Aug 17, 2018  
2013-2014 Bulletin 
    
2013-2014 Bulletin [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION]

Office of Graduate Studies



www.usi.edu/graduatestudies; 812/465-7015

The Office of Graduate Studies, located on the first floor of the Orr Center (OC 1060), serves graduate students and graduate faculty whose primary goals are the advancement of scholarship, research, and creative activity. It is through the encouragement and support of these goals that the institution contributes to the development of knowledge and the professional preparation of its graduate students.

Face-to-face, distance, and hybrid instruction through formal directed study, seminars, and independent research provides graduate students with ample opportunities to acquire advanced knowledge. Programs are designed to improve the students’ professional and scholarly abilities.

The primary responsibilities of the Office of Graduate Studies are to maintain and enhance the quality of graduate programs and to facilitate research and creative activity. The University Graduate Council, the legislative and administrative body for graduate programs of the University, sets policies and regulations governing graduate work. The University Graduate Council in conjunction with the college-level graduate councils conduct the business of the faculty having to do specifically with graduate education, including development, direction, and implementation of graduate programs.

Accreditation and Affiliation

The University is approved to offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice and master’s level degrees by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), 30 North LaSalle, Suite 2400, Chicago, Illinois 60602, telephone 312/263-0456, and is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools and the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools.

Graduate Degrees

The University has authorization to confer the following graduate degrees: Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Arts in Communication, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Master of Business Administration, Master of Health Administration, Master of Public Administration, Master of Science in Accountancy, Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Industrial Management, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, and Master of Social Work.

Graduate Academic Fields

Business Nursing and Health Professions Science, Engineering, and Education
  Business Administration   Acute Care Nurse Practitioner   Industrial Management
Liberal Arts   Family Nurse Practitioner   Elementary Education
  Communication   Health Administration   Secondary Education
  Liberal Studies   Nursing Educator   Educational Leadership
  Public Administration   Nursing Management & Leadership Post-baccalaureate certificate
  Social Work   Occupational Therapy   Health Professions Education
      Health Professions Management

Admission

Admission to Graduate Studies

All requests concerning admission to graduate study should be addressed to the following office:

Office of Graduate Studies
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, Indiana 47712
812/465-7015
Email: gssr@usi.edu
Web site: www.usi.edu/graduatestudies/

Application for admission must be made using the online form or official application forms provided by the Office of Graduate Studies. All application credentials become the property of the University and are not returned to the student.

Initial Steps by Applicants

A student seeking admission to graduate study must submit the following materials to the Office of Graduate Studies.

  • All requested application materials, including a completed application form available online at www.usi.edu/graduatestudies/admission-to-graduate-programs, accompanied by a $40 non-refundable one-time graduate application fee made payable to USI, at least one month prior to entry date sought. Some programs require an earlier submission date.
  • One official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended (any schools other than USI). Transcripts and other educational records are official if the issuing institution sends them directly to the Office of Graduate Studies. Failure to submit official transcripts from every institution will impede admission. Coursework from one institution reported as transfer credit on another school’s transcript does not constitute an official transcript.
  • All other admission credentials required by the particular program for which admission is sought.

Regular Admission Requirements

The following standards have been established for regular admission to a program of graduate study leading to the master’s degree.

  • Graduation with a bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (Some programs have a higher admission standard. Check the specific program description) from a college or university accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools or a comparable association.
  • A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in all courses taken at the graduate level at all schools attended.
  • An undergraduate record that provides adequate preparation to begin graduate study.
  • Satisfactory performance on the Graduate Record Examination, PRAXIS test, or Graduate Management Admissions Test when required.
  • Any other requirements for admission that have been established and approved by the University Graduate Council.

Conditional Admission

Admission to graduate study on a conditional basis may be granted. One or more of the following factors may be involved when conditional admission is granted

  • A student who has undergraduate deficiencies in the area in which graduate work is desired may be granted conditional admission to graduate study. Undergraduate work needed to make up deficiencies may be a necessary part of the student’s program. Such work will not carry graduate credit, nor will it count as credit toward a graduate degree. In general, graduate-level courses taken to make up deficiencies will not apply toward the minimum number of hours required for the degree.
  • University seniors who qualify for enrollment in a limited amount of graduate work may be granted conditional admission.
  • The student whose preparation, academic record, or program requirements do not merit regular admission may be granted conditional admission.
  • Students admitted conditionally must receive a B average in their first six hours in the graduate program. A student admitted conditionally who earns an Incomplete in the first two courses must remove the Incomplete before enrolling in additional coursework.

Admission Requirements for International Students

International students are subject to all requirements for admission to graduate studies. Application for admission should be made at least six months prior to the date of anticipated enrollment. Admission credentials must include

  • an application for admission;
  • payment of the application fee; and
  • official academic records.

