A faculty or professional staff member trained to help students select courses and plan programs of study for degree or program completion.
Dismissal from an academic unit or program for not maintaining the required grade point average or failure to fulfill other program requirements. Dismissal indicates that a student is no longer admitted to the University and may not register.
Students who are readmitted into graduate study will not have grades and credit hours earned more than seven years prior to their new entrance date count in the computation of their grade point average. In such cases, the transcript will read, “Grades and credit hours earned more than seven years prior to current entrance date were not included in the computation of the grade point average.” The request for academic forgiveness must occur at the time of readmission.
The academic standing of a student is determined by the student’s grade point average (GPA). All graduate students must have a 3.0 or better grade point average to maintain “good standing.” A “warning” will be issued to a student whose GPA falls below a 3.0 in any semester or session even though the overall GPA is 3.0 or better. A student will be placed on “probation” if the overall GPA falls below 3.0, and will receive a “dismissal” notice if the overall GPA is not raised to or above 3.0 at the end of a semester or session on “probation,” except when the academic unit housing the student’s program grants an “Extended Probation” for an additional enrollment period.
Accelerated graduate degree program
Accelerated graduate degree programs have been approved in some academic units. These programs allow students who earn bachelor’s degrees at Western Michigan University to begin graduate coursework before completion of the undergraduate degree, and use this graduate coursework (usually 9-12 hours) to count for both the bachelor’s and graduate degrees, thus “accelerating” completion of the graduate degree. Special admission and registration procedures must be followed by students in accelerated programs until the bachelor’s degree is completed; see www.wmich.edu/registrar/students/forms/accelerated-degree/ for more information.
Active admission status
Admitted students have active admission status for one year following admission and/or one year from the date of last enrollment. Admission will be canceled and re-admission required for any student not enrolling after one year.
Admissions, Office of
The Office of Admissions is responsible for all activities related to the admission of U.S. citizens of permanent residence graduate students.
A systematic review of all graduate students, conducted by departments according to a set of department-based criteria, for the purposes of apprising students of their status toward degree completion.
A University-administered stipend awarded by an academic or service unit to an appointed graduate student who is enrolled in a program leading to a graduate degree. Assistants are apprentices in the profession and assist in doing part of the work of the department, teaching or research or service. In order to remain on appointment to an assistantship, a student must maintain good academic standing.
A specially designated assistantship awarded to an appointed doctoral student.
Auditing a course
A registration category in which a student registers for and attends class(es) regularly without being held responsible for the work required for credit. A student who registers for a course in this way is not eligible to sit for examinations, earns no credit hours for the registration, and pays full tuition. The designation “AU” appears on the transcript if the auditor attends at least three-fourths of the class or laboratory sessions and gives evidence to the course instructor that the role as auditor has been satisfactory.
See Doctoral candidacy, below.
Capstone course or experience
A culminating holistic experience (e.g., thesis, dissertation, comprehensive examination) designed to review and more broadly understand the major issues, themes, theories, and research findings of the student’s discipline, often to enable the student to examine the relationship of the discipline to other areas.
An organizational unit formed for purposes of linkage and visibility, focused on a theme, issue, or set of skills. A center will frequently be interdisciplinary in nature. A center does not offer degree programs but may, on rare occasions, offer a course or courses.
The Center for English Language and Culture for International Students (CELCIS) provides intensive English language instruction for those prospective students who need further training in English in order to qualify for regular admission to the University. Classes at various levels include: Speaking and Listening Comprehension, Grammar, Reading and Vocabulary, Writing, Research Paper Writing, and work in the Language Laboratory. For further information and application forms, contact the Center by telephone, (269) 387-4800, or by Fax, (269) 387-4806.
A graduate certificate is awarded for the satisfactory completion of a nondegree graduate program designed around a narrow, applied, and coordinated curriculum with a professional focus. A graduate certificate program may be either multidisciplinary or uni-disciplinary in organization and may be taken separately or in conjunction with a graduate degree program. The graduate certificate is not an award of license, accreditation, or certification to render professional services; rather, it signifies that a student has satisfactorily completed an approved graduate certificate program curriculum.
