Academic Schedule (Classes)
Information concerning graduate class offerings by department, per semester or session, registration procedures, deadlines and the Academic calendar is found on the Academic Affairs website at www.umes.edu/academic/.
Developing a Program of Study
Each graduate student is responsible for understanding and complying with the rules and procedures of the UMES Graduate School and all applicable departmental graduate program requirements which govern individual programs of study.
Course selection for newly‐admitted graduate students, whether degree or non‐degree seeking, begins with a contact with each student’s assigned Academic Advisor, usually a graduate faculty member in the departmental graduate program to which the student has been admitted.
Non‐degree seeking students may have a graduate faculty or program coordinator as their Advisor while they are in this status.
Degree seeking students will obtain information from their Advisors about specific degree or certificate requirements, recommendations on courses, etc.
Some graduate programs have handbooks, manuals, or websites which explain degree program requirements, department resources and forms used in evaluating student progress to degree, applying for internships, etc.
Each degree‐seeking student will develop with their Academic Advisor their program of study and timetable for completion.
Upon admission to the Graduate School, students are assigned an Academic Advisor. This person will be responsible for advising on all aspects of the student’s progress throughout the program. Any request for a change of advisor must be submitted to and be approved by the Program Director.
In certain situations, a student may want a second Academic Advisor. This might happen if, for instance, the professor most familiar with the student’s work will have only an Associate Graduate Faculty status. In this case, it is possible to set up a Co‐Advisor team of two professors who jointly serve in the role of Advisor (the other having Regular Graduate Faculty status).
Exceptions, Waivers, Appeals, Grievances
While most questions and issues normally raised and met by graduate students will be answered or resolved by the faculty advisor or a departmental committee, the Graduate School is also charged with assisting graduate students who need additional information, guidance or follow‐up assistance. Requests or petitions for exceptions or waivers of Graduate School regulations or of graduate degree requirements, or appeals and grievances, with supporting materials, should be directed to the Graduate School for review and determination of applicable policy, procedure or process for the handling of the exception/waiver, appeal or grievance.
Course Numbering System
||Primarily First‐year undergraduate courses
||Primarily Sophomore undergraduate courses
||Junior and Senior courses not acceptable for credit toward graduate degrees
||Junior and Senior courses acceptable for credit toward some graduate degrees
||Professional School courses (Dentistry, Law and Medicine) and postbaccalaureate courses not for graduate degree credit. An exception is the joint UMES/SU Master of Arts in Teaching program.
||Courses restricted to graduate students. Under certain conditions, seniors may take 600 lower level courses with prior approval.
||Master’s thesis credit
||Doctoral dissertation credit
The first character of the numeric position determines the level of the course and the last two digits are used for course identification.
Courses ending with an 8 or 9 are courses that are repeatable for credit.
All non‐repeatable courses end in 0 through 7.
Designation of Full and Part‐Time Graduate Students
In order to accurately reflect both involvement of graduate students in their programs of study/research and use of University resources in these programs, the UMES Graduate School employs graduate units. These graduate units, in turn, are utilized in making calculations to determine full‐ or part‐time student status in the administration of minimum registration requirements described below, and in responding to student requests for certification of fulltime student status.
The number of graduate units, per semester credit hour, is calculated in the following manner:
|Courses in the series:
||000‐399 carry 2 units/credit hour.
|Courses in the series:
||400‐499 carry 4 units/credit hour.
|Courses in the series:
||500‐599 carry 5 units/credit hour.
|Courses in the series:
||600‐898 carry 6 units/credit hour.
||799 carries 12 units/credit hour.
||899 carries 12 units/credit hour.
To be certified as a full‐time graduate student, an individual must be officially registered for a combination of courses equivalent to 48 units per semester.
Graduate Assistants, holding full‐time appointments, are full‐time students if they are registered for at least 24 units, in addition to their Assistantship.
Courses taken for Audit do not generate graduate units and cannot be used in calculating fullor part‐time status.
UMES reserves the right to alter this system.
Graduate programs may require a continuous enrollment for admitted students into the program during each semester of the academic year and summer session until the student completes the degree requirements. The number of credit hours required per registration each semester or session may vary according to the course credit offerings and degree requirements of the program. In extenuating circumstances, students may petition for an official leave of absence from the program for up to one academic year (two semesters).
