May 27, 2022  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Academic Information

The procedures, policies, and regulations stated in this section are designed to assist Bethune-Cookman University students during their matriculation.

Each graduate degree student will be assigned an advisor from the graduate faculty who will maintain the student’s advisement file, supervise course selection, and review in conference the student’s academic progress with appropriate regularity. The student, however, is responsible for meeting the requirements stated in the Graduate Catalog.


Student Course Load

Course Load

The full time course load in the Master of Science degree program for any regular semester is 9 semester hours. Students may petition the Department Head and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies to enroll in more than 9 credit hours per semester.

Time Limit

All requirements for the master’s degree must be satisfied within five calendar years after the student reaches Degree Status. Students are responsible for meeting the requirements in effect at the time they are admitted into Degree Status.

Course Load Restriction:

Students on academic probation will be limited to a maximum load of 9 semester credit hours. (See Academic Probation and Dismissal.)

Overload Requirements:

The academic requirements for taking an overload, 12 semester hours or more, is a minimum grade point average of 3.0 during the semester immediately preceding the semester in which the student wishes to carry the overload.



Issuance of “I” (Incomplete) Grades:

Instructors may issue “I” or “Incomplete” grades to students who, for legitimate reasons, have not completed coursework at the time final grades must be submitted. At the time the request is made, the student must be passing the course with the required minimum grade for the course. At the discretion of the instructor, an “I” grade may be given to a student who is experiencing extraordinary personal challenges but who has not formally requested an Incomplete grade.

Removal of “I” Grades:

It is the student’s responsibility to initiate action to remove “I” grade(s). Students receiving one or more “I” grades must report to the instructor(s) who issued the grade(s) within the first week of classes in their next semester of enrollment. The assignments needed to remove the “I” grade(s) must be completed within the first six weeks of the semester of re-enrollment. Failure to follow through with the steps to remove “I” grades will cause ‘I’s to automatically change to ‘F’ grades.

Grade Change after One Year:

The University does not permit grade changes after one year.

Grade Repeat Policy:

A readmitted student may repeat a course in which the student receives a C or F grade, and only the hours earned from the higher grade are computed in the grade point average (GPA). If a student makes the same grade in the repeated course in this situation, only one grade is calculated in the GPA.

Grades on Permanent Record:

All grades, courses, and hours attempted and earned remain a part of the student’s permanent record.

Right to Appeal a Final Grade:

Every student has the right to appeal final grades given by an instructor. Steps in the grade appeal process are outlined under “Student Grade Appeal.”


For the MSTL graduate program, students are required to attend MANDATORY Residencies at their own expense. Students may contact the School of Graduate Studies for a list of convenient hotels. If a student cannot attend the first residency, he or she will need to postpone enrollment until he or she can. Students missing the second or third Residency must have permission from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and make arrangements for missed work. No student may miss more than two residencies.


Grading System

Students are graded according to the following grade point average (GPA) system

A) Used in GPA Computation:



Point Value








Less Than Satisfactory








B) Not used in GPA Computation






Becomes an “F” if not satisfied by date given on the University Calendar


Dropped Course

No Credit



Official Withdrawal from the University



No Credit





Forgiven Grade

Replaces D or F for freshmen only


No Grade Assigned

No credit


No Show

No Credit

Full-Time Course Load: Students registered for 9 or more semester hours.
Part-Time Course Load: Students registered for less than 9 semester hours.


Standard Grading Scale

The standard grading scale adopted by the Graduate Council, to be adhered to by all faculty members, is as follows:



90 – 100


80 – 89


70 – 79


0 – 69





All graduate students must consistently do “B” quality work or better in their coursework and maintain a cumulative 3.00 GPA. The University requires a final cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 (“B”) for receiving the master’s degree. Grades of “C” are considered less than satisfactory. Failing grades are considered unsatisfactory; any failing grade will result in an automatic academic dismissal from the program.

Note: For MSTL only, a student may have no more than two “Cs” in maintaining good standing and must have at least one “A” to offset each “C” in order to maintain a 3.00 GPA. If a student receives a “C” in a third course, she/he will be dismissed from the program.

Student Grade Appeal

A student has the right to appeal decisions regarding the final grade(s) in a specific course. Before initiating a petition for appeal, the student should attempt to resolve the problem with the instructor and/or department chair and school dean. If the student is unable to have the situation resolved at these levels, he or she may file an official Grade Appeal. Grade appeals must be initiated within 6 weeks after the conclusion of the semester in which the course(s) was taken.

