Jul 15, 2024  
2013-2014 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2013-2014 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Academic Regulations and Procedures

All rules are subject to change in accordance with existing and hereafter adopted university policies. Official changes will be clearly stated in university policy documents.

Notations may indicate when specific regulations became or will become effective. If there is no notation, regulations are now fully in effect. 

Catalog Commitments


The catalog which is in effect when a student first enters the university (as an admitted degree student) is generally the one that will govern that student’s course and program requirements; however, circumstances may occur that require modification of this principle.

Changes to academic programs or regulations may occur. Whenever possible, such changes will be phased in, and students will be informed of their timing. If certain required courses cease to be offered, substitutions will be considered when planning a student’s program; in such cases the institution will attempt to respond flexibly. In the rare event that an academic program is phased out, those in the program will be given a reasonable amount of time to complete the requirements; there will be no future admissions to the program.

Students who return after a period of withdrawal or dismissal (in other words, those who did not maintain continuous registration or who left without an authorized leave of absence), will be subject to the catalog in effect when they are re-admitted. Requests to be subject to an earlier catalog will be reviewed by the dean of the student’s college.

Students who change their majors a year or more after joining the university may be subject to their majors’ most recent requirements Students who prefer the requirements in a more recent catalog may request to have the newer catalog apply to them; in such cases, however, they must adopt all the requirements  of the more recent catalog.

Ten years is deemed sufficient time for a part-time student in continuous registration to complete a degree. If a student takes more than ten years, the university has the right to impose the requirements of a later catalog.

Changes to the catalog may go into effect before the next edition is published.  These changes will be clearly stated in university policy documents.

Issues concerning which catalog governs the curricula of individual students are resolved at the level of the college dean.

Maintenance of University Records


The Office of the University Registrar maintains the official educational records of all graduate and undergraduate students.

The Registrar’s Office also conducts registration, arranges schedules, enforces certain academic regulations, and issues official transcripts. Petitions to receive credit toward one’s university degree for courses which have been taken elsewhere must be filed with the Registrar. The Registrar also certifies enrollment to the Social Security Administration, the Veterans Administration, insurance companies, banks, guaranteed student loan agencies and other agencies including higher education loan agencies.

Confidentiality of Records (FERPA)


The university policy on the confidentiality of records is consistent with the requirements of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

The policy is designed

  • to protect the privacy of educational records,
  • to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and
  • to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings.

Students also have the right to file complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202-4605, concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the Act.

Access to Individual Educational Records


FERPA restricts significantly the right of others to view a student’s educational records. The following are categories of individuals who by federal law and the procedures established by UMass Dartmouth may view or receive a student’s educational records:

  1. The student him or herself (except materials to which the student has waived the right of access, such as confidential letters of recommendation).
  2. Persons whom the student authorizes by name in a written, signed statement that names the records to be released. In addition to special circumstances, this rule covers requests to send transcript copies to others, such as employers or other educational institutions. Such disclosure may also be incorporated within signed agreements to participate in any activity or program—for example, receiving a scholarship.
  3. Individuals who are** “officials” of the campus and university and who have a*** “legitimate educational interest” in the record or a “need to know” information in the record. (See footnotes at the bottom of this section.)
  4. Parents who have established that the student is a dependent on their most recent federal income tax return, and then only in individual cases by special request. Otherwise parents have no right of access to their daughter’s or son’s educational records.
  5. Persons or organizations providing financial aid to students or determining those aid awards, as necessary to determine eligibility, amounts or conditions of an award or to enforce its terms and conditions.
  6. Persons in compliance with a judicial order or lawful subpoena. The university will make a reasonable attempt to notify the student in advance of such release of information. In the case of a Federal Grand Jury subpoena, notification is not given.
  7. Appropriate parties in an emergency if the knowledge or information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others.
  8. Officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, upon request and with appropriate documentation.
  9. Certain officials of the U. S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General and state educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally-supported education programs.
  10. State and local officials or authorities to whom such information is specifically required to be reported;
  11. Organizations conducting certain studies for, or on behalf of, the university.
  12. Accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
  13. An alleged victim of any crime of violence, of the final results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime.
  14. Post-secondary institutions may disclose the final results of any disciplinary proceeding for a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense to anyone if the institution determines that the student committed a violation of its rules with respect to the crime.
  15. Post-secondary institutions may disclose to a parent, or legal guardian, information regarding a student’s violation of any law or institutional rule or policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the student is under the age of 21 and the institution has determined that the student has committed a disciplinary violation.

Persons authorized to view or retain a student’s educational records, as above, may in no case transmit, share or disclose the information to any third party. All third-party requests for information should be addressed to the Office of the University Registrar.

A complete copy of the university’s procedures and policies regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is available for inspection at the Office of the University Registrar. The complete statement gives additional details and categories and also defines what records are deemed to be “educational records” in this context. Notification of these policies is distributed in print each year to our active students through semester course listings booklets.

**At UMass Dartmouth, “officials” includes:

  • Persons employed or contracted by UMass Dartmouth in an administrative, supervisory, teaching, research or support staff position (in some cases including students hired as support staff);
  • Officers of UMass central administration; or
  • Students or others serving on committees where a legitimate “need to know” exists (examples are persons serving on a committee that recommends award of scholarships or serving on the board of an honor society).

***Such officials have a “legitimate educational interest” or “need to know” if performing a task that includes each of the following:

  • It falls within the context of their assigned institutional duties or responsibilities;
  • It relates to the functioning of the office, position or committee involved;
  • It relates to the education or the disciplining of the student; and
  • It is consistent with the purposes for which the information is kept.


Access to One’s Educational Records


Students may inspect and review their educational records upon request to the Office of University Records. They should submit a written request which identifies as precisely as possible the record or records they wish to inspect. The Office of University Records will make arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the students of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access will be granted in 45 days or less from the receipt of the request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the portion of the records which relate to him/her.

Requests for Transcripts


Transcripts may be obtained from the University Enrollment Center or the Registrar’s Office. Both official and unofficial copies are available. Degree students pay a one-time transcript fee; transcripts are provided to them, and to all others, at no additional cost both now and for the future. Requests for transcripts must be made in person, in writing or by FAX, because the student’s signature is required in order to permit release. The Registrar will enforce policies to see that transcript requests are reasonable. 

Unofficial transcripts and certain other academic information are also available freely to students through COIN (Corsair On-line Information).

Directory Information


The University is allowed to disclose certain basic information about students without their assent, and is in fact required to do so by state statutes. Such discloseable information is called “Directory Information.”

The university has designated the following categories of student information as directory information: student’s name, major field of study, acknowledgment of a student’s participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, date(s) of attendance; degrees, certificates, awards received; the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student and appointment as a Resident Assistant or Community Development Assistant.  For graduate students who are teaching credit courses, work department, office address, and employment category are also defined as directory information.

Currently-enrolled students may withhold disclosure of the above categories of information by submitting written requests to the Enrollment Services Center. The university assumes that the absence of a student’s request to withhold public information indicates the individual’s approval of disclosure.  After a nondisclosure request has been filed, it will remain in effect until further notification from the student. This applies both before and after graduation. We wish to alert students to possible negative consequences of withholding disclosure of directory information; for example, employment reference checks.

Student ID/UMass Pass Card

Students, faculty, and staff are required to have a UMass Dartmouth identification card to access various university services and functions. A fee is charged for replacement cards. Further information is available in the “UMass Pass” section concerning The Campus Experience.

Student ID/Social Security Number

The university issues a special student identification number for use in campus transactions; the social security number will not be used in these transactions. Nonetheless, all students must submit their social security numbers (except international students who lack them), as a federal requirement; this number is used in tax reporting and in some financial aid and hiring contexts. The university will respect and protect students’ privacy and their social security numbers.

Change of Student Information

Students should notify the University Enrollment Center or Registrar’s Office of any change to their information on file, e.g., changes of name or address. A form is available; we also anticipate being able to make corrections via the Web. Current and accurate information is important, and for some purposes mandatory (for example, for international students to retain visa status).

Undergraduate Degree Requirements


To earn a UMass Dartmouth undergraduate degree, a student must meet the following UMass Dartmouth requirements:

  1. Be admitted to degree status as a UMass Dartmouth undergraduate student

UMass Dartmouth offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science degrees. (See the Graduate Catalog for graduate offerings.) Each degree requires being acceptance into and fulfillment of the requirements of a major. Students are admitted to degree status through the Office of Admissions. Non-degree students, sometimes called “special students,” are not eligible for a UMass Dartmouth degree.

  1. Meet the residency requirement of UMass Dartmouth

At least 45 credits of work must be completed at UMass Dartmouth. Advanced placement (AP) credits, CLEP credits and transfer credits may be applied to the degree.

At least 30 credits of advanced and specialized courses must be completed (UMass Dartmouth courses numbered 300 or higher, excluding courses numbered 900—Contract Learning).

