2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    May 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations & Requirements


Degree-Seeking Students

Electronic registration precedes each semester. Visit the Portal to register online, or request a paper registration form. Full payment or deferred payment forms should accompany the registration form. Northern Vermont University faculty will work only with students whose registrations are current. Contact the Graduate Office if you have any questions.

Non-degree Students

Students who have a bachelor’s degree and who have not been admitted to a degree program may enroll in graduate courses as non-matriculated students, if seats are available. Contact the Graduate Office (Johnson students) or the Student Services Office (Lyndon students) for current information or check the university’s web site at www.NorthernVermont.edu.

Class Attendance

Students who register for a course prior to the first week of the semester or during the first day of the course are expected to attend at least one of the first two class sessions. Some graduate courses require that students attend the first class meeting. Students unable to attend the first class meeting may be required to drop the course. A faculty member may fill absent places with students wishing to enter the course and refuse entry to students who have not attended one of the first two class meetings.

Note: If students are refused entry into a class because of the above circumstances, they must still officially drop that course from their schedule at the Registrar’s Office. Tuition refunds which might be due will be made only on the basis of a properly filed drop form, regardless of the student’s actual attendance in the class.

Adding, Dropping & Withdrawing from Courses

Students adding, dropping, or withdrawing from a course must complete the appropriate registration adjustment form with the Registrar’s Office. The following deadlines and guidelines apply:

  • Full-semester courses, including independent study courses, may be added only until the end of the second week of the semester.  Written permission of the instructor is required after the first week of the semester.
  • Full-semester courses may be dropped until the end of the second week of the semester.
  • Full-semester courses may be withdrawn from until the end of the ninth week of the semester.

The Registrar will publish the exact dates on which these deadlines fall. To add or drop a course beyond the specified deadline, or to withdraw from a course after the withdrawal deadline, a student must appeal to the Graduate Committee. If a withdrawal request is granted, the course will appear on the transcript with a “W.” The withdrawal will not affect a student’s grade point average. There are no financial refunds for approved late withdrawals.

Note: Graduate courses (course catalog numbers 5000 and above) are open to undergraduates only with the permission of the instructor.

Auditing Courses

Permission of the instructor and approval of the Registrar is required to audit a course. No credit or grades are assigned for audited courses. A per-credit tuition fee of one-half of in-state or out-of-state rates, whichever applies, is charged. Students wishing to audit a course should follow normal registration procedures, indicating AU as their grade option when registering.The choice to audit a course must be made prior to the end of the add/drop period. Audit rates apply only to courses with full tuition rates and not to extension courses or courses with special/reduced rates.

Plan of Study

During the first semester of study (or prior to completion of twelve credits for NVU-Johnson students), students will complete a Plan of Study with their advisor. The Plan of Study is documented in writing, signed by the student, advisor, the department chairperson, and the Provost or designee. 

If in the process of developing the Plan of Study the advisor determines additional background coursework is needed, a plan to address that is developed at that time. Once the Plan of Study is signed by the student, their advisor, the appropriate department chairperson, and the Provost, or desginee, a copy is filed with the Registrar’s Office. The Plan of Study is a legal agreement between the university and the student. Changes in the Plan of Study may be made with the appropriate approvals. If modifications are made to the Plan of Study, the modified Plan of Study must be filed with the Registrar’s Office.

Coursework specified in the Plan of Study must be completed with a grade of B or better for the student to be eligible for graduation.


Passing Grades

Students in graduate courses are graded on a continuum from A through F. Graduate credit is granted when grades of A through C+ are earned; however, courses with grades of C+ do not meet any graduation requirements.  Performance at the C through F level is graded as “F” (Unsatisfactory) and earns no credit. At NVU-Johnson, a Pass/No Pass option is available for some courses in the Counseling Program, and all courses within the M.F.A. degree are graded Pass/No Pass.


A grade of Incomplete (I) will be given to work of satisfactory quality in a course when the full amount of required work has not been completed because of illness or other reasons beyond the control of the student. It cannot be used instead of a failing grade in situations involving a student’s lack of ability or negligence. The student has until the seventh week of the next regular semester (excluding the summer semester) to complete the work, although the instructor may impose a shorter deadline. This mid-semester deadline applies regardless of whether the student is enrolled during the semester.

