Graduate Policies

Grading Policies

Graduate courses are graded as follows:

Grade Grade Points/Description
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
F Failure: no credit earned. A student earning an "F" grade may not repeat the course for which the "F" was received without the approval of the Program Director.
I Incomplete: a temporary grade given only when extenuating circumstances prevent completion of all course work on time.
IP Incomplete in Process: a temporary grade given when a practicum, research project, and/or thesis work has not been completed on time.
P Pass: a mark used to show satisfactory performance.
W Withdraw: A non-punitive grade which will be entered on the permanent record if a student withdraws from a class within the published withdrawal period.
NA Non-attendance

The cumulative grade point average is calculated by dividing cumulative grade points by cumulative hours graded.

Academic Standing/Probation

A student is required to achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.00. A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.00 will be placed on probation, and the student will have two enrolled terms to remove that status. If the student fails to earn a minimum grade point average of 3.00 within that time, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Only two “C” grades (C+, C or C-) are permitted in the graduate program. A third grade of “C+” or below will result in academic dismissal from the program. No course with a grade of “C-“ or below will count toward a graduate degree. Any grade of “F” may be cause for dismissal from the program. A second “C+” or below in a repeated course may be cause for dismissal from the program. Dismissals may be appealed through the appeal process.

Departments can identify courses in which a “B” is the minimum grade required. Students must earn at least a "B" average for an endorsement to be granted in the Education program.

Incomplete Grades

The incomplete (I) is a temporary grade given only when extenuating circumstances prevent completion of all course work on time. To remove an incomplete grade, a student must complete all required work in the course no later than 30 days from the close of the term. Failure to do so automatically results in failure in the course. Extensions may be given by the course instructor. An Incomplete in Process is given for practicum or thesis work that has not been completed by the end of the semester. The Incomplete in Process must be completed within six months of the close of the term in which it was given.

Repeating Courses

A student receiving a “C+”, “C” or “C-“ may repeat a graduate course once. For the MSN and DNP programs, a maximum of one course may be repeated. For all other programs, a maximum of two different courses in a student’s degree program may be repeated. Both the original course and the repeated course remain on the transcript. The cumulative grade point average will include only the second grade.

Military Education/Credit

Please be sure to identify your military service in your initial advising appointment as credit hours may have been earned for your military training. Military education is evaluated by the Registrar’s Office upon the receipt of a Joint Services Transcript or official transcript from Community College of the Air Force.

Be sure to contact your respective branch office or Educational Services Officer prior to enrolling in classes or sending transcripts.

It is important to have your military transcripts reviewed by the Registrar during your initial review prior to admission. The number of hours that you are able to pursue through Mount Mercy's partner institutions may be affected by the number of hours transferring from your military education. Some military education credits transfer as two-year institutional credits.

Veteran and Military Services

Students eligible for educational benefits from the Veterans Administration or Department of Defense should report to the Registrar’s Office prior to the first term of attendance. After the necessary documents have been supplied, enrollment certification will be submitted or confirmed. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Registrar of any changes in registration. Failure to properly alert the Registrar of changes in enrollment may result in loss, delay, or repayment of educational benefits.

More information on military policies can be found here.

Academic Policies

Attendance

Attendance requirements in graduate courses are established by programs and individual instructors. Attendance policies are stated in each course syllabus. Official attendance will be taken on the first day of class for classes in the block schedule for purposes of validating class rosters and meeting Federal regulations.

Students enrolled in an online course must actively engage in the course by the end of the first Thursday (11:59pm CST) or earlier as designated by instructor. Simply logging in to the class does not count as engagement for attendance purposes. Students that are “No-Showed” (removed from the class due to non-attendance) for a given course, after the course has started, will receive a grade of NA and will not be charged.

Continuous Enrollment

Students do not have to be contiguously enrolled in graduate classes and may take one semester off without reapplying unless Federal regulations dictate otherwise. However, students must be enrolled in classes for the following semester or the student will need to withdraw from the program. Students should be aware there may be financial aid implications of not being contiguously enrolled in classes and should consult with the Student Financial Services Office. 

