This chapter describes academic regulations that apply to all graduate students. See subsections within this chapter for specific policies and procedures.
All students at Georgia State University are responsible for learning and observing all regulations and procedures required by the University and by the college and program or status in which they are enrolled. In no case will a regulation be waived or an exception granted because a student pleads ignorance of the regulation or asserts that he or she was not informed of a specific requirement by an advisor or other university authority. This chapter contains the academic regulations of the University. See the other parts of this catalog for information on the academic regulations of the various colleges and departments.
All students must become especially familiar with (1) this chapter, (2) the following chapter on university degree requirements and graduation, (3) their college’s chapter of this catalog, (4) the offerings and requirements of their major, and (5) the enrollment process found by accessing PAWS (Panther Access to Web Services) at paws.gsu.edu and found on the University’s web site gsu.edu, particularly under the Registrar’s, Student Accounts and Financial Aid pages, which contain more detailed information on the registration process
While the provisions of this catalog will ordinarily be applied as stated, Georgia State reserves the right to change any provision listed in this catalog, including, but not limited to, academic requirements for graduation, without actual notice to individual students. The University will make every effort to keep students advised of any such changes. Students must note their responsibility to keep apprised of current graduation requirements for their particular degree programs.
Each student enrolled at Georgia State University must have access to a computer, and any course offered at the University may require computer-based work. Further, the student’s computer must provide access to e-mail accounts, the World Wide Web using a current browser, and spreadsheet and word processing software. Departments and other units may establish minimum machine capability and software requirements, including the requirement that a student in a certain degree program must own a computer. It is the responsibility of each student to ensure his or her access to a computer. Computers are available in the open-access computer laboratories on campus that provide the basic level of computer capabilities, but these laboratories are heavily used and cannot guarantee a student access to a computer at a particular time.
Every student is assigned an official Georgia State University email address at the time of acceptance. It is essential that students regularly check this email account. Academic departments and student service units across campus use the University-assigned email as a means of communicating with students about official university business, and students are held responsible for this information. Email from Georgia State will be sent to the student’s official Georgia State email address. It will not be sent to any other address (such as a Gmail or Yahoo account). However, students may configure their Georgia State account to forward to another address.
Georgia State University is on a semester system, and academic credit is awarded in semester hours. The fall and spring semesters are approximately 14 weeks each. Summer semester is composed of three-week classes in May as well as six-week and seven-week classes beginning in June. Enrollment in the three-week classes, six-week classes, or seven-week classes counts as having been enrolled in summer semester.
Each student will progress toward his or her degree by following certain predefined steps, which will be repeated each term. Listed below are sections that describe academic advisement, registration, and dropping and withdrawing from classes. Following these sections are those that describe events associated with the completion of a term, such as a description of the grading policy and procedures for changing grades.
Review Enrollment Process Instructions
Students may not attend a course unless they have registered and paid for that course. Each semester students should go online for detailed information concerning the enrollment and registration process. Registration information can be at registrar.gsu.edu and by accessing PAWS (Panther Access to Web Services) at paws.gsu.edu.
Students are urged to become knowledgeable about the entire enrollment process, which includes ensuring financial aid eligibility for the term and ensuring paying of tuition and fees by the payment deadline for that particular term. Information on payment deadlines can be found on sfs.gsu.edu under Tuition and Fees.
Where Registration Takes Place
Registration for courses takes place on PAWS where a list of courses offered for the semester can be found, as well as time ticket information, the registration agreement and student holds that need to be addressed to permit registration for the term.
Preparing and Registering for Classes – Enrollment Process
Registering students should prepare a registration work sheet and ensure they meet all course prerequisites. Unless approved by the department chair, a student may only register for one section of a given course in a given session/term.
Step 1: Run a Program Evaluation to Review Remaining Course Requirements on PAWS and Schedule Advisor Appointments as Necessary
Step 2: Register for Classes
Step 3: Check Financial Aid Requirements for Eligibility and Accept Aid
Step 4: View and Pay Charges on Panther Pay through PAWS
Step 5: Print your Course Schedule on PAWS
Step 6: Print the Semester Calendar on the Registrar’s page
Any deviation from the prescribed procedure may result in unnecessary delays in registration or errors in the resulting schedule. The Office of the Registrar cannot be held responsible for errors resulting from the student’s failure to follow the prescribed registration and schedule adjustment procedures. Any problems experienced with registration should be reported to the Enrollment Services Center, in person, at 227 Sparks Hall or by phone at 404-413-2600 within 24 hours of the occurrence.
All graduate students must notify the Office of Academic Assistance or the Office of Graduate Studies in their college prior to registering if any of the following conditions apply:
- The student has attended another school since last attending Georgia State. The student must have an official transcript of credits sent from the school he or she attended. The student must be eligible to reenroll at the last school attended before he or she returns to Georgia State University. Failure to submit this transcript by the midpoint of the first term after returning to Georgia State could result in the placing of a registration hold on the student’s record.
- The student has disciplinary actions pending at the last institution attended since matriculation at Georgia State.
- The student has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation since last attending Georgia State. Failure to notify the University of any of the above conditions could result in university sanctions, including expulsion.
Students who are eligible to register will be given a registration time-ticket assignment approximately two weeks before registration begins. Students can find their registration time-ticket assignments by accessing PAWS at paws.gsu.edu.
Students will also receive an email referring them to PAWS where they can view their registration time-ticket assignments.
A student’s time-ticket assignment is valid beginning at the student’s assigned time and continues through the last day of registration. Time-tickets are assigned with priority to students scheduled to graduate during the upcoming term and then to continuing students according to the total credit hours earned. Once a student is allowed access, the student can adjust his or her schedule on a first-come, first-served basis during the remaining registration period. Many classes fill up quickly. It is to the student’s advantage to attempt to register as soon as he or she is allowed access to the registration system.
Registrations are considered late once the semester has begun. During late registration, access is on a first-come, first-served basis. It is important that students register prior to the semester beginning in order to have the best opportunity to enroll in courses needed for degree completion. If a student’s first attempt to register is during late registration, a $50 non-refundable late fee will be charged. This $50 fee will also be charged if a student is dropped for nonpayment of fees and attempts to re-register during late registration.
If a student appeals to add a class after late registration has ended, after the 1st Friday of the term, is approved, the student will be charged a $37.50 manual schedule adjustment fee. This fee is charged for each appeal approved. Appeals should be directed to the department that teaches the course the student wishes to add. If a student decides not to attend the course once the appeal has been approved by the academic department and the course has been added by the Office of the Registrar, the student must officially withdraw from the course on PAWS prior to the semester midpoint.
141 Piedmont Avenue, Suite D
All new students attending regularly scheduled classes on campus or receiving resident credit are required to submit a certificate of immunization prior to registering for and attending such classes.
The immunizations required are Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR), Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap), Varicella (chicken pox), and Hepatitis B. In addition, the Meningitis Law requires students residing in university housing to have the Meningococcal vaccine. For more information, see the Georgia State Clinic website updates at health.gsu.edu.
Every student attending classes on campus must complete the immunization requirements of the University System of Georgia. The requirement varies according to the age of the student as follows:
- Students 18 years or younger at the beginning of the term must show proof of immunity to Hepatitis B, MMR, Tdap, and Varicella (chickenpox).
- Students 19 years and older at the beginning of the term are strongly recommended to be immunized for Hepatitis B, but they are not required to show proof of immunity to Hepatitis B. They are required to show proof of immunity to MMR, Tdap and Varicella.
- Students born outside the United States on or before 12/31/1956 must show proof of immunity to Tdap and Varicella only.
- Students born in the United States on or before 12/31/1956 are required to show proof of Tdap only.
- Students born in the United States on or before 12/31/1980 are exempt from showing proof of the Varicella vaccine. They are required to submit proof of immunity for MMR, Tdap.
- Students born 12/31/1980 or later must submit proof of MMR, Varicella and Tdap.
- Students born outside the United States 01/01/1957 or later must provide proof of MMR, Tdap, and Varicella.
The Immunization Office must receive these records two weeks before the last day of late registration. It will take two to three business days to enter the data into the system. Immunization holds will be placed on student accounts to prevent registration and drop/add until the requirement is satisfied.
