Students are responsible for all information given in the latest catalog and also, for all published and posted regulations, procedures and changes. No deviations from any graduate regulations are permissible unless they are approved first by the appropriate academic department, program coordinator and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.
The School of Graduate Studies takes all possible precautions to insure the confidentiality of student records. Students may examine their records by making an appointment with an advisor. Students must realize that all transcripts, application information, and letters of recommendation become property of the University once they are submitted. Students have the right to withhold publication or release of certain information. No individual outside the University may examine a student’s record without that student’s permission. Copies of the policy are available in the School of Graduate Studies Office.
Program coordinators serve as academic advisors for graduate students, aiding them in the selection of courses that they will need to complete in order to receive a degree. Students may make appointments through the School of Graduate Studies to meet with a program coordinator. Appointments can be made either by phone 978.542.6323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plans of Study
The “plan of study” is a list of courses, prerequisites, and capstone requirements needed to complete the specific program in which you have enrolled. Students complete plans of study with their graduate program advisors within one month of their acceptance into their programs.
During the initial advising session, a student and advisor agree on the student’s course of study throughout his or her degree program, indicating the semesters in which courses will be taken.
If a student proposes to transfer graduate courses taken at another institution, those courses, with the grades and credits received, should be noted on the plan of study at the initial advising session. In addition, the transcript for each course proposed for transfer credit should be attached with a course description for the proposed transfer course. Only courses that have NOT been part of another degree program can be proposed for transfer credit.
Plans of study may be changed during a student’s degree program. Such revisions are entered on the plan of study form, approved first by the graduate program coordinator, then by the dean of the School of Graduate Studies, and forwarded to the registrar.
A limit of nine graduate credits taken at Salem State University or through another graduate program, before admission into a Salem State University graduate program, may be counted towards a degree, except as noted.
- The actual number of graduate transfer credits, up to the maximum of nine, is to be determined by the program coordinator and approved by the dean.
- All graduate credits accepted in transfer, whether from Salem State or another accredited institution, may not be more than seven years old at the time program requirements are completed.
- A grade of B (3.0) or better must be earned in courses to be considered for transfer.
- Only courses that have NOT been part of another degree program can be proposed for transfer credit.
- All courses submitted for transfer credit at the time of application must be completed prior to the student’s acceptance into the program and decisions on acceptance of transfer credit must be made at the time the Plan of Study is approved.
- Degree candidates who wish to receive credit for graduate courses taken at other institutions after acceptance into their program of study must have approval from the appropriate program coordinator prior to registering for the course(s). Forms for requesting permission to take an outside course are available in the School of Graduate Studies Office.
- All accepted courses must receive initial approval from the program coordinator and final approval from the Dean as pertinent to the appropriate degree being sought.
- Official transcripts of the courses taken at other institutions must be filed with the School of Graduate Studies.
- The applicant must provide course descriptions as well as official transcripts for all transfer requests and may additionally be asked to provide a syllabus and samples of the applicant’s course work.
*The exceptions to this policy include the following:
- The MSW program, which may accept up to 30 credits as transfer credits from another CSWE accredited School of Social Work.
- The MS in Counseling and Psychological Services program, which may accept up to 30 credits.
- The MEd in Physical Education program, which accepts only 6 credits.
- The MSN, MSN/Advanced Practice in Rehabilitation, MSN/MBA, and the Nursing Education Certificate programs all require acceptance and matriculation into the program prior to enrollment in any of the respective courses.
In some cases students may be required to complete admissions prerequisites that will not count toward their degree. Credits for undergraduate or graduate courses taken to satisfy such prerequisites do not contribute to the credit requirement of the graduate degree. Prerequisite courses are determined by the academic and/or professional department(s) concerned.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Responsibility for knowing and complying with all academic policies and regulations rests with the individual graduate student.
Please note: the policies delineated here represent the minimum criteria for a student to be making satisfactory academic progress: individual programs may have more rigorous requirements than those listed in this policy.
Minimum GPA for Satisfactory Academic Progress
A candidate for a master’s degree or certificate must earn at least a 3.000 (“B”) cumulative grade point average during all consecutive terms, including summer, in which that student is enrolled in classes.
Students performing below this standard will be placed on academic probation.
A student receiving a cumulative GPA below 3.000 at the end of any given term will be placed on academic probation.
Students placed on academic probation will be issued a letter from the School of Graduate Studies notifying them of the fact. Students who have been placed on academic probation must meet with their program coordinator to develop an approved “Academic Improvement Plan”.
Students will be allowed two semesters to implement the academic improvement plan and bring the GPA up to 3.000. If at the end of the first semester after being placed on probation a student has not yet achieved a 3.000 cumulative GPA but has attained a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.500, the student may remain on probation for one additional semester.
Students on academic probation will lose financial aid eligibility. Students may appeal the loss of financial aid only one time.
If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below a 2.500 in the semester following the assignment of academic probation, the student will automatically be dismissed. A student who has continued on probation for two consecutive terms during which the student is enrolled in classes, but who does not attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.000 at the end of the second semester of enrollment after the institution of the probationary period, will be automatically dismissed from the School of Graduate Studies.
A student who is dismissed may apply for readmission after the lapse of a minimum of one semester. To be readmitted, the student must present a petition to the program coordinator explaining in detail how the causes of low achievement have been corrected and what plans are in place to ensure future academic success. A student may be dismissed and readmitted only one time. A second dismissal cannot be appealed.
The program coordinator will forward the request to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies with a recommendation to either grant or deny the petition; if there is sufficient evidence that the causes of previous poor performance have been resolved, the dean may choose to readmit the student.
Satisfactory academic progress requirements must be met for continued financial aid eligibility.
