2017-2018 Graduate and Professional Program Catalog 
    
    Aug 09, 2020  
2017-2018 Graduate and Professional Program Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Degree Requirements



Graduate School Requirements Applicable to all Master’s Degree Programs

The entire course of study undertaken for any Master’s degree must constitute a unified and coherent program, which is approved by the student’s advisor and, for some programs, the program coordinator in the department.

A minimum of 30 semester hours, in courses acceptable for credit towards a graduate degree, is required. In certain cases, six of the 30 semester hours must be thesis research credits. The graduate program must include at least 12 hours of course work at the 600 level or higher.

If the student is inadequately prepared for the required graduate courses, additional courses may be required, which may not be considered as part of the student’s overall program of study for the degree.

Credits to be applied to a student’s program for a Master’s degree at UMES cannot have been used to satisfy any other previously earned Master’s degree.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The student seeking any Master’s degree must maintain a GPA of 3.0 (“B” average) over all courses taken for graduate credit.

Time Limitation

All requirements for the Master’s degree must be completed within a five‐year period. This time limit also applies to any transfer work from other institutions to be included in a student’s overall program of study.

Leave of Absence; Extension of Time Limitation Period

In cases of unusual and/or compelling circumstances, a leave of absence for up to one academic year (two semesters) may be granted to a matriculated graduate student by the Graduate Studies Dean, at the recommendation of the Academic Advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator.

An approved leave of absence will stop the five‐year time clock for Master’s students to complete their degree program (nine years for Doctoral students).

In cases of unusual and/or compelling circumstances, an extension of the time limitation period for the degree may be considered for a matriculated graduate student. If granted, the extension will normally be for no more than one academic year (two semesters). The extension is granted by the Graduate Studies Dean on the recommendation of the Academic Advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Under both circumstances, the Graduate School’s Petition for Waiver of a Regulation form should be completed.

Minimum Residence Requirements; Continuous Enrollment

A minimum residence for a degree program is one calendar year of full‐time equivalent study (18 credit hours) taken on campus or at an off‐campus site where the UMES program is offered. Full‐time students may satisfy this requirement in one year; part‐time students in two years after enrollment.

The graduate programs may require a continuous enrollment for admitted students into the program during each semester of the academic year and/or 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.

Comprehensive Examinations (applicable to all Master’s and Doctoral Programs)

Graduate Programs have the option of holding qualifying examinations before students complete the thesis, non‐thesis option, dissertation or Doctoral research project. These examinations are often termed ‘comprehensive examinations,’ and are usually composed of a written and oral segment.

Comprehensive examinations are usually given after a student has satisfactorily completed the coursework in a program. The examinations test a student’s understanding of, and ability to integrate knowledge in his/her program of study. Because graduate programs vary in format, the nature and content of comprehensive examinations, if given, will vary by program.

The Graduate School’s minimum format for conducting comprehensive examinations, whether taken individually or a group is:

  1. Graduate program coordinators will have questions for comprehensive examinations from the faculty reflecting the curriculum and/or student’s program of study.
  2. Students must apply to the program to take the comprehensive examination(s) and be found eligible to do so.
  3. Comprehensive examinations are scheduled to be taken in a time block (a set‐time period, e.g., 6‐8 hours duration).
  4. Students taking comprehensive examinations are notified in advance of the examination date, location and time, and provided with information on proposed types of examination questions or categories of testable information (samples may be on file in the program).
  5. The written examination normally precedes an oral examination (if required), which is likewise to be scheduled shortly after the written examination and in a specified time duration.
  6. Written comprehensive examinations taken as a group must be monitored.
  7. Written comprehensive examination must be graded within a specified time period (e.g., within 21 days), so the oral examination may be scheduled.
  8. The written examination must be passed before taking the oral examination (if the latter is required).
  9. The graduate programs determine the grading and voting policy for pass/fail on the examination, which are stated in their procedures’ guidelines for the comprehensive examinations.
  10. Students and the Graduate School are notified of the comprehensive examination results, written and oral, and, in the case of ‘failure’, the deficiencies in performance, specified in detail, that led to ‘failure’.
  11. Unethical actions in the written comprehensive examination will invoke action under the campus’ academic honesty policy.
  12. Comprehensive examination(s) may be retaken only once in the event the student fails the initial examination in whole or part (written and/or oral). The second examination should be given no earlier than four months after the first examination and no later than one calendar year from the date of the initial examination. If the student fails the second time, the admission status is terminated.

In the program’s section of the Graduate School Catalog or separate program handbook or procedures’ guidelines, students will find the particulars of the comprehensive examination process for their program. Graduate programs may set more stringent requirements than the minimum set by the Graduate School.

Internships and Practicums

Internships and/or practicums may be required or optional for a program. Students may elect an internship for practical work experience/training prior to completing the thesis/non‐thesis option of a program, usually after all coursework has been completed. Students may need and elect an internship as the preparation to seek initial, entry‐level certification in a profession.

Practicums may be identified as clinical or workplace and occupation based.

If a program requires an internship or practicum as part of the curriculum and degree completion, the program must assist the student in arranging an internship or practicum appropriate to the program; specify the time period, the purpose and desired outcome(s) of the internship or practicum; arrange for the supervision and grading of the internship or practicum; and set the format for approval of the internship or practicum (e.g., any proposal to initiate and any final product such as a scholarly paper or reports).

Subject to program approval, an internship or practicum may be repeated once.

Scholarly Products

For non‐thesis option, graduate programs and professional Doctorates, scholarly products may consist of a major seminar or research paper, a major or extensive research project, a Master’s project and a creative component paper. The graduate programs may set the format for the scholarly products of non‐thesis option programs and professional Doctorates, any of which products may also be accompanied by an oral presentation in addition to a written version.

Theses and dissertations are scholarly products for thesis‐required Master’s program and Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs respectively.

Scholarly products for required internships may consist of a culminating paper or series of reports, oral presentations or some combination thereof as determined by the program to measure the student’s progress and outcome.

The Graduate School receives a copy of scholarly products for assessment of student learning and quality of research or scholarship. The Graduate Studies Dean approves the final official thesis or dissertation to be bound for the library’s collection

Co‐Advisement of Student’s Thesis

A Master’s student may be equally and jointly advised by two graduate faculty members. The faculty members may be Associates or regular members of the UMES Graduate Faculty. For the Marine‐Estuarine‐Environmental Sciences program and the graduate programs in Agriculture, graduate faculty at other USM campuses and specialists at other institutions may also be used. These individuals acquire a special membership on the UMES Graduate Faculty or will have a USM Inter‐Institutional (IIGF) Graduate Faculty Membership.

