​Academic Retention Standards

In order to obtain a graduate degree, a student must have at least a 3.0 (B) cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA), and a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 (B) in all course work on the student’s authorized degree program. The policies which follow deal with cumulative graduate GPA (where cumulative graduate GPA is defined to be all courses taken at CMU at the graduate level); Graduate Studies monitors overall graduate GPA's and follows these procedures when a student’s cumulative graduate GPA is below a 3.0. When a student’s cumulative graduate GPA falls below a 3.0, the student is placed on academic probation and the student’s academic file is reviewed by Graduate Studies. Graduate students are given two semesters of enrollment after being placed on academic probation to raise their cumulative graduate GPA to the required 3.0. A semester in which all coursework is CR/NC, which does not contribute to the GPA, will not be counted as a semester of enrollment in determining probation status.

When a student is successful in achieving a 3.0 GPA within two probationary semesters of enrollment, they will be removed from probation. If a student does not raise his/her cumulative graduate GPA to a 3.0 within two semesters of enrollment after being placed on probation, the student will be dematriculated. If the student is in a degree program, the relevant department may specifically request an exception to policy. If Graduate Studies concurs, the student will be granted a third and final semester to raise his/her cumulative graduate GPA to a 3.0. However, three semesters of enrollment after being placed on probation is the limit on extension to the probation policy. Graduate Studies will also take into consideration course offering schedules that will affect a student’s ability to repeat a course.

Given the time it takes to implement these procedures, it is possible that a student will be dematriculated after he/she has registered for classes and perhaps even started attending them. If that is the case, the student will be dropped from the classes and receive any eligible

In addition to maintaining a satisfactory cumulative graduate GPA, students in graduate programs must abide by the university's “Academic Integrity Policy”, which specifically prohibits "plagiarism, cheating and other forms of dishonest or unethical behavior..." Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy may lead to sanctions as described in the policy.

In addition, departments involved in clinical programs may evaluate students on the basis of their ability to relate successfully with clients. Students who do not meet the professional standards established by departments may be placed on probation, suspended, or dismissed
from a program.

In cases where a student fails to satisfy departmental graduate program requirements, Graduate Studies, upon the recommendation of the advisor and the departmental chairperson or program coordinator, and after review of the student’s academic progress, may remove the student from the graduate program. Examples of specific departmental requirements to be met by students include, but are not limited to the following: (1) writing competency; (2) the number of attempts made in passing comprehensive or qualifying exams; (3) the completion of required papers or theses; and (4) meeting university and departmental time limitations.

Students dismissed from graduate study, regardless of whether they were non-degree students or students pursuing a graduate certificate or degree, may petition for readmission no sooner than one academic year after the semester they were dismissed. Exceptions to this waiting period can be granted by Graduate Studies. A dismissed student can apply for either non-degree admission or admission to a graduate program. Admission as a non-degree student will be decided by the Graduate Studies. Admission to a graduate program will be decided by the procedures normally used for that program.

Time for Completion of Degree & Extension of Time Requests

After admission to a graduate program of study, students are expected to complete degree or certificate requirements in a responsible and timely manner. For full-time students, two calendar years should be adequate for the completion of most master’s degree programs; five calendar years should be adequate for the complete of most doctoral programs. Part-time students may need a somewhat longer period to meet these requirements, but in all instances, coursework and other requirements must be completed within the following time limitations:
1. Graduate Certificate: within seven years;
2. Master’s or Specialist’s degrees: within seven years;
3. Doctoral Degrees: within eight years if the student had a relevant graduate degree when beginning the program OR within ten years if the student began doctoral study without a relevant prior graduate degree.

Extension of Time Requests.

Extension of time requests are serious and approval by the advisor and department do not guarantee approval by Graduate Studies. Such requests are rarely granted and only considered if there are clearly extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances are circumstances in which the student would be entitled to an extended leave of absence from work or other responsibilities. Examples may include, but are not necessarily limited to military service and situations that would be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act. Students must demonstrate the following for their requests to be considered by Graduate Studies: compelling extenuating circumstances, current knowledge in the subject matter they wish to extend, and steady progress toward the certificate or degree. Transfer credit is not eligible for extension consideration. Typically, extension requests are a one-time request of twelve to eighteen months total and for up to 9 graduate credit hours. Additional credits can be approved at the discretion of Graduate Studies. If an extension is granted, a second extension is highly unlikely and students should plan accordingly. Extension of time request forms are available on the Graduate Studies website www.grad.cmich.edu.

