May 20, 2018  
2014-15 Northeastern State University Graduate Catalog 
2014-15 Northeastern State University Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Academic Information

Graduate General Information


Graduate Student

A graduate student is an individual who has earned a bachelor’s degree, who has completed an Application for Graduate Admission and who has been admitted to: (1) a specific graduate degree program (2) a certificate program (3) a recertification program or as a (4) guest, or (5) non-pursuing student.  

Student Identification Card

All students must have an identification card which includes their name, NSU ID number, and picture.  The NSU ID Card is the campus community’s key to participate in the full range of services and activities available throughout NSU’s campuses. The card can be used for door access, library privileges, purchases at the bookstore, and will also allow free admission to regular home athletic events.  In addition, if a student purchases a meal plan, the NSU ID Card may be used to redeem meals at food service centers on campus. ID cards can be made on both the Broken Arrow and Tahlequah campuses. Students must provide an alternate form of photo identification and have their photo taken before an ID will be printed. 

Student Responsibilities

The student is responsible for adhering to the various regulations and procedures set forth in the Graduate College Catalog as well as additional college/departmental and program policies concerning the students degree program.  


A student is expected to abide by the ethics of the graduate program and the profession for which he/she is preparing.

Students violating the standards of academic honesty are subject to disciplinary action including reduction of a grade(s) in a specific course, assignment, paper, or project; a formal or informal reprimand at the professional, dean, or academic vice president level; expulsion from the class in which the violation occurred; expulsion from a program; or expulsion from the university.  


A HOLD may be placed on a student’s file by the appropriate office for: (1) academic deficiencies such as unmet admission requirements, poor grades, candidacy requirements, etc. (2) financial obligations and (3) lack of compliance with University regulations and policies outlined in the Policy Manual of the Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma.

A student may not enroll in additional course work or secure a transcript of previous course work until the situation which caused the HOLD to be placed is resolved.


Advisement and Enrollment 


Initial Enrollment

Upon receipt in the Graduate College Office of the student’s Application for Graduate Admission, official transcripts from previous schools attended, and other appropriate documents, the file will be evaluated and the applicant notified in writing of the admission status.  


An academic advisor is assigned to each graduate student when admitted to the Graduate College if a graduate program is declared. It is the students responsibility to make an appointment with their advisor prior to the first enrollment. Office hours maintained by academic advisors during the semester vary depending upon their teaching schedule. Their regularly scheduled office hours are posted at their office or online. The Directory on the NSU website details telephone number, office location, and e-mail addresses for additional advisor information.

Advisement on the Broken Arrow campus may be arranged through the advisement office. Prior to every pre-enrollment, there is an advisement session. Advisors are available during regular enrollment for new and continuing students.

Advisors maintain office hours during the semester only and are not available between semesters. Advisors are available in the summer only if they are teaching and then only during the weeks they are teaching.

The advisor continues to counsel with and assist students throughout their graduate program. The advisor serves as chair of the students committee in the programs that require a committee.  

Admission to Degree Program

During the initial meeting with the academic advisor, the graduate student will review the prerequisites and conditions necessary for formal admissions to the intended degree program. When all of the prerequisite conditions have been met, the graduate student will be formally admitted to the program using the program’s prescribed process. The signed program admission form will then be sent to the Graduate College for final certification.  

Degree Plan

In developing the degree plan, the advisor will determine the student’s educational background and identify needs. The student’s needs may be revealed by the transcript, experience, performance on the aptitude test, or suggestions from an employer or supervisor.

Courses for which the student has received graduate credit will not be included in their plan of study unless they contribute to the student’s program. The degree plan must be approved by the advisor and the Dean of the Graduate College. Any alteration in the plan must be approved by the advisor and the Dean of the Graduate College. The degree plan will not be approved until requirements for admission to the graduate program are met.  

Statement of Understanding

All degree plans must be accompanied by the signed Statement of Understanding. The Statement of Understanding stipulates the requirements and responsibilities of the graduate student and the Graduate College in completion of the degree program.

Advisory Committee

Some degree programs require an advisory committee. The committee administers candidacy oral examinations, monitors synergistic experiences, administers final oral examination, monitors and approves research papers or theses, monitors internship experiences, and makes recommendations for candidacy, etc.

