Dec 03, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies


 

Student Responsibilities

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. 

General Regulations

The following general regulations govern both the education specialist, master’s degree, and graduate certificate programs unless otherwise indicated here or in the departmental or programmatic sections of this Bulletin.

Advising and Program Planning

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 advisors 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 advisor in the department in which they plan to major. Students should meet with their advisor 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 courses that do not apply to the program on file. Therefore, students may not take courses from another program without written permission from their program advisor. 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 advisor 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.

Degree Evaluation

Updated degree evaluations for all currently enrolled students are available by accessing Banner Self Services at any time. Instructions for accessing and understanding the online degree evaluation is available on the Registrar’s Office website. Any questions concerning degree evaluations should be directed to the student’s academic advisor or Graduate Program Coordinator.

Orientation

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.

Change of 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 to the appropriate college. Such applications are considered in the same manner as new applications, although credentials will not be necessary if they are already on file.

Residency

All master’s and specialist degrees are equivalent to at least one year of full-time graduate study, based on nine (9) 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.

Curriculum Requirements

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.

Electives

Where a program permits, elective hours must be selected with the approval of the advisor.

Non-Academic Credit

The University of Montevallo does not award academic credit for non-academic pursuits such as continuing education courses, “life experience,” or any other course work taken on a non-credit basis.

Transfer Credit

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.

Previous graduate college coursework will not be considered for transfer credit from any postsecondary institutions that are not fully accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations. 

The department chair determines course equivalency. Transfer credit practices are consistent with the guidelines of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).

Transient Credit

A student enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Montevallo may, with the written approval of his or her advisor 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.

Academic Progress and Grading System

A student pursuing a graduate degree must meet the minimum cumulative GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale as shown below.

Degree Ccumulative GPA Required
M.B.A. 3.0                                                                                                     
English M.A. 3.0
Counseling M.Ed. (concentration in Clinical Mental Health) 3.0
Counseling M.Ed. (concentration in Couples & Family) 3.0
Speech-Language Pathology M.S. 3.0
Counseling M.Ed. (concentration in School Counseling) 3.25
Elementary Education M.Ed. 3.25
Secondary Education/P-12 Education M.Ed. 3.25
Collaborative Education M.Ed. 3.25
Instructional Leadership M.Ed./RHO 3.25
Teacher Education M.Ed. 3.25
Instructional Technology Ed.S. 3.25
Instructional Leadership Ed.S. 3.5
Teacher Leadership Ed.S. 3.5

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.

Academic Warning

A graduate student whose cumulative grade point average falls below the required program GPA will be placed on Academic Warning. Full-time graduate students have one semester to raise their overall GPA to the required average. Part-time graduate students have the opportunity over the next nine (9) credit hours (or one full-time semester) of course work attempted to raise the overall GPA to the required average. For any student on Warning who does not 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. All recommendations for program continuation past the initial Academic Warning period are subject to programmatic policies and procedures. 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.

Grading

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:

Grade Grading Standard Grade points/hour
A Excellent 4
B Good 3
C Below Average 2
D Unacceptable 1
F Failing 0
I Incomplete -
W Withdrawn -
IP In Progress -

More-specific grading policies and criteria are published in individual course syllabi.

Incompletes

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 five (5) calendar days of the May and summer terms. It is the student’s responsibility arrange completion of 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 incomplete grade automatically becomes an F.

In Progress Grades

A grade of IP (In Progress) may be assigned only in designated courses and will be graded upon completion of the coursework. Designated courses may more include more than one enrolled attempt and more than one semester.

Absence Policy

The University expects students to attend all classes for which they are enrolled. Instructors may establish specific regulations governing their classes and will provide them to their students at the beginning of each term.

Final Grade Appeals

The University of Montevallo respects the right and professional responsibility of faculty members to assign grades based on their professional judgment of student performance.

In the event that a student believes that the final grade assigned in a course is unfair or incorrect, the student should take the following steps:

