Students are responsible for knowing the published rules, regulations, policies, and standards of the University and of their degree program.
Each academic program has procedures and requirements that must be satisfied before a degree will be awarded. While the University provides faculty and staff advisors to assist students in planning their programs and schedules, the students themselves are responsible for following procedures and meeting degree requirements.
Dismissal from Graduate Programs
Unsafe, unethical, illegal, or, unprofessional conduct, as well as academic dishonesty is cause for denying admission to graduate studies or for dismissal from graduate studies. A student dismissed for these reasons will not be eligible for readmission to any graduate program at MUW. If a graduate program denies admission to or dismisses a student for unsafe, unethical, illegal, or unprofessional conduct the student may appeal the decision by following the procedure outlined below under Academic Grievances. If the Academic Standards Board denies admission to or dismisses a student for academic dishonesty, the student may appeal the decision to the President, as outlined below under the Academic Dishonesty Policy.
Students may appeal dismissal for unsafe, unethical, illegal, or unprofessional conduct by following the procedure outlined below.
In addition, a student who wishes to appeal a grade received for a project, paper, course, etc., should first attempt to resolve the issue with the instructor. If an agreement cannot be reached, the student should next appeal to the Department Chair/Program Director of the course and then to the Dean. Grievances should be brought to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) only after these preliminary options have been exhausted. The student has only 45 days to appeal the grade in writing. This period begins at the conclusion of the term in which the grade was assigned. If a grievance hearing is required, the process will be initiated by the CAO.
The Student Grievance Committee and procedures outlined below have been established to provide a hearing for those students who feel their academic rights have been violated. The Graduate Council serves as the Student Grievance Committee for graduate students. In this role, the purpose of Graduate Council is to adjudicate student academic grievances that have not been resolved at the program level (i.e., via instructor, Department Chair/Program Director of the course, and Dean).
1. A student who believes that his/her academic rights have been violated and his/her complaints have not been resolved to their satisfaction at the program level (i.e., via instructor, Department Chair/Program Director of the course, and Dean) may petition the Student Grievance Committee to consider his/her complaint. Requests must be made in writing and must state both the grievance and the procedure the student has followed in trying to resolve the problem. The request must be made within 45 days following the semester in which the alleged violation of academic rights occurred. Requests must be addressed to the Student Grievance Committee and submitted to MUW’s Office of Academic Affairs.
2. If the grievance involves any member of the Committee, that member will abstain from participation on the Committee while that particular grievance is being considered. The CAO will recommend a replacement.
3. When a grievance is submitted, the Committee must convene within three regularly scheduled school days to determine what data and materials must be obtained from the student and/or the faculty member. Any requests for materials will be made in writing from the Committee.
4. The Committee chair will set a hearing time that does not conflict with the class schedules of any Committee member, student, or faculty member involved. All persons will receive written notification of the meeting at least three days in advance.
5. All evidentiary and background materials concerning a case should be submitted to the Committee at least three days prior to the hearing. This will allow the Committee adequate time to examine the facts thoroughly prior to adjudicating the matter.
6. At the time of the hearing, both the student and the faculty member appearing before the Student Grievance Committee may have a representative or advisor of their choice present at the meeting. The advisors will be introduced to the Committee for the record and must identify their relationship to the student or faculty member. The student and faculty member may consult with their advisor(s) during the proceedings, but the advisor(s) may not address the Committee or question witnesses. Students and faculty members will be given full opportunity to present evidence and witnesses that are relevant to the issue at hand. Evidence introduced at the hearing must be confined to the particular ground or charge that has been made.
7. The decision will be made by the Committee in closed session and will be based on sufficient and credible evidence. All persons involved in the grievance will be notified in writing of the resolution within one week of the hearing.
8. Decisions reached by the Committee must be immediately enforced; however, both students and faculty have a right of appeal.
9. The final level of appeal for both students and faculty members will be to the President of the University.
Academic Dishonesty Policy
Students enrolled at Mississippi University for Women agree to abide by the MUW Honor Code, which is “to uphold the highest standards of honesty in all phases of university life,” and, therefore, they agree to refrain from any dishonest academic behavior. Academic Dishonesty can lead to severe penalties, from a zero grade for a test or assignment to expulsion from the University. Academic Dishonesty includes cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, or other actions that violate commonly accepted intellectual and ethical standards within academic and scientific communities. Policy Statement #3534 applies to work in progress as well as completed work, and it sets forth procedures for appeal to the Academic Standards Board. Cheating and plagiarizing are identified below, as are the consequences of these actions.
