Academic Policies and Procedures

Academic Calendar

The University follows a semester calendar:

  • 14-week fall semester during the months of September through December. 
  • 4-week January term. During the January term only the master’s software thesis project SEIS 776 and SEIS 777 courses for MS students are offered. Non-graduate credit (CEU) hands-on seminars may be offered during January. 
  • 14-week spring semester during the months of February through May. 
  • 7-week summer session during the months of June through August. Classes meet two nights each week during the summer session.

During the fall and spring semesters, weeknight classes meet one night a week on the St. Paul campus (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday nights, 5:45 – 9:00 pm); and Saturday classes meet every other week 8:30 a.m. –  3:00 p.m.


Academic Integrity Policy (Link to UST University Graduate policy)


Academic Probation

Any student whose cumulative program grade point average (GPA) is below 2.7 will be placed on academic probation. Any grade below a “B-” is regarded as unsatisfactory academic progress in a GPS graduate program.

A student will remain on academic probation until their program GPA meets or exceeds the 2.7 threshold. A student’s third consecutive semester on probation without improvement will require the student meet with the Director of Graduate Programs in Software. During the meeting the student and the Director will discuss the student’s academic performance, their suitability for the program, and possible strategies for improvement. The Director will send a follow up communication after meeting to the student and their academic advisor outlining the results/ strategies/agreements from that meeting.

Students on probation will receive a registration hold.


Attendance Policy
Class attendance is crucial to the learning process because a considerable amount of the course content will be provided as a result of the experience of the instructor. Each instructor will establish the attendance policy appropriate for a course. A guideline for absences for courses meeting once a week is one or two excused absences for the semester. In all instances, students are expected to regularly attend class. The student is responsible for informing the instructor of absences ahead of time and is responsible for meeting assignment deadlines regardless of attendance. Call the GPS office (651-962-5500) should a problem arise. 


Class Recording Permission Form‌ (link to PDF)


Code of Professional Conduct

All UST community members are expected to treat one another with professional courtesy and personal respect.

Although no list completely encompasses all professional behaviors, we offer these guidelines from our experiences in professional schools and the business world. All these are supported by the general expectation of mutual respect and professionalism toward other students, faculty, and community members.

  • You are expected to read all listed materials before class and attend every class session. When you come to class, be prepared to discuss or explain the readings. If you have questions about class materials,be prepared to ask them in an informed professional way. 
  • Students are expected to arrive and be seated prior to the start of each class session, and then are expected to remain in the classroom for the duration of the class session unless an urgent need arises or prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. 
  • Students are expected to use laptops, PDAs, and other electronic devices only with the instructor’s consent and for activities directly related to the class session. Accessing email or the internet during class is not permitted as they can be distracting for peers and faculty. 
  • As is standard practice in the business world, please notify any professor, in advance, of circumstances that either a) prevent you from attending a class meeting, b) will cause you to be late to a class meeting, or c) will cause you to disrupt the class in any way (getting up, leaving, being unprepared, etc.) See syllabus for specific professors’ policies on attendance and lateness; in many cases these infractions will also affect your grade. 
  • Please turn off all cell phones and pagers before classes or other program activities begin. 
  • Avoid “side conversations.” These are conversations other than short quiet clarification questions between students during a class, lecture, or activity. 
  • Assignments are due at the beginning of class for the due date listed. Any late assignment may be graded down. See each syllabus for specific professors’ policies or ask your professor. 
  • Students are expected to help maintain the appearance and the functionality of the building, classrooms, and other facilities.

Should violations of this code occur, UST GPS faculty reserve the right to impose a grade penalty for infractions, and in severe cases, the Director of the Graduate Programs in Software may ask a student to leave the program.



Computing Resources
You are expected to use UST computing resources responsibly and professionally, for academic purposes only.

The Graduate Programs in Software utilizes email as its main mode of communication with students. Therefore, UST GPS students are responsible for the information sent to their UST email account.

Unacceptable Uses of UST Computing Resources
Conduct which constitutes unacceptable use under this Policy includes, but is not limited to:

  • Using university systems or content (including subscribed library electronic databases) for personal gain, for commercial purposes or for partisan political purposes; for example, selling access to a university user ID or to university systems or networks;performing work for profit with university resources in a manner not authorized by the university; or using electronic mail to circulate advertising for products.

Abusing E-mail
The following activities specific to e-mail use are prohibited:

  • Initiating or facilitating in any way mass electronic mailing (e.g., “spamming,” “flooding” or “bombing”) except for purposes of conducting university business, and then only with the advice and consent of Information Technology regarding when and how to send the mail.
  • Reading and responding to personal email messages while in class.


