Jul 14, 2024  
2022-23 Graduate Catalog 
2022-23 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures

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Academic Advising

All incoming students should contact their program directors before registering for their first semester of classes. This will ensure that students are enrolling in the correct courses and help them to understand their degree requirements and the audit of these in Degree Works. Courses must be accurately applied to degree requirements in Degree Works in order to qualify for financial aid, veterans benefits, and other programs.

Academic and Classroom Misconduct

  1. The instructor has the primary responsibility for maintenance of academic integrity and controlling classroom behavior and can order the temporary removal or exclusion from the classroom of any student engaged in disruptive conduct or conduct that violates the general rules and regulations of the institution for each class session during which the conduct occurs. Extended or permanent exclusion from the classroom, beyond the session in which the conduct occurred, or further disciplinary action can be implemented only through appropriate procedures of the institution. If an instructor wishes to remove a student from the classroom for a longer period of time or permanently, she/he must refer the student to the Office of Student Conduct.
  2. Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited. Students who are suspected of academic misconduct will be referred to the director of Academic Integrity. The academic misconduct process is described in MTSU Policy 312 Academic Misconduct. Courses may not be dropped pending the final resolution of an allegation of academic misconduct.
  3. Students who accept responsibility for or are found responsible of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly, through participation or assistance, will be assigned appropriate sanctions either by the director of Academic Integrity or by the Academic Misconduct Committee. In these instances, the faculty member has the authority to assign an appropriate grade for the exercise or examination, or to assign an “F” in the course, as is proportional to the nature and extent of academic misconduct. When assigning a grade based on academic misconduct, the faculty member shall ensure that the student is made aware of his/her appeal rights.
  4. Disruptive behavior in the classroom may be defined as, but not limited to, behavior that obstructs or disrupts the learning environment (e.g., offensive language, harassment of students and professors, repeated outbursts from a student which disrupt the flow of instruction or prevent concentration on the subject taught, failure to cooperate in maintaining classroom decorum, etc.), text messaging, and the continued use of any electronic or other noise or light emitting device which disturbs others (e.g., disturbing noises from beepers, cell phones, palm pilots, laptop computers, games, etc.).

This policy is promulgated pursuant to, and in compliance with, MTSU Policy 312 Academic Misconduct.

Academic Standing–Retention, Probation, and Suspension

Degree-seeking students are expected to take appropriate courses and make satisfactory progress toward their degree objectives as determined by the graduate program. A graduate student at the master’s or specialist level must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 for all graduate work completed at MTSU as well as in the major. A doctoral student must maintain a minimum GPA of at least 3.25.

Six semester hours of C grade (C+, C, or C-) coursework may be applied toward a master’s or specialist degree (unless prohibited by the degree program - see individual programs for details); seven hours of C grade may count toward a Ph.D. No grade below C- may be applied toward a degree; however, all grades are included in calculation of cumulative GPA. Students in the M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies do not have a limit on C grade hours; however, they must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 for all graduate work completed at MTSU.  

A graduate student failing to meet the applicable minimum cumulative graduate GPA retention standard will be placed on academic probation for the subsequent term. Probation in itself has no serious consequences other than to alert the student of potential academic problems and the requirement to (re)establish satisfactory academic status. Once on probation, a student has three consecutive semesters in which to restore the cumulative GPA to the minimum required. If the student fails to attain the required GPA at the close of the third semester of probation, the student will be suspended automatically.

A graduate student who is on academic probation, then returns to good standing will no longer be on probation. Should the student once again fall below the minimum cumulative graduate GPA for retention (GPA<3.00 for master’s or <3.25 for doctoral) during their course of study, rather than being placed on probation again, they will be suspended.

To reenroll, a student must formally appeal the suspension to the graduate program by following established requirements within the program. If a student is suspended and subsequently upon appeal is granted permission to reenroll, should the student fail to maintain the minimum cumulative GPA, there will be no second probationary period. The student will be terminated at the close of the semester and no longer eligible for matriculation in any program at MTSU.