Class or credit hour load
The number of credit hours carried by a student each semester or session. 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 the 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. An enrollment of one-hour for thesis or dissertation 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 in fall and spring semesters or at least two hours in summer I and summer II sessions. Graduate students, even those enrolled for thesis or dissertation hours, must be enrolled at least half-time (three hours in a semester or two hours in a session) 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 in fall or spring 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.
A term used during the registration process to indicate that a course has reached its maximum enrollment limit and is therefore “closed” to further registrations.
A course, or courses, related in some way to the major area of study for the master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree. Cognates may be, and often are, courses outside the department of the degree program.
A concentration (or option or emphasis) is a thematically coherent block of courses that are more similar to one another than to others in the degree program. A concentration has a title and constitutes a significant percentage (e.g., 10%) of courses in the degree program. Concentrations (or options or emphases) may be recorded on the student transcript.
As a condition of admission: Probationary admission may be granted by a department to a student who does not meet all normal requirements for regular admission. The probationary student may then establish eligibility for regular admission by completing satisfactorily the specified departmental prerequisites declared in the letter of admission. See “Non-degree Student.”
As a condition of academic standing: A student will be placed on probation if the student’s overall grade- point average falls below 3.0 for Non-degree, master’s, specialist and doctoral students. See “Academic Standing.”
Conditional Admission is granted to the student who meets some of the admission requirements of the University. Continued enrollment in courses at WMU is conditional upon the applicant completing academic course work at a performance level specified at the time of “Conditional Admission” status is granted. Examples of specific performance could include, but are not restricted to: completion of a specified number of graduate credits with a “B” or better grade, completion of specific prerequisite courses with specified grades, or completion of a program’s core requirements with specified grades. The time period for any “Conditional Admission” status may not exceed two semesters and one summer session, with ineligibility for further enrollment after that period unless the specified conditions have been met and the applicant qualifies for “General Admission” status.
Continuing education courses and programs
Graduate courses and programs offered through Extended University Programs in the Regional Locations of Battle Creek, Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, Grand Rapids, Holland, Lansing, Muskegon, Traverse City, or elsewhere away from the Kalamazoo campus.
Continuing education unit (CEU)
Documented acknowledgment of participation in a non-credit program or workshop.
Following a student’s first enrollment in 7000 (Master’s Thesis), 7200 (Specialist Project) or 7300 (Dissertation), the student must have continuous enrollment in 7000/7200/7300 until all thesis/project/dissertation requirements are completed satisfactorily and approved by the appropriate bodies. A student unable to complete the thesis/project/dissertation within the program-stipulated hours of registration will be required to continue to enroll in 7000/7200/7300; however, only the program-stipulated hours will count toward meeting the program requirements for the degree. 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; students should refer to respective program handbooks). If the student will graduate in summer I or summer II, the student must be enrolled in that session.
A course that must be taken at the same time as another course. See also Prerequisite below.
Course numbering system
Undergraduate courses are numbered from 1000 through 4999. Courses numbered 5000 through 5999 are for upperclass and graduate students. (Graduate students register for graduate credit in 5000-level courses; undergraduate students register for undergraduate credit in 5000-level courses.) Courses for graduate students only are numbered 6000 through 7999.
Each instructor is required to make available to students a course syllabus that shall contain a basic course description, course objectives, course requirements and policies, grading criteria, and instructor contact information. Instructors are encouraged to include a tentative schedule indicating when various topics will be addressed, and when quizzes, exams, and due dates for assignments shall occur. Instructors are further encouraged to include in their syllabi basic University policies regarding academic conduct, human rights, diversity, and students with disabilities.
Western Michigan University will consider graduate credit as that earned in an accredited, postsecondary educational institution in which the course was approved by that institution for graduate credit and was supervised by that institution. Western Michigan University will also consider graduate credit as that earned in an examination program recognized and approved by the Graduate Studies Council.
