer of credits

Students may transfer up to nine hours of graduate course work, in which a grade of B (GP of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or higher is earned, from another college or university, with the approval of their graduate program coordinator and Dean of Graduate Studies. Credits applied to an undergraduate degree may not be applied to a graduate degree. Credits earned in non-degree status or credits earned in a program from which the student has withdrawn, may apply to a degree program.

After formal admission to graduate school, all requests to take and transfer graduate credits must be pre-approved by the program coordinator. The content of the course(s) must match the required areas of study in the student's master's program at Bloomsburg. Transfer credit must have been earned with a grade of at least B, must be capable of counting toward a graduate degree at the sponsoring institution, be appropriate to the Bloomsburg University program, and be completed no more than six years before the expected date of graduation. Pass/fail grades not acceptable.

Workshop courses

In general, workshop format courses are not acceptable in transfer; however, if the workshop fulfills the following requirements, it may be considered for transfer to Bloomsburg University:

Must consist of 42 contact hours per semester for a three credit course;

Must include exposure to the disciplinary research literature appropriate to the course;

Must include the opportunity for outside work such as term or research papers or other major assignments appropriate to a graduate course;

Must be taught as part of a master's degree curriculum of the university at which the course was taken. Professional development workshops are not acceptable;

Duration of the course must be at least one week for each credit (e.g., three weeks for a three credit course).

4. Graduate Course and University Withdrawal

During the Fall and Spring semesters, after the schedule change period and continuing until the end of the tenth week of the semester, if a student withdraws from a course, a grade of "W" will be recorded. As a means of notification to the instructor of the intent to withdraw, a student is required to obtain the instructor's signature and the signature of the program coordinator on the withdrawal form. No withdrawals will normally be permitted after the end of the tenth week of the semester. For summer sessions and courses not taught on a regular semester basis, the Registrar will prorate the date appropriately.

Prior to the last week of classes, in exceptional circumstances, for compelling, justified and documented reasons, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research may waive these restrictions. Poor academic performance will not constitute grounds for late withdrawal. If withdrawal is granted after the deadline, the grade is W providing the student is passing the course, and E otherwise.

A limit of two (2) withdrawals during the degree program will be permitted. Re-registration for withdrawn courses requires the approval of the program coordinator.

Students withdrawing from the university may exceed the two course withdrawal limit. Faculty are encouraged to include the university late withdrawal policy on the syllabus distributed to students at the beginning of the semester.

5. Graduate Course Repeat

A maximum of two different courses may be repeated. The initial grade and all subsequent grades for a repeated course remain on the transcript as part of the student's permanent record. The most recent grade (regardless of whether it is higher or lower) will be the grade used for QPA calculation. An individual course may be repeated only once. A course taken at Bloomsburg University in which a grade of less than C (G.P. less than 2.0) has been earned must be repeated at Bloomsburg University.

6. Graduation Requirements

In addition to the program specific graduation requirements, the following Graduate School graduation requirements must be met:

Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all graduate work taken.

The minimum credits earned in a program must be:

  • Certificate Programs - 12
  • Master's Programs - 30
  • Doctoral Programs -- 100

No more than 40% of the credits applied to a program may be in swing courses.

The maximum number of experiential learning credits that may be applied to a program is nine.

The maximum number of thesis or dissertation credits that may be applied to a program is six. If a student earns thesis credits but then selects a non-thesis option, then the maximum thesis credits that may be applied to the program is three.

No more than 15 credits combined of experiential learning and transfer credits may be applied to the degree requirements.