Graduate Academic Policies

Policies and procedures for graduate studies at Hood College are intended to safeguard the integrity of the degree granted, to facilitate the student’s progress toward the degree and to prevent delays and misunderstandings.

All students, whether enrolled in online or face-to-face programs, are responsible for being thoroughly familiar with all policies and procedures as well as the requirements of the degree program. This catalog should be consulted regularly. Students who have questions about requirements or procedures should consult their adviser or the Office of the Registrar.

Academic Standards

Academic Conduct

The Graduate School strives to maintain and enforce the highest standards of academic integrity. Accordingly, plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty are unacceptable and will result in disciplinary action. By accepting admission to the Graduate School, a student has also accepted to be governed by the stated regulations of academic conduct, and indicates a willingness to accept disciplinary action, if behavior is deemed to be in violation of those rules or in some way unacceptable or detrimental to Hood College. Professed ignorance of what constitutes academic dishonesty does not excuse violations of these regulations.

All Hood College graduate students are expected to comply with the following rules of academic conduct.

Examinations, Tests and Quizzes

During examinations, tests, quizzes, comprehensive examinations or other classroom work, no student shall give or receive aid in any way or form not authorized by the instructor.


All actions prohibited in the Hood College Honor Code apply. Cheating entails: copying another’s work or allowing your work to be copied, bringing unauthorized materials into an exam, using electronic devices in an unauthorized manner to give or receive aid, using unauthorized materials to complete an exam or assignment, communicating (via any means) during an exam without approval, failing to turn in exam materials at the conclusion of an exam, taking an exam in an unauthorized location, leaving the exam environment (except in an emergency or with the approval of the proctor), giving or receiving unauthorized peer aid on assignments and/or completing individual assignments in a group setting, without the approval of the instructor, such that each student is not solely responsible for his or her own work.


Papers, Essays, Oral Presentations and Theses

Presenting oral or written work that is not the student’s own (except as the instructor specifically approves) is dishonest. Any direct statement taken from other sources must be documented. Sources of information and of ideas or opinions not the student’s own must be clearly indicated. Instructors may prescribe limitations on the sources to be used.


The Hood College Honor Code and its prohibitions on plagiarism apply. Plagiarism entails: any unacknowledged use of another person’s language or ideas, whether intentional or unintentional. Students wishing advice on the proper use and acknowledgement of scholarly materials should consult with their individual instructors, the library staff and any of the several reliable guides to scholarly writing that these sources recommend.

Projects and Reports

Unless otherwise directed, each student must do her or his own work, experiments, drawings and so forth, from her or his own observations. Students may work together provided that each member of the group understands the work being done, and provided that the instructor does not prohibit group work.


Similarly, the Hood College Honor Code prohibitions on re-submission apply. Re*submission entails: submission and/or duplication of work completed for one course in another course, without the approval of all instructors involved. Note that this prohibition on re-submission applies to all coursework (e.g. examinations, tests, quizzes, homework, projects, reports, thesis, notes, journals, and any and all creative work produced during any courses at Hood.)

Violations of academic standards and policy at Hood in the graduate program are taken very seriously, and infractions (whether explicitly listed in this document or not) may be grounds for dismissal from the college. Student are expected to familiarize themselves with the academic standards of the College, and lack of knowledge of these provisions will not be construed as extenuating circumstances. Hood expects all of its students, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity in their work and scholarship. 


Violations of Academic Conduct

When an instructor has evidence that a graduate student is not in compliance with these expectations, it is the obligation of the instructor to bring it to the attention of the student and to evaluate the specific work as a zero. That zero is to be calculated into the final course grade. Instructors also reserve the right to assign a final course grade of “F” to a student for cases of academic dishonesty.

Additionally, when a graduate student is found to have violated the academic standards and policies set forth in the catalog, the instructor will file a report with the office of the dean of the Graduate School and with the director of the program in which the student is enrolled. This report should detail the nature of the violation and what penalty was assessed.  The program director may suggest what action be taken for any future incidents. Any major violation of academic standards of conduct will trigger a review of the student’s enrollment in graduate study at Hood.

Students may appeal the action of the instructor by written petition to the Graduate Council through the dean of the Graduate School. The Graduate Council will investigate the appeal and render a decision, though the student may appeal this decision to the dean of the Graduate School.

In perceived cases of extreme academic dishonesty, an instructor or program director may request a review by the Graduate Council. The Graduate Council will hear statements from the instructor and/or program director, and then from the student under review. If, after hearing both sides of the case, the Graduate Council finds the student to be in extreme violation of the Academic Conduct code, they will recommend dismissal from the program. The final decision will rest with the Graduate Council, though the student may appeal the decision to the dean of the Graduate School.


Academic Standing and Warning

A student whose cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) is 3.0 or higher is in good academic standing, which is required for graduation. If a student’s G.P.A. drops below 3.0, he or she will be placed on academic warning. The G.P.A. must be restored to 3.0 within 9 credits completed from the term in which the G.P.A. fell below 3.0. The 3.0 average may be restored by repeating courses or by taking additional courses. There are no limitations to the number of times a student can fall below 3.0 and restore his or her G.P.A. However, no more than 3 courses (9 credits) beyond those required for the degree can be used to raise the G.P.A. and all requirements for the program must be completed within the time limitation policy.

