Jul 25, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Bulletin 
2014-2015 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Academic Policies and Guidelines

Credit Load

The maximum load per semester for full-time students who are not graduate assistants (GAs), teaching assistants (TAs), or research assistants (GRAs) is 15 hours of combined credit earned in graduate course work and research. GAs, TAs, and GRAs are limited to 12 hours in fall and spring semesters.  Summer (i.e., from the end of Maymester to the beginning of the following fall semester) TAs involved in assistantships must teach two courses.  The minimum number of graduate credits that may be taken by a GA, TA, or GRA is eight hours in fall and spring semesters, unless otherwise approved by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Fully employed students, such as 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


Graduate Hours1
Time Status Fall or Spring Summer  
Full-Time (F)
Three-quarter (T)
Half-time (H)
Less than Half-time (L)
Maximum Load 153   122  

Graduate students enrolled in undergraduate credits also may  refer to credit load in the Undergraduate Bulletin

2 Applies to APSU Center at Fort Campbell terms and Main Campus Summer Term.

3With prior approval, graduate assistants are limited to 12 graduate credit hours during the fall and spring semesters.  Approval is also required to request enrollment in 15 graduate credit hours from the academic department chair and the dean of graduate studies before the beginning of the semester of the overload request.  The approval form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.  The Overload Request Form can be located on the Registrar’s forms website at www.apsu.edu/registrar/forms.

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 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 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.

Inclement Weather

Austin Peay State University offices may remain open during periods of inclement weather. To be notified if classes are cancelled or 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 students 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.

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 in schedules, students must use AP One Stop or submit required forms. This process must be completed within the required timeframe for adding or dropping a course as stated in the University Calendar.

Undergraduates Registering in Graduate Courses

Undergraduates interested in registering in graduate courses must apply for admissions to the College of Graduate Studies and must meet minimum requirements as listed in the GRADUATE BULLETIN here.

Course Repeats

A student who receives a grade of “D” or “F” in a course in his/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 receives 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 who 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 s/he 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/cogs/.

Dropping Courses

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, cancelled by administrative authority, or is permanently excluded 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 appear in the official University calendar.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 is passing at the time of withdrawal.
  3. A grade of “F” or “FA” is awarded during the mandatory “F” period. Very limited exceptions are made and require that the student present to the Dean of College of Graduate Studies documenting acceptable reasons that establish the existence of extenuating circumstances. The dean’s decision is communicated to the instructor.

Withdrawal from the University

Official withdrawal requires that all courses be dropped online through OneStop and be based on the published schedule for fee adjustments included 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.

Grading System

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:

    Quality Points  
    Per Semester  
Grade Interpretation Hours of Credit  
A Excellent 4  
AU* Audit -  
B Satisfactory 3  
C Unsatisfactory 2  
D Unsatisfactory 0  
F Unsatisfactory 0  
FA Failure, Stopped Attendance
(Unofficial Withdrawal)
FN Failure, never attended 0  
P* Pass, on Pass-Fail -  
XF* Fail, on Pass-Fail -  
I* Incomplete -  
IP* In Progress -  
W* Withdrew -  
*NR Not Recorded -  
*Not calculated in GPA  

Graduation Grade Requirements

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 in the field of study in which they are earning their graduate degree. However, all grades earned as a graduate student will be used to calculate their 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.” 

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grade-point average (GPA) is determined by dividing total quality points earned by total hours attempted.

Pass-Fail Grading

Students taking the practicum experience in psychology or counseling have the option of taking the course on a pass-fail basis. To exercise this option, the student must return the completed Pass-Fail Card, with all appropriate signatures, the first week of the semester to the Office of the Registrar. Students taking the practicum experience in education take it on a pass-fail basis.

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) s/he is 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.  Students must adhered to the Academic Suspension 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.”

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 RODP courses.  The RODP Curriculum Committee has mandated that RODP graduate courses will not offer the option to audit 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 instructor gives consent to enroll, space is available, and students satisfy any necessary prerequisites.

Regular class attendance is expected of an auditor. Auditors are not required to take examinations and do not receive a regular letter grade. 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 discussion, 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” students may not change their enrollment status in a course from credit to audit or from audit to credit.

Incomplete Grades

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 a “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 their 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 has agreed to accept English usage as a University-wide responsibility. Deficiencies in the use of English will be taken into consideration in assigning course grades, and students who fall below acceptable standards may make low grades or fail.

Grade Reporting

Students may obtain their grades through AP One Stop after each semester/term. Grade reports are not mailed to students.

Grade Appeal

Students may appeal final course grades entered in the fall semester no later than 30 calendar days after the start of the spring semester.  The informal discussion with the instructor and chair/director must be the first step toward resolution.  Student may appeal final course grades entered in the spring, Maymester, and summer semesters no later than 30 calendar days after the start of the 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/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 on 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:

Good Standing
Academic Probation
Academic Suspension
Academic Dismissal

Students who fail to meet prescribed academic standards are subject to disciplinary action. Official notification of academic probation, academic suspension and 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/she is placed on probation. When established standards are met, probationary status is removed. Deficient academic performance will result in a one semester suspension, after which a student is eligible to appeal for readmission.  More than two suspensions result in dismissal from the College of Graduate Studies.

Good Standing

Students are in good standing as long as their 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 students’ cumulative falls below a 3.0 GPA, s/he is placed on probation.  Every semester thereafter, the student must have at least a term grade report of a 3.5 GPA; if not, the student will be suspended.  If the student maintains a 3.5 GPA per semester after first falling below a 3.0 GPA, the students’ academic status displays “Good Standing” when a cumulative 3.0 GPA is reached.  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, s/he will be placed on academic probation.  If the student receives another “W,” academic suspension will be invoked.  

Academic Suspension Procedures

Students on academic probation whose GPA falls below 3.5 and/or students 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 suspension.  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.

Readmission After Academic Suspension. After an absence of at least one semester, suspended students 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/cogs/.  This form must be submitted along with a written explanation of circumstances relative to the suspension.  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 to return for the Appeals Sub-committee consideration.  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 office will present the complete Appeals packet to the students’ graduate program department chair for their recommendation. The Graduate office presents the entire appeals packet to the Appeals Sub-committee of the Graduate and Research Council for its review and final action.  Student will be notified via campus email address (or other email address if student does not have a campus email account). Decisions of the Appeals Sub-committee regarding readmission are final and may not be appealed. 

Upon a second suspension, the student will be suspended from the College of Graduate Studies for a minimum of one calendar year. Students seeking readmission must follow the same procedure specified herein.  If after the second suspension, the student is denied readmission from the College of Graduate Studies Appeals Sub-committee, that decision is final, and the student is suspended from the University.

Graduate Care Policy

Persons seeking admission to the College of Graduate Studies who have not taken graduate courses for at least six years and who have grades of “D” or “F” in previous graduate courses may appeal to the graduate dean for consideration within the CARE (Credentials Analysis and Re- Evaluation) Policy. Appeals will be granted only in cases where special circumstances exist. Courses and grades will remain on the student’s transcript but all semester grades and hours earned will neither be calculated into the GPA nor counted as credit toward a graduate degree. Only one semester of graduate course work may be removed from the GPA calculation and all credit earned during that semester will be lost.  The Graduate Care Policy Application can be located on the Graduate office website at http://www.apsu.edu/cogs.

Student Due Process

Students have the right to due process. If a student believes his/her rights have been violated, he/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 and Research Council that are substantive in nature, are not subject to appeal at the level of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.