Academic Policies and Procedures
Students must meet the degree requirements (General Education, major and minor) of the catalog under which they matriculated. In addition to the degree requirements students must follow the academic requirements, policies, and procedures in place in the current catalog. Such requirements include but are not limited to course prerequisites, minimum grades for transfer work, probation and dismissal requirements.
Students are held individually responsible for information contained in the College catalog, Academic calendar, program handbooks, and College email correspondence. Failure to read and understand these policies and regulations will not excuse students from their observance. In addition they are responsible for the information contained in the official class schedules and other data sent or posted on the MSMC website. College catalogs are available online or for purchase at the bookstore. Information regarding any changes in degree programs, graduation requirements, or academic policies will be made available by the Registrar's Office and the appropriate academic departments.
To be classified as a sophomore, a student must have satisfactorily completed 30 semester units towards the Mount St. Mary’s College undergraduate degree, and have 1-2 more semesters of work to complete before fulfilling associate degree requirements or 5-6 more semesters of work to complete before fulfilling baccalaureate degree requirements or the unit equivalent; as a junior, a minimum of 60 semester units and 3-4 semesters of work to complete; as a senior, 90 semester units and 1-2 semesters of work to complete.
Baccalaureate pre-nursing and nursing student class levels are based on student program.
Students must notify the College of any change in their addresses or phone numbers. A change of address form must be submitted to the Registrar's Office for processing.
Attendance and punctuality are important for successful study. Therefore, the number of a student’s absences may be taken into account in determining academic grades. Students may be expected to explain to the instructor the reason for any absences from class and, in some cases, be asked to provide appropriate documentation.
There is no provision for a system of allowed cuts and absences. Students may be dropped from a class for excessive absences (missing 20% or more of the classes). When, in the opinion of the instructor, further enrollment in the class would be of little value to the student.
Occasionally, a student is excused from class attendance by the Provost for the purpose of representing the College. In such cases, the student is responsible for securing and completing any assignments.
Student Credit Hour
A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates not less than:
(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of
out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one
semester, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) for other academic activities, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
Academic standing describes the grade point average status of the student. Acceptable academic standing is a 2.0 grade point average or better. Academic standing appears on official transcripts of Mount St. Mary’s College.
To give public recognition to academic achievement, the Deans of undergraduate programs post a list each term with the names of full-time students who have obtained a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the preceding semester. To qualify for the Dean's List, a student must have completed at least 12 letter-graded units in the preceding semester or 9 units per semester for Weekend College. Students who have Incompletes (I), Report Delayed (RD), and/or No Grade (NG) on their semester grade reports will not be eligible for the Dean’s List until grade(s) are awarded.
A student who wishes to return to MSMC to complete his/her degree (either Associate or Baccalaureate) after an absence of six or more years must return under the catalog in effect when the readmission is granted. All General Studies requirements must be completed. The department chair will determine requirements necessary to complete the major.
Students may petition to waive or modify any academic policy or regulation, for good reason, which must be documented. The petition must be approved by the appropriate academic dean. Students file the approved petition in the Office of the Registrar for placement in their permanent file.
Withdrawal from College
Students thinking of withdrawing from the College should schedule an interview with the Advisement Center of their campus of attendance in order to explore other options or assistance.
Students who withdraw from the College at any time must file a withdrawal notice in the Office of the Registrar. Forms are available from the Advisement Center on both campuses. Students who leave the college for two consecutive semesters without filing appropriate forms are considered withdrawn. Students wishing to re-enter must file an application for re-admission with the Admission Office. (See Business Office for reduced charges which apply when withdrawing from the College.)
Leave of Absence
Students in good academic standing may request a Leave of Absence from the College for one semester. However, after the deadline to withdraw with a W from courses, a Leave of Absence cannot be granted for the current term. Students on a Leave of Absence may not enroll in another institution during the period of Leave of Absence.
Upon request, a Leave of Absence can be extended for one additional semester by the appropriate academic dean. Students on a Leave of Absence are considered continuing students and may pre-register for the next semester at the allotted time and must contact their advisor.