  1. The student must first confer with the faculty member involved to review his or her academic work and its assessment and attempt to resolve issues informally.
  2. If the student is not satisfied and wishes to continue the appeal, he or she will request a Final Grade Appeal form from the Chair of the department offering the course. This form must be completed and submitted to the department chair within 30 calendar days of the posting of final grades along with an attached written statement of the rationale/basis for the appeal and any supporting materials such as graded work and course syllabus. The written appeal must state clearly the reason(s) for the appeal of the grade and the desired remedy.
  3. The Department Chair will review the documents submitted by the student and will discuss the case with the faculty member who will be given a copy of the written appeal. Within five (5) class days* of receiving the student’s appeal, the Chair will contact the student to schedule an appointment. The Chair’s decision will be rendered at the conclusion of the conference with the student or within five (5) class days* after the meeting. If the Department Chair supports the student’s appeal, the instructor will be asked to reassess the student’s grade.
  4. If the Department Chair does not support the student’s appeal or the Department Chair does support the student’s appeal and the instructor refuses to change the student’s grade, the student may appeal to the Dean of the college offering the course. At the student’s request, the Department Chair will send all materials to the college Dean, who, after discussion with the Chair and the faculty member, will schedule an appointment with the student. The Dean may or may not request that the Chair and faculty member attend the conference. The Dean will render a decision at the conclusion of the conference or within five (5) class days* after the meeting. If the Dean supports the student’s appeal, the instructor will be asked to reassess the student’s grade. The decision to change the grade will remain with the instructor unless the Dean has clear, convincing, and objective evidence that the grade has not been calculated according to criteria communicated to students by the instructor.

*Class Day
A class day is any weekday in which the University is in session during the regular academic year (i.e., fall and spring semesters).

Every effort will be made to address complaints in a timely manner. However, students should be aware that action complaints filed after Spring Commencement might be delayed if the faculty member involved is not available during the summer to respond to the complaint. All appeals should be resolved by the end of the term in which they are filed.

Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Policy

Students may not give or receive unauthorized aid in completing academic work and meeting academic requirements. Only the faculty member teaching the course can authorize assistance, use of resources, etc. If a student is uncertain about whether conduct would constitute academic dishonesty, it is the responsibility of the student to seek clarification from the faculty member prior to engaging in such conduct.

Penalties for cheating or plagiarism are determined based on the seriousness of the offense and on whether the student has a record of other instances of academic dishonesty. If the academic dishonesty pertains to an assignment in a course, the faculty member teaching the course in which the violation occurred may assign a zero on the assignment or a grade of F in the course. If the violation pertains to a non-course degree requirement (e.g., standardized examination), the student may fail to receive credit for the degree requirement for which the violation occurred. The consequences for the violation of a non-course degree requirement may be imposed by the appropriate department chair or college dean. In addition to these consequences, the faculty member or academic administrator has the right to refer the violation to the Student Conduct Council for possible further sanctions.

The process for resolving charges of academic dishonesty is as follows:

1. The instructor responsible for the course at the time of the incident will complete an Academic Dishonesty Incident Form and inform the student of the charge and provide the student with a copy of the Incident Form as soon as possible but within 5 class days* of the assignment of the grade. The instructor will determine the appropriate grade penalty (a reduced grade on the assignment or for the course). The instructor may further recommend that the Student Conduct Council consider the case for additional sanctions against the student.

2. If the student accepts the grade penalty assigned by the faculty member, the process outlined below is followed.

A. Copies of the incident report are forwarded to the Chair of the department in which the incident occurred, to the Dean of the college, to the Dean of Students, and to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

B. The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will serve as the central recording center for all Academic Dishonesty Incident Forms. Additionally, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will recommend that the Student Conduct Council consider the case (1) upon instructor recommendation or (2) if the student charged has a record of past violations of academic honesty even though the instructor did not recommend the case for further consideration.

C. If the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs forwards the case to the Student Conduct Council for further consideration under established procedures for disciplinary hearings, the Student Conduct Council may recommend:

  1. suspension for a definite or an indefinite period of time (see Academic Suspension);
  2. expulsion;
  3. additional sanctions as warranted, such as withdrawal of scholarship support;
  4. appropriate notations on the student’s permanent record.

The Student Conduct Council will forward its recommendation to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Upon approval of the Student Conduct Council recommendation, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will implement disciplinary action and notify the student, the student’s advisor, the instructor, the Department Chair, the Deans of the college in which the incident occurred and the college in which the student is enrolled, the Dean of Students, and other appropriate parties (Registrar, Director of Housing and Residence Life, etc.) If the student who has admitted guilt wishes to appeal the additional sanctions recommended by the Student Conduct Council, he/she may submit a formal written appeal to the Provost, whose decision will be final.

If the faculty member does not refer the case but the student wishes to appeal the grade penalty, the student may contact the Student Conduct Officer in the Office of Student Affairs. The student must begin the appeal no later than five (5) class days after being notified of the academic dishonesty charge to request that the Student Conduct Council review the case. The process outlined below will be followed.

The Chair of the department in which the incident occurred will receive notification of the appeal from the Student Conduct Officer. The Chair will inform the faculty member of the appeal.

The Student Conduct Council will make a determination of the validity of the charge.

A. If the Student Conduct Council fails to find sufficient justification for the charges, it will so inform the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will then inform the student, the instructor, the Department Chair, and the Dean. The instructor will be asked to reassess the assigned grade and will be notified that he or she may be in an untenable legal position if he or she elects not to do so. The faculty member’s reassessment of the academic penalty may or may not result in a different grade depending on the quality of the student’s performance on the assignment(s).

