2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

General Policies and Regulations


It is the responsibility of every graduate student to know and comply with all of the policies, procedures, and regulations of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. Failure to read this Catalog and understand its contents does not excuse any graduate student from the requirements, policies, procedures, and regulations described herein.  

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Admission to Graduate Studies

Indiana State University has two main categories of admission, degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking. In all cases, applicants must submit official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended (this includes any college course work attempted). Transcripts will be accepted as official only when they are sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the registrar of the institution. Office of Admissions must receive a fully completed Graduate Admission Application with a non-refundable admission application fee. All application materials become the property of Indiana State University and are not returned to the student. 

 

Degree-Seeking Applicants

Admission to Master’s Degree Programs
Regular Admission

Regular admission status to a master’s program, upon the recommendation of an academic unit, may be granted to an applicant who meets the minimum admission requirements of that academic unit as approved by Indiana State UniversityThe minimum requirements for graduate admission are that the applicant:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree granted by a regionally accredited institution (for international students, a degree granted by a recognized institution).
  2. Has earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.7 in all undergraduate course work; or has earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in the last 60 credits of undergraduate course work; or has earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in the applicant’s major field of study; or has earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all courses taken at the graduate level.
  3. Where required, submit scores in the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or, where applicable, other appropriate standardized measures in accordance with program standards.
  4. Satisfy and/or meet any and all additional admission requirements of the departments/Programs  where admission is sought.
  5. Submit to the Office of Admissions a fully completed Graduate Admission Application with a non-refundable admission application fee.

Conditional Admission

Conditional admission is intended for those students whose undergraduate record does not reflect their current capacity to do graduate work. In those circumstances, conditional admission status, upon the recommendation of the academic unit, may be granted. Conditional admission has a maximum time limit of one academic year. A final admission decision shall be reserved by the academic unit until an applicant’s performance has been evaluated after one academic year of enrollment. The minimum requirements for conditional admission are that the applicant:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree granted by a regionally accredited institution (for international students, a degree granted by a recognized institution).*
  2. Has earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.3 in all undergraduate course work; or has earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 in the last 60 credits of undergraduate course work; or has earned a minimum grade point average of 2.5 in the applicant’s major field of study.
  3. Where required, submit scores in the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or, where applicable, other appropriate standardized measures in accordance with program standards.
  4. Satisfy and/or meet any and all additional admission requirements of the department/Programs  where admission is sought.
  5. Submit to the Office of Admissions a fully completed Graduate Admission Application with a non-refundable admission application fee.

In order to move from conditional admission to regular admission, the student must complete nine credits of undergraduate or graduate courses prescribed by the applicant’s chosen academic unit at Indiana State University and achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 during the first academic year.

*Students applying from non-accredited institutions may not be granted regular admission status. However, conditional admission status, upon the recommendation of the academic unit, may be granted.

Admission to Accelerated Graduate Degree Programs

Program Eligibility

The Indiana State University Graduate Accelerated Program is only open to eligible Indiana State University undergraduate students who have at least a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 at time of request for graduate admission and must have completed at least 80% of the total credits needed to earn their undergraduate degree (e.g., 96 credit hours out of a 120 credit hour degree) by the start of their fourth year.  They must meet with undergraduate/graduate advisor(s) to update their undergraduate degree map on MySAM and create a graduate program of study. 

Tuition and Financial Aid Eligibility

Until the undergraduate degree has been awarded, the student’s status remains at the undergraduate level for purposes of financial aid, tuition, and course fee assessment.  Only undergraduate courses and 500 level graduate courses will count toward financial aid eligibility as an undergraduate student; therefore it is imperative students consult with a Financial Aid Counselor to understand how this program affects aid eligibility.  (600 level course will NOT count toward financial aid eligibility as an undergraduate student.) 

GPA and Transcript  

500-Level Courses:  Up to 9 hours of 500 graduate-level courses apply to both undergraduate and graduate degrees.  500-level courses will be recorded on the undergraduate transcript, impact the undergraduate GPA, and be included in undergraduate graduation honors calculations.  If successfully completed, 500-level course credit will be reflected as transfer credit on the graduate transcript, once regular admission is granted. 

600-Level Courses:  Up to 6 hours of 600 graduate-level courses can be taken as an undergraduate student.  600-level courses will only fulfill graduate-level program requirements, be recorded only on the graduate transcript, and only impact the graduate GPA. 

Graduate Admission

Graduate admission is conditional until the Bachelor’s degree is awarded with a final cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 (programs may set a higher limit, so students should check program requirements).  All applicants to Accelerated Graduate Programs are subject to usual graduate admissions procedures.  Admission to an Accelerated Graduate Program is NOT a “fifth-year” extension to the four-year graduation guarantee; graduate study is not covered by that guarantee. 

Admission to Doctoral and Educational Specialist Degree Programs

Regular Admission

Regular admission status to a doctoral or educational specialist degree program, upon the recommendation of an academic unit, may be granted to an applicant who meets the minimum admission requirements of that academic unit as approved by Indiana State University.  The minimum requirements for graduate admission are that the applicant:

  1. Hold a master’s degree granted by a regionally accredited institution (for international students, a degree granted by a recognized institution), unless applying to a department/program that accepts students with undergraduate degrees. In the latter case, an applicant must, at a minimum, meet the regular admission requirements for a master’s candidate (see Admission to Master’s Degree Programs).
  2. Have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all courses taken at the graduate or undergraduate level.
  3. Where required, submit scores in the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or, where applicable, other appropriate standardized measures in accordance with program standards.
  4. Satisfy and/or meet any and all additional admission requirements of the department/Programs  where admission is sought.
  5. Submit to the Office of Admissions a fully completed Graduate Admission Application with a non-refundable admission application fee.

