Jul 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Affairs

Academic Load Policy

A full academic load for graduate students is 9 credit hours. Graduate students may take up to 12 hours without receiving special permission. Overloads for students with grade point averages of 3.75 or better may be recommended by the academic advisor to the department head, and final approval must be given by the Academic Dean on an individual basis.

Changes of Schedule (Drop/Add)

Changes in a student’s degree program, courses or schedule, must be made within the first five class days of each semester or as announced for the summer term. Deadlines for schedule changes are printed on the academic calendar each semester. To revise a course schedule, the student must confer with his/her academic advisor. Signatures are required by the student and academic advisor. 

VA Tutorial Assistance - An eligible veteran, other than an in-service student enrolled under the Pre-discharge Education Program, who has a deficiency in a required unit subject in his/her degree program as part of, prerequisite to, or indispensable to the satisfactory pursuit of his/her approved program and who is pursuing a postsecondary degree, may receive an allowance for reimbursement of individualized tutorial assistance necessary to correct the deficiency. Tutorial assistance is available only to veterans who require it to avoid failure, not for those who desire it to improve their academic standing. Students must receive clearance from the Veterans Affairs Officer (i.e., VA Certifying Official) prior to receiving tutorial assistance in order to receive certification for reimbursement by the institutional certifying official.

Grading Policies

Uniform Grading System Consistent with the uniform grading system within the University System of Georgia, the University utilizes a basic 4.00 grading scale. The following approved grades are used to determine the student’s grade point average (GPA):

Grade Quality Points
A - Excellent 4 quality points
B - Good 3 quality points
C - Satisfactory 2 quality points
D - Passing* 1 quality point
F - Failure 0 quality points
WF - Withdraw Failing 0 quality points
*All “D” grades in the major must be repeated.


The following symbols are also approved for grading purposes. They carry no quality point value. They are, therefore, not included in the calculation of GPAs to audit the course.

  • “I” This symbol indicates that a student was doing satisfactory work but, for non-academic reasons beyond his/her control, was unable to meet the full requirements of the course. The assignment of an “I” must be documented via a form to be approved by the department char, dean, and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. If an “I” is not satisfactorily removed by the last day of the next semester of residence, the symbol “I” will be changed to the grade “F” by the registrar.
  • “IP” Indicates a continuation of work effort beyond the present semester in which the student enrolled is required to meet course objectives. The “IP” symbol is not to be substituted for an “I.”
  • “W” This symbol indicates that a student was permitted to withdraw without penalty. Withdrawals without penalty will not be permitted after the midpoint of the grading period (including final examinations) except in cases of hardship as determined by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • “WM” This symbol indicates a student was permitted to withdraw under the Board of Regents policy for military service refunds. The use of this symbol indicates that this student was permitted to withdraw without penalty at any time during the term.
  • “S” This symbol indicates that credit has been given for satisfactory completion of degree requirements other than academic coursework. The use of this symbol is approved for thesis hours, student teaching, practicums, internships, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs. Exceptions to the use of this symbol for academic coursework must be submitted to the Chancellor for approval.
  • “K” This symbol indicates that a student has met the requirement for a course via prior learning assessment, such as a challenge exam or a portfolio evaluation.
  • “U” This symbol indicates unsatisfactory performance in an attempt to complete degree requirements other than academic course work. The use of this symbol is approved for thesis hours, student teaching, practicums, internships, and proficiency requirements in graduate programs. Exceptions to the use of this symbol for academic course work must be submitted to the Chancellor.
  • “V” This symbol indicates that a student was given permission to audit this course. Students may not transfer from audit to credit status or vice versa. Students may register, however, on a credit basis for a course that has previously been audited.


Graduate Admissions Process


Graduate Admissions Committee

Admissions criteria for graduate studies at FVSU will vary for each program based upon standards set forward by the program.  Each program shall establish a committee composed of three faculty members within or in closely related programs to review and recommend the admission of all applicants.  The admissions committees will review applications and make recommendations. The committee’s recommendation shall be forwarded to the department chair or program coordinator.  Both the committee’s and chair’s or coordinator’s recommendation shall be forwarded to the dean of the academic college for approval. If the recommendation of the committee and chair or coordinator differs, the chair or coordinator must provide a formal written explanation of the different points of view. In order to equitably accomplish the task of admitting graduate students, each program shall develop a set of rubrics based upon its admission criteria. Adherence to the prescribed rubrics and criteria is imperative in order to maintain program integrity and uniformity.