Participation in Commencement

All requirements for graduation must be completed before the graduate student is allowed to participate in Commencement exercises. To be eligible, graduate students must have:

  1. Abided by the dates set forth in the Graduate School’s announcement on semester deadlines for graduation and marching in Commencement, pertaining to completion of, as applicable, comprehensive examinations, seminar or research papers, Master’s thesis and oral presentations or dissertations and defenses. In the case of a thesis or dissertation, the student must have submitted copies acceptable to the Graduate School for binding.
  2. Satisfactorily completed any other particular requirements of the graduate degree which they are seeking.
  3. Processed on their behalf the Graduate School’s “Certification of Completion of Master’s Degree” (or Doctoral Degree) form by the designated signatories.

Outstanding financial obligations must also have been satisfied.

Additional Requirements

In addition to the preceding requirements, special requirements of the different graduate programs may be imposed. For these special requirements, consult the specific graduate program listings in this Catalog.

Graduate School Requirements for the Degrees of Master of Arts and Master of Science.

Thesis Option

Course Requirements

  1. A minimum of 30 semester hours, including six hours of thesis research credit (799), is required for the degrees of Master of Arts and Master of Science.
  2. Of the 24 hours required in graduate courses, no less than 12 must be earned in the major subject.
  3. No less than one‐half of the total required course credits for the degree, or a minimum of 12, must be selected from courses numbered 600 or above.
  4. Degree programs may stipulate course credit hours beyond the minimum.

Thesis Requirement

  1. A thesis must be submitted for the Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees, except for those programs in which a non‐thesis option has been approved by the Graduate School, in conformity with the policy of the UMES Graduate Council.
  2. Approval of the thesis is a responsibility of an Examining Committee appointed by the Graduate Studies Dean, on the recommendation of a student’s advisor. The advisor is the chairperson of the Committee, and the remaining members of the Committee are members of the Graduate Faculty who are familiar with the student’s program of study and research.
  3. A replacement Committee member must be approved by the Graduate Studies Dean.

Directions for the preparation and submission of thesis can be found in the “Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations”.

Research Assurances

All faculty and student research and scholarly activities conducted at UMES, including student seminar or research papers, Master’s and research projects and thesis and dissertation research, and whether primary or secondary‐derived research, must be conducted in accordance with Board of Regents, USM, state and federal policies.

For research involving animals, human subjects, or materials that may pose biological or chemical hazards, graduate students should seek information and guidance from the Office of Sponsored Programs.

UMES has established Internal Review Boards which meet periodically to review the aforementioned types of research protocols for compliance with established standards and regulations, including those established by Federal agencies (e.g., FDA, USDA, NIH).

Graduate students may seek guidance from the Graduate Studies Dean and the Director of the Sponsored Programs Office about scholarly misconduct policies and issues, which include plagiarism, improper credit citations, falsification or manipulation of a study, sources and data, intellectual property (copyright/patent) policy, among others. Scholarly misconduct violations are handled under the University’s Policy on Academic Honesty and Integrity (PDF available at www.umes.edu/cms300uploadedFiles/Academic%20Honesty%20Statement%20A.pdf).

Oral Examination

See later section on Established Procedures for Conduct of the Master’s Thesis Examination for specifics.

Upon written approval of the Graduate Studies Dean, a graduate student in otherwise good standing, but lacking a maximum of two courses toward completely fulfilling the Master’s course requirements, may be allowed to undergo the oral examination, only if the student will complete the outstanding courses in the same semester in which the oral examination is given.

The duration of the examination is normally about an hour, but may be longer, if necessary, to insure an adequate examination.

Non‐Thesis Option

The requirements for Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees without thesis vary among the graduate programs in which this option is available. Standards for admission are identical with those for admission to any other Master’s programs. The quality of work expected of each student is also identical to that expected in the thesis program.

The general requirements for those on the non‐thesis program are:

  1. A minimum of 30 semester credit hours in courses approved for graduate credit with a minimum average grade of “B” in all course work taken.
  2. A minimum of 18 semester credit hours in courses numbered 600 or above. In most cases, the submission of a major research project or seminar paper.
  3. Successful completion of a comprehensive final examination, written or oral, or an oral defense.
  4. Practicums/internships, if required.

Graduate School Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Teaching

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree requirements include:

  1. A minimum of 39 credit hours of coursework with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
  2. Successful completion of a written and/or oral comprehensive examination, a seminar paper and internship.
  3. Adherence to the Research Assurances section of the Graduate School Catalog as applicable.

Graduate School Requirements for the Degree of Master of Education

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree requirements include:

  1. A minimum of 30 credit hours in course work with a grade point average of 3.0 (“B”) or better, usually exclusive of internships and practicums. Grades for courses not a part of the program, but taken in graduate status, will be computed in the average.
  2. A minimum of 15‐18 credit hours in courses numbered 600 to 800 series, with usually no more than 12 credit hours in the 400 series.
  3. A successful completion of a written and/or oral comprehensive examination, a seminar paper by the end of the coursework and practicum and/or internship if required.
  4. Adherence to the Research Assurances section of the Graduate School Catalog as applicable.

Graduate School Requirements Applicable to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degrees

Credit Requirements

The UMES Graduate School requires that every student seeking the Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree, register for a minimum of 12 research credits. The number of research and other credit hours required in the individual degree programs varies according to the program.

Residence Requirements

The equivalent of a minimum two years of full‐time coursework and completion of comprehensive examinations typically meets the residence requirements, whether taken on campus or at an off‐campus site where the UMES degree program is offered.

Coursework taken at other institutions, offered in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree at UMES, must be submitted, with the recommendation of the UMES graduate program concerned, to the UMES Graduate School for approval within the first year of enrollment.

Official transcripts of the work must be filed in the UMES Graduate School.

Doctoral programs which are full‐time, continuous enrollment of at least nine credit hours per semester and summer session and which follow an accelerated, intensive course scheduling format, meet the minimum residence requirement.

Admission to Candidacy

Preliminary or comprehensive examinations (or other such substantial tests as the programs may elect), internships and defense of the dissertation proposal, are typically prerequisites for admission to candidacy. The policy governing the number of times such examinations, internships or proposal defenses may be taken and the outcome for failure to pass them, is found in the subsections on Comprehensive Examinations and Internships in the Graduate School Requirements Applicable to All Master’s Degree Programs section.