Conditional Admission

Conditional admission is intended for those students whose previous academic record does not reflect their current capacity to do doctoral/Ed.S. level work. In those circumstances conditional admission status, upon the recommendation of the academic unit, may be granted. Conditional admission has a maximum time limit of one academic year. The academic unit shall reserve the final admission decision until the evaluation of an applicant’s performance after completion of one academic year. The minimum requirements for conditional admission are:

  1. Hold a master’s degree granted by a regionally accredited institution (for international students, a degree granted by a recognized institution), unless applying to a department/program that accepts students with undergraduate degrees. In the latter case, an applicant must, at a minimum, meet the regular admission requirements for a master’s candidate.
  2. Has earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all courses taken at the graduate level.
  3. Where required, submit scores in the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or, where applicable, other appropriate standardized measures in accordance with program standards.
  4. Satisfy and/or meet any and all additional admission requirements of the department/Programs  where admission is sought.
  5. Submit to the Office of Admissions a fully completed Graduate Admission Application with a non-refundable admission application fee.

In order to move from conditional to regular admission, the student must complete nine credits of undergraduate or graduate courses prescribed by the applicant’s chosen academic unit at Indiana State University and achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 during the first academic year.

Additional Requirements for Admission of International Students

International applicants, in addition to meeting the appropriate admission requirements in the respective admission categories as described in other sections of this Catalog, must submit the following:

  1. Official academic records (transcripts) demonstrating successful completion of a baccalaureate degree granted by a recognized institution. Academic records from all universities attended must be received in English and the official language of the institution.
  2. Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of a minimum of 550 on the regular examination; or 213 on the computer-based examination; or 79-80 on the iBT version; or a minimum score of 6.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) verbal scores with a minimum score of 149; or a minimum of 30 earned undergraduate credits at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or recognized English-speaking colleges or universities approved by the Office of Admissions; or an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States.  Applicants from English-speaking countries or former British colonies may be exempted from the above requirements.
  3. An Affidavit of Financial Support (United States Department of Justice Form I-134 or equivalent documentation).
  4. Submit to the Office of Admissions a fully completed Graduate Application for Admission with a non-refundable admission application fee.
  5. Provide, on the application for admission, a complete educational history from secondary school (or the thirteenth year) through the highest level of education completed. Failure to list all institutions attended and the date of attendance could result in denial of admission or academic dismissal.

It should be noted that some academic units may have higher and/or additional admissions requirements.

Non-Degree Seeking Applicants

This University welcomes those who wish to enroll without intending to pursue a degree program at Indiana State University.  Non-degree admission is for applicants who wish to enroll in graduate courses pertaining to their personal interest, continuing education and licensure-only needs, certificate-only credentials, and others who do not intend to work toward a formal graduate degree at Indiana State University. International students on an F-1 visa are not eligible to be non-degree students. 

All non-degree graduate students must: 

  1. Complete the Non-Degree Admission Application (including non-refundable application fee); 
  2. Possess an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. 
  3. Have sufficient educational background to qualify for the courses or courses in which enrollment is sought; students needing to enroll in a course that has a prerequisite requirement must submit official transcripts indicating successful completion of the prerequisite course;  
  4. Understand that acceptance in this category does not constitute acceptance to a degree-granting program at ISU; 
  5. Understand credits earned as a non-degree student may or may not be applicable to a specific degree program at ISU; a maximum of 12 credits taken as a non-degree student may be transferred to a degree program; 
  6. Understand that students in this non-degree category cannot be considered and do not qualify for federal or state financial aid, or Veterans Administration benefits. 
Admission to Education Licensure or License Renewal

Once admitted, students should contact the Indiana State University Education Student Services Office (812)-237-3131 for appropriate advising prior to enrolling in any courses toward their license.

Initial Licensure (Educational Leadership Administrative License only), License Renewal or Professionalization
To be considered for admission into these programs, applicants, as a minimum, must:

  1. Possess a valid (current or expired) State of Indiana Instructional License and meet any additional requirements, in their chosen area of interest.
  2. Submit to the Office of Admissions a fully completed Non-Degree Admission Application with a non-refundable admission application fee.
Admission to Certificate Programs

This category is intended for applicants who wish to earn non-degree certificates issued by Indiana State University. To be considered for admission, applicants must:

  1. Possess an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Submit to the Office of Admissions a fully completed Non-Degree Admission Application with a non-refundable admission application fee.
  3. Meet any and all requirements of the academic unit offering the chosen Programs .
Guest (Special) Admission

Guest (Special) admission status is intended for students enrolled in graduate programs at other institutions who wish to take graduate courses at Indiana State University for transfer and/or other purposes. The maximum number of credits under this category of admission shall not exceed 12 credits, total, per student. Upon the recommendation of an academic unit, a student enrolled at another institution may be granted guest (special) admission status. In order to be considered for such admission status at Indiana State University, an applicant must:

