BSU Catalog Home


Section IV

Academic Policies

Academic Year

Bemidji State University functions on an academic semester system consisting of fall and spring semesters of approximately sixteen (16) weeks each, and a summer term. Credits earned during summer term may be applied toward the fulfillment of degree requirements.

Academic Integrity

Bemidji State University fosters the highest standards of academic integrity and the highest regard for truth and honesty. The attempt by students to present as their own any work not actually performed by them; collusion, fabrication, and cheating on examinations, papers, and other course-related work; stealing, duplicating, or selling examinations; substituting for others in class discussions or examinations; producing other student's papers or projects; knowingly furnishing false or misleading academic information to University officials or on official University records; and altering such information on official University records are considered violations of academic integrity and destructive to the central mission of the University. Students who violate academic integrity shall, after due process, be subject to University sanctions that may include failure on assignments and examinations and in courses, and suspension or expulsion. Established academic integrity policies, procedures, and sanctions are contained in the Student Handbook and should be communicated as widely as feasible in classes. Students should contact the graduate dean regarding academic grievance procedures.

Academic Standards

A high level of scholarship is expected of all students enrolled for graduate credit, whether or not they are pursuing a degree. Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 ("B") for all course work attempted.

The academic progress of each student is reviewed by the Dean, School of Graduate Studies, at the conclusion of each semester or summer term. Students who are not making satisfactory progress will be notified as follows:

  1. Students who are provisionally admitted to the graduate studies program will be dismissed if they do not attain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 ("B") for the initial six (6) 6000-level graduate credits attempted. Students may petition the BSU Graduate Studies Committee, through the Dean, School of Graduate Studies, for readmission (see Readmission After Dismissal in this section).
  2. A student in the graduate studies program who has been admitted on an approved status or a student with Graduate Special status whose GPA falls below the scholarship standards, as previously defined, will be placed on probation and permitted two (2) additional semester registrations. If a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.00 ("B") is not achieved upon completion of these two (2) semesters of course work, the student will be dismissed from the graduate studies program for a period of one calendar year. A graduate student who is dismissed may appeal by contacting the Dean, School of Graduate Studies. For information on readmission requirements, see Readmission After Dismissal in this section.
  3. Students who have been dismissed because of a low GPA may continue study only on an audit basis. For information on readmission requirements, see Readmission After Dismissal in this section.

Grades and Grading

Grade Point Average (GPA)

1. The grade point average is computed by dividing the number of quality points earned by the number of semester credits attempted for which grades of A, B, C, D, or F were awarded. Quality points for each course are calculated by multiplying the number of semester credits by the points awarded for the grade earned. Grade points are shown under "Grading System" below.

For example, a student who received one A, two B's, and one C, each grade from a three-semester credit course, would have the following GPA:

A x 3 semester credits = 4 x 3 =

12 quality points

B x 3 semester credits = 3 x 3 =

9 quality points

B x 3 semester credits = 3 x 3 =

9 quality points

C x 3 semester credits = 2 x 3 =

6 quality points

12 semester credits

36 quality points

36 quality points divided by 12 semester credits = 3.00 GPA

2. Only the most recent grade of a repeated course will be used in computing the GPA. The first grade will be removed from the computation of the GPA once a Repeat Form is submitted to the Records and Registration Office.

Grading System

A* - Excellent (4 quality points)
B* - Good (3 quality points)
C* - Fair (2 quality points)
D* - Poor (1 quality points)
F* - Failure (0 quality points)
I - Incomplete
IP - In Progress
Z - No Grade Reported by the Instructor
P - Passing (see Pass/No Credit Option)
NC - No Credit (see Pass/No Credit Option)
S - Satisfactory
U - Unsatisfactory
AU - Audit
W - Withdrawal

*These are the only grades considered by this catalog to be "letter grades." A letter grade of "C" or better is passing in graduate course work. A minimum grade point average of at least a 3.00 ("B") is required for graduation.

Incomplete (I)

To be given by prior arrangement between the student and the instructor or in the case of a verifiable emergency situation. An incomplete must be removed by the student within twenty (20) class days of the next semester, or within one (1) year, if the student does not return to the University; otherwise, the grade is a failure and is so recorded. Any exception must be petitioned and approved by the Student Program and Admission Committee (petition forms in the Records and Registration Office). After one (1) year these grades may be discounted from the grade point average only when the courses are repeated.

In Progress (IP)

The student may, with the instructor's prior approval, be granted a grade of "IP" (In Progress) for an independent study project (e.g., thesis or research paper) or special course for which completion of the course within one semester may not normally be anticipated.

Pass/No Credit Option (P/NC)

The Pass/No Credit option is generally not available to graduate students. Exceptions to this proscription are:

1. Those courses used to satisfy general elective requirements (e.g., workshops).

2. Admission deficiencies for which the student has prior, specific, written approval to take on a P/NC basis. The department chair or approved graduate advisor may grant such approval, which must then be on file in the School of Graduate Studies prior to registration.

