The following general regulations govern both the Ed.S. and master’s-degree programs unless otherwise indicated here or in the departmental section of this Bulletin.
Individual departments provide an orientation program for all part-time and full-time graduate students. This orientation program is evaluated regularly and used to enhance effective assistance to students.
Graduate students may check out library books for eight (8) weeks with the initial rental. Graduate students may also renew a library book one time for an additional eight (8) weeks, making the maximum time to check out a book one semester. Students enrolled in the M.A. program are automatically given one semester for a library book rental.
Advising and Planning a Program
The University of Montevallo maintains a systematic and effective program of graduate academic advising. The departments with graduate programs at the University make decisions regarding the assignment of academic advisers, and Graduate Admissions and Records monitors, along with the adviser, the systematic academic progress of each graduate student via permanent records and an on-line student information system that includes a degree audit program. Qualified advisers with expertise in the major/concentration are assigned to students at the point of admission to the program. Academic advisers are aware of the individual goals, strengths, and needs of students, and they are trained to use on-line student records to assist them in advising.
Departments assign graduate students to advisers who have a reasonable number of advisees and the time to devote to quality graduate advising. Graduate advising is evaluated on a regular basis.
After all transcripts have been received and evaluated, students accepted into the program are assigned an adviser in the department in which they plan to major. Students should meet with their adviser immediately to plan a program of study. Any student who registers for a course after the first semester without an approved program of study does so with the understanding that the courses he or she is taking may not apply toward the degree. The full responsibility for the filing and revising of a program rests directly with the student. The student may lose credit for any courses which do not apply to the program on file. Therefore, students may not take courses from another program without written permission from their program adviser. A check of the accuracy of the program of study will be completed when students apply for the comprehensive exam.
A graduate student who took a course for undergraduate credit may not take the same course for graduate credit.
Test results and other information will be utilized by the adviser to discover any points in a student’s preparation that may need strengthening, as well as special competencies that can be further developed. In order to correct deficiencies in preparation, it will sometimes be necessary for students to take undergraduate courses for which no graduate credit will be given.
All master’s and specialist degrees are equivalent to at least one year of full-time graduate study, on the basis of nine hours established as a “full-time” minimum course load and twelve hours as a maximum course load. The minimum hours required for a degree then can be distributed across no less than two regular terms (fall and spring semesters) and two summer terms, constituting one calendar year.
The curriculum requirements for various programs are outlined in the departmental sections of this Bulletin. Exceptions to these requirements may be made through or by the appropriate department chair and college dean. No change may compromise the intent of the requirements.
Where a program permits, elective hours must be selected with the approval of the adviser.
Master’s degree programs: A minimum of 30 semester hours is required for the master’s degree. A full-time student who is required to write a thesis must earn a minimum of 24 semester hours in coursework. The thesis together with the coursework must total a minimum of 30 semester hours. Some degrees require more than 30 hours.
Ed.S. programs: A minimum of 30 semester hours is required for the Ed.S. Degree.
Grade Point Average
Master’s degree programs: With the exception of the Instructional Leadership program, a 3.0 GPA is required on all work attempted for retention and graduation. The M.Ed. Instructional Leadership program requires a 3.25 GPA. A graduate student whose grade point average falls below 3.0 (or 3.25) will be placed on academic warning. The student has one term of enrollment in which to raise the overall GPA to 3.0 (or 3.25). May and both summer sessions together count as one term. Failure to raise the grade point average to 3.0 (or 3.25) as prescribed above will result in dismissal from the graduate program. The minimum passing grade for a graduate course is a “C”. A course may be repeated only one time if a grade lower than a “C” is made and the hours will be counted as hours attempted. Courses may be repeated only at UM.
Ed.S. programs: For retention and graduation, a 3.25 average on a 4.0 scale is required on all work attempted. A student whose GPA falls below 3.25 will be placed on academic warning. The student has one term of enrollment to raise the overall GPA to 3.25. May and summer sessions count as one term. Failure to raise the GPA to 3.25 as prescribed above will result in dismissal from the program. The minimum passing grade for Ed.S. courses is a “C”. A course may be repeated only one time if a grade lower than a “C” is made, and the hours will be counted as hours attempted. Courses may be repeated only at UM.
Final Semester GPA: A graduate student’s graduate GPA is calculated only on the current program of study. Students who come to the end of their program or to the internship without the required GPA, having never been placed on academic warning, will be allowed to repeat up to two courses (where grades “C”, “D”, or “F” were made, and a “B” in Instructional Leadership) completed during the semester in which the GPA fell below the required minimum, as long as the grade(s) earned in the repeat(s) have the potential to restore the GPA.
