Jun 03, 2023  
2011-2013 Graduate Catalog 
2011-2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures

All graduate programs are regulated by the general requirements of the graduate program catalog. Each student is responsible for knowing the content of this publication and for satisfying the specific requirements and standards of the graduate program in which he or she is enrolled.

Grading System

Providence College uses the following scale to determine grades and corresponding grade point averages for courses offered by the graduate programs:

A Superior 4.00 points per each credit hour completed
A-   3.67 points per each credit hour completed
B+ Very Good 3.33 points per each credit hour completed
B Good 3.00 points per each credit hour completed
B-   2.67 points per each credit hour completed
C+ Above Average 2.33 points per each credit hour completed
C Average 2.00 points per each credit hour completed
C-   1.67 points per each credit hour completed
F Failure 0.00 points per each credit hour completed
P Pass

Passing in Pass/Fail course; this grade is not computed in the GPA.

AU Audit Student attends class in non-credit capacity; this grade is not computed in the GPA.
I Incomplete

No quality points will be averaged into the GPA.

NC Not Completed

No quality points will be averaged into the GPA.

WD Withdrawal Approved withdrawal from a course; this grade is not computed in the GPA.

Note: The College does not round grade point average; the official GPA is truncated to the hundredths digit.

Repeating a Course

A student may repeat any course taken at Providence College. Various courses are defined as repeatable for credit such as performance-based courses or special topic courses where the content changes each semester. In all other cases, consultation with the program director is required prior to registration to repeat a course with an earned grade from a previous semester. In these cases, only the most recent grade will be used to calculate the overall GPA. Students considering repeating a course should be aware that the most recent grade will be recorded, whether or not it is higher than the earlier attempt. A repeated course is noted on the transcript with an “I” (included in the GPA) or an “E” (excluded from the GPA) to designate the relationship of the course to the student’s academic record.

Satisfactory Progress

If a degree candidate does not maintain a B (3.00) average, his or her status will be reviewed immediately by the appropriate academic director in consultation with the appropriate faculty members of the department. Such review may result in the candidate being placed on probationary status or dismissed from the program. Students who are permitted to continue on probationary status must achieve a cumulative average of B (3.00) or better in graduate level coursework during the next semester. Students failing to achieve the necessary B (3.00) average will be subject to dismissal.

Incomplete grades that are incurred must be completed within one academic year. After that time, an incomplete will be converted to NC and the student will have to register for and successfully complete the course again if s/he wants to receive credit for it. A student who has two incompletes or NCs may not register for another course without written permission from the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies. Exceptions to this deadline may be given in cases of deployment of students who are active duty in the United States Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserve personnel.


Course bulletins, which contain a listing of courses offered, are issued prior to each term. Bulletins are available in each graduate program office, as well as from the Office of Enrollment Services.

Course schedules are also posted on the CyberFriar Web site cyberfriar.providence.edu/. New students may register for courses either in-person, by fax, or by mail. Students who have previously taken a course at Providence College are encouraged to register online via CyberFriar. In order to access CyberFriar you will need your Banner ID and password. If you experience difficulty accessing this site, contact the Office of Enrollment Services at 401.865.1033 for assistance. 

NOTE: College Policy states that payment or proof of payment must be made at the time of registration in order to secure enrollment. Failure to do so will result in being dropped from the course for non-payment and re-registration is subject to a $100 fee. The College reserves the right to cancel classes due to insufficient enrollment.

Communication and Notification

Electronic mail (e-mail) is the official and universal method of communication and notification from College officials to the entire student body and individual students. Therefore, students are expected to check their College e-mail accounts on a regular basis. In addition, in an emergency or in the event of an urgent matter, the College may need to contact students via telephone; therefore, students must provide a current telephone number to the College.

Length of Program

A limit of five calendar years is the maximum time allotted for the completion of all the requirements for the master’s degree, with the exception of the programs in theology (which allow 10 years for completion). Graduate students who have not registered for a course in five years will be classified as “inactive” in the program.

Interrupted Program of Study

If a student engaged in graduate study leaves the College for a significant period before completing the degree, courses will be counted toward the program of study only if the time period of interrupted study is less than 10 years. That is, the period between the last and present (or new) enrollment does not exceed 10 years.

In special circumstances, courses completed more than 10 years previously may, at the discretion of the school dean, be counted toward a degree, if, in the judgment of the dean, the College’s curricular requirements and the content of those courses have not undergone significant change during the period of interrupted study.