Academic Dismissal

Dismissal due to Academic Integrity and Student Conduct Violations

A student who has been found by the Graduate Council to be in violation of the Graduate School's regulations of academic and/or student conduct will be dismissed from the program and from the College (see Graduate Student Conduct and Violations of Academic Conduct sections).  A student may appeal academic dismissal as outlined in Exceptions to Academic Policies, Regulations or Requirements.  Students who are dismissed from the College for academic and/or student conduct violations may not enroll in another graduate program or as a non-degree seeking student.

Dismissal due to Inferior Academic Performance

A student on academic warning who does not restore the G.P.A. to 3.0 as required will be dismissed from the College.  A student may appeal academic dismissal as outlined in Exceptions to Academic Policies, Regulations or Requirements.  Students who are dismissed from the College for poor academic performance in a particular program may apply to a different program for possible reinstatement to the College.  However, if accepted, only 6 credits of relevant, previous graduate coursework within the last five years (with grades of B or better) can be transferred into the new program with approval from the new program director.  In addition, all courses and grades from the previous program will remain on the transcript for historical purposes and will be calculated in the cumulative G.P.A.  A cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 is required for graduation.

Changing from Non-degree to Degree Status

A student who wishes to change from non-degree status to a degree program must apply for admission through the Graduate School.  The student must submit any additional documents required of the specific program of interest and have his or her file reviewed by the program director. Admission as a non-degree student does not guarantee admission to a degree program. A maximum of 12 credits taken by a non-degree student may apply to a degree program.

Changing from One Degree Program to Another

A student who wishes to transfer from one degree program to another must submit a Change Request form to the Office of the Registrar, which will consult with the appropriate department(s) before rendering any decisions. Credits earned in the original program may apply to the new program if, in the opinion of the Registrar and the Program Director, they are appropriate to the new degree. Academic performance in any and all graduate coursework will be considered in appeals to transfer between degree programs. Students who have failed to earn a degree after attempting a comprehensive examination twice—or after failing to complete satisfactorily a field work project, capstone, software project or thesis—may not transfer credits earned in that program to another degree program.

Second Master’s Degree

A student who has earned one master’s degree from Hood College may earn a second master’s degree upon satisfactory completion of the program requirements in a second graduate degree program. Up to six hours of graduate credit may be applied from the first master’s degree program to the second one. Students who earned Hood certificates or completed coursework required for Hood certificates may apply those courses to related master's degrees at the discretion of the program director. Courses eligible for transfer must have been completed no earlier than five years from the start of the Hood graduate program. The seven-year time limit will begin with enrollment in the first new course of the second graduate program. All other academic requirements will apply to the second program except that the second major or concentration must be different from the first major or concentration. Students planning to pursue a second degree must apply through the Graduate School.

Enrollment in Two Master’s Degree Programs

Graduate students may enroll in and pursue two master’s degree programs simultaneously. In order to apply to a second degree program, the student must submit the request form to the Office of the Registrar, which will then consult with the student’s current adviser and director of the second degree program. After consultation and review of the student’s transcripts a decision will be rendered. The final decision of acceptance or denial resides with the program directors.

The following guidelines apply to students pursuing two master’s degree programs simultaneously:

  • The student must maintain a cumulative graduate G.P.A. of 3.0 in each degree program. Dismissal from one degree program does not necessarily result in dismissal from the second degree program.
  • The student must successfully complete a minimum of 9 credits in his or her first degree program before requesting acceptance into a second master’s degree program.
  • Up to six hours of graduate credit may be applied from the first master’s degree program to the second one. If programs share additional course requirements, the student may be waived from completing the course in the second degree program but will have to replace the course with an appropriate course subject to the approval of the student’s adviser and program director.
  • Degree completion will be calculated and handled separately for each degree program. All processes must be addressed separately for each program. This includes time limits and petitions to graduate.
  • Pursuit of two master’s degree programs will not be considered a justifiable excuse for requesting an extension of the time limit for degree completion in any one program.
  • The student’s transcript will note both degree programs.
  • Academic and financial holds apply to the student and not the degree program. For example, a financial hold placed on a student’s records as a result of a payment issue for a course in one degree program can prevent the student from pursuing courses in the second degree program.
  • A student may not pursue more than two graduate degree programs simultaneously.

Enrollment in Related Certificate Programs

Students who are enrolled in a master’s degree program and wish to earn a related certificate simultaneously, must complete the Certificate Declaration form on Hood's website.   The Registrar will then consult with the student’s current adviser and director of the certificate program.  After consultation and review of the student’s academic record, a decision will be rendered.  

Degree Requirements

Faculty advisers, the program director and the Registrar are available to assist students. Procedures have been set up to check progress toward the degree. It is the student’s responsibility, however, to know the requirements for her or his degree and to fulfill them. It is also the student’s responsibility to request approval for any course substitutions from their academic adviser or program director prior to enrollment. Failure to receive approval for course substitutions prior to enrollment may result in a delay in program completion. It is the student’s responsibility to be thoroughly familiar with the academic policies and procedures, as outlined in this catalog.