A student must be admitted to candidacy for the Doctorate within five‐years after admission to the Ph.D. or Ed.D. program. It is the responsibility of each student to submit an application for admission to candidacy when all the requirements for candidacy have been fulfilled, including regular admission status. The application form is submitted to the program/department for action and forwarded to the UMES Graduate School. The application form is available on the Graduate School website.

The timeline for Admission to Candidacy for Doctoral programs designed as full‐time, continuous enrollment programs per semester/session and with an accelerated course scheduling format will typically be within the third year of the program to follow a three‐year expected program completion. Students who fall out of the continuous enrollment pattern follow the above five‐year rule for admission to candidacy.

Time Limitation

The student must complete the entire program for the degree, including the dissertation and final defense, during a four‐year period after admission to candidacy. Extensions of time are granted only under the most unusual circumstances.

If students fail to complete all requirements within the time allotted and are in good academic standing, they must submit another application for admission to the UMES Graduate School and, if readmitted, another application for Admission to Candidacy, after satisfying any program admission pre‐requisites prior to the Admission to Candidacy.

For leaves of absence, Ph.D. or Ed.D. students follow the same policy as for Master’s students (see Leave of Absence subsection under Graduate School Requirements Applicable to all Master’s Degree Programs).

The time limit for required full‐time, continuous enrollment programs per semester and session, with an accelerated course scheduling format and with a three‐year expected program completion design is three years from initial enrollment.

Students in this type of program who take leave or need to extend the time to complete degree program requirements may have the maximum time allotment as other Doctoral programs. Students who take leaves and time extension may be subject to changed curriculum and other requirements implemented during their absence.

Internship

For programs which require an internship, see the subsection on Internships in the Graduate School Requirements Applicable to All Master’s Degree Programs.

Dissertation

The ability to undertake independent research and provide sufficient evidence of scholarship is demonstrated by submission of an original dissertation, required of all candidates for a Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree. The topic of the dissertation must be approved by the candidate’s program committee.

The subsection on Research Assurances listed under the Graduate School Requirements for the Master of Arts/Science Thesis Option, is applicable to dissertation research. Candidates are advised to check whether their proposed research will be subject to a prior approval process by a UMES Internal Review Board.

Approval of the dissertation is a responsibility of an Examining Committee appointed by the Graduate Studies Dean, on the recommendation of a student’s advisor and student input. The advisor is the chairperson of the Committee, and the remaining members of the Committee are members of the Graduate Faculty who are familiar with the student’s program of study and research. A replacement Committee member must be approved by the Graduate Studies Dean.

During preparation of the dissertation, all candidates for the Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree must register for the prescribed number of semester hours of Doctoral Dissertation Research (899) at UMES. A minimum of 12 semester hours of 899 credits is required.

Directions for the preparation and submission of dissertations can be found in the Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations available for download on the Graduate School website.

Co‐Advisement of Student’s Dissertation

A Doctoral student may be equally and jointly advised by two Graduate Faculty members. The faculty members must be regular members of the UMES Graduate Faculty (the exceptions are the Marine‐ Estuarine‐Environmental Sciences (MEES) program and the accelerated weekend Doctoral programs).

For the accelerated weekend Doctoral programs, the Graduate Studies Dean’s representative (see section below) may also serve as a co‐advisor of the student’s dissertation.

For the MEES and weekend Doctoral programs, faculty at USM campuses and other universities, and specialists and practitioners at other institutions may also be used. These individuals acquire a special membership on the UMES Graduate Faculty or will have a USM Inter‐Institutional Graduate Faculty Membership.

Publication of the Dissertation

If a student wishes to publish all, or a portion, of the dissertation prior to its defense and approval by the UMES Dissertation Examining Committee, he/she must first seek the approval of the Graduate Studies Dean by submitting a letter endorsed by the dissertation advisor, which presents the case for early publication.

Final Defense

The final oral defense of the dissertation is a requirement in partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree.

One or more members of the Dissertation Examining Committee may be persons from other institutions, including USM campuses, who hold a Doctorate and who are distinguished scholars or specialists and experiential leaders in the field of the dissertation.

One member of the Committee, designated as the Graduate Studies Dean’s representative, besides having the usual responsibility of a faculty examiner, has the additional responsibility of assuring that the examination is conducted according to established procedures.

Any disagreement over the examination procedures is referred to the Graduate Studies Dean’s representative for decision.

The Graduate Studies Dean’s representative may be a separate member appointed by the Graduate Studies Dean.

The student is responsible for distributing a complete copy of the dissertation to each member of the Committee at least ten working days before the defense.

See the section below on the Established Procedures for Conduct of the Doctoral Dissertation Defense.

Accelerated Doctoral Programs

Accelerated or intensive Doctoral programs, typically the weekend model, may develop and use a separate manual to describe the format, process and conduct of the coursework, comprehensive examinations, internship, dissertation proposal and the defense, retention and completion of degree program requirements, so long as the Graduate Studies Dean approves the content of these manual(s).

The Graduate Studies Dean approves the membership of the Research Advisory Committee before it begins to advise and guide the student on the dissertation process and approves any replacement member. See also the section above on Co‐advisement of a Student’s Dissertation.

Participation in Commencement Exercises

All requirements for graduation must be completed before the graduate student is allowed to participate in Commencement exercises. To be eligible, graduate students must have:

  1. Abided by the dates set forth in the Graduate School’s announcement on semester deadlines for graduation and marching in Commencement, pertaining to completion of, as applicable, comprehensive examinations, seminar or research papers, Master’s thesis and oral presentations or dissertations and defenses. In the case of a thesis or dissertation, the student must have submitted copies acceptable to the Graduate School for binding.
  2. Satisfactorily completed any other particular requirements of the graduate degree which they are seeking.
  3. Processed on their behalf the Graduate School’s Certification of Completion of Master’s Degree (or Doctoral Degree) form by the designated signatories.

Outstanding financial obligations must also have been satisfied.

Additional Requirements

In addition to the preceding requirements, special requirements of the different graduate programs may be imposed. For these special requirements, consult the specific graduate program listings in this Catalog.

