Academic Regulations

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Master's Degree Policies

  • Academic Degrees Conferred

    • The Graduate College at East Stroudsburg University offers graduate programs that prepare students for a complex, changing global society, with four master’s degree designations – Master of Arts, (M.A.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), and Master of Science, (M.S.) – in more than 20 academic majors or fields of study.

      The master’s degree programs traverse each of the university’s four colleges – College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Management, College of Education, and College of Health Sciences.

  • Credit Requirements

    • Most M.A., M.Ed., and M.S. degree programs require 30 to 36 credit hours of coursework beyond the baccalaureate level; however, the number of credit hours required for the master’s degree varies with the type of degree and whether the student is required to write a thesis.

      Some clinically-based Master of Science (M.S.) programs, and professional master’s degrees, such as the Master of Public Heath (M.P.H.), require 42 credit hours or more. Many of these degrees, however, do not require the student to complete a thesis.

  • Academic Major and Concentration

    • The academic major represents the sequence of courses and experiences constituting the major field of study and culminating in the master’s degree. Some academic majors or programs of study offer the student the opportunity to select a concentration (e.g., focused area of study, track, specialization, emphasis) within the major field.

  • Program Option

    • Many of ESU's master’s degree programs offer the student the opportunity to select a program option, typically a thesis or non-thesis option.

  • Admission to Candidacy

    • All master’s degree students who received an admission decision of Admission, Pre-Candidacy are expected to submit a Plan of Study prior to the completion of 12 credit hours.

      Subsequent to submission of the Plan of Study, students are reviewed for Admission to Candidacy. To be admitted to candidacy, a student must be in Academic Good Standing and have fulfilled any requirements stated by the department or Graduate Dean.

      Master’s degree students who received an admission decision of Admission, with Conditions must first fulfill all conditions, as stated on the admission decision letter, and have their status upgraded to Admission, Pre-Candidacy in order to be reviewed for Admission to Candidacy.

      A master’s degree candidate must remain in academic good standing in order to be eligible to graduate.

  • In-Residence and Transfer Credits

    • Individual graduate programs at East Stroudsburg University may establish requirements for credits taken "in residence" and transfer credits, allowing up to 1/3 of the credits meeting program requirements to be accepted as transfer credits. Graduate programs that wish to allow the acceptance of more than six transfer credits, up to 1/3 of the credits meeting program requirements, must follow the process for approval of program requirements/transfer credits to set the higher limit of transfer credits for the program.

      Transfer credits must have been completed at a regionally accredited institution, within the past six years, and the grade earned must be at least a "B" or its equivalent. Also, the credits must not have been utilized to fulfill requirements for a degree earned at that institution. Transfer credits must be approved and incorporated in the Plan of Study.

  • Culminating Experiences

    • All master’s degree programs at East Stroudsburg University require a culminating experience. This requirement may be met through a thesis, research project, or comprehensive examination, or in some cases this requirement can be met through integrative experiences, such as practicum, internships, and other field work that synthesize theory and practice.

      The Graduate College outlines the process and timeline for all culminating experiences. Failure to adhere to guidelines may delay a student's graduation.

  • Application for Graduation

    • All candidates for the master’s degree are required to submit a complete and approved Application for Graduation during the semester in which program completion and graduation are anticipated, as follows:

      Anticipated Graduation

      Application Due Date

      May

      February 15

      August

      May 9

      December

      September 15

  • Statute of Limitations

    • All program requirements for a master’s degree, including program credits earned or accepted by transfer, examinations, internships or field experiences, and research requirements must be completed within six years from the date on initial registration in the program. A leave of absence may be requested for professional or personal reasons; the time during the leave of absence does not count toward the maximum timeframe for completing degree requirements. An extension to the statute of limitation for program completion may be requested; the extension must be submitted and fully approved prior to the expiration of the six-year maximum timeframe.

General Policies

  • Academic Integrity Policy

    • East Stroudsburg University is committed to promoting a climate of openness and honesty among all members of the university community. In order to foster an environment suitable for the development of academic excellence, it is imperative that all members of the academic community uphold the principles of academic integrity in all scholarly endeavors.

      Academic integrity implies that students are solely responsible for their work and actions while members of the ESU community. In accordance with this pursuit, students are responsible for knowing the rules and conditions under which university credit may legitimately be obtained.

      Violations of academic honesty will be viewed with the utmost seriousness and appropriate sanctions will be applied.