Graduate students may be permitted to repeat only one course that was taken at Salem State University for graduate credit (i.e., applied towards a graduate degree) and may only repeat that course once. Petition to repeat a course must be approved by the program coordinator and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Upon approval, the petition will be sent to the Registrar’s office.
Please note: Both grades will remain on the transcript, but only the most recent grade, regardless of whether it is higher or lower, will be used to calculate the student’s graduate GPA.
Exceptions to this policy may be made to meet the approved curricular requirements for particular academic programs but not for individual students.
Grade Point Average Requirements for Awarding of Degree or Certificate
Candidates for any graduate-level degree or certificate must attain a final cumulative grade point average of 3.000 before the degree or certificate will be awarded.
Grading Guidelines for Salem State University Graduate Programs
|Insightful scholarship, valid research, creativity, original application, and genuine promise of continuing growth in the field of study
||Solid scholarship, sound research, creative application, and promise of growth in the field of study
||Acceptable scholarship and research, valid application, and probable promise of growth in the field of study
||Adequate scholarship, research, relevant application, and possible promise for growth in the field of study
||Marginal scholarship, research, and application suggesting minimal prospects for growth in the field of study
||Inadequate scholarship, research and application suggesting minimal prospects for growth in the field of study
||Inadequate scholarship, research and application requiring improvement in future performance
||Inadequate scholarship, research and application requiring major improvement in future performance
||Unacceptable graduate work
In most instances, graduate students will receive letter grades, as follows: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, F, I, P. The grade point equivalent of the letter grade at the graduate level shall be calculated in accordance with the following:
A Pass (P) grade will earn graduate credit but is not used in computing the GPA.
Grade of Incomplete
The grade of “I” (Incomplete) is a temporary grade assigned to students who have not completed course work and who have made provisions to do so with the course instructor before the assignment of final grades for the course. Course work must be completed by the end of the sixth week of the following semester. If the student fails to make up the course work by then, the “I” grade will be changed to an “F”. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the instructor, who must notify the Registrar’s Office and the Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies, in writing that an extension has been granted. It is the student’s responsibility to finish incomplete course work by the deadline or, in cases where an extension has been granted by the course instructor, to request that the instructor notify the Registrar’s Office and the Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies, in writing of the extension. It is the responsibility of the course instructor to have the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies sign the Request for Grade Change form and then to turn in the form to the Registrar’s Office.
Change of Grade
A student who believes a change of grade is in order may request a change from the instructor. The instructor must use a “Request for Grade Change” form available in the Registrar’s Office. This form must be dated and signed by the instructor as well as the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and then returned to the Registrar’s Office for processing.
Change of Academic Program
Students who wish to change from one academic program to another academic program must formally both withdraw from their current program and apply to the new program. They may request the admissions office to transfer previously-submitted transcripts, standardized admissions test results, and copies of licenses, if still valid, to the new application. A new application fee will be due. Students are responsible for determining whether the new academic program has different entrance requirements than the original program to which the student applied. Such requirements may include tests, essays, valid teaching licensure, personal interviews, specific course preparation, or a specific grade point average. Graduate Admissions may require that the student submit new materials, such as a personal statement and references that directly address his or her qualifications and ability to be successful in the new academic program. Please visit salemstate.edu/graduate for program-specific requirements.
All applications will proceed through the standard admissions review process.
Exceptions: Students who wish to transfer from pursuit of one track or option within a graduate degree program to another track or option within that same degree program at Salem State University to which they have been admitted may request the transfer by writing to Dr. Elizabeth Kenney, Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies, Salem State University, 352 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA 01970. Included with the request should be a statement of support from the program coordinator and a revised plan of study indicating how the student’s program will be completed. The student will be notified in writing of the decision.
Please note: Students should discuss with their program coordinator whether or not courses taken in pursuit of the original academic program may be transferred towards completion of the academic program into which they are transferring. The School of Graduate Studies will make the final determination when the plan of study for the new program is completed.
Regular attendance in all courses is required. The course instructor will establish the specific attendance policy for each course.
Student Absence for Religious Beliefs
Any graduate student who is unable to attend a class or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day of religious observance will be provided with an opportunity to make up that examination, study or work requirement, provided, however, that such make up shall not create an unreasonable burden upon the school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the School of Graduate Studies for making this opportunity available to the student, and no adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student exercising this prerogative. (See Chapter 151C of the General Laws of Massachusetts.)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (The Buckley Amendment) and Fair Information Practices Act
Annually, Salem State University informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (The Buckley Amendment, generally referred to as FERPA) and the Fair Information Practices Act of 1975. Salem State University intends to fully comply with these statutes, which were designed to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO), U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-5901, concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act.
Directory Information is defined by FERPA as information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Salem State University has designated the following as Directory Information, and such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion.
- Electronic mail address
- Local and permanent mailing addresses
- Telephone numbers
- Date and place of birth
- Major and minor fields of study
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment status (full or part time) and whether or not currently enrolled
- Certificates, degrees, honors and awards received (including scholarships)
- Date of actual or expected graduation
- Most recent educational institution attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports sponsored by the University
- Weight and height of athletic team members
The University may disclose any of these items without prior written consent, unless the student has submitted a written request to the Registrar’s Office not to release directory information pertaining to him or her. Requests will be processed within 24 hours after receipt. A full copy of the current FERPA policy, including student rights under FERPA and the conditions under which Salem State University may release information from educational records, may be found at salemstate.edu/registrar in the Student Information section of the Registrar’s website. The University reserves the right to revise the designation of public directory information each academic year with full notification to students and the wider university community prior to such designations taking effect.
