Apr 08, 2020  
2018-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2020 Graduate Catalog

Academic Policies


Academic procedures and policies are subject to change during the time a student is enrolled in the university. These changes are usually in course content, but may also involve the requirements in departmental majors. Any such changes are publicized to students via campus publications, advisors, or by the specific department involved.

Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.



  Absence Policy

Slippery Rock University expects students to attend class. It is the prerogative of the individual instructor to establish requirements for class attendance. Students are responsible for complying with the instructor’s requirements. Without permission of an individual instructor, no test or class material will be repeated or rescheduled.

Students who miss class due to short-term illness may request written verification from Student Health Services when the student is confined to their residence 24 hours or longer. Written verification may also be provided when a student is hospitalized if the Health Center is aware of the situation.

Prolonged illness or extraordinary circumstances such as a death in the family, military deployment, or other major life event must be reported to the Office of Associate Provost for Student Success, which notifies the student’s instructor(s) of the absence. A student absent for a significant time should consult with his or her advisor before deciding to withdraw or continue.

Notifications generated by the Associate Provost for Student Success do not constitute an excuse. These notices are simply designed to make instructors aware of conflicts impacting a student’s attendance. Attendance policies and procedures for making up missed work are at the discretion of each individual faculty member.


  Academic Certificate

Slippery Rock University offers certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  A certificate is a statement of recognition on the academic record of an organized set of courses or short program of study not culminating in a degree.  Certificates are not the same as certifications or licenses, which typically are awarded by a third party outside the University.  Some certificates were formerly known as Letters of Completion.


Certificates will have a minimum of 9 graduate credits or 12 undergraduate credits.  At least six credits must be completed through Slippery Rock University (either on campus or online).  All graduate certificate credits may share with the graduate major.  No more than six undergraduate certificate credits may share with the undergraduate major, not including Liberal Studies/Rock Integrated Studies and elective courses.

Certificates may be completed as part of a full degree program, or may be completed as a non-degree student.  Students completing certificates as non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid.  Individual certificates may have additional requirements regarding application of transfer credit and age of credit.


Academic Minors

Slippery Rock University offers minors at the undergraduate level.  A minor is a set of courses that meet specified guidelines and is designed to allow a sub-major concentration in an academic discipline or in a specific area within a discipline.  The minor is recorded on the students’ transcripts, providing the students have maintained at least a 2.0 minimum quality point average (some minors may require a higher GPA) for all coursework required for the minor.


A department shall establish its own policy regarding which courses shall count toward an academic minor subject to the following limitations:

  • The minor shall have a minimum of 18 credits. (PASSHE)
  • The minor shall have a minimum of 6 credits from SRU. (SRU)
  • The minor shall have a minimum of 6 upper division credits at the 300/400 level. (Exceptions to this one requirement may be made by the Chancellor on a case by case basis.) (PASSHE)
  • No course needed for the minor may be taken Pass/Fail. (SRU)
  • Courses counted in a minor can also be used to satisfy the Liberal Studies/Rock Studies requirements. (SRU)
  • At least 6 credits in the selected minor shall be outside the requirements/electives counted in the student’s major. (SRU)
  • The requirements for all minors must be completed prior to the awarding of the first baccalaureate degree. Once graduated, students may not return and add additional minors to their undergraduate record. (SRU)
  • Students may also elect more than one minor course of study. (SRU)
  • Students may be awarded more than one minor so long as they complete the requirements for each minor. (SRU)


Students are typically responsible for meeting the minor requirements in effect at the time they enter the university or change majors.  When students leave the university and are later readmitted, they become responsible for meeting the minor requirements in effect at the time they are readmitted.  If students would benefit from meeting a set of minor requirements other than those in effect at the time they declared their minor or were admitted/readmitted to the university, their adviser may request of the student’s academic dean that a different set of minor requirements be met.


Academic Integrity

Purpose of SRU’s Academic Integrity Policy

The value of education is determined by the quality and character of its students and graduates.  Therefore, students, student organizations, management, and faculty are expected to uphold academic integrity.


Definition of Academic Integrity

Academic integrity refers to the adherence to agreed upon moral and ethical principles when engaging in academic or scholarly pursuits. Mastery of subject matter should be demonstrated in an honorable and straightforward manner.


The Significance of Course Grades and the SRU Degree

A course grade certifies both your knowledge of that particular material and a standard of academic integrity.  The SRU degree certifies to society both the educational achievement and the fulfillment of our standards, which include ethical and moral behavior.



Inherent in the learning process is a commitment to discipline.  Discipline is a specific form of training that looks to the future where one learns lessons and makes better choices.  The instructor will guide the learning process by identifying unacceptable behavior and work with students to define the problem and guide them to make better choices.  This process preserves the value and reputation of the degrees conferred by SRU. There are two types of discipline: pre-emptive and corrective discipline.

  1. Pre-emptive Discipline

Pre-emptive discipline is a means of training which mandates that the student undertake certain appropriate actions in the course of the learning process.  It is expected that students engage in the following pre-emptive behaviors:

a.    All academic work, including, but not limited to, papers, computer programs, assignments, and tests, must consist of the student’s own work and not that of other students or other authorities.

b.    Students are expected to be honest in all academic work, refraining from all forms of academic dishonesty.

c.     Students are expected to function as such, including, but not limited to, attending class regularly and completing all assignments and examinations on their own unless the faculty member notes otherwise.

d.    Students are expected to learn, practice and apply standard techniques for accurately citing resource material.  It is the student’s, not the instructor’s, responsibility to ensure that all material is cited.

e.    Students are expected to know the difference between direct quote and citation.  When in doubt, the essence of the text should be conveyed in the student’s own words.

f.     Students are expected to understand basic principles of respect and compliance with intellectual property law. Particularly important are those aspects of the Copyright Law of the United States that apply to academic work as well as to the use of University computer resources.

  1. Corrective Discipline

Corrective discipline could be implemented when students engage in dishonest behavior. Corrective discipline activities may include:

a.    Conferring with the instructor to identify inappropriate behaviors

b.    Developing a remediation plan and behavioral goals

c.     Developing a means of assessing the student’s accomplishment of the established goals

d.    Identifying student sanctions to be put in place if the student does not meet these behavior goals.

e.    Filing out a conduct referral for the Office of Student Conduct


Dishonest Behavior

Dishonest Behavior that would merit corrective discipline is defined as any action that gives the student an unfair advantage.  Academic dishonesty may take many forms.  Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Buying, selling, or trading papers, projects, or other assignments.
  2. Using or attempting to use any unauthorized book, notes, or assistance (for example, copying another student’s test or homework).
  3. Plagiarizing and/or submitting the work of another as your own.
  4. Completing class work for another person.
  5. Fabricating information or citations.
  6. Facilitating dishonest acts of others pertaining to academic work.
  7. Possessing unauthorized examinations.
  8. Submitting, without instructor permission, work previously used.
  9. Tampering with the academic work of another person.
  10. Ghost-taking an exam in place of a student or having any person take an exam in your place.
  11. Any attempt to falsify an assigned grade on an examination, report, or program or in a grade book, document, or other record.
  12. Any attempted, or actual computer program theft, illegal use of software; illegal downloading or streaming of copyrighted media, or inappropriate use of the Internet; such as, but not limited to, illegal or unauthorized transmission; or improper access to any computer system or account.
  13. Any attempted, or actual, collusion willfully giving or receiving unauthorized or unacknowledged assistance on any assignment or examination (all parties are considered responsible).
  14. Forging a faculty member’s or administrator’s signature on any document.
  15. Copying and pasting digital media including, but not limited to, email correspondence,  text, images, or other media from online sources without proper citation, the copyright owner’s permission  to use the digital media; or, evidence of having performed a favorable fair use analysis.
  16. Copying and pasting significant portions of digital media with or without citation. 


