The Graduate School was established to provide opportunities for improving professional competency through advanced study and research, to promote the welfare of society in general by developing a broad, deep understanding of human knowledge, and to prepare students for further graduate study. To implement such opportunities, the university offers students the daily use of its library and laboratories and interaction with experienced scholars. Graduate students assume significant responsibility in selecting a specialized program that best meets their particular needs.
The Graduate Council
The Graduate Council was formed to enable a cadre of faculty with significant experience and achievement in graduate education to assist in the review of issues pertaining to graduate studies on campus. Working with the Dean of the Graduate School, the Graduate Council serves to assess and implement initiatives that foster successful graduate programs.
In addition to serving as an advisory body, the members of the Graduate Council make policy recommendations for the Graduate School and serve as the final arbiter for student-related appeals. Members of the Graduate Council are appointed for three-year terms by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the Dean of the Graduate School and the deans of the academic colleges. The appointment of college representatives is made on a staggered schedule to maintain continuity of experience.
The Graduate Council meets at least once per month to review student appeals and approve candidacy for membership to the Graduate Faculty. A complete listing of the meeting dates and locations, as well as forms for submission of appeals and faculty recommendations, can be found at www.ulm.edu/gradschool.
Members of the Graduate Council:
College of Arts, Education, and Sciences
Dr. Jeffrey Anderson, Chair
Dr. Ava Pugh
Dr. Kenna Veronee
Dr. Chris Gissendanner
College of Business and Social Sciences
Dr. Claire Stammerjohan
Dr. Leigh Hersey, Secretary
Dr. Susie Cox
Dr. Jack Palmer
Dr. Long Pham
College of Health Sciences
Dr. Anne Marie Sisk
Dr. Wendy Bailes
Dr. Debra Craighead
Dr. Ruoxi Chen
College of Pharmacy
Dr. Georgios Matthaiolampakis
Dr. Kevin Baer
Dr. Paul Sylvester
Dr. Keith Jackson
Ex-Officio: Dr. Sushma Krishnamurthy, Dean of the Graduate School
The Research Council
The Research Council was formed to enable a cadre of faculty with significant research experience and achievement to assist in the review of campus research issues and to implement research policy. Working with the director of the Graduate School, the Research Council serves to assess and implement initiatives that foster successful faculty and student research endeavors.
Members of the Research Council:
College of Arts, Education, and Sciences
Dr. Jeffrey Anderson, Vice Chair
Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, Chair
Dr. Kioh Kim
College of Business and Social Sciences
Dr. Jose Cordova
Dr. Rick Stevens
College of Health Sciences
Dr. Tommie Church
Dr. Susan Lacey
College of Pharmacy
Dr. Karen Briski
Dr. Girish Shah
Dr. Sushma Krishnamurthy, Dean of the Graduate School
Ms. Megan Lowe, University Library
Dr. Bruce Walker, ULM Faculty Senate
Ms. Judith Nasland, Office of Sponsored Programs and Research
Dr. Catherine Estis, Trio Programs
All universities establish certain requirements which must be met before a degree is granted. These requirements concern courses, majors and minors, and residency. A student’s major professor, school director, and dean will help them meet these requirements, but the student is ultimately responsible for ensuring they are fulfilled. Upon completion of coursework, the university will determine whether the student is eligible for a degree. If the requirements have not been met, the degree will not be awarded until the deficient requirements have been fulfilled. For this reason it is important for each student to be well-acquainted with their degree requirements and to maintain regular contact with their academic adviser.
It is necessary in the general administration of the university to establish broad policies, regulations, and procedures that students, faculty, and staff are expected to adhere to.
The catalog makes public the general policies governing the Graduate School and its students, which can be used by current and prospective students to learn about the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The Graduate Catalog also states policies, requirements, regulations, and procedures that will guide students throughout their graduate coursework. Graduate students are expected to assume responsibility for becoming fully acquainted with and abiding by the regulations and requirements of the Graduate School as outlined in the Graduate Catalog.
No institutional attendance policy exists for graduate students, and is instead established by individual faculty members. Graduate students are required to consult their course syllabus for each class to find specific attendance policies. If the instructor over a course believes the number of absences to be excessive, the student may be asked by the instructor and respective college graduate coordinator to withdraw from the course completely or receive an incomplete grade.
For online courses, students are required to show periodic online activity as a demonstration of attendance. If a student has not logged into their course by the end of the first week of classes, they will be dropped from the roster.
The University of Louisiana at Monroe recognizes that members of the university community represent different groups according to sex, color, creed, national origin, and physical or mental disability. The university further recognizes that, in a pluralistic society such as ours, these differences must be recognized and respected by all who intend to be a part of the ULM community.
It is not the intent of the university to dictate feelings or to mandate how individuals should personally interact with others. It is, however, the intent of the university that awareness of individual and group rights according to sex, race, color, creed, national origin, and physical or mental disability be regarded as important to the education of its students. Our ability to work in a pluralistic society demands no less.
It is with this in mind that the university does not permit any actions, including verbal or written statements, that discriminate against an individual or group on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, or physical or mental disability. Any such action is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Complaints of discrimination should be made orally and in writing to the appropriate university administrator.
Services for Students with Special Needs
ULM strives to serve students with special needs through compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). These laws mandate that postsecondary institutions provide equal access to programs and services for students with disabilities without creating changes to essential elements of the curriculum. While students with special needs are expected to meet our institution’s academic standards, they are given the opportunity to fulfill learner outcomes in alternative ways. Examples of accommodations may include but are not limited to, extended time on exams (time plus one-half), interpreters, permission to record lectures, and note-taking assistance.