Minimum Registration Requirements
All graduate students, at any level of study and research, making any demand upon academic or support services of the university – whether taking courses, using UMES facilities (e.g., library, laboratories, computers, office space, housing, etc.), consulting with faculty advisors, taking comprehensive examinations and oral defenses, etc. – must register for the number of graduate units which will, in a faculty advisor’s judgment, accurately reflect a student’s involvement with graduate study and use of university resources. In no case will registration be for less than one credit. Minimum registration may also be needed to comply with requirements for financial aid and deferments, visa status, campus housing, health and car insurance, etc.
Minimum Registration Requirements for Doctoral Candidates
Doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy must register each semester (see above section), until their degree is awarded. If the degree program is an accelerated one, the Summer session is also a semester.
Those who have not completed the required number of credit hours of Dissertation Research (899) must register for a minimum of one credit of dissertation research each semester. Doctoral candidates whose demands upon the University are greater than that represented by a minimum registration, will be expected to register for the number of graduate credits which reflect their use of UMES resources.
Inter‐Campus Enrollment (USM)
A student admitted to a Graduate School on any campus of the University System of Maryland (USM), is eligible to take courses on any other USM campus with approval of both the Academic Advisor and administrators on the home as well as host campuses. Credits earned on a host campus are considered resident credits at the home campus in meeting degree requirements. Transcripts of work taken at another campus will be maintained on the home campus, and fees will be paid to the home campus.
Forms for registration as an intercampus student may be obtained from the Registrar or Graduate School offices on any USM campus. Terms and conditions of USM intercampus enrollment are given on the reverse side of the USM form. Students are responsible to notify both the home and the host campus of intended changes in registration (add/drop, withdrawal, etc.) to avoid incorrect billings.
Inter‐campus students anticipating enrollment in courses at UMES should have their forms received by the UMES Graduate School no later than ten (10) school days prior to the registration date set for each semester/session. The Inter‐campus enrollment process may not be acceptable to all USM campuses during the Winter or Summer sessions as these sessions are self‐supporting.
The UMES Policy on Graduate Student Concurrent Inter‐Institutional Registration (1992) and the Board of Regents Policy Statement on the subject (1991) shall govern procedures and arrangements.
For more information, go to www.umes.edu/Registrar/Content.aspx?id=2514.
Graduate Credit for Senior Undergraduates
A senior in the final semester at UMES, who is within six credit hours of completing all requirements for an undergraduate degree, has a 3.0 cumulative GPA and has completed any graduate course prerequisite with a grade of ‘B’, may, with approval of both the department/program offering the course (e.g., instructor, chair) and the Graduate School, register for a 600 level or below graduate course. The course(s) may later be counted for graduate credit toward an advanced degree at UMES if the student has been granted admission to the UMES Graduate School within an academic year of completing the course, and subject to the admitted program’s approval in the student’s plan of study.
The student’s total of undergraduate and graduate courses must not exceed 15 credit hours for the semester and 6 credit hours for the Summer Session. Excess credits in the senior year cannot be used for graduate credit unless proper pre‐arrangement is made. Seniors who wish to register for graduate credit should contact the UMES Graduate School for the form to be completed.
The maximum number of graduate credits that can be earned under this mechanism will be six. The credits earned can be used only once, either for the undergraduate degree or toward an advanced degree at UMES. Seniors who wish to take a graduate course for undergraduate credit should consult the subsection below.
Undergraduate Credit for Graduate Level Courses
Subject to requirements and prior approval of the graduate program offering the course, undergraduate students may register for 600 level or below graduate level courses to receive undergraduate credit.
A student seeking to use this option must be in the senior year at UMES, should have earned an accumulated grade point average of 3.0, have successfully completed with a grade of “B” or better any graduate course prerequisite, and be a major in the appropriate or a closely-related department.
Enrollment in a graduate level course for undergraduate credit does not, in any way, imply subsequent departmental or UMES Graduate School approval for admission into a graduate program, nor may the course(s) be used as credit for a graduate degree within the University System of Maryland.