Implications of Dishonest Behavior

  1. Implications to the Student

a.    The student is deprived of the totality of the learning process and lacks the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.

b.    The student subsequently misrepresents his/her qualifications to employers; graduate schools etc. and is not as qualified to perform the work as represented.

c.     The student invalidates the assessment tool used to evaluate the class and deprives the faculty from truly evaluating the effectiveness of the assessment instrument and/or the teaching-learning process.

d.    The student is temporarily rewarded by a good grade but induces others, directly or indirectly, to engage in dishonest behavior.

e.    The student will have conditioned himself/herself to take shortcuts when pressured.  This behavior will then be repeated when he/she is in the professional world.

f.     The student receives an unfair advantage, relative to other students who conduct themselves in an ethical manner.

g.    The student could be liable for civil or criminal penalties as a result of violating federal intellectual property laws.

  1. Implications to the University

a.    Interns, graduates, etc. will not be qualified to function in their respective professions.  Consequently, the SRU degree will be devalued, and SRU will be less attractive as a school for employers recruiting interns or prospective employees.

b.    The perception of the public will be that SRU engages in grade inflation.

c.     Alumni/government funding may decrease.

d.    SRU will lose qualified students for seats occupied by unqualified students who engaged in dishonest behavior.

e.    SRU’s ability to recruit top performing students will be negatively impacted as its reputation becomes tarnished.

f.     The University, its faculty and staff could be at risk of penalties as a result of the student’s violation of federal intellectual property laws.

  1. Implications to Prospective Employers, including those who provide Internships

a.    The student will have engaged in resume/transcript fraud; thus, employers will not be hiring a well-educated employee but instead will be gaining one who cannot perform at the level they represent.

b.    Employers who have bad experiences with SRU graduates will not recruit from the University or provide internship opportunities.

c.     Employers will have wasted resources on graduates who are not qualified to do the job.

d.    Students who have legitimately attained a moderate to high GPA may be overlooked.


Rights and Responsibilities

  1. Course Instructor
    • The instructor has the right to demand academic integrity and authentic authorship in the face-to-face or online classroom.
    • The instructor has the responsibility to ensure that SRU’s academic integrity standards are followed. 
    • The instructor is responsible for communicating to students SRU’s Academic Integrity Policy and the minimum penalties for dishonesty in the course syllabus. 
    • The instructor is expected to take steps to minimize the opportunity for students to engage in academic dishonesty. 
    • The instructor clearly communicates course expectations.   
    • The instructor who alleges academic dishonesty is responsible for filing out a conduct referral for the Office of Student Conduct.
    • The instructor will gather evidence and participate in the resolution of cases that he/she initiates by following set procedures. 
    • The instructor serves as a role model and mentor by instilling, through example, high ethical conduct in his/her own academic endeavors and in the classroom and online learning environment. 
    • The instructor emphasizes to students the importance of honesty and a respect for integrity within the profession.
    • The instructor, in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, will treat as strictly confidential any information relating to an alleged violation of the University’s Academic Integrity Policy or the outcome of a conduct hearing.
    • SRU has a right to discipline students who deviate from academic standards.  The University is responsible for upholding the minimum standards of academic integrity and achievement on which degrees are based and for certifying that students have attained sufficient academic credit and exhibited acceptable standards of conduct to entitle them to a degree. 
    • SRU has a right and is responsible for maintaining and encouraging high standards of academic integrity by establishing policies and procedures for academic integrity and authentic authorship.
    • The University is responsible for monitoring all violations of this policy in order to ensure the integrity and reputation of a degree from SRU.
    • The University is responsible for communicating this policy to students in any form deemed appropriate. 
    • A student accused of academic dishonesty has the right to due process, which means he/she will be informed of his/her alleged behavior and he/she will have an  opportunity to have his/her case heard in a fair and impartial manner.
    • The student must read and understand SRU’s policy on Academic Integrity since ignorance of this policy is not an acceptable defense by a student if a charge of academic dishonesty is made by the instructor against the student.  
    • The student must comply with these standards of integrity as part of the academic community.
    • A student who fails to meet the procedural deadlines contained in the policy will forfeit his/her rights to a formal hearing for appealing a sanction.
    • The student should actively encourage other students to comply with these standards.
    • The student is encouraged to report any violations of this policy by other students to SRU faculty, administration or management.  Students are encouraged to testify at subsequent formal hearings about such matters.
    • A student has the right to be notified in writing within five (5) business days of the report of the alleged violation.
    • A student has the right to meet with the faculty member to present his/her own version of the facts.
    • A student has the right to accept the faculty member’s allegations as true and accept the faculty member’s imposed sanction as well as SRU’s sanctions. 
    • A student always maintains the right to have the allegations heard before the Office of Student Conduct.


How Can Academic Integrity be encouraged?

    • Spell out expectations for authentic authorship in the course syllabus and attach SRU’s Academic Integrity Policy.
    • Review SRU’s academic integrity policy when reviewing the syllabus.
    • Secure all assessment instruments for which a grade will be assigned.
    • Create an environment that encourages the prevention of academic dishonesty.
    • State within the syllabi that if students do not understand whether something is or is not a breach of academic dishonesty, they must consult with the instructor prior to undertaking the activity.
  1. The Student’s Role in Academic Integrity
    • Taking responsibility for his/her own actions both positive and negative.
    • Understanding the consequences of both positive and negative behaviors to all stakeholders:  oneself, the institution, the faculty and management, the assessment process, and fellow students.
    • Engaging in actions to change behavior that is negative.
    • Changing one’s thinking at a deep level leading to positive changes in one’s actions.
    • Becoming a positive role model for others by one’s actions.


Presented to Academic Affairs Executive Council, December 7, 2011
Presented at Meet and Discuss, April 18, 2012
Approved by the Provost, July 27, 2012


Attendance Policy

The faculty, staff, and other resources of the University are furnished for the education of students who attend the University. A class schedule is provided for students and faculty so that a reasonably orderly arrangement for instruction is facilitated. Class attendance is important for the benefit of students. Traditionally, attendance policies for individual classes have been determined by the instructor and communicated to the class at the first meeting and through the syllabus.  The University believes that class attendance, preparation, and participation are integral components of student success. It is unusual for students to be successful in a class without attending, preparing, and participating regularly.

Therefore, the faculty and administration strongly encourage students to attend every class session, to spend at least two hours in review and preparation for each hour in class, and to participate fully in all aspects of the class.

