Jul 13, 2024  
2023 - 2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023 - 2024 Graduate Catalog

Academic Policies

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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 William & Mary.

Policies for individual programs are included in the description for that program. In accordance with William & Mary’s academic policies, it is the student’s responsibility to know and meet the academic requirements of the program.

Academic Continuance & Standards

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

Degree or certificate credit is granted only for coursework in which the student earns a grade of C-  or above.

Exceptions: The MAEd in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Special Education requires a grade of B- or higher in designated courses and the MEd in School Psychology requires a grade of B or higher in designated courses.

A graduate student may repeat one course in which an earned grade fails to meet the minimum threshold stated in academic policy.  The grade earned initially remains a part of the student’s record and is included in computations of quality-point requirements. 

The online counseling practicum and internship course differs from the typical course noted above (7 week mini-semester  [1.5. units]). Accordingly, failing two consecutive practicum or internship mini-semesters within or across semesters shall be regarded as equivalent to earning a grade of D or F in a typical semester-long course as noted above. A student who fails two consecutive practicum or internship mini-semesters within or across semesters may be permitted to continue in the program pending they have not earned a D or F in another course as noted above or within this exception.    

All papers/projects/dissertations/thesis submitted must be original to each course unless the student has explicit prior permission from the instructor(s) involved.

Academic Dismissal

A student will be dismissed from a program if he or she:

  1. Receives two or more grades of DF or U in any course in an approved program of studies in a degree or certificate program;
  2. Receives a grade of F in any semester of the school psychology practicum or internship;
  3. Fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50 upon completion of 40% of a graduate program;
  4. Fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 upon completion of 30 credit hours in a graduate degree program, or upon completion of the semester prior to student teaching for secondary, elementary, and ESL/bilingual students in a graduate degree program that leads to initial licensure; or has failed to achieve at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA upon completion of 6 hours in a certificate program;
  5. Fails to pass the EPPL doctoral written comprehensive examination two times;
  6. Fails to pass any section of the Counselor Education doctoral comprehensive examination (exam, paper, and oral) two times.
  7. Fails to satisfactorily complete an improvement, remediation, or growth plan.

Under extraordinary circumstances, a dismissed student may be reinstated upon appeal to the Academic Affairs Committee.

All appeals must but be submitted in writing to the School of Education Registrar no later than 7-calendar days after the date of the dismissal notification.

Academic Probation

Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 any semester will be automatically placed on academic probation and will receive a letter from the Office of Academic Programs.  Students on academic probation will not be removed until they achieve a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. 

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:



Performance considerably above the level expected for a student in a given program



Performance equal to expectation for acceptable performance at the student’s level of study



Performance below expectation but of sufficient quality to justify degree credit



Performance unacceptable for graduate degree credit but sufficient to warrant a “passing” grade for non-degree purposes (such as teacher certification renewal)



Unacceptable level of performance for any purpose



Passing level of performance (used for selected courses and practica)



Notation used when a student withdraws after the add/drop period ends



 Notation used on all courses for a verified medical withdrawal from William & Mary



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.



Deferred grade only used for dissertation credit


The “U” grade carries no credit and indicates unsatisfactory progress toward dissertation completion.

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 and U carry no credit and no quality points.

Grade Appeal

Students have the right to appeal a final course grade. All appeals must be submitted to the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs within two weeks after final grade due date of the semester or session where the grade was earned.

Grade Appeal Procedure

1. The student shall meet first with the instructor to discuss the grade. Upon request, the student should be informed of the evaluative criteria used in determining the grade.

2. If the dispute is not resolved by meeting with the instructor, the student may present a written statement of appeal, with available documentation to support the complaint, to the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs. This statement must be presented no later than two weeks after final grade due date of the semester or session where the grade was earned.

3. The Senior Associate Dean shall then appoint a member of the faculty other than him or herself, agreed upon by both parties, who shall seek to mediate the dispute.

4. If the dispute is not settled by mediation within two weeks of the presentation of this statement to the Senior Associate Dean, the student may request in writing that the Senior Associate Dean appoint a committee of the School (typically three members) to review and resolve the case. (If the Associate Dean is the instructor involved, the student’s request shall be directed to the Dean, who will appoint the review committee.)

5. The disputed evaluation shall stand or be modified in accord with the committee’s decision, which shall be delivered in writing to the instructor, to the student, and to the Senior Associate Dean (or to the Dean, if the Senior Associate Dean is the instructor involved).

6. The purpose of alteration is to redress the appeal. The committee may substitute another grade or, if it lacks a basis for doing so, it may substitute a Pass, with a waiver of use of the course in any computation which would require a quality grade and a corresponding readjustment of the standard involved (e.g., the requirement of a 3.0 quality point average for all courses in the field of concentration for which the student receives an official grade).

7. The decision of the committee shall be final, except that, upon receipt of a written appeal about procedure from either party within two weeks of notice of the committee’s decision, the Senior Associate Dean may ask the committee to review its action.

Academic Holds

The institution reserves the right to place an administrative hold on a student’s record when students have not provided requested paperwork, 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.

Add/Drop and Withdrawal

Regulations regarding dropping of courses and withdrawal from William & Mary apply to both non-degree seeking post-baccalaureate students, certificate-only 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.”


Each student is assigned a program faculty advisor upon admission to the School of Education. Students are responsible for planning a course of study with their advisors. Each graduate student and the 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.

Candidacy for Graduation

Students who have completed a planned program of studies for a degree and have 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 William & Mary. 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 “Apply to Graduate” (by completing an on-line form found on the University Registrar’s Office website), and follow the established deadlines (announced on the School of Education’s web site calendar.) 

