Montclair State University Graduate Students

Academic Policies, Procedures, & Guidelines

As a graduate student at Montclair State University, you are responsible for reading and abiding by the University policies, procedures and deadlines outlined in the following documents:

For quick reference to specific policies, see below:

Academic Probation/Dismissal

Degree Programs: When a degree student’s GPA falls below 3.00, the student will be placed on academic probation. The degree student must raise his/her GPA to at least a 3.00 upon completion of an additional six credits of coursework or one semester, whichever is later. This may include summer session. Failure to achieve a GPA of 3.00 within the prescribed period of time will lead to final review, which may result in removal of matriculated status and dismissal.

A degree student who receives three “C” (i.e., “C+”, “C”, or “C-“) or lower level grades (i.e., “F”) will be dismissed from the program. The Graduate School will make dismissal actions on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the student’s Graduate Program Coordinator. * The programs listed below follow a different policy regarding “C” level and “F” grades:

  • * For students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders, Speech Language Pathology program: Students who earn more than two C level grades (C+, C, or C-) or one F grade will be dismissed from the program.
  • * For students in the Counseling program (master’s degree and certification): Students who earn more than one C level grade (C+, C or C-) or one F grade will be dismissed from the
  • * For students in the Feliciano School of Business (master’s degree programs – MS and MBA): Students who earn three F grades will be dismissed from their program.
  • * For Doctoral students: Students who earn more than two C level grades (C+, C, or C-) or one F grade will be dismissed from the program.

Certification Programs: Students in a certification program must maintain a GPA of 3.00. If a student’s GPA falls below a 3.00, the student will be placed on academic probation. The student must raise his/her GPA to at least a 3.00 upon completion of an additional six credits of coursework or one semester, whichever is later. This may include summer session. Failure to achieve a GPA of 3.00 within the prescribed period of time will lead to final review, which may result in removal of matriculated status and dismissal.

Certificate and Non-degree Programs: Students must maintain a GPA of 2.50. If a student’s GPA falls below a 2.50, the student will be placed on academic probation. The student must raise his/her GPA to at least a 2.50 upon completion of an additional six credits of coursework or one semester, whichever is later. This may include summer session. Failure to achieve a GPA of 2.50 within the prescribed period of time will lead to final review, which may result in removal of matriculated status and dismissal.

  • * For students in the Advanced Counseling, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, School Counseling (Post Master’s) and Substance Awareness Coordinator program: Students must maintain a GPA of 3.00. If a student’s GPA falls below a 3.00, the student will be placed on academic probation. The student must raise his/her GPA to at least a 3.00 upon completion of an additional six credits of coursework or one semester, whichever is later. This may include summer sessions. Failure to achieve a GPA of 3.00 within the prescribed period of time will lead to final review, which may result in academic dismissal. Students who earn more than one C level grade (C+, C or C-) or one F grade will be subject to dismissal.
  • * For students in the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program: Students must maintain a GPA of 2.75. If a student’s GPA falls below a 2.75, the student will be placed on academic probation. The student must raise his/her GPA to at least a 2.75 upon completion of an additional six credits of coursework or one semester, whichever is later. This may include summer session. Failure to achieve a GPA of 2.75 within the prescribed period of time will lead to final review, which may result in removal of matriculated status and dismissal.

~Please refer to your department’s Student Handbook for more specific policies~

Academic Support Resources

Numerous academic resources are available to graduate students in need of help with academic issues, including:

Admission Acceptance Policy

An offer of admission is valid for a maximum of three semesters after initial acceptance. If the academic program provides a Postponement option, newly admitted students may request postponement for a future term within the three semester limit. Please note that a new student must register for courses or formally request postponement during their initial semester of acceptance by the defined deadline for that academic term. If no formal action is taken, the offer of admission will be withdrawn, and matriculation will be closed.

Newly admitted students wishing to postpone their admission to a future term should use the Accept Decision Reply Form available on their application status portal to indicate their intention.

If a newly admitted student fails to register for courses for three consecutive semesters, their enrollment eligibility will be withdrawn.  Any new student wishing to enroll in a future term would need to reapply for admission, which would require the submission of a new application to their program of interest.

Exceptions to any of the admissions policies can only be made by the Dean of The Graduate School in consultation with the Graduate Program Coordinator or Doctoral Program Director.