Submit an official and certified course-by-course evaluation conducted by an international credential evaluation service of all academic records attesting to the completion of undergraduate and graduate work (if necessary) to the Office of Graduate Studies. The records should show a complete list of courses taken, grades received, and any diplomas or certificates earned. They should also state the number of credits awarded for each course or the number of hours of classroom, lecture, and laboratory for each course.

Transcripts and other educational records are official only if the issuing institution, government officer, or evaluation service sends them directly to the Office of Graduate Studies. Course work from one institution reported as transfer credit on the transcript of another institution does not constitute an official transcript.

Verification of English competency

English competency is established by achievement of a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or 79 on the Internet`-based TOEFL or six on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test. All foreign-born applicants whose primary spoken language is not English must provide official test scores before being admitted; these scores must be less than two years old. Official test results should be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies at the time of application.

Exception: International students whose native language is English or who have graduated from an American university in which the language of instruction is English are not required to demonstrate language proficiency. Information about the TOEFL administration dates and registration procedure may be obtained from TOEFL Services, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6151, USA; telephone 609/771-7100. The web address is www.toefl.org.

Non-degree Status/Special Student Admission

Students who hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited institution and wish to take graduate course work for credit may take up to six hours before they must be admitted to a program. Students wishing to apply for this status must submit necessary application credentials and the one-time non-refundable $40 graduate application fee payable to USI and be approved for admission by the appropriate department/college and by the director of Graduate Studies. Official transcripts are required of all undergraduate and graduate course work
attempted. Have each registrar send transcripts directly to the Office of Graduate Studies, USI, 8600 University Boulevard, Evansville, IN 47712-3596. The Graduate Studies office must receive the transcripts by the end of the first semester the student is enrolled in graduate course work.

Special Student Guest Admission

A student in good standing in any regionally accredited graduate school who wishes to enroll in graduate courses for credit for the purpose of transferring this credit to his or her graduate school may be admitted under the category of Special Student Guest Admission. This admission is valid for only one semester or one summer term but may be renewed any number of times upon reapplication. Students wishing to apply for this status must submit necessary application credentials and the one-time non-refundable $40 graduate application fee payable to USI and be approved for admission by the appropriate department/college and by the director of Graduate Studies. Official transcripts are required of all undergraduate and graduate course work attempted. Have each registrar send transcripts directly to the Office of Graduate Studies, USI, 8600 University Boulevard, Evansville, IN 47712-3596.

The University assumes no responsibility for the transfer of graduate work to any other university. The student should ascertain transferability of credit with the degree-granting institution prior to enrolling at the University of Southern Indiana.

University Seniors

A senior student at the University with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher who is enrolled in his/her last semester of undergraduate work may be granted conditional admission to enroll in a limited amount of graduate course work.

Residence Classification for Fee Purposes

In-state residence requires a bona fide permanent domicile in excess of 12 months. Holders of degrees from the University who at the time of graduation were residents of the State of Indiana shall, for the purpose of subsequent registrations in the University, be classified as residents of Indiana. Physical presence in Indiana for the predominant purpose of attending a college, university, or other institution of higher education, shall not be counted in determining the 12-month period of residence. The Office of Graduate Studies can answer questions regarding residence classification.

Students who are not residents of the State of Indiana must pay non-resident fees for on-campus study.

Graduate Financial Assistance

Student financial assistance includes scholarships, loans, assistantships, and student employment under the Work Study program.

Application for Financial Assistance

To have financial assistance processed in a timely manner and to be considered for all types of assistance, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to March 10 proceeding the academic year for which aid is being requested. The academic year begins in fall and ends in summer.

While the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) covers fall through the following summer, summer aid requires special processing. The summer is the same length as a regular semester and has the same enrollment requirements. Half-time is a minimum of four credit hours. Stafford loans and many private loans require at least half-time enrollment.

A separate Stafford Loan request form is required for summer. Since eligibility for most programs depends on how much aid was used during the past academic year, it is recommended that students meet with their financial aid counselors to determine summer eligibility for financial assistance before summer registration.

Summer Work Study is available for both enrolled and non-enrolled students. Non-enrolled students must be registered for the upcoming fall semester. Students may work full-time during periods of non-enrollment but a percentage of earnings from these periods will be used to meet students’ need in the upcoming academic year. Thus summer employment can reduce students’ eligibility for certain programs during the academic year.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available online at www.fafsa.gov.

Write or call for more information.

Student Financial Assistance Office
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN 47712-3597
www.usi.edu/finaid/
Email: finaid@usi.edu
812/464-1767
800/467-1965

Transfer Students

Students who have attended another college within a three-month period prior to enrolling at USI must have their records checked on the National Student Loan Data System by USI staff before aid may be disbursed. All transfer students must have final academic transcripts evaluated. Mid-year transfers can expect delays in Stafford Loan processing due to final transcripts arriving after the start of the semester.