  • When the student has completed the required course work within the time specified on the Incomplete Grade form, the instructor will change the previously submitted I (Incomplete) grade to the appropriate new grade by submitting the appropriate completed and signed form to the Registrar’s Office by the required deadline.
  • The Registrar’s Office will automatically change Incompletes to Fs or NP’s at the end of the specified time unless a grade is submitted by the faculty before the stated deadline for turning in the final grades.
  • When a grade of Incomplete is replaced by another grade, the previously recorded grade of “I” is removed on the transcript and replaced with the new grade. Then, any grade point averages (both semester and cumulative) affected by this grade change will be recalculated with the previously recorded averages removed from the transcript and replaced with the new averages, and academic standing and eligibility for academic awards reevaluated and implemented.

Grade Changes 

After the Registrar’s Office receives an instructor’s signed electronic or paper grade sheet, grades can be changed only in accordance with these policies: 

  • Requests for grade changes (except changes from “I”) must be submitted prior to one year after the end of the semester in which the course was taken.
  • All changes of grade, including those requested by the instructor, must be approved by either the Registrar or the Academic Standards Committee of the Faculty Assembly.  See official Change of Grade form for details.
  • When clerical errors in the recording of grades are discovered, the Registrar is to make the appropriate grade correction and notify the student and the instructor.

Not Graded Work

A grade of NG (not graded) will be given when a course is still officially in progress at the end of a regular semester. When the course is subsequently completed, the NG is removed and only the final grade will show on the transcript.

Calculating Your GPA

To determine grade point averages, use the following quality point information:

A+: 4.0 B+: 3.3 C+: 2.3  
A: 4.0 B: 3.0 F: 0.0  
A-: 3.7 B-: 2.7    

Quality points earned in each course are calculated by multiplying the number of quality points for each grade by the number of credits in the course. The semester grade point average is calculated by dividing the total letter-graded credit hours attempted for the semester into the total quality points earned for the semester. Cumulative grade point average is computed by dividing the total letter-graded credit hours attempted to date within the Vermont State Colleges System into the total quality points earned for all courses completed to date within the Vermont State Colleges System.

Repeat Course Option

Students may repeat any course they have previously taken, except Independent Study, Special Topics, or other designated courses where new work is completed, to attempt to earn a higher grade and improve their grade point average. When a course has been repeated, the initial grade remains on the transcript but is taken out of the student’s cumulative GPA. The most recent grade will be the only one computed in the student’s cumulative average. Credit in the course may be earned only once. If the credit value of the course has changed, the repeated course is worth the new credit value.

Academic Honesty

Academic dishonesty is a serious offense against the university and its entire community of learners. Academic dishonesty includes any act that is intended to deceive, cheat, or defraud so as to enhance or promote one’s own or another’s academic standing, or to diminish another’s academic standing.

The following list of offenses is illustrative of academic dishonesty and is not meant to be comprehensive:

  1. Plagiarism consists of offering as one’s own work the words, ideas, or arguments of another person, without appropriate attribution by quotation, reference or footnote. Plagiarism occurs both when the words of another are reproduced without acknowledgment and when the ideas or arguments of another are paraphrased in such a way as to lead the reader to believe that they originated with the writer.
  2. Buying or commissioning term papers, essays or comparable documents and submitting them as one’s own.
  3. Communicating during an examination session with the intent of copying from or supplying information to another student.
  4. Receiving aid in taking examinations through such means as “crib sheets” or other supplementary notes, excepting sources permitted by the instructor.
  5. Soliciting or obtaining an examination or portions thereof either prior or subsequent to an examination session except as authorized by the instructor.
  6. Substituting for another student at an examination session.
  7. Knowingly and actively assisting any person committing an act of academic dishonesty.
  8. Altering, changing or forging college academic records, for either oneself or another.
  9. Infringing on the rights of other students for fair and equal access to university library materials and other academic resources.
  10. Deliberately attempting to prevent other users from having access to the college’s computers, computer terminals or other resources, or to degrade the performance of computer equipment.

An instructor suspecting a student of academic dishonesty shall inform the student of the charge and its basis in fact, and give the student an opportunity to respond. Should the instructor subsequently determine that the student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, s/he may impose sanctions for the offense to include failure of the assignment, failure in the course, and dismissal from the course. The instructor will notify the student in writing of his/her decision, as well as the sanction associated with the offense, and submit a copy of that letter to the Office of Academic Affairs. Other possible judicial sanctions may be imposed by the Provost, or his/her designee, the Dean of Students, or the Academic Status Committee following appropriate notice from the faculty member. Students may appeal the action of an instructor under the general procedure for “Academic Appeals,” which is included near the end of this section.