NOTE: To complete the MSN program students must be enrolled in summer courses.

Statute of Limitations

Students enrolled in a graduate program must complete all degree requirements no later than six years after the date of first enrollment in the program. A student may petition the Associate Provost for an extension for a limited period if such extension is sought before the six-year limit expires.

Dismissal from Mount Mercy

In order to safeguard its scholastic integrity and its moral atmosphere, Mount Mercy reserves the right to remove and/or suspend any student who violates the stated policies for behavior and academic integrity outlined in the Good Book.

Full-Time Status

Students enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per semester will be considered full-time. A student has to be enrolled in at least 3 credit hours per semester to be considered part-time.

Second Master’s Degree

A student may pursue a second Master’s Degree at Mount Mercy. The degree must be in a program other than the original degree program. (Example: Students are not allowed to earn more than one MBA degree regardless of emphasis.)

A maximum of 18 credits from the initial Mount Mercy degree may be accepted toward the second Mount Mercy degree. A maximum of 9 credits from a transfer degree may be accepted toward a second Mount Mercy degree.

At least 18 hours must be earned at Mount Mercy beyond the initial degree. At least 12 of the 18 additional hours must be earned after graduation from the initial Master's Degree program. Only courses for which the student received a grade of "B" or above will double count towards the second master's degree. 

Second Emphasis Area

Students are not allowed to earn two emphasis areas simultaneously. A student is allowed to return as a non-degree student post-graduation with the original emphasis to complete a second emphasis. Students must do a least 9 unique hours in the second emphasis area not used in the original emphasis area. 

Students are allowed to earn multiple education endorsements simultaneously. 

Independent Study (IS)

Independent study courses, which are specially designed by the student and the instructor, are listed under course numbers identified by each program and are subject to the following regulations:

  1. Not more than 2 courses may be taken independently.
  2. Independent study credit is not given for a paid job.
  3. The application form, which can be obtained from the Advisor or Instructor, must fully describe the rationale and objectives of the course, the content and sources from which the content is to be obtained, methods and activities to be used, evaluation procedure, and any pertinent deadlines to be met by the student. The form is to be completed by the student in conference with the instructor who has agreed to direct the study.
  4. The student discusses the course with their advisor who arranges for the additional approvals from the Program Director and Associate Provost.
  5. The application form with all the necessary signatures must be delivered to the Registrar’s Office in order for the registration to be completed.
  6. Faculty members are not required to direct an independent study.

Directed Study (DS)

A Directed Studies course is an individualized delivery of an existing course found in the Catalog and is only offered in exceptional circumstances. Course outcomes and objectives for the DS course are the same as if the course was being taken in the normal, classroom delivery mode. Contact the Program Director for the approval form prior to registering for the class.

Course Continuation

Master of Arts in Education

Master of Arts in Education students may elect to complete an education thesis in order to graduate. After finishing ED 601 Action Research Project students must continuously enroll in a 1-3 credit Education Thesis (ED 602 Education Thesis) course until the thesis receives final approval from the student’s thesis committee. Students will receive 3 credit hours the first semester registered for the course and 1 credit hour each semester after that (Fall, Spring, and Summer) until the student is finished. A continuation fee, equivalent to one credit hour, will be assessed for every semester the student is enrolled in ED 602 Education Thesis. An incomplete will be given in Education Thesis until the final thesis is approved by the committee. Upon approval of the thesis, the grade will be changed to a Pass. If a student does not enroll in Education Thesis once the project has begun, the incomplete grade will turn to a Fail (F).

A continuation fee, equivalent to one credit hour, will be assessed for every semester the student is enrolled in ED 604 Education Research Project and ED 605 Comprehensive Examination in the same manner as ED 602 Education Thesis.