Credit toward a degree program will be granted only for graduate courses in which a grade of “C” or better is earned. In addition, the student must still meet the minimum standard for overall graduate grade-point average (3.0 for master’s, specialist and doctoral students).
Graduate credit may not be earned in a 5000-level or 6000-level course by attendance in an undergraduate course in a related area.
A method, separate from the letter grade system, used to evaluate performance in courses. “Credit” is earned for grades of “B” or better; grades of “CB” or below earn “No Credit.” Credit/No Credit courses are not computed into the student’s overall grade point average.
One hour of classroom (50 minutes) 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 hour of credit; or at least an equivalent amount of work 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. See also semester hour and quarter hour below.
The total number of credits for which a student registers during a semester or session. See Class or credit hour load above.
The date by which certain forms or information or payment must be received by an office or unit.
A student formally admitted to a master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree program and pursuing a planned program of study to earn that degree. See also Program of study below.
See Academic Requirements: Composition and Role of Thesis, Project, and Dissertation Committees section.
An official procedure for withdrawing from individual classes without removing registration from all classes. The deadline for the last day to drop a course without academic penalty (grade of “W” is on the transcript) is noted each semester or session on the Registrar’s website. Students who do not follow the official procedure when dropping a class will earn the grade of “X” for that course; the “X” grade carries no honor points and affects the grade point average in the same manner as an “E” or failing grade. See also Late drop below.
Dual enrollment admission (that is, admission to a master’s program while yet enrolled in a baccalaureate program) may be granted to any WMU senior who has an acceptable academic record (with a grade point average of 3.0 or better for the two years prior to graduate admission date) and who has no more than 15 credit hours remaining for completion of the bachelor’s degree.
Once granted dual enrollment status, the student may enroll in a maximum of 12 credit hours of graduate course work that has been approved by the appropriate departmental advisor in addition to those undergraduate courses required to complete the bachelor’s degree.
Dual enrollment is permitted for the calendar year only, and no graduate credit earned in this way may be used to meet undergraduate requirements. If the bachelor’s degree is not completed in the period of one calendar year, the student may not continue on dual enrollment.
A student must request dual enrollment status on the application for admission to a master’s degree program and must have requested and received audit for graduation with the undergraduate degree in order to determine eligibility; however, official entry is not immediate. Graduate credits earned accumulate but the official entry date must follow the semesters or sessions of dual enrollment status and the completion of the bachelor’s degree.
Dual enrollment is distinguished from enrollment in an accelerated master’s degree program by the following: it can be used for any graduate degree program; the dual enrollment applicant must have applied for graduation with the bachelor’s degree and be within 15 credit hours and one year of graduation; and the graduate coursework is not counted toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. (See also Accelerated graduate degree program, above.)
A course which will count as credit toward a degree, if approved by the advisor, but is not specified in the program’s course requirements.
See Concentration above.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
This act limits information which can be disclosed about individual students’ records without their written permission to general Directory information (name, address, telephone number, curriculum, and major field of study). All requests for information beyond Directory information should be referred to the Registrar’s Office.
A University-administered stipend awarded by an academic or service unit within the University or by another donor to an appointed graduate student who is enrolled in a program leading to a graduate degree. Fellowships do not typically have a service requirement, but this may vary for some fellowship programs. The fellowship stipend is a gift to help the Fellow achieve an educational goal, rather than a payment for services. In order to remain on appointment, the Fellow must maintain good academic standing.
Field experience, practicum, work experience, co-op, internship
Field experience: actual practice, often away from the college campus, in a practical or service situation. In a teacher education program, it is usually conducted in schools. Practicum: 1) a course of instruction aimed at closely relating the study of theory and practical experience, both usually carried on simultaneously; 2) an academic exercise consisting of study and practical work; and 3) supervised experience in counseling or a similar activity through such procedures as role-playing, recorded interviews, abstraction analysis, and supervisory evaluation with interviewing techniques. Work experience, co-op, or internship: a sponsored learning experience in an occupational area for persons preparing for full-time employment, conducted in connection with a course of study, where the students spend a part of their time on an actual job in a school, business, or industry.
