Chapter III. Academic Regulations

Catalog of Graduation

Candidates for a post-baccalaureate degree will graduate upon completion of the program requirements stated in the catalog in effect at the time of their admission to the program. Time limit for the master’s degree is seven years and for the doctoral degree is ten years. Under certain circumstances, upon recommendation of the Program Advisor, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research may extend the time limit. However, if an extension beyond the published time limit for the degree is granted, the student will be required to fulfill requirements of a subsequent catalog.

Changes in Graduate Bulletin rules and regulations, other than course and GPA requirements for a degree, become effective immediately upon approval by the proper University authorities and are not subject to the Catalog of Graduation policy cited above.

Requirements in the program of study are based upon the Bulletin of entry; however, academic policies in the current Bulletin apply to all students regardless of Bulletin of entry.

Graduate Credit and Course Numbers

The first digit of the course number indicates the class level of the course, 5000-8999 are graduate level. Every graduate degree must have a minimum of 30 hours of courses at the 6000 or above level. Under special circumstances, at the recommendation of the Program Advisor, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research may approve application of up to six credit hours of 4000 level courses to a Master’s level degree with 36 or more hours. No course can be counted for credit in more than one degree.

Selected Topics courses (numbered 6399) may be offered in any discipline, and are repeatable as topics change. If those courses are in disciplines that do not offer a graduate program, they need the approval of a Program Advisor and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. Tutorials (Independent Study, numbered 6398) are available in some disciplines. No more than six hours of independent study course work may apply toward a degree without permission from the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and the Dean of the College/School.

Credit hours earned cannot be used to satisfy requirements in more than one degree program. A student holding a master’s degree from UIW may receive a second master’s degree provided the following requirements are fulfilled:

Students admitted to UIW’s Accelerated Bachelors/Masters programs may apply a maximum of up to nine graduate credit hours towards both the undergraduate and graduate degree. Please refer to the specific program description for the number of eligible graduate credits applicable to both degree programs.

Course Load

During fall and spring semesters, the average unit load for a full-time student is nine (9) credit hours. With the special permission of the Program Advisor, a student may enroll for as many as 15 credit hours in very exceptional cases. More than 15 hours taken in one semester requires the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. Six (6) credit hours constitute full-time in a summer session. Under certain circumstances, a full-time course load can be defined differently with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. The unit load for a full-time doctoral student is six (6) credit hours for course work or three (3) credit hours for dissertation.

Change of Major

Students who have been admitted to the School of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of the Incarnate Word but wish to change degree program after admission must apply for admission to the new program.

System of Grading

The following grading system applies to courses taken for completion of graduate degree requirements:

“A” and “A-“ indicate a superior grasp of the subject matter of the course, initiative and originality in assessing problems, and ability to relate knowledge to new situations.

“B+” and “B”  indicate satisfactory performance in control of the subject matter and ability to apply principles with intelligence.

“B-“ and “C” indicate less than satisfactory performance, and may disqualify the student for further study. See Continuation in the Master’s Program (page 25) or Continuation in the Doctoral Program (page 27) and regulations of each degree program.

“F” indicates failure in the course or withdrawal without following proper procedures. See Continuation in the Master’s Program (page 25) or Continuation in the Doctoral Program (page 27).

“IP” indicates that the student’s achievement in the course has been satisfactory, but certain prescribed work is incomplete or the student was unable to take the final examination. A student needing an IP grade must complete an IP form and have that form entered into his/her file held by the Program Advisor. A student’s registration will be blocked if he or she has six or more credit hours of graduate classes with a grade of IP. Upon satisfactory completion of requirements specified in the IP Completion Form, the student will receive the grade merited by the quality of his or her performance. It is the student’s responsibility to complete all requirements for the removal of the “IP” within one year or sooner as specified by the instructor.

“W” indicates withdrawal within the period specified on the semester calendar.

 “P” indicates satisfactory performance at “A,” “A-,”  “B+” or “B” level.

“Pass/Fail” grades are not applicable to any UIW graduate degree plan.

Grade Point Average

To calculate the grade point average, points are assigned to credit hour grades as follows:
                A 4.0                A- 3.7                B+ 3.3                B 3.0                B- 2.7                C 2.0                F 0.0

Students who complete their Master’s degree programs with a 4.0 average, graduate “With distinction.”