Cheating is taking credit for work which has been completed by another person, or assisting others in the misrepresentation of their academic work. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- giving or using prohibited written and/or oral information during tests, quizzes, or examinations;
- stealing, buying, selling or in any way distributing an examination before it has been administered;
- copying ideas or facts from another’s paper during an examination or quiz;
- obtaining or providing previously undisclosed test questions or information pertinent to an exam that has not yet been administered;
- willfully altering any assignments or any of the instructor’s markings in order to obtain a higher grade;
- copying from or writing computer programs for another student;
- substituting for another person during an examination or allowing such substitution for oneself;
- engaging in an unauthorized collaboration with another student on tests or assignments;
- misappropriating privileged information or making use of information in breach of confidentiality;
- interfering in any way with the research or academic performance of another student;
- violating any federal, state, university, or program policy or regulation governing research and academic procedures, integrity, and conduct;
- obstructing the investigation into academic dishonesty.
Plagiarism is defined as the appropriation of ideas, facts, phrases, or additional materials (such as maps, charts, artwork, or computer programs) from any source without giving proper credit or offering appropriate documentation. Any material in a paper, report, artwork, or computer program which is not acknowledged is understood to be the original work of the author, unless such material is considered general knowledge. The rules against plagiarism extend to work completed in online courses in addition to those offered in a traditional format. Students who are unsure whether they have used and documented source material correctly should consult with their instructor before submitting the assignment.
Fabrication and falsification include the following:
1. fabricating and/or falsifying laboratory and clinical experiences, internship records, attendance records, research data, survey results, research methods, research results, research conclusion, or any other information and/or process used in the collection and presentation of academic, scientific, or professional material. A student who commits this type of fabrication and falsification will be subject to the consequences of academic dishonesty outlined in items 1-r below.
2. misrepresenting, falsifying or withholding information concerning admission requirements, university enrollment or status, financial aid application, health records, or other materials required by the University. A student who commits this type of fabrication and falsification will be subject to the consequences of academic dishonesty outline in item 5 below.
Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:
1. A student who violates university, college, school, and/or course policies regarding plagiarism and/or cheating will receive a 0 (zero) for the test or assignment, which will be averaged into the final grade according to the policies defined in the instructor’s syllabus.
2. The faculty member is required to inform the Chief Academic Officer as well as his/her Department Chair/Program Director and Dean that a student has cheated or plagiarized. This notification will remain confidential in compliance with policies protecting student privacy.
3. If a student disagrees with the instructor’s judgment that he/she has cheated or committed plagiarism, the student can consult first with the Department Chair/Program Director and then with the Dean in an effort to resolve the disagreement. If a resolution is not achieved at the college/school level, the student may appeal directly to the Academic Standards Board through the Chief Academic Officer (CAO).
4. There will be no further action for the first violation of policies governing plagiarism and cheating unless the offense is deemed “flagrant” by the faculty member in consultation with the Department Chair/Program Director and Dean. For any subsequent offense, the student must appear before the Academic Standards Board where additional disciplinary action will be considered. For flagrant acts the faculty member is required to assign a grade of 0 for the work and to forward the case immediately to the Academic Standards Board for disciplinary action. The CAO will initiate the hearing process.
5. Cases in which a student misrepresents, falsifies, or withholds information concerning materials required by the University will go immediately to the Academic Standards Board for disciplinary action. If a student is found guilty of this offence, his or her admission to the University will be rescinded or, in the case of a student already enrolled, he or she will be dismissed from the University. A student dismissed for this reason will not be eligible for readmission to any graduate program at MUW.
The policies below apply to MUW Graduate Studies in general. However, individual graduate programs may set more stringent scholastic policies, which are outlined later in the Graduate Bulletin.
The following designations are used in student grade reporting:
Grade Points Per Credit Hour
A+, A, A-
B+, B, B-
Above Average Competency
C+, C, C-
D+, D, D-
Below Average Competency
Withdrew from Class
Each semester’s record stands alone. Grades from one semester (passing or failing) cannot be improved with work from another semester.
