Feb 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Graduate Education Administration


Admission Policies

Programs may have application deadlines, a preferred date for receipt of applications, or rolling admission. 

  • Programs with application deadlines may not receive additional applications after their deadline unless the application is reopened for all applicants.
  • Programs with rolling admission must render a decision regarding all applications received, and may deny admission when their cohort is full regardless of candidate qualifications.

An admission recommendation regarding every applicant must be received by the graduate school for every candidate.  Admission recommendations should be made shortly after application deadlines, or within four weeks of submission of the complete application for programs with continuing or rolling admission. 

Applicants request admission for a particular term.  For most programs, The Graduate School will close the online application system to new applications two weeks prior to the start of each term.  Programs must send recommendations regarding candidates at least one week prior to the start of the requested term.  Programs may not postpone recommendations until a future term.  They may, however, tender a recommendation that a candidate be admitted for a future term.

Upon request of a Program Director, The Graduate School will keep applications open for a particular program and term until an agreed-upon date that is less than two weeks prior to the start of the term.  This exception will be made only when a program has capacity to accept additional students for that term and the Program Director agrees to enter a recommendation regarding late applicants within one week of application submission.

Certificate Programs

Authority
The Graduate School (TGS) governs the approval process for establishing graduate certificate programs through the JMU graduate certificate curriculum and instruction (C&I) process. The School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) governs the process for administering graduate certificate programs. All applicants must apply online through TGS for an established graduate certificate program. General graduate school policies for graduate students and graduate programs apply to students enrolled in certificate programs unless specified otherwise in this policy.

Definitions
A graduate certificate program is a non-degree, prescribed graduate course of study, which, upon satisfactory completion, results in the awarding of a certificate. A certificate program at the graduate level should consist of a minimum of 12 credit hours to a maximum of 24 credit hours. This distinguishes a graduate certificate program from workshops, seminars or conferences.

A graduate certificate program director is the individual designated to be responsible for academic unit coordination, administration and decision-making regarding the certificate program. The program director is responsible for assuring that students receive advising on academic matters related to the certificate program. The program director is responsible for the student admission process, initiating curricular revisions and coordinating program assessment. The person in this position serves as the primary contact with SPCE and TGS regarding the certificate program.

Program Development and Approval
Graduate certificate programs are created and developed by JMU faculty in collaboration with representatives from SPCE. A new program can only be developed with the support of an academic unit, academic college, TGS, The Graduate Council and SPCE. 

Graduate Certificate Program Approval

To ensure that graduate certificate programs meet the academic standards required of all JMU programs, programs must be reviewed and approved through the university approval steps (i.e. Provost Leadership Team preview, C&I process, Committee on Academic Program (CAP) approval process) then approved by the Board of Visitors and SCHEV. Proposals must be approved by the head of the academic unit in which the program will reside, the appropriate college C&I committee, the dean of that college, the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee, the Graduate Dean and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Curriculum. Programs that will be offered at an off-site location must be approved at least six months before the program is scheduled to begin promotion and admission to students.

All graduate certificate programs should be comprised of approved JMU credit-bearing courses. Under certain circumstances, approved graduate credit courses from comparable institutions may comprise a portion of a program; JMU should be in official partnership with such institutions.

Graduate Certificate Program Implementation

Each graduate certificate program must have clearly articulated admission requirements. An application fee is required for each graduate certificate program application. Graduate certificate program directors will review application materials to determine the applicants’ acceptance or denial. Applicant interviews are both permitted and encouraged.

Each certificate program must specify the requirements that a student must meet in order to successfully complete the graduate certificate program and receive a certificate.

Graduate certificate programs must include a plan for assessment. Graduate program directors are responsible for the creation of an assessment plan, collection of data and final reporting of assessment results.

Timeline for Completion of a Graduate Certificate Program

Students must complete their graduate certificate programs within three years of beginning the certificate program. Students must enroll in at least one course during every 12-month period to remain active in the program. A student who exceeds this time limit must reapply for admission to the program, pay all applicable fees and be readmitted to the program. Exceptions may be granted for extenuating circumstances upon the request of the graduate certificate program director and approval of TGS.

