Graduate Student



Welcome to Georgia Southwestern State University Graduate Studies!

We are pleased you have chosen to continue your education with us in a caring community of learning. Faculty and staff are dedicated to making your education a rewarding experience. For your convenience, Georgia Southwestern offers courses in the evenings and on weekends, on campus and on-line as well as the regular daytime graduate schedule. At the same time, we invite you to become actively involved in our community and to contribute to its continuing growth and quality programs.

The Orientation program presented here is designed to expedite your understanding of the procedures you need to follow to accomplish your goals. Please take the time now to read through this information, fill out the short evaluation survey, and send it electronically to the appropriate school.

We look forward to working with you and sharing your excitement about learning at Georgia Southwestern State University.

GRADUATE PROGRAMS

Georgia Southwestern graduate programs offer the degrees of Specialist in Education, Master of Education, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Science in Computer Science. Those seeking admission to a graduate program should click on the Graduate Admission link found on the website of the appropriate school below.

School of Business
The Master of Business Administration offers the options of taking elective courses in accounting, management, or a combination of courses approved by the MBA advisor. A certificate in Not-For-Profit Management is offered also.

School of Education
Students may earn the Master of Education degree in the following fields: Biology, Early Childhood Education, English, Health and Physical Education, History, Mathematics, Middle Grades Education, Reading (P-12), and Special Education. The Specialist in Education degree may be earned in the fields of Early Childhood Education and Middle Grades Education.

School of Computer and Information Sciences
The Master of Science in Computer Science degree offers a concentration in Computer Science or Computer Information Systems and a certificate program in Computer Information Systems.

GRADUATE ADMISSIONS

Link to graduate admissions

APPLICATION DEADLINES

Complete application packets for the following terms must be received by the deadlines listed below:

Fall admissionJune 30
Spring admissionOctober 15
Summer admissionMarch 15

TYPES OF ADMISSION

There are six general types of admission to graduate studies at Georgia Southwestern State University: Regular, Non-Degree, Personal Development, Post Baccalaureate, Transient, and Certificate Program Only. The six types are described below.

- Regular Admission (without conditions). An applicant in this category has completed all the requirements for admission to a specific degree program.

- Regular Admission (with conditions). An applicant who does not meet all the requirements for admission to a specific degree program may be admitted with the condition that he or she must complete nine (9) hours of graduate credit with a grade no lower than B. At the time the conditions are met, the student's record will be updated to reflect the change to regular admission without condition. If the conditions are not met (a grade lower than B in those nine hours), the student will be expelled from the graduate program.

- Non-Degree Program Admission. An applicant in this category must have a baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree from an accredited college or university. This type of admission allows one to take graduate courses for credit in the Alternative Preparation Program, for purposes of initial certification to teach, for certification renewal, or for adding certification in additional teaching fields. It does not admit one to a degree program. Under no circumstances can more than nine semester hours taken under non-degree status be used in a master's degree program. No courses taken under this status can be used in the specialist degree program. Applicants should refer to admission requirements for the individual graduate degree programs for additional requirements.

- Personal Development. An applicant in this category must have a baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree from an accredited college or university. Graduate courses taken under this category cannot be applied towards a master's degree.

- Post Baccalaureate. An applicant in this category must have a baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree from an accredited college or university. This type of admission allows one to take graduate courses for credit without pursuing a graduate degree, i.e. satisfying graduate level pre-requisite course requirements, or pursuing graduate level certificate is not a part of degree program. Students who wish to have certificate courses apply toward a degree program must meet admission requirements without condition. Under no circumstances can more than nine semester hours taken under post baccalaureate status be used in a master's degree program.

- Transient. An applicant who is currently admitted to full graduate standing at another recognized institution may be admitted as a graduate transient student, with permission from the home institution once official transcripts have been received. An applicant for transient admission must submit an application, application fee, official transcripts from the home institution and a letter of transient permission from the appropriate dean of the student's home institution.

- Certificate Programs. An applicant seeking one of the certificate programs offered by the School of Business or the School of Computer Information Sciences must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or the foreign equivalent thereof. Click the appropriate certificate listed under the school for specific admission requirements.

REGISTRATION

Once the acceptance letter is received, the student should contact his/her advisor as indicated on the letter. After consultation with the advisor, the student may register with the advisor or online through the Registration Academic Information Network (RAIN). See section below for additional information about RAIN.

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 the Master of Science Program in Computer Science must have their request approved by the appropriate dean and department chair. Students who were not admitted in the regular admission category for their current program must reapply for regular admission to the new program.

APPLICATION FOR GRADUATION

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

ADDING AND 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.

WITHDRAWALS

A student who wishes to withdraw from the University should confer with the Counseling Services Office for the proper procedure. A student who wishes to withdraw from an individual class should initiate action in the Registrar's Office.