3. Any undergraduate non-deficiency course.

Academic credit is not granted in those instances where a grade of "NC" (no credit) has been awarded. A graduate student does not have the option of receiving a letter grade for a course completed on a P/NC or S/U basis.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grades (S/U)

Some courses, such as student teaching, internships, and some workshops, are offered only with the "S" or "U" grade designations. Letter grades are not available for these courses.

Audit Option (AU)

Students who desire to take a course without credit and without regard for the usual prerequisites may enroll as "audit." These students must notify the instructor that they are auditing. Auditing students must pay the regular fees required of other students, but they are not permitted to take examinations. Audited courses cannot be counted toward graduation requirements or as part of the student's course. Grades are recorded only as "AU" - audit.

Withdrawal Option (W)

Given to students who withdraw prior to the withdrawal deadline published in the Academic Calendar from a class for which they are financially responsible. No one may withdraw from class after that time except in special hardship cases. Please see the Academic Calendar for accurate withdrawal dates.

Courses and Numbering

Courses numbered at the 5000 and 6000 levels may be used to satisfy requirements in the master's degree programs. A minimum of 50 percent of the student's approved program of study must be at the 6000 level, excluding those credits attributed to a thesis, research paper, capstone or similar cumulative project.

5000 Level Courses

Graduate courses offered at the 5000 level are double numbered with courses at the 3000 or 4000 level. However, all such courses require prior approval through the curriculum process. Courses at the 5000 level concurrently offered with undergraduate courses include additional graduate-level assignments, typically in the form of an advanced paper or project, reading assignments, examinations, and conferences. A differentiated grading system is also required for graduate students in double-numbered courses.

6000 Level Courses

Graduate courses at the 6000 level are available to graduate students only.

Undergraduate students may not register or attend 6000-level courses.

All-University Courses

The All-University courses listed below are generally not included in the formal semester or summer term schedules. Registration in such courses requires the approval of the instructor, department/program chair, and the Dean of Graduate Studies.


Arranged individual study.


Arranged group study.


A course proposed for inclusion in the University curriculum. May not be offered more than two times as an experimental course.


A course for practitioners seeking additional training or expertise in their current vocation or profession. The in-service format typically includes an educational experience in which a University faculty member and a group of students concentrate on working toward the resolution of a specific problem.


An intense, credit-granting academic experience of short duration (usually from two days to two weeks) that is not listed in the current University curriculum. Provides for the practical application of theoretical learning within a group setting, and may include the development of methods and skills and the discussion of ideas and principles.

Note: Graduate credit for institutes and workshops may be recognized toward the completion of program requirements. A maximum of five (5) semester credits, or the equivalent of formal workshop courses in which a letter grade was earned, may be included in a degree program as an elective at the 5000-level. Workshop course work may not be used to satisfy a required core course or 6000-level course. Academic credit for tours will be awarded as non-degree credit only when the tour is conducted by an academic department/program at Bemidji State University, a member of the graduate faculty participates in the evaluation of the student's performance, and the course(s) are approved by the Graduate Committee.


A course intended for specific groups or organizations outside the University community.

5970, 6970 INTERNSHIP

Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only.

Student internships may be either full-time or part-time in a public or private agency appropriate to the degree objective. Internships consist of closely supervised periods of service that are arranged in advance of the course registration. Students should consult their advisor concerning prerequisites.

5980, 6980 RESEARCH

Research carried out by the student that is based on appropriate methodology and scholarship.

5990, 6990 THESIS

A thesis written by the student that reports extensive original research carried out by the student and demonstrates appropriate methodology and scholarship.

Full Time/Part Time Student Status

Status is based on credit load. For enrollment verification purposes, the graduate student course load is defined as follows:

Full time - at least nine (9) credits per semester.

Three-quarter time - at least seven (7) credits per semester.

Half time - at least five (5) credits per semester.

The maximum graduate credit load is sixteen (16) credits per semester. Students wishing to exceed the maximum load must receive approval from the Dean, School of Graduate Studies. Additional information applies for graduate students who are participating in a graduate assistantship. Please see Graduate Assistantships in Section III.

Residence Requirements

The master’s degree requires a minimum of twenty (20) graduate credits completed through Bemidji State University. Individual programs may have on-campus residence requirements.

Fifty Percent (50%) Requirement

According to MnSCU Policy, “At least one-half of the required credits in a master’s degree, exclusive of a thesis, capstone or similar culminating project, shall be credits restricted exclusively to graduate student enrollment.”  Therefore, the graduate student’s course work must include a minimum of 50% of 6000-level credits, excluding those credits associated with a thesis, research paper, capstone, or similar culminating project.

Time Limit

Graduate credits earned within seven (7) years before the confirming of the degree shall apply to the master's program. All course work, including transfer credits, greater than seven (7) years old is considered to be obsolete and may not be included in a student's program of study.

Transfer Credit Requirements

Transfer credits are only accepted from colleges and universities that are regionally accredited and from approved international universities that offer a master's degree program.

Change of Degree or Program

A change of degree or program requires approval by petition.

Duplication of Course Work

A course taken at the undergraduate level cannot be retaken for credit at the graduate level. An appropriate course and credit substitution or waiver must be made.

BSU Catalog Home | BSU Home
Catalog Editor: