Dec 10, 2023  
2023-2024 SUNY Potsdam Academic Catalog 
    
2023-2024 SUNY Potsdam Academic Catalog

Graduate Course Related Policies


 

Grading Policies

Graduate Grading System

The numeric grading system: grades are entered on the student’s permanent record and calculated into the cumulative GPA. Levels of achievement (see Note 1) are indicated as follows:

4.0 Excellent (A)
3.7  
3.3  
3.0 Good (B)
2.7  
2.3  
2.0 Satisfactory (C) (minimum grade that may be applied to a graduate degree; see Note 2 below)
0.0 Failure (F)
S  
S* Satisfactory (College-designated)
U Unsatisfactory (student-elected)
U* Unsatisfactory (College-designated)
INC Incomplete
IP In Progress
W/W* Withdrawal

Note 1: This grading scale took effect in the fall 2002 semester. The previous numeric grading scale permitted the following graduate grades: 4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, and 0.0.

Graduate students may consider this S/U option only for elective courses within their master’s degree program. Graduate students may not choose this option when repeating a class. To select the S/U grading option, students must file a form with the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education before the end of the withdrawal period (the end of the eighth week of classes). Instructors will continue to report achievement in the numerical system. Disclosure of this grading option to the instructor is at the student’s discretion.

In certain courses the College itself may award an S* or U* (e.g., P.E. experiences, student teaching, music studio courses). An S* denotes satisfactory performance; U* denotes unsatisfactory performance.

Incompletes

The grade of Incomplete, noted as “INC” on the grade report, may be reported by an instructor only under the following circumstances:

  1. The student has submitted and the professor has approved an “Incomplete Request Form” available at the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education.
  2. Course requirements have not been completed for reasons beyond the student’s control (e.g., illness or family emergency).
  3. The student has completed the majority of the work for the class, and the student can accomplish the remaining requirements without further registration. The conditions for changing the grade of “Incomplete” to a final grade must be met by the end of the next regular semester following issuance of the grade. “Incompletes” not completed by the appropriate time will automatically be converted to 0.0, or “U” or “U*,” depending upon the student’s choice of grading option or the designation of the course at the time of the original registration.

The conditions for changing the grade of “Incomplete” to a final grade must be met by the end of the next regular semester following issuance of the grade.

“Incompletes” not completed by the appropriate time will automatically be converted to 0.0, “U” or “U*”, depending upon the student’s choice of grading option or the designation of the course at the time of the original registration.

In Progress Grades

The grade of In Progress, noted as “IP” on the grade report, indicates that the course has not yet been completed and that a final grade will be recorded by the instructor upon completion of the course.

The conditions for changing an “In Progress” to a final grade must be met by the end of the second semester (or equivalent in the academic program) following issuance of the grade. An extension may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the issuing faculty member.  An “In Progress” not completed by the appropriate time will automatically be converted to a 0.0, U, or U*, depending on the student’s choice of grading option or the designation of the course at the time of the original registration.

Repeating Courses

Students may repeat a course only once. Permission to repeat a course will be further limited by available space, providing priority for first-time registrants. In extraordinary circumstances, students may repeat a course more than once with the permission of the appropriate dean.

Students who drop a course during the Add/Drop period, or who formally withdraw before the end of the tenth week of classes, have not earned a grade .Accordingly, if they choose to register for the same course in another semester, this does not constitute a repeat. However, a second registration will also be limited by available space.

The following rules govern the recomputation of grades and credits earned:

All courses repeated at Potsdam will be graded on a numeric basis-the S/U grading option may not be chosen. This rule does not apply to those courses which may be taken only for S*/U* grades.

A numeric grade replacing a numeric grade: If the new grade is higher than the original grade, the student earns the differential in quality points but no additional semester hours (unless the original grade was 0.0). If the new grade is equivalent to or lower than the original grade, it will be entered on the permanent record but will not affect the cumulative GPA or total hours accumulated.

