Aug 11, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION]

Graduate Academic Information and Policies


ACADEMIC RECORDS

REGISTRATION

GRADES AND GRADING POLICIES

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES


It is important that a student be knowledgeable about academic information affecting continued enrollment status. Such information includes knowledge of the basis for assigning grades as an indication of academic achievement, the conditions of class attendance, and the class identification. Other information valuable to the student includes procedures for changing either semester class schedules or curriculum choice and special academic opportunities available to the student.

Academic Records

Course Numbers

Courses bearing the catalog number 500 or higher carry graduate credit. Courses numbered in the 500 series sometimes 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.

Credit Hour Policy

Academic credit at the University of Southern Indiana is offered by the semester credit hour. At USI, a semester credit hour is based on 750 minutes of instruction per credit hour awarded. This standard is consistent with the Department of Education credit hour definition, per regulation 34 CFR §600.2 (see https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div8&node=34:3.1.3.1.1.1.23.2), which states:

"Credit Hour: Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than–

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours."

Credit hours awarded from courses taught via online learning or in some other non-traditional setting, format or length follow the same rules when determining the number of credit hours awarded for a particular class. This practice also follows the credit hour definition found in Department of Education regulation 34 CFR §600.2.

For every one credit hour in which you enroll, regardless of the delivery method (face-to-face or online), you will spend a minimum of two hours on outside of class preparation (based on lecture-only classes, not labs or studios, which may require more average time). Therefore, to help determine the course load most appropriate for you, use the formula:

  • 3 credit hours (1 course) = 150 minutes in class per week and a minimum of 6 hours of out-of-class preparation time per week.
  • 12 credit hours (4 courses) = 600 minutes in class per week and a minimum of 24 hours of out-of-class preparation time per week.

Students may also earn credit hours for internships. The standard minimum number of hours a student must work for each hour of academic credit is 50 internship work hours. There may be exceptions. For example, engineering internships require a minimum of 300 work hours for one academic credit hour. Students should consult program guidelines.

Students in professional majors, such as nursing, dental hygiene, diagnostic medical sonography, occupational therapy, and social work are also able to earn academic credit for work in lab or clinical experiences. The number of hours required for one academic credit hour varies by discipline and respective accrediting agency requirements.

Certain courses at USI include a laboratory component or requirement, such as science courses including chemistry, engineering, geology, physics, and biology. Students may earn additional credit hours for the lab component. Each department may determine contact time over the minimum requirement as needed.

Enrollment Verification

How to Request an Enrollment Verification 

An Enrollment Verification is a printed document that includes formal verification of a student's enrollment status. This document may be used for a good student insurance discount, coverage on parents' insurance, potential employment, or other purposes. USI participates in the National Student Clearinghouse, providing enrollment data that is accessible by various loan companies for the purpose of student loan deferments. If an enrollment verification is needed for another purpose, the student can initiate the release of their information by printing an enrollment verification certificate.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 requires the written signature or electronic signature (myUSI password) of the student to release information pertaining to their academic records. Printing an enrollment verification certificate "conveys consent" to the officials of the University of Southern Indiana to release your enrollment verification information. 

Students print their own enrollment verification certificate and provide it to the insurance company or other recipient that needs proof of enrollment. Log in to myUSI with your username and password, then:

  • Click the Self Service icon on the dashboard
  • Click Student, then Student Records
  • Click Request Enrollment Verification

Follow the on-screen instructions to obtain an enrollment certificate with the desired information. Options for printing the certificate are:

  • Current enrollment - provides enrollment status for the current semester, with status effective date(s)
  • All enrollment - provides enrollment history for all terms attended, with status effective dates

You may also view:

  • Student loan deferment notifications provided to loan holders
  • Proof(s) of enrollment that have been provided to health insurers and other providers
  • Specific information about your student loans

For enrollment verification that is not available by printing the National Student Clearinghouse enrollment verification form, the student can use the Enrollment Verification request form. This option is applicable if an enrollment verification plus proof of good academic standing is needed (for example, in order to receive a good student discount on auto insurance), or if verification of enrollment is needed prior to the start of a term.

Employers, student loan companies, and others who need proof of enrollment or verification of degree completion should contact the National Student Clearinghouse directly at www.enrollmentverify.org or www.degreeverify.org, respectively.