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 winter semesters. In spring and summer sessions, three hours in either session constitutes full-time status for that session and two hours constitutes half-time status.
Full-time load requirements for the health fee assessment, loan deferments, and for financial assistance are not necessarily the same as that described above. See the graduate catalog or call the appropriate office for specific requirements. See Class or credit hour load above.
The Grade and Program Dismissal Appeals Committee (GAPDAC) renders the final decision on student grade and program dismissal appeals. The complete policy is contained in this catalog in the section entitled Student Rights and Responsibilities.
A course in fundamentals in which a student must achieve a specified grade or “Credit” in order to qualify for enrollment in more advanced courses.
See Academic standing above.
See GAPDAC above.
The numerical value given to letter grades. “A” is equivalent to 4 points; “BA” to 3.5 points; “B” to 3 points; “CB” to 2.5 points; “C” to 2.0 points; “DC” to 1.5 points; and “D” to 1.0 point. An “E” or “X” is equivalent to zero points.
Grade point average (GPA)
A scholastic average of letter grades computed by dividing total honor points by total credit hours attempted. See also Honor points below.
Graduate Center for Research and Retention
A designated unit within the Graduate College that provides mentoring, guidance and support to all graduate students during their trajectory to the graduate degree, and especially at the dissertation/thesis phase of their programs. Refer to www.wmich.edu/grad for additional information.
Graduate certificate program
See Certificate program above.
See Credit above.
Faculty who are approved to perform the functions of graduate education, to include teaching graduate courses, advising graduate students, and serving on graduate student committees. Only members of the graduate faculty may serve on thesis, specialist project, and dissertation committees.
Graduate Research and Creative Scholars Award
The Graduate Studies Council and the Graduate College annually present recognition awards in two categories to graduate students to recognize achievement in research and creative activity: the Department Graduate Research and Creative Scholars Award and the All-University Graduate Research and Creative Scholars Award. These awards acknowledge graduate students’ contributions to the scholarly and artistic productivity of Western Michigan University. Each department with a graduate program may nominate one graduate student for each level of degree offered by the department; by virtue of this nomination, the student will be designated as a Department Graduate Research and Creative Scholar. From among the Department awardees, a faculty committee will select those students whose research or creative activity has exceptional merit to be designated as All-University Graduate Research and Creative Scholars.
Graduate Student Advisory Committee
The Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC) is a standing committee of the Graduate Studies Council. It reviews services and needs of graduate students; makes recommendations to appropriate officials and offices; recommends graduate students for appointments to University councils and committees; and serves as liaison between departmental graduate student organizations, the Graduate Studies Council, and the dean of the Graduate College.
Graduate Student Permanent Program of Study
A Graduate Student Permanent Program of Study is a document composed by a graduate student’s program advisor, listing all courses and other requirements necessary for completion of the degree program to which the student was admitted. The program of study is approved by the program advisor and the graduate dean, filed in the student’s academic folder in the Registrar’s Office, and used to audit the student’s eligibility for the degree at the time the student applies for graduation. Master’s and Specialist programs of study must be filed prior to the student’s completion of 12 hours. Doctoral programs of study must be filed prior to the student’s completion of 18 hours or by the end of the second semester of enrollment.
Graduate Studies Council
The Graduate Studies Council of the Faculty Senate reviews, develops, and recommends policy regarding graduate education at Western Michigan University.
Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award
The Graduate Studies Council and the Graduate College annually present recognition awards in two categories to graduate students to recognize achievement in teaching excellence; the Department Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award and the All-University Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award. These awards acknowledge graduate students’ contributions to the teaching mission of Western Michigan University. Each department with a graduate program may nominate one graduate student for each level of degree offered by the department; by virtue of this nomination, the student will be designated as a Department recipient of the Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award. From among the Department awardees, a faculty committee will select those students whose teaching activity has exceptional merit to be designated as All-University recipients of the Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award.
