Apr 21, 2018  
2015-2016 Academic Catalog 
    
2015-2016 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Graduate School Regulations



Graduate students are responsible for being fully acquainted and complying with all requirements for Graduate School and for the respective degree programs as well as all requirements in the Academic Regulations section of the catalog.

Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher and intend to pursue additional undergraduate coursework should apply as an undergraduate student and refer to the requirements in the Admission to the University and Academic Regulations sections of the catalog.

Admission to Graduate School

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Applicants must meet Graduate School admission standards. Admission to Graduate School does not imply admission to a graduate degree program. Applicants must meet the necessary departmental requirements to be admitted to a specific degree or certificate program. Specific admission requirements are provided in the catalog section where the degree requirements are listed.

Graduate School Admission Standards

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To be regularly admitted to Graduate School, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. institution or its foreign equivalent; and
  2. A minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate work attempted or a minimum GPA of 2.75 on all upper-division course work attempted; and
  3. Good academic standing at the last institution attended.
  4. International applicants must also demonstrate English language proficiency by meeting one of the following:
    1. Minimum TOEFL* score of 525 on the paper-based exam, 195 on the computer-based exam, or 71 on the Internet-based exam;
    2. Minimum IELTS* band score of 6.0;
    3. Completion of level 112 with ELS Language Centers;
    4. Completion of the advanced level of the ESLI University Language Center program; or
    5. Baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. institution.

Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement for Graduate School may be admitted on a conditional basis.

  1. To qualify for conditional admission, an applicant must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate work attempted or a minimum GPA of 2.5 on all upper-division course work attempted.
  2. To qualify for conditional admission, an international applicant must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate work attempted and a minimum GPA of 2.5 on all upper-division course work attempted.
  3. To remain in Conditional Admission status, a student must: (1) maintain a minimum graduate overall GPA of 3.0; (2) earn no more than one course grade of “C”; and (3) earn no course grade lower than “C”. If a student fails to meet the requirements for conditional status, the student’s status will be changed to non-degree.
  4. The conditional admission status will be removed when a student earns 12 graduate credit hours with a minimum graduate overall GPA of 3.0, no more than one course grade of “C”, and no course grade lower than “C”.
  5. At the time a student completes 12 graduate credit hours, if the conditional admission status cannot be removed, the student’s status will be changed to non-degree.
  6. No more than 12 graduate credit hours earned by a student in conditional admission status may be used toward a graduate degree. The credit must be recommended for approval to the Graduate School dean by the appropriate department head.
  7. No more than 12 graduate credit hours earned by a student in non-degree status may be used toward a graduate degree. The credit must be recommended for approval to the Graduate School dean by the appropriate department head.

Admission Regulations

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  1. An applicant for admission into Graduate School must submit the following:
    1. An online application for admission available at the following link: Online Application .
    2. Official copies of transcripts sent from each institution attended directly to the Office of Admissions and Recruiting.
    3. If applicable, official copies of the required GRE or GMAT test scores sent directly from the testing agency to McNeese.
      1. Test scores cannot be more than five years old at the date of application for admission.
      2. The GRE test requirement may be waived for applicants who have an earned graduate degree. Official transcripts must be submitted, and the deparmtent head and graduate school dean must approve the GRE waiver.
    4. The Proof of Immunization Compliance form to the Office of Admissions and Recruiting. Louisiana law requires all first-time McNeese students born after 1956 to be immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, and tetanus-diphtheria. Additionally, state law requires all first-time freshmen to be vaccinated against meningitis. The form may be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Recruiting, the Student Health Center, or the University’s website by clicking the following link: Proof of Immunization Compliance Form.
    5. The non-refundable application fee of $20.00 in person, by mail, or through the online payment gateway. The University’s payment policy can be viewed at www.mcneese.edu/payment.
    6. Males 18-25:  Proof of Selective Service registration to the Office of Admissions and Recruiting.
  2. All records submitted, including test scores, become the property of the University and cannot be returned to the applicant or any other party.
  3. Applications and records should be on file at least 30 days prior to registration.
  4. Falsification of any information when applying for admission may result in the refusal of the applicant or dismissal from the University.
  5. Academic departments may have unique standards for admission. Application must be made to the program being pursued.
  6. Students may be admitted on a provisional basis for one term of enrollment while in the process of obtaining required credentials; however, official academic transcripts and test scores, if applicable, are required prior to admission. Students who are admitted provisionally and subsequently are ineligible for admission may have their registration cancelled with no refund of tuition and fees. Additionally, any student whose admission records are incomplete 30 days after the first day of classes will have registration and transcript holds placed on his/her account.

