Graduate Studies

The Hood College Graduate School offers master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to equip graduate students with the deep intellectual understanding and applied, real-world competencies needed for today’s competitive job market.

Meaningful Master’s and Doctoral Programs to Advance Your Career

The Graduate School at Hood College offers master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs that reflect the job requirements of the region’s top employers. All are specifically designed to equip you with both deep intellectual understanding and the applied, real-world competencies you need to increase your career marketability.

Learn while you work, thanks to classes conveniently scheduled in the evenings and on occasional weekends. Hood’s Graduate School programs further emphasize relevance by providing opportunities for you to incorporate course work into your work day. Conversely, you are encouraged to bring your professional experiences into the classroom for discussion and problem-solving.

Excellent teaching is the key to an outstanding education. Hood’s faculty are selected for their knowledge of and experience in the discipline they teach and, equally important, their exceptional teaching skills. Most are involved in independent research. Many are scientists, researchers, business leaders, educators, and policy leaders from companies and organizations in the region. All are gifted at sharing their passion and proven expertise in a way that inspires, motivates and prepares students for success in the contemporary workplace.

Small classes and an emphasis on collaboration stimulate dynamic exchange of ideas and information. There are no large lecture halls at Hood. Professors know you by name, not by number. Individual attention—even after you have graduated—is a hallmark of the Graduate School.

Internships, labs, and linkages to business and industry enable you to gain practical experience and forge valuable connections beyond the classroom. The Graduate School has close ties to an exceptional network of world-class research and development, life science, biomedical, information technology, aerospace, engineering, and other cutting-edge industries and government institutions. Education programs put theory directly into practice in the area’s K-12 environment.

The graduate program you want is at Hood.

Graduate Admission

All graduate programs and certificates at Hood College require English proficiency in writing, reading, and speaking in an academic setting. Such proficiency may be demonstrated by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland or New Zealand or by obtaining a TOEFL score of 89 or higher or an IELTS composite score of 6.5 or higher. The Hood College school code for reporting purposes is 5296. If English proficiency is not demonstrated in one of the above ways, and English proficiency scores are between 79-88 (TOEFL) and 6 (IELTS), the admitted student will be required to complete an additional course titled, Advanced English for Academic Purposes (EAP 500) in his/her first semester at Hood College. Applicants whose test scores fall below the minimum requirements are not admissible.

At the discretion of the program director, a faculty adviser or the Admissions committee, an applicant or first-year graduate student may be required to enroll in EAP 500, even if the student would be exempt by standard admission requirements.  An instructor may also request this additional requirement during the first semester the student is enrolled if the instructor determines that the student's English skills are not sufficient for successful completion of the course and/or graduate program. Such instructor requests should be made to the adviser, program director and Registrar, who determine if EAP 500 is necessary. If the adviser and program director support the request for EAP 500, the student may appeal their decision to the Dean of the Graduate School with appropriate evidence and/or documentation of English proficiency. EAP 500 does not count towards the minimum credits required for specific program completion.

Entrance Criteria - Master's and Certificate Programs

To be considered for admission to graduate study, the applicant must meet specified program requirements and hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average (although many programs require a higher GPA). Based on an applicant's background, the program director may require registration in specific foundational coursework and/or limit the number of credits for enrollment during the student's first semester. Some programs have additional admission requirements. Please check for special requirements listed in the sections of this catalog describing the programs.

Students may be admitted on a degree or non-degree basis. The Department of Homeland Security regulations require that students on F-1 visa status be admitted on a degree basis only.

Entrance Criteria - Doctoral Program

To be considered for admission to doctoral study, the applicant must hold a master’s degree in any discipline for the Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and a master’s degree in business for the Doctorate in Business Administration from a regionally accredited college or university with at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average and a minimum of eight to ten years of progressive professional work experience. Applicants will be accepted into the program based on selection criteria that include graduate coursework, grade point average, personal statements, area of research interest, resume, and experience.

Procedure for Applying  

Students must apply online at International students should refer to the International Student section below for additional instructions.  

The applicant must provide one copy of their official transcript reflecting highest degree conferred sent directly to the Graduate School from the appropriate institutional registrar or from the student, provided that the official envelope remains sealed. Please see individual programs for individual additional application requirements and materials on our website. Student copies of transcripts will not be accepted. Students will not be permitted to begin coursework prior to the receipt of official transcripts.  

International Students 

International students requiring F-1 Visas must submit their admission material well in advance to the Graduate School. International students are encouraged to submit their application materials to the Graduate School before the official deadlines: July 15 for fall semester December 1 for spring semester. Late applications will generally be deferred for review for the following semester.