Given that, it is the policy of the University to encourage class attendance, all instructors should organize and conduct their courses with this policy in mind.  Students should attend every class for which they are scheduled and should be held responsible for all work covered in the courses taken. In each case, the instructor should decide when the class absence affects a student’s scholastic attainment. Students whose absences cause them, in the judgment of the instructor, to become deficient scholastically, may run the risk of receiving a failing grade or receiving a lower grade than the students might have earned had they been in regular attendance.

Instructors should provide, within reason, an opportunity to make up work for students who miss class for curricular and extracurricular activities such as class or club field trips, choir trips, and athletic contests, etc.). However, if the instructor considers such scheduled trips to be hurting a student’s scholastic performance, the instructor should discuss the matter with the students, and if need be with the person responsible for the conflicting activity.  

If an instructor requires an out-of-class activity that conflicts with a regularly scheduled class, students should discuss this matter with the instructor requiring the out-of-class activity.  In these cases the students are to attend the regularly scheduled class and should be given the opportunity by the instructor requiring the out-of-class activity to make up the missed work or to be given an alternate assignment in lieu of the missed out-of-class assignment.

Instructors also should provide, within reason, an opportunity to make up work for students who miss classes for other legitimate but unavoidable reasons. Legitimate, unavoidable reasons are those such as illness, injury, death within the family, other family emergency, military service, or religious observance. When a class, exam, presentation, or assignment will be missed due to an unavoidable absence, the students should contact the instructor as soon as the unavoidable absence is known to discuss ways to make up the work.

An instructor might not consider an unavoidable absence legitimate if the student does not contact the instructor before the evaluative event. Students will be held responsible for using only legitimate, unavoidable reasons for requesting a make-up in the event of a missed class or evaluative event. Faculty may request documentation related to the absence from the student.  Requests for missing class, exams, presentations, or assignments due to reasons that are based on false claims may be considered violations of the policy on Academic Integrity.


Academic Complaints


Students who want to file an appeal concerning their grades or any other academic matter should first contact the instructor. Barring resolution there, students should contact the graduate coordinator or appropriate departmental chairperson, then their academic college dean. Further appeal may be directed to the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. See “Procedure for filing grade appeal” in the catalog for additional information.


Chosen Name Policy



The university recognizes that many members of its community use first/middle names other than their legal names first provided to the university to identify themselves. For some students, a chosen first/middle name may be an important component of their identity.


Therefore, the university has established this policy and procedures that allows students to indicate their chosen first/middle names to the university community even if they have not changed their legal names. While anyone is welcome to use a chosen first/middle name, this option has been developed to respond to the needs of international students, transgender people, gender non-binary, and others who choose the use of a nickname.  These may include individuals who prefer to use:


  • a middle name or nickname instead of a first name;
  • an anglicized name;
  • a name to which the individual is in the process of legally changing; or
  • a name that better represents the individual’s gender identity.


Chosen first/middle name – A chosen first/middle name is defined as an alternative to the individual’s legal name as designated by the individual in university systems.


Legal name – A person’s legal name is the name they use for official governmental documents, such as licenses, passports, and tax forms.


A student chosen first/middle name will be used instead of the person’s legal name in select university - related systems and documents as listed below. The legal name will be used in all university - related systems and documents related to official university records as listed below.


You may elect to use chosen first/middle names in the following systems and records:


  • Student Identification Cards
  • Official Student Email Display Name
  • Diplomas
  • Commencement Programs
  • Commencement Cards
  • Advising Profile
  • Class List (in Banner)
  • D2L


Slippery Rock University is working diligently with our software vendors to promote chosen name in marked areas.   Legal names will continue to be used for official university records including, but not limited to the following:


  • Legal Documents and Reports Produced by the University
  • Student Account Statement (Bills)
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship Documents
  • Transcripts
  • Enrollment Verifications
  • Degree Verifications
  • Student Employment Documents
  • Paychecks, W2s, and other Payroll documents


*Denotes in progress for chosen name



Individuals seeking approval for chosen name can contact the Office of Academic Records and Registration in person or find the Chosen First/Middle Name document from the Academic Records “Forms” link on the web.  Upon completion of appropriate paperwork and approval, changes will be made to necessary systemsIt may take upwards of four business day for final changes to take place.  The individual may revoke the request during the first seventy-two hours.

Please note that students will only be permitted to make one chosen name request during the student’s career at SRU.



Chosen first/middle name requests will be denied or revoked when the name is deemed inappropriate including, but not limited to, avoiding a legal obligation, fraud, obscene language, or misrepresentation. Appeals of the chosen name request will be made to the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management.  Reports of such activity will be handled pursuant to University policies and procedures and applicable law. Depending on the individual and circumstances involved this could include the offices of Human Resources, Office of Student Conduct, Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Office of Student Success, Residence Life Office, University Legal Counsel, and/or appropriate law enforcement agencies. 


Responsibility for Implementation:

All members of the University Community are responsible for administering this policy.

Scope of the Policy:

This policy applies to all University students.


Course Information


500-Level Courses. A maximum of twelve 500-level course credits may be counted toward master’s degree requirements. Some departments/programs may choose to allow less than the maximum. Courses numbered below 500 do not bear graduate credit and may not be used toward the completion of a master’s degree.

600-Level Courses.  Courses numbered 600 and above are for graduate credit only.  Undergraduate students requesting special permission to take graduate classes may not count the credit towards the completion of an undergraduate degree.

Course Changes. To add or drop a course or withdraw from a course after registration, a student must use either MySRU or file the appropriate drop/add form with the Office of Academic Records and Registration. The form may be secured from the Office of Academic Records and Registration’s web page, the student’s academic department or online.  Students may not drop their last class on MySRU and should contact the Office of Academic Records & Registration for assistance.  After the first 8 days (including weekends / excluding holidays) of fall and spring classes students must withdraw from classes using a withdrawal form.  Students taking off campus or online courses must withdraw by emailing their professor who, in turn, will notify the Office of Academic Records of the student’s last day of attendance/participation in the course. Students may not withdraw from a class using MySRU.  Failure to withdraw officially from a course may result in the assignment of a grade of “F”.

Dual-Numbered Courses. Graduate credit may not be earned in a dual-numbered course if undergraduate credit was earned in a course with the same title (some exceptions apply).

Student Load. Nine to 12 semester hours are usually considered a normal load for full-time graduate students. Students who wish to carry more than 15 semester hours of credit in the fall, spring, or summer terms require authorization from their graduate coordinator. Students may not register for more than 7 credits during the winter session.  A full-time graduate assistant must register for at least nine semester hours of graduate credit per semester. No graduate assistant is permitted a tuition waiver for more than 9-12 graduate credits per semester, depending upon the major.

Workshops. A maximum of six semester hours of credit earned in graduate workshops may be applied to degree requirements.


Credit Hour Policy

All courses offered for credit at Slippery Rock University (SRU) toward the completion of a degree and/or certificates are in line with applicable state and federal regulations related to the assignment of credit hours. The following credit hour policy is based on the guidelines set forth by the PASSHE Board of Governors Policies, System Academic and Financial Procedures and Data Collection Definitions:   Reference Number, SA-040. PASSHE Policy:  Policy 1990-06-A:  Academic Degrees, 1985-01-A:  Requirements for Initiation or Change of Credit-Based Academic Programs, Policy 1999-01:  The Academic Passport and Student Transfer Policy.