Readmission of Former Graduate Students

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  1. A graduate student who does not enroll in the next regular semester or who has graduated with a degree from McNeese must submit, at a minimum, an application for admission and pay the non-refundable application fee of $20.00.
  2. A former graduate student seeking readmission must meet all admission requirements in effect at the time of readmission.

Admission of Transfer Graduate Students

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  1. Transfer graduate students must apply for admission, pay the non-refundable application fee of $20, and meet all admission requirements.
  2. An applicant must be eligible for readmission to the Graduate School of the college or university from which he/she is transferring.
  3. An applicant who has a graduate GPA below 3.0, but not lower than 2.0 with no grades of “D” or “F”, may be admitted on probation upon the recommendation of the applicant’s prospective major professor, department head, and dean of Graduate School.
  4. An applicant with a grade of “I” (incomplete) from another school will be denied admission or readmission to Graduate School.

Admission of International Graduate Students

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  1. International graduate students must complete the following steps before an admission decision will be made:
    1. Complete the online application for admission, which may be accessed by clicking the following link: Online Application.
    2. Pay the non-refundable application fee of $30 paid by by mail (check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank) or through the online payment gateway. The University’s payment policy can be viewed at www.mcneese.edu/payment.
    3. Submit the Proof of Immunization Compliance form to the Office of International Programs. The form may be obtained from the Office of International Programs or by clicking the following link: Proof of Immunization Compliance Form.
    4. Complete the affidavit of financial support form, which may be obtained from the Office of International Programs or accessed by clicking the following link: Affidavit of Financial Support. A bank statement or official bank letter must accompany the affidavit of financial support and must reflect the minimum balance required as determined by the Office of International Programs. (The affidavit of financial support requirement only applies to applicants seeking to enroll while in F-1 visa status.)
    5. Submt English language proficiency documentation demonstrating one of the following:  (Official TOEFL or IELTS scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to McNeese.)
      1. Minimum TOEFL* score of 525 on the paper-based exam, 195 on the computer-based exam, or 71 on the Internet-based exam;
      2. Minimum IELTS* band score of 6.0;
      3. Completion of level 112 with ELS Language Centers;
      4. Completion of the advanced level of the ESLI University Language Center program; OR
      5. Baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. institution.
    6. Have complete, official college transcripts and diplomas sent directly from the institution to the Office of International Programs. All documents must be properly attested by either the registrar, attestation officer, or controller of examinations. Transcripts must be in English or accompanied by official line-by-line English translations.
    7. Submit an official course-by-course evaluation of credentials for all college or university academic credit earned from foreign institutions. Transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services, Inc. (www.wes.org) or Global Credential Evaluators, Inc. (www.gceus.com). Detailed instructions for ordering a credential evaluation can be found on each evaluator’s website. The credential evaluation must be sent directly from the evaluation service to the institution.
    8. Have official GRE or GMAT test scores sent directly from the testing agency to McNeese.
  2. Priority will be given to applicants who have provided all application materials by the following dates:
    1. March 15 for the summer term;
    2. May 15 for the fall semester; and
    3. October 15 for the spring semester.
  3. Once all required documents are received by the Office of International Programs, the records will be carefully evaluated, and an admission decision will be made by the Office of International Programs and the appropriate department head or graduate faculty advisor. If the applicant is accepted, a letter of acceptance and a SEVIS Form I-20 will be issued. (The SEVIS Form I-20 is only issued to those applicants seeking to enroll while in F-1 visa status.) If the applicant is not accepted, notification will be sent so that alternate plans can be made.
  4. McNeese State University reserves the exclusive right to determine whether the documentation provided meets the minimum criteria necessary for the admission of international students to Graduate School.