Weekend College students may petition to take a Leave of Absence for three consecutive semesters and will not be required to change their catalog. Also, with the approval of the advisor or director, Weekend College students may petition to enroll at another institution while on a Leave of Absence with the understanding that they may not complete more than 6 units during any semester and no more than a total of 15 units.
Transcripts are issued at the written request of students or graduates to the Office of the Registrar. At the close of each term, transcripts for registered students must be held for inclusion of grades for the term, and degree posting, and therefore, will not be available for approximately three (3) weeks. Partial transcripts will not be issued. At times other than the close of the term, the normal period required for processing transcripts is 5 business days and 7 business days for records prior to 1995. No transcript will be released unless all indebtedness to the College has been satisfied. Regular processing of transcripts is $12.00 per copy. Upon completion of degree, students are entitled to a complimentary transcript. Only regular processing is available for this option.
Rush processing (24 Business Hours/ allow 48 Business Hours during peak periods) is available at $27.00 per copy. Rush transcripts will be sent out the next business day via regular first class US mail. Note that rush processing is not available for records with any terms prior to 1995. Official transcripts can be ordered online.
The Registrar’s Office at Mount St. Mary’s College will only accept transcripts that have been mailed directly to MSMC from another institution. Transcripts that are hand-delivered or mailed by the student to MSMC will not be accepted as “official” and can only be used for purposes of “unofficial evaluation.”
Registration and Course Information
A student with full-time status must carry 12-18 units per semester. Part-time students carry less than 12 units per semester. During a regular semester, students may enroll in a maximum of 18 units. Students enrolling in more than 18 units in a semester must file a petition for overload with the academic dean. Additional tuition is charged for registration in more than 18 units taken at MSMC.
Non-matriculating students may take a course or courses for academic credit without following a prescribed curriculum toward a degree.
Upper Division Course Enrollment
Ordinarily a student should be a sophomore before enrolling in upper division courses. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of prerequisites or requirements for enrolling in upper division courses.
Designation of Credit and Courses
Courses numbered 1-99 are lower division courses, generally taken by freshmen and sophomores; those numbered 100-199 are upper division courses, generally taken by juniors and seniors, or majors. In order to enroll in any upper division course, a student must first successfully complete English 1A and 1B or English 5H. Students must also have sophomore standing or the approval of the instructor to enroll in an upper division class. Students must be enrolled in an English composition class each semester until they complete the General Studies written communication skills requirement IA.
Credit for courses whose course numbers include the letter X may not be applied to the Baccalaureate degree.
Courses numbered 200-299 are graduate level, those numbered 300-399 are professional courses, and those between 340-349 are professional credit courses that may be submitted for equivalency evaluation to be applied to a credential or masters program. Courses numbered 400 are used to fulfill DPT requirements.
Courses listed as upper division/graduate (100/200) may be taken for either undergraduate or graduate credit.
Courses approved for fulfillment of the General Studies curriculum requirements are identified after the course description in each department:
For the Baccalaureate degree
GS-IA Written Communication Skills
GS-IB Oral Communication Skills
GS-II Critical Thinking
GS-IIIA Art or Music
GS-IIID Natural and Physical Sciences
GS-IIIF Social and Behavioral Sciences
GS-IIIG Contemporary Economics or Politics
GS-IV Modern Language
GS-VA1 Religious Studies: Scripture
GS-VA2 Religious Studies: Christian Thought
GS-VA3 Religious Studies: Christian Ethics
GS-VA4 Religious Studies: Religion and Religions
GS-VB1 Philosophy: Philosophical Ideas
GS-VB2 Philosophy: Ethics
GS-VB3 Philosophy: Other
GS-VI Diversity Perspectives
GS-VIIA Quantitative Literacy 1
GS-VIIB Quantitative Literacy 2
After the last day to add a course as published in the schedule of classes, no changes may be made respective to the level of study.