This policy will be reviewed every three years to ensure continued relevance and alignment with University goals by the ASA Policy Review Committee.

Credit Hour Assignment


Slippery Rock University’s academic year is divided into Fall and Spring semesters of approximately 15 weeks each. Summer, winter and special accelerated sessions may vary in length. A credit hour at Slippery Rock University reflects the Carnegie unit, what has served as the traditional unit of measure in higher education. One semester credit is equivalent to one hour (50 minutes) of faculty instruction one time per week for 14 weeks (for a total of no less than 700 minutes) along with 120 minutes for the final examination, and a minimum of two hours of student preparation time outside of the classroom each week per credit hour. A typical 3 credit hour course will meet 2,220 minutes.


An equivalent amount of work is required for lectures, laboratory work, internships, practicum, studio work, accelerated, hybrid and online education, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. Departments may determine contact time over the minimum requirements as needed to achieve student learning goals and maintain compliance with programmatic accreditation bodies.


The Institution’s University Curriculum Committee (UCC) provides a systematic review, evaluation, and change of the curriculum at the university level, in compliance with the APSCUF Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Assignment of credit hours for courses are determined by the faculty and program administrators based on expertise, learning objectives, and programmatic accreditation requirements. UCC is charged with review of all courses and curricula. Reviewed courses are sent to the Office of the Provost and once approved are sent to the Office of Academic Records for inclusion in the course catalogs. Academic Records reviews each schedule course to ensure that credit hours assigned meet the minimum number of minutes required. Discrepancies are brought to the attention of the appropriate Academic Dean/Department for correction or clarification.


Credit Hour Assignment by Course Type


Lecture and Seminar—courses with multiple students that meet to engage students in various forms of group instruction. These courses are generally awarded 1-3 credit hours and meet for 700 minutes (plus 120 minutes final exam time, for a total of 820 minutes) and 2100 minutes (plus 120 minutes final exam time, for a total of 2220 minutes.


Laboratory— 1 credit science labs included in the Liberal Studies requirement meet for a minimum of 75 minutes per week. Within the sciences labs associated with majors meet for a minimum of 110 minutes per week. Departments/programs may set higher standards in accordance with professional organization and accreditation bodies.


Internship, Practicum, Field Experience, & Student Teaching—3-12 credits hours with the minimum standard of 40 clock hours per credit hours.


Studio and Lessons—Departments may Departments/programs may set standards in accordance with professional organization and accreditation bodies.


  • Visual art studio courses award one credit hour for a minimum of one hour and fifty-five minutes of scheduled supervised studio work. A 3 credit studio class would meet for a minimum of 4,620 minutes of class time with a 120 minute final exam/experience for a total of 4,740 minutes during a 15 week semester.


  • Music lecture/seminar courses are awarded 3 credits consistent with the above stated minimum of 2,220 minutes per 15 week semester inclusive of the 120 minute final exam/experience.


  • Music courses awarding 2 credits meet for a minimum of 1,520 minutes per 15 week semester inclusive of the 120 minute final exam/experience. Music courses awarding 1 credit (ex. Intro to Music Education) meet for a minimum of 1,520 minutes inclusive of the 120 minute final exam/experience. Performing ensembles meet for differing lengths of time, ensembles are awarded one credit meet for a minimum of 1,470 minutes inclusive of the final exam/experience.


  • Applied Instruction in Music (lessons) are awarded one credit, and students receive ½

hour weekly instruction per week, for a total of seven individual instructional hours during a 15 week semester. This contact is in addition to the time spent in studio and master classes. Music performance majors are awarded three credits, and students receive one hour of weekly instruction per week, for a total of 15 individual instruction hours during a 15 week semester.


Independent Study/Individualized Instruction – Courses delivered through these methods are required to meet the same credit hour guidelines and learning outcomes as traditional course delivery options.

Accelerated Courses – Any courses offered outside of a standard 15 week semester with equivalent learning outcomes and course content must meet an equal minimum amount of instructional and out of class student work to as the examples above within an accelerated time frame.

Hybrid Courses – Any courses offered in a blended format with a minimum of 1 on-site face-to-face class sessions and a minimum of one online session, both with direct faculty contact. In all instances, these courses must meet the total amount of instructional and out of class student work as courses offered through traditional delivery methods.

Online Courses – Any courses offered exclusively online without any face-to-face meetings. These courses have the same learning outcomes and substantive components with an alternative delivery method. Contact time is satisfied through a variety of online interactions and assignments. In all instances, these courses have learning outcomes that meet the total amount of instructional and out of class student work time as courses offered through traditional delivery methods.

Out of Class Student Expectations – For each credit hour earned, students should expect to spend a minimum of 100-150 minutes preparing/studying outside of class.

Transfer Credits - Transfer credits are evaluated by university administrators following the guidelines of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the Pennsylvania State System Board of Governors and program specific accreditation body requirements. Transfer policies and transfer course equivalencies are detailed on the university web site.

Instructional Contact Time – The measure of instructional contact time may be adjusted to reflect different formats of study or length of academic sessions as per the APSCUF CBA. These adjustments are reflective of the intended student learning outcomes and established equivalencies of the semester credit hour set by the institution and reasonably reflect the requirements established by MSCHE.


Credit Hour Definition Guidelines: Slippery Rock’s policy also aligns with the following definitions and guidelines from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the US Department of Education, and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Accreditation.

United States Department of Education (USDE)

The definition as published in the regulations is as follows:

“Credit Hour: Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than – (1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.”

Middle States Commission on Higher Education Accreditation (MSCHE)

The Commission’s Requirements of Affiliation stipulate that accredited institutions comply with all Federal, state, and other relevant government policies, regulations, and requirements, which generally include requirements and expectations for degrees. The Commission’s accreditation standards, particularly Standards 11 (Educational Offerings) and 14 (Assessment of Student Learning), require evidence of:

· academic study of sufficient content, breadth, and length;
· levels of rigor appropriate to the programs or degrees offered;
· statements of expected student learning outcomes that are consonant with the standards of higher education and of the relevant disciplines;
· direct evidence of student learning; and
· assessment results that provide sufficient, convincing evidence that students are achieving key institutional and program learning outcomes.

MSCHE Credit Hour Policy

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Code, Title 22, Subpart C, & 31.21

(a) The curricula must provide the opportunity for the achievement of the stated objectives of the institution, as related to its statement of philosophy and mission, and must be structured in a group of coherent, integrated degree programs.

(b) Degree requirements stated in this section may be stated in terms of semester credit hours or quarter credit hours, as determined by the institution and conforming to generally accepted academic practices. General education, as defined in this section, refers to the curricular inclusion of humanities, arts, communications, social sciences, mathematics, technology and science courses in support of the mission of the institution. A semester credit hour represents a unit of curricular material that normally can be taught in a minimum of 14 hours of classroom instruction, plus appropriate outside preparation or the equivalent as determined by the faculty. A quarter credit hour represents a unit of curricular material that normally can be taught in a minimum of 10 hours of classroom instruction, plus appropriate outside preparation or the equivalent as determined by the faculty.

(1) An associate degree exclusive of a specialized associate degree must require the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 60 semester credit hours, which includes a minimum of 20 semester credit hours of general education, or a minimum of 90 quarter credit hours, which must include a minimum of 30 quarter credit hours of general education.

