Academic Policies

Academic Discipline

Students are expected to maintain the highest standards with regard to honesty, effort, and performance. Discipline will be enforced if a student violates the University’s Code of Conduct or the academic policies of the Graduate School of Education. Please refer to the dean for the policies and procedures regarding the academic code of conduct and disciplinary process.

Reserved Rights of the University

The University reserves the right, at its discretion, at any time, to deny matriculated status, to cancel a student’s registration, to refuse to award academic credits, or to deny or rescind a certificate or a degree in accordance with the University Statutes and its academic policies. All forms of dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism, will result in appropriate disciplinary action, including denial or revocation of a degree or certificate.

Maintenance of Matriculation

In order to maintain matriculated status, students must be continuously registered for all semesters (excluding summer) from the semester they begin their programs until they graduate. To maintain matriculation, students must be registered for one of the following: coursework, dissertation seminar, dissertation mentoring, doctoral residency, or EDGE 0666 (for master’s level) or EDGE 9995 (for doctoral level). Students must register for EDGE 0666 for the semester in which they take comprehensive examinations, if they are not registering for other coursework during that semester.

Students unable to maintain matriculation may apply for a short-term leave of absence. Anyone who fails to register for two consecutive semesters without having obtained a leave of absence will automatically lose matriculated status and must make written application to the director of admissions for readmission. During the readmission review, the student’s records will be evaluated in terms of admission and program requirements then in effect. As a result, additional coursework may be required. This readmission review will be conducted by the faculty and chairperson of the division in which the student was matriculated. The results of the review will be forwarded to the director of enrollment services.

Dissertation Format Review

After completing the dissertation seminar, and upon the successful oral defense of the dissertation, doctoral students must submit their dissertations for format review to assure that the dissertation document meets all the formatting and stylistic requirements of the Graduate School of Education and is ready for publication. Upon submission, doctoral students will be registered for EDGE 0999.

Registration Processes

Advising and online registration for all students takes place in October and November for spring semester, in April for summer, and in May for fall semesters. Consult academic calendars for exact dates of advising and registration periods each semester. The advising period enables students to meet with their advisers regarding course selection and academic progress. New and nonmatriculated students should register during the registration period (see academic calendar) after meeting with or speaking to an adviser for course selection guidance and approval. Tuition bills are mailed approximately one month before the start of the semester, and payment is due before classes begin.

Walk-in and online registration are also available at the start of each semester for new and nonmatriculated students. Continuing students who need to register past deadlines will be assessed a $250 late fee; their courses must be added by advisers and approved by the associate dean for academic affairs. Registration materials and instructions are sent to all continuing and newly admitted students. Validation by the bursar and registrar is required before the registration is finalized.

Adding or Dropping Courses

Once a student has registered for a course or courses, changes in registration (adding or dropping a course or changing sections) can be made through our online registration system before or during the first week of classes.

An add/drop form is required to make changes to registration after the first week of classes (see academic calendar for exact dates). Add/drop forms are available from divisional offices and enrollment services. To add a course, a student must complete the add/drop form and have a faculty adviser or division chairperson verify that the course is both open and appropriate for the program of study, and then sign the form. The add/drop form is sent for approval to the deans’ office for consideration, and then if approved, on to enrollment services for processing. Notifying Fordham by phone, mail, or speaking in person with a faculty member or any other University personnel is not sufficient.

To drop a course outside of the add/drop window, a student must complete the add/drop form and receive faculty and division chairperson approval, and then the form is forwarded for signature and approval from the dean’s office and, if approved, forwarded to enrollment services for processing. Notifying Fordham by phone, mail, of speaking in person with a faculty member or any other University personnel is not sufficient. Under most circumstances, the course will remain on the student’s transcript with a W and tuition charges will apply.

Tuition charges will be adjusted only up to the sixth week of class; after that, full tuition will be charged for dropped courses (see section on Tuition and Fees for prorated schedule of refunds).