The University Counseling Center acts as the point of entry for individuals who have documented learning disabilities, psychological disorders, or medical conditions, including vision loss or blindness, deafness, mobility impairments, and chronic health issues. Accommodation decisions are made on an individual basis and are determined according to the documentation provided by the student. The Director of the Counseling Center, or a Counseling Center professional, works with the student to evaluate the effects of the student’s disability in relation to the curriculum and academic standards and/or, if applicable, their residence hall setting. During this process, faculty and other campus representatives may be consulted. After appropriate accommodations are determined, the student will be required to complete a Permission to Release of Information Form which authorizes the Counseling Center to write an accommodation letter on their behalf. Academic accommodation letters will be emailed to the student’s Warhawk email address. The student is then responsible for providing the letter to their professor(s). Students seeking academic accommodations for future semesters must complete a new Release of Information Form in order to obtain an updated accommodation letter pertinent to the specific semester they are enrolled. Recommended residence hall accommodations will be forwarded to the Director of Residential Housing. The documentation and accommodation letters are retained in the student’s file with the Counseling Center. Parking accommodations are available through the University Police Department.
The University Counseling Center is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am until 5:00 pm and Fridays from 7:30 am until 11:30 am.
Karen Foster, Director
Contact: (318) 342-5220
Web site: https://www.ulm.edu/counselingcenter/special.html
Credit Hour System and Course Numbering
The value of each course of instruction is stated in terms of semester hours. A credit or semester hour represents a minimum of one hour of class work or two or more hours of laboratory work a week, together with the necessary preparation for one semester of approximately fifteen weeks. The value of each course of instruction is stated in terms of semester hours.
Starting with the Fall 2010 semester, courses are listed with a four-digit course number. Previous years utilized a three-digit course number; to find the equivalent course under the new system, add a zero after the first digit of the old three-digit course number. For example, the current ENGL 1001 is the former ENGL 101, and RADT 4011 was previously RADT 411.
Courses at ULM are numbered according to the following system:
1000 to 1099: Freshman level
2000 to 2099: Sophomore level
3000 to 3099: Junior level
4000 to 4099: Senior level
5000 to 5099: Graduate level
6000 to 6099: Courses above master’s level
7000 to 7099: Doctor of Education courses coordinated by the Louisiana Education Consortium (LEC) and Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy courses
Courses for the Ph.D. in Pharmacy range from 4000 to 6099. Certain courses in the 4000 level are accepted for graduate credit as indicated. Graduate status is required for graduate credit in these courses.
Graduate students who schedule a minimum of 9 semester hours for credit are considered full-time students. The maximum course load for a non-thesis graduate student is 15 semester hours and 9 hours for thesis students during a regular semester.
The maximum course load for a graduate student registered during any single summer session is 7 semester hours, and the minimum during any single summer session is 3 semester hours. In fully online degrees, students must be enrolled in 6 semester hours in an 8-week session to be considered full-time.
All overloads must be recommended in writing by the major professor and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. A part-time student may schedule limited course work depending upon the time which can be devoted to graduate study.
A graduate student who is awarded a graduate assistantship, or a graduate work-study position, must be a full-time student. Graduate assistants may not be registered for more than 12 credit hours during a regular semester. The Major Professor and the Dean of the Graduate School must approve a student’s request to enroll in a course load exceeding 9 semester hours during a regular semester or 7 semester hours during the summer.
For policies regarding graduate assistantships, please see the appropriate catalog section.
A graduate student must continuously enroll in at least one credit hour each fall and spring semester until his/her degree has been awarded. Students graduating in the summer must also enroll in at least one hour of credit in the summer they plan to graduate unless graduating in absentia. Please check program-specific guidelines for details. In the absence of program guidelines, the rules of continuous enrollment (above) apply.
International students must be enrolled full-time each semester until graduation.
After two continuous semester (fall, spring) of non-enrollment, students must re-apply for admission.
Upon completion of all coursework, and while working on research, practicums, theses, or dissertations, graduate students are expected to be continuously enrolled (fall, spring) for at least one thesis hour, or three dissertation hours or practicum hours (designated by the program) each semester. Students are required to enroll in any term which will require the professional time of faculty and staff.
Graduate Assistantships require full-time enrollment during the appointed semester.
Leave of Absence
A leave of absence provides a mechanism for a graduate student to be exempt from continuous enrollment. A leave of absence does not change the six-year time limit for degrees. The Graduate Council must approve any time extensions to complete degree requirements by a separate appeals process. A student may request 1-3 continuous semesters (fall, spring, summer) of leave of absence.
To apply for a leave of absence, the student must complete a Leave Of Absence Form and submit it to the Graduate School. The form must be routed through the Graduate Coordinator who will then forward the application to the Dean of the Graduate School.
A student may apply for a leave of absence up to the last class day of the first semester of non-attendance. Students requesting a leave of absence retroactively, due to unforeseen circumstances, may do so at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School. To apply retroactively, in addition to the Leave of Absence Form, students must submit a letter of explanation along with supporting documentation of extenuating circumstances (e.g. medical documents).
Students who apply for a leave of absence need not apply for readmission at the end of the approved leave period but must notify the Graduate School through their Graduate Coordinator when returning to the University so that records may be re-activated.
End of semester grades are generally available after the end of the fourth working day following each term. Students should visit the Banner self-serve website (Banner.ulm.edu) to view grade results.
Grades and the grading process are major components of a university’s academic standards. An important professional obligation of university faculty is the determination of grades. Grades accomplish two essential purposes: they communicate to the academic community and to the community at large a certified level of academic achievement, and they provide realistic and reliable feedback for students to use in evaluating individual progress and making decisions about the future.
