Jul 16, 2019  
Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 2017-2018 
Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG] See drop-down menu above to access other catalogs.

Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures


  • Program and Course Requirements, Registration
    Change of Program or Concentration
    Comprehensive Examination
    Course Drops and Adds
    Course Load
    Course Registration
    Credit Hour Definition
    Directed Study or Independent Study
    Graduate and Undergraduate Credit
    Program and Course Prerequisites
    Program Enrollment and Reinstatement
    Repeat Course Policy
    Statute of Limitations
    Withdrawal from Courses
    Withdrawal from the University
  • Student Responsibilities
    Change of Name and/or Address
    Financial Aid
    Holds on Student Records
  • Transfer Credit

Academic Integrity Policy

Institutions of higher education are dedicated to the pursuit of truth. In this pursuit, academic honesty is of fundamental importance. Bridgewater State University faculty, students, administrators and staff all have a responsibility to demonstrate and safeguard academic integrity as one of the university’s most essential institutional values.

When students, faculty, administrators and staff follow and support academic integrity values, teaching and learning can proceed in an environment of trust and respect. When such standards are violated, teaching and learning are impaired. Therefore, the best interests of the university community require that cases of alleged violations of academic integrity be addressed seriously and equitably.

Students are admitted to Bridgewater State University with the expectation that they will accept and abide by the standards of conduct and scholarship established by the faculty, administration and student governing boards. The university reserves the right to require students to withdraw who do not maintain acceptable academic standing. The university also reserves the right to dismiss, with due process, students who do not meet the requirements of conduct and order or whose behavior is inconsistent with the standards of the university.

The full policy and process may be found at Academic Integrity Policy .

Academic Standing

The minimum standard for satisfactory work is a 3.0 overall grade point average (GPA). Graduate students must make satisfactory progress toward completion of their degree programs within the university’s statute of limitations. All graduate program requirements, including all exit requirements must be completed within six years of the date of the student’s first course in the program.

Students who are not making such progress are subject to separation from their programs. Students who are placed on academic probation or academic review/dismissal are notified by letter with copies to their advisor and graduate program coordinator. Students should be aware that eligibility for some sources of financial aid, graduate assistantships/fellowships, and health insurance may be affected.

Academic Probation

Any graduate student whose overall grade point average (GPA) falls below 3.0 will be notified that they are on academic probation. When graduate students are placed on academic probation, they will receive a letter from the College of Graduate Studies with copies to their advisors and graduate program coordinators. This letter informs students that they should be mindful that their GPA has fallen below a 3.0. Students should discuss the matter and possible strategies for improvement with their advisors.

Academic Review/Dismissal 

If a student’s overall GPA remains below a 3.0 for two consecutive semesters, their academic progress is in jeopardy. The student is subject to academic review by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies and the graduate program coordinator. It is at this time the decision is made whether to have the student remain on probation or be academically dismissed. The College of Graduate Studies makes every attempt not to dismiss students from academic programs, though prolonged GPAs below 3.0 may result in academic dismissal. Students who wish to take courses in the future must reapply to the College of Graduate Studies.

Admission/Readmission following Academic Dismissal

Students who have been academically dismissed are not permitted to register for a course until after one semester has passed following the dismissal. If the student wishes to be readmitted into the same program, they must submit a letter of appeal to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies and the graduate program coordinator.

Students who have been academically dismissed have the option to apply for admission into another graduate program. If a student is accepted into a new program, the grades and credits earned in the previous degree program from which the student was dismissed will be included in the calculation of the grade point average and in the determination of academic standing in the new program. Therefore, the student’s transcript will include all graduate-level courses completed at BSU, regardless of the current program of study.


Change of Advisor

Students seeking to change their advisor must complete the Change of Advisor form available from the College of Graduate Studies intranet site.

Graduate Advising

Graduate students who are pursuing a degree or certificate are assigned to an advisor in the student’s area of study. Students should work closely with their advisor in selecting courses and reviewing degree requirements. Students’ academic and professional backgrounds and objectives are considered during the planning and development of a coherent program of graduate study.

