Apr 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

Academic Information



Transfer Credits

(Please see individual department information for program-specific considerations.)

A maximum of six credits toward a master’s degree or 9-18 credits of post-master’s graduate work for terminal degrees, completed at another U.S. regionally accredited university or college may be applied toward the requirements for the program specific degree. Acceptance into a graduate program is necessary before credits can be considered for transfer to the program of study. Students seeking to transfer courses from another institution may be requested to produce a course syllabus and coursework so that a final determination can be made. Academic officers who are agents of Wilkes University may review the syllabus to determine if the course contains graduate-level learning objectives, a sufficient number of contact hours (40-45 for a three-credit course), and an appropriate content outline containing assessments and assignments that clearly delineate student performance.

Wilkes University does not transfer credits for 1) courses titled as workshops; 2) other courses that are determined not to meet academically rigorous standards; 3) courses that do not align with the goals and objectives of existing Wilkes University courses; or 4) courses taken as Pass-Fail, unless the “Pass” can be substantiated by the former institution as being equivalent to a grade of B (3.0) or better.

A transfer credit form must be submitted and an official transcript provided in order for credits to be transferred. Approval for any transferred credits toward a degree program must be granted by the respective program. Transferred academic work must have been completed within six years prior to the date of admission to the graduate program at Wilkes University with a grade of B (3.0) or better. Grades earned in transferred courses are not included in the computation of the cumulative grade point average at the University.

Current Wilkes graduate students who seek to take a graduate course at another accredited university or college, in order to transfer the credits into their respective program at the University, must complete a “Pre-Approval Form” prior to registering for the course.All completed forms for transfer of credits should be submitted to the respective department. An official transcript must be requested from the other institution as soon as it is available and should be sent to the Student Services Office.

A student cannot be approved for graduation until all transfer credits are approved by the respective program, an official transcript has been received at Wilkes University from the institution granting the credit, and the approved transfer credits are posted to the Wilkes University transcript. All paperwork must be received prior to each semester’s Wilkes graduation clearance deadline.

Appeal of Grade Policy

Communication necessary in the appeal process may be in person for on-campus students or via digital or video-conferencing technology for off-campus students.

Grades themselves are not generally grievable. More often students challenge grades based on a deviation from course policy or grading practices outlined in the course syllabus. Students who have a clear and justifiable grievance with reference to a grade should first seek resolution with the instructor and subsequently with the Department Chairperson/Director. It is expected that they will consult with the faculty member in an effort to resolve the dispute. The Chairperson/Director may also exercise the option to involve others in the discussions with the faculty member.

If satisfaction cannot be obtained, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of the respective college or school. The appeal must be made by the end of the fourth week of the ensuing fall or spring semester. The Dean will consult with the Department Chairperson/Director and will establish an Appeal Committee of three faculty members - at least two of whom shall be from the department of the faculty member concerned, if possible. A Committee Chairperson will be appointed by the Dean. The Committee Chairperson will notify the faculty member of the appeal and the composition of the Committee.

The Appeal Committee will review the student’s complaint, interview the faculty member, and study the evidence presented by both parties. If necessary, the Committee may interview the student, other students or faculty in its efforts to determine the facts.

The Committee will make a report to the Dean in which it reviews the issues and recommends a solution. In most cases this will be a recommendation to uphold the grade awarded by the instructor or to alter the grade that the student received. In some cases recommendation may be to present the student with other alternatives such as the completion of additional work before a final grade is determined.

The Dean, after consultation with the Provost, will inform the faculty member and the student of the recommendations of the Appeal Committee and will take the steps that are necessary to implement the recommendations.

Auditing

A person desiring to audit a course does not need to meet normal admission requirements, but must obtain approval to audit from the course professor and indicate “audit” on the registration form. Auditors must file the appropriate Application and pay the non-refundable application fee. The student receives no credit for courses taken as an auditor

A student enrolled in a course may apply to become an auditor by contacting the Graduate Admissions office, and must obtain approvals from the course professor. This change of status must be completed before the end of the second week of the class.