Nine credits are considered full time for most graduate students. Six credits are full time for the Geo-Information Science program. Part-time graduate students are reminded that a maximum of two courses per semester is strongly recommended. The study expectations for such a commitment precludes taking additional hours when one is employed full time.
All requirements for the degree normally must be completed within six years from the date of the student’s acceptance. Students enrolled in the MSN/MBA combined degree program and the MA/MAT English dual degree program have seven years from the initial date of acceptance to complete degree requirements. No graduate course offered for the degree may be more than six years old at the time degree requirements are completed with the exception of any courses accepted in transfer which must have been taken within the past seven years.
Changes in Registration
Students must notify the School of Graduate Studies and meet with their program coordinators to update their plan of study when there are any changes in registration. Any adds, drops, and changes of course section or academic status must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office on a Registration Change form. Failure to notify the Registrar’s Office may result in errors on the student’s permanent record.
Students may register for a credit course and not receive credit; this procedure is called “auditing a course.” Students auditing a course may participate in class activities, but are not required to complete assignments or take examinations, and will not receive a grade.
Separation from the Degree Program
Separation from the graduate program can take many forms. A student may officially withdraw, be dismissed, take a leave of absence, or be administratively withdrawn.
Withdrawal from Program
Withdrawal is initiated by the student, usually in consultation with an advisor. Withdrawal from the program implies withdrawal from all courses, and the graduate regulations concerning grades are applicable. Mere non-attendance does not constitute official withdrawal from the program. It is necessary to complete an official withdrawal form and file it with the School of Graduate Studies office. These forms are available from the program coordinator.
Dismissal or administrative withdrawal is initiated by the institution. It may result from unsatisfactory academic progress, failure to complete the program in six years, failure to withdraw officially from the program, failure to register and attend Fall and Spring semesters, infractions of University regulations, and for other reasons.
Leave of Absence
A leave of absence is a period during which students maintain their status, but are entitled to none of the services of the University provided by the payment of tuition or fees. An application for a leave of absence may be filed at any time during the academic year for the following semester(s). A leave of absence may begin during a semester, provided the completed application for leave is filed with the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies before the end of the fourth class session. In this case the entire semester is counted toward the leave. No refund of tuition will be given except as provided by other existing regulations.
The total leave allowed a student during his/her graduate program is two semesters, which need not be taken consecutively. Students desiring leaves of absence must complete a Leave of Absence form available from the appropriate program coordinator to complete arrangements for leave. A date of return will be agreed upon in advance and stated on the Leave of Absence form. A student who fails to return on the agreed date will be considered to have withdrawn from the University.
A leave of absence may be granted to any student complying with the School of Graduate Studies regulations. Such a leave of absence will be revoked if the student incurs an academic dismissal subsequent to the granting of the leave. Students on leave are fully responsible for returning on the agreed date. No reminders will be sent to the student. A leave of absence does not waive the mandatory six-year requirement. That is, all students requesting a leave of absence still must complete their program within six years of date of acceptance.
Students dismissed from their graduate program for academic or administrative reasons and who wish re-admission, must petition for consideration to the Graduate Education Council.
Students who withdraw from the program and wish re admittance must reapply for admission to the graduate program. Decisions on admissions will be made by the admissions committee of the appropriate program and by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.
Withdrawal from Courses
To withdraw from a course, the student must complete a Registration Change form available in the Registrar’s Office or withdraw via his/her Navigator account. A grade of “W” will be assigned for students who withdraw prior to the fourth class meeting. Withdrawal after that deadline will result in a grade of “F”, except when extenuating circumstances are involved. Students who wish to withdraw without academic penalty after the deadline must present their case in writing before the end of the course to the Assistant Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for appropriate action.
Course Information Policy
By the second meeting of the semester, the instructor will provide the School of Graduate Studies* and each student in each course and section a written and dated course syllabus. The syllabus must contain at least the following information:
1. The course name and number, section number, semester, instructor’s name, and a method of reaching the instructor.
2. Official course description.
3. Course goals and learning objectives.
4. The course requirements for assessment such as papers, projects, and examinations (with due dates if possible). These assessments should be clearly tied to the course learning objectives listed in number 3 above.
5. The instructor’s attendance policy for the course (e.g. no attendance taken, number of absences allowed, any penalty for extensive absence, etc.).
6. A list of texts for the course, indicating which are required and which are optional.
7. A statement on whether or not a final examination will be given and, if given, whether it is required or optional.
8. The method by which the student’s final grade in the course will be determined.
9. The instructor’s policy on work handed in late, makeup examinations, and the like.
10. Any special rules, regulations, or procedures of the course.
11. A statement indicating that each student is responsible for completing all course requirements and for keeping up with all that goes on in the course (whether or not the student is present).
12. The statement “Salem State University is committed to providing equal access to the educational experience for all students in compliance with Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act and to providing all reasonable academic accommodations, aids and adjustments. Any student who has a documented disability requiring an accommodation, aid or adjustment should speak with the instructor immediately. Students with Disabilities who have not previously done so should provide documentation to and schedule an appointment with the Office for Students with Disabilities and obtain appropriate services.
13. In the event of a university declared critical emergency, Salem State University reserves the right to alter this course plan. Students should refer to salemstate.edu for further information and updates. The course attendance policy stays in effect until there is a university declared critical emergency. In the event of an emergency, please refer to the alternative educational plans for this course located at/in [faculty member determines this]. Students should review the plans and gather all required materials before an emergency is declared.”
Instructors of semester-long courses who develop course requirements as the semester goes along will so indicate on the syllabus. Once requirements have been established, students will receive a written and dated copy of them and of the method by which the final grade will be computed. This statement will be distributed prior to the end of the twelfth week of the semester. In courses less than a semester in length, this information shall be provided no more than half-way through the course.
