Apr 14, 2024  
2020-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures

Standard of Academic Conduct 


Bowie State University expects students to maintain high standards of conduct and scholarship. Thus, students are expected to conform to strict standards of academic honesty in all aspects of graduate studies.  Students guilty of academic misconduct are subject to severe penalties ranging from failure of the assignment to failure in the course, suspension from the program or the University or, in extreme cases, dismissal from the University.


Policy on Plagiarism


1.            Plagiarism is the act of representing another’s idea, words, or information as one’s own.  Every student writing a paper should be aware of the following principles.

a.            All directly quoted materials must be identified as such by quotation marks.  The source(s) of this material must be acknowledged.

b.            When borrowed ideas or information is not directly quoted by a student, the student should have so assimilated this material that it is indeed being expressed in his/her own words.  However, just as in the case of direct quotations, the sources of such borrowed ideas or information must be acknowledged.

c.             The sources of ideas or information lying well within the realm of common knowledge (i.e. material that would be known by anyone familiar with the subject under discussion) need not be acknowledged.


2.            Students guilty of plagiarism are subject to severe penalties, ranging from failure for the assignment to failure in the course or, in extreme cases, dismissal from the University.  The instructor shall determine the appropriate sanction to be imposed. If the instructor is unable to determine the appropriate sanction to be imposed or if the student disagrees with the sanction imposed, the instructor may communicate promptly a written charge setting forth the essential facts of the case to the chair of the instructor’s department.  Students appealing the imposed sanction must follow the due process procedures.



I.             Faculty members are required to deal directly with any academic infractions.  Actions taken must reflect the seriousness of the infractions and could range from a verbal warning, administrative withdrawal, an assigned grade of “F” for the course, to dismissal from the University.

II.            In cases where the faculty member feels that the infraction was severe enough to pose a stiffer penalty, the case can be submitted to the dean of the school in which the course is offered for possible academic suspension or dismissal from the University.

III.           Likewise, students may submit a written appeal to the dean disputing alleged infractions.

IV.          In either case, the dean may arrange a hearing with individuals (faculty members from another department and student from the Judicial Board) to evaluate the appeal.



Students are expected to attend every session for which the course is scheduled unless otherwise agreed to by professor and student.


Notification of Graduation Status


A status sheet is issued to each degree-seeking student during the semester in which he/she registers for the Comprehensive Examination. The status sheet lists all remaining or outstanding requirements necessary for the completion of the degree.


Time Limitation


Requirements for the doctoral and master’s degree must be completed within a seven-year period, (five years for the M.S. in Nursing) as established by the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland (USM). The scheduled time may be computed by noting the date of admission to the University or by noting the date when credits allowed in transfer were taken, whichever is earlier. The seven-year period is computed on calendar time. An extension will be granted if the University does not offer a required course during the last semester of the student’s seven-year period.


Re-entry to a Degree Program after Lapse of Time Limitation


For readmission to a doctoral degree program after the seven-year period for completion of the degree has elapsed, the student’s records are evaluated and admission may be granted under current university policy and degree requirements. Courses are not necessarily repeated and may be replaced with additional courses approved by the advisor.


Program Extension


A program extension may be granted for up to two years to a student whose time limit is about to expire. It is the students’ responsibility to contact his/her department to obtain the required paperwork and signatures. An extension can be granted for more than two times depending on the circumstances.

Note:    If a student allows his/her time to elapse, such student would have to be dismissed from the program and to gain entrance back to the program should reapply for admission into the program. If granted admission back to the program, the program area determines how many courses that they may allow the student to transfer from their already accumulated course work prior to being dismissed.



I.             A program extension form is obtained from the program area (department).

II.            The form must be completed by the student.

III.           The Program Coordinator must write their recommendation in the designated area, then date and sign the form.

IV.          The completed form must be submitted to the Graduate School for the Graduate Dean’s approval/denial. Program Coordinators and Chairs make recommendations for program extensions, but do not give approvals or send approval letters to students.



Program of Study


Degree and certificate students must follow a program of study approved by the graduate advisor, the College Dean and the Graduate Dean. The program of study should be prepared before the student begins his/her first semester of classes.  The student’s program of study is to be documented by completing the Program of Study form. Courses taken prior to submitting the program of study at other institutions that will serve as transfer courses are included with approval by the graduate advisor.  The completed Program of Study will be filed in the student’s permanent file in the Office of the Registrar.




I.             The new student will meet with the advisor prior to beginning the degree program to establish the requirements for degree completion.  The result is the development of the Program of Study.

II.            A Program of Study will be reported on the Program of Study form.  All requirements to be met by the student, transfer courses and pre-requisites will be detailed on the form.

III.           The advisor, the student, and the Graduate Dean will sign the form.

IV.          The Program of Study form will be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for placement in the student’s permanent file.


Change of Program


A student who has a program of study approved by an advisor may deviate from this program only with the written approval of the advisor and the Graduate Dean. A student wishing to alter the program may obtain a Change of Program form from the Graduate School Office or the Bowie State University website.




