Graduate School - Academic Definitions, Policies and Regulations
Grade Point Average
A student’s grade point average (GPA) is based on courses taken at ACU. It is determined by dividing the total number of grade points (see the table below) by the total number of hours attempted (not including hours where grade points are not counted). Current GPA is a student’s GPA for a single term; cumulative GPA is the overall GPA for all the terms a student has been enrolled in ACU. All graduate students must have a minimum of 3.0 GPA on all work taken at ACU for graduate credit to graduate.
|WP||Withdraw Passing||Not counted|
For a fall or spring term, a full load is defined as 9 credit hours, a three-fourths load as 6 hours and a half load as 4.5 hours. Full-time students may enroll for as many as 12 hours. Master of Accountancy students may enroll in 15 hours, Master of Science in Social Work students may enroll in 16 hours, and Master of Divinity students may enroll in 13 hours. A student must seek approval from the graduate dean to enroll in more than 3 hours in one summer session. A combination of graduate and undergraduate hours normally may not total more than 15 hours for a fall or spring term, or a total of 9 hours for all summer sessions.
Students employed full time should not enroll for more than 9 hours during any semester and 3 hours during a summer term. The combined teaching load and course load of a graduate assistant or an instructor should normally not exceed 15 semester hours.
ACU uses a three-digit course numbering system. Courses numbered 500, 600 and 700 are graduate level courses. At the master’s level at least half of all graduate credit must be in 600 or 700-level courses.
Courses numbered 700 or above in the Graduate School of Theology may be taken by doctoral students only.
Graduate Policies and Regulations
It is the student’s responsibility to know and comply with the regulations and requirements contained in this catalog. Graduate advisors are helpful in preparing degree plans and assisting students in their degree progress. This assistance, however, does not alter the primary responsibility of the student to adhere to policies published in the catalog.
NOTE: See the Online Schedule Bulletin each semester for dates, deadlines and more complete registration instructions. Failure to complete the registration process appropriately may result in being dropped from all classes.
Transfer of graduate work from other institutions must be approved by the student’s departmental advisor and by the graduate dean and must fall within the time limit for degrees (see Degree Time Limit). However, grades from transfer work do not apply toward the GPA at ACU. Transfer credit may not constitute more than 25 percent of the hours required for a degree. No grade below a “B” will be accepted in transfer. Graduate courses taken by correspondence may not be transferred to ACU.
If degree plans are changed during a program, the student is responsible to notify the Graduate School. Degree audits are conducted according to the catalog in effect at the time of enrollment. If problems arise, students are urged to confer with their advisors or, upon request of an advisor, with the dean of the Graduate School.
|Degree hours||Additional hours needed for second degree|
|41 or less hours||24 hours|
When combining two degrees, the larger of the two is the basis for calculation of hours required. Please note that these are minimum requirements for two degrees. Departments may have more stringent guidelines. For example in the Graduate School of Theology, no more than half of one degree can be counted toward a second degree. In any case, all requirements for both degrees must be met.
After students begin formal work on a thesis, they are expected to continue working on it each semester until it is completed and formally approved or until they terminate their graduate career at ACU. In order for theses to remain in an active status, students must enroll in Thesis each semester (usually fall and spring; summer only if completing) until completion of the thesis. Students must contact the Graduate School to enroll in Thesis. A maximum of 6 credit hours will be awarded for the thesis. Each subsequent registration will be for 0 credit hours, and the student will be charged a continuation fee equal to one hour of tuition at the current rate.
Students failing to maintain continuous registration must be re-admitted to ACU in order to continue and complete the requirements for the degree as stated in the current catalog. The thesis and course work must be completed within the degree time limit.
- A graduate student may retake a course only one time. The student must specify that the course is a repeat course at the time of registration.
- If a student withdraws from a “repeated” course, it may be taken again.
- A record of all occurrences of the course will appear on the transcript. Only the most recent grade will be counted in the cumulative GPA. The ability to retake a course may be limited by curriculum changes or by departmental policies.
- If the previous grade is a “C” or below, the grade will still count against the maximum number of low grades allowed for the degree.
|Hours||Hours of "C's" Allowed|
If a student receives a grade of “D” or “F” in a course, this may constitute grounds for probation or suspension. However, if a student is allowed to continue, not only must the course be retaken, but a “D” or “F” is counted against the limit of “C's” allowed in a program. Courses in which a student receives a grade of “D” or “F” may not be counted toward the degree.
In the case of suspension, a student may re-apply to the Graduate School after a reasonable length of time as determined in each case by the graduate dean and the department. The student must be able to provide evidence indicating future success. However, re-application does not guarantee admission. The graduate dean, consulting with the department, will decide whether the student should be re-admitted, and if so, whether special conditions should be required for re-admission.
When students are re-admitted after suspension, they are placed on probation for one semester and are not eligible for financial aid. If they do not make satisfactory progress that semester, they are required to withdraw from school.
The student is responsible for requesting and completing an “I” when applicable. A student who enrolls in a class and does not attend (or stops attending) but does not officially withdraw is assigned a failing grade for that class.
Petition forms are available in department offices or in the Graduate School. The student should state the request and provide any necessary supporting material. The form must first be submitted for approval to the graduate advisor, and then will be forwarded to the graduate dean for evaluation and consideration. Most of these requests will be presented to the Graduate Council for approval. The decision of the Graduate Council is final.
The information provided in this catalog is current as of April 2009. It is, however, subject to change without notice and does not constitute a contract between Abilene Christian University and a student or an applicant for admission.
The catalog is designed to make planning and scheduling a degree program as simple as possible. Additional help is available from several sources, such as the offices of the graduate dean, the college deans, department chairs and faculty advisors.
Each student at Abilene Christian University, however, is ultimately responsible for understanding and fulfilling all degree requirements.
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