Withdrawal or Dismissal from a Graduate Certificate Program

Students must notify the graduate certificate program director and SPCE if they must withdraw from their graduate certificate program for any reason. Students must also notify the Registrar’s Office if they withdraw prior to census date and the Office of Student Withdrawals after census date. Students who have not made progress in a certificate program for a 12-month period may be administratively withdrawn. Students who have not earned satisfactory grades may be dismissed.

Reentry into a Graduate Certificate Program
Students who wish to reenter a program must reapply to that graduate certificate program and pay the application fee. Exceptions to this policy may be granted for extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the graduate certificate program director in consultation with SPCE.

Completion of a Graduate Certificate Program

When a student completes a graduate certificate program and the Graduate Certificate Completion form has been verified, SPCE will send a copy of the signed form to the Office of the Registrar. Completion of a graduate certificate program will then be noted on the students’ official transcript. The Registrar will issue the appropriate certificate to the student.

Graduate Certificate Program Credit
Graduate certificate programs are developed to provide focused credentialing. Credits completed in pursuit of a graduate certificate may be used to satisfy the requirement of both the certificate program and a degree program. Students enrolled in a certificate program must apply for and be admitted to a degree program before beginning coursework beyond coursework required for the certificate program. Enrolled degree-seeking students may be allowed to enroll in certificate programs, in an area that expands their credentials, in addition to their degree program, with the approval of their degree-program adviser.

Transfer Credit

The graduate certificate program director will determine the maximum number of transfer credits from an external institution (up to a maximum of 50% of the total program hours) that may be counted toward completion of the graduate certificate program. Approved transfer credits must be listed on an official Transfer of Credit form. A student enrolled in a degree program at JMU may transfer credits into a certificate program with the approval of the graduate certificate program director.

Student Advising

Student advising will take place through the academic program offering the graduate certificate. It is the responsibility of the graduate certificate program director to monitor students’ progress and completion of certificate programs.

Graduate Certificate Program Administration
Instruction and graduate certificate program-specific administration will occur within the appropriate academic unit(s). Changes to graduate certificate program prerequisites, requirements or course of study options will occur at the program level in coordination with SPCE and must go through the university graduate C&I process. Changes in the graduate certificate program director will also occur at the program level; SPCE and TGS must be notified promptly of all leadership changes.

SPCE and TGS share responsibility for recruitment marketing for graduate certificate programs. TGS manages the admission process for graduate certificate programs. Certificate Program Directors recommend admission decisions to TGS and TGS conveys official admission or denial decisions to candidates and maintains records with respect to admission.

SPCE assists with the management of graduate certificate programs. SPCE maintains student records and manages student progress and program withdrawal or reinstatement, processes course directives, determines when students complete certificate program requirements and makes recommendations to the Registrar regarding certificate of completion. 

Graduate Council Membership and Voting Quorum

The administration of The Graduate School is governed by the Graduate Council, the graduate faculty as a body, and the Dean of The Graduate School. To accomplish the university’s comprehensive objectives, The Graduate School develops broad policies and long-range plans. Graduate Council approval is required for the following:

  • New program proposals
  • Deletion of graduate programs
  • Standards for graduate faculty
  • Broad graduate admission policies
  • Graduate courses

Graduate Council Membership

The Graduate council voting membership shall consist of a representative from each graduate program, the dean of The Graduate School, who will chair Council meetings, a representative from the JMU library system, and two graduate students. In the absence of the dean, an alternate chair (chosen by the membership) shall preside.

Graduate Council Quorum

A quorum for the Graduate Council shall consist of a simple majority of voting members present at the meeting provided at least 50% of the Council membership is present. This will also be the case for decisions made by electronic vote.

Graduate Faculty Appointments

Definitions

Graduate Faculty

The members of the faculty who are authorized to teach graduate courses at the 500 level or above at the university, including graduate faculty members, graduate instructors, emeritus graduate faculty members, adjunct graduate faculty members and adjunct graduate instructors.

Graduate Faculty Member

A member of the full-time faculty of the university who meets all of the criteria for graduate faculty status.

Graduate Instructor

A member of the full-time university faculty who meets some but not all of the criteria for graduate faculty status.

Emeritus Graduate Faculty Member

A graduate faculty member who retires from the university may continue to serve as an emeritus graduate faculty member while holding emeritus status at the university.

Adjunct Graduate Faculty Member

An adjunct graduate faculty member is a part-time faculty member at the university who otherwise meets all of the criteria for graduate faculty status.