General Requirements

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

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

Regulations

The University of Southern Indiana (USI) 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 Graduate Studies. Such regulations shall be effective whenever determined by the appropriate faculty and administrative bodies; they may govern both old and new students. For the current Student Handbook, Student Rights and Responsibilities: A Code of Student Behavior, and additional resources published by the Dean of Students Office (DOSO), visit www.usi.edu/deanofstudents.

Transcripts (Academic)

Academic records are maintained by the Registrar's Office. A transcript is a complete record of a student's academic work at the University of Southern Indiana.

How to view an unofficial transcript

Students may view their unofficial transcript online via myUSI.

An unofficial transcript will not be viewable if a student has unmet financial obligations to the University or for Federal Direct Loan recipients who have failed to complete an exit counseling session with the Student Financial Assistance Office.

How to request an official transcript

Both paper and electronic transcripts can be ordered anytime by current or former students. Refer to the Electronic Transcripts page for more information about e-transcripts. 

Students request an official academic transcript online:

  • If you have access to your myUSI account, you will be able to order your official transcript by logging in to myUSI. After selecting the Self Service icon from the dashboard, click Student, then Student Records. Choosing "Request Official Transcript" will take you to the USI Transcript Ordering Portal. Any student who enters the transcript ordering site through their myUSI account will be able to order transcripts immediately. Transcript requests can typically be processed within one business day of the completed order. Your unofficial transcript is available through myUSI under Student Records.
  • If you do not have access to your myUSI account, you will need to create an account on the USI Transcript Ordering Portal to obtain an official transcript. The initial process of creating an account on that system could take up to two business days, as the Registrar's Office will need to validate your account information with our official records. Once your account is established, transcript requests can typically be processed within one business day of the completed order. To reactivate your myUSI account and view your unofficial transcript, contact the USI IT Help Desk at 812-465-1080.

Once you have reached the USI Transcript Ordering Portal, the site will walk you through placing your order, including delivery options and fees. Please carefully follow all instructions. It is the responsibility of the requester to supply a correct mailing address; refunds will not be issued due to an incorrect address. Status updates of your order will be emailed to the email account you list on your order.

Transcript fees are approved by the University. Current fees for a transcript are:

 Certified Electronic PDF official transcript (e-transcript)  $8.00
 Official paper transcript to be mailed (USPS) or picked up  $10.00
 Official paper transcript to be expedited (UPS next business day)*  $40.00

*Expedited transcripts are only available to destinations in the continental U.S. Standard processing time (one to two business days) still applies before transcript will be mailed.

Online payment will be accepted from the following credit/debit card accounts: Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. If you are unable to pay by one of these methods, please contact the Registrar's Office for assistance.

Notes:

  • An official transcript will not be released if a student has an unmet financial obligation to the University. An official transcript will also be withheld for Federal Direct Loan recipients who have failed to complete an exit counseling session with the Student Financial Assistance Office.
  • Requesting that a transcript be sent to another institution does not automatically indicate that the student wishes to be withdrawn from the current term or any upcoming term(s) for which the student has pre-registered. Any student wishing to withdraw must officially initiate withdrawal procedures.
  • The University can release only official USI transcripts. Transcripts from other universities or high schools attended must be requested directly from those institutions.

If you have any questions about transcript services provided by the University of Southern Indiana, please visit www.usi.edu/registrar or contact the Registrar's Office at 812-464-1763 or 800-467-1965 (#3).

Registration

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.

Administrative Withdrawal for Non-Attendance

Students whose grade may be impacted by their non-attendance in class may be reported by instructors and notified by letter to their mailing address (fall/spring) or by email (summer sessions) of the possibility of their being administratively withdrawn from their class. The students so notified will be given until the end of the sixth week (sixth day for summer sessions), when Progress Report grades are issued, 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 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 form jeopardize their academic record with the possibility of incurring an F in a course not properly dropped.

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 Registrar's Office.

Class Load

A full-time course load for graduate students is six hours of graduate course work. A half-time load is three to fewer than six hours of graduate courses. A part-time load is fewer than three hours of graduate courses. The maximum number of hours in which a graduate student may enroll without permission is 19 hours during the fall/spring semesters and 12 hours during each summer session. When exceptional situations prevail, a student may request permission to enroll for additional hours (an overload). 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 18 hours.

Class Schedules

A schedule of University class offerings is prepared for student use for each semester/term and published electronically. The course reference number (CRN), time, day, title, course number, credit hours, instructor, and room are listed. General information concerning admission, registration, and graduation also is provided.