Graduate Academic Appeals/Readmission Committee.

Each program shall also compose a Graduate Academic Appeals/Readmission Committee. This committee shall be composed of a minimum of three graduate faculty members who will represent all programs. The committee members will serve a term of one year so as to alternate programs from which members originate in order to give equal representation to all programs. The role of this committee is to review grade appeals/readmissions and provide recommendation to the dean of the college where the degree program resides.Each program shall also compose a Graduate Academic Appeals/Readmission Committee. This committee shall be composed of a minimum of three graduate faculty members who will represent all programs. The committee members will serve a term of one year so as to alternate programs from which members originate in order to give equal representation to all programs. The role of this committee is to review grade appeals/readmissions and provide recommendation to the dean of the college where the degree program resides.

Academic Dismissal Due to Low Grades

Every student admitted to FVSU with graduate status must maintain a record of academic success in graduate coursework. The following policies shall apply:

  • A graduate student shall maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 is no longer in good academic standing and will be placed on academic probation during which the student will be allowed one semester to raise his/her GPA to 3.0 and reflecting good academic standing.  If, at the end of the semester of enrollment for which a student was placed on probation and failed to reach a 3.0 cumulative GPA, he/she will be dismissed from the graduate program.  A student who is dismissed from the University may not apply for readmission for two academic semesters.
  • A student who is readmitted to the University, must return to good academic standing at the end of the semester in which he/she is readmitted.  Failure to return to good academic standing at the end of the semester in question will result in permanent academic dismissal from graduate studies.

Good Academic Standing

Good academic standing refers to a situation in which a graduate student maintains a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Procedures Governing Appeals By Graduate Students On Academic Matters

Appellate Procedures

Student appeals on academic matters are governed by policies established by the Board of Regents (BoR) of the University System of Georgia. FVSU has established appellate procedures consistent with Board policy. This document clarifies those procedures as they apply to graduate students. Nothing in this document may supersede current or future BoR policies. Appeals must follow the procedures established in the department/program and in the Office of Graduate Studies. Appeals will not be heard unless the student has exhausted the appellate procedure of the department or program and the graduate appeals/readmissions committee.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations applies to all appeals.

  • Grade appeals must be initiated within 10 working days of the next semester following the semester in which the student received the disputed grade.

Appeals Procedure

In general, a student can make a grade appeal using the following procedures:

  1. The student requests a meeting with the faculty member of the course(s) to discuss the disputed grade. The student proceeds to step two if the issue is not resolved to his/her satisfaction.
  2. The student will meet with the chair/coordinator of the department in which the course was taken to resolve the issue.
  • The chair/coordinator will consult with the instructor to resolve the issue.
  • In a case where the instructor is also the chair or coordinator, the dean will be consulted in their place in order to avoid any possible conflict of interest.
  • If the issue is not satisfactorily resolved, then it will be referred to the Graduate Appeals Committee/ Readmission Committee.  This committee must be established in each department and shall be composed of three faculty members within or in closely related programs to review and recommend the decisions.

  3. Graduate Appeals/Readmission committee

In instances where grade appeal is considered, the following steps must be followed:

  • The written appeal, with all supporting documentation, must be provided to each member of the committee at least one week prior to the date of the meeting. The committee chair is responsible for providing all pertinent parties with a notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing.
  • The student initiating the appeal and all other parties with an interest in the appeal should be advised of their right to appear before the committee.
  • Following the meeting, the committee must submit in writing its recommendation to the dean of the college where the program resides within one week of the committee’s decision.
  • The dean of the college where the program resides will review the recommendation and then notify all parties of his/her decision in writing within one week. Copies of all decisions, recommendations, and other materials will be made part of the student’s official record.
  • If the student is not satisfied with the dean’s decision, an appeal may be made to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in writing.  All supporting documentation should be provided.

