Jul 16, 2024  
2022-2023 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 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 seeking 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.

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

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

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 electronic Undergraduate Major, Minor, Concentration Change Form is available on the Registrar web site at https://www.umassd.edu/registrar/forms/student-forms/ 

Maintenance and Confidentiality of Education 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, manages schedule of classes, enforces  many academic regulations, and issues official transcripts. Requests 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 students’ enrollment to the National Student Clearinghouse, the Veterans Administration, insurance companies, banks, and student loan agencies.

Confidentiality of Records (FERPA)

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) which is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA affords eligible students certain basic rights with respect to their education records including:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day UMass Dartmouth receives a request for access.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
  • The right to provide written consent UMass Dartmouth discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by UMass Dartmouth to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC  20202

According to the law, a person becomes a student for purposes of FERPA when they are “in attendance” at an institution. This includes attendance in person or remotely by videoconference, satellite, Internet, or other electronic and telecommunications technologies. At UMass Dartmouth, we define a student as someone currently or previously enrolled in any academic offering of the University. This does not include prospective students or applicants to any academic program of the University.

At UMass Dartmouth, FERPA becomes effective on the first day of classes for those newly admitted students who have scheduled at least one course. A student who accepted an admission offer but did not schedule at least one course, or a newly admitted student who canceled his/her registration either before or after the semester begins, is not covered by FERPA.

Education Records

Education records are defined as records, files, documents, and other materials that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by UMass Dartmouth or by a person acting for the University. Education records take many forms, including paper and electronic. Education records include:

  • Grades
  • Class lists
  • Student course schedules
  • Disciplinary records
  • Student financial records
  • Payroll records for employees who are employed as a direct result of their status as students (e.g. work study, assistantships, resident assistants)

The following records are excluded from the definition of education records:

  • “Sole possession” records made by faculty and staff for their own use as reference or memory aids and not shared with others
  • Personal observations
  • University law enforcement records
  • Medical and mental health records used only for the treatment of the student
  • Alumni records
  • Peer graded papers and exams prior to the grade being recorded in the instructor’s grade book

Disclosure of Education Records

Under FERPA, student education records may be disclosed only with the student’s prior written consent. The prior written consent must:

  • Specify the records to be released
  • State the purpose of the disclosure
  • Identify the party(ies) to whom disclosure may be made
  • Be signed and dated by the student

UMass Dartmouth students who wish to have information released must complete the FERPA Authorization To Release Confidential Information Form found at https://www.umassd.edu/registrar/forms/

Prior written consent is not required when disclosure is made under the following conditions:

  • To “University Officials”* who have a legitimate educational interest.
  • To schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.
  • To authorized state and local representatives, subject to the requirements in Sec. 99.35.
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or received.
  • To certain state and local officials or authorities, subject to the requirements in Sec. 99.38.
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions.
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
  • To parents, as defined in Sec. 99.3, of a dependent student, as defined in Sec. 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  • In connection with a health or safety emergency.
  • Information the educational agency or institution has designated as “directory information”.
  • To the parent of a student who is not an eligible student or to the student.
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements in Sec. 99.39.
  • In connection with a disciplinary proceeding at an institution of postsecondary education, subject to the requirements in Sec. 99.39.
  • To a parent of a student at an institution of postsecondary education regarding the student’s violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the institution, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if:
    • The institution determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to that use or possession and
    • The student is under the age of 21 at the time of the disclosure to the parent.
  • The Solomon Amendment which requires institutions to release certain directory information to military recruiters. (If a confidentiality request was made by the student, then information will not be released.)

*University Official” is defined as any individual employed by the University of Massachusetts’ (“System Office’) or one of its campuses, (the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, including the Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst; the University of Massachusetts, Boston; the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, (including its school of law, University of Massachusetts School of Law, Dartmouth); the University of Massachusetts, Lowell; the University of Massachusetts Worcester, a/k/a the University of Massachusetts Medical School,) (individually a “Campus”) who has a legitimate educational interest in the student information.  These individuals include; but, are not limited to instructors; faculty; advisers; admissions counselors; academic advisers; employment placement personnel; deans; department chairpersons; individuals serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; individuals assisting a University Official; directors; law enforcement personnel; health staff; counselors; attorneys; Advancement Office employees; the president; members of the University of Massachusetts’ Board of Trustees; auditors; collection agents.