The Schedule of Classes is available on the USI Bulletin website. Select the desired class schedule from the drop-down list of available publications (upper-right corner).

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 will receive registration instructions. Graduate students must consult with their advisor and have courses approved. The online registration process will take place as outlined in the Schedule of Classes for each semester or summer term.

Final Exam Schedule

The final examination schedule is published in the class schedule for each semester. In summer terms, final examinations are held the last scheduled class day.

General Student Policies

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

Add/Drop

An Add/Drop is when a student adds and/or drops courses but still remains enrolled in the semester/summer session.  Students who wish to alter their original schedule, whether by personal incentive or by college 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.

NOTE: Students may be administratively withdrawn from course(s) by the University for reasons including but not limited to the following: 1) lack of prerequisite, 2) excessive absences, 3) canceled class, 4) failure to meet immunization requirements, 5) disciplinary action, 6) academic dismissal.

Add/Drop-Academic Year

If a student drops or withdraws from one or more full semester courses through the first week of a fall or spring semester, the student will receive a 100 percent credit; during the second week, a 75 percent credit; during the third week, a 50 percent credit; and during the fourth week, a 25 percent credit.* No credit will be made thereafter. Refund checks, if applicable, will be issued by the Bursar's Office subsequent to the refund period. See the semester calendar for specific dates.

  1. Through the first week of the semester (100 percent credit*): After priority registration and through the first week of the semester, students add or drop courses online via myUSI (refer to the Schedule of Classes for web registration details). Computer stations are also available in the Registrar's Office for students who need assistance with the add/drop process.
  2. Beginning the second week of the semester, through 4:30 p.m. on the last business day before final exams (75 percent credit or less*): Online schedule changes are not available beyond the first week of the semester. Students may add or drop courses in person at the Registrar's Office by submitting an Add/Drop form. The form requires the signatures of the student and of the instructor of each course being dropped or added. The signature of the academic advisor is required for freshmen and degree-seeking students with fewer than 30 earned hours. NOTE: Only in exceptional circumstances will students be allowed to add a course after the first week of the semester.

Grading: Classes dropped prior to the end of the 100 percent refund period will not be retained on the student's academic transcript and no grade is recorded. Classes dropped via the Add/Drop procedure beginning the second week of a fall or spring semester through the ninth week of the semester* will be dropped "without evaluation." The dropped course(s) will be retained on the student's academic transcript and the student will receive a grade of W for the dropped course(s). Classes dropped via the Add/Drop procedure during the 10th week of the semester through the last day of classes before final exam week* will be dropped "with evaluation." The dropped courses(s) will be retained on the student's academic transcript and the student will receive a grade of W if passing at the time the course is dropped; however, if the student is failing at the time the course is dropped, the student may receive a grade of F.

* Courses meeting less than a complete semester have different drop/refund/grading dates. Check the Refund Schedules page or contact the Registrar's Office for these dates. Online schedule changes or withdrawals for special length courses can only be processed through the course's 100 percent credit period (but no later than the first week of the semester). Thereafter, students must submit the appropriate form to the Registrar's Office for processing.

Add/Drop-Summer Sessions

If a student drops or withdraws from one or more standard-length course during the first two days of First or Second summer (first day of Third Summer), the student will receive a 100 percent credit; during the third or fourth day of First or Second summer (second day of Third Summer), a 75 percent credit; during the fifth or sixth day of First or Second summer (third day of Third Summer), a 50 percent credit; and during the seventh or eighth day of First or Second summer (fourth day of Third Summer), a 25 percent credit.* No credit will be made thereafter. Refund checks, if applicable, will be issued by the Bursar's Office subsequent to the refund period. See the term calendar for specific dates.

  1. Through the first two days of First or Second Summer/first day of Third Summer (100 percent credit*): After priority registration and through the first two days of First or Second Summer (first day of Third Summer), students may add or drop courses online via myUSI (refer to the Schedule of Classes for web registration details). Computer stations are also available in the Registrar's Office for students who need assistance with the add/drop process.
  2. Beginning the third day of First or Second Summer (second day of Third Summer), through 4:30 p.m. on the last day of class before the final exam (75 percent credit or less*): Online schedule changes are not available beyond the first two days of First or Second Summer (first day of Third Summer). Students may add or drop courses in person at the Registrar's Office by submitting an Add/Drop form. The form requires the signature of the student and of the instructor of each course being added or dropped. The signature of the academic advisor is required for new freshmen and degree-seeking students with fewer than 30 earned hours. NOTE: Only in exceptional circumstances will students be allowed to add a course after the first two days of First or Second summer (first day of Third Summer).

