Graduate Courses

Graduate credit may be earned in the following courses:

  • 8000-level courses, which are for doctoral students only
  • 6900- and 7000-level courses, which are open to graduate students (see Graduate Courses for Undergraduates). At least one-half of the credits applied toward the master’s degree must be earned in courses in the 6900- and 7000-series.
  • Upper-division undergraduate swing courses (5800-level), in which the student may en­roll for graduate credit only

Only certain upper-division undergraduate courses may be taken for graduate credit. Those in this category are listed in the Courses section of this catalog. To earn graduate credit in an upper-division course, the student must be admitted to the College of Graduate Studies before the course is taken. Graduate students in undergraduate courses that offer graduate credit will be required to pursue the subject matter in greater depth than the undergraduate student.

Graduate students may register for 4000-level or lower courses, but these courses do not apply toward the requirements of a graduate degree. Although the grades received and semester hours for such courses appear on the student’s record, the hours and quality points are not included in the student’s cumulative totals.

Seminar

A seminar generally consists of a group of advanced students studying a subject under a pro­fessor, each making some pertinent contribution and all exchanging results through informal lec­tures, reports, and discussions.

Research Using Human or Animal Subjects

Research using human or animal subjects requires prior approval by the appropriate committee (YSU Human Subjects Research Committee or YSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee). Assistance with the process of obtaining approval may be obtained from the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs.

Thesis or Dissertation

Certain programs accept or require a thesis or dissertation as partial fulfillment of the require­ments for the degree. Students are asked to initiate an online form as soon as thesis committee is identified. Students follow the style manual used by the field as determined by the department. The deadline for presenting one copy on regular paper and all signed signature pages on acid-free cotton bond paper and the Originality of Thesis/Dissertation Verification form for approval to the Dean of College of Graduate Studies is: Fall and Spring semesters: Dissertations submitted by the Monday of the 14th week of class.  Theses submitted by the Monday of the 15th week of class.  Summer semester: Dissertations submitted by the Monday of the 10th week of the full term.  Theses submitted by the Monday of the 11th week of the full term. 

Additional thesis and dissertation presentation information is available on the College of Graduate Studies website and individual departments. Research using human or animal subjects requires prior approval by the appropriate committee (YSU Human Subjects Research Committee or YSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee).

Second Master’s Degree

A student who has a master’s degree from YSU and desires a second master’s degree must earn a minimum of 12 semester hours of credit in addition to the total that the student had when requirements for the first degree were completed, and he or she must complete the requirements for another graduate program. Students with a master’s degree from another university will be limited to the maximum of transfer credit hours as determined by the transfer credit policy.

Interrupted Enrollment

Students who interrupt their attendance for three or more semesters (one calendar year) must apply for readmission as former students at least two weeks before late and final registration. Graduate students who fail to take courses or otherwise pursue their graduate education for one year will be readmitted only under regulations at the time of reapplication and after review by the department for approval of the readmission.

Full-Time Status

Full-time students carry nine or more semester hours for credit. Graduate students who com­plete less than nine hours per semester may lose eligibility for federal financial aid as a full-time student.

Reduced Load for Employed Students

The College of Graduate Studies recommends that the employed student carry less than a full academic load as determined in consultation with his or her academic advisor.

Graduate Courses for Undergraduates

The Application by Undergraduate to Enroll in a Graduate Course form is available in the College of Graduate Studies office.

An undergraduate student who is enrolled as a senior at Youngstown State University or at another member institution of the Academic Alliance (currently including Lake Erie College, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Thiel College, Walsh University, and Westminster College) or another institution of higher education with which YSU has a formal academic agreement at the graduate level, and who has an grade-point average of at least 2.7 may enroll in 5800-, 6900- and 7000- level graduate courses, provided the total schedule for the semester (including undergraduate courses) does not exceed 15 semester hours. Before registering for courses, the student must have the approval of the Graduate Program Director in the program where the credit will be applied, the course instructor, and the Dean of The College of Graduate Studies. The credit earned may be used for graduate credit at YSU only after the student is admitted to the College of Graduate Studies and the credit is accepted by the department in which the student continues graduate work. (Such coursework intended for graduate credit cannot count toward fulfillment of the requirements for a bachelor's degree at Youngstown State University.) The maximum amount of such credit that will be accepted at Youngstown State University is 9 semester hours.