Non-Academic Complaints

In situations where the matter is non-academic in nature, a student may file his/her complaint in writing to the program chair or coordinator. The student should state the grounds of the complaint, complete with supporting material. The chair or coordinator will meet with the dean, who will in turn, appoint an ad hoc committee that will meet with the course instructor.  The student may request to address the ad hoc committee. A request must be made in writing.  The committee will use its professional discretion to determine if the request is justified. When a hearing is to occur on the case, the following rules will apply:

  1. The student will be notified in writing of the date, time, and place of the hearing at least one week in advance of the hearing date.
  2. The complaint will be heard by members of the ad hoc committee. The student and other parties appearing before the ad hoc committee may submit documentation to be entered into the official records of the hearing.
  3. Faculty members designated as members of the ad hoc committee will be excused from service on a particular case if they have a personal or professional relationship with any party which would preclude them from rendering an objective judgment in the case.
  4. Hearings shall be closed to the public. Only parties that have been notified by the ad hoc committee will be allowed to attend the hearing.
  5. The student and any respondent in the hearing may each invite witnesses to assist or support them during the hearing.
  6. If a hearing is to be held, the ad hoc committee will determine if the student and respondent appear separately or together.  As a general rule, parties will not be permitted to cross-examine each other during the hearing. Formal legal rules of evidence do not apply in a hearing on academic matters.

At the conclusion of the hearing the Committee will deliberate and a final recommendation will be determined by a majority vote of the committee. The committee will submit its recommendation to the dean of the college where the program resides in writing within a week of the hearing.

Final Examinations

Faculty must adhere to the final examination schedule that is published and distributed by the Registrar’s Office. Any deviation from the published schedule must be approved by the appropriate dean and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.


Registration dates for each semester are listed in this catalog, online at https://www.fvsu.edu/academic-calendars/, and on an academic calendar published each semester by the Registrar’ Office. Students may obtain copies of the academic calendar from the Registrar’s Office.

Requirements for Graduation

Transfer Credit

To receive a graduate degree from Fort Valley State University, students must complete at least 75% of the total semester hours required for the degree within their graduate program through instruction offered by FVSU. Credit hours earned through instruction offered by FVSU does not include coursework transferred from other institutions or credits earned through a consortium that did not originate from FVSU (i.e., cross registration). All of these hours must be completed after the student has been admitted to the degree program. Candidates for a second master’s degree at FVSU must earn a minimum of 18 additional hours in excess of any hours used toward the first master’s degree (the exact number of hours will depend on specific degree requirements).

Transfer credit is acceptable at the discretion of the advisor with the approval of the departmental chairperson and the dean of the college where the program resides. Courses taken more than seven years prior to enrollment will not be accepted for transfer credit, and resident courses must be updated if the program is not completed before the courses are seven years old or older. (See re-validation of courses.)

Reading and Writing Proficiency Requirement

The Board of Regents requires that all master’s degree candidates show evidence of proficiency in reading and writing the English language. Students are tested using a writing/reading test administered during graduate studies orientation. If a graduate student does not receive a passing score on this test, then the requirement must be satisfied upon the completion of eighteen hours of graduate credit. Those not satisfying this requirement will not be allowed to enroll for additional credits. Students who have not met the requirement should contact the department chair to arrange tutoring and schedule a time to take or retake the writing/reading test. 

Residence Requirement and Time Limitation

The minimum residence requirement is one academic year of two semesters or the acceptable equivalent in summer work. Any transfer credit allowed may not be used to reduce the period of residency. The time limitation to completing all requirements for the master’s degree is seven calendar years from the date of the student’s first enrollment in the graduate school.

Students are required to complete the program requirements within seven years. If the program has certain requirements for licensure, certification, etc., these must also be met even if the course(s) have already been completed. Certification requirements must be met regardless of catalog mandates.

Re-Validation of Courses

Courses are good for a period of seven years. A course more than seven years old but not more than 10 years old may be re-validated. Courses more than 10 years old must be retaken. A maximum of three courses in a program may be re-validated. The student must see the department chairperson for guidance in the re-validation of courses.

Thesis Requirement

A student who has received an incomplete (i.e., “I”) on the thesis and has completed all other requirements is required to enroll and pay the required fees in any subsequent semester that he/she returns to remove the incomplete. Such students are ineligible for thesis consultations and use of library facilities during any interim period when they are not officially enrolled.