Grading: Classes dropped prior to the end of the 100 percent refund period will not be retained on the student's academic transcript and no grade is recorded. Classes dropped via the Add/Drop procedure beginning the third day of the session through the third week of First or Second Summer (second day through the twelfth day of Third Summer)* will be dropped "without evaluation." The dropped courses(s) will be retained on the student's academic transcript and the student will receive a grade of W for the dropped course(s). Classes dropped via the Add/Drop procedure beginning the fourth week (thirteenth day of Third Summer)* through the last day of class before the final exam will be dropped "with evaluation." The dropped course(s) will be retained on the student's academic transcript and the student will receive a grade of W if passing at the time the course is dropped; however, if the student is failing at the time the course is dropped, the student may receive a grade of F.

* The typical summer course length is five weeks in First and Second summer, four weeks in Third summer, although a variety of course lengths may be offered. Summer courses meeting other than the typical length, including cross-term courses, have different drop/refund/grading dates. Check the Refund Schedules page or contact the Registrar's for these dates. Online schedule changes or withdrawals for special length courses can only be processed through the course's 100 percent credit period (but no later than the first two days of First or Second Summer, first day of Third Summer). Thereafter, students must submit the appropriate form to the Registrar's Office for processing.

Withdrawal

A withdrawal is when a student drops ALL enrolled courses for that semester/term. A student who must withdraw from the semester/term, whether by personal incentive or by college directive, must do so officially by the procedure outlined below. If they do not assume this responsibility, they may jeopardize their record with the possibility of incurring an F in a course not properly dropped. Merely not attending a course does not automatically remove the course from a student's record.

NOTE: Students may be administratively withdrawn from course(s) by the University for reasons including but not limited to the following: 1) lack of prerequisite, 2) excessive absences, 3) canceled class, 4) failure to meet immunization requirements, 5) disciplinary action, 6) academic dismissal.

Withdrawal-Academic Year

If a student drops or withdraws from one or more full-semester course through the first week of a fall or spring semester, the student will receive a 100 percent credit; during the second week, a 75 percent credit; during the third week, a 50 percent credit; and during the fourth week, a 25 percent credit.* No credit will be made thereafter. Refund checks, if applicable, will be issued by the Bursar's Office subsequent to the refund period. See the semester calendar for specific dates. Students enrolled in any classes that have ended at the time of withdrawal must follow the procedure for an Add/Drop.

  1. Through the first week of the semester (100 percent credit*): After priority registration and through the first week of the semester, students may withdraw from all classes online via myUSI (refer to the Schedule of Classes for web registration details). Computer stations are also available in the Registrar's Office for students who need assistance with the withdrawal process.
  2. Beginning the second week of semester, through 4:30 p.m. on the last business day before final exams (75 percent credit or less*): Online withdrawals are not available beyond the first week of the semester*. Students may withdraw from the semester using a Withdrawal form found in the Registrar's Office and online. A completed withdrawal request will also be accepted by fax at 812-464-1911. The student's signature is required for all withdrawals, as well as the signature of the dean of the student's college (or authorized designee). The student is responsible for obtaining all required signature(s) and submitting the Withdrawal form to the Registrar's Office for processing. Until all steps in the procedure have been completed, the student is still enrolled in all courses. Online Learning students (those enrolled in a USI course with a section number beginning with an 'N') who are unable to visit campus to obtain the required signature in person may obtain approval via email. The dean/authorized designee must send the email from their USI account and must include the student's full name, student ID number, and relevant course IDs and CRNs from which they are approving the student to withdraw. The approval email should be submitted along with the Withdrawal form (or emailed to registrar@usi.edu).  A Withdrawal form with the student's legal signature is still required.

Grading:  Classes dropped prior to the end of the 100 percent refund period will not be retained on the student's academic transcript and no grade is recorded. Classes dropped via the Withdrawal procedure beginning the second week of a fall or spring semester through the ninth week of the semester* will be dropped "without evaluation." The dropped course(s) will be retained on the student's academic transcript and the student will receive a grade of W for the dropped course(s). Classes dropped via the Withdrawal procedure during the 10th week of the semester through the last day of classes before final exam week* will be dropped "with evaluation." The dropped courses(s) will be retained on the student's academic transcript and the student will receive a grade of W if passing at the time the course is dropped; however, if the student is failing at the time the course is dropped, the student may receive a grade of F.