Appeals regarding admission decisions must be presented in writing to the Dean of The Graduate School, who will review in consultation with the Graduate Program Coordinator or Doctoral Program Director. Once a decision has been reached, the Dean of The Graduate School will send an official notification of the decision to the applicant.

Continuous Matriculation

Students in a graduate program (Doctoral, Master’s, Certificate, Certification) must be continuously enrolled every Fall and Spring semester until the completion of all requirements for graduation. 

If you are not enrolling in classes for the Fall or Spring Semester: Students who are not able to register for a credit-bearing course or who have not been approved for a leave of absence in either a Fall or Spring semester must register for the Continuous Matriculation course:

  • GRAD-MC1 for Master’s/Certification/Certificate programs ($50 fee)
  • GRAD-DC1 for Doctoral programs ($100 fee)

This course is not part of the degree program and is not assigned a grade. The semesters registered for Continuous Matriculation will not be excluded from the time limit for completion of the graduate program.  

  • The maximum number of times a student can register for the Continuous Matriculation course is 3-times (for a total of 1.5 credits)
  • If you have been approved for a Leave of Absence, you are not required to register for the Continuous Matriculation course

Students must register for the Continuous Matriculation course on NEST by the end of the Add/Drop period (the second week of the semester). Students who have completed all coursework but who are NOT ready to begin the required comprehensive experience (thesis, dissertation, comprehensive/qualifying exam or comprehensive experience) must register for the Continuous Matriculation course.

Failure to register/take action:

In the first Fall or Spring semester that a student fails to take action, a Continuous Matriculation hold will be placed on their account which will prevent future registration. Students will not be able to register for any classes until the hold fee is paid ($75.00 for Master’s/Certification/Certificate students, $125.00 for Doctoral students). There will be no exceptions. 

Failure to register/take action for TWO consecutive semesters will be treated as a withdrawal from the graduate program and the student’s matriculation will be closed.

Course Load

All full-time graduate students must register for a minimum of six (6) credits per semester, with a maximum of fifteen (15) credits allowed. To maintain part-time status, graduate students must take fewer than six (6) credits per semester.

Graduate Assistants are considered full-time students and must register for a minimum of six (6) credits per semester. They may not register for more than twelve (12) semester hours without prior approval from The Graduate School.

Course Overload
  • Only full-time matriculated graduate students who are registered for a minimum of six (6) credit hours per semester may apply for a course overload.
  • Special permission is required to take a course overload of more than sixteen (16) credit hours per semester.
    • Full-time graduate students who have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above and who are not Graduate Assistants may register for a course overload of more than sixteen (16) credits with the approval of The Graduate School.
  • Graduate Assistants are not permitted to take more than twelve (12) credit hours without prior approval from The Graduate School.
  • Registrations for course overloads are made on a space-available basis. The university reserves the right to reduce the course load of any student who registers for more than sixteen (16) credit hours without course overload approval.
Course Withdrawal Exception
  • Students wishing to withdraw from a class that they are registered for must withdraw through NEST. If you are having trouble dropping a class through NEST, you should contact the Registrar’s Office as soon as possible.
  • If you decide not to attend a class, it is your responsibility to withdraw from that class. If you do not withdraw, you will be billed and graded for that class.
  • Students may withdraw from a class from time of registration through the ninth week, or mid-point, for short term and Summer Sessions, without faculty permission and without academic penalty.
  • Once you withdraw, a WD will appear on your transcript with no effect on your grade point or cumulative averages. Please note the following:
    • You are responsible for officially withdrawing from the course, for all costs for the course, and for familiarity with all policies relating to course withdrawal.
Culminating/Comprehensive Experience

All graduate students are required to participate in a comprehensive experience near the end of their degree programs in order to demonstrate proficiency in their programs of study. Requirements for doctoral and master’s degree programs may include:

  • Written and oral comprehensive examinations
  • Theses
  • Written projects
  • Capstone courses
  • Culminating activities
  • Fieldwork
  • Field projects
  • Internships

Your Graduate Program Coordinator / Doctoral Program Director will be able to advise you throughout your studies to help you plan ahead and determine options for fulfilling your comprehensive experience requirement. In addition, many departments have study materials that can help you prepare for your comprehensive exams.