The thesis is considered complete when it is unanimously approved by the thesis committee, when it is approved by the dean of the college where the program resides, when it is in the format specified in the FVSU thesis template, and when documentation is presented reflecting binding requirements are met and paid for.

Thesis format

The thesis format must follow that in The Fort Valley State University Graduate School Student Manual for Preparing Theses and Dissertations published in spring 2012. Please contact the Henry A. Hunt Memorial Library for information.

Membership of Thesis Committees

The chairperson of the thesis committee must have a full graduate faculty appointment. The committee members may be graduate faculty members with associate, part-time* or special appointments to the graduate faculty.

* Under special circumstances, a faculty member from another institution who meets the criteria for part-time graduate faculty may serve as a member of the thesis committee upon the approval of the dean of the college where the program resides.

Primary responsibility for recommending graduate faculty for membership shall rest with the individual’s department chairperson, and the department head and faculty of each graduate program, with the approval of the dean of the college and the Graduate Council. Each program, department or school may develop criteria supplemental to the above but may not reduce or alter the basic minimum criteria. Appointments to the graduate faculty shall be made by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs from those recommendations approved by the Graduate Council.

Option to the Thesis Requirement

Students who do not write a thesis are required to enroll in appropriate coursework as required by the given department. The program advisor will approve the necessary course(s).


Writing/Reading Skills Test: This test is offered during Graduate Studies Orientation, FVSU 0500 , and may be repeated. Writing/reading proficiency is required.

Responsible Conduct of Research: All graduates are required to pass a test on Responsible Conduct of Research based on the first part of the training module provided in FVSU 0500 - Graduate Studies Orientation . Students working in laboratories will be required to pass tests on additional modules.

Comprehensive Examination

Comprehensive Examination for graduate students majoring in Mental Health Counseling, Middle Grades Education, School Counselor Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling: All degree-seeking graduate students in the above majors are required to take and successfully pass a final written comprehensive examination.

Written Examination - A candidate for graduation shall be expected to demonstrate the ability to utilize the knowledge and skills that have been acquired to meet situations in the area of specialization. A student will not be allowed to sit for the comprehensive examination if any of the following prerequisites have not been met:

  • Current coursework in the master’s degree program;
  • completion of required courses;
  • GPA of 3.00 or better;
  • removal of incomplete (i.e., “I” ) grades; or
  • writing/reading proficiency requirement, or completed writing sample.

The candidate will be allowed a total of three attempts for the comprehensive examination. A candidate who does not pass after three attempts will be dismissed from the given master’s degree program.

No candidate for the master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling, Middle Grades Education, Early Childhood/Special Education, School Counselor Education or Rehabilitation Counseling, or the education specialist degree in School Counselor Education shall be exempted from the required comprehensive examination.

If the comprehensive examination is failed three times in a degree program, the student will not be allowed to graduate. Students should be aware of this policy at the time of application.

A candidate whose performance is judged failing may ask the department chair or dean for a review of his/her examination. Such a review, conducted by a faculty member in the candidate’s field, will be limited to identifying weaknesses in the candidate’s performance that led to the failing results, to improve performance during the future administration of the examination. The comprehensive examination will not be re-administered to the same candidate during the same semester.

Degree candidates are required to be enrolled students at the time of completion of their degree requirements. Students who fail the comprehensive examination should, therefore, enroll in independent study, usually EDUC 5981, to maintain their enrolled status in the semester in which they are to take the comprehensive examination.

Note: No student will be allowed to sit for the comprehensive examination in a field to which the student has not been officially admitted to candidacy.


Credit-Hour Requirements for Graduation

The minimum credit-hour requirements for graduation with a graduate degree are specified for each degree program listed in this catalog. Each graduate must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 (i.e., “B”).

In addition, candidates for degrees must satisfy the following requirements:

  • A candidate for graduation must be enrolled in the University during the semester in which academic requirements are completed.
  • Each candidate for graduation is required to file, in the Office of the Registrar, an Application for Graduation before the announced deadline for commencement.
  • Comprehensive examination requirements, thesis defense requirements or capstone research report requirements must be completed.
  • A minimum of half of the hours required for the degree must be earned in residence.
  • All degree requirements must be completed within seven years of the first enrollment that is applicable to the degree.
  • Each candidate for graduation must achieve a required score on his/her major exit examination or other required examinations for the major. All required assessments must have been completed.

