Graduate Academic Policies

Program Curriculum Requirements

Upon acceptance into a graduate program, students will be e-mailed a letter of acceptance indicating the program to which they have been accepted; their advisor and the advisor’s contact information; and the curriculum planning guide outlining the course of study that the student needs to complete to meet graduation requirements. Students are required to notify Admissions of their acceptance and their anticipated start term. The student’s acceptance indicates the student’s plan to enter the program designated in the acceptance letter, the student’s agreement to follow the curriculum planning guide enclosed with the letter (aligned with the most current catalog), and the student’s agreement to follow through with the required initial advising meeting.

All admitted students are required to meet with their advisor in their first term of study. Advising meetings are available in person, online, and by phone. Some programs require students to meet with their advisors before beginning their first course and this requirement will be indicated in the acceptance letter. Admitted graduate students have an obligation to show progress toward earning a degree and the student’s curriculum must be completed within the original six-year program period. Students who do not complete requirements within six years of admission must petition their academic department using the Student Request form to request a waiver of the six-year time limit. Student Request forms are available on the registrar’s office website. If the waiver is granted, students will be required to complete the program requirements outlined in the most recent curriculum planning guide and academic catalog, which may result in additional course or fieldwork requirements. The required curriculum planning guide will be included with the notification letter granting an extension of time to graduation. Students requesting such a waiver must meet with their advisor to review program changes and any additional requirements. Students being granted a waiver will need to submit an Academic Program or Catalog Change Form so their program reflects the current program requirements.

Changing Programs

Students who want to change programs must notify their advisor and submit a request to change programs using the Academic Program or Catalog Change form. Forms are available on the registrar’s office website. Students will be advised of any additional admission requirements and once these requirements have been completed the student will be notified of an admission decision, issued a current curriculum planning guide, and notified of any required advising meetings. The University reserves the right to add, change, or delete curricular offerings.

Graduate Course Scheduling

All courses at PSU are identified by a discipline code and a four-digit course number. Graduate courses are identified by a number 5000 or above, (e.g., Research Design (ED 5030)). Mathematics courses numbered MG 3XXX or MG 4XXX may be taken for graduate credit.

The structure allows students to register for multiple courses in a year. The majority of graduate courses are scheduled during evenings, weekends, weeklong institutes, or online. Some degree programs, such as counseling and athletic training, and educator certification options, have specific residency and undergraduate course requirements unique to these areas of study.

Course offerings are posted online in myPlymouth.

Earning Credits

Students may earn credit applicable to Plymouth State University degree programs by taking courses at PSU or by taking approved courses at other colleges/universities and transferring in the earned credits as outlined below. Alternately, students may earn credit through independent study or individual enrollment.

Independent Study

An independent study is a special, individualized project. The study must cover material not found in regularly offered courses. It requires a contract between the student and instructor specifying the project to be accomplished. Independent Study forms are available on the registrar’s office website. The completed Independent Study form must be submitted with the signed registration form. Independent studies are only available to admitted graduate students.

Individual Enrollment

If extenuating circumstances exist, students may be permitted to register for an individual enrollment. This option only applies to required courses on the student’s curriculum planning guide. To register, an application for individual enrollment (on the registrar’s office website) must be completed and submitted with the registration form.


What is an internship?

An internship is a high-impact, experiential, credit-bearing learning opportunity that integrates knowledge, theory, and practical training from an academic discipline in a professional setting. Based in practical experience, an internship course is a supervised academic opportunity with learning objectives and goals supported by ongoing reflection, mentorship, and feedback to develop students’ knowledge of and practical experience in a disciplinary field and/or career. Internships at PSU vary depending by academic program. Some are required by programs. Some have an accompanying seminar, class meeting, or meeting with the instructor. An internship may be paid or un-paid. Some are graded, others are Pass/No Pass. The learning objectives, goals, and grading criteria of the internship are detailed in the syllabus. Requirements may be based on the needs of individual programs or external accreditation. 