Courses completed 10 or more years previous to any current enrollment will not be counted in the student’s grade point average, unless the school dean has made specific course exemptions from this policy. The transcript will indicate separate sets of courses, those completed 10 or more years previous to a new or continued enrollment and those registered after the student’s return to the College.

Academic Amnesty

A student applying for readmission to Providence College after a leave of five or more years may present to the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies a petition for academic amnesty for academic work completed five or more years previous to the term of readmission.

Academic amnesty, if allowed, will remove from any calculation of the student’s grade point average and from any calculation of courses or credits needed all work that was completed during the period for which academic amnesty has been granted. At the time of the application for readmission, the student must file an application for academic amnesty and must acknowledge in writing that, once academic amnesty has been granted, it will not be rescinded.

Academic amnesty will not be on a course-by-course basis and will apply to all terms and therefore all courses and credits completed at Providence College during the period for which amnesty is granted. Amnesty may not be granted on a selective term-by term basis. The student must identify the term at which academic amnesty begins; the award of academic amnesty will then cover all coursework undertaken from the beginning of the amnesty period to the time of application for readmission.

Transfer Credits

Graduate courses which have not been applied toward another degree are evaluated for transfer by the individual program director for suitability to the requirements of their particular program. Additionally, the transfer of graduate courses is governed by the following College policies:

  1. A maximum of six graduate credits may be transferred;
  2. They must be from an accredited institution of higher learning;
  3. They must have been taken within five years of the date of transfer (unless an exception is made for a particular course by the program director); and
  4. A minimum grade of “B” is required.

For MBA courses, syllabi are reviewed to assist in determining equivalency with Providence College MBA courses. Distance learning courses from institutions not AACSB accredited are excluded.


Continuing students who have already applied for admission or who have taken courses in previous semesters may access the CyberFriar Web site (cyberfriar.providence.edu/) to register for courses, view course schedules, and make schedule changes. Additional features will be made available throughout the semester including:

  • access to final grades
  • access to billing and financial aid information
  • access to individual transcripts and degree audits (curriculum advising tools)
  • ability to view/update personal information (e.g., address changes).

While some information is available through CyberFriar’s “public” access views, many of its features are only available through the system’s secure password-protected log-on page for members of the Providence College community. Every Providence College student and faculty and staff member is assigned his or her own unique Banner ID and Personal Identification Number (PIN).

All new students will receive their log-in information for CyberFriar from the Office of Enrollment Services. Log-in information for ANGEL, the campus network, and e-mail will also be included. If a student has not yet received a Banner ID, they should contact the Office of Enrollment Services at 401.865.1033. The initial PIN is randomly generated. Users must change the PIN to something more unique for each system. Changing the PIN in one system does not automatically change it in the others. As with all personal information, it is vitally important that the utmost confidentiality is maintained with the Banner User ID and PIN, since those with access to a user’s personal Banner ID and PIN would have full access to view or alter personal information (addresses, registered courses, etc.).

Course Archive/Reactivation Policy

The College maintains an archive of courses that have not been offered in recent years and are not expected to be offered in the near future. Academic departments/programs may choose to reactivate courses from the archive within 10 years from when last offered upon review by the Executive Subcommittee of the Graduate Council. Please visit the Enrollment Services Web site for the current list of archived courses.

Student Identification Cards

All matriculating graduate students should obtain a photo PC ID card by applying in Harkins Hall, Room 404, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (a photo will be taken). The PC ID Card serves as on-campus identification and allows students to check out books from the library and use other campus facilities. Graduate students may add money to their card for use on campus in dining areas, laser printers, and vending and copy machines.


The transcript is the student’s official academic record. Official transcripts are sent at the written request of the student to other colleges or universities, graduate schools, or prospective employers. The student’s written request must be received before a transcript will be released. The student can complete a Transcript Request via CyberFriar, via the Transcript Request Form available on the Office of Enrollment Services’ Web site (http://www.providence.edu/Academics/Enrollment+Services/) or in-person in the Office of Enrollment Services, Harkins Hall, Room 310. Transcripts will be withheld if the student has a financial obligation to the College. Allow two weeks for processing a transcript request.

Student Educational Records/Release of Information 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) of 1974, as amended, is a federal law governing the privacy of personally identifiable information in student education records that provides specific rights to students with respect to those records. A student is any person who attends or has attended the College.  Education records are any records (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, computer or other medium) maintained by the College or an agent of the College that are directly related to the student. Education records include financial aid, academic, disciplinary and health records, and other personally identifiable information. 