2) A specialized associate degree must require the satisfactory completion of at least 60 semester credit hours or a minimum of 1,500 clock hours or a Ch. 31 GENERAL PROVISIONS 22 § 31.21 31-13 (366297) No. 464 Jul. 13 a minimum of 90 quarter credit hours. At least 70%, but no more than 80%, of the program must consist of specialized instruction that bears directly upon the employment objectives of the program; and at least 20% of the program must consist of general education.

(3) A baccalaureate degree must require the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 120 semester credit hours or a minimum of 180 quarter credits. Of the total baccalaureate degree program course requirements, at least 40 semester credit hours or 60 quarter credit hours must be in general education and represent a broad spectrum of disciplines in general education.

(4) A first professional degree, except those for the preparation of professional educators, must require the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 60 semester credit hours or 90 quarter credit hours for admission to the degree program and the satisfactory completion of a total minimum of 150 semester credit hours or 225 quarter credit hours for the program. Professional educator preparation programs must comply with Chapter 354 (relating to preparation of professional educators).

(5) A master’s degree must require the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 semester credit hours or 45 quarter credit hours beyond the baccalaureate level.

(6) The number of semester or quarter credit hours for a degree beyond a first professional or master’s degree shall be determined by the faculty and reflect the recommendations of professional associations or National learned societies.

(c) An institution may enter into agreements with other institutions, individuals or other providers of educational services to provide all or part of certain programs on behalf of the institution. A course offered for institutional credit shall be operated directly by or under the control of the institution granting the credit.

(d) To assure academic integrity, an institution shall provide students in a distance education program access to academic and student services, including textbooks, study guides, library and other learning resources, personal interaction with faculty, tutors or other educational personnel by computer, telephone, mail or face-to-face meetings. The institution shall assure integrity of student work and provide opportunity for student assessment. These programs must comply with the regulations that apply to resident-based programs as prescribed in this chapter and Chapters 35, 36, 40 and 42 and conform to generally accepted academic practices for delivery of instruction through distance education.


 Degree Completion


Master’s students must earn at least two-thirds of the credits meeting program requirements at SRU. Collaborative programs will be identified such that residency can be met consistent with the collaborative agreement.

DPT and Ed.D. residency requirements are determined at the program level.


Second Master’s Degree

In order to qualify for a second master’s degree, regardless of where the first master’s degree was earned the graduate student must successfully complete a minimum of 15 credits at Slippery Rock University beyond the first master’s degree.  The graduate student may apply no more than 12 credits from the first degree towards the requirements for the second degree and meet departmental requirements for the degree with respect to the required semester hours of credit and courses for the major in that department.

Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the student’s chairperson and dean of the second degree. 


Posthumous Conferral of Degree

Slippery Rock University may recognize a student’s work by conferring a degree or special certificate posthumously. In the event of an accidental death or fatal illness of a student, the university may confer the degree or certificate.  The student will have completed all or nearly all of the requirements for a degree.  The student will have completed at least one year at SRU for the award of a certificate.



Final copies of a student’s dissertation must be submitted in photo-ready typed format, using a letter quality printer. Three bound copies of the dissertation are minimal: two for the library and one for the department. Custom frequently dictates two additional copies: one for the dissertation advisor and one for the student. The fees for binding and copying must be paid prior to or at the time an application for graduation is filed. Students should consult with their faculty adviser/graduate coordinator for official dissertation style guides. Approval code from the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB-PHS) is required before data collection involving human subjects may begin. Research protocol guidelines may be obtained from the chair of the IRB-PHS.


Drop, Add, Withdrawal


Open fall and spring full-semester courses may be added on MySRU during the first 8 days (including weekends / excluding holidays) of classes without professor approval. Students wishing to add courses during the second week of the semester must secure the professor’s permission on a add form. Courses dropped during the first 8 days (including weekends / excluding holidays) of the semester will not be recorded on students’ permanent records.  Students may not drop their last class on My SRU and should contact the Office of Academic Records and Registration for assistance. Students may withdraw from fall and spring full-semester classes with a grade of “W” between the second and tenth weeks of the semester. Students will not be permitted to withdraw from full semester classes after the tenth week and will be held accountable and awarded a final grade for all coursework, exams and other work assigned during the final five weeks of the semester. For fall and spring courses meeting fewer than 15 weeks, and all summer and winter courses, the withdrawal deadline is two-thirds of the way through the course’s beginning and ending dates.

Students desiring to add closed sections or courses for which they lack the appropriate pre/co-requisites will have to secure the permission of the course’s professor.

Students may use MySRU or drop/add forms to drop classes anytime after they have registered until the end of the eighth day of the fall or spring semesters. After the eighth day of the semester, students taking on-campus courses must use withdrawal forms, which require the signature of the professor of the course and the student’s adviser.

Students who for exceptional reasons, are permitted to drop, add, or withdraw from classes after the university’s stated deadlines must receive their respective dean’s approval.

Students taking off campus or online courses must withdraw by emailing their professor who, in turn, will notify the Office of Academic Records of the student’s last day of attendance/participation in the course.


Final Examinations


At the end of each semester/session/term, all final examinations are administered during the time stipulated in the examination schedule in the online Registration Bulletin. The decision to give a final examination is the prerogative of each faculty member, but if a final examination is given, it is to be administered according to the time as stipulated in the examination schedule. The class will meet during the scheduled examination time whether or not an examination is given. The dean of the college must approve any exception to this policy.


Grade Information


Procedure for Filing Grade Appeal

Academic Due Process Procedures
The purpose of the following procedure is to provide students with a system by which to grieve complaints of alleged academic injustice(s) relating to a final grade and/or professional responsibilities.

Students who believe that their final course grade reflect unsubstantiated academic evaluation may initiate and pursue a grade change appeal in accordance with provisions of this document. At the same time, all academic rights and privileges of faculty members are to be honored in this process, which includes careful review of the course syllabus. Changes in final course grades will occur only when, as a result of this grade appeal process, there is clear evidence of unsubstantiated academic evaluation. Because the grade process involves the instructor’s judgment of the academic performance of a student the only issue under consideration in the grade appeal process is whether or not the student can present clear evidence that the assignment of the grade was based on factors other than the academic judgment of the instructor.

Some examples of the basis for a legitimate disagreement could include, but not be limited to prejudiced, capricious, or unsubstantiated academic evaluation by the instructor:

  1. The instructor did not inform the student of the basis for calculation of grades.
  2. The instructor did not calculate the student’s grade in accordance with the instructor’s stated policy for calculating grades.
  3. Significant and unwarranted deviation from grading procedures and course outlines set at the beginning of the course (ordinarily during the first week of the course) or a grade assigned arbitrarily and capriciously on the basis of whim, impulse or caprice.
  4. There is an error in the computation of the grade that was not corrected.
  5. The student, through no fault of his or her own, was not provided with the same opportunity to complete the requirements for the course in terms, for example, of time, access to materials, or access to the instructor as the other students.

A student may not claim arbitrariness and capriciousness if he/she disagrees with the subjective professional evaluation of the instructor.