A numeric grade replacing an “S” grade: If the new grade is 3.0 or higher, the student earns the quality points but no additional semester hours. If the new grade is less than 3.0, it will be entered on the permanent record but will not affect the cumulative GPA or total hours accumulated.

A numeric grade replacing a “U” grade: If the new grade is 3.0 or higher, the student earns the quality points and the additional semester hours. If the new grade is 0.0, it will be entered on the permanent record but will not affect the cumulative GPA or total hours accumulated.

On the permanent academic record, repeated course grades that are included in the GPA calculation will be noted with an “I” for “include”; those not included in the GPA calculation will be noted with an “E” for “exclude.”

Students repeating a course which previously had a 595 or 695 number or which was taken at another college must notify the Registrar’s Office so that the repeat can be correctly coded on their academic record. Other repeated courses will be coded by an automated process. Note that while the grades of courses taken at another college are not included in the SUNY Potsdam GPA, if a student repeats a course at another college and earns a higher grade, the lower grade will be excluded from the SUNY Potsdam GPA.

Changing Recorded Grades

Grades submitted to the Registrar’s Office are final. The only permissible reasons for changing a grade are a) to correct an error in recording or computation, b) to remove a grade of “Incomplete,” or “In Progress” c) to reflect the judgment of a department acting in accordance with established College procedures concerning grade appeal.

Changes in grades already recorded in the Registrar’s Office can be made only a) by the instructor who awarded the grade with the approval of the department chair, b) by the department chair in cases where the instructor is unable to do so (because of leave, resignation, etc.), or c) by the department chair acting in accordance with established College procedures concerning grade appeal.

All grade changes for a given semester must be submitted by the end of the next regular Fall or Spring semester. Any grade changes submitted after the stated deadline require the additional approval of the dean of the appropriate school.

Graduate Grade Requirements

The overall or cumulative grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of credit hours earned on a numerical basis.

A cumulative average of 3.0 or “B” is required for the awarding of the degree itself. This includes all SUNY Potsdam graduate work taken in residence or at one of the off-campus sites. Candidates must also be familiar with and work to meet additional standards for progress established by the degree program.

Graduate students who have two grades of less than 3.0 must meet with their adviser and the Director of the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education to review their program of study.

Graduation with Honors

Students completing master’s degree requirements at SUNY Potsdam with a cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or higher are granted the degree with distinction.

Course Schedule Adjustments

Add/Drop Period

The Add/Drop period for graduate students extends five class days after the first class meeting. A student may adjust courses during this period without a permanent record notation of “W” (withdrawal) for courses dropped.

To add or drop a course after the stated Add/Drop period a student must obtain special permission from the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education (or the Crane Dean’s office for Crane students). Late drops are permitted only under emergency circumstances. Students may add a course late only with the instructor’s signature.

Procedures for Formal Withdrawal or Academic Leave

Matriculated graduate students who decide to interrupt or terminate their studies at SUNY Potsdam because of a personal or family emergency, to pursue a different curriculum at another university, or other appropriate reasons should contact the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education to obtain a Graduate Academic Leave/Withdrawal request form.

Difference Between Leaves and Withdrawals

An Academic Leave of Absence should be selected if you expect to return to SUNY Potsdam within a year’s time. You will need to indicate the semester you plan to return. Before returning, contact the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education, graduate@potsdam.edu or (315) 267-2165, to obtain a Graduate Reinstatement Application and return the completed application by July 15 for the Fall semester, December 15 for the Spring semester, and May 1st for the Summer semester. Failure to request an academic leave will result in a fee of $100 during the reinstatement process.

A Program Withdrawal should be selected if you are not planning to return to SUNY Potsdam or if you are uncertain about your future plans. If you later decide to return to the College, you should contact the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education to obtain a Graduate Reinstatement Application.

Course Withdraws indicates intention to remain matriculated as a student, with an intention to leave a class for a specific semester (see Course Withdraws below).