Enrollment Status/Credit Level

To be considered a full-time graduate student for the purpose of receiving most financial aid requires that the student be enrolled in required graduate courses totaling at least eight credit hours during each semester including summer. A load of four credit hours of graduate course work during a semester is the minimum amount for consideration as a half-time graduate student.

NOTE: Assistance may be reduced for less than full-time enrollment. Assistance may be withdrawn for less than halftime enrollment. Only credits which are required for successful completion of the student’s degree program may be counted in the determination of enrollment status. Students who receive aid for courses which are not required for graduation will be directed to repay all or a portion of such aid. Scholarship recipients are responsible for knowing and complying with the rules specific to each scholarship program.

Financial Responsibility

Students must be prepared to pay that portion of their tuition and fees not covered by financial aid. The Bursar’s Office offers an installment payment plan that utilizes multiple payments during an extended time period. An additional processing fee is assessed.

Most types of aid will appear as a credit against tuition and fees on the bill sent prior to the start of classes. Some aid types, such as Work Study, require special procedures and will not appear on the tuition bill. Memo aid that appears on the bill, such as student loans, may be deducted from total tuition and fees. Students should contact their Student Financial Assistance counselor if they have questions about these procedures.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

A graduate student who receives financial assistance for attendance at the University of Southern Indiana must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the achievement of his/her degree. While certain institutional scholarship and grant programs have more stringent requirements, this policy sets the minimum standards for evaluating satisfactory academic progress for graduate level federal and state financial assistance programs.

Enrollment in Graduate Program

Financial aid recipients must take only courses which apply to their graduate program. Prerequisite undergraduate courses do not count toward enrollment status for graduate level financial assistance. Students enrolled in pre-requisite classes may qualify for senior class (undergraduate level) Stafford Loan limits for a maximum of 12 months. In these special cases, the completion rate and minimum cumulative grade point average of this policy apply. Special students and guest students are not eligible for financial assistance.

Cumulative Grade Point Average

Financial aid recipients are required to maintain a minimum GPA as they progress toward achievement of their degree. Graduate and prerequisite students will be evaluated as follows:

  • New prerequisite students must be taking only classes that are required prerequisites OR a combination of required prerequisite classes and graduate-level courses needed for the intended major. Courses must be approved by their graduate advisor and a copy of the approval must be submitted to the Student Financial Assistance office before the first term begins.
  • New graduate students must be admitted to Graduate Studies in a specific degree program.
  • Transfer graduate students must have minimum transfer GPA of 3.0 and be admitted to Graduate Studies in specific degree program.
  • Continuing and readmission graduate students must have minimum USI graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 and be in “good standing” as a graduate student in a specific major.
  • NOTE: Certain courses (e.g., business courses numbered 501) do not automatically produce a graduate GPA. GPA from such courses will be manually calculated to determine financial aid eligibility.

Successful Completion Rate

Students’ overall successful completion rate is evaluated each semester. Students who have successfully completed a minimum of 67 percent of all attempted hours, and otherwise comply with the SAP policy, are considered to be making financial assistance satisfactory academic progress. Note that overall attempted hours include prerequisite hours required for the graduate program and transfer hours accepted into the graduate program.

Students whose overall successful completion rate falls below 67 percent will be placed on financial aid probation. Students placed on probation have one semester in which to establish a 67 percent successful completion rate for all courses appearing on the USI academic transcript. Failure to establish at least a 67 percent overall successful completion rate by the end of the probationary term will result in suspension of financial aid eligibility. Note: Courses in which a passing grade is earned are considered successfully completed. Courses in which a failing grade, no pass grade, incomplete, or withdrawal is assigned are not successfully completed.

Exceptions to the Completion Rate Rule

A student who receives financial assistance and fails to earn academic credit will have aid eligibility suspended at the end of the term. This includes students who withdraw from the term after receiving financial assistance.

Maximum time frame

Graduate students are limited to a maximum number of attempted credits (including transfer graduate credits and survey courses - e.g., business courses numbered 501) in pursuit of a master’s degree. Federal regulations limit a student to 150 percent of the published time frame for a particular program. This limit imposes the following maximum attempted hours for the majors listed.

  • Maximum Attempted Hours 49: Industrial Management; Liberal Studies; Accounting; and Secondary Education
  • Maximum Attempted Hours 59: Elementary Education; Health Administration; Public Administration; Social Work advanced standing; Nursing Management & Leadership; Nursing Education; Clinical Nurse Specialist; and Occupational Therapy
  • Maximum Attempted Hours 63: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Maximum Attempted Hours 68: Business Administration
  • Maximum Attempted Hours 92: Social Work–two-year and three-year

Students pursuing second and subsequent graduate degrees are limited to 120 attempted credits including credit given for prior graduate studies.

Transfer Credits

Graduate credits accepted by USI from other institutions will be used in both the completion rate and cumulative GPA evaluations. While the cumulative GPA will be determined by the registrar using only credits attempted at USI, credits transferred to USI will count as credits attempted and credits earned.