Registering for Classes
Currently enrolled students and students returning from a Leave of Absence are assigned registration times based upon their completed units as of the last term of attendance at MSMC. Baccalaureate pre-nursing and nursing students will be assigned registration times based on student program. Students may register on or after their assigned time via WebAdvisor or at a later time in person at the Registrar's Office.
Students may add or drop courses during the add/drop period stated in the academic calendar (see Academic Calendar) either via WebAdvisor or in person at the Registrar's Office. Courses dropped during the add/drop period will not appear on the student’s academic transcript. Once the semester begins WebAdvisor closes and students may only make changes in person in the Registrar's Office. Being placed by an instructor on the course roll does not constitute being officially registered for the course. Students can officially register only through WebAdvisor or at the Registrar's Office. After the add deadline, students may not attend courses without being officially enrolled in the course.
Withdrawal from Courses
Students who officially withdraw from a course between the second and the tenth week of a regular term (see Academic Calendar) will receive a "W" on their transcripts, indicating the withdrawal. Students wishing to withdraw from a class must file a drop form (with all required signatures) with the Registrar's Office and meet the following requirements:
After the deadline for withdrawal, a student may request permission to be allowed to withdraw from all of her/his classes because of a medical emergency or extraordinary circumstance by submitting an Academic Petition to the appropriate Academic Dean.
The W designation carries no connotation of quality of student performance and is not calculated in the grade point average.
It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw officially from a course or all courses. Failure to attend a course does not constitute a withdrawal.
Students who do not attend the first class meeting of a course in which they are registered may be administratively dropped or withdrawn, unless they make arrangements with the instructor prior to the first day. Students should contact the instructor if a possible error has been made regarding an administrative drop.
A course by Independent Study provides students with the opportunity to initiate and custom design a course of study within their major or minor areas of study. An Independent Study course may not include the content of a regularly scheduled classroom course.
Guidelines for Independent Study
Students assume the responsibility for implementing and presenting the proposed course of study to the sponsoring faculty member for approval and signature through completion of an Independent Study Approval, Application Form and Add Form (available at the Registrar’s Office). When signed by the sponsoring faculty member, academic advisor and student, the document becomes a contract and upon registration becomes an official document in the student’s academic file. During the semester, students are responsible for initiating at least four contacts with the supervising faculty member as well as presenting the final independent study project to the faculty member by the end of the semester of registration. The following apply:
Directed Study provides a means, at the discretion of the regular course instructor, for students to complete a regularly scheduled classroom course when prevented from attending the course for specific reasons. The official catalog course number, followed by DS will be used (e.g., HIS 124 DS: Title). Under the directed study mode, faculty members share the responsibility with students, including the planning of readings and/or projects, and agree to at least six instructional/review meetings during the semester.
Guidelines for Directed Study
Enrollment in regular classroom courses through Directed Study requires the completion of the Directed Study Application, Approval Form and Add Form. With the consent and assistance of sponsoring faculty members, students complete the learning/study goals, content and criteria for evaluation sections of the form, or attach a copy of the regular course syllabus. Upon receipt of required signatures and when filed in the Registrar’s Office, these documents become official records within the student’s academic file. The following apply:
The academic internship provides the student with an educational, hands-on experience outside the classroom setting. This experience provides an opportunity to apply classroom theory and sharpen skills in problem-solving. Ordinarily, interns do not get compensated, but they do earn academic credit while participating. Typically, a maximum of six units may be earned through internships. Each academic internship unit is equivalent to 40 hours of supervised time spent in the professional setting. Criteria for evaluation are determined by the faculty sponsor prior to the student's internship. These may include an experience journal, oral reports, and written reports.
All incoming freshmen and transfer students are required to complete placement tests in order to assist them in selecting appropriate courses. Information regarding placement testing will be sent to incoming students prior to the beginning of each semester.
Examinations used to place a student at a level of study may result in lower levels of study being waived. No credit will be awarded as a result of these placement examinations. (See Credit by Exam.)
Algebra, calculus math, and language placement exam scores will be valid for two years only. If students do not take a math or language course to fulfill their general studies math or language requirement within two years, they will have to retake the placement exam.