All non-degree students should consult with department’s program coordinator for course advisement.


Graduate students, who experience problems pertaining to graduate policies, including academic performance, program requirements or other academic issues, may petition to have the matter considered through the established review process of the College of Graduate Studies.

  • Submit a written appeal to the course instructor if the issue is course-related or to the academic advisor if the matter is program-related.
  • If unresolved, submit a written appeal to the department graduate program coordinator.
  • If unresolved, submit a written appeal to the appropriate college dean.
  • If unresolved, submit a written appeal to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
  • If the student elects to continue the appeal, the student may submit a petition to the Graduate Education Council (GEC) via a written request to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The petition will be reviewed by the GEC at the next regularly scheduled meeting. (The GEC consists of representatives from the university’s graduate faculty, administrators and graduate student body.)
  • The student and the Registrar’s Office will be notified of the decision via email by the Chair of the GEC.

Attendance Policy

One of the cornerstones of BSU’s educational mission is the promotion of student engagement with faculty to improve the quality, depth and breadth of learning. Regular communication between students and faculty is crucial to achieving that goal.

Students are responsible for satisfactory attendance in each course for which they are registered. Satisfactory attendance shall be determined by the instructor within the context of this policy statement. The approval of excused absences and the assignment of make-up work are the prerogative of the course instructor. The university’s health service does not make judgments about whether a student can attend class except in rare cases when attendance would be harmful to the student’s health or the health of others. In general, students will be excused without penalty for reasons such as illness, participation in official university events, personal emergencies and religious holidays. Students should consult with faculty members in advance of any absence whenever feasible.

NOTE: If a student fails to attend the first three class hours of a course, the instructor has the option of dropping the student from the course. 

Class or Work Absence for Religious Observances

Bridgewater State University requires that faculty and staff excuse any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in any examination, study, or work requirement because of religious observance. This requirement comes from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 151C, Section 2B which states:

“Any student in an educational or vocational training institution, other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section.”

Faculty can ascertain the dates of many religious holidays by consulting an interfaith calendar when planning their course syllabi. Such information is available to students as well and may be found at www.interfaith-calendar.org or at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Office of Religious and Spiritual Life Interfaith Calendar website.

It should be noted that these calendars are not exhaustive. 

Students are required to notify instructors in advance that they will miss class in order to observe a religious holiday. They must do so in writing as early in the semester as possible, but no later than one week in advance of the absence, with the exception of holidays falling during the first week of the academic year. Students must also coordinate with their faculty on how to receive the critical information that is shared in the missed class (e.g., go to the faculty’s next office hours to discuss what happened, arranging to get notes from a classmate).

Faculty must accept a student’s assertion of the need to be absent from class for religious reasons.  Massachusetts state law requires faculty to offer make-up assignments or exams that are held on religious holidays to any student who is absent for religious observance. 

In the event of a dispute between an undergraduate student and a faculty member about the attendance policy, either party should contact the appropriate department chairperson. If the issue cannot be resolved by the department chairperson, either party should consult with the appropriate dean.

In the event of a dispute between a graduate student and a faculty member about the attendance policy, either party should follow the established Graduate Appeals process.

Attendance and Census Process

Additionally, per federal government guidelines (34 CFR 668.22), the university tracks and reports students who have stopped attending class and who have not officially withdrawn. In so doing, the last date of attendance or participation, as reported by the instructor, will be used as the course withdrawal date, and a symbol of “WA” (withdrawn due to lack of attendance) will be applied to a student’s record. Students are notified in writing of this change in their registration status and have an opportunity to correct it, if it is an error, or to officially withdraw from the class. It is important to note that the “WA” status can be changed to a letter grade, including “F”, by the instructor. To ensure an official withdrawal (“W”) status, students must formally withdraw from the courses or the university in accordance with university policy.

Students are expected to take responsibility and officially withdraw from any course which they do not plan to complete. Refunds are determined by the length of the course and the date of withdrawal. Students should meet with a representative from the Students Accounts office to determine if any refund is available.