Incompletes and Course Repeats

Incomplete grades must be converted to a passing grade by the end of the following regular term (fall or spring). Incompletes which remain beyond the following term will be considered unsuccessful completion for financial aid purposes. Graduate courses in which the minimum grade requirement is not met may be repeated only one time for financial aid purposes. Each occurrence on the academic transcript of a repeated course counts toward the maximum attempted credit limit stated under “Successful Completion Rate.”

Probation

Satisfactory academic progress will be evaluated at the end of the fall, spring, and summer. Probation with continuing financial assistance will be imposed for students who do not comply with this policy (except in cases of a one-term, zero percent completion rate in which case immediate suspension applies). Students placed on probation will have one semester to establish satisfactory academic progress.

Suspension

Students who fail to establish satisfactory academic progress after being placed on probation for one semester will have their financial aid eligibility suspended until they comply with this policy. (Note: A one-term successful completion rate of zero percent will also result in suspension.)

Mitigating Circumstances

If a student’s failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress is a result of illness, family circumstances, or other conditions beyond the student’s control, the student may appeal to the Financial Assistance Advisory Committee for a waiver of this policy. All such appeals must be submitted within 60 days of the end of the term in question and documentation by a third party (e.g. doctor, counselor, or attorney) will be required when applicable. Appeals should be sent to the following address:

Advisory and Appeals Committee
Student Financial Assistance
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN 47712

Students will receive a written response to their appeal within 45 days. Appeals submitted less than 30 days prior to the start of a term for which assistance is desired may not be processed before tuition and fees are due. Students must be prepared to pay their tuition and fees pending the outcome of their appeal.

No financial assistance, including Stafford Loans, will be reinstated for prior terms in which the student was not in compliance with this policy.

Institutional Refund Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

This policy applies to students who withdraw from the semester, either officially or unofficially, or are administratively dismissed. Tuition and fee refunds for these students are determined according to the following policy:

  1. The term “Title IV Funds” refers to the federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and at USI includes the following programs: unsubsidized Stafford loans, subsidized Stafford loans, Parent PLUS loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal (FSEOG) Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG), and National S.M.A.R.T. Grants.
  2. A student’s withdrawal date is the earlier of:
    • the date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process (as described in this bulletin) or officially notified the University’s registrar of intent to withdraw; or
    • the midpoint of the period for a student who leaves without notifying the institution; or
    • the student’s last date of attendance at a documented academically- related activity.
    • Note: Medical Withdrawals and the Return of Title IV Funds - Students who are granted medical withdrawal are treated in the same manner as students who withdraw from the college.
  3. Refunds and the Return of Federal Funds
    • Refunds of tuition, campus service fees, parking fees, and special fees will be prorated on a weekly basis through the fourth week of the fall and spring semesters (eighth day of a summer session). There are no refunds of tuition and fees to students or to non-federal entities after that point in time.
    • Refunds of room and board charges will be prorated on a per diem basis through the fourth week of the fall and spring semesters (eighth day of a summer session). There are no refunds of fall or summer room and board charges to students or to non-federal entities after that time. Exception: The Residence Life contract does not permit prorated housing refunds in the spring semester. Any student who withdraws in the spring semester is charged the full housing contract buy-out fee regardless of the date of withdrawal. Note: Residence Life may assess penalties and damage charges that could reduce the amount of the refund. Declining balance food plans are non-refundable.
    • Title IV federal aid is earned in a prorated manner on a per diem basis based on the semester calendar up to the 60 percent point in the semester or summer as a whole. Title IV federal aid is viewed as 100 percent earned after that point in time.
    • Students withdrawing by the close of business on the census date for a given term will receive a 100 percent refund minus room and board charges. In the fall and spring, the census date is the end of the first week of classes.
    • Refunds will be sent to students’ mailing (permanent) addresses following withdrawal. Adjusted bills will be sent to the students’ email addresses.
    • There are no refunds for incomplete independent study or distance education courses.
    • There are no room or board refunds for enrolled students withdrawing from the room or board plans after the fourth week of the semester (eighth day of a summer session).
    • Room and board charges will be adjusted for students enrolled in approved academic off-campus activities such as study abroad, internships, co-op placement, and field placement.
    • In accordance with federal regulations, when federal financial aid is involved, refunds are allocated in the following order: unsubsidized Stafford Loans, subsidized Stafford Loans, Parent PLUS loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG, other Title IV federal assistance, other federal sources of aid, other state, private and institutional aid, and finally, the student. Note: Generally, all semester charges must have been paid in full at the time of withdrawal for a student to receive a refund.
  4. The University’s responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV funds
    • providing each federal financial aid recipient with the information given in this policy;
    • identifying students who are affected by this policy and completing the Return of Title IV Federal Funds calculation for those students; and
    • making required returns of Title IV federal funds that are due the Title IV programs.
  5. The student’s responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV funds
    • notifying the University’s registrar of intent to withdraw (must provide proof of identity);
    • following the University’s prescribed procedures for officially withdrawing from the semester; and
    • returning to the Title IV federal programs any funds that were disbursed directly to the student for which the student was determined to be ineligible.
  6. Schedule Changes
    Refunds of tuition and instructional fees resulting from a change in enrollment status (for example, from full-time to half-time) will be returned to the financial aid program(s) which originally paid the tuition/fees. Other refunds will be made by check to the student or other payee through the fourth week of the semester or eighth day of a summer session. Note: Student accounts which are not paid in full at the time of withdrawal may not receive a refund or may receive only a partial refund.
  7. Excluded Charges
    Charges that are excluded from refund calculations under this policy
    • unpaid charges for the current semester or summer session;
    • institutional charges for prior terms;
    • housing deposits;
    • proprietary (Sodexo) declining balance food plans;
    • lab breakage fees (and other refundable deposits);
    • admission fees;
    • matriculation (orientation) fees;
    • textbooks;
    • charges for non-returnable supplies and equipment;
    • penalty charges such as parking, library, and video fines; and
    • late registration fees.
  8. Non-Attendance Procedure
    Students who receive financial aid and do not attend classes will be required to promptly repay all funds received. Non-attending recipients of student loans will have their loans cancelled and all disbursed loan amounts will be due and payable in full within 30 days. Failure to repay this debt will result in an adverse report on the student’s credit history and eligibility to enroll at USI will be revoked.
  9. Other Refunds
    The University reserves the right to apply any refund due a student to the repayment of institutional loans or book charges.