A formal, required evaluation of the student’s academic record and program of study to determine the student’s eligibility for graduation. The audit, initiated by a student’s application for graduation, determines whether all University, degree, and program requirements have been met satisfactorily. A separate audit is required for each degree or graduate certificate to be received; for instance, a student graduating with both a master’s degree and a graduate certificate must make separate application and receive a separate audit for each. See also Audit above.
Deadlines for all degree recipients to apply for graduation are August 1 for Fall graduation, December 1 for Spring graduation, February 1 Summer I and Summer II graduation.
Students who change a graduation date need to notify the Registrar’s Office. No fee for the change is required. The Registrar’s Office will not change a student’s graduation date unless the student notifies them.
Students must be enrolled during the term of graduation.
Financial assistance, usually based on need and not required to be repaid, awarded to a student.
Guidelines for the Preparation of Theses, Specialist Projects, and Dissertations
The University’s official formatting guide for master’s theses, specialist projects, and doctoral dissertations, published by the Graduate College. This publication is available for downloading from the Graduate College website.
A restraint placed on a student’s ability to register for classes as a result of an unfulfilled monetary obligation or other action by the University.
A numerical value of the letter grade and credit earned in a course, determined by multiplying the grade point earned in the course by the number of credit hours for the course. See also Grade point above.
Human Subjects Institutional Review Board of Western Michigan University (HSIRB)
All research involving contact with human research subjects requires prior approval by the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board of Western Michigan University. No research involving human subjects is exempt from review by this Board. For more information, see www.wmich.edu/research/hsirb.html or telephone the Research Compliance Officer in the Office of the Vice President for Research, 387-8298.
The Bronco Card is the student’s photo identification card at WMU. In addition, the Bronco Card is the student’s access card for the library, dining areas, Student Recreation Center, and computer centers and is a security access card for buildings on campus.
The Bronco Card also enables the student to ride for free on the Metro Bus Service on any route around the Kalamazoo area.
The Bronco Card has the size, look, and feel of a credit card. Included on the card are the student’s picture and signature. On the back of the card is a magnetic strip, used for authentication.
The Bronco Card will serve the student as a University ID for as long as the student remains at WMU.
Inactive admission status
A student’s admission status becomes inactive one year after the student’s last enrollment. Admission will be canceled and re-admission required for any student not enrolling after one year. After seven years of inactivity, the student’s permanent record folder is destroyed.
A temporary course grade (“I”) granted by an instructor 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. An “I” may not be given as a substitute for a failing or low grade. Incomplete grades for graduate students will convert to an “X” if not removed within one calendar year, or sooner if so stipulated by the instructor. Extensions for a second year must be approved by the graduate dean.
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.
Enrollment in an appropriately designated, variable credit course for a specific plan of study, authorized and supervised by a designated, consenting faculty member. Normally, it is a project designed to allow a student (or small groups of students) to investigate areas of interest not within the scope of a regular course or to obtain an educational experience outside that normally offered by a regular course. A contract is developed between a faculty member and a student to obtain the experience or to complete the research on a specific topic. In an independent study class, the student works independently on a plan of study, not in a class scheduled to meet regularly in a specific location at a specific time such as a lecture, lab, lecture/lab/discussion, or seminar. The meeting hours to the class are “arranged”.
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 a grade into the Registrar’s Office. See also Readings course below.
An organizational unit similar in nature to a center, as defined above, but which may be degree-granting. Typically an institute will be interdisciplinary. Course work for a degree offered through an institute may include some courses offered by the institute itself, but primarily will be comprised of courses in various disciplines/departments already in existence.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Western Michigan University (IACUC)
The use of any vertebrate animals in research, testing, or instructional projects requires prior approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Western Michigan University. For more information, see www.wmich.edu/research/animalcare.html or telephone the Research Compliance Officer in the Office of the Vice President for Research, 387-8298.