It is expected that students will earn most of their advanced and specialized course credits at UMass Dartmouth. Students may be granted permission by the appropriate chairperson and college dean to earn some of these requirements at another institution, as long as UMass Dartmouth major and minor requirements are met to their satisfaction.

UMass Dartmouth will limit academic residency to no more than 25% of the undergraduate degree requirements for active-duty servicemembers.  Academic residency can be completed at any time while active-duty servicemembers are enrolled.  Reservist and National Guardsmen on active duty are covered in the same manner.  Active-duty students are urged to obtain permission for 25% academic residency through their College Dean.

Satisfy University Studies requirements

This category refers to a series of common requirements that all UMass Dartmouth students must meet. These are explained in the University Studies Requirement section.

  1. Satisfy  College requirements

UMass Dartmouth requires students to complete college requirements according to the degree sought.  These requirements vary among colleges and majors and with year of graduation. They are described in the college and department sections of this catalog.

  1. Complete the requirements of the Major

In order to graduate from UMass Dartmouth, a student must successfully meet all the requirements for a specified major within a department or in an approved interdepartmental major. Specific requirements for each major are included in each department’s section of this catalog. A UMass Dartmouth major consists of at least 30 credits courses approved by the department; some majors require additional credits.

All UMass Dartmouth students shall request a major after completing 45 credits; some programs require approval of a major earlier in a student’s college career.

Students who are in good academic standing and have a 2.0 or higher grade point average shall be allowed to request a major. Some departments require a higher grade point average for entrance to the major.

Students admitted to a major may remain in it until graduation or until they change to another major, unless they are dismissed from the major because they did not meet a requirement for progression. Requirements for progression in each major are stated in the appropriate sections of the General Catalog.

  1. Have a grade point average of at least 2.000 in all courses taken in the major

All work required in the student’s major field of concentration must be satisfactorily completed. The cumulative grade point average for courses taken in the major shall be set by the department at not less than 2.000.

  1. Have at least 30 course credits in advanced and specialized courses

At least 30 course credits in advanced and specialized courses (courses numbered 300 or higher, excluding courses numbered 900-Contract Learning) must be satisfactorily completed at or under the sponsorship of UMass Dartmouth.

  1. Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.000

A cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.000 for all credits submitted for the degree must be attained is required.

  1. Complete 120 credits

The requirement to complete 120 credits of courses is a minimum. Some programs require a greater number of credits for the degree.

Department or College Requirements

Additional academic requirements may be established for any major or program.

Other Program Options

In addition to pursuing an academic major, students may also work towards an additional educational objective, such as preparation for teaching, entrance to law school or medical school or certification in a certain area of studies. Such options are described in other sections of this catalog. In addition, students may pursue a double major or a minor.

Double Majors

Students may graduate with one degree and two majors, or two degrees. Both majors are deemed to be of equal importance, and students must fulfill all requirements for both degrees. When the choice of two majors would result in the award of two degrees, for example, a BS and a BA, requirements for both must be met not only in major course work but also in distribution, University Studies, and a language requirements, if applicable. Students requesting special consideration regarding requirements beyond those of the specific major, such as in University Studies, must receive approval from the department chairs or college deans of both majors. If a student pursuing a double major decides to graduate before completing requirements of both majors, s/he will be subject to the requirements for Readmission to Complete a Second Bachelor’s Degree covered later in this section.

Combined Baccalaureate/Masters Programs

Academic departments may adopt formally a combined baccalaureate/masters option allowing well-qualified undergraduates to move directly to the  masters level study in the same department. The policy permits curricular designs allowing up to 15 credits of coursework to count for both the baccalaureate and masters level.

Academic Minors

Qualified students may complete an academic minor. Approved minors consist of at least 18 credits, of which 9 must be at the upper division level. To declare a minor, the student must be a degree candidate who has earned at least 54 credits, with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000 and a minimum 2.500 grade point average in the major. A department offering a minor may establish other requirements beyond these minimal requirements. The same course may count both for a minor and for distribution or general education requirement, but not also as a major requirement.

Specific minor-program requirements are stated in the program sections of this catalog.  A minor must be completed at the time of degree and will be so noted on the student’s transcript.  A student cannot be readmitted to the University to complete only a minor program of study. 

University Studies Requirement


Effective Fall 2012, all new freshmen students and new transfer students with less than 24 credits will follow the University Studies curriculum.  Continuing UMass Dartmouth students and new transfer students with more than 24 credits will follow the former General Education curriculum.  The General Education curriculum requirements may be found in the 2011-12 Undergraduate Catalog.  A student can opt to follow the University Studies curriculum if an adviser deems it advantageous to the student in terms of faster progression to graduation. 

University Studies is a broad general education sequence required of all UMass Dartmouth students, with the exceptions noted above.  It is a set of required learning experiences that enable students to sharpen key analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills, a hallmark of a liberal education.

The table below shows the structure of University Studies, 14 courses/course types grouped in 5 clusters. To learn more about the goals and learning outcomes for each of the cluster requirements, refer to the University Studies website at www.umassd.edu/generaleducation/university studies/.

Cluster Courses
1. Foundations for Engagement: Skills for the 21st Century  
  A. Critical Writing and Reading I - ENL 101 (3 credits)
B. Critical Writing and Reading I - ENL 102 (3 credits)
  C. Intermediate Writing (3 credits)
  D. Mathematics (3 credits)
  E. Foundation for Learning through Engagement (variable credit)
2. The Natural World: Scientific Inquiry and Understanding  
   A. Science in the Natural World (3 credits)
   B. Science in the Engaged Community (3 credits)
3. The Cultural Worlds and Interpretive Understanding  
   A. Literature (3 credits)
   B. Visual and Performing Arts (3 credits)
4. The Social World: Humanity and Society  
  A. Human Questions and Contexts (3 credits)
  B. The Nature of US Society (3 credits)
  C. The Nature of the Global Society (3 credits)
5. The Educated and Engaged Citizen: Integrating the UMD Experience  
  A. Capstone Study (3 credits)

B. Learning through Engagement (Variable credit)


Lists of Courses that Meet University Studies Requirements

Courses that apply to University Studies are codes in departmental course listings in this catalog.  The complete list is also published in each semester’s Course Listings, available on COIN or on the University Studies website. 

Relation to Other UMass Dartmouth Requirements

University Studies and the requirements for each college and major are not necessarily the same; all sets of requirements must be satisfied.  Courses that are used to fulfill major or college requirements may also be used to fulfill University Studies requirements.

It is very important that students consult with  their advisers and review carefully the curricular plan of their majors before they choose courses to meet University Studies requirements.

University Studies Courses that Satisfy more than one University Studies Requirement

Certain courses, designated as flexible, satisfy more than one University Studies requirement.  However, students may use flexible courses to meet only one requirement.  Flexible courses are noted with “OR” in the catalog description, e.g., 3A OR 4A. Some courses used to meet requirements 5B are identified as compound.  Compound courses satisfy requirement 5B and another University Studies requirement.  These courses are noted with “AND” in the catalog description, e.g., 4C AND 5B.

University Studies and Transfer Credit

 Course equivalencies are determined in the transfer credit evaluation and approval process.  If a course taken elsewhere is found equivalent to a UMass Dartmouth course or category of courses that satisfy a University Studies requirement, the course being transferred will be accepted at meeting the requirement.  Courses proposed for transfer that do not have a precise UMass Dartmouth equivalent may still be accepted for University Studies at the discretion of the person authorized for evaluating prior work.

College or Departmental Requirements

Colleges and/or departments may also require certain courses of their majors.  These requirements tend to be more narrowly focused than University Studies.  Each college or department publishes its set of requirements, which are available on the following websites.

College of Arts and Sciences www.umassd.edu/cas/
Charlton College of Business www.umassd.edu/charlton/
College of Engineering www.umassd.edu/engineering/
College of Nursing www.umassd.edu/nursing/
College of Visual and Performing Arts www.umassd.edu/cvpa/

College or departmental studies may have overlap considerably with University Studies.  Consequently, several courses approved for University Studies can also fulfill other requirements.  Students are strongly advised to read carefully all the requirements of their majors and consult with their advisers to optimize their study plan.

Major Studies Requirements

Requirements for majors are the most specialized, and they are published on each unit’s website.  In many cases, departments have lists or model study plans that show all the courses required for graduation in a major.  Requirements for majors are often tightly integrated with University Studies.  Typically, all majors have an Intermediate Writing course and a capstone that integrate all levels of its curriculum.  Additionally, students in each major learn how formal theory is connected to real-world applications, problems, and activity.

 Although in certain cases requirements for majors and University Studies may overlap, as a general rule courses for the major are not permitted to count toward college studies requirements. 

It is very important, as noted previously, that students make strategic decisions in choosing courses so that they move most efficiently toward graduation.  Consultation with academic advisers is strongly advised.


