Aug 18, 2018  
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

SOE: Academic Policies

General Requirements

The following academic policies apply to doctoral degree programs in the School of Education:

  • Deadline for applications is January 15 for Summer or Fall semester matriculation.
  • Credit hour requirements for the programs are as follows:
    1. Counselor Education requires 96-105 hours beyond the bachelor's degree and may include up to 48 hours earned toward the master's degree. A maximum of 48 hours from other institutions may count toward the required total.
    2. Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership requires 48 semester hours beyond the master's degree for the Ed.D. and 69 semester hours for the Ph.D. A maximum of 15 hours of transfer credit may count toward the required total for the Ph.D. ; a maximum of 12 hours of transfer credit may count toward the Ed.D.
  • All newly admitted doctoral students holding only a master's degree will be allowed seven years to complete their doctoral degree requirements. Doctoral admittees holding or in the process of earning an Educational Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) will be allowed four years to complete their doctoral degree requirements.
  • All doctoral students must demonstrate competence in research methodology. They must complete a basic graduate course in educational research, if they have not already done so;   EDUC F65 or its equivalent meets this requirement. Doctoral level research course requirements vary by program and degree. Specific requirements are listed with each program.

Students in the School of Education are subject to the academic policies of the School and of the individual programs in which they enroll as well as the rules and regulations of the College. Policies for individual programs are included in the description for that program. In accordance with The College of William & Mary's academic policies, it is your responsibility for knowing and meeting the academic requirements of your program. The academic policies of the School are as follows:


Each student is assigned a program faculty advisor upon acceptance of admission to the School of Education. Students are responsible for planning a course of study with their advisor. Each graduate student and his or her advisor should work closely together to develop a program of studies that is consistent with the student's personal and professional goals; that builds effectively on previous educational experiences; that fulfills degree requirements in foundational, specialty, and emphasis areas; and that satisfies relevant requirements for certification or licensure. An approved program of study that indicates the specific courses the student will take as part of his or her master's, specialist, or doctoral program must be filed in the Office of Academic Programs during the initial term of enrollment following admission. Courses completed prior to the filing of an approved program of studies may not be applicable to the degree program.

Independent Study

A required course cannot be taken as an independent study or problems in education course, unless the student petitions the Academic Affairs Committee and receives approval prior to registering for the course. The main purpose of an independent study course is to give the student the opportunity to learn information not taught in regular courses.

Definition of Graduate Credit/Courses

Only those courses numbered in the 500's and above in the School of Education are acceptable for credit toward a graduate degree. Some courses at the master's level have alphabetic characters rather than 5's in the hundreds place. When courses are cross-listed at the 400/500 levels, graduate students are expected to enroll at the master's level. Courses offered by other schools and departments of the College are acceptable for graduate credit upon the approval of a student's program advisor, irrespective of course number.

Courses with an EPPL designation fall within the Educational Policy, Planning & Leadership division, while those with a CRIN prefix are Curriculum and Instruction division classes. Classes with an EDUC prefix are foundations classes or Counseling/School Psychology classes.

Academic Standards

A degree is awarded only when a student has complete a program of studies with a grade-point average of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale).

Degree credit is granted only for coursework in which the student earns a grade of C-  or above. A graduate student may repeat one course in which a grade of C-  or lower is received. The grade earned initially remains a part of the student's record and is included in computations of quality-point requirements. Any student receiving more than one D or F in an approved program of studies will not be permitted to continue in that program. All papers/projects/dissertations/thesis submitted must be original to each course unless the student has explicit prior permission from the instructor(s) involved.

Program Course Exemptions

Graduate students who believe they have previously met the objectives of a graduate course offered by the School of Education may request a program course exemption. Requests for this exemption should be directed to an appropriate faculty member who has taught the course. The faculty member will assess the previous course(s) for objective coverage and, when necessary, make the arrangements for an oral and/or written assessment. Semester hours of credit are not awarded for exempted courses, and the total number of required hours in a degree program will not be reduced. Requests for program course exemptions must be made within the first semester following admission and must be requested on the Program Course Exemption/Advanced Placement form, available on the School of Education's web site. The Office of Academic Programs will inform the student and the student's program advisor when course exemptions have been awarded.