A personal record kept by a faculty or staff member if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, is not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record, and is not used for purposes other than a memory or reference tool, is not an education record.  Grades on peer-graded tests or assignments before they are collected and recorded by a faculty member are not education records.  A record created and maintained by the Office of Safety and Security for law enforcement purposes is not an education record.  An employment record of a person whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student is not an education record.  A record made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment is not an education record (other laws protect the confidentiality of medical or treatment records). An alumni record that contains information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the College and that does not relate to the person as a student is not an education record.    

A student has the following rights: to inspect and review his or her education records; to request an amendment to a record that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA; to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent; and to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. In accordance with FERPA, the College provides annual notice to students regarding these rights.

The College’s policy is to release information from a student’s education record directly, and only, to that student. There are a number of exceptions to this non-disclosure policy, including one for health or safety emergencies. The law permits the College to disclose otherwise private and confidential information from an education record to appropriate parties in an emergency situation if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. Appropriate parties may include school officials, parents, law enforcement authorities, emergency responders, public health officials, medical personnel and other members of the community. 

The College is permitted, with or without a student’s consent, to inform parents when their student has violated any law or College policy regarding the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the student is not yet 21 years of age.  The College is permitted to disclose to anyone the final results of a disciplinary proceeding conducted against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense if it is determined that the student committed a violation of the College’s own rules or policies with respect to such crime or offense.  In any disciplinary proceeding alleging a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the final results and any sanction imposed against the accused. 

The College is permitted to disclose any and all education records, including disciplinary records, to another institution at which a student seeks or intends to enroll if that information is related to the student’s enrollment or transfer; this includes but is not limited to updated or corrected information.      

The College discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with a legitimate educational interest in the records.   A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including Safety and Security staff and Student Health Center staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using College employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest in the education record if the official needs to review the record in order to fulfill his or her job-related responsibilities. 

Disclosure without consent is permitted when the College is returning records to the apparent creator (e.g., of a transcript or letter) to verify authenticity.  Disclosure without consent is permitted to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided the College makes a reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena prior to release unless the subpoena specifies that notice is prohibited.  Disclosure without consent is permitted to lending institutions in connection with an application for or receipt of financial aid.  Disclosure without consent is permitted to Veterans Administration officials.    

A student has the right to block the release of directory information. Directory information is student data not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed; the College, at its discretion, may release directory information. Currently, directory information is limited to the following: name; address (local and permanent); telephone listing (local and permanent); e-mail address; date and place of birth; major field of study; class year; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; height/weight of members of athletic teams; enrollment status (e.g., full-time or part-time); dates of attendance; degrees and awards received; and previous education institutions attended. A student may, to the extent permitted by FERPA, block the release of directory information for an academic year by filing timely, written notice with the Office of Enrollment Services.

All personally identifiable information not included as directory information is confidential.  That information includes, but is not limited to, the following: name of a student’s parent(s) or other family members; address of a student’s family; a personal identifier such as social security number or student number; race/ethnicity; gender; a list of personal characteristics; academic evaluations and grades; transcripts and other academic records; scores on tests required for a new student; and a student’s class schedule.

If a student wishes to authorize disclosure of confidential information to parents/guardians or any other designated individual, institution or entity, a Release of Information Authorization Form must be filed with the Office of Enrollment Services, Harkins Hall, Room 310.   Once the appropriate written authorization by the student is received in this office, designated individuals may be informed of the student’s status at Providence College with respect to grades, academic standing, and financial obligations; this authorization remains in effect for as long as the student is enrolled at the College. If at any time after submission of the form the student wishes to revoke consent or modify the list of individuals, institutions or entities authorized to receive confidential information, a new authorization form must be completed and submitted to the Office of Enrollment Services.

Students may obtain more detailed information about FERPA, including the procedures for exercising their rights, in the Office of Enrollment Services, Harkins Hall, Room 310.

Policy on Drug-Free Campus

Providence College, in compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989, has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees of the College, which includes enforcement of policies and standards of conduct with respect to behavior on College property, and behavior at any College-sponsored events.


The College reserves the right under academic due process to dismiss or suspend a student from the College for serious violations of its published regulations or for conduct that seriously conflicts with its stated objectives. Any such infraction is the responsibility of, and comes under the purview of, the Office of Student Affairs Administration.

In the event of a disciplinary infraction, the Office of Student Affairs Administration shall designate a judicial officer to conduct an informal hearing at which the graduate student may appear and present his or her position concerning the circumstances surrounding the alleged infraction.