Students seeking exemption for religious reasons must submit a completed Georgia State University Certificate of Immunization form to the Immunization Office indicating their religious exemption request. Students with medical reasons for exemption must submit a doctor’s letter indicating if this is a permanent or temporary exemption, and, if temporary, the date of expiration. When the temporary exemption expires, the student must complete all immunization requirements. In the event of an epidemic or a threatened epidemic of any disease preventable by immunization, and when an emergency has been declared by appropriate health authorities, additional steps will be undertaken to protect the health of the University community. In the event of a declared public health emergency, persons who do not have proof of immunization on file will not be allowed to participate in classes or other activities on campus.
Students seeking military exemptions must show their DD214 form or Military ID proving active within the last 2 years.
Additional information and copies of the immunization certification form may be obtained by contacting the Immunization Office located in 141 Piedmont Avenue, Ste. D, or by telephone at 404-413-1940, or online at health.gsu.edu.
Meningitis: Georgia law requires that students residing in campus housing be provided information on meningococcal disease and vaccination. After reviewing information about the risks for the disease and the benefits of prevention by the meningitis vaccine, students 18 years and older are required to sign a form kept on file in the Housing Office. Students less than 18 years of age must show their parent or guardian’s signature on the form. This “Meningococcal Disease Notification” form documents that the information was reviewed and the option of the vaccine was provided, and/or date the vaccination was elicited. Compliance with the state law is a requirement for residing in campus housing and is part of the housing contract. Forms and further information are available from the Housing Office at 404-413-1800 or by email at email@example.com.
Courses are numbered as follows:
|Student Status||Number Range|
|Graduate||5000 or higher|
Full-time Course Load: To be certified as full-time students, graduate students must carry a minimum of nine semester hours in the fall and spring semesters and a minimum of six hours in the summer semester. Undergraduate courses taken by graduate students may be counted toward their academic load as specified in writing by their graduate college.
A student who is enrolled in less than a full-time course of study at Georgia State may be in jeopardy of:
- losing insurance coverage under his or her parent/guardian’s insurance policy;
- being out of compliance with the Department of Homeland Security if enrolled at Georgia State University on a student visa;
- being placed on a loan repayment schedule by a lender or guarantor if the student is the recipient of federal financial aid;
- losing a scholarship if the guidelines for receiving the scholarship require full-time enrollment; and/or
- losing an assistantship and/or graduate assistant tuition waiver.
Half-time Course Load: Half-time enrollment is a minimum of 4.5 semester hours for graduate students.
International Students: International students in the student visa status of F and J are required to carry a full-time course load as defined by the Department of Homeland Security.
Students in all graduate programs must maintain enrollment totaling 6 hours (or more) over all consecutive three semester periods (including summers). In other words, the total enrollment of the current term plus the two terms preceding it must add to 6 hours or more at all times. The status of all students will be checked by the midpoint of each term for compliance with the continuous enrollment requirement. Any student whose enrollment is out of compliance will receive a registration hold preventing all current and future registration. Those students will be notified by an email message sent to their official Georgia State University’s email account. In order to graduate, students must be actively enrolled in the program of study during the semester in which they finish degree requirements for graduation.
To resume their programs, students with continuous enrollment holds must file for re-entry by the published deadline and must enroll at a level sufficient to satisfy the continuous enrollment criterion. That is, their enrollment in the re-entry term plus the two terms preceding it must total to 6 hours or more. The maximum required enrollment level for the re-entry term is 6 hours. For more information on the re-entry process, contact your college’s advisement/admissions office.
Students who wish to revise their class schedules must follow the procedure appropriate for the period of time in the semester (see section 1314.10 below). During the published registration periods for each semester, students may revise their schedules by accessing PAWS. Schedule revisions are defined as any changes to a student’s schedule and include dropping and/or adding classes.
To remove a course from a class schedule during the published registration period is referred to by the University community as “dropping” a course. Dropped courses do not appear on the student’s official record. After the last day to add/drop a course, students may “withdraw” from a course when they decide to stop attending. Withdrawn courses appear on the student’s official record. This grade is reflected on the student’s official record. After midpoint, the student will receive the grade the instructor assigns.
All schedule adjustments must be completed by the official last day to register for course credit as published in the online Semester Calendars at paws.gsu.edu. Printable calendars can also be found on gsu.edu under the Registrar’s page. If an institutional error has occurred, and a student wishes to be allowed to register for a course after the deadline, the student, should contact the department offering the course.
Students are responsible for formally dropping or withdrawing from courses using the online registration system, PAWS at paws.gsu.edu. Students should not simply stop attending. Students should be aware of the financial and academic consequences of dropping and withdrawing from courses by consulting with an academic advisor and referring to information concerning the tuition refund schedule found on the Office of Student Accounts’ web page and by referring to information on the Office of Financial Aid’s web page, which are located on the Student Financial Services website at sfs.gsu.edu.
Georgia State University reserves the right, at any time during the semester, to drop any student from classes for failure to pay tuition and fees. However, students should not assume that Georgia State will drop them from classes for failure to pay tuition and fees.
Registration Time Period:
- Adding/Dropping Time Period: When registration opens for the term up until 5 p.m. the first Friday of the term, students may :
- Add courses on PAWS
- Drop courses on PAWS to no longer appear on the student’s official transcript. Note: Students will no longer be charged tuition for courses that are dropped at this time unless an equal credit hour course is added as well. (Refer to the tuition refund schedule on the Student Account web page at gsu.edu. Note: dropping courses and lowering your credit hours for the term may have consequences academically and for financial aid eligibility)
- After this time, students will not be able to add or drop courses on their own.
- Schedule Adjustment – After the first week of classes up until the Midterm:
- Students may withdraw from a class or classes on PAWS
- Note: The last day for a student to add a class in PAWS is the first Friday of the term at 5 p.m.
- As of the second week of classes, faculty have the discretion to request to add or drop students from classes if an administrative error has occurred. Factors such as space availability and health and safety regulations may apply to such requests. During the second week of classes, faculty have until Friday at 5 p.m. to submit request to add or drop students from classes. When a class is dropped during this period, no grade is recorded and no record of the student being enrolled in the class appears on the student’s transcript.
- After the first week of classes and before the midpoint of the term: During this period, students may withdraw from a class or classes using the online registration system in PAWS. Students will receive a grade of W or WF for any class withdrawn during this period. Grades of W and WF appear on the student’s transcript. (Note: A grade of WF is treated as an F for GPA calculation purposes.)
- After the midpoint of the term:
- Students can no longer voluntary withdrawal from classes
- Grades will be posted based on those assigned by instructors.
- Students are responsible for consulting the course syllabus for specific instructor policies regarding such matters as penalties for missing the first class, an exam, an assignment or a project. These may include, among the other things, being dropped or withdrawn from a course.
In general, if a student voluntarily withdraws from an off-campus course, then the normal withdrawal policy applies (see section 1314.10). If the off-campus course’s schedule does not match a Georgia State University term, then the mid-point of the course will be the mid-point of the period from the first off-campus meeting of the course to the last meeting of the course.
If a course is cancelled by Georgia State after the first week of classes, then the student may choose between the following options:
- They may have the course dropped from their schedule (even if the course is cancelled after the end of Late Registration), or
- They may take a W in the course, or
- In coordination with the course instructor and the department chair, the student may develop an academically appropriate plan to complete the course. These plans must be approved by the instructor and the department chair.
Students are expected to observe all policies governing the class. Faculty must clearly state these policies in the course syllabus. When a faculty member determines that a student is in violation of one of the class policies (for example, has missed a required assignment or has excessive absences), that faculty member may withdraw the student from the course. Students involuntarily withdrawn prior to the midpoint of the course will be assigned a grade of W or WF at the discretion of the professor. Students involuntarily withdrawn after the midpoint of the course will be assigned a grade WF. Note that a WF is treated as an F for GPA calculation purposes. A grade notation of – before the grade of W indicates non attendance documented by the professor. Using the official Georgia State University email system, the instructor will notify a student who is involuntarily withdrawn, and within ten days of this notification, the student may petition to the department chair for reinstatement in the course.
Students involuntarily withdrawn from all classes may be entitled to a partial refund of their fees (see Section 1210).