Financial Aid: If a student receives financial aid but is unsure of the impact a Withdrawal will have on that financial aid, it is recommended that the student contact Student Financial Assistance prior to submitting the Withdrawal. Students with a Stafford Loan must complete an exit counseling session. Failure to complete the exit counseling session will prevent the release of the student's academic transcript.

Additional Steps: Students who live in University housing must contact the Housing and Residence Life office (O'Daniel North) to properly check out. Students who have a meal plan must contact Food Services (UC lower level) to cancel the plan. Students who owe money to the University must settle their account at the Cashier's window (OC lower level); an unpaid balance will prevent the release of academic transcript.

* Courses meeting less than a full semester have different drop/refund/grading dates. Check the Refund Schedules page or contact the Registrar's Office for these dates. Online schedule changes or withdrawals for special length courses can only be processed through the course's 100 percent credit period (but no later than the first week of the semester). Thereafter, students must submit the appropriate form to the Registrar's Office for processing.

Withdrawal-Summer Sessions

If a student drops or withdraws from one or more standard length course through the first two days of First or Second summer (first day of Third Summer), the student will receive a 100 percent credit; during the third or fourth day of First or Second summer (second day of Third Summer), a 75 percent credit; during the fifth or sixth day of First or Second summer (third day of Third Summer), a 50 percent credit; and during the seventh or eighth day of First or Second summer (fourth day of Third Summer), a 25 percent credit.* No credit will be made thereafter. Refund checks, if applicable, will be issued by the Bursar's Office subsequent to the refund period. See the term calendar for specific dates. Students enrolled in any classes that have ended at the time of withdrawal must follow the procedure form Add/Drop.

  1. Through the first two days of First or Second Summer session/first day of Third Summer (100 percent credit*): After priority registration and through the first two days of First or Second Summer (first day of Third Summer), students may withdraw from all classes online via myUSI (Refer to the Schedule of Classes for web registration details). Computer stations are also available in the Registrar's Office for students who need assistance with the withdrawal process.
  2. Beginning the third day of First or Second Summer/second day of Third Summer through 4:30 p.m. on the last day of class before the final exam (75 percent credit or less*): Online schedule changes are not available beyond the first two days of First or Second Summer (first day of Third Summer). Students may withdraw from the term using a Withdrawal form found in the Registrar's Office and online. A completed withdrawal request also will be accepted by fax at 812-464-1911. The student's signature is required for all withdrawals, as well as the signature of the dean of the student's college (or authorized designee). The student is responsible for obtaining all required signature(s) and submitting the Withdrawal form to the Registrar's Office for processing. Until all steps in the procedure have been completed, the student is still enrolled in all courses. Online Learning students (those enrolled in a USI course with a section number beginning with an 'N') who are unable to visit campus to obtain the required signature in person may obtain approval via email. The dean/authorized designee must send the email from their USI account and must include the student's full name, student ID number, and relevant course IDs and CRNs from which they are approving the student to withdraw. The approval email should be submitted along with the Withdrawal form (or emailed to registrar@usi.edu).  A Withdrawal form with the student's legal signature is still required.

Grading:  Classes dropped prior to the end of the 100 percent refund will not be retained on the student's academic transcript and no grade is recorded. Classes dropped via the Withdrawal procedure beginning the third day of the session through the third week of First or Second Summer (second day through the twelfth day of Third Summer)* will be dropped "without evaluation." The dropped courses(s) will be retained on the student's academic transcript and the student will receive a grade of W for the dropped course(s). Classes dropped via the Withdrawal procedure beginning the fourth week (thirteenth day of Third Summer)* through the last day of class before the final exam will be dropped "with evaluation." The dropped course(s) will be retained on the student's academic transcript and the student will receive a grade of W if passing at the time the course is dropped; however, if the student is failing at the time the course is dropped, the student may receive a grade of F.

Financial Aid: If a student receives financial aid but is unsure of the impact a Withdrawal will have on that financial aid, it is recommended that the student contact Student Financial Assistance Office prior to submitting the Withdrawal. Students with a Stafford Loan must complete an exit counseling session. Failure to complete the exit counseling session will prevent the release of the student's academic transcript.