Academic Advisement

Each degree-seeking student is assigned to an adviser who: 1) advises and approves course registrations, 2) assists the student in developing a concentration, if applicable, and 3) in some instances, supervises thesis, capstone or field work if such an option is selected.

Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive examinations are requirements in the Master of Arts programs in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior (previously Human Sciences), Thanatology and Ceramic Arts.  Exams built upon the content of the graduate courses taken as components of a graduate program and upon courses for which a waiver or exemption has been granted. A student may not be examined in an area where transfer credit has been awarded. While many or most of the examination questions may deal with specific subject content, some may require the student to draw together several concepts in order to demonstrate an understanding of interrelated ideas.

The following procedures apply to the comprehensive examination:

  • Notification of Intention. The student must complete the form entitled Notification of Intent to Take the Comprehensive Examination, which is available online at, by the published deadline.  Upon submission of the form, the Registrar will secure the advisor's approval and schedule the student for specific date indicated on the form. No examination will be assembled unless the form is on file with the Office of the Registrar. Only students who are in good standing (maintaining a 3.0 cumulative grade point average) may take the comprehensive examination. 
  • The Questions. Comprehensive examination questions are written by the instructor of each course.
  • Assembling the Examination . In consultation with the student, the adviser or the program director prepares the comprehensive examination. Ordinarily, the test questions are drawn from one department. Occasionally, questions are drawn from several departments and appropriate department chairs are expected to assist the advisers in obtaining questions. 
  • Administration of the Examination. Comprehensive examinations are administered in the Spring and Fall semesters.  The exact dates of the examinations are published in the Academic Calendar for each year. The place of administration of the comprehensive examination will be announced and the program directors will determine how the examinations will be administered, which may include the use of Blackboard for online administration.  Students are expected to comply with the rules of academic conduct found under the Academic Standards section of the catalog.

    Students who are unable to take a comprehensive examination on the scheduled date because of hardship may petition the adviser for a substitute date. If the adviser approves the petition, the student must contact the Office of the Registrar and the program director to make arrangements for the administration of the examination and the substitute date. In all cases, if the student wishes to complete the examination within the same semester, the substitute date must occur on a weekday no more than 10 business days after the originally scheduled examination date.

  • Grading of the Examination and Reporting the Results. The advisor or the program director, with the assistance of the departmental instructors, arranges for grading of the examination. Where possible, the original writer of an examination question is called upon to grade that question. Questions are graded on a pass-fail basis. The advisor collects all the graded examination questions and, using departmental guidelines, grades the total examination as either pass or fail. Usually a student’s total examination is graded pass when four of five questions for Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior and three of four questions for Thanatology are graded pass. Ceramic Arts students must score at least an 80% on the written exam. Frequently two or three faculty members are called upon to read and assist with the evaluation.

    Once the total examination is evaluated, it is the responsibility of the adviser to notify the student and the Office of the Registrar regarding the results of the comprehensive examination. This notification must be in writing.

    The process of examination evaluation and notification must be completed within 30 days following the administration of the examination.

  • Options for Students Who Have Failed the Comprehensive Examination. Only one re-examination may be arranged. Re-examination occurs during the next semester following the initial comprehensive examination, excluding summer session. The student must file another Intent to Take the Comprehensive Examination and, in the case of Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior and Thanatology, will only be re-tested on the questions he/she failed. The student also confers with her or his adviser six weeks in advance of the re-examination. The student who has failed both the initial comprehensive examination and re-examination is not eligible for the master’s degree, and has no further degree options.

If a student fails the comprehensive examination, the only option available to that student is re-examination. The thesis, field work or project option is not available to students who fail a comprehensive examination.

Final Field Work and Research Proj­ects

Registration must be completed during the regular registration period. Students who elect the 6-credit project option will be registered and billed for all 6 credits in one semester. Credits will not be split over the course of multiple semesters.

The field work or research project is a culminating activity and therefore should follow all necessary work to assure adequate content and methodology. It is required in some degree programs and may be optional in others. Students may elect to do either a 3-credit or a 6-credit field work or research project. Students who elect to do a field work or research project must complete a Permission to Enroll form and submit a written proposal to be approved by the field work or research adviser or instructor, program director and the Office of the Registrar. The 6-credit research project is similar to a master’s thesis in structure, complexity, depth of study and rigor. The Registrar will continue to re-register students each Fall and Spring semester for the field work or research project as “IP” (In Progress) until a final grade is submitted. Students are responsible to pay the Graduate School comprehensive fee each semester until the project is completed.

The 3-credit field work or research project is a disciplined application of theories and techniques learned during the master’s study and applied in a field work setting with clearly defined learning objectives. It is graded Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U). The grade is awarded by the field work or research adviser or instructor. (The dean of the Graduate School will review the report and verify the approval of the Reading Committee.)

The student is responsible for initiating either a 3- or 6-credit field work or research project proposal and for securing a field work or research adviser or instructor for the project, who will serve as the chair of the Reading Committee. The adviser and the student, in consultation, will identify two additional persons to serve on the Reading Committee.

