Academic Regulations

ACADEMIC REGULATIONS

ACADEMIC STANDARDS

Students pursuing a Master's degree must maintain the following standards:

  1. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  2. Only two courses with grades of C can be applied to the degree
  3. No course with a grade below a C will be applied toward a degree
  4. In any graduate degree program, all requirements, including course work at Georgia Southwestern State University, transfer credit and transient credit course work, must be completed within seven (7) calendar years from the date of initial enrollment in course work, without regard to the initial admission status and without regard to credit hours earned.

Graduate students pursuing the Specialist degree must maintain the following academic standards:

  1. Maintain an overall graduate GPA of 3.25
  2. No course with a grade below a B will be applied toward the degree
  3. Only one course with a grade of C may be repeated one time
  4. Degree requirements must be completed within seven (7) calendar years from the time of first enrollment.

Please review other requirements for the School of Education. Students under review or dismissed will follow the same procedures as for the Master's degree.

Each School with a Graduate Program may have other academic requirements; please check the School web site or the appropriate section of the current Bulletin.

STUDENTS UNDER REVIEW

Graduate students who fail to maintain academic standards will be placed under academic review at the end of the semester in which their status falls below the required standards.

  1. Students who have been placed under review will have early registration cancelled for the following semester. These students will not be able to register on-line and must report to their advisor.
  2. The Registrar will send the names of students under review to the Director of Graduate Studies, the Deans of each School, the Department Chairs with graduate courses, and the graduate advisors.
  3. Students under review must meet with their advisor to develop an Individual Remediation Plan (IRP) to demonstrate how the student can be returned to good standing. The plan will be forwarded to the Dean of the School for his or her signature before being placed in the student's file. A copy of the form will also be sent to the Director of Graduate Studies and the Registrar's Office.
  4. At the end of the probationary semester, if the student is not successful in returning to good standing, the Dean of the School, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, will send a certified letter of dismissal to the student with a copy to the student's advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Registrar's Office.
  5. Graduate students who are dismissed from the School may write a letter of appeal within ten class days from the receipt of the dismissal letter to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students re-admitted on appeal will have one additional semester to return to good academic standing.
  6. Re-admitted students who do not return to good standing after the initial probationary semester will be dismissed from the program and the university.
  7. Dismissed graduate students may re-apply for admission to the program after three calendar years. If the student is re-admitted, he or she must meet all requirements for the degree program at the time of re-enrollment. The years completed prior to dismissal will count towards the total seven (7) years to complete the degree. Re-admission is not automatic. Each application will be considered individually.

RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS

All graduate programs offered at Georgia Southwestern State University require 50% of the course work be completed in residence.

GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS

A limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available within the Academic Affairs Division. Application forms are available by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies, Georgia Southwestern State University, 800 Georgia Southwestern State University Drive, Americus, GA 31709-4379. E-mail:acadaff@canes.gsw.edu

Applications should be submitted by April 15 in order to be considered for the following year. Students must be fully admitted to a degree program before Graduate Assistantships can be awarded. International students must hold appropriate visas before applications for Graduate Assistantships can be processed. In addition, Graduate Assistantships may be awarded during an academic year if vacancies occur and if funding is available. Applications are therefore encouraged throughout the year but most will be processed in April.

Graduate Assistants will be assigned to particular Schools or Departments that will specify and supervise responsibilities. They will be expected to maintain a minimum load of nine graduate credit hours each semester. Graduate Assistants will be evaluated each semester, a copy of the evaluation will be sent to the Director of Graduate Studies, and the continuation of the assistantships will depend on satisfactory evaluations.

Assistantships are also available in the Departments of Athletics, Student Affairs, Office of Information and Instructional Technology, and interested students should make direct application to those Departments

ADVISEMENT

Upon admission to the Program of Graduate Studies, each student is assigned an advisor. Advisors in the Master of Education and the Education Specialist programs are assigned by the Dean of the School of Education.

Academic Advisors in the Master's of Business Administration programs are assigned by the Dean of the School of Business. Advisors to students in the Computer Science Master's programs are assigned by the Dean of the School of Computer and Information Sciences.

Students in degree programs should enroll for courses only with the advice and approval of their advisors.

Application for Graduation - Graduate Students

The Application for Graduation for graduate students must be completed one full semester prior to the academic term in which the degree is expected.

