​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); the College of Graduate Studies monitors overall graduate GPAs 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 the College of 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 the College of 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.  The College of 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 will receive any eligible refund.

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.

Departments involved in clinical programs may additionally 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, the College of 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 the College of 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 College of 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 yearsshould 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 the College of Graduate Studies. Extension of time to complete a degree or certificate 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 the College of 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 the College 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 the College of 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. If the student has completed one or more courses, the permanent record card is retained by the Registrar. 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.

Outdated Courses

In cases in which a graduate course is inadmissible on a student's program because it predates the stipulated time period for the completion of the degree, both the course and the grade pertaining thereto shall be disregarded for purposes of evaluating the student's performance toward the graduate degree or his or her status within the program.

Continuous Registration

Any on-campus student who has completed all academic course work except the final project (Plan B project or internship, thesis, doctoral project, dissertation, journal article) must be enrolled in at least one CMU graduate credit hour each fall and spring semester until graduation (summer sessions as well if summer course work is normally required in the program). The Continuous Registration for Final Research Project (course 619) within the student's home department can fulfill this one credit hour requirement.
If, after all academic course work except the final project is completed, a student does not enroll each fall and spring semester (and summer, where appropriate) until graduation, the student must enroll retroactively for each missed semester (including summer, where appropriate) once s/he returns to complete the project. A student can request a leave of absence if he/she has extenuating circumstances.  Typically “life” events (employment changes, responsibilities, or promotions, marriage and births) do not count as extenuating circumstances.  A Leave of Absence Request form must be completed and submitted to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies; if approved, continuous registration will be waived during the approved leave period. Regardless of whether the student has a leave of absence, the student must still complete the degree within the time-to-degree limitations set forth for each degree.

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. This rule applies to all students applying for aid regardless if they have received financial aid in previous semesters. These financial aid requirements are separate from students’ academic requirements. Attempted hours are based on what the student is registered for at the conclusion of the Registrar’s posted Deadline for Dropping a Class with a Full Cancellation of Tuition. 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 com-plete 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 without completing their degree will be denied further federal and most state and institutional financial aid as a student at that level. If you are attempting a master's degree and reach the eligibility limit, you would be denied further aid until the master's degree is conferred, at which time you would regain eligibility for a second master's, doctoral, or professional degree.
Students who fail to complete 67 percent of their attempted courses in a semester will be warned. A failure to bring their completion rate to 67 percent 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 he/she completes 67% of attempted courses within a semester at CMU. 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 he or she completes 67% of attempted courses 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 your 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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