Violations of academic honesty resulting in the disciplinary sanctions of probation or college dismissal will be entered in the individual’s academic file maintained by the Registrar’s Office.

Students have the right to appeal the action of a faculty member according to campus policy.

For a more complete description of the official policy on academic honesty, please refer to official policy.

Disciplinary Sanctions

The Academic Status Committee (NVU-Lyndon) or the Graduate Committee (NVU-Johnson), upon receipt of a notification of academic dishonesty, may recommend disciplinary action if the nature of the offense or a prior history suggests that further action may be appropriate. The committee shall follow appropriate judicial procedures.

Academic Standing

Good Academic Standing

From the beginning of their studies, graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average to be in good academic standing. If cumulative grade point average drops below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation for one semester. If the student fails to earn a semester grade point average of 3.0 after one semester on probation, the student will be dismissed from the university.

The university makes decisions on academic standing at the end of each semester. The letter notifying students of these decisions will contain a time frame for appeals. All students will be accorded opportunity for due process.

Academic Probation 

NVU-Lyndon graduate students are placed on academic probation for one semester when their cumulative GPA drops below 2.67.  NVU-Johnson graduate students are placed on academic probation after two semesters with a cumulative GPA below 3.00. Graduate students who are on probation may not register for more than three (3) classes. To register, students on probation must meet with their faculty advisor. All graduate students on probation will receive a letter from the university indicating that their performance is below the standard for graduation.

Academic Dismissal

Graduate students who are on probation have one semester to recover their GPA and avoid academic dismissal.  The student’s dismissal note shall cite the specific reasons for the dismissal. Students dismissed from the university may not enroll in NVU courses that apply toward their graduate degree without the approval of the Graduate Department Chair and the Provost or designee.

Academic Early Dismissal

Students failing to achieve a grade point average of 2.00 or better at the end of their first semester of enrollment will be immediately dismissed from the university for a minimum of one semester.

Appeal of Academic Dismissal

The students written appeal must contain clear statements of the basis for the appeal. The Academic Status Committee (NVU-Lyndon) and the Graduate Committee (NVU-Johnson) will meet to review the appeal, render a decision, and notify the student and specific university personnel in a timely manner. Students may appeal the Committee’s decision by sending a written statement to the Provost (or designee). The Provost (or designee) will rule on the appeal within a reasonable amoung of time and inform the student and the Committee of the ruling in writing. The Provost’s decision shall be final.

Readmission after Academic Dismissal

Readmission prior to start of subsequent semester:

A student may request consideration for readmission in writing within the designated time frame state in the dismissal letter. Such requests are addressed to and acted upon by the Academic Status Committee (NVU-Lyndon) or the Graduate Committee (NVU-Johnson). If readmitted to study, the student may not register for more than two (2) courses during the semester they are readmitted; and must confirm their registration in courses with the appropriate department chairperson. Appeals of negative decisions are made to the Provost, who may or may not hear the appeal, or who may appoint a designee to hear the appeal.

Readmission one or more semesters after dismissal:

Requests for consideration for admission are made (consistent with the academic dismissal policy rules) in writing to the Dean of Enrollment & Marketing (or designee). If the student is eligible for graduate program admission, the Dean (or designee) shall make the readmission decision based on criteria consistent with the stated dismissal reasons. When the dismissal involved nonacademic reasons, the Dean (or designee) shall make the readmissions decision after consultation with the Dean of Student Affairs (or other appropriate university administrator).

Dismissed students may be required to secure a statement from the department chairperson that they appear to be admissible to that major program before they are allowed to re-enter the university.

Exit & Leave of Absence

Leave of Absence

Students in good academic standing who wish to interrupt their studies for up to one year may request a leave of absence by submitting an electronic “Student Exit Notification and Leave of Absence” form via the NVU Portal. The leave is not official until the request is approved by the Registrar. In special circumstances, the Leave of Absence may be extended by the university beyond the approved period.

Exiting from the University

A student voluntarily exiting from the university during the semester must do so formally (see process below).

The transcripts of students exiting the university after the beginning of classes and prior to the withdrawal deadline (the end of week nine) will show W grades for all courses enrolled in that semester.