If in the professional judgment of the instructor it is necessary to modify course requirements after the course has begun, students will be given a written and dated copy of the modifications. Such modifications will be consistent with the nature and purpose of the course.
A student who believes that the Course Information Policy has not been followed should bring the matter first to the instructor; second, if necessary, to the Program Coordinator; third, to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies; fourth, to the Graduate Education Council; thereafter, to the Vice President, Academic Affairs; and, ultimately, to the President.
* Syllabi kept in the School of Graduate Studies are not for student use.
During the final third of a degree program, a graduate degree student may participate in a directed study. A directed study proposal must be developed in consultation with the faculty member who will supervise the work and must be submitted as part of the application for directed study. The proposal must then be approved by the instructor, the program coordinator and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies before the student may register for the course. Tuition remission, waivers and vouchers may not be applied to costs associated with directed study courses.
Comprehensive Examinations are required in many graduate degree programs. They are intended to assess and evaluate a student’s knowledge of the major components of his/her graduate study.
After a review of the student’s academic records, the student is notified if he or she is eligible to sit for the examination. The student must then file an application form with the School of Graduate Studies for the specific examination date desired and receive approval as set forth by each individual graduate program.
Comprehensive examinations are administered in November, March, and July of each year.
Students in need of an accommodation for the comprehensive exam must be registered with the disability services office.
A candidate who fails the comprehensive examination may petition the program coordinator in writing, within three months, to request a second examination. The student must demonstrate persuasively in this petition how he or she will prepare for a successful re-take of the examination. If the petition is granted, the second attempt at the comprehensive examination must occur within the next two administrations of the examination. If the petition is not granted, the student may then appeal this decision to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies or designee. If that appeal is not approved, the student will be dismissed from the program. Failure in the second administration of the examination results in the dismissal from the program.
Academic Integrity Policy
The policy below delineates several types of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, collusion, and cheating. The policy should be read broadly and is not designed to define misconduct in exhaustive terms; as new technologies and pedagogies emerge, new specific forms of academic misconduct will also emerge to which the basic principles described below will still apply.
Faculty are encouraged to include information about academic dishonesty on their syllabi and to discuss the topic and their expectations in class; however, lack of knowledge of these definitions does not negate the student’s responsibility for upholding them. Faculty may specify in their course syllabi more rigorous criteria than those identified in this document.
The School of Graduate Studies assumes that all students attend Salem State with serious educational intent and expects them to be mature, responsible individuals who will exhibit high standards of honesty and personal conduct in their academic life. All forms of academic dishonesty are considered to be serious offenses against the University community. The University will apply sanctions when student conduct interferes with the University’ s primary responsibility of ensuring its educational objectives. All members of the Salem State academic community have a responsibility to insure that scholastic honesty and academic integrity are safeguarded and maintained. Cheating, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest activities are unfair, demoralizing, and demeaning to all of us. They diminish the learning experience not only for the perpetrators, but also for the entire community. It is expected that Salem State graduate students will understand and subscribe to the ideal of academic integrity and that they will bear individual responsibility for their work. Materials (written or otherwise) submitted to fulfill academic requirements must represent a student’s own efforts.
Performing, aiding or inciting any of the actions listed below, in courses or other situations involving academic credits, constitutes academic dishonesty and is an offense subject to disciplinary action.
Cheating is the intentional, unauthorized use of information or study guides in any academic activity, regardless of the delivery method of the course. The methods of cheating are varied and well-known. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Copying from others during an evaluative exercise;
Unauthorized use of electronic devices during evaluative exercises;
Sharing answers for a take-home examination or evaluative exercise;
Using notes or other resources not authorized by the instructor;
Taking an examination or completing an evaluative exercise for another student;
Asking or allowing another student to take an examination or complete an evaluative exercise for you;
Tampering with any evaluative exercise after it has been corrected, then returning it for more credit than deserved;
Submitting substantial portions of the same academic work for credit in more than one course, without consulting the second instructor (and the first instructor if the courses are offered concurrently);
Falsifying data or results from research or field work;
Plagiarism is academic theft. It is the use of another’s ideas or words without proper attribution or credit. An author’s work is his/her property and its use must be respected through proper documentation. Plagiarism includes allowing others to do the research and writing of an assigned paper or evaluative exercise (for example, an on line service).
Credit must be given for every direct quotation of any length, when another’s work is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in your own words, and when information is not common knowledge.
Any student who knowingly or intentionally helps another student to perform any of the above acts of cheating or plagiarism is subject to discipline for academic dishonesty. There is no distinction between those who cheat and plagiarize and those who knowingly facilitate these actions.
Discipline for academically-dishonest behavior is exercised on two levels: informal process, which results in a written “Report of Academic Misconduct” and a formal process which results in a “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty.”
I. Informal Process Resulting in “Report of Academic Misconduct”
This option is only available in the case of a first offense and consists of two parts.
First, the professor determines the action to be taken in relationship to the course. The professor of the course has the authority to determine which of the following options to pursue and is encouraged to discuss the situation with the student to resolve the problem. Action must be taken within 15 days of the discovery of the alleged offense.
- assignment of additional work,
- exclusion from the course,
- reduction of the grade for the work and/or the course,
- failing grade.
Second, while the faculty member may implement any of the above actions, regardless of the action decided upon, the faculty member must also submit a written report of the action decided upon to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, with a copy to the student and the graduate program coordinator. This report may be withdrawn by the faculty member within 30 days of its filing if circumstances warrant reconsideration.