I.             The student will meet with the advisor to discuss and make changes to the original Program of Study.

II.            The changes to the Program of Study will be detailed on the Change of Program form.

III.           The advisor, the student, and the Graduate Dean will sign the Change of Program form. 

IV.          The Change of Program form will be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for placement in the student’s permanent file.


Advancement to Candidacy


Advancement to Candidacy is a major step in fulfilling the requirements for the Master’s Degree. Advancement to Candidacy is accomplished by presenting evidence of having an approved program of study, a grade point average of 3.25 and a minimum of 12 - 18 semester hours of specific program core courses graduate work taken at Bowie State University. Should the required 3.25 average not be attained when a maximum of 18 credit hours have been earned, Advancement to Candidacy will be denied. Students will be given the opportunity to retake courses that were taken as part of the 12 - 18 credit hour requirement.  Students will not be allowed to go beyond the 18 credit limit if they have not met the requirement for advancement to candidacy.  Each graduate program may have additional requirements for Advancement to Candidacy that students are required to complete.  Additional requirements will be included in the section of the catalog for each program.


Students must be advanced to candidacy before taking the Comprehensive Examination, Seminar or Practicum (Internship I and II for Mental Health Counseling).



I.             A student must apply for Advancement to Candidacy by completing the Request for Advancement to Candidacy form and submitting it to the Graduate School.  The form can be filed once the student has taken 12 credits of required coursework but must be completed before 18 credits are earned.

II.            The Graduate Records Coordinator will review the student’s records to determine   academic progress. 

III.           If the student has met the requirements for Advancement to Candidacy, the student will be advanced and the student information system, PeopleSoft, will be updated to reflect so. 

IV.          If the student is denied Advancement to Candidacy, the Graduate School will correspond with the student to direct him/her to the advisor to develop a plan for meeting the Advancement to Candidacy requirement. 

V.            A student who does not satisfy the advancement to candidacy requirement will not be allowed to continue taking courses after the completion of the first 18 credit hours.


In order to insure adherence to the Advancement to Candidacy policy, a negative service indicator is placed on the graduate student’s PeopleSoft accounts during the semester in which the student registers for the 18th credit hour. Once the student has met the Advancement to Candidacy requirement, the service indicator is removed and the student may continue his/her program of study. 




I.             The student applies for Advancement to Candidacy.

II.            Once the advancement has been granted, the Graduate School will remove the hold and send the appropriate letter to the students. A copy of the letter will be sent to the Graduate Program Coordinator. 

III.           Those students who are not eligible for advancement will receive a letter informing them of their status and will be advised to meet with their advisor to develop a strategy for satisfying the Advancement to Candidacy requirement.

IV.          Students will meet with their advisor and document a plan for meeting the requirements for advancement utilizing the Academic Progression Plan Worksheet. A copy will be sent to the Graduate School for placement in the student’s permanent folder. 

V.            The hold will be temporarily removed from the student’s account in order to allow for registration into classes specified in the plan documented on the Academic Progression Worksheet. The hold will be replaced on the student’s account after the student registers.

VI.          If the student meets the requirement for Advancement to Candidacy the first semester after the initial hold was placed on his/her account, the hold will be permanently removed. If the student does not meet the requirements for Advancement to Candidacy, he/she will no longer be allowed to continue in the program.


Exceptions:  Because there is a need to show actual registration in order to obtain a visa for re-entry into the United States, the hold will be removed for those international students who intend to travel outside of the country if it is determined that their progress in their academic program may result in the criteria for advancement to Candidacy.


Course Load


A student who registers for nine (9) graduate semester hours is considered to be a full-time student. Students who register for fewer hours are designated as part-time. A student may pursue up to 12 credit hours in a semester.  If a graduate student would like to take more than 12 credit hours approval must be obtained from the Graduate School Office. Six credit hours are the maximum number that may be taken in one summer session.

Standards of Academic Work


In order to remain in good standing, candidates for the master’s Degree must maintain a 3.00 grade point average after being advanced to candidacy. If the cumulative average falls below 3.00, the student will be placed on probation. After completing nine additional hours of work, if the cumulative average returns to the acceptable level of 3.00, the student will be restored to good standing. A student on probation will not be permitted to take the Comprehensive Examination, Seminar, or Practicum. Required courses in which the candidate earns a grade of “F” must be repeated.   Students who lack sufficient academic aptitude or who fail to show evidence of serious purpose may be requested by the Graduate Dean to withdraw from their graduate program.


Grading Criteria


A grade of “A” represents superior academic performance:


1.            The student demonstrates critical, analytical, and applied understanding of the subject matter in excellent written and oral form.

2.            The student regularly contributes substantive knowledge and appropriate discussion to the class experience.


A grade of “B” represents good academic performance:


1.            The student demonstrates good understanding of the subject matter in acceptable written and oral form.

2.            The student contributes substantive knowledge and appropriate comments to the class experience.


A grade of “C” represents the minimal acceptable academic performance:


1.            The student demonstrates interest in concepts of the course and a minimum mastery of subject matter in acceptable written and oral form.