Informal Appeal Procedure:

  1. The student must discuss the final course grade, grading practices and assignments with the instructor who gave the final grade. This discussion may eliminate any misunderstandings over the assignment of the grade as relates to the course syllabus. This discussion must occur before the student may file a formal appeal.
  2. If the faculty member finds in the student’s favor, a grade change form is submitted with signatures and the appeal process is resolved.

If a student and instructor fail to resolve the grade dispute through informal means the student may request a formal grade appeal process by completing a “Final Grade Appeal Form.”

Formal Appeal Procedure:

Step One

The student must complete and submit the “student” portion of the Final Grade Appeal Form to the course instructor no later than 15 days after the beginning of the semester following the issuance of the final grade. The summer term does not constitute a semester.

The student must retain a copy of the Final Grade Appeal Form for his/her records and send a copy to the department chairperson (or substitute) of the department in which the course is housed. The chairperson of the department evaluation committee shall substitute for the department chairperson IF the department chairperson was the instructor of the course in which the grade is being appealed.

Step Two

The department chairperson (or substitute) notifies the instructor in writing that chairperson is aware that the instructor has received a grade appeal.

If the instructor decides that the final grade is correct, he/she must complete the “instructor” portion of the Final Grade Appeal Form, and return it to the student and send a copy to the chairperson (or substitute) within 10 working days of receipt of the student’s appeal.

If an instructor fails to respond within the allotted time, the appeal shall move to step 3 below.

If a faculty member whose grade(s) are being appealed is no longer employed by the university or is unavailable due to a sabbatical, sick leave, or other reasons during the time period allotted for the appeal process, the appeal should be directed to the chair of the department (or substitute) for review.

Step Three

If the student wishes to appeal further, he/she must submit the original Final Grade Appeal Form (or copy if the instructor fails to respond as described in step 2 above) to the department chairperson (or substitute) and the college dean. This appeal must be submitted within 10 working days  of the dated instructor’s response, or if the instructor does not respond, within 15 working days after the appeal was originally filed with the instructor.

The department chairperson (or substitute) will review the appeal within 10 working days.

Before the department chairperson (or substitute) determines if the student’s complaint provides evidence that the instructor’s assignment of the grade was based on factors other than the academic judgment of the instructor he/she will review the appeal with the instructor. The chairperson (or substitute) may also conduct whatever informal investigation seems necessary and should attempt to achieve a negotiated settlement.

A.  When Chair Agrees Grade Is Correct

If the department chairperson (or substitute) determines the student’s evidence does not meet the criteria for a grade appeal, the chairperson (or substitute) will forward his/her decision on the grade appeal to the instructor, student and college dean.

B.  When Chair Disagrees that Grade is Correct

If the department chairperson (or substitute) determines the student’s evidence does meet the criteria for a grade appeal, he/she will offer an explanation on the Final Grade Appeal Form and provide a copy to the instructor.

The instructor must then indicate on the Final Grade Appeal Form whether he/she agrees or disagrees with the chairperson’s recommendation, signs and returns the Final Grade Appeal Form to the chairperson within 5 working days.

  1. If the instructor amends the grade, a signed grade change form is submitted and the grade appeal is ended.
  2. If the instructor does not agree to amend the grade or fails to respond in the allotted time, the chairperson (or substitute) submits the Final Grade Appeal Form to the college dean, student, and instructor with his/her recommendation within 5 working days.

Step Four

If the dean, upon review of the chairperson’s recommendation, also determines the student’s evidence does not meet the criteria for a grade appeal, the dean will complete and return the Grade Appeal Form to the student with a copy to the instructor and chairperson (or substitute) within 5 working days. The grade appeal process ends.

If the dean, upon review of the chairperson’s recommendation, determines that the evidence is unclear or the student’s evidence does meet the criteria for a grade appeal, the dean shall initiate a meeting with the faculty member. The dean shall review the appeal, can hear evidence by each side, and may collect further evidence as needed.

If agreement cannot be reached, the dean will forward the Final Grade Appeal Form to the Provost within 20 working days, with his/her recommendation that the grade appeal be referred to a Grade Appeal Board. The dean also forwards a copy of the Final Grade Appeal Form to the student, instructor, and chairperson.

In each of the above statements, the chairperson of the department evaluation committee shall substitute for the department chairperson IF the department chairperson was the instructor of the course in which the grade is being appealed. Should the chair of the evaluation committee not be available, APSCUF will be consulted in the process of choosing a substitute.

 Step Five

A.  Composition of the Grade Appeal Board

  • Three faculty selected by APSCUF. One from the academic department in which the course is taught. Not the instructor.
  • Two managers selected by the provost. One to be the dean of the college in which the course was taught.
  • One student selected by Student Government Association. A senior outside the department in which the course is taught.

Normally, each Grade Appeal Board will be appointed to hear one appeal.

Those responsible for recommending board members should be sensitive to race and gender composition.

The Provost will appoint each board and chairperson within the parameters above.

B.  Grade Appeal Board Procedures

Once the appeal board has been established, the appointed chairperson of the committee will contact board members, the faculty member, and the student bringing forth the appeal to determine a date to convene the board (within 20 working days) and send them a letter confirming the date and place of the meeting.

At this point, all paperwork and collected evidence will be copied and provided to the members of the appeal board committee in sealed, confidential envelopes. This paperwork and evidence will be assembled by the dean of the college involved in the appeal, reviewed and brought by appeal board members to the appeal meeting. The chair will collect the copies at the end of the meeting.

The procedure for the appeal meeting is as follows:

  1. The chairperson of the Grade Appeal Board will call the meeting to order and review procedure.
  2. The student will have 10 minutes to present his/her reason for the appeal.
  3. The faculty member will then have 10 minutes to explain why he/she feels there is no basis for the appeal.
  4. The committee member can then ask questions of the student and/or faculty member to clarify any points.
  5. The faculty member and the student are excused and told they will be notified of the decision by letter.
  6. The committee discusses and reaches a recommendation by majority vote.
  7. The chairperson will notify the President of the University of the recommendation of the committee by memo. The chairperson will notify the student and faculty member of the president’s decision by letter. The letter will be copied to the Department Chair and Dean.

Step Six

Students who appeal a grade to a Grade Appeal Board are responsible for maintaining ALL written materials relevant to the appeal, such as papers, examinations, and completed assignments. Further, the appeals board must have access to appropriate documentation and academic records pertaining to the course grade in question. After the appeals process is complete, the only record to be maintained will be the student’s final grade.

Each appeals board will make its recommendation to the university president, who may accept or reject the recommendation. Since the university has the power and duty to direct the activities of the institution, nothing in this policy should be construed as to diminish that authority in any way.


Grading System


The following grading system is used in graduate studies:
A - High quality graduate work
B - Satisfactory graduate work
C - Acceptable graduate work (cumulative grade average must be at least 3.000). Some departments will not consider a “C” as an acceptable grade.
D - Unacceptable graduate work*
I - Incomplete (becomes an “F” if not completed by faculty deadline. If no earlier deadline is set by the professor, all incompletes must be completed within 12 months, except for thesis and dissertation, or they will be changed to an “F”.)
ID- Incomplete (used for dissertation). Does not automatically convert to an “F.”
IT- Incomplete (used for thesis). Does not automatically convert to an “F.”
F - Failure*
W - Withdrawal
P - Passing (In all programs except Physical Therapy, this is equivalent to a letter grade of “C” or better. In Physical Therapy, it is equivalent to a “B” or better.)
X - No grade given (becomes an “F” if not removed by the end of the student’s next semester of enrollment)

These grade symbols are translated into grade points as follows: each semester hour of credit with a grade of A counts four grade points; B, three points; C, two points; D, one point. Degree candidates must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0*. Credits earned with less than a “C” grade cannot be accepted as satisfying any of the requirements for the master’s degree*. Some departments will not consider a “C” as an acceptable grade. Grades earned in all graduate courses taken at Slippery Rock University are used in the calculation of grade point average.