Graduate School Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy

Credit and General Program Requirements

The professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree requirements include four major areas of learning and an extensive research project:

  1. 101 semester hours of didactic course work as specified in the program.
  2. 18 semester hours of clinical education experience.
  3. 3 semester hours of independent study/elective courses in specialty areas.
  4. 6 semester hours in critical inquiry/research.
  5. Successful completion and submission of an extensive research project in written form and an oral presentation on the project.

Residence Requirements

Since the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is a full‐time continuous enrollment program leading to an expected degree completion in three years following enrollment, the residence requirement is satisfied.

Time Limitation

While the expected degree completion for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is three years of full‐time study and research following enrollment, under extenuating circumstances, DPT students may seek leaves of absences and extensions of time as the Department of Physical Therapy will allow.

Leave of Absence; Extension of Time Limitation Period

In cases of unusual and/or compelling circumstances, a leave of absence for up to one academic year (two semesters) may be granted to a matriculated graduate student by the Graduate Studies Dean, at the recommendation of the Academic Advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator.

An approved leave of absence will stop the nine‐year time clock for Doctoral students to complete their degree program (five years for Master’s students).

In cases of unusual and/or compelling circumstances, an extension of the time limitation period for the degree may be considered for a matriculated graduate student. If granted, the extension will normally be for no more than one academic year (two semesters). The extension is granted by the Graduate Studies Dean on the recommendation of the Academic Advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator. Under both circumstances, the Graduate School’s Petition for Waiver of a Regulation form should be completed.

Students who take leaves and time extensions may be subject to changed curriculum and other requirements implemented during their absences.

Research and Research Project

The Graduate School policies on Research Assurances, Internships and Practicums and scholarly products apply to the DPT program.

Admission to Candidacy

The Graduate School policy on Admission to Candidacy for other Doctoral programs applies to the DPT program except that the admission should normally take place within the third year of the program. Students who fall out of the DPT continuous enrollment pattern follow the five‐year rule for Admission to Candidacy.

Participation in Commencement Exercises

The Graduate School policy applicable to other graduate programs applies to the DPT program. Please refer to the Participation in Commencement section of the Graduate School Requirements Applicable to All Master’s Programs.

Established Procedures for Conduct of the Master’s Thesis Examination

  1. Establishment of the Thesis Examining Committee: The Thesis Examining Committee is appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies, in accordance with the policies listed below.
  1. Eligibility: A student is eligible to be examined on a thesis if the student:
  1. has met the graduate program requirements for a thesis examination including a properly formed Advisory Committee and approved thesis topic;
  2. is in good standing as a graduate student at the University and has regular admission status;
  3. is registered for at least one credit;
  4. has a valid Graduate School approved Thesis Examining Committee;
  5. has a 3.0 GPA in the graduate program in which the student is enrolled; and
  6. if this is the second examination, the examination has been approved by the Graduate School.

    The final oral examination shall be held when the student has completed the thesis to the satisfaction of the student’s Advisor. However, a thesis draft which is not presented in the standard thesis format, or the research and conclusions are incomplete, shall not be considered completed by the Graduate School for purposes of the student’s eligibility to be examined on the thesis.
  1. Thesis Examining Committee Membership: The Committee must consist of a minimum of three members, at least two of whom must be regular or Associate Members of the UMES Graduate Faculty and at least one must be a full‐time faculty in a UMES academic department. Additional Committee members may be invited to serve at the discretion of the program. Each member of the Thesis Examining Committee must be a member of the UMES Graduate Faculty ‐‐ whether in a regular, Associate or Special Member category ‐‐ or an approved Inter‐Institutional Graduate Faculty (IIGF) Member. An IIGF member may serve as Chair of the Committee. The Committee is usually composed of the original program of Study/Research Advisory Committee for the student.
  2. Nomination of the Thesis Examining Committee: Membership on a Thesis Examining Committee requires nomination by the student’s Advisor, concurrence (if required) by the graduate program coordinator in the student’s graduate program, and approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies who appoints the Committee. The nomination of a Thesis Examining Committee should be provided to the Graduate School at least three weeks before the date of the expected thesis examination. The thesis examination cannot be held until the Graduate School approves the composition of the Thesis Examining Committee.
  3. Research Assurances: The following research assurances must be approved prior to the initiation of any thesis‐related research, and the approvals must be provided to the Graduate School at the time the student submits the Nomination of Examining Committee form.
  1. If the thesis research involves the use of vertebrate animals, animal use protocols must be approved by the campus Animal Care and Use Committee.
  2. If the thesis research involves human subjects, the research must be approved by the campus Institutional Review Board.
  3. If the thesis research involves hazardous materials, either biological or chemical, or recombinant RNA/DNA, the research must be approved by the appropriate University Committee.

The UMES Office of Sponsored Programs is the contact office for guidance on and the processing of research assurances.

  1. Chair: Each Thesis Examining Committee will have as Chair the student Advisor, who must be a Regular or Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty. Thesis Examining Committees may be co‐chaired:
  1. if co‐advisement was approved at the time of the student’s admission to Graduate School, or
  2. if, upon written recommendation of the student’s Advisor, concurrence (if required) of the graduate program coordinator, and with approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

At least one of the Co‐Chairs must be a regular or Associate Member of the UMES Graduate Faculty.

  1. Special Members: Individuals who have been approved for Special Membership in the UMES Graduate Faculty may be nominated to serve on Thesis Examining Committees. However, these individuals must be in addition to the required two regular or Associate Members of the UMES Graduate Faculty (see A‐2 above).
  2. Service of Former UMES Faculty Members: Graduate Faculty who terminate employment at UMES (and who do not have emeritus status) retain their status as members of the Graduate Faculty for a twelve‐month period following their termination. Thus, they may serve as members and Chairs of Thesis Examining Committees during this twelve‐month period if they are otherwise eligible. After that time, they may no longer serve as Chairs of Thesis Examining Committees, although, if granted the status of Special Members of the Graduate Faculty, they may serve as Co‐Chairs (see A‐5 above).