Term of Expected Graduation/Completion Application Deadline

  • Fall Semester July 15 application deadline
    • final application deadline September 15
  • Spring Semester November 15 application
    • final application deadline January 15
  • Summer Semester February 15
    • final application deadline April 15

Commencement Participation Policy

The University will observe three degree conferral dates-May, July, and December. Participation in commencement exercises is not required.

  • May conferral date: Students who apply and complete all graduation requirements by the end of the spring semester will have a May conferral date on their degree.
  • July conferral date: Students who apply and complete all graduation requirements by the end of the summer semester will have a July conferral date on their degree.
  • December conferral date: Students who apply and complete all graduation requirements by the end of the fall semester will have a December conferral date on their degree.

Participation in the commencement ceremony does not mean that a student has met all the requirement for graduation.

Student Academic Advisor

Each student will be assigned an academic advisor by the appropriate department chair and/or program coordinator at the time of admissions to the graduate program. While the student is responsible for following the specific program elected, the department chair assigns the advisor to give counsel and assistance in matters academic and personal. In the absence of the academic advisor, the department chair will perform this function.

Graduate Assistantships and Tuition Waiver Policy

A student admitted with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above is eligible to receive a GA, based on availability of funds, as long as he/she maintains the minimum 3.0 GPA. Falling below a 3.0 GPA or failing to meet the standard requirements of the program will immediately result in the loss of an assistantship. Students receiving any type of compensation at FVSU will work up to 19 hours per week for the department or program that is providing the funds. A student may normally retain GA status for four semesters (not including summer sessions), but may not exceed six semesters.

Tuition Waiver

A graduate assistant must maintain full-time student status to be eligible for any form of tuition waiver. An out-of- state tuition waiver may be offered to graduate assistants with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.5. These students may pay in-state tuition rate as long as their cumulative GPA falls within the above range. Graduate assistants with a GPA between 3.51 and 3.79 may pay half of in-state tuition rate as long as the students meet the GPA requirement for this category. A full tuition waiver may be offered to high achieving graduate assistants with an overall GPA between 3.8 and 4.0 as long as they maintain their GPA within this range. Unless GA’s are paid from external grants, the number of GA’s and rate of tuition waivers allocated to a graduate program will depend on student enrollment in that program. This number will be determined by the institution prior to the beginning of each fall semester based on student enrollment during the previous fall semester. In addition, tuition waiver determination will be made according to established program requirements set forth by the respective Graduate Admissions Committee for each program. All graduate assistants, irrespective of their rates of tuition waivers, must still pay their mandatory student fees and health insurance fee. GA compensation will be subject to taxation, in addition to all other required taxes deducted from the compensation received for the graduate assistantship and on any tuition waiver that exceeds $5,250 in a calendar year.

Board of Regents (BoR) Policy/University System of Georgia - Graduate Tuition

USG institutions that offer graduate programs may request Board approval for graduate tuition rates as follows:

  1. Effective for the fall semester 2007, each institution that offers graduate programs shall request a “core” graduate tuition rate that shall apply to all graduate courses and programs, based on market comparators for in-state and out- of-state tuition (BoR Minutes, June 2009).
  2. Each institution may request separate graduate tuition rates for specialized programs, subject to the provisions of Section of this policy manual.


The regular graduate tuition rates normally shall be charged to all graduate students. However, where a graduate student is classified as a research, teaching, or graduate assistant, the institution may waive all or part of the graduate tuition and/or waive the differential between in-state and out-of-state graduate tuition. A registration fee of no less than $25 shall be charged to all students for whom a full waiver is provided (BoR Minutes, October 2006).

Employment Eligibility 

All graduate assistants, including international students currently holding the J-1 or F-1 visa, must have a U.S. social security number in order to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship position. International students who do not have a U.S. social security number should request a Commitment to Employment Letter from their hiring department once they have been awarded an assistantship and are enrolled full-time within their program of study. Students will take this letter to a local Social Security Administration Office to complete an application for a U.S. social security number. An online application for a social security card is available at www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf. More information about applying for a U.S. social security card as an international student is available online at www.ssa.gov/pubs/10181.html.