Graduation TermApply no later than the date below of the prior semester
FallMay 1
SpringAugust 1
SummerJanuary 1

Transfer Credit

In any graduate program a maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred from another accredited institution under the following conditions:

  1. No grade less than a B (3.0) may be transferred.
  2. Work must have been completed within the seven-year period allowed for the completion of degree requirements.
  3. Work accepted in transfer to teacher education programs must have the approval of the Dean of the School of Education.
  4. Work accepted in transfer to the Master of Business Administration must have the approval of the Dean of the School of Business.
  5. Work accepted in transfer to the Master of Science in Computer Science must have the approval of the Dean of the School of Computer and Information Sciences.
  6. Work accepted in transfer to the Specialist in Education Degree programs must have been completed by the student while fully admitted as a regular student in a sixth year or doctoral degree program at an accredited college or university and must have the approval of the Dean of the School of Education.
  7. Grades in transfer credits will not be used in calculating the grade point average and do not reduce residence requirements.

Experiential Learning Credit

GSW grants no graduate level credit for experiential learning except under the supervision of the institution.

Correspondence Credit

Under no circumstances may credit earned through correspondence work be used to satisfy graduate degree requirements.

TRANSIENT CREDIT

With approval, a student may take courses as a transient student at another accredited institution and receive credit towards the degree for these courses. Approval is not guaranteed. The "Transient Permission" form found at http://www.gsw.edu/~aaf/student_forms/ must be completed with the appropriate signatures and turned in to the GSW Registrar's Office prior to course enrollment for credit to be awarded. Core Area F and major courses to be taken as transient courses require the approval of the student's dean as well as the student's advisor/chair. Grades earned in courses taken at another institution will not be counted in the student's grade point average at GSW. [Note: Degree candidates may earn credit by correspondence, or through transient credit, but not more than ten hours in the major discipline and not more than thirty total hours of credit earned in this manner will count toward degree requirements.]

Readmission of Former Students

Former students in academic good standing who have not been in attendance for one calendar year or more must reapply through Graduate Admissions. Students who have attended another college since last attending Georgia Southwestern must submit an official transcript from that institution.

Students readmitted or reinstated will be evaluated for graduation from the catalog in effect at the time of readmission or reinstatement or any catalog in effect during subsequent periods of continuous enrollment.

ACADEMIC LOAD LIMITATIONS

Graduate students taking nine or more semester credit hours will be considered full-time. Graduate students may take a maximum of fifteen hours per term. Students taking less than nine semester credit hours will be considered part-time.

GRADING SYSTEM

Grade Point Average for Graduate Students

The grade point average (GPA) for graduate students includes all attempts on all graduate courses. It is a true cumulative GPA.

Policy on Repeating Graduate Courses

Normally, a course is counted only one time for credit hours toward a degree. If a graduate student wants to repeat a course that falls into this category, the student may do so with the understanding that credit hours attempted and quality points earned in all attempts of the course will be counted in the student's grade point average (GPA).

The grading system for graduate courses is as follows:

GradeAchievementQuality Points
AAbove Average4
BAverage3
CUnsatisfactory2
DPoor1
FFailing0
IIncomplete0
WWithdrawn0
WFWithdrawn Failing (same as F)0
WMWithdrawn for Military Purpose0
SSatisfactory0
UUnsatisfactory0
NRNo grade reported by instructor0

A grade of I may be given in extenuating circumstances. If a grade of I is not removed before the end of the following term, it automatically becomes an F.

Students enrolled for thesis or directed study credit will receive an S for satisfactory performance or a U for unsatisfactory performance.

Students who for non-academic reasons stop attending class prior to midterm should withdraw from the course. A grade of "I" cannot be assigned in this situation.

RE-EXAMINATION FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Graduate students will not be allowed a retest on any final examination.

ATTENDANCE

Students are expected to attend all classes. If an absence is necessary, the student is responsible for reporting the reason to the instructor; in such cases, each instructor will take whatever action he or she deems necessary. Faculty members will make their absence policies clear to the students enrolled in their classes in writing and within the first week of the semester.

Penalties for excessive absences in each course are set at the beginning of each semester by the faculty member teaching that course. Students with excessive absences in a class may receive a grade of F for the course.

SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENTS

Change in Program

Before a graduate student may transfer from one Teacher Education degree program to another, a request for transfer must be approved by the Dean of the School of Education and the chair of the new program. Students wishing to transfer to or from the Master's of Business Administration or Computer Science Options of the Master of Science Program must have their request approved by the appropriate dean.

Adding or Dropping Courses

Following registration for the term, students may add or drop courses during the published add/drop period.

  • Students must discuss adding or dropping courses with their advisors.
  • Students who enter courses after the first day of class are responsible for making up missed assignments.