The advisor generally serves as chair of the committee. Other members are determined by the department and selected by the department, advisor, and student.

Admission to Candidacy

A students progress toward a degree is monitored through a process called candidacy. Candidacy requirements vary from program to program. Additional candidacy requirements for each specific degree program are provided in the section, Specific Requirements for Degree Programs. Candidacy for all programs require the following minimum standards:

  1. Admission to the graduate degree program which includes completion of a graduate aptitude test.
  2. Completion of a minimum of twelve semester hours in the program with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  3. Maintenance of a B average in all graduate course work attempted.
  4. Submission of an approved plan of study and a signed Statement of Understanding to the Graduate College.  


Students are expected to enroll for classes at the time published in the on-line Schedule of Classes. Students should arrange to visit with their assigned advisors prior to their scheduled enrollment. Advisors assist students with their schedules and approve their schedules. Students cannot be readmitted or enroll for classes if they have holds from any office.  

On-Site Enrollment

Enrollment assistance is provided on site at the Tahlequah, Muskogee, and Broken Arrow campuses prior to the opening of the semester. Students are encouraged to enroll using web access.  Regular enrollment is provided for two to four days immediately prior to the day classes begin. Students enrolling at other sites need to consult the appropriate schedule to determine the time of enrollment.  

On-Line Enrollment

Graduate students may enroll online by accessing the goNSU link from the homepage.  

Class Schedule Changes

Schedule changes (dropping and/or adding classes) are permitted through the late enrollment period. The dates for dropping and/or adding classes are published in the Schedule of Classes. Also, see withdrawals under Academic Information.  Students must contact the Office of the Registrar to completely withdraw for a semester.

Cancellation of Enrollment

Students who cannot attend classes must withdraw before classes begin to avoid being billed. There is no administrative withdrawal for nonpayment of fees.  Students should contact the Office of the Registrar to officially withdraw from all classes.

Payment of Fees

All fees are payable as published in the Schedule of Classes each semester.  

Late Enrollment

Students may enroll in classes late, generally one week. A late enrollment fee is assessed in addition to the standard fees.  



Automated Degree Audit System

The automated degree audit system allows the student to view an audit of course work taken toward a degree at any time. This program can be accessed via goNSU.  The audit will guide you through the program by listing the course work you will need to take in order to complete your degree. 

Application for Masters Degree

Degrees are conferred at the close of the summer, fall and spring semesters. Candidates for a degree must file an Application for Masters Degree.  The degree application form may be picked up in the Graduate College Office in Tahlequah, at the NSU campuses at Broken Arrow and Muskogee or downloaded from the website.  The application fee is $40. The application must be submitted by March 1 for summer, July 1 for fall and January 1 for spring.

Capstone Experience

All degree programs require a learning experience beyond the specified minimum hours of course work. This learning experience is a culminating activity termed a Capstone Experience. The Capstone encourages the use of skills learned and knowledge gained to demonstrate competency in one or more areas of the degree discipline. Since Capstone Experience options differ with each program, see the specific degree program for the options, guidelines, and deadlines for completing the Capstone. Capstone Experiences include:

  1. Comprehensive examination which may be oral or written or a combination.
  2. Research paper, project or portfolio.
  3. Thesis.
  4. Synergistic Experience.
  5. Additional specified course work or capstone course approved by advisor and Dean of the Graduate College.
  6. Second internship.
  7. Other as approved by advisor, advisory committee, and the Dean of the Graduate College.  

Research Paper/Project/Thesis

The guidelines for Thesis/Research Papers articulate specifics related to the approach of such and are available on the Graduate College website.

These works are research records, not confidential student records, and become the property of the University. Northeastern State University will place approved manuscripts in the John Vaughn Library making them available to other researchers.  


Degrees are conferred at the end of summer, fall and spring semesters. Students completing degree requirements at the end of the summer session may participate in the fall or spring commencement. Caps and gowns and graduation announcements are available at the Tahlequah, Muskogee and Broken Arrow campuses’ bookstore. Diplomas will be mailed approximately twelve weeks after the conferral date of the degree, provided all requirements are met.  