Steps in the grade appeal process are as follows:

  1. The student submits a written statement to the Dean of the school in which the course was taught within six weeks of receiving the final grade. The written statement sets forth the complaint, efforts to resolve it, and supporting evidence or justification for the complaint. Upon receipt of the appeal statement, the dean should provide a copy of the complaint to the instructor of the course or other person concerned.
  2. The Dean will appoint a committee* to review the written statement from the student, secure additional information that the student may have, and examine any additional evidence and information that the instructor or the person concerned may have in support of the final grade that the student received. Both the student and the professor shall each receive reasonable notice of the time and location of the hearing and be permitted to be present. In addition, the parties shall have the right to present evidence and to examine any witnesses who are present. Taking the supporting data into consideration, the committee makes a recommendation to the dean. The dean, then, renders a decision in the case. The decision is immediately communicated, in writing, to the student, the instructor concerned, and the committee.
  3. If the student or the instructor is dissatisfied with the decision of the school dean, either may appeal to the Office of Academic Affairs (Provost). If this is done, the Provost will review all of the information and, if the Provost determines appropriate, will refer the matter to a committee** who will investigate the situation further and render a decision in the case. The decision of the committee will be communicated by the Provost’s office to the all parties involved.

*This committee may have representation from other academic schools as well as other professionals who have expertise in the particular discipline under discussion.
**Composed of three to four faculty representatives and a graduate student(s).


Academic Terms

Fall Semester (14-15 weeks) August - December
Spring Semester (14-15 weeks) January - May
Summer Session (10-12 weeks) May -August
Summer B Term (4-5 weeks) June-July


Academic Probation and Dismissal

The following table indicates the categories of GPA standings: minimum acceptable standing, probation, and automatic dismissal.

Acceptable Standing



3.00 GPA

Below 3.0

Grade of F





Satisfactory Academic Progress

A student who fails to maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA after being enrolled for two semesters will be dismissed for one academic semester.


Record of Academic Probation and Dismissal

Academic probation and dismissal will be indicated on the student’s transcript. A student may matriculate on probation for one semester before being academically dismissed. A student will be academically dismissed for one year upon receiving a grade of “F”.

Readmission After Dismissal

In order to reenter the University following at least a year of academic dismissal, a student must complete a readmission application available from the School of Graduate Studies.

Graduation Requirements

Only students, who have completed all academic requirements for graduation, are allowed to participate in commencement exercises. Additionally, all official transcripts, which include transfer credits to be used to satisfy graduation requirements, must be received in the Office of the Registrar BEFORE a student is allowed to participate in commencement exercises.

Release of Diplomas

Diplomas are not released to students until all grades (including transfer grades) and test scores have been posted to the transcript. All final financial obligations must be satisfied through the Student Accounts Office.


Privacy of Student Records and Information

The Buckley Amendment to the General Education Provisions Act stipulates that students may have access to their official files and that no transcripts may be issued to any party without a written request from the student. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 gives the University the right to make public, at its discretion and without prior authorization from the student, the following information: name, class, home or college address, telephone number, major field, date and place of birth, dates of attendance at Bethune-Cookman University, degrees, honors and awards received, and previous school most recently attended. FERPA also gives students the right to place limitations on the release of this particular information. A student who wishes to place limits on the release of this information must file a restriction form with the Office of the Registrar by September 15 of each year. The University does not indiscriminately release information about individual students. All persons with access to student records are required by the University to sign a statement of confidentiality.

Official transcripts of student academic records, for transfer to another institution or for any other purpose, may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar upon written authorization by the student. Transcripts are official only if the embossed seal of the University appears on them. Unofficial copies of transcripts are available only to the student. As a safeguard against improper disclosure of academic information, no transcript request will be accepted over the telephone. The University issues two complimentary official transcripts, along with the diploma, to each of its graduates. All subsequent official transcripts will cost $5.00; unofficial copies will cost $3.00.

Requests for official transcripts cannot be granted if the student has a balance. However, if the student is enrolled during the time of the request, an unofficial copy can be released upon request and payment made of the required fee. A transcript of a student’s record, received from another university or college, becomes a permanent part of the student’s file at Bethune-Cookman. The transcript cannot be forwarded to another institution. Should a student need a copy of the transcript, he or she must make an original request from the institution.


Academic Honesty

A student is required to maintain an honor code. Charges of cheating on tests or examinations, plagiarism in the production of written papers, other products or processes will result in disciplinary action by the faculty and administration.

As members of an academic community, which places a high value on truth and the pursuit of knowledge, students are expected to be honest in every phase of their academic life and to present, as their own work, only that which is genuinely theirs. Students have the responsibility to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity and to refrain from cheating, plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty.

Students who are academically dishonest undermine the integrity of the University. If students receive recognition through academic dishonesty, the value of the recognition is diminished, and the reputations of the University and its graduates are jeopardized. Thus, academic dishonesty hurts the University and is unfair to other students.