Students who earned a baccalaureate degree from another country must obtain a course-by-course evaluation of those transcripts by a certified organization. Hood College accepts evaluations from any member of the National Association for Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), The evaluation results must be received by the Graduate School in a sealed envelope or emailed directly to (Hood College Graduate School) from the evaluating service by the established application deadlines. 

All courses that are offered exclusively to graduate students are conducted during evening or weekend hours. International students with student visas must enroll in nine (9) hours of credit each fall and spring semester to be considered full-time graduate students. International applicants seeking F-1 visas must complete the application for I-20 after being admitted and before registering for coursework. As part of the I-20 application, students must arrange for financial support from their governments, from international organizations or from personal and family resources. See the graduate admissions webpage for estimated costs of attendance. I-20 applications will not be processed until an I-20 International Application (provided by the Graduate School) is submitted. Students who are not citizens of the United States will be required to submit a copy of their Resident Alien card or current visa before registering for any coursework. Please note: All graduate students are responsible for all fees and living expenses. Hood College generally does not provide housing for graduate students. International students are encouraged to investigate and secure local housing before arriving in the United States. The Office of International Student Support assists with any personal, academic and/or practical concerns.

Non-Degree Graduate Students

The Graduate School offers courses for individuals who hold at least a bachelor’s degree and are interested in non-degree studies for professional development, continuing education or personal enrichment. Hood also provides the opportunity to sample a graduate degree program before deciding to apply. Up to twelve credits taken as a non-degree student may apply towards degree requirements for a master’s or certificate program. Non-degree graduate students must complete the non-degree graduate application and registration form (www, You must also submit a copy of an official transcript to the registrar’s office at for verification of bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment.  Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 (3.0 for counseling coursework) to register as a non-degree student. Priority enrollment in graduate classes is given to degree-seeking students. Program director and/or instructor approval may be required for non-degree registration (counseling coursework requires program director approval and registrations may be held until degree-seeking students are enrolled). Please direct questions to the registrar’s office, 301-696-3616 or

Examination of Admission Folder

All documents sent as part of the application for admission become the property of Hood College. Under no circumstance will they be duplicated, returned to the applicant or forwarded to any other college, university, individual or agency. These documents will not be available to any person who is not involved in the admission process, with the exception of the academic adviser. Copies of transcripts and other relevant academic information will be released to the academic adviser. After the applicant has enrolled at Hood College, she or he may examine the contents of her or his admission folder in the presence of a College officer at a time and date arranged with the Registrar's Office. This policy is in conformity with the amended Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, known as the Buckley Amendment.

Graduate Tuition and Financial Arrangements

Scholarships and Awards

Graduate School Awards

The following awards are granted to selected master's degree candidates at the end of their programs of study.

The Carlo and Valerie Bagni Outstanding Biomedical Science Student Award

The Bryce Blackwood Beau­champ ’84, M.S.’87, MBA’06 Outstanding Computer Science Student Award

The Biomedical Science Faculty Award

The Antoinette Border ’04, M.S.’09 Outstanding Mathematics Education Student Award

The Dr. Dana G. Cable Outstand­ing Thanatology Student Award

The Gary Corsar M.S.’09 Out­standing Information Technology Student Award

The Crespi-Hobby Outstanding Ceramic Arts Student Award

The Frederick W. and Lenora F. Dietzel MBA Student Award

The Doctoral Faculty Outstanding Student Award

The Dr. Keith R. Harris M.S.’99 Outstanding Educational Leader­ship Student Award

The Virginia Wheeler Jones ’66, M.A.’88 Outstanding Reading Specialization Student Award

The Dr. Mary F. Kearney ’96, M.S.’01 Outstanding Bioinformatics Student Award

The Craig D. Lebo M.A.’84 Outstanding Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior Student Award