The basic procedure established for the master’s thesis should be followed for the 6-credit research project. The procedure for a well-structured independent study should be followed for the 3-credit field work or research project.

The approved final paper,  must be uploaded to MD-SOAR in accordance with the thesis/project deadlines published in the Academic Calendar. Students should review the guidelines for formatting and electronic submission processes in the Final Thesis, Projects, Capstones, and Research section of

The title of the report will also be noted in the student’s academic record.


Master’s Thesis

A thesis is required in some degree programs and is an option in others. The thesis preparation course is a 6-credit course and is graded Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U). The grade is awarded by the thesis adviser. Final approval of the dean of the Graduate School is required for completion of the thesis project.

Registration must be completed during the regular registration period by submitting a signed copy of their thesis proposal and the Permission to Enroll form to the Office of the Registrar. Students will be registered and billed for all 6 credits in one semester. Credits will not be split over the course of multiple semesters.

A detailed statement of regulations and guidelines concerning the master’s thesis is available from the Graduate School or available on our website at and should be consulted before a student enrolls for Master’s Thesis Preparation.

A thesis is a 6-credit course; the charge for Master’s Thesis Preparation is in accordance with the per credit tuition as indicated in the Graduate Tuition and Financial Arrangements section of this catalog. The Registrar will continue to re-register students each Fall and Spring semester for their Master’s Thesis as “IP” (In Progress) until a final grade is submitted. Students are responsible for paying the Graduate School comprehensive fee each semester until the project is completed.

The approved final thesis, must be uploaded to MD-SOAR in accordance with the thesis/project deadlines published in the Academic Calendar. Students should review the guidelines for formatting and electronic submission processes in the Final Thesis, Projects, Capstones, and Research section of

The title of the report will also be noted in the student’s academic record.


Humanities Capstone (HUM 595) and Humanities Portfolio (HUM 594)

The student must submit the written proposal for either course to the MAHAC (Master of Arts in Humanities Advisory Committee). If the proposal is approved and signed by MAHAC, the student will then submit the Permission to Enroll form and approved proposal to the Office of the Registrar for registration processing. Registration for these courses must be completed during the regular registration period, by the drop/add date (see Academic Calendar) by submitting a completed and signed Permission to Enroll form and written proposal to the Office of the Registrar.  If the written proposal is not approved, the student will be contacted by a member of MAHAC. A detailed statement of regulations and guidelines concerning the Humanities Capstone and the Humanities Portfolio is available from the Graduate School website at and should be consulted before a student enrolls in the Capstone or Portfolio course.

The Humanities Capstone and Portfolio are 4-credit courses, the charge for which is in accordance with the per credit tuition as indicated in the Graduate Tuition and Financial Arrangements section of this catalog. The Registrar will continue to re-register students each Fall and Spring semester for their Capstone or Portfolio as “IP” (In Progress) until a final grade is submitted. Students are responsible for paying the Graduate School comprehensive fee each semester until the project is completed. Students will receive a letter grade upon completion of the Capstone or Portfolio.


Time Limits

All coursework and degree requirements must be met within seven years of enrolling in the first course at Hood College that applies towards the degree and/or certificate program. If a student enrolls in a different certificate or master’s program, and one or more of the courses from the first program will satisfy a requirement of the second program, the program director will evaluate the transcript to determine whether previously completed courses may count in the new program and how the seven-year time limit will be applied.

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For students beginning their program of study during a summer term, their time limit will begin that Fall semester. 

In extenuating circumstances, a student who is in good academic and financial standing at the College and who has completed the majority of their degree coursework, may request a one-year extension beyond their seven year time limit through the Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies.  The student must submit the request and proposed timeline of completion, along with a recommendation from his/her or project adviser. Based on this information, the program director may grant an extension not to exceed one year.  The student may appeal the outcome of the extension request to the Dean of the Graduate School.  A student may request an extension exceeding one year by petitioning the Graduate Committee on Student Petitions (please refer to the section titled Exceptions to Academic Policies).

Transfer of Credit

A student may transfer a maximum of 6 graduate credits from another accredited institution prior to the first semester of graduate study.  A student in the M.S. in Counseling or the M.F.A. in Ceramic Arts programs may transfer up to 9 graduate credits external to Hood.  Those in the DOL or DBA programs may transfer up to 6 credits of doctoral level work.  Students who completed certificates in Thanatology or Gerontology within five years of enrollment in the Counseling program, may apply all 12 certificate credits towards the Counseling program.  Students who completed the certificate in Cybersecurity within five years of enrollment in the Information Technology and Cybersecurity master's programs may apply all 15 credits towards the master's degree.  Under certain circumstances, transfer credit for work completed elsewhere may be accepted after enrollment at Hood College.  Transfer credit does not apply toward the cumulative grade point average.

Requested transfer credit must meet the following criteria:

  • Courses eligible for transfer must have been completed no earlier than five years from the start of the Hood graduate program;
  • Courses must carry at least two semester hours of credit;
  • Courses must carry a grade of B or better; courses earned on a pass/fail basis are not eligible for transfer. 

