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Academic Policies and Procedures

Academic Advisement

Academic advising is critical to student success. All students are encouraged to seek academic advisement each semester. Students with a declared major receive their academic advising from their major department advisor. Freshmen and sophomore students with an undeclared major receive their academic advising from their advisors in the Center for Advising and Student Transitions in Morehead Hall, room 120. Students admitted in special programs, such as the Educational Opportunity Fund Program, the Health Careers Program, and the Honors Program are assigned advisors within their specific areas.

Academic advisors and department faculty advisors provide students with assistance in developing an academic program of study, choosing courses consistent with this program as well as discussing career options.

Advanced Placement

Students with demonstrable equivalencies may, under appropriate circumstances, be exempted from required courses and permitted to take more advanced work. Eligibility for advanced placement may be established on the basis of high school records or by scoring sufficiently well on specialized tests including the Advanced Placement Examination of the College Entrance Examination Board, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, challenge examinations, etc. Students desiring advanced placement are advised to consult with the appropriate department chairperson to determine specific possibilities within their area of competence.


Students are expected to fulfill all course requirements, and although attendance is not always mandatory, it is desirable. Absence from laboratory or studio sessions shall be by agreement with the instructor. Instructors should notify the students, in writing, of what the course requirements will be. Professors may penalize the student for failure to meet specific attendance requirements.

Students who register are considered enrolled in their course(s) regardless of attendance. Refunds will only be processed, according to deadlines published in each semester's Schedule of Courses booklet, for registered students who have formally withdrawn from a course. Students not following this procedure will be charged for all course(s) in which they are registered. Lack of attendance does not constitute a basis for a refund or withdrawal from course(s).

Audit Policy

To “audit” a course at Montclair State University is to attend class regularly, without the obligation of participating in class discussions, laboratory work, examinations, performances or any class activity other than listening. A course may be audited under the following conditions:

  1. Audited courses do not carry academic credit.
  2. The University's attendance policy applies to audited courses.
  3. Students auditing a course must establish eligibility for admission, register, and pay the required tuition and fees.
  4. Students must file an Audit Application with the Office of the Registrar prior to the end of the third week of classes for fall and spring regularly scheduled courses or its equivalent for short term and summer courses.
  5. A course may be audited only if the department chairperson permits, and if there is space in the class.

For students who ALSO registered for courses carrying regular academic credit:

  1. Audited courses are considered part of the student's course load which may not exceed the maximum limits.
  2. An “audit” may not be changed to “credit” nor a “credit” to “audit” after the first three weeks of the semester.
  3. The student’s record will show a grade of “AU” for the course if the instructor certifies by such a grade that the prescribed conditions, including required attendance, have been met.

For students who are registered ONLY for “audited” courses:

  1. The student may not change to a credit basis during the term of enrollment.
  2. The student’s record will show a grade of “AU” for the course if the instructor certifies by such a grade that the prescribed conditions, including required attendance, have been met.
  3. A student who later seeks credit by examination for a course previously audited must be enrolled at the University at the time that the examination is taken and is subject to such fee charges for the examination as the University may establish.
  4. A student who has audited a course may take the course at a later date for credit.

Basic Skills Requirements

Montclair State University expects all students to demonstrate proficiency in writing, reading, and elementary algebra, which are compatible with the successful performance of college level work. The Montclair State University Placement Requirement provides for the demonstration of such proficiencies through SAT scores, achievement in high school courses, or the assessment of these skills upon entry to the University and, if necessary enrollment in particular remedial or developmental courses to develop requisite skills. Montclair State University administers the ACCUPLACER for a placement test in reading and mathematics. All students admitted to Montclair State University will have their academic records reviewed, and those students whose records indicate the need to further demonstrate proficiency will be assigned a test date. Registration will not be completed until the placement test scores are computed and placements are determined. Developmental courses in reading and elementary algebra are required for students receiving unsatisfactory scores on one or more sections of the MSUPT; credits may be added to the number of semester hours required to graduate.

Pre-College Reading - Students who are required to complete READ 099, pre-college reading, will be required to successfully pass the course during the summer and/or a winter term prior to their first full semester of enrollment. Students who do not successfully complete pre-college reading will have their admission rescinded and they will not be permitted to continue their enrollment.

Basic Skills Mathematics - Students who are required to complete basic skills mathematics will be given three (3) semesters within which time they must enroll in and successfully complete the course. For those entering in the fall, they will be permitted to enroll in basic skills math during summer, fall and spring. For those entering in the spring, they will be permitted to enroll in math during spring, summer and fall. Student who do not successfully pass basic skills math after their three (3) attempts will have their admission rescinded.

Note that Pre-College Reading (READ 099) and Basic Skills Mathematics (MATH061/071) do not carry graduation credits. However, these courses do provide credits toward a student’s full-time status. Upon completion of either course, students will receive either a "P" (Pass) grade or an “NC” (No Credit) grade.