Any notification of a withdrawal or cancellation of class schedule should be in writing, signed, and addressed to the University’s Office of the Registrar. Cancellation of admission applications (prior to enrollment in classes) should be in writing, signed, and addressed to the University’s director of Admission.

Disclaimer: The fees, procedures, and policies listed above supersede those published previously and are subject to change at any time when required by changes in federal regulations. This policy reflects the University’s good faith effort to interpret federal regulations that have a bearing on such matters.

General Eligibility Requirements for Federal Student Aid

To receive Federal Work Study and Stafford Loans, a student must meet the following general requirements and additional program-specific requirements.

  • Demonstrate financial need (except for unsubsidized Stafford loans and graduate PLUS loans).
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen (for most programs) with a valid Social Security number (SSN).
  • Be working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.
  • Register (if you haven’t already) with the Selective Service, if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Not be in default on a Title IV or HEA student loan or owe a repayment of a Title IV or HEA grant received for attendance at any institution.
  • Complete and submit all requested forms/documents (such as Verification) to the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Check your MyUSI to see what forms/documents have been requested.

Federal Financial Aid Programs

Federal Work Study (FWS)
Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized and/or unsubsidized interest)
Federal Graduate PLUS Loans (unsubsidized interest)

For more information, or to receive an application packet for financial assistance, contact

Student Financial Assistance
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN 47712-3597
812/464-1767
Toll-free 800/467-1965
Email: finaid@usi.edu
Web: www.usi.edu/finaid/

University Scholarships, Grants, and Enrollment Reciprocity

Thanks to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Kentucky Council on Higher Education, a reciprocal agreement between Kentucky and Indiana provides an opportunity for the residents of Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, and Union counties in Kentucky to attend the University of Southern Indiana while paying “in-state” tuition and fees. Students who begin a program under the Reciprocity Agreement will be permitted to complete the program after the agreement expires contingent upon continuous enrollment in all regular terms.

An eligible student

  • must be accepted and enrolled at USI;
  • may enroll in any undergraduate or graduate degree program;
  • may enroll on a full-time or part-time basis;
  • shall be subject to the same admission standards as resident students; and
  • shall be assessed tuition and fees at resident student rates.

Child of Disabled or Deceased Veteran (CDV)

State universities in Indiana waive tuition and certain fees for children of a service-connected disabled or deceased veteran. The veteran must be classified as an Indiana veteran by the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs and have received an honorable discharge. The student must be classified by USI as an Indiana resident for tuition purposes. USI waives applicable fees for a total of four years of study (124 credit hours) under the CDV program including study at other state universities. This benefit is available for both undergraduate and graduate
study. See the CDV application for additional eligibility requirements.

Courses must be for college credit. Only the institutions listed on the application are eligible for this benefit. Eligibility is not limited by age of the applicant and can be used for undergraduate and graduate study; however tuition and regularly assessed fees for graduate students will only be paid at the undergraduate rates charged by the school.

Applications are available in the Student Financial Assistance Office and on the web at www.usi.edu. Applications must be certified by the Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs in Indianapolis.