LOAD LIMITATIONS

Graduate students taking nine or more hours will be considered full-time. Graduate students may take a maximum of fifteen hours per term.

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 Purposes0
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.

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 MasterÆs 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 a remediation plan 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 to the Graduate Admissions Specialist.
  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 Graduate 
    Admissions Specialist.
  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.

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.

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.

GRADUATE LOAN APPLICATION

Georgia Southwestern State University has funds available for short-term loans to assist graduate and specialist students accepted under regular admissions status. Funds are generally available within one to five working days to qualified students who are currently enrolled in three or more graduate semester credit hours. For additional information, click on the link below:

Graduate Loan

FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Financial aid is available only for graduate students who have been officially admitted into a graduate degree program. Refer to the following website for in-depth financial aid and HOPE scholarship information:

Graducation Bulletin

ANNUAL LOAN LIMITS FOR SUBSIDIZED AND UNSUBSIDIZED STAFFORD LOANS

Independent Undergraduate Student:

1st Year $2,625
2nd Year $3,500
3rd & 4thYears $$5,500 

Independent Undergraduate Student:

1st Year $6,625*   
*  only $2,625 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
2nd Year $7,500*   
* only $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
3rd & 4th Years $10,00*  
* only $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Graduate Student:

Up to $18,500 each academic year*
* only $8,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

MAXIMUM TOTAL DEBT FROM STAFFORD LOANS WHEN YOU GRADUATE

Dependent Undergraduate Student: $23,000 as a dependent undergraduate students

Independent Undergraduate Student: $46,000 as an independent undergraduate student
(only $23,000 of this amount may be subsidized loans)

Graduate Student:  $138,000 as a graduate or professional student
(only $65,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans).
The graduate debt limit includes Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.

POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Georgia Southwestern State University provides access to programs and makes reasonable accommodations for the needs of students with disabilities. Students must self-identify by completing a Statement of Health form prior to enrollment. These students must follow up by contacting the Director of Student Support Services for an interview to determine their needs before registration. Each student is responsible for identifying his or her needs to each professor the first day of class. If problems arise, the student should notify the Director of Student Support Services or the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Faculty members are sensitive to the special needs of students with disabilities and are willing to make reasonable and appropriate accommodations for these students when enrolled in their classes.

SERVICES TO STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

The Student Support Services Office at GSW provides services to students with learning disabilities. Students must self-identify by informing the Director of Student Support Services. The student is requested to provide a copy of written documentation from a qualified authority concerning the disability and previous assistance received.

The types of services that can be provided include readers, note-takers, tutors, academic advising, individual counseling, and alternate testing accommodations. Certain types of equipment such as tape players and calculators are available for loan to students.

ADMINISTRATIVE MEDICAL WITHDRAWALS

For the provision of an academic learning environment and the protection of students and the total University community, the University has adopted a policy for the administrative medical withdrawal of students. A student may be administratively withdrawn from the University when, in the judgment of the Vice President for Student Affairs in consultation with the Director of Counseling Services, the University physician, the student's parents or spouse, the student's physician, and appropriate health professionals, it is determined that the student suffers from a physical, mental, emotional, or psychological health condition which (1) poses a significant danger or threat of physical harm to the student or to the person or property of others or (2) causes the student to interfere with the rights of other members of the University community or with the exercise of any proper activities or functions of the University or its personnel or (3) causes the student to be unable to meet institutional requirements for admission or continued enrollment, as defined in the Student Conduct Code and other publications of the University.

Except in emergency situations, a student shall, upon request, be accorded an appropriate hearing prior to the final decision concerning his or her continued enrollment at the University.

STUDENTS IDENTIFICATION CARDS

The student ID card is the official means of identification for currently enrolled students. GSW student identification cards are made during the registration process at the beginning of each term and also on a specific day each week throughout the semester. In order to obtain an ID card, the student should contact the Division of Student Affairs at 229.928.1387. A student must present the ID card in order to receive services at the University and at the request of a University faculty or staff member. Each semester the student must have his/her card updated with a current validation label in the Division of Student Affairs A $10.00 fee is charged for replacing a lost or stolen student ID card and is paid at the Business Office. A receipt must be presented to the Division of Student Affairs to receive a replacement ID card.

STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

In order to help create an environment conducive to the furthering of educational pursuits and personal development, the University has established minimum behavioral expectations of students. These expectations, as well as student rights, are published in the Rights and Responsibilities section of the GSWeathervane. Also included in this publication is the University policy statement relative to implementation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

Each student is responsible for reading and observing the policies stated in the student handbook. The GSWeathervane is revised annually and is made available to students in the Office of Student Life, located in the Marshall Student Center, and online at Student handbook.