Further information regarding basic skills testing and placement may be obtained from the Center for Academic Development and Assessment, Morehead Hall, room 139, telephone 973-655-4476 or from the department’s website at:

Cancellation of Courses and Staffing

Montclair State University reserves the right to cancel any course for which the enrollment is insufficient. Students may then register, without penalty, for another course for equal credit or receive a full refund of tuition and fees. The University also reserves the right to change faculty assignments and, therefore, cannot guarantee students the faculty of their choice.

Class Standing

Freshman standing is defined as 0.00 – 29.99 semester hours earned; Sophomore standing is defined as 30.00-59.99 semester hours earned; junior standing is 60.00-89.99 semester hours earned; senior standing is 90.00 or more semester hours earned.


Commencement exercises are held in the spring of each year for students who have earned degrees in the preceding August or January as well as for May degree candidates. In order to participate in Commencement a student must have completed all degree requirements before the degree conferral date. Candidates who are either removed from the May graduation list or re-file for a subsequent degree conferral date will be eligible to participate in Commencement the following May. Students should file for final audit by October 1 for May graduation, June 1 for January Completion, and March 1 if the degree is completed in August. In addition to the formal University-wide Commencement exercises, each School and College hosts a Convocation Ceremony during the week prior to Commencement.

Course Loads

Full-time undergraduate students should earn 15-16 credit hours per semester. Special permission is required to take a Course Overload of more than 19 semester hours. To be considered a full-time student one must register for and continue active enrollment in at least 12 semester hours for the entire semester.

Full-time undergraduate students who have at least sophomore standing (30 credit hours earned) and a 3.000 or above cumulative grade point average for the semester most recently completed may, upon the approval of the Dean of the College/School in which the student is majoring, register for a Course Overload. A College/School Dean may make exceptions to the above eligibility criteria for Course Overloads.

Montclair State University reserves the right to reduce the course load of any student who registers for more than 19 credit hours without Course Overload approval.

Students enrolled in fewer than 12 credits are considered part-time. Provisionally matriculated students may not register for more than 9 credits per semester.

Course Overlap

Students may not register for courses where there is a time/day overlap.
In certain laboratory or studio type courses, in exceptional circumstances, course registration overlap may be permitted with written approval of the instructors of both courses as well as the approval of the dean(s) and chairperson(s) responsible for the instructional area(s).

Students must submit written approval to the Office of the Registrar in order to register for overlapping courses; this must be done in person by the student or his/her representative.

Credit by Examination and Assessment of Life Experience

Montclair State offers the opportunity to all students to earn credit through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). The Advanced Placement Examination of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), the Thomas A. Edison College Examination Program (TECEP), departmental challenge exams, evaluation of life experience through the American Council on Education (ACE) or Portfolio Assessment of Experiential Learning at Thomas A. Edison State College are also acceptable ways by which credit may be earned.

The CLEP General Examinations offer entering students the chance to earn up to 24 credits toward the bachelor’s degree. In addition to the general examinations there are also over 30 CLEP subject examinations. The following policies apply regarding the use of credit from CLEP exams toward the degree at Montclair.


All students are responsible to know and apply the following rules and regulations which govern the application of credit earned through CLEP General and Subject Matter Exams toward the Montclair State degree. It is very important that all students recognize that ACHIEVING THE REQUIRED TEST SCORE DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT CREDIT IS APPLICABLE TOWARD MONTCLAIR STATE'S GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS. IN ADDITION, IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO INSURE THAT HE/SHE IS NOT SEEKING CREDIT FOR A COURSE FOR WHICH PREVIOUS CREDIT WAS GRANTED. Students who fail to adhere to these policies may not be permitted to apply CLEP credit toward the degree regardless of score on the exam.

  1. CLEP Exams must be taken prior to completion of the student’s first sixty (60) credit hours of undergraduate coursework. Students should not register for courses for which they plan to seek CLEP credit.
  2. Subject Matter exams, which are taken for possible use in fulfillment of major or collateral requirements, must receive advanced written approval in the form of an Undergraduate Academic Program Adjustment form, which can be obtained in the CLEP Subject Matter exams may not be included within the last 24 credits. (See “residence requirement”)
  3. Those students seeking credit for ENWR 105 College Writing I: Intellectual Prose via the CLEP General Exam must include the essay with the English test. Please note that the essay is not available at each CLEP administration. Students wishing to use a CLEP General exam to obtain credit for ENWR 105 College Writing I: Intellectual Prose, should receive advanced written approval from the First Year Writing Coordinator. Please see the section entitled “Waivers and Credit Adjustments for First Year Writing”.
  5. Students receiving six (6) credits in foreign language will be required to complete an additional six (6) credits of foreign language to fulfill the language requirement. Students earning twelve (12) credits will be required to complete either LNGN 220 The Structure of American English, an upper level course in the same language, or a lower level course in a different language.