Students may request an emergency withdrawal when a non-academic emergency situation occurs that prevents them from completing their course work (e.g., severe medical problems, traumatic events) and when the timing or nature of the emergency prevents them from voluntarily withdrawing from their classes. (See Section 1314.10.) Emergency withdrawals are subject to the following restrictions:
- Students must initiate an application for an emergency withdrawal no later than two academic years after the semester in which the courses were taken.
- Students may request emergency withdrawals in a maximum of two semesters of their enrollment at Georgia State.
- Students may not request an emergency withdrawal after degree conferral.
Emergency withdrawals normally apply to all the courses a student took in a semester. In exceptional cases, emergency withdrawals may be granted for some of a student’s courses. Students requesting an emergency withdrawal in some but not all of their courses must provide documentation to justify a partial withdrawal.
If a student is granted an emergency withdrawal, W grades will automatically be awarded. W grades awarded as a result of the emergency withdrawal process do not count against the student’s voluntary withdrawal limits.
For further information on emergency withdrawals, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at deanofstudents.gsu.edu.
Withdrawal for Military Service: Refunds and Grades
Full refunds of tuition and mandatory fees and pro rata refunds of elective fees may be considered for students who are:
- Military reservists (including members of the National Guard) who, after having enrolled in courses and paid tuition and fees, receive orders without prior notice to active duty, reassigned for temporary duty, or mandatory training and the orders prevent completion of the term;
- Commissioned officers of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) who receive deployment orders in response to a public health crisis or national emergency after having enrolled in courses and paid tuition and fees and the orders prevent completion of the term;
- Active duty military personnel who, after having enrolled in courses and paid tuition and fees, receive reassignment, a temporary duty assignment, or a training assignment without prior notice and the orders prevent completion of the term; or,
- Otherwise unusually and detrimentally affected by the activation of members of the reserve components or the deployment of active duty personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States who demonstrate a need for exceptional equitable relief.
This policy does not apply to a student enlisting in the Armed Forces prior to or during a semester, unless the student presents documentation showing his/her date to report to initial training was changed without the student’s prior knowledge and the new reporting date prevents completion of the term.
Students must officially withdraw and submit official orders to the Office of the Registrar, Sparks Hall 224, prior to leaving for the assignment. The student is not eligible for a military withdrawal in any course in which the student has completed the course requirements (for example, taking the final exam or submitting the final paper) and/or a grade has been assigned. Elective fees are to be prorated according to the date on which the student officially withdraws. Students who withdraw and receive a full tuition refund will receive a grade of “WM” (military withdrawal) for all courses from which the student has withdrawn.
Per the BOR’s policy on Military Service Refunds, 188.8.131.52, requests for exceptional relief are made directly to the president of the institution and the president will make a determination on each request expeditiously.
Requests for course withdrawals due to military service will first be considered by the certifying officials in the Office of the Registrar. If a student’s request is denied and the student feels his/her case requires exceptional relief due to an unusual or detrimental activation, then the request will be considered by the Military Outreach Committee.
The Military Outreach Committee consists of academic advisors, VA benefit certifying officials, ROTC representatives, associate deans and university representatives from the Counseling Center and Affirmative Action. This committee will make recommendations to approve or deny students’ requests to the Vice President for Enrollment and Provost/VP for Academic Affairs.
Appeals of the decision of the Vice President for Enrollment and Provost/VP for Academic Affairs may be initiated by the student within 5 business days of notification of the Vice President for Enrollment’s decision and will be considered by the Provost.
Appeals of the decision of the Provost may be initiated by the student within 5 business days of notification of the Provost’s decision and will be considered by the President.
In the judgment of the Dean of Students, a student may be withdrawn from the university for non-academic reasons when it is determined that the student has demonstrated behavior that: (a) poses a significant danger or threat of physical harm to the person or property of others; or (b) interferes with the rights of other members of the university community or with the exercise of any proper activities or functions of the university or its personnel. Except in situations where the student is believed to be an imminent threat to others, as determined at the sole discretion of the University, a student shall, upon request, be accorded an appropriate hearing prior to the final decision concerning his or her continued enrollment at the university. In situations involving an imminent threat, the student will be provided a hearing as soon as possible after the withdrawal occurs. The instructor will assign students who are non-academically withdrawn a grade of W if they are withdrawn before the semester midpoint and a WF if they are withdrawn after the semester midpoint.
As correct personal data is vital to the student’s record, students are urged to have their records updated when these changes occur. PAWS (Panther Access to Web Services) at paws.gsu.edu allows students to update some of their student records (address, phone number, etc.) using a terminal or personal computer. Students who wish to change their names and other personal data not allowed on PAWS should contact the Enrollment Services Center, Room 227 Sparks Hall, to complete forms and provide the legal documents required for a name change.
Many courses are offered to Georgia State University students at satellite locations. Students taking these courses must meet the same academic requirements and deadlines as students attending classes at the downtown campus. Each semester a list of off-campus courses can be found by accessing the online registration system in PAWS at paws.gsu.edu.
Georgia State University students may enroll in courses offered by member institutions of the Atlanta Regional Consortium for Higher Education (ARCHE) under a cross registration agreement. Students who wish to cross register must meet all eligibility requirements under the ARCHE agreement and the University. Courses taken through cross registration are considered resident credit. Students may learn more about cross registration or obtain an ARCHE Cross Registration Application at http://registrar.gsu.edu/registration/cross-registration/.
Cross Registration Application Deadlines:
- Fall Semester: July 26
- Spring Semester: December 1
- Summer Semester: May 1
Student Eligibility Criteria:
- Students must be in good standing and have a minimum Georgia State University cumulative GPA of 3.0 GPA.
- Students must be concurrently enrolled in at least one Georgia State course.
- Students must meet prerequisites for requested course(s) as defined by Georgia State University and the host institution.
- Students must meet the host institution’s immunization and health requirements.
- First-semester graduate students may not cross register (unless cross registering in courses for purposes of ROTC training or marching band).
Students may not cross register for a course if
- The course is offered at Georgia State that semester.
- The course has been previously attempted at Georgia State (including attempts which resulted in a withdrawal or an unsatisfactory grade).
- The course or an appropriate substitute is routinely available at Georgia State (that is, offered each semester or on a specified regular basis, such as every fall). Determination of whether the course is routinely available is made by the advisement office in consultation with the chair or director of the academic unit that offers the course.
- The College and/or degree program has restrictions or departmental requirements for the specific course.
- The student expects to graduate from Georgia State during the semester the student wishes to cross register a course.
Students are limited to two cross-registered courses per semester, and the combined course load at Georgia State University and the host institution may not exceed 18 credit hours. The student’s transfer credit, cross registration credit, and credit by examination applicable to their degree program may not exceed a third of their degree requirements.
Students who wish to cross register must complete and submit an ARCHE Cross Registration Application to the Office of the Registrar, room 225, Sparks Hall. Cross Registration Applications are available online: http://registrar.gsu.edu/registration/cross-registration/.
Students who wish to take academic courses at an ARCHE institution must obtain written approval in advance from the University Advisement Center or the Office of Academic Assistance in the student’s college. Course outlines (syllabi) and catalog information may be required so content can be evaluated before approval is granted by the Office of Academic Assistance.
Students are not allowed to pre-register in courses they wish to cross register. Once all approvals have been obtained, the host institution’s Cross Registration Coordinator will register students for the approved course(s) on a space-available basis after the host institution’s regularly enrolled or continuing students have had first priority for registration. The host institution’s Cross Registration Coordinator will inform the student of approval and registration status.
Georgia State University’s students will pay Georgia State University’s tuition and fee rates via PAWS. However, special fees (lab fees, parking and equipment lease) and security deposits must be paid to the host institution.
Students must abide by all host institutions’ policies and schedules regarding grades, exam dates, absences, and add/drop/withdrawal deadlines. To withdraw from a course, both Georgia State University and the host institution’s withdrawal procedures must be followed. Changes in registration must be approved by Georgia State University and the host institution’s Cross Registration Coordinators.
Upon completion of the course, the host institution’s Cross Registration Coordinator will send a final transcript to Georgia State University. Students who receive a grade of Incomplete at a host institution should recognize that the time limit for removal of a grade of Incomplete must not exceed Georgia State University’s deadline for removal of a grade of incomplete (see section 1350.30 Changes in Grade). It is the student’s responsibility to request an official transcript from the host institution once the grade of Incomplete has been satisfied and a final grade has been assigned.