Institutional Biosafety Committee of Western Michigan University (IBC)
Any activity involving the construction or handling of recombinant DNA molecules or organisms and viruses containing recombinant DNA molecules requires prior notification or approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee of Western Michigan University. For more information, see www.wmich.edu/research/biosafety.html or telephone the Office of the Vice President for Research, 387-8298.
A term designating a combination of subject matter from two or more disciplines within a course or program.
International Student Services, Office of (OISS)
OISS is responsible for all activities related to the admission of international graduate students, including interpretation of foreign educational transcripts and certification of English language proficiency.
Work in a firm or agency related to a student’s degree program and/or career plans. Usually involves earning college credit and may involve receiving payment. See also Field experience, practicum, work experience, co-op, internship above.
An official procedure for withdrawing from individual classes without removing registration from all classes that takes place after the last day to drop a course without academic penalty.
Leave of Absence
WMU supports a leave of absence policy to assist graduate students who are temporarily unable to continue their programs. The leave of absence may extend consecutively for up to two semesters and two sessions. Students may request information about the application process from their advisor or view the application form on the Graduate College website forms page. See Graduate Leave of Absence section.
Michigan Intercollegiate Graduate Studies (MIGS) Program
An admissions category for guest graduate students from all Michigan institutions offering graduate degree programs to take advantage of unique educational opportunities on the campuses of other institutions. Western Michigan University participates in this program. No admission application or application fee is required. Both course grades and credit hours transfer to WMU for courses taken under the MIGS program. See the Graduate College website forms page or contact the MIGS liaison in the Graduate College for further information.
Michigan residence requirements
The requirements for identifying or establishing permanent residence in Michigan for tuition assessment purposes. Official changes in student residency are approved by the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Business. For more information, see the “Student Rights and Responsibilities” section in this catalog.
Multiple topic or umbrella course
A variable topic, variable credit course that focuses on a current or a special interest in a specific field or academic area. The course may be repeated for credit with different topics.
Students may maintain academic records under the name used at the time of admission. However, any active student desiring to make an official name change must report to the Registrar’s Office, third floor Seibert Administration Building to record the change. Legal proof is required.
A non-degree student is one who has been admitted to a non-degree category and is not otherwise seeking a master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree.
See Class or credit hour load above.
Permission to Elect
A student who intends to register for 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 on the Graduate College website forms page) 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
A portfolio is a collection of work (e.g., paintings, writings, etc.) that may be used to demonstrate competency in an academic area.
See Field experience, practicum, work experience, co-op, internship above.
A requirement, often the completion of a prescribed course or courses, which must be met before a student may register for another specific course. See also Corequisite above.
Prerequisite with concurrency
A requirement, usually the completion of another course, which may be taken at the same time as the course it is a prerequisite for.
As a condition of academic standing: A student will be placed on probation if the student’s overall grade point average falls below 3.0. See also Academic standing above.
Program Dismissal Appeal
See GAPDAC above.
Program of study (Graduate Student Permanent Program)
A program of study is a document listing the course and other requirements necessary to earn a graduate degree in a specific discipline. The program of study is composed by the advisor and the student, and approved by the graduate dean as meeting all University, program, and degree requirements. The program of study is used to conduct the graduation audit, and therefore must be filed well in advance of the student’s application for graduation: Master’s and Specialist programs of study must be filed prior to the student’s completion of 12 hours; Doctoral programs of study must be filed prior to the student’s completion of 18 hours or by the end of the second semester of enrollment.
See Academic Requirements: Composition and Role of Thesis, Project, and Dissertation Committees section.
All doctoral dissertations written at Western Michigan University are required to be published and available to a public audience. The common method of publication is to have ProQuest/UMI Dissertation Publishing microfilm the dissertation and have it available for dissemination to scholars and researchers around the world.
Provisional Admission is granted to the student who meets many of the admission requirements to the University and is expected to be formally admissible. Enrollment status is provisional until additional documents or materials for acceptance in the “General Admission” category are provided. Examples of missing documentation could be a final transcript from another institution where a degree was recently completed or a completion record of a specific placement examination. The time period for any “Provisional Admission” may not exceed one year from the time of initial status with ineligibility for further enrollment after that year.