    Professor Emeriti and Associate Professor Emeriti of UMES may serve or chair Thesis Examining Committees provided they were regular or Associate Members of the Graduate Faculty at the time of retirement.
  1. Procedures for the oral examination
  1. Oral Examination Requirement: Each Master’s thesis student is required to defend orally his/her Master’s thesis as a requirement in partial fulfillment of the Master’s degree. An additional comprehensive written examination may also be required at the option of the program.
  2. Committee Preparation: The members of the Thesis Examining Committee should receive the thesis ten working days before the scheduled examination. Should the Thesis Examining Committee deem it reasonable and appropriate, it may require submission of the thesis more than ten working days in advance of the examination.
  3. Attendance at the Examination: Oral examinations must be attended by all members of the student’s officially established Thesis Examining Committee as approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. All examinations must be open to UMES Graduate Faculty and the campus community. Should a last minute change in the composition of the Thesis Examining Committee be required, the change must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies in consultation with the graduate program coordinator (if required) and the Chair of the student’s Thesis Examining Committee.
  4. Location of the Examination: Oral examinations of theses must be held in University facilities that are readily accessible to all members of the Thesis Examining Committee and others attending the examination. The Chair of the Thesis Examining Committee selects the time and place for the examination, notifies the other members of the Committee and the candidate, and releases the public notice of the examination.

    Under special circumstances as approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies, and if it can be logistically arranged, the interactive video network or other acceptable electronic medium may be used to accommodate an off‐site Committee member. In this case, the Committee member must follow‐up with a written recommendation to the Committee Chair.
     
  5. Invalidation of the Examination: The Dean of Graduate Studies may void any examination not carried out in accordance with the procedures and policies of the Graduate School.

    In addition, upon the written recommendation of the Thesis Examining Committee or any member thereof, and upon consultation with the Committee Chair, the Dean of Graduate Studies may rule an oral examination to be null and void.
  1. Conclusion of the Examination: After the oral examination of the student, the Thesis Examining Committee discusses in closed session whether or not the thesis (including its examination) has been satisfactory. The Committee has the following alternatives:
  1. To accept the thesis without any recommended changes and sign the Report of Examining Committee.
  2. To accept the thesis with recommendations for changes, and, except for the Chair, sign the Report of Examining Committee. The Chair will check the thesis and, upon his/her approval, sign the Report of Examining Committee.
  3. To recommend revisions to the thesis and not sign the Report of Examining Committee until the student has made the changes and submitted the revised thesis for the Thesis Examining Committee’s approval. The Thesis Examining Committee members sign the Report of Examining Committee if they approve the revised thesis.
  4. To recommend revisions and convene a second meeting of the Thesis Examining Committee to review the thesis and complete the student’s examination.
  5. To rule the thesis (including its examination) unsatisfactory, and therefore, the student fails.

    Following the examination, the Chair must inform the student of the outcome of the examination, which of the above alternatives has been adopted, and if other than alternatives “a” or “e,” an expected time period in which the process is to be completed.
  1. Pass or Fail:
  1. The student passes if all members of the Thesis Examining Committee accept the thesis (including its examination) as satisfactory.
  2. One or more negative votes constitutes a failure of the candidate to meet the thesis requirement. In cases of failure, the Thesis Examining Committee must specify in detail and in writing the nature of the deficiencies in the thesis and/or the oral performance that led to failure. This statement is to be submitted to the graduate program coordinator, the Dean of Graduate Studies and the student. A second examination may be permitted if the student will be in good standing at the time of the proposed second examination. A second examination requires the approval of the graduate program coordinator and the Dean of Graduate Studies. If the student fails this second examination, or if a second examination is not permitted, the student’s admission to the graduate program is terminated.

Any disagreements on the thesis are referred to the Dean of Graduate Studies for resolution.

  1. Submission of the thesis: See the UMES Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations for the details of this process (available for download).
  1. Two copies of the thesis, in a format approved by the Graduate School, are to be submitted to the Graduate School after final approval of the thesis by the Thesis Examining Committee.
  2. Additional copies may be required by individual programs.
  3. The final approved copies must be submitted to the Graduate School within 3 months of the oral examination for outcomes 6a and 6b above; and within 6 months for outcomes 6c and 6d above. The oral examination may be invalidated and the student required to defend the thesis for a second time should these deadlines be missed, except in extraordinary circumstances acceptable to the Graduate Studies Dean.

Established Procedures for Conduct of the Doctoral Dissertation Defense

  1. Establishment of the Dissertation Examining Committee: The Dissertation Examining Committee is appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies, in accordance with the policies listed below.
  1. Eligibility: A student is eligible to defend a dissertation if the student:
  1. has advanced to Doctoral candidacy;
  2. has met the graduate program requirements for a dissertation defense
  3. is in good standing as a graduate student at the University, with a 3.0 cumulative GPA;
  4. is registered for at least one credit, as applicable (refer to the Graduate School Catalog sub‐sections on Minimum Registration Requirements for Doctoral Candidates and Dissertation Research);
  5. has a valid Graduate School‐approved Dissertation Examining Committee; and
  6. if this is the second defense, the defense has been approved by the Graduate School.

    The defense shall be held when the student has completed the dissertation to the satisfaction of the student’s Advisor. However, a dissertation draft which is not presented in the standard dissertation format, or for which the research and conclusions are incomplete, shall not be considered complete by the Graduate School for purposes of the student’s eligibility to defend the dissertation.
  1. The Dissertation: The ability to do independent research and provide sufficient evidence of scholarship must be demonstrated by an original dissertation on a topic approved by the candidate’s program Committee. For publication of the dissertation prior to its defense, refer to the Graduate School Catalog subsection on this subject.
  2. Dissertation Examining Committee Membership: The Committee must consist of a minimum of five voting members. At least three of them must be regular members of the UMES Graduate Faculty and at least two must be full‐time faculty in a UMES academic department unless otherwise appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies by special permission.

    At least one of the five must be a regular member of the Graduate Faculty in a department or graduate program at UMES external to the one in which the student is seeking the degree unless otherwise approved by special permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Additional Committee members may be required or invited to serve at the discretion of the program.

    Each member of the Dissertation Examining Committee must be a member of the UMES Graduate Faculty; whether in a regular, Associate, or Special Member category, or an approved University System of Maryland Inter‐Institutional Graduate Faculty (IIGF) member. An IIGF member may serve as Chair of the Committee.
  1. Nomination of the Dissertation Examining Committee: Membership on a Dissertation Examining Committee requires nomination by the student’s advisor, the concurrence (if required) by the graduate program coordinator in the student’s graduate program, and approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies who appoints the Committee. The nomination of a Dissertation Examining Committee should be provided to the Graduate School at least three weeks before the date of the expected dissertation defense. The dissertation defense cannot be held until the Graduate School approves the composition of the Dissertation Examining Committee. In case of any unavoidable circumstances, a Committee member can be substituted by another graduate faculty member at the request of the Committee Chair and approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  2. Research Assurances: The following research assurances must be approved prior to the initiation of any dissertation‐related research, and the approvals must be provided to the Graduate School at the time the student submits the Nomination of Examining Committee form.
  1. If the dissertation research involves the use of vertebrate animals, animal use protocols must be approved by the campus Animal Care and Use Committee.
  2. If the dissertation research involves human subjects, the research must be approved by the campus Institutional Review Board.
  3. If the dissertation research involves hazardous materials, either biological or chemical, or recombinant RNA/DNA, the research must be approved by the appropriate University committee.