Effective grading requires evaluation of the scope, depth, and degree of difficulty for each course. Controls are in place to ensure that students have proper academic qualifications for enrolling in each course, and adequate measures of performance are used to evaluate a student’s progress. Taking into account all students who would properly and typically enroll in a given course, faculty members assign grades according to the following general guidelines to indicate the quality or status of a student’s work:
A (excellent, 4.0 points)
B (average, 3.0 points)
C (below average, 2.0 points)
D (poor, 1.0 point)
F (failure, 0.0 points)
AU (audit does not imply class attendance)
I (incomplete, 0.0 points)
IP (in progress)
NC (no credit)
When calculating your GPA, each credit hour is given a number of points based on your grade. Plus and minus grade designations are not factored into your GPA. For example, a 3 credit hour course in which a grade of B+ is given would be worth 9 points; if the same student also got an A in another 3 credit hour course during the same term that would be worth 12 more points. The average of the student’s two courses would calculate to a 3.5 cumulative GPA.
Work which is of satisfactory quality but which, because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, is not complete, may be marked “I” (incomplete). The deficiency must be met within six weeks from the end of the term in which the “I” grade was issued. “I” grades are removed only by completion of the course work, not by repeating the course. “I” grades are computed as “F” grades unless changed to a final passing grade. If the student does not complete the requirements for the course and the grade is not changed by the “I” grade deadline, the “I” grade will be automatically changed to an “F” (or an NC for a CR/NC course).
Requests can be made in extenuating circumstances, such as prolonged medical problems, serious accidents, death in the immediate family, etc., for an extension of the deadline for completion of an “I” grade. The request for extension of the “I” grade must be initiated in writing by the student to the instructor of the course. The instructor should then submit the request to their Dean’s office for final approval. The time of the extension will be determined by the Dean’s office. However, an extension should not exceed one calendar year from the term the “I” grade was issued. Instructors should not allow students to complete work for a course beyond the deadline if an extension has not been granted. The Registrar’s Office should be notified by the Dean’s office of any extension prior to the “I” grade deadline.
Instructors are required to follow the University Calendar by offering courses within the established enrollment period dates to avoid the issuance of IP grades. Instructors must discuss in advance with the Registrar the reasons for the awarding of IP grades. For example, valid reasons for considering the issuance of IP grades would be when the instructor anticipates that the nature of a specific graduate course or the expectations of all students (not an individual student) cannot be completed within the established enrollment period dates. Letter grades must be awarded by an agreed-upon deadline between the instructor and the Registrar in the event that ‘IP’ grades are issued.
Procedure for Appealing a Grade
To appeal final grades, the “Undergraduate and Graduate Course Grade Appeal Policy” must be reviewed and followed. The policy can be found at Undergraduate and Graduate Course Grade Appeal Policy.
Following the policy, students must initiate an appeal within ten (10) working days after the end of the semester or term in which the questioned grade was assigned. Specific procedures must be followed in appealing to all administrative levels. These procedures are described in the Student Policy Manual.
Eligibility to Remain in Graduate School
Maintain satisfactory performance, or be granted continuance in Graduate School through an appeals process and show satisfactory progress towards his/her degree.
The Dean of the Graduate School will deny further continuance in graduate work to any graduate student who meets one or more of the following conditions:
- Any grade lower than C;
- A cumulative graduate GPA that falls below 3.00 for two consecutive semesters;
- More than six semester hours of C grades on their degree plan;
- More than twelve hours of C grades on the graduate transcript overall;
- A cumulative grade point average below a 3.00 when all coursework has been completed;
- Exceeding the six-year time limit for Masters degrees and the seven-year limit for doctoral degrees;
- Failure to pass all parts of written and oral comprehensive exams by the third attempt;
- Failure to make progress in research, including but not limited to failure to maintain continuous enrollment in thesis/dissertation hours;
- Unprofessional conduct, as outlined by program guidelines and/or class syllabi; or
- Unethical or illegal conduct, including but not limited to plagiarism, collusion, various forms of cheating, illicit drug use, hazing, and sexual harassment.
Conditions 1-7, because of their basis in grades and degree limits, are addressed directly by the graduate school, which will deny continuance without involvement from academic programs or course instructors.
Dismissals for reasons detailed under conditions 8 and 9 will be recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School by students’ respective graduate coordinators. Dismissal for failure to make progress in research will most commonly be a factor when students fail to enroll in thesis/dissertation hours during semesters in which they are working on their thesis/dissertation. Graduate coordinators and/or major professors may also recommend that students be dismissed from graduate school when they have failed over multiple semesters to make progress on their theses/dissertations or when they have demonstrated unprofessional conduct as outlined in program guidelines or class syllabi. Such recommendations by coordinators will be made to the Dean of the Graduate School.
Condition 10 is subject to the Standard of Conduct as detailed in Section 5 of the ULM Student Policy Manual. In cases of unprofessional, illegal, and/or unethical conduct, the faculty member who witnessed the conduct or to whom it was reported should do one of the following, depending upon the nature of the incident:
- File an Incident Report Form with the Office of Student Services following the procedures outlined in the Classroom Behavior Section of the ULM Student Policy Manual, or
- In cases of sexual misconduct, file a Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation On-Line Complaint Form with the Title IX Coordinator following the procedures described in the Title IX Policy and Procedures Section of the ULM Student Policy Manual
In all cases, students may appeal their dismissals. Dismissal for reasons outlined in conditions 1-9 will go directly to the Graduate Council. Dismissals under Condition 10, however, will follow the appeal procedures outlined in the ULM Student Policy Manual prior to any consideration by the Graduate Council.
Individual programs may have more stringent requirements for continuance in their respective degree programs.
Dropping and Adding Courses
Students will not be admitted to a class unless the instructor has received a roster or notice indicating proper registration from the Registrar.