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

MFT students may elect to complete a thesis in order to graduate. Students must continuously enroll in a 1-3 credit MFT Thesis (MF 695 Thesis) course until the thesis receives final approval from the student's thesis committee. Students will receive 3 credit hours the first semester registered for the course (course should be taken during the Spring semester of the second year) and 1 credit hour each semester after that (Fall, Spring, and Summer) until the student is finished. A continuation fee, equivalent to one credit hour, will be assessed for every semester the student is enrolled in MF 695 Thesis. An incomplete will be given in MFT Thesis until the final thesis is approved by the committee. Upon approval of the thesis, the grade will be changed to a Pass.

Any student who chooses the thesis option and fails to complete the thesis will not be able to graduate without additional coursework. In such cases, the student will need to complete the elective that was forgone in favor of the thesis option. Once the elective course has been completed the student will become eligible for graduation, assuming that all other course work has been completed satisfactorily.If a student does not enroll in MFT Thesis or complete additional coursework, the incomplete grade will turn to a Fail (F).

Doctor of Nursing Practice

DNP students are required to complete a project in order to graduate. Students must continuously enroll in NU 890 Innovation & Change for Future: DNP Clinical Practice Project until the project is complete and given final approval by DNP project team. 

Students must complete at least three credit hours in NU 890 Innovation & Change for Future: DNP Clinical Practice Project prior to graduation. Students are required to enroll in NU 890 Innovation & Change for Future: DNP Clinical Practice Project each semester after that (Fall, Spring, and Summer) until the student is finished. A continuation fee, equivalent to one credit hour, will be assessed for every semester the student is enrolled in NU 890 Innovation & Change for Future: DNP Clinical Practice Project after the 3-hour requirement has been met.

An incomplete will be given in NU 890 Innovation & Change for Future: DNP Clinical Practice Project until the final project is approved by the project team. Upon approval of the project, the grade will be changed to a Pass. If a student does not enroll in NU 890 Innovation & Change for Future: DNP Clinical Practice Project, the incomplete grade will turn to a Fail (F).

After completing 3 credit hours of NU 890 Innovation & Change for Future: DNP Clinical Practice Project a student has three years to complete the DNP project.

Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy

Dissertation

MFT doctoral students are required to complete a dissertation in order to graduate. Students must continuously enroll in a MFT Dissertation (MF 896 Dissertation Continuation) course until the dissertation receives final approval from the student's committee.

Students must complete 11 credit hours in MF 895 Dissertation and at least 1 hour in MF 896 Dissertation Continuation prior to graduation. Students are required to complete 1 credit hour each semester after that (Fall, Spring, and Summer) until the student is finished. A continuation fee, equivalent to one credit hour, will be assessed for every semester the student is enrolled in MF 896 Dissertation Continuation after the 12-hour requirement has been met.

An incomplete will be given in MF 896 Dissertation Continuation until the final dissertation is approved by the committee. Upon approval of the thesis, the grade will be changed to a Pass. If a student does not enroll in MF 896 Dissertation Continuation, the incomplete grade will turn to a Fail (F).

Internship

MFT doctoral students are required to complete an internship in order to graduate. Students must continuously enroll in a MFT Internship (MF 892 Internship III) until the internship is completed.

Students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of internship prior to graduation. Students are required to complete 1 credit hour each semester after that (Fall, Spring, and Summer) until the student is finished. A continuation fee, equivalent to one credit hour, will be assessed for every semester the student is enrolled in MF 892 Internship III after the 12-hour requirement has been met.

An incomplete will be given in MF 892 Internship III until the final dissertation is approved by the committee. Upon approval of the internship, the grade will be changed to a Pass. If a student does not enroll in MF 892 Internship III the incomplete grade will turn to a Fail (F).

Graduation Requirements

In order to be eligible to graduate, a student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Minimum GPA of 3.0
  2. Complete all course work with no incompletes
  3. Meet all program specific requirements
  4. Apply for graduation

The student is, in every case, responsible to see that he or she properly applies for graduation and meets the graduation requirements.