The UMES office of Sponsored Programs is the contact office for guidance on and the processing of research assurances.

  1. Chair: Each Dissertation Examining Committee will have a Chair (usually the advisor or major professor), who must be a regular member of the Graduate Faculty or, by special permission, has been otherwise appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Dissertation Examining Committees may be co‐chaired, if:
  1. co‐advisement was approved at the time of the student’s admission to Graduate School,
    or
  2. upon written recommendation of the student’s advisor, concurrence by the graduate program coordinator (if required), and with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

    At least one of the Co‐Chairs must be a regular member of the UMES Graduate Faculty for the Marine‐Estuarine‐Environmental Sciences (MEES) program.
  1. Representative of the Dean of the Graduate Studies: Each Dissertation Examining Committee shall have appointed to it a representative of the Dean of Graduate Studies to observe the process. The Dean’s Representative should have some background or interest related to the student’s research. The Dean’s Representative must be a regular member of the UMES Graduate Faculty and from a department or graduate program other than the student’s home department. The Dean’s Representative is normally one of the five voting members of the student’s Committee, unless circumstances warrant that the Dean’s Representative be an external appointee, and in these instances, a nonvoting member of the Committee.
  2. Special Members: Individuals who have been approved for Special Membership in the UMES Graduate Faculty may be nominated to serve on Dissertation Examining Committees. However, these individuals must be in addition to the required three regular members of the UMES graduate faculty (see A‐3 above) unless otherwise appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies by special permission.
  3. Service of Former UMES Faculty Members: Graduate Faculty who terminate employment at UMES (and who do not have emeritus status) retain their status as members of the Graduate Faculty for a twelve‐month period following their termination. Thus, they may serve as members and Chairs (but not as Dean’s Representatives) of Dissertation Examining Committees during this twelve‐month period if they are otherwise eligible. After that time, they may no longer serve as Chairs of Dissertation Examining Committees, although, if granted the status of Special Members of the  Graduate Faculty, they may serve as Co‐Chairs (see A‐6, above). Professors Emeriti and Associate Professors Emeriti may serve on Dissertation Examining Committees provided they were regular or Associate Members of the UMES Graduate Faculty at the time of retirement. Unless granted special permission by the Graduate Studies Dean, only those with regular membership in the Graduate Faculty can chair Dissertation Examining Committees or serve as the Dean’s Representative
  1. Procedures for the Oral Defense
  1. Oral defense requirement: Each Doctoral candidate is required to defend orally his/her Doctoral dissertation in partial fulfillment of the Doctoral degree.
  2. Committee preparation: Members of the Dissertation Examining Committee should receive the dissertation at least ten working days before the scheduled defense. Should the Committee or program deem it reasonable and appropriate, it may require submission of the dissertation more than ten working days in advance of the defense.
  3. Attendance at the defense: Oral defenses must be attended by all members of the student’s officially established Dissertation Examining Committee as approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. All defenses must be open to UMES Graduate Faculty and the campus community. Should a last‐minute change in the constitution of the Dissertation Examining Committee be required, the change must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies in consultation with the graduate program coordinator (if required) and the Chair of the student’s Dissertation Examining Committee.
  4. Location of the defense: Oral defenses must be held in University facilities that are readily accessible to all members of the Dissertation Examining Committee and others attending the defense. The Chair of the Dissertation Examining Committee selects the time and place for the examination, notifies the other members of the Committee and the candidate, and releases the public notice of the defense. Under special circumstances as approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies, and if it can be logistically arranged, the interactive video network or other acceptable electronic medium may be used to accommodate an off‐site Committee member. In this case, the Committee member must follow up with a written recommendation to the Committee Chair.
  5. Notice: Notice of the Doctoral Defense must be publicized in the student’s graduate program/department at least five working days prior to the defense.
  6. The Dean’s Representative: The responsibilities of the Dean’s Representative include ensuring that the procedures of the oral defense are in compliance with those of the Graduate School and reporting to the Dean of Graduate Studies any unusual problems experienced in the conduct of the defense. The Dean’s Representative must be identified at the beginning of the defense.
  7. Invalidation of the Defense: The Dean of Graduate Studies may void any defense not carried out in accordance with the procedures and policies of the Graduate School. In addition, upon recommendation of the Dean’s Representative, the Dean may rule an oral defense to be null and void.
  8. Student presentation: The student is permitted to briefly present a summary of the dissertation, emphasizing the important results and giving an explanation of the reasoning that led to the conclusions reached. The floor will then be open for questioning. This presentation is open to the public.
  9. Opportunity for Questioning by Members of the Dissertation Examining Committee: The Chair invites questions in turn from each member of the Dissertation Examining Committee. The questioning may continue as long as the Dissertation Examining Committee feels that it is necessary and reasonable for the proper examination of the student. This portion of the defense is held in closed session.
  10. Conclusion of the defense: After questioning of the student has been completed, the Dissertation Examining Committee discusses in closed session whether or not the dissertation (including its defense) has been satisfactory. The Committee has the following alternatives:
  1. To accept the dissertation without any recommended changes and sign the Report of Examining Committee.
  2. To accept the dissertation with recommendations for changes, and, except for the Chair, sign the Report of Examining Committee. The Chair will check the dissertation and, upon his/her approval, sign the Report of Examining Committee.
  3. To recommend revisions to the dissertation and not sign the Report of Examining Committee until the student has made the changes and submitted the revised dissertation for the Dissertation Examining Committee’s approval. The Dissertation Examining Committee members sign the Report of Examining Committee if they approve the revised dissertation.
  4. To recommend revisions and convene a second meeting of the Dissertation Examining Committee to review the dissertation and complete the student’s defense.
  5. To rule the dissertation (including its defense) unsatisfactory, and therefore, the student fails.