Grades, Grading System

Change of Grade

If students believe that a mistake was made in the original grade recorded for a course, they may petition the instructor for a change of grade no later than the last day of final exams of the following academic semester (not including summer sessions) in which the grade was recorded. A change of grade will not be considered after this time.

Grading System

The College of Graduate Studies requires that degree-seeking graduate students maintain a high level of academic standing as they advance in their degree programs. The grading system for graduate students at Bridgewater State University is different from that of the undergraduate programs. Graduate course achievement will be rated A (4.0), A- (3.7), B+ (3.3), B (3.0), B- (2.7), C+ (2.3), C (2.0), C- (1.7), F (0),W (Withdrawn), IN (Incomplete), or AU (Audit). Some courses are graded on a P (Pass)/N (No Pass) basis. Refer to the Course Descriptions  section in this catalog.

This grading system puts more pressure on graduate students to perform at a higher level than undergraduate students. Though graduate students may earn less than a “B” in a course, the overall GPA must be a 3.0 at the time of graduation.

Some departments have additional grade requirements. Students should confer with their advisor and/or program coordinator for further information.

Incomplete Course Work

An incomplete (IN/INC/IN.) may be given at the discretion of the instructor. The time by which missing work must be completed is also at the discretion of the instructor; however, this time period should not extend beyond the last day of classes of the academic semester following that in which the incomplete was earned. Courses that are not successfully completed by this deadline will automatically be changed to a grade of “F” (Failure) or “N” (No Pass). Candidates for graduation should note, however, that all work must be completed prior to graduation, including resolution of any grades of incomplete, since as of the date the degree is conferred the record is finalized.

To request an extension of an incomplete, students must contact their professor. If an extension is approved, the faculty member should contact the college dean of the course via email, who in turn notifies the Registrar’s Office and the College of Graduate Studies of the approval.


Graduation Application

Students who are nearing the completion of their graduate program requirements and who plan to receive a master’s degree or Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in December, May or August should complete an Application to Graduate. A copy of their degree audit must be included and must be approved by the student’s advisor and graduate program coordinator. The application is then submitted with the candidates’ degree audit with all program requirements shown as “complete” or “in progress” to the College of Graduate Studies on or before the appropriate application deadline. Students should check with their advisors regarding exit requirements for their academic program, as requirements vary for each program.


February 1 For May graduation
June 1 For August graduation
October 1 For December graduation

Failure to file an application before the deadline may postpone degree conferral. Any questions regarding graduate commencement and requirements should be directed to the graduation coordinator in the College of Graduate Studies at 508.531.1100 or visit the Graduation Central website.

Graduation Dates

Although graduate students have an annual commencement ceremony in May, the university has three graduation dates (December, May and August). Students graduating in December and August are encouraged to participate in the May commencement ceremony. In order to participate in the graduate commencement ceremony, all required course work and exit requirements must be completed.

Graduation Requirements

In order for students to complete a graduate degree program, they must satisfactorily complete all requirements (with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0). See the Academic Programs  section of this catalog for graduation requirements of individual programs.

Please note: diplomas and transcripts will not be released unless all outstanding financial balances have been paid in full.

For additional information concerning graduation see the Graduation Central website.

Holds on Student Records

A hold may be placed on a student record for a variety of reasons: incomplete submission of required documents, outstanding balance, etc. The hold may prohibit registration, viewing grades, obtaining transcripts or receiving a diploma, depending on the type of hold. Students may view the type of hold on their account by logging into InfoBear, clicking on the Student Records link under the Student tab, and then then clicking on View Holds.

Program and Course Requirements, Registration


A student may audit (AU) a course to gain knowledge in a particular subject area without earning credit or a grade. Students auditing a course attend and participate in classes; however, they are exempt from examinations. The course is automatically designated “AU” and becomes part of the student’s permanent academic record. Audited courses will not be used to fulfill degree or graduation requirements. Students must submit a completed Course Audit Request form before the close of the drop/add period. Forms are available at the Registrar’s Office. Approval must be received from the instructor and advisor and/or program coordinator.