Students having questions about these guidelines are encouraged to contact their Academic Advisor before taking any CLEP tests.

CLEP tests are given at testing sites located throughout the state of New Jersey. For specific information regarding testing sites and CLEP preparation courses, students should contact their Academic Advisor.

Montclair State offers students the opportunity to take subject matter challenge examinations for many courses. Not all courses are eligible for credit by examination.

Students, who wish to utilize the evaluating services of Thomas Edison State College (TESC), must make a request to TESC, telephone, 609-292-3400, in their first semester of enrollment at Montclair State University (MSU). This evaluation and a report of credit must be sent to MSU for evaluation. Failure to initiate this process in the first semester may result in the loss of credit. Students should meet with their academic advisor prior to contacting TESC.

Dean’s List

The Academic Dean’s List, issued after the close of each fall and spring semester by the academic deans, gives recognition to students with a 3.500 or higher semester grade point average (GPA). A minimum of 12 credits must be earned in courses that contribute to the GPA.

Part-time undergraduate students are eligible for the Dean's List each time they achieve a GPA of 3.500 or higher on 12 or more credits which contribute to the GPA. The credits must be earned in two consecutive semesters, excluding summer sessions, with a minimum of six credits in each term. Once a semester's credits have been used to successfully attain Dean's List status for a part-time student, they may not be used for this purpose again.

Final Examinations
Final examinations and evaluations are generally of a comprehensive nature covering the semester’s work, but the form, determined by the nature of the course subject matter, varies with individual professors and classes. A schedule of final examinations is found in the Schedule of Courses booklet each semester.

Final examinations are weighted in relation to other evaluations which are made throughout the semester and do not replace periodic tests and other means of measuring student progress.

Grades and Standards

The following grades are used at Montclair State:

A 4.0 Excellent
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0 Good
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0 Poor
D- 0.7
F 0.0 Failure
P Pass
IN Incomplete
WD Withdrew
AU Audit
NC No Credit
IP In Progress

Basic Skills courses, (Pre-College Reading and Basic Skills Mathematics) do not carry graduation credits. However, these courses do provide credits toward a student’s full-time status. Students will receive either a "P" (Pass) grade and/or an “NC” (No Credit) grade.
The mark “F” signifies: (1) academic failure; (2) failure of the student to submit written notice of withdrawal; or (3) withdrawal after the final withdrawal deadline. The mark “WD” is given to those who withdraw online through WESS or who submit in writing (to the Office of the Registrar) their intention of withdrawing from a course before the withdrawal deadline.

The grade “IN” is intended to indicate that the student has not completed the course and that a grade is being withheld until the work is performed and approved. Students must enter into a formal contract with the faculty prior to the end of the semester, using the form available in the Office of the Registrar.

The “IN” if not replaced with final grade by the established deadline, will become an “F.” Deadlines are: February 15 for fall IN's, June 30 for spring IN's, October 15 for summer IN's. Exceptions can be granted only upon petition to the appropriate College/School Dean.

A change of grade request from other than an “IN” grade, must be processed by faculty and approved by the appropriate College/School Dean no later than the end of the next full semester following the semester in which the grade was earned. For students completing degree and certification programs, all required course work must be completed by the appropriate conferment/graduation date. The instructor must submit the final grade to the Office of the Registrar no later than 30 days thereafter in order for the diploma/certificate to be awarded. No changes will be made to the academic record beyond 30 days of the conferment/graduation date. The only exception to this policy is for Incomplete (IN) grades in electives beyond the number of credits required for the degree or program which may be changed according to the time frames for Incompletes as outlined above.

For purposes of determining the grade point average (GPA) for graduation, academic honors, deanʼs list, academic probation, suspension, and dismissal, and all other situations which require a specific GPA, Montclair State University maintains GPAʼs to three decimal places. No additional rounding will occur.

Students can obtain their grades for any semester through WESS, the Web Enrollment Services for Students.

Graduation/Final Audit

Students who are eligible for graduation must file an Application for Final Audit in the Office of the Registrar according to the following deadlines: October 1 for the following May graduation; June 1 for the following January graduation; March 1 for the following August graduation.

Prior to the final opportunity to change registration for the final semester, the student will be mailed a copy of the final audit listing requirements that must be completed in order to meet the intended date of graduation.

It is the student’s responsibility to complete the curriculum prescribed in the Montclair State University catalog in effect or as subsequently modified, when he/she matriculates. For undergraduates, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000 (C) and major grade point average of 2.000 based upon a possible 4.000 system is required. The major grade point average includes required major courses, major elective courses, and collateral courses. Inquiries pertaining to an individual’s program of studies shall be referred to the appropriate academic or faculty advisor. It is the student’s responsibility to meet all graduation requirements.