The Amy Kaufman MacLeod ’08, MBA’11 Outstanding MBA Student Award

The MBA Director's Award

The Donna Mowry ’98, M.A.’07 Thanatology Award

The Jenny E. Nunn M.S.’06 Outstanding Curriculum and Instruction Student Award

The Outstanding Dissertation Award

The Parrott-Anderson Outstanding Counseling Student Award

The William T. and Joanne K. Roos '52 Outstanding Cybersecurity Student Award

The Christopher H. Smith M.S.’95 Outstanding Environmental Biology Student Award

The Lisa Ann Sullivan M.A.’04 Outstanding Humanities Student Award

The Stephen R. White Outstand­ing Management Information Systems Student Award

Graduate School Scholarships

The Association of Medical Diagnostics Manufacturers Scholarship

The Biomedical Science Alumni Graduate Scholarship*

The Ceramic Arts & Technology Scholarship

The Joyce Michaud Endowed Scholarship*

The Dr. Mary F. Kearney '96, M.S.'01 and Dr. Ann L. Boyd STEM Scholarship

The Sally Oros Graduate Counseling-Thanatology Certificate Scholarship

The Ifeoluwa O. Popoola M.S.’16 Scholarship

The Philip S. Renaud II M.S.'83 Scholarship*

*Not currently available for award


Tuition, Fees and Other Charges

2020-2021 Academic Year

Tuition per credit:

 General Cluster  $490   
 Business Cluster      $635
 Science Cluster  $590
 Counseling Program  $710
 Doctor of organizational leadership cohort 2020-2021  $960
 Doctor of business administration cohort 2020-2021  $1090
 *Renewal Not Retirement (RNR) per class  $100
 Audit  $245

*Hood's Renewal Not Retirement (RNR) program offers persons 60 years of age or older the opportunity to audit graduate courses.  Studio and lab courses, practicums and self-directed study courses are not available for audit.  

Comprehensive fee per term:

Non-doctoral: Fall, Spring                      $125
Non-doctoral: Summer $75
Doctoral (Fall/Spring only)
Refer to the Accounting Services website for more information

Tuition Payment Methods and Policies

Refer to the Accounting Services website for information regarding payment methods and policies. 

Financial Aid

Information regarding student loans is available from the Office of Financial Aid, located on the third floor of the Joseph Henry Apple Academic Resource Center. Financial aid representatives can be reached by phone at 301-696-3411 or by email at In order to be eligible for federal loans, a student must be accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate program, take a minimum of 3 credits each semester and be making normal progress toward a degree or certificate from Hood as described below. To apply for a federal loan, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): 

International students, although not eligible for federal loans, may apply for loan assistance from private educational loan programs if they have a credit-worthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Office of Financial Aid.

Some programs offer Graduate Assistant positions to support graduate students. Students can also inquire about this possibility with the appropriate program director and/or through the Graduate School at

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Students are expected to maintain a record of academic achievement that will enable them to graduate in a reasonable time period. Graduate students receiving financial aid of any type (federal, state, institutional and outside scholarships and grants) must demonstrate both qualitatively and quantitatively the ability to do satisfactory academic work and to progress measurably toward a degree. This is in addition to any renewal criteria required for specific state, institutional or other outside awards.

Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor students’ academic progress at the end of each academic year. This is to ensure that students receiving funds are successfully progressing through their program of study. At the end of the spring semester of each academic year, the Office of Financial Aid evaluates the academic progress of each student receiving financial aid according to the standards set forth below by the College. This evaluation determines a student’s eligibility to receive financial assistance in the next academic year.

Graduate programs range from 30 to 60 credits with most programs at the 36-credit level, and a 3.00 cumulative average is required to complete the degree. Students are considered to be making satisfactory progress toward degree completion for financial aid purposes by adhering to the schedule outlined below.


 First/Second  12  2.75
 Third/Fourth  24  3.00
 Fifth/Sixth  36  3.00

The Office of Financial Aid determines the year of standing according to the number of credits earned. (Note: this is separate from the time-to-completion Graduate School policy which allows up to seven years to complete a degree program.) The Office of Financial Aid uses the above schedule for its financial aid purposes.

The maximum time frame in which a graduate student is expected to complete their degree is 150 percent of the published length of the program measured in academic credits. Students will become ineligible for any type of financial aid if the maximum timeframe for completion is not met. For example, if a published length of a graduate academic program is 36 credit hours; the maximum period must not exceed 54 (36 × 150%) attempted credit hours.

Additional Degree / Dual Degree

The maximum time frame in which a student is expected to complete their degree is 150 percent of the published length of the program measured in academic credits for a student pursuing an additional degree or enrolled in a dual degree program.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits and/or credits for prior learning given at the time of enrollment will be counted in the total number of credits attempted. During the course of enrollment, a student may transfer credits earned at outside institutions, however, the credits will apply only for meeting the maximum timeframe standard.

