New Graduate Student Orientation
All degree‑seeking graduate students are strongly encouraged and expected to attend the scheduled orientation session during their first semester of enrollment. Students are held responsible for knowing and understanding the information provided during orientation sessions. Dates and times of the August and January orientation sessions are posted on the School of Graduate Studies website. Graduate students beginning their studies during the summer sessions are expected to attend the fall semester orientation.
The academic progress of each graduate student is monitored on a regular basis by the School of Graduate Studies, the student's advisor, and/or the appropriate program director. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required to receive a master's degree.
Financial Aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress
A graduate student is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes if s/he has successfully completed two-thirds of all hours attempted. Occasionally, a student may be granted a grade of "Incomplete" or an "I" for a course when a student is unable to complete required work due to an unavoidable circumstance. An "Incomplete" or "I" must be removed within one semester (excluding summer term), or it will automatically be converted to a grade of "FI" by the University Registrar and the student will be dismissed from the Program and the University. In determining quality hours and quality point averages, an "I" is counted as an "F" until it is removed. The student may receive aid for the semester during which the incomplete is removed if they meet other criteria.
To be considered full-time for financial aid purposes, graduate students must enroll for at least six (6) graduate hours each semester. Academic load is determined at the end of the drop/add period each semester. If hours are dropped below these levels, the student must notify the Financial Aid Office, and some funds may have to be repaid. Provisionally admitted students must meet their provisions and be fully admitted into a program after one year or they will no longer be eligible for Financial Aid.
An accumulation of three grades of "C" quality work, or a single grade of "F," makes a graduate student ineligible to continue in a graduate program and he/she will be dismissed. Excepted from this regulation are students allowed to apply for readmission by the Graduate Appeals Committee.
It is expected that students enrolled in graduate courses demonstrate breadth and depth of understanding significantly beyond the undergraduate level. While letter grades are used in the graduate program, they differ substantially in meaning from the undergraduate program.
A grade of "A" designates that the graduate student's performance has been superior, going above and beyond what is normally expected in a graduate class.
A grade of "B" designates that the graduate student's performance has been satisfactory and that the student has demonstrated the level of understanding normally expected in a graduate class.
A grade of "C" designates that the graduate student's performance has been poor and that the student has demonstrated significantly less understanding than what is normally expected in a graduate class. An accumulation of 3 "C"s makes the student ineligible to continue graduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
A grade of "F" designates failure of the course. A graduate student who receives an "F" is ineligible to continue graduate studies at the University.
A grade of "I" (incomplete) is given when a student is unable to complete required work because of an unavoidable circumstance such as illness. It is not to be given to enable a student to do additional work to improve a grade. Assigning the "I" grade is at the discretion of the individual instructor. It is the student's responsibility to request the "I" grade. Generally, the student will have completed most of the work required for the course before the grade of "I" is requested. An incomplete must be removed within one semester (excluding summer term), or it will automatically be converted to a grade of "F." In determining quality hours and quality point averages, an "I" is counted as an "F" until it is removed. An "I" grade does not fulfill prerequisite requirements.
The "P" grade is earned in designated courses and carries semester-hours credit. Credits earned are not counted in quality hours for quality point averages.
A grade of "T" indicates grade pending and may be assigned for thesis research and capstone courses.
A grade of "W" indicates that a student officially withdrew from a course (see "Withdrawals" section below).
For grades of A, B, and C, faculty previously had the option of assigning a plus (+) or minus (-) in addition to the letter grade, but these are not computed in the computation of the grade point average.
Graduate students may find it necessary or advisable to withdraw from one or more courses during a term. If a student withdraws from all courses in which they are enrolled, they must withdraw from the university. The deadline for withdrawal depends upon the schedule for the course and the format of the course. Consult the Graduate Academic Calendar posted on the website of the School of Graduate Studies (www.uncp.edu/grad) for course withdrawal deadlines.
To withdraw from a course (but remain enrolled in at least one course), a student must complete an Application to Withdraw from a Graduate Course form. It is the student's responsibility to submit the withdrawal form to the School of Graduate Studies by the withdrawal deadline for each course. Students who do not officially withdraw from a course by the established deadline may receive a grade of "F." A graduate student who receives an "F" is ineligible to continue graduate studies at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and he/she will be dismissed.