A University Official may also be an outside contractor or other agent of the University of Massachusetts’ Campus or the System Office, where the Campus or the System Office or both are outsourcing institutional services or functions, and:

(a) The outside contractors or other agents are under the direct control of the Campus or the System Office or both with respect to the use and maintenance of the education records; and

(b) The outside contractor or other agent may not disclose the information to any other party without the student’s consent, and may not use the information for any purpose other than the purpose for which the disclosure was made.  In addition, further disclosures may only be made upon the prior written authorization of the respective Campus or System Office.

FERPA permits university employees to have access to student education records in which they have “legitimate educational interest.” Such access does not require prior written consent of the student. A University Official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University of Massachusetts.  

Directory Information

FERPA permits each institution to define a class of information as “directory information.” FERPA permits public disclosure of directory information without the student’s consent. UMass Dartmouth’s directory items include the following:

  • Name
  • Address (permanent residence and university email)
  • Telephone number
  • Class level (semester class or level: first-year, sophomore, junior, senior, etc.)
  • Major field of study
  • Acknowledgment of a student’s participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight/height (athletic teams)
  • Dates of attendance
  • Enrollment status (full-time, part-time, or not enrolled)
  • Date of graduation
  • Degrees, certificates and awards received
  • Most recent educational institution attended
  • Graduate students who are teaching credit courses only: work department, office address, and employment category

Note: Although the above items are designated by UMass Dartmouth as directory information, only a limited amount of this information is disclosed by UMass Dartmouth officials. The University retains the discretion to refuse to disclose directory information if it believes such disclosure would be an infringement of the student’s privacy rights. Lists of students including directory information above are not normally allowed to be released for non-UMass Dartmouth purposes.

Preventing the Release of Directory Information

FERPA requires each institution to allow students to block disclosure of their directory information. Please be aware that this FERPA restriction will result in the following:

  • Student name will not appear in the commencement program, or be provided to media outlets for honors (i.e. Dean’s List) and graduation announcements.
  • Verification of enrollment, graduation, or degrees awarded will not be provided to third parties, including potential employers and insurance companies.
  • Directory information will not be released to any person on the telephone, in person, or via email.

To block disclosure of directory information, students must download the FERPA Restriction of Release of Directory Information Form available on the UMass Dartmouth Registrar’s website at https://www.umassd.edu/registrar/forms/ Requests for confidentiality are permanent until removed in writing by the student. 

Procedure to Inspect Education Records

Students may inspect and review their education records upon request to the Office of University Records. The student should submit a written request that identifies as precisely as possible the record or records he or she wishes to inspect. The Registrar’s Office will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access must be given in forty-five (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 that relate to him/her.


For additional information, visit https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/ and https://www.umassd.edu/registrar/

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. In COIN, students may register for courses as well as review class schedule, grades, transcript, billing, and financial aid.

Student ID/Social Security Number

The University issues a 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 number (except international students) as a federal/state requirement for requesting and/or receiving financial aid; this number is used in tax reporting and in financial aid and hiring contexts. The University will respect and protect students’ privacy and their social security numbers.

Change of Student Information

Students may update many items directly in the COIN student information system (preferred name, permanent and mailing address, phone number, etc.) whereas other items may require a form and/or additional documentation (i.e. legal name). Current and accurate information is important, and for some purposes, it is mandatory (for example, for international students to retain visa status).

Transcript Requests

Unofficial Transcripts

For current students:

Active students may download their unofficial transcript in COIN for Students under Academics-My Academics-Transcript. Please note, the pop-up blocker must be disabled on your web browser as a PDF document will open in a new tab. If you would like to save the transcript, download the document as a PDF to your computer.

For all former students who do not have access to COIN:

To have a PDF copy of your unofficial transcript emailed to you, you must complete and sign a Transcript Request Form available at www.umassd.edu/registrar/forms/student-forms/ Please submit this form, and any required documentation, at umassd.edu/ssc/ and select “Submit an Inquiry”. You will log a case under the Registrar topic and submit as an attachment.


Official Transcripts

Important Note:  Official transcript requests cannot be processed for those with past due balances or any other transcript holds. You will be notified via the email address you provide on your order request if a hold exists. The electronic transcript order is cancelled within 30 days if the hold is not removed.

For current students and students who attended University of Massachusetts Dartmouth AFTER September 1991, there are two ways to order an official UMass Dartmouth transcript online via the National Student Clearinghouse website at https://www.studentclearinghouse.org/students/:

  1. Electronic transcript (free, fast, and widely accepted)
  2. Secure paper transcript sent via USPS ($4.30 per transcript) with additional delivery options for express, certified, or international delivery with an added charge

For students who attended University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (Southeastern Massachusetts University) PRIOR to September 1991, to order a paper transcript you must complete and sign a Transcript Request Form available on the UMass Dartmouth Registrar web site at www.umassd.edu/registrar/transcripts/  We will process and mail your paper transcript request within 5 business days. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  Please submit this form, and any required documentation, at umassd.edu/ssc/ and select “Submit an Inquiry”. You will log a case under the Registrar topic and submit as an attachment.