Credit by Examination (Graduate and Undergraduate)
A graduate student may obtain graduate credit by examination in courses (at the 400 or 500 level) previously identified for such credit by the appropriate department/program. As a general rule, credit by examination is not available for courses at the 600, 700 or 800 levels. In the judgment of the UMES Graduate Council, courses at these levels require a continuing interaction between faculty and student to achieve the educational goals of advanced study.
Students may receive graduate credit by examination only for courses for which they are otherwise eligible to receive graduate credit. The department or program in which the student is enrolled, may establish a limit on the number of graduate credits earned in this manner. Graduate students seeking credit by examination for graduate credit or for prerequisite undergraduate courses (100‐300 series), must obtain the consent of their Advisor, the instructor currently responsible for the course, and the Graduate School. Once each student begins the examination, the grade earned will be recorded. The fee for credit by examination is set per course regardless of the number of credits or units to be earned (subject to change). The Credit by Examination form is available in the Registrar’s office.
Transfer of Credit
A maximum of six semester hours of graduate level course credits, earned at regionallyaccredited institutions (see definition, above under Criteria for Admission ) prior to, or after admission and enrollment at UMES, may be applied toward Master’s degree programs. Proportionately, larger amounts of credit may be applied toward Doctoral degrees. See the section on Inter‐Campus Enrollment (USM) for treatment of course credits within the University System of Maryland campuses.
Credit from foreign universities will be evaluated, but, because of academic and procedural differences between foreign and US regionally accredited institutions, may not in every case be acceptable for transfer on a quid pro quo basis.
All graduate study credits offered as transfer credit must meet the following criteria:
- They must have received graduate credit at the institution where earned.
- They must not have been used to meet the requirements for any degree previously earned.
- They must have been taken typically within the time limits applicable to expected degree completion at UMES (e.g., up to five years prior to the Master’s program admission, up to nine years prior to the Doctoral program admission but subject to criterion D below).
- The department or program to which the student has been admitted at UMES must certify that the courses are appropriate and current to the degree program the student is pursuing at UMES.
- The student must have earned a grade of “B” or better in the courses offered for transfer credit.
A student‐seeking acceptance of transfer credit is advised to submit the necessary transcripts and certification of UMES department/program approval to the UMES Graduate School as promptly as possible, for its review and processing.
Transfer grades earned at other than University System of Maryland campuses are not factored into the computation of cumulative grade point averages at UMES.
Criteria that Courses Must Meet to be Accepted for Graduate Credit (the Winter Session)
Any course(s), workshop(s) or seminar(s), planned to take place in a span of time less than a normal academic semester or a winter/summer session, and offering graduate credit to participants, must meet the following criteria:
- There must be 15 “contact hours” per graduate credit.
- Lectures: 1 contact hour per 50 minutes lecture.
- Non‐lecture (laboratory, workshops, discussion and problem working sessions, etc.): One contact hour per 2 or 3 hour sessions.
- Ordinarily, no more than three “contact hours” per day will be permitted. Three “contact hours” are equivalent to 0.2 credits. Exceptions, such as intensive all day sessions, require the prior approval of the Graduate School.
During the short winter session, lecture, non‐lecture and research credit courses are limited to a maximum two hours of credit without prior approval. The MAT program is excepted. All students, regardless of program, may not take more than one course during this period.
Course and Credit Changes
A graduate student may change elections (i.e., drop or add a course, change between audit and credit status, change number of credits for a variable credit course within the listed range, cancel registration or withdraw for the semester/session) by obtaining the appropriate approvals and observing published deadlines and procedures of the applicable offices of the Registrar or Academic Affairs, and if the course/credits set up allows the change.
Procedures for Withdrawal from the Graduate School/Program
Graduate students wishing to withdraw from a program may do so at any time.
The procedure for withdrawal is to submit a letter of the withdrawal to the program coordinator and the Graduate School. The letter will be reviewed and processed, and the necessary offices notified of the action. The requested date of resignation will be used as the effective date of withdrawal.
Although students may withdraw during the course of a given semester/session, they remain liable for all fees and other obligations due UMES, and their academic records will reflect their standing at the time of withdrawal. Program withdrawal terminates a student’s admission. The act of withdrawal from a program prohibits readmission to the same program to complete it, should the student wish to return to graduate study at a later time.
