Graduate General Regulations
In addition to the General Academic Policies and Procedures, the following policies apply to graduate students and graduate programs.
- Master’s Degrees
- Dropping and Adding Courses
- Withdrawal from a Course
- Administrative Drop
- Administrative Course Withdrawal
- Withdrawal from the University
- Leave of Absence
- Time Limits
- Transfer Credit
- Concurrent Master's Degrees
- Second Master's Degrees
- Challenge of Courses
- Independent Study
- Grading System
- Auditing Courses
- Interim Post Baccalaureate Standing
- Articulated Programs
- Graduate Teaching Assistantship
- Changing from One Graduate Program to Another
- Program Termination
- Catalog of Graduation
- Advancement to Candidacy
- Completion of Requirements for the Master's Degree
- Participation in Graduation
- Graduate Commencement Speaker
- Satisfactory Performance
- Academic Probation
The University offers five master’s degrees:
- The Master of Arts in Art Therapy, Art Therapy/Marriage and Family Therapy, Education, English, School Administration, and Special Education
- The Master in Business Administration
- The Master of Fine Arts in Musical Performance
- The Master of Public Administration
- The Master of Science in Clinical Psychology, Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy/Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling, Computer and Information Science, and Management.
Information and instructions concerning registration are distributed by the Registrar's Office. Students must arrange for an advising appointment with their program advisor.
For continuing students, Advance Registration for courses takes place in the preceding semester. A student who advance registers must pay tuition or make payment arrangements with the Business Office by a specified date. If payment or arrangements are not made by the specified date, the Advance Registration is canceled, and the student must make arrangements for payment and re-register at Final Registration.
Final Registration (for new students and continuing students who do not advance register) takes place immediately preceding the opening of classes each semester. Failure to comply with the procedures specified by the Registrar for registration, changes in course registrations (Drop/Add), or withdrawal from a course may result in denial of credit and a failing grade.
A graduate student may not add a class after the class has met for three hours without the signature of both the advisor and the course instructor. A student's acceptance into a class at this late date is at the discretion of the instructor. In order to add the course, the student needs to do the following:
- Pick up the Drop/Add form from the Registrar's Office
- Obtain the instructor's signature
- Obtain the advisor's signature (the instructor's signature must be provided before the advisor signs off)
- Return the signed form to the Registrar's Office
Please see Business Office pages for Drop Policy.
A graduate student may request a withdrawal from a class following the drop deadline up to but not including the last class by submitting a withdrawal form or a letter to the Registrar stating the circumstances of the withdrawal; a "W" will appear on the transcript. Discontinuance of attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.
A student who is registered for a regular 15-week or seven-week course who does not attend the class before Status Day will be administratively dropped unless the student makes arrangements with the instructor prior to the first day of class. Status Day is generally the third Tuesday of the semester or term – refer to the Office of the Registrar for dates. A student who believes that an error has been made regarding an administrative drop should contact the instructor.
Note: Administrative drop does not apply to courses other than 15-week and seven-week courses.
A student who is registered for a course and has attended at least one class meeting but who does not attend the course for two consecutive weeks during which course meetings are scheduled may be administratively withdrawn from the course. Administrative course withdrawals take place after the drop deadline and before the withdrawal deadline relevant to the course. A student who believes that an error has been made regarding an administrative course withdrawal should contact the instructor.
A student has “completely withdrawn from the University” when he/she attends for some portion of a semester and then drops or withdraws from all courses in that semester. Students who wish to withdraw from the University during a semester must complete a withdrawal form at the Registrar’s Office. Following receipt of written notification of withdrawal, any refund due will be disbursed according to the applicable refund policy.
Students with a leave of absence who return to the University within two calendar years will be reactivated under their original catalog of record at the discretion of the Advisor.
Students who return to the University after two years must reapply and be admitted under the current catalog of record by the Office of Enrollment. Any exception is at the discretion of the Advisor in consultation with the Dean.
Students who return to the University after two years with a different major must reapply and be admitted under the current catalog of record by the Office of Enrollment. Any exception is at the discretion of the Advisor in consultation with the Dean.
All degree work must be completed within seven years from the beginning of the term of admission to the master's program unless state licensure requirements are more restrictive. For example, a student who began his/her degree work at the start of the Fall term in 2005 must complete all requirements by the end of the Summer term in 2012. Additionally, any units of credit used to satisfy unit requirements within a master's degree program whether earned at NDNU or transferred from another accredited institution must have been earned within the seven-year period prior to the date on which the master's degree is to be awarded.
All certificate work must be completed within five years from the beginning of the term of admission to the certificate program.
The University does not set time limits on credential work, but students are subject to any state requirements that may apply.
