Jul 13, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations

Academic Policies

Note 1: In order to receive any correspondence from the Graduate School, students must have their current address on file. Students may update their addresses on MyCharleston.

Note 2: All Graduate School business will be conducted via e-mail only through a student’s College of Charleston Cmail e-mail address. Students should set up a Cmail account upon acceptance to the Graduate School.

Note 3: Policies and calendars apply to all students, regardless of the mode of delivery of a course.

Degree Requirements

Cumulative GPA

Students must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.000 in order to earn a credential (degree or certificate).

Graduate Residence Requirement

Each graduate degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours for completion.

At least one-third of the credit hours required for a graduate or post-baccalaureate professional degree must be earned through instruction offered by the institution awarding the degree. Students seeking a graduate degree from the College of Charleston must earn a minimum of one-third of the credits required for the degree through instruction delivered by the College of Charleston.  Individual graduate programs may require more than one-third of required credit hours to be completed through instruction delivered by the Graduate School of University of Charleston, S.C. at the College of Charleston. See specific Degree and Certificate Requirements  for additional information.

Joint Program Residence Requirement

To earn a graduate credential in an approved joint program, students must earn one-third or more of the credits through each institution’s own direct instruction.

Catalog Year Policy

Students must fulfill the program requirements, and must abide by the academic regulations in effect at the time of their matriculation in the Graduate School. Matriculation is defined as the first term of credential-seeking (degree or certificate) enrollment or first term of readmission into a graduate program. This catalog year remains fixed during the period of time a student is continuously enrolled. Students must fulfill the program requirements in the catalog at the time of program declaration. Requirements for concentrations associated with a program are attached to the catalog year of that program. If students are enrolled in multiple programs, they must fulfill the program requirements consistent with the catalog year declared for each program. Continuously enrolled students have the option to update their catalog year to the current year for their program(s). Students should consult with their program director(s) before doing so.

Time Limit Requirements

Each master’s degree and graduate certificate program limits the time in which candidates may earn their degree. The time begins with the semester of a student’s initial enrollment as credential-seeking at the Graduate of School. M.Ed. and M.A.T. candidates must complete their degree within six academic years. Marine Biology candidates must complete their degree within four academic years. All other master’s degree candidates must complete their degree within five academic years. Students in the Statistics and Operations Research graduate certificates have three academic years to complete their programs. All other graduate certificate students must complete their programs within five academic years. Students who interrupt their studies, except for those with an approved Leave of Absence, are bound by the original time period.

It is the expectation of the Graduate School that graduate degrees and certificate programs will be completed within the announced time limits.  In rare cases, extensions beyond the stated time period may be requested and should include a detailed explanation supporting the extension and a proposed timeline for completion.  Extensions must be approved in writing by the program director and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Concentration Policy

Some graduate degree programs offer enhancements to a student’s program of study in the form of discipline concentrations. A concentration consists of 18 credit hours or more and will be listed on a student’s transcript. Emphasis areas that consist of fewer than 18 credit hours will not be listed on a student’s transcript.

Cohort Instructional Models

At the College of Charleston, some graduate programs have adopted variations on a cohort-based instructional model.  In cohort-based programs, students typically are admitted once a year in a specific academic term and take most or all of the same courses with the members of their cohort.  Students in cohort groups may also be asked to complete many or all of the same co-curricular activities (e.g., field experiences).  It is expected that all students in a cohort will proceed through the program together. 

In rare cases, a cohort-based graduate program may choose to permit leaves of absence or recommend admission or readmission for a graduate student who will not join an entering student cohort or rejoin her or his former student cohort.  Such exceptions to the cohort instructional model of a specific graduate program are not guaranteed.

The College of Charleston Board of Trustees may choose to adopt special tuition and fees for membership in certain cohort-based graduate programs.

Cohort-based graduate programs may choose to publish additional and approved procedures or other details regarding admissions to or the management of their graduate cohorts.

Thesis Requirements

A thesis is a permanent record of information gained through extensive study and research. It is the culmination of the student’s efforts, coupled with those of his or her advisor and thesis committee.