Child of POW/MIA

State universities in Indiana waive all instructional fees for the child of any person who was a resident of Indiana at the time of entry into the U.S. Armed Forces and was classified as a prisoner of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA) after January 1, 1960. Eligible children must have been born before or during the time the parent served as a POW or was declared MIA. Contact the Student Financial Assistance Office for applications and information.

Child of Indiana Public Safety Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

State universities in Indiana waive tuition and certain fees for the children of Indiana public safety officers killed in the line of duty. The benefit is available for a maximum of 124 credit hours of study through age 23.  This benefit may be used for undergraduate or graduate study; however, tutition waiver only pays at undergraduate rate.  Full-time enrollment is required.  Applications, program requirements and a complete list of public safety officers is available online at www.state.in.us/ssaci/2529.htm or you may contact your Student Financial Assistance counselor for more information.  The FAFSA is required each year. 

Graduate Assistantship

Students admitted to a graduate program and enrolled in a minimum of five graduate credit hours per semester may qualify for a limited number of graduate assistantships. In addition to pursuing a formal program of graduate study, a graduate assistant performs professional duties and assumes responsibilities commensurate with his/her educational background and experience. A graduate assistant receives a fee waiver and is paid wages for work performed. Applications are available in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Student Employment

In addition to Federal Work Study, the University employs students as part-time employees. Contact the Career Services and Placement Office in the Orr Center for information about non-Work Study student employment as well as off-campus opportunities.

Limitation on Participation

When institutional and/or state programs provide for payment of the same fees (e.g., tuition), the Student Financial Assistance Office will coordinate the assistance so that it does not exceed the charges that are to be paid. Tuition-specific financial aid may not be applied to other charges or refunded to students.

Disclaimer: The fees, procedures, and policies listed above supersede those published previously and are subject to change at any time when required by changes in federal regulations. This policy reflects the University’s good faith effort to interpret federal regulations that have a bearing on such matters.

Fees and Expenses

Refer to the Admission section of the bulletin for Fees and Expenses , including instructional fees (contingent, student services, and academic facilities fees), special fees, and the refund policy.

Academic Information and Policies

General Requirements

A graduate degree is awarded to a student upon completing an approved graduate curriculum, earning a specified minimum number of credit hours of graduate credit, and conforming to all rules and regulations of the Office of Graduate Studies. A comprehensive project or thesis may be required in some programs.

The degree requirements of certain programs may exceed those of the Office of Graduate Studies noted above. The student should contact the appropriate program director for information about specific program requirements.

Academic Year

The University’s academic year includes two semesters and three summer sessions. The academic calendar is published for each term in the Schedule of Classes.

Regulations

The University reserves the right to amend or otherwise change the requirements regarding admission and to drop, add, or change the arrangement of courses, curricula, the requirements for retention, graduation, and degrees, and other regulations of the Office of Graduate Studies. Such regulations shall be effective whenever determined by the appropriate faculty and administrative bodies; they may govern both old and new students. The University Code of Conduct describing policies covering the general behavior of students is published in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of this bulletin. It also is available from the Office of Student Life.

Enrollment and Registration

Registration for graduate work that is to be applied toward a degree requires a valid current admission to a graduate program. When all conditions for registration have been met, students can receive registration materials. Graduate students must consult with advisors and have courses approved. The registration process will take place as outlined in the Schedule of Classes for each semester or summer term.

Auditing Graduate Classes

Only appropriate undergraduate courses may be open for audit. Graduate courses are not appropriate for audit. No graduate course may be audited.

Student Load

A full-time course load for graduate students is eight hours of graduate course work. A half-time load is four to fewer than eight hours of graduate courses. A part-time load is fewer than four hours of graduate courses. The maximum number of hours in which a graduate student may enroll without permission is 12 hours. When exceptional situations prevail, a student may request permission to enroll for additional hours. Such permission must have the approval of the advisor, the program director, and the director of Graduate Studies. The full-time course load of any combination of graduate and undergraduate courses during any semester including the combined summer sessions is 12 hours.

Enrollment Status for Financial Aid

See the section on Graduate Financial Assistance for enrollment minimums for eligibility for assistance.

Course Numbering System

Courses bearing the catalog number 500 or higher carry graduate credit. Courses numbered in the 500 series usually have 400-series counterparts that are open to undergraduate students. Excluding exceptional circumstances, courses numbered 600 and higher are open to graduate students only. Courses numbered 700 and higher are open to doctoral students only.

Residence, Transfer, and Extension Credit

The Office of Graduate Studies may accept for transfer as many as 12 credit hours of credit earned at other colleges and universities accredited for master’s or higher-level study by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools or a comparable regional accrediting association. The total average in such study must be B or above and no grade lower than B will be accepted. All transfer work must be approved in advance by the student’s graduate advisor and by the director of Graduate Studies.

