Jul 23, 2024  
2024-2025 UMA Catalog 
2024-2025 UMA Catalog

Graduate Academic Policies

Requirements of Graduate Study

The requirements for graduate study are determined by each graduate program. These requirements may include a thesis, oral and written comprehensive examinations. 

Courses offered for graduate credit are those listed in the catalog or other official publications of the University. The determination of whether or not a particular graduate course fulfills degree requirements, however, is the responsibility of the individual graduate program. 

Generally, courses numbered 500 through 699 are intended for graduate students. Courses numbered 400 to 499 are upper-class undergraduate courses which may be approved for graduate credit by the student’s graduate program coordinator and college dean. This is not an option for all graduate programs. Students are advised to contact their graduate program coordinator to determine eligibility.

Policy on Undergraduates Enrolling in Graduate Courses

Not all programs allow undergraduate students to enroll in graduate courses.  If allowed by the program, undergraduate students not enrolled in an approved accelerated degree program may take up to three courses totaling no more than 9 credits at the graduate level.

  • To be eligible, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  • Permission of the instructor and student’s advisor is required for an undergraduate to register for a graduate level course. 
  • No more than 6 credits of graduate coursework may be taken in any one semester

Students seeking to take graduate courses to meet undergraduate degree requirements should coordinate with financial aid to ensure eligibility requirements. Undergraduate Federal/State financial aid programs (Pell Grant, Maine State Grant, Subsidized Direct Student Loan, Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan, etc.) have specific enrollment requirements that should be considered on a student-by-student basis.

Accelerated Graduate Programs

The maximum limit of 9 graduate credit hours does not apply to students enrolled in Accelerated Degree programs. These courses will satisfy credit requirements for both the undergraduate degree and the associated graduate degree program.  When enrolled in an accelerated program, additional program specific polices will apply regarding course grades and GPA requirements.   Upon completing the undergraduate degree, students are required to begin graduate study in the semester immediately following graduation.   The accelerated option is not available for all graduate programs.

Grading System 

Grades at the University are given in terms of letters, with the option of a plus or minus designation (with the exception of A+), representing levels of achievement. The basis for determining a grade is the relative extent to which the student has achieved the objectives of the course. The student’s work in each course is graded as follows: A-superior; B-basic competency; C-below competency; D-unsatisfactory; F-failure.

Other letter grades are as follows:

P     Pass with a grade of B- or better in a pass/fail course.

LP    Low Pass with a grade of C+ or C in a pass/fail course.

F     Fail with a grade of C- or lower in a pass/fail course. 

I      Incomplete: A temporary grade given when the student, because of extraordinary circumstances, has failed to complete course requirements. Awarding of the incomplete grade is at the discretion of the instructor. 

L   Stopped attending: The grade of L may be assigned to students who stopped attending a course without officially dropping the course. The grade of L will be computed as an F for purposes of the student’s grade point average.

MG   Missing Grade: Occasionally, faculty may fail to submit a grade for a particular student in a course. In these cases, the Registrar will note this act by designating a missing grade, or MG, instead of a grade for the course.

W  Withdraw:  During the first half of a semester/term, a student dropping a course shall be accorded a grade of W During the second half of a semester/term, the instructor, depending upon the student’s performance to date, will submit a grade of W or WF (withdraw failing).  A W grade is not computed into the grade point average; a WF is computed as a failing grade.

DG    Deferred Grade: Satisfactory progress after one semester of a two-semester course. Grade and credits to be given upon completion of second semester.

AU   Audit:  Student attended courses on a noncredit, audit basis. (No impact on GPA.)

A grade of B- (2.67) or higher qualifies automatically for graduate credit. A grade of C or C+ will not carry graduate degree credit unless a student’s advisory committee recommends and the college dean approves that such credit be allowed. No student will be allowed to apply more than six (6) hours of C /C+ grades toward meeting the requirements of a Master’s degree or three (3) hours of C /C+ grades toward meeting the requirements of a graduate certificate program.

Incomplete Grades

If a student has completed almost all of the work for a course, an Incomplete grade may be appropriate. An Incomplete may be extended once by the instructor for a period not to exceed 150 days.  Any additional extension of an Incomplete grade by the instructor requires the college dean’s approval.  Awarding of the incomplete grade is at the discretion of the instructor.  If the Incomplete grade is determined to be appropriate, the instructor will complete the Incomplete Grade Contract in MaineStreet which specifies the following:

  • The work to be completed by the student.
  • The date by which the student will complete the work, not to exceed 150 days after the end of the term.
  • The grade the student will receive if the work is not completed.  If no grade is specified, the Incomplete is turned to an “F” after 150 days or as specified by the contract.

Individual faculty and academic programs may have additional policies regarding the awarding of the grade of Incomplete.