A minimum of 120 semester hours of coursework is required for the baccalaureate degree. A minimum of 32 credit hours of the total required for the baccalaureate degree must be completed at Montclair State. The final 24 credit hours must be taken at Montclair State and cannot be acquired through transfer. A minimum 2.0 overall GPA and a minimum 2.0 major GPA also are required for graduation. More than 120 semester hours may be required depending upon the major field of study. Some majors have minimum GPA requirements higher than a 2.0. Specific requirements depend on date of entry or date of major declaration and vary from major to major.

For active-duty service members, academic residency is limited to no more than twenty-five percent of the degree requirements for all undergraduate degrees. Academic residency can be completed at any time while active-duty service members are enrolled. Reservists and National Guard members on active-duty are covered in the same manner.

A minimum of 32 semester hours of graduate credit is required for all master’s degree programs. A minimum of 60 credits is required for all doctoral programs. Additional hours may be required to satisfy prerequisites or special programmatic purposes. For additional information visit The Graduate School website.

Candidates who have passed the required PRAXIS II test, and who have been evaluated through the Office of the Registrar for New Jersey teaching, educational services or administrative certificates must complete the Application for Certification and pay the required fees by the following dates: November 15 for January graduation, April 15 for May graduation; August 1 for August graduation.

Application forms will be mailed to candidates approximately four weeks prior to the deadline. Completed application MUST BE NOTARIZED and returned with payment to: Office of the Registrar, Montclair State University, 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07043.

The State of NJ has issued fees which range from $95 - $190 per certificate. More information is available on the NJ Teacher Education Web Site at: Certificates will be sent to students from the State Department of Education in Trenton approximately two months after the date of conferment.

Information regarding which Praxis tests to register for and how to register is available in the Teacher Education Admissions Office, University Hall, Room 1162.

Graduation Honors

Undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 51 undergraduate credits at Montclair State are recognized for academic honors. Grades of “A” through “D-” must be received for a minimum of 48 of these 51 credits.

For recognition of May candidates at the Commencement Exercises, the honors designation will be based upon the student's cumulative grade point average as of the previous January plus the anticipated MSU credits that will be earned by the end of the Spring semester. Academic honors are awarded as follows:

Cumulative GPA of 3.450 - 3.649 cum laude
Cumulative GPA of 3.650 - 3.849 magna cum laude
Cumulative GPA of 3.850 - 4.000 summa cum laude

The following standards will be applied to graduates, starting in August 2015:

Cumulative GPA of 3.700 - 3.799 cum laude
Cumulative GPA of 3.800 - 3.899 magna cum laude
Cumulative GPA of 3.900 - 4.000 summa cum laude

An honors diploma will be mailed within two weeks of the degree conferral date.

Independent Study

Montclair State University offers opportunities for students to undertake academic credit on an independent study basis. Students who wish to register for independent study courses must obtain an “Independent Study Application” form from the Office of the Registrar. This form must be completed in full and approved by the instructor and the department chairperson prior to registering.

The full course number (except section number) is required on the form. Registration for independent study courses must be processed in person in the Office of the Registrar by the student or a representative of the student. One copy of the Independent Study Application form is then given to the student; one is sent to the department chairperson and one to the instructor; the original is retained by the Office of the Registrar.

Leave of Absence

Undergraduate students in good academic standing may take a leave of absence of one semester by arrangement through the Students who plan to be away for two or more semesters must officially withdraw from the University (refer to Withdrawal from Montclair State University).

Students who take a leave of absence for one semester do not need to apply for readmission and can simply register for the next upcoming semester during the registration period. Students who remain away from MSU for two or more semesters must submit a readmission application with the Office of Admissions by the set admission deadlines: August 1 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester.

Major Declaration

Undeclared students must declare a major by the time they have earned 60 semester hours. Students are expected to complete the major for which they apply within the normal number of semester hours required for completion of the degree program. For most undergraduate degree programs, this is 120 semester hours; however, certain programs require more than 120 semester hours.

Undeclared students who have 45 - 60 earned credits must meet with an academic advisor prior to registering for the following semester to work on selecting a major.

Pass/Fail Grading

  1. Available to Montclair State University Undergraduates Only. All Montclair State undergraduates are eligible to select one course per semester for which they are registered for pass/fail credit, not to exceed 24 semester hours in the degree program.
  2. Eligible Courses: Only those courses which are free electives in the student's program. The purpose of this option is to encourage students to explore unfamiliar areas of study without concern for the effect on academic standing.
  3. Ineligible courses are those courses which meet the major, minor, collateral, teacher certification, communications, general education, or world language and culture requirements. Note that all courses taken in the major department and all collateral courses shall be used in determining the major GPA, thereby rendering these courses ineligible for the Pass/Fail option. (The only exception could be a course that the department has specified previously as not being acceptable in the major program.)
  4. Courses offered on a pass/fail basis only will not preclude the student from also taking an additional course on a pass/fail option.
  5. Grading: Students will receive either a grade of “P” (pass) or “F”(fail) for course work completed under the option. A grade of “P” does not affect the student’s average; however, a grade of “F” will have the same effect as a traditional failure.
  6. Students may elect to rescind the pass/fail application at any time prior to the ninth week of the spring or fall semester or its equivalent for short term and summer courses. Students should know that letter grades will not replace “P” grades if changing majors, attending graduate school, obtaining certification, applying to other colleges requiring letter grades, etc.