The thesis reflects upon the credibility of all parties involved: the student, the advisor and committee, the School in which the student is enrolled, and the College of Charleston.

Because a thesis is a public document, archived in the College of Charleston library and available to the public as well as to scholars worldwide, a high degree of consistency is necessary. Thesis regulations common to all programs include margins, fonts and the use of ProQuest. These common requirements can be found in the Graduate School’s thesis manual. Documentation, length, citation style, and other matters that are discipline-dependent will differ from field to field and will be found in each individual program’s thesis guides or handbooks.

Thesis Deadline

Theses must be submitted to the Graduate School on the last day of classes in the term in which a student plans to graduate. Students may request an extension of this deadline of up to twenty calendar days without the requirement to register in a subsequent term. Students seeking an extension must have the support of their thesis advisor and program director(s) prior to requesting the extension  from the Graduate School.

Comprehensive Examinations

Students must take the comprehensive exam within the timeframe established by their degree program.  However, this may be no later than the last day of classes in the term in which the student plans to graduate.

Students who do not successfully pass the comprehensive exam after the first attempt are permitted one additional attempt.  The second attempt must be within one major semester of the first attempt.  If students must delay the first attempt, it must be approved by the program director and may not exceed 30 calendar days.  Students may not delay the second attempt of the comprehensive exam, or the first attempt by more than 30 days, unless they are on an approved Leave of Absence from the Graduate School.  If all other degree requirements are completed except the comprehensive exam, the student must enroll in at least one credit of continuous enrollment until the comprehensive exam is completed.

Students who do not successfully pass the comprehensive exam after the second attempt will be dismissed from the Graduate School and will not be allowed to reapply to their programs or to enroll in any graduate coursework counting toward any graduate degree or graduate certificate at the College of Charleston for one calendar year.

Degree Works Degree Audit

Degree Works is the College of Charleston’s online degree audit and academic advising tool that supports students and their advisors in successfully navigating, tracking, and planning degree completion. Degree Works provides students with access to information regarding their current program(s) of study including institutional, general education, major (with concentration, cognate or track, if applicable), minor, and/or certificate requirements. 

Degree Works is designed to enhance the academic advisement process but is not intended to take the place of an advisor. Degree Works is neither an official academic transcript nor an official confirmation of degree and/or certificate completion. 

Additional information regarding Degree Works can be found on the Office of the Registrar website. 

Curriculum Substitutions or Exceptions

Students are responsible for knowing and understanding academic policy, program requirements, and degree requirements. Only under extraordinary circumstances will faculty permit substitutions or exceptions to the curriculum published in the catalog. Exceptions cannot be made for a department/program’s curriculum rules, and waivers cannot be made for GPA requirements, for program or degree minimum credit hour requirements, or for academic regulations published in the catalog.

Students requesting a substitution or exception should consult with the program director and chair of the department(s). Program directors may submit a request for a substitution or exception consistent with the Guidelines for Evaluating Curriculum Exception Requests by initiating a “petition for exception” in Degree Works. The petition will be reviewed and approved or denied and the student notified of the decision via the College-issued email account. All curriculum substitutions or exceptions are recorded in the student’s permanent record along with the name of the approving authority. In cases where a petition is denied and a student wishes to appeal, materials will be forwarded to the Provost’s Office. The Associate Provost for Curriculum and Academic Administration, acting on behalf of the Provost, will review the petition and appeal and render a final decision.

Program directors proposing substitutions should ensure that substituted courses are equivalent of the requirement in course content and rigor. An exception will not be made for something which can be achieved with a catalog year update.

Application for Graduation/Completion of Degree Requirements

Candidates for a graduate degree or certificate must submit an Application for Graduation by the dates communicated and advertised by the Graduate School. If a candidate fails to complete his or her degree requirements, the graduation application must be canceled at least two weeks before the end of the semester. The application must be resubmitted in the semester the requirements are completed. Students must also pay a graduation fee at the time of submission or resubmission of the application. Fees may be paid via eBill in MyCharleston or at the Treasurer’s Office. Students must be enrolled either in courses or at least one hour of continuous enrollment in the semester in which they intend to graduate.