How do I obtain approval for an internship?

Internships require prior approval of a faculty member/internship coordinator within the academic program offering the credit as well as prior written approval from an on-site supervisor, including, when available, a Memorandum of Agreement between the university and the external agency or business. Students without a faculty member sponsoring the internship should work with the Academic & Career Advising Center to find the most appropriate faculty supervisor. Internship responsibilities are determined by the faculty supervisor with input from the on-site supervisor. 

How do I register for an internship course?

Students seeking internships should contact a faculty member/internship coordinator in their program, or the Academic and Career Advising Center (if there is no internship coordinator or faculty member available in their program) to learn about opportunities and discuss supervision. An internship is a course and the student must register for the course prior to the start of the internship experience. 

What do I do after I’ve registered for the internship?

After it has been approved by the faculty member and on-site supervisor, and the student has registered for the course, the internship experience should be recorded by the Academic & Career Advising Center, including the Memorandum of Agreement when available. Students will work with the program internship coordinator (or the faculty member they are working with) for instructions on completing the remaining administrative steps, and for support during the duration of the internship period. 

Transfer Credits

Grades for transfer courses must be a B or higher and equivalent to the course at PSU as determined and approved by the student’s Academic Advisor or Program Coordinator. Only credits may be transferred, not grades, therefore, the grade for transfer courses does not count toward the required 3.0 grade point average for program completion.

No Plymouth State University course for which credit was received may be repeated at another institution.  Only a course failed at PSU may be repeated elsewhere. Preapproval, to transfer in a course for a course failed at PSU, must be obtained from the student’s Academic Advisor and the registrar’s office.  Upon receipt of the transfer credit, the PSU grade of F remain on the transcript, but will be excluded from the grade point calculation.

Generally, up to nine graduate-level credits from other regionally accredited institutions may be transferred into programs with 30 or more credits.  Transfer of credits into certification and certificate programs that are less than 30 credits will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and generally cannot exceed 25% of total program credits. MBA, MS in Accounting, and EdD students should refer to the transfer credit policy in the respective catalog sections for more information.

For courses transferred with a number or letter grade but no grade scale, in the absence of other information the following scale will be used to determine equivalency: 100-93 =  A; 92.99-90 = A-; 89.99-87 = B+; 86.99-83 = B; 82.99-80 = B-; 79.99-77 = C+; 76.99-73 = C; 72.99-70 = C-; 69.99-67 = D+; 66.99-63 = D; 62.99-60 = D-; 59.99-0.00 = F.

An official transcript must be on file before credits can be considered for transfer to a PSU program. Course descriptions or course outlines or both may be requested in order to determine credit consideration.

Students should be aware that decisions about acceptance of credit in transfer are up to the receiving institution.

Grading Policies

All graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 (B) grade point average. The graduate grade range is A through C– and F. There are no D grades as C– is the lowest passing grade in graduate classes.

Letter grades, with pluses and minuses noted, are used to assess the relative extent to which students achieve course objectives in the vast majority of PSU courses. Grade point average is calculated on a term and a cumulative basis that takes into account all grades earned by a student during their academic career at PSU, including those earned prior to starting coursework toward a degree or certification program.

Grade Point Average

The following grade point system is used to determine grade point average:

Grade Points per Credit
A 4.00
A– 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B– 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C– 1.67
F 0.00

Administrative Failure

An Administrative Failure (AF) notation is placed on a student’s transcript when an instructor does not have sufficient information to assign a letter grade in a graded course. Frequently, administrative failure stems from failure to formally drop a course. An AF counts as an F grade in grade point average calculation and is not a reason for a course withdrawal.