For students who attended Southern New England School of Law, to order a paper transcript you must complete and sign a SNESL Transcript Request Form available on the UMass School of Law Enrollment Center web site at https://www.umassd.edu/law/students/forms-policies/ We will process and mail your paper transcript request within 5 business days. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  Please email lec@umassd.edu with the completed transcript request form and questions.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

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

1. Be admitted to degree seeking 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 accepted 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 are not eligible for a UMass Dartmouth degree.

2. 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 298 – Experience Program.
  • 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 service members. Academic residency can be completed at any time while active-duty service members 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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  must  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 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.

6. Have a grade point average of at least 2.0 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 2.0.

7. Complete a minimum of 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  298 – Experience Program must be satisfactorily completed at or under the sponsorship of UMass Dartmouth.

8. Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0:

  • A cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.0 for all credits submitted for the degree is required.

9. Complete a minimum of 120 credits:

  •   A minimum requirement of 120 credits is needed for undergraduate degree completion.  Some programs require a greater number of credits for the degree.


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 certain areas of study. Such options are described in other sections of this catalog. In addition, students may pursue a double major, or minor.

Double Majors

Students may graduate with two majors. Both majors are deemed to be of equal importance, and students must fulfill all requirements for both degrees. When the choice of two majors result in the awarding of two degrees, for example, a BS and a BA, requirements for both must be met in major course work, distribution, University Studies, and a language requirement, 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/Master’s Degree Programs

Academic departments may formally adopt 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. To declare a minor, the student must be a degree candidate who has earned no fewer than 24 earned credits, with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and a minimum 2.5 grade point average in the major.  Approved minors consist of at least 18 credits, of which 9 must be at the upper division (300-400) level.  Within these 9 upper level credits, a course can be counted in only one category.  Even if a course could satisfy either the major or the minor, it cannot be double-counted. A college may define electives that are permitted to be used towards the minor. A department offering a minor may establish other requirements beyond these minimal requirements.  A minor must be completed at the time of the degree and will be so noted on the student’s transcript. A student cannot be readmitted to the University to complete only a minor.

University Studies Requirements

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 advisor 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 II - 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 coded in departmental course listings in this catalog. The complete list is available 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 extremely important that students consult with their advisor and review carefully the curricular plan of their major 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  as  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


Charlton College of Business


College of Engineering


College of Nursing & Health Sciences


College of Visual and Performing Arts


College or departmental studies may 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 advisors 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 advisors is strongly advised.

Graduation Requirements

Degree Conferral

Candidates for graduation must apply for graduation through the Office of the University Registrar. The deadlines for 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 advisors for a final time, to ensure that all requirements have been met.

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

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 posted. 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 its formal commencement ceremony each year, at the conclusion of the spring semester. Students may participate in the spring commencement exercises if they have fulfilled their requirements for graduation.

Students needing additional credits during the summer may participate with the approval of their department chairperson and dean of their college if they provide a feasible plan to complete their requirements by August 31st of that academic year. Typically, students should not seek approval if they have more than 9 credits to complete during the summer. Students seeking this option are required to submit the Permission to Participate - Commencement form along with required department chairperson/college dean signatures and proof of summer registration to the Registrar’s Office.

Students who expect to complete their degree requirements after August 31st may participate in the following spring commencement ceremony. An individual may participate in only one commencement ceremony per degree.

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

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 December (fall term) or January (winter term)

January 31

November 15

In May (spring term)

Day of Commencement 

April 1

In May (Summer maymester term), June, July or August August 31

July 1

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 of 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 advisor in their department or college. Students entering the College of Arts & Sciences as majors in Liberal Arts and Arts and Sciences Undeclared are advised by the staff in the Student Transition and Achievement Resource Center (CAS STAR Center).  Students entering as majors in the Charlton College of Business are advised by the professional advising staff in staff in the Charlton College of Business.  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 advisors 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 advisor before they register each semester and whenever they need assistance. Each student’s advisor 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 advisor will review the student’s academic progress, review the student’s career plans and assist the student in determining the requirements to be met. If, after meeting with their advisors, students need additional assistance, they should go 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. 

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

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.