Degree Conferral Dates

There are three degree conferral dates (when degrees are awarded/posted):

  1. Fall is in December
  2. Spring is in May
  3. Summer is in August (regardless of the summer session in which requirements are completed).

The exact dates vary but coincide with the end of each term.

Academic Calendar

The Academic Calendar at the College of Charleston is approved by Academic Affairs and the Office of the President. The academic year will be based on three major terms, fall, spring and summer. Fall and spring will each have 14 weeks of class time and a final examination period. Each fall and spring term will also be divided evenly into two express sessions, Express I and Express II. The summer term is divided into four parts of term entitled Maymester, Extended Summer, Summer I, and Summer II. Each full term or part of term class will have meeting times configured and assigned for a minimum of 700 minutes per credit hour. The Academic Calendar is published on the Registrar’s Office website as soon as it is approved.

The Academic Calendar can be found online at https://registrar.cofc.edu/calendars/index.php.

In the Classroom

Course Registration Requirement

Students may attend a course only if they are officially registered in the course and appear on the instructor’s official course roster.  Faculty, Program Directors, and Department Chairs do not have the authority to permit students to attend a course for which they are not registered.  This requirement applies to students who intend to earn course credit and to students who intend to audit a course. 

Once the Drop/Add period has ended, Faculty, Program Directors, or Department Chairs seeking to add a student to a course roster must submit this request through the Addition to the Grade Roll form.  This electronic form can be found under the Faculty Tab in MyCharleston.  The student may not attend the course until the Addition to Grade Roll form has been approved and processed.  All Addition to Grade Roll requests include a review by the Office of the Treasurer.  Students have to have resolved all payment issues with the Treasurer before they can be added to, or re-enrolled in, a course section.  Requests for Addition to the Grade Roll after the Attendance Verification deadline require approval from the Provost (or the Provost’s designee).

Course Cancellation Policy

The College reserves the right to cancel any course due to insufficient enrollment prior to the start of classes.  In the event a course is canceled, the relevant department or program will typically attempt to contact the student before the first day of classes.

Class Attendance

Because class attendance is crucial for any course, students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory meetings of each course in which they enroll. Instructors maintain the authority to determine how absences will be addressed, which should be detailed in their attendance policies. Participation in college-sponsored activities, where students are official representatives of the College of Charleston, may result in absence(s). Instructors will recognize absences in which students are official representatives of the College of Charleston (such as intercollegiate academic or athletic team competition, or academic program sanctioned research presentation or artistic performance) as excused.

During the first week of classes, instructors will announce and distribute their attendance policies, including criteria to be used in determining excused absences. Instructors determine whether absences are excused or unexcused for the purposes of participation grades, in-class assignments, and laboratories. Regarding formal graded work (such as exams, presentations, papers), instructors will make “reasonable accommodations” when a student misses class for an event at which s/he is an official representative of the College of Charleston. Examples of reasonable accommodations might include: rescheduling an exam, altering presentation times, or flexibility in assignment submission dates. Students are required to submit documentation of their College representation-related commitment from the appropriate College authority at least one week prior to the scheduled absence in order to be eligible for reasonable accommodations by the instructor. Regardless of any accommodation granted, students are responsible for satisfying all academic objectives, requirements, and prerequisites as defined by the instructor and the College.

Attendance Verification

Only students officially registered (graded or auditing) for a course may attend class. During the two weeks following the drop/add deadline, faculty will verify student enrollments in every course, including individual enrollments (e.g. independent study, internship, tutorial, thesis). Any student appearing on the class roll but determined not to have attended the class even once will be removed. A student attending class but not appearing on the official class roll must be added to the class no later than the close of Attendance Verification as listed on the Academic Calendar. Additions to the Grade Roll forms can be found under the Faculty Tab in MyCharleston. Additions to the roll after the deadline will require the permission of the Provost.

Semester Hours (Credit Hours)

The credit that a student earns by the satisfactory completion of work in any academic course is measured in units called semester credit hours. A credit hour is defined by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education as a unit of measure representing an hour (50 minutes) of instruction over a 14-week period in a semester. One credit of lecture is equivalent to 50 minutes of instructional class time. One credit of lab is equivalent to 180 minutes of instructional class time. Four credit lecture/lab courses are equivalent to 330 minutes of instructional class time (150 minutes lecture/180 minutes lab).