  1. Be in good standing (i.e. not under probation, suspension, and/or expelled), and enrolled in, or must have been admitted to, graduate school by a regionally accredited institution in the United States.
  2. Submit official transcripts showing a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.7 in all undergraduate course work; or a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in the last 60 credits of undergraduate course work; or a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in applicant’s major field of study. If applicable, applicants must submit transcripts that show a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all courses taken at the graduate level.
  3. Submit to the Office of Admissions a fully completed Non-Degree Admission Application with a non-refundable admission application fee.
Unclassified Student Admission

Unclassified student admission status is intended for applicants who wish to take a limited number of graduate courses for various reasons but are not seeking admission to pursue a degree, educational licensure, or an Indiana State University certificate. A maximum of 12 credits taken as an unclassified student may be transferred to a degree program. Upon approval by an academic unit, applicants may be permitted to take certain graduate courses on a semester-to-semester basis, depending on availability of space and the applicant’s academic performance. To be considered for admission with unclassified status, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Possess an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Submit to the Office of Admissions a fully completed Non-Degree Admission Application with a non-refundable admission application fee.

Auditing Graduate Courses

Students who wish to audit a course for no credit may do so, for the purpose of hearing and seeing only; they do not have the privilege of participating in class discussions, laboratory work, or fieldwork.  They do not take tests, submit term papers, or receive grades.  Students who audit a course will not appear on the class rolls or grade rolls, and no notation of the audit will be made on the student’s transcript.  Valid admission to the university is required.  The Permission to Audit form must be authorized by the instructor and department chairperson which offers the course on or after the first day of classes (not before).  A student may not transfer from audit to credit or from credit to audit.  There is a $5 per credit hour auditing fee.

Enrollment in a Graduate Course as an ISU Undergraduate Student

A senior student at Indiana State University with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above may be granted permission to enroll in a limited amount of 500-level graduate courses with approval of the student’s advisor, graduate program representative, and the dean of the academic college where the course is being offered.  Students in Accelerated Graduate Programs will be allowed to take up to 9 credit hours of 500-level courses and up to 6 credit hours of 600-level courses during their final year of undergraduate study.


Graduation

Applying for Graduation

Students who expect to complete a graduate degree or certificate during the academic year or subsequent summer must file an Application no later than October 1 for December (fall semester) graduation, or March 1 for May (spring semester) graduation, or June 1 for August (summer term) graduation. Only students who meet these deadlines can be assured of having their names appear in the commencement program. In order to qualify for a credential, the student must complete all academic program, college, and Indiana State University requirements. While degrees are conferred in May, August, and December, commencement ceremonies are held only in May and December. Participation in commencement is not required but it is encouraged as a memorable part of the university experience. Candidates for the doctoral and educational specialist degrees must have completed all degree requirements prior to participation in a commencement ceremony. Students who only have internships remaining may participate in the appropriate ceremony.  Those attending the ceremony may purchase or rent the appropriate cap, gown, and hood from the University Bookstore.

Eligibility for Graduation 

To be eligible for graduation, all students must meet the following requirements: 

  1. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (or program-specific minimum). 
  2. Complete a program-specific minimum number of credits of graduate coursework with at least one-half of the work in courses numbered 600 or above. 
  3. Have no encumbrances on the student’s records. 
  4. Complete all requirements within the identified timelines. No graduate credit will be counted toward degree requirements that was earned before these timelines. Students with nine or fewer credit hours of out-of-date coursework must submit course validation forms to the director of Graduate Studies for approval. Students with more than nine credit hours of out-of-date coursework must submit a petition with the appropriate course validations for consideration by the Graduate Student Appeals Committee. Ordinarily, if more than 50% of the coursework is out of date, all or a portion of the courses must be retaken. 
  5. For students in programs requiring a thesis or dissertation, maintain continuous enrollment in thesis or dissertation hours (e.g., 699 or 899) during the fall and spring semesters until all documents are submitted to and accepted by the student’s home academic college. 

Master’s Degree Requirements

A master’s degree is awarded to a student upon successful completion of one of the graduate curricula in this Catalog, earning a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours for non-terminal degree programs and as many as 93 graduate credit hours for terminal degree programs. Research experience and/or a culminating experience are required for all programs leading to the master’s degree, and these experiences must be satisfactorily completed. Neither the research experience nor the culminating experience may be transferred from one master’s degree program to another by a student who wishes to pursue a second master’s degree.  

All program requirements must be completed within seven years.

Thesis Expectations and Enrollment Requirements

A thesis, if required by the master’s program, should be the result of scholarship that contributes to the discipline.  A Thesis Committee form must be submitted and approved one semester prior to the proposal defense.  A thesis committee consists of three graduate faculty and includes no more than one non-tenure track faculty.  Students are expected to defend their thesis proposal at least one semester prior to the final thesis defense.  Thesis requirements include registration for the minimum credits stipulated by the program.  In preparing the thesis, the candidate should carefully read the material found in this section and follow the procedures outlined in the section of this catalog on Regulations, in addition to any materials on preparing or formatting a thesis provided by the director of Graduate Studies. 

Continuous enrollment during the fall and spring semesters is required until a student has completed all degree requirements and all documents are submitted to and accepted by, the student’s home academic college, regardless of whether a student is in residence or is away from campus. Only students who apply for August graduation must register in the summer. 

