Jul 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies for Graduate Education

Academic Integrity Policy, Including Plagiarism

Everyone enrolled in graduate education courses at UMF is expected to adhere to the principles of academic integrity central to the academic function of the University. Any breach of academic integrity represents a serious offense. Each student has a responsibility to know the standards of conduct and expectations of academic integrity that apply to academic tasks. The Code of Academic Integrity is accessible by clicking on the following link: Academic Integrity Code. Violations of student academic integrity include any actions that attempt to promote or enhance the academic standing of any student by dishonest means. Cheating on an examination, stealing the words or ideas of another (i.e., plagiarism), making statements known to be false or misleading, falsifying the results of one’s research, improperly using library materials or computer files, or altering or forging academic records are examples of violations of this policy that are contrary to the academic purposes for which the University exists. Unless group work is assigned, coursework is normally completed independently. Acts that violate academic integrity disrupt the educational process and are not acceptable.

Plagiarism, the use without attribution of language, ideas, or the organization of ideas not one’s own, is a fundamental breach of basic academic principles and is prohibited in all courses. The development of original thinking and intellectual honesty are regarded as central to a graduate education. Although in the pursuit of these goals students will continually consult existing works, it is expected that they will acknowledge the debt owed to others by citing all sources. When books, journals, magazines, or any other sources are reviewed and the ideas or language therein used, they must be cited. Where specific guidelines are not given by the instructor, students should consult a current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association on proper notation.

The case of any student who admits to or is found guilty of a violation of academic integrity will be reviewed by UMF’s Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. The student will be subject to appropriate sanctions, including expulsion from the University. Graduate students are held to the same Academic Integrity code that is applicable to UMF’s undergraduate program. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the Academic Integrity Code.

Academic Record Changes

Considerable care is taken to ensure that course registration and grades entered on a student’s permanent record are accurate. Any student who suspects an error has been made should take the matter up immediately with Merrill Center (207) 778-7100. Records are assumed to be correct if a student does not report to Merrill Center within one year of the completion of a course. At that time, the record becomes permanent and cannot be changed. The student is expected to check his/her records on UMS MaineStreet on a regular basis.

Academic Standing

Certificate Programs

No graduate course within the certificate program can be taken for Pass/Fail, and satisfactory completion of a specific certificate program requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for courses within the certificate program, with no more than one C (2.00). A grade of C- is not acceptable; if a C- or below is earned in a course, the participant will be required to retake the course to raise the grade or be dropped from that specific certificate program. Even though certificate programs are not degree bearing, they will be designated on a student’s official transcript. Grades for each course taken as part of a certificate program will appear on a student’s transcript. When the total certificate coursework is completed, the certificate title and date of award will be indicated on the student’s transcript, as well.

Master’s Degree Programs

To remain in good academic standing, graduate students must maintain a 3.00 (B) grade point average. A student who receives a C or below will be interviewed by the Associate Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education to determine if continued matriculation is appropriate. Should a student’s grade point average fall below a 3.00, the student will be put on academic probation and given two semesters to bring the grade point average up to 3.00. If, after those two semesters, the student has been unsuccessful in attaining a 3.00 grade point average, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Class Attendance

UMF subscribes to the policy that sound scholarship involves attendance at all classes. Students are expected to attend classes and are responsible for all class work whether they are present or absent. Instructors establish their own attendance policies, but they must state the class attendance policy in writing on the course syllabus. Students are permitted to leave a class meeting without penalty if the instructor does not appear within ten minutes of the scheduled beginning of the class period and has not sent word that s/he will be late or made previous arrangements with the class.

Confidentiality Policy

The University complies with the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (the Buckley Amendment). The statute gives students the right to inspect and review their educational records and provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data. It also authorizes the release of information only with the written consent of the student. For the complete University Confidentiality Policy, contact Merrill Center at (207) 778-7100.

