Academic Guidelines and Graduate School Policies 2011-2012
Western Illinois University is dedicated to the discovery and communication of knowledge. The University can best function and accomplish its objectives in an atmosphere where high ethical standards prevail. For this reason, and to insure that the academic work of all students will be fairly evaluated, the University strongly condemns academic dishonesty. Please refer to the complete policy at wiu.edu/policies/acintegrity.php.
The passing grades in graduate courses are A, B, C, and S (satisfactory). Courses with the grades of D, F, U (unsatisfactory), I (incomplete), W (withdrawal), X (audit), or XU (unsatisfactory audit) cannot be used to satisfy any of the requirements of a graduate degree. Students may not enroll in graduate courses on a pass/fail basis. Grade points are determined by equating the grade for each semester hour as follows: A with 4, B with 3, C with 2, D with 1, and F with 0. The average is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of graduate credits attempted. Hours for grades of S and U are not considered in calculating a GPA. (Grades of S and U are only awarded in a limited number of courses; courses for which S and U grades apply are noted in departmental course offerings.) An audited course may not be repeated for credit. Courses taken for undergraduate credit may not be repeated for graduate credit.
Admission to candidacy for a degree and the awarding of such a degree depends upon the maintenance of a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) or higher in all graduate work attempted. No substitutions may be made on the degree plan for courses in which the student earns grades below B. No course for which a student has received a grade of C or better may be repeated for credit unless the course is more than six years old. No course for which a student has received a grade of D or below may be used to satisfy degree requirements.
A course may not be used to satisfy the requirements of more than one degree unless the student is enrolled in an integrated baccalaureate/master’s degree program.
A graduate degree will not be awarded to a student who earns grades of C, D, F or U in more than six semester hours of graduate-level work in a program requiring 30 to 46 semester hours, or more than nine semester hours of such work in a program which requires 47 or more hours with the exception of the Counseling program which allows no more than 6 semester hours of grades lower than C. With the approval of the departmental graduate committee, courses that are outdated, (more than six years old), will not be counted against the maximum allowable hours of grades of C or lower once an extension of time has been granted.
Admission to candidacy in a doctoral program occurs when a student has completed all of the requirements for the degree up to and including qualifying assessment; the student is said to be a candidate for the doctoral degree at this time.
After at least nine semester hours of graduate work at the University have been completed and before the completion of 15 semester hours, the student must file the Graduate Degree Plan. Graduate Degree Plans can be obtained from the School of Graduate Studies or online at wiu.edu/grad. The completed degree plan should be filed with the chair of the departmental graduate committee who will then forward the document for approval to the School of Graduate Studies.
Once a student's Graduate Degree Plan has been approved by the graduate school, changes in the degree program can only be made by petition. Petition forms may be obtained in the School of Graduate Studies or online at wiu.edu/grad and, upon completion, submitted to that office. A student who re-enters the University after an absence of three or more years, excluding summer sessions, must re-submit his or her Graduate Degree Plan based on the current catalog unless permission is obtained from the dean of the college in which he or she is enrolled and from the School of Graduate Studies to use the original Graduate Degree Plan.
Master’s and Specialist
After at least nine semester hours of graduate work at the University have been completed and before the completion of 15 semester hours, the student must apply for candidacy for the graduate degree. Application forms, titled Graduate Degree Plan, can be obtained from the School of Graduate Studies or online at wiu.edu/grad. The completed Graduate Degree Plan should be filed with the chair of the departmental graduate committee who will then forward the application for approval to the School of Graduate Studies. All academic deficiencies must be removed before the student is admitted to candidacy and the student must have at least a 3.0 grade point average on all graduate coursework. Approval of the degree plan signifies admission to degree candidacy.
In determining the student's qualifications for candidacy, the graduate school may: (a) approve the application, (b) defer action until certain specified requirements are met, or (c) refuse the applicant's request.
Once a student's Graduate Degree Plan has been approved by the graduate school, changes in this degree program can only be made by petition. Petition forms may be obtained in the School of Graduate Studies or online at wiu.edu/grad and, upon completion, submitted to that office. A student who re-enters the University after an absence of three or more years, excluding summer sessions, must re-submit his or her Graduate Degree Plan based on the current catalog unless permission is obtained from the dean of the college in which he or she is enrolled and from the School of Graduate Studies to use the original Graduate Degree Plan.
All students must file a formal application for graduation. Deadlines for submitting the application for graduation are as follows: Spring Semester, March 10; Summer Session, June 10; and Fall Semester, October 10. Applications received after these dates will be automatically moved to the next semester. Application forms can be found at wiu.edu/grad.
