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    Western Michigan University
   
 
  Sep 21, 2017
 
 
    
Graduate Catalog 2013-14 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations


Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.

 

 


Academic Standards

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Notwithstanding the Academic Standards policy outlined below, a student admitted with Conditional Admission or Provisional Admission status must meet the specified performance level within the time frame identified in the letter of admission or may not continue to enroll in University courses. Further, the Academic Standards policy inherently presumes the student will first meet satisfactorily any obligations or requirements specified in the letter of admission before the Academic Standards policy shall have any effect on the continuing enrollment of the student.

  1. Good Standing: A graduate student admitted to a graduate degree or certificate program is in good standing whenever that student’s degree or certificate program grade point average is at least 3.0.
  2. Warning:   Whenever the grade point average for any enrollment period is less than 3.0, but the degree program grade point average is 3.0 or above, the student will be warned.
  3. Probation: If a student’s degree program grade point average falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on probation.
  4. Extended Probation:  The student will be placed on Extended Probation when, following a semester on Probation, the student’s degree program grade point average is below 3.0 and the student’s grade point average for the enrollment period is 3.0 or above.
  5. Final Probation: The student will be placed on Final Probation when, following a semester on Extended Probation, the student’s degree program grade point average is below 3.0 and the student’s grade point average for the enrollment period is 3.0 or above.
  6. Probation Removed: When the conditions of Good Standing are restored, Probation will be removed.
  7. Dismissal: Students on Probation or Extended Probation who fail to achieve at least a 3.0 grade point average for the enrollment period, or students on Final Probation who fail to achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade point average will be dismissed from the University.
  • Dismissed students must apply for readmission through the normal admission process. The student will send a Readmission Application to the Admissions Office that, in turn, will forward the student’s Readmission Application to the program or academic unit admission body for decision on readmission.

Appeal Procedure: Upon appeal by the student, the program or academic unit admission body will determine whether to grant Extended Probation or Final Probation status. The status must be granted by the program or academic unit admission body in order for the student to register. The appeal must be initiated and the decision made by the program or unit prior to the subsequent semester’s last day to add classes.

Annual Review of Graduate Students

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A graduate student’s academic performance, professional development, research progress, and, where applicable, professional/ethical behavior will be reviewed annually to determine the student’s eligibility to continue in the program. Annual review forms for doctoral and master’s students may be found at www.wmich.edu/grad/forms/ and the policy is available at www.wmich.edu/grad/policies/annualreview.pdf. Upon the student’s initial enrollment in a graduate program, the department shall provide a document to the graduate student outlining its annual review criteria and procedures. The review will assist the student in measuring timely progress toward completion of the program of study and in providing documentation for awards or assistantships or, if deficiencies are apparent, note them and indicate corrections necessary. Uncorrected deficiencies and/or unsatisfactory progress, performance, or behavior may result in a student’s dismissal from the program.

Attendance

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Students are responsible directly to their instructors for class and laboratory attendance, and for petitions to excuse absences.

Course Grades and Grading System

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A grade is given in each course in which a student registers. Grades are indicated by letters and assigned honor points as shown in the table below. Credit toward a degree program will be granted only for courses in which a grade of “C” or better is earned.

Grade      Definition     

Honor Points Per Credit Hour

A   Outstanding, Exceptional  

4.0

BA      

3.5

B    Very good    

3.0

CB      

2.5

C      

2.0

DC      

1.5

D      

1.0

E   Failing  

0.0

X   (Failure) Unofficial Withdrawal  

0.0

I   Incomplete ~  

 

W   Official Withdrawal ~  

 

CR   Credit  

 

NC   No Credit  

 

AU   Audit  

 

X - (Failure) Unofficial Withdrawal: The symbol “X” is used to indicate that a student has never attended class or has discontinued attendance and does not qualify for the grade of “I.”  The “X” will be computed into the student’s grade point average.

 I - Incomplete: This is a temporary grade which the instructor may give to a student when illness, necessary absence, or other reasons beyond the control of the student prevent completion of course requirements by the end of the semester or session.  The grade of “I” (Incomplete) may not be given as a substitute for a failing grade.