Once grades are recorded, grades other than IP cannot be changed, except in the case of instructor error. In no case may a grade other than IP be changed without the permission of the school/college Dean. Additional work performed by a student may not be used to raise a grade that has been recorded by the Registrar. If course work has not been completed within one year, the IP grade will be turned to a grade of F. Grades are presumed to be correct when entered on the student’s record. Any question regarding the accuracy of these grades must be raised within one calendar year. Grades are not subject to challenge after one year and will not be changed.

Auditing

Admitted and non-admitted students may register for lecture courses as auditors. No credit is awarded for audited courses. If a student desires credit, he or she must repeat the course and pay the regular tuition. An auditor may attend lecture classes but does not submit papers or take examinations. Auditors may participate in class discussion only upon invitation of the instructor. Audited courses are not applicable towards a degree, and permission to audit does not constitute admission to the University. A course that has been audited is not part of the official academic record of the University.

The following regulations apply to auditing:

English Competency

All candidates for a post-baccalaureate degree are expected to demonstrate a satisfactory command of English in oral and written work with accommodations if necessary. Candidates may be required to take special courses in writing as a condition of their continuance in graduate studies.

Leave of Absence

Graduate students must be continuously enrolled with the University during the academic year (Fall and Spring). A Leave of Absence must be requested from the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research to keep the student’s file active. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment without Leave of Absence may result in termination from the program. Residence plus a Leave of Absence cannot extend beyond the time limit for degree completion under the catalog effective at the time of matriculation.

Withdrawal

Students who find it necessary to leave the University during a semester must complete the formal withdrawal process. Students who complete a semester and then are not able to return for the following semester must complete the withdrawal process only if they have already registered for the next semester. Students who withdraw from courses before the “Final Date for Withdrawing with a W” (see semester schedule) shall receive a grade of W.

Those who fail to follow the proper withdrawal procedure will receive an F in all courses. As in the case of adding or dropping courses, informal notice to an instructor does not cancel registration or the student’s financial obligation to the Business Office. Information on refunds for students who withdraw is provided in the Financial Information section.

Conferral of Degrees

Degrees are conferred in December, May, and August. Commencement ceremonies are held in December and May. Students must complete an Application for Graduation the semester before they intend to graduate. Filing deadlines for the Application for Graduation are:  December Graduation, May 1; May Graduation, October 1; August Graduation, February 1. 

Student Records and Student Privacy

Student Records Fee

Upon matriculation, all students are charged a one-time records fee to cover administrative costs associated with the creation and maintenance of the student record. After payment of this fee, transcripts are issued to students free of charge.

Student Records

The University of the Incarnate Word maintains educational records for all current and former students who officially enrolled. Student records at the University are subject to the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning compliance issues. The name and address of the appropriate office is:

Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-4605.

Review of the Educational Record

Students have the right to inspect and review their educational record. All requests must be in writing to the Registrar and must identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the students of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the University official to whom the request was submitted does not maintain the records, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. The response from the University official will be within 45 days of the receipt of the request for access.

Educational Records on Campus

Educational records are those records directly related to a student for the purpose of recording the educational endeavor of the student. They do not include law enforcement records, employment records, medical records, alumni records, or faculty advisor/instructor notes. Educational records may be stored in many mediums and are not limited to an individual file.

Amendment of the Educational Record

The student may request an amendment to the educational record if they believe it is inaccurate or misleading. The amendment of the educational record does not pertain to the grade assigned by the faculty. The student should write to the Registrar to request the amendment. The request must clearly identify the portion of the record he/she wants changed, specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University does not amend the record as requested, 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. Information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

Directory Information and Student Confidentiality

The University of the Incarnate Word will not disclose any personally identifiable information about students (except directory information listed below) without the written consent of the student.

Directory information at the University of the Incarnate Word has been identified as:
    1.   Name
    2.   Date and place of birth
    3.   Current or permanent address and phone number
    4.   Academic major
    5.   Classification
    6.   Degrees and awards received
    7.   Participation in UIW activities or sports
    8.   Dates of attendance
    9.   Photograph
   10. And/or most recent or previous educational institution attended

Each student has the right to restrict the release of any or all of this information by submitting a written request to the Registrar’s Office. School officials with legitimate educational interests may have access to educational records, without the students’ consent, if the record is needed in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities. School officials are identified as: a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position, a person or company with whom the University has contracted, a person serving on the Board of Trustees, or a student serving on an official committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

Transcripts

Students may obtain a transcript of academic records from the Registrar’s Office after initiating a request through that office. The University reserves the right to withhold transcripts for those students who have not met all conditions for admission or who have outstanding financial obligations.