Degrees are conferred in December, May, and August. Commencement ceremonies are held in May (Macomb and Quad Cities campuses) and December (Macomb campus only). Students wishing to attend commencement must indicate this on the application for graduation. All students completing graduation requirements will be issued a diploma.
A student who re-enters the University after an absence of three or more years, excluding summer sessions, must meet the requirements of the current catalog unless he or she receives written approval from the dean of the college in which he or she is enrolled to continue under an earlier catalog. This written permission must be filed in the Office of Graduate Studies prior to the submission of a Graduate Degree Plan.
When an error has been made in computing the student's final grade, the reported grade may be changed by the instructor. The student may initiate the procedure for the change by contacting the instructor. The change should be reported to the School of Graduate Studies no later than the end of the third week of the next semester. The form for requesting a change of grade can be obtained from the department chair. The department chair and academic dean countersign the form for information purposes only and forward it to the School of Graduate Studies. After the change of grade has been approved by the School of Graduate Studies, copies will be sent to the Office of the Registrar.
Prerequisite: a course that must be completed prior to enrollment in a particular course. Prerequisite may also refer to acceptable class standing, prior academic standing, permission of instructor, departmentally determined competencies, or other departmental requirements.
Corequisite: a course that must be taken simultaneously with another course.
Note: It is the responsibility of the student to comply with the prerequisites/corequisites as stated in the University catalog and course syllabus for all courses he/she plans to take. Instructors may withdraw a student who does not meet course prerequisites/corequisites at any time from course registration through the 100 percent refund/credit period by sending the student written notification (e-mail or letter) with a copy to the Registrar. The written notification must include the reason why the student is being withdrawn from the course and must allow the student five working days to respond to the instructor to determine if the prerequisites/corequisites have been or will be satisfied. After the five working days, unless otherwise notified by the instructor, the Registrar will drop the course from the student’s schedule and send an updated schedule confirmation. Departments have the opportunity to designate specific course sections as having enforced prerequisites. During registration, these courses will be identified on STARS and students who do not meet the requirements will be deleted prior to the first day of class.
Courses numbered 500 and above are graduate courses. Only those advanced undergraduate courses on the 400-level listed in this catalog may be taken for graduate credit. In order for graduate credit to be earned for these 400-level courses, work in addition to that which is done for undergraduate credit must be completed. No more than one-half of the semester hours counted for the graduate degree may be earned in courses below the 500 level.
Specific credit requirements for the completion of degrees are listed under each graduate program description. Hours earned in courses taken to satisfy deficiencies in the undergraduate program are not counted toward the total degree requirements.
Following each course title in the ensuing pages, the number in parentheses represents the credit allotment for the course in terms of semester hours.
Western Illinois University offers students and faculty the opportunity to explore experiments in learning which lie outside the existing traditional curriculum structure. Faculty may propose new and innovative courses (475G/675) for presentation to students on a trial basis. The appropriate department chairperson should be contacted for additional information about experimental courses. Course content taken under experimental course numbers (475G/675) may not be repeated. No more than six semester hours of credit earned in a combination of 475G and 675 may be used in any graduate degree program.
Overseas Study 679, a course available to all departments, facilitates the registration and tracking of students who enroll for study outside the U.S. Prerequisites for this course are approval of the study abroad coordinator and the department chairperson. No more than six semester hours of Overseas Study 679 may be applied to a graduate degree.
Only doctoral students are eligible to enroll in courses numbered 700 and above
A transcript of a student's record received by WIU from another university or college will not be forwarded to a third institution. The student should request another transcript from the original institution.
Admission test scores for the GRE, GMAT, and MAT are not forwarded to another university. The student should request test scores directly from Educational Testing Service (GRE or GMAT) or Pearson Education Incorporated (MAT).
Each candidate for a graduate degree may be required to take a final oral and/or written examination. It may be required by the department or departments involved (see the relevant departmental section), or by the Graduate Council in special cases.
If the examining committee decides that the student has failed to pass the written and/or oral examination, it makes one of three possible decisions: (a) the candidate should not receive the graduate degree, (b) the candidate should be required to take additional courses before appearing for re-examination, or (c) the candidate should be re-examined after an interval of at least three months.
Full-time enrollment is nine semester hours of credit during any regular semester (fall or spring) or six semester hours of credit during the summer term. The maximum load for a graduate student during any regular semester (fall or spring) is 15 semester hours or nine semester hours during the summer term. Exceptions may be permitted by the School of Graduate Studies.