Students enrolled in Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) programs in Curriculum & Instruction who have previously met the objectives of a graduate course offered by the School of Education may request a course exemption from their program. Although semester hours of credit will not be awarded for exempted courses, the total number of required credit hours in the degree program will be reduced by the number of credit hours exempted. Students who exempt one or more courses must complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours to be eligible M.A.Ed. recipients. Students must earn a minimum of 24 graduate credit hours at William & Mary post admission to their current graduate program.

Transfer Credit from Other Institutions and Work Taken at the College Prior to Admission

Students who wish to request degree credit for graduate work taken at another institution of higher education, whether completed prior to or following admission to graduate study in the School of Education, should consult with their program advisor and request concurrence. Prior coursework can be considered for transfer credit only if it was completed within four years of the date of admission to the student's current graduate program. Also, in order for a course to be considered for transfer credit from another institution, the student must have received a grade of B or better. Only graduate courses which were not part of a master's degree program may be eligible for transfer (providing the maximum number of transfer hours and the course age requirements are met). If a student wishes to transfer a course that was not part of a prior degree, but taken in addition to and during the time in which the student was pursuing the prior degree, the student must have the transferring institution provide documentation to that effect. If approval is given, the advisor will complete an Approved Transfer of Graduate Credit form and forward the request to the Office of Academic Programs. Request for transfer can be considered formally only following admission to graduate study and upon receipt of an official transcript from the institution where the work was completed.

A maximum of 12 hours of credit earned at other accredited institutions of higher education and/or credit for coursework completed at The College of William & Mary prior to admission may be applied to a master's degree and Ed.D., 15 hours toward the Ed.S. and Ph.D.; and only upon approval and recommendation by the student's program advisor and the Associate Dean for Academic Programs. Ed.D. students must earn a minimum of 36 hours and Ph.D. students must earn a minimum of 45 hours beyond the master's level at the College of William & Mary. Courses taken during the semester in which the student receives his/her letter of admission will be counted as transfer credit.

Evaluation System

The Faculty of the School of Education uses the following grading system including plus and minus designations as appropriate to evaluate student performance in graduate courses:

  A Performance considerably above the level expected for a student in a given program.
  B Performance equal to expectation for acceptable performance at the student's level of study.
  C Performance below expectation but of sufficient quality to justify degree credit.
  D Performance unacceptable for graduate degree credit but sufficient to warrant a "passing" grade for non-degree purposes (such as teacher certification renewal).
  F Unacceptable level of performance for any purpose.
  P Passing level of performance (used for selected courses and practica).
  W Notation used when a student withdraws after the add/drop period ends.
  WM Notation used on all courses for a verified medical withdrawal from the College.
  I Used at the discretion of the professor when a student has not completed all requirements due to illness or extenuating circumstances. An 'I' grade automatically converts to an 'F' if the work is not completed by the end of the regular semester following the course, or at the end of an additional semester if an extension is granted.
  G Deferred grade only used for dissertation credit.

Students graded A receive 4 quality points; A-, 3.7; B+, 3.3; B, 3.0; B-, 2.7; C+, 2.3; C, 2.0; C-, 1.7; D+, 1.3; D, 1.0; D-, .7; and an F carries no credit and no quality points.

Add/Drop and Withdrawal

Regulations regarding dropping of courses and withdrawal from the College apply to both unclassified post-baccalaureate students and graduate students who have been formally admitted to a program in the School of Education. Failure to complete official procedures for withdrawal will result in a grade of "F."