Students must complete a new ARCHE Cross Registration Application for any subsequent term.
Cross registration is available in the summer on a limited basis. Consult the Office of the Registrar for more information. The participating ARCHE member institutions are: Agnes Scott College, Atlanta College of Art, Brenau University, Clark Atlanta University, Clayton State University, Columbia Theological Seminary, Emory University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia Institute of Technology, Interdenominational Theological Center, Kennesaw State University, Mercer University Atlanta Campus, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Oglethorpe University, Savannah College of Art and Design – Atlanta, Southern Polytechnic State University, Spelman College, State University of West Georgia, and University of Georgia.
A student who has no unmet financial obligations to Georgia State University is entitled to receive, upon request, a copy of his or her transcript. Official transcripts of academic work completed at Georgia State University may be ordered via PAWS at paws.gsu.edu. A student is entitled to five free lifetime official transcripts. Once a student has requested the five free, official transcripts, Georgia State will charge a $10.00 processing fee for each transcript processed thereafter. Students can print unofficial transcripts at no charge on PAWS. Processing an official transcript may take up to five to ten business days depending on when the request is made. Picture identification is required to pick up transcripts.
Transcript requests will not be processed until complete payment is received. Credit card payment is required for web requests.
Requests for copies of official transcripts received from other institutions will not be granted. Such requests must be directed to the institution holding the student’s original records.
Routine copies of other information in the student’s education records, with the exception of transcripts from other institutions and other items excluded from copying by practice or regulation will be provided upon written request. A fee may be charged to cover the cost of copying. Special certifications based on educational records will be provided upon written request when permissible.
Additional information on transcripts can be found in PAWS and on the Registrar’s website at registrar.gsu.edu/academic-records/transcripts.
Enrollment verification is obtained via the web at no cost to students and takes approximately 7 business days to process. Official enrollment verifications can be requested after the second week of the term.
To obtain proof of enrollment, students should access PAWS at paws.gsu.edu. At this site, students can do the following:
- Print a Certificate of Enrollment that can be forwarded to a health insurer, housing provider, employer, credit issuer, or other student services provider;
- View the electronic notification and deferment forms that have been sent to a lender; and
- View a list of lenders and real-time student loan information detail, such as outstanding principal balance and next due date that some lenders provide.
Once a student drops a course, those hours cannot be used for verification of enrollment purposes. A student’s enrollment status may change if he/she drops or withdraws from a course or withdraws from the university. If a student is co-enrolled at another collegiate institution during the same semester he or she is enrolled at Georgia State University, only the enrolled hours at Georgia State can be used for enrollment verification purposes.
To obtain proof that a degree has been awarded, students should go to http://registrar.gsu.edu/graduation/degree-conferral-and-diploma-information.
At this site students can provide proof of degree to such agencies as third-party verifiers, credit card companies, and credit approval agencies. This is a website of the National Student Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse provides degree verification services to Georgia State students.
Additional information on enrollment and degree verification can be found on the Office of the Registrar web site at http://registrar.gsu.edu.
Directory Information is defined based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which can be located in section 1050 of this Catalog. An enrolled student may request that directory information (name, address, etc) not be public. To make this request, a student should fill out a Suppress Directory Information Form, available on the Academic Records webpage at http://registrar.gsu.edu/academic-records/, and turn it in to the Enrollment Service Center, 227 Sparks Hall.
The following grades are used to specify level of performance in academic courses:
- A: Excellent
- B: Good
- C: Average
(Minimum grade required for certain courses, as specified elsewhere in this catalog.)
- D: Poor
A grade of D, while earning credit hours, will not apply toward the degree in courses requiring a grade of C or higher.
- F: Failure
This grade indicates failure. No credit toward graduation is given for a course in which a grade of F was received.
- WF: Withdrawal while Failing
This grade indicates failure. No credit toward graduation is given for a course in which a grade of WF was received. A WF and F are treated the same for GPA calculation purposes.
The following grades are approved for use in the cases indicated but will not be included in the determination of a student’s cumulative grade point average:
- W: Withdrawal
This symbol indicates that a student was permitted to withdraw from the course without penalty. (See “WF: Withdrawal While Failing”, above, and Section 1314.10)
- WM: Military Withdrawal
This symbol indicates that active duty military personnel and military reservists (including members of the National Guard) received emergency orders to active duty or reassignment during the term (see Military Withdrawal, Section 1314.30).
- I: Incomplete
The notation of I may be given to a student who, for nonacademic reasons beyond his or her control, is unable to meet the full requirements of a course. In order to qualify for an “I”, a student must:
- Have completed most of the major assignments of the course (generally all but one); and
- Be earning a passing grade in the course (aside from the assignments not completed) in the judgment of the instructor.
When a student has a nonacademic reason for not completing one or more of the assignments for a course, including examinations, and wishes to receive an incomplete for the course, it is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor in person or in writing of the reason. A grade of incomplete is awarded at the discretion of the instructor and is not the prerogative of the student. Conditions to be met for removing a grade of incomplete are established by the instructor. Registering in a subsequent semester for a course in which a grade of incomplete has been received will not remove the grade of incomplete. (See Section 1332.) No student may graduate with an “I” on his or her record record for that degree program. If the requirements to remove a grade of incomplete are not met prior to the deadline, the grade of I will convert to a grade of F.
- IP: In Progress
This symbol indicates that credit has not been given in courses that require a continuation of work beyond the term for which the student registered for the course. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation, thesis, study abroad and project courses (such as student teaching, clinical practice, and internships). The IP notation may be replaced with an appropriate grade by the instructor. This symbol cannot be substituted for an “I.”
- S: Satisfactory
This symbol indicates that credit has been given for completion of degree requirements other than academic course work. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation and thesis hours, student teaching, clinical practicum, internship, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs.
- U: Unsatisfactory
This symbol indicates unsatisfactory performance in an attempt to complete degree requirements other than academic course work. No credit will be given. The use of this symbol is approved for dissertation and thesis hours, student teaching, clinical practicum, internship, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs.
- V: Audit
This notation is used when a student has audited a course. Students do not earn academic credit for such courses. See Section 1342.
- K: Credit-by-examination
This symbol indicates that a student was given credit for a course based on successful performance on an examination approved for this purpose.
- NR: Not Reported
This symbol indicates that a student’s grade was not reported to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline for reporting grades for the term as published in the on-line Registration Guide. The grade will be updated as soon as the instructor reports the grade.
- GP: Grade Pending
This symbol indicates a grade will be assigned pending the outcome of an academic honesty case. See Section 1350.
Georgia State University has two cumulative grade point averages that are used to determine academic progress and appear on student’s permanent records.
Institutional GPA – Based on courses taken at Georgia State University
This cumulative grade point average is calculated by dividing all hours attempted at Georgia State University into total quality points earned. Quality points are calculated by multiplying hours earned for each course by the numerical value of the grade earned. (See the following table below for numerical equivalents of letter grades.) Credits earned in other institutions, credit by examination, credits which carry S/U grades, CLEP credit, IB credit, AP credit, remedial courses and courses specifically excluded by University policy are not used in computing the grade point average.
The institutional grade point average is used in determining your academic standing, and determines your eligibility for graduation. (A 3.00 is required for graduate students for graduation.)
Overall Grade Point Average – Based on courses taken at Georgia State University and transfer grades
The overall grade point average is calculated by dividing all hours attempted at Georgia State University and those transferred into total quality points earned. Quality points are calculated by multiplying hours earned for each course by the numerical value of the grade earned. (See the following table for numerical equivalents of letter grades.) Credit by examination, credits which carry S/U grades, CLEP credit, IB credit, AP credit, remedial courses, and courses specifically excluded by University policy are not used in computing the grade point average.
This GPA is used by some departments that require admission to a major. See specific admission requirements within the program descriptions.
All grade point averages are rounded to the hundredth place. For example, 2.676 is rounded to 2.68.
All attempts at all academic courses taken are included in these calculations, based on the definitions listed above, of total number of grade points earned and the total number of semester hours attempted.