Grades represent the instructor’s assessment of the student’s performance on classroom and laboratory assignments, as well as on essays, research papers, projects, classroom presentations, examinations, etc. Grades and grade points are earned and recorded as follows:
|Grade||Grading Standard||Grade points/hour|
More-specific grading policies and criteria are published in individual course syllabi.
Grades of “I” (incomplete) may be given when students, because of circumstances beyond their control, are unable to complete coursework that is assigned and/or due during the last 15 calendar days of long semesters and/or the last 5 calendar days of the May and summer terms. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements to complete remaining requirements.
All incomplete work must be finished by a date determined by the instructor and not later than the conclusion of the next long semester (i.e., for fall semester “I”s, no later than the last day of the following spring semester; for spring term, May term, and summer term “I”s, no later than the last day of the following fall semester). Otherwise, an “I” grade automatically becomes an “F”.
A maximum of six (6) semester hours (10 quarter hours) of graduate work, approved by the University of Montevallo, may be transferred from a regionally accredited institution. Such credit must have been earned within six years prior to the granting of the degree. No course may be transferred with a grade lower than B, and no course may be transferred with a grade of pass/fail.
Course equivalency is determined by the department chair. Transfer credit practices are consistent with American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).
A student enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Montevallo may, with the written approval of his or her adviser and college dean, be allowed to attend another university as a transient student, provided the total number of hours taken at other institutions does not exceed six (6) semester hours. Without such written approval, the University of Montevallo is under no obligation to allow credit for the courses taken. It is the responsibility of the student to see that two copies of the official transcript of the credits earned is sent to Graduate Admissions and Records immediately following completion of the course(s). No course may be transferred with a grade lower than a “B”.
Course Load (Regular Term)
No graduate student may enroll for more than 12 credit hours, including courses taken concurrently at other institutions, in a regular term.
Full-time: A graduate student shall be considered “full-time” if he/she is enrolled in nine (9) or more graduate hours.
Part-time: A graduate student shall be considered part-time if he/she is enrolled in fewer than nine (9) graduate hours. Unless otherwise stated, all aid is based on enrollment as a full-time student, which is defined as 9 credit hours for graduate students. To receive federal loans, students must be enrolled at least half time. Half time for graduate students is five (5) credit hours (effective Spring Semester 2011). If a student drops below full-time, certain types of aid may be cancelled or reduced. Notify the Office of Student Financial Services if you do not enroll as a full-time student.
Course Load (Summer Term)
No graduate student may enroll for more than seven (7) credit hours in a summer term, or 14 credit hours in a 10-week summer session, including courses taken concurrently at other institutions.
Full-time: A graduate student shall be considered “full-time” if he/she is enrolled in a total of nine (9) or more graduate hours spanning May Term and the Summer Sessions.
Any student taking a full load (six hours in a four-week summer session) must pay the student activity fee.
Part-time: A graduate student shall be considered part-time if he/she is enrolled in five (5) graduate hours or less spanning May term and the summer sessions. Unless otherwise stated, all aid is based on enrollment as a full-time student, which is defined as 9 credit hours for graduate students. To receive federal loans, students must be enrolled at least half time. Half time for graduate students is five (5) credit hours (effective Spring Semester 2011). If a student drops below full-time, certain types of aid may be cancelled or reduced. Notify the Office of Student Financial Services if you do not enroll as a full-time student.
Course Load (May Term)
No graduate student may enroll for more than three (3) credit hours in a May term without special permission of the college dean.
Students who are admitted to graduate study, either conditionally or unconditionally, and who do not enroll within two years will be required to reapply should they later decide to enroll.
Change of Major or Program
Admission to the graduate program implies acceptance for a specific program. When a student desires to change his or her degree or major, application for the change must be made on the appropriate form, which must be obtained from Graduate Admissions and Records. This form must be completed and returned to Graduate Admissions and Records. Such applications are considered in the same manner as new applications, although credentials will not be necessary if they are already on file.
A graduate student may drop/add courses during the specified period either on the web or through his/her academic adviser. After the established drop date, students may drop only with the permission of their college dean. Action to drop a course must be approved by the student’s adviser. A student may drop a course online if the access code has been entered by his or her adviser. If an access code has not been entered, the student should contact his or her adviser. Graduate Admissions and Records will drop a course only with written approval from the student’s adviser. Drop dates may vary for abbreviated terms (e.g. special workshops).