Statement of Final Responsibility

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


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 is 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.

A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class work each week for approximately fifteen weeks (includes exam week) for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time.
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, clinicals and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

This federally mandated credit hour policy applies to all courses at all levels (graduate, professional and undergraduate) that award academic credit (i.e. any course that appears on an official transcript issued by the University) regardless of the mode of delivery including, but not limited to, online, hybrid, lecture, seminar and laboratory.  Academic units are responsible for ensuring that credit hours are awarded only for work that meets the requirements outlined in this policy.

The expectation of contact time inside the classroom and student effort outside the classroom is the same in all formats of a course whether it is fully online, a hybrid of face-to-face contact with some content delivered online, or one delivered in lecture or seminar format.  Courses that have less structured classroom schedules, such as research seminars, independent studies, internships, practica, studio work, clinicals or any other academic work leading to the award of credit hours, at a minimum, should state clearly learning objectives and expected outcomes and workload expectations that meet the standards set forth above.

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. 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 Course Overload Forms is available on the Registrar web site. A student may accumulate a maximum of 30 credits in excess of degree requirements.

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.

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).

Course Repeat Policy

Students may repeat a course once, but only if space is available or with permission of the instructor. 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 Dean. A Dean’s Approval for 3rd attempt of a Course form is available on the Registrar web site at http://www.umassd.edu/registrar/forms/

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. Students cannot be awarded credit twice for passing an identical course twice. Students who have repeated a Special Topics course with a different topic may be allowed to replace a previous failing grade if the course topic is not to be repeated for foreseeable future (e.g. when faculty who taught previous course have departed the University) with chairperson and dean approval only.

Transfer of Course 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 and the Office of the Registrar.

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


Registration is the process by which students enroll in courses. Students must register during the designated registration period. Once a student has registered for classes, failure to attend class(es) does not constitute a withdrawal from the University and does not excuse a student from their financial obligations.  Students who stop attending or abandon their classes without officially withdrawing will remain on all class rosters until they officially withdraw from the University or until the end of the semester at which point they will be graded accordingly.  The Student Leave of Absence/Withdrawal form can be found at umassd.edu/registrar/forms/student-forms


The academic calendar clearly designates the add/drop period for each academic semester. No one shall enroll for Experiential Learning, Independent Study or  Honors Thesis credits after the second week of the semester without the permission of the appropriate dean or designee.

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 Student Affairs.

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.

After the add/drop period, students may not attend a university course in which they have not been officially registered.  An instructor may allow a student to attend his or her class only if their name appears on the official class roster from the Office of the Registrar.

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.

Course Withdrawal

  • Students may withdraw from courses via COIN until the established course withdrawal deadline, at the University Enrollment Center or Registrar’s Office.  Once processed, a grade of W will be recorded on the transcript.  Grades of W do not affect a student’s GPA, but may impact financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements (www.umassd.edu/financialaid/maintainingaid/). Students who fail to complete this process by the withdrawal deadline will be ineligible for withdrawal and will be graded appropriately by the faculty.
  • Students may independently withdraw from a maximum of 18 cumulative credits.  The college dean or designee must approve withdrawal requests above 18 and up to 24 credits.  After a student has exceeded 18 credits of withdrawals during his or her academic career, the student’s college dean or designee must approve any further withdrawal requests, up to 24 credits.  Students with more than 24 withdrawal credits are subject to dismissal from the University by the college.   Withdrawal credits granted through an approved Medical Leave of Absence do not apply toward the 18 or 24 credit maximum.
  • Students who withdraw from all courses during the semester who have not submitted a Student Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Form (found at https://www.umassd.edu/registrar/forms/student-forms/) shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the University and will be subject to the readmission procedures of the University.

University Leave of Absence & Voluntary Withdrawal Policy

Distinction between Leave of Absence and Voluntary Withdrawal:

  • Students who need to step away from the university for a set period of time and have the intention of returning to the university within a four-semester timeframe (not including winter or summer sessions) should elect a leave of absence.
  • Students who have no intention of returning to the university should elect a voluntary withdrawal.


Undergraduate students who wish to take a leave of absence or voluntarily withdraw from all their classes at the university must begin the process by submitting the online Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Request Form available at https://www.umassd.edu/registrar/forms/student-forms/  


  • During Semester: The leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal request must be submitted by the semester’s last day of classes.
  • Between Semesters: The leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal request must be submitted by the upcoming compulsory semester’s (fall or spring) established add/drop deadline if leaving the university prior to the start of that semester.