The numerical equivalents (grade point) for academic letter grades are as follows:
The symbols I (Incomplete), IP (In Progress), W (Withdrawal), S (Satisfactory), U (Unsatisfactory), V (Audit), K (Credit-by-examination), and NR (Not Reported) do not have numerical equivalents and are not used in calculating grade point averages. The Department of Veterans Affairs defines the U and V as non-punitive grades; however, veteran students should notify the veterans’ counselor immediately upon receiving a grade of U or V.
A course grade that has been reported by the instructor to the Office of the Registrar and recorded cannot be changed except in the following circumstances:
- Error in grade – If a student believes that there is an error in a grade, the student should discuss the situation with the instructor. A request for a change of grade assigned by an instructor who has left the University should be addressed to the chair of the department.
- Removal of an Incomplete – A student receiving a grade of I (incomplete) is expected to consult with the instructor within the prescribed time limit and to complete all necessary work. The period of time given to a student to remove a grade of I is established by the instructor, subject only to the maximum time limit set by the university. The university requires that a grade of I be removed not later than the end of the second academic term after the grade of I was assigned (whether or not the student was enrolled during these two terms). The Office of the Registrar will assign a grade of F at the end of the second academic term unless the Office of the Registrar receives an approved grade change request from the instructor. (If the student enrolled for S/U grading, a U will be assigned.). Using the change request process, instructors may or may not change this F/U to an authorized academic grade (i.e., A,B,C,D,S or WF) but may not change it back to an I. Instructors may not change an I to a W unless an Emergency Withdrawal is awarded. In exceptional cases, departments may authorize students to have an I grade for more than two semesters. Such authorizations must be approved by the department chair. The authorization to extend the I beyond two semesters must be renewed each semester. Students need not be enrolled to complete assignments for a course in which a grade of I has been assigned. Auditing or retaking the same course will not remove a grade of I. No student may graduate with an incomplete grade for that particular degree program.
When a student passes away before completing all assignments in a course, that student will be awarded a grade of W in the course. However, if the student has completed more than half the work required for the course and earned a grade of A or B in that work, the instructor may award the student an A or a B.
Graduation Office, Office of the Registrar
75 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 1190
All candidates for a degree must file a formal application for graduation with the Graduation Office. Students apply online and pay the graduation fee by logging into PAWS. To access the Graduation Application, select the Enrollment tab. The Application for Graduation link is located under the Updates/Requests Student Record section of the page. Once the link is selected, step-by-step instructions will be provided regarding the application process.
Students should apply two semesters prior to their anticipated term of completion. Masters and Doctoral candidates must apply by the following deadlines before their expected term of graduation:
|Term of Expected Graduation||Deadline|
|Fall Semester||June 15|
|Spring Semester||September 15|
|Summer Semester||January 15|
This allows the university to audit the student’s records for problems while there is still time for the student to correct those problems.
The Office of Academic Assistance or Office of Graduate Studies in the student’s college will inform the student’s college when the application is filed. The Office of Academic Assistance of the student’s college will conduct an audit and inform the student of any remaining requirements. The Graduation Office conducts an independent audit the expected semester of graduation to ensure that all degree requirements will be satisfied.
Once a student applies for graduation by the deadline, the student can change his or her graduation date to a future date by completing the Change of Graduation form, located on the graduation web site.
Official transcripts of prior term course grades from institutions other than Georgia State University must be received by the last day of registration of the semester of graduation. Any other documentation pertaining to non-Georgia State courses which is needed to determine if transfer credit can be granted (such as catalog descriptions or course outlines) must be received by the student’s Office of Academic Assistance by the last day of registration of the semester of graduation.
Students who wish to be transient students or who wish to participate in cross-registration for their remaining course work will graduate one semester after the term in which the last course to be transferred to Georgia State University has been taken. Such students must obtain advance permission to complete their degree elsewhere from their college’s Office of Academic Assistance or Office of Graduate Studies.
A degree will be awarded only to a student who meets both the university academic and residence requirements and the standards of performance, academic requirements, and residence requirements of their college. Students should examine the earlier sections of this chapter for university requirements and consult their college’s chapter of this catalog for degree meeting program’s requirements. Students must earn 1/3 or more of the credit hours required for the degree through Georgia State direct instruction.
Graduation requirements for all graduate degrees include at least a 3.00 minimum cumulative grade point average; however, some graduate programs require a higher grade point average. The minimum cumulative GPA includes all work attempted at the graduate level even if taken in two or more programs or departments. If a student takes a course multiple times at another institution or at Georgia State, the grade earned in the final attempt will determine the applicability of the course to the degree requirements.
All grades for courses taken during the semester of graduation at Georgia State University and all grades of incomplete for previous semesters must be received in the Registrar’s Office in writing by 5 p.m. the Friday preceding the graduation date. Students whose grades are received after this deadline will graduate in the following semester.
Official transcripts of prior term course grades from institutions other than Georgia State University must be in the Office of the Registrar by the last day of registration of the semester of graduation. Any other documentation pertaining to non-Georgia State University courses which is needed to determine if transfer credit can be granted (such as catalog descriptions or course outlines) must be received by the student’s Office of Academic Assistance/Office of Graduate Studies by the last day of registration of the semester of graduation. It is the student’s responsibility to see to it that incomplete grades are properly recorded in the appropriate offices by the deadline stated in this section.
University Commencement Ceremonies are held at the end of the fall and spring academic terms. Individual academic areas may hold convocations at the end of both the fall and spring terms. You should consult with your academic college. In order to participate in the University Commencement ceremony, a student must have completed all degree requirements in accordance with rules and regulations found in this catalog. Students who have registered for all remaining degree requires in the summer and have applied for summer degree conferral may elect to participate in the spring ceremony. However, degree conferral will not occur until successful completion of the summer term. While the University holds only two Commencement ceremonies, degrees are conferred at the end of each term; fall, spring and summer, and diplomas are mailed approximately four weeks following degree conferral. Diplomas are mailed to the student’s mailing address of record. Students should keep their mailing addresses updated through PAWS at paws.gsu.edu. Allow four weeks following the official date of degree conferral for delivery of the diploma.
Students who indicated on the graduation application that they are attending the commencement ceremony are to purchase their regalia from the Georgia State University Bookstore. The bookstore can be reached at 404-413-9700, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at services.gsu.edu/service/bookstore/. Commencement photography is also available. Complete information will be sent to degree candidates by the midpoint of their scheduled semester of graduation. If a student later decides not to attend the ceremony, he or she must notify the Graduation Office at 404-413-2248 or email at email@example.com.
Additional information concerning graduation procedures can be obtained through the graduation website at registrar.gsu.edu/graduation.
The resources of the University are provided for the intellectual growth and development of its students. The University expects each student to take full responsibility for his or her academic work and academic progress. Students are expected to attend classes in order to gain command of the concepts and materials of their courses of study. As such, the University does not mandate the number or percentage of absences that are acceptable but suggests a guideline of 15% for determining an excessive level of absence. The specific class attendance policies for each class are at the discretion of the instructor, in accordance with the policies of the department and college.
All matters related to student absences, including making up work missed, are to be arranged between the student and the instructor before the semester begins or on the first week of classes. All instructors will, at the beginning of each semester, make a clear statement in the course syllabus for each of their classes, describing their policies for handling absences. Students are obligated to adhere to the requirements of each course and of each instructor. Instructors are encouraged to provide avenues for students to make up examinations and other work missed due to an excused absence.
Excused absences are recognized in the following cases:
- University-Sponsored Events. Absences due to activities approved by the Office of the Provost, in which a student is an official representative of the University will be recognized as excused when the student informs the instructor in writing during the first week of the semester of his or her participation in an activity that may generate excused absences and the dates of planned absences for the semester. If requested, the appropriate university official will provide a memo stating the official nature of the university business in advance of the activity. Absences due to similar events, which could not have been anticipated earlier in the semester, will be recognized as excused absences upon advance notification of the instructor by an appropriate faculty advisor or administrator.
- Legal Obligations. Absences due to legal obligations (for example, jury duty, military orders) will be recognized as excused absences. The student must provide the instructor with written documentation of such absences at the earliest possible date.
- Religious Observances. Students wishing to have an excused absence due to the observation of a religious holiday of special importance must provide advance written request to each instructor by the end of the first week of classes.