Students will not be permitted to drop or add courses or make section changes after published drop/add dates except with the approval of the student’s major professor, the Director of the school in which the student is registered, and the director of the school in which the course or courses affected are offered. Final approval will be through the Dean of the Graduate School.
If registration changes are made after the deadline, a Drop/Add Form must be used. The proposed change is not official until the form is completed with the proper approvals indicated and filed with the Registrar’s Office. When given permission, a student may drop a course with a notation of W as long as it is within the time limit specified by the university calendar. Withdrawals during that period carry no penalties.
Students may drop courses or may resign from the University with grades of W prior to the date specified in the university calendar. After that specified date, students may not drop a course or resign. Students who have extraordinary cases with extenuating circumstances may submit a letter of appeal, along with documentation to substantiate the case, to the director of the Graduate School. Extraordinary cases do not include dissatisfaction with an anticipated grade or the decision to change a major.
Approval of an appeal for dropping a course or resigning after the published date may be granted by the director of the Graduate School for reasons stated below and only if the reason can be officially documented to show direct due cause. If approval to drop a course is granted, the student must also have been passing the course immediately prior to the hardship, and must have applied for the approval immediately after the hardship or illness ended. The grade assigned shall be a W. If the director of the Graduate School allows the student to resign, a W grade shall be assigned in all courses. If the appeal is approved, the director will notify the instructor and the registrar. Examples of appealable cases are as follows:
- Illness/injury: The student must provide a letter on official stationery from the attending physician stating that the illness or injury will render the student unable to complete the course or will cause the student to miss a significant number of days so as to make it difficult to complete the course. A hospital bill may also be used; or
- Death of an immediate family member: The student must provide a copy of the death certificate, obituary stating relationship to the deceased, or letter from the attending clergy; or
- Natural disaster or exceptional traumatic event: The student must provide a written explanation of extenuating circumstances explaining how this event causes the student undue hardships. Documentation of the event should be made available as well; or
- National defense: The student must provide a copy of official military orders.
Grades of F will be assigned to students who do not complete the enrollment period and who have not officially dropped their courses or resigned.
An appeal for a change in official academic records must be made to the Registrar’s Office no later than 30 days after the end of the semester or term in which the alleged error in academic records occurred.
Each student will be allowed 3 withdrawals after the drop/add period (the 5th class day). Beginning on the 4th withdrawal, a $50 charge will be assessed for each withdrawal thereafter until the completion of the graduate degree.
Upon the consent of the instructor and availability of space, students may be permitted to audit regular lecture classes only. Students must meet the class pre-requisites and pay standard tuition and fees. Any student using a fee waiver cannot register for audit. An audit may not be changed to credit, or vice versa after registration closes. An audited course may not apply towards V.A. benefits.
Auditing a class allows a student to attend a class for self-enrichment and exploration. However, they cannot do any of the following: a) submit assignments b) take any examinations c) participate in laboratory, fieldwork or performances, clinical courses, workshops, foreign study programs d) receive evaluations. The instructor determines the level of participation (class discussions and classroom expectations) of the student auditing the course. Students auditing courses will not receive course credit, nor will they be permitted to take comprehensive examinations on work audited. Students may not audit courses on their degree plans, internships, independent studies, directed studies and readings, theses, and dissertations. Once audited, a course may not be repeated for graduate credit unless the student has changed majors; in these instances, approval of the Graduate School must be sought.
Credit hours for courses audited are figured in fee assessment but not for certification of full-time status. An audited course, however, will count towards the maximum allowable credits per semester. Prior to registering to audit a course, students must check with Financial Aid regarding any possible restrictions.
Changes of Curricula
After their first registration, students will not be permitted to change curricula except on the advice and consent of the academic dean/associate dean of their new college. A Change of Curriculum Request form must be used, and the proposed change is not official until the required approval has been obtained and the form has been filed in the Registrar’s Office.
When students change their major after the last date for adding courses in a semester or summer session, the change does not become effective until the next period of enrollment. The new catalog year will be the catalog year in effect for the term in which the change becomes effective. The student will be subject to regulations of the new catalog.
If participation in specific programs (e.g., intercollegiate athletics, Veterans Affairs) and/or receipt of financial aid/scholarships is based on the student’s current curriculum, the student’s eligibility may be adversely affected. Students in these circumstances should first consult with the appropriate University advisor prior to submitting the curriculum change.
Students who interrupt their college work for one or more calendar years, students who change their curriculum or students who enroll in programs requiring a new application will graduate according to the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their re-entry or curriculum change. It should be noted, however, that class prerequisites must be completed as prescribed by the most current catalog, regardless of the catalog or curriculum in effect for any student. Students must change catalogs if they change their major, apply for admission or readmission, or gain admission to a professional program. EXCEPTIONS: Students who change to the distance learning mode of delivery for the exact same curriculum.
Sequence and Program of Study for Graduate Degrees
Observing the following numbered sequence will assure a measured progression of events designed to maintain proper advisory and administrative procedure and assist the student in the achievement of their academic goals.
- Student suggests a major professor in conjunction with the appropriate graduate program coordinator.
- The Major Professor Recommendation Form is to be completed by the student’s graduate program coordinator and will be submitted to the Graduate School for approval. This form serves as the basis for appointing a student’s major professor for the duration of the student’s program of study. For students requesting a change in major professor, the recommendation form should be resubmitted through the above channels requesting the change.
- After the student has earned credit for twelve semester hours of coursework, the major professor and the student should choose a Graduate Advisory Committee. The Graduate Advisory Committee is composed of the student’s major professor and one to three additional faculty members representing the principal fields of study to be included in the student’s degree plan. The Graduate Advisory Committee, for students writing a field study or thesis, must be composed of a minimum of three members. Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to reconstruct the Graduate Advisory Committee. When this occurs, the academic unit administrator will make the recommendation for any change to the major professor and the major professor will make the recommendation, through the academic unit administrator, for changing any other members of the committee.