The designee may impose disciplinary sanctions including but not limited to suspension or dismissal.

When a student has received a sanction of dismissal, whether issued by the dean of student conduct or the Committee on Student Conduct, the sanction is automatically reviewed (the student does not need to file an appeal) by the vice president for student affairs or the vice president for academic administration, depending on the type of violation involved. However, within two (2) business days of the date recorded on the official disciplinary notification to the student, the student is obliged to schedule an appointment to meet with the vice president who has jurisdiction of the matter. If the student neglects to schedule a meeting, the vice president may decide the appeal based on the existing record. The appellate decision will be issued to the student within ten (10) business days of the date recorded on the original disciplinary notification to the student.

A sanction of dismissal that is affirmed by the vice president of student services or the vice president of academic affairs may be appealed by the student to the College’s executive vice president. The appeal must be filed in writing and submitted by the student within five (5) business days of the date recorded on the vice president’s decision. The executive vice president may decide the appeal based on written submissions and/or a meeting with any interested party or parties. Decisions made by the executive vice president are final.

Academic Integrity

The Providence College community expects all students to support a culture of honesty, integrity, and respect for the Truth. Acts of academic dishonesty (plagiarism, collusion, cheating, etc.) are subject to an appropriate penalty. The grade of “F” may be assigned to students found guilty of such acts. Plagiarism is defined as the act of taking the words, ideas, data, illustrative material, or statements of someone else, without full and proper acknowledgment, and presenting them as one’s own. Cheating is the use of improper means or subterfuge to gain credit or advantage. Forms of cheating include the use, attempted use, or improper possession of unauthorized aids in any examination or other academic exercise submitted for evaluation; the fabrication or falsification of data; and misrepresentation of academic or extracurricular credentials. It is also cheating to submit the same work for credit in more than one course, except as authorized in advance by the course instructor. Collusion is assisting or attempting to assist another student in an act of academic dishonesty.

The instructor of the course in which a violation of academic integrity has occurred will inform the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies of the offense and the action taken. If the offense is considered egregious, or if there have been repeated violations of academic integrity, the Dean will refer the case to the Academic Integrity Board for adjudication, which may impose a penalty of academic suspension or dismissal.

Please refer to the College’s Academic Integrity Policy at http://www.providence.edu/Dean+of+Undergraduate+Studies/Academic+Policies/, or contact the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate studies for more information.

Copyright Policy

The federal Copyright Law (Title 17, United State Code, Section 101 and following) requires all members of the Providence College community to respect the proprietary rights of owners of copyrights and to refrain from actions that constitute an infringement of copyright or other proprietary rights. Copyright Guidelines have been developed to assist members of the community to comply with federal copyright law. Members of the Providence College community are expected to become familiar with these Copyright Guidelines, to act with careful consideration of their requirements, and to seek assistance whenever necessary and as directed.

Willful disregard of Providence College’s Copyright Policy by members of the community may result in personal liability in the event that legal action is taken against them. Further, the College may refuse to defend employees named in a court suit and employees may be personally liable for any damages incurred as a result of the copyright violation.

Please refer to the Phillips Memorial Library’s Web site for the Guidelines and other resources focused on copyright law and higher education: www.providence.edu/Academics/Phillips+Memorial+Library/Copyright.html.

Academic Grievance

If a student has cause to appeal a final grade, or to file an appeal of another form of academic grievance, s/he should refer to the College’s Academic Grievance Policy in the Undergraduate Catalog (catalog.providence.edu), or contact the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies.

General Degree Requirements

All students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the master’s degree:

  1. A minimum of 30 earned credit hours. Some programs may have higher credit-hour requirements.
  2. A minimum 3.00 (4.0 scale) cumulative quality point average. The College does not round grade point average; the official GPA is truncated to the hundredths digit.
  3. A limit of five calendar years is the maximum time allotted for the completion of all requirements for the master’s degree, with the exception of the programs in theology (which allow ten years for completion).
  4. Students are responsible for meeting the graduation requirements of their program. Modification of any departmental rule can be made only with written approval of the program director in consultation with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies.

The value of each course is stated in terms of credit hours. A credit hour requires the equivalent of at least one classroom period of 50 minutes or a laboratory period of from one to four hours per week throughout the term, plus out-of-classroom work of 2 hours for each hour of instruction. Graduate degrees include a significant component of coursework in addition to any supervised research or practice.


Degrees are issued in December and May. It is the responsibility of the student to complete the essential forms for graduation in his/her respective department prior to registration for his/her last course.