      It shall be deemed an academic offense if a student commits any of the following:

      • During a test or examination, uses any material not authorized by the instructor.
      • Provides or receives assistance in an examination, test, assignment, paper or project in a manner not authorized by the instructor.
      • Buys, sells, engages in unauthorized exchange, or uses any tests or examinations in advance of their administration.
      • Buys, sells, engages in unauthorized exchange or improperly using any assignments, papers or projects.
      • Presents as his or her own, for academic credit, the ideas or works of another person(s), scholastic, literary or artistic, in whole or in part, without proper and customary acknowledgment of sources, and in a manner which represents the work to be his or her own.
      • Falsifies or invents information, data, or research material.
      • Obtains information in a way contrary to the stated policies of the course, and/or the university as stated herein.
      • Attempts to bribe or coerce any university employee or student in order to gain academic advantage.
      • Colludes with others in order to circumvent academic requirements.
      • Substitutes for another student, or arranges for substitution by another student, or misrepresents oneself as another person during a test or examination whether in person or using electronic or telephonic communication.
      • Alters, changes, or forges university academic records, or forges faculty, staff, or administrative signatures on any university form or letter.
      • Submits any false record in pursuit of university credit.
  • Standards of Behavior

    • The mission and objectives of the university include a serious concern for the overall development of the individual. This philosophy implies that all students maintain high personal standards and conduct themselves in a manner, which manifests not only intellectual and emotional growth but also personal and social development. The basic standards of behavior are outlined in the Student Handbook, under the Judicial Process and Regulations and the Student Code of Conduct.

  • Academic Good Standing

    • Graduate and post-baccalaureate students at East Stroudsburg University are expected to maintain high academic standards. All graduate and post-baccalaureate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher in all coursework in order to be in academic good standing. In the first 6 credits of a graduate program (early pre-candidacy), an overall GPA of 2.50 or higher will be accepted as academic good standing. A graduate student must be in academic good standing to be admitted to degree candidacy and to graduate. Some graduate and post-baccalaureate programs may have more stringent requirements for academic good standing.

  • Academic Probation and Dismissal

    • Students who fall below academic good standing are placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation must raise their cumulative grade point average (GPA) to 3.0 or higher within the next nine credit hours.

      Students who fail to raise their cumulative average to at least 3.0 by the end of their probation period will be dismissed from their program, as well as from the Graduate College.

      A graduate student who is academically dismissed may reapply to the Graduate College and graduate program after a period of one year. Some graduate programs may have more stringent requirements for academic probation and dismissal.

  • Course Repeats

    • Graduate students are required to earn a grade of C or higher in all coursework in order to progress in their program of study and in the Graduate College, with a maximum of three grades of C across the program.

      Students may repeat only one course for grade improvement for each graduate program. The course may be repeated one time, for a total of two attempts. If a student has not earned a grade of C or higher after a second attempt, then the student will be dismissed from the graduate program and Graduate College.

      Semester hours for a repeated course will be counted only once, and the hours and grade earned when the course was last taken will be used to compute the grade point average. However, all attempts will continue to appear on the transcript. Some graduate programs may have more stringent requirements for course grades and course repeats.

  • Post-baccalaureate Students

    • Post-baccalaureate students are expected to earn a grade of C or higher in all coursework, graduate and undergraduate, in their post-baccalaureate career.

      Post-baccalaureate students may repeat up to two courses for grade improvement. Each course may be repeated one time, for a total of two attempts. If a student has not earned a grade of C or higher after a second attempt, then the student will be dismissed from the post-baccalaureate program and the Graduate College.

      Semester hours for a repeated course will be counted only once, and the hours and grade earned when the course was last taken will be used to compute the grade point average. However, all attempts will continue to appear on the transcript.

  • Grading System and Quality Points

    • In addition to meeting course and semester hour requirements for graduation, students must maintain a specified academic level throughout a given curriculum as measured by quality points. The minimum number of quality points required for graduation is twice the number of semester hours of credit attempted. Pass/fail courses are not used in the computation of the quality point average. Work completed at other colleges and accepted as transfer credit is not considered in computing the grade point average. The required grade point average for graduation is 2.000 or higher. Some degree programs require a higher cumulative grade point average.

      Each semester hour grade is calculated as follows:

      Grade Symbol

      Quality Points

      A

      4.000

      A-

      3.667

      B+

      3.333

      B

      3.000

      B-

      2.667

      C+

      2.333

      C

      2.000

      C-

      1.667

      D

      1.000

      E

      0

      Calculating of grade point average is done using the steps below.