Second Master’s Degree Requirements

A student with a master’s degree from an accredited institution may apply for admission to a second master’s degree program for the purpose of completing a new major area of graduate study. Students admitted to such programs are directed to the appropriate department chairperson or graduate program director who may accept up to 30% of the minimum credits required from the student’s first master’s degree program as transfer credit. All requirements for the master’s degree program must be met; second master’s degree programs must include a new research component or culminating experience, neither of which can be transferred from the first master’s degree program.

Educational Specialist Degree Requirements

A student admitted to an educational specialist program must earn a minimum of 57 hours of graduate study, including 27 hours of credit above the master’s degree. At least 15 credit hours must be earned after admission to the program. The student must write an advanced thesis or otherwise demonstrate the competency to carry on individual research. The educational specialist is regarded as an advanced practitioner’s degree and, as such, is a continuation of work completed in pursuit of the master’s degree in the area in which it is sought.  

All program requirements must be completed within eight years.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

The doctoral degree is conferred only upon those students who have completed, with high distinction, a period of intensive study in a selected field. Candidates must have gained a thorough knowledge of the materials in the field, mastered the method of advanced study, and demonstrated this mastery through a dissertation or scholarly or creative project. 

All program requirements must be completed within nine years.

Research Proficiency

Evidence of proficiency in appropriate research tools is expected of all doctoral candidates. Such proficiency shall be determined and judged by each candidate’s academic program or department. Individual academic units may, at their discretion, require, establish, and administer their own proficiency examination(s). Any research proficiency requirement (e.g. foreign language, computer applications, or statistics) shall be established by the candidate’s major department or program.

Doctoral Programs with a Dissertation Expectation

Doctoral Committee.  Early in the student’s program, upon the student’s formal request and supported by the recommendations of the advisor, a doctoral committee is appointed (students should be in consultation with the advisor to ensure the doctoral committee meets the specific program requirements). The doctoral committee consists of a minimum of three members of the graduate faculty appointed in the same manner that the advisor was appointed. One of the doctoral committee members must be from outside the student’s major area, and the committee may include no more than one non-tenure track faculty. The doctoral committee conducts examinations, supervises the dissertation, and recommends the student for the degree to the dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The student’s home academic college.

Qualifying Examination.  The student must satisfactorily pass program-specific examinations. The department will set dates for the administration of any examinations.  The examination(s) will be prepared according to regulations established by the department and follow evaluation procedures developed by the program. The evaluation results will be certified by the appropriate department chairperson, the dean of the student’s academic college. When there is disagreement at the program level resulting in lack of consensus regarding overall performance, the case will be referred to the department chairperson and dean of the student’s home academic college. The preliminary examinations will be evaluated according to program criteria (which may allow for a single retake) as follows:

  1. Pass.
  2. Fail. Eligible for re-take pursuant to program rules.
  3. Fail. The student is ineligible for a re-take and eliminated from the program.

When the student has met all requirements for candidacy, the chairperson of the committee will recommend to the department chairperson and to the dean of the student’s home academic college that the student be approved for admission to candidacy. 

Admission to Candidacy.  A student cannot and does not become a candidate for a doctoral degree until such time as they have been formally admitted to candidacy. Admission to candidacy must be based on the academic record with specific coursework and other program requirements satisfied and successful completion of the qualifying exam.

Dissertation.  A dissertation, required of all candidates for the doctor of health sciences, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of psychology degrees, is the result of an original investigation which makes a contribution to knowledge of sufficient significance to justify its publication. The Dissertation Committee form must be submitted and approved by the student’s home academic college prior to scheduling the proposal defense.  Students are expected to defend their proposal at least one semester prior to defending the dissertation.  In some programs, students are advised to defend their proposal even earlier.  Dissertation requirements include registration for the minimum dissertation credits stipulated by the program.   In preparing the dissertation, the candidate should follow the Steps for Completing a Thesis or Dissertation. Continuous enrollment during the fall and spring semesters is required until a student has completed all degree requirements and all documents are submitted to and accepted by the student’s home academic college. Only students who apply for August graduation must register in the summer.  Formal approval of the dissertation proposal is accomplished after admission to candidacy. Registration for dissertation credit may only occur following admission to candidacy and/or advisor approval. Late registration (under no penalty) for dissertation credits may be approved by the dean of the student’s home academic college during the semester of admission to candidacy.

Dissertation Proposal.  After admission to candidacy, and under the direction of the dissertation committee, the student prepares and submits a dissertation proposal for approval by the student’s committee,  and the student’s home academic college dean. The proposal, as completely and explicitly as possible, describes the proposed original scholarship for the dissertation.

Dissertation Defense.  At least nine weeks prior to the date the degree is to be conferred and at least two weeks prior to the final oral examination, copies of the dissertation should be made available to all members of the student’s doctoral committee.  The oral examination may be set at any date convenient to the committee and the student, providing the University is officially open, but must be at least seven weeks (six weeks during the summer session) prior to the date the degree will be conferred. The time and place of the defense, together with the names of the student, the doctoral committee, and chairperson or dissertation director, and the title of the dissertation must be submitted to the student’s home academic college at least one week prior to the defense.  The student’s home academic college will notify the campus community of the details of the defense.  Attendance at the defense is open to any member of the campus community. Other interested individuals may attend the defense with permission from the committee chairperson.  Following the successful completion of the oral exam, the student will forward a copy of the dissertation to the home college.  After making edits requested by the home college, and getting approval from the student’s home academic college dean on the Approval of Dissertation or Thesis Defense form, the student will upload an electronic copy of the dissertation that has been approved by the student’s home college.  Students will also upload a signed Approval of Dissertation or Thesis Defense form as a supplemental file. (See additional requirements related to dissertation in the section below.)