Quarter or Term hour
A unit of academic credit, usually representing one hour of class time per week for one quarter or term. A “quarter” or “term” is a unit of time, usually 10 to 12 weeks long, in the academic calendar of an institution. Western Michigan University uses the semester calendar. See also Semester hour below.
Radiation Safety Committee (RSC)
All uses of radioactive material, including research-related uses, must be approved by the Radiation Safety Committee prior to initiation. For more information, see www.wmich.edu research/radiation.html or telephone the Radiation Safety Officer in the Office of the Vice President for Research, 387-8298.
A form of independent study, designed to provide a graduate student with an opportunity to read intensively within an area in which further knowledge would be appropriate. The course is not designed to be a basic core requirement in any master’s degree program. Enrollment in the appropriately designated course (5980, in most departments) requires a specific plan of study, authorized and supervised by a consenting faculty member, which includes the amount of reading, a description of the student’s reporting method(s), and the number of credit hours to be earned by the completion of the plan of study. The grading procedure should be the same as that in any graduate course. The maximum number of credits allowed to be earned and applied to a degree program is four, whether the readings course credits are all taken in one department or more than one, and the grade earned will be a letter grade.
An enrollment procedure administered by the Office of Admissions that is followed by a student who was previously enrolled in good standing at Western Michigan University but who has not been enrolled for one year or more. Process used by dismissed students, or by students whose “active admission status” has lapsed, to obtain again admission to a degree program or to Non-degree status.
Recombinant DNA Biosafety Committee (RDBC)
All research that involves recombinant DNA molecules must be reviewed and approved by the Recombinant DNA Biosafety Committee prior to initiation. For more information, see www.wmich.edu/research/biosafety.html or telephone the Research Compliance Officer in the Office of the Vice President for Research, 387-8298.
The process of enrolling in and paying tuition and fees for courses each semester or session. For a full explanation of the registration procedures and regulations, consult the Registrar’s website.
An appeal procedure for a student who has been dismissed or who seeks to be continued on probation. Reinstatement must be sought from the academic program’s admission body and a recommendation for reinstatement sent to the Graduate College for approval before the student will be allowed to register.
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. Any course in which a student may have been enrolled more than once is considered a repeated course. A grade is presented in each course and included on the student’s record. With the advisor’s approval, the grade and credit earned in the repeated course may count, if approved by the graduate dean, toward curricular or degree requirements at the time of graduation.
An acquired ability that serves in the manner of a tool that assists in one’s research. Doctoral students are expected to acquire the ability to use two research tools, at minimum. The two research tools, are to be designated by the department and approved by the University curriculum review process, and are required in each doctoral student’s program of study. Normally, the research tools are selected from among foreign language, statistics, research methodology, and computer programming, although other tools are acceptable in some doctoral programs, however, must be approved by the University curriculum review process. Consult the program advisor for a full explanation.
Specialist program: Unless otherwise approved by the University for an individual academic unit, the general residency requirement for specialist students is one academic semester of full-time study on campus or enrollment in two sessions in consecutive years and the intervening semesters. Consult the program advisor for complete information.
Doctoral program: There is no general residency requirement for doctoral students. Each doctoral program or degree granting unit (e.g., college) may, however, with approval of the University through the curriculum review process establish its own residency requirement. Students must meet any such residency requirement prior to approval for candidacy. Students should consult with their advisor regarding the residency requirement for the specific program of interest.
A single-discipline unit which has an identification in the public mind beyond that of a department. Schools may have significant subdivisions such that students will apply for admission and take degrees through the subdivision rather than through the central unit as a whole.
A unit of time, 15 weeks long, in the academic calendar of Western Michigan University. The semesters occur in the fall and the spring. See also Session below.
One hour of classroom (50 minutes) 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 hour of credit; or at least an equivalent amount of work 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. See also Credit hour and Quarter or Term hour above.