At the end of each term, the student receives a grade in every course of enrollment. All grades, with the exception of I, IP and NG are final when reported to the Registrar at the end of the term. The grade indicates results of examinations, term reports, and general scholastic standing in the entire course, and becomes a part of the student's permanent college record. Once submitted, grades may not be changed unless the result of clerical or procedural error. A student must request a review/change of grade within 30 days after the end of a semester, or within 30 days following the distribution of grades via WebAdvisor containing the grade that the student wishes to challenge. (See procedure in the Student Handbook)
The student's grade point average is computed according to this scale:
The following are not computed in the GPA:
All lower division courses required by the major or minor must be completed with no grade lower than a C- and an overall departmental GPA of 2.0 or above. An exception to this college policy occurs when a grade of C (2.0) for departmental prerequisites/requirements is mandated by an outside licensing board, e.g., California Board of Registered Nursing.
All upper division courses required by the major or minor must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or above.
All courses being used to fulfill General Studies requirements must be passed with a grade of C- or better, with the exception of Eng 1A and Eng 1B, which must be completed with a grade of C or better. Courses passed with a grade of D can still count as elective units toward graduation.
The grading selection of Audit should be requested when a student wishes to preview a course for which he/she will be enrolled at a later date for a grade or to review a course that has already been successfully completed as preparation for further study, or for intellectual curiosity and enrichment. Auditors attend class sessions regularly but are not obligated to take examinations. They receive no credit for courses audited. Tuition is charged for courses taken as audit.
Procedures/Requirements for an Audit:
Students must register for an Audit by the end of the first week of the semester on a space-available basis.
Once requested, the Audit status cannot be reversed.
Students must attend a reasonable number of classes in order to receive an AU on their transcript.
Faculty have the option of requesting other requirements in addition to reasonable attendance, such as class participation of students requesting to audit. A space will be provided on the Audit Request Form where faculty can stipulate the conditions agreed upon for the Audit.
If the conditions of the Audit are not met, the instructor may use the grading option of U (Unauthorized Withdrawal).
To encourage a wider choice of courses by lessening the student's concern for the grade point average, selected courses may be taken for CR/NC. The following regulations apply to this option:
An Incomplete in a course can be granted only when a student:
Procedures/Requirements for Requesting an Incomplete:
A student requesting an incomplete must obtain the signature and consent of the instructor and the department chairperson or nursing program director, before the last day of class and prior to the day of the final exam.
Faculty must assign a default grade when approving an incomplete. This default grade will be recorded on the student's transcript when a completed grade is not assigned by the instructor within one semester and/or an extension of the incomplete is not processed. If a default grade is not provided by the instructor and the work is not completed, the I will revert to an F.
An incomplete may only be extended for one additional semester with the approval of the instructor, the department chairperson or nursing program director, and the appropriate academic dean.
The designation of Unauthorized Withdrawal (U) may, at the discretion of the instructor, be assigned when the student does not attend a sufficient number of class meetings or instructional hours after the withdrawal deadline. Instructors are encouraged to consult with their department chairs before assigning a grade of U. The U designation carries no connotation of quality of student performance and is not calculated in the grade point average.
Repetition of Courses with C-/D/F/NC Grades
Only courses for which C-, D, F, and NC were assigned may be repeated for a higher grade or CR. Courses that are required for a student’s major/minor may only be repeated one time, either at MSMC or at another institution if approved by the department chairperson. In cases of repeated courses, the units are counted once, and the higher grade is computed in the GPA if the course is repeated at MSMC.
All final exams must be taken according to the final exam schedule posted on the Registrar's Office webpage.
Transfer Credit Policies
Students transferring into the College bring different backgrounds, goals, education, and experiences. In recognizing this, special efforts are made to provide academic advisement and program planning that build on the learning the student has already acquired. Careful attention is paid to provide assistance in the scheduling of classes so that major requirements as well as college general education requirements are fulfilled. Transfer students are assigned an academic advisor in the area of their major.