Students whose appeals have been denied by their graduate programs will have the right to appeal this decision by notifying the dean of the College of Graduate Studies in writing by the first week of the term following their suspension. An ad hoc committee made up of members of the MTSU Graduate Council from other disciplines will be created. The student and program will have the opportunity to represent both the appeal and decision to the committee at this meeting. The decision of the committee is final.

In addition to students who are permanently suspended due to failure to return to good standing following a suspension, students may be removed from their programs due to an unsuccessful suspension appeal or for failure to make satisfactory academic progress.

In the case of failure to make satisfactory academic progress, the program may recommend dismissal to the College of Graduate Studies with clear documentation as to the reasons for recommendation. Action on this recommendation will be made by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Appeals of this dismissal would be made to the College of Graduate Studies and are considered by an Ad Hoc Graduate Council Suspension Appeals Committee. The action of this committee is final.

Academic Year

The regular academic year is divided into two terms, Fall and Spring. There is also the Summer term which is divided into several parts of term.

During a Fall or Spring term, there are two accelerated parts of term offered in a seven-week format during the full term. There is also a Winter Session offered as part of the Spring term in between the end of Fall and the start of Spring. Please note that courses are not covered through assistantships during the Winter Session.


No student will be issued a diploma, certificate of credit, or transcript of record until all debts or obligations owed to the University have been satisfied.


Graduate students have the right to appeal for cause any decision affecting their academic standing as graduate students. Cause excludes grade appeals, which are under the purview of the MTSU Grade Appeal Committee. The Appeal Advisory Committee of the Graduate Council is an ad hoc committee reporting to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The committee is convened at the discretion of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

The Graduate Council and the College of Graduate Studies have approved in principle the document Appeal Advisory Committee of the Graduate Council. This document may be viewed on the website at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/Appeals_Instructions_GradCouncil.pdf.

Cancellation of Scheduled Classes

The minimum enrollment requirement is ten students for upper-division and 5000-level graduate classes; eight students for 6000-level classes; and six enrollees for 7000-level classes (excluding graduate research courses). Any class may be canceled if the number of enrollees is deemed insufficient; however, no scheduled class may be discontinued without the approval of the dean of the college in which the course is offered.

Class Attendance

A student is expected to attend each class for which they are registered except in cases of unavoidable circumstances and should not attend classes for which they are not officially registered.

Even though some faculty may not check attendance in a conventional manner, attendance in classroom courses or participation in distance learning courses is expected, and absence or non-participation is recorded and will have an effect on receipt or repayment of financial aid and/or scholarships. Students who are reported for nonattendance will be assigned a grade of FA to appear on their transcripts, and nonattendance will be reported to appropriate agencies.

Exceptions are made for University-sanctioned activities. Students shall not be penalized for such absences. Students anticipating participation in University functions which will take them out of classes should discuss these absences with their instructors at the earliest convenient time.

The fact that a student may be absent from a class does not in any way relieve that student of the responsibility for the work covered or assigned during the absence. It is the responsibility of faculty members to excuse or refuse to excuse absences of students who miss their classes. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain excuses for absences and to arrange with the faculty member in question to make up the work missed. Absences begin with the first date the student is enrolled in class.

If emergency circumstances prevent contacting the professor or department, the student may contact the MT OneStop for notification to the instructor(s) at (615) 898-2111 or MTOneStop@mtsu.edu. Only the instructor of the class concerned can excuse an absence.

MTSU does not usually close because of inclement weather, but students will be allowed to use their own discretion when snow and icy conditions exist; they will be given the opportunity to make up the missed classes should they decide not to attend. To determine if classes are cancelled, students should listen to area radio and television stations, call the news line at (615) 904-8215, access the University home page at www.mtsu.edu/, enroll in Rave Alerts, or check MTSU email account.