A graduate student who desires to withdraw from graduate school may do so by midterm of the regular or summer terms. After midterm, students may withdraw only in case of personal or family illness/emergency or geographic relocation, and only with the approval of the college dean. Action to withdraw is initiated in Graduate Admissions and Records.
Graduate students are expected to conform to the rules and regulations of the University of Montevallo. The attendance policy with regard to graduate students is handled on a student-instructor basis. The responsibility for meeting the requirements for a degree or certificate rests with the student.
Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement for Completion
For graduation from most programs, master’s degree students must have at least a 3.0 average on all work attempted. Instructional Leadership (M.Ed.) students and all Ed.S. students must have at least a 3.25 average on all work attempted.
Maximum Time Limit to Complete Degree
Students will be allowed six years from the date of enrollment to complete graduate degree programs. No course more than six years old will be accepted for credit toward a graduate degree unless the student has petitioned the department chair and the college dean for an extension. If an extension is granted, the chair and college dean will decide the validity of courses rendered more than six years old by that decision.
Successful completion of an exit examination (oral, written, portfolio, capstone project, etc.) on all graduate work will be required of each student in partial fulfillment of requirements for the master’s or Educational Specialist Degrees. Exit exams may be attempted no more than three times. The exam typically is taken when the student is within six hours of completing the program. Contact the department office for exam registration deadlines.
Candidacy for the Degree
The application for exit examinations, including an updated program of study, will be considered the application for candidacy for the degree, as well. Successful completion of the exit/comprehensive exam or portfolio requirement will signal candidacy for the degree.
Master’s and Ed.S. degrees: Candidates for graduation must file an application for graduation and a diploma in Graduate Admissions and Records at least 10 weeks before graduation or eight weeks before graduation in the summer. The candidate must be present for the graduation exercises on the date assigned or register with Graduate Admissions and Records to receive the degree in absentia.
Alabama Teacher Certification
Students who are completing the M.Ed., Ed.S., or M.S., and who need to apply to the Alabama State Department of Education for Class A or AA certification should be aware that they have five years to apply for certification. After five years they must meet the current Alabama State approved course of study. Students may obtain certification packets in the Teacher Education Services Office.
In addition to the general requirements, a student must meet any special requirements set up by the department offering the major. See each departmental section of this Bulletin for additional requirements.
Student’s Rights to Privacy and Access to Educational Records
Transcript of Academic Record
The transcript is a student’s official permanent record. The handling of transcripts and the retention and disposal of student records are in accordance with the guidelines of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the requirements of the Alabama University General Records Schedules.
Final grades for each term are reported to students on their Web Student Services page, which can be accessed through the Current Students link on the University’s home page at www.montevallo.edu. A printed copy of grades is available from the Records Office upon written request.
Students who have fulfilled their financial obligations to the University may obtain transcripts of their records from the Registrar’s Office.
Confidentiality of records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are as follows:
Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the University decides not to amend the records requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
The right to privacy of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
The University may release without consent the following directory information: name, address, e-mail address, telephone numbers, major fields of study, date of birth, student identification number, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of student-athletes, most-recent educational institution attended, number of current hours in which the student is enrolled, student enrollment status (i.e. full or part time), degrees and graduation dates, anticipated degrees and graduation dates, classification (i.e. freshman, sophomore, etc.) awards and honors, dates of attendance, and class schedule (this latter only by the Police Chief or his designee). Students wishing to withhold directory information must fill out a “Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information” form, which may be obtained in Graduate Admissions and Records.
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Any complaints or questions should be addressed to the DGAR, Graduate Admissions and Records, Van Tuyll House, (205) 665-6350. There is also a complete copy of the University’s FERPA policy on file in Graduate Admissions and Records.
Policy for the Review of Research with Human Participants
The University of Montevallo has adopted the ethical principles developed by the American Psychological Association for the conduct of research with human participants. These principles apply to all research involving human subjects that meet one or more of the following criteria:
Proposed research that meets any of the above criteria will be reviewed by the Human and Animal Subjects Research Committee (HASRC) for compliance with the ethical principles toward protection of the physical and psychological safety of the research subjects.
When research is conducted by students as part of a course assignment, the course instructor may request authority from the HASRC to approve minimal-risk research. Each student conducting human subjects research should submit an ethical compliance statement to the instructor for review. Research designs that warrant further review, in the opinion of the instructor, should be submitted to the Human and Animal Subjects Research Committee.
Procedures for Review