Appeals of academic regulations and curriculum requirements are possible where such action seems warranted. Students seeking to appeal regulations, other than course requirements in their major, should obtain a petition from the Registrar's Office. The completed form should be taken to the appropriate dean for approval. Students seeking a substitution or waiver of requirements in their major should obtain the written approval of the departmental chairperson or nursing program director. Copies of this approval should be placed in the students’ permanent files. Students who wish to challenge their Transfer of Credit Evaluation must do so by the end of their first semester at MSMC.
Concurrent Enrollment Policy and Transfer of Credit
Once admitted to and enrolled in the College, students are normally expected to pursue study only at Mount St. Mary’s College during the Fall and Spring semesters. Students seeking an exception to Concurrent Enrollment Policy must file an Academic Petition and Transfer of Credit Clearance Form in the Advisement Office prior to registration at another institution.
Matriculated MSMC students may enroll for a maximum of nine (9) units each summer at another accredited institution until their last year at MSMC. Courses must be approved by the Academic Advisement Center and a Transfer of Credit Form must be completed and approved by the student’s advisor before the student enrolls. The College’s residency requirement, which requires that 30 of the last 39 units prior to graduation, need to be taken at Mount St. Mary’s College must be honored. Grades received by Mount students for summer school courses taken at another institution are not included in a student’s MSMC grade point average. The units for courses passed with a grade of C- or above are accepted and the units are counted toward units required for graduation.
Credit by Exam
In selected departments, course credit by challenge examination is available on a limited basis and at the discretion of the department chairperson or nursing program director. The student must file the approved form in the Office of the Registrar. Only units of CREDIT will be awarded for these examinations (No record of failures will appear on a student's transcript.). All credit awarded in this manner will be so noted on the student's transcript. A course may only be challenged by examination once.
Students may take externally administered standard proficiency exams such as CLEP (College-Level Examination Program from CEEB) and PEP (Professional Equivalency Program from ACT) in those areas approved by the College. Information about these exams and a current list of approved exams are available from the office of the Baccalaureate Dean. Credit for CLEP or PEP exams taken prior to enrolling at Mount St. Mary's College and which appear on the transcript of record from another college or university will be accepted according to the transfer of credit procedure. If there has been no official awarding of credit, an original transcript from ACT or CEEB must be presented. Students who have taken courses sponsored by the armed forces or other non-collegiate agencies may apply for an evaluation of these learning experiences.
For the Baccalaureate degree, a maximum of 12 units may be secured through CLEP/PEP exams in areas approved by the College. All units earned in this manner are held in escrow until the student has successfully completed 30 units of course work at Mount St. Mary's College.
For the Associate degree, a maximum of 8 units of credit may be secured through credit by departmental exam and/or CLEP/PEP exams in areas approved by the College. All units earned in this manner are held in escrow until the student has successfully completed 24 units of course work at Mount St. Mary's College.
Dual-credit for courses taken at other accredited colleges or universities while in high school is transferable provided that the transferred courses satisfy curriculum and transfer requirements at Mount St. Mary’s College. A maximum of 30 semester dual-credit units are transferrable towards a Mount St. Mary’s degree.
Advanced standing is determined on an individual basis and is not decided until an evaluation of all previous academic work has been completed. Original transcripts must also be submitted for all proficiency or advanced placement credit awards (CLEP, PEP, AP). A maximum of 36 semester units for course work taken in an accredited college is transferable toward the Associate degree. No more than 70 transferable community college units may be applied toward the units required for a Baccalaureate degree.
Students transferring from foreign schools, colleges, and universities must submit original copies of their academic records and translations from an approved translating service. The Admission Office can provide a list of approved agencies.
Credit for courses taken at other accredited colleges or universities is transferable provided that the transferred courses satisfy curriculum requirements at Mount St. Mary’s College. The following courses ordinarily do not transfer:
No more than 2.0 units in physical education and 6.0 units in applied art may be transferred from any college or university.
In the case of courses in which grades of C-, D, or F are repeated, only the better grade will be transferred. In cases where a course in which a grade of C or better has been repeated, only the C will be accepted.