Additional Steps: Students who live in University housing must contact the Housing and Residence Life office (O'Daniel North) to properly check out. Students who have a meal plan must contact Food Services (UC lower level) to cancel the plan. Students who owe money to the University must settle their account at the Bursar's Office (OC lower level); an unpaid balance will prevent the release of academic transcript.

* The typical summer course length is five weeks in First and Second summer, four weeks in Third summer, although a variety of course lengths may be offered. Summer courses meeting other than the typical length, including cross-term courses, have different drop/refund/grading dates. Check the Refund Schedules page or contact the Registrar's Office for these dates. Online schedule changes or withdrawals for special length courses can only be processed through the course's 100 percent credit period (but no later than the first two days of the session/first day of Third Summer). Thereafter, students must submit the appropriate form to the Registrar's Office for processing.

Grades and Grading Policies

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.

Grade Report

At the end of each semester/term for which a student is enrolled, an online grade report is made available via MyUSI. The online grade report is a record of courses enrolled, letter grades earned, semester grade point average, and cumulative grade point average. Information concerning the student's current academic standing also is indicated.

Grading System

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 (minimum 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.

The designation IN (incomplete) may be used in special circumstances. An incomplete grade (IN) may be given only at the end of a term to a student whose work is passing, but who has left unfinished a small amount of work,for example, a final examination, a paper, or a term project which may be completed without further class attendance, or to a student who has an unfinished thesis or graduate research project. The student must act to remove the IN grade within one calendar year. If action is not taken, the IN grade will revert to an F. The instructor may, at the time the incomplete is given, place a shorter time limit for removal of an incomplete grade. In the event the instructor from whom a student receives an incomplete is not available, the disposition of a case involving an incomplete grade resides with the appropriate dean.

An IP (in progress) 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 W (withdrawal) is given when a student officially withdraws from a course during the automatic W period. A W also is given if the student is passing at the time of drop/withdrawal after the automatic W period has ended. A W means the student cannot receive credit for the course under any circumstances without re-enrollment in the course.

A grade of Z indicates a grade was not submitted by the instructor. This is a temporary grade that will be replaced with a letter grade upon submission of the Change of Grade form by the instructor.

Grades beginning with T indicate transfer courses. Transfer courses accepted for credit are included in earned hours but are excluded from GPA hours, Quality Points, and GPA. An official transcript includes only the number of credit hours accepted, not individual transfer courses.

Policies and Procedures

Academic Advisement

The University of Southern Indiana recognizes academic advising to be a critical component of the educational experience of its students. Through individual, collaborative relationships with academic advisors, students are best able to define and implement sound educational and vocational plans that are consistent with their personal values, goals and career plans. Academic advisors represent and interpret University policies and procedures to the student and help the student navigate the academic and organizational paths of the institution. The university acknowledges its obligation to provide students with accurate and timely academic advising, delivered through its advising centers, academic departments and colleges, as well as through additional units and offices devoted to specific student populations such as undecided and conditionally admitted students.

Degree Works  A Degree Works audit (also called a degree audit) outlines a student's specific degree requirements and tracks his/her progress toward the fulfillment of those requirements. USI courses and any transfer credits are included, and the audit indicates whether categories are complete or not complete. Unmet requirements list the acceptable courses from which to select. Students view their degree audit via myUSI (the Degree Evaluation link on the Student Records menu). Students should routinely review their degree audit, particularly before registering for classes and at the end of the semester when grades are official. Academic advisors also can access their advisee's degree audit via myUSI and can recommend the most appropriate courses. Visit www.usi.edu/registrar/degreeworks/faqs for Degree Works FAQs or www.usi.edu/registrar/degreeworks/tutorials for Degree Works tutorials. Students should contact their academic advisor for assitance with reading their degree audit.

Student Participation in Program Planning. A student enrolled in the university is expected to read carefully and to understand the contents of this bulletin. This includes awareness of the university's general policies and regulations for academic achievement necessary for continued enrollment, as well as social and campus conduct.

A student also is responsible for knowing the specific requirements of the academic discipline of the student's choice, enabling the student to qualify for graduation.

A student should assume the initiative for preparing a semester schedule of classes. The academic advisor is available to offer suggestions and to verify the accuracy of course choice in meeting curricular patterns, but the primary responsibility for knowing the requirements of the academic program and proceeding to satisfy those requirements in an orderly and sequential manner remains with the student.

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 Handbook.

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.

Course Repeat Policy

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.