The normal turn-around time for responding to transcript requests is three-to-five days. However, during peak periods, such as the end of the semester or during registration, response to transcript requests may take longer. There is no charge for the transcript; however, a same-day-service fee may be applied. Same-day-service is not available during peak periods.

The University will not provide copies of transcripts or test scores received from other institutions. Students should apply to the original institution for official copies of that work. Official documents submitted to the University of the Incarnate Word become the property of the University and cannot be returned.

Academic Integrity Policy

The University of the Incarnate Word is strongly committed to the nurturing of academic excellence. The University expects its students to pursue and maintain truth, honesty, and personal integrity in their academic work. Academic dishonesty, in any form, constitutes a serious threat to the freedoms which define an academic community. The following definitions and guidelines have therefore been established to secure the maintenance of academic integrity at Incarnate Word.

Forms of Academic Dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

Instructors who are concerned that some form of academic dishonesty has occurred shall confront the student directly and may take the matter to the Dean of their College/School.

Any member of the student body or the staff of University of the Incarnate Word who is concerned that a student has engaged in some form of academic dishonesty should report the incident to the Dean of the College/School which oversees the course in question. The Dean will then initiate the process of investigation outlined below.

Procedures for Investigating Claims of Academic Dishonesty and Assessing Sanctions

Sanctions

Sanction Assessed by Faculty.

Before any sanction by a faculty member is assigned, the instructor must meet with the student about the violation. Sanctions must be confirmed in writing to the student, copied to the Dean of the College/School which the instructor is a member, and copied to the Academic Vice President. These records ARE NOT placed in the student’s permanent academic file and will be destroyed when the student graduates or otherwise ceases his/her relationship with the University.

1.  give the student an F for the assignment in question, and may
2.  forward the case to the Academic Honor Board of the College/ School to consider additional sanctions.

Sanctions Assessed by the Academic Honor Board

When cases alleging academic dishonesty are forwarded to a College Dean, he or she will convene an Academic Honor Board. The student (respondent) alleged to have engaged in academic dishonesty will be notified of the convening of the Board. Notices may be personally delivered to the respondent or by placing a notice addressed to the respondent to the respondent’s Campus Mail Box or sent by certified mail to the respondent’s home address. The Board will be comprised of two members of the faculty from the College/School selected by the Academic Dean and two students selected from a list of students previously identified by the college faculty. The Dean will serve as chairperson of the Board; however, he/she will only vote in cases where the Board is split on any given decision.

The respondent may request that a student or faculty member not sit in judgment if he/she feels that the vote may be biased or prejudiced as a consequence. Some substantiation of the claim of prejudice may be required, and the final decision shall rest with the Dean.

The Dean of the College/School that convened the Board may make substitutions to the Board in order to maintain a quorum of five members.

The student (respondent) is presumed not to have engaged in academic dishonesty.

Pending the final action of the Academic Honor Board, the status of the student shall not be altered, and his/her right to be present on campus, to attend classes, and/or to participate in University sponsored activities shall not be affected

A finding of academic dishonesty shall be by majority vote of the Board. If the Board finds that the respondent engaged in academic dishonesty, the Board may impose Sanctions. Sanctions may include:

The procedure of formal inquiry by the Academic Honor Board will include:

Using written statements, interviews, and available physical evidence, the Academic Honor Board will decide the validity of the alleged incident of academic dishonesty.

The decision of the Board will be communicated in writing to the respondent by being personally delivered, placing the findings in an envelope addressed to the respondent at the respondent’s Campus Mail Box, or sent by certified mail to the respondent’s home address.

Appeals of Disciplinary Sanctions Assessed by Academic Honor Board

Any respondent who disagrees with the findings of an Academic Honor Board may appeal to the Standing Committee on Academic Integrity which is comprised of the Dean of Campus Life, an elected member of the Faculty Council, and an elected member of the Student Government Association (SGA).

Timetable – Appeals to Academic Honor Board decisions must be submitted in writing to the Standing Committee on Academic Integrity within ten working days of the Board’s decision.

  1. Following a review, the Standing Committee on Academic Integrity may uphold, modify, or reverse the findings of the Academic Honor Board.
  2. The decision of the Standing Committee on Academic Integrity shall be considered final. A written statement shall be sent to the appellant no later than three days after the Committee’s decision is reached.