A grade of “I” must be removed by the instructor who gave it or, in exceptional circumstances, by the department chairperson.

Incomplete grades (except those given in Master’s Thesis 7000, Specialist Project 7200, and Doctoral Dissertation 7300, and courses directly related to them or identified by departments) will convert to an “X” if not removed within one calendar year, or sooner if so stipulated by the instructor. Students who receive an incomplete grade in a course must not re-register for the course in order to remove the “I”.

An instructor who assigns a grade of “I” will submit a Report of Incomplete Grade Form located on the faculty menu in GoWMU indicating the remaining requirement for removal of the incomplete grade and indicating the time allowed, if less than one full year.An e-mail will be automatically generated to the student, the Registrar’s Office as well as an e-mail confirmation sent to the instructor.

 W - Official Withdrawal: A grade of “W” is given in a course when a student officially withdraws from that course or from the University before the final withdrawal date in the semester or session.

 CR or NC - Credit or No Credit:  The Credit/No Credit grading system is used in all 7000-level courses, as well as some departmental courses approved by the University.  The student’s transcript will indicate “CR” when the grade received is an A, BA, or B; “I/NC” when incomplete; and “NC” when the grade received is a CB, C, DC, D, E, or X.

 AU - Audit: The symbol “AU” is used to indicate that a student has enrolled in a course as an auditor, has attended at least three-fourths of the class or laboratory sessions, and has given evidence to the course instructor that the role as auditor has been satisfactory. A student who registers for a graduate course as an auditor, with the permission of the instructor, is not eligible to sit for examinations, earns no credit hours for the registration, and pays full tuition. The student must enroll in the audit status at the time of registration, and may not be transferred from the audit status after the course has begun.

For 7000-level credits, grades of Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) may be given, with departments held responsible for insuring that progress on the thesis/project/dissertation has in fact been made in any term for which the grade of Credit (CR) is given. The grade of No Credit (NC) will not affect a student’s over-all GPA, but it will stay on the record as an accurate representation of a student’s history in that term.

Because a transcript is to be an honest and accurate record of a student’s academic work, should a student receive a series of Credit (or even No Credit) grades for 7000, 7200, or 7300 and then decide not to complete that work, the enrollments and grades for 7000, 7200, or 7300 will remain on the transcript.

Theses and projects will still involve only six (6) completed credits. Dissertations will involve whatever number of completed credits is stipulated on the student’s program of study, which can range from 12 to 24. Consequently, until the student earns the required number of credits for the writing, registration for credits resulting in grades of “NC” will need to be repeated.

Grade Change

A student who believes that an error has been made in the assignment of a grade must follow the procedure described later in this catalog in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section under the heading, “Course Grade and Program Dismissal Appeals.”

Grade Point Average

A grade point average is obtained by dividing the total number of honor points earned by the total number of semester hours completed. For example, a total of forty-eight honor points earned in a semester by a student who completed sixteen hours of course work gives a grade point average of 3.0 for the semester.

Graduate Credit by Examination

Each academic unit responsible for offering a graduate program may, with the approval of its dean, establish a procedure for granting credit by examination for any course numbered 5000 through 6990. All credit by examination is subject to the following regulations:

  1. The academic unit which offers a graduate program shall determine if an equivalency examination may be used to obtain credit for a particular 5000- or 6000-level course in that academic unit.
  2. All equivalency examinations will be administered and graded by no fewer than two faculty members from the academic unit offering the particular course.
  3. All credit by examination shall be graded “Credit” or “No Credit.”  “Credit” will be posted on the transcript as “Credit earned by examination” without letter grade or honor points. Students who do not achieve a sufficient score to receive “Credit” will have no entry made on their transcripts.
  4. Credit by examination can be used to meet all other University graduation requirements except the residency requirement.
  5. Credit by examination can be earned only by those students admitted to a specific graduate degree or certificate program and who are enrolled concurrently with the examination for credit.
  6. Credit by examination earned at another university may transfer in accordance with the current policies of the Graduate College governing the transfer of credit.
  7. Examination fees are assessed on a credit hour basis and are the same for all students. The current fee schedule: less than four credit hours, $50.00; four credit hours to eight credit hours, $100.00. By special arrangement, some course examinations may require higher fees.