The formula for grade point calculation is as follows:

GPA = grade points earned divided by number of semester hours attempted. Graduate courses in which a letter grade of “C” or less was earned on the first attempt may be repeated. No course may be repeated more than once. Permission to repeat a course shall be granted with the approval of both the adviser and the graduate coordinator of the student’s program. A student may repeat a total of two courses during the six-year statute of limitations, and any repeat must occur within the six-year statute of limitations.

Any extensions of the time limit shall not entitle the student additional repeats. Course repeats in Physical Therapy are permitted only with approval of the Dean of the College of Health, Environment and Science. When a student repeats a course, only the grade earned on the most recent attempt is used in the GPA calculation. A grade of “I” is not a permanent grade. An incomplete grade for a course must be removed whenever the professor requires it, but no longer than within one calendar year, and an incomplete grade for thesis (IT) and dissertation (ID) must be removed within the six- year statute of limitations. Unless the instructor has submitted a change of grade prior to the expiration of the specified time limit, the grade of “I” will automatically be converted to a grade of “F”. Grades of “IT” for thesis and ID for dissertation will remain an “IT” or “ID” until the requirements are met and a grade change has been submitted.


Notice of Consumer Information Web Site and Annual Security Report



In accordance with the provisions of the Student Right to Know and Clery Acts, students are urged to access SRU’s Consumer Information Website (Including campus crime statistics, graduation rates, and Students Rights to Privacy.)


Notice Designating Directory Information


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that colleges and universities, with certain exceptions, obtain a student’s written consent prior to disclosure of personally identifiable information. However, institutions may (not must) disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless the university has been advised by the student that he/she does not wish to have his/her directory information released.*

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can, but is not required to be disclosed to outside organizations without the student’s written permission.

Slippery Rock University is committed to maintaining the privacy of its students’ records and therefore also limits its release of Directory Information for official University purposes only.

Slippery Rock will not release Directory Information for solicitation purposes to 3rd parties from outside the university. This includes outside vendors, businesses and organizations unless the university has entered into a contract or agreement with the organization to supply specific service to the university or its students that requires the use of this information.

The Director of Academic Records also carefully screens the release of Directory Information to parties within the university to assure that its students only receive correspondence related to the academic and social missions of the institution.

Slippery Rock University hereby designates the following student information as “directory information.” Such information may be disclosed without a student’s previous consent by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion with the exceptions noted below:

1.    Name

2.    Addresses (local, permanent, and email)

3.    Telephone number (local, cell and permanent)

4.    Date and place of birth

5.    Program and concentration(s) and minor(s)

6.    Student activities, including athletics

7.    Weight, height (athletic teams)

8.    Dates of attendance

9.    Degrees and awards received

10. Date of graduation

11. All educational institutions previously attended

12. Academic awards/scholarships

13. Title of master thesis

14. Number of credits (full- or part-time) for which a student is registered

15. Pictures of students

16. Class level

17. Anticipated graduation date

18. Student ID number used to communicate in electronic systems that cannot be used to access education records without a PIN, password, etc.

As noted above *, currently enrolled students have the opportunity to withhold disclosure of all 18 categories of information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The University will not partially withhold this information, so students are advised to think carefully before requesting non-disclosure. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in the office of Academic Records and Registration, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa. 16057 prior to the end of the second week of each semester/summer session. Forms requesting the withholding of “directory information” are available online or in the office of Academic Records and Registration, Room 107, Old Main… (724) 738-2010(724) 738-2010 or academic.records@sru.edu.

Slippery Rock University assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of “directory information” indicates individual approval for disclosures. Former students and alumni are not covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  As such, the University is not obligated to honor requests for non-disclosure of “directory information” from former students.

Note: Students requesting that “directory information” not be disclosed during their final semester of enrollment will have this information withheld indefinitely after leaving the University. Students are cautioned that making such a request may adversely impact future requests from potential employers, and other important individuals/organizations.


Probation and Suspension


A student is on academic probation whenever the cumulative grade point average for all graduate courses attempted at Slippery Rock University is less than 3.0. A student whose academic standing is unsatisfactory (less than 3.0) for two successive terms of registration (summers and winters are included as “terms”), shall be suspended by their academic dean. A suspended student may petition their academic dean for readmission. A first suspension is typically for one semester. A second suspension is typically for two semesters and third suspension is a permanent dismissal.


 Records Privacy Policy

 (PL 93-380 & Right to Know Law: PA PL 390)

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access.

Students should submit to the Director of Academic Records and Registration, Dean, Department Chairperson, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Council of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Upon request, the University may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

4. As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records—including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information—may be accessed without your consent.  First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program.  The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution.  Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities.  In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Slippery Rock University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Copies of the University’s policy governing the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act are available in the Office of Academic Records and Registration, Room 107, Old Main. Questions concerning FERPA should be referred to the Director of Academic Records and Registration.


Registration Procedures


Any student who does not register for three consecutive regular semesters will become inactive. The student will require readmission to continue working on a graduate degree. During the inactive period, the 6 year statute of limitations will continue to be applied.


Repeat Policy

Graduate students may repeat a single course only once. In addition, graduate students will be limited to a maximum of two repeats during their entire graduate enrollment. The most recent grade (regardless of whether it is higher or lower) will be the grade used in the student’s CGPA calculation.


Senior Citizens


Senior citizens, (age 62 or older, who are receiving social security or equal retirement benefits) may take courses on an “audit” basis at no cost at Slippery Rock University on a space available basis. Senior citizens that take courses for credit will have their tuition waived but must pay all university fees. Senior citizens must provide proof of retirement, benefits, name, address, and social security number in order to complete registration. Senior citizens who are not working and do not receive any form of social security/ retirement benefits may also participate in this program if specific conditions have been met. Senior citizens may register for classes beginning one week prior to the start of the semester/term. For more information contact the Office of Academic Records and Registration, 724/738-2010.


Statute of Limitations


All requirements for the master’s and doctorate degrees must be completed within a six-year period commencing with the first graduate course taken at SRU. The student’s academic dean may extend this period upon written request from the student for justifiable reasons. This request must be supported by the graduate coordinator before submission to the academic dean. There will be an absolute limit of ten years from the date the student’s first graduate course is taken for all degree requirements to be met.


Student Identity Verification in Distance Learning Policy


Slippery Rock University

Policy 2.5 Student Identity Verification in Distance Learning


This policy applies to all credit-bearing distance education courses or programs offered by the Slippery Rock University, beginning with the application for admission and continuing through to a student’s graduation, transfer, or withdrawal from study.  The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Slippery Rock University operates in compliance with the provisions of the United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) concerning the verification of student identity in distance education.