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

An adjunct graduate instructor is a part-time faculty member at the university who meets some but not all of the criteria for graduate faculty status.

Adjunct Clinical Graduate Instructor

An adjunct clinical graduate instructor is a part-time faculty member at the university or an unpaid professional outside of the university who does not meet the criteria for graduate faculty status, but who has special expertise in an area relevant to a graduate program of the university.

Applicability

This policy applies to all instructional faculty members at the university. It also applies to administrative and professional (A&P) faculty members who are considered or apply for graduate faculty status.

Policy

Faculty members may be appointed to the graduate faculty when they are hired, if their responsibilities will include graduate instruction and advising and/or supervision and if they meet the criteria for graduate faculty status.

Current faculty members whose responsibilities change to include graduate instruction, advising and/or supervision are eligible to apply to become members of the graduate faculty by using the procedures outlined in this policy. Adjunct clinical graduate instructors may be given graduate faculty status by the academic unit head, with prior approval by the academic dean and the dean of The Graduate School.

Appointments to the graduate faculty are renewable annually under the procedures outlined in Academic Affairs Policy #5, Appointment to the Graduate Faculty.

Eligibility

Graduate Faculty Member

A graduate faculty member is authorized to teach at the 500 level and above; chair and serve on comprehensive assessment, thesis and dissertation committees; supervise practica and internships; and take on other responsibilities of graduate programming as assigned by the appropriate academic unit head. A faculty member may be recommended for appointment as a graduate faculty member to teach graduate courses at the university if he or she meets the following criteria:

  • The faculty member must possess the appropriate terminal degree in his or her teaching field;
  • The faculty member must present evidence to the appropriate academic unit head of current scholarly productivity (within the last six years) as appropriate for his or her field;
  • The faculty member must present evidence to the appropriate academic unit head of successful teaching and/or administration at the graduate level within the last six years, or other relevant contributions to graduate education; and
  • The faculty member must meet any additional academic unit criteria on file with the Graduate School for the academic unit.

Graduate Instructor

Graduate Instructors can be authorized to perform the following activities as assigned by the appropriate academic unit head: teach at the 500 level and above; serve on comprehensive assessment, thesis and dissertation committees but not chair them; supervise practica and internships; and take on other responsibilities of graduate programming as assigned by the appropriate AUH. A faculty member may be recommended for appointment as a Graduate Instructor to teach graduate courses at the university if he or she meets the following criteria:

  • The faculty member must possess at least an appropriate master’s degree in his or her field, preferably working toward the appropriate terminal degree.
  • The faculty member must present evidence to the appropriate academic unit head of scholarly productivity and/or appropriate professional experience (within the last six years) as relevant for his or her field; and
  • The faculty member must meet any additional academic unit criteria on file with The Graduate School for the academic unit.

Reassignment from Graduate Instructor to Graduate Faculty Member

A faculty member may be recommended for reassignment from graduate instructor to graduate faculty member if he or she meets the following criteria: If lack of a terminal degree is the only criterion missing for graduate faculty member status, the individual may be appointed as a graduate instructor status and the appointment may be changed to graduate faculty member with a recommendation to the dean of The Graduate School from the appropriate academic unit head, with approval of the academic college dean, when the terminal degree is awarded.

Emeritus Faculty Member

Emeritus graduate faculty may perform any of their pre-retirement duties and responsibilities, as assigned by the appropriate academic unit head, but may not be employed full time by the university. A faculty member who retires from the university may be recommended for continuation of graduate faculty status if he or she meets the following criteria:

  • The faculty member held graduate faculty status on the date of retirement.
  • As an exception to the criteria for graduate faculty status, emeritus graduate faculty members are not expected to maintain scholarly productivity.
  • The faculty member must maintain emeritus status at the university.
  • The faculty member must meet any additional academic unit criteria on file with The Graduate School for the academic unit.