Academic Leave of Absence

Students must apply to the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education for either a one or two semester academic leave (semesters identified as consecutive semesters as appropriate for each program of study). If a student does not obtain permission for an academic leave, he/she will be deemed inactive at the end of one non-enrolled semester and will be required to apply for reinstatement with no guarantee that he/she will be accepted back into the program. In addition, a reinstatement fee in the amount of $100 will be collected in lieu of a submission of a formal leave of absence request.

Students taking an academic leave or withdrawing without completing the necessary process may encounter unexpected complications or difficulties with their enrollment and financial status. In addition to completing a request, ALL students must contact One Stop before leaving the College to check on the status of their accounts. Unresolved bills may result in serious consequences such as the delinquent account being sent to the State Attorney General’s Office for collection.

International students must consult with the Office of International Education & Programs before withdrawing or choosing a leave of absence.

Course Withdraws

Course Withdraw

Students may elect to withdraw from courses for any reason for a maximum of 9 semester hours in their graduate degree program. Students may exercise this right only before the end of the tenth week of classes in the current semester (see Special Sessions website for deadlines for winter and summer sessions coursework). In such cases, a “W” is noted on the permanent record. For full-time students, dropping below 12 semester hours due to withdrawal may have an effect on financial aid eligibility.

Program Withdraw

Students who are not planning to return to SUNY Potsdam or are uncertain about future plans and wish to leave their degree program as a matriculated student will select this option.

Emergency Withdraw

If you are forced to leave the College during a semester due to reasons beyond your control, such as a severe medical or emotional condition or a serious family emergency, and you can provide clear and complete documentation of the situation from a qualified professional (such as a doctor or psychological counselor), you may apply to the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education for Emergency Withdrawal grades (W*s) regardless of your last day of attendance. To apply, you need to complete the Graduate Emergency Withdrawal Application, specifying your emergency circumstances and supplying written documentation to support your request. If you receive W*s for all your courses, your academic standing will be carried forward from the previous semester. In addition, W*’s will not count towards the 9 credit hour withdraw maximum. However, receiving W*s does not absolve you of financial liability to the College. All students must contact One Stop before leaving the College to check on the status of their accounts. Unresolved bills may result in serious consequences such as the delinquent account being sent to the State Attorney General’s Office for collection.

Military Withdraw

Withdraw due to a call to active military duty will be noted on the permanent record as “M*” and will not count towards the 9-hour limit.

How Leaves or Withdrawals Can Affect Grades and Academic Standing

If you leave the College during a semester but the last day you attend class is before the last day to Add/Drop (the fifth working day after the first class begins), your classes will be dropped and not appear on your official transcript. If the last day you attend class is after the last day to drop but before the last day to withdraw (the end of the eighth week of classes), your grades will be reported as W’s (withdrawals), and your academic standing will be carried forward from the previous semester. Note that this will count against the 9 credits of coursework you can choose to withdraw from while actively enrolled at SUNY Potsdam. If the last day you attend classes is after the last day to withdraw in that semester, you will receive a grade your instructors report for you (most likely 0.0’s if you have not been regularly attending your classes). After the last day to withdraw, a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal will not be processed until after grades are entered at the end of the semester. Academically dismissed students are not eligible for a leave of absence or withdrawal from the College.

Requesting a leave of absence or withdraw does not interrupt the time to degree completion timeframe (see timeframe completion guidelines).

Reinstatement to the College

Any student who leaves the College and wishes to return must file the Graduate Reinstatement Application through the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education. International students must also contact International Education & Programs.

Upon approval, the student is responsible for contacting their academic adviser for advisement prior to registration. All College holds must be cleared before the student will be eligible to register. Students who complete coursework at another college are required to have official transcripts sent to the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education at SUNY Potsdam, and all policies pertaining to transfer coursework will be adhered to.

Graduate Academic Credit Load

An appropriate load for students pursuing graduate study as a primary goal is 9-15 semester hours. Decisions about classes and the number of classes/credits should be made under advisement within the appropriate Graduate Program.

As of the Summer 2012 academic term, 9 semester hours constitutes full-time enrollment status for loan repayment, insurance policies, veteran’s benefits and other common enrollment verification purposes. (see Financial Aid packaging rules).