Graduation.  A student enrolled in a doctoral degree program requiring a dissertation must take the following steps toward graduation:

  1.  Apply for graduation by the published deadline for the semester/term in which graduation is anticipated.
  2. Complete the dissertation and defend it in an open examination before the student’s doctoral committee.
  3. Make any changes to the dissertation, as directed by official action of the student’s doctoral committee and home academic college.
  4. Obtain approval (Approval of Thesis or Dissertation Defense form) of members of the student’s doctoral committee, department chairperson,  and dean of the student’s home academic college.
  5. Upload an electronic copy of the dissertation that has been approved by the student’s home college. Students must adhere to the submission guidelines provided by the director of Graduate Studies. Submission guidelines are located on the Office of the Registrar’s Web site.  Copyright may be registered. The student is responsible for all associated fees.
  6. Pay all costs associated with the publication of the dissertation or its abstract.
  7. Remove any encumbrances and/or incomplete grades on their record.

Doctoral Programs Without a Dissertation Requirement

Students enrolled in doctoral programs that do not require a dissertation are still responsible for demonstrating research proficiency through a culminating project that is shared with the university community. Students must consult with the program director regarding the requirements of the culminating experience.   

Graduation.  A student enrolled in a doctoral degree program not requiring a dissertation must take the following steps toward graduation:

  1. Apply for graduation by the published deadline for the semester/term in which graduation is anticipated.
  2. Complete the culminating experience and defend it in an open examination before the student’s doctoral committee.
  3. Remove any encumbrances and/or incomplete grades on their record.

Awarding of Two or More Graduate Degrees

Two or more graduate degrees or certificates may be granted simultaneously provided all requirements for the degrees have been completed, no more than 30% of the coursework is shared between the degrees, and the research and/or culminating experiences (if required) are unique. However, since many students may choose to pursue a certificate as well as a formal degree program, all credits completed as part of a certificate program can be counted toward a subsequent or simultaneous degree award.

Thesis/Dissertation Guide

A thesis or dissertation should represent original scholarship. Expectations regarding the type of thesis/dissertation, as well as the scope of the project, will be determined by individual graduate programs and the thesis or dissertation advisor and committee. For the convenience of graduate students, please see the Thesis and Dissertation Handbook. 

Once the general area of research is determined through conference with the appropriate departmental faculty, the student begins the steps for completing a thesis or dissertation.

  1. Early in the student’s program, upon the student’s formal request and supported by the recommendations of the advisor, a thesis/doctoral committee is appointed.  The thesis committee consists of three graduate faculty and includes no more than one non-tenure track faculty.  The doctoral committee consists of at least three members of the graduate faculty appointed in the same manner that the advisor was appointed.  One of the doctoral committee members must be from outside the student’s major area.  No more than one non-tenure track faculty member may serve on the committee.  The thesis/dissertation committee form must be submitted and approved by the student’s home academic college prior to scheduling the proposal defense.
  2. Under the direction of the committee, the student prepares and submits a thesis or dissertation proposal for approval.  The proposal, as completely and explicitly as possible, describes the proposed original scholarship for the thesis or dissertation. After the successful completion of the proposal, the committee will sign the Approval of Thesis or Dissertation Proposal Form. If the research involves human subjects or animal subjects, approval from the appropriate Indiana State University committee (Institutional Review Board, Bio-Safety, Radiation Safety, or Animal Care and Use Committee) must be granted in writing, which requires a signed Thesis and Dissertation Proposal Form. The Approval of Thesis or Dissertation Proposal form along with a hard copy of the proposal document and, if required, approval of the appropriate Indiana State University committee (Institutional Review Board, Bio-safety, Radiation Safety, or Animal Care and Use Committee), must be presented to the student’s home academic college prior to any data collection. Master’s students may register for course 699 (Thesis) only after formal approval of their thesis proposal and/or approval from their advisor. Doctor of health sciences and doctor of philosophy students may register for course 899 (Dissertation) after admission to candidacy and/or approval from their advisor. Doctor of psychology students may register for course 799 (Dissertation) after admission to candidacy and/or approval from their advisor.
  3. Students must enroll for thesis or dissertation credit in course 699 (Master’s Thesis), course 799 (Psy.D. Dissertation), or course 899 (Ph.D. Dissertation).  Once a student enrolls in course 699, 799, or 899, continuous enrollment during fall and spring semester is required until the student has completed all degree requirements, regardless of whether a student is in residence or away from campus. A student who applies to graduate in the summer must register for the appropriate summer term in course 699, 799, or 899 dependent upon degree program.
  4. The student defends the thesis or dissertation at an open meeting. The time and place of this meeting, together with the names of the student, the committee, and chairperson or director, and the title of the thesis or dissertation must be submitted to the student’s home academic college at least one week prior to the event. To verify the successful completion of the defense, the committee will sign and the student will submit an Approval of Thesis or Dissertation Defense form with the approved thesis/dissertation.
  5. Following successful completion of the oral exam, the student will forward a copy of the dissertation or thesis to the home college and complete any edits requested.
  6. After making edits requested by the home college, and getting approval from the home academic college dean on the Approval of Dissertation or Thesis Defense form, the student will upload an electronic copy of the dissertation or thesis that has been approved by the student’s home college to the Office of the Registrar’s repository. The student will also upload a signed Approval of Dissertation or Thesis Defense form as a supplemental file. Submission guidelines are located on the Office of the Registrar’s Web site.  Copyright may be registered. The student is responsible for all associated fees.
  7. During preparation and final approval of the thesis or dissertation, a staff member in the Office of the Registrar is available for consultation.  It is expected, however, that when the copy is presented to the Office of the Registrar, few corrections will need to be made.
  8. Upon final approval of the thesis or dissertation, the thesis or dissertation committee chairperson ensures that grades are submitted for all thesis or dissertation credits.

