General Information

Academic Advising

Non-degree seeking students are assigned to the Dean of Continuing and Graduate Studies for advisement. Students admitted to a degree program are assigned a departmental advisor at the time of admission to the program. It is essential that students meet early with their advisor to plan their program of study.

Change of Major

Students who would like to change their major must apply for admission to the new major by completing a new graduate school application. Courses previously taken will be evaluated as to appropriateness in the new program.


Thesis Requirements & Protection of Human Research

Thesis Requirements

Students choosing to pursue Option I must present and defend a satisfactory thesis according to the Requirements and Guidelines for the Preparation of a Master's Thesis manual, which may be found at the Graduate School website ( under For Students, Thesis Information. Students should consult this manual for important information throughout the thesis process, as well as the Thesis Manual (at the same link above) for the technical aspects of writing their thesis. Important dates for submission throughout the thesis process can also be found at the above link. The forms required to complete a thesis are available online through the Graduate System in Gus. The instructions for completing these forms are found in the above mentioned Thesis Requirements and Guidelines web site.

Protection of Human Research

Federal policy requires that all research involving human subjects be approved by an Institutional Review Board to ensure that the rights and welfare of human subjects are properly protected.

Faculty and students conducting research involving human subject participants must have approval by the department and Pittsburg State University's Committee for the Protection of Human Research. Information regarding the types of research that will require approval can be found at the Graduate School website ( under Research and Grants, then Research Involving Human Subjects. Application and approval must be completed prior to any research being conducted. Students completing a thesis must also seek approval from the Committee. Information and application materials can also be found at the above link.


Course Expectations

Enrollment in Courses

Courses numbered 700 to 899 are master's level graduate courses. Courses numbered 900 or above are open only to students pursuing a Specialist in Education degree. Courses at 500-, 600-or 700-level may not be applied toward a graduate degree unless graduate fees have been paid.

Courses numbered 500 to 699 may be used on a master's candidacy with permission from both the student's academic advisor and the Dean of Continuing and Graduate Studies. A department may require more of these courses in addition to the degree requirements, but no more than six hours may be used toward the degree. No courses below 500 may apply to a master's degree and no 500 to 699 courses may apply to a Specialist in Education degree.

Typical Graduate Academic Loads / Course Overload

The typical load for full-time graduate students is twelve credit hours. A student who wishes to enroll in more than sixteen hours must receive special permission from the chair of their department. Students in graduate assistant positions are required to enroll in at least six required graduate credit hours each semester of their appointment.

Credit Used for a Second Graduate Degree

Students seeking a second graduate degree may be allowed to use a maximum of nine credit hours from a completed graduate degree for courses required in the second degree. If courses from a previous degree are being used to substitute for required courses, the department can assign other courses to be completed or can reduce the number of credit hours required for the degree.

Credit by Transfer

A maximum of nine hours of graduate credit may be transferred from another accredited graduate school and applied to a program of study with the approval of the student's department. Only work graded B or higher may be transferred. A course in which a grade of Pass was earned cannot be used as a transfer course. No courses used for an undergraduate degree at Pittsburg State University or from another institution may be transferred to Pittsburg State University to count towards a master's degree. Pittsburg State University does not accept graduate level credit for life/work experience as transfer graduate credit. For the Specialist in Education degree programs, course work for transfer or waiver must be from an institution offering post-master's degree study.

Validation of Previous Work

Students requesting to use Pittsburg State University course work completed more than six years from the time of the student's last semester before graduating must submit the course for review to their academic department. Departments may choose to accept the course; require validation of the course by interview, test, or other means of evaluation; require the student to re-enroll and repeat the course; or deny the course.


Grade Expectations

Course Grade Requirements

Degree-seeking graduate students are required to maintain a grade point average of 3.0. A student may earn a maximum of six hours of C grade work. Grades of D or F are considered failing grades and do not count toward a degree. The Letter P is used to indicate participation in a course, in which a passing grade was assigned. With the approval of the academic advisor, a student may use up to six hours of course work with a grade of P for their candidacy. Students are expected to make academic progress toward the completion of the required coursework. A student who has earned grades of Incomplete might not be allowed to enroll in future courses until previous course work has been completed. 

Incomplete / In-Progress Work

Incomplete grade is to be utilized in rare instances when a student is unable to complete a course due to circumstances beyond his/her control. The student must have successfully completed a majority of the course work to be eligible. The instructor must state clearly in writing what is needed to successfully complete the course. This information will be provided via GUS to both the student and the department chairperson. The plan cannot require the student to repeat the course as an option for removing an “IN” grade. Instructor must provide the grade the student would earn if no additional work is completed by entering a grade of “IB” “IC” “ID” “IF”, calculating the missing work as zero grades. The second letter supplies the default grade that will replace the “IN” grade at the end of one full subsequent fall or spring semester if no additional work is completed. If the student opts to graduate prior to the allowed deadline for removal of an incomplete, the default grade will be recorded, and the student may not complete the work to achieve a higher final grade after graduation. A grade of In Progress “IP” may be given when a student is enrolled in a course that requires the student to engage in projects that extend past the end of the semester. Such courses must be legislated and approved by the Graduate Council for use of the “IP” grade. As with incomplete grades, an In Progress not removed within one year shall be regarded as a failure and the “IP” grade will be changed to an “F” and included in the computation of the student’s GPA. Courses that do not automatically change to an F after a year will, if still Incomplete or In Progress after two years of no enrollment in graduate courses, be regarded as permanently Incomplete and will receive the designation “IX”. Once a grade of “IX” has been posted for a course, a student wishing to earn credit for that course will be required to re-enroll in it and to pay the required tuition and fees.

Academic Standing

A student who has not maintained a 3.0 grade point average, has earned six hours of C grade work, and/or has failed a course with a grade of D or F can be placed on Academic Alert status. A student who has been placed on Academic Alert can be required to enroll in fewer hours for the following semesters, be required to repeat courses, not be eligible for an assistantship and/or be dismissed from the Graduate School. Students on Academic Alert Status will be monitored each semester to confirm that they are improving their academic standing.

A student who has not maintained a 3.0 grade point average, earned more than six hours of C grade work, and/or has failed a course with a grade of D or F can be dismissed from the Graduate School by the Graduate School Dean. The Graduate School Dean, after consultation with the student's academic advisor, may terminate a student's graduate status because of unsatisfactory academic performance. Students who have been Academically Dismissed can not be re-admitted to a graduate degree program for a period of two years.

Repeated Courses

Graduate courses in which a C or lower grade has been earned may be repeated for the purpose of raising the grade. A total of six hours may be repeated with no course repeated more than once. When a repeated course is allowed, the grade earned on the second attempt will be used in computing the GPA. The original grade will remain on the transcript, but will be marked as repeated.

AllofE Solutions