Refer to the Graduate School definition and process of readmission by going to www.umes.edu/Grad/Default.aspx?id=22720.
Procedure for Canceling Registration (Withdrawal) for a Semester/Session
To cancel a registration for a given semester/session the Application for University Withdrawal form is used.
The canceling of registration is treated by that office as a withdrawal from the University for the semester or session.
Cancellation of one’s classes during the course of a semester/session is not meant to be used as a means of avoiding poor grades.
Minimum GPA/Grades for Graduate Students
A minimum grade point average of 3.0, or “B,” on all 400 and above level courses taken for graduate credit in the student’s approved program of study is required to receive the degree.
Graduate students are required to meet graduate program retention and exit requirements for acceptable grades in order to continue in the program and to receive the degree.
A grade of “D” is not acceptable for a graduate core or required course or an elective course to be used to satisfy graduate program requirements for a degree.
Policy on Incomplete Grades
The following policy on Incomplete (‘I’) grades pertains to regular courses, not to the variable research credit courses available for the different Master’s programs (thesis, project, etc.) and the Doctoral dissertation.
The grade of ‘I’ (Incomplete) is to be given only to a graduate student whose work in a course has been qualitatively satisfactory, and when because of illness, or other circumstances beyond his/her control, the graduate student has been unable to complete the stated requirements of the course.
In no case will the grade of ‘I’ be recorded for a graduate student who:
- has not completed satisfactorily the major portion of the coursework; and/or
- wishes to improve his/her grade by additional course work not offered to all students enrolled in the course.
In cases in which an ‘I’ grade is issued, the graduate student may not re‐register for the course until the ‘I’ is removed by completing work outstanding and meeting all course requirements.
Work must be completed by the end of one year, or the ‘I’ becomes ‘W’ (Withdrawal). Before the end of the one year period, a student upon written petition to the Graduate School may request on extension of time if circumstances warrant further delay.
An ‘I’ cannot be removed by earning credit by examination.
When the graduate student receives the terminal grade, he/she may repeat the course as provided for any course where repeats are authorized.
Accelerated or intensive weekend graduate programs, because of the accelerated process of coursework and other degree requirements to meet a degree program completion within an abbreviated time frame (e.g., three years), have the option of using a six‐month time frame to facilitate the removal of incomplete grades in a timely manner.
The conventional ‘A’ through ‘F’ grading system is used in graduate level courses.
A ‘Satisfactory’ or ‘Unsatisfactory’ (S/U) grading system may be used, at the discretion of the department or program, for certain types of graduate study. These include courses which require independent work. Master’s project and research projects may also be appropriate for such S/U grading systems.
Thesis and dissertation research use the S/U grading system (see the subsection below).
Courses labeled ‘Topics’, ‘Special Problems’, ‘Seminar’, ‘Clinical’, ‘Practicum’, or ‘Internship’ may use either the ‘A’‐’F’ or ‘S/U’ grading system.
Only one grading system will normally be used for a single course in a particular semester/session. The grading system will be designated in the course database by the department or program offering the course (excluding courses already specified for only one grading system).
Grading System for Research Credit Courses
A grade of S/U should be used instead of an ‘I’ grade for 799, 899 and similar research credit courses (500 to 798 series) which are offered/carried over or continued over semesters or sessions, usually with variable credit hours, and whose objective is the long‐term development of a thesis, dissertation, Master’s project, or research project. In these instances a ‘Satisfactory’ (’S’ grade) completion of the required research credit hours satisfies only part of the graduation requirements.
A successful thesis or dissertation defense and final approved copy of the thesis or dissertation are essential for the degree programs with the thesis option and the dissertation requirement.
A final written document and an oral presentation, both acceptable to the student’s Advisor/Advisory Committee, are normally the requirements for Master’s projects and research projects.
Computation of Grade Point Average (GPA)
An ‘A’ is calculated at 4 quality points, ‘B’ at 3 quality points and ‘C’ at 2 quality points. The grades of ‘D’, ‘F’ and ‘I’ receive no quality points. Courses taken with ‘A’ to ‘F’ letter grades will be used in calculating the Grade Point Average.
