Graduate Student Admission Criteria
Applicants for admission to full graduate status at Shepherd University must have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a minimum college grade point average of 2.75. Students who do not meet these standards may, at the discretion of the program director, be admitted on a provisional basis. Provisional admission normally requires a score of 390 or higher on the Miller Analogy Test or scores of 440 or higher on the verbal and 560 or higher on the quantitative section of the Graduate Record Exam.
Individual programs also have the following requirements:
Master of College Student Development and Administration (CSDA)
Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction
- Applicants for the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction who are currently licensed teachers must provide a copy of their teacher certification with their application.
- Applicants for the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction who are not licensed teachers, but who are educational professionals, must supply
- 3 letters of reference from individuals who can speak to your work in an educational setting
- A letter of intent that describes your proposed discipline-specific content Strand area and how you envision using the MA degree and your content Strand area to enhance your personal and career goals.
Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.):
- Score 400 or more on GMAT OR
- Score 235 or more on M.B.A. Major Field Achievement Test (MFAT) or 140 on Business MFAT.
Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.):
- Passing score on Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test, Math, Reading, and Writing
- Passing score on Praxis II content specialization test for the content area in which applicant will seek certification
- Completion of at least 50 percent of undergraduate coursework required for certification in the chosen area with a grade of C or better in all classes
- Grades of C or above on: ENGL 101, ENGL 102, and COMM 202 or equivalent courses.
- The lowest GPA accepted for the M.A.T. program under any circumstances is 2.50. Any applicant with a GPA below 2.75 must submit a score of 440 or higher on the verbal and 560 or higher on the quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam or a score of 390 or higher on the Miller Analogies Test.
The Shepherd University M.A.T. program is designed to provide teacher certification eligibility for each graduate. In the interest of the integrity of the academic program, its students, and the schools of West Virginia, it is necessary that every applicant meet Shepherd University’s academic and professional standards. Any applicant who has previously applied to and/or been admitted to any accredited Teacher Education Program(s) but did not complete the program will be presumed to not meet the University’s standards for admission. Such applicant will have the burden of affirmatively demonstrating eligibility for admission to the Shepherd University M.A.T. Program.
Provisional status may be granted to applicants who do not qualify for full graduate status. Students admitted on provisional status must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 during their first six graduate credit hours in a graduate program, and specifically not including undergraduate classes taken to satisfy content deficiencies for teacher certification. Students admitted provisionally and who do not obtain full admission for the required grade point average will be dismissed from their program and considered ineligible for further graduate study at Shepherd. Provisional status does not apply to the Master of Arts in Teaching.
Students seeking graduate studies without matriculating (meaning they are not yet admitted), may do so with permission of the dean of graduate studies and continuing education. A non-degree-seeking form must be filled out prior to the start of classes and a petition requested if starting after add/drop but before classes start. The ability to take and complete graduate courses as a non-degree-seeking student does not indicate that a student will be admitted to a graduate degree program.
Students seeking graduate studies without matriculating and wishing to transfer courses taken at Shepherd University to another university may do so with permission of the dean of graduate studies and continuing education. Transient students must fill out a non-degree-seeking form prior to start of classes and a petition requested if starting after add/drop but before classes start. A transient student may subsequent apply to a Shepherd University graduate program, but the ability to take and complete graduate courses as a transient student does not indicate that a student will be admitted to a graduate degree program.
International students are encouraged to apply to Shepherd University and must follow all international student requirements found in admissions requirements for undergraduate students. Please see the undergraduate catalog for international student admissions requirements.
Senior Shepherd University Students Taking Graduate Courses at Shepherd University
Any senior Shepherd University student who has earned a minimum of 96 credits with a minimum 2.75 GPA, may apply to the Graduate Council to take a Shepherd University graduate course, up to a maximum of 9 credits. Credits earned in this manner may be applied EITHER to the undergraduate program OR held in reserve for a future Shepherd University graduate degree. Approval to take graduate courses for undergraduate or reserve graduate credit does not constitute a guarantee or promise of future admission to a Shepherd University graduate program. Tuition and fees will be charged at the undergraduate tuition rate.
All veterans, regardless of rank, branch, or active versus reserve/guard, are encouraged to take advantage of graduate courses at Shepherd University. Please see the veterans Web site found at www.shepherd.edu/veterans/ for full details on veterans benefits at Shepherd University.
Policies Governing Student Status
The first point of contact for graduate studies advising is the graduate coordinator. Each graduate program may have specific graduate faculty advisors as well for specific content areas. At any time a student believes he/she needs additional advising and the graduate faculty advisor or graduate coordinator is not available, the student can contact the office of the dean of graduate studies and continuing education for advising.
When a graduate student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 the student will be placed on probation. Students on probation must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 during the first six credit hours of their probationary status and must return their cumulative graduate GPA to 3.0 during the first 12 hours of their probationary status. Students who do not meet these criteria will be dismissed.
All graduate students are expected to complete their degrees in an appropriate time and manner. All incompletes must be completed by the next respective fall or spring semester (i.e., incompletes in fall must be complete the following spring semester, incompletes in spring must be complete in the following fall semester. Incompletes in the summer must be complete by the following fall semester).
