Academic Policies

Letter Grade Numerical Equivalent Grade Description
A 4.0 Excellent
A- 3.75 Very good
B+ 3.5 Good
B 3.0 Average
B- 2.75 Pass
C 2.0 Minimal Pass
F 0.0 Fail
P* 0.0 Pass

*P is valid for use in the following course categories only: Dissertation Mentoring, Dissertation Direction, Clinical Pastoral Education, Field Placement and Research Methods.

Procedure Regarding Incompletes

If there is a serious reason for taking a grade “Incomplete,” students must apply to the professor in writing (or by email) no later than the last class meeting . It is the professor's decision to grant or reject the request. Probationary students may not receive incompletes. The professor takes the responsibility with the student for the necessary make-up work and final grading. Incomplete grades not resolved by the deadline on the calendar will automatically become an “F.” 

After the make-up work and final grading are done, the formal change-of-grade request should be completed and signed by the professor and the dean. This form must be in the dean's office by the deadline for the removal of “INC,” “ABS,” and “NGR” grades on the school's academic calendar. As with all cataloged information, students are held responsible to adhere to those dates.

With the publication of this set of procedures, the entire responsibility regarding removal of an "incomplete" rests upon the student and faculty member. This is a serious matter, since failure by a student to take the proper action will result in a failing grade and loss of all credit for the course.

Academic Performance and Progress 

Students who do not meet the minimal standards for academic performance are placed on academic probation. Minimal satisfactory academic performance is defined as having a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 for master’s and certificate students and a 3.5 for doctoral students. Any student receiving any University financial aid must maintain a 3.0 GPA (M.A./Certificate) as minimum requirement for continuation of the aid. Administrative “Fs” are computed as “Fs” (0.00) for the purpose of determining the grade point average.

Satisfactory academic progress is defined as completing at least one of the project/thesis/ requirements each year after the semester in which coursework is completed. 

If a student receives a grade of "F" for a course, it will remain on the student’s record, even after the course is retaken and a passing grade is earned subsequently. The grade of a repeated course is also recorded on the academic record and does not remove or replace a grade previously earned.

Notwithstanding their academic performance or the time remaining for completion of degree requirements, students who do not make satisfactory progress toward the degree may be dismissed from GRE. Unsatisfactory progress may include an excessive number of withdrawals, incompletes, leaves of absence, or other delays in meeting the requirements for the degree. 

Academic Advisement Procedure and Sequence

Upon acceptance and registration, each student is assigned a faculty adviser. The adviser is to be consulted at each registration period. Your adviser is listed on the student tab in Advisers are assigned by the dean’s office and may change year to year.

Each student is required to take a minimum of six credits per semester to be considered full time and receive any form of grant, discount or other financial assistance. 

Once a student receives approval to work with a mentor on a thesis or dissertation, that mentor will take on the duties of the faculty adviser.

Please note that program requirements change. Students are responsible for the requirements published in the year they were admitted to the program. The only official list of requirements for each degree and entry year is maintained in Degree Works within Please make sure to review your progress with your adviser each semester within Degree Works.

Standards for Written Assignments

Ordinarily all written assignments for course requirements will be typed and double spaced, with at least 1-inch margins on the top, right, and bottom and a wider 1½-inch margin on the left. Students are responsible to proofread their papers ensuring correct spelling and correct grammatical structure. If the assignment includes research documentation, one of the recommended manuals of style referred to in this bulletin or any program-specific handbooks are to be followed. 

Faculty may require the use of the writing center or an outside editor (paid by the student) to resolve regular or substantial problems with student writing.

Nondiscriminatory Use of Language

All written assignments should adopt nondiscriminatory, gender-inclusive language. See the style guide for your degree for further details.

Major Paper Deadline for Summer Graduates

Candidates who plan to graduate at the end of a summer session should note that full-time faculty are under contract for the fall and spring semesters only. Their obligations to the University cease at of the end of May and resume at the start of the fall semester. Consequently, advisement for the major paper  must be substantially completed by the end of April. Failure to meet this deadline necessitates matriculation in the following fall semester in order to fulfill the degree requirement. The finished paper is to be submitted to the faculty mentor by the first day of summer session.

Submission of Theses, Dissertations and Projects 

With the approval of your mentor or committee, final degree theses, dissertations, and projects should be sent electronically to your mentor and the assistant dean as one PDF file with the following naming convention:  last name first name thesis title


Plagiarism is a serious offense and can be defined as “literary theft” when a student misrepresents the work of another as one’s own. One who intentionally plagiarizes the work of another in a course paper, project, or examination can expect to receive a failing grade for the assignment and potentially for the course. The decision will be made by the professor in consultation with the dean or assistant dean, and will be recorded in the student’s file. Students who commit a second act of plagiarism while at GRE may be dismissed from the school. One who unintentionally misrepresents borrowed material as one’s own original work, either resulting from carelessness or ignorance, will have the assignment returned with the opportunity to rewrite it in an acceptable form. The following guidelines apply to all written work:

  1. Using the ideas, thoughts, words, and statements of another, including those quoted from online sources, without crediting the source constitutes plagiarism.

  2. If exact words of another are used, they must be put in quotation marks or indented, and acknowledged through footnotes, endnotes, or bibliography.

  3. If the thoughts or ideas, rather than the exact words, of another are used, they must be acknowledged through footnotes, endnotes, or bibliography. 

  4. If source material is paraphrased or rephrased, it must be acknowledged through a footnote or endnote. If the paraphrased material includes exact words, phrases, and sentences, they must be put in quotation marks.