The transcripts of students exiting the university after the ninth week will show A-F or P/NP grades submitted by their instructors. While the university does not seek to keep a student enrolled when it is clear that college attendance is not in the student’s best interest, the university will not allow a student to exit merely to avoid failing grades.

Students who exit from the university may re-apply by making formal application with the Admissions Office. All previous grades recieved will be used in making an admission decision.

Process for Exiting:

  1. Students seeking to exit voluntarily from the university must present a properly completed exit form to the Registrar’s Office for approval. After acceptance of the exit, the Registrar’s Office will, as soon as feasible, inform the student’s academic advisor, instructors, and all appropriate administrative offices of the exit.
  2. The official date of exit is determined as follows:
    1. The Registrar will determine the official date of exit based on the date the exit form is submitted.
    2. If the student leaves the unviersity without notification (that is, if the student does not exit officially), the last recorded date of class attendance by the student, as documented by the university, may be used as the official date of exit.
  3. Failure to exit officially will lead to grades of F (or NC or NP) in all courses, as appropriate.
  4. If the date of exit is:
    1. Within the first week of classes: no record will appear on the transcript; student will be considered as not having attended, for purposes of the academic record.
    2. Within the second through the third week of classes, the transcript:
      1. Will not indicate the courses of registration;
      2. Will indicate the date of exit.
    3. After the end of the third week of classes and up until the end of the ninth week of classes, the transcript will indicate the date of exit, the courses of registration, and a grade of W in those courses.
    4. After the first nine weeks of the semester:
      1. Students may exit from the university without any academic penalty only by intervention of the Provost and only after they present to the Provost satisfactory evidence that they must exit for unusual and compelling reasons. Such reasons shall normally be limited to those of mental or physical ill health, and evidence must include a signed statement of a physician or other person accepted by the university as qualified to make such a judgment;
      2. The decision to grant the late exit will be made by the Provost and Dean of Student Affairs with the right to appeal to the Graduate Commitee on the NVU-Johnson campus or the Academic Status Committee on the NVU-Lyndon campus;
      3. The transcript will indicate the date of exit, the courses of registration, and a grade of W in those courses.
  5. Adjustments for tuition and fees will be based upon the date a completed exit form is validated by the Registrar. Financial aid may also be adjusted based on the exit date.

    Students who exit or are dismissed during the semester will be credited for tuition, and appropriate fees, on the same daily pro-rata schedule used to calculate return of Title IV funds. Students who exit and end on-campus residency will be credited for room and board until the end of the term on the same pro-rata schedule.


  1. Students who exit or are dismissed during the first week (seven calendar days) of the semester will be credited 100% of tuition and fees.
  2. Students who exit after the 60% point of the semester will receive no credit for tuition, fees, nor room and board.

Involuntary Exit

In cases where the psychological or the emotional state of a student creates a clear and present danger to the well-being of the student or to other members of the university community, the Dean of Students or the university Counselor may carry out an involuntary exit of the student. An involuntary exit requires withdrawal from all courses. Students who fail to leave the campus as directed will be declared in trespass and civil authorities may be contacted. Students exiting involuntarily who wish to re-enroll in the university must reapply for admission and may be required to meet with an official of the university.

Readmission after Leave of Absence

Students granted leave are not required to apply for readmission but are treated as returning students under university  policies. If, however, students do not return after the leave of absence expires, they will be withdrawn from the program. When returning after a leave of absence, students retain the academic standing in effect at the time their leave was granted.    

Readmission after Exiting

A student who has exited from the university may apply for readmission in any subsequent semester; the readmission decision is based on the student’s eligibility. Students who do not enroll in courses for more than two (2) semesters without applying for a leave of absence will be considered having exited. 

Appeal of Academic Policies

Students may appeal any academic regulation or decision to the Graduate Committee of the Faculty Assembly and then to the Provost and President of the university. Information on procedures for appeal may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.

Time Limit to Complete a Graduate Degree

NVU-Johnson:  A student must complete the master’s degree within five years of acceptance into the Graduate Program unless otherwise noted in program-specific information. Students who have not completed by that time, or have not requested and been granted an extension by the Graduate Committee, will be dismissed from the program. Transcripts of students exiting the college after the beginning of classes and prior to the withdrawal deadline (the end of week nine) will show W grades for all courses enrolled in that semester. The transcripts of students exiting NVU-Johnson after the 9th week will show A-F or P/NP grades submitted by their instructors.