Concurrent and Subsequent Enrollment in Graduate Programs

Master’s Degrees

Students are permitted to be simultaneously admitted to and enrolled in more than one master’s degree offered by the College of Charleston.  This includes the approved concurrent degree program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and Public Administration. 

Students who enroll in a College of Charleston master’s degree and subsequently enroll in another College of Charleston master’s degree may have previous coursework counted towards the subsequent degree where coursework directly overlaps.  Previous College of Charleston coursework that does not directly overlap must be approved by the program director.

Students who count previous coursework must still earn at least 30 unique hours of graduate credit towards both master’s degrees. Students may not be concurrently enrolled in more than two master’s degrees.  However, students may enroll in subsequent degree programs if the previous degree has already been conferred.

Graduate Certificates

Students are permitted to be simultaneously enrolled in a master’s degree and a graduate certificate offered by the College of Charleston.  However, students must complete the admissions process for both programs. College of Charleston graduate credit may count towards both the degree and certificate where coursework directly overlaps.  College of Charleston coursework that does not directly overlap between the degree and certificate must be approved by the program director.

Continuous Enrollment

A student who is in the process of completing a thesis, credit-bearing internship, or capstone project or is using library and laboratory facilities and consulting with College of Charleston faculty must maintain continuous enrollment in the program. Continuous enrollment can be maintained by enrollment in a minimum of one hour of graduate credit per semester, excluding summer terms. Continuous enrollment entitles students to a valid ID card, full access to College of Charleston libraries, and such support from faculty and facilities of the Graduate School as the student’s program of study necessitates.

For programs that have created course numbers for the express purpose of maintaining continuous enrollment, those continuous enrollment hours cannot be used to meet degree requirements and will be graded on a pass/fail basis.

Students not enrolled for two consecutive major semesters will be required to reapply.

The Grading System

Students may access their grades through https://my.cofc.edu. Students receive a grade or status indicator for every course in which they enroll, regardless of the location of the course or the mode of delivery. Each letter grade and its equivalent numerical quality point value are listed below. This grading system is determined by the level of the course, not the student.

Letter Grade Quality Points
A Superior 4.000
B+ Very Good 3.500
B Good 3.000
C+ Fair 2.500
C Acceptable 2.000
F Failure 0.000
RA-RF Repeat; include GPA/exclude hours*  
XXF Failure Due to Academic Dishonesty** 0.000

*RA-RF see the Course Repetition Policy

**The status indicator of “XX” added to a grade of “F” indicates that a student failed a course due to academic dishonesty. 

The statute of limitations for grade changes is two calendar years from the original grade submission deadline. After this period of time has elapsed, no grade issued to a student may be changed. Requests for any change of grade should be initiated by the faculty member who assigned the grade. All requests must be adequately documented. Grades will not be changed for a student, once that student has graduated and the degree has been posted.  In cases of submitted grade dispute grievances that extend beyond the posting of the degree date, the Provost (or the Provost’s designee) may make exceptions to this policy.  The decision of the Provost is final.

Status Indicator
AU Audit
CP Completed Program
I Incomplete
IP In Progress
NG No grade required
NP Not passed
NR No grade reported
P Passed
PR Presently Registered
S Satisfactory
TR Transfer Course
U Unsatisfactory
W Withdrawn

An “AU” indicates that the student is auditing. Audited coursework carries attempted hours but no quality points, no quality hours, and no earned hours, and carries full fees and tuition. Please see the “Auditing Courses” section of the catalog.

A “CP” indicates that a student has completed a program such as international study or cross-registration. The grade status indicator of “CP” carries no quality points, quality hours, or earned hours.