Challenge Examinations

Students who desire to remove undergraduate deficiencies may do so by formal course work or by challenge examination. Challenge examinations may not be used to earn credits toward the graduate degree. Arrangements are made by the student directly with the respective Graduate Program head.

Course Numbering

Courses are designated by three-digit numbers. The first digit denotes the level of the course as follows:

  • 400-499 Courses for graduate students and advanced undergraduates
  • 500-599 Courses for graduate students only (except with special permission)
  • 600-699 Courses for doctoral and M.F.A. students only (except with special permission)

Degree Requirements

Students may be awarded the master’s degree upon satisfactory completion of all graduate degree requirements and the following specific requirements:

  1. A completed file (application, application fee, official transcripts, copy of teaching certificate, letters of recommendation, any required testing, and any other individual program requirements for admission).
  2. Regular admission into a graduate program;
  3. Satisfactory completion of all requirements for the degree to be completed within six calendar years following admission into the program of study. A student may request an extension to complete the degree beyond the six year limit. That request should be submitted in writing to the program director/department chair no later than the semester before the six year limit.The respective college or school Dean will review the request and consult with appropriate parties (graduate program director,chairperson, or advisor) and will notify the student and the appropriate administrative offices of the final decision.  In instances where a mutually agreed-upon decision cannot be made, the Dean may exercise the option to involve the Graduate Studies Committee in the discussion.  In instances where a mutually agreed-upon decision cannot be made, the Dean may exercise the option to involve the graduate Studies Committee in the discussion.  The Graduate Studies Committee will review the information presented and make a recommendation to the Dean and other parties involved.
  4. A minimum average of 3.0 for all graduate work (see Grade Regulations);
  5.  If a thesis is required, the candidate should:
    1. Be accepted by a thesis advisor and an Advisory Committee before completion of nine hours of graduate study;
    2. Submit an acceptable thesis in the required format and quantity of copies no later than three weeks prior to the commencement at which the degree is to be conferred;
    3. Arrange for publication of the thesis. (see Thesis Policy);

Specific requirements for graduate degrees will be found within each of the degree programs described in the following sections.

Students CANNOT substitute other courses for any of the required core courses in any program without the express written consent of the program.

General Notes On Academic Standing and Dismissal

NOTE BEFORE READING THIS SECTION:
There may be more stringent programmatic requirements regarding this policy. Students should be sure to review the appropriate section of this bulletin pertaining to their respective program.

In order for a student to maintain good academic standing in graduate programs, the student must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher at and after the point of completing 9 credits in his/her respective program. The 9 credit probationary allowance provides a student the opportunity to demonstrate his/her academic ability. After completing 9 credits, a graduate student whose GPA drops below a3.0 will be dismissed from his/her respective program. Students who are dismissed may retake a course or courses as a non-degree student, which provides for the opportunity to replace one or more of their deficient grades. If the student is successful in moving his/her GPA above the 3.0 level, he/she may re-apply for acceptance into his/her program.

Only courses with grades below a 3.0 may be taken for grade replacement. If a student elects to take a course for grade replacement, the higher grade earned will be counted in the calculation of the GPA. For example, if a student earns a 2.0 and replaces the grade and earns a 2.5, the higher grade (2.5) would be used in the GPA calculation. Courses may be repeated for grade replacement only one time. Note: Students must also meet all degree requirements in addition to maintaining an acceptable GPA.

Individual programs/departments may have more stringent academic progression requirements than those prescribed by the general policies. Students are urged to review program-specific academic progression requirements that may be described in the section of this bulletin pertaining to their respective program.

A student who is dismissed from the graduate program may request a review of the case by the Graduate Studies Committee . The request should be submitted in written form to the Dean of the appropriate college or school, who will coordinate with the Graduate Studies Committee.