A maximum of 6 semester units of graduate credit toward a 30-45 unit master's program or 9 semester units of graduate credit toward a 50-53 unit master's program may be transferred from other accredited institutions at the discretion of the department chair/program director/advisor. Only three of those semester units may be from graduate extension courses and the student must earn a 3.0 or higher in each course. No continuing education or workshop units may be transferred. Units for research courses and research projects are not transferable. Transferred units must have been earned within the seven-year period prior to the date on which the NDNU master's degree is awarded.
A student who wishes to take a course at another accredited institution after the student has been accepted to a graduate program at Notre Dame de Namur University must have the course approved in writing by his/her department chair/program director/advisor before registering. The transfer course form must be completed before the course is taken. All transferred units must be within the seven-year limit of the master's degree. A student cannot clear Probationary status through transfer units. Career experience cannot be substituted for graduate course work.
A graduate student may not simultaneously pursue two master's degrees. However, the School of Education offers students the possibility of enrolling concurrently in some master’s and credential programs. Contact Dr. Kim Tolley, Program Director, (650) 508-3464 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for additional information regarding this opportunity. The School of Education, in conjunction with the School of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences, also offers students the possibility of enrolling concurrently in some credential programs while pursuing a master's degree outside the School of Education. For more information, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at (650) 508-3600 or email@example.com.
A student wishing to pursue a second master's degree may transfer a maximum of 6 units of master's level work into a 30-45 unit program or 9 units into a 50-53 unit program. The transferability must be deemed appropriate and is at the discretion of the department chair or program director. Research courses and research projects are not transferable. The transferred units must have been earned within the seven-year period prior to the date on which the NDNU master's degree is to be awarded.
Courses that are part of a master's or credential program's core courses cannot be challenged by examination. A student may, however, challenge (one time) a prerequisite/foundation course after discussing the reasons for the challenge with the department chair or program director and completing the appropriate challenge form obtained from the Registrar's Office. The student pays $100 per unit before taking the challenge exam. If a student does not pass the challenge with a 3.0 (B) or better, he/she must take the full course at NDNU or elsewhere. Only successful results of challenge exams are recorded on the transcript.
Independent Study will be permitted only in special circumstances as outlined in the Policy and Procedures for Independent Study summarized below.
Independent Study is individual study or research under the direction of an instructor. It is open only to matriculated students and is generally available only for upper-division and graduate work. The maximum number of units of Independent Study in a graduate degree program is 6. In cases involving a combination of transfer and independent study units, no more than 6 units in either category may be granted nor more than 9 units in combination.
Final approval of Independent study credit rests with the Dean of each school. The contract must be presented at the time of registration and must be completed by the Add deadline of the semester or term in which the Independent Study is to be undertaken.
Independent Study may be taken under either optional or required circumstances. Independent Study may not be used to report a course.
- The student wishes to pursue individual, creative research at the institution or in the field.
- The student wishes to investigate new career opportunities.
- The student has 1 or 2 units remaining in a requirement and wishes to complete the requirement through Independent Study.
- Independent Study is required as part of a program.
- A required course is not offered again before the student would normally graduate.
Two forms are required to register for Independent Study:
1. A properly completed Registration Form
2. A separate Independent Study Contract with all required signatures, including the School Dean’s. The contract must be completed by the Add deadline of the semester or term in which the Independent Study is to be undertaken.
It is the student's responsibility to have all sections of both forms completed before submitting them to the Registrar's Office. An independent study may not be used to repeat a failing grade.
Notre Dame de Namur University determines the graduate student's progress by assessing the academic and professional behavior of the student by means of letter grades. The grade point average is computed on a four-point system:
Grade Points Per Unit
*Requires a B+ in another class of equal unit value.
**Requires an A- in another class of equal unit value.
***Requires an A in another class of equal unit value.
Grades Not Used in Computing the Grade Point Average:
AU Audit AW Administrative Course Withdrawal
I Incomplete IP In Progress
NP Not Pass P Pass (equivalent grade "C" or higher)
In the case of the Research Thesis Course, an IP for "In Progress" is assigned at the end of the semester of registration and the research must be completed within 12 months after that date. Failure to complete the Research within the 12-month time frame will result in a NP (Not Pass) grade for the course, and the course must be repeated at full tuition. An exception is when, at the discretion of the research advisor, the student is considered to be very near completion (weeks not months); the student will be allowed to register and pay for 1 or 2 units. If the thesis is still not complete at the end of the extended period, the full 3-unit course must be repeated.