Credit by Examination (Test-Out Option)

Students with substantial work experience in a specific area may be eligible to attempt testing out of a class. Students who have had graduate courses at other institutions but who cannot transfer these courses because the courses only partially fulfill a requirement in this master’s program also may attempt the “test out” procedure. Failed attempts to “test-out” will not be recorded on the student’s transcript. Students testing out of a course will not receive graduate credit for the test-out but course prerequisites and required courses will be waived and the student will have the opportunity to choose an additional elective course. Contact the GPS office (651-962-5500) for examination information. 


Cross-Registration

As part of their degree program, MSS students may use two graduate courses (6 semester credits) from any graduate program at UST. As part of their degree program MS students may use a maximum of four non-GPS graduate courses (12 semester credits including a limit of six transfer credits). All courses for the MS degree must be technical courses. Certificate students may use only GPS courses in their program.

Approval process: Not every course offered by other graduate programs at UST will apply to the MS and MSS GPS degree programs. Before taking a course from another UST graduate program you should verify in writing to the Director of GPS, Dr. Bhabani Misra, bsmisra@stthomas.edu or Assistant Director Doug Stubeda, djstubeda@stthomas.edu that the course you plan to take will apply to your program.


Disability Resources
Classroom accommodations will be provided for qualified students with documented disabilities. http://www.stthomas.edu/enhancementprog/

 


Faculty Shared Protocols and Expectations

  • Faculty are responsible for a set of learning objectives for students that facilitates mastery of the course material.
  • Faculty are responsible for design, integration, and the delivery of curriculum. 
  • Faculty members affirm that it is proper and appropriate to use the entire range of the existing grading system.
  • All classes will include a final exam and/or other method(s) of individual evaluation.
  • Faculty are responsible to students for professional and ethical behavior, to challenge and support students in their learning and career preparation.
  • Faculty members will return assignments in a timely fashion and provide an appropriate level of feedback on graded coursework.

Financial Aid 


Graduate students can apply for financial aid from a variety of sources. Federal, state and private loans may be available as well as grants or other scholarships. Most funding is available to students enrolled as degree-seeking and attending at least half-time (3 credits per semester). To apply for most financial aid programs you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Financial aid is awarded on an annual basis. Applicants must complete new application materials for each year of study.

For more information about loans, grants and scholarships go to the Student Financial Services website, call 651-962-6550, or email financialaid@stthomas.edu.


GRADING POLICIES:

GPA Grade Requirements
A student must maintain a GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale (B-) or higher while in the program. To earn any graduate certificate or master's degree, a student must complete all program requirements with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7. All coursework must be taken for a letter grade.

Grade Reports 

Grade reporting is available each semester through MURPHY On-Line. Please do not call the GPS office for grade results. The GPS staff cannot issue any grades directly to students either in person or on the phone. UST does not mail hard copy grade reports unless a student makes a specific request to the UST registrar (use the link in the Student Records & Account Info in Murphy Online to make request).

Failing Grades

Students who receive a failing grade, “F”, for any course must retake and successfully complete that course to receive credit. A grade of “F” will become a permanent part of the student transcript and is computed into the cumulative grade point average. When that course has been repeated, only the passing grade will be computed into the cumulative grade point average, although the “F” remains on the transcript.

Repeated Courses

Credit towards completion of any graduate program will not be given more than once for the same course. If you choose to repeat a course for which you have already received credit, both courses will appear on your transcript and the best grade will be used in the calculation of your GPA. However, one of the two courses will be disallowed in calculating completion of program requirements.

Assignment and Removal of Incomplete (I) Marks The mark of “I” is used if a student has not completed the work for the course, has completed at least 75% of the coursework, has good reasons for the delay, and has made arrangements with the instructor before the date grades for the course are due to be submitted. Ordinarily, good reasons will involve matters not wholly within the control of the student, such as illness. The mark of “I” is not to be used to allow a student to improve a grade by additional work over and above that ordinarily expected for the course or by repetition of work already submitted to the instructor. Allowing an incomplete (“I”) for a course is the prerogative of the instructor. Students who receive an “I” are advised that they must complete the work by May 1 for the fall semester and the January term, and by December 1 for spring and summer sessions. If the course requirements are not met by the deadline, the incomplete grade becomes a grade of “F”. There are no exceptions to the deadlines. Instructors may change an “F” due to expired incompletes for any reason they deem appropriate. Incomplete project courses are handled on a case by case basis.