Honor Points

The number of honor points earned in a course is the number of semester hours credit given by the course multiplied by the value of the letter grade received.  (See the “Grading System” table above.) For example, a grade of “B” (3 honor points) in a four-hour course gives 3 X 4, or 12 honor points.

Honor points are not generated in a Credit/No Credit course, such as in any 7000-level course.

Credit earned in undergraduate courses is not computed into the graduate point-hour ratio.

Honor point deficiencies acquired in credits earned at Western Michigan University cannot be made up by credits and honor points earned at another university.   Only credit hours transfer from another university-not grades and not honor points.

Repeated Course

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With the exception of courses that are approved by the University Curriculum Review Policy as repeatable for credit (e.g., multi-topic or umbrella courses), no more than two courses may be retaken and no course may be repeated more than once during the student’s graduate career (inclusive of both master’s and doctoral programs) at WMU. This number may be further limited by individual departments. Permission to retake a course must be obtained from the program advisor and graduate dean before registration for the course to be repeated takes place. The original grade for the course will remain on the student’s transcript, and both the original and repeated course grade will be computed into the degree program grade point average. 

Final Examination

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All students enrolled in a course in which a final examination is given must take the examination.

Student requests for an examination at any other time than that scheduled may not be honored.

Full-time/Part-time Student Status

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For all graduate students taking courses for a stated degree or certificate program, six hours constitutes full-time status, and three hours constitutes half-time status in Fall and Spring semesters.  In the Summer I and Summer II sessions, three hours in either session constitutes full-time status for that session and two hours constitutes half-time status.

Students who have completed all course work for their master’s or doctoral level program and who have only the thesis or dissertation to complete are required by Western Michigan University to enroll for a minimum of one-hour in thesis or dissertation credits in all Fall and Spring semesters through the semester of graduation. If the student will graduate in the Summer I or Summer II session, the student must be enrolled in that session. Such enrollment will satisfy WMU’s continuous enrollment requirement.

However, students must be aware that FICA regulations and some federal loan deferment regulations require at least half-time enrollment, which at WMU is now at least three hours of enrollment. Graduate students, even those enrolled for thesis or dissertation hours, must be enrolled for at least half-time (3 hours at WMU) in order to qualify for FICA tax exemption or to be eligible for loan deferments.

Since enrollment fees are determined by hours enrolled, and not by full- or part-time status, students (whether graduate or undergraduate) who enroll for four or fewer hours are charged a lesser enrollment fee than those who enroll for five or more hours, and consequently they will be required to pay an additional fee for unlimited use of the recreation center. Students enrolling for four or fewer hours will have access to the recreation center for 10 visits without extra fee charges.

Independent Study

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Independent Study refers to enrollment in an appropriately designated, variable-credit course for a specific plan of study, authorized and supervised by a designated, consenting faculty member.

Independent Study is not a substitute for regular courses, but an enrichment opportunity. Normally, it is a project designed to allow students to investigate an area of interest not within the scope of a regular course, to probe in more depth than is possible in a regular course, or to obtain an educational experience outside that normally offered by a regular course.

Since individual Independent Study projects are not normally reviewed through the usual departmental and University processes, it is essential that the academic adequacy of such projects be assured by some other means applied consistently throughout the University.

The following policy guidelines are intended to serve that function.

Proposals for Independent Study

Independent Study requires an adequate description of the work to be undertaken, requiring planning in advance of the registration period. Sufficient time, therefore, must be allowed for such planning and for obtaining the necessary faculty and administrative approvals.

While the Independent Study project is normally student-initiated, early interaction with faculty is essential in the development of a mutually acceptable project description. At a minimum, such a description should contain an outline of the study topic, specification of the work to be done and the materials to be read, the credit to be given, the type and frequency of faculty-student contacts, and a statement of the evaluative criteria to be used by the faculty member.