Grading and Scheduling

Letter Grades for Course Work Completed

Letter grades indicating the quality of graduate course work completed, and for which the credits earned can be applied toward graduation requirements, can generally be interpreted as follows:

Grade

 

Points

 

A+

 

4.00

 

A

 

4.00

 

A-

 

3.70

 

B+

 

3.30

 

B

 

3.00

 

B-

 

2.70

 

C+

 

2.30

 

C

 

2.00

 

F

 

0.00

 

S

 

Satisfactory

 

U

 

Unsatisfactory

 

The letter grades assigned for unsatisfactory course work are “F” for failure, and “U” (Unsatisfactory) for specially approved courses. Grades of “W” will be assigned to dropped/withdrawn courses after the last day to add for the semester/term and will not be calculated in the student’s grade point average.

Grade Appeal

A student may appeal a grade granted by any instructor of any course. The student may appeal the grade based on one or more of the following: error, disparate treatment, inappropriate basis, departure from announced standards, departure from departmental standards. Procedures for the appeal of a grade are outlined in the Indiana State University Policy Library. Grade appeals are conducted in the college of the instructor. 

Course Repeat Policy

Graduate students receiving a grade of C+ or lower may retake a non-repeatable course a maximum of one time. Once repeated, both the original and new grade will be included in the student’s grade point average. Both grades will remain on the student’s transcript.

In Progress Grade Policy

An “In Progress” grade (IP) can be used for graduate courses which require work of a continuing nature to extend over more than one semester.  Upon completion of the course work, the instructor will assign a grade.  A student changing from a program requiring a thesis/dissertation may, at the discretion of the major department, receive a grade “S” for the portion of the work completed.  If a change of grade form is not submitted, any remaining “IP” grades on the transcript will be changed to “U” at the time of graduation or the designated time limits for completion of degree or an approved time limit extension.  A student is not eligible to graduate with any “IP” grades remaining on their transcript.

Incomplete Grade Policy

An incomplete grade (IN) may be given only at the end of a semester or term to those students whose work is passing but who have left unfinished a small amount of work–for instance, a final examination, a paper, or a term project which may be completed without further class attendance.  When a grade of incomplete (IN) is assigned, the instructor will specify to the student the deadline date for completion, and the grade to be assigned if the work is not completed by the specified date. The date for completion will normally be within four weeks of the beginning of the next semester, but will not be longer than one calendar year. The sole exception is for graduate research courses, which will have no maximum deadline.  In the event that the instructor from whom students receive an “IN” is not on campus, the disposition of students’ eventual grade resides with the appropriate department chairperson.

Student Withdrawal from Semester/Term

The University recognizes that numerous circumstances may arise which will necessitate a student ceasing class attendance prior to the end of the semester. An “official withdrawal” involves the student all classes for which they are registered, as well as notifying appropriate administrative officials of their decision to leave the campus. If a student leaves without properly processing a withdrawal, their absences from class and from the campus will be justification for a failing grade (F) to be assigned for the courses in which the student was enrolled. Withdrawing from all courses can have a substantial impact on aid eligibility and should be made in consultation with an academic advisor and financial aid counselor.

Grade Determination. Students who officially withdraw from the university by the last day to add classes, will not have a grade or course assigned to their transcript. After the last day to add, and through the 11th week of classes, the grade of “W” will be given for all classes.

Procedures. The student is not officially withdrawn until he/she has completed the withdrawal procedures. Please see the Academic BLUEprint for specific refund dates and specific information.

Administrative Withdrawal

Administrative withdrawals are initiated by the Director of the Office of Student Conduct and Integrity when a student is found responsible for violation(s) of University policies, fails to comply with procedures, and as a result of the finding, been temporarily separated (suspended) or permanently separated (expelled) from the institution. The grading and refund policies, that apply to voluntary withdrawals also apply to administrative withdrawals.

Administrative withdrawals are also performed when a student is academically dismissed at the end of a semester or term and has a registration for a future semester/term. In that case, the student is administratively withdrawn from the future semester(s)/term(s).

Guidelines and Procedures for the Removal of a Student from an Academic Program

The following procedures have been developed in an effort to standardize administrative processesassociated with the removal of any graduate student from a program. As such, all requests will be handled by the home Academic College using the following process. Additionally, the process described below is intended to reduce redundancies and uncertainties associated with varying processes that exist across campus.

Step 1. Programs seeking to remove a student from an academic program should consult the academic dean prior to taking any formal action at the department or program level.

