Grading System and Academic Standards
Unofficial transcripts may be viewed by the student at any time using their official Coppin password and EagleLinks. Grades are available from the Office of the Registrar approximately three weeks after the close of each semester. The grading system for graduate students, with the quality points assigned, is as follows:
Academic success in graduate study requires that the student maintain a minimum overall "B" average. Students who fall below the required 3.00 cGPA will be placed on academic probation the following semester. Failure to bring the cumulative grade point average to the mandated 3.0 level during the semester the student is on probation will result in dismissal from the University.
No student may accrue more than two (2) "C"s or one (1) "F" during their graduate career at the University. A second "C" will result in academic probation and must be repeated. A third "C" will result in dismissal from the School of Graduate Studies. A course resulting in a grade of "F" must be re-taken the next semester when the course is again offered. Failure to do so may result in immediate dismissal from the University.
Students on probation or dismissal will not be allowed to advance to degree candidacy, be approved for the comprehensive examination, or graduate.
Students who fail to meet the minimum academic standard of at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the time allowed or have accumulated unsatisfactory grades in excess of the number allowed will be dismissed from their program of study. Appeals will be considered by the Graduate Council Appeals Committee when there exist documented mitigating circumstances. Appeals of this sort must be supported by the Program Advisor and Program Coordinator and accompanied by an action plan for completion of the program.
Students may apply for readmission after one calendar year [twelve (12) months] from the date of dismissal. An action plan must be developed in consultation with and approved by the Program Advisor, Program Coordinator and Chairperson and include a plan to overcome academic deficiencies and strategies for completing the program of study. The action plan and other supporting documents must be submitted with the application for re-admission to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Re-admitted students must meet requirements in the current catalog at the time of readmission.
Cumulative Grade Point Average Computation
To determine the academic average, (1) multiply the numerical value of each letter grade by the number of credit hours assigned to each course, and then (2) divide the sum of these products by the total number of credit hours.
The Dean's List
Students who complete at least fifteen (15) graduate credit hours with a cGPA of 3.8 or higher will be recognized as meeting the criteria for graduate honors and may be nominated for inclusion on the National Dean's List.
An instructor may enter a grade of "I" for students who have not, because of extenuating circumstances, completed all requirements at the end of the semester of involvement. If the "I" grade is not removed within eight (8) weeks into the following semester, the grade converts to an "F" or grade previously designated by the professor. No "I" grades are assigned for courses taken in the summer or winter sessions. Extensions of "I" grades will generally not be granted. In extenuating circumstances, a student who has received an "I" grade may petition the Dean for reconsideration provided there is sufficient documentation that extenuating circumstances exist.
To audit a course, students must have the consent of the instructor, register for the course, and pay the required tuition and fees. Under no circumstances may students receive credit for a course that has been audited, although the course may be repeated for credit with the approval of the advisor. Students cannot change from credit to audit after classes begin.
Students who receive a grade of "B" for a course may not repeat that course for credit. Students may, with the approval of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, repeat a course in which a grade of "C" is received. If a student receives a grade lower than the original grade when repeating a course, the most recently earned grade will take precedence. Whenever a course is repeated on a credit basis, the last grade and credits earned replace the previous grade in computing the grade point average; however, all entries remain a part of the student's permanent academic record. A course can be repeated only once.
Course attendance is an essential and intrinsic element of the educational process and a valid consideration in determining the grade a student receives. It is the responsibility of the instructor to stipulate the relevance of attendance to the evaluation process and final grade in the course at the beginning of each semester. Therefore, all students are expected to be in regular attendance at all class meetings throughout the semester.
In general, writing style and standards are determined by the discipline and program of study. Students should note the following:
- Examinations may include essay and short-answer questions. Students should be able to meet the minimum graduate level writing standard.
- All written work will be graded on quality and correctness, according to established criteria for grammar, spelling, mechanics and organization.
- Unless otherwise noted, written assignments are expected to follow APA (American Psychological Association) style.
It will be taken for granted that any work, oral or written that a student does for a course is his/her original work. Plagiarism includes any form of cheating on examinations, tests, or quizzes, and any unacknowledged/undocumented use of another's writing or ideas, published or unpublished. A student who plagiarizes may receive an "F" for the project. Plagiarism is a serious offense and may result in formal charges leading to permanent dismissal from the University.