The designation “I” indicates that only a small part of the term’s work remains to be done, that the student is otherwise doing satisfactory work in the course, and that an extension of time is warranted to complete the course. The designation of “I” also signifies that an agreement has been established between professor and student as to the quantity of work remaining to be done, the deadlines established for its completion, and a schedule of meeting times. It is recommended that this agreement be made in writing with both professor and student having a copy. The faculty determines the time allowable for completion of coursework. However, all work for completion of the course requirements must be submitted by the end of exams in the next major term (Fall or Spring). One additional extension of thirty calendar days may be granted to the student using the Course Completion Agreement form. If the student does not complete the work within the prescribed time period, the “I” is changed to an “F” and the student will be dismissed from the Graduate School and will not be allowed to reapply to his or her program or to enroll in any graduate coursework counting toward any graduate degree or graduate certificate at the College of Charleston for one calendar year.

An “IP” will be assigned to credits of a multi-term course when the nature of the graded work is such that a final grade is awarded following the successful or unsuccessful defense of the final product. An “IP” is a status indicator and not a grade, thus it does not automatically change to “F” after one academic term. The “IP” must be replaced with a grade after the successful or unsuccessful defense of the final product. A student who drops or withdraws from subsequent enrollments of a multi-term course will be graded based on the work completed in the first term and a grade will be substituted for the “IP.” An “IP” is not available for students who have failed to complete coursework within a standard one-term course.

A “P” carries only earned hours; does not carry quality hours or quality points.

A “PR” indicates that no grade has been reported because the student has just registered for a future semester or the coursework is actually in progress.

A “W” is not a grade. A “W” indicates that a course was started but not completed.

“NP” Grades

The grade of “NP” is recorded if a student does not pass (“P”) one of the following clinical practice courses:

Not passing (“NP”) will be recorded on the transcript, but will carry no grade points and will not be used in calculating the GPA.

Auditing Courses

Permission to audit a regular academic course must be received from the instructor teaching the course. This authorization will be given only if there is a seat available in the class. An audit must be declared no later than the end of the drop/add period; a student may switch from grade-to-audit status or audit-to-grade status only within the drop/add period.

A course audit will be recorded on a student’s transcript with the Status Indicator AU. The Permission to Auditing form is available on the Graduate School’s website. Full tuition is charged for an audited course.

Not all courses offered by the College may be audited. Departments and Programs may limit the number of audits per course section and may also designate courses that do not accept any auditors. Students should consult with the appropriate Department or Program prior to seeking permission to audit a course. Faculty determine the course requirements for auditing students (e.g. attendance, participation, submission of assignments, exams, etc.); an audit may be revoked if the student does not comply with these requirements.

Grade Point Average

Satisfactory Graduate GPA

Degree-seeking and graduate certificate students of the Graduate School are required to maintain a 3.000 grade point average (GPA) in their graduate coursework. In addition, some students may have specified GPAs for undergraduate coursework required by their graduate programs.

GPA Calculation

The GPA is calculated on the basis of all graduate coursework identified in a student’s program of study, as well as any additional coursework that is acceptable to the degree program. Decisions concerning an academic action such as probation, academic dismissal and graduation will be based on the courses and GPA as described above.


An official transcript is a copy of a student’s permanent academic record at the College of Charleston issued by the University Registrar. It includes dates of attendance, courses taken, major(s), minor(s), certificate(s), degree type(s), grades, and cumulative GPA for both undergraduate and/or graduate coursework while enrolled at the College.

The College of Charleston has authorized Credentials Solutions/Parchment to provide online transcript ordering, printing, and delivery. Official transcripts can be ordered to be sent electronically, mailed, or picked up at the College of Charleston. Official transcripts cannot be provided to students who have not met their financial obligations to the College of Charleston. Please visit official transcripts for pricing and additional information on requesting an official transcript.

An online unofficial transcript may be viewed by students in Banner Self-Service free of charge. Unofficial transcripts do not contain the College seal or signature of the University Registrar. Visit unofficial transcripts for information on viewing your unofficial transcript.

Enrollment Status, Enrollment Verifications, Degree Verifications

Enrollment Status

Pursuant to 34(CFR 668.2(b), Code of Federal Regulations pertaining to enrollment status, the institution may define full time status for graduate programs. All other enrollment statuses are calculated based on this value. For purposes of compliance with these federal regulations, the College of Charleston has established the following graduate level requirements effective with the 2014 fall semester:

Full-Time = 6 or more credit hours
Three-Quarter Time = 4-5 credit hours
Half-Time = 3 credit hours
Less Than Half Time = 1-2 credit hours

Graduate students must be enrolled in 3 or more graduate credit hours to be considered for federal student aid and to qualify for in-school deferment on prior loans. Graduate students must plan their graduate enrollment accordingly.

