Graduate Policies

Grading Policies

Graduate courses are graded as follows:

Grade Grade Points/Description
FFailure: 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.
IIncomplete: 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 and/or thesis work has not been completed on time.
PPass: a mark used to show satisfactory performance.
WWithdraw: A non-punitive grade which will be entered on the permanent record if a student withdraws from a class within the published withdrawal period.


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.

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 program, a maximum of one course may be repeated. For the MBA, MFT and Education program, 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.

Academic Policies

Add/Drop and Tuition Refund Policy

Programs on the Block Calendar (MBA, Marriage and Family Therapy, MSN)

The block calendar add/drop dates are located on the inside back cover of this Catalog. Students enrolled in these programs must drop a course prior to class beginning in order to avoid being charged for the class. If the course is dropped on or after the start of the block, but prior to the second day of class, the student will receive a grade of “W” on the academic transcript reflecting the withdrawal but will not be charged. Students dropping the course during the second day of class or thereafter, will be charged 100% of the tuition. Students who never show up to a class but do not drop the course will receive a grade of “NA” and will be charged 100% of the tuition for the course

Education Program

The education program runs on the semester calendar, and add/drop dates are located on the inside front cover of this catalog. Courses must be dropped prior to the last day to drop. A student’s final bill will be determined on the last day to add classes for each term. This is generally seven (7) days after the beginning of the term and is referred to as the final bill date. Before the final bill date, students may adjust their class schedule without incurring add/drop fees. Students who withdraw from Mount Mercy after the final bill date may be eligible to receive a refund of a portion of the tuition charged for the semester. The tuition refund schedule follows the Federal financial aid guidelines. Please contact the Student Financial Services Office for more information regarding tuition refund amounts.

After conclusion of the add/drop or withdrawal period, all change requests must be approved by the Program Director. Late adds and drops are limited to unusual circumstances that must be documented in writing.


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 and twice during the official semester for purposes of validating class rosters and meeting Federal regulations.

Continuous Enrollment

Students do not have to be contiguously enrolled in graduate classes and may take one semester off at anytime. However, students must be enrolled in classes for the following semester or the student will need to complete a leave of absence request or 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. All students must complete the program within six years unless arrangements have been made with the program director.

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.

Leave of Absence

Students desiring a Leave of Absence must meet with the Program Director to complete the appropriate paperwork. If the leave is granted, the student must return to Mount Mercy within one year. Students who do not return at the end of the leave will be withdrawn from the program. An exception to this time period will be made for students called to active duty in the military. Students are required to provide proof of deployment prior to being deployed. A Leave of Absence will only be granted if the student has no course work in process.

Second Master’s Degree

A student may pursue a second Master’s Degree at Mount Mercy. The degree must be significantly different from the initial degree. A maximum of 12 credits from the initial degree may be accepted toward the Mount Mercy degree.

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.

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 Provost/Dean.
  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.

Thesis Continuation

Master of Arts in Education students are required to complete an education thesis in order to graduate. After finishing the action research class, students must continuously enroll in a 0-1 credit Education Thesis (ED 602 Education Thesis) course until the thesis receives final approval from the student’s thesis committee. Students will receive 1 credit hour the first semester registered for the course and 0 credit hours 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 grades 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