Academic Policies

Degree Requirements

Candidates for graduate degrees must comply with the requirements of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. Students must meet PCS requirements, unless granted an exemption by the dean after consultation with the program director.

Students matriculated in the master's degree programs must satisfactorily complete a minimum number of credits in residence in order to obtain the degree.

Additional credits above the requirement may be satisfied by transfer course approval or advanced standing approval. Appropriate procedures must be followed to obtain those approvals within the first semester of enrollment.

Master's students must maintain a "B" average (or 3.000 cumulative GPA) in master's-level coursework to remain in good academic standing and in order to graduate.

All degree requirements must be completed within 5 years of initial enrollment.

Waiver of Courses

Within specific guidelines, graduate students in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies may request the waiver of core level courses only, based on prior academic coursework or proven proficiency in the subject area.

To request a waiver based on prior academic course work, students must:

  • complete and submit a Waiver Request Form;
  • submit a syllabus of the course; and
  • submit an official transcript reflecting the completed course.

The course submitted for waiver must have been completed within 5 years of the waiver request and a grade of at least B (3.000) must have been earned for the course. The request for the waiver may be denied if the course content does not directly parallel the identified core course or if the subject matter has changed significantly since the course was taken.

To request a waiver based on proficiency in the subject area, students must:

  • complete and submit a Waiver Request Form; and
  • complete a written subject area assessment.

Course waivers will not reduce the number of credits required to complete the degree and if a student is granted a course waiver, that course must be replaced with a course of equivalent credit hours. Students should seek guidance regarding an appropriate replacement course.

All requests for course waivers must be submitted within the first term of enrollment for consideration.

Time Limit on Completion of Degree

Students must complete the requirements for their degree in a timely and expeditious manner: that is, within five years of first matriculation for all master's students.

Time limits on degree completion are rigorously enforced. In addition to having an important academic purpose, the number of years to degree is monitored by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) and other institutions concerned with graduate programs, and is often one indicator of the quality of a graduate program.

Students who plan to seek an extension to the five-year time limit must apply before the conclusion of their fifth academic year. Such a request must be directed in writing through the program director, and must receive the written approval of the Associate Dean. Requests for extensions must include a timetable, approved by the Associate Dean for the completion of degree requirements. Failure to adhere to the timetable or to meet other conditions may result in dismissal. The length of the extension will be communicated to the student at the time the approval is granted.

Students failing to maintain continuous enrollment (e.g. having voluntarily withdrawn from their degree program) who seek to reenroll such that they would exceed or have already exceeded the original time limits of their degree, must apply for readmission. As part of their application, students must present a timetable for successfully completing all renewed degree requirements and/or retaking expired courses. If permission to resume studies is granted, failure to adhere to this timetable could result in dismissal.

Degree Conferral and Commencement

Students who have completed all degree requirements in accordance with the guidelines outlined within the program's curriculum of study will receive degrees conferred by the University.

Degrees are conferred in February, May, and August on students who have completed their degree requirements in the fall, spring, or summer semesters, respectively.

To graduate, students must complete and submit an online Application for Graduation via the My.Fordham.edu portal by the date indicated by the graduate program's office. Failure to submit the online Application for Graduation by the deadline will result in the degree not being awarded in the desired semester, as will failure to complete requirements pending at the time of application for graduation.

Students who miss the deadline for application or fail to complete pending requirements must continue to register and be registered in the semester directly preceding conferral of the degree, according to the continuous enrollment policy.

Students who receive degrees in August must be registered for the summer session immediately preceding the conferral of their degrees.

Commencement ceremonies are held each May, and include the University commencement followed by diploma ceremonies for each school. During the PCS diploma ceremony, diplomas are distributed to all PCS candidates.

Students who receive their degrees at any time during the preceding academic year are invited to participate. Students who have submitted the online Application for Graduation on time will receive information at their Fordham email account about commencement and about obtaining the proper commencement apparel. Master's candidates who are completing the final requirements of their degree in August may request to participate in the May ceremony prior to their August graduation date. The request must be made to the program director by the deadline for May graduation.

Discipline and Grievance Policies

PCS students are subject to the provisions outlined in Article Six of the University Statutes: University Code of Conduct, including those related to academic integrity.

Academic Integrity Standards

Upholding standards of academic integrity is paramount to the pursuit of academic excellence and intellectual growth. It is integral to fulfilling the University's mission and ensuring the value and reputation of all Fordham graduate degree programs.

PCS students are members of a community whose research, teaching, learning, and knowledge production are based on academic integrity and the pursuit of scholarly activity in an honest, truthful, and responsible manner, carried out in conformance with discipline-specific standards as well as relevant University policies.

Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: plagiarism; cheating; falsification; and inappropriate collaboration. Such transgressions undermine seriously the basis of graduate research degrees, and sanctions levied at this level are severe.