Change of Program or Concentration

Students who wish to declare or change a specific program or concentration can do so by completing the form available on the College of Graduate Studies intranet page. Students looking to change to a new program will need to submit a new application online at www.bridgew.edu/apply.

Comprehensive Examination

In most graduate programs, graduate students must take comprehensive examinations that reflect the full range of their programs. The comprehensive examination is based upon the student’s major area of study, as well as related areas, and may include work done on a thesis. Students must give evidence that they can integrate information and ideas from the various areas in which they have studied. The comprehensive examination may be written, oral and/or Web-based, as determined by the student’s department.

To be eligible for a comprehensive examination, students should be near completion of the course work specified by their major academic departments. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA or satisfactory academic standing or progress to sit for the examination.

Students who plan to take the comprehensive examination must file a request form found on the College of Graduate Studies intranet website. There is a nonrefundable comprehensive examination fee of $60 for master’s degree candidates and $75 for CAGS candidates charged to the student’s account.

Ordinarily, comprehensive examinations are given during the months of November and March/April. The academic departments set the specific date of the comprehensive examination. The completed forms with necessary signatures must be filed in the College of Graduate Studies on or before the appropriate application deadlines:

October 1 For November comprehensive examinations
February 1 For March/April comprehensive examinations

All students who take the comprehensive examination will receive their results by mail in a timely fashion.

Students who fail the comprehensive examination shall be given one additional opportunity to pass. Students should meet immediately with their faculty advisor or designated personnel to review the outcomes. Prescribed programs of study should be designed to help students prepare for the second examination. After students have made substantial progress in the additional work prescribed by the department, students will be allowed to retake the comprehensive examination and will be required to reapply. Students who fail a second comprehensive examination are subject to academic dismissal.

Course Drops and Adds

The Drop/Add schedule is as follows

  • The Drop/Add period for 15-week semester courses ends after the sixth weekday of the semester.
  • The Drop/Add period for seven-week quarter courses ends after the third weekday of the quarter.
  • The Drop/Add period for five-week summer courses ends after the third weekday of the session.
  • The Drop/Add period for 10-week summer courses ends after the fifth weekday of the session.
  • The Drop/Add period for non-regular courses ends one weekday after the first class meeting. However, students cannot add intensive – e.g., weekend or one-week – courses after the first class meeting.

No adds or drops will be permitted after these deadlines. Students may drop and add classes online through InfoBear. Alternatively, drop/add forms are available at the Registrar’s Office or at its website during the drop/add period. It is advisable that students discuss changes in their schedule with their advisor or program coordinator.

If students fail to drop courses appropriately, a grade of “F” will be entered on their academic record. This grade will be used in computing the GPA.

A student needing to request a late drop due to unforeseen circumstances must provide written approval from the instructor and program coordinator before appealing in writing to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Please see Financial Aid for information regarding how schedule changes may impact financial aid.

Course Load

Full-time graduate study for master’s degree and CAGS students is defined as being enrolled in nine or more graduate credits in a given semester. To be considered full-time, postbaccalaureate program students may be required to carry a course load of at least 12 credits each semester. The Advanced Postbaccalaureate (APB) program follows the same rules as the master’s degree and CAGS students.

Full-time graduate students may register for up to 15 credits during both the fall and spring semesters and up to 15 credits during the two summer sessions. Students wishing to register for more than the maximum credit load must receive permission in writing from their graduate advisor, the graduate program coordinator, and the College of Graduate Studies dean.

Note: Courses scheduled between the fall and spring semester (intersession courses) are considered part of the spring semester course load for graduate students. Please see Financial Aid for information regarding how schedule decisions may impact financial aid.

Course Registration

Prior to the registration period for the fall and spring semesters and summer sessions, students should refer to their degree audits which are available through InfoBear to ensure compliance with the graduate degree requirements. Graduate students are not required to have registration forms signed by their advisors; however, graduate students should consult their advisors on a regular basis regarding their course schedules. Degree-seeking graduate students who register online will be billed for their tuition and fees by the Office of Student Accounts.

