Accelerated Master’s Pathways
For highly motivated students, APSU offers Accelerated Master’s Pathways, enabling students to enroll in graduate courses while completing their undergraduate degree requirements. A qualified student (see below) may enroll in no more than twelve (12) graduate-level credit hours while completing an undergraduate degree. The graduate credits will replace relevant undergraduate course requirements for the undergraduate degree. In many cases, the graduate credits earned will also count toward the graduation requirements for a graduate degree. Typically, the student’s undergraduate major and the graduate courses are within the same department or discipline. Student qualifications to pursue an Accelerated Master’s Pathway are determined by each academic department. In general, participating students should be considered exceptional academic performers (>3.5 GPA) with consistent histories of academic excellence.
General Student Qualifications
In general, qualified students have earned a GPA of 3.5 or higher within their majors. Only first-attempted class grades count toward this metric (repeated courses do not count). Additionally, a qualifying student must have completed at least 90 credit hours. Approval from the Department Chair and/or Graduate Coordinator is required for the student to be permitted into graduate classes. A student participating in an Accelerated Master’s Pathway does not apply for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and is not considered a graduate student. However, once he or she graduates with a bachelor’s degree or receives approval confirmation for graduation from APSU’s Office of the Registrar, he or she may apply for graduate admission following the normal process set by the College of Graduate Studies and the selected graduate program.
The following are general regulations that apply to students participating in the Accelerated Master’s Pathways:
- Only grades earned in undergraduate courses will be used to determine academic good-standing and academic honors.
- Grades earned in graduate courses will count toward the graduate GPA and will not be used in determining the undergraduate GPA.
- Graduate courses will count toward the 39 credit upper division requirement for undergraduate graduation.
- Permission into the Accelerated Master’s Pathway does not guarantee admission into a graduate program. Participating students must apply to selected programs and gain admission using the normal admission process. Graduate Admissions personnel and/or admission committees may wish to waive entrance exam requirements, such as the GRE and GMAT, for exceptional candidates.
Accelerated Master’s Pathways Application
Accelerated Master’s Pathways are intended for high achieving students seeking to transition into graduate programs immediately upon completion of their undergraduate degrees. While in this pathway, a student will enroll in graduate level courses used to replace undergraduate classes, as selected by the advisor. Please be aware of the following:
- Completion of an Accelerated Master’s Pathway does not guarantee admission into a graduate program.
- Earning a “C” in a graduate course while in the Accelerated Master’s Pathway will allow for undergradute graduation. However, all graduate course credits will be used to determine good standing at the graduate level, and the minimum graduate level GPA for good standing in a graduate program is a 3.0.
Graduate College Honors Regulation
Graduate honors will be determined by a minimum GPA of 3.85 within a graduate program; grades earned outside of the graduate program will be excluded. It is the responsibility of the graduating student to be aware of any grades earned outside of the graduate program and to take steps to have those grades removed from the GPA calculation used to determine honors status.
Protocol for removing outside graduate credits from GPA calculations
The student should discuss outside graduate credit(s) with the program Graduate Coordinator or Department Chair. The Graduate Coordinator or Department Chair will notify the Office of the Registrar, by email, to take steps to calculate the GPA using only thos credits earned within the program of study for the determination of awarding honors status upon graduation.
The maximum load per semester for full-time students who are not graduate administrative assistants (GAAs), graduate teaching assistants (GTAs), or graduate research assistants (GRAs) is sixteen (16) hours of combined credit earned in graduate course work and research. GAAs, GTAs, and GRAs are limited to ten (10) hours in the fall and spring semesters. The minimum number of graduate credits that may be taken by a GAA, GTA, or GRA is six (6) hours in fall and spring semesters. Approval from the Graduate Coordinator and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies is required for GAAs, GTAs, and GRAs to take more than ten(10) hours or less than six(6) hours in the fall and spring semesters. The Graduate Assistant Request to Add/Reduce Course Hours form can be found at http://www.apsu.edu/grad-studies/graduate-assistantships-financial-support/graduate-assistant-forms.php.
In-service teachers will be limited to a maximum of six hours per semester. The Tennessee State Board of Education’s rules limiting in-service teacher’s registration state:
“Training acceptable for licensure and for salary ratings shall be limited to six hours during any one semester of the school year. However, teachers wishing to exceed six hours of work may do so provided prior approval of the local board of education is granted before the teacher enrolls in classes offered by institutions of higher learning.”