Academic Standards

A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is required for graduation. All graduate courses taken at YSU are included in the grade point average calculation (see Grading System for grades less than C). Good academic standing for graduate students is a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for all graduate credit courses taken at YSU.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory academic progress at the graduate level is main­tained by satisfying the following criteria:

  • A degree-seeking graduate student must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Any course grade of D or F must be repeated and passed with a grade of A or B.
  • A degree-seeking graduate student must successfully meet the requirements, including the time requirement, of all comprehensive examinations of the degree program.
  • A degree-seeking graduate student must complete with a passing grade any thesis require­ments (or the equivalent) of the degree program.
  • A non-degree graduate student must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

For degree programs requiring up to 39 semester hours for completion, a student may count no more than six semester hours of coursework with a grade of C toward the minimum graduation hour requirements. For students in programs requiring 40 semester hours or more for completion, no more than nine semester hours of coursework with a grade of C may count toward the mini­mum graduation hour requirement.

Academic Suspension

A graduate student who is not maintaining satisfactory academic progress as determined by the graduate academic program director or department chairperson and graduate dean may be excluded from registration and dropped from the program in which he or she is enrolled. Such action constitutes academic dismissal from the College of Graduate Studies.

Academic suspension for a student with regular admission is automatic if:

  • The cumulative grade point average is below the minimum after two semesters during which the student registered “not in good standing”;
  • The student fails to pass a comprehensive exam after three tries.

A provisionally admitted graduate student must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). A provisional student whose GPA falls below a 3.0 will immediately be dis­missed.

Any student in non-degree status whose cumulative grade point average drops below the mini­mum (3.0) will be prohibited from enrolling in further graduate coursework.

Registration for any session or continuous registration during a full summer counts as one semester for these purposes.

A graduate program may utilize additional academic standards to determine satisfactory aca­demic progress and/or standards for academic suspension; however, such standards must be dis­tributed in writing to all graduate students in the program and must be filed and approved by the dean of The College of Graduate Studies.

Readmission Procedures

  • Under exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Dean of The College of Graduate Studies, a program may readmit a suspended student. In such cases, the normal six-year limitation on coursework shall be applied.
  • Graduate students suspended for failing to maintain satisfactory academic progress may appeal their suspensions within one year in writing to the Graduate Council. The decision of the Council is final.
  • After a period of one year, a graduate student who has been suspended for academic rea­sons may reapply to the College of Graduate Studies in order to begin a new degree program or to pursue studies in non-degree status. A readmitted graduate student is not permitted to register for any courses offered by the program from which he or she was academically suspended.

Grading System

The following grading system is used in reporting a final evaluation of the work of graduate students in courses or thesis research: A, B, C, D, and F. The grade point equivalents are 4, 3, 2, 1, and 0, respectively. A graduate student may not elect to take a course under the credit/no credit option.

Grades of D and F carry no graduate credit but will be used to determine the student’s grade point average. Failure will normally be indicated by a D; a grade of F indicates that the student has not achieved even a minimum grasp of the essentials of the course. A grade of F can also result from failure to withdraw officially from a course (see Change of Registration and Reduc­tion/Refund of Fee Charges Upon Withdrawal). A student has the privilege of repeating a course once, but the repetition is treated merely as another course, along with the first, in calculating the student’s grade point average. Any course grade of D or F must be repeated and passed with a grade of A or B.

