The following general regulations govern both the education specialist and master’s degree programs unless otherwise indicated here or in the departmental section of this Bulletin.
Individual departments provide an orientation program for all part-time and full-time graduate students. This orientation program is evaluated regularly and used to enhance effective assistance to students.
Graduate students may check out library books for eight (8) weeks with the initial rental. Graduate students may also renew a library book one time for an additional eight (8) weeks, making the maximum time to check out a book one semester. Students enrolled in the M.A. program are automatically given one semester for a library book rental.
Advising and Planning a Program
The University of Montevallo maintains a systematic and effective program of graduate academic advising. The departments with graduate programs at the University make decisions regarding the assignment of academic advisers who monitor the systematic academic progress of each graduate student via permanent records and an on-line student information system that includes a degree audit program.
After all transcripts have been received and evaluated, students accepted into the program are assigned an adviser in the department in which they plan to major. Students should meet with their adviser immediately to plan a program of study. Any student who registers for a course after the first semester without an approved program of study does so with the understanding that the courses he or she is taking may not apply toward the degree. The full responsibility for the filing and revising of a program rests directly with the student. The student may lose credit for any courses which do not apply to the program on file. Therefore, students may not take courses from another program without written permission from their program adviser. A check of the accuracy of the program of study will be completed when students apply for the comprehensive exam.
A graduate student who took a course for undergraduate credit may not take the same course for graduate credit.
Test results and other information will be utilized by the adviser to discover any points in a student’s preparation that may need strengthening, as well as special competencies that can be further developed. In order to correct deficiencies in preparation, it will sometimes be necessary for students to take undergraduate courses for which no graduate credit will be given.
All master’s and specialist degrees are equivalent to at least one year of full-time graduate study, on the basis of nine hours established as a “full-time” minimum course load and twelve hours as a maximum course load. The minimum hours required for a degree then can be distributed across no less than two regular terms (fall and spring semesters) and two summer terms, constituting one calendar year.
The curriculum requirements for various programs are outlined in the departmental sections of this Bulletin. Exceptions to these requirements may be made through or by the appropriate department chair and college dean. No change may compromise the intent of the requirements.
Where a program permits, elective hours must be selected with the approval of the adviser.
Master’s degree programs: A minimum of 30 semester hours is required for the master’s degree. A full-time student who is required to write a thesis must earn a minimum of 24 semester hours in coursework. The thesis together with the coursework must total a minimum of 30 semester hours. Some degrees require more than 30 hours.
Education specialist programs: A minimum of 30 semester hours is required for the education specialist degree.
Grade Point Average
A student pursuing a graduate degree must have a cumulative 3.0 average or higher on a 4.0 scale as shown in the charrt below.
||Cumulative GPA Required
|Counseling M.Ed. (concentration in Clinical Mental Health)
|Counseling M.Ed. (concentration in Couples & Family)
|Speech-Language Pathology M.S.
|Counseling M.Ed. (concentration in School Counseling)
|Elementary Education M.Ed.
|Secondary Education/P-12 Education M.Ed.
|Collaborative Education M.Ed.
|Instructional Leadership M.Ed./RHO
|Teacher Education M.Ed.
|Instructional Technology Ed.S.
|Instructional Leadership Ed.S.
|Teacher Leadership Ed.S.
The minimum passing grade for a graduate course is a “C.” A course may be repeated only one time if a grade lower than a “C” is made, and the hours will be counted as hours attempted. Courses may be repeated only at UM.
A graduate student whose cumulative grade point average falls below the required program GPA will be placed on Academic Warning. The student has the opportunity over the next 9 credit hours of course work attempted to raise the overall GPA to the required average. For any student on Warning who cannot within 9 credit hours meet program GPA requirements but for whom meeting those requirements is mathematically possible, the Department Chair may make a recommendation to the Dean that the student be allowed to continue. The decision of the Dean is final.