A graduate student may repeat a course only once during his or her graduate career. Student may not repeat a course for which they received an A (including transfer courses). The second grade will stand as the official grade, and both grades will be calculated into the student’s grade point average. However, credit hours for the course will be counted only once in the total number of hours earned. This policy does not apply to courses designated as repeatable in the bulletin (see individual course descriptions). Students may audit a course in which they previously received a grade of A.
A grade of I or Incomplete, indicates that the student—for reasons satisfactory to the instructor as well as the Department Chair/Program Director and the Dean—has been unable to complete the requirements of the course by the end of the semester. The instructor as well as the Department Chair/program Director and the Dean may limit the number of hours that a student with an incomplete may take the next semester.
Until an I has been removed, it is evaluated as an F in computing the student’s grade point average. However, for the purpose of determining graduate expulsion, the I will be excluded from the student’s GPA. Students who receive an I in a course and subsequently complete the required work within the prescribed time will receive the grade assigned by the instructor.
For credit in a graduate course, the work must be completed by the last class day of the next semester (including summer) but may be shorter than that, as specified by the instructor. If the work is not completed by the deadline indicated on the Request for an Incomplete Form, then the grade of I converts to an F and cannot be changed. Thesis research is the only exception to the incomplete policy.
A grade of W, indicating that the student has withdrawn from the course, will not be calculated into the grade point average, provided the course is dropped by the date indicated in the academic calendar. After that designated date, students withdrawing will receive either a WP or WF, depending on their performance in the course up to that time. A date is established in the academic calendar beyond which a student may not withdraw from a course without special permission from the Department Chair/Program Director, Dean, and the Chief Academic Officer.
Auditors who do not attend at least 70% of the class meetings will receive a grade of NA or Non-Attendance. This mark is recorded on the student’s transcript, but is not computed in the grade point average.
Grading System and Grade Requirements
Graduate-degree credit is granted only for graduate-level courses in which the student earns an A, B, or C. No more than six semester hours of graduate credit evaluated as C may be applied toward any graduate program, whether degree or non-degree.
To remain in good standing, the student must maintain a minimum 3.0 MUW cumulative GPA on all graduate courses attempted with no more than two grades of C, with no grade of D, and with no grade of F. Moreover, any student who receives a graduate degree or certificate must possess a 3.0 MUW cumulative GPA and a 3.0 overall GPA. No student on probation will be eligible for a degree or certificate.
Academic Probation and Expulsion from Graduate Programs
A graduate student who does not maintain a 3.0 MUW cumulative GPA (including grades of I) will be placed on probation. If the student on probation fails to earn a 3.0 MUW cumulative GPA (excluding grades of I) at the end of the probationary semester, the student will be removed from the graduate program and will not be allowed to enroll in any graduate program at MUW. If the student on probation earns a 3.0 MUW cumulative GPA (excluding grades of I) at the end of the probationary semester, the student may continue in good standing unless the student earned a grade of I during the probationary semester, in which case the student may continue on probation.
A student who makes more than two grades of C, a grade of D, or a grade of F will be removed from the graduate program and will not be allowed to enroll in any graduate program at MUW.
A student who is removed from the graduate program may appeal that decision to the Graduate Student Scholastic Appeals Committee. A graduate student may appeal to this committee only once during his or her graduate-student career. The student’s appeal shall consist of a letter, in her/his own words, addressed to the Committee in care of the Director of Graduate Studies. It should contain salient information detailing possible reasons and explanations for sub-standard academic performance, any extenuating circumstances, etc. In addition to the student’s own letter, any letters of support for the student from outside parties should also accompany the letter. The Director of Graduate Studies shall forward the appeal information to the Chair of the Graduate Student Scholastic Appeals Committee. The deadline for receiving appeals shall be the working day prior to the published registration date for the semester for which the student intends to register. Neither the student, nor any other parties, shall be granted the privilege of a personal appearance or hearing before the Committee. The Committee shall reserve the right to seek any relevant academic information pertaining to the student, such as class attendance records and transcripts, before rendering a final decision on the expulsion of the student. The Committee shall have the right to impose certain academic requirements or conditions on any student it readmits to the university. These may include, but are not limited to, prescribing certain courses, determining semester course load, requiring a specified level of scholastic performance, and requiring academic counseling. A written statement concerning the actions of the Committee on each student’s appeal shall be forwarded to the Director of Graduate Studies, who will then notify the student in writing of the Committee’s action with copies to the Registrar and the student’s Academic Department. The Graduate Student Scholastic Appeals Committee represents the highest performance review board to which the student may appeal an academic expulsion. The decisions of the committee are not subject to review or change by any other university authority.