PCS faculty and students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with each of the following violations of academic integrity, which is not intended to be an exhaustive listing:

  • Plagiarism can be defined as the theft or appropriation of ideas, words, findings, or passages from another that are not common knowledge, for use as one's own and without proper attribution. Plagiarism occurs whether such theft is accidental or deliberate. It can also vary from exact word-for-word duplication to the use of an idea (if not the words), and may involve devices such as paraphrasing without attribution.
  • Cheating occurs when an individual uses unauthorized or prohibited resources (e.g., cell phones, smart watches, or other similar devices; programmable calculators; copies of prior examinations or assessments) in fulfillment of her/his academic responsibilities or curricular requirements. It may involve misappropriating information from another's examination, test, report, or data. It may also include permitting the misappropriation of one's own information by another.
  • Falsification occurs when an individual submits or presents statements that are false and/or mislead others. Instances of falsification include, but are not limited to presenting false identification or credentials to obtain admission into a degree program or course; submitting a falsified excuse for an absence or failing to meet a course or program requirement; or manipulating or falsifying data for an academic assignment or degree requirement.
  • Inappropriate Collaboration occurs when a student engages in expressly prohibited collaboration with others on academic assessments and submits the resulting work as one's own for the purposes of earning academic credit. Faculty are responsible determining what constitutes permissible collaboration, and students should seek guidance and clarification in advance from their professors regarding this issue.

Academic Integrity Violation Allegations

Allegations of an academic integrity violation involving a PCS student shall be reported in writing by the complainant (e.g., faculty member, course instructor) to the student. The details of the allegations should be specific and clearly described.

Following this initial communication, the student and complainant shall arrange to meet in a timely manner to discuss the allegations. Within ten (10) business days following this meeting, the complainant will make a determination as to whether or not an academic integrity violation occurred and will notify the student in writing of the basis for the determination. If the complainant's allegations are not confirmed, no further action will be taken, and the matter will be deemed closed.

If the complainant's allegations are confirmed, the complainant shall:

  1. assign to the student a failing grade for the course as well as the assessment and/or other activities linked to the academic integrity violation;
    1. NOTE: Not every instance of academic integrity violation allegation occurs within the context of a grade. For example, it is possible for the context to include a non-gradable assignment (e.g., a draft assignment). In such cases, an appropriate sanction in collaboration with the Associate Dean (and/or program director) will be levied relative to the nature of the assignment.
  2. report the incident in writing to the program director and the Associate Dean for further adjudication. Unless the student elects to appeal the complainant's determination in accordance with the procedures outlined below, the Associate Dean will initiate an investigation to determine the nature and seriousness of the incident, and apply appropriate additional sanctions, which may include suspension or expulsion. The method for conducting the investigation will be at the Associate Dean's discretion in consultation with the program director.

Appealing an Academic Integrity Violation Determination

If students believe the determination reached by the complainant to be flawed or incorrect, they may request in writing, within ten (10) business days of the receipt of said determination, that it be reviewed by the program director.

The program director and Associate Dean shall review the student's appeal in a timely manner and make a determination as to whether there is sufficient evidence to validate the original allegations. In situations where the complainant is also serving in either of these administrative roles, s/he will nominate or otherwise provide a qualified faculty member to carry out the review. Additional information may also be requested from the complainant and/or the student if necessary. Within ten (10) business days following the completion of the review, the basis for determination shall be communicated to the student in writing to the complainant and the student.

In cases where the Associate Dean and program director's (or faculty reviewer's) determination supports the student's appeal:

  • any necessary adjustments will be made to the student's grade;
  • no further action will be taken regarding the case; and
  • the appeal will be deemed closed.

In cases where the Associate Dean and program director's (or faculty reviewer's) determination upholds the original allegations:

  • the failing grade for the course as well as the assessment and/or other activities linked to the academic integrity violation will stand; and
  • the Associate Dean and program director shall report to the PCS Dean that the appeal review process upheld the allegations; and shall provide all necessary documentation to the PCS Dean for further adjudication and to apply subsequent appropriate additional sanctions, which may include suspension or expulsion.

If the student is not satisfied with the determination communicated by the Associate Dean and program director, s/he may submit a written request within ten (10) days of the receipt of said determination, to the PCS Dean for a final review of the allegations.

Upon receipt of a written request, the PCS Dean shall convene an Academic Affairs Sub-Committee and invite two independent parties to undertake a timely, final investigation and review of the case. The additional reviewers will be provided with all relevant information and may request additional information from the complainant, Associate Dean, program director, and/or the student if necessary. The reviewers will communicate in writing their determination in a timely fashion, to the PCS Dean with a copy to the complainant, Associate Dean, program director, and the student.

If the determination reached by the reviewers supports the student's appeal:

  • any necessary adjustments will be made to the student's grade;
  • no further action will be taken; and
  • the appeal will be deemed closed.

If the determination reached by the reviewers upholds the original allegations:

  • the failing grade for the course as well as the assessment, and/or other activities linked to the academic integrity violation will stand;
  • the Academic Affairs Subcommittee Investigators will address the nature and seriousness of the incident and issue a written recommendation to the PCS Dean regarding subsequent appropriate academic sanction(s) to be taken, which may include suspension or expulsion; and
  • the PCS Dean shall review the reviewers' recommendation; render her/his decision regarding appropriate academic sanction(s) to be taken; and will notify the student in writing in a timely fashion of her/his decision, which is not subject to further appeal.

NOTE: It may be necessary to make adjustments to the timing of the procedures if an alleged academic integrity violation occurs or is reported outside of or in close proximity to the commencement or conclusion of the normal academic semester (e.g., summer, holiday, or vacation periods). In such instances, all relevant parties shall be notified and every effort will be made to ensure that the process proceeds in a timely and efficient manner. Students are not permitted to withdraw from the course once the academic integrity violation process has commenced. Refunds will not be issued for any course where the academic violation determination was not in the student's favor. All other withdrawals will be based on the standard refund schedule.