    Following the defense, the Chair, in the presence of the Dean’s Representative, must inform the student of the outcome of the defense, which of the above alternatives has been adopted, and if other than alternatives A or E, an expected time period in which the process is to be completed.
  1. Pass or Fail:
  1. The student passes if one member refuses to sign the Report, but the other members of the Dissertation Examining Committee agree to sign, before or after the approval of recommended changes.
  2. Two or more negative votes constitute a failure of the candidate to meet the dissertation requirement.
  3. In cases of failure, the Dissertation Examining Committee must specify in detail and in writing the nature of the deficiencies in the dissertation and/or the oral performance that led to failure. This statement is to be submitted to the graduate program coordinator, the Dean of Graduate Studies and the student.
  4. A second defense may be permitted if the student will be in good standing at the time of the proposed second defense. The time limits for the second defense to take place are no less than six months and no later than twelve months after the first defense. A second defense requires the approval of the student’s advisor, the graduate program coordinator (if required) and the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  5. If the student fails this second defense, or if a second defense is not permitted, the student’s admission to the graduate program is terminated.

    Any disagreements on the dissertation are referred to the Dean of Graduate Studies for resolution.
  1. Submission of the Dissertation: See the UMES Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations for the details of this process.
  1. Two copies of the dissertation, in a format approved by the Graduate School, are to be submitted to the Graduate School after final approval of the dissertation by the Dissertation Examining Committee.
  2. Additional copies may be required by individual programs.
  3. The final approved copies must be submitted to the Graduate School within three months of the oral defense for outcomes 6a and 6b above, and up to twelve months for outcomes 6c and 6d above so long as the deadline for outcomes 6c and 6d is within the four year period after admission to candidacy for completion of the degree program. The oral defense may be invalidated and the student required to defend the dissertation for a second time should these deadlines be missed, except in extraordinary circumstances acceptable to the Graduate Studies Dean.

Other Graduate School Policies

Petition for Waiver or Partial Waiver of a Regulation

All policies of the UMES Graduate School have been formulated by the UMES Graduate Council, the governing body of the graduate school, with the goal of ensuring academic quality. These policies must be equitably and uniformly enforced for all graduate students. Nevertheless, circumstances occasionally occur which warrant individual consideration. Therefore, if a graduate student believes that there are compelling reasons for a specific regulation to be waived or modified, the student should submit the Graduate School’s Petition form (PDF available for download), explaining the facts and issues, which bear on the case. In all instances, the Petition must be reviewed by the academic advisor and the graduate program coordinator, and if the Petition involves a course, by the course instructor. If these officials recommend approval, the Petition is then forwarded to the Graduate Studies Dean for final review and action.

Commencement

Application for Degree (diploma) must be filed with the Office of Admissions and Registration according to deadlines set by that office. If, for any reason, students do not complete the requirements for graduation in the semester for which they have applied for the diploma, they must reapply for it.

Academic regalia are required of all candidates at commencement exercises. Those who so desire may purchase or rent caps and gowns at the campus Follett Higher Education Group Bookstore. Orders must be filed approximately thirteen weeks before the date of commencement, but may be cancelled later if students find themselves unable to complete the requirements for the degree. Students should consult the Bookstore on the exact dates for filing orders and for cancellation of orders.

Institutional Policies Governing Students

Graduate students are subject to State, University System and Campus policies governing employees, students and visitors to the campus. By their acceptance of admission and matriculation at UMES, students indicate their willingness to comply with these policies. These policies address such topics as smoking, use of alcoholic beverages, drug abuse, nondiscrimination, sexual harassment, handicapped access, vehicular traffic laws, registration and parking, theft or damage to University property, and federal regulations and compliance governing research and financial assistance/funding and academic honesty.

Students should familiarize themselves with the above policies.

Also particularly relevant are the University System of Maryland Policy on Faculty, Student and Institutional Rights and Responsibilities for Academic Integrity and the UMES Policy and Procedures on the Disclosures of Student Records (1992), which complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Students should direct specific inquiries and problems to the appropriate campus office.

Consult the annually issued UMES Student Handbook, which is a guide to all aforementioned University policies and academic/administrative policies and procedures applicable to undergraduate and graduate students (where policies and procedures are different for graduate students these are found in the Graduate School Catalog). University services and activities are also found in the handbook. The student code of conduct policy (latest issue of the UMES Student Judicial Manual) applies to graduate students.

Academic Honesty Policy

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is committed to the values of academic honesty and integrity and the ensuring that these values are reflected in behaviors of the students, faculty, and staff.

UMES is committed to the prevention of academic dishonesty. To reinforce that commitment, information, including definitions and examples of academic dishonesty, will be published in the UMES Student Handbook and the university catalog. The intention of this information is to prevent acts of academic dishonesty. Prevention is the primary goal of the University in general and the Division of Academic Affairs in particular.

When there is evidence that a student has disregarded the University’s Academic Honesty Policy, that student will be subject to review and possible sanctions. Students are expected to do their own work and neither to give nor to receive assistance during quizzes, examinations, or other class exercises.

One form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism. Plagiarism is intellectual larceny: the theft of ideas or their manner of expression. Students are urged to consult individual faculty members when in doubt. Because faculty and students take academic honesty seriously, penalties for violation may be severe, depending upon the offense, as viewed by the committee selected by the appropriate Dean to review such matters. The minimum sanction for cases of proven cheating is failure of the course. Instructors will explain procedures for taking tests, writing papers, and completing other course requirements so that students may understand fully their instructor’s expectations.