- After the student has earned twelve semester hours of credit under the direction of the major professor, the student and the graduate advisory committee will prepare and submit a formal degree plan to the Graduate School for approval by the Director of the Graduate School. The Graduate Degree Plan is subject to the approval of the Director of the Graduate School and serves as the contract with the University and outlines the appropriate course of study for the student. If a change to the degree plan is necessary, the student’s major professor will complete a Request for Change in Student Degree Plan. This form must be signed by the student’s advisory committee and will be kept on file in the Graduate School.
- A field study or thesis, if required, will be submitted to the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee for approval and then to the Director of the Graduate School for final approval.
The credit requirements for a master’s degree are 30 to 60 semester hours of graduate work. No more than six of these hours may be allowed for the field study or thesis requirement. At least one-half of the courses required in the major area and one-half of the overall program must be courses for which graduate credit is earned and designated as “graduate only” courses.
Regulations governing sequence and course of study requirements for doctoral programs are detailed within program descriptions for individual doctoral programs of study.
Requirements for Graduate Degrees
Degree requirements are completed under the policies and regulations listed in the Graduate Catalog in effect at the time of admission. With departmental approval, however, the Graduate Catalog in effect during the semester in which degree requirements are completed may be used.
All students seeking an advanced degree must adhere to the regulations discussed in this section. Departments may have additional specific degree requirements that students must meet to receive an advanced degree.
To fulfill the course requirements for a master’s degree, the candidate shall present an average of no less than B on all graduate work pursued and all work in their major field, no grade lower than C, no more than six semester hours of credit with a grade of C on their official degree plans, no more than four C’s overall on their graduate transcript, and a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. The cumulative average is based upon all hours pursued, including all transfer and repeated courses.
The candidate must pass a comprehensive final examination in both the major and related areas or minor. This examination may be formatted as a written examination, oral examination, or both. It is the student’s responsibility to check their program policy and to speak to the graduate coordinator for their program to determine whether an oral exam is required. Additionally, program policy will determine the comprehensive exam content. Comprehensive examinations are not required of candidates for the Master of Education in Educational Leadership, which requires a passing score on the SLLA Examination, or for the Master of Business Administration degree. For detailed information about comprehensive examinations, please see the appropriate catalog section.
A candidate for the Master of Education degree with a specialty area in Music Education must hold a valid teacher’s certificate issued by the Louisiana State Department of Education or equivalent certification. The only exceptions to this regulation are the candidates for the Master of Education degree with majors in Counseling and Non-School Emphasis in Educational Technology Leadership.
Regulations governing degree requirements for doctoral programs are detailed within program descriptions for individual doctoral programs of study.
All candidates who are to receive degrees are required to be present at commencement exercises for the conferring of the degree unless the director of the Graduate School is notified, in writing, four weeks prior to graduation. The penalty for neglecting this requirement may include delay of degree conferment.
Many programs, schools, and colleges establish additional requirements for their students. Accordingly, students may be dismissed from their programs for failure to meet program, school, or college standards. Such requirements are included in individual program descriptions in the catalog and/or in departmental and program manuals or policy statements. These special requirements shall not be considered in conflict with the catalog and shall have the same force as the catalog. Program suspension (dismissal) from a degree program also results in suspension from the Graduate School.
Time Limits for Graduate Degrees
All work applied toward the master’s degree must have been earned within the six years immediately preceding the completion of the graduate program, and seven years for doctoral programs. Any student who does not complete his or her degree within the specified time frame will be removed from the university unless granted a time extension upon appeal to the Graduate Council. Graduate programs may enforce stricter time limits for degree completion.
Requests for Time Extensions
To utilize graduate credit taken prior to the six-year time limit for master’s degrees, and seven-year time limit for doctoral degrees, the student may request a time extension. These requests must be submitted before or during the semester in which the time limit expires.
The student requesting a time extension must:
- Contact their major professor
- Submit a written, signed letter to the Graduate School that includes the following:
i.) Request for a time extension
ii.) Reason for the time extension
iii.) Proposed a timeline for graduation
iv.) List the courses requested for a time extension. Include the date(s) the course(s) was/were taken
- Provide any supporting documents relevant to the case
The program must:
- Provide a letter of support for the student
- Certify that the expired course(s) did not change since the student took the course
- Propose a reasonable timeline for graduation
Regulations governing time extensions for doctoral programs are detailed within program descriptions for individual doctoral programs of study.
It is not guaranteed that a time extension will be granted. For a time extension request to be considered, the applying student must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the degree being pursued. The student can demonstrate progress toward the degree by meeting the following standards, although meeting the below standards does not guarantee approval of the request:
- Have completed a minimum of 75 percent of coursework applicable toward the desired degree by the end of their fifth year; and
- Be enrolled in a minimum of six hours applicable toward the desired degree during the student’s sixth year of pursuit of the degree; and
- Be in good academic standing at the institution and within the department.
Requests for time extensions are presented to the Graduate Council for a formal recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean will make the final determination on whether the student’s extension will be granted.
Registration in Absentia
Absentia Registration is for students who have completed all required coursework for a degree but must remain registered in order to graduate in a given semester. Those registered in absentia keep their library privileges, email account, and access to online systems, such as Banner and Flightpath. Because those registered in absentia are not taking classes and do not make use of faculty time or the full range of student services, they are not assessed tuition and fees. Those who are enrolled in any number of credit hours or have not successfully completed required certification exams, comprehensive exams, field studies, or final thesis/dissertation submissions are ineligible for registration in absentia.