Any student electing the pass-fail option must complete a “Pass/Fail Application” and return it to the Office of the Registrar prior to the end of the third week of classes for fall and spring regularly scheduled courses or its equivalent for short term and summer courses.


All papers, reports and research submitted by students shall be their own except as properly annotated. The copying or imitating of others’ work is plagiarism. A student guilty of plagiarism may be subject to dismissal. See the Student Handbook for additional information,

Prerequisite Courses

It is the student's responsibility to satisfactorily complete a prerequisite course before scheduling a dependent course.


Registration is processed through WESS, the Web Enrollment Services for Students. Specific directions can be found on the online Schedule of Courses Book for each semester.

Repeated Courses

The policy of Montclair State University does not allow undergraduate students to repeat, more than twice, a course in which a grade of “F” was earned. The Dean of each College and School will have the discretion to make exceptions to this policy in special cases and extenuating circumstances. This policy became effective on September 1, 1997, and applies to all students regardless of their date of entry to Montclair State University.

Courses in which a student received grades of “C-” or higher cannot be repeated for credit. If a course in which the student previously earned a grade of “C-” or higher at MSU is repeated at MSU (other than on an official Audit basis -- see section on Auditing Courses) the second grade will be posted as NC (No Credit). It is the student's responsibility to ensure that his/her registration does not include ineligible courses.

To repeat a course a student must register and make payment for that course. Courses must be repeated prior to graduation. There is no special approval required to repeat a course in which a grade of “D-”, “D”, or “D+” was received. Where a course is no longer offered, the Dean of the College or School, in consultation with the Department Chairperson, shall designate an appropriate replacement course. A course repeated at another institution does not remove an “F”, “D-”, “D”, or “D+” at Montclair State.

When a course has been repeated, both the original and subsequent courses are included on the permanent record, but the credit is counted only once. The grade received in the repeated course becomes the official final grade.

Residence Requirements

A minimum of 32 credit hours of the total required for the baccalaureate degree must be completed at Montclair State. The final 24 credit hours required for graduation must be taken at Montclair State and cannot be acquired through transfer. This policy is strictly adhered to.

Any student who transfers from another institution with advanced standing in a major field of study is required to complete a minimum of twelve credit hours of upper level course work in the major at Montclair State. Some curricula may require more than this minimum.

Students transferring from a from a NJ County/Community College or an out-of-state County/Community College are required to take a minimum of 60 credits at Montclair State University. Montclair State University accepts a maximum of 60 transfer credits from two-year institutions.

Standards for Academic Progress

For Academic Standards purposes, total semester hours attempted will be used to determine a student's class standing.

Students are subject to academic probation, suspension or dismissal if the cumulative grade point average (GPA) is below 2.000 for the number of semester hours attempted. Semester hours attempted include all courses taken at Montclair State and any credits earned through transfer, credit by examination or assessment.

Students will be placed on academic probation if their GPA falls below 2.000 at the end of a semester or summer session. Students may only remain on academic probation for one semester. Students are removed from academic probation if they earn at least a 2.000 cumulative GPA at the end of the probation semester. Failure to earn at least a 2.000 cumulative GPA at the end of the probation semester will result in academic suspension.

Failure to earn at least a 2.000 cumulative GPA at the end of the probation semester will result in academic suspension. Students placed on academic suspension cannot enroll in courses at Montclair State University under any circumstances for at least two semesters.

Students who have been placed on academic suspension are eligible to apply for readmission through the Office of Admissions if they have been away from Montclair State University for at least two semesters.

Readmission is not automatic and will be based upon the review of documents submitted in support of the readmission application. Readmitted students are not necessarily admitted back into their chosen major.

Students readmitted from academic suspension must earn at least a 2.000 semester GPA their first semester back or they will be placed on academic dismissal. Additionally, students readmitted from academic suspension must earn at least a 2.000 semester GPA, as well as a 2.000 cumulative GPA their second semester after readmission. Failure to meet these requirements, i.e. required GPA, will result in academic dismissal. Students placed on academic dismissal are ineligible to apply for readmission and cannot enroll in courses at Montclair State University under any circumstances.