Enrollment Verifications

Students may obtain a free certification of enrollment (or proof of full-time enrollment) for insurance, scholarship and loan purposes by selecting “Enrollment Verification” from within Banner Self-Service (see http://registrar.cofc.edu/forms-verification/index.php for detailed instructions). Enrollment verifications are available immediately following the drop-add deadlines for spring and fall terms.  If the requesting agency requires the signature of the Registrar on the enrollment verification certificate from National Student Clearinghouse, please stop by the Office of the Registrar with a valid photo ID.

Enrollment verifications include an anticipated graduation date (AGD). Please note that the anticipated graduation date (AGD) is based on a formula that estimates completion from overall earned hours.  It may not be accurate if the student has changed their major, failed courses, or been readmitted.  It is not a guarantee of graduation.

Degree Verifications

The College of Charleston has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to act as our agent for providing Degree Verifications.  Degree Verifications can be ordered by visiting www.degreeverify.org.

Alumni should also note that awarded degree information is also reflected on an official transcript.  For information on ordering an official transcript, please visit our Official Transcripts site.

The Office of the Registrar and the Graduate School at the College of Charleston do not generate customized letters verifying information otherwise available through National Student Clearinghouse or on an official transcript.  If you require additional information that is not available on your official transcript or from the National Student Clearinghouse, please contact the Office of the Registrar or the Graduate School.

Course Repetition Policy

A passed course (grade of “C” or better) may not be repeated for credit without express permission of the student’s program director and Dean of the Graduate School. And a passed course may be repeated only once, regardless of the outcome. A subsequent registration will result in a drop. Students may repeat any course they have previously failed. The grade for the repeated course, as well as the previous grade (whether passing or failing), will be computed into the student’s cumulative GPA and recorded on the student’s transcript. Repetition of passed courses will not increase earned hours, but students will receive quality hours and quality points in order to calculate the grade of the repeated course into the overall GPA. Repeated course grades are displayed on a student’s transcript with an “R” preceding the letter grade (e.g. RA, RB+, RB, RC+, RC, RF).

Scholarship students (academic and athletic), financial aid students, and veterans may repeat courses under this policy; however, they should check with the Office of Financial Aid to see how this will affect their eligibility.

Registration through MyCharleston for repeated duplicate courses can only occur if the student completes a Graduate Repeat Course Override Request form. The form will then be routed to the Registrar’s Office for final processing.

General Repeat Rules

  • Special Topics and Individual Enrollment Courses: A student in some cases may have limitations on the credits repeatable in specific special topics or individual enrollment courses. See individual department listings and course descriptions for further information.

Cross-listed Courses

Cross-listed courses are designated as such in the academic catalog course description.  Cross-listing a course means that a course is offered for registration under two departments or programs. Cross-listed courses have identical course descriptions. Because cross-listed courses are equivalent in content, no student shall be permitted to receive credit for both cross-listed courses.

Undergraduates in Graduate Courses

Criteria for Enrollment

Undergraduates who wish to enroll in a graduate course must:

  • Have been accepted to an approved accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program


  • Have earned 90 credit hours and an overall GPA of 3.000

Criteria for Assigning Credit

  • Undergraduate students enrolled in an approved accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program may enroll in up to 12 hours of graduate-level coursework as undergraduates to count towards both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • Undergraduate students not enrolled in an approved accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program may enroll in up to 9 hours of graduate-level coursework as undergraduates.  
  • Undergraduate students not enrolled in an approved accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program may only enroll in 500- or 600-level graduate courses.  Some programs may only allow enrollment in 500-level courses.
  • Undergraduate students must receive permission from the course instructor, the undergraduate major advisor, the undergraduate major department chair, the graduate program director, and the graduate dean.
  • All graduate credits applied to the undergraduate degree will be counted in the undergraduate GPA, appear on the undergraduate transcript, and be used to determine graduation with honors. Please note: Graduate courses will not appear on undergraduate transcripts or undergraduate degree audits until a grade has been assigned.
  • Undergraduate students not enrolled in an approved accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program must determine whether the graduate credit will count towards the bachelor’s degree or a future College of Charleston master’s degree.
  • Undergraduate students enrolled in graduate courses will be graded using the Graduate School grading scale.