Within 15 days of receiving the report from the faculty member, the dean of the School of Graduate Studies will notify the student that a “Report of Academic Misconduct” has been filed. No further action will be taken by any of the parties enumerated above (beyond that taken by the professor) unless an additional “Report of Academic Misconduct” is filed.
The student has the option to challenge the “Report of Academic Misconduct” with a request for a formal hearing . This request must be made in writing and dated within 15 working days of receipt of the “Report of Academic Misconduct” from the dean of the School of Graduate Studies. If the student chooses this option, the process follows the formal process described below.
Should a second charge be filed at a later date, a “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty,” as described below, is mandatory.
II. Formal Process Resulting in “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty”
Circumstances resulting in a formal charge
Under any of the following circumstances a “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty” must be registered and must be followed by formal hearing, as described below:
The faculty member finds that the offense, even though a first offense, is so egregious that a formal process is warranted;
The student challenges the faculty member’s “Report of Academic Misconduct” (if this is the first such charge against that student);
There is a second “Report of Academic Misconduct” against a student, whether by the same instructor or another;
A non-faculty member of the university community files a “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty” against a student.
Process for formal charge
Under normal circumstances, a formal charge must be filed, in writing, with the Office of the Provost and Academic Vice President within fifteen (15) working days after discovery of the alleged offense.
Upon receipt of the written formal charge of academic dishonesty, the Office of the Provost and Academic Vice President or designee shall inform the student in writing that a formal charge has been filed and provide him or her with a copy of this academic integrity policy.
After receiving the written notification of the formal charge, the student has a right to a pre-hearing conference with the Provost and Academic Vice President or designee for the purpose of reviewing the academic integrity policy and the hearing procedures.
The student may choose one of two courses of action at this point.
The student may waive his or her right to a hearing and accept disciplinary action from an administrator designated by the Provost and Academic Vice President. Students who choose to accept disciplinary action from the designated administrator waive the right to appeal the administrator’s decision.
The student may challenge the formal charge in writing, dated within 15 working days of receipt of the “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty”from the Office of the Provost and Academic Vice President or designee. If the student contests the formal charge, an ad hoc hearing committee shall be formed and convened by the Provost and Academic Vice President or designee. The hearing committee shall consist of three (3) faculty members appointed by the Salem Chapter of the MSCA/MTA/NEA, the student representative to the Graduate Education Council, and one (1) administrator appointed by the president of the university.
Students who do not choose to challenge the formal charge within 15 working days waive their right to a hearing and accept disciplinary action as described above.
Formal Hearing Procedures
The Provost and Academic Vice President or designee shall convene the committee and designate a chairperson. No member of the committee shall convene the meeting.
All members of the hearing committee must be present for any proceedings.
The members of the hearing committee will be required to convene in closed session immediately prior to the hearing to review the “Report of Academic Misconduct” or “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty,” the specific charges to be considered, and all supporting papers and/or evidence.
The hearing will not be videotaped or audio taped. The hearing will be recorded by a stenographer.
The student charged will be called before the hearing committee, and the designated chairperson will restate the content of the alleged academic dishonesty charge. The person(s) who originally filed the formal charge (or report of misconduct, if the student is challenging that) may be present. Witnesses for either side are excluded from the hearing room at this time.
Opening statements. The student charged and the person(s) bringing the charges are asked to outline briefly the facts they intend to present during the hearing.
Presentation of witnesses and evidence by person(s) bringing charges. The person(s) bringing the charges present the evidence and, if applicable, call witnesses to support the charges. The student charged and members of the hearing committee may question the person(s) bringing the charges and the witnesses as each finishes his or her testimony.
Presentation of witnesses and evidence by the student charged. The student charged presents his or her evidence and calls witnesses, when applicable, to respond to the charges against him or her. The person(s) bringing the charges and the hearing committee may question the student charged and the witnesses as each finishes his or her testimony. Witnesses may be asked to remain or leave the hearing room as required by the hearing committee.
Closing statements. The student charged and the person(s) bringing the charges are asked to summarize their testimony and highlight any specific information they wish the hearing committee to consider in its deliberation.
Deliberation by hearing committee. All persons other than the hearing committee will leave the hearing room, and the deliberations will begin. If the hearing committee needs more information, it may reconvene the hearing within ten days in order to seek necessary clarification.
In those instances where more than one student is charged with academic dishonesty relating to the same instance of misconduct, the hearing committee may wish to consider the cases at the same time. This action will be taken only with the agreement of the students charged.
Voting on the question of whether to uphold the “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty” will be by secret ballot and approval will require a two-thirds vote of the hearing committee.
All hearing committee members and all individuals present will be bound by confidentiality restrictions.
The student shall be sent written notice within five working days following the hearing informing him/her of any recommendations made as a result of the hearing body’s deliberations, including recommended sanctions, if applicable. Student appeals must be made in writing and submitted to the Provost and Academic Vice President within ten (10) working days after the notification of the imposition of sanctions.
Individuals found guilty of violating Salem State University academic integrity policies as a result of the formal charge of academic dishonesty are subject to any of the following sanctions:
Warning: Written notice to the student that continued or repeated violations of specified policies or regulations may be cause for further disciplinary action.
Suspension: Student will lose his or her status for a specified term or terms.
Dismissal: Student will be expelled and may not return to Salem State University.
Other sanctions: Students may receive other sanctions deemed appropriate by the hearing committee.
Violations of any of the conditions imposed under this section can be cause for further disciplinary action, usually in the form of suspension, or dismissal.
Sanctions are assigned with the intent of maintaining consistency and fairness, and the degree of sanction is primarily correlated with the extent and severity of the violation.
Students have access to the “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty,” name of accusers and witnesses, and any written evidence or other pertinent papers, which may be used against them. This information will be available in the Office of Academic Affairs.