Upon transfer to a new graduate program, a student with concurrence of the advisor, program director and department chair, may petition to the dean of Graduate Studies for the exclusion from the calculation of the student's grade point average previous courses that do not apply to the new degree program. The grades will be removed from the GPA calculation but will remain on the transcript. In no case may courses be excluded from the calculation of the grade point average once a graduate degree has been conferred.

Graduate workshops are graded on an S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) basis.

An incomplete grade of I may be given to a student who has been doing satisfactory work in a course but, for reasons beyond the control of the student and deemed justifiable by the instructor, had not completed all requirements for a course when grades were submitted. A letter grade may not be changed to an I (Incomplete) after the term has ended and grades have been recorded. A written explanation of the reason for the I must be forwarded by the instructor to the Office of Records for inclusion in the student’s permanent record, with copies to the student and department chairperson. For fall term courses, the final date to complete an I will be:

  • March 1 of the following term;
  • for spring term courses, September 1;
  • for all summer term courses, October 1.

With approval by the instructor and the dean of the college where the course is taught, the completion date may be extended. Courses not completed by the appropriate date will be converted to an F.

A grade of W represents a withdrawal properly processed at any time from the end of the full-refund period through the last day to withdraw with a W (as published in the Academic Calendar for each semester). Withdrawal after the designated date (or an improper withdrawal) is recorded as F. Withdrawal thereafter (or improperly done, at any time) is recorded as F. If the grade resulted from circumstances over which the student had no control, the student may petition the dean of the College of Graduate Studies for a late withdrawal. Any grade of F assigned because of absence may be reviewed upon petition to the dean of The College of Graduate Studies. Where withdrawals change the student’s status from full-time to part-time, the student immediately forfeits any privileges contingent upon full-time status, and all interested parties will be notified by the appropriate university officials.

In the case of thesis work, independent study, and other courses where research or scholarship is still in progress at the time grades are to be reported, a PR may be reported in place of a con­ventional grade. The PR grade is intended to indicate that it is the nature of the scholarship rather than the student’s ability to complete the work that is preventing the issuance of a conventional grade. A PR grade must be converted to a regular grade prior to graduation. However, a PR grade can remain on the student’s permanent record if the course is not needed. A PR grade in and of itself will not prevent a student from graduating.

AU signifies that the student was enrolled in the class as an auditor.

Grade Changes

Applications for grade changes may be secured from the Office of Records, must be completed by the instructor, and must contain the signature of the dean of The College of Graduate Studies unless the change is from incomplete (I) or progress (PR). All grade changes must be submitted to the Office of Records by the dean or instructor; they will not be accepted from the student. In no case may a grade be changed for the purpose of changing the grade point average of the completed degree after a student has received a graduate degree.

Intrauniversity Transfer (Change of Curriculum)

A student must request in writing a transfer from one graduate program to another. A transfer is not complete until an advisor in the program to which the student is transferring has been appointed and has accepted the student as an advisee, and when the change has been reported to and approved by the dean of The College of Graduate Studies. In such cases of transfer, courses taken in the original curriculum that also apply toward the degree in the new curriculum will be accepted. The student’s academic record and grade point average will reflect all graduate courses taken.

Auditing Courses

A graduate student may register for and attend any course as an auditor. An auditor is not held responsible for the regular classwork, class attendance, and preparation of assignments and receives no credit for the course. The student pays the regular tuition as well as any other applicable fees for the course(s) audited. Assistantships and scholarships do not cover audited courses. Audit courses are carried in a student’s load only for fee purposes. A student who has registered for a course for audit may not change that status to credit after the last day to add a class. An AU may be given only to a student who has begun a course as an auditor or who has changed status to that of auditor on or before the last day to add a class.

Foreign Language Proficiency Examinations

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures administers proficiency examinations in the following languages:

  • French,
  • German,
  • Italian,
  • Latin,
  • Russian, and
  • Spanish.