Readmission Deadlines
To be considered for readmission, students must submit a readmission application to the Office of Admissions by the following deadlines:

    Fall semester: August 1
    Spring semester: December 1

Standards for Formal Written Work

Most courses at Montclair State require written assignments because writing is one of the best ways to explore, refine, and demonstrate knowledge. The following statement describes the mental operations and the writing skills that the faculty expects in your formal written work. (You should assume that an assignment requires formal preparation unless your instructor states otherwise.) College Writing I: Intellectual Prose and College Writing II: Writing and Literary Study provide a solid foundation in these abilities, but that is only the beginning. The written work that you do in all your courses will build on the foundation established in College Writing I: Intellectual Prose and College Writing II: Writing and Literary Study, developing your ability to think and to communicate your thoughts in writing.

In the academic world, as in the world at large, readers will judge your written work primarily on the basis of its content; that is, on the quality of the information and opinions it contains. However, the careful organization and the clear, concise expression of that content are essential if your readers are to grasp your full meaning. The faculty will therefore evaluate the organization and expression of your written assignments along with the content. Grammar, mechanics, and appearance will also be considered, because problems in these areas can interfere with readers’ comprehension of your work, or even prevent them from giving it their serious attention.

Individual departments and instructors may add their own requirements to this statement, and each instructor will decide how the various elements will influence grading in a particular course. However, in the course that you will take to satisfy your graduation requirement in writing, you will be given a grade of Incomplete and referred to the Writing Center if your writing has severe problems. This will apply regardless of the average grade of any other work done in that course. If you have questions about these standards, you may seek clarification from your instructors, from the English Department, or from the Center for Writing Excellence staff. The Center for Writing Excellence (Sprague Library, first floor, 973-655-7442) offers consultation and tutorial help to all students, ideally through regularly weekly appointments, but also on a drop-in basis. There is no charge for this service.

Writing and Thinking

You should be able to perform with college-level competence the mental operations on which written work depends. These include:

  • Generalization: Finding the common element that relates particular examples or instances to each other; abstracting.
  • Inference: Drawing out meanings that are implied but not stated explicitly; reading between the lines.
  • Analysis: Examining parts of the whole, such as causes, effects, and processes.
  • Synthesis: Forming ideas into new relationships; creating.
  • Evaluation: Making judgments according to criteria.

You should be able to apply to new situations the knowledge you have gained from your classes, your reading, and your investigations.

You should be able to draw your own conclusions, rather than simply to restate or summarize the ideas of others.

You should be able to state a thesis clearly and support it with reasoning and evidence.

You should be able to organize the parts of a paper in an orderly sequence, governed by a controlling purpose that is clear to the reader. Paragraphs and subsections should also have their own internal order.

You should be able to adapt what you write to the needs and expectations of your intended audience, whether it is your peers, your teacher, other scholars in a discipline, or the general public.

The Writing Process

Successful writing is seldom merely the recording of the writer’s first thoughts. More often it is the result of a process involving several stages.
You should know how to use strategies that will help you to:

  • Choose and limit a topic
  • Collect information
  • Develop ideas
  • Produce rough and polished drafts
  • Revise and edit
  • Proofread

Library Research and Documentation

You should be able to locate, evaluate, and use materials published in various forms, including books, periodicals, newspapers, government documents, indexes, abstracts, microforms, websites, electronic mail, discussion groups, and other media materials.

You should be able to summarize or paraphrase the written work of others. Paraphrased material must be completely restated in your own words, and should blend smoothly into your style.

You should be able to identify your source material according to the method your instructor requires. Data or distinctive ideas taken from sources must be identified by the methods of an approved citation system (i.e., MLA, APA, etc.), even if those ideas are not quoted directly. Direct quotations must be identified by a citation as well as by quotation marks or block indentation.

Failure to treat source material properly may be construed as plagiarism, a serious academic offense. (See Plagiarism under Academic Policies and Procedures.)

Standard English, Grammar, Style

Your papers should be written in formal, standard English. They should be free of nonstandard constructions (such as double negatives) and of informal usage (such as “The experiment went O.K.”).

Your sentence structure should be free of major grammatical problems, such as sentence fragments, subject-verb disagreement, inconsistent verb tenses, unclear pronoun reference, and misplaced modifiers.

Your sentences should be clear and concise, showing capable use of the tools necessary to a mature writing style, such as coordination, subordination, parallelism, and transitional devices.

Your choice of words should be precise and appropriate to your subject. You may sometimes find it essential to use technical terms, but you should always avoid unnecessary jargon.

Mechanics and Appearance

Your papers should contain no errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, or typing.

You should show careful attention to matters of appearance, including legibility, neat corrections, and suitable presentation.

If your instructor does not specify how you are to present your paper you may follow these recommendations:

Use a cover sheet that includes:

  • Your name
  • The title of the paper
  • The title and section number of the course
  • The name of the instructor
  • The date

Make margins at least one inch all around.
Number the pages.