Any student who is absent from a state college or university during any school term or portion thereof in excess of thirty days due to active military service shall be entitled to withdraw and receive a tuition credit in the form of credit hours for each credit hour paid by, or on behalf of, such student, or a refund for any payments made. Tuition credit shall be given only if the reserve or National Guard student did not receive a final grade in the course for which tuition credit is sought.

Complaints and Grievances

Middle Tennessee State University wants to ensure all students have a positive educational experience, are treated fairly and courteously by University personnel, and are provided an outlet to address conditions and circumstances that concern them. Procedures for student complaints and grievances may be found at www.mtsu.edu/information/student-complaints.php.

Course Numbers

Course numbers 5000-5999 are combined undergraduate/graduate instruction with graduate students completing assignments appropriate for the graduate level. Students may take no more than 30% of their coursework at the 5000-level while earning a Master’s degree (some programs are more restrictive). Courses numbered 6000-6999 are at the master’s level, and 7000-7999 are at the doctorate level.

Credit Hour Unit

A credit hour unit is one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for 15 weeks, or equivalent academic activities, to achieve the student learning outcomes for the credit hour. Laboratory and studio classes usually earn one credit for each two hours of attendance or equivalent for a semester unless otherwise indicated.

Degree Works (Degree Plan)

Students may review their degree plan and progress through Degree Works (found in Pipeline MT). If there are any needed substitutions, they will need to complete a “Revision Form.” All current College of Graduate Studies forms can be found at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/forms.php.

Dropping or Adding Courses

The procedures and deadlines to drop and add a class are listed online. A student who stops attending a class but does not officially drop the class will be assigned a grade of FA which will be recorded on the student’s transcript.

Students finding it necessary to withdraw from the University after having selected classes for a future term should use PipelineMT to drop all classes or initiate the withdrawal process at the MT OneStop, (615) 898-2111.

Dates may vary from term to term concerning whether the withdrawal should be accomplished in PipelineMT or in person at the MT OneStop. Check the appropriate registration guide for specific dates.


MTSU communicates with students via the MTMAIL account issued to students during admission to the University. It is the student’s responsibility to read emails in their MTMAIL accounts regularly.

Enrollment Verification

The following schedule of hours attempted will be used to determine the enrollment status requested by graduate students: Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters: full-time - 9 semester hours or more, three-quarter time - 7-8 hours, and half time - 5-6 hours, and less than half time 5 hours or less. The following schedule of hours attempted will be used to determine the enrollment status requested by undergraduate students: Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters: full-time - 12 semester hours or more, three-quarter time - 9-11 hours, and half time - 6-8 hours, and less than half time 5 hours or less. Course withdrawal or reported for nonattendance may change enrollment status. In Fall and Spring terms, enrollment certifications are official beginning the fifth day of the term. MTSU has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) to provide enrollment and degree verifications. NSC may be contacted at

National Student Clearinghouse
13454 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300
Herndon, VA 20171-3280
Web: www.studentclearinghouse.org or degreeverify.com
E-mail: service@studentclearinghouse.org
Phone: (703) 742-4200
Fax: (703) 742-4239

Full-time - 9-12 graduate hours
Three-quarter time - 7-8 graduate hours
One-half time - 5-6 graduate hours

Students may print their own enrollment verification free of charge by accessing PipelineMT ► Registration and Student Records ► Enrollment Verification. Preliminary verification can also be accessed prior to the fifth day of class.

Education Records at MTSU

The policy governing education records at MTSU may be accessed at www.mtsu.edu/policies/student-affairs/500.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. Students must be afforded notice of their rights under FERPA and the types of personally identifiable information considered as directory information. The University policy may be accessed at www.mtsu.edu/policies/alphabetical-listing.php.


The most common way to communicate information regarding student requests and changes is through dynamic (digital) forms. All current College of Graduate Studies forms can be found at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/forms.php. These forms are automatically routed to various entities at the University and eliminate the need for students to physically obtain signatures. Students also have a record of all forms filed, as does the College of Graduate Studies.