Limitations or Restrictions

  • Undergraduate students not in an approved accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program who have counted graduate credit towards their College of Charleston bachelor’s degree cannot also count that credit towards a future College of Charleston master’s degree or graduate certificate.  Students who wish to transfer graduate credits to future graduate programs not at the College of Charleston are advised to check each program’s transfer policy since programs often limit the type and number of courses that can be transferred.
  • Undergraduate students may not take a graduate course for undergraduate credit if an equivalent or similar undergraduate class is available.  Graduate credit may be used as a substitution for required undergraduate courses only with the approval of the major advisor and major department chair. Graduate courses should not be used to mitigate student scheduling issues.
  • Only undergraduate students in an approved accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program may double count graduate courses toward both their College of Charleston bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Tuition and Funding Policies

  • Undergraduate students taking graduate courses will be considered undergraduates and pay the undergraduate tuition rate.
  • Undergraduate students enrolled in an approved accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program and taking graduate classes will pay the undergraduate tuition rate and retain their eligibility for undergraduate scholarships until they complete their bachelor’s degree requirements.  
  • Undergraduate students enrolled in an approved accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program will be charged graduate tuition after they earn their bachelor’s degree and enroll in the master’s degree.  Only at this time will these students be eligible for assistantships, scholarships, fellowships, or any other form of financial support provided by the Graduate School.

Academic Probation

Graduate students at the Graduate School are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.000 on a scale of 4.000 in their programs. Degree-seeking candidates and graduate certificate students whose GPA falls below 3.000 will be placed on academic probation. Students who are on probation must raise their averages to a satisfactory level (3.000 or better) upon attempting three additional courses in their program or within three consecutive academic semesters, whichever comes first. Summer is only included if a student enrolls in a summer term while on probation. During the probationary period, students must also demonstrate that they are making progress by maintaining or improving their grade point averages.

Students whose averages remain below a 3.000 after attempting three additional courses or three consecutive academic semesters after being placed on probation will be dismissed from the Graduate School and will not be allowed to reapply to their programs or to enroll in any graduate coursework counting toward any graduate degree or graduate certificate at the College of Charleston for one calendar year.

Academic Dismissal

Students receiving three grades below the grade of “B” or one grade of “F” in their programs regardless of their grade point average will be withdrawn from the Graduate School and will not be allowed to reapply to their programs or to enroll in any graduate coursework counting toward any graduate degree or graduate certificate at the College of Charleston for one calendar year.

Because a grade of “U” is considered to be a failing grade, the student will be dismissed. Because a grade of “NP” is considered to be a failing grade, the student will be dismissed.

For M.A.T. students who earn a grade of “NP” in Clinical Practice, a letter will be placed in the student’s file indicating whether the student can attempt the clinical internship a second time. If the student is not allowed to attempt clinical internship a second time, the student will be removed from the degree program and will not earn an M.A.T. from the College of Charleston. The student will also not receive a recommendation to the State Department of Education for certification.

Other criteria such as progress toward completing a thesis or requests for extensions of a program of study, etc., may be established by individual programs. Students who fail to meet the standards of their programs for satisfactory academic progress may be withdrawn from their programs.

Academic Dismissal Appeals

Students who have been removed from their graduate programs because of failure to resolve GPA or satisfactory progress issues may appeal these decisions in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School (or the Dean’s designee). Written appeals should contain all information pertinent to the issues that led to the dismissal, and should address whether or not those issues have been resolved.  Appeals based on physical and/or mental health circumstances must include medical documentation.

Students have 60 calendar days from the receipt of academic dismissal notification to submit an appeal to the Graduate School.  The Graduate School will not consider dismissal appeals regarding program requirements or graduation requirements. 

After review, the Graduate School will notify the student of the appeal outcome. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, they may appeal to the Provost whose decision is final.