Courses are evaluated by the Advisement Center for general studies applicability. The determination of whether courses transferred into the College may serve as fulfillment of major or minor requirements is made by the appropriate department. Those courses not accepted in the major or minor may count as general electives.
A transfer credit summary and determination of advanced standing will be prepared by the program's designated Transcript Evaluator after all transcripts of all previous college work have been submitted. A final credit summary will be prepared during the first semester of attendance once all final transcripts have been submitted. Failure to submit required transcripts may prevent students from enrolling in classes. Students may not receive credit for transcripts of prior work submitted after the first semester of attendance. Students who wish to challenge the transfer credit summary must do so by the end of their first semester at Mount St. Mary’s College.
Probation and Dismissal
A student is placed on probation for failing to maintain a 2.0 GPA for all courses undertaken in a term. A student must achieve a GPA of 2.0 or higher, based on a minimum of 12 letter-graded units, during the following term in order to continue in the college. For students in the Weekend College, the 2.0 GPA for the following term is based on a maximum of 6 letter-graded units.
A student is subject to dismissal for the following reasons:
Students are notified by the appropriate academic dean of their dismissal. When extenuating circumstances, such as prolonged illness, account for the disqualification, the student may be permitted, on petition to the appropriate academic dean, to continue on probation for the next term.
Enrollment in the College implies willingness on the part of the student to comply with the requirements and regulations of the College. If the student fails to comply with these requirements and regulations, or if it is determined by the dean that the student is not able to benefit from the opportunities offered by the College, withdrawal may be requested even though no specific breach of discipline is charged.
It is the responsibility of each graduating student to refer to the catalog and to ensure which requirements have been completed and which requirements still need to be completed. A student may not shift this responsibility to an adviser or to the staff of the Registrar's Office.
Application for Graduation
Although a student may have completed all requirements, graduation is not automatic. Students intending to graduate must apply for graduation by filing a graduation application in the Registrar's Office by the published deadline at the start of the term prior to the term of projected completion. (Please see Academic Calendar for published deadline.) If the student should fail to complete requirements by the intended graduation date, the student must immediately request a future graduation date. If a student fails to complete requirements and has not requested the application be moved to a future date, the application shall become canceled, and the student must refile when anticipating degree completion.
In order to participate in commencement exercises, a student must be registered for all the courses required to complete degree requirements for graduation. If a student is granted permission to enroll in a course prior to graduation, at an institution other than Mount St. Mary's College, the transcript must be received by June 30 in order to have the degree posted for Spring.
Participation in commencement ceremony and appearance of name in the commencement program is not official acknowledgement of completion of degree or certificate.
Graduation with Honors
Baccalaureate students refer to Baccalaureate degree requirements section of the catalog.
Associate in Arts students refer to Associate in Arts degree requirements section of the catalog.
Associate of Arts Students
Full-time traditional students continuously enrolled in the MSMC Associate of Arts degree program must complete all degree requirements in six semesters, excluding Leaves of Absence. Failure to complete degree requirements within this time frame would result in dismissal from the College.
Full-time traditional students continuously enrolled in the MSMC Baccalaureate degree program must complete all degree requirements in six years and/or twelve semesters, excluding Leaves of Absence. Failure to complete degree requirements within this time frame would result in dismissal from the College.
Academic Integrity Policy
The academic environment is predicated on truth and integrity. Acts of dishonesty constitute a serious offense to the Mount Community. Acts of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, the following:
Consequences: Actions such as these should incur, in proportion to the gravity of the offense, appropriate action on the part of the instructor or College representative. The penalty for an act of dishonesty could range from a grade of F on an examination or assignment, a reduced or failing grade for the course in question, probation, suspension or expulsion from the College. Repeated acts of academic dishonesty will be treated more gravely.
Appeal Procedure: Any student of the College has the right to appeal any decision resulting from a perceived act of academic dishonesty. The Academic Integrity Board should be consulted in the case of an appeal or whenever a case involving academic dishonesty has not been resolved at a lower level.
Military and Veteran Student Services