Inactive Status.

If a student does not register for the initial graduate work within one year after the date of admission to Graduate Studies, or if in completing one or more courses the student earns no further graduate credit at CMU for three consecutive years, the student is classified as inactive and the admission is terminated. The student may thereafter apply for readmission to resume graduate study at a later date by resubmitting an Application for Admission and supplying all other documents requested by the department concerned. If a student does not earn graduate credit at CMU for seven consecutive years, the student's original application, letters, transcripts from other universities, and other materials will be destroyed. If one wishes to apply for readmission after that length of time, all materials, including a new application, transcripts and other documents requested by the department will need to be submitted.

Continuous Registration

A program/department may require a graduate student to enroll in at least one CMU graduate credit hour each fall or spring semester for one or more of the following reasons:
  • continuous registration is part of the program curriculum (e.g. student has completed the required coursework, but does not have an approved prospectus)
  • CMU email and file storage and/or access to Library resources are necessary
  • significant university resources (e.g. faculty time) are necessary
The Continuous Registration credit (course 619) within the student's home department can fulfill this one graduate credit hour requirement. Regardless of whether the student has registered for Continuous Registration credit(s), the student must still complete the degree within the time-to-degree limitations set forth under the degree requirements.

Financial Aid Academic Progress

Federal regulations require that CMU monitor the Satisfactory Academic Progress of all students. There are three distinct criteria which must be monitored and met to maintain eligibility for federal student aid, as well as most state and institutional student aid programs. These financial aid requirements are separate from students’ academic requirements and apply to all students applying for aid regardless if the have received financial aid in previous semesters. Progress is measured at the end of each semester (including the summer semester) to determine a student's financial and eligibility for the following semester.
Students in graduate programs may not receive financial aid if they have attempted 150% or more of the number of credits required of their program. All students (graduate and graduate-professional) must complete 67 percent of the courses they attempt each semester of enrollment. Attempted hours are based on the number of credits for which the student is registered at the conclusion of the Registrar's posted "Deadline for Dropping a Class with a Full Cancellation of Tuition." In addition to these criteria, Graduate students must maintain a 3.00 cumulative grade point average.

Consequences of Unsatisfactory Progress

Students who reach their time limit to complete their degree without completing their degree will be denied further federal and most state and institutional financial aid as a student at that level. If a student is attempting a master's degree and reach the eligibility limit, they would be denied further aid until the master's degree is conferred, at which time they would regain eligibility for a second master's, doctoral, or professional degree.
Students who fail to complete 67% of their attempted credits in a semester will be warned. A failure to bring their completion rate to 67% in the next semester of enrollment will result in denial of federal and most state and institutional aid beginning with the next semester of enrollment. A student will remain on financial aid suspension until they complete 67% of attempted credits within a semester. Only CMU credit hours completed are counted as credits earned. Grades of NC (no credit), I (Incomplete), W (withdrawal), X (audit), and Z (deferred) are not counted as earned credit. For example, a student who attended CMU in the Fall semester at CMU and attempted 9 graduate credits, but withdraws from a 3 credit course will have completed 6 of 9 credits for a completion rate of 66%. This student will be warned for one semester and eligible for aid while on warning. A second semester of less than a 67% completion will result in the student being denied further aid until they complete 67% of attempted credits within one semester of enrollment at CMU.
Graduate students who fail to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher at the end of each semester will be warned. A failure to bring the cumulative GPA to a 3.00 or higher by the completion of the next semester will result in the student being denied further aid until he or she brings the cumulative GPA to the required 3.00 or higher.

Appeal Process

Students who have faced extraordinary circumstances may appeal the denial of financial aid. Documentation of extenuating circumstances is required, and students are cautioned that appeals are not routinely approved. In most cases a decision will be made within 15 business days of receiving an appeal and the appropriate documentation. Students are notified of appeal decisions in writing or through their CMU email account.

Continuing at CMU after Aid is Denied

Students denied financial aid generally may continue attending Central Michigan University using private aid sources such as alternative student loans (https://www.cmich.edu/ess/OSFA/Pages/ALT-LOAN.aspx), or by funding their education themselves.

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