Undergraduate Students Participating in Graduate Education

Enrolling in graduate courses

Undergraduate students may be able to enroll in graduate level courses. Students must discuss this with their academic advisor before enrolling in any graduate courses. Undergraduate students may enroll in a graduate level course for graduate credit under one of the following circumstances:

  1. After being accepted into a graduate degree program at the university that permits or requires enrolling in graduate courses while still enrolled as an undergraduate student (e.g., accelerated master’s degrees).
  2. When in receipt of written permission from the Associate Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education or equivalent administrator who is responsible for graduate programs. The graduate studies administrator will consult with the student’s advisor or division chair before making a decision.

Nothing in this policy permits undergraduates to take graduate courses if prerequisite courses have not been completed. There will be no appeal process if an undergraduate student is not granted permission to take a graduate course.

Participation in graduate certificates

Undergraduate students may participate in graduate certificate programs. Students must complete the graduate certificate intent to participate form to participate in, and be awarded, a graduate certificate. Undergraduate students will be permitted to participate in a graduate certificate and all of its required courses after receiving written permission to enroll in the certificate from the administrator responsible for graduate programs. The graduate studies administrator will consult with the student’s advisor or division chair before making a decision. Nothing in this policy permits undergraduates to participate in graduate certificates if prerequisite courses or experiences (e.g., teaching experience required to enroll in the certificate in administration, mathematics coaching program) have not been completed. There will be no appeal process if an undergraduate student is not granted permission to participate in a graduate certificate. Once granted permission to enroll in the certificate, the student does not need to obtain subsequent permission to enroll in each individual course required for the certificate. The graduate certificate will be awarded upon satisfactory completion of all required courses and completion of a bachelor’s degree.

Grading System

Grades at UMF are given in terms of letters, with the option of a plus or minus designation (with the exception of no A+), representing levels of achievement. The basis for determining a grade is the relative extent to which the student has achieved the objectives of the course. The graduate student’s work in each course is graded as follows:

  • A Excellent
  • B Proficient
  • C Approaching proficiency
  • D Unsatisfactory
  • F Failure

Please note: If a course is repeated once, the second grade only is figured into the GPA. In the event that a course is repeated more than once, the second and all subsequent grades are counted. A student is responsible for meeting academic benchmarks for his/her program, including minimum GPA standards and policies.

Grades less than C are not acceptable for graduate work.

Other letter grades are as follows:

  • I Incomplete

All prescribed course work is to be completed during the semester or term in which the course is offered unless the syllabus specifies a longer period of time. If medical or other emergency conditions develop, the instructor may, at his or her discretion, award a grade of Incomplete (I). The “I” permits an extension to allow the student to complete the course work within a period of up to a full semester.Summer session is counted as a semester for the graduate program. Therefore, a student receiving an Incomplete at the end of the Spring semester must complete the course work by the end of August of the same year.

An Incomplete grade is a privilege granted by a faculty member in response to extraordinary circumstances. The “I” should not be understood to be the normal response to missing work. Ordinarily,when a student has failed to complete required coursework by the end of the semester, the instructor will either report a grade for the course in which the missing work is given a value of zero or, in cases where failure to complete assigned work constitutes failure to meet the minimum requirements of the course, award a grade of F. The grade of Incomplete shall be awarded only when the following conditions are met: 1) the student has valid reasons for not completing the work; 2) the student has presented these reasons to the instructor; and 3) the missing work constitutes less than one-third of the required work for the course.

When a grade of Incomplete is awarded, the instructor shall specify in writing the work to be completed and the deadline by which it is to be completed, using the Incomplete Form, with copies to the student and to Merrill Center. The instructor is not required to allow the full period (a semester) for the completion of the missing work, however.

