Policies & Procedures

The University of St. Thomas does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance in the employment of faculty or staff, the admission or treatment of students, or in the operation of its educational programs and activities.

Important Note: In the absence of a specific policy noted for graduate English, policies in the University Graduate Policy Book and the Registrar's Graduate Policies webpage shall apply and govern.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Academic Advising

Academic Integrity

Class Policies

Communication

Coursework

Finances

Grades

Graduation

Program Structure

Registration

ACADEMIC ADVISING   

The Graduate Program Director is the designated advisor for all graduate English students. Please contact Dr. Catherine Craft-Fairchild by email (c9craftfairc@stthomas.edu) for an appointment at any time. It is recommended that students consult with her at least two times--once prior to starting the first class and once after completing three courses. This provides an opportunity for mapping and coordinating strategies for completing degree work.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY   

Honesty and trust among students and between students and faculty are essential for a strong, functioning academic community. Consequently, graduate students are expected to do their own work on all academic assignments, projects and research papers. Academic dishonesty, whether cheating, plagiarism, or some other form of dishonest conduct related to academic coursework will automatically result in failure for the work involved. But academic dishonesty could also result in failure for the course and, in the event of a serious breach of integrity (such as plagiarism of any portion of the capstone Master’s Essay) or multiple instances of academic dishonesty, dismissal from the university. Here are the common ways to violate the academic integrity code at the graduate level: 

  • Cheating - Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. The term "academic exercise" includes all forms of work submitted for credit.
  • Fabrication - Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  • Facilitating Academic Dishonesty - Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate a provision of the institutional code of academic integrity.  
  • Plagiarism - The deliberate adoption or reproduction of ideas or words or statements of another person as one's own without acknowledgment. You commit plagiarism whenever you use a source in any way without indicating that you have used it. If you quote anything at all, even a phrase, you must put quotation marks around it, or set it off from your text; if you summarize or paraphrase an author's words, you must clearly indicate where the summary or paraphrase begins and ends; if you use an author's idea, you must say that you are doing so. In every instance, you also must formally acknowledge the written source from which you took the material. (This includes material taken from the World Wide Web and other Internet sources.)

Reprinted from Writing: A College Handbook by James A.W. Heffernan and John E. Lincoln. Used by permission from W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.; copyright 1982 by W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.
Students are encouraged to report incidents of academic dishonesty to course instructors. When academic dishonesty occurs, the following procedures will be followed:

  • The instructor will impose a minimum sanction of failure for the work involved. The instructor also will notify the student and the appropriate academic dean in writing of the nature of the offense and that the minimum sanction has been imposed. The instructor may recommend to the dean that further penalties be imposed. 
If further penalties are imposed, the dean will notify the student immediately and the student will have five working days to respond to the intention to impose additional penalties. The student has the right to respond to the charge of academic dishonesty and may request in writing that the dean review the charge of academic dishonesty as fully as possible. 
If the dean determines that no further sanctions will be applied, the instructor's sanction will stand and the instructor's letter to the dean and student will be placed in the student's file. If no further charges of academic dishonesty involving the student occur during the student's tenure at St. Thomas, the materials will be removed from the file upon graduation.
  • If the student has been involved in a previous incident of academic dishonesty, the dean will convene a hearing, following guidelines listed under "Hearings and Procedures" in the University Graduate Policy Book. During the hearing, all violations of academic integrity will be reviewed. The student and the faculty member charging the most recent incident will be present at the hearing.
  • In either situation, #1 or #2, if the dean determines that further sanctions are warranted, the student will be informed in writing. Among the sanctions considered by the dean are the following: failure for the course in which the incident occurred; suspension from the university for the following semester; expulsion from the university.  The materials relating to the incident, including the instructor's original letter to the student and dean and the dean's decision following the hearing, will become part of the student's file.
  • A student may appeal the dean's decision to the Committee on Discipline. To appeal, the student must send written notice to the chair of the Committee on Discipline within seven days of the date of the dean's letter notifying the student of the penalty. If the chair of the Committee on Discipline receives no written request within the time specified, the penalty shall be imposed and the action shall be considered final. If a written request of appeal is received within the time specified, the hearing procedures of the Committee on Discipline will be followed. The Committee on Discipline shall have the authority to investigate the facts of the particular case that has been appealed and the committee may:
    1.  Affirm the original decision and sanction. 2.  Affirm the original decision and reduce or increase the original sanction. 3.  Reverse the original decision. 4.  Disallow the original decision and order a new hearing by the dean (or designee).

CLASS POLICIES   

Attendance
Graduate students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning and to make appropriate arrangements for assignments and class materials discussed in their absence.  Each instructor maintains individual attendance requirements. Registered students who do not attend the first session of any course without notifying either the Graduate Program Coordinator or the course instructor can be dropped from the course.

Class Schedule and Cancellations
The University of St. Thomas reserves the right to make changes in published class schedules as necessary and to cancel any class that has insufficient enrollment.