Treatment of W, INC, AU, F, S and U Grades and Repeated Coursework

  • Course withdrawals (W) after the drop/add period are not included in the GPA calculation, but are considered a noncompletion of attempted coursework.
  • Incomplete (INC) grades are not included in the GPA calculation but are considered a noncompletion of attempted coursework until the incomplete grade is replaced with a permanent grade and academic progress can be reevaluated.
  • An audit (AU) grade is not considered attempted coursework. It is not included in the GPA calculation or completion rate determination.
  • A satisfactory (S) grade is treated as attempted credits earned, but it is not included in the GPA calculation.
  • An unsatisfactory (U) grade is treated as attempted credits that are not earned, but it is not included in the GPA calculation.
  • A failing grade (F) is treated as attempted credits not earned; it will be included in the calculation of the GPA and the minimum completion rate.
  • All grades earned for a repeated course will be recorded on the transcript and the highest grade received will be included in the GPA calculation; however, every repeated attempt will be included in the completion rate determination.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students are placed on financial aid suspension if they do not meet one or both of the SAP standards. Students that are failing to make satisfactory academic progress and who successfully appeals will be placed on financial aid probation. Students placed in this status may continue to receive financial aid for one semester but are expected to improve their academic standing (CGPA) and/or maximum timeframe progress so that the standards of SAP are met by the end of the following semester.

Financial Aid Probation

If at the end of the probationary period the student still does not meet the standards set forth in this policy, eligibility to receive financial aid of any type will be suspended. Students who fail to meet the maximum timeframe towards completion of their degree within 150 percent of their attempted credits will have their financial aid canceled.

Reinstatement of Aid after Probation Appeal is Approved

Reinstatement of financial aid after a student is placed on probation is achieved as follows:

  • The student submits a written letter of appeal in accordance with the appeals process and the Financial Aid Appeals Committee grants the appeal. The student is placed on financial aid probation for one semester and is allowed to maintain their aid eligibility. SAP will be reviewed at the end of that semester; or
  • The student attends Hood College during the suspension semester, pays for tuition and fees without the help of student aid and does well enough in the coursework to satisfy all the satisfactory academic progress standards. The student must notify the Office of Financial Aid if they are planning to attend Hood College without the assistance of financial aid; or
  • The student may enroll in summer courses to eliminate the deficiency in credits or GPA The student must notify the Office of Financial Aid if they are planning to take classes during the summer to eliminate the deficiency. Students can only take classes at Hood College and cannot take classes at another institution to resolve a GPA deficiency.

A student whose eligibility has been suspended may regain eligibility at the end of any term after which they meet the above criteria.

Students who have been placed on suspension cannot skip a semester and regain eligibility. No financial aid will be disbursed during subsequent semesters for students on suspension.

Appeals Process

Appeals of financial aid suspension must be made in writing to the Office of Financial Aid by the date specified in the Financial Aid Suspension notification letter.

The appeal letter must address the extenuating circumstance(s) why satisfactory academic progress was not made, why the extenuating circumstance(s) has changed, as well as an outlined plan of corrective action for future academic success. The appeal must explain why the student failed to meet satisfactory academic progress and what has changed in the situation that will allow him to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation. Extenuating circumstances can include, but is not limited to, illness or injury; death of a family member; family difficulties; interpersonal problems with friends, roommates, partners; difficulty balancing work, and family responsibility; or financial difficulties.

The Office of Financial Aid will review the appeal and notify the student in writing within 10 working days whether the appeal has been accepted or denied. If the appeal has been accepted, the letter to the student will detail the academic plan of corrective action as well as require the approval of the student’s academic adviser. All decisions made by the director of financial aid are final and will not be subject to further review.

Veterans’ Educational Benefits

Hood College serves as a liaison/informational resource to veterans by providing Veterans Administration forms and certifying military students for benefits.  Hood College Office of Financial Aid provides services to veterans and dependents of veterans eligible for education benefits. To initiate or continue benefits, veterans must contact the Office of Financial Aid, 301-696-3411, at the beginning of each semester to complete the required paperwork, in compliance with the policies and procedures established by the Office of Financial Aid and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Information and application forms may be obtained from the Office of Financial Aid or via the Hood College Financial Aid web page, under forms.  Educational benefit programs include:

-          Chapter 30, Montgomery GI Bill

-          Chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation

-          Chapter 33, Post-9/11 GI Bill [Forever GI Bill]

-          Chapter 35, Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance

-          Chapter 1606, Selected Reserve


Hood College participates in the Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon GI Educational Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program) is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008.  Participating students remain in the Yellow Ribbon program throughout their enrollment at Hood College and remain eligible or Yellow Ribbon program scholarship as long as each of the following applies:  Hood College continues to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, the students remain in good academic standing, and the students have remaining VA Educational Benefits entitlement.

For information on each of these programs, current payment rates, availability of benefits or approvals call the local Regional VA Office at 1-888-442-4551.