New students are assigned a faculty or academic staff advisor who will counsel them regarding their academic progress. The appropriate academic Department will assign students a faculty or staff advisor specific to their major.
Before each registration, students must consult with their advisors. All MUW students should see their advisor not only for program planning prior to each registration, but also for guidance and evaluation throughout the school year. An advising period is published during the fall and spring semesters. See the academic calendar for specific dates.
In all academic programs at MUW, some courses are required while others are elective. It is the student’s responsibility to make certain that all required courses of the chosen curriculum are completed. Faculty advisors are available to assist students in planning their academic work. Not all courses are offered every semester; some are only offered in alternating semesters or alternating years. The University is not responsible for scheduling problems that result from the student’s failure to take these intermittent courses when they are available, nor is the institution responsible for those students in an accelerated program who cannot be accommodated by the regular course rotation or students who are off sequence due to failing courses.
Students who have questions regarding their major fields of interest or who want help with decisions are invited to consult their advisors, Department Chairs/Program Directors, or Deans at any time during the school year.
Scheduling and Registration Procedure
Graduate students will schedule classes during the time allotted their classification. Students are required to meet with their advisors to prepare a tentative schedule in advance of registration, to receive their Registration Access Pin (RAP), and to obtain approval for any alterations in their previously confirmed schedule. Unclassified students may receive their RAP from the Office of Graduate Studies. Students are responsible for entering their approved courses in the Banner system. The student confirms his or her registration by paying fees to the Comptroller. All fees and expenses are due at registration. Students who have registered for classes but decide not to attend the University must drop all of their classes by registration day of that term. Students will be held responsible for payment of tuition and fees and will receive failing grades if they neglect to drop classes by the designated date.
Change of Registration
Courses may be added or dropped without penalty during the first few days of a term. Students should check the academic calendar, student handbook, and/or student activities calendar for all important dates concerning dropping a course, adding a course, or changing their grade status in a course.
With permission of the Department Chair/Program Director of the student’s major, MUW students may enroll in courses as auditors who do not attempt examinations and do not submit written assignments. The fee charged for auditing is the same as if the student were taking the course for credit. Auditors must attend at least 70% of classes or they will be assigned a grade of NA (Non-Attendance). Note: Audit classes carry no credit, do not count toward graduation, and are excluded in the certification of total credit hours for scholarships, VA, loans, insurance, etc.
Continuous Enrollment, Readmission, and Withdrawal from Graduate Programs
Students who wish to return to a graduate program within a year after withdrawing from classes will not need to re-apply for graduate study or pay another fee. However, they should notify the Office of Graduate Studies and the individual graduate program office that they wish to continue in their program so that their files can be re-activated. They will also have to complete a new application form to update personal data and provide transcripts for any classes that were taken at another institution in the interim. Students who wish to return to a graduate program a year or more after withdrawing from classes will have to re-apply for admission to that program. Readmission will not be automatic. Application for readmission may be made only once, and the student will be held to the requirements effective at the time of readmission. Students choosing to leave a Graduate Program and enroll as an undergraduate must submit a letter to the Graduate Office stating their intentions.
Withdrawal from MUW
Students who wish to withdraw from the University must do so through the College or School of their major or through the Center for Academic Excellence if they are undeclared. The last day to withdraw from the University is listed on the Academic Calendar. Once the withdrawal request form is processed, this is an irreversible action.
Withdrawal from Mississippi University for Women does not necessarily indicate a clearance of financial or other obligations. All obligations to the University must be met regardless of withdrawal status. Refunds, if any, are made according to the MUW refund schedule listed in the University Accounting Office’s Tuition and Fees webpage, based on the date of withdrawal.
Leaving the University without filing a formal withdrawal notice will result in failing grades in all courses for which the student is registered. Withdrawing from a residence hall is not the same as withdrawing from university course work.