Effective Date:

  • The date the request is submitted will be recorded as the official leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal effective date unless the student is requesting a leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal effective after the current semester’s completion. In that instance, it will be processed effective after final grades have been posted for that semester.
  • The effective date will be provided to the Bursar and Financial Aid Offices for appropriate billing, refund, and financial aid adjustments. It is imperative that the student submits the leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal request as soon as they have made the decision to stop attending/participating in courses. The leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal effective date cannot be changed once it has been recorded in the university’s student information system.


Leave of Absence and Voluntary Withdrawal Options & Conditions:

There are three leave of absence options and one voluntary withdrawal option available:

  • Leave of Absence – Standard (requires approval from College Dean’s Office)

When a Leave of Absence - Standard occurs during a semester in which the student is enrolled in courses, the class grades are recorded as Ws on the transcript and count toward the maximum number of Ws allowed by the university and may impact financial aid, including Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. Student is not required to apply for readmission to the university or pay a readmission fee as long as student returns after no more than four semesters of absence (not including winter or summer sessions). If absent for more than four semesters, the student is subject to the university’s readmission procedures.

  • Leave of Absence – Medical (requires approval from Health Services for physical health or Counseling Center for emotional health) 

When a Leave of Absence - Medical (emotional health or physical health) occurs during a semester in which the student is enrolled in courses, the class grades are recorded as Ws on the transcript and do not apply toward the maximum number of Ws allowed by the university but may impact financial aid, including Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. Student must submit all required documentation requested by Health Services or the Counseling Center, and must meet​ with the Counseling Center (if emotional health) before the leave of absence can be approved. Student is not required to apply for readmission to the university or pay a readmission fee as long as student returns after no more than four semesters of absence (not including winter or summer sessions). If absent for more than four semesters, the student is subject to the university’s readmission procedures.

  • Leave of Absence – Military (requires approval from Office of Student Affairs)

When a Leave of Absence - Military (active duty) occurs during a semester in which the student is enrolled in courses, the class grades are recorded as Ws on the transcript and do not apply toward the maximum number of Ws allowed by the university but may impact financial aid, including Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. Student is not required to apply for readmission to the university or pay a readmission fee as long as student returns after no more than four semesters of absence (not including winter or summer sessions). If absent for more than four semesters, the student is subject to the university’s readmission procedures.

  • Voluntary Withdrawal (requires approval from College Dean’s Office)

When a Voluntary Withdrawal occurs during a semester in which the student is enrolled in courses, the class grades are recorded as Ws on the transcript and count toward the maximum number of Ws allowed by the university and may impact financial aid, including Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. A voluntary withdrawal should only be requested if the student does not intend to return to the university.

PLEASE NOTE: Students who do not submit the online Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Request Form by the established deadline who independently withdraw from all courses during the semester (unofficial withdrawal) will be deemed as withdrawn from the university as a Voluntary Withdrawal.  The effective date of the voluntary withdrawal will be determined based on the date of the last dropped (W) course.  When an unofficial withdrawal occurs during a semester in which the student is enrolled in courses, the class grades are recorded as Ws on the transcript and count toward the maximum number of Ws allowed by the university and may impact financial aid, including Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.  Students who withdraw from all courses in a given semester without officially requesting a leave of absence will be required to follow the readmission application procedures if they wish to return.


Impacts of a Leave of Absence or Voluntary Withdrawal:

  • Billing: A full or partial refund may be possible depending on the leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal effective date and the University Refund Policy. In the event the submission date of the leave is after the refund eligibility date, all charges on the account remain due. Unpaid balances may be subject to collection activities. The refund policy is available at www.umassd.edu/uec/billing/tuitionrefunds
  • Financial Aid: Students who are granted a Leave of Absence/Withdrawal before 60% of the semester is completed will have their federal and state financial aid eligibility recalculated in direct proportion to the length of their enrollment. This recalculation could result in an outstanding balance. For additional information, visit www.umassd.edu/financialaid/maintainingaid/
  • Student Employment: If currently working on campus, a student may NOT continue university employment.
  • Housing: If living on campus, student must schedule an appointment with their Resident Director (or RA) to officially check out of the hall and turn in the room key. This will help avoid bills for keys, improper checkout, and room/hall damages. NOTE: All housing charges will remain until the student completes a proper residence hall checkout, which includes return of room key(s), removal of all personal property, and a signed Room Condition Report (RCR). There will be no refund of housing charges after the published “no refund” date in the housing agreement each semester.
  • International Students: Must arrange to meet with the International Student and Scholar Center BEFORE requesting a Leave of Absence/Withdrawal. The Center will explain the impact on VISA status and the process required when returning.


