Jul 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Academic Policies

Student Responsibility

It is the responsibility of each student to take the initiative to plan his/her program and to meet all requirements in accordance with the Graduate Catalog and the specific requirements of each program.

Academic Integrity

The College exists primarily to sustain the pursuit of knowledge. Scholarship, teaching, and learning are possible only in an environment of academic integrity characterized by honesty and mutual trust. Simply expressed, academic integrity requires that one’s work be one’s own. It is the responsibility of every member of the College community - faculty members, students, and administrators - to ensure that the highest standards of academic integrity are maintained.

Because violations of academic integrity threaten the intellectual climate central to the pursuit of knowledge, they cannot be tolerated. Violations of academic integrity include the following: plagiarism, unauthorized assistance, interference, and multiple submission. A more detailed explanation of academic integrity violations and the procedures for dealing with violations of academic integrity are presented in the Student Handbook and Code of Conduct.


Students are encouraged to meet with the program director or faculty advisor for advice and assistance in designing programs of study and in understanding program requirements.

General Academic Requirements

Requirements for graduation are measured in terms of semester credit hours. Students spend approximately two to three hours in preparation for each hour of class time. A full-time graduate student carries a minimum of nine or more credits in the fall and spring semesters, and six or more credits in the summer session. The standard full-time load for graduate students is nine to twelve credit hours (depending on the program) with maximum enrollment of twelve credit hours in any session. 


Registration procedures are outlined on the Web at: https://www.smcvt.edu/academics/graduate-programs/graduate-student-resources/. Students may wish to meet with the appropriate program director or faculty advisor before registering for courses. Students may add or drop courses prior to the start of a term without faculty advisor approval, but it is recommended that students consult with their advisor before making any course changes. All withdrawals, special arrangements, and program termination must be approved by the appropriate program director. Payment in full, or approved deferment arrangement, must be made prior to the first class meeting. Registration will be cancelled for students not satisfying these obligations. Students will not receive their diploma, grades or transcripts of records until all financial obligations are met.

Course Withdrawals

Any student may drop a class up until the end of the drop/add period. No notation for that course will be made on the permanent record/ transcript. After that time, a student may withdraw from courses up until the withdrawal deadline and a grade of “WD” will be assigned, but not computed in the students average.

Tuition refunds are based upon the date on which the Registrar’s Office is notified of the withdrawal. Unofficial drops or withdrawals, or those received after the last class, will result in a failing grade for the course.

The College does not automatically drop students or assign “WD” grades to students who register for a course and then choose not to attend. Formal notification must be given to the Registrar’s Office.

Withdrawal From a Degree Program

A student should notify the program director in writing of his/her intent to withdraw from a degree program. If a degree student does not register for classes for a period of more than one academic year, and does not notify the program director in writing, it will be assumed that the student has withdrawn. It will be necessary to apply for reactivation, and in some cases to reapply to the program. The student’s curriculum plans may be subject to catalogue changes.

Attendance at Class

Regular attendance at all classes is essential. Each program or instructor may set criteria for attendance.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 pertains to student educational records maintained by Saint Michael’s College. The act states that students, and parents of dependent students, can have access to their educational records, and at the same time the act protects the rights to privacy of students by limiting the transferability of records without their consent. The following guidelines are presented to assist all members of the Saint Michael’s community in understanding the provisions of the Act as they apply to Saint Michael’s College.

College Policy on Student Access to Educational Records

All students and former students will have access to their educational records upon written request to the applicable office. Each office will comply with all requests within a reasonable length of time, but not later than forty-five days from the date of receipt of the written request. Educational records include academic records, confidential letters, and statements.

Records not covered by the act include any record received prior to January 1, 1975, financial records of parents, private notes of faculty and administrative officers, law enforcement records, and medical and psychiatric records. A physician or psychiatrist may review medical or psychiatric records if requested by a student.

Students may waive, in writing, access to recommendations and evaluations. A waiver must be filed with each individual office. The act does not provide for blanket waivers of access to all educational records.

A student who requests access to an educational record is expected to present valid identification.

College Policy on Release of Confidential Records

The College will not release any educational record concerning any student or former student unless a written statement authorizing such a release is received from the student or former student. Exceptions to this policy are:

  1. Faculty and staff members who have legitimate educational interests in the record.
  2. Authorized federal and state officials in the process of administering educational programs.
  3. Requirements of administration of the Financial Aid Program.
  4. Accrediting organizations in carrying out the accrediting function.
  5. Parents providing documentation that the student is a dependent.
  6. Directory information (see below).
  7. Organizations conducting studies on educational programs provided that the identity of the student is not revealed.
  8. In an emergency situation involving the health or safety of the student or other persons.