      1. Grade symbols are translated into quality points per semester hour of credit as listed above.
      2. The university recognizes that a good grade in a three-semester-hour course requires more work than in a two-semester-hour course. Owing to this, the university follows a system which recognizes both the quality and quantity of a student's work.
      3. Under this system, the number of quality points for each letter grade (e.g. four points for an A) is multiplied by the number of semester hours of credit for the course.
      4. For example, an A in a three-semester-hour course earns a total of 12 quality points. To find out a student's quality point average, divide the total number of quality points by the total number of semester hours scheduled. This average considers both the quality and quantity of work.
      5. Quality points are awarded only for work completed at East Stroudsburg University. Work completed at other colleges and accepted as transfer credit is not considered in computing the quality point average.
  • Grade Reports

    • Student grade reports are available at mid-semester and at the end of the semester. Only the end-of-semester grades are entered on the student’s permanent records (transcript). Semester grade reports are available through the student portal myESU. Specific information about access to the student portal is mailed to each student upon his or her initial enrollment at East Stroudsburg University.

      It is the responsibility of each student to check grade reports at mid-semester and at the end of the semester. Students are expected to check grade reports as they are available to be aware of academic performance in each course, to register for courses for the next semester, and to address issues related to course grades immediately. Grade reports are an important tool for assessing academic progress.

  • Course Withdrawal

    • Course withdrawals, subject to the conditions described below, may be accomplished by completing a Drop Card and obtaining the instructor’s signature. Withdrawals must be officially recorded at the Student Enrollment Center. Any student who discontinues attendance in a course without formally withdrawing will be assigned a final grade of E.

      During the first week of the semester a student may withdraw from a course and have no record of that course appear on the student’s permanent record.

      After the first week through the 10th week, a student who withdraws will receive a grade of W for that course on the student’s permanent record.

      After the 10th week the student may withdraw only if there are extraordinary circumstances (e.g., illness, death in the family, etc.). In this situation the student must also secure the graduate dean’s signature on the drop card.

      A grade of W will be assigned if the student is passing; Z will be assigned if the student is failing.

      Time periods for withdrawals during a semester and summer session are as follows:

      Withdrawal Action

      Withdrawal Time Period

       

      Semester

      3-week session

      6-week session

      NO RECORD

      1st week

      1st day

      2 days

      ‘W’ GRADE:

      2nd-10th week

      2nd day–2nd week

      3rd day – 4th week

      NO WITHDRAWAL:

      11th -15th week

      3rd wk.

      5th – 6th weeks

  • Incomplete Grades

    • The maximum time for completing course requirements to remove incomplete grades is one year from the end of the session in which the I grade was assigned. After that time, the I grade will automatically be converted by the registrar to an E, F, or U based on the grade mode for the course. The student can then only earn credits for the course by registering for it again in another term.

      If a student applies for graduation in a session before the one-year period has expired, the course requirements must be completed by the end of that session, or the I grade will be converted by the Registrar to an E, F, or U.

      A faculty member who chooses to deviate from this policy will require the student to sign a contract specifying conditions necessary for course completion, which may include a time period for completion of less than one year or other conditions.

      Students registered for thesis credits will be assigned the letter "O" (Ongoing) instead of I while completing their research.

  • Course Auditing

    • Graduate students may audit a course if permission has been granted by the course instructor (Permission to Audit card). Auditors must pay normal tuition and related fees. A change of registration from credit to audit or from audit to credit may occur only during the first week of the semester.

      An auditor will, with permission from the instructor, participate in class discussion, do practicum work, take examinations, and share generally in the privileges of a class member. If the student completes all course requirements, an "audit" notation is posted to the student’s academic record.

      No student who is required to carry a certain number of credits may count among those credits the credit for an audited course.

  • Dual-Level Courses

    • Graduate students who enroll in dual-level courses as graduate credit should be aware that dual-level courses commonly require more advanced work and additional requirements than required of undergraduate students taking the same course. Dual-level courses with graduate credit taken while a student was an undergraduate may be approved for the graduate program if the course did not count toward the requirements for the baccalaureate degree.

  • Academic Correspondence

    • Correspondence from the Graduate College to graduate students is mailed to the permanent address of record or university e-mail account. Therefore, graduate students are required to notify the Graduate College of any changes in mailing address and other contact information on a timely basis.

  • Commencement

    • For December Graduate Commencement, graduate students who have fulfilled all program requirements are eligible to participate.

      For May Graduate Commencement, graduate students who have fulfilled all program requirements are eligible to participate. Graduate students enrolled in cohort programs which conclude in the Summer Session, and who are in academic good standing and who have been admitted to candidacy, are eligible to participate. Graduate students in other programs, who are in academic good standing, have been admitted to candidacy, and scheduled to complete their degree program in Summer Session, are eligible to participate.

      All graduation applications require departmental approval.