Within the Office of Graduate Studies limit, noted above, each graduate program determines the number of transfer hours acceptable. The Office of Graduate Studies will accept no more than those determined acceptable by the respective graduate program. The student must consult the appropriate graduate program director for such information. All transfer hours must be appropriate to the particular program in which the student is enrolled.

Correspondence study will not count toward a graduate degree at USI, and such credit cannot be transferred from another institution.

Progress toward the degree

During the period of study leading to the master’s degree, a graduate student must show evidence of sound scholarship. The following standards must be met to retain good standing as a graduate student.

  • Maintain a B average or better in all graduate work (higher GPA may be required in certain programs).
  • Maintain continuous enrollment in graduate work. Any student admitted to graduate studies and to a graduate program who has not enrolled and received graduate credit for work at USI for a period of longer than one calendar year from his or her last enrollment must reapply to the program.
  • Complete degree requirements, including a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit, within seven years of enrollment in the first course(s) counting for degree credit in the program or retake or validate courses exceeding this time limit.

A student who fails to meet these standards or others specified by individual graduate programs may be placed on probation, suspended from graduate study, or dismissed from the University. The director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Council will determine appeals of those decisions in such matters.

Retention

A student admitted to graduate study must maintain a grade average of B (3.0) or better in all graduate work. A student whose GPA drops below a 3.0 will be placed on probation and may be suspended from graduate study.

Probation and Dismissal Policy

The degree requirements of certain programs may exceed those of the Office of Graduate Studies. The student should contact the appropriate program director for information about specific program requirements.

  • Graduate program GPA (GPGPA)* below 3.0
  • Upon dropping to a GPGPA below 3.0, a student is placed on academic probation. The director of the student’s graduate program is responsible for notifying the student of such action. A student may remain on probation for up to 12 credit hours of graduate work. If after these additional hours of graduate work have been completed the GPGPA is not 3.0 or above, the student shall be academically dismissed.
    *Graduate Program GPA: A cumulative grade point average of all USI graduate courses taken (courses numbered 500 and higher) except graduate survey prerequisite courses in the MBA program.
  • GPGPA below 2.5
  • If the GPGPA drops below 2.5, a student shall be academically dismissed unless it is possible to bring the GPGPA up to 2.5 in no more than six additional hours of graduate work.
  • Appeal Option
  • A student who is academically dismissed may appeal that dismissal to the appropriate graduate faculty committee within his or her program of study. The reason for the appeal should be stated clearly in writing.

Interruption of Program

Any student admitted to a program of graduate study who has not been continuously enrolled and receiving graduate credit each semester of the academic year must apply for readmission in the Office of Graduate Studies. The student will be required to follow the regulations in effect at the time of readmission.

Time Limitation

In order to count toward a master’s degree, course work must be completed within seven (7) years of a student’s enrollment in the first course(s) counting for degree credit in the program. For the master of science in nursing and the doctorate in nursing practice degrees, coursework must be completed within five (5) years of the student’s enrollment in the first course counting for degree credit in the program. For courses that exceed this time limit, students must either validate the previous credit or retake the course(s) to meet degree requirements. A faculty member identified by the director of the graduate program sets requirements needed for validation.

Validating Course Work

To validate a course that has exceeded the time limitation, the student requests a course validation petition form obtained from the director of the graduate program. The form is filed in the student’s program office until the student completes the validation requirements. When the course has been validated, the graduate program director files the completed form with the Office of Graduate Studies and it becomes part of the student’s permanent file.

Class Attendance

A student is expected to attend all classes. It is the responsibility of an instructor to inform the student of the consequences of absence from class. It is the responsibility of the student to keep instructors informed regarding absences from classes. A student who knows of necessary class absences should consult instructors prior to the absence. A student who misses classes is not excused from the obligations to instructors. Instructors are expected to provide the student with an opportunity to meet class commitments, when absences are for good and proper reasons. Further, instructors are expected to maintain attendance records and to report excessive absences to the Office of the Registrar.

Administrative Withdrawal for Non-Attendance

Students who are absent one-half or more of the class meetings of a full-semester length class without excuse during weeks two through four may be notified by letter to their mailing address of the possibility of their being administratively withdrawn from their class. The students so notified will be given until the end of the seventh week (mid-term) to meet with their instructors to resolve the situation. The instructor of the class may complete the process of an administrative withdrawal of a student (at mid-term) if the situation is not resolved. NOTE: Merely not attending a course does not automatically remove the course from a student’s record. Students who do not accept the responsibility of completing an Add/Drop or Withdrawal From All Classes form jeopardize their record with the possibility of incurring an F in a course not properly dropped.

General Student Policies

Policies on student behavior, plagiarism, falsification of records, and other non-academic policies may be found in the Student Life  section.

Grading

The following grading standards apply to graduate work.