The procedure to transfer credits is as follows:

  • The student must submit to the Program Director a written request for course transfer, along with the corresponding course syllabi and/or descriptions from the other institution, for the requested courses.
  • The Program Director will notify the student and the Registrar of the decision.
  • The student must submit an official transcript to the Office of the Registrar to have the transfer credits awarded.

Conferring of Degrees

Master degrees are awarded in January, May and September. Students graduating in January participate in the May commencement ceremony. Students completing the degree requirements in September participate in the May ceremony the following year. All graduating students who have petitioned to graduate with the Office of the Registrar will receive information about commencement in April. Attendance is not required of master’s candidates, but all are encouraged to participate. For further information, see the section on Graduation in this chapter.


Students must complete and submit to the Office of the Registrar the Petition to Graduate form by the established deadlines posted to the College’s academic calendar. The Office of the Registrar may send notices to students who have completed a minimum of 21 graduate credits toward their program requirements; however it is the student's responsibility to review the deadlines and submit the Petition to Graduate form by the established deadlines. The Petition form includes information for those planning to complete their degree requirements within a year’s time.  A minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 is required for graduation.

A list of potential graduates for master’s degrees is submitted for faculty and trustee approval during their scheduled meetings. If a student petitions the Office of the Registrar but does not complete the degree requirements on schedule, the student must submit a new petition indicating a new completion date.

The College celebrates graduation in formal ceremonies in May. It is Hood’s policy that only those students who have fulfilled all academic requirements and have met all financial obligations to the College may participate in commencement. Diplomas issued for September and January graduates will be available for pickup by the student in the Office of the Registrar or may be mailed to the student at his or her request. Commencement regalia may be purchased through the College bookstore.

General Policies and Operating Procedures

Campus Safety

The Office of Campus Safety is located on the mezzanine of the Apple Academic Resource Center, and can be reached by calling 301- 696-4548. To locate an officer on campus when the Security Office is closed, dial 0 for the College switchboard or stop by the Information Desk in the Whitaker Campus Center.

Emergency Canceling of Classes

Many radio and television stations will announce the emergency canceling of Hood College classes. Closing will be announced in Frederick as well as in Hagerstown, Montgomery County and other locations. Courses taught at other locations are governed by the closing policy of the sponsoring agency. During inclement weather a recorded message may be heard by calling the College switchboard at 301-696-3131, option 9, by visiting our website,, or by subscribing to alerts through School’s Out ( or Hood Alert (

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-380) extends to students the right of access to their education records maintained at the College. The provost, the dean of the Graduate School and the registrar maintain these records for enrolled and former students. Information and notification as to the type of record; the accessibility of and policies for maintaining, reviewing and expunging the record; and the procedures for inspecting, reviewing, obtaining copies of or challenging the record are established by the appropriate offices.

Financial Obligations and Future Registrations

Grades, transcripts, future registrations and diplomas will be withheld until all tuition, fees and other bills incurred at the College have been paid, and all library books returned.


Except where marked to the contrary, parking is permitted on a first-come, first-served basis on most lots on the campus. Parking permits are required for cars parked in campus lots and for students who choose to park in the Frederick Memorial Hospital parking garage. Vehicle registration forms can be completed through Self-Service and students can submit their receipt to the Office of Campus Safety or at the Information Desk to obtain their pass. Students who choose to park along the street will not be required to purchase a parking permit, but must adhere to parking signs and marked curbs.

Religious Observance

Hood College recognizes individual student choice in observing religious holidays that occur during regularly scheduled classes. Students are responsible for work missed.

Students with Disabilities

Hood College actively supports the rights of students with disabilities to have equal access to education. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Hood makes every reasonable effort to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities.

Students who have a disability are asked to notify the disabilities services coordinator in Academic Services (CAAR) as soon as possible. Early notification prevents delay in initiation of services and ensures the student full access to educational activities. The disabilities services coordinator and/or the medical staff, in consultation with the student, prepares a plan for services and forwards authorization for specified services (such as note taking and interpreting) to the appropriate offices on campus.


No transcript will be released if the student has not satisfied all financial obligations to the College.

Hood College has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide transcript ordering. This service provides 24 hour access, seven days a week; secure transactions; secure electronic transcript delivery worldwide; on-demand order tracking and updates emailed to the student; enables additional documents to be delivered with the transcript; and the ability to order multiple transcripts for multiple recipients in one order.

Current students may place transcript requests through Self-Service. Alumnae and former students may access the Clearinghouse through

Normal requests are processed within 3-5 working days upon receipt of request. Rush transcripts are processed in 24 hours of the next working day at a charge.

Use of Facilities

Graduate students may use the academic facilities of the College in a manner consistent with the requirements of the courses in which they are enrolled and only during hours when the academic phase of the College is in operation. Graduate students may use their Graduate Student Identification Cards to gain admission to the pool and fitness center.