This information is intended to help students understand academic honesty and provide guidance on how to protect them from academic dishonesty. Consequently, students must maintain close communication with their instructors in order to clarify codes and conditions.

A complete definition of academic dishonesty and disciplinary procedures are found in the University’s Student Handbook.

When there is reason to suspect a student has violated either a University policy on academic honesty or the instructor’s specific codes, as found in the course syllabus, the instructor should discuss the charges and the evidence with the student, preferably in private. Without taking punitive action, the instructor will submit a written report to the school dean through the department head. The instructor’s report should include such information as the instructor’s charge against the student, evidence supporting the instructor’s charge, and a summary of the discussion between the student and the instructor, including any admission or denial of guilt.

Upon receipt of the instructor’s report, the school dean will inform the student, in writing, of his/her right to a hearing and enclose a copy of the instructor’s entire report. The student will not be permitted to withdraw from the course during an academic dishonesty investigation. If the student does not request a hearing by the school dean, the dean will render a decision and, subsequently, notify the instructor and the student. A copy of the dean’s decision will be forwarded to the Provost in the Office of Academic Affairs. If the student chooses to appeal the dean’s decision:

  1. The student will be permitted five (5) school days from receipt of the dean’s letter to request an appeal before the Administrative Panel. The letter requesting the appeal shall be submitted to the Provost.
  2. If the request for appeal is granted, then the Provost will schedule a hearing.
  3. At the appeal hearing, all parties will have an opportunity to respond to the charges, to present evidence and/or argument on all issues involved, and to present rebuttal evidence. The hearing will be conducted in an informal but orderly manner.
  4. The decision of the Administrative Panel is considered to be final.


Intellectual Property


To set policy regarding trademarks, copyrights, patents, and revenue related thereto.


Under the direction of the President, the Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance, the Provost, and the Academic Deans shall ensure compliance with this policy. The Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Accreditation shall implement this policy. The Deans shall ensure that each new faculty member receives a copy of this policy or is directed to it in the Faculty Handbook or on the B-CU web site.


This policy applies to all faculty members, staff, students and any other person employed by Bethune-Cookman University.


1. General Policy

1.1. As an institution of higher learning, Bethune-Cookman University is entrusted with the responsibility to facilitate application of scientific, technical, artistic, and intellectual endeavors for public use and to provide for an equitable disposition of interests among the authors or inventors, the University and, where applicable, the sponsoring or contracting funding source.
1.2. The University recognizes that faculty, staff, or student research and scholarship may result in materials subject to intellectual property protection, including material subject to copyright or patent protection. It is the policy of the University that such research and scholarship should be undertaken to serve the public interest by encouraging scholarly activity without regard to potential financial gain. However, the University recognizes that appropriate recognition and incentives should be given to sponsors, inventors, and authors.
1.3. The Intellectual Property Policy, as adopted, shall apply to all faculty, staff, students, and to anyone using university facilities or supervised by university personnel. Individuals employed by, enrolled in, or using university facilities agree to abide by this policy as a condition of their employment, enrollment, or use.

2. Definitions

The following terms shall have the following meanings for purposes of this policy:

a. “Commissioned Projects”: Works or Inventions created or developed (1) specifically or predominantly for use by or at B-CU, or (2) at the request or on behalf of B-CU, or (3) under the specific direction of, or (4) by a person acting within the scope of his or her employment at B-CU, or (5) under a written contract between the Developer and B-CU, or (6) under a contract between B-CU and an external agency. “Traditional Works of Scholarship” will not be considered “Institutional Works” for the purposes of this policy.
b. “Developer(s)”: The individual or group of individuals who create material subject to copyright or patent protection. The term Developer, as applicable, is co-extensive with the term “author” as used in the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. §102) and the term “inventor” as determined by the Patent Act (35 U.S.C.A. §100 et. seq.).
c. “Institutional Resources”: Tangible resources provided by B-CU to a Developer, including, but not limited to, financial resources, office space, lab space, equipment, electronic network resources ( both hardware and software), support personnel, secretarial support, research, teaching and lab assistants, assistance from graduate students or work-aid students, media specialists or illustrators, supplies, and utilities. The term “financial resources” as used herein includes grants and contracts or awards made to B-CU by an extramural sponsor.
d. Instructional Materials. Works created by or for instruction of B-CU students, including but not limited to textbooks, study guides, outlines, and other classroom materials.
e. Inventions. Material that is subject to patent protection under the Patent Act, (35 U.S.C.A. §100 et. seq.), which provides that patent protection is granted to “whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.”
f. Trademarks. Words, designs, or devices that are subject to trademark protection in the University under the Lanham Act, (15 U.S.C.A. §1051 et. seq), which provides that trademark protection is granted to “any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof used … to identify and distinguish his or her goods, including a unique product, from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods, even if that source is unknown.”
g. Traditional Works of Scholarship. Works reflecting research and/or creativity which is considered evidence of accomplishment in the Developer’s academic discipline or professional field, and is specifically created to be predominately used by persons or entities other than B-CU and/or its students. Such works include, but are not limited to, books, book chapters, journal articles, abstracts, student theses, plays, poems, pictorial and sculptural works, films, cassettes, musical compositions and other literary works, to the extent that such works do not fall within the scope of the term “Commissioned Projects.”
h. “Works.” Material that is subject to copyright protection under the Copyright Act, (17 U.S.C.A. §101, et seq.), which provides that copyright protection subsists in “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, “not fall within the scope of the term “Commissioned Projects.”