  5. The underlying criterion for determining plagiarism is claiming as one’s own original work the ideas, thoughts, words, and statements of another without crediting the source.

  6. Plagiarism can also involve the use of commentary from other students, or other sources, in the context of online discussions and projects.

Academic Probation

All GRE students matriculated in a certificate or master’s degree program must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to continue in their program of study. For doctoral students, the minimum cumulative grade point average is a 3.5. Academic progress must also be made each fall and spring semester to avoid probation. Academic progress is defined as completing a course or one element of your research project successfully each fall and spring semester. Students who fall below the required cumulative GPA will be placed on probation. Students whose cumulative GPA remains below a 3.0 for a second consecutive semester may be dismissed from the GRE and will not be eligible for financial aid from the school.

Appeal of Academic Grades

Students who believe that they have received an incorrect grade for a final paper, course, major paper, project, qualifying paper, thesis, or dissertation may appeal the grade in accordance with the procedures below.

The student will first schedule a meeting to discuss the matter with the professor and try to resolve the issue informally. Should that not be satisfactory, the following procedures are to be followed.

  1. Within one month of receiving the grade, the student must request in writing a review of the material and grade by the faculty member who assigned it. In the case of a grade assigned by a committee, the student must make this request to the chairperson of the committee, or if there is none, to the program director. As a result of the student’s request, the material in question will be reviewed by the person(s) who assigned the grade, and the result of the review will accord with the academic judgment of the faculty member/chairperson/program director.

  2. If the student is not satisfied with the results of the initial review, the student may request a second review. This request must be made in writing to the assistant dean within one week of receiving the results of the initial review. The assistant dean will institute the second review and should report the results to the student within two months of the request. The method for conducting the review will be at the discretion of the assistant dean. If the assistant dean concurs with the student’s appeal, the student will consult the dean and any appropriate department faculty in determining the grade to be awarded. 

  3. If the student is not satisfied with the results of the second review, the student may request a final review. This request must be made in writing to the dean of GRE within one week of the receipt of the result of the second review. The dean will institute the final review and should report the results to the student within one month. The method for conducting the review will be at the dean’s discretion. If the dean concurs with the student’s appeal, the student will consult appropriate department faculty in determining the grade to be awarded. No further reviews may be requested by the student. At the dean’s discretion, the appeal may be submitted to the academic vice president for

Note: Time requirements in the procedure refer to time when classes are in session during the academic year and may be adjusted accordingly for summer, holiday, or vacation periods.

Time Limit on Completion of the Degree

Students should be aware that they are expected to complete the requirements for their degree, including the project, thesis, or dissertation work, in a timely and expeditious fashion. The timing of the degree indicates the currency of the student’s knowledge and training. The number of years to degree is monitored by the New York State Department of Education and other institutions concerned with graduate programs and is often one indicator of the quality of a graduate program. Thus, the policies regarding time limit for completion of degrees have a serious and important academic purpose and are rigorously enforced. 

All requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within five years of the first semester of study in the Graduate School. This time limit applies to both full-time and part-time students.

All requirements, including the successful defense and presentation of the dissertation for the D.Min. and Ph.D., must be completed within six years of the first semester of study in the Graduate School. Students who complete a master’s degree and then continue directly into a GRE doctoral program must complete all requirements within eight years of the first semester of study in the Graduate School. These time limits apply to all students regardless of full-time or part-time status. 

The dean generally notifies students in their penultimate year that they are approaching the time limit and the nature of the extension policy. The dean’s office also generally informs students commencing their final academic year that they have only one year remaining before the expiration of their time limit.

All students are expected to follow these bulletin policies and monitor their academic progress regularly. Students are required to review their status on and Degree Works each semester to assure that:

  1. All courses taken appear properly and were graded properly.

  2. All degree requirements have been met.

  3. They have submitted any external transcripts or grades in a timely way for inclusion on their Fordham transcript.

Before the conclusion of their final academic year, the student may apply for an extension to the time limit. Students should be aware that an initial or a further extension to the time limit for degree will be granted only if, in the dean’s judgment, there is sufficient evidence that the degree will be completed expeditiously and that the thesis will be one of high merit. Extensions beyond the time limit will not be granted, except for compelling reasons, to students who have not secured topic approval prior to expiration of the time limit or have otherwise not made substantial academic progress toward the degree. 

A written request for an extension must be approved by the dean as well as approved in writing by the mentor and any readers. As part of the request, a student must present the following items: 

  1. A sufficient portion of the project or dissertation to permit an objective evaluation of the quality of the work.

  2. A timetable for completion of the remaining portions of the project or dissertation. The timetable must include specific deadlines for each element that remains to be completed (chapters, proposal, submission for format review, etc.).

Students may petition to have one or more of these requirements adapted to their particular situation.

For D.Min. students, the D.Min. committee has the right to review any course taken more than five years ago and require that the student demonstrate currency of knowledge in that area. 

If the extension is approved, students must meet any other conditions imposed by the dean and must maintain continuous enrollment until all requirements are completed. Failure to adhere to the approved timetable or to meet other conditions may result in dismissal. 

Non-enrolled students: Students who are currently not enrolled but who will exceed or have exceeded the time limit must apply for readmission. As part of this application, they must present a timetable for completion of all current degree requirements, as well as re-taking of expired courses, and resubmission of the proposal. If permission to resume studies is granted, failure to adhere to this timetable could result in dismissal.