Class Attendance by Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs requires that institutions of higher learning immediately report to them when a student discontinues attendance for any reason. Instructors must report to the Registrar’s Office the absence of a veteran student as soon as it is known that the veteran student will not be returning to class. Generally, this should be reported after one week of absences and no later than two weeks of nonattendance by a veteran student.
In addition, it is suggested that the faculty give due consideration to absences relating to the following events: death or major illness in student’s immediate family, illness of a dependent family member, illness that is too severe or contagious for students to attend class.
Enrolled students who wish to audit a course must get approval from the course instructor. Registration for an audit is done in the Enrollment and Registration Services Center. Students should not pre-register for courses they wish to audit. Any tuition and fees for auditing a class are assessed just as they are for courses taken for credit. Any requirements for prerequisites must be satisfied before registering to audit a course. No academic credit is earned in this status. Audit status is not covered by financial aid, and audit hours do not apply toward full-time enrollment. Students may not transfer from audit to credit status or vice-versa after the last day to register for course.
A student shall not be required to take more than two examinations within one 24-hour period during the published final examination period. More than two examinations within 24 hours are referred to as clustered examinations.
A student is considered to have an inappropriate clustering of final examinations when more than two examinations fall within 24 hours (for example, examinations at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 6:00 p.m. on the same day, or examinations at 6 p.m. on one day, and at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on the following day); the student is not considered to have an inappropriate clustering of examinations if the third examination in sequence begins at the same time on the subsequent day as the first examination (for example, 6:00 p.m. on one day, and 2:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on the following day).
Students who have three or more clustered examinations may request of one professor that the examination be rescheduled according to the following procedure:
- If a final examination was rescheduled and thereby created a “cluster,” the instructor of the rescheduled examination will provide a special administration for the adversely affected student.
- If one or more of the clustered examinations is a “common examination” with an established conflict resolution time, the student will request to resolve the conflict by taking one of the common examinations in the conflict resolution time. If two or more of the examinations are “common examinations,” the student may choose which “common examination(s)” is to be rescheduled.
- If one of the clustered examinations is not a common examination or the result of rescheduling, the instructor of the middle examination(s) will provide a special administration for the adversely affected student.
Students must inform the instructor, in writing and at least 14 days before the beginning of the final exam period, that a clustered examination situation exists with respect to that instructor’s course and that the student will need to take the final examination as a special administration. If a student fails to inform the instructor, in writing and at least 14 days before the beginning of the final exam period, the instructor is not required to provide a special administration of the final examination.
Once a student has taken an examination, he or she cannot request a reexamination on the basis of this policy.
260 Student Center West
The central office for University Career Services (UCS) houses the comprehensive career center for the campus with programs, services, information, and counseling to assist students with career decisions, as well as preparation for and implementation of successful job and graduate /professional school searches. The central UCS office works with undergraduate and graduate students from the first year on campus through the one year anniversary of their graduation. Alumni beyond a year of graduation may enroll in Alumni Career Services, a program also housed within the office (Note: an Alumni Career Services fee is associated with some services). Students from all majors and areas of study, from all class levels, and from all colleges, are served..
Career Development services are available by appointment. Individual and group sessions are offered, always with the goal of helping students and alumni connect their passion and purpose with career opportunities. The career counselors also provide career assessments, which aid students in exploring career possibilities based on values, interests, and personality.
Workshops, information and career counselors are available to help students and alumni with their career exploration and assess their individual talents, skills, and interests, and to set career goals. Programs and materials, employer panels, employer information sessions, and career fairs provide up-to-date information for use in exploring careers and researching employers.
Through the Employer Relations team, University Career Services has programs and services that connect students, alumni, and employers for internship and career opportunities, as well as employment to meet expenses while attending school. Regular workshops, employer events such as mock interviews and résumé critique days, and online information help students prepare résumés, and develop interviewing and other job search skills.
The Graduate and Professional School Planning program assists students exploring advanced degree opportunities, either here at Georgia State University or at another campus within the United States or abroad. This program has materials to assist students in researching programs as well as support in making application. This program also sponsors the fall Graduate and Professional School Fair, which brings graduate school recruiters from across the country to meet interested Georgia State students.
The Career Resource Center (CRC) is the central point of contact for students and contains workstations with access to online career guidance, job postings, graduate/professional school information, and employer research databases. The CRC also houses career-oriented books and multimedia materials for researching career and advanced degree opportunities.
Résumania is the walk-in résumé and c.v. review service, available Monday through Friday, 9am to 3pm. No appointment is needed. Résumania takes place in the CRC, Room 260 Student Center West.
All Georgia State University students have an account on Panther Career Net, a web-based career management system utilized by students, employers and the career services staff. Panther Career Net is free to all enrolled students. Activation of the account (completing a profile and uploading a résumé if seeking employment) provides 24/7 on and off-campus access to many of the Career Resource Center’s online resources, as well as easy application to jobs, and information about career events and employers. Activation requires use of one’s campus ID and password and can be done remotely.
For more information on career counseling, career assessment, career exploration, graduate and professional school planning, internship and career opportunities, and job search support, visit the central office of University Career Services in 260 Student Center West or call 404-413-1820 or visit the website at career.gsu.edu.
252 Sparks Hall
International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) provides support for Georgia State University’s non-immigrant international student, faculty, and researcher population, their dependents, and any foreign-born citizens and permanent residents of the United States who may need services. Services include orientations, immigration advisement, international student and scholar insurance support, student advocacy, and other personal assistance in adjusting to and joining the university community. The office staff serves as a liaison with all academic departments, the diplomatic corps, and a variety of international agencies and publishes a newsletter focusing on issues of interest to international students. International Services also offers assistance to academic departments wishing to invite foreign scholars or hire foreign faculty. Information concerning programs and services is available in 252 Sparks Hall, by calling 404-413-2070 or online at isss.gsu.edu.
International Student Orientation – Prior to the beginning of each semester, an orientation program is offered to provide assistance to new students on nonimmigrant status. Students receive information and advice concerning federal immigration, the academic system in the United States, academic advisement and registration, the Atlanta community, and the mandatory health and accident insurance.
International Student Associations – Georgia State University has approximately twenty international student organizations that focus on celebrating the many countries and cultures represented on campus. They provide assistance for new and continuing international students, present cultural activities and events, and seek ways to share their culture with the campus. Information about the various associations and their umbrella group, the International Student Association Council, is available in the International Services office, and online at isss.gsu.edu.
International Student Health Insurance – Health insurance is mandatory for all international students and scholars in F and J status enrolled at Georgia State, and is optional for other nonimmigrant status students. A special international student health and accident insurance policy is made available each academic year, and payment of the insurance premiums is collected along with tuition during the process of registration. Individuals who may already be covered by a policy are required to request a waiver with the insurance company the semester before enrollment. More information is available online at www.studentcenter.uhcsr.com/gsu or through Student Accounts.
As members of the academic community, students are expected to recognize and uphold standards of intellectual and academic integrity. The University assumes as a basic and minimum standard of conduct in academic matters that students be honest and that they submit for credit only the products of their own efforts. Both the ideals of scholarship and the need for fairness require that all dishonest work be rejected as a basis for academic credit. They also require that students refrain from any and all forms of dishonorable or unethical conduct related to their academic work.
The University’s policy on academic honesty is published in the Faculty Handbook (http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwfhb/fhb.html) and the Student Handbook, On Campus, which is available to all members of the University community (http://studenthandbook.gsu.edu/). Academic honesty is a core value of the University and all members of the University community are responsible for abiding by the tenets of the policy. Georgia State students, faculty, and staff, are expected to report all instances of academic dishonesty to the appropriate authorities. The procedures for such reporting are outlined below and on file in the offices of the deans of each college, the Office of the Dean of Students, and the Office of the Provost.
Lack of knowledge of this policy is not an acceptable defense to any charge of academic dishonesty. In an effort to foster an environment of academic integrity and to prevent academic dishonesty, students are expected to discuss with faculty the expectations regarding course assignments and standards of conduct. Students are encouraged to discuss freely with faculty, academic advisors, and other members of the University community any questions pertaining to the provisions of this policy. In addition, students are encouraged to avail themselves of programs in establishing personal standards and ethics offered by the university.