B. If the Student Conduct Council finds that the charges are justified, the Student Conduct Council will notify the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs who will in turn notify the student, the student’s advisor, the instructor, the Department Chair, the Deans of the college in which the incident occurred and the college in which the student is enrolled, the Dean of Students, and other appropriate parties (Registrar, Director of Housing and Residence Life, etc.) of the outcome of the appeal. In the case of a student appeal of a faculty-imposed penalty, the Student Conduct Council may not impose a penalty stronger than the initial one.

*Class Days
A class day is any weekday in which the University is in session during the regular academic year (i.e., fall and spring semesters).

Every effort will be made to address complaints in a timely manner. However, students should be aware that action on complaints filed after Spring Commencement may be delayed if the faculty member involved is not available during the summer to respond to the complaint.

 

Registration and Academic Credit

Academic Year and Semester

The University operates on the semester calender. The University Calendar is divided into Fall (16 weeks), Spring (16 weeks), and Summer (13-14 weeks. Further, the Summer semester may include up to five sessions or parts-of-term: Full Summer (13-14 weeks), May (3 weeks), Summer I (4-5 weeks), Summer II (4-5 weeks), and Combined Summer I and II (8-10 weeks). 

All Semester beginning and end dates as well as other important dates and deadlines are listed in the University and Academic Calendars available on the University’s website.

The semester hour (or “credit hour”) is the unit of academic measurement.

Credit Hour

The University operates on the semester credit system using the standard Carnegie unit of 750 minutes of instruction per credit hour. Therefore, a standard one-credit course consists of 750 minutes of instruction and a three-credit course 2250 minutes of instruction, including the final exam period. Courses delivered in hybrid or online format ensure equivalent learning outcomes.

Consistent with the federal definition of a credit hour, it is acceptable to replace sessions of equivalent instruction and- /-or examination with alternative forms of coursework (e.g., laboratory work, practicums, out-of-class assignments and projects, assigned readings, problem sets, discussion questions, service learning experiences, a “capstone” project, etc.).

Registration Procedures

Registration procedures and dates are available on the University’s website for each semester prior to academic advising. The schedule of classes is also available on the University’s website.

Each semester, current students may preregister for the subsequent semester after meeting with their advisor. Students register themselves using Self-Services. Students who pre-register and pay by the required date do not have to participate in regular registration. Schedules of students who do not submit payment by the payment deadline may be dropped. Registration instructions are available on the Registrar’s website.

Cancellation of Courses

The University reserves the right to cancel any course. Course cancellation decision are made by the dean of the college in which the course is offered .

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 without special permission of the college dean.

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 nine (9) credit hours for graduate students. To receive federal loans, students must be enrolled at least halftime. Halftime 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 canceled or reduced. A student who does not enroll full-time should notify the Student Aid Office.

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 without special permission of the college dean.

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 halftime. Halftime 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 canceled or reduced. A student who does not enroll full-time should notify the Student Aid Office .

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.

Enrollment Timeliness

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. This is with exception for students pursuing the Master of Science in Speech Pathology who must apply for readmissions after an absence of one semester or more.

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. Readmitted students may be required to meet the requirements of the University Bulletin in effect at the time of readmission.

Schedule Adjustments and Withdrawal

Drop/Add Period

A graduate student may drop or add courses online during the specified Drop/Add period (the first week of a Fall or Spring semester, the first day of May term, and the first two days of Summer I or Summer II), either through the Self Services account or in the Registrar’s Office. A course that is dropped during the drop/add period will be deleted from the student’s transcript and will not incur a grade a W (withdrawn). The student must initiate the drop process; failure to attend class does not constitute a formal drop. See the University Calendar for specific dates and the University refund policy for details regarding tuition and fees associated with dropping a class in this period. Action to drop or add a course should be done in consultation with the student’s advisor. After the drop/add period, a student may add a course only with the written approval of the professor, department chair, and college dean.

Course Withdrawal after Drop/Add Period

If a student wishes to withdraw from a course after the drop/add period and receive a grade of W (withdrawn), she/he must do so by the final withdrawal date shown in the University Calendar either through Banner Self Services or in the Registrar’s Office. The course withdrawal period ends at midnight on the date specified in the University Calendar, approximately 60 percent through the academic term. A grade of W does not affect the student’s GPA. The student must initiate the course withdrawal process; failure to attend class does not constitute a formal course withdrawal.

After the course withdrawal period ends, a student may not withdraw from a course except in the most extenuating circumstances. Students should note that this policy typically applies only to situations that justify late withdrawal from all courses in which the student is enrolled, not to late withdrawal from one course. See the Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances policy. Failure to adhere to the published course withdrawal deadline in the University Calendar does not qualify as an extenuating circumstance under this policy.