Withdrawal Effect on Tuition–Adjustments to Charges/Refunds
Adjustments to tuition and housing expenses are made for students who officially withdraw from the University during the first ten days of classes in the full-term fall, spring, and during the first 6 days of the full summer term, or during the first three days of the five-week summer sessions, or during the first five days of the accelerated fall and spring sessions. Students will be assessed $100.00 or 5% of full tuition (whichever is lower) and reimbursed for the remainder. No refund in tuition will be given after the above listed periods. Tuition charges are not adjusted if classes are dropped after the last day to add/drop classes via Banner Web. The last day to add/drop via Banner Web is the last day to add a class. See the Academic Calendar for specific dates.
Withdrawal Effect on Housing—Refund of Housing and Meal Plan
Housing expenses will be pro-rated, based on actual residency. Students withdrawing from student housing before the contract period ends will be assessed an additional $250.00 termination fee. Students who withdraw from student housing during the first five weeks of the fall or spring semester will receive a pro rata refund of their original meal plan disbursement.
Non-Attendance of classes does not constitute an official withdrawal from the University. Per contract agreement, students who remain enrolled but who withdraw from the residence hall will receive no refund of fees, and if they signed a two-semester contract they will be billed again for housing in the spring semester so long as they are still enrolled at MUW. Students who withdraw from the University during the first two weeks of classes will have their living expenses pro-rated, based on actual residency. Students who are charged for a private room will have rates adjusted if the private room status is changed. No adjustments will be made in housing fees in the last thirty calendar days of the semester. Students who move out of the residence halls because they are engaged in directed teaching or other field experiences will have their living expenses pro-rated, based upon actual residency.
Students who withdraw from the University are responsible for any balance remaining on their account.
Withdrawal Effect on Financial Aid
Students who choose to withdraw from the University prior to the end of the term must follow the “Withdrawal Process” established by the University. (Students who wish to completely withdraw from the University must do so through the College or School of their major or through the Center for Academic Excellence if they are undeclared.) Failure to complete the semester may have an effect on the financial aid funds disbursed to a student’s account and paid to cover tuition, fees, bookstore charges, campus housing costs, or paid to the student as a refund. Students who withdraw before the 60% point in the semester will have a “pro rata reduction” in the amount of financial aid disbursed. The federal regulations expect students to “earn” the use of funds for attending the “entire” semester. The percentage of the semester that was not attended becomes the percent of funds that may need to be returned. This reduction will leave an unpaid balance owed to the University on the student’s account BUT student loans will be reduced with their lender and other aid funds will be returned to the program accounts for possible use in the summer semester.
Failure to complete the semester and failure to “officially” withdraw is considered an “unofficial withdrawal”. Failure to complete the courses in the semester will result in a grade of F. Faculty are requested to report the last day of class attendance (LDA) or participation in a class project or activity to allow the Financial Aid Office to calculate the percentage of the course the student completed. When no LDA is provided, the 50% point or mid-term date is used to determine the amount of aid to be returned to the federal or state programs. The longer students attend, the lower the amount of funds to be returned and the amount owed MUW will also be less.
Withdrawal Effect on Course Grade
Withdrawing by the last day to withdraw without receiving a grade results in a grade of W on the student record, which does not calculate in the GPA. Withdrawing after that date, but by the last day to completely withdraw from the university, results in a grade of WP or WF. WP grades do not affect GPA, but WF grades do calculate into the GPA, the same as a grade of F. The withdrawal dates and deadlines are published in the Academic Calendar.
Academic Fresh Start
Students who have not been enrolled in any post-secondary institution for at least 48 consecutive months may request admission or readmission to Mississippi University for Women through the Office of Admissions under the Academic Fresh Start Policy. The application for Academic Fresh Start begins in the Office of the Registrar and must be accompanied by transcripts from all post-secondary institutions previously attended. The Office of the Registrar will verify eligibility. If the request is granted, the student’s prior grades (MUW and transfer) will remain on their transcript, but they will not be used to calculate the grade point average, and these prior credits cannot be applied toward any MUW degree. Professional schools may consider the prior grades in determining eligibility for admission and scholarships, and prior grades will be used in the calculation of SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) for Federal Financial Aid.