Grade Type of Graduate Work
A Excellent
B+ Above average
B Average
C+ Below average
C Below average (minimal passing grade for graduate credit)
F Failure

In computing scholastic averages, the following point ratios are used: A = 4.0, B+ = 3.5, B = 3.0, C+ = 2.5, C = 2.0. An average of at least 3.0 is required to remain in good standing. This is to be considered the minimum graduate program requirement and may be higher in specific programs.

In general, incomplete (IN) grades may be given only at the end of a semester or term to those students whose work is passing but who have left unfinished a small amount of work – for instance, a final examination, a paper, or a term project – which may be completed without further class attendance, or to students who have unfinished theses or graduate research projects. Course instructors may, at the time the incomplete is given, place a time limit for removal of an incomplete grade. The instructor must submit to the Registrar’s Office a statement describing the work to be completed by the student receiving an incomplete grade. In the event that the instructor from whom a student received an incomplete grade is not on campus, the disposition of a case involving an incomplete grade resides with the appropriate chair or dean.

An In Progress (IP) final grade is given in graduate project classes that require enrollment in the same class in successive semesters. An IP grade means the student cannot receive credit for the course under any circumstances without re-enrollment in the course.

A withdrawal (W) is given when a student officially drops or withdraws from a course during the automatic W period, or if the student officially drops/withdraws after the automatic W period and is passing at the time of the drop/withdrawal (refer to Schedule Changes ). A W means the student cannot receive credit for the course under any circumstances without re-enrollment in the course.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grade point average is a numerical value which is obtained by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of hours attempted. This average is computed at the end of each term, both for the term and on a cumulative basis. The grade of A represents four points for each hour of credit; B+ three and one-half points; B three points; C+ two and one-half points; C two points. No points are recorded for an F, although the hours attempted are included in the computations. No points are recorded for an S or U and the hours attempted are not included in the computations.

Course Repeat

Graduate courses taken at the University may not be replaced for possible GPA improvement. The grades received of all repeated courses will remain on the transcript and will be used for GPA computation.

Academic Grievance

If a student has a possible grievance with a faculty member, the procedures for filing a grievance are outlined in the student code of conduct in the Student’s Rights and Responsibilities: A Code of Student Behavior section in this bulletin.

Elimination from a Program

Inappropriate professional conduct is grounds for termination of admission. Students may be eliminated from a graduate program “for cause” by the director of Graduate Studies on the basis of recommendation from the advisor, graduate committee (if one exists), and graduate program director. “For cause” includes professional judgment of the graduate faculty of the program involved and the director of Graduate Studies that the student does not meet the academic or professional standards required for a student earning a graduate degree in that area.

Workshop Credits

Individual degree programs set the number of credit hours earned in workshop courses applicable toward the master’s degree. As a general rule, no more than eight credit hours of workshop credit will be accepted. The student’s graduate program director and the Office of Graduate Studies must approve petitions for more than eight hours.

Graduation

Candidates for graduation must file with the Office of the Registrar a Formal Application for Graduation and a Diploma Form. If degree requirements will be completed in a spring or summer term, the forms should be submitted no later than October 1 of the preceding fall term. If degree requirements will be completed in the fall term, the forms should be submitted no later than March 1 of the preceding spring term. The Application for Graduation may be obtained at the office of the student's graduate program director. The Diploma Form is submitted online by visiting www.usi.edu/reg/diploma.asp. Timely submission of the Formal Application for Graduation and Diploma Form help ensure that degree candidates receive commencement mailings, appear in the printed commencement program, and will have a diploma ordered.

Petition Procedures

Students wishing to request an exception to any of the policies of the Office of Graduate Studies should contact that office for information about petition procedures.

Second Master’s Degree

A student with a master’s degree from an accredited institution may be admitted to a second master’s degree program at USI. The appropriate graduate program director may accept up to 12 hours of credits, and in consultation with the student, will advise on the remaining hours of the program. The limitation of seven years (see Time Limitation) does apply on these remaining hours. All regular requirements for the master’s degree program also must be met.

Library Fines

Library fines are assessed for overdue books.

Encumbrance

Students who have a financial obligation to the University will have their future registrations encumbered and their records, transcripts, and diploma will not be released until the obligation has been met.

Transcript Fee

There is no fee charged for transcripts of record issued.

Schedule Changes and Withdrawal from the Semester/Term

Students who wish to alter their original schedule, whether by personal incentive or by school directive, must do so officially by the procedure outlined below. Students who do not assume this responsibility may jeopardize their record with the possibility of incurring an F in a course not properly dropped and/or not receiving credit in a course improperly added. Merely not attending a course does not automatically remove the course from the student’s record.

Refer to the Undergraduate Academic Information and Policies section of the bulletin for information on Schedule Changes and Withdrawals .

Programs

Certificate

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Dual Masters Degree Programs

Master of Arts in Communication

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Master of Business Administration

Master of Health Administration

Master of Public Administration

Master of Science in Education

Master of Science in Industrial Management

Master of Science in Nursing

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Master of Social Work