Grading System

Instructors in graduate programs are required to use the following uniform criteria in assigning grades to students:

Grade Meaning
A Excellent mastery of course content and excellent ability to apply course content concepts. The work displays initiative, independence and application. In some courses, originality may be required.
B Good mastery of course content and ability to apply course content concepts. Work shows good grasp of the significance, interrelatedness and uses of the material covered.
C Minimal understanding and knowledge of course concepts.
F Unsatisfactory understanding of basic facts and principles which constitute the course content. Work receives no academic credit.
S Satisfactory performance on thesis, field work or software engineering projects.
U Unsatisfactory performance on thesis or field work. Work receives no academic credit.
W Withdrawal. This grade is assigned to students who withdraw after the drop/add period and according to withdrawal policy.
INC Incomplete work
IP In Progress

Plus and Minus Grades

Instructors may use plus (+) and minus (-) signs with grades to provide differentiation among students.

Grade Points and Grade Point Averages

Each grade has a grade point value. A grade point average of 3.0 is required for graduation and for status as a degree candidate. Only prerequisite and required courses count in the G.P.A. requirement for graduation. A student whose G.P.A. is below 3.0 is dismissed for academic reasons.

Grade Point Value Grade Point Value
A 4 C+ 2.33
A- 3.67 C 2
B+ 3.33 C- 1.67
B 3 F 0
B- 2.67 U 0

Grades of W and INC carry no point value and are not considered when calculating the G.P.A.


An incomplete may not be granted unless a student has completed at least half of the work of the course with a passing grade or by permission of the program director. A grade of “INC” (incomplete) will be assigned when illness, emergency or unusual circumstances beyond the student’s control prevent the student from completing the assigned coursework and/or examination(s) by the end of the semester or session.

A student who wishes to apply for a grade of “INC” must secure and complete, with the instructor, the Application for Incomplete Grade form. This form is available from the Registrar's Office or online at The course instructor will identify the deadline date for completion of the work, the conditions under which the grade of “INC” will be removed and the consequences for failure to meet those conditions. The instructor, the student, and the program director must sign and approve the Application for Incomplete Grade form and the provisions for completion. The completed Application for Incomplete Grade form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than the date grades are due for that term.

All assignments for the course in question must be completed by March 15 for fall courses, October 15 for summer courses and August 15 for spring courses. Any subsequent request for a further extension of the incomplete grade must be submitted by the student and approved by the instructor, program director and Registrar. Upon completion of all related assignments, the grade of “I” will remain permanently on the candidate’s transcript with the final grade earned beside it.

Academic Semesters and Sessions

The academic year at Hood contains a fall semester, a spring semester and two summer sessions. A calendar published in this catalog gives significant dates within the semesters and sessions.


With instructor permission, degree and non-degree seeking students may audit graduate lecture courses as space permits.  As the term implies, auditors listen rather than engage in class discussions and projects.  Auditors attend class meetings but do not write papers or take exams or quizzes.  A course that was previously audited may be taken for credit at a later time.  See the Tuition, Fees and Other Charges section for rates.


  • The student receives neither credit, grade nor grade points for an audit; however the audit does appear on the transcript.
  • There is no limit on the number of courses that a student may audit; however students may not exceed a combined 12 credits of for-credit and/or audit bearing coursework in a given semester. 

  • It is not possible to audit courses such as creative writing, studio arts and other courses where the nature of the activity requires the participation of the student.  

  • No changes to or from the audit option may be made after the end of the drop/add period of the academic term.




Course Cancellation

The Graduate School reserves the right to cancel courses in which fewer than eight students are enrolled during the fall and spring semesters, and fewer than five students enrolled for summer terms. Courses may also be canceled due to unforeseen circumstances of faculty availability.  In the event that a course is canceled, students will be notified and full tuition will be reimbursed.

Double-Numbered Courses

Certain courses have been designated as appropriate for both graduate students and undergraduates. These “double-numbered courses” are identified by numbers in both the 400 and 500 range. Undergraduate students enroll in the 400-level course and receive undergraduate credit. Graduate students enroll in the 500-level course and receive graduate credit. Syllabi for such courses will clearly outline different expectations for graduate and undergraduate students.  Students who took a double-numbered class at the 400 level as an undergraduate student may not take the same class at the 500 level as a graduate student for credit.

Exemption from Courses

A student may request an exemption from taking any course offered. Exemptions are granted by the department that teaches the course for which an exemption is sought. To request an exemption, the student must present a written petition to the program director that offers courses in the field where the exemption is being sought. The petition should include the course number and title for which an exemption is being requested and the justification for the request. The action of the department regarding the request will be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar, which will notify the student regarding the disposition of the request and make the necessary notations in the student’s record.

Exemption does not constitute credit toward the degree. The total number of credits required for the degree program must be completed in order for the student to qualify for the degree.

Independent Study/Research

Most programs offer a course entitled Independent Study and numbered 575. These courses offer students an opportunity to undertake an individual project supervised by a faculty member for topics not covered by coursework that is offered in the program. To be eligible for independent study, the student must identify a faculty member who is willing to supervise the independent study project. The College cannot guarantee that all students will be able to undertake an independent study.  Students may not enroll in Independent Study topics to fulfill existing coursework offered in the program.