Final Semester GPA: A graduate student’s graduate GPA is calculated only on the current program of study. Students who come to the end of their program or to the internship without the required GPA, having never been placed on academic warning, will be allowed to repeat up to two courses (where grades C, D, or F were made, and a B in Instructional Leadership) completed during the semester in which the GPA fell below the required minimum, as long as the grade(s) earned in the repeat(s) have the potential to restore the GPA.
Grades represent the instructor’s assessment of the student’s performance on classroom and laboratory assignments, as well as on essays, research papers, projects, classroom presentations, examinations, etc. Grades and grade points are earned and recorded as follows:
More-specific grading policies and criteria are published in individual course syllabi.
Grades of I (incomplete) may be given when students, because of circumstances beyond their control, are unable to complete coursework that is assigned and/or due during the last 15 calendar days of long semesters and/or the last 5 calendar days of the May and summer terms. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements to complete remaining requirements.
All incomplete work must be finished by a date determined by the instructor and not later than the conclusion of the next long semester (i.e., for fall semester Incompletes, no later than the last day of the following spring semester; for spring term, May term, and summer term Incompletes, no later than the last day of the following fall semester). Otherwise, an I grade automatically becomes an F.
A maximum of six (6) semester hours (10 quarter hours) of graduate work, approved by the University of Montevallo, may be transferred from a regionally accredited institution. Such credit must have been earned within six years prior to the granting of the degree. No course may be transferred with a grade lower than B, and no course may be transferred with a grade of pass/fail.
Course equivalency is determined by the department chair. Transfer credit practices are consistent with the guidelines of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).
A student enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Montevallo may, with the written approval of his or her adviser and college dean, be allowed to attend another university as a transient student, provided the total number of hours taken at other institutions does not exceed six (6) semester hours. Without such written approval, the University of Montevallo is under no obligation to allow credit for the courses taken. It is the responsibility of the student to see that an official transcript of the credits earned is sent to the University immediately following completion of the course(s). No course may be transferred with a grade lower than a B.
Course Load (Regular Term)
No graduate student may enroll in more than 12 credit hours, including courses taken concurrently at other institutions, in a regular term.
Full-time: A graduate student shall be considered “full-time” if he/she is enrolled in nine (9) or more graduate hours.
Part-time: A graduate student shall be considered part-time if he/she is enrolled in fewer than nine (9) graduate hours. Unless otherwise stated, all financial aid is based on enrollment as a full-time student, which is defined as 9 credit hours for graduate students. To receive federal loans, students must be enrolled at least half time. Half time for graduate students is five (5) credit hours (effective Spring Semester 2011). If a student drops below full-time, certain types of aid may be cancelled or reduced. A student who does not enroll full-time should notify the Office of Student Financial Services.
Course Load (Summer Term)
No graduate student may enroll for more than seven (7) credit hours in a summer term, or 14 credit hours in a 10-week summer session, including courses taken concurrently at other institutions.
Full-time:A graduate student shall be considered “full-time” if he/she is enrolled in a total of nine (9) or more graduate hours spanning May Term and the Summer Sessions.
Part-time: A graduate student shall be considered part-time if he/she is enrolled in five (5) graduate hours or less spanning May term and the summer sessions. Unless otherwise stated, all aid is based on enrollment as a full-time student, which is defined as 9 credit hours for graduate students. To receive federal loans, students must be enrolled at least half time. Half time for graduate students is five (5) credit hours (effective Spring Semester 2011). If a student drops below full-time, certain types of aid may be cancelled or reduced. A student who does not enroll full-time should notify the Office of Student Financial Services.
Course Load (May Term)
No graduate student may enroll for more than three (3) credit hours in a May term without special permission of the college dean.
Students who are admitted to graduate study, either conditionally or unconditionally, and who do not enroll within two years will be required to reapply should they later decide to enroll. Curriculum and department requirements are subject to change if the student is not continuously enrolled. Programs that lead to certification fall under current Alabama State Department of Education requirements and guidelines.