3. Trademark Usage

3.1. Trademarks may only be used with the permission of the University. Requests for trademark usage must be directed to Fiscal and Financial Affairs.

4. Copyright Ownership and Revenues.

4.1. Copyright ownership of Commissioned Projects shall vest in the University at the time of creation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, copyright ownership of Instructional Materials shall vest in the Developer at the time of creation.
4.2. The owner of the copyright shall have the exclusive right and authority to determine whether the work shall be licensed or otherwise transferred and, if so, the terms and conditions of such license, except that:

4.2.1. The Developer of any Instructional Material shall grant a perpetual, nonexclusive, non-sub licensable, royalty-free license in the Instructional Material to the University; and
4.2.2. The University shall seek input from the Developer of any work that the University has determined to license or otherwise transfer if, and only if, the Developer is still employed by the University.

4.3. Any and all monetary revenues derived from a Commissioned Work shall be paid to the University, which shall retain fifty percent (50%) and pay fifty percent (50%), in equal shares, to the Developer(s).

5. Patent Ownership and Revenues.

5.1. Developers shall assign any and all patent rights in any Invention resulting from a Commissioned Project or the use of Institutional Resources to the University. The University shall have the exclusive right and authority to determine whether the work shall be licensed or otherwise transferred and, if so, the terms and conditions of such license or transfer, except that the University shall seek input from the Developer of any Invention that the University has determined to license or otherwise transfer if, and only if, the Developer is still employed by the University.
5.2. Any and all monetary revenues derived from a patent shall be paid to the University, which shall retain fifty percent (50%) and pay fifty percent (50%), in equal shares, to the Developer(s).

6. Sponsored Research or Development.

6.1. In the event that a Work or Invention is created, subject to a contract with a third party sponsor, then the contract may vary the terms of copyright ownership and revenue distribution if, and only if, the University has approved and is a signatory to the contract.


Compulsory Class Attendance:

Class attendance is compulsory all students. Absences will result in lower grades.

Unexcused Absences:

No student will be permitted unexcused absences from class.

Excused Absences:

Excused absences include those incurred by the student’s participation in university or class sponsored activities. Examples of excused absences include band, chorale, gospel choir, athletic teams, field trips, family emergencies, and significant illness. (Proof of family emergencies and illness is an important factor in being permitted to make up missed assignments, tests, etc.)

Expected Absences:

Students are responsible for informing their instructors of any anticipated absence(s) from class. Students who are ill are advised to report to the Adams Infirmary where their illness can be documented and submitted to instructors for consideration.

Verification of Attendance:

Each semester, the Office of the Registrar requests faculty members to verify student rosters by 1) directing students, whose names do not appear on their class rosters, to its office in order to be enrolled properly into the course, and 2) reporting names of students who appear on their rosters, but who have not reported to class. These students are listed as a “No Show.” Once generated, the Verification of Attendance Report is sent to the Registrar’s Office according to the announced deadline. Students who are reported as “No Shows” will be dropped from the roster for those classes.


The course syllabus/outline is an agreement between the teacher and the student. Students should receive a syllabus/outline at the beginning of the term for each course in which they are enrolled.

Academic Advising:

Students within the School of Graduate Studies will be assigned a major advisor by the Department Chair in consultation with the Director of the Academic Program and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. The advisor will advise the student on his/her academic program and will monitor his/her progress through it.

Academic advisors will also serve as the major thesis advisor for the student. The student, however, is responsible for meeting the requirements stated in the Graduate Catalog.

Conferences with Advisor:

Students are expected to arrange regular conferences with their academic advisor according to the advisor’s posted schedule. Conferences may also be scheduled with advisors through individual appointments. Mandatory conference(s) are required before registering for classes each semester and before completing the University’s Degree Application for Graduation.

Final Exam Schedules:

The Office of the Registrar will schedule final examination dates, times, and locations.