Graduate School Regulations and Policies

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Student Responsibility

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Students are personally responsible for completing all degree requirements established by the University, the college, and the department. Students are responsible for informing themselves of these requirements. Students’ major professors may not assume these responsibilities and may not substitute or waive established requirements or academic standards.

Academic Standing

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  1. Probation:  Graduate students whose graduate overall or term GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Once on academic probation, a graduate student will continue on probation until he/she earns a graduate term and overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  2. Suspension:  Graduate students on academic probation whose term GPA falls below 3.0 will be suspended from further graduate studies. Students who earn a grade of “F” in any graduate course will be suspended from further graduate studies.
  3. Readmission of Suspended Students:  Suspended graduate students may be readmitted on probation only upon the recommendation of their academic department head and with the approval of the dean of Graduate School. Suspended graduate students may enroll in undergraduate courses without seeking approval for readmission to Graduate School. A suspended graduate student intending to enroll in undergraduate courses only must apply for undergraduate admission.

Change of Major or Status

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A graduate student wishing to change his/her major, to change from non-degree to degree-seeking status, or to change from degree-seeking status to non-degree status must submit an online application for admission to the Office of Admissions and Recruiting. Changes requested after the last day of late registration for a particular term will be effective for the next term of enrollment.

Course Load

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  1. Full-time graduate students are those registered for at least nine credit hours in a regular semester or for at least six credit hours in a summer session.
  2. Graduate students may enroll for up to 16 credit hours in a regular semester or for up to nine credit hours in a summer session.
  3. Students whose overall GPA is 3.6 or better may enroll in three additional credit hours with prior approval of the major professor, the department head, and the dean of Graduate School.
  4. The maximum course load for which a graduate student may enroll during an interim (between semesters) period is three credit hours, or one hour of graduate credit for each week of the session.

Graduate Assistantships

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  1. A limited number of graduate assistantships for teaching assistants, laboratory assistants, non-teaching assistants, and research assistants are available to qualified graduate students.
  2. Graduate students pursuing at least six credit hours of graduate work, enrolled in a graduate degree program, and in good academic standing may be eligible for a graduate assistantship.
  3. Assistantships shall be awarded for one semester only with a maximum of 1-1/2 assistantships per student. Students enrolled in thesis in progress only may be awarded an assistantship for a maximum of three semesters. Duties of the assistants are assigned according to the nature of the appointment, and the stipend varies with ability and preparation of the student and with the nature of the service.
  4. Applications for assistantships should be addressed to the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment.
  5. Graduate students employed as graduate assistants through the McNeese Office of Human Resources and Student Employment a waiver for half of the tuition portion of their tuition and fees and, if applicable, an out-of-state fee waiver.

Graduate Grade Appeals

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A student who feels that the final grade received in a graduate course is incorrect should discuss the matter with the instructor, department head, and college dean. The appropriate steps to appeal a final grade are as follows:

  1. Instructor: The student confers with the faculty member who assigned the grade and tries to resolve the difference.
  2. Department Head: If the problem is not resolved, the student obtains the Grade Appeal Form from the Office of the Registrar. The student submits the completed grade appeal form to the head of the department in which the grade was assigned. This must be done before the 20th class day of the next regular fall or spring semester after the grade was assigned. The department head investigates the appeal and makes a recommendation to the faculty member and the student.
  3. Dean: If either party is dissatisfied with the department head’s recommendation, the appeal is forwarded within 10 school days to the dean of the college in which the grade was assigned. The dean investigates and recommends a solution.
  4. Graduate Council: If the problem is not resolved with the dean’s recommendation, either party may appeal in writing to the Graduate Council within seven school days. If the appeal involves either a faculty member or student member of the council, a substitute faculty member or student member of the council is selected to serve for that appeal review only.
    1. Within 15 school days of receipt of a written appeal from a student or faculty member, the council considers the matter to determine if the appeal has sufficient basis to conduct a formal hearing. A vote of yes by two members of the council is required to grant a formal hearing. In the case where a formal hearing is denied, the student is notified of the finding and given 14 days to submit additional information and request a reconsideration of the case. If a reconsideration is requested, the council reviews the additional information submitted and votes whether to grant a formal hearing.
    2. If a formal hearing is scheduled, both the faculty member and the student are notified of the date, time, and place of the hearing at least four school days prior to the hearing. At the hearing, both the faculty member and the student appear, present their cases, and introduce into evidence tests, papers, grade reports, records of class procedures, and the like, in support of their cases. If the council feels further evidence is needed, it may call on other witnesses to give additional information. The council delivers its written recommendation to the provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, the dean, the department head, the faculty member, and the student involved.
    3. If the council rules in favor of the student, it recommends the appropriate grade change. The provost and vice president for academic and student affairs then rules on the recommendation of the council and informs, in writing, the student, the faculty member, the registrar, and other appropriate University personnel.