The College will advise all recipients of student records that only authorized persons may see the records. Each College office will keep a record of all individuals requesting or receiving student records except as noted in item number one above.

Gender Neutral Language

The mission statement of Saint Michael’s College demands that we respect the dignity of each human person. The College’s non-discrimination clause furthermore mandates fair treatment regardless of gender. In light of these objectives, faculty, staff, administrators, students, trustees, and friends of Saint Michael’s are encouraged to communicate in a gender-neutral manner.

Directory Information

The College will, in the course of the school year, release to the public certain information regarded as directory data. If a student does not want this information publicized, he/she must request in writing on an annual basis that such information not be published. Saint Michael’s College considers the following to be “Directory Information”:

Name and Address Honors (including Dean’s List)
Telephone Number Enrollment Status
E-mail Address Dates of Attendance
Place of Birth Degrees (including dates) and Awards Received
Class Previous School Attendance


A student may challenge any educational record that he/she feels to be inaccurate, misleading, or a violation of privacy. This policy does not apply to academic grades received for course work except when there is reason to believe that an error was made in recording grades to the transcript.

When a student desires to challenge a record, every effort should be made to resolve the question with the office involved. If this is not possible, the student must submit in writing to the coordinator of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 a statement outlining the alleged inaccurate, misleading or inappropriate data or statement contained in the record. The coordinator will appoint an impartial college official who will conduct a hearing within forty-five days of receipt of the written request. The results of the hearing will be transmitted in writing to the student, and all other parties involved. The student may appeal the decision to the president of Saint Michael’s College. The president’s decision will be final.

The above policy statement is subject to amendment from time to time and is also subject to approval by the Board of Trustees.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Coordinator: John Sheehey, Registrar, Founders Hall 112, 802.654.2571.

Services for Students With Disabilities

Services for students with disabilities are coordinated through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. The College Engineer deals with facility accessibility issues and supports the services coordinated by Student Affairs. The Liaison for Students with Special Needs coordinates academic services for students with disabilities. Any questions or concerns about such services should be directed to:

Dawn Ellinwood
Vice President for Student Affairs
Alliot Hall 213

Joel Ribout
Senior Associate Director - Facilities
St. Joseph 207

Antonia Messuri
Director of Accessibility Services
Durick Library 324

Learning Disabilities Policy

Saint Michael’s College is committed to providing support services for all students, including students with disabilities. Students wishing to disclose a learning disability and who are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Sec. 504, may receive additional support. A clear understanding of strengths and weaknesses in learning and of the influence of the disability on current and past educational processes will afford a broader assessment of abilities. To ensure the provision of reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students having learning disabilities, students needing such accommodations must provide current and comprehensive documentation, including a copy of a psycho-educational evaluation completed within the past three years that includes a measure of cognitive functioning, a documentation of the learning problem(s), and current measures of reading, math, and written language achievement. The testing must be conducted by a certified professional, must address the nature of the disability and should provide suggestions for reasonable accommodations. The earlier the information is received, the better prepared we will be to address specific needs.

Educational Fees and Expenses

Saint Michael’s Graduate Program tuition and expenses are published on the Web at: http://www.smcvt.edu/graduate-programs/prospective-students/tuition.aspx.  Please call 802.654.2574 for course fee information.

Colmery Act Section 103

Any covered individual, is permitted to attend or participate in the course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to the educational institution a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under chapter 31 or 33 (a certificate of eligibility can also include a “Statement of Benefits” obtained from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) website – eBenefits, or VA 28-1905 form for chapter 31 authorization purposes) and ending on the earlier of the following dates:

  1. The date on which payment from V A is made to the institution,
  2. 90 days after the date the institution certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the certificate of eligibility.

Saint Michael’s College will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a covered individual borrow additional funds, on any covered individual because of the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement funding from VA under chapter 31 or 33.

Graduate Grading System

In the graduate programs, grades are reported and recorded by the letters that have numerical equivalents and the following grade point values:



Qualitative Equivalent




  Above average grad.-level work  



  Above average grad.-level work  



  Above average grad.-level work  



  Average grad.-level work  



  Below average grad.-level work  



  Below average grad.-level work  









To determine the grade points for a course multiply the qualitative points for the letter grade received by the credit hours assigned to the course. To arrive at the Grade Point Average (GPA) add the grade points for all courses and then divide this sum by the number of credit hours attempted.

Incomplete Grades

A grade of “I” (Incomplete) is assigned only in the case of a student who, for illness or circumstances beyond his/her control, has missed a final examination or major assignment. A student must gain approval from the course instructor and program director.