Paperwork requesting registration in absentia should be submitted directly to the Dean of the Graduate School no later than the third class day of the semester of graduation for non-thesis students. Students who prepared theses and dissertations must submit paperwork at least six weeks prior to the start of the semester of graduation. The Dean will make the determination to grant the student’s request.
Students enrolled in online courses are expected to adhere to the regulations established for their respective course. All Graduate School regulations, particularly those outlined for admissions to the University of Louisiana at Monroe, are applicable to students pursuing online coursework or degrees.
To participate in online courses at ULM, students are expected to be familiar with computers and the internet. Students are responsible for obtaining access to their own software as well as computer equipment maintenance and setup. Additionally, students will need the following:
- High-speed internet access; and
- Access to a modern computer system with a supported operating system installed; and
- A modem or other device capable of connecting to the internet; and
- An internet service provider (ISP); and
- A modern web browser installed on the computer; and
- A word processing software program, such as Microsoft Word or the free OpenOffice; and
- Current anti-virus software that must be installed and kept up to date.
The student’s class may have other computer, software, or hardware requirements related to specific programs. These requirements may include any of the following:
- Multimedia plug-ins, such as Flash Player, Quicktime, or Windows Media Player; and/or
- Speakers and sound cards.
For additional information on all of ULM’s available online degrees and their requirements, students can access the home of the eULM program online at www.ulm.edu/onlinedegrees.
Graduate Credit for Courses Designated for Undergraduates and Graduates
To receive graduate credit for a course designated “For Undergraduates and Graduates,” a student must be in graduate admission status at the time credit is earned in the course. Credit earned while in undergraduate admission status cannot be changed to graduate credit.
Graduate Credit for Outstanding ULM Seniors
Upon written recommendation of the academic school director and dean, and with the approval of the director of the Graduate School, a senior at the undergraduate level who has a minimum average of B on all work pursued and who lacks no more than nine hours (six for summer graduation) for the completion of a baccalaureate degree may register for a maximum of six semester hours (four in summer term) of graduate credit in courses numbered below 5000, provided the following:
- The total scheduled hours shall not exceed 15 (10 in summer term); and
- Prior approval has been given by the student’s academic dean; and
- Failure to receive a bachelor’s degree at the close of the semester (or summer term) shall cause forfeiture of graduate credit for all courses taken.
Students Placed on Probation
A graduate student will be placed on academic probation if their cumulative graduate grade point average falls below a 3.00 during any semester. If placed on probation, a student must maintain at least a 3.0 semester GPA for each semester until one’s overall graduate GPA is at least a 3.0. While on probationary status, if a student’s semester GPA falls below a 3.0 and the student has previously earned two C’s in graduate coursework, the student will be denied further continuance. If the student is unable to raise their GPA to the required minimum at the end of the probationary period, they will be denied further continuance in the Graduate School
In calculating a student’s GPA an I grade will be equivalent to an F in the student’s GPA if the deficiency has not been met by the end of the first month of the next regular semester, or the end of the first two weeks of either summer term of attendance. Having I grades removed is the responsibility of the student.
Appeals for Admission, Readmission, and Continuance
A graduate student who is denied admission, readmission, or further continuance in the Graduate School or a specific graduate degree program may appeal to the Graduate Council for admission, readmission, or continuance. In each case, the Dean of the Graduate School will make the final determination on whether or not to grant the appeal. In preparing an appeal for any of the above causes, all of the following supportive information must be provided as based on the cause of the appeal.
Appeal for Admission
- A personal letter of appeal from the student in which the student builds his/her case for admission.
- Supporting documentation and any other evidence that enhances a student’s appeal.
- Three signed letters of support on official letterhead (if applicable) from those who can attest to the student’s scholarly ability and potential. If appropriate, a letter of support and/or documentation of support from the desired graduate program for admission at ULM.
- A copy of the student’s unofficial transcripts indicating the grades for all coursework completed (provided by the Graduate School).
- The student’s scores from the Graduate Record Examination or the Graduate Management Admission Test (MBA only) (provided by the Graduate School).
- Any other evidence of professional competence which will enhance the student’s appeal.
Appeal for Readmission or Continuance
- A personal letter of appeal from the student in which the student builds his/her case for admission.
- Supporting documentation and any other evidence that enhances a student’s appeal;
- Three signed letters of support on official letterhead (if applicable) from those who can attest to the student’s scholarly ability and potential. A minimum of one letter must be from a professor in the student’s program area at ULM.
- A copy of the student’s official degree plan (provided by the Graduate School or program area).
- A copy of the student’s ULM graduate transcript (and other unofficial transcripts if applicable) indicating the grades for all coursework completed (provided by the Graduate School or program area).
- The student’s scores from the Graduate Record Examination or the Graduate Management Admission Test (MBA only) (provided by the Graduate School or program area).
- Any other evidence of professional competence which will enhance the student’s appeal.
Students denied continuance and who successfully appeal will be granted probationary re-admission. Their transcripts will read ‘Graduate Readmission Appeal Approved’ for at least one semester, which indicates probationary status. Until the student reaches a cumulative GPA of 3.0, they will continue to be in probationary status. Reaching a cumulative GPA of 3.0 will return a student’s status to ‘Good Standing’.
The student will not need to appeal each semester, even if the cumulative GPA remains below 3.0, as long as all of the following conditions are met:
- Student must show academic progress towards completing his/her graduate degree
- Student may not earn any ‘D’ or ‘F’ grades
- Student must maintain at least a 3.0 semester GPA for each semester until his/her cumulative graduate GPA is at least a 3.0
If a student’s semester GPA falls below a 3.0 or if a student earns another grade of ‘D’ or ‘F’, he/she will be denied continuance in Graduate School. The student has the right to submit another appeal for continuance.