Academic Advising


Academic advising is an integral part of student learning and success at UMass Dartmouth.  It is a comprehensive, collaborative process for assisting students to assume increasing responsibility for informed educational, career and life decisions while promoting their academic success.  (approved by the Faculty Senate-November 2008)

Academic Advising at UMass Dartmouth will provide:

  • support for appreciating the value of a university education for personal growth, career opportunities and community engagement; 
  • a sound introduction to the expectations of higher education and to practices that will support student success at the university;
  • support and guidance for students as they assume increasing responsibility for identifying and clarifying their academic directions and educational goals, and they develop meaningful plans and success strategies;
  • clear and accurate information regarding academic programs, institutional policies, procedures and resources; and
  • support and guidance for faculty and staff related to their advising roles and responsibilities.

Students who take charge to their academic progress and seek high quality advice will get the most out of their university experience while proceeding steadily toward graduation.

In most cases students who have declared a major are assigned to a faculty adviser in their department or college. Students entering as majors in Liberal Arts, Arts and Sciences Undeclared, and the Charlton College of Business are advised by the staff in the Academic Advising Center, which is open to all students as well, until they have achieved 45 credits. First year students in the studio arts programs are advised in the context of a mandatory two-semester course. In addition, a broad network of professionals, faculty, staff and students supports the university’s advising mission.

Students are obliged to contact their advisers when required or when needing assistance. Departments are obliged to post advising assignments in COIN and notify students of faculty office hours.  Faculty members  can be helpful in explaining complex curricula, and they regard retention and advising as a form of teaching.

Students are expected to confer with their adviser before they register each semester and whenever they need assistance.  Each student’s adviser is identified in COIN, and departments notify students of faculty office hours.  For this conference, the advisee is expected to have reviewed program requirements and prepared a plan of courses for the coming semester.  The adviser will review the student’s academic progress, review the student’s career plans and assist the student in determining the requirements to be met.  Faculty members can also be helpful in explaining complex curricula; they regard retention and advising as a form of teaching. If, after meeting with their advisers, students need additional assistance, they should go either to the chairperson of their major.  Chairpersons can be found in the university online Directory; each entry has telephone numbers and email links to facilitate contact.  The Academic Advising Center will consult with any student on a walk-in basis and provide special guidance to those considering changing their major.

Students who are placed on academic warning or probation should see their adviser promptly to discuss their academic standing.

Statement of Final Responsibility

Although faculty advisers and many others seek to guide and assist each student, it is the student, not the adviser, department chairperson or other University official, who is ultimately responsible for meeting degree requirements. 

Advising for Non-Degree Students or Prospective Students

Students who wish just to take a course or courses without degree status may receive assistance at the Academic Advising Center.  Students considering admission to degree study, either full or part time, should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Role of the Deans of the Colleges and Schools

Students may consult the office of the Dean of their college or school  for information or inquiries about the departmental programs or academic requirements, regulations, and processes. A role of the Dean is to approve special academic petitions and requests or to waive an academic regulation. Another role is to give assistance with any student’s concerns, or to handle complaints and special appeals.

Access to Academic Information

By policy, UMass Dartmouth communicates with students only by campus electronic mail and through web-based student information databases, including COIN.

Every student is assigned a username and password to access COIN. There, students may check their previous term’s grades, registration status, current courses, billing status and transcript.

Statement on Outside Work

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is committed to delivering the highest quality education to all of its students. In this context, we believe that for each credit, students should expect to perform at least three hours of related academic work outside of class. While the campus is appreciative of the necessity of students having outside employment, full-time students should think carefully about the number of hours they spend in outside employment. Faculty members offer students a workload that challenges students to get the most out of their educational experience. Each student at the University registered for 15 credits should expect at least 60 hours of academic work per week.

UMass Dartmouth Courses


Course Credits

Courses are the basic units of teaching at UMass Dartmouth. A course is a segment of an academic or professional field which provides insight and understanding of those topics, skills and approaches to knowledge which are determined by the University to be important to students’ educational development, personal growth and/or career preparation. Each course at UMass Dartmouth carries the number of credit hours specified in the course description. Lecture/discussion courses ordinarily meet three hours per week in each semester. There is, however, a wide range of hour and credit arrangements. Consult the section on “Other Learning Opportunities” for further variations.

Course Load

Full-time load: An undergraduate student is deemed to be in full-time status during a semester if carrying 12 or more credits. A graduating senior in the final semester may be considered full time with fewer credits, thus maintaining financial aid status. Some financial aid programs may be reduced if enrollment is for fewer than 12 credits. Please confirm awards with the Financial Aid Services Office.

Maximum load: Undergraduate degree candidates who wish to register for more than 18 credits in a semester must obtain approval of the appropriate dean. A student may accumulate a maximum of 30 credits in excess of degree requirements.

Course Level and Number System

Courses are listed by number and title. Courses are numbered according to the following system:

100-level: introductory courses

200-level: intermediate courses

300/400-level: advanced and specialized courses normally requiring prerequisites; including seminars, honors, practica, theses and independent study

500/600/700-level: Graduate courses. Open to undergraduates only with permission. Some programs prohibit undergraduates from registering in 500/600-level courses.

Courses may be offered that do not give credit toward graduation but count in calculating a student’s load (“administrative credit”). Usually, these courses are numbered 100 or lower (e.g., Math 100).

Repeating Courses

Students may repeat a course once, but only if space is available and with the written consent of their department chairperson and their adviser. Students who wish to take the same course a third or subsequent time may be permitted to do so only after obtaining written permission from the instructor, from the academic adviser and from the chairperson. It is the student’s responsibility to follow this procedure since instructors may remove names of students from the class roster who have not received permission to attend the class.

Only the appropriate UMass Dartmouth course may be used; no course taken at another institution can replace a UMass Dartmouth course’s grade. Only the most recently-earned course grade (whether higher or lower) shall enter into the calculation of the cumulative grade point average; however, all courses attempted by a student will be part of the permanent record.

Transfer of Credit from Other Institutions

Information about the transfer of credit by entering students is stated above, in the section on Admission to the University, in the section called “Advanced Standing through Transfer Credits.”

A current UMass Dartmouth student who wishes to enroll in courses in another university or college and transfer these credits to UMass Dartmouth should have the courses approved in advance by the appropriate department chairperson and college dean. Pre-approval will insure the transferability of the credits. A form is available for this purpose, and assistance may be sought at the Academic Advisement Center.

Upon completion of the courses, an official transcript should be forwarded to UMass Dartmouth’s Registrar. Grades lower than C- are not accepted for undergraduate transfer credit. Transferred credits will be recorded on the student’s  transcript without a grade designation. They are not calculated in a student’s grade point average.  Most study abroad programs are treated in this manner.

Certain courses completed at another institution are, by prior arrangement, deemed to count as UMass Dartmouth credit. Examples include courses taken in certain exchange programs formally designated as part of a degree program and in special arrangements whereby another institution’s courses are identified as receiving UMass Dartmouth credit (for example, if taken within a formal joint program between or among UMass campuses). Grades earned in such courses are displayed on the UMass Dartmouth transcript and affect the student’s grade point average.

Student Enrollment Status



Registration is the process by which students enroll in courses. Returning students must register during the established registration period. New, transfer and re-admitted students register according to the most recent instruction from the Office of the University Registrar. Registration will not be considered effective until all financial obligations to UMass Dartmouth are met.


Up to the end of the first week (five class days) of the semester, a student may add or drop courses without record. In the case of courses that meet only once per week, the add/drop period shall be two weeks. No one shall enroll for Experiential Learning, Independent Study or  Honors Thesis credits after the second week (ten class days) of the semester without the permission of the appropriate dean or a designee.

Withdrawal from Courses

Students may withdraw from courses through the end of the tenth week of classes of the semester. A grade of W will be recorded. Grades of W do not affect a student’s GPA. However, more than 24 credits of W make a student subject to dismissal from the university by the dean of the student’s college. A student who withdraws from all courses shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the university.

Class Attendance

There is no university-wide attendance policy. Nonetheless, students are expected to be present at all scheduled activities related to their courses and are responsible for the course work and assignments missed during any absences. They must take the initiative in making up missed work and finding out about any assignments made during their absence. Extended absence for medical or personal reasons should be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Faculty members are responsible for informing students of the attendance rules and penalties for each class. They are also responsible for the enforcement of these rules. If an instructor does not appear within ten minutes of the beginning of class, the session is considered canceled.

Absence for Religious Observance

Students have the right to make up examinations, study or work requirements that they miss because of absence from class for religious observance, but they also have an obligation to inform the instructor in writing about the days when they will be absent. The instructor should be given this information as early as possible in the semester and always prior to the day(s) the student will be absent.

If they feel that it is important for course planning, instructors have the right to require students to provide a written list of days they will be absent for religious observance within one full week after the students’ enrollment in the course, provided the instructor lists this requirement and corresponding deadline on the course outline or other handout.