A grade of “XT” (Extended Credit) is given at the end of the semester to a student enrolled in a thesis course when work on the thesis will continue into the following semester. In addition to the semester following enrollment in the course, the student may petition for continuance of the “XT” to the program director. Students will be charged one credit for each “XT” semester.  The XT policy for the Master’s Program in Clinical Psychology is located in the GPS section of the Graduate Catalog.


A student may audit a course with the approval of the instructor and program director. The student receives no course credit or grade and is not required to complete assignments or take examinations. The student may not claim credit at a later date. The charges for auditing are listed on the Web at https://www.smcvt.edu/academics/graduate-programs/graduate-programs-admission/financial-aid-for-graduate-students

Academic Conflict Resolution Procedure

A student who believes that course work has been unfairly evaluated, or who has another conflict regarding academic matters less than Academic Probation/Dismissal or the Academic Integrity Policy, should use the following procedure:

1.   As soon as possible, no later than the end of the sixth week of the following semester, the student must approach the faculty member to discuss the issue (when possible). In the event of a grade dispute, the student should seek an explanation of the method of evaluation and seek a determination that no error has been made.

2.   If the student is not satisfied with the results of this conference, or if a meeting with the faculty member was impossible or unadvisable, the case must be presented in writing with supporting documentation to the graduate program director.

3.   If, after consultation with the faculty member (when possible) and after a review of the written evidence, the program director finds legitimate cause for complaint, he or she will try to work toward an equitable solution with the student and faculty member. If this fails, he or she will bring the matter to the Dean of the Faculty. If the program director concludes there is no cause for the complaint, the student may approach the Dean of the College, who will confer with the faculty member and the student.

4.   If a student is still not satisfied with the outcome of the conference with the Dean, the student may formally appeal the grade. The grade will be reviewed by a panel consisting of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the faculty member who gave the original grade, and a member the Graduate Council, selected by that committee’s chair. If for some reason the original faculty member is unavailable, the program director may appoint a substitute. The majority decision of this three-person panel will be final. If the decision is made to change the grade, the program director from that field of study will be consulted by the VPAA to help determine the final grade.

Dismissal and Readmission

Only two “C” grades are allowed. Graduate students will be academically dismissed and not permitted to continue their graduate studies if they earn a third “C.” One “F” grade automatically disqualifies a graduate student from further study.

A “B” or 3.0 average must be maintained to continue work in a graduate program and to receive a master’s degree or certificate. Students whose grade point average falls below 3.0 will be subject to review by the Graduate Academic Review Board. The Review Board will determine whether or not the student will be academically dismissed or allowed to continue in the program.

Although the procedure listed above generally applies, Saint Michael’s College reserves the right to dismiss at any time, without giving additional reason, students whose conduct or academic performance it judges to be unacceptable in a graduate student given the standards and unique requirements of the profession for which they are training. Neither the College, nor the officers, nor the trustees of the College will be under any liability for such dismissal.

A dismissed student may apply for readmission after at least a full fall or full spring semester away. The student must provide documented evidence supporting the application, e.g. documentation pertaining to the resolution of the issues contributing to the dismissal, successful completion of coursework at another institution, or engagement in relevant professional development activities. The application must be made in writing by submitting the appropriate form and documentation. Full details on the readmission process are outlined in the dismissal letter. Readmission is not guaranteed.

Transfer of Credit

Coursework completed at the graduate level from an accredited institution will be considered for transfer. The only course credits considered for transfer will be those that are applicable to the student’s program in which a grade of “B” or better was attained. A seven-year statute of limitations applies to all transfer credits, and thus no transfer credits can be applied toward a degree if the credits were obtained more than seven years prior to completion of one’s degree program.

Degree Programs

With the approval of the program director, typically no more than nine graduate credits from three courses may be accepted. Transfer credits will be recorded only after completion of at least twelve credits, or upon the granting of candidacy which occurs by or before completing twelve credits.

Undergraduates intending to pursue a graduate degree after completing an undergraduate degree may be approved to take up to 9 graduate credits toward the degree during their undergraduate program. Students must receive prior approval from the graduate degree program director to share credits between the undergraduate degree and graduate degree. Approved shared courses completed during the undergraduate program will be transferred onto the graduate record at the time of matriculation into the graduate degree program.

Certificate Programs

Students may transfer in up to 1/3 (33%) of the credits toward a graduate certificate with the approval of the graduate certificate program director.