The purpose of the grade appeal policy is to ensure that grades represent a fair and consistent evaluation of student performance.
A graduate student who believes he/she was unjustly evaluated in a course must discuss the matter privately with the professor involved by the end of the second week of the regular semester (Fall or Spring) following the term in which the student received the grade in question. Grade appeal hearings are normally heard during the Fall/Spring semesters unless all parties agree to an earlier hearing. In the event the student is unable to contact the professor by the beginning of the third week of the regular semester, the student should contact the department chairperson in order to set up a meeting with the faculty member (or to meet with the department chairperson if the faculty member is no longer on campus). The complete grade appeal process can be found at wiu.edu/policies/gradeapp.php.
Each department offering graduate work as a field of specialization has a graduate committee. Shortly after the student has been admitted to the School of Graduate Studies, and prior to his or her first registration, the student must consult the chair of his or her graduate committee or assigned academic adviser. Graduate committees have general supervision over the work of their department's degree students. Until the departmental graduate committee assigns the student to an adviser, the committee assumes responsibility for the student's general orientation and program of study.
Illinois state law and University policy require all enrolled students to provide written evidence, signed by a healthcare provider, of current immune status with respect to certain communicable diseases. Currently, the diseases to which all students must show immunity are measles, rubella, mumps, tetanus, and diphtheria. This policy is a requirement on the Macomb campus. Failure to comply with this policy will result in a processing fee being assessed and a hold on future registration.
A temporary grade of “I” (incomplete) indicates that the student has been unable to complete coursework due to circumstances beyond his or her control. A request for an incomplete grade at the graduate level may be approved at the discretion of the faculty member. Students failing to complete the required coursework within one year will receive a grade of “F.” Faculty members may approve an extension of time for the incomplete. Some academic departments have automatically extended their capstone/exit option courses (i.e. thesis, applied project, etc.) and students should contact their academic adviser to identify courses with automatic extensions already in place. Completion of a graduate degree will not be allowed with incomplete grades posted Fall 2006 or after on the transcript.
An integrated baccalaureate and master’s degree program provides the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates to earn both degrees in five years. Typically, a baccalaureate degree requires four years to complete and a master’s degree requires an additional two years. However, the integrated degree programs are intended to be accomplished over a period of five years. In addition to allowing students to earn both degrees a year early, the integrated program may include additional opportunities to participate in a variety of experiential educational activities such as a master’s project or thesis.
Please go to Integrated Programs for details and program offerings.
Western Illinois University, in full compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, shall make educational records available to students upon request. Likewise, in accordance with the law, individually identifiable educational records will not be released to other than authorized individuals without written consent of the student. Students have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with 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 registrar, dean, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official 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 University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct 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 official responsible for the record, 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. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, or other service provider such as the National Student Clearinghouse or Credentials, Inc.); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the University may disclose education records without consent to another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements by FERPA.
Western Illinois University considers the following categories to be directory information, and, as such, may release it to any or all inquirers in such forms as news releases, directories, or computer address lists: the student’s name; school and home address; WIU email address; telephone number; major field of study; dates of attendance; full- or part-time status; classification; degrees, honors and awards received (including dean’s list) and date granted; anticipated graduation date; most recent previous educational agency or institution attended; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; and, for members of athletic teams, weight and height.
Students who do not wish this information to be released may prevent such release by submitting an Exclusion of Directory Information Form to the Registrar. The request for exclusion of directory information will be honored indefinitely, however, it does not affect directory information already published or released. By requesting exclusion of directory information, students should be aware that all future requests for this information by anyone other than school officials with legitimate educational interests will be refused.
Students who have complaints concerning the oral English proficiency of faculty providing classroom instruction should contact the department chair or the immediate supervisor of the appropriate faculty member. The complaint should be as specific as possible and should include a written summary.
All complaints shall be investigated by the department chair including, but not limited to, classroom visitation. If the department chair finds the faculty member's oral English proficiency is satisfactory, he/she will notify the student.
Students may appeal the department chair's satisfactory evaluation of oral English proficiency to the appropriate dean who shall investigate the complaint. If the dean finds the faculty member's oral English proficiency is satisfactory, the dean will so notify the student. In the event of such a finding, the decision of the dean will be final.
If the department chair or dean finds the faculty member's oral English proficiency is unsatisfactory, a recommendation will be submitted to the academic vice president for consideration. The academic vice president will notify the student and the faculty member of his/her decision.
At all levels of this procedure, the student's identity will remain confidential.
Western Illinois University offers post-baccalaureate certificates in several disciplines. Please go to the post-baccalaureate certificates page for details and program offerings.
