Jul 12, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 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.

Graduate School Regulations and Policies

Student Responsibility

Each student is personally responsible for completing all degree requirements established by the University and the appropriate college and department. It is the student’s responsibility to be informed of requirements and any changes which may be implemented. A student’s advisor or major professor may not assume these responsibilities and may not substitute, waive, or exempt the student from any established requirement or academic standard. Additionally, students are held responsible for rules and regulations governing University requirements such as routine registration, academic standards, student activities, and organizations.

Academic Standing

  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 director of the 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

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.

Graduate Course Load

  1. Full-time course load: Graduate students registered for at least nine credit hours during a regular semester or a summer session are considered full-time.
    1. Students enrolled in any of the following courses are considered full-time to prevent student loans from entering repayment status, for insurance purposes, and for Citizenship and Immigration Services (SEVIS) reporting: ARED 445, ARED 470, ARED 472, CSCI 399, EDUC 460E, EDUC 460M, EDUC 460S, EDUC 461E, EDUC 461M, EDUC 461S, EDUC 462E, EDUC 462M, EDUC 462S, EDUC 463E, EDUC 463M, EDUC 463S, EDUC 468E, EDUC 468P, EDUC 468S, EDUC 470E, EDUC 470P, EDUC 470S, EDUC 472E, EDUC 472P, EDUC 472S, EDUC 483E, EDUC 483P, EDUC 483S, EDUC 485E, EDUC 485P, EDUC 485S, EDUC 680E, EDUC 680S, EDUC 682E, EDUC 682S, EDUC 683, EDUC 685, EDUC 696E, EDUC 696S, EDUC 697E, EDUC 697S, ENGR 350, ENGR 450, ENGR 550, HHP 468, HHP 470, HHP 472, MATH 399, MUED 442, MUED 470, MUED 472, and STAT 399.
    2. Graduate students on an F-1 visa registered for at least six credit hours during a summer session are considered full-time for Citizenship and Immigration Services (SEVIS) reporting.
  2. Part-time course load: Graduate students registered for less than nine credit hours during a regular semester or a summer session are considered part-time.
  3. 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.
  4. Graduate 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 director of the Graduate School.
  5. The maximum course load for which a student may enroll during an interim period, or pre-session, is three credit hours.

Graduate Assistantships

  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 a term of one semester with a maximum of 1-1/2 assistantships per student per term. 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.
  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 Office of Human Resources and Student Employment receive 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

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 and Admissions. 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 affairs and enrollment management, 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 affairs and enrollment management then rules on the recommendation of the council and informs, in writing, the student, the faculty member, the registrar, and other appropriate University personnel.

Transfer Credit

  1. Upon the recommendation of the major professor and department head and with the approval of the director of the 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 a 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 director of the 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.

Course Revalidation Process

  1. The process to revalidate a course which has exceeded the degree time limit and apply it towards a student’s degree is as follows:
    1. The student’s advisor must draft a memo justifying, with supporting evidence, why the course should be applied toward the degree, and the memo must be signed by the department head and dean. The supporting evidence must:
      1. Establish that the material from the course at the time it was taken is similar to what is currently being taught; and
      2. Demonstrate that the student has retained this material.
    2. The signed memo will be forwarded to the director of the Graduate School, who will submit it to the Graduate Council for review and approval.
    3. Upon approval, the memo and corresponding Graduate Council meeting minutes will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office for processing.
  2. This process must be completed prior to the last semester in which the student plans to graduate. 

Degree and Graduation Requirements

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 a thesis (if applicable), and successfully pass a comprehensive examination (if applicable). 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 Academic Calendar . All candidates who are to receive degrees should be present at the commencement exercises unless a Request to Graduate in Absentia is submitted.


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 Consult the Thesis Manual Guidelines     
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 (or by date set in Academic Calendar ) Consult with advisor to set up exam date
Submit Thesis No later than two weeks before conferring of degree (or by date set in Academic Calendar ) 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  

General Degree and Graduation Requirements

  1.  Curriculum requirements listed in one issue of the Academic Catalog must be completed.
    1. The catalog in effect when the student first registered in that curriculum, at McNeese or at another institution accredited by a USDOE-approved institutional accreditor, is followed. However, the student may choose to follow updated curriculum requirements that become effective while enrolled in that curriculum. In the case of a transfer student, supporting documents showing original entry into the program must be furnished.
    2. Students who interrupt their college work for at least one regular fall or spring semester will be required to complete degree requirements in effect at the time of re-entry.
    3. If a student changes to another curriculum and then changes back to the former curriculum, the catalog in effect at the time of returning to the former curriculum is followed.
    4. Changes may be made without prior notice, and students may be required to comply with curriculum changes when they become effective.
    5. Updates to a program’s concentration will not change the catalog year of the student’s curriculum requirements, provided the concentration was in place for that catalog year.
    6. A student who adds a concentration that was not in place for his/her catalog year’s curriculum requirements will be required to complete the curriculum requirements from the catalog year establishing the concentration.
    7. In cases where extenuating circumstances exist, exceptions to this policy may be made with approval of the academic department head, dean, director of the Graduate School, and provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management.
  2. Only courses numbered 500 and above may be applied toward a graduate degree or certificate.
  3. At least one-half of the total number of credit hours required for a graduate degree, excluding credit for thesis, must be at the 600-level or higher.
  4. To satisfy residence requirements, at least two-thirds (67%) of the credit required for a graduate degree or certificate must be earned at McNeese. Additionally, a doctoral degree requires at least two semesters of consecutive graduate study to meet residence requirements.
  5. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0, as well as a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on all courses credited toward the degree or certificate, is required. No grade lower than C and no more than six credit hours of C work may be applied toward the degree or certificate.
  6. Specific departmental and program requirements must be met.
  7. If a thesis is not written for the master’s degree, the student may be required to demonstrate acceptable research proficiency and reporting, as prescribed by the major department.
  8. All University accounts must be cleared.
  9. An application for degree should be filed at the time of registration, but no later than the deadline listed in the Academic Calendar , for the semester or summer session in which the candidate will complete degree or certificate requirements.
  10. Official grades for any transfer credit used toward completion of degree or certificate requirements must be received at least 72 hours before commencement.
  11. Graduating students are expected to attend commencement exercises unless a Request to Graduate in Absentia is submitted.