Grading

Numerical grades are given for graduate work. Letter grade equivalents appear in the conversion table below:
4.0 = A Academic achievement of superior quality
3.5 = B+ Academic achievement of good quality
3.0 = B Academic achievement of acceptable quality in meeting graduation requirements
2.5 = C+ Academic achievement of adequate quality but below the average required for graduation
2.0 = C Academic achievement below the average required for graduation
0.0 = F Failure. No graduate course credit
A grade of “X” indicates assigned work yet to be completed in a given course. Except in thesis work, grades of “X” will be given only in exceptional circumstances. Grades of “X” must be removed through satisfactory completion of all course work no later than four weeks after the end of the final examination period of the semester in which the “X” grade was recorded. Failure to complete required work within this time period will result in the conversion of the grade to 0. An extension of the time allowed for the completion of work must be endorsed by the instructor in the form of a written statement and submitted to the Registrar. There may be financial aid implications with a grade of “X” and with the conversion of the “X” to a 0.

Master’s Thesis Policy

  1. Upon approval of the thesis topic, the student and the advisor will identify the objectives, develop a timetable, and plan the distribution of credits in that timetable. This written plan will be placed in the student’s files in the department office.
  2. The student shall be continuously registered for a minimum of one thesis credit up to and including the semester that he/she defends the thesis and submits the final copies of the thesis.
  3. The thesis objectives should be completed within the allocated number of credits and within the timetable developed. Thesis requirements vary from program to program. Students should consult with their thesis advisor and understand all thesis requirements for their individual program.
  4. Students registered for thesis credits will be awarded a grade reflecting the level and the quality of work conducted for that semester. Incomplete and audit designations are explicitly excluded as thesis grades.
  5. The satisfactory completion of the thesis is indicated by passing the oral examination and obtaining the necessary approvals from the Thesis advisor, the thesis committee (if required), the Department Chairperson/program director, and the Dean of the respective college or school.
  6. Student appeals to any provisions in this policy shall be to the Thesis Advisor, the Department, and finally to the Graduate Studies Committee.

Subsequently the accepted theses and dissertations will be archived, either in bound or in digital format. See the individual program requirements and fees for binding. For thesis binding fees, see section on Fees and Expenses

Regulations for Withdrawal

A student may withdraw from a course during the first week of the semester by informing the instructor, completing a withdrawal form that is co-signed by the student and the student’s advisor, and submitting the signed form to the program and the Registrar’s Office within the first week of the semester. For withdrawal after the first week, see program specific processes for withdrawal. A student may withdraw from a course only for serious circumstances, as determined by the Department Chairperson or the Director/Coordinator of the appropriate graduate program in consultation with the instructor. A mark of “W” indicates an authorized withdrawal from the course. Students are advised that withdrawing from a course(s) may have financial implications; see sections on “Refunds” and “Withdrawal-Return of Financial Aid Funds” in this bulletin for more information.

It is the student’s responsibility to initiate withdrawal from a course by obtaining the withdrawal form from the Registrar’s Office, having it signed by the appropriate personnel, and returning it to the Registrar’s Office within within the tenth-week period. A grade of”0” is assigned by the instructor and recorded for all courses in which no official withdrawal, as specified above, has been completed by the student.

“W” is not a grade; it does not constitute a reflection of academic performance within a course. The appropriate grade for academic performance below the minimum standard for course credit is “0.”

A “W” granted after the first week of the semester reflects a decision on the part of the student, after consultation with the instructor and advisor, not to be enrolled in a course. A “W” granted after the tenth week of the course constitutes recognition and agreement by the student, instructor, and advisor, that, due to some extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control, enrollment in that course is not possible or feasible.

Regulations on Thesis Research

Each graduate student shall select a major advisor under whose direction he/she wishes to pursue thesis research, if a thesis is required. Following acceptance of the candidate, the advisor will ensure that a committee, if required, is appointed. Students should refer to the program specific requirements on thesis, dissertation or scholarly projects.