Students who exit from NVU-Johnson may reapply by making formal application with the Admissions Office. All previous grades received will be used in making an admission decision. For refunds on tuition charges, please see refund policy.

NVU-Lyndon: Graduate degree programs consisting of thirty-six (36) credits should be completed within seven (7) years. At least 18 of the 36 credits applied toward degree requirements must be taken at NVU-Lyndon as graduate degree credits. A maximum of twelve (12) transfer credits earned within five years prior to admission to the program can be applied to the degree. Extensions may be granted for extenuating circumstances.


Graduation Requirements

Students must meet graduation and degree requirements, including satisfactory completion of appropriate graduation standards, as published in a single catalog that is in effect during or after the semester of their first enrollment, and published not more than five years prior to the award of the degree (that is, the current academic year plus the previous four academic years. Students who are dismissed from the university or who have left the university without obtaining a leave of absence must fulfill all program requirements in a catalog in effect after they are readmitted to the university. Catalogs, until surpassed by the next edition, have an effective date of the first day of the fall semester of the year in which they are published. A student who began study in a degree program while the program was available, and who completes requirements within the specified time limits, may be awarded a degree even if the program is not listed in the catalog in effect at the time of completion of all requirements.

Faculty Assembly actions affecting graduation and degree requirements will have an effective date of the first day of the first academic session of the summer of the academic year after their passage, unless specified otherwise. 

In order to graduate, students must: 

  • be matriculated (Students absent from the university and who are not on Leave of Absence seeking to complete a degree with Northern Vermont University courses must apply for readmission.);
  • be certain that official transcripts for all courses taken at other institutions are on file in the Registrars Office.
  • have a signed Plan of Study;
  • have no grade lower than a B- or P in any course to count toward graduation and a cumulative grade point average of no lower than 3.00 for all courses submitted to fulfill the graduate degree.
  • have approval of the Faculty Assembly after review by the Registrars Office, academic advisor, appropriate department chairperson, and Academic Status Committee;
  • ensure that all graduation requirements, with the exception of courses to be taken in the last semester, are satisfied by the first day of the semester of expected graduation;
  • submit an Application for Degree/Application for Graduation during the semester prior to thier expected semester of graduation:
    • for December graduates: by the end of the spring registration period (for fall classes)
    • for May and August graduates:  by the end of the fall registration period (for spring classes)    

*Students missing these deadlines must have their graduation request approved by the Provost & Dean of Student Affairs (or designee). 

The responsibility for requesting the conferring of a degree rests with the student. Failure to comply with these requirements may delay graduation.

Satisfaction of graduation requirements, including coursework and graduation standards, will be monitored by the Registrar’s Office. If it appears that graduation requirements will not be met, the student and the appropriate department chair and/or academic advisor will be notified. Any rectifying response, including waiver decisions, must be arranged in such a way that all graduation requirements, with the exception of courses to be taken in the last semester, will be satisfied by the first day of the semester of expected graduation. Failure to do so may delay graduation, even if all requirements are completed prior to the intended date.

Conferral of Degrees

Degrees are conferred once each year in a ceremony at the end of the spring semester. Students who complete their degree requirements at other times during the year will be certified as having completed their programs but will not actually receive their diplomas until the spring semester. Diplomas are dated August, December, or May for students completing studies in summer, fall, or spring semesters respectively. Students will recieve their diplomas by mail after completion of all degree requirements is verified by the Registrar’s Office. Official transcripts from the university will reflect the actual date that the degree was awarded.

Participation in Commencement

Only students who have completed all degree requirements may participate in commencement. The university recognizes that there may be occasions when special circumstances arise.

An NVU-Johnson student who has no more than six outstanding course credits, or one experience as an internship, of completing all gradution requirements may be petition the Registrar to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

NVU-Lyndon students must provide an explanation in writing of the special circumstances and have no more than six credits to complete in the summer semester; and then petition the Academic Dean or his/her designee to participate in Commencement. The decision of the Academic Dean or his/her designee is final and may not be appealed to the President.

Transcript Requests

Official transcripts are available by submitting an online request at www.parchment.com (a minimal fee is charged).

Transcripts will not be released until all bills due the college are paid. Students requesting a transcript toward the end of any semester should indicate whether they want it sent immediately or whether it should be held until final grades are recorded. In the latter case, transcripts will not be sent out until at least the third week following the end of the semester.