Graduate course work is offered on either a full- or part-time basis. Students should realize that it is not always possible to set an absolute deadline for completing a graduate program due to such factors as the university’s right to cancel any course for which there is insufficient enrollment and the need of the departments to offer courses on a rotating basis. The university and academic departments, however, make every effort to schedule courses in a timely manner.

Credit Hour Definition

A graduate academic credit hour is equivalent to one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of three hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks of each semester. Therefore, a three credit class has an expectation of approximately three hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of nine hours of out-of-class student work over that same time period. An equivalent amount of engagement is required for laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, web-based courses and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Directed Study or Independent Study

Matriculated graduate students are permitted to undertake a directed study or independent study under the supervision of a faculty member. Enrollment in directed study or independent study requires arrangements to be made prior to the time of registration with all forms completed and on file at the appropriate departmental office. Registration forms specific to directed study or independent study may be found at the Registrar’s Office website.

The course Directed Study XXXX 503 (1-3 credits) and XXXX 603 (3 credits) are designed for graduate students who desire to study selected topics in their fields. Directed study may not be used to substitute for courses that are required in the program or to study topics that are covered in required or elective courses in the program. Enrollment in directed study is limited to students who have been accepted into a graduate program at BSU and who have completed a minimum of 15 approved graduate credits.

An independent study is designed for graduate students who must complete a specific BSU course as part of their program requirements. Students will work independently to fulfill all course requirements as outlined in the BSU catalog and as specified by the faculty supervisor.

Graduate and Undergraduate Credit

Courses at Bridgewater State University with 500- and 600-level numbers carry graduate credit and are typically open only to graduate students.

Undergraduate students may request to enroll in a 500-level course for graduate credit, or they may request that the course be applied to their undergraduate program. Approval is based upon the following criteria:

  • Students must be seniors in their last semester of course work
  • Students’ GPAs must be a 3.5 or higher
  • Students’ written requests must be approved by the chair of the students’ major departments, academic dean and the dean of the College of Graduate Studies

If a student takes a graduate level course and it is applied toward an undergraduate degree, the course will always be considered an undergraduate level course. Please see Financial Aid  guidelines.

Certain designated 400-level courses may be taken for either graduate or undergraduate credit. The College of Graduate Studies guidelines for faculty teaching these courses indicate that advanced work must be required of graduate students taking 400-level courses. The guidelines recommend more rigorous examinations and preparation of longer, more sophisticated research papers, so that graduate students may take into account the different quantitative and qualitative standards associated with graduate study.

Program and Course Prerequisites

Program and course prerequisites may be required to ensure adequate preparation for graduate work in the area of study. In certain cases, program prerequisites may be fulfilled after the applicant’s acceptance by the College of Graduate Studies. Certain advanced graduate courses may require that students have completed specific prerequisite courses within the area of study.

Program Enrollment and Reinstatement

While graduate students are required to be continually enrolled in order to maintain active student status, we realize that unexpected situations sometimes require taking an academic absence at some point in their graduate career. Previously enrolled graduate students who have not enrolled in a course at Bridgewater State University for one academic year or longer (i.e., three consecutive terms inclusive of summer session) are required to submit an application for reinstatement and be formally reinstated by the College of Graduate Studies. A student who has not been enrolled for at least six years must reapply to the program.

Repeat Course Policy

The College of Graduate Studies will allow graduate students, with advisor and program coordinator approval, to repeat only one graduate course for which they have received a grade of “B-” or less. Although all courses and grades will appear on the student’s transcript, credit for the course will be awarded only once unless otherwise stated in the university catalog. The repeated grade will replace the prior grade in the students’ GPA regardless of which grade is higher. Only courses taken at Bridgewater State University and repeated at Bridgewater will be eligible for use under this policy. Students are required to complete the Course Repeat Request form which can be found on the College of Graduate Studies intranet site.