When the missing work is completed, the instructor shall promptly submit a Change of Grade Form to Merrill Center, changing the Incomplete to the appropriate letter grade. Since the maximum term for Incomplete grades is one semester, the instructor must submit a change of grade form for each Incomplete on or before the date on which grades are due for the semester following the semester in which the Incomplete was awarded. The instructor may not continue the Incomplete for a second semester. The instructor’s failure to submit a timely Change of Grade Form for an Incomplete shall be treated as equivalent to failing to submit grades for a class and shall be reported to the Associate Provost and Dean of the College of Education, Health, and Rehabilitation.

  • L Left (Stopped attending): The grade of L may be assigned to students who stopped attending a course without officially dropping the course. The grade of L will be computed as an F for purposes of the student’s grade point average.
  • MG Missing Grade: Occasionally, faculty may assign student invalid grades for a course, or may fail to submit a grade for a particular student in a course. In these cases, Merrill Center will note this act by designating a missing grade, or MG, instead of a grade for the course. Missing grades must be resolved by the end of each semester. Merrill Center shall notify faculty members involved, and the Associate Provost and Dean of the College of Education, Health, and Rehabilitation, when students carry unresolved MGs on their transcript for one semester. If the missing grade is not resolved by the instructor, an MG grade will be automatically counted as an F in the grade point average and so indicated on the student’s permanent record as “MG.”
  • W Withdrawal: After the drop period, a student may withdraw from a course through the 60% point in the course without academic penalty. The student must obtain an official Course Withdrawal Form from Merrill Center. This form must be signed by the instructor. The W is an official grade notation; however it will not be included in computing the student’s grade point average. If a student has not officially withdrawn before 60% of the course is completed, one of the above regular grades will be assigned. The W notation may be obtained after 60% of the course has been completed under unusual circumstances if so determined by the instructor and the Associate Provost and Dean of the College of Education, Health, and Rehabilitation. A threat of failure is not considered to be an unusual circumstance.
  • DG Deferred Grade: If a course syllabus specifies that work may extend beyond the semester or term in which the course is offered, students may be assigned a progress grade designated by the letter grade DG. The DG will remain on the grade record until the final grade is submitted. All DG grades must be converted to final grades to complete graduation requirements.

Permanent Academic Record

The permanent academic record is maintained by Merrill Center for all students. The only true and valid documentation of academic work and student status is an official transcript of academic record, stamped with the Registrar’s signature and embossed with the seal of the University. The transcript is available only with the signature of the student and will be released to that student or a designee only if there are no outstanding charges against his or her account with Merrill Center. An unofficial transcript can be obtained by the student through his/her Student Center in MaineStreet (http://mainestreet.maine.edu).


 Academic Forgiveness

Students who are matriculated in a master’s degree or who have filed an ITP for a graduate certificate and are currently enrolled, both those who have been continuously-enrolled and those who have been separated from the university, may request academic forgiveness for no more than 2 courses taken in a single semester at UMF provided that they have completed two consecutive semesters at UMF with a semester GPA of 3.00 or above. 

Academic forgiveness can be granted only once and for no more than 6 credit hours. Once academic forgiveness is granted, it is not reversible. Courses which have been forgiven cannot be used to meet any program completion requirements. Forgiven courses also cannot fulfill a required prerequisite for another course nor can they have been applied to a previously awarded degree.

The academic detail of forgiven coursework, including grades and attempted credits, will be displayed on a student’s transcript, but removed from the cumulative GPA calculation. A notation of the course(s) forgiven will also be made on the transcript.  Students requesting academic forgiveness should be aware that the GPA listed on the UMF transcript is UMF’s GPA and not necessarily what other institutions will use in making admissions decisions. For example, doctoral program admissions may calculate the GPA based on all courses taken regardless of the forgiven courses.

No tuition or fee refunds will be issued for forgiven courses. Academic Forgiveness may impact a student’s eligibility for financial aid due to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Students should discuss this possibility with a financial aid officer before requesting Academic Forgiveness. 

Students requesting forgiveness should fill out a Request for Forgiveness Form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. Provided that conditions outlined above have been met, the courses will be forgiven.