Change of Grade

Instructors may change a grade if there has been an error in the computation, transcription, or reporting of the grade. Such changes may not be made on the basis of additional work completed after the date grades for the course are due to be submitted. The change of grade must be reported to the program using the Change of Grade form. 

 


Graduation Information 

Once a student has successfully completed all the courses required for the degree, that student is eligible to graduate. Any student that intends to graduate must submit the Application for Award of Degree form (even if he/she will not be attending commencement). Students who have fulfilled the requirements for a certificate should complete the Application for Award of Certificate form. These forms should be completed and returned to the GPS office as follows based on expected date of completion:

Filing Date Graduation Date
February 15 May (commencement 3rd Saturday of May)
May 31 July (no commencement)
September 22 December (no commencement)
Please note: July and December grads may attend the  commencement ceremony in May. If you plan to attend the commencement in May, you must apply by February 15th.

 

Diplomas and Certificates will be dated according to the following schedule based on completion of all academic requirements.

Requirements Completed Degree Date
February 1 - June 30 May
July 1 - September 30 July
October 1 - January 31 December

 

Students will be notified if graduation requirements have not been met. The university assumes no obligation to include in the graduation program those candidates who failed to comply with this procedure. Diplomas and certificates are issued from the Registrar’s office (651-962-6700) approximately 6-8 weeks after graduation. Degrees are posted to transcripts approximately four weeks after the end of the term (mid-January, mid-June, mid-September).


 

GPS Student Handbook - Policies (PDF file) 

 


Health Insurance
Beginning August 1, 2007, all graduate students registered for 9 or more credits will be required to enter their health insurance information through UST's Murphy Online. This site will provide you with the UST-Sponsored health insurance information and the ability to purchase the health insurance plan online. 

 


Immunization Requirements
Minnesota state law requires that all students demonstrate immunity to tetanus-diphtheria (TD), and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Enter your required immunization information online through Murphy Online. Please view the Student Health Services website or call 651-962-6750 for more information.

 


Inclement Weather
The decision to close the university will be made by 6:00 a.m. if at all possible. The university has designated WCCO Radio (AM 830) as the official closing notification station. WCCO is a clear channel station and as such can be received by all radio listeners in the Twin Cities metro area. Several television stations are also notified of the closing information. Please do not call Campus Security to find out if classes are cancelled. When the university is officially closed, all classes are cancelled and all administrative offices are closed for the day. On occasion, the inclement weather subsides as the day progresses. On these occasions, evening classes and activities may continue as scheduled if announced on WCCO Radio. The decision will be made no later than 3:00 p.m. You may also call (651) 962-SNOW.

 


Independent Study
Independent study provides an opportunity for students to receive one-to-one instruction and guidance while pursuing a subject of special interest. To register for independent study, you need to prepare a description of the project to be pursued through independent study, obtain the approval of the project from the instructor who will supervise the independent study, obtain permission of the GPS Director and then register by mail.

 


Make-Up Exams
Attendance at all examinations is required. However, if a student must miss class on an exam night due to an emergency or unavoidable conflict, the student should communicate in advance with the instructor the reasons that necessitate the rescheduling of the exam. Make-up exams are the prerogative of the instructor for the course.

If the instructor allows a student to take a make-up exam, the instructor will inform the GPS office of the arrangements made and provide the GPS office with a copy of the exam. The student must then either call or e-mail the GPS office to make an appointment to take the exam at the GPS office following the instructor's guidelines. Make-up exams are scheduled during the regular office hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 


Policy on Changes in Rules and Practices for GPS Programs
UST reserves the right to change any rule or practice pertaining to any aspect of its operation, including graduation requirements, grading, and good academic standing. It is possible that rules or practices described in GPS publications have been changed since they were published. For up-to-date information on the rules and practices contact the GPS Director. 


Records Privacy Policy Notification of Rights as Required by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended (FERPA)

Revision of 8/01/02, by the University Registrar: The University of St. Thomas is required to annually provide this notice by any means that are reasonably likely to inform those who have rights under the Act. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.

These rights include:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access. Students should submit to the university registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the registrar, the registrar will advise the student of the official to whom the request should be addressed.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the university to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the university registrar, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Some of the exceptions authorized by the law are set out below.