Grade Point Average

Students in master’s and most advanced programs must maintain a B (3.0) grade point average (GPA) or higher to continue in their programs and to graduate, unless otherwise specified. For students in EdD and PhD programs, a B+ (3.5) GPA or higher is required. Students’ academic records are reviewed throughout their programs. If a student’s GPA falls below the requirement, the School may require additional, alternative, or remedial coursework, or other measures to assist the student to improve academic record. The student is placed on academic probation, which must be removed within one academic year. Failure to improve or to maintain the required GPA may result in termination of a student’s matriculation.


Students are expected to attend all scheduled course meetings and complete all assigned work. If extraordinary circumstances prevent attendance or the timely completion of assignments, the student should consult the faculty member to make alternate arrangements for meeting the course requirements. These situations may require an extension of time to complete a course. Extensions (“incompletes”) must be cleared by the announced date of the next semester. See academic calendar for last date to remove “incompletes” before they convert to administrative F grades.

Course Load

Graduate pre-service teacher education programs require a block of full time attendance, and involve credit loads as indicated in the program descriptions. For all other graduate programs, students are considered full time if they are enrolled in 12 credits per semester or the equivalent. Students employed full time may not register for more than six credits per semester unless granted permission from their academic adviser. Summer session students may take up to six credits per session for a maximum of 12 credits during June, July, and August, including for-credit institutes and tutorials.

Independent Studies/Tutorials

Students with good cause may request an independent study with a full time instructional staff member with expertise in the course content area. The approval of the faculty member, division chairperson, and the associate dean for academic affairs is required prior to beginning the independent study. Independent study applications must be submitted to the associate dean for academic affairs during the regular registration period. A maximum of six credits of independent study are permitted during a student’s academic program.

Transfers of Credit

Students may request a transfer of credit for a course completed at another accredited institution provided the course is at the graduate level and its content is equivalent to course content required/permitted for the degree at Fordham. The course may not have been used to fulfill requirements for another degree and it must have been completed with a grade of B or better (the grade P is normally not transferable unless it is the only passing grade given by the institution). In addition, the course must have been taken within the five years prior to date of anticipated completion of the degree in-progress at Fordham. Associated knowledge or performance assessments may be required, depending on the course.

To transfer credit, complete a Transfer of Credit form and submit it to your adviser and division chairperson with an official transcript of the credits and grade earned in the course along with a photocopy of the course description from the offering institution’s school bulletin. The division chair will forward the documents with a recommendation to the associate dean for academic affairs for approval. Up to six graduate credits may be transferred. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange for his or her transcript to be sent to the division office to accompany the Transfer of Credit form.

Transfer credits do not contribute to a student’s GPA. Please note that if transfer credit is granted for a course taken prior to admission to Fordham, the time limit for program completion is computed from the semester of the transferred course.

Exemption from Courses

Students may request an exemption from a required course if they have taken similar coursework previously or if they have equivalent or substantively related professional experience. To request an exemption, students must submit a completed Application for Exemption to their division chairperson. An exemption permits a student to take another appropriate course in lieu of a required course. An exemption does not change the minimum number of Fordham-earned credits required for a degree (e.g., 30 for a master’s and 45 for a doctorate). The application must be accompanied by documentary evidence to justify the exemption; for example, an official transcript and photocopy of the course description from the institution’s bulletin, a copy of a professional certification, or a signed statement from a supervisor indicating satisfactory completion of an equivalent experience. Associated knowledge and performance assessments may be required, depending on the course.

Time Limits

All requirements for the master’s degree or the professional diploma must be completed within five years of the first course applied to the degree. All requirements for the doctorate (PhD or EdD) must be completed within eight years of the first course applied to the degree. If transfer credit is granted for a course taken prior to admission to Fordham, the time limit will be computed from the semester of the transferred course. Students who do not complete their programs within the time limits may have their matriculation automatically terminated. Extensions of time to complete a degree may be granted by the associate dean for academic affairs upon the recommendation of the division chairperson and adviser, and submission of a satisfactory degree completion action plan. However, students are typically allowed only a single, one-year extension.