Undergraduates intending to pursue a graduate certificate after completing an undergraduate degree may be approved to take up to 1/3 (33%) of the credits toward the certificate during their undergraduate program. Students must receive prior approval from the graduate certificate program director to share credits between the undergraduate degree and graduate certificate. Approved shared courses completed during the undergraduate program will be transferred onto the graduate record at the time of matriculation into the graduate certificate program.

Modification or Waiver of Requirements

Students who wish to waive or modify a course or academic requirement must gain the approval of the program director. Waiving a course does not grant credit, but means that the student does not have to enroll in the course and may substitute an elective course if needed. Students should review individual program requirements and policies.

Special Arrangements

The courses Independent Research, Independent Study, Directed Readings, Practicum, and Internship are special areas of graduate study provided for students in degree programs to undertake a project, study, or reading effort in an area usually not covered through any existing courses in the regular curriculum. Students must meet with the appropriate program director for planning and approval before registering for one of these special arrangements.

Time Limit

There is a seven-year Statute of Limitations requirement. The student must complete the master’s degree program within seven years from the start of the first semester of course work. Certificate programs may have different requirements, and students should consult individual program information. Only under special circumstances may students petition for an extension.

Continuous Enrollment

Part-time graduate studies are encouraged. However, once admitted into a degree or certificate program, it is important for a student to show regular and continuous progress toward the degree (or certificate). In general, this is taken to mean no fewer than six graduate credits in a given academic year, fall/spring/summer. If students do not show continuous enrollment and do not contact their program director or the Registrar’s Office as to their status, the College reserves the right to change students to an “inactive” status.

Inactive Status

If students do not show continuous enrollment in their degree or certificate program, the Registrar’s Office will change their status from “active” to “inactive.”  Students with an inactive status will need to contact their program director or advisor before re-enrolling in classes.  Students who do not enroll continuously may be subject to new program requirements and a review of course recency and transfer credit.

Completion of a Degree Program

A student is eligible to graduate upon completion of all degree requirements (refer to individual program areas) and with an overall 3.0 grade point average or better.

Students may graduate at any one of three times during the year: May, August, or December. Graduation ceremonies are held once each year in May. Students who complete degree requirements in August or December are invited to participate in ceremonies the following May. Upon completion of all degree requirements, students are sent an unofficial copy of their transcript. This normally is sent within one month after the semester ends. Diplomas are usually available within eight to twelve weeks after the end of the semester. At the beginning of the academic year in which a candidate plans to complete a master’s degree program, s/he should:

1. Meet with the program director to review coursework and student file to date, and to review requirements remaining for completion of the degree.

2. Submit a Graduation Application with the Registrar’s Office, indicating intended graduation term. 

Graduate Financial Aid

Financial aid to graduate students is offered on the basis of financial need. Some of the factors that are taken into consideration in determining the student’s financial strength are income, assets, number of dependents, other educational expenses, debt, and unusual circumstances.

All aid recipients must apply for financial aid each year. As student circumstances and/or availability of funding change, so may the amount of distribution of financial aid. The main source of funding is Federal Stafford Loans.

In order to receive/retain funding, the graduate recipient must have at least a “B” average or its equivalent, or academic requirements consistent with the requirements for graduation, as determined by Saint Michael’s College. A graduate student must also be enrolled at least half-time per semester; i.e. six credits, to be considered for these aid programs.


There are two loan programs, the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan Program and the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Program. Students applying for any loan must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available in the Office of Financial Aid or on the Web site, www.fafsa.ed.gov to establish eligibility for the loan. Students must also submit to the Office of Financial Aid a signed copy of their Federal Income Tax Return and a SMC Financial Aid Application. In some cases, the amount of a student’s need may limit the size of the loan. For detailed information on these loans, contact the Saint Michael’s College Office of Financial Aid at 802.654.3244 or at finaid@smcvt.edu.

Please note: Most federal, state, and college aid for post-secondary education is available primarily to undergraduate students. Graduate students often need to look outside of traditional sources to foundations, special grants, employer education funds, etc., to find financial assistance. To do a scholarship search, visit www.fastweb.com.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships provide a limited stipend for service to an academic or administrative department. Typically, an assistant’s responsibility may include carrying out research for a professor or administrator, editing, assisting in instruction or administrative duties, producing written reports or documents, or carrying out other appropriate duties as assigned by a professor or administrator; however, it differs per graduate program. Normally, a graduate assistantship will consist on the average of fifteen to twenty hours of work per week. Tuition reimbursement is normally provided to the recipient for up to nine credits of course work each semester.

An applicant for a graduate assistantship should be an admitted student for the graduate program that he/she plans to pursue. Additionally, assistants should present exemplary personal and professional records. For some assistantships, evidence of special skills may be required. To apply for a graduate assistantship, persons should contact the program office.