The Academic Fresh Start action is irreversible; the student’s new status cannot be changed. The student’s catalog of record will be the one in effect at the time of entry under the Academic Fresh Start Policy or any subsequent catalog in effect during the period of attendance at MUW. A student may enter MUW under the Academic Fresh Start Policy only one time. Students who are currently enrolled may not request a retroactive admission under the Academic Fresh Start Policy.
Academic Second Chance
Students may apply for Academic Second Chance twice during their academic career. Each application applies to only one semester (summer semester includes all three summer sessions), and each application must meet the following conditions:
If the student has earned a degree, the semester considered for Academic Second Chance must have been completed after the degree was earned;
The semester considered for Academic Second Chance must have been completed at least one year before application;
The student must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA for at least 24 consecutive semester hours at MUW immediately before application. If a student has previously applied for Academic Second Chance, the student may not count any of the 24 hours used in the first application towards the second application. In other words, each application stands on its own, and the student must meet the requirements of each application separately.
Application for Academic Second Chance must be filed with the Office of the Registrar, after grades are posted at the end of a semester, and the opportunity to submit a request will expire five working days prior to the published registration date for the semester in which the student intends to enroll. A student may obtain an application for Academic Second Chance from the Office of the Registrar. The Registrar will verify that the above conditions have been met and will forward the request to the student’s academic advisor. The student must obtain the approval of his/her advisor, the appropriate Department Chair/Program Director and Dean. The appropriate offices and individuals will review and process the application as quickly as possible, but students should allow at least one week for review and processing of an application before any action will be reflected on the Student’s academic record.
If an application is approved, all courses and grades for the semester will remain on the student’s transcript; however, the courses for that one semester will not be included in the student’s grade point average and may never be used toward graduation at Mississippi University for Women. Nevertheless, the grades may be used by professional programs to determine admission. In addition, the student must repeat any required courses taken during the nullified semester. Once the Academic Second Chance is entered on the student’s transcript, the action is irreversible.
Academic Second Chance applies to courses taken at MUW or transferring institutions. In addition, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that he/she meets scholarship and/or financial aid guidelines.
Late Administrative Withdrawal
The University acknowledges that there may be rare special circumstance in which a late withdrawal is appropriate, i.e. withdrawal from MUW after the published deadline for withdrawal from the University. Students may apply for a Late Administrative Withdrawal for only one term during their academic career. The University will only accept applications for late withdrawals from students who are unable to complete the term because of circumstances beyond their control. The following are acceptable circumstances for which a student may appeal for a Late Administrative Withdrawal:
1. Medical (documentation must be provided);
2. Relocation (documentation must be provided indicating that the relocation was required by an employer).
It is the responsibility of the student to apply for Late Administrative Withdrawal. The appropriate offices and individuals will review and process the application as quickly as possible, but students should allow at least one week for review and processing of an application before any action will be reflected on the student’s academic record.
All applications for Late Administrative Withdrawal must be submitted to the Dean of the college and must include the following:
1. A letter from the student containing a detailed explanation of the circumstances necessitating a late withdrawal as well as relevant and compelling documentation to support the request;
2. The student’s last date of attendance, documented by the instructor for each course from which the student
seeks to withdraw;
3. The approval of the student’s academic advisor and Department Chair.
The Dean will decide whether the documentation provided is appropriate and sufficient and may request additional information from the student. The Dean adjudicates all requests for Late Administrative Withdrawal. The decision of the Dean may be appealed to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs whose review is final.
If the application is approved, all courses and the grades for the semester will remain on the student’s transcript; however, the courses for that one term will not impact the student’s grade point average and can never be used toward graduation at Mississippi University for Women. Nevertheless, these grades may be used to determine admission into graduate and professional programs. In addition, the student must repeat any required courses from the term.
Late Administrative Withdrawal applies only to courses taken at MUW. In addition, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that he/she meets scholarship and/or financial aid enrollment requirements.
Note: Under Veterans’ Administration and federal financial aid rules and regulations, students will not be eligible for reversal of fees under this Late Administrative Withdrawal policy for any term in which they received benefits.