Time Status Classification and Maximum Load
||Fall or Spring
Less than Half-time (L)
1Graduate students enrolled in undergraduate courses also may refer to credit load in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
2This applies to the AP Center at Fort Campbell terms and Clarksville Campus Summer Term.
3Graduate assistants are limited to ten (10) graduate credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. To take additional hours, a graduate assistant must request approval from the Department Chair or Graduate Coordinator and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies by submitting a Graduate Assistant Request to Add/Reduce Course Hours form. This form can be found at http://www.apsu.edu/grad-studies/graduate-assistantships-financial-support/graduate-assistant-forms.php.
Course Offerings and Schedule of Classes
Courses offered during the fall and spring semesters and summer terms, together with the time and place of class meetings and official calendar, are available online at http://www.apsu.edu/registrar/ under the SCHEDULE OF CLASSES link. The University reserves the right to cancel any course listed in the SCHEDULE OF CLASSES.
Prerequisites and Corequisites
It is the student’s responsibility to check for satisfactory completion of prerequisites and necessary corequisites as listed in the Graduate Bulletin. Students must have passed or be currently enrolled in the appropriate prerequisite(s) or meet specified conditions prior to registration. Corequisites are courses in which students must register concurrently.
Special Problem Courses
The maximum total of semester hour credits allowed for all types of problem courses is six (6).
Austin Peay State University offices may remain open during periods of inclement weather. To be notified if classes are cancelled or if the University is closed due to inclement weather, students should sign-up for AP Alert, the University’s text messaging system. Students may also check the home page of the APSU website for cancellation or closing notices. Unless the University officially cancels classes, students are responsible for any academic work missed as a result of inclement weather. It is the student’s responsibility to take the initiative in making up any missed work. In cases of severe inclement weather and hazardous roads, students are to exercise their own judgment in making decisions about class attendance.
More information about inclement weather procedures can be found at http://www.apsu.edu/alert/weather.aspx. To sign up for AP Alert, go to https://www.apsu.edu/feature/signup-ap-alert.
Course Registration, Course Repeats and Dropping, Withdrawal from the University
Students are responsible for the schedule of courses for which they register, unless they officially change it. To make an official change to a schedule, the student must use AP One Stop or submit the required forms. This process must be completed within the required time frame for adding or dropping courses as stated in the University Calendar.
Undergraduates Students Enrolling in Graduate Courses
With the exception of students participating in Accelerated Master’s Pathways, undergraduate students interested in enrolling in graduate courses must apply for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and must meet the minimum requirements listed in the Graduate Bulletin.
A student who receives a grade of “D” or “F” in a graduate course in his or her program of study must repeat that course. The repeated course grade will be averaged with the original grade earned and the Request to Repeat Graduate Course form is not required. (If a student receives a grade of “D” or “F” in a course outside his/her program of study, repeating the course is optional.) All attempts to repeat a course will be included in the cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) with the original grade of “D” or “F.”
To repeat a course in which a student received a grade of “A” or “B,” approval from the Provost is required. In this case, the student must complete a Request to Repeat Graduate Course form and submit it to the Provost for approval. Once approved, the Provost will forward it to the Office of the Registrar. The repeated grade earned will be averaged with the original grade of “A” or “B.” A student is not required to repeat a course in which a grade of “C” was earned; nevertheless, if he or she repeats that course, a Request to Repeat Graduate Course form submitted to the Provost is not necessary. The repeated course will be averaged with the original grade of “C.” The Request to Repeat Graduate Course form is located on the College of Graduate Studies website at http://www.apsu.edu/grad-studies/current-students/graduate-student-forms.php.
After a student has officially registered for a class, the student is considered to be a member of the class unless the student officially drops the class, withdraws from the University, or the course is cancelled. A course may also be dropped from a student’s schedule by administrative authority for reasons such as academic suspension, student violations, or decisions made by the Student Academic Grievance Committee. Discontinuing class attendance without officially dropping or withdrawing from the University will be an unofficial withdrawal, and the student will retain financial obligation. Failure to drop a class via AP One Stop will result in the grade of “F” or “FA.”
Reporting Grades for Courses Dropped
The grade awarded for a dropped course or for courses from which the student withdrew depends on the date the student withdrew from the course or from the University. The dates for awarding grades are shown in the official University calendar.
A grade of “W” is awarded when the student drops or withdraws within the time period the University has established for awarding an automatic “W.” Please refer to Course Withdrawal Limitations for graduate guidelines governing excessive “W’s.” The grade has no impact on the student’s cumulative GPA.