For further information, please contact the Graduate School at (318) 342-1036 or the graduate coordinator for the particular major and college involved.
Appeals of Graduate Council Decisions
Under exceptional circumstances, when a request for a time extension or an appeal for admission, readmission, or continuance is denied by the Graduate Council, the student may initiate a further appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School. Grounds for such appeals are limited to the following:
1. New evidence becomes available after the appeal that would have substantially affected the Graduate Council’s decision had it been considered.
2. Action by faculty or staff involved in the request or appeal process impaired the student’s right to a fair hearing.
3. The Graduate Council failed to follow the request and appeal procedures outlined in ULM’s Graduate Catalog.
4. The Graduate Council disregarded evidence provided by the student that would have substantially impacted its decision.
5. The Graduate Council made its decision based on factors not pertinent to the case.
Each appeal of a Graduate Council decision shall follow the procedures outlined below:
1. Within ten (10) working days of the student’s notification of the Graduate Council’s decision, the student must submit to his or her graduate coordinator a complete appeal packet, as outlined in the relevant procedures for initial time extension requests or appeals. The student’s personal
letter should detail the grounds for his or her appeal of the Graduate Council’s decision.
2. The graduate coordinator (or a designated representative) will assure that the packet is complete and that the program and student agree on the grounds for the time extension request or appeal and the timeline for degree completion.
3. Once the packet is complete and if the graduate coordinator (or a designated representative) supports the appeal, he or she will submit the appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School.
In each case, the decision of the Dean of the Graduate School is final.
Academic Amnesty offers students a second chance to degree or certificate-seeking students who began but did not complete a graduate degrees due to various circumstances in their lives. With Amnesty, all previous ULM graduate coursework is considered ‘forgiven’, thereby providing re-entering students a fresh start at Graduate School.
The following terms apply to those who are awarded amnesty:
- Amnesty is awarded to students to continue their graduate education at ULM after an absence of at least five years from any graduate program.
- Once Academic Amnesty has been granted to a student, it cannot be retracted or modified.
- The student should have never before been granted academic amnesty, regardless of the institution/s attended.
- Amnesty may be granted only once in a student’s academic career at ULM.
- Amnesty applies to all graduate courses, regardless of the degree program(s).
- All previous coursework at ULM will appear on a student’s academic transcript. The designation of ‘Academic Amnesty Applied’ will appear on the transcripts separating past and current coursework. Amnesty will not apply to individual courses.
- None of the coursework completed towards a graduate degree that remains unfinished and never awarded prior to the granting of amnesty may be used to satisfy degree requirements.
- Relevant courses from other completed graduate degrees may be used to satisfy degree requirements.
- The new GPA computed will include only those courses completed after receiving amnesty; all previous GPAs will remain on the transcript.
- There is no guarantee that another educational institution or employer will recognize Academic Amnesty.
- ULM will not honor Academic Amnesty awarded by another Institution. Amnesty may not be granted for the purpose of transfer to another institution.
- Academic Amnesty may affect a student’s financial aid eligibility; candidates should check with the Financial Aid Office.
- Upon denial of admission, eligible students may EITHER appeal the denial of admission, OR apply for amnesty.
In order to apply for Academic Amnesty, degree or certificate seeking students must:
- Complete an Academic Amnesty request form and submit it to Graduate School.
- Include reasons for requesting amnesty. Provide supporting documentation to show why Academic Amnesty should be granted to the student.
- Obtain a letter of support from the graduate program and the dean of the college to which he/she is applying.
- Once Academic Amnesty is granted, the student must apply for admission to Graduate School and provide all the documents required for admission.
All requests will be considered by the Graduate Council. Requests will be assessed according to the strength of the application, supporting documentation, and each applicant’s individual situation.
Privilege to Continue Enrollment in Terminated Programs
If a program is terminated either by board mandate or university request, students are allowed to continue in the program only if they maintain continuous enrollment in the program (fall and spring semesters, summer term excluded) and make progress toward the degree by earning credit. Therefore, any failure to register and earn credit toward the degree in a regular semester will result in a mandatory change of curriculum to an active program.
Student Complaint Policy
To file a complaint against another university student, service or department, follow the steps below to determine your next role in reporting a complaint/grievance to the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Read completely the Procedures for Complaint Resolutions, posted in the Student Policy Manual before continuing with the process.
If you are filing a complaint…
|| You may submit the online Incident Reporting form by going to the ULM Home Page at www.ulm.edu. Go to the Students tab and click on the link noting “Student Complaint Reporting Form.”
|| The Dean of Students or designee will review the information provided. On all matters, this Office will either investigate the complaint or will send it directly to the Department that is authorized to address the concerns.
Procedures for Complaint Resolution:
In this policy a complaint or grievance is an allegation by a student that there has been, in an individual case, an arbitrary or discriminatory application of, or failure to act pursuant to the policies of the University of Louisiana at Monroe in relation to students. The on-line complaint form is located at the ULM website (www.ulm.edu).
This policy applies to student complaints about any aspect of the learning process and the broad provision made by the university to support that process. This policy may not be used where the complaint can be dealt with under polices that provide a specific process for resolution of complaints, such as Registered Student Organization constitutions, Sexual Harassment Policy, the Grade Appeal Process and other general grievance procedures as summarized in the Student Policy Manual and Catalog.
Rights and Responsibilities of Parties to a Student Complaint:
Parties to a student complaint have the right to:
- be treated with courtesy at all times;
- a fair and timely investigation process;
- express their points of view without fear of recrimination;
- receive full information at all stages of the complaint process;
- be advised in writing of all decisions made in relation to the complaint; and
- appeal the outcome as outlined in this policy.