Following is a description of the criteria used in assigning letter grades:

A-work of distinctly superior quality and quantity accompanied by unusual evidence of achievement
B-work of good quality and quantity accompanied by evidence of achievement demonstrating the essentials of a course
C-work not demonstrating fulfillment of the essentials of a course
D-below the standards of acceptable quality, necessitating repetition of the course to fulfill requirement
F-failure, necessitating repetition of the course to obtain credit
FA-failure (and stopped attending)
P-passing (assigned only in certain courses)
I-incomplete (not used in calculating grade point average)
W-assigned in courses which are dropped during a specified period of time within a term. Students should consult online for specific dates each term.
NC-no credit (audit)
X-grade not submitted by instructor-not used in calculating grade point average
PCF-Pass (used only Spring 2020 due to Covid-19 disruption - not used in calculating grade point average) (More information available at www.mtsu.edu/grades-and-transcripts/docs/Spring2020Covid19.pdf.)

Plus/minus grading is used for graduate courses. Grades which may be assigned are

A, A-
B+, B, B-
C+, C, C-
D+, D, D-

The grade I indicates that the student has not completed all course requirements because of illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, especially those which may occur toward the close of the term. Mere failure to make up work or turn in required work on time does not provide a basis for the grade of I unless the extenuating circumstances noted above are present for reasons acceptable to the instructor. The incomplete must be removed during the succeeding semester, excluding summer. Otherwise, the instructor’s default grade is entered. A student cannot make up the incomplete by registering and paying again for the same course. The I grade carries no value until converted to a final grade.

Pass or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades are not used in determining the grade point average. However, satisfactory grades do count toward graduation credit requirements and are treated in every other respect as being equivalent to traditionally graded courses. Any course in which an “unsatisfactory” is received does not count toward graduation credit requirements.

Six semester hours of C grade (C+, C, C-) coursework may be applied toward a master’s or specialist degree (unless prohibited by the degree program-see individual program for details); seven hours of C grade may count toward a Ph.D. (some programs are more restrictive). No grade below C- may be applied toward a degree; however, all grades are included in the calculation of cumulative GPA. Students in the M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies do not have limit on C grade hours; however, they must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 for all graduate work completed at MTSU.  Students in the M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies program will not be assigned D grades.

Students may view their grades online each semester by selecting the appropriate option via PipelineMT. No student can view grades until all debts or obligations owed to MTSU have been discharged.

Grades, Appeal of Course Grades

An “appeal” is a request by a student for a determination by a Grade Appeals Committee of an assigned grade where inequities or unethical or unprofessional actions are alleged.

Level One

  1. Student appeals should be resolved by a conference between the student and the faculty member who assigned the grade and held within ten business days of the official start of the following semester, not including Summer terms. If the grade is assigned during the Fall, the timeline begins in the Spring. For grades assigned during the Spring or Summer, the timeline begins in the Fall.
  2. In the event of an impasse between the student and the faculty member, a student with a grade appeal shall discuss it with the department chair/director within ten business days of the conference with the involved faculty member. In cases where the department chair/director is the person against whom the complaint is lodged, the dean in whose college the department is located shall assume the duties of the chair/director in the investigation and decision-making.
  3. The department chair/director shall investigate the circumstances and record their findings. Although the department chair/director does not have the power to change the grade, they will make a recommendation concerning the appeal. The department chair/director will send a copy of the findings and recommendation to the student and to the faculty member within ten business days of the conference with the student. The student is required to include a copy of the department chair/director’s findings and recommendation with other relevant materials submitted to request a formal grade appeal. (See Level Two below.) The recommendation and findings will become a part of the appeal record.