Withdrawing From Courses or Program

It is extremely important that any student withdrawing from a course either does so via MyCharleston during the regular withdrawal period.  After the withdrawal deadline, students must contact the Graduate School. Students who wish to withdraw from the Graduate School must complete a program withdrawal form.

Leave of Absence

In order to request a leave of absence, a student must receive approval from the Dean of the Graduate School. Degree-seeking and graduate certificate students may request a Leave of Absence for up to two complete major semesters.  A student who has requested and been approved for a Leave of Absence need not reapply for admission to the Graduate School unless the student does not re-enroll at the end of the approved absence. Those who do not apply for an official Leave of Absence, if absent for more than one semester, must reapply.  A Request for a Leave of Absence for medical reasons should contain medical documentation. The Graduate School will notify the student and the student’s Program Director regarding approval or disapproval of the requested Leave of Absence.

A Leave of Absence should be requested prior to the withdrawal deadline for the semester. If a student requests a Leave of Absence after the withdrawal deadline, the student should contact the Graduate School. The student should drop any future courses that conflict with requested leave.

Students who request a Leave of Absence during the semester may be responsible for at least a portion of the tuition for the classes in which they are enrolled. Students should consult with the Treasurer’s Office regarding the withdrawal fee schedule and requests for refunds. The Graduate School will consult with the Dean of Students regarding requests for a Leave of Absence for psychological or behavioral health reasons. The Dean of Students may place a registration hold on the student and have certain conditions that must be met prior to the student’s return to classes.

Important note for financial aid recipients: Federal student loan recipients who cease half time enrollment status should inform the Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@cofc.edu and request information on student loan exit interview. Federal student loan recipients who are considering less than half time enrollment status for any reason are encouraged to visit with a financial aid counselor first to review the impact of this decision on their current or prior student loan repayment status.

Military Leave of Absence

The Graduate School will assist students who are members of the National Guard or Reserves ordered to serve in active military service, as well as military personnel currently on duty who are ordered away for an extended tour.  The Graduate School will extend this policy to students who may need to withdraw from classes or from the College because their spouse is called for active military duty.  A statement regarding the necessity of such an action by the spouse will be required for the enrolled student’s record.  The College wants to offer every opportunity to these students to resume their academic pursuits.  If courses were underway at the time of the call-up, then the College would like students to be able to complete them if enough of the coursework has been completed to make this feasible.  Our sincere intention is to ensure that active military duty in no way impedes the student’s academic record or costs the student financially.

Students who are called for active military service must provide a copy of their orders to the Graduate School and complete the Request for Military Leave of Absence form. Once a copy of the orders is received, the Graduate School office will:

  1. Process an immediate withdrawal from all classes for the current semester if the student indicates this course of action on the Military Leave of Absence form
  2. Grant an automatic Leave of Absence for the student
    1. Students who are in good academic standing will automatically be granted a Leave of Absence for up to three years - the time spent in military service will not count toward the student’s degree time limit requirement.
    2. Students who are on probation will automatically be granted a Leave of Absence for up to one year, but must meet with the their program directors about their academic status and their academic plans upon return from active duty.
  3. Notify the Treasurer of withdrawal because of military service. The Treasurer, based on the LOA and supporting documents, will credit the student account for the full amount of tuition and fees if the student withdraws from coursework. This may result in a credit balance, or for those students who have not paid the account in full, it may result in an offset to the balance owed. Any credit balance will be refunded in accordance with financial aid policies where applicable.
  4. Notify the Office of Financial Assistance and Veterans Affairs of withdrawal because of military service.

Non-Payment of Fees

Non-Payment of Fees - Academic Year (Fall and Spring)

Students who have been dropped more than once from their classes for non-payment of fees after bills are due will have a hold placed on their account by the Treasurer’s Office. At this point, the student must go to the Treasurer’s Office to settle the bill before being put back in classes.

Non-Payment of Fees - Summer School

Students will be dropped from their enrolled courses for non-payment of fees during summer terms. Students who have enrolled in summer classes, but who fail to attend, will be assessed a non-refundable $250 fee per course for failure to officially drop or withdraw from a course.