Per Public Law 115-407 (Section 103), veterans who have submitted and been approved for education benefits may enroll in, attend, and participate in courses while payment for those courses is still pending.  

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 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 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 registrar's office at 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 student may appeal the resulting dismissal through the dean of the Graduate School.


Academic Standing and Warning

A student whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) is 3.0 or higher is in good academic standing, which is required for graduation. If a student’s GPA drops below 3.0, he or she will be placed on academic warning. The GPA must be restored to 3.0 within 9 credits completed from the term in which the GPA 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 GPA. However, no more than 3 courses (9 credits) beyond those required for the degree can be used to raise the GPA and all requirements for the program must be completed within the time limitation policy.  If a student is at risk of being academically dismissed, they can request to transfer to another degree program more suitable to their academic background and needs (see Changing from One Degree Program to Another section).  Any credits earned in the original program that will apply to the new program will be calculated in the cumulative GPA.  As part of Hood's Fresh Start policy, grades from the original program that are not applied to the new program, will not be calculated in the cumulative GPA, though they will remain on the transcript for historical purposes.

Academic Dismissal

Dismissal due to Academic Integrity and Student Conduct Violations

A student who has been found 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 and Fresh Start Policy

A student on academic warning who does not restore the GPA 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.  In such cases, students will be required to submit a new application via the online software at  Original transcripts will have to be re-submitted as these documents are shredded after admission into a previous program.  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, the seven-year time limit for degree completion starts anew with enrollment in the new program.  As part of Hood's Fresh Start policy, grades from the program in which the student was dismissed will not be calculated in the cumulative GPA, unless they are part of the 6 credits transferred in as described above. However, all courses from the previous program will remain on the transcript for historical purposes.  A cumulative GPA 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 once they have been approved for admission.

Changing from One Degree Program to Another

A student who wishes to transfer from one degree program to another must submit a Degree 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.

Additional Master's Degree or Certificate

A student who has earned one master’s degree or certificate from Hood College may earn a second master’s degree or certificate upon satisfactory completion of the program requirements in the second graduate degree program. Up to 6 credits may be applied from the first graduate program to the second one, with approval from the program director. If programs share additional course requirements, the student may be exempted from completing the coursework in the second degree program but will have to replace it with appropriate electives subject to the approval of the student’s adviser and program director.  In special cases, a student may transfer additional credits into the program beyond the stated maxima if there are extenuating circumstances, at the discretion of the graduate school dean and program director.  Courses eligible for transfer from the first program must have been completed no earlier than five years from the start of the second program.  See Transfer of Credit section for more information.

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 concentration must be different from the first concentration. Students who complete one graduate program and wish to enroll in another one must apply for admission through the Graduate School.

In all cases of internal transfer credit, coursework completed in one graduate program (certificate or master’s) may only be utilized in one other graduate program, whether taken concurrently or sequentially.  Students may not transfer the same courses to more than one graduate program.

Simultaneous Enrollment in Two Graduate Programs

Graduate students may enroll in and pursue no more than two graduate programs (certificate and/or master’s) simultaneously. Students must complete and submit the Dual Enrollment request form to the Office of the Registrar, for enrollment in two master’s degrees or for adding a master’s degree to existing enrollment in a certificate program.  Students adding a certificate program to an existing master’s program see Enrollment in Related Certificate Programs section.  Additional documentation (i.e. personal statement, CV) may be required for admission to the additional program. The Registrar will consult with the student’s current adviser and director of the second graduate 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.  Pursuit of two graduate degree programs will not be a justifiable excuse for requesting an extension of the time limit for program completion in any one program.

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

  • The student must successfully complete a minimum of 9 credits in their first master's degree program before requesting acceptance into a second master’s degree program;
  • The student must maintain a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 in each degree program. Dismissal from one degree program does not necessarily result in dismissal from the second 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 coursework in the second degree program but will have to replace it with appropriate electives subject to the approval of the student’s adviser and program director.  An exception to this policy includes students who complete a graduate certificate program prior to enrollment in a related master’s degree (see Transfer of Credit Section);
  • 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;
  • The student’s transcript will note both graduate 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;
  • Tuition rates are based on the student’s primary program of enrollment.


