2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    May 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Information



Non-Degree Graduate Students

Students who do not wish to enter a degree program but want to enroll in additional coursework may enroll in undergraduate or graduate courses without being formally admitted to the university. However, non-matriculated students may be refused registration on the basis of a previous record at either NVU campus, and matriculated students will be given preference to register in classes over non-matriculated students.

Graduate Degree-Seeking Students

In order to be considered for admission to the master’s degree programs, applicants must submit to the Admissions Office an admissions portfolio of the items listed below. Students must already have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. Application forms are available online at www.NorthernVermont.edu/Apply.

International Students

In addition to all other required admission materials, university applicants whose native language is not English will be required to provide evidence of English proficiency. Such proficiency may be demonstrated by submitting results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam or through interviews with the Dean of Admissions (or designee). A score in excess of 499 on the TOEFL (paper-based test), 174 (computer-based test), or 80 (web-based test) is considered a demonstration of English proficiency. Applicants who score less than 500 are required to be interviewed by a university official, and may be refused admittance.  For applicants who have graduated from a U.S. high school, other English proficiency measurements may be considered in place of the TOEFL.  Students with English-language deficits can receive academic support through univerisity Academic Support Centers.

Non-U.S. applicants need to provide financial documentation for immigration purposes equal to one year’s expenses (see the Financial Documentation form).

How to Apply

To apply for admission to any Northern Vermont University graduate program, visit www.NorthernVermont.edu/Apply, select the link for graduate programs, then choose the appropriate application based on your program of choice. If you have difficulty accessing the online application, contact the NVU-Johnson or NVU-Lyndon Admissions Office.

Requirements vary depending on the program to which you are applying; specifics are noted on the application. In general, however, all graduate programs require the following in addition to the application:

  • An official transcript from all previous colleges and/or universities attended
  • Three recommendations from professors or other professionals who know the quality of your preparation or who can attest to your character and skills
  • A two-page essay explaining your interest in graduate study
  • A personal interview after NVU receives all required materials

See additional program-specific information below.

University policy ensures that persons are neither denied benefits nor subjected to discrimination in any manner on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, sex, veteran status, sexual orientation, or disability. This applies to all areas of the universities services and actions. See the Dean of Enrollment & Marketing or the Dean of Administration  if you have questions or special needs.

Master of Education Programs (M.Ed.) at NVU-Lyndon

  • Completed graduate application;
  • Official copies of transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work.  Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or have completed three graduate courses with a GPA of 3.0 at an accredited institution;
  • A statement of purpose describing desired outcomes from completion of a master’s degree program at NVU-Lyndon. This statement should highlight the applicant’s strengths for completing a graduate degree and provide a rationale for selection of the particular concentration and specialization;
  • Two letters of recommendation from professionals knowledgeable of your professional commitment. One letter is required from a Headmaster or Principal, Department Chairperson (if any), or undergraduate degree advisor if applicant has not taught;
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae;
  • Formal interview; and,
  • A non-refundable application fee of $50.

Master of Arts in Libertal Studies (MALS Program) at NVU-Lyndon

  • Completed graduate application;
  • Official copies of transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work;
  • A two- to three-page statement of purpose describing desired outcomes from completion of a master’s degree program at NVU-Lyndon. This statement should highlight the applicant’s strengths for completing a graduate degree and provide a rationale for selection of the particular concentration and specialization;
  • Two letters of recommendation from professionals knowledgeable about your professional commitment;
  • Formal interview; and,
  • A non-refundable application fee of $50.


An interview is required as part of the graduate admissions process. The interview clarifies the applicant’s professional and academic goals, and allows the applicant and the graduate faculty to determine whether the university can meet the applicant’s educational goals.

At NVU-Lyndon M.Ed. applicants will interview with one or more faculty in the Graduate Education Department, and the MALS applicants will interview with the Liberal Studies Department Chairperson as a minimum but other faculty may be asked to participate. Interviews are scheduled on an as-needed basis throughout the year, anytime after the Graduate Admissions process is complete. Only applicants with complete Graduate Admissions Portfolios are eligible for interviews.

Transfer Credit

A request for transfer credits is made to the student’s advisor and the department chairperson who, in conjunction with the Registrar, make the determination about the acceptance of credits. Transfer credits will count toward graduation only when approved by the student’s advisor, the chairperson of the department, and the Registrar within the first year after matriculation.

Up to twelve (12) credits of coursework may be transferred into the master’s programs. To be eligible for transfer credit:

  • course must have been taken at the graduate level;
  • course must be relevant to the degree program;
  • student must have received a grade of B- or better; and,
  • course must have been taken within five (5) years prior to the date of matriculation. 

Graduate-degree courses, which meet degree requirements and have been completed at NVU five years prior to matriculation into the degree program, can be included in a degree program and do not count against the transfer credit limit.  

Matriculated Status

Shortly after the interview, applicants will be notified in writing as to whether they have been accepted into the degree program. If an applicant is accepted to the graduate program, the applicant becomes a matriculated, graduate student.

Completing a Graduate Degree

Faculty Advisors 

Within one semester of acceptance, students are assigned an advisor with whom they develop their Plan of Study. Advisors support students in completing requirements and planning independent activities. Students are responsible for monitoring their own degree requirements and progress. 