Change of Major or Program
Admission to the graduate program implies acceptance for a specific program. When a student desires to change his or her degree or major, application for the change must be made on the appropriate form, which must be obtained from the appropriate college. This form must be completed and returned to Graduate Admissions and Records. Such applications are considered in the same manner as new applications, although credentials will not be necessary if they are already on file.
A graduate student may drop or add courses online during the specified Drop/Add period. Action to drop or add a course should be done in consultation with the student’s adviser.
Students intending to withdraw from the University prior to the term withdrawal deadline must submit to the Office of Student Success a withdrawal form. Students receiving financial aid should consult the Student Aid Office to determine the effect the withdrawal may have on their aid. Students residing on campus should notify the Office of Housing and Residence Life of their intent to withdraw and must check out of the residence hall within 24 hours of withdrawal. Completion of these procedures results in official withdrawal from the University, and a grade of W is recorded for each course. Courses will not appear on the student’s transcript if the withdrawal is completed prior to the conclusion of the Drop/Add period. Students may not withdraw from the University after the term withdrawal deadline, which is published in the University Calendar in the Bulletin, unless they are approved for a Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances (see Withdrawal from the University for more information). Students who do not adhere to the withdrawal procedures will receive the appropriate grade(s) posted by faculty to the academic record at the conclusion of the term.
Course Withdrawal for Non-Attendance
In order to comply with Federal Regulations pertaining to the proper disbursement of financial aid, students are administratively withdrawn from classes which they have “never attended” as reported by instructors. Registration adjustments are made soon after the beginning of each term so that student financial accounts may be updated in a timely manner. A student who attends or participates in a class for any length of time cannot be withdrawn from that class for having never attended.
Instructors are required to submit a date of last attendance for a student who receives a failing grade (F or NC) at the conclusion of each term. These dates may be used for the purpose of adjusting student financial accounts in order to ensure compliance with financial aid regulations.
Students are ultimately responsible for their class schedules and for completing the withdrawal process within the established deadlines. No course withdrawals for non-attendance will be processed after the conclusion of the term.
Withdrawal from the University
A graduate student who desires to withdraw from graduate school may do so by the withdrawal deadline for the regular or summer terms. Action to withdraw is initiated by submitting a withdrawal form to the Office of Student Success.
Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances
In the case of prolonged illness, debilitating accident, family emergency, or comparably serious personal situations that occur after the withdrawal deadline and that are beyond a student’s control, the student may request a withdrawal for extenuating circumstances. A student seeking a withdrawal for extenuating circumstances must withdraw from all courses for that term; a partial withdrawal for extenuating circumstances will typically not be approved. If a withdrawal for extenuating circumstances is granted, the student will receive a W for any course in which he/she is enrolled with a special notation on the transcript denoting extenuating circumstances.
The student must complete the Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances form located on the Registrar’s web page, indicating last date of class attendance, and submit the form, along with an explanation of how the situation prevents completion of the term and documentation of the circumstances (medical documentation for student or immediate family member for whom the student is responsible, death certificate of family member, etc.). All required paperwork should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office in Palmer Hall as soon as possible but no later than 30 days following the end of the term for which the student is seeking a withdrawal for extenuating circumstances.
Academic and Financial Considerations
If a student receives a Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances, a grade of W will be assigned for each course in which the student is enrolled.
Financial considerations and academic standing should be taken into account prior to requesting a withdrawal for extenuating circumstances. Withdrawal from college may affect a student’s eligibility for health insurance coverage under a parent’s policy. Students should be aware that they must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to avoid academic suspension and to continue to be eligible to receive financial aid. Low grades or excessive withdrawals may affect a student’s continued enrollment at UM or the student’s ability to receive financial aid in the future. See Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Graduate students are expected to conform to the rules and regulations of the University of Montevallo. The attendance policy with regard to graduate students is handled on a student-instructor basis. The responsibility for meeting the requirements for a degree or certificate rests with the student.