If there is a dispute about religious observance between a faculty member and a student, the chairperson of the department that offers the course is responsible for its amicable resolution. If the  dispute cannot be resolved at this level, the issue will be referred to the dean of the college in which the course is taught.

For convenience, a listing of major days of religious observance is given at the end of this section.

Change of Major or College

Students requesting a change of major are expected to meet the entrance requirements of the new major. Access to majors may be limited.

Requests for changing one’s academic major or college must be approved by the department chairpersons involved and the dean of the college into which the student is transferring. The change of major form is obtained in the Office of the University Registrar or the Academic Advising Center.

Study Away/Study Abroad Status

Students who undertake formal study such as study abroad, internships, clinicals or cooperative education placements at other institutions or an off-campus setting may retain enrolled status at UMass Dartmouth and, in some cases, be eligible to receive UMass Dartmouth financial aid. Such study must be under the sponsorship of the university, be an approved element in the student’s degree program, and receive approval from the department, dean, and International Programs Office, which serves as the contact-point for requesting this status. Amounts and types of aid may vary depending on the type of program, length of study and program costs.

Leave of Absence

A student may request a leave of absence for a period no longer than two calendar years. Students on leave may return within the stipulated period by writing to the college dean and Registrar’s Office at least four weeks prior to the first day of classes in the semester of return. The college dean may specify an earlier notification deadline in limited enrollment programs. Students on leaves of absence who exceed their stipulated time on leave will be considered to have withdrawn and will be subject to the re-admission procedures, as stated below.

Students on leave are not considered enrolled.

Re-admission After Interruption of Study

Former students may request re-admission to continue undergraduate work after an absence longer than one allowed by an approved leave of absence or after an absence for which they did not obtain approval. Re-admission requests are submitted to the Registrar, who forwards the request to the dean of the college of the student’s major. A fee is charged to each applicant for re-admission.

Re-admission is not automatic; some re-admission requests are denied. Individuals are evaluated for satisfactory academic progress and for availability of space in the major program and must receive the Bursar’s clearance. Applicants who wish to be re-admitted in a different major or who were not making satisfactory progress when they withdrew receive special scrutiny at the departmental and dean’s level. “Satisfactory progress” in the phrase above refers to students who were neither dismissed from the university for academic reasons nor were on academic probation at the time of withdrawal.

Grade Amnesty Policy

Grade amnesty is intended to permit the readmission of formerly unsuccessful students who present evidence of motivation and ability to succeed. When previously unsuccessful students request readmission, they must declare an intention to invoke grade amnesty. In addition to permitting readmission when students’ prior performance might not merit it, grade amnesty allows previous poor grades to be removed from the cumulative grade point average later, if certain conditions are met.

Students interested in readmission under this policy must contact the Academic Advising Center to begin the process. Grade amnesty is invoked at the time of readmission and approved by the readmitted student’s adviser, chairperson and dean. With the adviser’s assistance, the student must set academic goals carefully in order to ultimately achieve grades amnesty, and to avoid or minimize probation and prevent future academic dismissal.

Requirements for a student to be considered for readmission under grades amnesty, and conditions for initial semesters:

  • The student must have been matriculated in an undergraduate degree program at UMass Dartmouth or a predecessor institution.
  • The student must have left the university at least 5 years previously with a cumulative grade point average below 2.500.
  • The student must present evidence of motivation and ability to succeed if readmitted to the university; for example, the student could show good grades earned in subsequent college courses.
  • The student will be subject to graduation requirements in effect at the time of readmission.
  • Once a student has accepted readmission under grade amnesty, s/he may not reverse that decision and is subject to its conditions.
  • With two exceptions, all the usual probation and dismissal rules will apply to the student readmitted with grades amnesty. Exception (1): Academic dismissal will not occur after the student’s first semester back. Exception (2): The student may not, during their first semester back, serve on university committees, hold leadership positions or represent the university in intercollegiate athletics. Beyond their first semester, all regular probation and dismissal rules apply. Thus, if probation is earned after the first semester back, it shall be so noted and will again prevent the student from engaging in activities as above. A student readmitted with grades amnesty can be subject to dismissal after the second semester back.

Requirements for previous grades to be removed from the cumulative grade point average under grades amnesty:

  • The student must have been readmitted to matriculated degree status and remain a matriculated degree-seeking student.
  • The student must have completed at least 45 credits since returning, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.500.
  • All courses and grades attempted and earned in the prior period of enrollment will remain a part of the student’s permanent record along with academic notations; however, none will be calculated into the student’s cumulative grade record and will be so annotated on the record.
  • Courses passed in the prior period of  enrollment with grades below C- will not be accepted toward satisfaction of any degree requirements following readmission, nor will the credits previously earned in them be credited toward the degree.
  • Courses passed in the prior period of enrollment with grades of C- or better may be accepted towards satisfaction of major requirements if so approved by the department, but still are not calculated in the cumulative or major grade point averages.

Voluntary Leave of Absence or Withdrawal from the University

A student may voluntarily request to separate from the university (request a leave) for between one and four semesters.  There are three types of Voluntary Leaves of Absence: Regular, Medical Leave, and Military Leave.  With an approved Leave, students do not have to apply for re-admission or to pay a re-admission fee when deciding to return.  Students requesting a Leave should submit an Undergraduate Student Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Form, available on the websites of Student Affairs, Registrar, Bursar, Academic Advising, and the colleges; it can also be picked up at each of these locations. All types of Voluntary Leaves can have financial implications.  A full or partial refund may be possible depending on the student’s last date of attendance and the University Refund Policy, which is detailed in the Undergraduate Catalog.  Students who take any form of Voluntary Leave before 60% of the semester is completed will have their federal financial aid eligibility recalculated in direct proportion to the length of their enrollment.

Students requesting a Regular Leave must have their request approved by their College Dean or Associate/Assistant Dean before they submit it to the Office of Student Affairs.  If the Dean has set any conditions that must be met before return, these will be noted on the Leave form. When a Regular Voluntary Leave begins during a semester, the class grades are recorded as Ws.  When students are ready to resume their academic career, they need only to inform the university in advance and in writing to the Office of the University Registrar.

Students requesting Medical Leave should submit their requests to the Director of Counseling Services (Mental Health Leave) or the Director of Health Services (Physical Health Leave) and submit medical documentation with the Leave form to that person.  The Director send a recommendation to the Office of Student Affairs and, if approved, the Office of Student Affairs will notify the student in writing that a Medical Leave has been granted.  If there are conditions that must be met before students resume their studies, they will be noted.  When a Medical Leave is granted during a semester, the class grades are recorded as Ws and will not count against the maximum of 24 W credits students may receive over the course of their undergraduate careers.  A Medical Leave may be granted for a current or future semester.  In unusual circumstances, a Medical Leave may be requested retroactively for the semester previous to the current one.  Medical leaves will not be extended retroactively past one year.

A student requesting Military Activation Leave should bring documentation of their military deployment and a copy of the Leave form to the Office of Student Affairs.  When a Military Activation Leave occurs during a semester, the class grades will be recorded as Ws and will not count against the maximum of 8 Ws a student may receive over the course of their undergraduate career.  When students are ready to return to resume their academic careers, they need only to inform the university in advance by writing the Office of the Registrar.

Voluntary University Withdrawal

A student requesting a Voluntary University Withdrawal should submit a Withdrawal form (the same form used for a Voluntary Leave of Absence) to the Office of Student Affairs.  When a Voluntary Withdrawal begins during a semester, the class grades are recorded as Ws.  A Voluntary Withdrawal can have financial implications.  A full or partial refund may be possible depending on the student’s last date of attendance and the University Refund Policy, which is detailed in the Undergraduate Catalog.  Students who take a Voluntary Withdrawal before 60% of the semester has been completed will have their federal financial aid eligibility recalculated in direct proportion to the length of their enrollment.  A University Withdrawal is considered to be a permanent separation from the University. Therefore, this option should only be used when students are certain that they will not return within the next four semesters.

Re-admission to Pursue a Second Bachelor’ Degree

Individuals who received a bachelor’s degree from UMass Dartmouth or a predecessor institution may request re-admission to pursue a second bachelor’s degree. These requests are submitted to the Registrar who forwards the request to the dean of the college that offers the student’s intended major. If re-admission is granted, students must complete at least 30 additional credits at UMass Dartmouth. All courses required for the second degree must be taken, including any prerequisite or  courses not previously completed satisfactorily. Re-admitted students will be considered a regular degree-seeking students and be subject to the major program requirements and the university’s academic policies and procedures.

Re-admission to pursue a second degree is not automatic; some re-admission requests are denied. The individual is evaluated for academic qualifications and for availability of space in the major program.