Step 2. Following consultation with the academic dean and if removal is deemed appropriate, the program will inform the student in writing of a change in status. The written notification must clearly indicate that the student is eligible to appeal to the Graduate Council Appeals Committee for an exception pursuant to catalog copy. The notice must clearly indicate that all appeals must be submitted no later than five (5) business days of notification by the department or program to the chair of Graduate Council. Once the student has been informed, the program will forward a brief memorandum to the academic dean and chair of Graduate Council from the Department Chairperson and co-signed by the program coordinator outlining the issues or violations and, where applicable, documenting that remediation attempts have been unsuccessful. When and where safety issues are a concern and remediation may not be practical, the specific incident must be documented by a site supervisor, instructor of record or similarly positioned individual with standing. The student’s official notification from the program (i.e., intent to remove) should also accompany the memo to the academic dean and the chair of the Graduate Council along with any relevant documentation.

Step 3. After five (5) business days, and only if no appeal has been filed (see Step 4), the academic dean will issue a memo to the student and appropriate offices including Financial Affairs, Registrar, and the academic program of the effective date and action. Students will be removed from the program for the following term, but not the university per se. In these cases, the students will be assigned “Non-degree: Unclassified”.

Step 4. If an appeal is submitted by the student within five (5) business days, the committee will be charged with reviewing the case as soon as possible and all associated documentation. As outlined in Step 3, the Graduate Council chair will communicate the committee’s decision to all parties.

Involuntary Medical Withdrawal

The University may order the involuntary medical withdrawal of a student if it is determined that the student suffers a condition that is detrimental to the functioning of the student or poses a significant threat to the campus community.  Examples include, but are not limited to, conditions that:

  • Cause the student to engage in behavior that poses a significant danger of causing harm to others or to substantial property rights.
  • Involve a threat to public health (for example, incomplete immunizations or failure to meet TB compliance policies.).
  • Directly and substantially impede the lawful activities of others.
  • Interfere with the educational process and orderly operation of the University.

Questions regarding this policy should be referred to the Dean of Students, who also serves as the liaison to the Union Associated Physicians Clinic and chairs the involuntary medical withdrawal process. 

Class Load

A full-time course load is considered to be nine credits during the fall and spring semesters. During a regular semester, the maximum course load is 12 credits. In the summer terms, a student is allowed to earn no more than a total of 15 credits. However, upon the approval of a student’s academic advisor, the department chairperson, and the dean of the student’s home academic college a student may be permitted to enroll in additional credits beyond the limits indicated above.  Full-time graduate assistants must maintain full-time enrollment as outlined in the Graduate Assistantship and Scholarship/Fee Waiver Award Guidelines. Except for unusual circumstances, a class load of 12 credits per semester will not be exceeded. 

Course Numbers

Courses bearing the Catalog number 500 or above carry graduate credit. Those numbered in the 500 series may also have 400 counterparts, which are open to undergraduate students. A course taken at the 400 level for undergraduate credit may not be repeated at the 500 level for graduate credit without permission of the academic unit and the director of Graduate Studies. Courses numbered in the 600 series and above are open only to graduate students. At least one-half of the credits required for a graduate degree must be earned in courses numbered 600 or above. Courses numbered in the 700 and 800 series are designated for students in post-master’s and doctoral programs.

Academic Integrity

Graduate students are expected to abide by the University’s Code of Student Conduct, which includes a statement about academic integrity.  Issues of plagiarism discovered in a thesis, dissertation, or culminating project could result in withholding or revoking of the graduate degree. Plagiarism or academic dishonesty during the completion of a graduate degree program could result in the removal of the graduate student from their graduate program and the University.

Academic Renewal

Indiana State University provides Academic Renewal as an option to returning applicants who have been out of school for a significant period of time and whose previous academic performance may not be indicative of the academic work of which they are now capable. Academic renewal recognizes that such students are often hampered by a previous, low grade point average and it offers them the opportunity to complete a graduate degree program.

While a student who has successfully petitioned the director of Graduate Studies for academic renewal may be permitted to graduate as an exception to the existing grade point average guidelines, the overall grade point average and transcripts will remain unchanged. The following conditions apply:

  1. One or more years must have passed between the student’s previous enrollment in an ISU graduate program and the current term of readmission to the student’s initial program of application; OR one or more years have passed between the student’s previous enrollment in an ISU graduate program and the current term of readmission to a new program. Department review is required.
  2. Academic Renewal can occur only once, and it is irreversible.
  3. All academic requirements in place at the time of readmission must be met.
  4. Students who have completed all degree requirements, met the minimum grade point average, and earned no grades lower than a “B” (3.0) following readmission will be graduated as an exception by a memorandum from the director of Graduate Studies to the Provost.

To apply for Academic Renewal, students should consult with the director of Graduate Studies.


Retention and Transfer

Retention

A student whose grade point average drops below a 3.0 (or the program-specific minimum) will be placed on probation, suspended from graduate study, or dismissed from Indiana State University. The student’s home academic college dean, in accordance with the regulations of the student’s academic department, will make decisions in such matters. In addition to academic standing, students may be removed from an academic program at the request of the program coordinator or department chairperson for failing to meet professional or licensure standards, or not meeting program-specific expectations outlined in the catalog or a program’s student handbook. A student who is suspended from graduate study or dismissed may request a review of the case by the applicable subcommittee of the Graduate Council.

Readmission After Academic Dismissal

Students who have been academically dismissed should expect to stay out of classes for one academic semester, after which such students should petition the dean of their home academic college to return to classes. The petition must be approved by the graduate program director and the department chair before it is forwarded to the dean.  