If a course(s) has been denied acceptance through the Petition to Accept Courses Beyond the Statute of Limitations, approval to repeat the course(s) must be obtained from the student’s advisor. The repeated grade will replace the prior grade in the students’ GPA regardless of which grade is higher. Only courses taken at Bridgewater State University and repeated at Bridgewater will be eligible for use under this policy.

Notes: Repeating courses taken in a previous semester may affect certain federal and state benefits, various financial aid programs, loans, scholarships, graduate assistantships/fellowships, and social security benefits, in addition to athletic eligibility and veteran’s benefits. Satisfactory academic progress requirements must be met for continued financial aid eligibility. Please see Financial Aid for information regarding how repeating a course may impact financial aid, or call 508.531.1341.

All students are advised to review academic policies for their programs. Some programs have policies that are more restrictive than the general policy recorded here.


A graduate program may require enrollment in a research course XXXX 502 or PSYC 504  for Psychology. These courses ordinarily culminate in a thesis. Consent of department and a formal application is required. See the Thesis policy below for further information.

Statute of Limitations - Program and Courses

All graduate program requirements, including all exit requirements, must be completed within six years of the date of the student’s first course in the program.

If graduate students cannot complete degree requirements within the six-year limit because of extraordinary circumstances, they must submit a Statute of Limitations form, available at the College of Graduate Studies website, requesting a reasonable extension.


A number of departments require or recommend theses in master’s degree programs. Theses, which represent original research in disciplines, are especially recommended if students have future doctoral plans. At the same time, theses allow graduate students, working closely with their thesis committee, to spend serious academic time researching a narrowly focused topic in depth and produce an original text of publishable quality.

Many departments have specific thesis guidelines. All graduate students writing master’s theses also must adhere to the following college-wide policy:

  1. All graduate students who write a master’s thesis must have a thesis committee, consisting of a thesis committee chairperson and two faculty readers. The thesis committee must be approved by the graduate program coordinator.
  2. Students writing a thesis must submit a Thesis Proposal Form, with a detailed proposal and signatures of the thesis chairperson, the two faculty readers, the graduate program coordinator and the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The Thesis Proposal Form is available on the College of Graduate Studies website. This form must be completed and signed in order for students to register for the appropriate research course, which is always the departmental XXXX 502 or PSYC 504 Research course.
  3. The number of credits awarded for the research may vary, and students may repeat the course until a maximum of nine credits in a MA program or six credits in a MAT, MEd, MPA, MS or CAGS program are earned toward the minimum credit requirements for the degree or certificate.
  4. After students obtain the necessary signatures, they then take the thesis proposal form to the Registrar’s Office to register for the course.
  5. Students who have registered for the Research course and do not complete their thesis in a semester will receive an incomplete, which will be changed to a letter grade by the thesis committee chairperson once the thesis is completed.
  6. When the thesis is written and fully approved by the three members of the thesis committee, the chairperson and readers sign the “approval page” of the thesis, which is placed in the text of the manuscript.
  7. The thesis committee chairperson will acquaint the graduate student with the manuscript form and style used in their respective disciplines; graduate students writing theses should examine recent theses in their academic departments to see the form and style of the manuscripts.
  8. Students must provide the College of Graduate Studies with one approved print copy of their thesis to be bound by the Maxwell Library for the official archive and one approved digital surrogate submitted on a USB flash drive for digital storage and access on the university’s online repository, the BSU Virtual Commons. Students will be charged for each additional print copy for binding.
  9. Bound copies will be mailed or made available for pick up at the Maxwell Library.
  10. Theses must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies before students are approved for graduation.
  11. The Maxwell Library, which will catalog all theses, acts as the official archive for all theses written as part of graduate-degree programs at Bridgewater State University.

Withdrawal from Courses

Students may withdraw from courses following the drop/add period if they submit a Course Withdrawal form to the Registrar’s Office by the appropriate semester deadline date, which is posted on the Registrar’s Office website. If graduate students fall below full-time status after withdrawing from a course, they should be aware that eligibility for some sources of financial aid, assistantships/fellowships and health insurance may be affected.