2.            The student contributes a minimum of substantive contributions to the class experience.


The grade of “D” is not issued; Grade “F” indicates the student has not met the minimum requirements of the course.


A student who withdraws from a course after the tenth week of the semester will receive a grade of “F” unless special permission is granted for withdrawal without penalty.  Students taking 8-week courses will receive a grade of “F” after the fifth week of class unless special permission is granted for withdrawal without penalty.


A student may repeat a course to raise a grade of “B”, “C” or “F.” Only the higher grade received for a course will be counted in the student’s cumulative grade point average.


Letter grades are not assigned to students in Practicum, INSS 890-Professional Seminar and PSYC 540-Social Equity. Students who successfully complete the work in these courses receive a grade of “Pass.” Students who do not successfully complete the requirements receive a grade of “Fail.” A grade of “I” indicates “Incomplete” and is used only in exceptional circumstances. Students who receive a grade of Incomplete (I) have one academic year from the date of the end of the semester in which the course was taken to have the grade changed. If a grade of incomplete (I) is not changed after one year, it converts to an “F”.


Students who receive an Incomplete (I) in Seminar must enroll in Research Advisement for one graduate credit hour with the Seminar instructor. The student has two semesters to remove the Incomplete (I) in Seminar.


A student may not be advanced to candidacy, allowed to take the Comprehensive Examination, or graduate until all grades of Incomplete (I) have been removed from courses in the student’s degree program.


A final examination is required for all courses, except Seminar and Practicum.


Appeal System


Students desiring to ask for an exception to the requirements for graduation should address such an appeal to the Dean of the respective College.


Students appealing a failing grade on the Comprehensive Examination should address the request to the Graduate Dean. Such appeals must be filed within 30 days of the notification letter. Upon receipt of such an appeal, the Graduate Dean in consultation with the Program Coordinator will identify a new group of readers from the student’s area of concentration to review the examination.  The decision resulting from the second reading shall be final.


Note:    Any Comprehensive Examination appeal filed after the 30 days of the notification letter of failure is considered LATE and will not be addressed by the Graduate Dean. The result (outcome) of the appeal should be communicated to the student by the Dean’s office in writing five weeks from the date of the submission of the appeal request by the Dean or his designee.


Student grievances should initially be addressed to the Graduate Program Coordinator.  Students with grievances concerning other matters, including course grades, should address the appeals to the Graduate Dean, after exhausting all remedies available in the originating College. Such appeals must be filed no later than March 15 or October 15 following the semester in which the alleged offense occurred.


Note:    There will be no exceptions. Any grievance filed late (i.e. after March 15 or October 15 following the semester in which the grievance was filed will not be considered nor negotiated regardless of the circumstances.



Dismissal Policy


The following dismissal policy applies to graduate students:  A student whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 3.0 is placed on academic probation for the next semester; any student on academic probation has to re-take the failed classes during the probationary period in order to raise the grade point average. Failure to raise the GPA to a 3.0 during the probationary period will result in academic dismissal.


The duration of the academic dismissal is one (1) semester; the period of dismissal for a graduate nursing student is one (1) year.  Courses taken at other institutions during the dismissal period cannot be transferred to Bowie State University.  In order to be considered for readmission, the student must reapply to the Department and petition the Graduate Dean with a communication of support from the Department.  A student academically dismissed is given a one-time readmission consideration. Once readmitted, the student must retake the course or courses that must have resulted to a drop of his/her cum grade point average to below a 3.0. The seven (7) year and five (5) year (in the case of nursing program) time limitation for degree completion shall include all periods of dismissal.  A student dismissed for academic dishonesty is not eligible to reapply. 


Policy for Testing Out of Courses


Students are allowed to test out of a maximum of two courses. The procedure for doing so is as follows:


1.            The student must write a letter to the Graduate Dean requesting permission to take the course(s) by examination including course title and number.

2.            The Graduate Dean will appoint a committee composed of a minimum of two (2) faculty members to coordinate and administer the examination.

3.            The student will meet with the faculty committee. The committee will inform the student of the topics to be included in the examination and establish an examination date.

4.            The student will register and pay for the course(s) for which he/she is seeking examination credit.

5.            The examination may be written, oral and/or a demonstration before the committee.

6.            The committee will evaluate the student’s performance and assign a grade for the course to the student. The committee will enter the student’s grade on the final grade roster.

7.            If the student fails the examination, an “F” will be recorded.




Candidates for a graduate degree should pay particular attention to the proper sequencing of courses.  A quality degree program is not an accumulation of credit hours, but is a carefully developed sequence of educational activities and experiences designed to help the student achieve the specified objectives of the program. Thus, it is extremely important to properly sequence the program. Introductory courses and electives should be taken prior to the advanced courses. Some courses require prerequisites that are necessary in order for students to perform satisfactorily in the specified courses.


It is important to secure a faculty advisor and plan the program immediately after initial enrollment. This procedure will insure maximum flexibility in arriving at educational goals and possibly preclude loss of credits. Each graduate program assigns advisors.  For assignment of an advisor, contact the appropriate graduate program office.