Students with a bachelor’s degree from a different institution may seek admission to UMass Dartmouth to pursue a second bachelor’s degree through the university’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. These students should apply as Transfer students.  Such students, upon admission, will be required to complete at least 45 credits at UMass Dartmouth, meeting the terms of the university’s undergraduate residency requirement, given earlier in this section.

Re-admission to Pursue a Non-Degree Course of Study

Former students who wish to return to UMass Dartmouth to earn a certificate or take courses not applied toward a degree should seek acceptance as non-degree special students, in a process described earlier in this section. Many options are available, from selecting courses for personal interest or benefit to entering one of the university’s formal certificate programs, described below in the section on Interdisciplinary and Special Programs.  Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid.

Admission to graduate level post-baccalaureate certificate programs, as well as graduate programs, is obtained through the Office of Graduate Studies.

Major Days of Religious Observance


University policy and Massachusetts state law require faculty to offer makeup assignments or exams to students who are absent for religious observance. As an aid to curriculum planning, the list of major religious observances is made available by the Office of the Provost. Faculty, staff, and students are advised that the list is not exhaustive of observances of any religion. Jewish, Baha’i and some Islamic religious observances begin at sundown of the previous day. Students planning to be absent from classes due to religious observance must notify their instructors at least one week in advance, and otherwise follow the policy stated earlier in this section. 

Grades and Grading System


Grades are determined and assigned by instructors according to the guidelines indicated below. Each student’s academic achievement and fulfillment of degree requirements are reflected in the transcripts which are issued at the end of each semester.

The UMass Dartmouth grading system includes plus and minus grades which are used in computing grade point averages.

The grading system used specifically for undergraduate courses includes the following letter grades and quality points:


Quality Points


A Excellent    
A+ 4.000  
A 4.000  
A- 3.700  
B Good    
B+ 3.300  
B 3.000  
B- 2.700  
C Satisfactory    
C+ 2.300  
C 2.000  
C- 1.700  
D Marginal    
D+ 1.300  
D 1.000  
D- 0.700 The lowest grade acceptable for credit.
F Unsatisfactory 0.00 Failure to meet minimum standards either on the basis of work submitted or not submitted. No credit awarded. 0 quality points awarded for purpose of computing GPA credits as indicated in the course description.


0.00 An F assigned for failure to complete a course within a year after the assignment of an (I) incomplete grade.


  Official withdrawal by the student from a course after the add/drop period, and up to the completion of tenth week of the semester. No credit awarded. W grades do not affect a student’s GPA.


  A passing grade. Credit given upon satisfactory completion of a Cooperative Education semester or a contract under the Experiential Learning program. Not included in grade point average. This grade may also be assigned as a passing grade under grade appeal procedure.


  A failing grade. Under Cooperative Education or Experiential Learning program, no credit awarded. For purposes of computing GPA credits as agreed upon by contract.


  Work Incomplete. May be given only in exceptional circumstances, at the instructor’s discretion and at the student’s request made no more than 48 hours after the final examination or last class. The student must be passing at the time of the request or must be sufficiently close to passing for the instructor to believe that upon completion of the work the student will pass the course. If the work is not completed within a year of the recording of the  grade of I, the grade will become an F(I). “I” grades cannot be changed to W.


  Passing. The P grade is recorded for grades of A, B, C or D, under the pass-fail option. The grade of P may also be used for satisfactory completion of courses that do not carry graduation credit. Not figured in grade point average.


  In Progress. Notation used in special cases to indicate that academic progress covers more than one term; e.g., that a grade will be assigned on the completion of the task involved. The “IP” notation is replaced upon receipt of the official grade. Until or unless replaced by an official final grade, the notation “IP” will remain on the transcript.


  Grade not reported by instructor at time of grade processing. “NR” is not a permanent grade.


  Under pass/fail option. See “F” definition above. No credit awarded. 0 quality points awarded, for purposes of computing GPA Credits as indicated in course description.


  Audit. This notation is used when a student sits in on a course for personal or educational enrichment but receives no evaluation and takes no examinations. No credit is awarded. Audited courses do not count toward a student’s semester credit load. Auditors must register for the course, first receiving permission of the instructor, no later than the end of the add-drop period. Normal tuition and fee charges apply. Notation of auditing is posted to the academic record.

Pass/Fail Option

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors may select a Pass/Fail Option for one course per semester (up to a maximum of four courses), except in the following cases:

  • any course specified as a degree requirement;
  • any course in a student’s major, unless the department rules otherwise;
  • any course used to satisfy general education or University Studies requirements or the distribution requirements of the degree program in which the student is enrolled.

Pass/Fail is not available to graduate students.

Selection of Pass/Fail Option

During the first five weeks of a semester students may exercise the pass/fail option, which shall then be irrevocable. Only the student and the registrar shall know that the option has been selected. The instructor will grade the student’s work in the customary way. The registrar will change the assigned grade to P or F.

The burden of selecting a proper course under pass/fail rules shall rest on the student. Any doubt about whether a course is ineligible for pass/fail shall be resolved by consultation with the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled.

Pass-Fail Grading

Grading practices under this option are as follows:

  • A student who does passing (i.e., A through D-) work in a course shall be given a grade of P (Pass). Passing a course shall earn a student graduation credits but shall not be counted in the cumulative average. Failure in a course will be 0 quality points and will be counted in the GPA.
  • The Registrar shall be required to keep a separate record of the grades obtained in the pass/fail courses and will issue this record only on the request of the student.
  • The transcripts will contain the pass/fail notation, but the grade actually achieved will be kept on file in the Registrar’s Office.

Scholastic Standing

A grade point average (GPA) is determined for each student at the end of each term’s program of courses. A GPA is computed by multiplying the credit of each UMass Dartmouth course by the quality points of the grade received in that course. The sum of the above is then divided by the total number of credits in courses in which the student enrolled. Grades of P, CR, I, W, WP, WF, IP and AU are not included.

A cumulative grade point average is the average of all UMass Dartmouth grades, other than those of P, CR, I, W, WP, WF, IP, and AU , earned by the student. Grades of F, F(I) and NC earn zero quality points. Such grades are included in the student’s average according to the number of credits specified in the course description.

Change of Grade

Whether for a one- or two-semester course, the grade received at the end of each semester stands as the final grade for the semester. See above for I and IP grades.

Faculty members who decide that a change of grade is warranted will send a completed a Change of Grade form to the registrar.  Forms are normally available in department and dean’s offices.

Grades may be changed up to one year from the date that the grade was placed on the student’s record. In extreme and exceptional cases, and upon the request of the student and recommendation of faculty, the instructor and/or the appropriate college dean may authorize changes in grades given over one year from the date the grade was assigned.

Grade Appeal

Grade appeals are pursued through a formal process, which is conveyed in the university’s Grade Appeal Policy.  The following paragraphs summarize the grade appeal process:

Students and faculty should make every effort to resolve questions about grades without seeking a formal grade appeal. Grade Appeal is a last resort. A grade appeal will be pursued only if there is a valid basis and evidence.

What Can Be Appealed

  1. Only final course grades may be appealed.
  2. Grades may be appealed that are alleged to be caused by:
    1. Unfair and unequal application of grading standards.
    2. Unfair or unannounced alteration of assignments, grading criteria or computational processes.
    3. Computation dispute about calculation of a final grade or its transmission to the registrar.
    4. Failure to document a finding of plagiarism that results in a punitive final grade. Definitions of appropriate kinds of documentation are provided by the Academic Ethics Committee in their Plagiarism Policy report approved in April 2004.

Grade Appeal Officer

A faculty member is identified as the Grade Appeal Officer, who serves students and faculty as an ombudsperson for grading issues. S/he provides students and faculty with someone to go to with questions relating to grading fairness and process; is the first level of adjudication when issues related to grading arise between students and faculty by suggesting a non-binding solution after conducting an informal investigation of the issue; and serves as facilitator for a formal grade appeal process when one is to occur.

Rights Concerning Grading Practices

At the beginning of a course, students have a right to be told what and how much work will be required and the detailed basis of grading in the course. Any modifications must be communicated clearly and in a timely manner.

Both during a course and at its end, students have a right to know how their work was evaluated and the bases for the calculating of scores and grades. If an instructor is no longer available, the department chairperson is responsible to facilitate this communication. In matters of grading, the chairperson can act for a faculty member who is no longer working at UMass Dartmouth.

Faculty have a right to judge their students’ academic work. Others’ judgments will not be substituted.

Timing of a Formal Appeal

A formal appeal is submitted in writing to the Grade Appeal Officer explaining the basis and providing the evidence for the formal appeal, with copies to the faculty member and to the faculty member’s department chair. This must be done within the first 20 class days of the following semester, excluding summers, or within 25 working days from the date that the grade is made available to the student by the Registrar’s office, whichever is later; or by a specific later date set by the Grade Appeal Officer.