Graduate students in good academic standing who must discontinue their studies for a brief time will be considered eligible to re-enroll in future semesters, as long as they return after an absence of no more than two consecutive regular semesters (not including summer sessions). Graduate students who are suspended (see Suspension/Dismissal policy, below) or who are absent from studies for more than two consecutive regular semesters (not including summer sessions) must re-apply through the Office of Admissions. Graduate students wishing to return after a brief absence, and who do not need to re-apply through the Office of Admissions, should contact their Program Coordinator for advisement.
A student on probation will be dismissed when
- The student’s GPA in the first six credit hours of probation falls below 3.0
- The student fails to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 after 12 credit hours of probation
Once a student is dismissed from a graduate program, the student may not enroll in any other graduate program at Shepherd University without explicit permission from the Graduate Council.
Appeals of Student Status
Students placed on provisional status, probation, or suspension may appeal that status to the Graduate Council by writing a letter to the dean of graduate studies and continuing education outlining the rationale for the appeal. Appeals denied by the Graduate Council may be appealed to the vice president of academic affairs. The vice president will only consider appeals that deal with substantial procedural errors in the decision of the Graduate Council.
Transfer of Credit into Shepherd Graduate Program
Up to six credit hours may be transferred to a Shepherd graduate program from another institution or program. These courses will be evaluated, at the time of admission, by the coordinator of the program to which the applicant is applying, or the chair of the department in which the course is offered. Credits may be transferred during the degree program, but no more than a total of nine credits may be transferred for any graduate degree.
Transferring from One Shepherd Graduate Program to Another
Students enrolled in one graduate program at Shepherd University may apply to transfer to another graduate program without applying for readmission to Graduate Studies. Students must fill out a Change of Program form and pay a fee of $20. Students applying for a transfer must be in good standing (not on academic probation or suspension) in the graduate program that they are transferring from and must meet all requirements of, and be accepted by, the program to which they are transferring.
Repeating a Course
A student may repeat a course once without appeal. A student may not repeat that course a second time without a written appeal to and consent from the Graduate Council. When a course is repeated, the higher grade will be used in determining the grade point average. Both grades, however, will be recorded on the transcript.
Academic dishonesty in all its forms, including plagiarism on written or visual work, is considered an academic matter to be controlled and acted upon by the individual faculty member.
Students guilty of academic dishonesty on examinations in any course shall receive, as a minimum penalty, a grade of F in that course. Such action shall be taken by the instructor, with written notification to the vice president for academic affairs. Repeated offenses shall subject the student to suspension or dismissal from the University. Students involved in facilitating academic dishonesty among others, such as by the unauthorized dissemination of examination materials, will be subject to disciplinary action beyond that called for by their own academic dishonesty in a course.
Plagiarism is “the act of stealing and using, as one’s own, the ideas, or the expression of the ideas of another.” Whether that other is another student or a published author, plagiarism is cheating.
Guidelines and policies affecting dishonesty and most other aspects of student life may be found in the Shepherd University Student Handbook.
Summary of Grading System
||Point Value per
||Minimum grade accepted for credit
||Unacceptable; credit not accepted toward graduation
||Incomplete, must be completed by date registered on incomplete form*
||Withdraw without grade point penalty*
*Not used in computation of grade point average
* Incomplete grades must be made up within one semester or the grade of I becomes a grade of F.
Summary of Withdrawal Dates
Action: Dropping a class.
Form required: None—drop course on RAIL
Date: First five class days.
Resulting Grade: Dropped course does not appear on the transcript.
Action: Withdrawing from a class.
Form required: Course Withdrawal Slip—obtain from advisor
Date: Sixth class day through Friday of the twelfth week of classes.
Resulting Grade: W.
Action: Complete withdrawal from the University.
Form required: Semester Withdrawal Form—obtain from Registrar
Date: From the sixth class day through the last class day of the semester.
Resulting Grade: W
The withdrawal procedure is incomplete until all necessary signatures have been secured and the appropriate forms returned to the Registrar’s Office and the Office of Graduate Studies by the specified time stated in the current academic year calendar.
Any counseling provided to a student from any employee of the University that is at a variance with established University policies, must be confirmed by the vice president for academic affairs. Although a student may receive advice from any agent of the University, the final responsibility for a decision concerning withdrawal rests with the student, in consultation with the course instructor, and in accordance with University policies.
Graduate Student Code of Conduct
The student code of conduct was enacted primarily to set forth in a clear and concise manner the rules and regulations expected of those who join the University campus and/or participate in any University-sponsored activity. Keeping the core missions of the University in mind, the code is
- to foster the scholarly and civic development of the University’s students in a safe and secure learning environment,
- to protect the people, properties, and processes that support the University and its missions, and
- to preserve academic freedom and free and open exchange of ideas and opinions for all members of the University
All graduate students are subject to the provisions of the Shepherd University Guidelines and Policies as outlined in the Shepherd University Student Handbook. The handbook includes sections on academic code of conduct, community expectations, and the judicial process. Copies of the handbook are available from the Student Affairs Office in the Student Center. Guidelines and policies are also available in pdf format at www.shepherd.edu/students/.