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. Students are expected to follow the program requirements in place in the College Catalog at the time of initial enrollment. 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) and Ceramic Arts.  Exams are 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. For interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior, comprehensive examination questions are written by the instructor of each course. For ceramic arts, the questions will address underlying facts and principles, technical and aesthetic, and will consist of a number of essay questions requiring short, concise explanations or definitions.  All students taking the exams should review class syllabi, outlines, prior class exams, notes, as well as any text readings from coursework to be tested.
  • Assembling the Examination. In consultation with the student, the advisor or the program director prepares the comprehensive examination. Ordinarily, the test questions are drawn from one department.  
  • 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 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 advisor 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 form.  In the case of Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior, the student will only be re-tested on the questions they failed. The student also confers with their advisor 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.  The dismissed student may consider pursuing a different degree per the College's Fresh Start Policy

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). A grade of "S" is equivalent to a minimum grade of B (82%) at the graduate level. See Grading System section. 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 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. Thesis courses are split into two 3-credit courses (580A and 580B), which enables the separation of registration and billing.  If students elect to be registered for all 6 credits in one semester, they will be billed for all 6 credits.  

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 final approved thesis, must be uploaded to ProQuest and 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.


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.

If you started during

Your time expires end of

If you started during

Your time expires end of

Fall 2013

May 2020

Fall 2017

May 2024

Spring 2014

December 2020

Spring 2018

December 2024

Fall 2014

May 2021

Fall 2018

May 2025

Spring 2015

December 2021

Spring 2019

December 2025

Fall 2015

May 2022

Fall 2019

May 2026

Spring 2016

December 2022

Spring 2020

December 2026

Fall 2016

May 2023

Fall 2020

May 2027

Spring 2017

December 2023

Spring 2021

December 2027

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 their or project or academic 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 Council Committee on Student Petitions (please refer to the section titled Exceptions to Academic Policies).

Transfer of Credit – Internal and External

A student may transfer a maximum of 6 graduate credits from another Hood graduate program or from an accredited institution prior to the first semester of graduate study.  A student in the M.S. in Counseling or the MFA 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 external doctoral-level work.  In special cases, a student may transfer additional credits into the program beyond the stated maxima if there are extenuating circumstances, at the discretion of the graduate school dean and program director.   Per the below guidelines, transfer credit for work completed elsewhere may be accepted after enrollment at Hood College with the permission of the program director and Office of the Registrar.  External transfer credit does not apply toward the cumulative grade point average, but internal transfer credit does.

Requested transfer credit must meet the following criteria:

  • Courses eligible for transfer (internal or external) must have been completed no earlier than five years from the start of the current 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;
  • Coursework completed in one graduate program (certificate or master’s) may only be utilized in one other graduate program, whether taken concurrently or sequentially.

The procedure to transfer credits is as follows:

  • The student must complete the Graduate Transfer Course Permission form, obtain the required signatures/approvals, and submit to the Office of the Registrar. Syllabi or course descriptions for the requested transfer courses must accompany the form.
  • Upon completion of external coursework, the student must submit an official transcript to the Office of the Registrar to have the approved transfer credits awarded on the Hood transcript. 

Students who completed Hood College certificates in the following areas within five years of enrollment in the related master's program, may apply all certificate credits towards the master's program.  No additional internal transfer credit will be accepted:  

  • Bioinformatics certificate into Bioinformatics (M.S.)
  • Ceramic Arts certificate to Ceramic Arts M.A. or MFA
  • Cybersecurity certificate into Information Technology, Cybersecurity (M.S.), or Computer Science (Cybersecurity certificate courses may only be used once towards one of these master's degrees)
  • Elementary STEM certificate into Curriculum and Instruction (science and mathematics concentration)
  • GIS certificate into Environmental Biology
  • Accounting, Financial Management or Organizational Management certificate into MBA
  • Secondary Mathematics Education certificate into Mathematics Education or Mathematics Instructional Leadership
  • Thanatology certificate into Counseling or Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior


Conferring of Degrees

Degrees and certificates are conferred and awarded in January, May and September. Only students earning master's or doctoral degrees participate in commencement. Students earning master's or doctoral degrees in January participate in the May commencement ceremony. Students earning master's or doctoral degrees in September participate in the May ceremony the following year. Commencement information is available online at, which is updated regularly. Attendance is not required, but all are encouraged to participate. For further information, see the section on Graduation in this chapter.


Students must complete and submit to the Petition to Graduate form to the Office of the Registrar by the established deadlines posted to the College’s academic calendar to ensure they appear as candidates for the graduate date intended. The College, however, reserves the right to confer a degree on a student who has completed all of the requirements for a degree even though the student has not petitioned to graduate; such an individual would then be subject to the College's usual rules and restrictions regarding future enrollment or registration.  In such cases where the College confers a degree for a student who has not petitioned to graduate, the diploma will convey the legal name listed in the student record.