Credit Hour Definition
A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates: (1) one hour (50 minutes) of classroom for faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or (2) at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, and other academic work leading toward the award of credit hours.

COMMUNICATION   

Email
All official communication about events, registration, and other important information, such as class cancellation due to severe weather or instructor illness, will be sent to students' University of St. Thomas email address. Students are responsible for checking their UST email accounts regularly. Please note that it is possible to have your UST email account forwarded to a non-UST email account. Information related to the UST email system can be found on the Information and Resource Technologies website.

Mailboxes
Mailboxes are provided for registered graduate English students in the graduate student common room, located in JRC 356.  The English department's newsletter Writing in the Margins, returned student papers, and other important pieces of information are typically distributed via these mailboxes or available for pickup there. Students are responsible for checking their mailboxes regularly; the room is unlocked Monday through Thursday until 9:30pm. 

COURSEWORK   

Academic Load
The majority of students in the M.A. in English program take classes on a part-time basis (i.e. at least one 3-credit course per semester). A maximum full-time academic load is three 3-credit courses per semester.

Course Catalog
All classes Offered are 3 credits; the number of classes offered in any given semester will vary depending on anticipated enrollments. A complete list of potential classes and their descriptions is available in the course catalog.

Courses Taken Outside the M.A. in English Program
With approval of the Graduate Program Director, a total of two literature-based courses (classroom-based, and not online) taken outside the program may be counted toward the Master of Arts degree. Only courses comparable in workload to St. Thomas courses in which the student receives a grade of "B" or better may be counted.  These courses include the following:

  • A course transferred from another graduate program. The process requires an official transcript and may require syllabi, course descriptions or descriptions of work completed for the course(s).
  • A University of St. Thomas undergraduate English course taken for graduate credit. This requires a completed Undergraduate Course for Graduate Credit application form, signed by the instructor. Additional work above the undergraduate standards for the class is expected. Please note: only 300- or 400-level English courses will be considered. 
  • A University of St. Thomas graduate course in Art History or Catholic Studies related to the study of literature.

    Independent Study
    Students may take up to two independent study courses within the graduate English Program. Please note that most instructors will take on an independent study student only if they have had that student in a previous class. In addition, an independent study (GENG 698) does not fulfill a 600-level seminar requirement. The process begins by completing a Independent Study Proposal form along with a 500-word statement describing the nature of the research, the goals of the study, and a bibliography of the texts to be read.  Both the instructor and the Graduate Program Director must approve the proposal for independent study before the student can be registered for the course by the Graduate Program Coordinator. Proposals are due by the end of the semester prior to the semester of study.

    Time Limit for Completing the Program
    Students have seven years to complete the degree after the date of their first course in the program.

    Degree Planning
    GENG 513 Issues in Criticism should be taken as early as possible, since students must complete this course as one of their first three courses in the program. Special permission of the Graduate Program Director to take any additional courses beyond that three-course limit without GENG 513 is required.

    It is also strongly recommended that students take the three area distribution requirements early in the program, to allow for more flexibility later on. 

    Students can check their progress towards fulfilling graduate English course requirements by looking at their student degree evaluation under the student records section of the MURPHY Online website.

    FINANCES   

    Tuition
    Tuition rates are announced during the spring semester for the next academic year, which begins with the summer term. Tuition for the Summer 2014-Spring 2015 academic year is $825.50 per credit, or $2476.50 per three-credit course. Additional costs include books (up to $150 per class) and the required technology fee ($49 for one course, $99 for two or more courses). Optional expenses can include on-campus parking permits and low-cost memberships to the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex.

    Refunds
    Eligibility for receiving a tuition refund after dropping or withdrawing from a course is determined according to the following schedule and is subject to federal regulations regarding Title IV federal financial aid: 

    Through the 14th calendar day of the term 100%
    From the 15th-21st calendar day of the term 80%
    From the 22nd-28th calendar day of the term 60%
    From the 29-35th calendar day of the term 40%
    From the 36th-42nd calendar day of the term 20%
    After the 42nd day of the term 0%


    The effective date of your tuition refund will be the date of your MURPHY transaction to change your registration, or the day you send an official notification of your course drop by email to the Graduate Program Coordinator.

    Fees, which are calculated separately from tuition, will be fully refunded through the 14th calendar day of the term to students who drop courses or withdraw officially.  There is no refund of fees after the 14th calendar day of the term.

    GRADES   

    Grading Criteria
    Course grades are determined by faculty evaluation of a student's level of success in completing course assignments, which are communicated through class syllabi.  

    Grade Requirements
    A GPA of at least 3.0 is required to receive the Master of Arts in English degree; a student at or above this GPA is making satisfactory academic progress towards the degree. Any course earning a grade lower than a "B-" does not count towards the degree and must be taken over, if it is a required course, or replaced by another course, if an elective. The Master's Essay is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.   

    Probation
    All grades will appear on transcripts and be factored into the GPA.  This regulation applies whether or not a course is re-taken for credit.  Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 are placed on academic probation, and then have one semester to bring their GPA back to the minimal level of 3.0.  Students who fail to achieve this level, or who are put on probation a second time, will be dropped from the program. 