Graduate Assistant Evaluation

The academic performance of each graduate assistant will be evaluated each semester to determine his/her assistantship and tuition waiver status.

Credit Hours

FVSU’s policy defines a credit hour as one hour (50 minutes) of classroom or direct faculty instruction and one hour and 40 minutes of out-of-class student work each week for 15 weeks in a semester. This equates to a minimum of 750 minutes of class and 1,500 minutes of out-of-class academic engagement per semester credit hour. An equivalent amount of work is required in educational activities that are out of the classroom or do not include direct faculty instruction and equates to a minimum of three hours of student engagement per week, per semester credit hour or a minimum of 2,250 minutes. These equivalencies are provided for use in online and hybrid courses. This policy is published in the academic policies section of the undergraduate and graduate catalogs and covers all courses regardless of type of course, term length, or delivery mode.

Other Policies

Disclaimer of Accident Liability

The University assumes no liability for injuries sustained by students while engaged either in class or in extra-curricular activities, except in the case of athletes who are participating in or practicing for regularly scheduled athletic events. Insurance, at reasonable rates, is available through the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management to all students who desire general health and accident coverage. Approved student health insurance is required for international students.

Children in the Workplace Policy

Pursuant to its mission and philosophy, FVSU encourages all students to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that the University offers. However, in the interest of personal safety, persons who are younger than 16 years of age should not be on campus on a regular or prolonged basis. To this end, such persons are not allowed in classrooms, laboratories, instructional support, or student life areas except in the context of programs or activities designed and conducted for the inclusion of the general public.

Posthumous Award of Degrees

FVSU may award a posthumous undergraduate or graduate degree to a student who met the following conditions:

  • Was in good academic standing;
  • had no disciplinary sanctions pending; and
  • whose death was not the result of illegal behavior on the part of the student.

Additionally, the undergraduate student must have successfully completed 75% (i.e., 94 semester hours) of the degree requirement. Graduate students must be within 90% successful completion of coursework and research/thesis. A student who does not meet the 75% or 90% completion requirement may be granted a Certificate of Attendance along with a letter of condolence from the University.

Board of Regents’ Policy on Access to Records

Any student, regardless of age, who is or has been in attendance at FVSU has the right to inspect and review his/her education records within a reasonable period of time (not to exceed 45 days) after making a request. However, the student shall not have access to: (1) financial records of parents, (2) confidential letters of recommendation placed in the record prior to January 1, 1975, or (3) letters of recommendation concerning admission, application for employment or honors for which the student has voluntarily signed a waiver. When the student and the official responsible for a particular record are unable to resolve questions as to the accuracy of information contained therein, the student shall have an opportunity for an impartial hearing to challenge the contents of his record.

Graduate Students’ Code of Conduct


FVSU encourages student growth and development so that students are able to contribute to society by devoting themselves to respect for the dignity and welfare of self and others.

Students of high academic and personal integrity deal with the public and other professionals in and out of the classroom. They perform in a non-discriminatory manner and take reasonable steps to consult with professionals when they have questions regarding their ethical obligations or professional practice.

Graduate Students’ Professional Disposition


FVSU encourages student growth and development so that students are able to contribute to society by devoting themselves to respect for the dignity and welfare of self and others.

Students of high academic and personal integrity deal with the public and other professionals in and out of the classroom. They perform in a non-discriminatory manner and take reasonable steps to consult with professionals when they have questions regarding their ethical obligations or professional practice.

Graduate Studies Classroom and Professional Code of Conduct

Practice behavior that is acceptable in the professional workplace and appropriate to your chosen field:

  1. In the learning environment and in written communication, students are expected to employ language and conduct that are honest, civil, courteous, and responsible
  2. Participate in classroom, lab, or field activities, and participate in groups with whomever you are assigned as team members.
  3. Show respect for the dignity and diversity of individuals, and work on building constructive relationships with instructors and fellow students.
  4. Avoid disruptive and discourteous behavior such as coming to class late, talking at inappropriate times, reading newspapers in class, or monopolizing class time.
  5. Respect the value of other individuals’ time by submitting work on time, making requests in a timely manner, and not expecting immediate responses to requests.
  6. Follow rules for safety and proper maintenance of equipment and materials.
  7. In addition to practice, professionalism in the workplace and class, graduate students are expected to exhibit attire that is reflective of their chosen career path.