Formal papers should be carefully proofread and typed. Last minute corrections should be neat and clear.

Student Responsibility

Students are expected to assume responsibility for knowing and meeting the various regulations and procedures set forth in the Montclair State University catalogs, Student Handbook, and in the schedule of courses booklet published each semester. Montclair State University reserves the right to terminate the enrollment of any student whose conduct, class attendance, academic record or financial obligation should prove unsatisfactory.

Student Rights

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) permits the University to release directory information about a student unless the student specifically requests that this information be withheld. Students who do not wish directory information to be released should notify the Office of Student Development and Campus Life, Room 400, Student Center, within the first two weeks of each semester.

Montclair State University defines directory information as: name and address, telephone number, e-mail address, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, height and weight of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, photographs, most recent previous institution attended, date of degree conferment, career (UG/GR), status (fulltime or part-time), and classification (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, pre-matriculated, provisionally matriculated, matriculated, etc.). Student rights under FERPA include the following: the right to inspect and review; the right to request amendment of records; the right to consent to disclosure, with certain exceptions; the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education; the right to obtain a copy of the student records policy. A policy statement pertaining to this matter may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President of Student Development and Campus Life.


Official transcripts may be requested online, by mail, by fax, or in person and are usually processed within three to five business days of receipt by the Office of the Registrar. For full details visit the Transcripts/Grades website at:

Transfer Credit

Undergraduate students who would like to take courses at other regionally accredited institutions and transfer the credits to Montclair State University must complete the form “Request for Work at Another Institution” available in the Office of the Registrar prior to enrollment in the course(s) being transferred. Students are strongly encouraged to speak to their advisor before taking courses elsewhere. Once an official transcript is received all accepted credits will be posted, without grades, on the student’s permanent Montclair State University record. Grades earned at other institutions are not included in the Montclair State University cumulative grade point average, and cannot be used to repeat a “D+”, “D”, “D-”, or “F” grade earned at MSU. However, transfer credit hours are used in determining the student’s class level.

Entering transfer students to MSU will receive an assessment of their transfer credits and how these credits will be used in the accepted or intended program of study. In order to provide an accurate assessment of all transfer credits, students must disclose all previously attended institutions on their transcripts from each institution, Transfer credits from institutions not listed on the application for admission will not be accepted at MSU at any time. It is imperative that students review their transfer credit assessment as soon as it is completed to verify that all of the transfer courses have been evaluated. Courses with grades of “D+”, “D”, or “D-” are accepted only if the transfer student has an A.A. or A.S. degree from a New Jersey community or county college.

The Freshmen Seminar General Education requirement will be waived for students who enter the University as freshmen transfers with 15 or more awarded credits.

Transfer Credit

Non-Accredited Institutions
Transfer courses from institutions which are not regionally accredited but are licensed by the state to grant the bachelor's degree or the associate's degree will be posted to a student's MSU record with 0 credits until the following guidelines have been met:

  1. In the first semester, a full-time student must earn a minimum of 12 semester hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.000.
  2. A part-time student must earn a minimum of 12 semester hours in the first 14-15 semester hours attempted and with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000. Students who fail to meet the above stated guidelines will not be able to transfer credits from these institutions and all courses listed with 0 credits will be deleted from the student's MSU record.

Undergraduates in Graduate Courses

Montclair State University seniors within 16 semester hours of completing the baccalaureate degree requirements, who possess at least a 3.00 grade point average and have taken all required prerequisites, may apply for permission to take up to 6 hours of 500 level courses for either undergraduate or graduate credit or up to 6 hours of 400 level coursework for graduate credit, if prior permission is granted. A graduate course taken for undergraduate credit cannot later be included in a graduate degree program. If courses are taken for graduate credit, graduate tuition and fees will be charged and the courses will appear on a graduate record. The required forms are available at the Graduate School; they must be completed and submitted to the Office of the Registrar in person when registering.

Admission of an undergraduate to a course that yields graduate credit does not imply future acceptance into any graduate program. That can only be done through the normal graduate admission process. Those planning to matriculate in graduate programs at Montclair State University should refer to the Graduate Catalog for specific admission requirements.

Waivers and Credit Adjustments for First-Year Writing

The following policies apply to students entering as freshmen or as transfer students beginning in Fall 1998.

To obtain waivers or credit adjustments for ENWR 100 Introduction to Writing, ENWR 105 College Writing I: Intellectual Prose or ENWR 106 College Writing II: Writing and Literary Study, students must see the First Year Writing Coordinator, in the English Department.

Waivers of College Writing I: Intellectual Prose and College Writing II: Writing and Literary Study must be completed before the end of the sophomore year for students who enter the university as freshmen. Transfer students must complete these waivers by the end of their first semester of attendance.