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.

Study Contracts

(NVU-Lyndon Specific) Students must complete a Study Contract for each slash (undergraduate/graduate) level course which is first approved as a slash course they are enrolled in for graduate degree credit. This form constitutes a learning contract and specifies the graduate level components which will be completed in addition to the appropriate undergraduate work. Students will not receive a grade for the slash course until the graduate level components are complete. Forms are available from department chairperson. 

Teaching Practice 

Students seeking licensure/endorsement are expected to complete a Teaching Internship for 6 credits. This course typically involves a teaching component in the field, as well as sessions on campus with the instructor and other graduate students.

Independent Study

Independent study courses are offered at the discretion of the graduate program faculty and must be taught by a NVU full-time faculty member or an approved part-time faculty member. Independent studies are not available for courses offered in the scheduled curriculum. Registration for an independent study is not complete until the independent study contract form has been submitted for that semester with the signature of the advisor (if applicable), instructor, department chair, and the Provost or designee. The independent study contract must be filed by the end of the “Add” period each term.  

A student can include no more than nine (9) credits of independent study work in a graduate degree program.


Degree-seeking graduate students must receive a grade of A+, A, A-, B+, B, or B-.  Where letter grades are given, a grade of “B-” or better is required for degree-program graduate credit. 

A grade of I (incomplete) indicates that a student did not complete the course in the time required. Students who receive an “I” for a graduate-level course have a specified time period determined by the instructor to complete the course work before the “I” results in a failing grade.

Graduate Committees

The NVU-Lyndon Graduate Council is a committee composed of a chairperson, one person from the Education Department, one person from a secondary education teacher licensure program, one person from a department that offers graduate-level courses, and one at-large member of the Lyndon full-time faculty. The NVU-Johnson Graduate Committee of the Faculty Assembly is composed of full-time faculty members from each of our master’s degree programs.

The purpose of these committees is to initiate course and curriculum design, ensure assignments of graduate advisors, and oversee master’s programs, policies, and concerns.

General Information

Health & Accident Insurance

All full-time graduate students (those taking six credits or more a semester) who do not have other insurance coverage are required to subscribe to a health and accident insurance policy through Northern Vermont University. Proof of insurance coverage is required in order to be exempt from coverage through the university insurance. Coverage begins mid-August and is valid for 12 months. Check with Student Financial Services for deadline dates, prorated costs, etc.

Identification Cards

Each student is issued an NVU photo identification card free of charge. A fee is required in order to replace a lost ID. The card is used as a library card for borrowing books as well as for entrance to the SHAPE Center and select campus events and facilities. Cards are issued by the Office of Public Safety.

Parking on Campus

A parking permit is required in order to park in NVU parking lots. Permits are issued by the Office of Public Safety. A fee applies, and you must provide a copy of your vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Call 802.635.1205 (or ext. 51205 from a campus phone) at NVU-Johnson or 802.626.6452 (or ext. 66452 from a campus phone) at NVU-Lyndon for more information.

Access to Campus Facilities

Graduate students have free access to, and are encouraged to make use of, all NVU facilities. As well, graduate students are welcome and encouraged to attend varsity games and the numerous educational and entertainment events held on campus year-round.

Campus Safety & Security

The Office of Public Safety is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round. An officer on duty can be reached anytime by calling 802.635.1205 (or ext. 51205 from a campus phone) at NVU-Johnson or at 802.626.6452 (or ext. 66452 from a campus phone) at NVU-Lyndon.

Students are automatically signed up for the unviersity’s emergency “e2campus” phone and text-messaging service upon enrollment, which enables the university to provide immediate notification in the event of an emergency or campus closure.

Human Subjects Research

 Institutional Review Board

Procedure for the Ethical Review of Research Projects Involving Human Participants


The Institutional Review Board (IRB) at NVU reviews faculty, student and staff proposals involving research with human participants to ensure the safety and protection of the participants.

Do class or student projects need to be reviewed?

Generally, “research with human participants” refers to a data-gathering process in which living humans serve as subjects and the intention is to publicly present or publish research findings or otherwise contribute to general knowledge. These data are gathered through either interaction or intervention and may include identifiable, private information.

As per this definition of “research,” many institutions do not require ethical review of student research projects or class observations if these activities are seen as part of a pedagogical or training process rather than a data-gathering process. However, these projects may pose the most concern, and they provide a ripe opportunity to educate would-be researchers about professional ethics. As such, the IRB at NVU also reviews student projects that involve collecting data about human participants.

If participants give “informed consent”, does a project still need IRB review?

Yes. Informed consent from participants does not guarantee that a research protocol is ethical, because some individuals will consent to procedures that are harmful or unethical. Therefore, obtaining consent from prospective participants does not negate IRB review.

What is the procedure for reviewing student or class research projects?

As the first line of defense in protecting research participants, the class instructor should first educate students about pertinent ethical issues for consideration, review student proposals involving human participants, then contact the campus-specific IRB chair (see links below) with a brief synopsis of the proposed research as follows: 

The IRB will review the proposed project(s) and communicate any concerns to the instructor, who will then be responsible for ensuring that students carry through as instructed in order to uphold ethical standards.