Parties to a student complaint have a responsibility to:
- treat all parties with courtesy at all times;
- respect the point of view of others;
- respect the rights of all parties to the complaint with the respect to confidentiality
- in the case of the complainant, ensure that the complainant is made in good faith and complies with the Student Complaint Policy;
- provide full and accurate information to the person investigating the complaint; and
- not take any action that may be regarded as an act of recrimination against any other party.
Before making written complaints, students are encouraged to seek resolutions by discussing them informally with the relevant faculty or staff member who is most associated with the matter. A faculty or staff member with whom a concern is raised by a student is expected to deal with the matter in an open and professional manner and to take reasonable and prompt action to try to resolve it informally. A student who is uncertain about how to seek informal resolution of a concern is encouraged to seek advice from the Office of Student Services located in the Student Center 239.
Where it has not been possible to resolve a concern informally, a student may make a formal complaint. A student who wishes to make a formal complaint must submit it in writing on the prescribed incident form located on the Student Affairs website at: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?UnivofLouisianaMonroe. The written complaint must be submitted within thirty (30) calendar days after the occurrence of the action or matter.
The Division Vice President, Dean or Director who receives a complaint must acknowledge it in writing within three (3) working days to the complainant. He or she must also report the complaint to the relevant college, department, or division office and must maintain a file of all documentation in relation to the consideration of the complaint. The Division Vice President, Dean or Director must ensure that any staff member named in the complaint receives a copy as soon as practicable. The Division Vice President, Dean or Director must consider the complaint in accordance with the principles of fair play and must ensure that all parties to the complaint are accorded the full benefit of those principles. The process may include meetings with relevant staff and/or the complainant. The parties may, if they wish, be accompanied by a peer support person at the meeting. The Department Head’s or Dean’s decision/resolution must be submitted in writing to the complainant within ten (10) working days.
If the complaint is in regard to a Division Vice President or a Division Vice President’s office, it should be directed to the President’s Office to be addressed by the President’s designee and/or a committee appointed by the President. The decision or course of action taken by the President’s designee and/or the appointed committee is final.
Steps of Complaint Resolution:
- Complainant submits grievance/complaint online (student to student, student to faculty, student to staff or other) within thirty (30) calendar days of alleged incident.
- The Office of Student Services receives the complaints and forwards to the appropriate Administrator/Supervisor.
- If the complaint is directed toward a Division Vice President or the Division Vice President’s Office, the complaint or grievance will be forwarded to the Office of the President for resolution by the President’s designee and/or committee. The President’s decision is final.
- Department Head/Supervisor, Director or Dean must acknowledge to the complainant in writing, within three (3) working days that the complaint has been received from the Office of Student Services.
- Within ten (10) days the Supervisor, Director or Dean must make a decision and inform the complainant of the decision/resolution in writing.
- If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the Supervisor, Director or Dean, he/she has five (5) working days to submit his/her appeal in writing to the Division Vice President. The decision of the Division Vice President is final.
- The Division Vice President will communicate his or her decision in writing within ten (10) working days to the parties involved.
Resolutions of Complaints:
The Supervisor/Department Head or Dean who receives the complaint shall acknowledge it in writing to the complainant within three (3) working days and communicate his or her decision/resolution within ten (10) days of receiving the complaint. If the complaint involves a university policy or procedure and if, in the opinion of the relevant Supervisor/Department Head, or Dean, the complaint has substance, the Supervisor/Department Head or Dean must arrange for the relevant policy or procedure to be reviewed. If the resolution of the complaint involves a potential grievance for an employee, the Supervisor/Department Head or Dean must follow the appropriate procedures as outlined in the Employee or Faculty Handbook. If the Supervisor/Department Head or Dean does not have authority over the employee, then he or she may forward the complaint to the appropriate Supervisor.
Any party to a student complaint who is dissatisfied with a decision under this policy may appeal to the Division Vice President most directly related to the complaint. This appeal must be submitted in writing within five (5) working days of the letter communicating the decision. The Division Vice President, will consider the relevant documentation and may, at his or her discretion, consult the Dean or Director who made the decision. The Division Vice President may also interview any parties to the complaint to determine that the complaint process has been conducted in accordance with this policy and the outcome is appropriate; the Division Vice President may dismiss the appeal. Otherwise, he or she will decide the appeal in consultation with the relevant Dean or Director and any other parties. The Division Vice President will communicate his or her appeal decision in writing to the parties. The Division Vice President’s decision is final. Faculty or staff members may confirm with the Office of Human Resources for any other steps available to them under university policy.
All student related information will be considered confidential and protected under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). Records relating to employees and other records that do no include student information are not confidential.
Report to the Office of Student Services (Student Conduct):
The Office of Student Services (Student Conduct) is the custodian of all disciplinary actions on campus. Therefore, all documentation involving student complaints or grievances must be forwarded to this office located in the Student Center, 239.
Student Address Change
A student must provide a local and permanent address at the time of admission to the University. Address changes must be reported to the Registrar’s Office using the appropriate form. A student is responsible for the consequences of all communications sent to the address on file in the Registrar’s Office.
Student Name Change
A student who wishes to change a name for any reason (divorce, marriage, adoption, legal name change, etc.) must complete a Name Change Form and present it with an original Social Security card bearing the desired name to the Registrar’s Office. Copies of a Social Security card are not acceptable, and no other document or form of identification will be accepted in lieu of the Social Security card. Only names which appear on the Social Security card can become part of the student’s ULM record, which will reflect the name exactly as it appears on the card.
A campus wide identification number (CWID) will be created for the name by which a student applies. If the student has attended ULM under an alternate name, or has transcripts and/or test scores submitted under an alternate name, this may cause a delay in processing the student’s application. To prevent delay, the student is asked to note all names under which their documentation may be filed to the Graduate School.