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S.Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of St.Thomas to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

The university also advises students that:

1. The university may deny access to the following classes of records: Financial information submitted by parents; confidential letters or recommendations placed in the file prior to January 1, 1975; confidential letters or recommendations to which the student has waived rights of inspection; private records of instructors, counselors, or administrators kept for their own use; alumni records which contain only directory information and information collected after the student has left the university; and medical,psychiatric, psychological or similar records.

2. The university may disclose educational records without written consent of students to the following:

• personnel within the university who maintain educational records and those with a legitimate educational interest, including faculty or staff who deal with the student and carry out education studies, and employees designated by them to assist in these tasks. The University of St. Thomas defines “legitimate educational interest” as “needs the record(s) to carry out employment responsibilities.” Therefore, any university employee, or person acting on behalf of the university, may have access to student records without the student’s written consent if that person needs the access to carry out his/her employment responsibilities;

• officials of other colleges or universities in which the student seeks to enroll,with a notice of the disclosure being sent to the student’s last known address;

• organizations conducting studies approved by the university having educational value or concerning financial aid;

• accrediting organizations approved by the university carrying out their accrediting functions;

• parents who submit to the registrar a copy of the first page of their most recent federal income tax form, indicating that their child/student is a dependent as defined by the internal revenue service;

• persons in compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena, with a notice of the disclosure being sent to the last known address of the student;

• persons in an emergency if, in the judgment of an official in charge of the records, knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other person.

3. Directory information may be released without the written consent of the student, unless the student specifies to the contrary as described below. Directory information includes student name, address, e-mail address, photographs, telephone number,class year, current schedule of classes, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards, current membership in clubs or fraternities, participation in activities and sports with weight and height of team members, high school and other colleges attended, parent’s names and address.

4. Students may refuse disclosure of one or more categories of directory information by filling out the appropriate form in the registrar’s office within one week after the beginning of the fall semester of each academic year (or the semester in which the student registers). Students may not choose individual items to be withheld or released but may choose the category to which the item belongs.

5. When personally identifiable information other than directory information is released, a notice will be given that the recipients are not permitted to disclose the information to unauthorized persons without written consent of the student. University personnel will be informed annually of this restriction and their responsibilities under this Act so that individual notices will not be required.

To withhold certain categories of directory information from the public, the student must file a form available in the office of the registrar and at within one week from the beginning of the fall semester (or the semester in which the student enters). The order for with holding will remain in effect until the student rescinds it in writing.

 


Religious Holidays

Consistent with our commitment of creating an academic community that is respectful of and welcoming to persons of differing backgrounds, we believe that every reasonable effort should be made to allow members of the university community to observe their religious holidays without jeopardizing the fulfillment of their academic obligations.

In particular, we believe that: 

  • Faculty should provide course syllabi at the beginning of each term that specify dates of exams and due dates of assignments. Every effort should be made to avoid scheduling exams on religious holidays. It is the responsibility of students to review these syllabi as soon as they are distributed and to consult the faculty member promptly regarding any possible conflicts. Upon the timely request of students, faculty members should, whenever possible, reschedule exams and assignment deadlines that fall on religious holidays.
  • Students should not be penalized for class absences because of religious holidays and, therefore, should notify the faculty member of conflicts due to religious holidays well in advance of any anticipated absence. If asked, the student should provide accurate information about the obligations entailed in the observance of that particular holiday.
  • Faculty should be permitted to reschedule class meetings that conflict with their observance of a religious holiday, assuring that appropriate advance notice is provided. 

 

Sexual Assault Response (link to UST policy)


Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures (link to UST policy)


Skill-Building - Foundation Courses

Skill-building course offerings and courses taken to eliminate deficiencies are non-graduate credit courses. The College of Business Graduate Programs, 651-962-4200, offers skill building courses in reading, writing and mathematics. If a student has a weak computer science background, he/she may select undergraduate computer science courses at UST or other schools in the twin cities area, or elect to complete the Certificate in Information Systems. For more information about these options, call the GPS office at 651-962-5500 or contact us at gradsoftware@stthomas.edu.

 


Student Photo ID Cards
Students will need a University of St. Thomas photo identification card to use the university libraries, UST shuttle bus between Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, gymnasium/athletic facilities, and computer labs. ID cards can be obtained from The Card office, room 259 Murray-Herrick Campus Center, 651-962-6069. Note to current students: If you are asked by a UST official to show your UST ID and cannot, you may be asked to leave the campus and to return with your ID. Please carry your UST ID card with you at all times when you are on campus.