The Office of the Registrar may send notices to students who have completed a minimum of 21 graduate credits (depending on the program) 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 GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.

A list of potential graduates for master’s and doctoral 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 second floor of the Whitaker Campus 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 director of accessibility services (the Student Success Center) as soon as possible. Early notification prevents delay in initiation of services and ensures the student full access to educational activities. The director, 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.


Please note we are unable to process requests for students with a financial aid, library, graduate sexual assault prevention training and/or accounting hold placed on the transcript. Please resolve the hold with the applicable department before placing a transcript order. 

Hood College has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide transcript ordering. This service provides 24/7 access to ordering site; secure transactions; secure electronic transcript delivery worldwide; automatic order updates via mobile text alerts and email; and online order tracking.

All transcript orders may be placed via Self Service (no log-in necessary) or

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 Satisfactory mastery of course content and ability to apply course content concepts. Work indicates a 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, research, field work or software engineering projects:or some special topics coursework; equivalent to a minimum B grade (82%) at the graduate level.
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.
WX Administrative withdrawal due to extensive absences.
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 GPA. requirement for graduation. A student whose GPA is below 3.0 may be dismissed for academic reasons after the academic warning period (see Academic Standing and Warning section).

Grade Point Value Grade Point Value
A 4.00 C+ 2.33
A- 3.67 C 2.00
B+ 3.33 C- 1.67
B 3.00 F 0
B- 2.67 U 0

Grades of W and INC carry no point value and are not considered when calculating the GPA


An incomplete may not be granted unless a student has completed at least half of the work of the course with a passing grade and by permission of the instructor and 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. A course that was taken for credit and successfully passed, may be taken again for audit. 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 for master's level and 675 for doctoral level. 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 (which may be an abstract or syllabus) 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 in any master's degree or certificate program and no more than 8credits for the doctoral 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. If a student takes a leave of absence for two consecutive semesters, they must enroll in the next semester (fall or spring) or be withdrawn from the College. 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, the returning student 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 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 GPA. 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.


  • For face-to-face courses, students must attend the first class meeting of each of their courses.  For online courses, students must participate in the online class as outlined in the syllabus during Week 1 of the semester. Failure to do so or failure to notify the instructor or the Registrar's office of their absence, 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 or participation 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 Self Service throughout the registration period until the day before the semester/term begins. Drop/add requests after the semester begins and during the drop/add period as outlined in the Academic Calendar, must be processed in writing with the Office of the Registrar.  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 (see registration and course withdrawal forms online at

Student Course Load

To be considered full time, a graduate student must pursue 9 hours of credit each fall and spring semester. Students may start or continue their degree in summer semesters.  Three credits of approved graduate coursework are considered full-time enrollment in summer semesters only.  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. Due to the rigorous nature of graduate coursework, students are encouraged to limit enrollment to 9 credits each fall and spring semester, however in programs where appropriate, a student may take 12 credits a semester after consultation with their academic advisor. If a student has outstanding Incomplete (INC) grades from previous terms, those credits may count in the 12 credit maximum allowance.

International students with student visas (F-1) must enroll in nine (9) hours of credit each fall and spring semester to be considered full-time graduate students, unless enrolled in their final semester of coursework and they have a Petition to Graduate on file with the Registrar’s office.  If a student is in their final semester and has completed all degree requirements, except the internship (CPT) course (usually numbered 597), registration in any CPT course satisfies full-time enrollment.  Otherwise, if an F-1 student elects to complete CPT in a semester prior to their final semester, it must be part of the 9-credit minimum enrollment normally required.

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 advisor 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.

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

Student Guidelines for Online and Hybrid Courses

I. Definitions

A. Distance Education: Education that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously.

B. Distance Education Programs follow the U.S. Department of Education definition, whereby all required coursework for program completion is able to be completed via distance education courses.

C. Course Categories:

  1. Traditional Courses have a significant portion of class sessions with the learner(s) and the instructor(s) in the same location. Between 0% ‐ 29% of the content in such courses may be delivered online, but 30% ‐ 100% must be delivered in‐person to fit this category of course.
  2. Hybrid Courses offer 30‐49% of all class sessions online with the remaining portion (70‐51%, respectively) offered in a traditional in‐person classroom. A hybrid course is not an online course.
  3. Online Courses follow the U.S. Department of Education definition, which requires 100% of all content, assessment and course activities to be completed online.