Degree Progression

Interruption of Program

Degree seeking and non-degree seeking graduate students who have not enrolled in a graduate course for one academic year (consecutive fall and spring semesters) must fully reapply to Graduate Studies and the specific program in which they were originally admitted. Graduate students who have not enrolled in only one academic term (fall or spring) will not need to readmit or reapply. For some programs, students will need to be vetted by a program-specific admissions and progression committee in order to continue in the program. 

Time Limitation

No graduate course more than seven (7) years old may satisfy requirements for a graduate degree. At the time of program completion, courses older than seven years are considered expired. In order for a course that exceeds this time limit to apply toward degree requirements, the student must either validate the expired credit or retake the course.

The purpose of validation is to establish that the expired course content is still appropriate and relevant to the graduate program and that the student has successfully demonstrated their knowledge of the course content. A faculty member identified by the director of the student's graduate program sets the requirements needed for validation.

Validating Coursework

To validate a course that has exceeded the time limitation, the student requests a course validation petition 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 Graduate Studies and it becomes part of the student's permanent file.

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.

Enrollment Status for Financial Aid

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

Graduation

Meeting graduation requirements is each student's responsibility. Candidates for graduation must file with the Registrar's Office a Formal Application for Graduation and a Diploma Form.

  • If degree requirements will be completed in a spring semester or a summer session, students will participate in the spring commencement ceremony and the forms should be submitted no later than October 1 of the preceding fall semester.
  • If degree requirements will be completed in the fall semester, students will participate in the fall commencement ceremony and the forms should be submitted no later than March 1 of the preceding spring semester.

The Application for Graduation may be obtained at the office of the Dean of the candidate's major. The Diploma Form is submitted online by visiting www.usi.edu/registrar/graduation/diploma-form. 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.

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. No more than 12 hours of coursework from the first master's degree can be applied toward the second master's degree. The appropriate graduate program director may accept up to 12 hours of transfer credit, and in consultation with the student, will advise on the remaining hours of the program. The time limitation still applies. All regular requirements for the master's degree program also must be met.

Petition Procedures

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

Posthumous Recognition of Students

Posthumous degree

The university may award a degree posthumously to a student who was enrolled at the time of death and had substantially completed the work for a degree, upon recommendation of the appropriate faculty and dean. A special, posthumous diploma will be presented to the student's family.

The University of Southern Indiana has established the following guidelines for awarding a posthumous degree:

Graduate

A graduate degree may be awarded posthumously when the student has substantially completed the work for the graduate degree. This determination will be the responsibility of the dean of the college, in consultation with the graduate faculty of the student's program.

Certification of Recognition

The University may award a Certificate of Recognition posthumously to a student who was enrolled at the time of death but who did not qualify for a posthumous degree. A special, posthumous certificate will be presented to the student's family.

Readmission Procedures

A graduate student once enrolled at the university, who for any reason does not re-enroll for two or more consecutive fall/spring semesters, must re-apply to the university and to their graduate program prior to returning for the next semester.

Standards of Progress

Progress toward degree

During the period of study leading to a graduate 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 cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 or better (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 of Program Directors and Chairs will determine appeals of those decisions in such matters.

  • Retention and Progression: The degree requirements of certain programs may exceed those of Graduate Studies. Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative graduate program grade point average (GPGPA)* of 3.0 to remain in good standing and progress in the graduate program.
  • Academic Probation and Dismissal Policy: Graduate students who fail to meet the preceding minimum standards will be 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 academic probation for up to 12 credit hours of graduate coursework. Failure to raise the GPA following completion of 12 credit hours of graduate coursework will result in academic dismissal from the University of Southern Indiana.  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: Students may appeal the academic dismissal in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the graduate faculty committee within his or her program of study. Students should contact the director of the academic program regarding the appeal process.

*Graduate program grade point average (GPGPA) is the cumulative grade point average of all USI graduate courses taken (numbered 500 and higher) except specific graduate survey courses numbered "501" in the Masters Business Administration (MBA) program.

Students' Records

The Registrar's Office maintains the permanent student academic record. Forms for registration (schedule changes, repeating a course, changing major, taking a course as pass/no pass, etc.) are submitted to and processed by this office. Students may request a copy of their academic record (transcript) from the Registrar. This office also maintains all student demographic data and keeps names and addresses current. According to the Student Handbook, students must report any name or address changes to the Registrar's Office. Students can update their mailing address(es) as well as telephone numbers, marital status, and emergency contacts online via myUSI.

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.