Students are expected to attend all classes, laboratory periods, and other meetings that constitute a regular part of their University program. Parents cannot excuse students from their obligation to attend University classes. Excessive absences from classes can lead to dismissal from the University and loss of course credit. The student must consult the instructor concerning required makeup work and will be held responsible for all work missed. Any college/school within the University may formulate a policy governing class attendance. An instructor may establish his/her own more rigorous policy, subject to the approval of the Department Chair/Program Director. In no instance may a student who misses 50% or more of the class meetings receive course credit. Alternative attendance policies established by departments and/or individual instructors will be communicated to students in the course syllabi that are made available in the first week of the semester.
Individuals may only attend classes in which they are registered. Once a student drops or withdraws from a course he/she is no longer eligible to attend the course. Exceptions require prior approval of the instructor, department chair, and dean of the course.
Attendance Policy for Financial Aid
Students who receive Financial Aid awards can only receive funds for attendance in the semester’s courses. The MUW Attendance Policy for Financial Aid addresses two issues—1) students who never attended class and 2) students who stop attending classes but have not officially dropped the course nor have withdrawn from the University.
Students who have never attended classes– The amount of aid disbursed usually depends on the number of credit hours scheduled for the semester. The University must, however, determine that the student has attended at least one class meeting in each course to validate the disbursement of aid funds for each course in the schedule. Faculty members are requested to carefully monitor attendance during the first three weeks of classes and report those who have never attended their class or never signed in for an online course.
A student who has not attended any class meetings for a course will have a pro rata reduction of his/her award and funds will be returned to the programs/lender that provided the award. Unfortunately, MUW has already collected tuition and fees from these aid funds and the student will now have an unpaid tuition and fee balance. Thus, the attendance monitoring process has an impact on both the student’s account and MUW’s budget. Faculty must report no shows immediately after the close of the last day to add/register for classes.
Students who stop attending classes but have not officially dropped the course nor have withdrawn from the University – The amount of aid that is disbursed to a student is intended for attendance throughout the semester. If a student officially withdraws from all courses, a refund calculation is performed using the actual date of withdrawal to determine the amount of funds earned by the time of attendance and the amount of unearned funds to be returned to the programs that provided the aid.
For those students who do not officially withdraw but stop attending and earn all F and/or WF grades for the semester, the last date of attendance (LDA) will determine the time attended and the amounts of aid earned and unearned. The longer a student attends the more aid a student earns. Generally, if a student attends for at least 60% of the semester, the full aid award is considered earned.
For students who stop attending class at some point during the semester, faculty members are requested to indicate the last date of attendance or participation in a class event or activity at the time they report the F as the final grade. If attendance dates cannot be determined, the mid-term date will be used for the calculation and only 50% of the aid can be earned. Again, the accuracy of reporting can have an impact on the student’s account and on MUW’s budget.
Student Appeal Process – If a student disagrees with the no show or last date of attendance reported by the faculty, the student must submit an appeal in writing to his/her Dean. The Dean will review the appeal with the faculty member and department chair. The Dean/Institute Director will then send a recommendation to the Provost. The Provost will contact the Registrar and the Director of Financial Aid concerning the outcome of the appeal. The final level of appeal will be to the President of the University.
General Degree Requirements
To complete a program of study in Graduate Studies, the requirements listed below must be followed:
All semester hours in a student’s program of studies for the Master’s Degree must be completed in courses numbered 500 or above.
A maximum of six semester hours of graduate credit may be accepted for transfer. However, at the time the coursework was completed, the transfer institution must have been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or a regional accrediting association. No course will be accepted for transfer in which the student has received less than a B.
All coursework except the six hours of transfer credit must be completed at MUW.
No Master’s Degree credit may be earned by correspondence study.
Credit for coursework completed in a workshop may or may not be accepted.
The minimum load for a full-time graduate student is nine semester hours; the normal full-time load is twelve semester hours. Students must have written permission from the appropriate program coordinator/director to exceed thirteen semester hours in the regular sessions or six semester hours in a single summer session.
Application to Candidacy
Once graduate students have accumulated at least six hours of graduate credit at MUW, they must apply for candidacy by the end of their next semester of enrollment. To initiate the application to candidacy, students should meet with their faculty advisors. Admission to Graduate Studies does not qualify a students as candidates for advanced degrees. Candidacy depends upon approval of a written request for admission. All students desiring admission to candidacy must meet the following conditions:
1. Completion of all requirements for full admission status to Graduate Studies and to a specific program,
2. Completion of a minimum of six semester hours of graduate credit at MUW with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on coursework,
3. Submission of the completed application for admission to candidacy to the Graduate Program Coordinator/Director in which the student is enrolled.