Students may request that prerequisite undergraduate course grades be excluded from being computed in the cumulative GPA of their graduate record.
Grade Change, Repeating of Courses, Arbitrary and Capricious Grading
A student may repeat any course where repeats are authorized, in an effort to earn a better grade. The later grade, whether higher or lower, will be used in computing the GPA. While matriculated at UMES, a graduate student who earns a grade of ‘F’ or ‘D’ in residence may not advance his/her credit hours earned toward a UMES degree by repeating the course at another institution.
Grades for graduate students remain part of each student’s permanent record. In addition to the repeating of courses, grades may be changed only by the original instructor on the supplementary grade report form and approved by both the department Chair and the Dean. Changes may be made only in circumstances in which an actual mistake was made in determining or recording the grade, to record a missing grade from the official grade roster or transcript, or to remove an incomplete grade.
A grade of ‘W’ recorded on the transcript does not qualify for the change of grade process.
Allowable grade changes other than an ‘I’ (Incomplete) grade must be received in the Registrar’s Office in the specified 60 calendar day period (see Registrar Office policy for specifics ‐ www.umes.edu/Registrar/Content.aspx?id=3340).
The UMES procedures for Review of Alleged Arbitrary and Capricious Grading (1992) address and cover both graduate and undergraduate students and will be used.
Where a faculty composition or venue are not workable, the Graduate School may appoint a required tenured professor(s) from the graduate faculty at‐large to hear the case, which also may be heard outside the unit offering the course(s) in dispute.
Auditing of Graduate Courses
A graduate student, regardless of program or status, may audit a graduate course with the written permission of the course instructor and the student’s advisor and subject to certain restrictions.
Courses which may not be audited are
- Research credit courses such as 799 thesis and 899 dissertation, the 699/798 Master’s projects, and any other program’s research‐designated courses.
- Any graduate course in the graduate program with restricted enrollment such as Physical Therapy, the Master of Arts in Teaching and intensive weekend programs.
Audited courses will appear on the student’s academic record as ‘AU’ and may not be used to repeat a course for which credit has been previously earned.
Audited courses do not earn credit, nor count as part of the credit hour load, nor may be applied toward the requirements of a graduate degree. The regular tuition rate applies to audited courses. Once a course has been audited, it cannot be converted to credit, except as below.
If students later find that an audited course they took is/will be a required course for the degree program in which they are matriculated, they must file a Petition for Waiver of Regulation to be considered to repeat the course for credit.
Prerequisite courses (e.g., 100 to 400 numbered undergraduate and selected 500 or 600 numbered graduate) may be required to satisfy conditions of provisional admission status or for preparation and understanding of advanced graduate level courses (500 or 600 and above numbering sequence). Prerequisite courses may be satisfied before or after enrollment in the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, but if after enrollment, must be completed within the first academic year of admittance.
Prerequisite courses provide no graduate credit (if undergraduate numbered) and do not count toward the course credits required to graduate from a graduate degree program at UMES.
Prerequisite undergraduate courses may be satisfied by credit by examination at UMES if the graduate program allows it (see Credit by Examination subsection).
Graduate students satisfying undergraduate numbered prerequisite courses must earn a letter grade of ‘C’ or better in the course unless a graduate program/department stipulates a higher grade. A Pass/Fail option may not be used to satisfy prerequisite courses taken at UMES.
Students should confirm whether experimental courses may be elective courses for them or possible interim substitute core courses with the approval of the advisor and Advisory Committee as appropriate.
Undergraduate and Graduate Combined Instruction
In 400 or 400/600 level courses approved to be applied toward a graduate degree program, which is combined undergraduate and graduate instruction, requirements for work expected in the course for graduate students will be specified to reflect the level of complexity and specialization expected of graduate study.
The Academic Record (Transcript)
A graduate student’s academic record (transcript) is intended to serve as a complete history of that student’s academic progress at UMES. As such, it cannot be altered except in conformance with stated UMES Registrar and Graduate School policies (see Grade Change section).
Under no circumstances will the academic records be altered because of dissatisfaction with a grade (original or repeated) or other academic accomplishment.