Maximum Time Limit to Complete Degree
Students will be allowed six years from the date of enrollment to complete graduate degree programs. No course more than six years old will be accepted for credit toward a graduate degree unless the student has successfully petitioned the department chair and the college dean for an extension. If an extension is granted, the chair and college dean will decide the validity of courses rendered more than six years old by that decision.
Successful completion of an exit examination (oral, written, portfolio, capstone project, etc.) on all graduate work will be required of each student in partial fulfillment of requirements for the master’s or Educational Specialist Degrees. Exit exams may be attempted no more than three times. The exam typically is taken when the student is within six hours of completing the program. Contact the department office for exam registration deadlines.
Candidacy for the Degree
The application for exit examinations, including an updated program of study, will be considered the application for candidacy for the degree, as well. Successful completion of the exit/comprehensive exam or portfolio requirement will signal candidacy for the degree.
Master’s and Ed.S. degrees: Candidates for graduation must file an application for graduation and a diploma at least 10 weeks before graduation in December or May or 8 weeks before graduation in the summer. The candidate must be present for the graduation exercises on the date assigned or receive the degree in absentia.
Alabama Teacher Certification
Students who are completing the M.Ed. or Ed.S. and who need to apply to the Alabama State Department of Education for Class A or AA certification should be aware that they have five years to apply for certification. After five years they must meet the current Alabama State approved course of study. Students may obtain certification packets in the Teacher Education Services Office.
In addition to the general requirements, a student must meet any special requirements set up by the department offering the major. See each departmental section of this Bulletin for additional requirements.
Student’s Rights to Privacy and Access to Educational Records
Transcript of Academic Record
The transcript is a student’s official permanent record. The handling of transcripts and the retention and disposal of student records are in accordance with the guidelines of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the requirements of the Alabama University General Records Schedules.
Final grades for each term are available to students via the University’s website. A printed copy of grades is available from the Registrar’s Office upon written request.
Students who have fulfilled their financial obligations to the University may obtain transcripts of their records from the Registrar’s Office.
Confidentiality of Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are as follows:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
Students should submit to the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the University decides not to amend the records requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception which permits disclosure without a student’s prior written consent involves to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A “school official” is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted who performs an institutional service or function (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a student employee assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a “legitimate educational interest” if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University.
The University may release without consent the following directory information: name, address, e-mail address, telephone numbers, major fields of study, date of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of student-athletes, most-recent educational institution attended, number of current hours in which the student is enrolled, student enrollment status (i.e. full or part-time), degrees and graduation dates, anticipated degrees and graduation dates, classification (i.e. freshman, sophomore, etc.), awards and honors, dates of attendance, and class schedule, (this latter only by the Police Chief or a designee). Students wishing to withhold directory information must fill out a “Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information” form, which may be obtained in the Registrar’s Office.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of Montevallo to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Any complaints or questions should be addressed to the Registrar, Registrar’s Office, Palmer Hall, (205) 665-6040. There is also a link to the University’s FERPA policy online at www.montevallo.edu/registrar.
Policy for the Review of Research with Human Participants
The University of Montevallo has adopted the ethical principles developed by the American Psychological Association for the conduct of research with human participants. These principles apply to all research involving human subjects that meet one or more of the following criteria:
- If the subjects or funds are obtained from within the University;
- If the subjects or funds are obtained as a result of the researcher’s association with the University;
- If the research is conducted on the University campus;
- If the research is sponsored or sanctioned by the University;
- If the name of the University is used to help disseminate the research results.
Proposed research that meets any of the above criteria will be reviewed by the Human and Animal Subjects Research Committee (HASRC) for compliance with the ethical principles toward protection of the physical and psychological safety of the research subjects.
When research is conducted by students as part of a course assignment, the course instructor may request authority from the HASRC to approve minimal-risk research. Each student conducting human subjects research should submit an ethical compliance statement to the instructor for review. Research designs that warrant further review, in the opinion of the instructor, should be submitted to the Human and Animal Subjects Research Committee. Additional information is available on the University’s website.