Class Standing


Credits earned or progress in degree program

Freshman/First Year Up to and including 29 credits or 1/4 of graduation credit requirements in the student’s degree program
Sophomore/Second Year From 30 to 59 credits or 1/2 of graduation credit requirements in student’s degree program
Junior/Third Year From 60 to 89 credits or up to 3/4 of graduation credit requirements in student’s degree program
Senior/Fourth Year More than 90 credits or more than 3/4 of graduation credit requirements in student’s degree program

The university’s computer system will identify students’ class standings by credits completed: freshman, through 29; sophomore, 30 to 59; junior, 60 to 89; senior, 90 or above. Students may request a calculation by hand if the standard calculation is wrong for their program.

Academic Recognition and Academic Honors


Dean’s List

Following the completion of each semester, full-time undergraduate degree students (in both “day” and Continuing Education) who have completed at least 12 course credits, excluding courses taken under the pass-fail option and Experiential Learning, and who have no “I” grades outstanding for that semester, are considered for the Dean’s List and the Chancellor’s List for that semester. Those who achieved a grade point average of at least 3.200 will be named to the Dean’s List for that semester. This accomplishment will be noted on the student’s transcript.

Part-time students who meet the above criteria in the just-completed semester together with the semester or term just preceding it, may receive the same recognition if the total credits completed in the two terms are at least 12 and the combined grade point average for those two semesters is at least 3.200.

Chancellor’s List

Under the same limitations as for the Deans’ List, those who achieve a GPA of 3.800 or better for a given semester will be named to the Chancellor’s List rather than the Dean’s List. This accomplishment will be noted on the student’s transcript.

Part-time students who meet the above criteria in the just-completed semester together with the semester or term just preceding it, may receive the same recognition if the total credits completed in the two terms are at least 12 and the combined grade point average for those two semesters is at least 3.800.

Graduation with Distinction

Students are eligible for graduation with distinction provided they achieve a cumulative grade point average in all of their UMass Dartmouth credits of:

3.200 to 3.499         Cum Laude
3.500 to 3.799 Magna Cum Laude
(High Distinction) 
3.800 to 4.000 Summa Cum Laude
(Highest Distinction) 

Graduation with “Cum Laude,” with “Magna Cum Laude” or with “Summa Cum Laude” is inscribed on the student’s diploma. Graduation with distinction is based on all UMass Dartmouth work including the final semester. 

At commencement, students graduating with distinction are noted only if that distinction has been earned at the end of the previous semester. 

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program is part of the statewide Commonwealth Honors Program. The Honors Program is open to qualified undergraduate students from every college and academic department. It is not a separate college, major or minor.

The mission of the University Honors Program is to promote a lifetime love of learning and creative activity; to encourage the spirit of community responsibility; and to enable students to undertake original research or creative work in their chosen field, so that they will be well prepared for graduate study and/or professional employment. Students who fulfill the requirements of the Honors Program graduate as Commonwealth Scholars, a statewide recognition of exceptional academic achievement. The Commonwealth Scholar honor is bestowed at the annual Honors Convocation ceremony in May, and is inscribed on the student’s diploma and transcript.

 The minimum requirements for graduation as a Commonwealth Scholar are:

  • A minimum of 15 credits of honors coursework completed with a grade of B or better, in addition to the honors thesis or project;
  • Completion of Honors 301 and/or 302, Honors Research Across the Disciplines I/II
  • An independent honors research thesis or creative project, usually completed in the senior year, for which students typically receive 3 to 6 credits; and
  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher

Honors courses are offered in a wide variety of departments. Courses taken for Honors credit may be applied to university, college and/or departmental requirements, as appropriate, just like non-honors courses. Students may also contract with individual instructors to enrich non-honors courses for honors credit.

Additional benefits of membership in the University Honors Program include: 

  • Honors housing, available to first-year students only
  • early registration for all classes, honors and non-honors
  • a wide variety of extracurricular activities
  • presentation of student work at conferences on and off campus 

Freshman applicants to UMass Dartmouth are invited to join the Honors Program on the basis of standardized test scores and high school records that predict university performance at the honors level. There is no separate application process.

Transfer students who have participated successfully in the Commonwealth Honors Program at other colleges and universities in the Massachusetts public system of higher education are automatically eligible for membership in the UMass Dartmouth Honors Program. The University Honors Program accepts up to 12 honors transfer credits from other institutions participating in the Commonwealth Honors Program.

Transfer students who have not previously participated in the Commonwealth Honors Program may apply to join the UMass Dartmouth Honors Program. Admission into the Honors Program is normally limited to those students who have completed 40 or fewer university credits, including advanced placement test credits. The 40-credit limit does not apply to transfer students who have successfully participated in the Commonwealth Honors Program at other Massachusetts institutions of public higher education. 

Students who have already begun their studies at UMass Dartmouth may apply to join on the basis of their academic performance at UMass Dartmouth. Admission into the Honors Program is normally limited to those students who have completed 40 or fewer university credits, including transfer and advanced placement test credits. 

Honors students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher at all times. Students must also remain on track to graduate as Commonwealth Scholars in order to remain in the Honors Program. For more information, see “University Honors Program” in the “Interdisciplinary Programs” section of this catalog. 

Students in the University Honors Program may also participate in departmental honors programs and societies, where these are available. With the approval of the thesis/project evaluation committee, a single thesis or project may satisfy the requirements for both departmental honors and graduation as a Commonwealth Scholar.

Departmental Honors

Several departments offer to qualified students a special curriculum leading to honors in the major field. Students satisfactorily completing the departmental requirements for honors in the major will, upon graduation, have their diplomas so inscribed, and their honors status will be so designated on the graduation program. Departments will notify all eligible candidates by the end of their junior year. Potential participants shall follow departmental guidelines for entry into the honors program.

Participants shall have a minimum GPA of 3.000 for all course work. Departments may require higher minima and, in addition, may set minimum GPA s in the majors. The GPA will normally be determined after the fifth semester.

Departmental honors programs will include an appropriate end product, normally a project or thesis. A maximum of six credit hours may be awarded for completion of the project/thesis. Departments shall develop procedures for approval of participants’ proposals. A faculty sponsor or honors adviser shall advise an honors candidate, according to departmental or program guidelines. An evaluation committee, which shall be multidisciplinary in nature, shall be established according to departmental or program guidelines. This committee shall evaluate the completed honors project/thesis and determine if the work meets standards for honors.

Academic Sanctions


Good Academic Standing

Students whose cumulative GPA and semester GPA are 2.0 or above.

Academic Warning

Students whose cumulative GPA is 2.0 or above but whose most recent semester GPA is below 2.0.

Academic Probation

Students whose cumulative GPA is below 2.0.

Extended Probation

Students whose cumulative GPA is below 2.0, but whose GPA for the most recent semester was 2.3 or higher and who have passed a minimum of two-thirds of the attempted credits. Students remain in this status until their cumulative GPA is a minimum of 2.0 or until dismissed.

Academic Dismissal

Students whose cumulative GPA is below 2.0 for a second consecutive semester without meeting criteria for Extended Probation.

Appealing Dismissal

Students may appeal their dismissal to the dean of their college.

Readmission after Dismissal

After one semester dismissed students are eligible to apply for readmission to the University. Readmitted students are subject to the standards and restrictions specified by the college to which they are admitted. Readmitted students who fail to meet college standards may be permanently dismissed from the University.

Academic Eligibility for Extra-Curricular Involvement

Students who have been placed on academic probation may not serve on university committees, hold leadership positions in student government and other major co-curricular organizations or represent the university in intercollegiate athletics.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy (effective Fall 2012) 

In accordance with Title IV Financial Aid federal regulation 34 CFR 668.34, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has established the following policy for evaluating the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) of Title IV financial aid recipients.  This policy also extends to state and institutional financial aid programs.


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the measurement of a student’s academic progress toward their degree.  SAP evaluates three components to determine eligibility for financial aid: qualitative measure (cumulative grade point average), quantitative measure (percentage of coursework completed) and maximum time-frame allowed for degree completion.  
The review of a student’s SAP status is based on the entire academic record, even if the student did not receive financial aid for previous semesters of enrollment. In order to be eligible for financial aid, students must satisfy all components.
Undergraduate students must meet the following SAP criteria:

  • Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
  • Minimum completion rate of 67%
  • Maximum time frame of 150% of defined academic length for bachelor’s degree and undergraduate certificate programs. 

Graduate students must meet the following SAP criteria:

  • Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0
  • Minimum completion rate of 67%
  • Maximum time frame of 150% of defined program length for master’s degree and graduate certificate programs

Completion rate is calculated by total earned credits divided by total attempted credits. 
Earned credits include successfully completed courses (i.e. grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, P, S) and transfer credits. Audited and remedial coursework not included.
Attempted credits include successfully completed courses (i.e. grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, P, S), non-passing grades (i.e grade of F), Incomplete (i.e. grade of I), and withdrawn courses (i.e. grade of W), transfer credits and repeated courses.  Audited and remedial coursework are not included in attempted credits or GPA.  
Maximum time frame allowed is calculated by multiplying the published program length by 150 percent.  Example: published program length of 120 credits X 150% = 180 credits maximum time frame allowed to complete degree requirements.