To register for an independent study, the student must submit to the Office of the Registrar a completed Permission to Enroll Form. The form requires a written proposal and signatures of the student, instructor, program director and the Registrar. Registration must be completed during the regular registration period. This form is available from the Registrar's office or online at

The student and instructor must arrange a regular schedule for conferences and submission of work throughout the semester, including the date when the final paper is due.

A student may register for no more than 6 credits of independent study or independent research in any degree program. A student may register for 1, 2 or 3 credits of independent study during any semester or during the summer session.

Continuous Enrollment and Leave of Absence Policy

Once admitted to a graduate program at Hood College, students are expected to continue a course of study each full semester (Fall and Spring semesters) in the academic year.  

In certain circumstances, students are permitted to take a leave of absence.  To take a leave of absence, students must complete a Request for Leave of Absence form online at   This form must be completed for any Fall or Spring semester for which a student is not registered for a course; a Request for Leave of Absence is not required for Summer terms.  Students are permitted to request one semester or two consecutive semesters of leave. Leaves of absence do not affect or extend the seven (7) year time limit for completion of graduate coursework.

Students are required to register for at least one course every semester (excluding summer). If students do not enroll, nor submit the Request for Leave of Absence form, they will be withdrawn from the College and will need to request readmission through the Registrar's office.  If accepted, will enter under the catalog in place at the time of readmission.


Registration and Enrollment

A student must be officially admitted and registered prior to attending any class session of any course. Courses and schedules of classes are announced well in advance of the beginning of each semester and summer session. Dates and hours when students may register and instructions for registering are available online at .  Students are encouraged to register online using Self-Service. Students in the Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Information Technology and Management Information Systems programs must have adviser approval for all course registrations. Approvals may be done through Self Service or emailed to the Office of the Registrar at

Students are responsible for seeing that they have met all appropriate prerequisites before registering for courses. Failure to meet course prerequisites places the student at risk and will not be considered as cause for a refund of tuition. Students who have not met prerequisites will require approval by their academic adviser and/or the instructor. Non-degree seeking students may be required to seek permission from the appropriate instructor or program director in order to enroll. Because some courses may be closed due to heavy student enrollment, students are encouraged to register early. Students nearing the completion of their programs should register as early as possible to avoid facing closed classes. The regular registration period continues through the drop/add period of the semester as defined on the Academic Calendar.


Repeating Courses

There are limited circumstances under which a graduate student may retake a course. A course may be repeated only once and no more than two courses can be repeated by a student within any single degree or certificate program. The grade of W does not replace a previously awarded grade. When the course is repeated, the student receives the credits for the course (counted once). While both grades will remain on the transcript for historical purposes, only the higher of the two grades will be calculated in the cumulative G.P.A. A graduate student may repeat a course if more than seven years have lapsed or the course content is considered outdated. Grades for courses taken at other institutions may not be used to replace grades for courses completed at Hood. Courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be repeated for graduate degree credit.

Attendance and Absence

The College does not set a maximum number of absences permissible in any course. Individual faculty members have the prerogative to establish a maximum number of absences at the beginning of the semester, and are encouraged to include a written statement of their attendance policy on the course syllabus. Students accept full responsibility for seeing that work does not suffer from excessive absence.

The College recognizes that there are other justifiable reasons for class absence: observance of religious holidays or illness.  Such absences are acceptable only if previous absences are not excessive and if the student has made arrangements with the instructor, prior to the day of the absence, for the work missed.  Due to Homeland Security requirements for full-time enrollment, students with F-1/J-1 visas may not withdraw from any coursework in the Fall and Spring semesters that lowers their course load below full-time status (9 credits).  A student with an F-1 or J-1 visa who chooses to withdraw from coursework, dropping them below full-time status, will be in violation of Homeland Security regulations and will have their visas terminated.  Failure to attend class or properly withdraw will result in a grade of F.


  • Students must attend the first class meeting of each of their courses or notify the instructor or the Registrar’s Office of their absence, or risk being withdrawn from the class with a grade of WX.

  • Enrollment in a course constitutes an informal contract with the instructor, and a student who violates an instructor’s attendance policy risks dismissal from the course. Instructors may have a student withdrawn from a class and a grade of WX recorded up until the deadline for course withdrawal. After the course withdrawal deadline has passed, the student receives a grade of F.

  • A student who is dismissed from a course for excessive absences or who is withdrawn from the class for failing to appear at the first class meeting may be reinstated only by the joint consent of the course instructor and the registrar.

  • Classes are held up to the date and hour preceding vacations and they resume promptly after the recess in accordance with the academic calendar. Students are expected to attend classes meeting just prior to and immediately following holiday periods.

  • Students are fully responsible for making up work missed due to class absence. When students are absent, they are responsible for obtaining lecture notes from reliable sources. Assignments and projects are to be delivered to the instructor on the assigned date, even when the student does not attend class. All exams are to be taken at the scheduled time. Having another exam scheduled on the same day is not considered sufficient justification for rescheduling the exam.

  • Students who withdraw or are withdrawn from coursework after the designated drop/add period, are responsible for all tuition and fees associated with that coursework.