Students have the right to have their cases heard with all reasonable promptness. Under normal circumstances, hearings will be conducted within twenty-one (21) calendar working days after the Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty is received by the Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs. The university receives written notification of the student’s desire to have a formal hearing.
Students will receive written notification of the date, time and place of any hearing at least fifteen (15) working days before the hearing to permit a reasonable amount of time to prepare themselves.
At the same time they receive written notice, students will receive a written statement of charges against them, the source of such charges, and the conduct regulations upon which the charges are based.
Students have the right to an advisor of their choice. Such an advisor may be present at any hearing and may counsel the student charged. The advisor may not address the board on the student’s behalf.
All hearings will be closed to the public and press, and all proceedings will be considered confidential.
Students have the right to a Hearing Committee of impartial members, any member(s) of which may be challenged in writing and replaced.
Students have the right to make a written request for postponement of a hearing. Such a request must be submitted to the Provost and Academic Vice President no later than twenty-four hours prior to the date and time of the hearing.
The burden of proof will rest with those bringing charges against any student, and students will be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The hearing will proceed, whether or not the accused student or students choose to participate.
Written notification of the Hearing Committee’s decision will be mailed within seven (7) calendar days after the conclusion of the hearing.
Except where students have waived the right to a formal hearing, students have the right to appeal the decision of the Hearing Committee within ten (10) working days of the date of receipt of the written decision. Such appeals shall be made in writing and submitted to the Provost and Academic Vice President or designee for adjudication.
All students have the right to continue in their student status until the conclusion of judicial proceedings. However, no degree will be awarded until the matter is resolved.
Maintenance of Disciplinary Records
Disciplinary records will be maintained in the Office of the Provost and Academic Vice President for five years and then destroyed unless it is determined there is good reason to retain the records beyond that date. They will not be released to individuals outside the University except:
a) by the written authorization of both the student involved and the person bringing the charges;
b) under the conditions specified in the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and its Amendments, or
c) if otherwise specified by law.
In order to insure that minor and non-recurring infractions do not negatively impact the student’s academic career beyond Salem State University, all disciplinary records will be reviewed by the Provost and Academic Vice President or designee in order to determine whether the student’s records should be expunged. A student may petition for such review approximately two years from the date the initial sanction was imposed, or upon graduation from the university, whichever comes first. It is fairly common for potential employers, governmental agencies, or other institutions of higher education to solicit information about a student’s conduct while attending Salem State University. If the student has signed a release form accompanying such a solicitation, the designee of the Provost and Academic Vice President will review the disciplinary records file to determine if the student has been found guilty of misconduct. In those cases where the student has such a record the information will be provided to the requesting party.
Conduct by Applicants for Admission
Notwithstanding any provision in this policy to the contrary, admission or readmission may be qualified or denied to any person who, while not enrolled as a student, commits acts which, were he or she enrolled as a student, would be the basis for academic dishonesty proceedings. Admission or readmission may be qualified or denied to any person who, while a student, commits acts which are subject to disciplinary action as described above.
Academic Appeal Procedure
The SSU Graduate Students’ Academic Appeal Procedure provides students with methods to resolve academic issues. There is an informal process and a formal process for addressing academic appeals. Students must follow the steps outlined in the informal process before pursuing the formal appeal process.
Grounds for an appeal include violation(s) of specific written standards, e.g., computational errors or dismissal from a graduate program. The Graduate Education Council may refuse to hear appeals based on matters protected by academic freedom or for other reasons.
Informal Resolution of Academic Appeals
(Must be initiated within the 1st 30 days of the semester following the action being appealed.)
This procedure is not intended to supercede existing procedures within academic programs or departments for resolving student appeals. If the student’s department or program has its own formal, internal procedure for resolving student appeals, the student must exhaust that procedure before bringing an appeal to the Graduate Education Council; otherwise the student must follow the following informal procedure. A student with an academic appeal must initially take the appeal to the faculty member or administrator directly involved with the appeal. If the student and the faculty member or administrator satisfactorily resolve the appeal, the informal appeal resolution concludes at this point. If the student and the faculty member or administrator cannot resolve the appeal, the student should take the appeal to the appropriate Graduate Program Coordinator, then to the Department Chair. If the appeal involves the Coordinator, the Chair of the Department or the Director, the student must first attempt to resolve the appeal at that level. If the student satisfactorily resolves the appeal with any individual in this process, there is no basis for submitting a formal academic appeal to the Graduate Education Council. The student must document that he or she has attempted to resolve the appeal expeditiously through the department’s or program’s internal, formal appeal process or through the informal appeal process, when there is no internal formal process. If the student cannot satisfactorily resolve the appeal through the internal or informal processes, the student may, at his or her discretion, seek resolution via the formal procedure outlined below.
Formal Academic Appeal Procedure
(Must be initiated before the end of the semester following the action being appealed.)
Actions(s) during the Spring semester must be formally appealed by the end of the following Fall.
Action(s) during the Fall semester must be formally appealed by the end of the following Spring.
Action(s) during the Summer semester must be formally appealed by the end of the following Fall.
The student may request resolution of the appeal by initiating the following formal procedure.
A formal appeal is a written request from the student to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, asking the Graduate Education Council to hear the appeal. (In the event that the complaint is against the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, the appeal goes directly to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.) The student must submit a written and signed request for a formal appeal hearing within two weeks of exhausting the informal appeal process, and should include as appropriate:
Statement of the grounds for the appeal.
The desired outcome from the appeal.
Summary and documentation of the informal appeal.
Name(s) of faculty member(s) or administrator(s) involved in the appeal.
Names of witnesses the student will call to testify.