A grade of “F,” “FA” or “W” will be awarded if the student drops or withdraws between the automatic “W” date and the automatic “F” date. A grade of “W” will only be awarded if the instructor determines the student was passing at the time of withdrawal.
A grade of “F” or “FA” is awarded during the mandatory “F” period. Very limited exceptions are made and require that the student present documentation to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies establishing the existence of extenuating circumstances. The Dean’s decision is then communicated to the instructor.
Withdrawal from the University
Official withdrawal requires that all courses be dropped online through AP OneStop. Fee adjustments will be based on the published schedule for fee adjustments in the official University calendar. Withdrawal from the University may require repayment of financial aid. Students receiving financial aid should meet with a financial aid counselor prior to withdrawal.
At the end of each semester the student’s quality of work is graded by the instructor. The grades are indicated by letters, with a four-point system being used:
||Hours of Credit
||Failure, Stopped Attendance
||Failure, never attended
||Pass, on Pass-Fail
||Fail, on Pass-Fail
|*Not calculated in GPA
Grade Requirements for Graduation
Grades of “A,” “B,” and “C” carry the appropriate quantity and quality credits. No credit will be given for the grades of “D” or “F.” Students will not be awarded a graduate degree if they have received grades of “D” or “F” in any courses taken to satisfy requirements for the program of study in which they are earning their graduate degree. However, all grades earned as a graduate student will be used to calculate the overall GPA. All attempts to repeat a course will be included in the Grade Point Average (GPA) with the original grade of “D” or “F.” Please see the the Graduate Care Guidelines section below for exceptions.
The grade-point average (GPA) is determined by dividing total quality points earned by total hours attempted.
Students taking the practicum experience in Psychology or Counseling have the option of taking it on a pass-fail basis. To exercise this option, the student must return the completed Pass-Fail Card to the Office of the Registrar, with all appropriate signatures, during the first week of the semester. Students taking the practicum experience in Education take it on a pass-fail basis. The Pass-Fail card can be found at http://www.apsu.edu/registrar/forms/index.php.
Class Attendance, Grading and Course Withdrawal Limitations
Class attendance is a key attribute to academic success. Though the matter of class attendance is in the purview of the teaching faculty, the University requires faculty to routinely report students who have never attended class (“FN” – Failure, Never Attended) within 21 days of the first day of class. For those students who stop attending class and/or are no longer receiving instruction, a grade of “FA” (Failure, Stopped Attendance) should be reported. Faculty members will inform students of policies applicable to their classes through a syllabus distributed early in each semester/term. These punitive failing grades reported during the semester/term may affect the student’s time status, financial aid repayment, and/or veteran benefits.
Course Withdrawal Limitations
A student who earns four (4) Withdrawals (“W”s) will be placed on academic probation. If the student receives another “W” (≥ five (5) “W”s) he or she will be suspended for one academic semester. A student on academic suspension from the College of Graduate Studies may not be admitted to, or continue in, any graduate program at APSU for credit or grade point average calculation. Students must adhere to the Academic Suspension appeal process for re-admittance.
Absence from Announced Tests and Examinations
Students who are forced by circumstances beyond their control to be absent from announced tests and examinations should request approval from the instructor. At the discretion of the instructor, the student will receive the grade of “I,” “F” or “FA.”
University Excused Absences for Students
When students are scheduled to participate in an institutionally scheduled activity (for instance, athletic activity, band, or military event), class absences that fall during the sanctioned time (this time may include travel) shall be considered as excused absences. Although the students are excused from attending classes, they have the responsibility to check with their instructors to find out what work was missed. Instructors shall make reasonable arrangements for students to make up assignments, quizzes and tests missed during excused absences. These make-up activities shall be comparable to the missed assignments, quizzes, or tests and shall not be graded for reduced credit or treated as dropped grades.
The Athletic Director shall determine if a particular athletic-related activity qualifies as a university-excused absence. The Dean of Students shall determine if a particular student affairs-related activity qualifies as a university-excused absence. If a faculty member desires to have a class-related activity designated as a university-excused absence, prior approval must be obtained the department head. Additionally, department heads must request prior approval from the appropriate Dean. Once an activity has been granted excused status by an academic Dean, the Athletic Director, or the Dean of Students (as may be appropriate), the excused absence policy will take effect.