A grade of Incomplete (IC) may be awarded at the discretion of the course instructor if unusual circumstances prevent completion of the course on time, and a minimal portion of the total class work needs to be completed. The process for grades of Incomplete is as follows:

  1. The instructor, in consultation with the student, determines there is a compelling reason for the granting and completing of the Incomplete and files a Request for a Grade of Incomplete form with the registrar’s office before the final grades are due. Forms are available on the registrar’s office website.
  2. Instructors must choose a due date for the student’s work, with the last day of classes for the next fall or spring semester as the latest possible.
  3. Instructors must choose a default grade for the student if the work is not turned in and/or a Grade Change form is not submitted. The default grade does not need to be F.
  4. The instructor is responsible for documenting and notifying the student of the work to be completed and the deadline.
  5. The student is responsible for turning in work to the instructor by the due date set.
  6. For any due date before the last day of classes of the subsequent semester, the instructor must submit a Grade Change form to the Registrar’s Office within 5 business days following that due date.
  7. For a due date of the last day of classes of the subsequent semester, the Grade Change form is due to the Registrar’s Office no later than the day and time all other grades are due for that full semester. (Fall and winterim Incompletes are due in the spring; spring and summer Incompletes are due in the fall.)
  8. If a Grade Change form is not submitted by the due date, the grade will be replaced with the default indicated on the Request for a Grade of Incomplete form. Once the final grade is posted, changes may only be made in accordance with the Fair Grading Policy.

Please note that a student with an outstanding Incomplete in a course may not register for that course and a student may not graduate with an Incomplete on their transcript. Requests for extending the completion date of an IC grade must be approved by the registrar.

Pass/No Pass Courses

Some courses at Plymouth State University are designated in their course descriptions as being Pass/No Pass (P/NP). Credits earned by passing these courses are added to the total credits earned (graded and transfer courses). Pass/No Pass credits are also included in credits attempted. Credits earned in P/NP courses do not affect the grade point average and will not replace a previously earned letter grade in the GPA calculation. Only courses identified as P/NP in the course description may be graded Pass/No Pass.

For purposes of assessing academic standing for competency-based programs and communicating grade point equivalencies for the transcript, but not to be used in the calculation of GPA, a “P” grade shall indicate that a student earned a grade point of greater than or equal to a 3.0  at the graduate level.

Academic Standing Policy

All matriculated (degree-seeking) graduate students (full-time and part-time) have their academic standing assessed at the end of fall, winterim, spring and summer. Grades changed after standing has been processed may result in an updated academic standing for the term in which the grade was changed. Grade changes received after the add/drop period of the next semester, or after the add/drop period of the student’s next term of enrollment, whichever happens first, will not affect academic standing. A student who has a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of a 3.00 or higher is in good academic standing. A student who has a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) below 3.0, is not in good academic standing; individual programs may have more restrictive policies.

Academic Warning

Students with fewer than 15 credits attempted and with a cumulative GPA below a 3.0 will receive a letter of Academic Warning. Since a minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required for all students to graduate,* students whose average is lower are in danger of accumulating a record that will become increasingly difficult to correct. Students and their advisors are notified if they are not in good academic standing. Students may not enroll in more than six credits (per semester) if they are not in good academic standing.

Students, who receive Academic Warning notices should discuss their progress and develop a corrective plan with their advisor. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of services on campus for academic assistance such as the Writing Center, the Counseling Center, and the Campus Accessibility Services.

Students should consider retaking any course they have failed,** as this is the fastest way to improve their GPA. Students on Academic Warning may apply for financial aid however, repeating coursework may impact a student’s eligibility for aid and they should consult with Student Financial Services***.

*Other degree programs may have more stringent policies for maintaining academic standing in their degree program, reinstatement, and readmission. See individual department program descriptions for further information.

**Most courses are repeatable in nature. Note: for some special topics, independent studies, practicum, capstones, internship courses, ALL grades – up to the maximum number of repeats allowed – count in the cumulative GPA.  F grades are not excluded.

**** Academic standing may impact financial aid status and veterans’ and eligible dependents’ receipt of veterans educational benefits.