Level Two (can be initiated only after Level One has been completed)

  1. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of level one, they may, within fifteen business days following receipt of the department chair’s/director’s recommendation, refer the appeal, plus all relevant materials to the Office of the Provost. In addition to a copy of the department chair’s/director’s findings and recommendation, materials should include a written statement outlining the basis of the grade appeal. (See MTSU Grade Appeal Student Form.) The appeal to the Provost’s Office must be submitted within forty business days of the official start of the term following the grade assignment, not including Summer terms. The overall Grade Appeals Committee will be divided by college into subcommittees. Each subcommittee will elect a chair. The vice provost for faculty affairs shall determine which subcommittee will hear the appeal and transmit the appeal documents to the subcommittee chair. A given subcommittee will not hear appeals originating in courses offered in its own college but will deal with appeals from other colleges.
  2. Written notification of the meeting and of an opportunity to appear before the Grade Appeals Committee will be sent by the subcommittee chair to the concerned faculty member and student. The subcommittee will receive documents and hear testimony regarding the circumstances and shall render a written decision. A simple majority of members present constitutes a quorum for purposes of reaching a decision. Notification of the subcommittee’s decision will be made by the subcommittee chair to the student, faculty member, department chair/director, college dean, vice provost for faculty affairs, and the registrar.
  3. The decision of the subcommittee hearing the appeal will be final.


  1. If a student’s financial aid is reduced or not awarded due to the grade the student is appealing, the MTSU Financial Aid Office may not be able to reinstate the student’s aid because of federal or state deadlines.
  2. A student or faculty member involved with a grade appeal may discuss their case informally with a member of the faculty or administration, but not with a member of a Grade Appeals Committee. A committee member who discusses the grade appeal with the faculty member or student concerned shall automatically disqualify themselves from any further proceedings of the case.
  3. The number of days indicated at each level above shall be considered the maximum, but every effort should be made to expedite the process.
  4. The failure of the student to proceed from Level One of the appeal procedure to Level Two within the prescribed time limits shall be deemed to be an acceptance of the recommendations and/or decision rendered in Level One. All further considerations and proceedings regarding that particular appeal shall cease at that point.
  5. A grade appeal may be withdrawn at any level without prejudice. However, the stated time frames continue to be applicable if the student determines to begin the process again.
  6. All appeal proceedings shall be kept as confidential as may be appropriate at each level.
  7. The Grade Appeals Committee shall have reasonable access to all official records for information necessary in making its determination.
  8. Appeals of grades assigned in the Spring or Summer semesters will be considered in the Summer only under two (2) circumstances:
    1. If it affects the student’s ability to graduate in the Summer; or
    2. If the vice provost determines that there are extenuating circumstances to warrant a special hearing.
  9. Otherwise, such appeals will be held over until the beginning of the Fall semester. If an appeal is to be heard in the Summer, an ad hoc committee of the chairs/available members from each grade appeals committee will hear the case. If a chair cannot attend the Summer meeting, they will, if possible, endeavor to provide a replacement from their committee. The chair from the college in which the appeal originated shall be excused from the meeting. There will also be a student representative assigned with one alternate, each not from the college from which the appeal originates.

Grades, Grade Point Average

Grade points are numerical values assigned to letter grades in order to provide a basis for quantitative determination of grade (quality) point averages. The four-point system with pluses and minuses is used.

The following system is used in determining grade point average for most graduate programs:

Grade   Quality Points (per credit hour)
A = 4.00
A- = 3.67
B+ = 3.33
B = 3.00
B- = 2.67
C+ = 2.33
C = 2.00
C- = 1.67
D+ = 1.33
D = 1.00
D- = 0.67
F = 0.00

The M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies program uses the following grading scale:

Grade   Quality Points (per credit hour)
A = 4.00
B = 3.00
C = 2.00
F = 0.00
No D grades will be assigned

The academic standing of a student is expressed in terms of grade point average which is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of GPA hours. Following is an example:

Course Credit Hours Grade/(Point Value) Points
ENGL 6015 3 B- (2.67)   8.01
ENGL 6051 3 A (4.00) 12.00
ENGL 6221 3 A- (3.67) 11.01
  9   31.02

To get the quality points listed in the points column, the credit hours are multiplied by the point value of the grade earned; then add the credit hours and add the points columns to get totals for each; then the total for the points (31.02) is divided by the total for the credit hours (9) to obtain the GPA (3.45).