II. Student Requirements and Expectations

  1. The ability of students to succeed in the online environment depends on their ability to understand the class structure and the technology of online content delivery, online interactions, motivation and self‐discipline.
  2. Online courses are part of the student’s regular course load, and they are counted the same as on‐campus courses.
  3. Students enrolling in online courses or programs must have reliable internet access and be able to successfully navigate the LMS and use the required technologies.
  4. In addition to the standard teaching evaluation students complete for all Hood College courses, students are required to complete a few additional questions on the evaluation specific to the online delivery of a given course.

III. Student Integrity and Authentication

  1. Students are issued a unique username and password for access to Hood’s LMS.
  2. Proctored exams requiring the student to be present on campus may only be used in hybrid courses.
  3. Faculty may use other means or technologies to authenticate the work of online students (e.g., proctored exams, special software, web cameras). If a faculty member chooses to use additional means of authenticating the work of online students, the students must be informed in writing at the time of course registration of any actual and/or projected associated costs (e.g., cost of specialized software, estimated cost of web camera). Any projected additional student costs associated with verification of student identity/authentication of online student work must be approved by the graduate dean following a recommendation from the program director.
  4. Students in all courses and programs, regardless of delivery format, must adhere to Hood’s Academic Integrity policy.

IV. Student Privacy: Student privacy in all courses and programs regardless of delivery format is protected as per the Policies and Procedures Relating to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

V. Technical Support

  1. The institution provides online students with reasonable technical support for each educational technology hardware, software, and delivery system required in a program.
  2. Online students will have direct access to telephone and online chat technical support during business hours (9‐5pm EST) and offline (email) support at all other times.
  3. Technical support should be timely and reply to students within a reasonable timeframe, preferably within 24 hours if not sooner.


Withdrawal from Classes and Refunds

Notification of withdrawal must be in writing and must indicate the course number and section. 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 the Graduate Readmission Request form (  Readmission is granted into the same program of original enrollment, under the catalog and program requirements in place at the time of readmission.  Students who wish to be readmitted to a different program must apply through the Graduate School. Students withdrawn from the College due to dismissal must submit a petition for reinstatement to for review by the Graduate Council Sub-Committee on Student Petitions.

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 Council Sub-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.

Graduate Student Conduct

As part of Hood’s mission to prepare students for lives of responsibility and leadership, the Graduate School expects students to maintain a high standard of student conduct. Graduate students are expected to take personal responsibility for their own conduct. Hood College reserves the right to suspend, dismiss or otherwise discipline a student who violates the policies or regulations with respect to student conduct. In addition, the Graduate School may request that a student withdraw for reasons of conduct detrimental to the College community. 

The Graduate School defines disruptive conduct in the following way: 

The disruptive student is one who continues to make unreasonable demands for time and attention from faculty and staff and habitually interferes with the learning environment by disruptive verbal or behavioral expressions, threatens or abuses members of the College community or willfully damages college property. The result is a disruption of academic, administrative, social or recreational activities on campus. 

Students are asked to refrain from behaviors that include, but are not limited to: 

  • Behaviors that disrupt or interfere with teaching, research or other academic activities 
  • Behavior that can lead to physical harm 
  • Physical or verbal threats, intimidation that may interfere with another’s full participation in the life of the College 
  • Conduct that constitutes sexual harassment or any violation of Policy 55 
  • Refusing to comply with directions of school officials, instructors, administrators or staff

A complaint of alleged student misconduct should be filed with the dean of the Graduate School by a member of the faculty, staff or student body. All allegations should be filed in writing within 14 calendar days of the incident with the exception of a violation under Policy 55 (see policy on Hood's Human Resources site). The dean will provide a thorough investigation of the incident and take appropriate action. These sanctions may include: 

  • Warning: written notice to the student that continued and/or repeated incidents/violations may be cause for further disciplinary action (reprimand, dismissal). A permanent record of the incident report will be retained in the student’s file. Additionally, the warning may include referrals to appropriate office for assistance. 
  • Reprimand: written reprimand for the violation of specified conduct or policy including notice to the student that repeated violation may result in further disciplinary action. 
  • Dismissal: termination of student status at the College.



Appeal Process


Within 14 calendar days of receiving notification from the dean concerning the decision, the student may submit a written request to the Graduate Council Subcommittee at for reconsideration. This reconsideration must be based on procedural errors or new information not available at the time the complaint was lodged with the dean. The Graduate Council Subcommittee will then review the sanction and proceedings and report its findings to the student and dean. The student can make a final written appeal of the outcome to the provost within 14 calendar days after receiving the sub-committee’s decision. The student can make a final appeal of the outcome to the provost.


Graduate Academic Programs and Fields of Study