A student may request an exception to the policy, if he or she desires to have an activity approved as an excused absence. Any request of this type will be handled individually, on a case-by-case basis. This request must be submitted in writing, with appropriate documentation of the activity, date(s), and class schedule and will be reviewed by the Department Chair and Dean of the college in which the course is taught. If approved, the Dean will send a memo to the student and his or her instructors. If the activity will affect more than one course, the Deans of all the student’s affected courses will make a joint decision. Granting of such exception does not guarantee future approvals of such requests, as each request is considered on a case-by-case basis. If the request is denied at the college level, the student may submit a written appeal within five business days to the Associate Vice President (AVP) for Student Affairs and the Dean of Students. The AVP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students shall provide a response within five business days of receiving the written appeal. If the AVP of Student Affairs and Dean of Students determines there is no merit to the student’s appeal, then there is no further recourse for the student.
Auditing of Courses
An auditor is one who enrolls in a course without expecting to receive academic credit. The same registration procedure must be followed and the same fees are charged as for courses taken for credit. This guideline does not apply to TN e-Campus courses.
Audited courses cannot be used toward any degree. Audit hours will not be considered part of the minimum credits required for full-time enrollment but will be counted in determining overloads. Courses may be audited provided the instructor gives consent to enroll, space is available, and the student has satisfied any necessary prerequisites.
Regular class attendance is expected of an auditor. An auditor is not required to take examinations and does not receive regular letter grades. The student and the instructor should reach a precise agreement as to the extent and nature of the student’s participation in the course, including class discussions, assignments, projects, and readings. A successful audit will be recorded on the transcript with the designation AU. Audited courses may be repeated for credit.
After the published “Last Day to Add a Course” a student may not change enrollment status in a course from credit to audit or from audit to credit.
A temporary grade of “I” indicates that a student has performed satisfactorily in the course, but due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, was unable to complete the course requirements. It also indicates that the student has received consent from the instructor to complete the work for which an “I” has been assigned.
The “I” grade cannot be used to enable a student to do additional work to raise a deficient grade. The course will not be counted in the cumulative grade-point average until a final grade is assigned.
An “I” must be removed no later than one calendar year from the time the grade was initially assigned. Time extensions must be submitted and approved by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies before the time expires. An “I” not removed within the specified time will be converted to an “F,” except in courses involving thesis, field study reports, research project papers, and research literacy papers, as indicated with a grade of “IP.” A student cannot make up an “I” by registering and paying for the course again. No student may graduate with an “I” or “IP” on his or her academic record.
Proficiency in English and Grading
Students are expected to maintain satisfactory standards of oral and written English in all of their courses. The faculty of the University have agreed to accept English usage as a University-wide responsibility. Deficiencies in the use of English may be taken into consideration in assigning course grades, and students who fall below acceptable standards may make low grades or fail.
Students may obtain their grades through AP One Stop after each semester/term. Grade reports are not mailed to students.
Errors in grades must be reported to the instructor of the course immediately. No grade changes will be made for one calendar year after the grade was assigned without the approval of the college Dean and Provost.
Students may appeal final course grades entered in the fall semester no later than 30 calendar days after the start of the following spring semester. The informal discussion with the instructor and Department Chair or Director must be the first step toward resolution. Students may appeal final course grades entered for the spring, Maymester, and summer semesters no later than 30 calendar days after the start of the following fall semester. If the deadline date falls on a weekend or holiday, then the deadline shall be the next business day. The formal, written appeal to the Department Chair or Director must be filed by the 30-day deadline. Once a degree has been posted to the transcript, the academic record is deemed complete and changes will not be made to grades earned prior to the posted degree. Review the Academic Grievance Policy section in the STUDENT HANDBOOK for appeal procedures.
Academic Status and Graduate Appeal Processes
The academic status of a student is denoted by one of four conditions:
Students who fail to meet prescribed academic standards are subject to disciplinary action. Official notification of academic probation, academic suspension or academic dismissal is sent to students at the end of the fall and spring semesters, summer terms, or Fort Campbell terms.
At any time a student’s academic performance becomes deficient, he or she is placed on probation. When established standards are met, probationary status is removed. However, a second deficiency in academic performance will result in a one semester suspension, after which a student is eligible to appeal for readmission. Should a third deficiency in academic performance occur, then a full year suspension will be enforced, after which the student is eligible to appeal for readmission. Should more than two suspensions occur, the student will be dismissed from the graduate program and the College of Graduate Studies.
Students are in good standing as long as their overall cumulative grade point average is 3.0 or higher. Good standing indicates only that the student is meeting the minimum standard for retention.