Waiver of Requirement with Credit

    A. Students may receive 3 credits for College Writing I: Intellectual Prose through one of two means:
    1. Score 4 or higher on the ETS Advanced Placement Examination in English Language and Composition.
    2. Score 50 or higher on the ETS College Level Examination Program (CLEP) General Examination in English Composition, with essay. (Students must first qualify to take College Writing I: Intellectual Prose by achieving the appropriate score on the Montclair State University Placement Test.) Note rules for taking CLEP exam in section on CLEP exams.
    B. Students may receive 3 credits for College Writing II: Writing and Literary Study through one of two means:
    1. Score 4 or higher on the ETS Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature and Composition.
    2. Score 50 or higher on the ETS College Level Examination Program (CLEP) General Examination in Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, with essay. (Students must first qualify to take College Writing I: Intellectual Prose by achieving the appropriate score on the Montclair State University Placement Test.) Note rules for taking CLEP exam in section on CLEP exams.

Withdrawal from Courses

Drop/Withdrawal Policy
Courses dropped through the Final Add/Drop deadline will be removed from the records. Courses withdrawn after the Final Add/Drop deadline through the ninth week of the semester will be recorded as WD's.

Withdrawals - Tuition Adjustments
Students who are admitted and register for courses at Montclair State University are financially responsible for all charges and fees associated with those courses. Students are solely responsible for the full cost of all audited courses. Therefore, students are encouraged to complete all courses for which they registered. If it becomes necessary for students to withdraw from one or more of those courses during the withdrawal period, students may be eligible for an adjustment of tuition and fees.

Non-Academic Withdrawal Policy
Montclair State University students who experience physical, psychological and/or other extenuating circumstances that substantially impair their ability to function successfully or safely as a student may be eligible for a medical withdrawal.

For full details view the document: Medical Withdrawal Policy

Drop/Withdrawal/Refund Schedule for Fall 2012 Classes
100% Refund during the first week of the semester for full term courses and prior to the third class meeting for all short term courses and other courses that meet less than full term (courses dropped).

50% Refund during the first third of the semester for full term courses or its equivalent for short term courses and other courses that meet less than full term (courses recorded as WD).

No Refund after the first third through the ninth week of the semester for full term courses (courses recorded as WD). No refund after the first third until the midpoint for courses that meet less than full term (courses recorded as WD).

(meeting September 5, 2012 - December 20, 2012)
100% - September 11, 2012
50% refund – October 9, 2012
0% refund – November 7, 2012

(meeting September 5, 2011 - October 23, 2012)
100% refund - Prior to third class meeting
50% refund - September 21, 2012
0% refund - October 1, 2012

(meeting October 24 - December 20, 2012)
100% refund - Prior to third class meeting
50% refund - November 9, 2012
0% refund - November 19, 2012

Upon official withdrawal, tuition and fees will be refunded according to the schedule above.
Withdrawals for FULL YEAR COURSES will be pro-rated. Contact the Office of the Registrar for withdrawal dates and deadlines.

Students who drop a course through WESS are responsible for reviewing their schedule to make certain that they have indeed dropped the course.

Students may also drop a course by submitting a written withdrawal request either by mail, fax (973) 655-7371, or by completing a Withdrawal Form. Withdrawal Forms are available in the Office of the Registrar, College Hall - Room 204 or online at: Please note the Office of the Registrar has a mail slot in which written requests may be submitted during non-office hours. Requests received before 8:30am on the morning after any deadline, will be accepted as meeting the specific deadline. For written withdrawals submitted, students will be given or sent acknowledgement. Any student who fails to receive such acknowledgement within one week should immediately notify the Office of the Registrar.


The final deadline for withdrawal from courses which meet for the entire fall 2012 semester is November 7, 2012. Withdrawal dates for Short-Term courses, which meet less than a full semester are outlined under the Short-Term headings above. The refund schedule refers to the percent reduction applicable to refundable charges only. Refunds for course withdrawals submitted in writing will be calculated based on the date of receipt of withdrawal, or from the date of the U.S. Postmark for those received through U.S. mail. All refunds are processed within these established deadlines, without exception. Tuition and fees are refunded in full if classes are discontinued by University authorities. Students who do not drop their courses according to the above procedures will receive the grade of "F" in those courses they ceased to attend and will be responsible for all tuition and fees associated with those courses.

Withdrawal Procedures from the University

Undergraduate Students wishing to withdraw from the University must complete an official Withdrawal/Leave of Absence form with the Center for Advising and Student Transitions, Morehead Hall, room 120. Students must withdraw from all of their classes via WESS prior to submitting the Withdrawal/Leave of Absence form.

Graduate Students requesting a leave of absence or withdrawal from the University must contact The Graduate School.
Notification to the Center for Advising and Student Transitions or The Graduate School does not constitute an official withdrawal from individual courses.