To withdraw from the university (i.e., cease to attend all courses), a student must complete an Application to Withdraw from Graduate School before the established deadline of each course.
Withdrawing from a class does not excuse a student from the five-year time limit (six years for the Professional School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Social Work programs) within which all program requirements must be completed.
The date that a graduate student submits his/her withdrawal form to the Office of Graduate Studies will be considered the last date of attendance for financial aid and student accounts purposes. If a student receives financial aid, he/she is advised to consult with his/her counselor to determine the impact of the withdrawal on his/her financial aid status. If the withdrawal occurs when refunds are still possible, the Office of Student Accounts will adjust tuition, fees, room, and board charges on a pro-rated basis. A student must successfully complete 67% of his/her coursework to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to remain eligible to receive financial aid. Please see the website of the Office of the Controller for additional information (http://www.uncp.edu/co/).
Graduate students may enroll in nine (9) semester hours during regular semesters (some programs may require additional hours). Students employed on a full-time basis are encouraged to take six (6) credit hours a semester or less. During each summer session, graduate students may enroll in a maximum of six (6) credit hours each term for a total of twelve (12) credit hours during the summer. Graduate students working on program requirements such as portfolios, theses, professional papers, etc., should be continuously enrolled in graduate courses.
Graduate students may transfer in six to twelve credit hours (with a grade of B or better) of relevant graduate credit taken at an accredited institution with approval of the Program Director and the Graduate Dean according to the following sliding scale:
30-39 hours in the program-transfer up to 6 credit hours;
40-49 hours in the program-transfer up to 9 hours;
50+ hours in the program-transfer up to 12 hours.
It is the responsibility of the student to apply for approval of transfer credit. The form is available on the Graduate School website. Along with this form, an official copy of the transcript reflecting the credit and a copy of the catalog description must be submitted for each course. The program director may require a copy of the course syllabus.
For pre-existing graduate credits, a student must submit the completed transfer credit request form to the School of Graduate Studies within one calendar year of the first day of classes of the semester or summer session of the student's first enrollment in courses (including prerequisites) required for his/her graduate program. If this date falls on a weekend or a UNCP holiday, then the deadline will be the next workday. Transfer credit requests submitted after that deadline will not be processed.
If a student seeks to take graduate credit(s) at another institution for transfer to UNCP, s/he must obtain prior written approval for the credit from both the appropriate program director and the Dean of Graduate Studies. The completed transfer credit request form, signed to show the approval of the program director, must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies at least 30 calendar days prior to the first day of classes of the UNCP semester or summer session that corresponds most closely to the timeframe during which the course(s) will be taken at the other institution. Transfer credit requests submitted after that deadline will not be processed.
The transfer credit is subject to the five-year time limit (six years for the Professional School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Social Work programs) applied to all course work credited toward the master's degree, with the exception of reinstated credits sanctioned by the Graduate Appeals Committee (see "Lapsed Credit " and "Appeals" sections of this catalog).
The University offers a number of graduate assistantships to qualified graduate students. Graduate assistantship appointments usually are for one academic year; assistantships may or may not be renewed. Graduate assistantships generally are not available during the summer months.
To be eligible for a graduate assistantship, a student must be formally admitted (i.e., provisional or full-standing status) to one of the graduate programs. A graduate assistant must be a full-time student, not otherwise employed, and registered for a minimum of nine (9) hours per semester, and s/he must maintain a 3.0 overall GPA. Partial tuition awards may be given to Academic Affairs funded graduate assistants if sufficient funds are available.
A graduate student may participate in commencement exercises if he or she has met all the requirements for graduation. When commencement takes place before final grades are processed, a graduate student may participate in commencement unless the Registrar has been notified that the student will not meet all degree requirements by the last day of exams.
A graduate student is eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony that coincides with the semester during which he or she will complete all degree requirements. Specifically, if a graduate student will complete degree requirements during the fall semester, he/she is eligible to participate in the Winter Commencement. If he/she will complete degree requirements during the spring semester, he/she is eligible to participate in the Spring Commencement. If he/she will complete degree requirements during the summer (i.e., between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of the fall semester), he/she is eligible to participate in the following Winter Commencement.