Courses may not be repeated for credit unless the catalog course description specifies that the course is repeatable. This is not to be confused with retaking a previously passed course.
Any research that involves human subjects, whether funded or not, that is undertaken by WIU faculty, academic staff or students or supported by Western Illinois University, must be reviewed by the WIU Institutional Review Board (IRB). Prior to collecting any data from human subjects for research purposes or soliciting subjects for a research study, approval must be granted by the IRB.
A research protocol MUST be reviewed by the IRB under these guidelines if it meets the following criteria: 1) it involves human beings as subjects (this includes surveys and interviews); 2) it is research as defined by University guidelines; and 3) the intention to publish or disseminate results OR the POSSIBILITY of publishing or disseminating results exists. If a project meets these criteria, the protocol must be reviewed and must receive an exemption or approval through the expedited or full board review process. Additional information can be found atwiu.edu/sponsored_projects/compliance/index.php.
To be considered a resident, an adult student must be a bona fide resident of Illinois. In the case of adult students who reside with their parent(s), the student will be considered a resident if one of the parents has established and is maintaining a bona fide residence in Illinois.
Students residing in Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin will be assessed the in-state rate for tuition.
This policy is reviewed annually and is subject to change without notice. For the complete policy, refer to the Residency Status Regulations at wiu.edu/board_of_trustees/regulations/residency.php.
A student may repeat any credit course in which a failing grade (F) was received. Both the failing grade and the grade earned by repeating the course will appear on the transcript and will be used to calculate the student's grade point average.
If a student decides that his/her mastery of a previously passed course will be improved by retaking the course, he or she may do so subject to the following conditions:
1. All grades received for each course retaken will appear separately on the transcript in addition to the original grade.
2. No honor points or credit toward graduation may be received for retaking a previously passed course.
3. Tuition and fees must be paid for all courses retaken.
4. The student must properly register to retake a course during registration or preregistration.
Previously passed courses are those for which any of the following grades have been received: A, B, C, D, or S. If a course graded S is retaken, the second grade (assuming successful completion) will also be an S since only S and U grades can be given for such courses. For all other previously passed courses, the grade on the transcript will reflect what the student has achieved by taking the course a second time.
Graduate students have the right to appeal the implementation of any University regulation that relates to admission, academic standards, assistantships, or graduation by submitting a petition form (wiu.edu/graduate_studies/current_students/forms/petition.pdf) to the Graduate Council. Such appeals must be based upon the existence of unusual or extenuating circumstances that have prevented the student from achieving the normal University standard, and evidence of these unusual or extenuating circumstances must be presented with the appeal. Such appeals must be submitted to the Graduate School. The appeal process can be found at wiu.edu/grad.
Students are responsible for knowing degree requirements and enrolling in courses that will enable them to complete their degree programs. It is also their responsibility to know the University regulations for the standard of work required to continue in the graduate school. Degree requirements are presented in this publication. Additional details about requirements and procedures are available from the School of Graduate Studies or at wiu.edu/grad.
The thesis committee shall be comprised of a minimum of three departmental faculty, of which one shall serve as chair. The chair must be a full member of the graduate faculty. Other committee members must be full or associate members of the graduate faculty. Additional graduate faculty can be added to the committee per departmental policy.
The dissertation committee composition is defined by each individual doctoral program. Contact the appropriate departmental chair/program director to determine membership rules for dissertation committees.
WIU theses and dissertations reflect on the student, the department, and the University. Thus, it is in all our interests that they are of the highest quality and format. Format, style, method of presenting bibliographies, etc., vary among departments depending on the subject matter and field of the thesis/dissertation. In spite of the differences, however, some uniformity is expected in all theses/dissertations submitted. Guidelines for thesis/dissertation preparation can be found at wiu.edu/graduate_studies/thesis_and_dissertation/.
The original thesis/dissertation will be permanently housed in the University Archives and cataloged so that it will be available to researchers. A copy of the thesis will be available via interlibrary loan upon request.
Dissertations must be submitted electronically at www.etdadmin.com/wnill. Deadline for submission is the Friday before finals week. Dissertations submitted after this date will be considered for the next semester.
Theses may be submitted electronically at www.etdadmin.com/wnill or non-electronically directly to the WIU Library, however, the Graduate Council and School of Graduate Studies strongly encourages electronic submissions. Electronic submissions of theses will become required beginning Fall 2012. Deadline for submission of theses is the Friday before finals week. Theses submitted after this date will be considered for the next semester. More information can be found at wiu.edu/graduate_studies/thesis_and_dissertation/.