Evaluations and Notifications

The Financial Aid Office evaluates SAP annually at the end of each spring term for undergraduates and graduates, or upon re-enrollment into the university.  Students enrolled in a certificate program are evaluated at the end of each term. SAP is also reviewed at the end of each probationary period, if applicable to student. Students must be making satisfactory academic progress to continue to receive financial aid in a subsequent payment period, including summer term.  Financial aid applicants not meeting SAP standards will be deemed ineligible to receive financial aid and will be sent written notification to their permanent address recorded in the university’s system.  

Financial Aid Termination

Students who do not meet the university SAP standards are not eligible to receive financial aid. SAP status applies to financial aid eligibility and does not impact registration or academic standing.

Appeal Process

Students who do not meet the minimum SAP requirements for continuance of financial aid have the right to appeal when special circumstances exist. Conditions when a student may appeal include death of a relative, injury or illness of the student, or other extenuating circumstances.
To appeal, a student must complete the following:

  1. Complete SAP Appeal Form.  Student statement must include why the student failed to meet SAP and what has changed to allow student to meet SAP at the end of next evaluation.
  2. Meet with Associate or Assistant Dean from their College or if enrolled in ASU, LAR, or CCB and have under 45 earned credits, should meet with Academic Advising Office and develop an Academic Plan.   Both student and Dean’s Office/Academic Advising Office representative must sign Academic Plan Form.
  3. Submit completed SAP Appeal, Academic Plan and supporting documentation to the University Enrollment Center for Financial Aid Office review.  

Forms must be submitted prior to the last day of add/drop for the semester in which aid is desired. 

Appeal forms submitted for a specific term will not be granted for that term if the student has stopped attending that term or the student withdraws from all courses or the University while waiting for an appeal decision during that term.

An appeal submitted to the Financial Aid Office does not guarantee reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.

All appeals are reviewed by representatives of the Financial Aid Office.  

Approved appeals will result in the student being placed on Financial Aid Probation (see financial aid probation section). SAP approval notification will be sent to the student’s University email account.

Denied appeals will result in the student being ineligible for financial aid. The student may enroll in coursework but will be responsible for payment of their University bill. SAP denial notification will be sent to the student’s University email account. Students may wish to explore private education loans at http://www.umassd.edu/financialaid/loanopportunities/loans-private.

Financial Aid Probation

A student who fails to meet SAP but who has successfully appealed with the Financial Aid Office will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester. During Financial Aid Probation period, the student is considered eligible for financial aid. At the end of the probation period, the Financial Aid Office will evaluate the student’s academic record.

SAP Appeal Limit

Students are allowed a maximum of two SAP appeals for their academic career.

Re-establishing Financial Aid Eligibility

A student may regain financial aid eligibility by successfully meeting the University’s SAP policy requirements or successfully meeting the requirements of their established Academic Plan.

All information is subject to change based on changes to federal law, regulation, or University policy and procedure. If changes are made, students must abide by the new policy.



Academic Ethical Standards: UMass Dartmouth Student Academic Integrity Policy*

Academic Integrity

All UMass Dartmouth students are expected to maintain high standards of academic integrity and scholarly practice. The university does not tolerate academic dishonesty of any variety, whether as a result of a failure to understand required academic and scholarly procedure or as an act of intentional dishonesty.

A student found responsible of academic dishonesty is subject to severe disciplinary action which may include dismissal from the university. The procedure for responding to incidents of academic dishonesty may be found in Section III of this document.  You may also refer to the Student Handbook for information about the judicial process.

A high standard of academic integrity promotes the pursuit of truth and learning and respect for the intellectual accomplishments of others. These are values that are fundamental to the mission of this University. Such values are undermined by academic dishonesty.

Academic freedom is a fundamental right in any institution of higher learning. Honesty and integrity are necessary preconditions of this freedom. Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Joint efforts are legitimate only when the assistance of others is explicitly acknowledged and deemed appropriate by the instructor of the course. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses.

Maintenance of the standards of academic integrity and the successful administration of this policy depend on the mutual cooperation of faculty and students.

Faculty cooperation is essential for successful application of the procedures defined by this Academic Integrity Policy. Faculty members promote academic integrity by making clear on their syllabi their expectations concerning homework assignments, collaborative student efforts, research papers, examinations, computer-based infractions, and the like. Efforts should be made to detect and to prevent cheating and plagiarism in all academic assignments. If faculty members have evidence of academic dishonesty, they are expected to report such evidence promptly. 

Students must assume responsibility for maintaining honesty in all work submitted for credit and in any other work designated by the instructor of the course. Students are also expected to report incidents of academic dishonesty to the instructor or dean of the instructional unit. 

The intent of this policy is to make clear the standards of academic integrity at UMass Dartmouth.

Violations of Academic Integrity 

The various ways in which academic integrity can be violated are discussed below. The comments and examples within each section provide explanations and illustrative material, but do not necessarily exhaust the scope of these violations.


Cheating is the use of unacknowledged materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. The use of books, notes, calculators, phones and conversation with others is restricted or forbidden in certain academic exercises. Their use in these cases constitutes cheating. Similarly, students must not request others (including commercial term paper companies) to conduct research or prepare any work for them, nor may they submit identical work or portions thereof for credit or honors more than once without prior approval of the instructor. 


Fabrication is the falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. “Invented” information may not be used in any laboratory experiment or other academic exercise without authorization from the instructor. It is improper, for example, to analyze one sample in an experiment and covertly “invent” data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses. The student must also acknowledge reliance upon the actual source from which cited information was obtained. A writer should not, for example, reproduce a quotation from a book review or other secondary source and indicate that the quotation was obtained from the book itself. 

Facilitating Academic Dishonesty 

Students who knowingly or negligently allow their work to be used by other students or who otherwise aid others in academic dishonesty are violating academic integrity. Such students are as guilty of intellectual dishonesty as the student who receives the material even though they may not themselves benefit academically from that dishonesty. 


Plagiarism is the representation of the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise. To avoid plagiarism, every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or by appropriate indentation and must be properly cited in the text or in a footnote. Acknowledgment is required when material from another source stored in print, electronic or other medium is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in one’s own words. To acknowledge a paraphrase properly, one might state: “to paraphrase Plato’s comment…” and conclude with a footnote identifying the exact reference. A footnote acknowledging only a directly quoted statement does not suffice to notify the reader of any preceding or succeeding paraphrased material. Information which is common knowledge such as names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, etc, need not be footnoted; however, all facts or information obtained in reading or research that are not common knowledge among students in the course must be acknowledged. 

In addition to materials specifically cited in the text, only materials that contribute to one’s general understanding of the subject may be acknowledged in the bibliography. Plagiarism can, in some cases, be a subtle issue. Any questions about what constitutes plagiarism should be discussed with the faculty member. 

Denying others access to information or material 

It is a violation of academic integrity to deny others access to scholarly resources, or to deliberately impede the progress of another student or scholar. Examples of offenses of this type include: giving other students false or misleading information; making library material unavailable to others by stealing or defacing books or journals, or by deliberately misplacing or destroying reserve materials; or altering computer files that belong to another. 

Proprietary/Confidential Information 

Related to academic integrity is the unauthorized use without written permission of proprietary and/or confidential information in any school assignment. 

Human and Animal Subjects 

Research involving human beings requires review and approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects and informed written consent. Research involving the use of animals requires review and approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). 

Academic Integrity Infractions and Consequences 

Any violation of academic honesty is a serious offense and is therefore subject to an appropriate penalty. Faculty may address instances of student academic dishonesty in classes under their authority to evaluate and assign grades, even if the consequences exceed those written below.  They may also refer the incident for further action, utilizing university procedures that can document repeat offenders and adjust consequences accordingly. Those who refer instances of academic dishonesty for further action can do so through Student Judicial process, initiating action by completing an Academic Integrity Policy Report Form found at: http://www.umassd.edu/studentaffairs/judicialaffairs/forms/academicintegrityform.pdf.

Violations at UMass Dartmouth are classified into three levels according to the nature of the infraction. For each level of violation a corresponding set of sanctions is recommended. Faculty, deans, staff in Judicial Affairs, or others involved in adjudicating incidents are not bound by these illustrations, which are intended as general guidelines for the academic community. Since adherence to a code of conduct can be seen as a function of socialization into the group whose norms are reflected in such a code, culpability may be assessed differentially for those with more and less experience as members of the academic community; thus, violations of academic integrity by graduate students will presumably be penalized more severely than violations by first semester first year students. Examples are cited below for each level of violation. These examples, too, are illustrations and should not be considered all-inclusive.