The student’s formal appeal will be shared with the faculty member or administrator against whom the appeal is being filed who will be invited to prepare a written response. The response will be shared with the student.
The Graduate Education Council will hear appeals at its next scheduled meeting, as long as the appeal is filed at least 20 days before the next scheduled meeting.
The Graduate Education Council hears the appeal. This hearing includes, but need not be limited to the following:
Meeting(s) with the student and the faculty member or administrator and others involved in the appeal.
Consultation with others as the Graduate Education Council deems necessary to provide a thorough investigation of the appeal, including mitigating or extenuating circumstances that bear upon the situation.
Procedures of the Graduate Education Council hearings:
The Council will convene in executive session and vote whether to hear the appeal. If the Council votes to approve hearing the appeal it will follow the remaining procedures.
The hearing will not be videotaped or audio taped.
The Chair of the Council will ask the student and the faculty member or administrator to attend the hearing.
Opening Statements. The Chair of the Council will ask the student and the faculty member or administrator to outline the facts they intend to present during the hearing. Both the student and the faculty member or administrator must be present through the conclusion of the closing statements.
Presentation of witnesses and evidence by the student. The student requesting the hearing presents the facts that support his/her appeal, and if applicable, calls witnesses to support the appeal. The Council and the faculty member or administrator may question the student and the witnesses as each finishes his/her testimony.
Presentation of witnesses and evidence by the faculty member or administrator. The faculty member or administrator presents facts and calls witnesses, if applicable, to respond to the appeal. The Council members and student may question the faculty member or administrator and the witnesses as each finishes his/her testimony. The Council may ask witnesses to remain or leave the hearing room at any time during the hearing.
Closing Statements. The student and the faculty member or administrator summarize their testimony and highlight any specific information they wish the Council to consider.
Deliberation by the Graduate Education Council. All people other than the Council members and the recording secretary will leave the hearing room before the Council begins deliberations. If the Council needs more information, it may suspend the hearing in order to seek clarification. The Council will make every reasonable effort to reach a timely conclusion to its deliberations.
The Council’s decision is limited to approving or disapproving the student’s appeal.
In instances where more than one student brings a common appeal, the Council may wish to consider the cases at the same time. The Council will take this action only with the agreement of the students.
All Council members will refrain from discussing appeal hearings outside the Council meetings.
The faculty member or administrator involved in the appeal shall receive a copy of the formal appeal and all supporting documents at least two weeks prior to the hearing.
All information pertinent to the appeal will be available to the parties at the office of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, or at the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs if the appeal is against the Dean.
The Office of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies will send written notification of the date, time and place of any hearing to the student, and faculty member or administrator at least seven days before the hearing to permit a reasonable amount of time to prepare.
Union employees have the right to choose a Union member to act as their advisor. Such advisor may be present at any hearing and may council the Union employee.
Students have the right to choose a non-faculty member to act as their advisor. Such advisor may be present at any hearing and may counsel the student. The student must present the appeal. No person may represent the student.
All hearings are closed to the public and the press.
If any member of the Council is closely connected with the matter of the appeal, he/she must excuse him/herself from the hearing.
A student, faculty member or administrator may request the Council to postpone the hearing. To do so, the student, faculty member or administrator must submit a written request to postpone the hearing to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at least seventy-two hours before the date and time of the hearing.
The Dean of the School of Graduate Studies will mail the results of the Council’s decision to the student, and faculty member or administrator within seven calendar days after the conclusion of the Council’s deliberations.
The Office of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies or the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs will maintain the records involved with the appeal. The Office of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies or the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs will not release the appeal records unless:
Authorized in writing by the student and faculty member or administrator involved; or
conditions specified in the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and its amendments apply; or
if required by law.
The results of an academic appeal hearing will not be placed in a Unit member’s personnel file, and cannot be used in his or her evaluation.
Practica/Clinical Experiences in Education
A practicum is a substantial guided school-based experience that relates theory and research in a particular field of education to professional practice, leading to an initial license in education. Admission to a practicum is restricted to matriculated graduate students in educator licensure programs who have completed all prerequisite coursework, pre-practicum experiences and required Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). Students completing practica are supported by university field supervisors and cooperating practitioners, who assess their performance based on the standards of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the specialized professional organizations of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Most practica are 300 hours and require participation in a group seminar to help students reflect on their learning and their practice. In addition to performance assessments, practicum students complete portfolios to document the success of their practicum experience.
A clinical experience is an advanced-level field experience of substantial length designed for educators holding initial licenses. Clinicals typically include an applied research project or other focus of individual applied study, and a group seminar.
Students apply for practica and clinical experiences to the Office of Licensure and Field Placement in the semester prior to the proposed experience. Applications require the signature of the program coordinator and documentation of previous coursework, pre-practica and MTEL results. Students must arrange for a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) review with their cooperating school or district prior to beginning a practicum. The OLFP is responsible for placing students in appropriate settings, for assigning field supervisors, for record-keeping related to students’ practicum and clinical experiences, and for endorsing candidates for licensure.
It is the responsibility of each graduate student to make application through the Office of Licensure and Field Placement to participate in the practicum/clinical in his/her particular area of concentration. This application must be completed at registration no later than one semester prior to the practicum in which he/she wishes to be enrolled and requires the signature of the program coordinator. Students will obtain the application form from the Office of Licensure and Field Placement.
Assignment of Students to Practicum/Internship Experience
It is the responsibility of the School of Graduate Studies to provide the best possible practicum experience for students enrolled. The Office of Licensure and Field Placement, in consultation with the practicum student and program coordinator, will make the necessary arrangements with the particular school director or agencies so involved.