No withdrawals will be permitted after the deadlines unless students can demonstrate in writing to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies with documentation from the course instructor and program coordinator that extraordinary circumstances have prevented them from withdrawing from the course by the published deadline. Course withdrawals will be indicated on students’ transcripts with a “W” and will not affect the calculation of students’ grade point averages.

Medical withdrawal requests must be submitted in writing with appropriate documentation to the director of Graduate Student Services in the College of Graduate Studies.

Withdrawal from the University

Students who decide to withdraw from a graduate program must notify the College of Graduate Studies of their intentions in writing as soon as possible. Students should also consult course withdrawal procedures and refund policies indicated elsewhere in the catalog. Withdrawal forms are available at the College of Graduate Studies intranet website.

Student Responsibilities

Students are responsible for all information given in the latest edition of the catalog. Students who have questions regarding the graduate policies presented in this catalog should contact the College of Graduate Studies at 508.531.1100.

Change of Name and/or Address

Students must promptly notify the Registrar’s Office of any change in name or address by using the appropriate form. To process a name change, official legal documentation (i.e., marriage certificate) must be presented. Forms are available in the Registrar’s Office or on the Registrar’s Office website.


Graduate students are reminded of their responsibility to consult the College of Graduate Studies intranet website for deadlines and dates for admission, comprehensive examination requests and applications to graduate.

Financial Aid

Graduate students are responsible for adhering to all financial aid policies. Please see Financial Aid for additional information.

Holds on Student Records

A hold may be placed on a student record for a variety of reasons: incomplete submission of required documents, outstanding balance, etc. The hold may prohibit registration, viewing grades, obtaining transcripts or receiving a diploma, depending on the type of hold. Students may view the type of hold on their account by logging into InfoBear, clicking on the Student Records link under the Student tab, then by clicking on View Holds.

Immunization Requirements for Graduate Students

Immunization requirements apply to all full-time graduate students, regardless of age. To achieve full-time graduate student status, according to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Immunization Laws, students must be enrolled in nine or more credits from one institution in any one semester, regardless of the location of the course or the actual dates that the course or internship is held.

The Health Services staff can assist you in meeting the requirements by offering immunizations and advice on how to be compliant with the law. Failure to comply places future registration for classes on hold until all requirements are met.

Please call Health Services at 508.531.1252 to arrange an appointment or see “Immunization Requirements” on their intranet website for further information.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit at the graduate level is defined by Bridgewater State University as appropriate graduate-level courses taken at an accredited institution other than Bridgewater State University prior to or after acceptance to a Bridgewater State University graduate program.

Not more than six graduate credits, taken both prior to and after acceptance, can be transferred from other accredited graduate schools. Rather than enrolling in graduate courses at other institutions, matriculated students should make every attempt to enroll in Bridgewater State University graduate courses which will assist them in successfully completing their graduate programs. It does not include prerequisites. Program exceptions are noted in the appropriate department sections of this catalog.

Approval of transfer credit is subject to the following conditions: 1) that not more than six credits being transferred are from an accredited institution other than Bridgewater State University; 2) that a grade of “B” or better has been earned in all courses being transferred; 3) that courses being transferred have not been used to fulfill the requirements of another degree at any institution and 4) that graduate transfer credits may not be more than six years old at the time program requirements are completed.

Bridgewater State University does not accept credits for courses initially completed at non-accredited institutions.

All courses to be used as transfer credit in a graduate degree program must have the approval of the student’s advisor and graduate program coordinator prior to submitting for final approval to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. An official transcript of courses taken at another accredited institution must be submitted for approval with the Transfer Credit Approval form which can be found on the College of Graduate Studies intranet website. A copy of the course syllabus and/or course descriptions may be requested. Students are strongly urged to process the form for transfer credit early in their graduate degree program.

Transfer Credit – Graduate Certificate Programs

Given the limited number of courses required in graduate certificate programs, students enrolled in a graduate certificate program at Bridgewater State University cannot transfer courses from other institutions, with the exception of the Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate program. Students enrolled in the TESOL program may transfer one three-credit course from another institution.