    Incomplete Grades
    Students who are unable to complete work in a course due to illness or other unavoidable emergencies may be assigned a grade of "I" (incomplete). Because "incompletes" are reserved for extraordinary circumstances, they require a special application process. A student seeking an incomplete must contact the instructor and secure an Incomplete Grade Application, which should be completed and submitted prior to the end of the semester and will indicate both the time frame and procedures for completing the coursework. Courses must be completed by the end of the regular semester immediately following the semester in which the course was originally offered, or by the date designated by the instructor. Courses that are not completed within that time will be assigned a grade of "F." No grade of incomplete will be granted if one is already pending and no more than two are allowed in the program. Students may not register for the Master's Essay until any incompletes are cleared.

    Grade Reports Grade reports are issued by the Registrar's Office and may be accessed on the MURPHY Online website.  If you need an official grade mailer, please contact the Registrar's Office. Questions about specific grades can be addressed to your instructor. 

    GRADUATION   

    Commencement
    A commencement ceremony is held once a year in May. Degrees will be officially awarded and diplomas mailed out once the academic requirements are met and verified at the end of any term. All graduates who finish their program at the end of any term are invited to participate in the spring graduate commencement ceremony.  Those who complete their degree requirements in the summer term have the option to participate in the May ceremony preceding the summer term. APPLICATION FOR GRADUATION forms will be sent to qualifying students at the beginning of their final semester.  All students are encouraged to attend the commencement ceremony, though it is not required. Caps and gowns are provided by the university at no extra charge. Hoods, which are conferred during the ceremony, may be purchased through the university bookstore or returned to the UST Bookstore after the ceremony. Additional information about the commencement ceremony may be found on the UST commencement website.

    Diplomas
    Diplomas are sent six to eight weeks after completing all degree requirements, including all paperwork and bound Master's Essays are submitted and received. 

    Transcripts
    Official university transcripts are printed on security paper and bear the university seal and the signature of the university registrar.  These transcripts may be mailed directly from the St. Thomas Registrar's Office to employers, higher education institutions, or other organizations or agencies. An official transcript may also be issued directly to the student; in this case, the transcript is stamped "Issued directly to the student" and sealed in a university envelope.

    Official transcripts can be requested for free through the Registrar's Office (Murray-Herrick Center, Room 126) by filling out a Transcript Request Form. Requests should be submitted after course grades have been posted, as the Registrar's Office is unable to hold and follow-up on early requests.

    Unofficial student transcripts can be found using the MURPHY Online website. 

    PROGRAM STRUCTURE   

    Graduate Committee
    The Graduate Committee consists of  five English professors, the Graduate Program Coordinator, and the student representatives.  Convened by the Graduate Program Director, the committee meets to decide admissions, curriculum, program policies, and student issues. 

    Student Representatives
    Two student representatives serve as liaisons between the Graduate Committee, the Graduate Program Director, the Graduate Program Coordinator, and the graduate students of the program. The representatives attend all graduate English committee meetings, with the exception of admission meetings.  The student representatives communicate news and ideas between faculty and students, organize social gatherings, the Master's Essay presentations, and assist with other duties as needed. The graduate student representatives serve a one year term and should expect to average 25 hours of work per semester. Each representative receives a stipend of $300 for the academic year, with half of the stipend disbursed at the end of both fall and spring semester. Applicants must be degree-seeking students and submit a statement of interest to the Graduate Program Director when the call is put out in late spring. 

    Graduate Program Director
    The Graduate Program Director directs all aspects of the M.A. in English program and chairs the Graduate Committee. Dr. Catherine Craft-Fairchild is the current Graduate Program Director and can be contacted at 651-962-5614 or c9craftfairc@stthomas.edu.

    REGISTRATION   

    Students register and drop classes through the MURPHY Online website. Registration dates are announced by email and by special event notices highlighted on the graduate English program web site. Classes are filled using the following tiered registration priority:

    Students with 18-30 credits Monday of registration week at 8am
    Students with 9-17 credits Wednesday of registration week at 8am
    Students with 0-8 credits Friday of registration week at 8am


    Students are encouraged to verify that they have been assigned the appropriate registration time ticket before registration; questions about individual registration status or the registration process can be directed to the Graduate Program Coordinator. 

    If a course has reached capacity, students may check back periodically using the MURPHY system to see if the enrollment status has changed. If space is available and the prerequisite requirements have been met, MURPHY should allow registration on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that class enrollments historically tend to be quite tight just after registration but  often loosen up slightly the week prior to the start of classes, so it would be worthwhile checking back to see if that's happened. The graduate English program does not use a waitlist system.

    Registration holds and other delays will occur if a student's account is not in good standing with the Business Office, which generates and confirms tuition statements. For additional information regarding tuition and payment options, please visit the Business Office website.

    IMPORTANT NOTE

    The University of St. Thomas is registered as a Private Institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.