Approval Process

The faculty member must accept and approve the student and the project, and then submit the agreed-upon proposal on the appropriate University form to the department chairperson for approval. If the chairperson approves, information copies of the form must be submitted to the dean and the Registrar.

The granting of approval by the department chairperson may involve considerations, such as faculty workload, which go beyond the merits of the project.

Faculty Responsibility

Independent Study is basically a tutorial process, necessarily involving substantial faculty participation.  In that respect, it should be distinguished from “credit by examination,” a different option in which the role of the faculty member is primarily evaluative.

A student is on his/her own in Independent Study in that it involves no class meetings or formal lectures, but the faculty member is the responsible custodian of the project, obliged to provide guidance, assistance, criticism, suggestion, and evaluation, and shall be the instructor of record who is responsible for turning in a grade to the Registrar’s Office.

Thesis, Project, and Dissertation Committee Requirements

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Master’s Thesis Committee

A master’s thesis committee shall be appointed for each student undertaking a thesis as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master’s degree. The purpose of the thesis committee is twofold: 1) to provide the range of expertise necessary to advise a student in the conduct of the master’s thesis, and 2) to ensure that evaluation of the thesis represents a consensus of professionals in the student’s chosen discipline.

The master’s thesis committee is charged with the supervision and evaluation of the master’s thesis, a task that includes but is not limited to the following responsibilities: a) advise the student on selection and/or development of a master’s thesis topic; b) review and approve a proposal for the master’s thesis; c) provide consultation regarding progress on the thesis; d) evaluate the final document; and e) in those departments requiring an oral defense, evaluate the oral defense of the thesis.

In addition to the previously described responsibilities that are generic to all thesis committee members, the chairperson of the committee assumes the following additional responsibilities: a) in those departments where this responsibility is not discharged through other mechanisms, advise the student regarding selection of thesis committee members; b) routinely monitor student progress on the thesis; c) call thesis committee meetings; d) evaluate the readiness of the thesis proposal and of the thesis for committee review and action; and e) inform the student of the need to adhere to the Guidelines for the Preparation of Theses, Specialist Projects, and Dissertations (available at www.wmich.edu/grad/guidelines/).

Each thesis committee shall consist of a minimum of three members or associate members of the graduate faculty of Western Michigan University. The committee chair must be a full member of the graduate faculty. At least two of the committee members must be from the department or academic program in which the student is pursuing the master’s degree. The appointment of a master’s thesis committee is a three-stage process requiring, first, a mutual agreement between the master’s student and the prospective committee members; second, a formal appointment by the chairperson of the department (or the chairperson’s designee); and third, notification of and approval by the office of the dean of the Graduate College regarding this appointment.

Each unit offering a master’s degree in which the thesis is either required or optional may approve and disseminate additional guidelines concerning master’s thesis committees, including the qualifications for committee membership, the procedures used to select and appoint committee members, and the specific functions and responsibilities that the members of these committees have. Additionally, each unit is encouraged to disseminate an updated list of faculty who qualify to serve on master’s thesis committees and their respective areas of expertise (a current list of graduate faculty members by department is available through the Graduate College at www.wmich.edu/grad/sub-faculty-staff.html).

The thesis must be in a form acceptable to the unit and to the Graduate College before the student may be awarded the master’s degree. The thesis format must adhere to the Guidelines for the Preparation of Theses, Specialist Projects, and Dissertations (available at www.wmich.edu/grad/guidelines/) and the thesis submitted to the Graduate College for review by the deadline for the student’s term of graduation (deadlines published at www.wmich.edu/grad/calendar.html).

If there are differences among the members of a master’s thesis committee over the approval of the thesis and its oral defense, it shall be the responsibility of the committee to undertake every reasonable effort to resolve these differences and come to a unanimous decision. 