Student Conduct

Graduate students are obligated to observe the regulations governing all Wilkes University students relative to:

  1. Academic honesty and integrity;
  2. Respect for the rights of others relative to their safety, welfare and educational commitments;
  3. The safety and security of the entire community.

Any disciplinary cases arising from a lack of observance of these regulations will be adjudicated by the Dean of the appropriate college or school and the Office of Student Affairs. Appeals from the decisions of this Committee may be made in written form to the Provost.

Please refer to your academic program or department for policies regarding student conduct and additional grievance procedures.

Anti-hazing Policy

Wilkes University defines hazing as “any action or situation created on or off-campus which recklessly or intentionally harms, damages, or endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purposes of, including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating within the University.”

Examples of hazing includes, but are not limited to:

  • Any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced or coerced calisthenics, or exposure to the elements;
  • Brutality of a mental, emotional or sexual nature;
  • Forced or coerced consumption of any food, alcohol, drug or other substance;
  • Requiring the carrying of items such as rocks, bricks, pumpkins, etc.
  • Compelling individuals to engage in sexual behaviors, sexual or racial harassment or slurs, or exhibitionism;
  • Sleep deprivation;
  • Excluding an individual from social contact for prolonged periods of time;
  • Forced or coerced conduct which is illegal, indecent, obscene, or could result in extreme embarrassment;
  • Any other forced or coerced activity which could adversely affect the physical health, safety, mental health, or dignity of an individual or group;
  • Any other conduct prohibited as hazing under applicable State or Federal law.

This policy applies to all University organizations, groups, and individuals and is equally applicable on and off campus. Organizations are defined as: “A fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, club, team, social or similar group, whose members are primarily students or alumni of the organization, or the University.”

Any alleged act of hazing brought to the attention of University officials will be fully investigated and those individuals and/or groups accused will be brought before the University’s Student Affairs Council for adjudication.

Examples of sanctions that may be imposed upon individual students are:

  • Disciplinary suspension or dismissal;
  • Disciplinary probation;
  • Attendance at educational programs or other training;
  • Restitution; and/or
  • Participation in alcohol, drug, or other counseling services

Examples of sanctions that may be imposed upon organizations that knowingly permit, authorize, or condone hazing are:

  • Revocation or suspension of the organization’s existence or recognition;
  • Cancellation of some or all the organization’s activities or events; and/or
  • Decrease in, or restriction of, the organization’s privileges.

Graduate Disciplinary Process Flowchart

  • Incident/Alleged policy violation takes place.
  • Report submitted to Student Affairs for investigation.
  • No policy violation or suspect found. End of process.
  • Investigation finds policy violation and alleged suspect.
  • Conference held with alleged violator
  • Charges and sanctions agreed upon by Assoc. Dean of Student Affairs (or designee for off-campus locations) and alleged violator. End of process.
  • Assoc. Dean of Student Affairs (or designee for off-campus locations) and alleged violator do not agree upon charges and sanctions.
  • Process is determined
  • Administrative hearing held by the Assoc. Dean of Student Affairs (or designee for off-campus locations), if the policy violation does not appear to warrant dismissal or suspension from the University.
  • Graduate Studies Committee, if the policy violation could result in dismissal or suspension from the University.
  • Decision is made regarding the violation/sanction.
  • Student is determined not to be in violation of a University policy. End of process.
  • Student is found guilty of violation and accepts the sanction imposed. End of process.
  • Student is found guilty of violation and does not accept sanctions.
  • Student requests an appeal of the decision through the Office of the Provost
  • The appeal is denied. The process ends.
  • The appeal request is approved.
  • The Office of the Provost reviews the case.
  • The original decision is upheld. End of Process.
  • It is discovered that there was :
    • Procedural error;
    • New evidence;
    • Inappropriate sanction.
  • The case returns to the original Graduate Studies Committee group or another group, as determined by the Dean of the respective school or college, based on findings.