Students are responsible for following the prerequisites indicated in the Graduate Catalog. General prerequisites pertain to all graduate students, while departmental prerequisites pertain to the students in a departmental major area of study. The major general prerequisites are:
- EDUC 581 - Statistics in Social and Behavioral Sciences or its equivalent is a prerequisite to EDUC 582 - Research Methods in the Social and Behavioral Sciences . Students must enroll in the section appropriate for their program of study. This course may be waived if the student completed an undergraduate course in statistics with a grade of "B" or better. This course does not count towards meeting credit requirements for the completion of a program of study.
- EDUC 582 is a prerequisite to the departmentally designated courses associated with Option I as follows: ADLT 600 - Seminar in Graduate Research ; CRJU 559 - Review and Evaluation of Criminal Justice Research ; REHB 509 - Seminar in Rehabilitation Research ; SPED 669 - Research Design and Program Evaluation in Special Education ; CUIN 609 - Seminar on Critical Issues in Teaching ; HSAD 698 - Research Practicum I: Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation ; and HSAD 699 - Research Practicum II: Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation .
Policy on Graduate Student Inter-Institutional Registration
It is the policy of the Coppin State University School of Graduate Studies to encourage graduate students enrolled at Coppin State University to avail themselves of course offerings, research facilities, and special faculty competencies at other institutions of the University System of Maryland. Therefore, degree-seeking graduate students at Coppin may, with the permission of the respective Program Coordinator and the Dean of Graduate Studies, pursue for credit at other institutions within the University System graduate courses to augment their degree programs. Ordinarily, students may earn no more than six (6) graduate credits total at another institution after receiving degree-seeking status.
In granting permission to pursue the opportunity afforded by this policy, significant factors to be considered may include but are not limited to:
- Availability of a similar or comparable course at the home institution within a reasonable time frame. Convenience is not an adequate justification.
- Possible enhancement of the student's overall program in a way not possible at the home institution, as by the existence at the host institution of a unique research or instructional facility, particular faculty expertise, or the availability of particular course not offered at the home institution.
- The level and content of the course, including the nature of prerequisite course work.
- Home institution: The institution to which the student is currently, formally admitted in an approved graduate degree program. The home institution will be responsible for admission, academic advising, grants of financial aid, the academic transcript and the awarding of the graduate degree. The student must maintain academic eligibility at the home institution.
- Host institution: The institution that registers the inter-institutional student for the inter-institutional course only and offers the course(s) taken as a visiting inter-institutional student. The host institution will provide, on a space available basis, access to courses, seminars, and research facilities. Use of the libraries, parking facilities, and emergency health care will be made on the same terms on which they are offered to graduate students at that institution.
Degree-seeking graduate students in good academic standing in approved graduate programs at USM institutions are eligible to participate in inter-institutional registration. Regulations governing the registration process for the Inter-Institutional Program may be obtained from Program Coordinators.
Graduate Program Regulations
Full-time graduate students pursue nine (9) credit hours of graduate course work during regular semesters. If a student desires to take more than nine (9) hours, he/she must obtain approval from the Dean of Graduate Studies. Part-time graduate students pursue three to eight (3-8) credit hours of graduate work during regular semesters.
Plan of Study and Advisement
A tentative Plan of Study should be developed in advance of or during the first semester of graduate study. The official Plan of Study must be presented to the Graduate Council with the application for Admission to Candidacy.
The tentative Plan of Study should be congruent with the academic and career goals of the student and determined in consultation with the advisor and Program Coordinator. It must include any courses that the student is required to complete as prerequisites to admission to that program of study, courses to strengthen research or communication skills, appropriate transfer credits, and all other requirements for the particular master's degree being pursued.
The official Plan of Study is the document used when students apply for Admission to Candidacy. It must include the following:
- All information contained in the tentative Plan of Study.
- All graduate courses taken by students (including transfer credits) with grades earned in each course.
- A list of the courses the student plans to take to complete the program.
- Any additional program requirements.
The plan is to be prepared by the student with the advisor or Program Coordinator's assistance and submitted to the Dean who then presents the plan of study and the student's application for Admission to Candidacy to the Graduate Council for approval. Graduate Council meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month during the academic year.
All graduate students are responsible for meeting the degree requirements specified in this Catalog. Since clear charting of a degree program is important, all incoming graduate students must contact the Program Coordinator as soon as possible to be assigned an advisor who will assist them in developing a plan of study. This must be done prior to registration, if possible, or within the first six (6) weeks of the first semester of study.
- All degree-seeking students must complete a minimum of twenty-one (21) credit hours on the Coppin State University Campus.
- All master's degree-seeking students must complete the degree program within five (5) years from the date of their first enrollment with degree status, unless this limitation is waived.
- Doctoral students must complete the degree program within seven (7) years from the date of their first enrollment with degree status.