Schedule Changes

Students may drop or add courses through the Office of the Registrar from the time of registration through the end of the drop/add period. See the Academic Calendar for dates. A student may be added to a class once the semester begins, provided the class has not met more than once and with the written permission of the instructor. During the summer sessions, the substitution or addition of courses is limited to the first two days of classes. All schedule changes must be submitted in writing.

Student Course Load

To be considered full time, a graduate student must pursue 9 hours of credit each fall and spring semester. In gauging the amount of time required for study in preparation for classes, the Graduate Council recommends that three or more hours of study be reserved for each hour of class. This is a general recommendation and may vary depending upon the course and individual differences in each student’s background.

A current graduate student may not enroll in more than 12 credits per term without written permission by the program director and academic adviser. Permission may be granted after the program director and academic adviser consider: the student’s rationale for the request provided by the student in a brief, written statement which will be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than two weeks before the start of the term in consideration; and achievement in courses completed at Hood College. The student will be notified of the decision no later than 7 days before the start of the term.

A student enrolling in her/his first term at Hood College may not register for more than 12 credits.

Withdrawal from Classes and Refunds

Notification of withdrawal must be in writing and must indicate the course number and course title. Students are encouraged to withdraw by submitting the online withdrawal form via secure email submission. Students may also withdraw by sending an email to or by coming to the Registrar's Office in person. It is the student’s responsibility to call to ensure receipt. Refunds will be given if the drop/withdrawal notice is received by the Registrar before the first course meeting or within the drop/add period as defined by the academic calendar. The drop/add period for summer terms is the first week of each term.  After the first class meeting and within the drop/add period, there is an 80% refund/credit and the student is responsible for 20%.  Refunds will not be granted for withdrawals received after the drop/add period. Withdrawal notices received before the course begins or during the drop/add period will not appear on the student’s transcript. Tuition refunds are based on the full tuition charge for the course. A grade of W (indicating withdrawal) will be noted on the student’s transcript for withdrawals that occur after the drop/add period. This notation carries no academic penalty. A student who does not give official notice of withdrawal will not be eligible for refunds and a grade of F (Unsatisfactory) will be recorded on the permanent record.

It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Office of the Registrar in writing that she or he is withdrawing.

A graduate student may withdraw from a course by the withdrawal deadline as posted in the Academic Calendar. After the deadline, a student may not withdraw from a course. Students enrolled in a 3-credit course that meets for two weekends during the semester may withdraw from such class by submitting an official, written withdrawal notification to the Office of the Registrar before the second weekend meeting date. Withdrawals for 1-credit weekend courses are not accepted once the class has met.

The Office of Financial Aid is required to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw. Up through 60 percent of the semester, a pro rata schedule is used to determine how much federal aid a student has earned at the time of withdrawal. The portion of unearned aid must be returned to the federal programs. When unearned aid is returned a student may owe the College additional funds.

Failure to begin or ceasing to attend classes does not constitute official notice of withdrawal or reason for refund/credit on tuition. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Office of the Registrar in writing of the student’s desire to withdraw from a class.



Withdrawal from Hood College

Students who wish to withdraw from the College must submit the Graduate Withdrawal from the College form, found at Students who wish to re-enroll at the College after they have withdrawn must submit petition for reinstatement in writing to the Office of the Registrar (

Students who do not complete their program of study within their seven-year time limit will be automatically withdrawn from the College. Please refer to the section on Time Limits for information regarding time extensions.

Exceptions to Academic Policies

Exceptions to academic policies as stated in this catalog or elsewhere are rarely made. A student who believes an exception is justified may petition the Graduate Council through the Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies. The petition should include: 

  1. The student's name, Hood ID number, email and phone number; 

  2. The expected date of graduation;

  3. The specific exception being requested and the reason(s) for the request; 

  4. A timeline of completion, in the case of time limits and/or academic performance issues;

  5. Letters/statements from the academic adviser and program director addressing whether or not they support the petition.  In the case of thesis or project petitions, a letter from the thesis or project adviser is also required.

The petition and supporting documentation will be reviewed by the Graduate Committee on Student Petitions. The Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies will notify the student of the Committee's decision. The student may appeal the outcome to the Dean of the Graduate School. A student may not petition for reinstatement more than once.

Grade Appeal

If a student receives a final grade in a course that she or he believes is incorrect or unfair, he or she may appeal that grade by following this procedure:

  • Student must contact the faculty member involved, in writing, within 30 calendar days of the posting of the disputed grade. The grade appeal request must outline the specific grievances about the grading procedure, grounds for appeal and attach relevant documentation (syllabus, guidelines for papers or presentations etc.).
  • If, after hearing the instructor’s explanation, the student still wishes to appeal the grade, she or he must present the grade appeal to the program director within 30 days of notification from the instructor.
  • If the student is still not satisfied, the student may make a final appeal to the dean of the Graduate School. In such cases, the dean must be contacted prior to the end of the term immediately following the semester the grade was posted.
  • Failure to follow this timeline provides sufficient grounds for dismissing an appeal. In each stage of the appeal process, the student will receive a letter stating the reviewer’s recommendation within 30 days of initiation.
  • All parties to the grade appeal (student, instructor, program director, dean) are to maintain strict confidentiality until the matter is resolved.