Examples of Level One Infraction

Plagiarism: The student represents the work of another as his/her own in a limited academic exercise, or in a limited or minor portion (1-2 instances) of a larger exercise, and the faculty member believes this is not an accidental act by the student.

Cheating: Working with another student on a laboratory or other homework assignment when such work is prohibited.


  1. Letter to student in lieu of hearing. (The student may request a hearing.)
  2. And the faculty  member’s choice of the following consequences: redo the work to be graded without prejudice or redo the work with a lowered grade for the work/failing grade for the work.

Examples of Level Two Infraction

Plagiarism:  The student represents the work of another as his/her own in any academic exercise for a major portion (consistently throughout the assignment, > 50%); a Level 1 violation by a student who already has committed one or more Level 1 infractions.

Cheating: Copying on exams; using prohibited materials such as calculators or notes during exams; and/or collaborating before an exam to develop methods of exchanging information during an exam.


  1. Letter to student in lieu of hearing. (The student may request a hearing.)
  2. And the faculty  member’s choice of the following consequences: redo the work while still receiving a failing grade for the work failing grade for course.

Examples of Level Three Infraction 

Plagiarism: The student represents the work of another in its entirety (whether purchased or obtained by other means) as his/her own in any academic work; a Level 2 violation by a student who already has committed one or more Level 2 infractions.

Cheating: Infractions of academic honesty in ways similar to criminal activity such as forging a grade form, stealing an examination from a professor or from a university office, or buying an examination.


  1. Referral for a Judicial Hearing , with recommendation for a minimum of a one semester suspension up to and including dismissal from the university.

Appropriate Evidence

Faculty who apply penalties for academic dishonesty, or refer the matter to Student Judicial Affairs, should maintain copies of documents or other evidence that led to the charge of academic dishonesty and have this material available for inspection if required in an appeal. Examples: material printed from the Internet (or derived from other sources) that is substantially the same as work submitted by the student or written work in which the voice, usage, diction, and/or sentence structure are significantly different from the rest of the student’s work (especially an observed writing sample). Records should also be kept of contacts with the student regarding the matter.

Process of Adjudication 

  1. Level 1 and Level 2 offenses may be handled between the student and the faculty member, utilizing the Academic Integrity Policy Report Form. The student has the option to avoid a Judicial Hearing in favor of accepting the letter sent by the Coordinator for Student Judicial Affairs. L
  2. Level 3 offenses will include the submission of the Academic Integrity Policy Report Form and will also require a judicial hearing since the recommendation for being found responsible of a level 3 offense is a minimum of a 1 semester suspension from the University. 
  3. Actions at any Level may be appealed.  Information about the appeal procedures may be found at www.umassd.edu/studenthandbook/studentjud/section11.cfm

Additional Consequences of Violating the Academic Integrity Policy 

Students committing acts of academic dishonesty not only face university discipline and possible criminal action, but run a serious risk of harming their future educational and employment opportunities. Prospective employers and other educational institutions frequently use recommendation forms that ask for judgment and comment on an individual’s moral or ethical behavior. Additionally, in all cases in which a grade of “F” is assigned for disciplinary reasons, the “F” will remain on the student’s transcript, even if the course is retaken and a passing grade is achieved.

* This policy is substantively derived from the “Policy on Academic Integrity for Undergraduate and Graduate Students” of Rutgers University, available online through the Teaching Excellence Center of Rutgers University (http:/teachx.rutgers.edu). 

Graduation Requirements


Degree Conferral

Candidates for graduation must formally declare their intention to graduate by applying for graduation through the Registrar’s Office. The deadlines for that filing are shown in the table below. At about the same time that they declare intention to graduate, students should review their academic records with their departmental advisers for a final time, to ensure that all requirements will have been met properly.

Completion of degree requirements is certified at three different times during the year. Diplomas and transcripts show the date of degree conferral as in the table below.

The spring graduation conferral date is the date of the actual commencement ceremony.

Course grades are recorded for the term in which the student registered for the course. In the case of incompletes, the actual work will be completed after that date. If a student cannot graduate at the end of his or her last term because one or more courses required for graduation have incomplete grades, the student will not receive the diploma or the final transcript until after the incomplete work is made up and the professor has assigned the appropriate new grade. In other words, diplomas and final transcripts are given out after all work required for the degree is completed, but the date on the diploma corresponds to the term in which the final grade is registered. Once a student graduates, the transcript is closed to subsequent changes (with the exception of correction of errors), to preserve the accuracy of the certification.

Commencement Exercises

The university holds one formal undergraduate commencement ceremony each year, at the conclusion of the spring semester. Students may participate in the spring commencement exercises if they have fulfilled the requirements for graduation.  Additionally, if students are no more than nine credits short of completion, they may participate with the approval of the dean of their college.  Students whose records will be completed with the inclusion of credits for one or more courses in transfer may also participate, if those credits have already been earned prior to the student’s graduation date.

Diplomas are not issued at the commencement ceremony.  Students will be sent their diplomas after their academic records are complete and they have been certified for graduation with the degree appropriate to their majors.

Students who have completed graduation requirements in July/August or December/January may participate in the up-coming spring commencement ceremony, if they have not already participated in the previous spring. An individual may participate in only one commencement ceremony per degree.

Graduate students should consult the current Graduate Catalog about requirements for participation in commencement.

Completion occurring

Date on diploma

Deadline to declare intention to graduate

In July/August

September 1

July 1

In December/January

January 31

November 1

By commencement

Day of commencement 

March 15


Enrollment as a Non-Degree Student


For assistance: contact the Academic Advisement Center, x8455

Non-Degree Student status allows those not seeking a UMass Dartmouth degree to register for undergraduate classes at the university on a space-available basis. Individuals with the interests and qualifications listed below are welcome to request undergraduate non-degree student status:

  • Students, not seeking a degree, who wish to take courses for personal and professional reasons. At least a high school diploma or GED must have been received in order for registration to occur. Students must each submit proof of having received a high school diploma or GED, or an associate’s or post-baccalaureate degree, before grades are  issued at the end of the semester of registration as a special student.
  • Visiting students matriculated at another college. Before registration, an official letter of authorization should be provided from the student’s home institution verifying that the student is in good standing. International students seeking a degree and in good standing at another university and holding the F-1 visa from that institution may also  request registration as visiting special students at UMass Dartmouth. Visiting students from another UMass campus are invited to use a simplified process to enroll here; see the Admissions section of this catalog.
  • Exchange students studying here by terms of an agreement between UMass Dartmouth and the home institution in another country, pursuing a degree at the home institution. Exchange students receive formal acceptance to the exchange program and are registered in special student status
  • Persons pursuing one of the certificate programs of the university, listed in the General Catalog section on Interdisciplinary and Special Programs. Because certificate students do not receive a formal degree, they are registered as special students. The university’s certificate programs offer various opportunities for advisement, program planning, and registration for courses. Participants in certificate programs apply for and formally receive acceptance, and they must meet formally expressed conditions for completion of the program and award of the certificate.
  • High school students. Exceptional high school students may be accepted as part time special students. High school transcripts and letters of recommendation must be provided by the student’s high school counselor or principal prior to registration. Such students may study here under the Commonwealth’s Dual Enrollment program, described in the section on Admissions.
  • Applicants for admission to UMass Dartmouth who were qualified but were denied admission because of space limitations.

 The following are not accepted as non-degree students:

  • Generally, applicants who were denied admission to UMass Dartmouth because they did not have the necessary qualifications. However, such students may seek permission in the Academic Advising Center to enroll as non-degree students to overcome specific deficiencies and prepare for subsequent degree admission.

  • Students who have been dismissed by UMass Dartmouth or any other college or university, for at least one semester following the dismissal. Such dismissed students may be recommended by the dean of their college for admission as special students, after a semester away, with conditions for re-admission as regular students specified and with an educational plan designed to assist in the amelioration of past deficiencies. (Others may be recommended to apply for re-admission as regular students after a semester or more away.)

  • International students who would need F-1 visas, except in the case of certain formal certificate programs.

The following procedures and regulations apply to non-degree students:

Students may remain as non-degree students at UMass Dartmouth for a maximum of 30 credits. (The 30-credit limit does not apply to senior citizens.) After completion of 24 credits, the Registrar’s Office will inform the student that a maximum is being approached. Non-degree students who later decide to pursue a degree should seek admission at an early time to guarantee adequacy of academic advisement and progress without an interruption.

Non-degree students whose academic performance falls below the university’s general requirements for continuation or who are demonstrably unable to benefit from the educational experience offered may be prohibited from future registration. Such cases are reviewed by the Director of the University Academic Advising Center, whose recommendations are brought for action to the Office of the Provost.

All non-degree students will go to the Academic Advising Center for approval of an application to register for undergraduate courses.

Note on financial aid

Non-degree students are not eligible to receive financial aid. An exception to this rule may be made for those admitted to certain official certificate programs.