In the event a student wishes to appeal a negative decision by the student’s master’s thesis committee, the student shall first take the appeal to this same committee, which shall hear the appeal and render a decision. In case the committee cannot reach a unanimous agreement and the student wishes to appeal further a negative decision, a Review Committee shall be established consisting of the dean of the Graduate College, the appropriate academic dean, and the chairperson or director of the unit. The Review Committee shall seek to resolve the controversy without passing on the thesis. The Review Committee handling such a case is limited to procedural actions, such as reconstituting the master’s thesis committee if the case merits it. 

Specialist Project Committee

A specialist project committee shall be appointed for each student undertaking a project as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a specialist degree. The purpose of the project committee is twofold: 1) to provide the range of expertise necessary to advise a student in the conduct of the specialist project, and 2) to ensure that evaluation of the project represents a consensus of professionals in the student’s chosen discipline.

The specialist project committee is charged with the supervision and evaluation of the specialist project, a task that includes but is not limited to the following responsibilities:  a) advise the student on selection and/or development of a specialist project topic; b) review and approve a proposal for the specialist project; c) provide consultation regarding progress on the project; d) evaluate the final document; and e) in those departments requiring an oral defense, evaluate the oral defense of the project.

In addition to the previously described responsibilities that are generic to all project committee members, the chairperson of the committee assumes the following additional responsibilities: a) in those departments where this responsibility is not discharged through other mechanisms, advise the student regarding selection of project committee members; b) routinely monitor student progress on the project; c) call project committee meetings; d) evaluate the readiness of the project proposal and of the project for committee review and action; and e) inform the student of the need to adhere to the Guidelines for the Preparation of Theses, Specialist Projects, and Dissertations (available at www.wmich.edu/grad/guidelines/).

Each project committee shall consist of a minimum of three members or associate members of the graduate faculty of Western Michigan University. The committee chair must be a full member of the graduate faculty. At least two of the committee members must be from the department or academic program in which the student is pursuing the specialist degree. The appointment of a specialist committee is a three-stage process requiring, first, a mutual agreement between the specialist student and the prospective committee members; second, a formal appointment by the chairperson of the department (or the chairperson’s designee); and third, notification of and approval by the office of the dean of the Graduate College regarding this appointment.

Each unit offering a specialist degree in which the project is either required or optional may approve and disseminate additional guidelines concerning specialist project committees, including the qualifications for committee membership, the procedures used to select and appoint committee members, and the specific functions and responsibilities that the members of these committees have. Additionally, each unit is encouraged to disseminate an updated list of faculty who qualify to serve on specialist project committees and their respective areas of expertise (a current list of graduate faculty members by department is available through the Graduate College at www.wmich.edu/grad/sub-faculty-staff.html).

The specialist project must be in a form acceptable to the unit and to the Graduate College before the student may be awarded the specialist degree. The project format must adhere to the Guidelines for the Preparation of Theses, Specialist Projects, and Dissertations (available at www.wmich.edu/grad/guidelines/) and the project submitted to the Graduate College for review by the deadline for the student’s term of graduation (deadlines published at www.wmich.edu/grad/calendar.html).

If there are differences among the members of a specialist project committee over the approval of the project and its oral defense, it shall be the responsibility of the committee to undertake every reasonable effort to resolve these differences and come to a unanimous decision. 

In the event a student wishes to appeal a negative decision by the student’s specialist project committee, the student shall first take the appeal to this same committee, which shall hear the appeal and render a decision.  In case the committee cannot reach a unanimous agreement and the student wishes to appeal further a negative decision, a Review Committee shall be established consisting of the dean of the Graduate College, the appropriate academic dean, and the chairperson or director of the unit. The Review Committee shall seek to resolve the controversy without passing on the project. The Review Committee handling such a case is limited to procedural actions, such as reconstituting the specialist project committee if the case merits it.

Doctoral Dissertation Committee

A doctoral dissertation committee shall be appointed for each student undertaking a dissertation as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a doctoral degree. The purpose of the dissertation committee is to review the dissertation proposal, procedures, and results; to make suggestions relative to these matters to the student; and to decide whether to approve the dissertation and the oral defense as fulfilling these requirements for the doctoral degree.