Credit Previously Received for Graduate Coursework

Students can transfer/earn through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) up to 6 credits towards their graduate degree, and up to 3 credits towards their graduate certificate unless there is a pre-articulated agreement or the credits are part of a joint program.  Courses to be accepted must have been taken at a fully accredited college or university, which offers a graduate degree and must be acceptable at that institution in partial fulfillment of its requirements for an advanced degree. 

Transfer credit and credits completed prior to matriculation in a degree program, cannot be for courses which would not, if taken at UMA, have received graduate credit, courses in which a grade lower than “B-” was received, courses which are inappropriate for inclusion in the student’s degree program, and courses completed at such a date as to exceed time limits prescribed for a particular degree program.

Graduate courses used toward an undergraduate degree cannot be used toward graduate degree requirements unless there is a pre-existing articulation agreement or the student is enrolled in an accelerated graduate program.  Please consult the individual programs, as the number of credits that may be used varies.

Extramural Course Credit

Courses taken at other institutions and the accompanying grades may be accepted as part of the graduate program provided they are taken after the student has matriculated and that prior approval is granted by the student’s advisor and program coordinator. Extramural credit is not approved for: 1) courses which would not have received graduate credit if taken at the University of Maine at Augusta; 2) courses which are inappropriate for inclusion in the student’s program of study; 3) courses which exceed time limits prescribed for a particular degree program or courses in which a grade lower than a B- was received.

In certain circumstances a degree student may request a substitution or waiver of program requirements. The program coordinator should be contacted if a substitution or waiver of a requirement is requested.

Directed Study

A master’s degree student may earn up to nine hours of independent study or directed study. All independent study or directed study must be approved by the appropriate graduate program. Students are encouraged to consult with their faculty advisor regarding regulations governing independent study for particular programs. Non-matriculated students are not eligible for independent study or directed study.

Continuous Enrollment and Degree Progress

Continuous enrollment requires that every graduate student must either be enrolled in coursework in his/her program six (6) credits per calendar year.

Leave of Absence

In extenuating circumstances a student may petition for exception to the continuous enrollment policy; the petition must bear approval of the student’s advisor and coordinator of the graduate program. A signed Leave of Absence form must be sent to the college dean.  Forms are available at the college dean’s office or at the Academic Advising Office.

Time Limit

The time limit for completion of a master’s degree and/or a graduate certificate is dated from the date of first matriculation and is six years.   In extenuating circumstances a student may petition the college dean for an extension of the time limit.

Registration Status

Full-time registration is six (6) or more degree credits; half-time requires three (3) credits.

Note: For the purpose of eligibility for graduate assistantships, financial aid, or veterans’ benefits, credits required for full-time status may differ. Please consult the Student Financial Services or the Veterans Services Office for current requirements.

Student Advisement

Each degree student will be assigned a faculty advisor upon admission to a program. Students are encouraged to maintain regular contact with their faculty advisor throughout their program of study.

Degree Progress

The definition of satisfactory progress towards the completion of a degree is determined by the particular graduate program. However, at the end of any semester in which the cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 (B average) the student will be placed on probation by the respective college dean and must bring the cumulative GPA to 3.0 level within the time set by the graduate program (up to two semesters) or the student will be withdrawn from the program.

Withdrawal (Loss of Matriculation Status)

Withdrawal with the loss of matriculation status from the University of Maine at Augusta may be for personal reasons on the part of the student, academic reasons as determined by the program requirements, or by administrative decision.

Student Withdrawal  To withdraw from the University the student must submit an official Withdrawal Form to the Office of the Registrar and complete an exit interview with his or her advisor.

Academic Withdrawal  If a student has not made satisfactory academic progress toward fulfilling degree requirements (see above), he or she may be withdrawn from the University.

Administrative Withdrawal  A student may be withdrawn from a particular graduate program for reasons of a professional nature as determined by the program coordinator.

Semester Withdrawal A student may withdraw from all courses for a semester.  Unless the student specifies that they want to lose their matriculation status they will remain a matriculated student and may register for future terms.

Appeals of Dismissal or Withdrawal  All appeals of dismissal or withdrawal must follow the appeals process defined by the program’s college. The dean of the college must be included in this process. Within fourteen days following the student’s receipt, in writing, of the decision by the department/dean, the student may appeal in writing to the Office of the Provost. The decision of the provost shall be rendered within three weeks and shall be final.


Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for graduation from a graduate degree program, a student must:

Complete satisfactorily the number of graduate credit hours required in the program with a 3.0 grade point average.  

Complete satisfactorily all program degree requirements as defined in the particular graduate program (e.g., thesis, comprehensive examination as applicable).

Submit a completed application for graduation.

Certification for Graduation

Each graduate program is responsible for certifying fulfillment of graduation requirements by a student to the college dean.

Commencement Ceremony

A graduate program candidate may participate in a commencement ceremony only if he or she has applied for graduation and been certified to participate. In certain instances, students may participate in commencement prior to completing all the requirements; please check with your program for specific details. Students may appeal to the college dean a decision regarding graduation based on these policies.