No instructor or department may impose academic or disciplinary penalties for academic dishonesty outside the parameters of this policy. This policy applies to all incidents of academic dishonesty, including those that occur before a student graduates but are not discovered until after the degree is conferred. In such cases, it is possible that the application of this policy will lead to a failure to meet degree completion requirements and therefore a revocation of a student’s degree.
Many colleges and/or departments provide statements of what constitutes academic dishonesty within the context of their discipline, and recommend penalties for specific types of academic dishonesty. As noted in the Faculty Handbook, all syllabi are required to make reference to the Academic Honesty Policy; syllabi should also include a link to departmental standards where they exist.
2. Definitions and Examples
The examples and definitions given below are intended to clarify the standards by which academic honesty and academically honorable conduct are to be judged. The list is merely illustrative of the kinds of infractions that may occur, and it is not intended to be exhaustive. Moreover, the definitions and examples suggest conditions under which unacceptable behavior of the indicated types normally occurs; however, there may be unusual cases that fall outside these conditions which also will be judged unacceptable by the academic community.
Plagiarism. Plagiarism is presenting another person’s work as one’s own. Plagiarism includes any paraphrasing or summarizing of the works of another person without acknowledgment, including the submitting of another student’s work as one’s own. Plagiarism frequently involves a failure to acknowledge in the text, notes, or footnotes the quotation of the paragraphs, sentences, or even a few phrases written or spoken by someone else. The submission of research or completed papers or projects by someone else is plagiarism, as is the unacknowledged use of research sources gathered by someone else when that use is specifically forbidden by the faculty member. Failure to indicate the extent and nature of one’s reliance on other sources is also a form of plagiarism. Failure to indicate the extent and nature of one’s reliance on other sources is also a form of plagiarism. Any work, in whole or part, taken from the internet without properly referencing the corresponding URL (along with the author’s name and title of the work, if available) may be considered plagiarism. Finally, there may be forms of plagiarism that are unique to an individual discipline or course, examples of which should be provided in advance by the faculty member. The student is responsible for understanding the legitimate use of sources, the appropriate ways of acknowledging academic, scholarly or creative indebtedness, and the consequences of violating this responsibility.
Cheating on Examinations. Cheating on examinations involves giving or receiving unauthorized help before, during, or after an examination. Examples of unauthorized help include the use of notes, texts, or “crib sheets” during an examination (unless specifically approved by the faculty member), or sharing information with another student during an examination (unless specifically approved by the faculty member). Other examples include intentionally allowing another student to view one’s own examination and collaboration before or after an examination if such collaboration is specifically forbidden by the faculty member.
Unauthorized Collaboration. Unauthorized collaboration means working with someone or getting assistance from someone (a classmate, friend, etc.) without specific permission from the instructor on any assignment (e.g., exam, paper, homework) that is turned in for a grade. It is also a violation of academic honesty to knowingly provide such assistance to another student. Collaborative work specifically authorized by a faculty member is allowed.
Falsification. It is a violation of academic honesty to misrepresent material or fabricate information in an academic exercise, assignment or proceeding (e.g., false or misleading citation of sources, the falsification of the results of experiments or of computer data, false or misleading information in an academic context in order to gain an unfair advantage).
Multiple Submissions. It is a violation of academic honesty to submit substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once without the explicit consent of the faculty member(s) to whom the material is submitted for additional credit. In cases in which there is a natural development of research or knowledge in a sequence of courses, use of prior work may be desirable, even required; however, the student is responsible for indicating in writing, as a part of such use, that the current work submitted for credit is cumulative in nature.
3. Information and Burden of Proof
In determining whether or not academic dishonesty has occurred, the standard which should be used is that guilt must be proven by a preponderance of the information. This means that if the information which indicates that academic dishonesty occurred produces a stronger impression and is more convincing as to its truth when weighed against opposing information, then academic dishonesty has been proved. In other words, the information does not have to be enough to free the mind from a reasonable doubt but must be sufficient to incline a reasonable and impartial mind to one side of the issue rather than to the other. Information as used in this statement can be any observation, admission, statement, or document which would either directly or circumstantially indicate that academic dishonesty has occurred.
4. Procedures for Resolving Matters of Academic Honesty
The following procedure is the only approved means for resolving matters of academic dishonesty, except for matters arising in the College of Law, which has its own Honor Code for handling such matters. It is available to all members of the academic community who wish to pursue an action against a student for academic dishonesty. A brief summary of the procedures is presented here; details of these procedures are found in the following sections.
- The faculty member should discuss the incident with the student before filing a charge of academic dishonesty. The faculty member, in consultation with the department chair, prepares the Notice of Academic Dishonesty The chair forwards the notice to the college dean, who sends the notification to the student by university email or by certified mail.
- The student must appeal in writing to the College Dean within 10 business days of the date the email was sent or the certified mail was received if the student wishes to deny the finding of academic dishonesty.
- If the student does not appeal within 10 business days, the College Dean forwards the notice of academic dishonesty to the Dean of Students.
- If the student appeals the charges, a College Hearing Committee conducts a hearing and reports its findings to the College Dean regarding guilt or innocence. If the student is found not guilty, the faculty member is notified to assign an appropriate grade. If the student is found guilty, the dean forwards the notice of academic dishonesty to the dean of students.
- Any recommendation for a disciplinary penalty and a challenge of that disciplinary penalty submitted by the student, if any, is reviewed by the University Senate Committee on Student Discipline. Based on the committee’s recommendation, the provost makes a decision and takes action regarding any disciplinary sanction.
- The dean of students maintains the disciplinary records on all findings of academic dishonesty and is responsible for forwarding notice of multiple findings to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline for review. Multiple findings may result in a disciplinary penalty even if one was not recommended by the faculty member.
5. Initiation of Action
If a member of the academic community believes that a student has engaged in academic dishonesty in a course, on a test, or as a part of an academic program, that individual is responsible for initiating action against the student or bringing the matter to the attention of an individual who may initiate action against the student (i.e., complete and submit a notification of academic honesty). In allegations of academic dishonesty involving course requirements, the course faculty member is required to initiate the action. If the alleged violation involves a departmental program requirement (e.g., comprehensive examination or language competency examination) or an institutionally-required test (e.g., test of Georgia/United States history or Georgia/United States constitutions), or if the individual who discovers the incident is not a faculty member, the individual should bring the matter to the attention of the faculty member and administrator who has responsibility of overseeing the activity (e.g., departmental chair, director of the Testing Office). If that administrator decides to bring charges of academic dishonesty against the student, then that administrator becomes the initiator. (Test proctors, laboratory assistants, and other individuals who are not course faculty members should bring any instances of alleged academic dishonesty to the attention of the course faculty member or their administrative superior. That individual, after weighing the information, may become the initiator by formally charging the student with academic dishonesty.)
The channel of review, recommendation, and decision-making follows the administrative lines associated with the course or program requirement involved. In any instance, however, when the alleged incident does not occur within the context of a course, and when it is unclear which college should have jurisdiction in review and decision-making, any unit may initiate the case.
For the sake of brevity the following processing procedures are written from an academic unit/college perspective. Nonacademic units (i.e., Testing Center) would substitute appropriate supervisory personnel at the respective levels. Herein the initiator will be referred to as faculty member and the administrative unit head will be referred to as chair, designating the departmental chair. Dean will refer to appropriate administrative supervisory personnel at the overall college or division level.
When an allegation of academic dishonesty is made, the relevant dean will inform the Office of the Registrar to place a grade of GP (grade pending) for the student in the course involved. Withdrawal from a course does not preclude the imposition of penalties for academic dishonesty. While the matter of academic dishonesty is pending, the student will be allowed to continue in the course and register for upcoming semesters.
A. Penalties to be Imposed
Penalties to be imposed in incidents of academic dishonesty are classified as academic or disciplinary. Academic penalties include assignment of a failing grade for a particular course requirement, or for the course itself, or for other tests or program assignments. They are set by the faculty member, in consultation with the department chair.
Disciplinary penalties can be sought in addition to those considered academic and could include, but are not limited to, the following: suspension, expulsion, transcript annotations (temporary for a period of five years or permanent, as designated). Course credit earned at other institutions while on suspension may not be transferred to Georgia State. Disciplinary penalties can be requested by the faculty member, in consultation with the chair; they must be reviewed by the University Senate Committee on Student Discipline and they are set by the provost.