Each doctoral dissertation committee shall consist of at least three members. The student’s major dissertation advisor shall serve as chairperson of the committee.  At least one member shall be from outside the student’s department (this person may be from a related cognate discipline, from outside the student’s college, or from outside WMU) who shall serve as a bona fide, fully participating member of the committee. The committee shall be approved and recommended by the unit, approved by the office of the appropriate academic dean, and approved and appointed by the graduate dean. Each member of the committee must be either a member or an associate member of the graduate faculty; the committee chair must be a full member of the graduate faculty (a current list of graduate faculty members by department is available through the Graduate College at www.wmich.edu/grad/sub-faculty-staff.html).

Each unit offering a doctoral program shall approve and publish its policies concerning doctoral dissertation committees, including the qualifications for membership on doctoral dissertation committees, the procedures used to select who should serve on these committees, and the specific functions and responsibilities that the members of these committees have. The chairperson of each student’s doctoral dissertation committee shall indicate in writing the specific responsibilities that individual members of that committee have.

The formal defense of the dissertation must be scheduled with the Graduate College at least two weeks in advance (form available at www.wmich.edu/grad/forms/defense.scheduling.pdf). All members of this committee must approve the dissertation and at least three must be in attendance for and approve its oral defense. The dissertation must be in a form acceptable to the unit and to the Graduate College before the student may be awarded the doctoral degree. The dissertation format must adhere to the Guidelines for the Preparation of Theses, Specialist Projects and Dissertations (available at www.wmich.edu/grad/guidelines/) and the dissertation submitted to the Graduate College for review by the deadline for the student’s term of graduation (deadlines published at www.wmich.edu/grad/calendar.html).

If there are differences among the members of a doctoral dissertation committee over the approval of the dissertation and its oral defense, it shall be the responsibility of the committee to undertake every reasonable effort to resolve these differences and come to a unanimous decision. 

 

Thesis, Project, or Dissertation Credit Requirements and Policies

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A student who intends to register for the courses Master’s Thesis (7000), Specialist Project (7200), or Doctoral Dissertation (7300) for the first time is required to file a completed Permission to Elect form (available at www.wmich.edu/grad/forms/html) with the Graduate College before registering to ensure that the student is informed about the regulations pertaining to the preparation and submission of the manuscript and the requirements for research involving regulated subjects and hazardous materials.

Continuous Enrollment

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Following a student’s first enrollment in the courses Master’s Thesis (7000), Specialist Project (7200), or Dissertation (7300), the student must have continuous enrollment in that same course until all thesis or project or dissertation requirements are completed satisfactorily and approved by all appropriate bodies. Registration deadlines apply. For students not enrolled in the Summer I and Summer II sessions, pre-enrollment in the subsequent Fall semester is necessary for access to library resources during Summer I and Summer II.

Continuous enrollment is defined as enrollment in all Fall and Spring semesters from the initial enrollment to the semester in which the student graduates (some programs may require students to be enrolled during Summer sessions as well as Fall and Spring semesters; student should refer to respective program handbooks). If the student will graduate in the Summer I or Summer II session, the student must be enrolled in that session. Students who desire to have remote access to WMU’s library databases during the Summer I and Summer II sessions may do so by paying the customary computer fee for each session in which computer and remote library services are desired.

Research Subject Protection and Registration

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Students conducting research that involves human or animal subjects, biohazards, genetic materials, or nuclear materials/radiation must have prior approval of the research proposal by the appropriate University board/committee/official, thus assuring compliance with the regulations for the protection of such subjects or for the use of such materials. (For resources on the different kinds of regulated subjects and materials, see www.wmich.edu/research/compliance.html.) There are no exceptions to this requirement. Registration for courses in which research is conducted that requires such prior approval should not be attempted until the appropriate University board grants approval. The department requiring the course is responsible for assuring that the student has complied with federal, state, and WMU requirements. The student completing such regulated research for a master’s thesis, specialist project, or doctoral dissertation must include the written approval or exemption letter from the appropriate board/committee/official as an appendix to the thesis, project, or dissertation, and a student completing such regulated research for a course report, paper, or project must include the written approval or exemption letter from the appropriate board/committee/official as an addendum to the report, paper, or project. For more information, call the Office of the Vice President for Research, (269) 387-8298.