Final Deadline for Completing All Graduation Requirements

For the academic record (transcript) to indicate degree completion during the semester for which the student applied, all paperwork must be in the Graduate College Office prior to one week following the close of the semester. This paperwork includes: all grades; incompletes; official transcripts of course work completed at other schools; final approved research papers, projects, theses, and capstone experiences; notifications of comprehensive examinations. If all requirements are not met, the student must reapply for graduation.  

Second Master’s Degree

A second masters degree may be earned by completing the required courses for the degree including the minimum number of hours required for the degree. The calculation for the number of hours begins with the first hour completed after the first masters degree was awarded. If some of the courses required for the second degree were completed as part of the first degree, the course work must be either substituted with other comparable course work or repeated, depending upon the advisors recommendation based on the age, content, and grades of the course work. The research course must be repeated if the course will be more than six years old upon the receipt of the second masters degree.  

Academic Policies


General Requirements

Any student who has been admitted to a graduate program at Northeastern State University will abide by requirements as stated in the Graduate Catalog current at the time of admission to the graduate program or by requirements as stated in the most recently published catalog with the following exceptions:

  1. The student will abide by the transfer requirements existing at the time of transfer of credit.
  2. If a requirement, other than transfer or fiscal, has been changed since the Graduate Catalog at the time of admission, the student may elect to abide by the newer requirement.
  3. The student who misses more than three consecutive semesters must re-apply to the Graduate College and the degree program. Re-admission requires filing a new degree plan.  

Course Numbering System

Graduate level courses are numbered in the 5000s.

Course Credit Guidelines / Contact Hours

Credit for courses is designated in terms of semester hours.  The last digit of a course number indicates the number of semester hours of credit to be earned. When zero is the last digit of a course number, the course carries variable credit.  At NSU, most master’s programs require a minimum of 36 credit hours with a few programs requiring additional hours to meet professional and accreditational requirements. Master’s programs requiring more than 36 graduate credit hours include the counseling psychology program and the occupational therapy degree.

Northeastern State University operates on a two 16-week semesters (fall and spring) plus an eight-week summer term calendar.  In addition, intersession classes of various lengths are operated between the three regular terms. Short-term courses are conducted during the regular terms with a first 8-week session and second 8-week session during the fall and spring term and a first 4-week and second 4-week session during the summer term.  These time frames are consistent with the definition of “academic term” as defined by the OSRHE Academic Policy Manual, section 3.13.2.

Face to face courses: At NSU, one semester credit is equivalent to a minimum of 800 clock minutes of credit hours, meeting 50 minutes each week for 16 weeks (OSRHE, 3.18.3). Classes taught in lengths less than 16 weeks will have the minutes per session adjusted to equal a total of 800 instructional minutes per credit hour. The vast majority of classes offered at NSU are 3 credit hours. These courses meet 150 minutes per week, either 50 minutes three times a week or 75 minutes twice a week.  To be succesful, students should expect to spend additional time outside of formal instructional time for each class at a rate of 2-3 hours per week for each credit hour taken.

Laboratory credit is normally awarded at a rate not to exceed one-half the instructional rate. One semester-hour of credit is normally awarded for completion of a laboratory meeting a minimum of 1600 minutes (100 minutes per week for sixteen weeks). 

Online (including blended) classes require an equivalent amount of work for each 800 minute clock hour.  To insure that online classes meet this requirement, the same course syllabus, goals, and learning objectives  as those found in the face to face courses are used.  Online courses are reviewed to insure that the equivalent amount of work and learning is being accomplished.

Students should note that the hours for study abroad courses, practica, internships, externships, or clinics differ due to the nature of the experiential learning environment.  However, an equivalent amount of work is required to meet learning objectives, learning activities, and learning outcomes


Level of Course Work

Courses applicable to a masters degree must be 5000 level with some exceptions of approved NSU 4000-level courses.  A maximum of nine hours of 4000 level course work may be applied toward a graduate program provided a grade of B or better and an additional workload contract are obtained. The inclusion of hours and grade information on pre-approved applicable 4000-level classes toward a masters degree is made only upon graduation. (For specific requirements and restrictions relating to the use of 4000 level courses, see the individual degree programs.)  