Leave of Absence

Students unable to actively pursue their studies and maintain matriculation through registration for a period of time should request a leave of absence. Time granted for a leave of absence does not extend the time limit for completing a degree program. Leaves of absence are awarded on a semester-by-semester basis and multiple leaves of absence are not typically permitted.


The following grades are used to indicate student performance and achievement: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, and F. 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. The designations S, Satisfactory; U, Unsatisfactory; P, Pass; F, Fail are used to evaluate student work in dissertation seminar, internships, practica, and other specified courses. Professors may assign a grade of Incomplete (INC) for students whose work is incomplete but satisfactory on the last day of the courses. An In Progress (IP) is reserved for yearlong experiences and courses, and must not be used for one-semester experiences or courses.

Students whose coursework is incomplete but satisfactory on the last day of the course may receive a grade of INC. To remove an INC and receive credit for the course, the course requirements must be completed by the deadline posted in the academic calendar, and faculty members must submit a grade using a Change of Grade form. Failure to complete the course requirements by the date posted will result in a grade change from INC to F. Change of Grade forms are available in division offices. Changes to grades require approval of the division chair and associate dean for academic affairs, and if processed past the last date to change grades noted in the academic calendar, will require Vice President approval. All INCs that convert to a grade of F contribute to the student’s GPA.

Note: According to University policy and with the goal to preserve the integrity of academic student records, changes in course grades, other than Incompletes, will, in general, not be permitted. Submission of additional work at a later date, desire for an improved academic record, and failure to observe academic regulations such as those related to withdrawals, absences, or incompletes shall not be deemed sufficient reason to alter a student’s academic record.

Transcripts of Record

An official transcript is one bearing the seal of the University. Official transcripts of academic records are not given to students or graduates but are mailed directly to the college, professional or graduate school, government agency, or business concern designated to receive the transcript. An unofficial transcript may be given to the person whose credits are listed thereon and is marked “Unofficial.” The University accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of an unofficial transcript after it has been issued.

Transcripts may be requested from enrollment services in person, by mail, or online and should be requested at least 10 business days in advance of the date needed. No transcripts or certifications will be issued for students who have unpaid financial obligations owed to the University. A fee is charged for each transcript, payable at the time of request.

Fordham University will not assume responsibility for transcripts delayed because they were not requested in adequate time. All inquiries concerning issuance of transcripts must be made within six months of the original request.

Auditing Privileges

Individuals who have earned the baccalaureate, master’s degree, or professional diploma may apply to audit a course on a space-available basis for the purpose of personal or professional development. The fee for auditing courses is equal to tuition for one graduate credit. An application for nonmatriculated study and an add/drop form are used to request the audit privilege. Audits are approved by the associate dean for academic affairs.

No grades, credit, or transcripts are given for audited courses. Audited courses will not be considered in requests for exemptions, transfers, waivers, or advanced standing should the auditor subsequently be admitted to a degree program in the Graduate School of Education. An audited course may not be changed to a credit course. Institutes that are taken for noncredit are considered as audited and may not be changed to a credit experience after the institute is over.

The University also extends the privilege of auditing courses on a space-available basis without payment of fees to scholars with doctoral degrees from Fordham or other universities. There are some courses, for example upper-level, practica, laboratory, or seminar courses, that are not open to auditors. Application by letter should be made to the associate dean for academic affairs, who will provide a letter to be presented to the instructor of the course to be audited if the application is approved.

Grievance Procedures

It is the policy of Fordham University to protect the rights of each student to be free from unlawful discrimination. Students who believe they have been discriminated against with respect to participation in, access to, or benefits of any program or activity within the Graduate School of Education are advised to file a grievance. For additional information, write or call the associate dean for academic affairs or the chairperson of the division in which the program is offered.