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Policies and Policy Links

In addition to policies governing all Opus College of Business graduate students, the Graduate Certificates Program has established the following policies that are specific to the program:

Policies last updated 7/8/13.

Academic Honors

Graduates of the Part-time Flex MBA program with exceptional academic records are recognized each year by invitation to join the University of St. Thomas chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honors society for business students. Like other top business schools, the OCB graduate programs do not maintain an official class ranking for any individual student. 


Regular attendance of class sessions is expected of all students. Part-time Flex MBA students should miss no more than six class hours for each traditional format course during a term. Students should not miss any on-campus classes in a blended format course. Any absence may negatively affect a student’s grade.

If a student must miss class, it is his or her responsibility to inform the instructor before the class meets. Students are still expected to meet all assignment deadlines.

In all cases, individual instructors may use their discretion to modify the attendance policy based on their teaching objectives, grading structure and course methodology. It is expected that all students will respect the decision of the instructor.

Course Credit Load Limits

Part-time Flex MBA students may register for up to 6.0 credits (two courses) on their own via MURPHY Online. Students are welcome to take more than six credits if their schedule and other responsibilities will allow. Contact your program adviser to discuss your situation, and she can help with registration.

Course Waivers

Up to 12 credits may be waived through approved prior business coursework, MBA core course waiver examinations, and/or certain professional credentials (appropriate documentation required). Academic credit is not awarded for any waived course, nor will the course appear on St. Thomas academic transcripts; however, the total number of credits required for the degree can be reduced. Business Ethics (BETH601) and Organizational Behavior (MGMT600) may not be waived.

  • Students who have passed the CPA exam may be waived from ACCT601, ACCT605 and BLAW600.
  • Students who are Certified Management Accountants (CMA) may be waived from ACCT601 and ACCT605.
  • Students who have successfully completed at least one year of law school may be waived from BLAW600.
  • Students who are APICS-CPIM certified may be waived from OPMT610. 
  • All Part-time Flex MBA students are eligible to take waiver exams for all MBA core courses except MGMT 600, BETH601 and OPMT610.

Students with prior academic coursework that meets the following criteria may be waived from eligible core courses:

  • Completion of at least two undergraduate courses OR one graduate level course covering the corresponding St. Thomas MBA core course material. 
    (One undergraduate course in managerial accounting may be sufficient to waive ACCT605.)
  • The most recent of the undergraduate courses was taken within the past five years, and a second course within seven years.
  • A grade of B or better (3.0 grade points or higher) was earned in any course considered for a course waiver.
  • Course(s) must have been taken at an AACSB-accredited institution (graduate/undergraduate) or an approved regionally-accredited institution (undergraduate). 

Acceptance of a core course waiver implies the student accepts the responsibility for having the essential knowledge and understanding of the core course material, and is properly prepared for any future core or elective course for which the waived course was a prerequisite. Academic credit is not awarded for any waived course, nor will the course appear on academic transcripts. 

Degree Requirements

The Part-time Flex MBA standard degree plan requires 51 total credits, of which a minimum of 39 credits must be completed with coursework from the Opus College of Business. See Course Waivers (above) for more information impacting individual degree plan requirements.

Dropping a Course

A student may drop a registered course at any time during the term. The student will not receive any mark on her transcript and the course will be completely removed from the transcript if the drop occurs prior to:

1. The 14th day of the fall/spring/summer term (Note: During the summer, BCOM classes must be dropped by the 5th day of the term.  They have two summer terms.)
2. The 7th day of the J-term

If the drop occurs after these dates, a “W” will appear on the student’s transcript for the registered course. The student must drop a class before the 2nd to last class meeting to avoid receiving an “F.” If the student drops all classes by mid-term, a Leave of Absence must be requested.

Please review the tuition refund policy below, as well as the specific refund schedule for the current term, to understand the financial implications of dropping a course during the term.  