Academic Probation: GPA and Maximum Allowable Withdrawals
When a graduate student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, he or she will be placed on academic probation. Every semester thereafter, the student must earn a minimum term/semester grade of 3.5, and the student will remain on academic probation until the cumulative GPA reaches 3.0 or better. When the student’s cumulative GPA has returned to a 3.0 or greater, the student’s academic status will return to “Good Standing”. If the student fails to earn a minimum term/semester grade of 3.5 while on probation, he or she will be suspended. No grades of “D” or “F” are allowed in a student’s program of study.
After a graduate student earns four (4) withdrawals “W”s, he or she will be placed on academic probation. If the student receives another “W,” academic suspension will result.
Academic Suspension Procedures
A student on academic probation whose semester GPA falls below a 3.5 and/or a student who earns five (5) or more “W”s will be suspended from the university. Students suspended for the first time may not enroll in the College of Graduate Studies for at least one semester following their suspensions. The University reserves the right to cancel a student’s registration with full fee adjustment should the student enroll prior to being notified of an academic suspension. A student on academic suspension from the College of Graduate Studies may not be admitted to, or continue in, any graduate program at APSU for credit or grade point average calculation. A student may not enroll in a program at another University during the suspension period and have that credit transferred.
Readmission After Academic Suspension: After an absence of at least one semester, a suspended student must request readmission by appealing to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The Graduate Academic Appeals form is located on the College of Graduate Studies website at http://www.apsu.edu/grad-studies/current-students/graduate-student-forms.php. To request readmission, this form must be submitted, along with a written explanation of circumstances relative to the suspension. The student may provide additional documents if needed. The graduate appeal form must be received in the Graduate office no later than 14 days before the beginning of the intended semester of return, to allow time for consideration by the Graduate Academic Appeals Committee. If the student’s graduate appeal is not received 14 days before the beginning of the semester, the appeal will be considered for the next upcoming semester. The Graduate Studies Office will present the complete appeals packet to the students’ graduate Program Coordinator or Department Chair for a recommendation. The Graduate Studies Office then presents the appeal packet and departmental recommendation to the Graduate Academic Appeals Committee, a sub-committee of the Graduate Academic Council, for its review and a final decision. The student will be notified via his or her campus email address (or other email address if student does not have a campus email account). Decisions of the Graduate Academic Appeals Committee regarding readmission are final and may not be appealed.
Readmission After Second Academic Suspension: If suspended a second time, the student may not enroll in the College of Graduate Studies for a minimum of one calendar year. Students seeking readmission must follow the same procedure specified herein. After a second suspension, if the student is denied readmission to the College of Graduate Studies by the Graduate Academic Appeals Committe, that decision is final, and the student is suspended from the University.
Graduate Care and Fresh Start Guidelines
Persons seeking re-admission to the College of Graduate Studies who have not taken graduate courses for at least six years and who have received grades of “C”, “D” or “F” in previous graduate courses may appeal to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies for consideration within the CARE (Credentials Analysis and Re-Evaluation) guidelines. Appeals will be granted only in cases where special circumstances exist. Requested courses and grades will remain on the student’s transcript; however, the courses considered under this guideline will neither be calculated into the GPA nor counted as credit toward a graduate degree. Up to fifteen (15) hours of graduate course work may be removed from the GPA calculation; these may be earned in in multiple semesters.
The purpose of Graduate Fresh Start is to allow a graduate student to progress toward degree completion while meeting all the educational requirements of a particular graduate program. Graduate Fresh Start allows the student to petition his or her Graduate Coordinator and/or Department Chair to exclude prior graduate credits from other graduate programs; these other programs may not be concentrations within the same degree. Excluded courses will neither be calculated into the GPA nor counted as credit toward a graduate degree.
Please review the following regulations for using Graduate Fresh Start:
- Once these changes are processed, the outcomes are final and immutable.
- Graduate Fresh Start cannot be used to remove credits from conferred degrees.
- Graduate academic transcripts will reflect all graduate coursework, credit received, and grades earned.
- Federal guidelines that govern satisfactory progress toward a degree, as it relates to financial aid, will be enforced for all graduate credit earned. It is the student’s responsibility to understand the regulations regarding financial aid and to seek appropriate input from the Office of Financial Aid.
Applications for Graduate Care and Graduate Fresh Start can be found on the Graduate office website at http://www.apsu.edu/grad-studies/current-students/graduate-student-forms.php.
Student Due Process
Students have the right to due process. If a student believes his or her rights have been violated, he or she may appeal that perceived violation to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Judgments at this level will be made only in relationship to procedural matters. All decisions made by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies or the Graduate Academic Council that are substantive in nature, are not subject to appeal at the level of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.