Comprehensive Examination/Project

  • This evaluates your integrated knowledge of your area of study gained through coursework and program experience.
  • The comprehensive examination is open to fully matriculated students with a minimum GPA of 3.00. Speak to your adviser to see if you are eligible to take the comprehensive examination.
  • It is your responsibility to register for the Comprehensive Examination course. To register for the comprehensive exam, log into NEST, select the subject “Generic Graduate Course” and then select “GRAD-CMP Comprehensive Examination.” Each section is listed under the major. Students must register for the GRAD-CMP course on NEST by the end of the Add/Drop period.  Please speak to your adviser regarding the date and time of the examination.
  • Students who fail the departmental comprehensive examination may retake the test two times, but must register each time as described above. Students who fail on the third attempt will be dismissed from their program.

Thesis

  • This written project demonstrates your capacity for research, analytical thinking, and ability to make interpretive claims in your area of study. Extensive readings and a demonstrated knowledge of a discipline’s methodological approach to research are required for students wishing to develop a thesis.
  • Please see the Thesis Procedures and Guidelines manual for more information on writing, registration, and submission of a master’s thesis. 

Dissertation

  • Doctoral candidates demonstrate their mastery of a body of existing literature and theory and their application to an educational problem through a dissertation.
  • Additional information and forms

Capstone Course for MBA Programs

  • This course focuses on actual business situations and their impact on the organization.
  • You must complete the business core courses and a minimum of 15 semester hours of advanced courses before enrolling in the Capstone Course.
  • For more information, visit: Feliciano School of Business

Register for Qualifying Exam Preparation (Doctoral Students):

In order to be considered continuously enrolled during the semester in which students are scheduled to take their qualifying examinations, if prohibited by department policy from taking additional coursework, students must register for Qualifying Exam Preparation. This course may only be taken one time and will carry 0.5 credits. Register for the Qualifying Exam Preparation course by logging into NEST, selecting the appropriate subject for your degree program, and selecting “XXX-920 – Qualifying Examination Preparation.” Students must register for the Qualifying Exam Preparation course on NEST by the end of the Add/Drop period (the second week of the semester).

Students Completing a Doctoral Dissertation and who are unable to complete their dissertation during the last semester in which they were enrolled in their Dissertation Advisement (900) coursework must register for a 1-credit Dissertation Advisement extension course (901) each fall and spring semester until the dissertation is completed.

Registering for Dissertation Advisement or Dissertation Advisement Extension:

Please visit the Doctoral Students website at http://www.montclair.edu/graduate/current-students/doctoral-students

For additional information about the comprehensive experience, please contact your Graduate Program Coordinator or The Graduate School at 973-655-5147 or gradschool@montclair.edu.

Degree Works

This service is available to graduate students via NEST and provides:

  • Information regarding graduate program requirements
  • Course selections
  • Comparison of your course work with your program’s requirements for graduation
  • A record of transfer credit, course substitutions, course waivers, and completion of non-course requirements
  • The complete record of your progress that is used by the Registrar’s Office to determine that you have completed all requirements and are eligible to graduate.
English Language Proficiency Requirement (International Students Only)

International students who earned undergraduate (or graduate) degrees in a country where English is not the official language are required to take the Montclair State ESL placement test and score higher than level IV. Students who do not take the ESL placement test will have an academic hold on their accounts preventing registration for classes. Students who do not place at this level will be provided with a list of ESL courses needed to reach the acceptable level of English proficiency. These courses will be added to the student’s program of study, and at least one course MUST be taken in the first semester of graduate study. While all students will be required to take the Montclair State ESL test, only degree seeking students will be required to register for ESL coursework. Additionally, some Graduate Program Coordinators may decide to require all ESL courses be taken by their students. Please note that students may not register for classes until they take the ESL placement test. ESL Placement Testing locations and dates.