- Regular full-time students must complete a minimum of nine (9) credit hours per semester.
- No student can complete a degree program in less than one (1) year of full-time study.
Independent study may be taken at any time with the permission of the advisor, the Program Coordinator, and the faculty member who is to supervise the study; however, it should be delayed until after the advisor and the Program Coordinator have approved a final Plan of Study. No more than three (3) credits of independent study may be taken in one semester. A minimum of forty-five (45) clock hours is required for each three (3) hours of credit. A verification log is to be submitted as documentation with the final report of the study.
Independent study may be:
- A critical review of the literature on a given problem or topic of interest;
- A curriculum analysis of a problem or issue;
- The design and development of original professional material for children/clientele;
- A detailed study of an approved policy;
- A directed essay on a systematic research methodology;
- Other tasks approved by the advisor, and Program Coordinator.
Students engaged in independent study must schedule advisement and consultation meetings with the faculty member supervising their study. There is no maximum number of meetings; however, there is a minimum of three (3) meetings:
- A planning meeting;
- A meeting to ascertain the progress of the study;
- A meeting for submission of the final report and an oral review of the study by the student.
The nature of the study will determine how many additional meetings may be necessary.
To obtain approval to register for independent study, the student must first initiate a discussion with his/her program advisor and identify a faculty member, who may be the advisor or any other appropriate professor, who has agreed to supervise the study. An Independent Study Proposal of not more than four (4) pages must be submitted to the Dean's Office within the first week of the semester. The proposal should include the following:
- A clear statement of the topic(s) to be studied;
- A rationale for the study, i.e., how it will contribute to the growth of knowledge;
- A tentative calendar for completion, including a plan for meeting with the faculty supervisor;
- Reference sources to be read, persons to be interviewed, etc.;
- A brief description of the end product;
- Credit expected with justification [one to three (1-3) credit hours must be verified].
The required end product of an independent study is a scholarly paper or product appropriate to the study, to be graded by the supervising faculty member. The study must be completed and the grade submitted to the Registrar within the semester of study. A student may not receive an incomplete grade for Independent Study.
No more than three (3) students may undertake "joint" independent study. Each student must clock in the minimum required number of hours per credit. If more than three (3) students are interested in a topic, a regular class should be requested.
Independent study cannot be substituted for one of the two research and examination options and may not be waived as a requirement for graduation.
To receive credit for independent study, students must complete the Independent Study Request Form, which must be signed by the advisor, faculty supervisor, Program Coordinator and Dean prior to registration. Only students with degree-seeking status are eligible to take independent study.
Research and Examination Options
Students enrolled in the Master of Education, Master of Science or Master of Arts in Teaching degree programs may elect one of the following two options in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements:
Option I: Comprehensive Examination and Research Paper
Graduate degree students may elect to take a comprehensive examination and complete a research paper as an integral part of a departmentally identified three-credit course.
The following are the research courses required by the departments offering M.A.T./M.Ed./M.S. degrees under Option I:
To be eligible for the above courses, students must be in good academic standing, have been advanced to degree candidacy, have permission of the advisor and be within the last twelve (12) credit hours of graduate study.
Graduate degree students must be presently enrolled in the graduate program to be eligible to take the comprehensive examination.
Option II: Thesis
Graduate degree students who elect to write a thesis must take six (6) credit hours in thesis research and writing, which may be part of the existing credit requirements for the degree. Each student's major advisor will be the faculty supervisor for these courses.
A Thesis Committee will be established prior to enrollment in the second thesis course. It will be composed of three (3) members: the major advisor (who serves as chairperson), one (1) member from the student's major department, and one (1) member from the graduate faculty outside of the student's major department selected by the student after consultation with and approval by the major advisor. The student also has the right to request the appointment of an outstanding practitioner in the field of study as the third member of the committee, providing that the individual holds a doctorate and is approved by the major advisor.
- Adult Education and Special Education
- Criminal Justice
- Rehabilitation Counseling
- Master of Arts in Teaching
- CUIN 610 Thesis Project II (3)
- Family Nurse Practitioner
To be eligible for the above courses, students must be in good standing, have been advanced to degree candidacy, have permission of the advisor and be within the last twelve (12) hours of graduate study.
Note: Completion of Thesis Project I with a grade of "B" or higher is a requirement for enrollment in Thesis Project II.
Option III: Comprehensive exam only
Graduate Students Academic Advisement
Graduate students are required to report to their Program Coordinator or Associate Dean for the assignment of an academic advisor. This faculty person will advise the student on a program of study, prepare the Application for Degree Candidacy and complete the student's Graduation and Certification Approval Application for graduation