If a graduate student elects to receive his/her diploma in absentia, he/she must submit to the Registrar one month prior to graduation a written request that indicates the address to which the diploma will be mailed. The diploma will be mailed after commencement.
Appeals (Excluding Academic Honor Code Violations/Appeals)
Graduate students may choose to file an appeal with The Graduate Appeals Committee (GAC), the "due process" body for all graduate students as designated by The Graduate Council, except for Academic Honor Code Violation Appeals, which are handled by the Office of Student Conduct. Appeals may be made for the following: Extension of time to Degree, Credit reinstatement and/or transfer credit after the deadline, Grade Appeal (see Grade Appeal regulations section), and to Apply for Readmission after Dismissal.
The Graduate Appeals Committee meets in February, June, and October. In general, completed Appeals materials are due to the Graduate Office by the 15th of the month prior to the scheduled meeting month, but the student wishing to appeal a denial of continuation in a program should submit a written request for appeal to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies so that the appeal is postmarked or hand delivered to the Graduate School no later than 5:00 p.m. on the date that is thirty (30) calendar days after the date on which grades are due (as specified on the Registrar's academic calendar) for the relevant semester or summer session. If this date falls on a weekend or a UNCP holiday, then the deadline will be the next workday.
Any appeal submitted by the deadline will be considered at the next meeting of the GAC. The student will be advised of the date, time, and location of the meeting, and provided the opportunity to appear before the GAC if s/he desires. The appeal should contain the reason(s) the student believes the appeal should be granted and/or the denial should be reversed. If a request for appeal is not postmarked or hand-delivered by the deadline specified in the denial letter, it will not be considered.
A former student who was dismissed for academic reasons and has not been enrolled in a graduate program at any institution of higher education for a period of four (4) semesters (excluding summers) may apply for readmission under the Special Readmission Regulation for Students Dismissed for Academic Reasons. Please read the information on this regulation.
The Graduate Appeals Committee is not bound by precedent; rather, it is required to consider every appeal on the basis of the individual merit of that particular case. The decision of the GAC will be final.
Graduate students have the right to appeal a final grade received in a graduate course. The student wishing to appeal a grade must have clear documentation that the grade earned was due to 1) miscalculation, 2) material deviation from information published in the course syllabus [or online course delivery system] without adequate notice of change or 3) discriminatory or capricious academic evaluation on the part of the instructor. The student should be cognizant that a faculty member has the right and freedom to determine a professionally appropriate grading process for her/his course(s). Cases involving academic dishonesty are handled by the Office of Student Conduct. A student grievance is handled by the Office of Student Conduct. The process for a graduate student grade appeal is as follows:
1. Students with a grade dispute must first try to resolve the matter with the instructor in person and/or through official communication (university email) no more than 30 days following official final grade due date for the term. The instructor is to respond within 10 days.
2. If the matter cannot be resolved to the student's satisfaction or the instructor cannot be reached, s/he may present an appeal to the chair of the department in which the grade was received (or the Dean of the School if the chair is the instructor) using the Graduate Appeal form, clearly presenting evidence of the problems with the grade in question (the appellant bears the burden of proof in the grade appeal process and a grade appeal will not be successful without appropriate documentation.). The chair will seek to resolve the situation between the instructor and student and provide a written statement of the resolution to the student and faculty member within 10 days using the Graduate Appeal Form.
3. If the student finds the outcomes stated by the chair unacceptable, the appeal (with signatures of the instructor and chair) may be taken to the dean of the college/school in which the grade was received within 10 days following receipt of the chair's resolution. The dean will seek to resolve the matter and provide a written statement of the results to the student, instructor, appropriate program director and chair within 10 days, using the Graduate Appeal Form.
If the student finds the resolution of the school/college dean unacceptable, the appeal can be taken to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies by November 1 (fall) or April 1 (spring) of the semester following the term in which the grade was received. The Dean of the Graduate School will take meritorious cases to a called meeting of the Graduate Appeals Committee (GAC). Only the student and instructor will be allowed to address the committee.