Leave of Absence

Part-time Flex MBA students are expected to be enrolled during the fall and spring terms. If a student does not enroll in any courses for a fall or spring term, she must request to take a leave of absence (LOA) from the program. The student is considered an "active" degree candidate during the leave, and must still complete her program within seven calendar years of her initial enrollment. The LOA does not extend this timeline for completion.
LOA requests should be received before the first day of class of any semester during which the student wishes to take a leave. Submit the completed, signed LOA request form to your program adviser, who will contact you to review your degree requirements, future enrollment plans, and plan to complete their program.  Should emergency circumstances require a student to seek a leave of absence during a semester, the student shall request the permission of the program director. The student’s record will show a “W” in each course undertaken during that semester. 
Students are allowed two consecutive terms of leave. If a third consecutive term is requested, or excessive non-consecutive leaves are taken, withdrawal from the program may be recommended. The student is welcome to request reactivation once circumstances again allow for active pursuit of her MBA, but she must still complete the program within seven years of initial enrollment.
Students who fail to request an approved LOA and do not register for courses will receive an unapproved leave of absence. Two consecutive semesters of unapproved/undocumented leave will constitute automatic withdrawal from the program.

Reactivation for Inactive Students

If a prior Part-time Flex MBA student wishes to resumes his studies, he must request reactivation through the program director, who will review the original admission file and student record, and determine if additional admission requirements will be required. The returning student will be held to the current admissions standards and program curriculum.

For more information, see the Returning Students page.


Registration takes place twice per year. Registration initially opens for the J-term and spring semesters in the fall (typically early November), and for the summer and fall terms in the spring (typically in March).  Registration for a term remains open until the first day of that term.

Approximately two weeks before registration opens, students will receive an email notification with the specific date and time that registration access in MURPHY Online will open for them. In order to register, students must be active students with no holds on their student record/account.

Review information in Black Board regarding the registration process, and contact your program adviser with any questions. 

Semester Credit Definition

All courses in the Part-time Flex MBA program are three semester credit courses, requiring 42 total contact hours during the term.

The Evening MBA program delivers those class hours differently during each of the four terms:

  • J-term – four weeks during the month of January. Courses typically meet on four weekends, about three hours on Friday nights and about eight hours on Saturday.
  • Spring term - 14 weeks from February to May. Classes typically meet three hours each week.
  • Summer term - 10 weeks from June – early-August. Classes typically meet 4¼ hours each week.
  • Fall term - 14 weeks from September to mid-December. Classes typically meet three hours each week.

Tuition Refunds

Refund policies/schedules described in this section apply to fall and spring semesters only. Consult the academic calendar posted on the Student Life Blackboard site for refund dates for J-term and summer term. All refunds will be applied directly to the student’s account.

A. Tuition

Refunds to students who drop courses or withdraw from the university during a term are made according to the following schedule (subject to Federal Regulations regarding Title IV 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% 

For courses that begin at mid-semester, the above schedule applies from the first day of the class.

The effective date of refund is the date the student reports to their program advisor to drop a course or to withdraw officially.

B. Withdrawal Because of Illness

In the case of prolonged illness that requires the student’s withdrawal from the university, refunds or credits for tuition are prorated on a weekly basis from the date of official withdrawal. The student must provide a statement from the attending physician as evidence of the condition. Tuition is not refunded or credited for courses completed.

Waiver Exams

OCB graduate programs do not offer credit by exam. If a student passes the waiver exam, the class is waived from the degree requirements and the credits are reduced from the overall 51.0 credits required to complete the degree.

The Part-time Flex MBA program offers waiver exams for the following core courses:

  • Financial Accounting, ACCT 601
  • Managerial Accounting, ACCT 605
  • Legal Environment of Business, BLAW 600
  • Statistical Methods for Decision Making, OPMT 600
  • Financial Management, FINC 600
  • Economics of Organization and Management, GBEC 600
  • Marketing Management, MKTG 600

Students may sit for a waiver exam only once. All tests are multiple-choice or true/false question format. Exams results are delivered as “Pass/Fail;” scores are not provided. 

Academic credit is NOT awarded, nor does the waived course appear on the transcript. The total number of credits required for the degree is reduced.

Withdrawal From Program

A student may, upon written notification to his program adviser, withdraw from the Part-time Flex MBA program and preserve his eligibility for readmission.

  1. After a student’s written request for withdrawal from the St. Thomas MBA program, the student’s permanent record will show a “W” (withdrawal) for each course in which he is registered. “W” carries no academic penalty.
  2. A student who withdraws without notifying his program adviser in writing will receive an “F” in each course in which he was registered that semester.
  3. Tuition charges will be prorated according to the time of the withdrawal.
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