It is the responsibility of students to verify the number of credit hours that may be required for any financial aid programs in which they may be participating to avoid losing financial aid. It is also the responsibility of international students to be aware of any regulations related to credits that may be associated with their immigration status.

Students holding Graduate Assistantships or Graduate Advantage Positions must be registered for at least nine (9) credits but no more than15 credits.

Academic Year Course Load Regulations

A credit load above 15 credit hours in an academic year session requires special permission and completion of an Overload Request Form (available through the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education) with the signature of the student’s adviser and the Director of Graduate & Continuing Education. Students must state their reasons for the overload request.

The maximum overload for graduate students is typically 18 credit hours. Students requesting an overload must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in their graduate studies or a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in the last 60 hours of their undergraduate study, if the request is during their first semester of graduate study.

Graduate Course Levels

All master’s degree programs require completion of courses at the 500 level and 600 level.

500-level courses are designed specifically for students at the graduate level, but may include a select enrollment of highly qualified undergraduate students who will receive upper- division credit.

600-level courses are designed specifically for students at the graduate level.

Under certain conditions, seniors may enroll in graduate coursework for graduate credit (see Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Students).

For Music Education students, at least 50% of all graduate degree coursework must be at the 600 level. Only three- and four-credit-hour courses may satisfy education and music education electives.

Graduate Courses for Undergraduate Students

Courses at the 500 level are designated as graduate courses but may, with permission of the instructor, be taken for undergraduate credit by advanced undergraduates (students who have earned 57 or more semester hours of credit) on a space-available basis.

Courses at the 600 level are limited to Seniors seeking graduate credit only. Seniors wishing to enroll in courses for graduate credit must complete an application with the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education, Raymond Hall. Seniors may enroll in graduate coursework for graduate credit under the following conditions and on a space-available basis. They must:

  1. Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, at least 75 hours earned in numerical grading;
  2. Be within 9 hours of completing their undergraduate program;
  3. Register for no more than 6 hours of graduate credit;
  4. Register for no more than 15 credit hours of combined undergraduate and graduate courses; and
  5. Be approved by the department offering the course(s).

Academic Policies

SUNY Potsdam Academic Honor Code

Academic Integrity

Throughout their history, institutions of higher learning have viewed themselves and have been viewed by society as a community of persons not only seeking the truth and knowledge, but also seeking them in a truthful and ethical fashion. Indeed, the institution traditionally trusted by the public and the one to which individuals most often turn for unbiased factual information is the university. Thus, how a university behaves is as important as what it explores and teaches. SUNY Potsdam expects all members of its community to conduct themselves in a manner befitting this tradition of honor and integrity. Enrollment at the College requires a commitment to the principles of the SUNY Potsdam Academic Honor Code both in spirit and in adherence to rules and policies.

The Academic Honor Code makes SUNY Potsdam a better and more enjoyable place as it affords to each member of the SUNY Potsdam community the trust and freedom that honesty promotes.

Personal honor, integrity and respect for the word and work of another are the basis of the Academic Honor Code. Thus, it is the responsibility of every student enrolled in SUNY Potsdam to adhere to and uphold this Code in pursuit of academic integrity. The Academic Honor Code furthers this effort by prohibiting lying, cheating and stealing.

This Code applies to all academic programs, faculties and departments at the College, both graduate and undergraduate. More detailed standards of academic conduct may be set forth by each of the schools and individual faculty members. It is the responsibility of every member of the academic community to be familiar with and supportive of the Academic Honor Code.

Academic Honesty Pledge

On all academic work done by students at SUNY Potsdam, the below listed pledge is either required or implied. Furthermore, this statement is regarded as an indication that the student understands and has complied with the requirements and assignments as set forth by the course instructor and as stated in this Academic Honor Code.

“On my honor: I will not give nor receive any inappropriate assistance on any academic work in accordance with the SUNY Potsdam Academic Honor Code and the directions given to me by each course instructor.”