Transfer & Other Credit Policies

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Transfer Credits

Transfer credit will be recorded on the Western Michigan University transcript as “Credit” (CR) only and will not be calculated into the honor points earned and the graduate grade point average at Western Michigan University. Grades and honor points do not transfer; only credit transfers. As a consequence, honor point deficiencies acquired in credits earned at Western Michigan University cannot be made up by credits earned at another university. (Exception: Grades for courses taken at other Michigan institutions under the Michigan Intercollegiate Graduate Studies [MIGS] program are applied to the student’s grade point average at WMU and appear or the student transcript. See: www.wmich.edu/grad/forms/migs.pdf for more information about the MIGS program.

Graduate credit may be transferred from other schools provided:

  1. The credits were earned at an institution accredited for graduate study and are of “B” grade (3.0) or better.  Moreover, the student’s overall grade point average for all graduate work taken at the other institution must also be “B” (3.0) or better.
  2. The credit is earned within the time limit for the student’s WMU degree program (six years for master’s or specialist programs, or seven years for doctoral programs), is represented on an official transcript of the other institution, and is identified as graduate credit.
  3. The student’s department verifies that the transfer credits contribute to the student’s degree program and includes them in the student’s Graduate Student Permanent Program of Study.
  4. The graduate dean approves the inclusion of the transferred credits in the student’s Graduate Student Permanent Program of Study.
Master’s Program

A student enrolled in a master’s program must complete a minimum of 24 semester hours at Western Michigan University. Any credits transferred into a master’s program from other institutions may not exceed sixteen semester credit hours and must have been earned within the six-year period prior to graduation.

Second Master’s Program

A student enrolled for a second master’s degree from Western Michigan University must complete a minimum of 24 additional semester hours at Western Michigan University. Any credits transferred internally into the second master’s program may not exceed 16 semester credit hours and must have been earned within the six-year period prior to graduation. A maximum of two semester hours of graduate credit for any workshop completed at another accredited institution may be applied to a master’s degree at Western Michigan University. (Exceptions may be approved by the graduate dean only upon the recommendation of the program advisor or the chairperson of the department in which the student is enrolled for graduate study.) 

Specialist Program 

A student with a master’s degree from another institution who completes a specialist degree at Western Michigan University may transfer up to thirty-six semester hours of approved graduate credit. A student without a master’s degree who completes a specialist degree at Western Michigan University may transfer up to twelve semester hours of approved graduate credit. All credits transferred into a specialist program must have been earned within the six-year period prior to graduation. The current regulation concerning appropriateness of the credit accepted will apply. 

Doctoral Program 

A student enrolled in a doctoral program must complete a minimum of thirty semester hours, excluding the dissertation, at Western Michigan University after admission to the doctoral program. The thirty hours, excluding the dissertation, may not include any credit earned at another institution. Credit earned at another institution in addition to the thirty hours (excluding the dissertation) earned at WMU after admission to the doctoral program, however, may be approved by the doctoral program advisor and included in the student’s Graduate Student Permanent Program of Study. All credits transferred into a doctoral program must have been earned within the seven-year period prior to graduation.

Undergraduate Credit in a Graduate Program

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In certain instances, an advisor may permit a student to include up to six semester hours of 3000- or 4000-level courses in a graduate program, provided the student receives written permission from the advisor, the department chair, and the graduate dean (form available at www.wmich.edu/grad/forms/3000-4000Inclusion.pdf prior to registering for these courses and then earns a grade of “B” or better. These courses earn undergraduate credit only which is not computed into the graduate grade point average.  

The criteria for approval are:

  1. Offering departments must certify those 3000- and 4000-level courses that may be included in graduate degree programs.
  2. The courses certified must be taught by a member of the graduate faculty for acceptance in a graduate program.

The form used to request approval of a graduate student’s election of a 3000- or 4000-level course may be obtained from the Graduate College website. 

 

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