Academic Severance

Students will be severed from the University if they have attempted 15 or more graduate credits at PSU and their cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0.* Students who have been severed automatically lose their matriculated status unless they file an appeal. Students, who have been severed, may be granted an opportunity through either reinstatement or readmission to demonstrate their ability and intention to succeed academically and to earn a degree from Plymouth State University. 


If the student is severed and wishes to appeal the decision, they must submit an Appeal for Reinstatement to the Academic Student Advocate, Frost House.* Students are encouraged to seek counsel from their academic advisor regarding this process. If the appeal is not granted, and a student wishes to continue, then they must reapply to the University.


After severance, should the student want to continue, they must reapply and be accepted into the University. A student who was severed is required first to raise their cumulative GPA to at least a 3.0. Students may enroll for a maximum of 12 credits through the registrar’s office as a non-matriculated student. Students should consider retaking any course they have failed**, as this is the fastest way to improve their GPA. Repeating coursework may impact a student’s financial aid eligibility and they should consult with Student Financial Services***.

Alternately, students may repeat courses at other colleges/universities that they failed at PSU to have the F excluded from PSU’s GPA calculation if prior arrangements for transfer courses (see Graduate Transfer Credit policy) have been made through the registrar’s office.  If, through any of the above actions, the cumulative GPA is raised to or above a 3.0, then students may apply to the Office of Admission for readmission.

*Other degree programs may have more stringent policies for maintaining academic standing in their degree program, reinstatement, and readmission. See individual department program descriptions for further information.

**Most courses are repeatable in nature. Note: for some special topics, independent studies, practicum, capstones, internship courses, ALL grades – up to the maximum number of repeats allowed – count in the cumulative GPA.  F grades are not excluded.

**** Academic standing may impact financial aid status and veterans’ and eligible dependents’ receipt of veterans educational benefits.

Graduate Capstone

Students may elect to complete a culminating one- to 12-credit supervised project or practicum experience in a work environment, cooperating institution, or agency. Graduate students may participate in a variety of learning experiences arranged in conjunction with their program of study and with the approval of their advisor. Field and University supervisors work with graduate students to determine specific learning outcomes that will result from this experience, as well as procedures to meet those outcomes. Students will construct a learning portfolio to document specific outcomes of this experience and present this portfolio at the end of the term. A student self-evaluation and curriculum vitae detailing accomplishments to date should be included in the portfolio. Students in the master of science degree programs will present their research findings and may have other additional requirements.

PSU has limited funding for honoraria for supervisors, and therefore relies on professional partnerships with the community to assist graduate students in this apprenticeship learning model. Typically, students spend 40 hours per credit hour during a capstone experience, depending on the discipline.

Graduate Internship or Practicum

PSU’s teacher education programs are renowned in New Hampshire and throughout New England, and PSU’s graduates are actively recruited for teaching positions. Beginning as early as the first year, teacher education candidates have many opportunities to teach and learn in public elementary, middle, and high school settings. The certification program culminates in an intensive internship or practicum. The field experience is typically 12 weeks for a single-level endorsement (K-6, K–8, 5–9, 7–12) and two eight-week experiences (one at the primary level and one at the secondary level) for K–12 certification.

A student is required to have a 3.0 GPA to enter their internship, practicum, or final field experience. The student must achieve a B or better (or Pass in the case of Pass/No Pass courses) in their internship or practicum in order to be endorsed for NH educator or professional certification.

All teacher certification candidates who interact with students in public school settings through course-related field experience are subject to New Hampshire state legislation that requires all persons who regularly come into contact with pupils on a daily basis to undergo a full-disclosure criminal records check that may include fingerprinting. The criminal records check is conducted at the site school before the field experience begins. The fee for this processing is the responsibility of the teacher candidate and is paid directly to the school district. Inquiries should be directed to the Office of Educator Preparation.