Grade Grievance Procedures
  1. Goals and Objectives
    1. To insure for every student who feels aggrieved a formal procedure to guarantee due process.
    2. To insure equitable treatment for all parties concerned and protect the rights of individuals.
    3. To insure academic freedom as well as academic quality.
    4. To insure remedy within a reasonable period of time.
  2. Informal Resolution Procedure
    1. It is the responsibility of any student wishing to pursue an academic grievance involving a faculty member to first discuss the matter privately with the professor involved. In the event that the student is unable to contact the professor within a two-week period, an appointment should be arranged through the departmental secretary for the first time available. The initiation of the student grade grievance must take place within three weeks from the beginning of the next regular (Fall or Spring) semester.
    2. Should the meeting fail to accomplish a resolution between the student and the faculty member, the student should arrange a private conference with the faculty member’s Chairperson. The Chairperson must notify in writing the faculty member involved that a meeting has been arranged between the Chairperson and the student. Following the conference with the student, the Chairperson must meet privately with the faculty member to discuss the problem and attempt to resolve the conflict.
    3. Should the grievance still not be resolved, it must be reported to the Dean of the College/School. The Dean should attempt to resolve the problem informally, meeting separately or jointly with the individuals involved. The Dean should prepare a written evaluative statement concerning the student-faculty conflict. All concerned parties must receive a copy of the Dean’s statement within eight weeks from the beginning of the regular (Fall or Spring) semester.
    4. If the conflict is still not resolved, the Dean of the College/School must notify the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs in writing of the unresolved grievance and must forward all paperwork to the Associate VPAA within one week of the issuance of the Dean’s statement. Both parties to the grievance must be apprised of this action. The Associate Vice Provost shall decide whether the institution of a formal grievance is warranted. If a formal grievance is deemed warranted, a grievance committee must be convened.
  3. Formal Resolution Procedure
    1. Grievance Committee
      1. The Grievance Committee shall be composed of one faculty member from each College/School, appointed by the Dean of that College/School. Each faculty member shall be a voting member of the Committee. A representative from the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs will convene the Committee, chair the meetings, but will have no vote. Additionally, a representative from each of the following bodies shall hold non-voting, observer status on the Committee: the Office of the Dean of Students, and a graduate and undergraduate student. The Student Government Association will select an undergraduate student to serve as the representative, and The Graduate School will aid in identifying a graduate student to serves as the student representative. The Grievance Committee must be convened within two weeks after receipt of the paperwork from the Dean of the College/School.
      2. A new committee will be selected each year.
      3. The faculty member involved may appoint one advisor to be present during committee hearings. The aggrieved student may also bring an advisor to the hearings.
      4. If any committee member has a direct personal with any individual(s) involved in a particular case, the committee member must disqualify him/herself from serving on the committee while the case is being heard. If the impartiality of a committee member is questioned, the committee itself must reach a decision as to the continuance of the individual so questioned. If a member is disqualified, another individual from the same constituency shall be appointed to serve in his or her place.
    2. Grievance Committee Procedure
      1. The Grievance Committee will hold hearings in two steps. In the first step the complainant will present the relevant charges and the complainant and the individual charged will present relevant evidence in support of their respective positions and ask questions of the other party. In the second step members of the Grievance Committee only will deliberate leading to a recommendation to be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
      2. In advance of the hearing, the Chair of the Grade Grievance Committee shall notify the grievant, the individual charged with the unfair practice and the members of the committee of the time and place of the hearing, specification(s) of the complaint, composition of the committee and the right of the individual charged to be accompanied by an advisor. The advisors to the student and faculty member may be present when charges and evidence are presented to the committee.
      3. At any hearing, all parties with the exception of advisors may question witnesses.
      4. All committee hearings shall be confidential; witnesses shall be excluded except for the period of their questioning.
      5. The report and recommendation of the committee shall be in writing, including the committee’s rationale for its decision and any dissenting opinion(s). Only those committee members who have heard all testimony and evidence in a given case may vote on a committee’s recommendation. Class schedules of students and faculty members must be accommodated when setting committee meetings.
      6. If the committee finds in favor of the student, the committee’s report and recommendation shall be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University after completion of the hearing, and copies shall be provided to all parties of the complaint. If the committee finds in favor of the faculty member and no appeal to the committee’s decision is filed within the specified time period, (see 3a below) the committee shall destroy all documents pertaining to that particular case.
    3. Appeal Process
      1. If any parties to the complaint are not satisfied with the recommendation of the Grievance Committee, they may submit an appeal in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Such an appeal must be filed within five (5) calendar days after receipt of the recommendation of the Grievance Committee.
      2. Such an appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall be based upon: a contention that committee procedure may have had a prejudicial effect on the outcome of the report and recommendation; the discovery of new information after the committee hearing which may have an effect on the outcome of the hearing; and the belief that the committee recommendation was unsubstantiated by the evidence and documentation presented.
      3. The Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University shall weigh all evidence and recommendations and render a final written recommendation of the matter after the expiration of the five-day waiting period. All parties to the grievance must receive copies of the Vice President’s recommendation.
      4. If the Vice President is in agreement with the committee’s findings in favor of the faculty member, the Vice President must destroy all documents pertaining to that case. If, however, the Vice President for Academic Affairs finds in favor of the student, a recommendation for change of grade should be made by the Vice President to the faculty member. A copy of this recommendation should go to the Chairperson of the Department, the Dean of the College/School, and the Dean of Students. All procedural actions must be completed within the semester they are initiated.
      5. Department Chairs, Deans, Vice Presidents, etc. should not attempt to discuss or resolve any grade grievance unless the above procedure has been faithfully adhered to.
        Note: No individual involved in the appeal process should hear, initiate, or attempt to resolve a grade grievance unless the Grade Grievance Procedure, obtainable at Department Chair’s offices or at the Office of the Dean of Students, has been properly followed.
Graduate Program Coordinators