Confirmation of Leave of Absence or Withdrawal:

Once the student has submitted the online Student Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Request Form and all required approvals (including any documentation requested by Health Services or the Counseling Center if Leave of Absence – Medical) are received, the Office of University Registrar will process the leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal in the student information system. Student will be sent an email confirmation to their UMass Dartmouth email address. The leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal status and effective date will be reported to appropriate university departments and other federal and state agencies including the National Student Clearinghouse.


Returning to the UMass Dartmouth:

After an approved Leave of Absence:

  • Students granted a Leave of Absence - Standard or Military may return by sending an email to the Office of the University Registrar at registrar@umassd.edu at least four weeks prior to the semester of return.
  • Students on a Leave of Absence - Medical must provide documentation from a therapist to the Counseling Center (emotional health) or a physician to Health Services (physical health) at least four weeks prior to the semester of return. The final approval for a Medical Leave return is determined by the Counseling Center or Health Services Director.
  • Students on a Leave of Absence who exceed the stipulated time on leave will be considered to have withdrawn and are subject to the university’s readmission procedures.

After a Voluntary Withdrawal:

  • Former students may request readmission to continue their education after an absence of one or more semesters or after an absence for which they did not obtain official approval.
  • The readmission application form is available at https://www.umassd.edu/registrar/readmission-application/
  • Readmission requests must be submitted to Office of University Registrar, who forwards the request to the department chairperson of the student’s major.
  • A fee is charged to each applicant for readmission.
  • Readmission is not automatic; some readmission requests are denied. Individuals are evaluated for prior academic progress and for availability of space in the major program of study and must receive Bursar’s Office clearance.


Excused Absence Policy

The university expects students to regularly attend classes in which they are enrolled. Faculty members are expected to establish specific attendance policies governing their classes and clearly communicate their policies in the course syllabi. Faculty members may require appropriate documentation to verify absences with the discretion to accept or deny the provided documentation. Faculty will practice sensitivity regarding students’ right to privacy when requesting documentation from students who have disclosed the need for accommodations due to traumatic or painful experiences (e.g., a death in the family). Consistent with HIPAA, faculty will also let students know that they are not required to disclose any details about their personal medical conditions or histories. A general note from their medical provider letting the university know that medical accommodations are needed and a general timeline is sufficient.

Given that students represent the university when participating in campus-sanctioned activities that are officially sponsored by and in the interest of the university, and given that students participate as citizens in society, individual faculty policies must allow for a reasonable number of excused absences for legitimate reasons.

An excused absence means that an instructor must not penalize the student. Further, the instructor must provide a reasonable and timely accommodation or opportunity to make up exams or other course requirements that have an impact on course grades. Courses required for graduation must be fully completed. All course requirements for accreditation and licensure (i.e., clinical, externship, internship, or field-based experience hours) must be completed. 

For regularly-scheduled events, students should provide the instructor with the schedule at the beginning of the semester or as soon as known. Excused students should be allowed equal opportunities as students who were present in class. Excused absence policies approved by the Faculty Senate are consistently applied to all students.

Excused students are responsible for work missed due to absences, and are expected to initiate the request to make up the class work or examination(s) missed. Students must notify each of their instructors as soon as possible before any known conflict, and as soon as possible after any emergent conflict, between scheduled class meetings, quizzes, exams, midterms, final exams, assignment due dates and the student’s scheduled, officially-sponsored university activities. This is especially important for excused absences involving travel off-campus, as well as obligatory services as citizens (e.g., jury duty). Notification should be made by the student in writing.

Faculty members are obligated to honor the following circumstances as excused absences:

  1. invited participation in activities, on/off campus, on directly and officially sponsored by, and in the interest of the University (e.g., athletic competitions, instructional programs, presentations, debate teams, DECA, Model UN, etc.);
  2. travel to/from officially-sponsored instructional, research, and/or athletic programs of the university, which is considered part of the excused circumstance;
  3. civic duties such as jury duty and military drills;
  4. religious and spiritual holidays (see also the “Religious Observance” section of the Academic Catalog).


Other reasonable circumstances may be excused, especially when attendance would jeopardize the safety of the student and/or other members of the class such as illness, risk of illness, inclement weather, etc.

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.

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.

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.

Enrollment as a Non-Degree Student

Non-Degree student status allows those not seeking a UMass Dartmouth degree to register for undergraduate classes 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 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 non-degree student.
  • Visiting students matriculated at another college.
  • 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 non-degree student status.
  • High school students. Exceptional high school students may be accepted as part time non degree 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.