The following codes apply to all graduate students:

FVSU Classroom Code of Conduct and Standards of Dress

As a means of becoming successful and prepared for the professional world, including internships, graduate or professional school and positions of employment, FVSU students are expected and required to abide by the following codes. Individual breaches of codes of conduct or standards of dress will be dealt with by the instructor, on a case-by-case basis, based on the severity of the infraction.

General Decorum

  1. Students must be able to present their ID cards for inspection. It is recommended that the card be visibly displayed, whether clipped to a waistband or breast pocket or worn on a lanyard.
  2. Students must attend all classes and regularly, missing no more than the allowed number of absences. Students whose absences exceed the above scale will receive a reduction in their final course averages as determined by the faculty member. Exceptions to this policy on point reduction may be granted by the faculty upon presentation of documentation from the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs that an official excuse has been granted for the student’s absence. Conditions warranting such an approval include cases involving death in the family, illness of the student or his/her immediate family members or for military duty. It is the student’s responsibility to provide legitimate, official documentation of excused absences to the instructor(s) of the courses involved. Other reasons for absences not covered here must be cleared with the appropriate college dean.
  3. Students must be on time to class and must remain until dismissed.
  4. Students must prepare for each class meeting by reading assignments and completing any required work.
  5. Students must meet all deadlines, including those established by the instructor and those set by the University.
  6. Students are expected to act with courtesy and respect to instructors, guests, staff members, and fellow classmates. For example, students should refrain from talking during class while the instructor or another student “has the floor”. Failure to behave with proper courtesy and respect could result in disciplinary action.
  7. Students must not come to class under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  8. Food and drinks are not allowed in the classroom, lecture hall, or lab.

Student Standards of Dress

Dress must be modest and appropriate for a professional setting.


Ethical behaviors are defined specifically by each professional organization with attention to details that are unique to the profession or the discipline. Some ethical behaviors can be identified among all or most disciplines, however, these are identified here for students at FVSU.

  1. Academic integrity. Students produce quality academic research and writing without plagiarizing or using the work of others (without proper credit given). Students practice a strict code of honesty related to tests and assignments and display honesty in their academic evaluations and assessments.
  2. Respectful behavior. Students treat others with respect, including faculty and staff, other professionals in the academic and surrounding communities, and their fellow students. Students refrain from behaviors that are sexually harassing, culturally insensitive, or interpersonally inappropriate.
  3. Confidentiality. Students maintain confidentiality of records, correspondence and conversations. Students understand that information given to them personally by others through any form of communication (e.g., verbally, in writing, emails, or text messages) is unique to their situation and within the confines of that relationship, not to be shared with others. (Students understand that messages can have altered meanings when taken out of context.)

Professional behaviors are those in the realm of interpersonal skills, attitudes, and beliefs about personal and professional development. Specific behaviors are identified that will enhance students’ experiences and ultimately determine their success in FVSU graduate studies programs.

  1. Professional language. Students learn and utilize standard English, appropriate grammar, and critical thinking and analysis in their writing and verbal communications in order to demonstrate academic proficiency. Students refrain from profanity and improper language by developing higher levels of language usage in order to represent themselves and FVSU as academic successes. Students refrain from malicious gossip, slander or defamation of character against others, including faculty, staff, professionals in the academic and surrounding communities, and their fellow students.
  2. Professional judgment. Students learn and exhibit sound reasoning. Students learn and utilize decision-making and problem-solving skills that allow for self-monitoring and control of their behavior and emotions. Students refrain from loud, abusive, negative, demeaning, sarcastic, inappropriate, combative language in interpersonal interactions with others. Students refrain from emotional outbursts that intimidate or endanger the welfare of others. Students are alert to signs of impairment from their own physical, mental, or emotional problems and seek assistance for problems that reach the level of impairment.
  3. Professional behavior. Students practice thorough preparation for coursework, meet deadlines consistently, report to class on time and remain for the entire class period, honor faculty requests for classroom decorum. Students honor the Student code of conduct and comply with ethical standards for FVSU and their discipline. Students accept and use constructive feedback non-defensively and understand that FVSU faculty and student’s value lifelong learning. Students positively interact with others with respect for differing opinions.