Master’s Degree

  1. The minimum credit hour requirement for the master’s degree is 30 credit hours of graduate work, of which not more than six credit hours of thesis may be applied.
  2. Of the total credit hours required, a minimum of 18 credit hours, including thesis credit, must be in the major discipline.
  3. 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 Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Master of Science in School Counseling must be completed within eight calendar years from the date the student first enrolled in the program. 

Dual Degrees (Bachelor’s + Master’s)

  1. A dual (or combined) degree program is a formal plan of study for completing both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree at an accelerated pace.
  2. Dual degree programs are established through the University’s curriculum and course development process.
  3. Course and degree requirements for the dual degree program must be the same as for the separate and distinct bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
  4. The dual degree program should total 150 credit hours or more. Exceptions to this requirement may only be made with appropriate justification and approval of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Graduate Council, and the Academic Advisory Council.
  5. Up to 12 graduate credit hours can be earned during the final 30 credit hours of the bachelor’s degree.
  6. Up to six graduate credit hours can be used to satisfy both bachelor’s and master’s degree requirements, provided grades of C or better are earned.
    1. Academic programs can set higher grade requirements.
  7. Acceptance of a student into a dual degree program constitutes acceptance into Graduate School.
  8. To apply for acceptance into a dual degree program, a student must:
    1. Have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher;
    2. Meet all requirements set forth by the academic department, which may include, but are not limited to, a higher GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and essays or writing samples;
    3. Submit a completed dual degree program application form to the academic department, once 60 credit hours have been earned toward the bachelor’s degree.
  9. Once accepted into a dual degree program, a student:
    1. Can enroll in up to 12 graduate credit hours during the final 30 credit hours of the bachelor’s degree;
    2. Must graduate with the bachelor’s degree once all requirements for that degree are met;
    3. Is classified as an undergraduate student and is charged undergraduate tuition and fees until the bachelor’s degree is awarded;
    4. Is classified as a graduate student and is charged graduate tuition and fees after the bachelor’s degree is awarded;
    5. Can continue enrolling in graduate coursework provided an overall graduate GPA of 3.0 and an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.2 are maintained.
    6. Is not required to complete a graduate application for admission to the master’s degree program provided enrollment after the awarding of the bachelor’s degree is continuous during fall and spring semesters.
  10. Eligibility for financial assistance is based on the level of the student and course level, and financial assistance does not typically cover graduate-level courses taken by undergraduate students or vice versa. Students are encouraged to discuss their financial assistance eligibility with Student Central prior to applying for a dual degree program.

Second Master’s Degree

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.

Education Beyond the Traditional Master’s Degree

  1. The minimum credit hour requirement for a degree beyond the traditional master’s degree is 60 credit hours of graduate work.
  2. 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 Master of Fine Arts degree must be completed within eight calendar years from the date the student first enrolled in the program.


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 in the Thesis Manual Guidelines .

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

If required by the program, each candidate for the master’s degree 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 or re-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 in that current semester. 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 department or examination committee will set the date and time for the re-examination according to departmental policies, administer the exam, and report the pass/fail score. 

Upon written petition by the student, the director of the 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

Upon recommendation of the major professor, the director of the Graduate School will approve 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.


The minimum credit hour requirement for the graduate or post-master’s certificate is 12 credit hours of graduate work.

Doctoral Degree

  1. Each candidate for the doctoral degree shall successfully:
    1. Complete a general or comprehensive examination, which shall cover all areas of study included for the degree and may be oral, written, or both;
    2. Complete a dissertation that augments or reinterprets the knowledge within a field or, in the case of a professional doctoral program, a final project that applies to known principles and research procedures and provides for professional experience; and
    3. Complete a final examination, which defends the dissertation or final project and may be oral, written, or both.
  2. All work applied toward the doctoral degree must be completed within six calendar years following admission to candidacy.
  3. Any prior work applied to the degree must have been completed within nine calendar years immediately preceding the date on which the degree is conferred.
  4. Upon the recommendation of the major professor and department head and with the approval of the director of the Graduate School, graduate transfer credit earned beyond the master’s degree and prior to admission to the doctoral program may be transferred if applicable to the student’s degree plan.