 The following are not accepted as non-degree students:

  • International students who would need F-1 visas.

The following procedures apply to non-degree students:

  • Students may remain as non-degree students at UMass Dartmouth for a maximum of 30 credits. However, 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 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 Registrar’s Office whose recommendations are brought for action to the Office of the Provost.
  • Proof of course prerequisites may be required.
  • Permission from the Dean’s office via Engineering Student Support & Services (ES3) is required for all non-degree students looking to enroll in courses within the College of Engineering.
  • To register:
    • non-degree students may review course listings and register for online courses offered through Online and Continuing Education at https://www.umassd.edu/online/   
    • non-degree students may review course listsings for face to face courses courses at https://www.umassd.edu/courses/ and submit the Non-Degree Student Registration Request Form - Day Courses found at https://www.umassd.edu/registrar/forms/student-forms/ to the University Enrollment Center at uec@umassd.edu 
  • Contact University Enrollment Center at uec@umassd.edu or 508.999.8857 for assistance.

Note on financial aid: Non-degree students are not eligible to receive financial aid.

Readmission to Pursue a Second Bachelor’s 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 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.

Readmission 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 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.

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.

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. A NC grade designates failure or non-completion of a course taken on a Pass/No Credit basis. 


  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 FI . “I” grades cannot be changed to W. The Incomplete Request Form is available at http://www.umassd.edu/registrar/ under Forms.


  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. Academic Recognition (Dean’s or Chancellor’s List) cannot be considered until all “IP” grades have been replaced with the final grades.


  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.

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 official grade will convert to P or F depending on the grade assigned. 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 practices are as follows:

  • A student who does passing work (i.e., A through D-) 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.

Pass/Fail option is not available to graduate students.

Grade Point Average

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, 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, IP, and AU, earned by the student. Grades of F, FI 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.

Grade Change Policy

An instructor may request a change of grade only when a computational or procedural error occurred in the original grade assignment. No final grade may be changed as a result of re-examination, the re-evaluation of work submitted, and/or assigning additional [extra credit] work before or after the end of the term, unless all students enrolled in the class are afforded the same opportunity. Incomplete grades may be an exception. A grade change must be approved by the chairperson of the instructor’s department and by the dean of the college within one year of the original grade record. Under limited circumstances and with approval of appropriate Dean or Assistant/Associate Dean changes beyond a year may be considered.

Grade Appeal Policy

Rights Concerning Grading Practices

The determination of grades is the responsibility of the course instructor. At the beginning of a course, students have the right to be informed through the course syllabus, the basis of grading in the course. Both during a course and at its end, students have the right to know how their work was evaluated. Any grading policy modifications in the syllabus must be communicated clearly and in a timely manner.

Grade Appeal

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. The responsibility for developing and presenting the case for changing a grade rests with the student making the appeal. The process is non-judicial insofar as the Academic Regulations and Procedures are concerned, i.e., academic sanctions such as warnings, probations, and dismissals are irrelevant in grade appeals.

What Can Be Appealed

  1. Only final course grades may be appealed. Appeals may not be filed until the final grade is posted.

  2. Grades may be appealed that are allegedly caused by:

  3. Unequal application of grading standards or applying grading criteria to one student or some students in a manner that treats them differently.

  4. Unfair or unannounced alterations of assignments, grading criteria, or computational process as stated in the syllabus.

  5. Computation dispute about the final grade.

  6. Failure by the course instructor to document a finding of academic dishonesty that affected the final grade. See Academic Integrity Policy.

What Cannot Be Appealed

  1. If grade change does not affect the final course grade. 

  2. Disputes over the interpretation of the syllabus.

  3. Comparison of course grade policy with different courses or different sections of the same course.

  4. The impact of a grade on a student’s academic progress or eligibility for athletics, scholarships, veteran’s benefits, or financial aid. 

Selection Of Grade Appeal Facilitators

The Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs appoints Grade Appeal Facilitators on the recommendation of the Faculty Senate President. There will be two Grade Appeal Facilitators for each academic council of the college/school.

Faculty and students from these units will nominate tenured faculty candidates for each appointment and the Faculty Senate President shall confirm the candidate’s willingness to serve and make recommendations to the Provost.

A Grade Appeal Facilitator is appointed for two years. The Grade Appeal Facilitator’s name, function, and college assignment are widely announced at the beginning of the academic year.