Special Readmission Regulation for Students Dismissed for Academic Reasons
A former UNCP student who was dismissed for academic reasons from the UNCP School of Graduate Studies and has not been enrolled in a graduate program at any institution of higher education for a period of four (4) semesters (excluding summers) may apply for readmission under the Special Readmission Regulation of the Graduate School.
In order to qualify for the Special Readmission Regulation, a former student must obtain, to the degree possible, letters of support from the current program director, former advisor (if not the same person as program director), and at least one faculty member (not the same person as program director or advisor) who taught a graduate course taken by the former student. The former student also must complete a Graduate Appeals form, including an explanation of the circumstances of his/her dismissal from the Graduate School, and should make the case for how he/she is prepared to be successful if readmitted.
Such appeals are considered by the Graduate Appeals Committee of the Graduate Council. The Council's decision will be final, and there is no opportunity for further appeal. Students may apply for readmission under this regulation only one time. Any readmitted student is subject to the regulations and procedures of the School of Graduate Studies that are current at the time of readmission.
Any student readmitted to the same program under this regulation will return on provisional readmission status and must meet the provisions stipulated for her/his readmission by the Graduate Appeals Committee, upon recommendation of the program director. Included among those provisions will be the stipulation that the readmitted student must earn a 3.0 or higher each semester after being readmitted. Students who fall below a 3.0 in a semester will be dismissed from their programs of study and from the Graduate School. Graduate courses that are not part of the students' degree plan may not be taken in an attempt to raise the GPA.
If a former student wishes to apply to a different graduate program, he/she must first appeal to the Graduate Appeals Committee under the Special Readmission Policy. If the committee grants eligibility to apply for admission to a different program, the former student must then complete the regular admission process for the new program. Admission to the new program is not guaranteed; the normal admission process and procedures will be followed. Under this regulation, any student who ultimately is admitted to a different program will return on provisional admission status and must meet the provisions stipulated for their admission by the Dean of Graduate Studies, upon recommendation of the program director of the new program. Included among those provisions will be the stipulation that the student must earn a 3.0 or higher each semester after being admitted. Students who fall below a 3.0 in a semester will be dismissed from their programs of study and from the Graduate School.
Lapsed Credit (Reinstatement of Graduate Credit)
In cases of documented merit and/or continuing professional experience within a given discipline, the Graduate Appeals Committee (GAC) of the Graduate Council may, at its discretion, entertain appeals cases for reinstatement of graduate credits earned more than five years ago at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke or another accredited institution of higher learning. This procedure is available for former graduate students seeking to return to graduate study.
The Graduate Appeals Committee is authorized by the Graduate Council to consider reinstatement of a maximum of nine (9) semester hours of lapsed academic graduate credit from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and six (6) semester hours of lapsed credit from another institution. No reinstatement appeal may go the GAC unless the appeal bears the signatures of the director of the student's graduate program and the chair and/or dean of the appropriate academic department. Graduate students seeking to file reinstatement appeals should contact the Dean of Graduate Studies to discuss the appropriate details of filing such appeals.
The Graduate Appeals Committee is the "due process" body for graduate students seeking to file reinstatement appeals. Such cases are considered on an individual, nonprecedent-setting basis, and they are evaluated and judged by the GAC on their own merit. The decisions of the GAC are final.
Repetition of Courses
Certain graduate courses may be repeated for credit (e.g., thesis, professional paper, or capstone study/project courses) and are identified in the course descriptions in the program sections of the UNCP Catalog. Students in programs with repeatable courses must enroll in the repeatable course each semester and continue enrollment each semester during the regular academic year (fall, spring) until the paper or project is complete, unless the course description specifies otherwise. If the student is defending the paper or project during the summer, the student must register for the repeatable course during at least one summer term. Students should contact program directors for guidance regarding courses that must be repeated for credit and for clarification concerning credit hours if the credit hours listed for a repeatable course are variable.
A graduate student may gain permission to repeat a course (beyond those identified as repeatable) one time with the approval of the program director and Dean of the Graduate School. Both grades earned in the repeated course remain on the student's transcript and are calculated in the student's graduate GPA, but credit for the course is awarded only once.