After the published add/drop period, students may adjust their schedules only by "withdrawal." (See below.)

Students registered for courses that have the first class meeting after the designated add/drop period will be subject to the withdrawal from class policy or the withdrawal from the university policy below. Any orientation session for online or off-campus courses is considered the first class meeting for the course.

Withdrawal from a Course

After the add/drop period, a student must officially withdraw from a course by completing the "Withdrawal from Class" form available on RAIN or in the Registrar's Office. This form must be returned to the Registrar's Office upon completion. The student is fully responsible for collecting the appropriate signatures and submitting the completed form to the Registrar's Office. The effective date of the withdrawal from class is entered as the received date by the Registrar's Office.

  • Withdrawal from class without penalty requires the student to complete the Withdrawal from Class form and return it to the Registrar's Office by the published no-penalty date of one week after midterm. A student following this procedure will receive a grade of W (Withdrawn).
  • Withdrawal from class without penalty will not be permitted after the published 'no penalty' date except for non-academic reasons. Documentation must be provided by the student to receive a W rather than a WF (Withdrawn Failing).

All withdrawals from class must be approved and completely processed before the last day of classes. A student who does not officially withdraw from a class will receive a grade of F in that course for the term.

Withdrawal from the University

Students withdrawing from all classes and exiting the University after the first day of classes must complete the Withdrawal Form available athttp://www.gsw.edu/~aaf/student_forms/withdraw_school.pdf. The completed form should be submitted to the First Year Advocate or faxed to 229-931-2277. The First Year Advocate is located in Academic Skills, room 126. The effective date of the withdrawal from the University is entered as the date from the Student Withdrawal from the University form.

  • Withdrawal from the University prior to the no-penalty date of one week after midterm will result in grades of W (withdrawn) for all courses.
  • Withdrawal from the University after the no-penalty date will result in grades of WF (withdrawn failing) except for documented non-academic reasons.

All withdrawals from the University must be approved and completely processed before the last day of classes. The student is fully responsible for supplying all pertinent documentation to the Registrar's Office.

ADMINISTRATIVE WITHDRAWAL FROM A COURSE DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF CLASSES

Students registered for fall or spring or summer terms, which attend none of the class meetings during the first week of classes and do not inform the instructor of their intentions to remain in the course or do not drop the course within the published period, will be administratively withdrawn from the course. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to document such absences.

Students who do not login/participate in the online class by the instructor deadline will be withdrawn from the course and receive a grade of W for withdrawal. No refunds will be issued for nonparticipation withdrawals unless it results in a complete withdrawal from the University.

Instructors must take roll during the first week of classes, until the drop/add period had ended. The faculty member will inform the Registrar of any student who has never attended or participated in the class. This notification should take place during the first week of class.

Students will be contacted through campus email and informed of their withdrawal from the class. Errors are only corrected by emails from the instructor of the class. Students receiving financial aid should be aware that this could negative impact the amount of aid they receive for the term.

POLICY ON ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Georgia Southwestern State University are expected to conform to high standards of intellectual and academic integrity. The University assumes as a basic and minimum standard of conduct that students be honest and that they submit for credit only the product of their own efforts. Scholastic ideals and the need for fairness require that all dishonest work be rejected as a basis for academic credit. They also require that students refrain from all forms of dishonorable conduct in the course of their academic careers.

Dishonest work will be treated as a serious offense by the faculty and administration of Georgia Southwestern. Multiple infractions may be cause for permanent expulsion from the University. An instructor who receives dishonest work from a student has several options. At a minimum, the work should be rejected as a basis for academic credit. At the discretion of the instructor, the student may be given a score of zero on the assignment in question, may be required to rewrite the assignment, may be given a grade of F in the course, may not be recommended for admission to Teacher Education or the Nursing programs, or may be penalized in some intermediate way. If a violation occurs before the last day to withdraw without penalty for the term, students in a course where the instructor's policy calls for a grade of F as the final grade will receive a grade of F for the class regardless of whether they attempt to withdraw. A student found guilty of submitting dishonest work will have this information and the instructor's course of action placed on file in the Office of Academic Affairs so that if future instructors receive dishonest work from that same student, the student may be penalized by the institution, resulting in possible expulsion. Academic integrity violations may be placed on the student's academic transcript. In the event that a student is suspended from the University for violations of academic integrity, courses taken at other institutions while a student is on Academic Suspension from Georgia Southwestern will not be accepted in transfer.