Role of the grade appeal facilitator

The Grade Appeal Facilitator serves students and faculty as someone to go to for grading issues and assists with the informal resolution process and the formal grade appeal process. The Facilitator provides students and faculty with information about the grade appeal process, forms, and timeline, and addresses any questions relating to grading dispute.

Process For Grade Appeal

Informal Resolution: Students with questions concerning the final posted grade should immediately contact the course instructor to inquire about the issue as soon as grades are posted by the Registrar’s Office. The student may also notify the Grade Appeal Facilitator at the same time. When the course instructor is not available, or no longer works at UMass Dartmouth, the department chairperson should act on behalf of the instructor.

Formal Grade Appeal

Summary: If the student and course instructor do not reconcile differences informally, the student may bring the issue formally to the Grade Appeal Facilitator by filling out the Grade Appeal Form. The form should be supported with a clear basis for appeal. The burden of proof is upon the student to present documentation as evidence and demonstrate the appropriateness of formal appeal.

Deadlines: The student should submit the Grade Appeal Form to the Grade Appeal Facilitator, all documentation as evidence, and any e-mail exchanges with the course instructor or chairperson no later than Monday of the second week of January for fall semester grade appeals, and no later than Monday of the last full week of May for spring semester grade appeals. Copies of the form and all materials submitted by the student should be made available to the course instructor and chairperson.

Within two days of receiving the documents, the Grade Appeal Facilitator will review the Grade Appeal Form and documentation in order to determine the existence of a basis and evidence for grade appeal.

If no basis for grade appeal is found after a review of the Grade Appeal Form and documentation, the Grade Appeal Facilitator shall notify the student with a clear explanation, and also notify the course instructor and department chairperson. This decision ends the grade appeal process.

If a basis for grade appeal is found and evidence is present, the Grade Appeal Facilitator shall attempt to find a nonbinding solution acceptable to the student and course instructor no later than Wednesday of the second week of January for fall semester grade appeals, and no later than Wednesday of the last full week of May for spring semester grade appeals. Otherwise, the Grade Appeal Facilitator shall forward all documents to the Grade Appeal Committee (GAC) for a formal hearing.

All formal hearings must take place by Friday of the second week of January for fall semester grade appeals, and Friday of the last full week of May for spring semester grade appeals. The Grade Appeal Facilitator must notify both course instructor and student of date, time, and location of the meeting. The course instructor and student have the right to attend. The Grade Appeal Facilitator will be present in an advisory, non-voting role. The GAC will deliberate this motion in closed session. A majority vote is required to pass this motion. The decision is conveyed in writing by the GAC to the student, the course instructor, the chairperson, the Grade Appeal Facilitator, and the Dean of the College of the instructor’s department. The Dean will implement the decision.

Within five class days of receiving the GAC’s decision, either the student or the course instructor may, with sufficient cause, appeal the GAC’s decision in writing to the Dean of the College. “Cause” is defined as new evidence or procedural error. Subsequently, the Dean must notify the student, course instructor, department chairperson, and Grade Appeal Facilitator of his/her decision including any changes required by the Registrar’s office. The Dean’s decision is final. 

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.

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 should contact the advising office in their college or the Dean’s Office in their college to begin the process. Grade amnesty is invoked at the time of readmission and approved by the readmitted student’s advisor, chairperson, and dean. With the advisor’s assistance, the student must set academic goals carefully to ultimately achieve grade amnesty, and to avoid or minimize probation and prevent future academic dismissal. 

Requirements for a student to be considered for readmission under grade 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 grade 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 grade 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.

Academic Recognition and Academic Honors

Dean’s List

Following the completion of each semester, full-time undergraduate degree students (in both “day” and Online and Continuing Education programs) who have completed at least 12 course credits, excluding courses taken under the pass-fail option and the Experience Program , and who have no “I” or “IP” grades outstanding for that semester, are considered for the Dean’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. 

Academic Standing

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.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Federal regulations require that schools monitor the academic progress of each applicant for federal financial assistance. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has established the following policy for evaluating Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) of financial aid recipients. This policy also extends to state and institutional financial aid programs.

Policy: 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. Student must meet with Dean, Associate Dean or Assistant Dean from their College or if enrolled in ASU, LAR, or CCB and have under 45 earned credits, should meet with professional advisors in the STAR Center (ASU and LAR students) or with professional advisor in CCB (CCB students) and develop an Academic Plan. Both student and Dean’s Office/Academic Advisor representative must sign Academic Plan Form.

3.. Upload completed SAP Appeal, Academic Plan, and supporting documents to umassd.verifymyfafsa.com for Financial Aid Services 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.

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: 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: 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: 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: 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

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).