An "Incomplete" may be given to a student who has maintained satisfactory attendance and work throughout most of a course, including Independent Study, but due to extraordinary circumstances is unable to complete the required work by the end of the semester/session in which the course was taken. The Incomplete grade is to be replaced by a final grade within a period not to exceed one calendar year from the date on which the Incomplete was assigned unless the instructor specifies a lesser time period. There will be no extension granted for clearing the Incomplete beyond this specified time period. Once the Incomplete has been changed to a terminal letter grade, no grade changes are accepted. Either the instructor or the student may initiate a grade of Incomplete. The "Request for an Incomplete Grade" form is available from the Registrar's Office. On this form, the instructor specifies the work to be completed, the deadline for completion, and the default grade.
An Incomplete grade will be recorded only if the form is completely filled out, signed by the student and the instructor, and submitted to the Registrar no later than the due date for instructors' regular grade sheets. It is the student's responsibility to verify with the instructor whether he/she will be available to complete the evaluation of the course within the specified time period, to maintain contact with the instructor, to complete the course work, and to verify that the instructor submitted a final grade to the Registrar's Office. If the course work specified on the Incomplete Grade form is not completed in accordance with the above policy, the grade will be converted to the default grade. Students will not be allowed to graduate with an "Incomplete" on the transcript.
All grades except Incomplete ("I") and In Progress ("IP") are considered final when assigned by an instructor at the end of a semester. If a clerical error has been made that can be documented, an instructor may submit a petition for a grade change within one semester of the issuance of the grade to the Registrar's Office. Full supporting documentation must accompany the petition, including instructor signature.
Students may request a review and appeal of their grade to the instructor, including material marked by class assignments within 10 working days following posting of grades. Review is taken to include, but is not limited to, inspections of the final examination and any written materials that influence the grade. It should be understood that a reviewed grade may be raised or lowered. The instructor shall ordinarily issue their decision regarding the student’s grade within 10 working days of the start of the next semester. If the student believes that the results of the review are not satisfactory, he/she may appeal in writing to the Department Chair/Program Director within 10 working days of receipt of the review. The Department Chair/Program Director will review the case, including a written statement from the instructor within 10 working days of receipt of the student’s appeal.
If the case is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction at this point in the process, he/she may request that the Department Chair/Program Director refer the matter to the Dean for final resolution. For this matter to be considered, the request must be received within 10 working days following the communication of findings by the Department Chair/Program Director to the student. The Dean may, in the case of graduate students, choose to form a committee of disinterested members to consider these statements together with such papers and examinations contributing to the questioned grade and provide a recommendation to the instructor. The decision of the Dean shall ordinarily be issued within 10 working days and is final. This procedure does not apply when a grade is being appealed because of alleged academic misconduct.
Students may access grades online after they are submitted by instructors. Grades are not released over the telephone because the caller cannot be properly identified as required by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).
A student must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in graduate courses in order to remain in good standing. A course with less than a grade of "C" (2.0) must be repeated. Check with advisor or program director regarding grading standards/criteria in your department/program. With the exception of research courses, all courses taken to improve the GPA may be repeated only once. All grades, whether repeated or not, will appear on the student's transcript, but only the higher grade will be used to compute the GPA. Courses that are transferred into a graduate program or courses with a prefix of 6000 are not computed in the cumulative GPA.
Regularly enrolled students may, with permission of the instructor and the program director, enroll as auditors in certain classes. There is no reduced tuition rate for graduate-level auditors. Classes that are audited are not taken for academic credit and may not be changed to credit after the Drop/Add deadline. The extent of participation of an auditor is determined by the instructor.
Notre Dame de Namur University undergraduate students in their final semester and within 6 units of completing a baccalaureate degree may complete a petition from the Registrar to take up to 6 units of graduate course work. The student must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. This graduate course work may not be applied to the baccalaureate degree. Graduate standing and acceptance into a credential, certificate, or master's degree program must be attained before such units can be applied to a graduate program. Acceptance of such units is at the discretion of the appropriate department chair or program director.
Notre Dame de Namur University offers articulation agreements between undergraduate and graduate degree programs in fields where graduate study is compatible with an undergraduate degree program. For more information, see Undergraduate Policies and Procedures.
A teaching assistant is a student who has demonstrated scholarship, leadership, and
competency within a graduate program and is selected to serve as an assistant to the instructor of a graduate course. The student must have a GPA of 3.8 in graduate study and be advanced to candidacy. A Teaching Assistantship is noted on the transcript except if it is part of the degree program as in the MA-English program.
A student who wishes to transfer from the credential program to any master's degree program or from one master's program to another must submit a new application. New references may be required. The Graduate Admission Office may not require resubmission of all documents; check with that office for details. The student will receive a notice of acceptance or rejection into the new program.
When enrollment in a program becomes too low or the University decides to phase out a program, a student may be redirected to another program, be asked to complete courses as they are offered at NDNU, transfer in courses from another accredited institution, or finally, transfer to another accredited institution.