One of the objectives of UMES is to promote the highest standards of professionalism among its students. The integrity of work performed is the cornerstone of professionalism. Acts of falsification, cheating, and plagiarism are acts of academic dishonesty, which show a failure of integrity and a violation of our educational objectives; these acts will not be accepted or tolerated. The following definitions and guidelines should be followed:

  1. Falsification is unacceptable. Falsification includes but is not limited to
    1. creating false records of academic achievement;
    2. altering or forging records;
    3. misusing, altering, forging, falsifying, or transferring to another person, without proper authorization, any academic record;
    4. conspiring or inducing others to forge or alter academic records.
  2. Cheating is also unacceptable. Cheating includes but is not limited to
    1. giving answers to others in a test situation without permission of the tester;
    2. taking or receiving answers from others in a test situation without permission of the tester;
    3. having possession of test materials without permission;
    4. taking, giving, or receiving test materials prior to tests without permission;
    5. having someone else take a test or complete one’s assignment;
    6. submitting as one’s own work, work done by someone else;
    7. permitting someone else to submit one’s work under that person’s name;
    8. falsifying research data or other research material;
    9. copying, with or without permission, any works, (e.g., essays, short stories, poems, etc.), from a computer hard drive or discs and presenting them as one’s own.
  3. Plagiarism as a form of cheating is also unacceptable. Plagiarism is the act of presenting as one’s own creation works actually created by others. Plagiarism consists of
    1. taking ideas from a source without clearly giving proper reference that identifies the original source of the ideas and distinguishes them from one’s own;
    2. quoting indirectly quoting or paraphrasing material taken from a source without clearly giving proper reference that identifies the original source and distinguishes the paraphrased material from one’s own compositions;
    3. quoting directly quoting or exactly copying material from a source without giving proper reference or otherwise presenting the copied material as one’s own creation.

Acts of falsification, cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty are grounds for failure of a course. The University reserves the right to impose more severe penalties for any of these forms of academic dishonesty. The penalties may include, but are not limited to suspension from the University, probation, community service, expulsion from the University, or other disciplinary action the University believes to be appropriate.

Academic Dishonesty Procedures

In accordance with existing policy in the University Systems of Maryland (USM), students accused of plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will be given due process. When an instructor believes that a student has committed plagiarism or other acts of academic dishonesty, the following steps will be taken:

  1. A faculty member who has sufficient reason to believe that a student is guilty of academic dishonesty will notify and subsequently meet with the student within ten calendar days from the time the alleged academic dishonesty is discovered.
  2. Prior to the initial meeting of the faculty member and the accused student, the faculty member should check the files on academic dishonesty kept in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to determine whether the student has been previously disciplined for academic dishonesty. The University reserves the right to impose more severe disciplinary action against a student who is a repeat offender or who has previously been found guilty of egregious incidents of cheating.
  3. At the initial meeting the student will be given the complete and detailed charges in writing, and an opportunity to respond to the faculty member regarding the charges.
  4. If the student wishes, he/she may submit a written response to the charges. This response must be delivered to the aforementioned faculty member within five calendar days of the initial meeting.
  5. If the student admits to the charge of academic dishonesty, and the offense is his/her first offense, he/she will be asked to sign a statement consenting to the punishment imposed. Consent statements will be filed with appropriate records in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. For first offenses, the punishment will be failure of the course. If the student refuses to sign the consent form, the faculty member will proceed to the next step in the process.
  6. The faculty member will notify the student whether or not the matter will be taken to the next step in the process within five calendar days of receiving from the student a written response to the charges. The student shall file his/her written response with the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  7. If the student does not respond within the time indicated, the faculty member must proceed to the next step in the process. If, upon receiving the written response, the faculty member does not accept the student’s explanation, the faculty member is required to send the matter forward to the next level of review.
    1. If the case is a repeat offense, the faculty member is also required to send the matter forward to the next level of review.
    2. If the case is not a repeat offense, and the student does not respond within the time indicated, the faculty member must proceed to the next step in the process.
    3. If the case is not a repeat offense and upon receiving the written response the faculty member does not accept the student’s explanation, the faculty member is required to send the matter forward to the next level of review.
  8. Once the student has been duly notified of the charges, he/she will not be permitted to drop the course, but will continue as a student, completing and submitting all work required throughout the remainder of the semester.
  9. The faculty member will notify the department chair and the Dean of his/her findings, and within five calendar days forward to the Dean a written explanation of the circumstances, along with copies of any pertinent evidence.
  10. The Dean will review the explanation and any supporting evidence, and may, at his or her discretion, interview the accused student and/or the faculty member, for purposes of clarification and adherence to the University’s Academic Honesty Policy. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level to the satisfaction of the faculty member bringing the charges, within five calendar days it will then be forwarded to the school’s committee on academic dishonesty.
  11. A five member committee on academic dishonesty will be appointed by the respective Dean of each school at the beginning of the academic year. It will be comprised of three full‐time tenured faculty, one exempt employee of the University, and one junior or senior level student. In the event that the alleged dishonesty occurred on the graduate level, the student member will be a graduate student. The Dean will appoint the chair of the committee. In order for its actions to be official, at least three members of the committee must be present when decisions are made. The verdict will be  decided by the majority, in this case two votes of three. If four or more members are present, the majority shall be three or more votes.
  12. A faculty member, who has brought or is in the process of bringing charges against a student for academic dishonesty in the current academic year, will not be eligible to serve on the committee. The Dean will appoint a replacement.
  13. The committee will meet to review cases and to hear any testimony it considers relevant to the matter on dates requested by the Dean. At the meeting, the student will be allowed the opportunity to appear and respond to the charges, and answer any additional questions from the committee. All proceedings will be tape recorded, and the recording will be entered into the academic dishonesty records maintained in the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. In the event of academic dishonesty allegedly occurring during summer sessions or during final work at the conclusion of a semester, the alleged dishonesty charge will be reviewed during the committee’s first meeting in the fall. In the interim, the student will receive a grade of “I.”
  14. The committee review shall be informal, with neither party represented by an advocate. Witnesses may be asked and/or permitted to make a statement to the committee if the committee is informed prior to the meeting. The meeting shall not be open to the public. If the student wishes he or she may have an associate present for consultation purposes only. Lawyers, parents, or any form of professional advocate may not serve as an associate.
  15. The committee shall meet privately at the close of the meeting to decide whether a majority believes a preponderance of evidence supports the allegation of falsification, cheating or plagiarism.
  16. If the allegation is sustained, the committee will also determine whether the standard minimum penalty of failure in the course shall be accompanied by an additional penalty or penalties. If the allegation is not sustained, the student is not guilty of violating the Academic Honesty Policy.
  17. The records of the proceedings , both written and electronically recorded, are to be kept in the files on academic dishonesty maintained in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  18. The committee shall notify, in writing, the student, the instructor, and the Dean within ten calendar days of having reached its decision. The decisions of the committee may be appealed on procedural grounds only. All appeals should be made to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will then have the following options:
    1. affirm the decision and the penalty imposed by the committee;
    2. affirm the decision, but amend the penalty; or
    3. vacate the decision and order a new hearing with a different committee
  19. After a careful review of the record of the proceedings, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will render the final decision of the University.