The work required for a graduate degree must be completed within six consecutive calendar years for master’s and specialist students and eight consecutive calendar years for doctoral students, including transfer courses. Students may petition the Graduate Council for an extension of time for outdated courses. Evidence must show that such courses have been revalidated by examination or some other means as determined by the department. Transfer courses must be revalidated by instructors from the credit-granting institution. Graduate courses with grades of C or lower may not be revalidated. With the approval of the departmental graduate committee, courses which are outdated (more than six years old for master’s and specialist degrees or more than eight years old for doctoral degrees) will not be included in the calculation of grade point average once an extension of time has been granted.
Transfer credits are approved by the School of Graduate Studies or the Graduate Council only after the degree plan has been approved. Petitions for transfer of graduate credit must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, and official transcripts recording the transfer courses must be sent directly from the registrar of that institution to the School of Graduate Studies. No course credit may be transferred unless the grade received was at least a B.
If approved by his or her department, a student may transfer a maximum of six semester hours of approved graduate credit from an accredited institution in a 30-hour degree program or nine semester hours in a degree program requiring 32 or more semester hours. Students may petition to the Graduate Council, with the approval of the adviser and the departmental graduate committee, for additional hours to be accepted from other accredited institutions.
Under certain circumstances, an undergraduate student may enroll in graduate-level courses for either graduate or undergraduate credit. Regulations governing graduate course offerings for undergraduate credit are as follows:
1. The student must be of senior classification and in good academic standing.
2. The student must apply to take the course for undergraduate credit through the Office of the Registrar, Sherman 110, prior to enrolling in the course. A form, requiring the signatures of the adviser and the registrar, must be completed by the student.
3. The student must satisfy the prerequisites of the course.
4. No more than nine semester hours of graduate-level courses (numbered 500 and above) may be taken for undergraduate credit.
5. These courses may not be used for a future graduate program unless approved as a bridge course for integrated degree programs.
Regulations governing graduate course offerings for graduate credit are as follows:
1. The student must be of senior classification.
2. The student must fulfill prerequisites of the course.
3. The student must apply to take the course for graduate credit through the Office of the Registrar, Sherman 110. A form, requiring the signatures of designated authorities in the offices of the Registrar and Graduate Studies, must be completed by the student. The application form must be filed in the Graduate School prior to enrolling in the course.
4. The student must file a graduation application in the Office of the Registrar and an application for admission to the School of Graduates Studies prior to enrolling in graduate-level courses for graduate credit.
5. The student must have a grade point average of 3.00 or better if a first-semester senior and must meet admission requirements to graduate school if a second-semester senior.
6. The student may enroll in a maximum of three graduate-level courses for graduate credit unless an exception is made by the designated authority in the Graduate Studies Office.
Regulations regarding bridge course offerings for integrated degree programs are as follows:
1. The student must be of senior classification and have filed an application for graduation in the Office of the Registrar.
2. The student must have fulfilled all prerequisites for the course.
3. The student must have applied to the School of Graduate Studies and have been accepted into an integrated degree program.
4. A form must be completed by the student. This form requires the signatures of the undergraduate academic adviser, the graduate department chairperson, and designated authorities in the offices of the Registrar and Graduates Studies.
5. The completed form must be filed in the Office of Graduate Studies prior to enrolling in the course for bridge (“B”) credit.
Courses with a variable credit designation, (e.g., Music 599, Seminar in Music [1–3, repeatable to 6]), may be taken for a different number of credit hours. Students should consult the course instructor or the department offering the course to determine the number of semester hours for which they may register. A variable credit course cannot be taken again unless it is clearly designated as repeatable.
A symbol of “W” on a student transcript indicates official withdrawal from a course. A student may withdraw from a course during the first ten weeks of a semester. After the first ten weeks, individual courses may not be dropped. For academic courses of an irregular length, the withdrawal date shall be 0.6 of the length of the course. Once final examinations have begun, a student may not withdraw from that term except for exceptional and documented reasons.
It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from a class using their STARS account. Any request for a late withdrawal must be submitted in writing with appropriate supporting documentation to the Graduate Council.
The full policy may be found online at wiu.edu/policies/withdraw.php.
Table of Contents
- General Information
- Campus and Facilities
- University Services
- Special Programs
- Academic Guidelines
- Graduate School Policies
- Costs and Financial Assistance
- Programs of Study
- Integrated Baccalaureate/Master's Degrees
- Post-Baccalaureate Certificates
- Other Departments Offering Courses for Graduate Credit