The GPA is rounded and truncated after the thousands position, and no further rounding up or down of the GPA is done in determining eligibility for retention, graduation, honors, dean’s list designation, or taking an overload.

The section on Repeated Courses explains the computation of the GPA for students who repeat courses. The grade of F counts as GPA hours with zero quality points earned; P grades carry hours earned but no quality points or GPA hours.

The scholastic standing of a student is expressed in terms of grade point average (GPA). A GPA is the total number of grade points divided by the total number of credit hours (exclusive of P, S, and U credit hours) at Middle Tennessee State University. Any transferred courses are included in the calculation.


Graduation is conducted at the close of the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. Murphy Center is the site of this important occasion. Students who plan to graduate should fill out an “Intent to Graduate” form, available on the College of Graduate Studies website. This form must be filed by the student by the end of the second week of the semester in which the student plans to graduate or no later than the end of the first week of S2-June term (for August graduation).

Students may review progress toward degree completion by using DegreeWorks in PipelineMT.

All students must complete the general requirements as prescribed by the College of Graduate Studies and the specific requirements set forth for the degree sought. A student must have at least a 3.00 GPA (3.25 for doctoral degrees) overall to graduate. No student will be issued a diploma, certificate of credit, or transcript of their record until all debts or obligations owed to the University have been satisfied. All requirements for a degree must be met by the time of graduation. This includes incomplete grades.

Identification Card

The MTSU BlueID card identifies MTSU students, faculty, and staff for access to campus services and privileges. The BlueID card may be used to check out books at the library; be admitted to the Campus Recreation Center, campus computer labs, and residence halls; cash checks; attend campus events and purchase extra tickets; receive student health services; and pay for food via student meal and budget plans.

The BlueID card may be used as a debit card. Students may deposit money into a RAIDER FUND$ account; then, use the BlueID card rather than cash or checks for purchases at the campus bookstore, to pay registration fees, buy a soft drink or snack, or to purchase meals at any of the food service locations on campus.

The first card is issued at no charge; however, there is a $10 charge for replacing lost or stolen IDs. If the card breaks or is damaged, it should be returned to the BlueID office and a new card will be issued at no charge. The BlueID office is located at the Student Services and Admission Center, Room 112.


A minor is a component of a degree and is not a stand-alone credential. A minor cannot be earned unless a student is enrolled in a degree program.


The prerequisite for the graduate program is an undergraduate minor or its equivalent and/or the recommendation of the graduate program director. The prerequisite for the graduate minor is 12 semester hours of undergraduate coursework in that area or its equivalent and/or the recommendation of the graduate program director or delegate. If prerequisite coursework is marginally deficient, the student may be admitted to the College of Graduate Studies to make up the deficiencies concomitantly while taking graduate courses. Prerequisite courses do not apply toward meeting graduate program requirements. Monitoring the completion of prerequisites is the responsibility of the individual departments. In order to qualify for financial aid, prerequisites must appear in the catalog under the program listing. If a student is required to take one or more prerequisites, then they must fill out the “Prerequisite Verification Form.”

Repeated Courses

A graduate student may repeat graduate courses in which a grade of B- or lower was earned. However, there are certain restrictions and limitations. A maximum of two courses, not to exceed eight credits combined, may be replaced in a student’s GPA calculation. The grade in the second attempt replaces the original assigned grade in the first attempt regardless of the earned grade. For all additional courses or subsequent repeated courses, there will be no grade replacement; i.e., all earned grades will be used in the grade point average calculation and are recorded on the transcript. Note that the grade(s) for the previous attempt(s) will remain on the transcript. The replacement only occurs in the GPA calculation.