A critical partner in your graduate school experience, your Graduate Program Coordinator can help you with course selection, overall curriculum planning, research opportunities, comprehensive experience, and career goals. Learn more about our Graduate Program Coordinators and their programs.

Graduation Checklist

You did it!  Your academic journey is coming to an end. But before you are able to move the tassel to the other side and frame your diploma, it is time to prepare for the final steps of your experience at Montclair State University.

The checklist below serves as a guide in navigating the logistics of graduation.  It does not cover the academic requirements your department or degree may require from you, such as a thesis defense or exit survey.  Please consult with your department regarding program specific requirements.

Graduation vs Commencement

These two words are often used interchangeably, but have very different meanings.

  • Graduation: The certified completion of your undergraduate degree or graduate program requirements. It is not a ceremony. When you apply for graduation, through NEST, you are not registering to attend a ceremony.
  • Commencement: The symbolic ceremony for those earning a degree that marks the closing of your academic career where you receive commendation for your graduation. It is an opportunity for you, your family, friends and the Montclair State University community to celebrate your achievement.  Attendance at commencement is not required in order to graduate.  Students earning a Doctoral or Master’s degree will be invited to attend.

Please note: All official communication regarding commencement and graduation will be sent to your montclair.edu email address.  It is important that you regularly check this email for updates from The Graduate School, the Registrar’s Office, and the Commencement office.

DOCTORAL/MASTERS/CERTIFICATION/CERTIFICATE STUDENTS:

  • Review Your Degree Audit: It is your responsibility to complete the curriculum prescribed in the University catalog in effect, or as modified, when you matriculated. To review your degree audit, log into NEST and click on “Degree Works”.  Make sure all requirements are showing as fulfilled/in progress.  If you have any questions about course waivers or substitutions, please contact your Graduate Program Coordinator and/or academic advisor for further assistance.
  • Apply for Graduation:
  • To determine if you have successfully applied to graduate, please check the “Graduation Application Status” box in the top section of your degree audit.
  • Graduation Fee: A one-time non-refundable $95.00 University graduation fee will be assessed to candidates for each degree and is required regardless of whether or not you attend the Commencement ceremony. There is no fee assessed to attend the Commencement Ceremony.
  • Confirm Mailing Address: Diplomas/University certificates are mailed directly from the diploma company to you.  Please confirm through NEST that your mailing address on file is correct.
  • Take Care of Holds!: Some holds will prevent you from receiving your final transcript or diploma.
  • Financial Clearances: You must meet all financial obligations prior to receiving your diploma or final transcripts. Financial obligations include but are not limited to tuition, course fees, parking fines, library fines, and any special fees or fines charged to your account.
  • If you received federal loans, you will need to make arrangements for repayment. Please visit the Financial Aid Exit Counseling web page.
  • Diploma/University Certificate: Diplomas and University Certificates will be mailed directly from the diploma company to those students who have no outstanding financial obligations approximately two weeks after your conferment date. You may track your Diploma/University Certificate order at DiploMatic. Covers for diplomas are given out at Commencement. Diploma covers will also be available in the Office of the Registrar.
  • Complete Post-graduation Survey: The post-graduation survey is designed to collect feedback about your experience while studying at Montclair State as well as your post-graduation plans. (View information about this survey.) To access the survey, log in below using your NetID and password. Please Note: Your name will be submitted with your responses. Take the Survey
  • Register for Commencement Ceremony: Details regarding 2022 commencement ceremonies and how to order regalia will be forthcoming. You are eligible to participate in commencement exercises if you have completed your academic degree requirements in August 2021, January 2022 or will complete your requirements in May 2022. Please be sure to check your MSU email account regularly.
  • Alpha Epsilon Lambda (AEL) Honor Society: If you have been inducted into AEL during your time in graduate school, you are eligible to wear your cord during the Commencement Ceremony.  If you need confirmation of your membership, please write to AEL@montclair.edu.
  • Alumni – You are soon to be a member of Montclair State alumni network. Learn about the benefits and services available to you through the Alumni office