Completion of Certificate Programs

Certificates are awarded upon the student’s completion of the certificate requirements. Prior to the completion of coursework, students enrolled in certificate programs must complete the Notice of Candidacy form and follow the established deadlines (announced on the School of Education’s web site calendar.) Certificate only awardees do not participate in W&M commencement activities.

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; however 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. Courses offered by other graduate schools and departments of William & Mary are acceptable for graduate credit upon the approval of a student’s program advisor.

Independent Study

The purpose of an independent study course is to give the student the opportunity to learn information not taught in regular courses. Independent study must follow departmental processes for approval.

Leave of Absence

The Senior 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 will have the request considered as a new request for leave. 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 Senior Associate Dean of Academic Programs at least 30 days prior to the leave request date.

On Campus Program

Students enrolled in on campus programs who exceed two consecutive years on leave of absence will be removed from the program.

Online Counseling Programs

Students enrolled in the online counseling programs are expected to be enrolled each semester so that they can complete the program of study in a timely manner. Online counseling students must request a leave of absence if they will not be enrolled for any semester.  Online counseling students may request a leave of absence for a semester or for a year. An extension of a leave may be granted if the student requests the extension and the advisor supports the request, but the total time including any extensions allowed for a leave may not exceed two years. Students who exceed two years will need to reapply to the program and may need to repeat courses. Leaves are normally granted for personal reasons that preclude the student from actively pursuing an academic course of study.  Online counseling students returning from an approved leave need to submit a written request to the Office of Academic Programs so that they can be re-activated and have a revised program of study developed. Start dates for practicum and internship will be determined once a student has submitted their written request with an anticipated return date.

Requests for Exceptions to Academic Policies

To request exceptions to academic policies, students should direct their appeals to the School of Education Academic Affairs Committee through the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs of the School of Education. Petition forms for this purpose are available on the School of Education web site.

Transfer Credit, Course Substitution, and Course Exemption

Students who wish to request credit for graduate work taken at another institution of higher education, a course substitution in an approved program of study for a course taken at William & Mary, or a program course exemption for a degree program should consult with their program advisor and obtain approval. If approval is given, the advisor will complete an approved Transfer of Graduate Credit, Course Substitution, and Course Exemption Form and forward the request to the Office of Academic Programs for approval by the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs on behalf of the Academic Affairs Committee. If the request involves a course that is part of a licensure or endorsement program, additional approval is required. Contact the Office of Academic Programs for guidance on additional approval.

For certificate programs

Courses taken at an institution other than William & Mary may not be transferred or counted toward the certificate requirements.  Prior graduate coursework taken in the School of Education can be applied to the certificate only if it was completed within four years of the date of admission to the student’s certificate program. Also, the student must have received a grade of B or better in the course. Only nine credit hours of previously taken course work at William & Mary can count toward the certificate. Courses taken at William & Mary prior to entering the certificate program can be counted if less than 4 years old at the time the student is admitted to the certificate program. 

Up to 100% of William & Mary coursework taken as part of a certificate program may apply toward a School of Education degree program if deemed appropriate by the advisor, and is less than 4 years old when the student enters the degree program.  

Students must take the courses listed on a certificate program of study. Substitution of other courses is not allowed. Students cannot be exempted from courses listed on a certificate program of study.

** Certificate seekers in the Post-Professional Certificate in Educational Leadership cannot transfer in any coursework to the certificate.

Transfer Credit for Degree Programs

Prior graduate 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 courses which were not part of an earned graduate degree may be eligible for transfer (providing the maximum number of transfer hours and the course age requirements are met).  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 William & Mary prior to admission may be applied to a master’s degree or Ed.D. A maximum of 15 credit hours can be applied toward the Ed.S. or Ph.D.  

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 William & Mary. Courses taken prior to matriculation will be counted as transfer credit.

 Course Substitution for Degree Programs

Graduate students who wish to substitute a course in an approved program of studies may request a course substitution via the Transfer of Graduate Credit, Course Substitution, and Course Exemption Form. The advisor will assess the appropriateness of the course substitution. An independent study cannot be substituted for a required course unless the student petitions the Academic Affairs Committee and receives approval prior to registering for the course.

Course Exemption for Degree Programs

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 via the Transfer of Graduate Credit, Course Substitution, and Course Exemption Form. The advisor 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 an EPPL or SPACE degree program will not be reduced.

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 programs. 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 for the M.A.Ed.  Students must earn a minimum of 24 graduate credit hours at William & Mary post admission to their current M.A.Ed. graduate program.

Transfer 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.

Transferring Between Departments

Matriculated students to degree programs who wish to transfer between departments to a program at the same degree level 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:

a. A new or revised application form to include a new essay that explains the reason for change;

b. updated transcripts, if applicable;

c. updated test scores, if applicable;

d. updated letters of recommendation, if applicant chooses to do so; and

e. any additional materials or documentation required by specific programs.

After a student submits the new application, the review process will follow regular admission procedures. Students who wish to change degree level must apply through the regular admissions cycle. Changing from EdD to PhD will require a new application.

Changing Concentrations

For students who wish to change a concentration within a department, the student must receive the approval of the current faculty advisor, the new advisor (if applicable), the program coordinator, and department chair. Forms for a change of concentration are available on the School of Education’s website at education.wm.edu.

Students admitted to a campus delivered counseling program cannot transfer into an online delivered counseling concentration. 

Students admitted to the online counseling program cannot change concentrations within the online program or to concentrations delivered on campus.