Graduate students may not repeat a course in which they have previously earned the grade of A, A-, B+, or B without written approval from the graduate program director and dean of the College of Graduate Studies. If granted, there will be no grade replacement in the GPA calculation; i.e., all attempts will be used in the grade point average calculation and recorded on the transcript.

Note that there are financial aid implications for repeating a course more than once. Also, veterans receiving educational assistance benefits may not repeat courses previously passed and receive veterans financial assistance for such unless a minimum grade is required in the program.

To receive permission, fill out the “Request to Repeat Course” form at mtsu.edu/graduate/forms.php.


The schedule of courses provided online each semester is for the convenience and guidance of students and faculty. The University reserves the right to change courses and schedules when the interest of all concerned may best be served.

Semester Hour Load

A student’s enrollment status is determined by the number of credit hours taken per term according to the following:

Full-time - 9-12 graduate hours
Three-quarter time - 7-8 graduate hours
One-half time - 5-6 graduate hours

Graduate students are generally limited to a maximum of 12 graduate hours per semester. If an exception is requested, overload forms must be signed by the graduate program director and the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Students in the M.S. Physician Assistant Studies program are required to register for course loads that exceed the maximum hour per semester. A credit hour exception or overload form is not required for students in the M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies program.  


Events in life such as family leave, illness, or military duty may result in a student being unable to maintain continuous enrollment. In such a case, students may request permission to interrupt their studies on a temporary basis. A stop-out is the period during which a student fails to register for successive academic sessions. If the stop-out period exceeds one academic year (Fall and Spring semesters), the student may be required to fulfill degree requirements in existence at the time of reenrollment, rather than those in place at the original matriculation. A formal “Request to Stop-Out Form” must be filed by the student, endorsed by the graduate program director in the department, and approved by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies prior to the beginning of the stop-out period. If approved prior to the beginning of the stop-out, this period is not counted toward the time limit for degree completion. A stop-out may be utilized no more than one time during the time limit for the degree program. At the end of the student’s stop-out period, they will be able to register after their assigned registration time.

Teacher Education Program, Postbaccalaureate

The post-baccalaureate teacher education program is designed for individuals who have completed a baccalaureate degree but who did not complete teacher preparation. The College of Education requires candidates to address any course and program deficiencies in their undergraduate education to ensure the attainment of the knowledge and skills required in general education, professional education, and the major for the teaching field. Additional coursework and program requirements will be determined by the teacher licensure analyst. Transcript analysis forms for the post-baccalaureate program are available at www.mtsu.edu/education/docs/Request_for_Transcript_Analysis_Traditional_08302018.pdf.

Postbaccalaureate students must also make formal application for admission to the teacher education program. Admission to teacher education is a prerequisite to enrollment in upper-division courses in Elementary Education (ELED), Reading (Literacy) (READ), Special Education (SPED) (except SPED 3010), Foundations of Education (FOED), or Youth Education (YOED).

Teacher Licensure

All applications for professional teaching licenses in Tennessee must be filed with the dean of the College of Education who is responsible for recommending each applicant from this University. All applicants for teacher licensure should furnish the Tennessee State Department of Education a report of scores attained on the Praxis. A copy of the scores should be sent to the Office of the Dean, College of Education. MTSU verification of the scores will be forwarded with the Application for Licensure.

Time Limit

Students have six years from the initial semester of matriculation to complete the requirements for a master’s or specialist degree or a certificate. There is a ten-year time limit from initial matriculation to complete all requirements for the doctoral degree. Exceptions to these time limitations, for good cause, will be considered by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies when submitted in writing with a proposed timeline for completion and the recommendation of the advisor and the graduate program director. Such requests should be made by using the Time Limit Extension for Graduation Request form.