B. Action at Administrative Unit (Department and College Level)
As soon as possible after the alleged incident, the faculty member should discuss the matter with the student. This discussion should be conducted in a manner which protects the rights and confidentiality of students. If the faculty member believes that academic dishonesty has occurred, the faculty member, in consultation with the department chair, will determine the appropriate academic penalty. The faculty member and the chair will complete a notice of academic dishonesty form describing the incident and indicating the academic penalty imposed and any recommended disciplinary penalty. The chair will forward the notice of academic dishonesty, which includes a statement of the right to appeal, to the dean of the college, who delivers it a either through the student’s official university email address or by certified mail.
C. Student Action
The student will have 10 business days after receipt of the notice of charges of academic dishonesty (i.e., the date that the email was sent or that the certified mail was received) to submit a written appeal denying the charges and providing any rationale for the appeal. The appeal should be addressed to the college dean of the initiator. In the event the student is found guilty of academic dishonesty, the student does not have the right to appeal the academic penalty assessed by the faculty member, unless the student can prove that such penalty was arbitrarily imposed or applied in a discriminatory manner.
If the student wishes to challenge a disciplinary penalty, the student must submit a written rationale for challenging the disciplinary penalty within 10 business days of receipt of the notice of charges of academic dishonesty. The statement of challenge should be addressed to the college dean. The college dean will forward the challenge to the dean of students for inclusion in the review of the disciplinary penalty by the University Senate Committee on Student Discipline. All disciplinary penalties are automatically reviewed by the University Senate Committee on Student Discipline, regardless of student appeal.
If the student has also filed an appeal denying the charges of academic dishonesty, any review of disciplinary penalty recommended will be delayed pending review of the charges of academic dishonesty by the college hearing committee.
D. College Action
1. No Appeal by the Student. If the student does not submit a written appeal to the college dean or challenge the disciplinary penalty within 10 business days, the college dean will notify the chair/faculty member to post any pending grade(s) immediately. The college dean will then forward the notice of academic dishonesty to the dean of students for inclusion in the student’s disciplinary file. Any recommendation of a disciplinary penalty will also be forwarded to the dean of students for appropriate review by the Senate Committee on Student Discipline.
2. Appeal by the Student.
a. If the student submits a written appeal of the charges of academic honesty, the college dean will forward the charges to the chair of a college hearing committee and will notify the faculty member to set forth in writing a comprehensive response describing the incident of academic dishonesty. This statement will be presented to the committee and to the student at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing.
b. If the student wishes to challenge the disciplinary penalty without appealing the charges of academic honesty, a college hearing committee will not be convened; instead, the college dean will forward the challenge to the dean of students for inclusion in the review of the disciplinary penalty by the University Senate Committee on Student Discipline.
3. Student Hearing Committee Process. Guidelines that Govern the Hearing of the Appeal by the College Student Hearing Committee
a. Within ten (10) business days after the committee receives the charges of academic dishonesty, a hearing date will be determined. The committee will notify the faculty member and the student of the time, date, and the place of the hearing. Copies of all charges of academic dishonesty and related materials for the hearing will be provided to the student at least five (5) business days in advance of the hearing.
b. The faculty member and the student will be allowed to make oral presentations, call witnesses, and present any documentary information regarding the incident in question. The hearing will be recorded on audio tape. The hearing will not be open to observers.
c. At the conclusion of the hearing, the committee will meet in closed session and will make its recommendation as to the guilt or innocence of the student based on a preponderance of information with respect to the charge of academic dishonesty. The committee chair will forward to the college dean its findings and recommendations in a written report within five (5) business days of the hearing.
4. College Decision on Appeals. Within five (5) business days of receiving the committee’s written report, the college dean will make the final decision regarding guilt or innocence. The college dean will notify all appropriate parties of the decision.
If the college dean finds the student not guilty, the matter will be terminated and no notice of charges will be filed with the dean of students. The college dean will notify the chair to post the pending course grade promptly and will notify the registrar to remove the GP (grade pending) on the student’s transcript.
If the college dean finds the student guilty, the notice of charges of academic dishonesty will be forwarded to the dean of students for inclusion in the student’s disciplinary file. The academic penalty stipulated by the faculty member will be imposed. The college dean will notify the chair to insure that any pending grade is posted promptly. The college dean will notify the registrar to remove the GP (grade pending) on the student’s transcript if only an academic penalty was involved.
If a disciplinary penalty has been recommended, the college dean will notify the registrar to continue the GP (grade pending) annotation until the disciplinary penalty can be reviewed by the University Senate Committee on Student Discipline.
5. Appeal of the Decision of the Dean. If the student or initiator wishes to appeal the decision of the college dean regarding guilt or innocence of the charges of academic dishonesty, the student or initiator may appeal to the provost. The subsequent appeal route would be to the president and then the Board of Regents. The student or initiator must submit a written statement of appeal to the provost within 10 business days of notification of the dean’s decision. The basis of the appeal must be on the grounds that the decision was arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory.
E. UNIVERSITY SENATE COMMITTEE ON STUDENT DISCIPLINE ACTION
In cases where a disciplinary penalty has been recommended, the Senate Committee on Student Discipline will conduct a hearing to review the disciplinary penalty. The committee will review the faculty member’s notice of academic dishonesty and the student’s statement of challenge of the disciplinary penalty, if any. The faculty member and the student will be allowed to appear at the hearing to discuss the imposition of disciplinary penalties. Only the recommendation concerning the disciplinary penalty to be imposed will be considered by this committee. Issues of guilt or innocence are determined at the college level (see II.4 C and D above).
The Senate Committee will conduct the hearing in accordance with its regular hearing procedures. Copies of these procedures may be obtained from the Provost’s Office.
The Senate Committee on Student Discipline will provide its recommendation within five (5) business days of its hearing to the provost regarding appropriateness of the disciplinary penalty recommended by the college and/or whether other disciplinary penalties are to be imposed in addition to or in lieu of those already recommended by the college.
F. PROVOST ACTION
1. Decision of the Provost. The role of the provost in handling student appeals regarding the charge of academic honesty has been explained (see II.E.5 above). Based on the recommendation, the Provost will render a decision within ten (10) business days of receipt of the recommendation of the Senate Committee. The provost will notify the student, the referring dean, the department chair and the faculty member of the Senate Committee’s recommendations and of the provost’s decision. At that time the provost will also notify the registrar to annotate the student’s transcript, if necessary.
2. Appeal of the Decision of the Provost. If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the provost regarding the imposition of a disciplinary penalty, the student may appeal to the president, and then to the Board of Regents. The student must submit a written statement of appeal to the president within ten (10) business days of notification of the provost’s decision. The basis for such an appeal must be on the grounds that the decision was arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory.
G. STUDENTS INVOLVED IN TWO OR MORE INCIDENTS OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
A student is subject to disciplinary action in addition to any already undertaken once it is determined that the student has been found guilty in a previous incident of academic dishonesty. In such cases, the dean of students will forward a report to the University Senate Committee on Student Discipline regarding the incidents of academic dishonesty which have been reported. The dean of students is responsible for initiating this report within ten (10) business days of notification of the proceedings of any subsequent finding of academic dishonesty.
The University Senate Committee on Student Discipline will review the report of the dean of students. The student may submit supplemental written documents for the committee’s review and may request to appear before the committee in its deliberations. After reviewing the matter, the committee will send a report to the provost with the recommendation for disciplinary penalty to be imposed. The provost will proceed as in G above.
H. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES FOR ACADEMIC MATTERS
- Each of the undergraduate colleges has stated policies for settling grievances of students for academic matters. Refer to the office of the dean of each college for policies.
- Obligation to Report Suspected Violations. Members of the academic community, students, faculty and staff are expected to report all instances of academic dishonesty to the appropriate authorities. The procedures for such reporting are on file in the offices of the deans of each college.
- Penalties. The University takes the matter of academic honesty most seriously. Penalties for violations vary, but include both suspension and permanent expulsion from the institution.
The appeals procedure for students will follow different courses depending on the nature of the student’s appeal. Please refer to University Information Section 1050.80 under Polices and Disclosures in this catalog or visit http://enrollment.gsu.edu/assistance/ online for details.