Students are bound by requirements in effect as of their term of admission. Students remaining in continuous registered attendance at NDNU may elect to meet graduation requirements in effect either at their term of admission or at the time of graduation. If the University determines that changes in requirements are essential for certification or competency in the academic or professional discipline, those changes in program requirements shall be mandatory for all students whose degrees have not yet been awarded.
Advancement to candidacy is a traditional step in a master's degree program designed to evaluate the student's progress and to determine the student's capability and suitability to complete the requirements for the degree.
Advancement to candidacy depends upon the student's attaining a minimum 3.0 GPA in the first 15 semester units of course work taken for graduate credit and meeting any other requirements specified by the particular program. Other requirements include, but are not limited to, satisfactory completion of prerequisite/foundation courses, English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, program-specified evaluative reviews and examinations, and proof of professional suitability. The Registrar's Office automatically evaluates students when they reach 15 units. The decision to advance a student to candidacy is made with input from the appropriate Program Director. An exception may apply pending approval of the Program Chair and the Dean.
Acceptance into a graduate program does not automatically qualify a student for candidacy for the degree.
The degree is awarded upon the satisfactory completion of all requirements for the particular program, including a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all work done in the program.
It is the student's responsibility to file a Master's Degree Graduation Application (available from the Registrar's Office) no later than deadlines published in the Academic Calendar: May and August candidates should file by the previous October 1; and December candidates should file their application for graduation by the previous March 1.
In those master's programs in which a graduate thesis/research project is required, two copies of the document are required and are forwarded to the School Dean: one is catalogued in the NDNU Library and the other is distributed to the student's department. A reader fee must be paid to the Business Office at the time the thesis is submitted. Transcripts and diplomas are not issued until all accounts and records are cleared to the satisfaction of the Business Office.
Students who have finished all their degree requirements in the previous Summer session or Fall semester or are finishing in the current Spring semester may take part in graduation ceremonies.
Exceptions to this policy are as follows:
Master's students may petition to participate in Commencement if they meet the following conditions:
- They have 3 or fewer units remaining to complete their program.
- These 3 units are not required Research units.
- The remaining units will be completed by the end of Fall session following commencement.
Credential students may petition to participate in Commencement if they meet the following conditions:
- They have 6 or fewer units in statutory requirement classes remaining to complete their program.
- The remaining units will be completed by the end of Fall session following commencement.
A representative of each graduating class is selected to address the graduates at Commencement. Selection is made by a committee that comprises faculty, staff, and students. The criteria for eligibility are:
- A minimum GPA in all university work attempted (at Notre Dame de Namur University and other institutions) of 3.9
- A maximum of six transfer credits from other institutions
- Expected completion of all work before the graduation ceremonies
- Outstanding writing and speaking skills
Only those applicants who show promise of success and fitness will be admitted to a graduate degree program. Once admitted, students whose performance in a graduate degree curriculum is judged to be unsatisfactory may be required to complete a remedial course of action, engage in a forced Leave of Absence, or Withdraw at the sole discretion of the University.
Any student accepted on academic probation who fails to make a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in the first 6 semester units must contact his/her advisor or program director regarding policies on clearing probation. Licensure policies may vary.
Any student who fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in work taken for graduate credit at the end of a semester will be placed on first-time academic probation. The student must meet with his/her advisor or program director to devise a plan to regain clear academic standing.
Any student on academic probation who subsequently fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in work taken for credit will be placed on second academic probation. (Check with advisor or program director. Licensure policies may prohibit a second term of academic probation.)
Any student on second academic probation who subsequently, in any semester, fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in work taken for graduate credit will be disqualified.
No graduate degree will be conferred upon a student whose cumulative GPA is below 3.0 in work taken for graduate credit after completing the units required in the program. A student may petition in writing to add 6 or fewer additional units in the following semester to regain clear standing. Failure to petition within 30 calendar days after grades are posted results in disqualification.
A student on probation may not transfer units to clear probation; clearance from probation must be achieved through course work done at Notre Dame de Namur University.
Any one of the following conditions justifies disqualification from the Notre Dame de Namur University graduate programs:
- Evidence of academic failure in any semester
- Failure to regain clear standing after a period of academic probation
- Failure to meet the standards set for candidacy
- Failure to complete a master's degree program within seven years
- Failure to complete a certificate program within five years
- Failure to meet professional standards required by the specific degree, credential, or certificate program
- Violation of the written Code of Student Conduct found in the University's Student Handbook
- Failure to satisfy financial obligations to the University at the end of the semester
The Deans, in consultation with appropriate University officials, may issue notices of disqualification to students for any of the reasons listed above. Students who have been disqualified may not enroll in graduate courses at NDNU.