Given the serious nature of infractions of this policy, students have a right to know what constitutes academic dishonesty and have a right to a fair and consistent procedure before severe penalties are imposed. The examples given below are intended to clarify the standards by which academic integrity is judged. They are meant to be illustrative and are not exhaustive. There may be cases which fall outside of these examples and which are deemed unacceptable by the academic community.

Definitions and Examples of Dishonest Behavior

Plagiarism

It is a violation of academic honesty to submit plagiarized work. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, asking someone to write part or all of an assignment, copying someone else's work (published or unpublished), inadequately documenting research, downloading material from electronic sources without appropriate documentation, or representing others' works or ideas as the student's own.

The student is responsible for understanding the legitimate and accurate use of sources, the appropriate ways of acknowledging and citing academic, scholarly or creative indebtedness, and the consequences of violating this responsibility.

Cheating on Examinations

It is a violation of academic integrity to cheat on an examination. Cheating on an examination includes, but is not limited to, giving or receiving unauthorized help before, during, or after an in-class or out-of-class examination. Examples of unauthorized help include using unauthorized notes during an examination, viewing another student's exam, and allowing another student to view one's exam.

Unauthorized Collaboration

It is a violation of academic honesty to submit for credit work which is the result of unauthorized collaboration. It is also a violation to provide unauthorized collaboration. Unauthorized collaboration includes giving or receiving unauthorized help for work that is required to be the effort of a single student, such as the receiving or giving of unauthorized assistance in the preparation of any academic or clinical laboratory assignment.

Falsification

It is a violation of academic honesty to falsify information or misrepresent material in an academic work. This includes, but is not limited to, the falsification of citations of sources, the falsification of experimental or survey results, and the falsification of computer or other data.

Multiple Submissions

It is a violation of academic honesty to submit substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once without the explicit consent of the instructor(s) to whom the work is submitted for additional credit. If a work product is to be substantially revised or updated, the student must contact the instructor in advance to discuss necessary revisions. The faculty member may require a copy of the original document for comparison purposes.

Obligations to Report Suspected Violations

Members of the academic community (students, faculty, administration, and staff) are expected to report suspected violations of these standards of academic conduct to the appropriate authority: the instructor, department chair, academic dean, or Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Evidence and Burden of Proof

In determining whether or not academic dishonesty has occurred, the standard which should be used is that guilt must be proven by the instructor with a preponderance of evidence. That is, it should appear to a reasonable and impartial mind that it is more likely than not that academic dishonesty has occurred.

Procedures for Resolving Matters of Academic Dishonesty

When an instructor believes that academic dishonesty has occurred, the instructor will inform the student that academic dishonesty is believed to have taken place. The instructor will explain to the student what the penalties will be should the guilt be proven by a preponderance of evidence. If the student maintains that academic dishonesty did not take place, the student should discuss the matter with the instructor and present evidence (if possible) demonstrating that the work was done in an honest manner. Should the instructor and student not resolve the matter, then they will bring the matter to the Department Chair. If the matter is not resolved at this level, then the matter will be brought to the Academic Dean. If the matter is still unresolved, it will be brought to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The decision of the Vice President may be appealed to the President, who would then refer it to the Committee on Academic Grievance for its recommendation before rendering a decision. The President's decision is final and binding.

RAIN (Registration and Academic Information Network)

The Registration and Academic Information Network (RAIN) allows students to access their academic and financial records on-line. Students can view holds, midterm grades, final grades, academic transcripts, registration status, class schedules, curriculum sheets, as well as their Financial Aid status, Account Summaries and Fee Assessments. RAIN provides a convenient method for students and faculty to obtain information via the web. It is a secured site which is continually expanding to provide 24 hour access to all students. Information is routinely added to RAIN, including term-specific notices and deadlines. Students must access RAIN to receive grades for all courses since grade mailers are no longer produced. Instructions for access to RAIN can be found at www.gsw.edu or in the Registrar's Office.

THE SEMESTER SYSTEM

The academic year is divided into two semesters (terms) of 15 weeks each and a summer term. New courses are begun each semester; hence, it is possible for students to enter the University at the beginning of any term.

SEMESTER HOURS OF CREDIT

Credit in courses is expressed in semester hours. Normally, a semester hour of credit represents one class hour of work per week for one semester, or an equivalent amount of work in other forms of instruction such as laboratory, studio, or field work. Most of the courses offered by the University meet three times per week for one semester and therefore carry three semester hours of credit.

NUMBERING OF COURSES

Each academic course is designated by numerals. Courses are numbered according to the following plan:

Freshman and Sophomore1000-2999
Junior and Senior3000-4999
Graduate5000-8999
Courses numbered 0001 to 0999 are institutional credit courses.