An official transcript showing all courses taken in the School of Graduate Studies may be requested at any time. All transcript requests must be made in writing or in person in the Registrar’s Office or may be requested on line for current students through their Navigator accounts. The cost for each official copy is $5.
Student Judicial Process
All students are expected to abide by Federal and State laws and the regulations of Salem State University relevant to the School of Graduate Studies. Violation of these may be cause for judicial action conducted within the principles of due process. Copies of the procedure may be obtained at the School of Graduate Studies office.
Student Conduct Code
University students are recognized as being both citizens in the larger community and members of an academic community. In their roles as citizens, students are free to exercise their fundamental constitutional rights. Rights and responsibilities under local, state and national laws are neither abridged nor extended by status as a student at Salem State. However, as members of the academic community, students are expected to fulfill those behavioral responsibilities which accompany their membership and which are necessitated by the university’s pursuit of its stated goals. These behavioral responsibilities are stated in university publications such as The Compass, (viewed on line) Student Conduct Code, and The Guide to Residence Hall Living. It is expected that the conduct of all students will be consistent with the educational purposes of the institution and in no way will interfere with the functions of the university as it seeks to fulfill that purpose. Consequently, individual and group behavior which inhibits members of the community, i.e., students, faculty and administrators, from carrying out their respective educational tasks and duties is unacceptable. Policy violations committed by students will be handled through the university student conduct and mediation process which has been established to resolve complaints of student misconduct. The student conduct and mediation process is designed to protect due process rights and to reach decisions that are in the best interest of both the students and the university.
This code shall apply to all part-time and full-time undergraduate, graduate and continuing education university students at Salem State. To view this code in its entirety, please visit salemstate.edu/5622.php.
Institutional Review Board
Institutional Review Board (ORB) for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research
By federal regulation, the ORB is charged with the responsibility of reviewing and monitoring human subjects research.The ORB reviews and approves all research involving human subjects conducted at Salem State prior to beginning the research. This includes research, whether conducted on or off campus, which is conducted by Salem State faculty, administration, staff or students, as well as others not affiliated with the university who wish to conduct research at the university. This applies whether the research is federally funded or not.
Oversight ensures that the ethical principals and guidelines for the protection of human subjects in research, as outlined in the Belmont Report and 45 CF 46 of the Code of Regulations, is adhered to. We encourage you to take advantage of training materials on this web site and to contact the ORB if you have any questions.
Graduate Honor Societies
Alpha Delta Mu Honor Society
Alpha Delta Mu is the National Social Work Honor Society. Criteria for membership are available from the School of Social Work, Honor Society faculty advisor.
Alpha Mu Alpha
Alpha Mu Alpha is the National Marketing Honor Society. Graduate students in the top 20% GPA of all students in the MBA program with concentration in marketing are nominated to join.A concentration is considered a minimum of two graduate marketing courses beyond the core graduate courses in marketing.
Delta Mu Delta
Delta Mu Delta is an international honor society for Business Administration majors in undergraduate and graduate programs. The Society’s goals are to promote higher scholarship in education for business, and to recognize and reward scholastic achievement in business subjects. Membership is by invitation, and is open to all business graduate students in the top 20% (based on cumulative GPA) of their respective classes, who have at least a 3.6 GPA and who have completed a specified number of credits at the University.
Gamma Theta Upsilon
The international honor society in Geography sponsors awards for academic excellence, educational funds for student research, paper sessions at professional meetings, a journal and other programs to further professional interest in Geography.
Omicrom Delta Epsilon
Omicron Delta Epsilon is the International Economic Honor Society. Graduate students who have taken at least 12 credits in economics with a GPA of B or better are invited to join Alpha Theta, Salem State University’s chapter.
Phi Alpha Theta
The international honor society in History is interested in promoting the study of History by encouraging research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and thought among historians.
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
Phi Kappa Phi honor society recognizes superior scholarship in all fields of study and takes into its membership the highest ranking students from every branch of learning. The Salem State College Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi is open by invitation to eligible undergraduate and graduate students in all academic disciplines. Graduate students must have all grades of A or A-. Graduate students who have been enrolled at Salem State for 1 year full time (or the part-time equivalent) and are in the top 10% of graduate students are eligible.
Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is open to graduate students who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests, and who meet the minimum qualifications. Minimum Qualifications for Graduate Students: Have enrolled as a graduate student in a psychology graduate program, completed one semester in program and have established a GPA, have an overall GPA of at least 3.00 on a 4-point scale in all graduate courses, including psychology courses. In addition to the above requirements, graduate students who have transferred from another institution must complete one semester at the new institution to establish a GPA.
Pi Lambda Theta
The honor and professional association in Education, dedicated to providing leadership development and academic excellence in education. Membership is open to matriculated graduate students in the M.Ed., M.A.T., and CAGS programs who have submitted an application for May graduation with a GPA of 3.75 or above. Application and demonstration of service to the educational community are required.
Sigma Theta Tau-Honor Society
Eta Tau is Salem State University’s Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing.
Salem State University graduate students in Nursing are invited to attend planned programs and are invited to membership after completing 1/4 of their program and attaining a 3.5 GPA. Information is available on the nursing website www.salemstate.edu/nursing under student resources.
Graduate degrees are conferred three times each academic year in August, January and May. Salem State University holds one Commencement ceremony each year in May. Students are responsible for filing a graduation application by the established deadline in the term in which they expect to complete all requirements. Deadlines are sent via the official Salem State University email and students are responsible for checking this regularly. Failure to file before the deadline will postpone degree conferral. A Commencement Fee is required. No degree will be conferred and no degree transcripts will be issued unless all tuition and fees have been paid in full. All degree requirements must be completed prior to the student’s conferral date.