Adjunct Graduate Faculty Member

Adjunct graduate faculty members are not automatically adjunct faculty of the university. Adjunct graduate faculty can be authorized to perform the following activities as assigned by the appropriate academic unit head: teach at the 500 level and above; serve on comprehensive assessment, thesis and dissertation committees but not chair them (with the exception of Adjunct Graduate Faculty from the University of Malta, upon written approval of the dean of The Graduate School); supervise practica and internships; and take on other responsibilities of graduate programming. A faculty member may be recommended for appointment as an adjunct graduate faculty member to teach graduate courses at the university if he or she meets the following criteria:

  • The faculty member must possess the appropriate terminal degree in his or her teaching field;
  • The faculty member must present evidence to the appropriate academic unit head of current scholarly productivity (within the last six years) as appropriate for his or her field;
  • The faculty member must present evidence to the appropriate academic unit head of successful teaching and/or administration at the graduate level within the last six years, or other relevant contributions to graduate education; and
  • The faculty member must meet any additional academic unit criteria on file with The Graduate School for the academic unit.

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Adjunct Graduate Instructors are not automatically adjunct faculty of the university. Adjunct graduate instructors can be authorized to perform the following activities as assigned by the appropriate academic unit head: teach at the 500-level and above; supervise practica and internships; and take on other responsibilities of graduate programming. Adjunct graduate instructors are not authorized to serve on comprehensive assessment, thesis or dissertation committees. A faculty member may be recommended for appointment as an adjunct graduate faculty member to teach graduate courses at the university if he or she meets the following criteria:

  • The faculty member must possess at least an appropriate master’s degree in his or her field.
  • The faculty member must present evidence to the appropriate academic unit head of scholarly productivity and/or appropriate professional experience (within the last six years) as relevant for his or her field; and
  • The faculty member must meet any additional academic unit criteria on file with The Graduate School for the academic unit.

Adjunct Clinical Graduate Instructor

Adjunct clinical graduate instructors can be authorized only to supervise practica and internships. Adjunct clinical graduate instructors are not authorized to teach at the 500-level and above, nor to serve on comprehensive assessment, thesis or dissertation committees. An individual may be recommended for appointment as an adjunct clinical graduate instructor to supervise practica and internships for students at the university if he or she meets the criteria on file with The Graduate School for the academic unit.

Procedural Timeline

Initial Appointment

Faculty members may be appointed to the graduate faculty at any time, including upon hiring, if they meet the criteria for graduate faculty status. Their responsibilities must include graduate instruction, advising and/or supervision.

The faculty member’s academic unit head should send a letter through the college dean to the dean of The Graduate School requesting that the faculty member be appointed at the appropriate graduate faculty level. The letter should include a brief description of how the faculty member meets the eligibility criteria for this appointment. The college dean must sign the letter indicating approval prior to forwarding to The Graduate School. A copy of the applicant’s curriculum vita must be attached.

Appointments

Appointments to the graduate faculty are made by the dean of The Graduate School. The dean will notify each faculty member appointed to the graduate faculty, and a copy of the notification will be sent to the initiating dean and academic unit head. Any faculty member denied appointment to the graduate faculty will also be notified of such denial, with copies to the AUH and academic dean. Denial of appointment by the dean of The Graduate School is final and is not an appealable action.

Renewal

Administrative Continuation

Continuation of graduate faculty status is renewed administratively each year through a checklist report submitted by The Graduate School to the academic unit heads in units that have graduate faculty. The Graduate School will assume that graduate faculty continue to meet eligibility criteria as long as the academic unit head indicates that the faculty member maintains involvement in graduate instruction, advising and supervision and has received satisfactory annual evaluations in scholarship and in graduate teaching.

Nonrenewal

A faculty member’s graduate faculty status will not be renewed if the academic unit head indicates in the annual update report that the faculty member no longer meets eligibility requirements, that an unsatisfactory annual evaluation was given or that the member’s status should be not be renewed for some other reason. Upon receiving such an indication in the annual update report, the dean of The Graduate School will notify the faculty member of nonrenewal of graduate faculty status. Nonrenewal of graduate faculty status by the dean of The Graduate School is final and is not an appealable action.

Procedural Timeline

By October 31 of each academic year, The Graduate School will submit by email or campus mail a list of current graduate faculty in all categories to each academic unit that has graduate faculty.

Using the Graduate Faculty/Instructor Annual Update Report Form sent by The Graduate School, academic unit heads will indicate the following for the graduate faculty in each category:

Each faculty member who continues to meet eligibility criteria and whose performance has been satisfactory.

Each faculty member whose faculty status should be elevated from graduate instructor to graduate faculty member.

Each faculty member who no longer meets eligibility criteria, whose performance has been unsatisfactory, or whose status should not be renewed for some reason.