Senior citizen, SCOPE admission status
A special nondegree admission status for persons sixty-two years of age or older that provides senior citizens with opportunities for nondegree study at Western Michigan University. Participants may register in one regularly scheduled class each semester on a seat-available basis. See www.wmich.edu/registrar/adultstudents/scope.html for more information.
A unit of time, 7 ½; weeks long, in the academic calendar of Western Michigan University. The sessions occur in summer I and summer II. See also Semester above.
See Academic Requirements: Composition and Role of Thesis, Project, and Dissertation Committees section.
Time limit for completion of a degree
All work, including transfer work, for the graduate certificate, master’s students must elect and complete all work for the degree within six years preceding the date on which the master’s degree is conferred; specialist students entering with a master’s degree, within five years preceding the date on which the specialist degree is conferred; specialist students entering with a bachelor’s degree, within six years preceding the date on which the specialist degree is conferred; doctoral students, within seven years preceding the date on which the doctoral degree is conferred. All transfer credit included in the program of study must also have been completed within these time limits. Students whose degrees are taken primarily through part-time study have the option of requesting an extension from the graduate dean; extensions may also be granted for other students by the graduate dean for such legitimate reasons as illness, injury, or hardship. The form to request a time extension for completion of a degree is available on the Graduate College website forms page.
A transcript is a printed copy of a student’s permanent academic record at a particular institution. The transcript, at minimum, lists all courses taken and credit hours and grades earned, and degrees received.
Transfer credit (graduate)
Credit (graduate) that is earned at another accredited institution and accepted toward a Western Michigan University graduate degree, if approved by the program advisor and if the earned grade in the course is “B” or better. The credit, moreover, must be earned within a six-year period prior to graduation from Western Michigan University with a master’s or specialist degree or within seven years prior to the conferral of the doctoral degree. Grades or honor points earned at another institution do not transfer to WMU and hence do not affect the WMU grade point average (with the exception of the MIGS program; see MIGS above).
Transfer credit evaluation form
An official form which indicates approval of a request to transfer credit and which states the number and type of transfer credit awarded. Credit is not transferred nor applied to a program of study unless the transfer credit evaluation form is completed and approved by the program advisor and the credit evaluator in the Admissions Office.
The amount of money paid for courses based on the number of credits for which the student registers and the student’s residency status.
See Multiple topic course above.
Center: An organizational unit formed for purposes of linkage and visibility, focused on a theme, issue, or set of skills. A center will frequently be interdisciplinary in nature. A center does not offer degree programs but may, on rare occasions, offer a course or courses.
Institute: An organizational unit similar in nature to a center, as defined above, but which may be degree-granting. Typically an institute will be interdisciplinary. Course work for a degree offered through an institute may include some offered by the institute itself, but will be primarily comprised of courses in various disciplines/departments already in existence.
School: A single-discipline organizational unit which has an identification in the public mind beyond that of the department. Schools may have significant subdivisions such that students will apply for admission and take degrees through the subdivision rather than through the central unit as a whole.
University Microfilms, Inc. (UMI)
See ProQuest/UMI above.
Variable credit course
Some courses list a range of credit hours (e.g., 1 to 4 hours) for which the course may be elected, and as such are called “variable credit” courses. Students will determine, in prior consultation with the course instructor or the program advisor, the specific number of course credit hours to elect during the registration period.
An official procedure for withdrawing from the University for at least the remainder of the current semester or longer. The deadline for the last day to withdraw from all courses without academic penalty (grade of “W” is on the transcript) is noted each semester or session on the Registrar’s website. Students who do not follow the official procedure when withdrawing from the University will earn the grade of “X” for all courses; the “X” grade carries no honor points and affects the grade point average in the same manner as an “E” or failing grade.
The symbol “X” on a student’s transcript indicates that the student has never attended the class or has discontinued attendance and does not qualify for any other grade, including an “I” grade. The “X” grade carries no honor points and affects the grade point average in the same manner as an “E” or failing grade. Incomplete grades for graduate students will convert to an “X” if not removed within one calendar year, or sooner if so stipulated by the instructor. See Incomplete above.