Admission to candidacy must also be approved by the Program Coordinator/Director, the Department Chair, the College Dean, and the Director of Graduate Studies. Students will receive written notification of admission to candidacy.
A student must complete his or her Master’s Degree within six years from the date of his/her first enrollment in the program.
Information about the thesis option can be obtained from the specific program director/coordinator.
Each student may be required to pass a comprehensive examination covering his or her major field as a requirement for the Master’s Degree. The comprehensive examination may be written and/or oral and must be completed at least ten days before the date of graduation.
The student is expected to satisfy all financial and administrative responsibilities prior to conferral of the degree. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the settling of all University accounts, the payment of fines, and the return of books to the library. The University reserves the right to withhold diplomas or transcripts for students who do not satisfy their obligations to the University.
Application for Degree
A student must complete an application for a degree and pay the degree audit fee by the deadline listed on the Academic Calendar. Applications are available in the Registrar’s Office. Once an application is filed with the Office of the Registrar, a formal degree audit will be prepared and mailed to the student and the student’s advisor. Degrees are conferred in December, May, or August upon successful completion of all requirements. Should a student not complete graduation by the date indicated, another application must be filed and another degree audit fee paid. See the Academic Calendar for deadlines.
Students with Diagnosed Disabilities
Academic Support Services ensures that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to learn and to express their knowledge. MUW students with disabilities who are requesting accommodations should contact the Director of the Center for Academic Excellence at (662) 329-7138.
Privacy Rights of Parents and Students
Mississippi University for Women complies with all provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The records covered by this law, the student’s rights and obligations, and the University’s rights and obligations are published in the Student Handbook.
The University will release directory information about individual students upon request unless the students have notified the Registrar that they do not wish to have any such information divulged. A written request must be filed within two weeks following registration, and the process must be repeated at the beginning of each semester. It should be noted that such a request will be followed to the letter, and any subsequent requests for information from non-university persons or organizations will be refused.
Directory information includes the student’s name, address, email, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities, dates of University enrollment, degrees received, honors and awards earned, most recent educational agency attended, and other similar information.
Official transcripts are issued by the Office of the Registrar and bear a raised seal and the Registrar’s signature. There are three ways to order an official transcript from Mississippi University for Women.
1. Ordering Transcripts Online: The National Student Clearinghouse (www.studentclearinhouse.org) has been authorized by Mississippi University for Women (MUW) to provide our transcript ordering service via the internet. Current and former students can order transcripts online using a major credit card at any time of the day or week. Your credit card will only be charged after your order has been completed by MUW’s Office of the Registrar. Please note that MUW only processes transcript orders Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT on the days that the University is open. Online transcript requests submitted while MUW is closed for holidays will be processed in the order they were received when offices reopen. Transcripts are not released for students who have not settled all University accounts (financial or otherwise).
2. Ordering Transcripts Directly from MUW via Mail: Current or former students may order copies of their academic coursework at MUW by sending a written, signed and dated request to the Office of the Registrar, 1100 College Street MUW-1605, Columbus, MS 39701-5800. A charge payable in advance will be made for each copy. Transcripts are not released for students who have not settled al University accounts. Transcript request forms are available online at (http://www.muw.edu/registrar/MUW_Transcript_Request_Form.pdf).
3. Walk In Requests: Current or former students may request a transcript at the service counter of the Office of the Registrar located in Welty Hall, Room 105. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT, on the days that the University is open. Transcript requests are taken until 4:45 p.m. CT. If you are coming in person, you must have a picture ID. If a third party will be picking up your transcript, that person must have your written permission to release the transcript. Payment must be made upon receipt of the transcript. Please limit to no more than five (5) copies.
Transcripts forwarded in support of transfer student admission will not be released by MUW, but they can be reviewed in the Registrar’s Office. Such documents can be obtained from the institution originally issuing the record.
Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes
MUW values the assessment of student learning. To assess student learning, MUW administers national tests and develops local evaluations. Students eligible to take national tests will be notified. In addition, learning assessments administered as part of a course may be retained by the University for use in program and/or University assessment of effectiveness.