Second Master’s Degree

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Upon the recommendation of the major professor and department head, a student seeking a second master’s degree may, in individual cases, be allowed to apply a maximum of one-half the credit hours required for the second degree from a previous graduate degree. These credits must have been earned within six calendar years from the time the student first enrolled in the program. A student may receive only one degree under a single major.

Transfer Credit

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  1. Upon the recommendation of the major professor and department head and with the approval of the dean of Graduate School, a student may, in individual cases, transfer a maximum of one-third of the credit hours required for the degree from another accredited college or university to McNeese provided that:
    1. The grade in each course accepted is “B” or better.
    2. Each course is comparable to a required course in the degree program at McNeese State University.
    3. The credit has been earned within six calendar years from the date the student is first enrolled in the program at McNeese.
  2. No more than six credit hours of core courses may be transferred in to the MBA Program.
  3. Credits earned through a Louisiana multi-purpose resident center, as designated by the Board of Regents, may be considered for transfer if the student has been accepted in a degree program and has earned a minimum of 12 hours toward the degree. Petition for this credit is made to the dean of Graduate School.
  4. Correspondence or extension courses taken for graduate credit may not be used to fulfill graduation requirements in any graduate degree program.
  5. Transfer credit will not reduce the minimum residence requirements, which is two-thirds of the credits required for the degree.

Degree Requirements

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To be eligible to receive an advanced degree, graduate students must abide by all regulations and satisfy all requirements of the major department, the Graduate School, and the University. Graduating candidates must be eligible for the degree, complete degree requirements in a specified time period, meet residence requirements, complete master’s thesis (if applicable), and successfully pass a comprehensive examination. A graduate student must assume full responsibility for knowledge of these regulations and requirements.

Candidates for advanced degrees must file an application for degree by the current deadline as listed in the University Calendar. All candidates who are to receive degrees are to be present at the commencement exercises unless approval to graduate in absentia is granted.
 

QUICK REFERENCE STEPS IN COMPLETING DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
What When Procedures
Requirements for Graduate Program Within first semester/term of enrollment Consult with faculty advisor; submit appropriate forms as needed
Thesis Instructions Prior to typing thesis Obtain booklet from Graduate School
Application for Degree During registration of semester/term in which degree requirements will be completed Complete form in departmental office
Comprehensive Exam Must be taken no later than two weeks before conferring of degree Consult with advisor to set up exam date
Submit Thesis No later than two weeks before conferring of degree Submit to Graduate School
Thesis Binding Fee When original and copies are submitted Obtain form from Graduate School and pay Cashier
Commencement At end of spring and fall semesters  

Master’s Degree

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  1. The minimum credit hour requirement for the master’s degree is 30 credit hours of graduate work.
  2. Only 500- and 600-level courses can be used toward a graduate degree.
  3. At least one-half of the total number of credit hours required for the degree, excluding credit for the course titled “Thesis”, shall be in graduate courses numbered in the 600 series.
  4. To be approved for completing degree requirements, the student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0. No grade lower than “C” may be applied toward the degree. No more than six credit hours of “C” work may be applied toward the degree.
  5. If a thesis is not written, the student may be required to demonstrate acceptable research proficiency and reporting, as prescribed by the major department.
  6. A student on academic probation is not allowed to take the comprehensive final examination.
  7. All work applied toward the master’s degree must be completed within six calendar years from the date the student first enrolled in the program. All work applied toward the Master of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Counseling Psychology must be completed within eight calendar years from the date the student first enrolled in the program.