Course Load Limit

Students requesting course overload must be approved by the advisor and the department chair before being submitted to the Graduate College Dean for final approval.

For a student enrolled during a regular semester, nine to twelve hours shall constitute a full load. For a student enrolled during a summer session, four to twelve hours shall constitute a full load.

International Load Limit

A student admitted as “INTERNATIONAL ADMISSION” must maintain international status at all times after be admitted. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Graduate College office and the Office of International Programs if their status should change. Students must be enrolled in 9 hours of graduate study each fall and spring semester. They do not have to enroll during the summer session.  

Transfer Credit

A maximum of nine semester hours of approved transfer credit may be applied toward the masters degree. Students who wish to transfer graduate credit applicable to a degree program at Northeastern State University must have attained a B average in all graduate course work attempted at the transferring institution. No credit will be given for a transfer course in which the grade is lower than B. Course work must meet the six year time limit guideline.  

Residence Credit

A minimum of twenty-four semester hours must be earned from Northeastern State University. Credit earned through correspondence study will not apply toward a masters degree.  

Time Limit

Credit will be applied toward a program only for work begun and completed within six years prior to the granting of the degree, exclusive of any time spent in the armed services of the United States.  


If it is necessary for a student to drop a single class, withdraw from a single class, or withdraw completely from all courses at the University, the student must complete the process by doing the following:

  • Drop a single course (on or before the full refund date) - The student can drop via goNSU unless he/she has a hold that impacts registration.  In the case of a hold, contact the Office of the Registrar.
  • Withdraw from a single course - The student can withdraw via goNSU unless he/she has a hold that impacts registration.  In the case of a hold, contact the Office of the Registrar.
  • Completely withdraw from all courses - The student must complete a Semester Withdrawal form.  The form is also available in the Office of the Registrar at the Tahlequah Campus or the Student Services Office at the Broken Arrow or Muskogee campuses.

Drop During Refund Period - if a student drops a class during the refund period, the course will not appear on their academic record. 

Withdrawal Before or During the Twelfth Week - if a student withdraws from a single class or completely from the University after the refund period through the end of the twelfth week of a regular fall or spring semester, the instructor will assign a “W” (withdrew passing) regardless of the student’s progress in the course.  The automatic “W” period for short term classes is prorated at 3/4 time from the start of class.

Withdrawal After the Twelfth Week - If a student withdraws from a single class or completely from the University after the twelfth week (automatic “W” period), the instructor will assign a “W” or “F” depending on the student’s standing in the class at the time of withdrawal.  A “W” will be assigned if the student was passing at the time of withdrawal. An “F” will be assigned if the student was failing at the time of withdrawal.

Drop and withdrawal deadlines are published each semester in the schedule of courses.  Failure to follow the above procedures may have a negative impact on your standing with the university and financial aid status.

Grade Information

A student can access his/her grades by using goNSU at  

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades may be given at the end of a semester to those students whose work in passing but who have left unfinished a small amount of work which may be completed with further class attendance. Any incomplete grade not removed within one calendar year will remain permanently on the student’s record as “Incomplete” and will not be included in computing grade point average. If the permanent incomplete is for a course required on the student’s program, re-enrollment in and completion of the course shall be necessary.  

Grade Point Average

A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) in all graduate course work attempted is considered satisfactory progress and is the minimum required for graduation in the following categories:

  1. All graduate course work
  2. All NSU graduate course work
  3. All 5000-only course work
  4. Degree program course work
  5. Professional education
  6. Specialization

No course in which a grade below a C was made will be counted toward degree requirements. The hours attempted in which a grade lower than C is received will be counted in calculating the grade point average with the grade of D and F assigned O grade point value. Grades and their values are as follows:

A = 4 grade points each semester hour
B = 3 grade points each semester hour
C = 2 grade points each semester hour
D = 0 grade points each semester hour
F = 0 grade points each semester hour
P = neutral
S = neutral
I = neutral
N = neutral
X = neutral

Graduate courses in which the grades of A, B, C, P, and S are earned and reported as earned hours in the cumulative grade information.

Graduate courses in which the grades of A, B, C, D, and F are earned and used as hours attempted in computing the students grade point average.