Transcript of Credits

Official copies of a student’s record are furnished upon request with written signature by the student at the MT OneStop or may be ordered 24/7 through TranscriptsPlus. Information can be found at www.mtsu.edu/transcripts. No student will be issued a diploma, certificate of credit, or transcript of record until all debts or obligations owed to MTSU have been satisfied. Unofficial copies may be viewed on PipelineMT provided all debts or obligations are satisfied. Students with holds may come to the MT OneStop in the SSAC and present a photo ID to be informed of their grades.

Transfer Credits

In general, only coursework taken while in graduate status, prior to attending MTSU, will be transferred. Coursework transferred or accepted for credit toward a graduate degree must represent graduate coursework relevant to the degree, with course content and level of instruction resulting in student competencies at least equivalent to those of students enrolled in the institution’s own graduate degree programs. Transfer credit requires the recommendation of the graduate program director and approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Transfer courses with grades below B will not be accepted for credit in any graduate degree programs. Also, note that credits completed seven or more years prior to admission to a degree program at MTSU will not generally be considered for transfer. If a student completed credits for a previous degree that would result in repetition of courses or content, then credits from a previous degree may be used toward the new degree. However, at least 24 hours of unique coursework (coursework not counted in a previous degree) must be counted toward a second Master’s degree or a second Specialist degree.

Up to 12 hours of credit may be transferred. Up to 9 hours may be obtained through prior learning assessment or 12 hours combined prior learning assessment and transfer credit may be applied.

For certificate programs, the time limit is six (6) years beginning with the date of the earliest credit applied to the degree, including transfer credits.

Doctoral students should check with their graduate program director for the policy on transfer of credits into their doctoral degree program.

Withdrawals from the University

The MT OneStop handles all issues relating to withdrawing from the University. Please visit www.mtsu.edu/withdraw/ for up-to-date information regarding the withdrawal process. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their program advisor and the MT OneStop before making any decisions about withdrawing. Please also consult the Registration Guide (www.mtsu.edu/registration/registration-guide.php) for withdrawal and fee adjustment deadlines. Questions about withdrawing should be directed to the MT OneStop in SSAC, via phone at (615) 898-2111, or via email at withdraw@mtsu.edu.

General Withdrawal Guidelines:

  1. Withdrawing Prior to Term - Students finding it necessary to withdraw from all classes prior to the beginning of a term may withdraw via PipelineMT.
  2. Withdrawing During a Term
    1. During the first two weeks (14 calendar days) of a term, courses may be dropped via PipelineMT without assignment of a grade on the official transcript.
    2. Beginning on the 15th calendar day through 60 percent of a term, students can drop some or all courses via PipelineMT and a grade of “W” will be assigned.
    3. After 60 percent of the term, a complete withdrawal from ALL classes can be accomplished via PipelineMT, through the last day to withdraw in each term. Instructors assign the appropriate grade of “W” if the student is passing or “F/FA” if the student is failing.
    4. After 60 percent of the term, individual courses cannot be dropped via PipelineMT. Individual courses may be dropped if appropriate signatures are obtained on a drop form and submitted to the MT OneStop.
    5. The deadline to withdraw from the University (all classes) and receive a grade of “W” or “F,” as determined by the instructor is generally one week prior to the last day of classes and will be noted in the Registration Guide for each term.

NOTE: Fees, Financial Aid, Graduate Assistantships, Housing, etc. can be impacted anytime a student withdraws, stops attending, or drops a course. Consult the Registration Guide and those offices for more information.

Summer differs; please check Registration Guide for specific dates.

If extreme extenuating circumstances necessitate a student’s withdrawal from the University after 60% of the term, exceptions may be made. A grade of “W” may be recorded with written concurrence of the faculty member, but only if the extenuating circumstances are first verified by the MT OneStop. Students who fall under this category should schedule an appointment with the withdrawal coordinator in the MT OneStop and provide a written statement and all documentation to support their extenuating circumstances. The University Withdrawal Policy can be reviewed at www.mtsu.edu/policies/student-affairs/505.php.