Basic Standards of Academic Integrity

Specific acts that are considered to be academic dishonesty and that are prohibited by this Code include, but are not limited to:

  1. Cheating: using unauthorized notes, study aids or information on an examination; altering graded work after it has been returned, then submitting the work for re-grading; allowing another person to do one’s work and submitting that work under one’s own name.
  2. Plagiarism: presenting, as one’s own the distinctive ideas, facts or words of another (in part or in whole) without appropriate acknowledgement of the source. Issues of plagiarism apply to any type of work including, but not limited to exams, papers, any writing or printed text, computer programs, web sites, art, music, photography or video.
  3. Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any data, citation, or information.
    1. Citation: Any attribution to, or use of, a source (real or invented) from which the referenced material was not obtained, including use of a quoted reference from a non-original source while implying reference to the original source.
    2. Data: Presenting data that were not gathered in accordance with standard guidelines defining appropriate methods for data collecting; generating data and failing to include an accurate account of the method by altered or contrived in such a way as to be deliberately misleading.
    3. Information: providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding academic dishonesty.
  4. Multiple submission: submitting identical or substantial portions of similar work for credit more than once, without prior explicit consent of the course instructor(s) to whom the materials are being or have been submitted.
  5. Obtaining or providing an unfair advantage:
    1. Gaining or providing access to examination materials prior to the time authorized by the instructor.
    2. Stealing, destroying, defacing or concealing library materials or other shared-use materials.
    3. Providing materials, information or other assistance on an academic assignment without authorization from the instructor(s).
    4. Gaining or providing access to previously given examination materials, where those materials clearly indicate that they are to be returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the examination.
    5. Intentionally obstructing or interfacing with another student’s academic work.
    6. Assisting others in the violation of this Honor Code.
  6. Falsification of records and official documents: altering documents affecting academic records, forging signatures of authorization or falsifying information on an official academic document, grade report, letter of permission, petition, drop/add form, ID card, attendance list or any other official College document.

Procedures, Due Process and Student Rights

SUNY Potsdam’s procedure for the enforcement of the Academic Honor Code lies within the Campus Judicial System. The College judicial procedures and students’ rights within these procedures are listed in the “Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct” found in the Guide to Student Life (or at potsdam.edu/studentlife/studentconduct/honorcode/).The Campus Judicial System in consultation with the course instructor(s) will assign appropriate sanctions should it be determined that a student is responsible for a violation of the Academic Honor Code.

Note: The information and definitions listed in this Honor Code were adapted from The SUNY Potsdam Academic Integrity Policy, Northwestern University Principles Regarding Academic Integrity: northwestern.edu/uacc/uniprin.html, and The Rice University Honor Council http://honor.rice.edu.

Final Examination Policy

  1. A final examination is a comprehensive written test administered at the end of a course. It is designed to assess a student’s knowledge of, and familiarity with all or a substantial part of the content and/or skills associated with a given course in a given semester.
  2. At the conclusion of every semester, a two-hour period will be arranged for each class to provide time for summation and evaluation. Except as specified below, a final examination may be administered only at this arranged two-hour period.
  3. If a final exam is not given in a course, the class must meet during finals week for a culminating activity.
  4. No test of any kind may be given during the last week of classes unless a final examination is also scheduled during the regular final examination period.
  5. No student shall be required to take more than two examinations in one day.
    1. If a student has more than two examinations scheduled in one day, the middle examination(s) must be rescheduled if the student requests.
    2. A student must request rescheduling at least two weeks before the last day of classes. This request must be in written form and must be filed with the professor with copies to the department chair and the Dean of the School under whose jurisdiction the course in question is offered.
    3. The appropriate Dean has the final responsibility for the rescheduling of the examination. The rescheduled examination must normally occur at a time during the final examination week.
  6. The above policy does not apply to take-home examinations or term papers. Questions relating to the possible applicability of the policy to oral examinations, studio classes, laboratory tests and other forms of testing should, in cases of doubt, be referred to the appropriate deans. The deans shall make exceptions to the policy wherever circumstances justify them.