Course Levels, Credits, and Grading
Courses numbered 600 and 700 are for students admitted into Graduate School only. Other courses for which graduate credit may be obtained are indicated with "g" designations in the Undergraduate Catalog and the Graduate Catalog. Courses with "g" designations are shown on registration forms and transcripts as 500-level courses (e.g. EDUC g483 becomes EDUC 583.) Extra work is required of graduate students enrolled in "g" courses. Whether these or other courses may be applied toward requirements for a graduate degree is determined by the department offering the degree. Credit by examination (course challenge) is not permitted in graduate programs.
Activities Instructors May Require to Meet the "Additional Work" Requirement to Receive Graduate Credit in Those Courses Offered as g300 and g400:
The Graduate Council expects instructors to require specific work to be done in a graduate level course to justify graduate credit being given. This is particularly true for courses which may be used to count toward a degree. In those courses designated at the g300 or g400 level, for students to receive graduate credit (500 level courses) specific and evaluated activities and performances must be identified. Listed below are a suggested list of activities which an instructor may use to meet this requirement.
- An additional scholarly activity such as:
a. term paper(s)
b. substantive report(s) which may be one of the following: survey, analysis and report; laboratory investigation and report; library research and report
c. attendance at a significant regional or national meeting with an analysis and report
- Classroom activities that are beyond that required of undergraduates and are evaluated.
a. special presentation of some subject
b. provision of leadership on discussion of some significant topic in the classroom
c. any other classroom activity which is evaluated and not required of undergraduates
- Examinations. Special examinations which are different from those given to undergraduates and are more demanding than those given to undergraduates. Such exams may be those which require greater performance at the higher cognitive levels such as interpretation, synthesis and evaluation.
For a master's degree, a minimum of 30 credits in approved course work, including thesis credits if required, must be completed. Except in the cases of the M.N.S. and M.P.A. degrees, a master's degree student must complete at least 15 credits in 600-level courses. Credit requirements for doctoral degrees vary by program.
A credit hour in graduate courses requires:
The maximum number of credits obtainable in a semester is 16 including courses taken at the undergraduate level. In a summer session, a student may earn a number of credits equal to the number of weeks enrolled plus two, and the total number of summer session credits may not exceed 12 (e.g., a student taking classes for eight weeks may earn up to 10 credits). Graduate Assistants may earn no more than 12 credits per semester.
- 50 minutes in class each week for 16 weeks (or equivalent in summer sessions and in courses offered in special formats), or
- Approximately two and one-half hours in laboratory work each week for 16 weeks (or equivalent).
Students who, because of exceptional circumstances, want to take more than the maximum number of credits, must request permission in person from the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. They must also have support in writing from the graduate program director or chairperson of their department.
Thesis or dissertation credits are not awarded to the student until after completion and final approval by the examining committee. At this time, the advisor reports a grade of S or U for all previous thesis registrations. The student may register for thesis credits any semester she/he is enrolled as a degree-seeking student, subject to the approval of the department chair or program director, but the letters IP (in progress) are recorded on the transcript in place of a grade for all such registrants until final approval is obtained. The student who wishes to continue work on thesis credits shown on earlier registrations without registration is free to do so.
Workshop and Special Course Credits
A maximum of four credits earned in workshops may be applied toward a degree. A workshop is defined as a short course that does not exceed one week. Workshops and special courses taken under the 597 number may not be applied toward a degree.
A 3.0 GPA is required for any graduate degree or certification at Idaho State University. A grade of C or below is essentially failing at the graduate level. However, some departments may accept a C grade in one or two courses as long as the minimum overall 3.0 GPA is maintained. C grades may cause departments/colleges to dismiss students from a graduate degree program.
All thesis and dissertation credits and some research courses are graded on a satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) basis. Departments/colleges may grade additional graduate courses with the S/U system with approval of the Graduate Council. IP (in progress) grades may be given for those students who have initiated but not completed their thesis, dissertation, or research work. No graduate courses will be offered on a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) basis.
Students may repeat a course in which they received a grade lower than an A. In such cases, the last grade received shall be the grade of record.
An Incomplete grade may be awarded at midterm or semester end. At midterm, an Incomplete indicates the student, through illness or other excusable absence, has missed so much work the instructor cannot assign a regular grade. An Incomplete grade at midterm is not a final grade. An Incomplete grade may, at the option of the instructor, be given at the end of the semester only when a student has satisfactory performance within three weeks of the end-of-semester examination period. Incomplete work must be completed within one (1) calendar year from the date such grade is given.
A change of grade form must be submitted by the faculty member or the Incomplete will become permanent. The instructor must submit a Course Completion Contract along with the grade report for that class. The Course Completion Contract must be signed by the student and the instructor stipulating the assignment(s) required to finish the course within the allowable time period. A copy of the Contract is to be given to the student, a copy retained by the instructor, and the original copy attached to the course grade report and sent to the Registrar's Office.
In extreme circumstances only will a student be allowed an extension of time beyond one calendar year for removal of an Incomplete. An "Extension of Time for Removal of Incomplete" card must be completed and filed with the Registrar's Office within the one calendar year period for this extension to be official.
To receive credit for a course in which an Incomplete grade has become a permanent grade, the entire course must be repeated.
Petitions to deviate from this policy will not be allowed