Three hours of A are required to offset three hours of C. Nine hours of A are required to offset three hours of D or F. If a course is repeated, the second grade does not replace the first. Both grades are used in the grade point computation.

Grades earned in 4000 level course work applicable to the masters degree will be included in the cumulative grade average only upon graduation.  


A student whose grade point average falls below 3.0 during the pursuit of graduate studies is placed on probation. The grade report will show the students probation. To be removed from probation, the student must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 by the end of the next semester or next nine hours of enrollment. If the grade point average remains below 3.0 at the end of the probationary period, the student is suspended from the Graduate College and may not continue to pursue their graduate degree. Only through appeal to the Dean of the Graduate College and approval by the Graduate Council may a student continue in the program or later be readmitted. However, if a student has become inactive for one academic year (three semesters) they may apply for readmission. Readmission into a program will be determined by the Dean of the Graduate College and the Program Chair. A student who is readmitted to the Graduate College and a graduate program based upon a successful appeal to suspension or having been inactive for one year  must meet with his/her academic advisor to determine the number of hours allowed to be taken to raise the grade point average to a minimum of 3.0. The number of hours allowed, must be approved by the Graduate Dean and documented on the Readmission Statement of Understanding. Readmitted students must earn a letter grade of A, B, W or I in each course taken through out the remainder of graduate tenure.  Graduate courses that are not part of the student’s official degree plan may not be taken in an attempt to raise the GPA. A student, who fails to achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade point average upon completion of the approved number of hours, will be dismissed, will not be readmitted to the Graduate College and will not receive a graduate degree.

Grade Appeals

A student may petition a grade change by using the Graduate Grade Appeals Process as outlined in the undergraduate catalog in regards to time limits and guidelines, if satisfactory resolution cannot be achieved after consultation with the instructor and/or Dean, then the grade appeals process must be formally initiated with a written appeal to the Graduate Dean within four months following awarding of the original grade. Copy of the grade appeal process is available at the Graduate College office.  

The Graduate Grade Appeals Committee is comprised of faculty members who hold a Regular Graduate faculty appointment and have expressed an interest in serving on the Graduate Grade Appeals Committee.  This committee is an ad hoc committee of the Graduate College which is charged with conducting a review when a grade appeal is filed by a student for one of the following reasons: 1.) Allegations that the instructor’s policy in assigning final grades is not applied consistently to all students within a class and section; 2.) Allegations that the method of assigning grades differs from the method described in the instructor’s course syllabus or in the material made available by the instructor to the students; or 3.) Allegations that the instructor’s policy on assignment of grades was not made known to students.


A maximum of four semester hours may be applied toward a masters degree by participating in workshops or short term courses. (A short term course is generally a course which meets for less than two weeks.) A withdrawal from a workshop or short term course must be completed prior to the first meeting.  

Change of Program

A student who chooses to change from non-pursuing to a degree program or from one degree program to another program must request the change in the Graduate College Office at Tahlequah. The Graduate College will assign an academic advisor in the requested program. The advisor will evaluate the student’s academic record for entry into the new program. The student, new advisor, and previous advisor will be notified of the change. The change of program form is available at the Graduate College website.  

Appeals to a Regulation

A graduate student has the right to file a request for a waiver to a regulation of the Graduate College. The student request must be made in writing to the Dean of the Graduate College, who serves as Chair of the Graduate Council. The request (appeal) will be considered by the Graduate Council. A simple majority vote rules. The student may personally appear before the Council to further present his/her case and answer questions. The appeal form is available at the Graduate College website.  

English Proficiency - Faculty

Oklahoma Statutes 70 O.S. §3224 and §3225 (2001) provide that all instructors, including all graduate teaching assistants, now employed or being considered for employment at institutions within the State System shall be proficient in speaking the English language so that they may adequately instruct students. (OSRHE 3.24)

Exceptions include the instruction of courses that are designed to be taught predominantly in a foreign language and elective, special arrangement courses such as individualized instruction and independent study courses.


Students who have a concern regarding the English proficiency of an instructor should talk first with the department chair.  If the issue is not resolved, the student may speak with the dean, and if the issue is not resolved at the dean’s level, the student may contact Academic Affairs.  Students may file a formal complaint using the Student Complaint Form, accessible at