The graduate student should consult the major department to learn specific degree requirements. A grade of pass or fail on the proficiency examination will be registered with the College of Graduate Studies.

It is the responsibility of neither the University nor the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures to tutor students or to recommend tutors for these examinations.

Commencement

The Graduation application must be completed by stated deadline of the semester the student intends to graduate. Submission of the graduation application is the student’s responsi­bility. There are two graduation ceremonies each year:

  • fall commencement at the end of the first semester in December and
  • spring commencement at the end of the second semester in May.

Please refer to the “Special Purpose Fees and Service Charges” list as well as the section titled “Other Fees” for information about the graduation fee. The Graduation application can be accessed through My YSU.

Posthumous Degrees

A deceased student who was enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree program at the University at the time of his/her death may be recommended for a posthumous degree by a faculty member, department chairperson, or dean of the appropriate college or academic unit. A recommendation must be in writing and proceed, respectively, for approval as follows:

  • faculty member to chairperson,
  • chairperson to Dean,
  • Dean to Provost and
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs.

The Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs will notify the Registrar if the recommendation is approved.

In order for a posthumous degree to be awarded, a student must be in good academic standing and have substantially completed the applicable degree requirements. Substantial completion means:

  • For undergraduate degrees and master degrees without a thesis requirement, the student must be within one semester of completing all coursework and degree requirements.
  • For doctoral programs and master degree programs with a thesis requirement, the student must be within one semester of completing all coursework and degree requirements; and the student must have completed a full draft of his/her thesis to the satisfaction of his/her thesis chairperson.

If approved, the appropriate Dean will notify the immediate family of the student who may choose to have the diploma presented at commencement or in a private ceremony. If the diploma will be presented at commencement, it will occur at the next feasible commencement.

Diplomas for posthumous degrees will be identified as “Awarded Posthumously.”

Visiting Graduate Students

A visiting graduate student is defined as one who is completing graduate academic work at Youngstown State University for credit at another university. All visiting graduate students shall be required to be granted visiting student status while engaged in academic work at YSU. Ap­plications for visiting student status are available from the College of Graduate Studies. Visiting student status shall provide access to the following campus resources (fees may be required):

  • a YSU identification card;
  • access to campus buildings and laboratories, including computer labs;
  • use of library facilities; and
  • campus parking.

The Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct

Youngstown State University is “a student-centered institution committed to the education, development, well-being, and success of students of all ages and from all walks in life. In concert with our mission to help students grow intellectually, we strive to foster their personal, social, emotional, and career growth, as well as their capacities for lifelong learning, civic responsibility, and leadership…

As a campus community, we expect all conduct to be rooted in integrity, mutual respect, and civility. We:

  • value ethical behavior in scholarly and other endeavors;
  • believe in the dignity and worth of all people;
  • strive to foster an appreciation of, and respect for, differences among the human race; and
  • celebrate the diversity that enriches the University and the world.” (Excerpt from YSU core values.)

As a member of a higher education community, students have an obligation to conduct them­selves in a manner that is compatible with the University’s purposes as an institution of higher education. Each student is expected to be fully acquainted with all published policies, procedures, and regulations of the University and is held responsible for compliance with them. All members of the University community are expected to assume responsibility for creating an environment conducive to the educational mission and purpose of the University.

The policies and regulations as outlined in The Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (hereafter referred to as The Code) have been established to ensure a positive educational experi­ence for every student. The Code serves as an official University document that outlines conditions and regulations considered essential to the effective functioning of the University.

The student conduct process at Youngstown State University adheres to procedural due pro­cess and is intended to be part of the educational process at the University. This student conduct process provides a forum for the impartial and expedient resolution of misconduct in the Univer­sity community and encourages students to live responsibly and be accountable for their actions. The student conduct process is based on the University’s commitment to developing integrity, respect, and responsibility among all students. The Code is available online at the YSU website or in hard copy from the Office of Student Life.