 


Transcripts (Accessing Academic Records)
Official transcript requests must be made in person or by mail to the Registrar, room 106 Aquinas Hall. Transcripts will not be issued to students whose accounts are delinquent. There is a minimal fee for each official transcript request.

 


Transferring Course Credit (only MS in SE or MS in SM programs are eligible)

Transfer of non-University of St. Thomas (UST) graduate courses you would like to count toward your GPS Master of Science in software engineering (MS in SE) or GPS Master of Science in software management (MS in SM) degree. 

  • A maximum of two graduate courses (six semester credits) will be accepted as transfer credits from non-UST graduate programs for either GPS MS program (MS in SE or MS in SM). 
  • Non-UST graduate courses are not transferable into the MSS degree. 
  • Undergraduate courses may not be transferred as credit toward a GPS graduate degree.

 

Approval process: To have a non UST course(s) count toward the MS degree, a student must have an official transcript sent from the previous institution(s) directly to the GPS office and also submit a request in writing to the Director of GPS, Dr. Bhabani Misra, bsmisra@stthomas.edu or Assistant Director, Doug Stubeda, djstubeda@stthomas.edu requesting the transfer of the course(s) including a course description and if possible the syllabus from the course. Students will be notified in writing of the decision regarding transfer credits. Accepted transfer credits will reduce the number of electives required for the degree.

 


Tuition Payment Plans and Refunds
Students are sent a Student Payment Agreement and Disclosure Statement when they are accepted into the program. This document contains the official explanation of terms of payment, credit, finance charges and other financial information.

A completed and signed copy of this form must be returned to the GPS office before a student registers. Once a student has filed this form, it is not necessary to file it again during subsequent semesters unless a change in the manner of payment is desired or after an absence of more than one year. Questions regarding payments need to be directed to Business Office 651-962-6600. Payment of all charges to a student’s account for a semester must be made in accordance with the signed Payment Agreement.

There are two payment options available:

Extended Payment Plan. This form needs to be completed and signed before registration can be completed. Under this plan, a student elects to make payments over the term of the semester. A finance charge of 1.1% per month (13.2% annual percentage rate) is assessed on the monthly unpaid balance.

End-of-Term Payment Plan. This plan is available to students that do not receive financial aid, and whose employer reimburses him/her for at least 50% of the tuition for the corresponding term. Under this plan, no tuition payment is required until the end of the semester. The student will incur a 1.1% finance charge each month on the unpaid balance throughout the semester.

Tuition and fee information is included with the registration materials sent to students before each semester. Registered students will receive a monthly statement indicating the balance and any finance charges due on their account. Tuition payments due within a specific month always will be specified on the monthly statement in the section titled, Minimum Payment. Students who are satisfied with a canceled check as a receipt should use the envelope enclosed in their monthly statements to pay tuition. Students who need a receipt should make payment in person at the business office on the St. Paul campus and should bring their monthly statement with them. Please call the Business Office (651-962-6600) directly with questions about statements.

Once classes begin, liability for the full semester is incurred. Tuition refunds are calculated according to the date the GPS office receives the notice to drop or withdraw from a course. Tuition refund dates are calculated from the first day of the semester. Refund dates for each semester and the January and summer terms are published in GPS and UST web sites and in the registration materials sent to students. NOTE: There is no refund of finance charges.

 


Veteran’s Educational Benefits
The University of St. Thomas GPS program is fully approved for veteran’s educational benefits. Once the initial paperwork has been submitted by an incoming veteran, subsequent enrollment certification is automatically handled by the GPS office. During fall and spring semester, a veteran taking six credits receives full-time benefits, while three credits constitute half-time benefits. For more information view http://www.stthomas.edu/registrar/student/veterans/

 


Wait List Policy
Students will be able to wait list themselves online for courses that are full at time of registration. The wait list is established on a first-come, first-served basis. As spots become available, the Graduate Programs in Software Assistant Director will contact the first student on the wait list, and will continue to move down the wait list until he finds a student who wants the available spot. Students will be notified via their UST email accounts if a spot does become available, and will have a certain period of time to respond. If the GPS Assistant Director receives a negative or no response, the spot will be offered to the next student on the wait list. Students may not attend the first night of class unless registered for the course. Students may not request special permission from course instructors for registration in a specific course.


Withdrawal from a Class
The mark of “W” is assigned to a course from which a student withdraws after the tenth day of classes but before the deadline for withdrawing as outlined in the registration materials and the GPS web site. (For summer session and January term the time frame is shorter.) A grade of “F” will appear on the transcript for students withdrawing after this deadline.


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