IF YOU ARE A GRADUATE ASSISTANT:

  • Graduate Assistantship Clearance: Check your NEST account for unpaid financial charges. Your GA position does not cover all fees, such as your graduation fee.  Be sure that all tuition remission has been correctly applied by the semester in which you graduate.  If you feel that something should be covered by your assistantship, you should write to ferrantec@montclair.edu.
  • Graduate Assistantship Term: Review the end date of your assistantship.  You are expected to continue working through that date, although you will have already graduated.  You may request an earlier end date, by first receiving approval from your supervisor, and then submitting your request to Caren Ferrante at ferrantec@montclair.eduIf approved by TGS, your stipend will be adjusted accordingly; no adjustment will be made to your tuition remission if you work until the end of classes and you have been approved for an early end date.
Incomplete Work/Grades
  • The grade of “Incomplete” (IN) is used when a student has not completed the required coursework and indicates that a grade is being withheld until the required work is completed and approved for credit.
  • The IN grade is always a privilege exercised by the instructor. It is not a right ascribed to a student. The instructor is not required to provide an IN grade and it may not be used to avoid the receipt of a low grade.
  • In order to receive an IN grade, the student must initiate the request no later than the last day of class.
  • The student and instructor will develop a formal agreement specifying the conditions for removing the IN grade, using the Contract for an Incomplete Grade . This contract must be submitted by the instructor with his or her Grade Roster.
  • In order for an IN grade to be removed, a student must complete his/her work by the following dates:
    • February 15 for an IN grade assigned in the previous fall/winter semester
    • June 30 for an IN grade assigned for the previous spring and/or summer semesters
  • If there is a reason to extend the deadline for the removal of an IN grade, the student must make this request by submitting a Request of Extension of an Incomplete Grade form to the appropriate department Chairperson and/or School/College Dean.
Independent Study
  • Montclair State graduate students wishing to register for courses on an independent study basis must take the following steps:
    • Obtain an Independent Study Application form from the Office of the Registrar.
    • This application must be completed in full and approved by the instructor and department chair prior to registration.
    • The full course name, subject code, and course number minus the section number, must be included on the application.
Leave of Absence

Students may request up to TWO leaves of absence* for the entire duration of their graduate program. A leave of absence is considered ONE semester**

  • *Exceptions to the 2-semester leave of absence limit will be granted for pregnancy and/or military deployment.
  • **By law, a student who requests leave for pregnancy can take up to two consecutive semesters (one year) at once.

The leave of absence semester(s) will be excluded from the time limit for completion of a graduate program. Requests for a leave of absence must be submitted to The Graduate School using our online Leave of Absence form by the end of the Add/Drop period (the second week of the semester).  No requests will be granted retroactively. There will be no exceptions. 

If a leave of absence is granted, it is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from any registered courses.  Students will be held accountable for any costs incurred for registered courses. Students on a leave of absence are not required to register for the Continuous Matriculation course. 

For students with loans: 

The University is responsible for reporting student enrollment status to the US Department of Education (USDE) on a monthly basis. It is important for students to understand that if they take an official leave of absence from the university they will be reported to the USDE as not being enrolled during their leave.

The USDE provides information on loan repayment and grace periods on the following websites.  If you have any questions, please contact Financial Aid.