A student who is withdrawing from the final course in which she/he is enrolled in a given term must submit to the Registrar’s Office a withdrawal form signed by the Student Aid Office.

Please note that the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense may require partial repayment if a student using veteran educational benefits withdraws from a course after the drop/add period. Students using veteran educational benefits who are considering a schedule change after the drop/add period should see the School Certifying Official located in the Registrar’s Office. There may also be consequences for other student groups such as athletes, international students, or those using Federal Student Aid. Athletes must have approval from UM’s Athletics Compliance Officer. International students must have approval from the Designated School Official located in the Registrar’s Office.

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 on campus classes which they have “never attended” and online classes which they have “never participated” 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 or participation 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 Semester - all classes

Students intending to withdraw from the semester prior to the term withdrawal deadline must submit to the Registrar’s Office a withdrawal form signed by the Student Aid Office who will 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 semester, and a grade of W (withdrawn) 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 add/drop period. Students may not withdraw from the semester after the term withdrawal deadline, which is published in the University Calendar in this Bulletin, unless they are approved for a Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances (see Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances). 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.

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.

Military Leave/Withdrawal

The University of Montevallo is committed to supporting service men and women of the United States and the State of Alabama. Military students may apply for a Late Start or a Military Leave of Absence (MLOA) from the University if they are called to duty and must withdraw from the semester, leave prior to the end of the term, attend training during the semester or miss the beginning of the semester due to military orders. Details are available from the Coordinator of Veteran and Military Affairs and on the University’s Veteran Affairs web page.

Academic and Financial Considerations of Withdrawal

A student should meet with the advisor during the preregistration advising period and should consult the advisor prior to any change in classes and when considering withdrawal from UM. 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.

Completion and Graduation

The responsibility for meeting the requirements for a degree or certificate rests with the student. Specific degree and program requirements for completion are found in each program’s section in this Bulletin.

Candidacy for the Degree

Students must apply for 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.

Application for graduation

Candidates for the Master’s and Educational Specialist degrees 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. Graduation applications are submitted online through Banner Self Services. Instructions are available on the Registrar’s Office web page

Maximum Time Limit to Complete Degree

Students will be allowed six years from the initial 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.

Comprehensive/Exit Examinations

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.

Hour Requirements

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.

Alabama Teacher Certification

Students who are completing a Masters or Educational Specialist degree and are eligible for a professional educator’s certification need to apply to the Alabama State Department of Education for certification. Students applying for 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.

Special Requirements

In addition to the general requirements, a student must meet any additional requirements by the department offering the major. See each departmental section of this Bulletin for additional requirements.

Commencement Participation (Graduate)

Fall and Spring graduation candidates who complete all program requirements before the end of the semester must be present for the graduation exercises on the date assigned or receive the degree in absentia.

Summer graduation candidates may participate in Spring Commencement if they meet the following criteria:

  • Have 6 semester hours or fewer hours to complete of coursework with verified Summer Term enrollment at UM in all remaining requirements;
  • Are on-track to complete any non-course program requirements by the end of the Summer Term; and
  • Have obtained the minimum cumulative GPA required for program completion.

Names of all participants will be printed in the program. Therefore, a student may participate in only one commencement ceremony. After the student completes all program requirements, their degree will be conferred on the next “degree conferred” date. This date will appear on the student’s diploma and transcript and will correspond to one of the three dates that UM confers degrees (see Academic Calendar). All graduation requirements and financial obligations must be satisfied in order to receive the diploma and transcripts.

Any exceptions to this policy must originate with the student’s college dean and will require the approval of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Commencement dates are listed on the University and Academic Calendars. Candidates are informed of ceremony specifics through email from the graduate program coordinators, the Registrar’s Office, and others on campus.

Academic Records and Privacy

Transcript of Academic Record

The transcript is a student’s official permanent record and is maintained by the Registrar’s Office. 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 current students via Self Services. 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. Instructions located on the Registrar’s Office web page.

Confidentiality of Records (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are as follows:

  1. 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 arrange for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 that 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.
  4. 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/registrarhttps://www.montevallo.edu/about-um/administration/registrars-office/ferpa/.

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:

  1. If the subjects or funds are obtained from within the University;
  2. If the subjects or funds are obtained as a result of the researcher’s association with the University;
  3. If the research is conducted on the University campus;
  4. If the research is sponsored or sanctioned by the University;
  5. If the name of the University is used to help disseminate the research results.

The Human and Animal Subjects Research Committee (HASRC) will review proposed research that meets any of the above criteria for compliance with the ethical principles toward protection of the physical and psychological safety of the research subjects.

When students conduct research 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.