Education Beyond the Traditional Master’s Degree

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  1. The minimum credit hour requirement for a degree beyond the traditional master’s degree is 60 credit hours of graduate work.
  2. A minimum of one-half of the total credit hours required must be in courses open only to graduate students.
  3. Candidates for degree completion must have an overall and degree GPA of at least 3.0, no grade lower than “C” applied toward the degree, and no more than six credit hours of “C” in course work applied toward the degree.
  4. For the Master of Fine Arts degree:
    1. Each candidate is required to demonstrate creative writing skills by writing a thesis (novel or collection of short stories or poems) in a form prescribed by the Graduate Council.
    2. All work applied toward the degree must be completed within eight calendar years from the date the student first enrolled in the program.
  5. For the Education Specialist degree:
    1. Sixty-six credit hours are required of which thirty credit hours must be earned after receiving the master’s degree.
    2. Twenty-four of the last thirty post-master’s credit hours must be earned in residence.
    3. Each candidate must submit an acceptable field study and pass a comprehensive final examination.
    4. All work beyond the master’s degree which is applied to the Education Specialist degree must be completed within six calendar years from the date the student first enrolled in the program.

Thesis

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The Master of Arts and Master of Science degree programs may require a thesis. The thesis subject is selected by the student and approved by the major professor and the student’s examining committee no later than the close of the semester preceding that in which the student is planning to complete degree requirements. If degree completion is planned for a summer session, the thesis subject must be approved no later than 60 days after the first day of classes in the spring semester.

The thesis should demonstrate the student’s capacity for creative expression, research, ability to organize and interpret data, and ability to report research in an acceptable style. The thesis shall be in the form prescribed by the instruction booklet for thesis writing which may be obtained from Graduate School.

The student must register for departmental Thesis courses during each semester the thesis is in progress and for each semester or term in which the student receives faculty assistance and/or uses University facilities and resources. The student must be enrolled for Thesis the semester the thesis is completed and approved by the examining committee.

At the end of each semester in which the thesis is in progress, a grade of “IN” (in progress) shall be assigned to the student. After final approval of the thesis by the examining committee and by the appropriate authorities, after the examining committee certifies the student has passed the defense, and after all copies of the thesis have been approved by the Graduate School office, a final grade of “P” shall be assigned to all thesis courses; however, only six hours of thesis credit are applicable to the master’s degree.

The acceptance of the thesis lies with the student’s examining committee, and its defense becomes a part of the final comprehensive examination. The thesis must be in the hands of the major professor at least four weeks before the commencement date. The original, with the certificate of approval signed by all examining committee members, must be given to the Graduate School for review at least two weeks before the commencement date. The original, corrected thesis, the signed title page, and all copies must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than the Wednesday before commencement. At this time, the student must pay the necessary binding fee. The original thesis will be cataloged in the Lether E. Frazar Memorial Library. The first copy will be given to the major professor by the student, and the second copy will become the student’s property. One additional copy of the thesis may be a departmental requirement.

Comprehensive Final Examination

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Each candidate for the master’s degree (except MBA) will be required to pass a comprehensive final examination covering areas of the student’s major and minor fields of study. If a thesis is written, the comprehensive examination will include a defense of the thesis. The examination may be oral, written, or both, as designated by the examining committee, and will be conducted at least two weeks before the date on which the degree is conferred. A student on probation will not be allowed to take the comprehensive final examination.

On a comprehensive final examination, an examining committee’s decision to pass or fail must be unanimous. If the committee reports that the student has failed, there will be no re-examination. If the committee does not reach a unanimous decision for a pass, the student is informed of the conditions that must be met prior to re-examination. Only one such re-examination will be permitted. This examination will be permitted no sooner than the following semester or summer session. The dean of Graduate School will set the time for the re-examination upon the recommendation of the major professor. On a re-examination by the original committee, the decision to pass must be unanimous; otherwise, the student is failed.

Upon written petition by the student, the dean of Graduate School may augment the examining committee or appoint a new committee for the re-examination of the student; this committee shall consist of at least three but no more than five members. The decision to pass must be a majority; otherwise, the student is failed.

Examining Committee

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The dean of Graduate School, upon recommendation of the major professor, will appoint the student’s examining committee. This committee will consist of the major professor as chairperson, two additional graduate faculty members representing areas of the student’s concentration, and others as deemed appropriate.