Grievance Policy/Internal Complaint Procedure

The purpose of this policy is to serve as a guide for students who wish to file a complaint about any aspect of Wilkes University’s operations/policies/procedures or about the actions of any student, visitor, or employee of Wilkes University. This policy is to be implemented only when dealing with circumstances not covered by existing academic or student conduct procedures.

Procedures and Guidelines

  1. Complaints, other than those being filed against persons, should be directed, in writing, to the appropriate Administrator (Director/Dean)/Department Chair/Faculty Member). It is the responsibility of that person to address the situation and, if possible, see that it is corrected. This must be done within a reasonable amount of time which will of course, depend upon what must be done to rectify the situation. The Administrator (Director/Dean)/Department Chair/Faculty Member should inform the student in writing of the measures that were taken or are being taken to address the issue. If a student does not receive a response from the Administrator, Department Chair, Faculty Member within two weeks from the date of originally filing the complaint, the student may then bring the complaint to the appropriate Vice President or the Provost.
  2. Complaints being filed against a person, should be directed, in writing, to that person’s immediate supervisor. If it is an anti-harassment complaint (including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct) the procedures, outlined in the Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy should be followed. Information regarding these procedures can be found at: wilkes.edu/titleix. If the complaint is not one of anti-harassment, then it is the responsibility of the supervisor to address the issue with the respondent. The supervisor must inform the student, in writing, of the measures that were taken or are being taken to address the issue. If the student does not receive a response from the supervisor within two weeks from the date of originally filing the complaint, the student may then bring the complaint to the appropriate Vice President or Provost.
  3. In all instances of a student filing a complaint, the student must be assured in writing that no adverse action will be taken against the student for filing a complaint.
  4. All documentation regarding a complaint, as well as its disposition, must be securely stored in the office of the person who received the complaint and acted upon it. These records must be maintained for a period of six (6) years from the date final action was taken on said complaint.
  5. If a student feels that a response to a complaint is unacceptable and/or unreasonable, the student may bring the complaint to the immediate supervisor of the person who initially acted in response to the matter. If a student does not receive a response from that supervisor within two weeks from the date of originally filing the complaint with that person, the student may then bring the complaint to the appropriate Vice President or Provost.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

Wilkes University, in full compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), shall make educational records available to students upon request. Likewise, in accordance with the law, individually identifiable educational records will not be released to other than authorized individuals without written consent of the student.

Wilkes University has established a policy on access to and release of student information for compliance with provisions of this Act. This policy is published on the Office of the Registrar/Recorder page of the web site at www.wilkes.edu.

Transcripts

Transcripts are provided by the Registrar’s Office (1-800-WILKESU). They are issued only upon request by the student in either written or electronic form. The electronic request form is available via the Wilkes portal under the Student tab (Student Services-Registrar-Transcripts).

A student requesting a transcript in person at the Registrar’s Office, located at Capin Hall, 1st floor must present valid photo identification.

Transcripts given directly or mailed to students do not carry the University seal and are not official. The seal is attached only when the transcript is mailed directly from the University to another academic institution or authorized agency.

A transcript of work completed at any college or university other than Wilkes University must be obtained directly from that institution.

Accreditation

Wilkes University is an accredited member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and its graduate and professional programs are approved by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition to total program accreditation, certain special areas are recognized by professional organizations. The Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the graduate programs leading to the Master of Science Degree in Nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) has granted full accreditation to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) program.

The baccalaureate degree in nursing/master’s degree in nursing/Doctor of Nursing Practice/, and post graduate APRN certificate programs at Wilkes University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org).

NOTE: When programs must meet curricular requirements set by external agencies, such as accrediting associations, curricular changes may be made without prior notice, and students will be required to conform to such changes when they become effective.