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/deferment-forbearance

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand

Repeating a Course
  • While students who receive a grade of “F” in a course are not normally permitted to repeat that course, the Graduate Program Coordinator has the discretion to make exceptions in special cases or when extenuating circumstances exist. The Graduate Program Coordinator will forward his/her decision to The Graduate School for final approval.
  • To begin this process, you will need to complete the Permission to Repeat a Course Request form
  • Should you complete a course you previously failed without permission, a grade of “NC” or No Credit will be posted on your transcript.
Study at Another Institution/Transferring Credits
  • No more than six semester hours of credit completed at another accredited college or university or at Montclair State University may be transferred into a graduate degree program.
  • Courses eligible for transfer to Montclair State University must be graduate-level courses with earned grades of “B” or better.
  • Credit will not be given for courses that were used within another degree program.
  • All transfer credits must be approved by your Graduate Program Coordinator and The Graduate School upon receipt of the Transfer Credit form
Time Limit for Completion of Program of Study

All graduate programs must be completed within the degree-specific time limits listed below:

Doctoral Degree Candidates

  • Students who enter a doctoral program with a relevant Master’s degree will have 7-years from the date of matriculation, excluding any leaves of absence, to complete their degree.
  • Doctoral students who have not earned a Master’s degree or whose Master’s degree is in a non-relevant field (as determined by the academic department/program faculty) will have 10-years from the date of matriculation, excluding any leaves of absence, to complete their degree.

Master’s Degree Candidates

  • Students in Master’s degree programs, except for the MFA program, have up to six years to earn their degree.
  • MFA candidates must study full-time and have two years to complete their degree.
  • To receive a Master’s degree, you must:
    • Complete the prescribed number of credit hours and courses required by your program (minimum of 30-credits)
    • Attain a minimum 3.0 GPA in your program of study
    • Not present more than 2 “C” or lower grades toward your degree

Certification/Certificate Candidates

  • Students in all post-Baccalaureate/post-Master’s certification programs must complete all program requirements within five (5) years of matriculation.
  • Students in all certificate programs must complete all program requirements within three (3) years of matriculation.

For All Programs:  Under certain circumstances, a one-time extension of one-year may be granted. Students who would like to request an extension must submit the “Request for Graduate Extension of Matriculation” form to The Graduate School.

Withdrawal from a Semester due to Extenuating Life Circumstances
  • While rare, there are certain extreme extenuating circumstances that may prevent a student from completing the semester beyond the ninth week of classes and which require withdrawal from the entire semester. These life circumstances may include:
    • Death of a parent or spouse
    • Incapacitating accident
    • Extended hospitalization
  • The following reasons are not considered extenuating life circumstances for withdrawal from courses after the nine-week mark:
    • Failure to attend a class
    • Failure to drop a course
    • Failing work
    • Lack of attendance
    • Dislike of the instructor
    • Wrong course choice
    • Lack of interest in the course
    • Conflict in teaching style
  • Requests for withdrawal from a course after the ninth week of classes must be completed within the semester and must be made by the last day of classes before finals week starts. Note that retroactive requests will NOT be considered.
  • If requests for withdrawal from all classes are honored, a grade of WD will be awarded. Requests for withdrawal from individual courses will not be considered after the nine-week point of the semester.
  • All requests for withdrawals from all courses can be made by following the steps below:
    • Submit a completed Course Withdrawal Exception form with required documentation substantiating the extreme life circumstance that prevents the completion of a semester to the Dean of Students Office.
    • Once these materials are submitted, a student may be required to meet with a member of the Dean of Students’ staff.
    • The Dean of Students Office will send a completed form to the instructor(s) informing them that the student’s request for withdrawal due to extenuating life circumstances has been verified.
    • The instructor(s) will issue a grade or grades of WD.
    • The Dean of Students will notify the student of the final determination after talking to the respective instructors.
    • If requests for withdrawal are not approved, the Dean of Students will recommend that the student go directly to his or her advisor.
Withdrawal from Montclair State University/Graduate Program
  • Students who wish to officially withdraw from Montclair State University must submit this Withdrawal Form
  • If the student is withdrawing from more than one graduate program (certificate, Master’s) a separate Withdrawal Form must be submitted for each graduate program.
  • Submitting the form will NOT withdraw a student from any registered classes. It is the student’s responsibility to officially withdraw via NEST from all registered classes. Students will be held responsible for all tuition and fees incurred for registered classes.