The dean will retain the discretion to provide exception to NOT academically dismiss on a case-by-case basis. Some programs may have requirements above the minimum University retention standards. 

Academic Progress/Readmission at ISU

Any student admitted to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies who has not enrolled and earned graduate credit for work at Indiana State University for a period of two consecutive years, except when there is an approved leave of absence, will have his or her admission canceled. In order to re-enroll in classes, a student whose admission has been canceled must reapply for admission to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies and the department/program of interest. Students who are readmitted in the above manner will be governed by the policies and regulations in effect at the time of readmission.

Leave of Absence

Students in good standing in their respective program, prior to suspension of enrollment, may apply for a leave of absence. Applications must be approved by the advisor, graduate committee, program director, department chair and the student’s home academic college dean. Reasons for leave of absence may include military service, medical leave, personal, etc. Students on an approved leave of absence will not be required to reapply for admission.   

A formal leave of absence will stop a student’s time to degree completion requirement as well as the continuous enrollment requirement. Course time limits beginning with the student’s admit term won’t be changed based upon a leave of absence. Therefore, course validations may be required to complete the degree.    

Each leave of absence can be for a time period of one year. Master’s and educational specialists can apply for a maximum of one leave of absence. Doctoral students can apply for a maximum of two leaves of absence. 

Transfer Credit

Work taken for graduate credit at other institutions may be transferred in partial fulfillment of degree requirements under the following conditions:

  1. Transfer of credit will be considered for graduate work completed only at regionally accredited institutions or at nationally accredited institutions recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Graduate credit hours earned from an international college or university will be evaluated by the Admissions Office before being considered for transfer into an Indiana State University degree program.
  2. The research or culminating experience requirement must be taken at Indiana State University. Graduate credit hours appropriate to the degree taken at Indiana State University may be accepted for transfer at the recommendation of the department or program.
  3. Transfer credit requests for courses that are not part of a completed graduate degree, licensure, or post-bachelor’s certificate program, and were taken outside of the time-to-degree completion guidelines, must be sent to the student’s home academic college for consideration.  Each department or program is responsible for evaluating the currency of the student’s knowledge from courses presented for transfer.
  4. Transfer credit hours approved at enrollment remain current within the specified time-to-degree completion period (seven years for masters, eight years for education specialists, and nine years for doctoral degrees).
  5. Credit may be transferred, but grades earned in courses taken at other institutions do not transfer.
  6. Only graduate courses in which a student has earned a grade of B (or 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better may be considered for transfer.
  7. Transfer work must meet the standards for the credits earned at Indiana State University.  All transfer credits must be appropriate to the particular program in which the student is enrolled.
  8. Graduate courses taken at another university on a credit/no credit, pass/fail, or satisfactory/unsatisfactory option are not accepted as transferable unless approved by the department or program.
  9. Individual graduate programs may set limits on transfer credit and therefore students should consult with the appropriate director or department chairperson for such information.  
Master’s Degree Transfer Information

Master’s programs will accept a maximum of nine credit hours for programs that require fewer than 40 credits, 12 credit hours for programs that require 40-49 credit hours, and 15 credit hours for programs that require more than 49 credits. Such credits, however, must be earned at an institution that is accredited as noted above to award graduate degrees. 

Educational Specialist’s Degree Transfer Information

A student working toward the educational specialist degree may transfer up to 39 graduate credit hours applied to a completed master’s degree or to an administrative license or certificate issued by a state department of education. Courses must be approved in advance by the program’s admission committee or the advisor, in light of guidelines established by the committee or program.

Doctoral Degree Transfer Information

No specific rule regulates the number of graduate credits that are transferable from other institutions approved to offer graduate courses by the appropriate accrediting agency that may lead to a doctoral degree. However, programs may set a limit on the maximum number of transfer credits, thus students should review transfer information at the program level. The dissertation, and a minimum of 30 credit hours of work, exclusive of the first 32 credits, must be taken in residence at Indiana State University.  Graduate work which has been completed previously will be evaluated by the program or department to determine what credits are applicable to the student’s program. 

Assessment of Prior Learning

Select graduate programs may provide students with an opportunity to receive a limited amount of graduate credit as a result of an appropriate and rigorous assessment of prior learning which would ordinarily include the submission of documentary evidence such as a professional portfolio or a comprehensive examination.

Students must be enrolled at Indiana State University and have departmental consent to be eligible for credit by assessment of prior learning. All associated testing fees are the responsibility of the student. If a student’s performance on the departmental assessment meets or exceeds departmental standards, credit will be granted. Students who earn credit through an assessment of prior learning do not receive a letter grade. 

No student may earn more than 30% of their total graduate credits through the assessment of prior learning. In addition, the combined total of transfer credit and assessment of prior learning may not exceed 30% of the total minimum credits required for the program. As such, Master’s programs at Indiana State University will accept credits for transfer and/or prior learning that have been approved by the department and student’s academic home college for a maximum of nine credits for programs less than 40 credits, 12 credits for programs that require 40-49 credits, and 15 credits for programs that require more than 49 credits. Departments with specialized programs may seek an exception to this policy by petitioning the Graduate Council. All associated testing fees, protocols, and related policies for the assessments are determined by the University Testing Office and approved by the University Board of Trustees. All students earning credit are additionally required to pay the standard credit by exam fee per hour earned as determined by the University Board of Trustees. All program proposals for a credit-bearing assessment of prior learning are to be approved by the Graduate Council.