Continuous Enrollment

Doctoral students must be continually enrolled during the academic year for a minimum of one semester credit hour from the time of matriculation until they have successfully completed and defended the dissertation. During academic semesters in which you are not enrolled in academic coursework or dissertation credits, you must enroll in one-credit of continuous enrollment to maintain active status. Upon successful defense of a dissertation proposal, you should enroll in dissertation credit hours  for a minimum of three-credits per semester. You may formally request a leave of absence from the program by following the appropriate School of Education protocol. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment will result in withdrawal from a program and require a petition to request reinstatement. Repayment of tuition for continuous enrollment will also be required as appropriate for requisite terms.

Leave of Absence

The Associate Dean of Academic Programs may grant leaves of absence to graduate students in the School of Education. Leaves of absence shall be granted for a specific period of time. A student who requests an extension of a current leave of absence shall have the request considered as a new request. Students approved for a leave of absence will have their time limit for degree completion requirement stopped for the duration of the approved leave period. Upon return from approved leave, the student's time limit to degree completion count will resume. To request a leave of absence, students are required to complete and submit the School of Education Application for Leave of Absence Form to the Associate Dean of Academic Programs at least 30 days prior to the leave request date.

Transfers Between Departments and Within Departments

The three departments are defined as (1) Curriculum and Instruction, (2) Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership and (3) School Psychology and Counselor Education. Matriculated students who wish to transfer between departments will be required to complete an abbreviated re-application process. The student will be considered and treated as a new applicant. The following information should be provided:

  1. A new or revised application form to include a new essay that explains the reason for change;
  2. updated transcripts, if applicable;
  3. updated test scores, if applicable;
  4. updated letters of recommendation, if applicant chooses to do so; and
  5. any additional materials or documentation required by specific programs. After a student submits the new application, the review process will follow regular admission procedures.

For students who wish to change an emphasis within a department, the student must receive the approval of his or her current faculty advisor, the new advisor, and the Department Chair. Forms for a change of emphasis are available on the School of Education's website at

Research Graduate Students

Upon the recommendation of a student's advisor and approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, a student's eligibility for Research Graduate status is established if the following conditions are met:

  1. The student has completed all required coursework.
  2. The student is not employed significantly in any activity other than research and writing in fulfillment of degree requirements.
  3. The student is present on campus or is engaged in approved field work.

While classified as a Research Graduate, a student may register for a maximum of 12 credit hours of research or thesis or dissertation upon payment of the part-time rate for one credit hour.

A Research Graduate student:

  1. is not eligible for student services (e.g., student health and athletic events) unless fees are paid at the time of registration; and
  2. may take courses other than research or thesis or dissertation only upon payment of the generally applicable additional part-time tuition.

Candidacy for Graduation

Students who have completed a planned program of studies and satisfied all of the academic standards of the School of Education are eligible to receive their degrees at the next regularly scheduled commencement exercise of the College. Exercises are scheduled only in May following the spring semester, but degrees are also awarded in August and December. Students completing degrees in summer sessions or in the fall semester may participate in the exercises the following May.

Graduate students anticipating completion of the requirements for the master's, educational specialist, or doctorate degree must file a Notice of Candidacy (on-line form) and follow the School's established deadlines (announced on the School of Education's web site calendar) with the School of Education Registrar located in the Office of Academic Programs. Additionally, some students may be asked to complete an exit evaluation questionnaire or survey.

Requests for Changes

To request a change of advisor, a course substitution in an approved program of studies, an extension of time for program completion, or other exceptions to academic policies, students should direct their appeals to the School of Education Academic Affairs Committee, through the Associate Dean for Academic Programs of the School of Education. Petition forms for this purpose are available in the Office of Academic Programs or on the School of Education web site.

Academic Holds

The institution reserves the right to place an administrative hold on a student's record when students have not provided requested paperwork, have not completed course evaluations, or have not complied with the rules and regulations of the institution. Such holds typically prevent registration and/or receipt of grades or transcripts. Questions regarding the Dean of Education hold should be referred to the Office of Academic Programs.