Withdrawal

Withdrawal of graduate faculty status may be accomplished at any time by action of the dean of The Graduate School. This may occur upon recommendation of the academic dean, the academic unit head or the Graduate Council, or upon the graduate dean’s own initiative. Such action is appropriate when the faculty member is determined to lack one or more eligibility criteria, is determined to have performed in an unsatisfactory manner on the graduate faculty, as a sanction for misconduct, as a sanction for post-tenure review or for any other appropriate reason.

Faculty members do not have a legitimate expectation of continuation of graduate faculty status, and it may be withdrawn at any time for any reason. In the case of withdrawal of status, the faculty member will be informed in writing from the dean of The Graduate School, and a copy of the notice will be sent to the academic unit head and academic dean. Withdrawal of graduate faculty status by the dean of The Graduate School is final and is not an appealable action.

Responsibilities

The dean of The Graduate School is responsible for making appointments to the graduate faculty, for nonrenewals of appointments and for withdrawing appointments. The dean is also responsible for notification of a faculty member of changes in his or her graduate faculty status.

Academic unit heads are responsible for making recommendations to their academic deans on appointments to the graduate faculty from their academic units. They are also responsible for annual review of the list of graduate faculty within their academic units and for notifying The Graduate School of any nonrenewals needed. They are also responsible for recommending withdrawal of graduate faculty status.

Academic deans are responsible for making recommendations to the dean of The Graduate School on appointments to the graduate faculty within their colleges and for making recommendations on withdrawals of graduate faculty status.

Annual Review of Admission Policies and Procedures

Graduate program faculty must annually review their admission policies and procedures.

James Madison University must be in compliance with the SACSCOC requirement which states: All graduate programs are required to review their admission policies and procedures each year and report any changes to the Dean of The Graduate School. Any modifications in admission policies and procedures must also be entered as revisions to the Graduate Catalog, the program website and any program recruitment publications.

Evaluation of Orientation and Advisement Programs

There should be regular evaluation of orientation and advisement programs.

James Madison University must be in compliance with the SACSCOC requirement which states: Orientation and advisement programs must be evaluated regularly and used to enhance effective assistance to students.

Policy Review Timeline

To maintain policy relevance, all policies will be substantively reviewed by the Graduate Council Executive Committee every five years.  The next policy review will occur during the 2024-25 academic year.

Program, Concentration and Certificate Program Sunsetting Policy and Procedures

To present accurate information to SCHEV, prospective students, and the public, graduate degree programs, concentrations and certificates listed in JMU’s graduate catalog must accurately reflect opportunities that are actually available. It is sometimes necessary to not accept applications during a particular year, and The Graduate School will permit temporary suspension of applications. However, when applications are not accepted for many years, JMU is not offering this opportunity and the program should be removed from the graduate catalog. The following policy and procedures provide guidance and simple processes for regularly examining programs not accepting applications and for discontinuing programs that are no longer being offered.

Degree programs, concentrations and certificates that do not accept admission applications for 6 or more years must be formally discontinued and removed from the graduate catalog. An exception to this policy can be made at the request of the program’s Academic Unit Head, with the approval of the Academic Dean, the Graduate Dean, and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Curriculum.

Procedures

Each October, The Graduate School will prepare and send to the appropriate AUH’s and Academic Deans a list of degree programs, concentrations and certificates that are not accepting applications. This list will include the last academic year the program accepted applications and the number of students still enrolled.

Annually, academic units that offer academic programs that have not accepted applications for several years will be encouraged to use Curriculog to discontinue opportunities that are no longer available. Academic units that have not been accepting applications for six or more years will be required to complete a brief form in Curriculog that will either request that the opportunity be removed from the catalog or that it be continued for a specific stated reason. This form will originate from the AUH of the program (or their designee) and will be routed for approval to the College Dean, Graduate Council C&I Committee, and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Curriculum.

The form in Curriculog will request the following information:

  • Name of degree program, concentration or certificate program under consideration.
  • Date program last accepted applications and number of students currently enrolled (from the Graduate School report).
  • One of the following:
  • Request to discontinue the academic offering, a brief rational, and a teach-out plan for enrolled students to complete the program (if any are currently enrolled).
  • Request to continue the academic offering with rationale including the intended date new applicants will be considered.