The HEOA requires that institutions offering distance education or correspondence courses or programs have processes in place to ensure that the student registering for a course is the same student who participates in the course or receives course credit.  The Act requires that institutions use one of the following three methods: 

  • A secure login and pass code;
  • Proctored examinations; and
  • New or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.

For this purpose, Slippery Rock University requires all students to use their official University ID and password for purposes of identity verification for distance learning.


  1. The SRUID system is a University authentication and security measure to ensure that accounts are managed more securely across University campuses. All students at Slippery Rock University are provided a SRUID for secure access to University systems, including for distance learning upon depositing to campus.  New students set up their account and are directed to use the password management to store a four digit pin and two security questions to be used in the event that students need to change their password or reclaim their SRUID.  In the event this has not been done, students can contact the Help Desk and verify their identification through a variety of questions with full-time staff.


  1. Students are responsible for providing their complete and true identity information in any identification verification process. It is against University policy for a user to give someone his or her password or to allow others to use his or her account.


  1. Slippery Rock University’s learning management system integrates with University authentication services to ensure appropriate and secure student access to courses and other Student Information Systems. All users of the University’s learning management system are responsible for maintaining the security of IDs and passwords, or any other access credentials as required. Attempting to discover another user’s password or attempts to gain unauthorized access to another person’s files or email is prohibited.


  1. In addition, the University’s Student Information System provides instructors access to class rosters that includes student photos associated with their name and account. The learning management system also provides student photos associated with their account, and if set up by the student, is visible in areas of the course including the discussion. Live audio and video of students interacting in the course is also a feature of the learning management system.  As technology and personal accountability are not absolute in determining a student’s identity, faculty members are encouraged to use these technologies and to design courses that use assignments and evaluations that support academic integrity.


  1. At this time there are no additional student fees associated with student verification.  Slippery Rock University is currently experimenting with a video tool used for identification/integrity purposes.  In the event any verification fee is needed, it will be posted on the course registration site to provide an advance alert to students.


  1. Slippery Rock University complies fully with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g. This act protects the privacy of student information in distance education by requiring, with certain limited exceptions, that the student’s consent must be obtained before disclosing any personally identifiable information in the student’s education records. Additional information on FERPA and student record access can be found at: http://www.sru.edu/academics/academic-services/academic-records/policies-regulations-and-catalogs


Students who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action through the Student Code of Conduct Policy


The Office for Information and Administrative Technology Services (IATS), part of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy and that deans, department chairs, and program coordinators are informed of any changes in the policy in a timely fashion. IATS is also responsible for ensuring that university-level processes remain in compliance with this policy. 


This policy applies to all students taking distance education courses.


Authority for creation and revision

              Reviewed by:   ASA Academic Policy Committee, 1.30.16

              Approved by:   University Cabinet, 8.07.17


Student Responsibility


Graduate students are expected to know the requirements for their degree program. While academic advisers and faculty members will endeavor to aid students, the responsibility for compliance with regulations and requirements rests with the student.




Final copies of theses must be submitted in photo-ready typed format, using a letter quality printer. Three bound copies of the thesis are minimal: two for the library and one for the department. Custom frequently dictates two additional copies: one for the thesis advisor and one for the student. The fees for binding and copying must be paid prior to or at the time an application for graduation is filed. Students should consult with their faculty adviser/graduate coordinator for official thesis style guides. Approval from the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (IRB-PHS) is required before data collection involving human subjects may begin. Research protocol guidelines may be obtained from the chair of the IRB-PHS.




Students desiring transcripts of their graduate credits may obtain them by writing to the Office of Academic Records and Registration. There is no fee for “regularly processed” transcripts, whether mailed, faxed or emailed on the student’s behalf. Transcripts are typically processed in 48-72 hours. Students requesting “same day” service will be charged $10 per transcript.  Students may request no more than 5 transcripts in any one day.  A complimentary copy of the transcript is sent to all students upon graduation. Checks for transcripts should be made payable to Slippery Rock University and should accompany the transcript request. Official transcripts include the student’s entire undergraduate and graduate record. Students may request to have only their SRU undergraduate or graduate record sent. Transcripts will not be processed for students who have any form of outstanding obligation to the university.


Transfer Credit Policy

Graduate students requesting graduate transfer credit must complete the Graduate Student Transfer Credit Form (http://www.sru.edu/Documents/admissions/graduate/Graduate-Student-Transfer-Credit-Form.pdf?1465079078816 ) and submit to the Graduate Admissions Office with official graduate transcripts. Acceptance or denial of transfer credit is not determined exclusively on the basis of the accreditation of the sending institution or the delivery method of the course(s), although national or regional accreditation is expected of the transfer institution.

A maximum of one-third or 12 semester graduate credit (course) hours (whichever is met first) of the of the program’s required total credit hours may be transferred to Slippery Rock University. For example, in a 30 credit hour graduate program, no more than 10 credits may transfer. These credits must carry at least a “B” grade, and be approved by the appropriate graduate program coordinator and the Director of Graduate Admissions. Those grades received for courses other than Slippery Rock University’s will be recorded but will not be included in the student’s cumulative grade point average.

Credits earned in extension courses and in off-campus centers of other institutions will be reviewed for acceptance. Transfer of credits from other institutions will be recommended by the graduate coordinator and be approved/disapproved by the Director of Graduate Admissions. No more than six semester hours shall be transferred from another institution if taken after a student has been admitted to a graduate program at Slippery Rock University.

Appeals of transfer credit evaluation must be made in writing to the Graduate Coordinator for review by the Graduate Coordinator and the Director of Graduate Admissions.

The Graduate Transfer of Credit Policy is reviewed annually by the Graduate Council.


Veteran Students - Higher Education Course Scheduling Preference

Act 46 of 2014 requires public institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania to provide veteran students, as defined in the Act, with preference course scheduling.  Non-compliance may be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Education by submitting the Higher Education Complaint form found at: www.education/state.pa.us

In accordance with the Pennsylvania “Higher Education Course Scheduling Preference for Veteran Student Act”, Slippery Rock University has broadened the definition of “veteran student” to include the following groups of students:

  1. Any student who “has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, including a reserve component and National Guard, and was discharged or released from such service under conditions other than dishonorable”.
  2. Any student currently serving in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, including a reserve component and National Guard.

Veterans receiving “course scheduling preference” will be assigned the first registration date and time within their respective class level… graduate, post-baccalaureate and undergraduate.

Students, who identify themselves as Veterans, as defined above, are notified of priority registration dates and times in the MySRU portal.  For consideration of transfer credit for military education and occupational training, Veterans should submit a Joint Services Transcript (JST) or Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript to the Transfer Admissions Office. A copy of the DD214 should be submitted to the Veterans Certifying Official.

Students with questions concerning course scheduling preference for veterans may contact any of the following individuals:

Ms. Corinne Gibson - Director of Inclusive Excellence, Corinne.Gibson@sru.edu, 724-738-2700

Mr. Constance Edwards - Director of Academic Records and Registration, Constance.Edwards@sru.edu, 724-738-2010

Mr. George McDowell, Veterans Services Coordinator, George.McDowell@sru.edu , 724-738-2184