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Academic Policies and Procedures

Policy On Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of representing another's ideas, words, or information as one's own. Students guilty of plagiarism are subject to severe penalties ranging from failure of the assignment to failure in the course or, in extreme cases, dismissal from the University.

Standard of Academic Conduct

Bowie State University expects students to maintain high standards of conduct and scholarship. Thus, students are expected to conform to strict standards of academic honesty in all aspects of graduate studies. Students guilty of academic misconduct are subject to severe penalties ranging from failure of the assignment to failure in the course, suspension from the program or the University or, in extreme cases, dismissal from the University.


Students are expected to attend every session for which the course is scheduled unless otherwise agreed to by professor and student.

Time Limitation

Requirements for the master's degree are to be completed within a seven-year period (five years for the MS in Nursing), as established by the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland (USM). The scheduled time may be computed by noting the date of admission to the graduate program or by noting the date when credits allowed in transfer were taken, whichever is earlier. The seven-year period is computed on calendar time. An extension will be granted if the University does not offer a required course during the last semester of the student's seven-year period.

Re-Entry to a Degree Program After Lapse of Time Limitation

For readmission to a degree program after the seven-year period for completion of the degree has elapsed, the student's records are evaluated and admission may be granted under current University policy and degree requirements. Courses are not necessarily repeated and may be replaced with additional courses approved by the advisor.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy is a major step in fulfilling the requirements for the master's degree. Advancement to Candidacy is accomplished by presenting evidence of having an approved program of study, a grade point average of 3.25 and a minimum of 12 semester hours of graduate work. These credits must be taken at Bowie State University and count toward the degree. Should the required 3.25 average not be attained when a maximum of 18 credit hours has been earned, Advancement to Candidacy will be denied.

Students must be advanced to candidacy before taking the Comprehensive Examination, Seminar or Practicum (Practicum II for Counseling Psychology students).

Course Load

A student who registers for nine (9) graduate semester hours is considered to be a full-time student. Students may register for up to 12 credits each semester. Permission must be obtained from the assistant to the provost for graduate studies if a student wants to take more than 12 courses per semester. Students who register for fewer than 9 credit hours are designated as part-time. Six credit hours are the maximum number of credit hours that a student may take in summer school session.

Standards of Academic Work

In order to remain in good standing, candidates for the master's degree must maintain a 3.00 grade point average after being advanced to candidacy. If the cumulative average falls below 3.00, the student will be placed on probation. After completing nine additional hours of work, if the cumulative average returns to the acceptable level of 3.00, the student will be restored to good standing. A student on probation will not be permitted to take the Comprehensive Examination, Seminar, or Practicum. Required courses in which the candidate earns a grade of "F" must be repeated. Students who lack sufficient academic aptitude or who fail to show evidence of serious purpose may be requested by the assistant to the provost for graduate studies to withdraw from graduate studies.

Grading Criteria

A grade of "A" represents superior academic performance:

  1. The student demonstrates critical, analytical, and applied understanding of the subject matter in excellent written and oral form.
  2. The student regularly contributes substantive knowledge and appropriate discussion to the class experience.

A grade of "B" represents good academic performance:

  1. The student demonstrates good understanding of the subject matter in acceptable written and oral form.
  2. The student contributes substantive knowledge and appropriate comments to the class experience.

A grade of "C" represents the minimal acceptable academic performance:

  1. The student demonstrates interest in concepts of the course and a minimum mastery of subject matter in acceptable written and oral form.
  2. The student makes a minimum of substantive contributions to the class experience.

The grade "D" is not issued; Grade "F" indicates the student has not met the minimum requirements of the course.

A student who withdraws from a course after the tenth week of the semester will receive a grade of "F" unless special permission is granted for withdrawal without penalty. Students taking 8-week courses will receive a grade of "F" after the fifth week of class unless special permission is granted for withdrawal without penalty.

A student may repeat a course to raise a grade of "B", "C" or "F," only the higher grade received will be counted in the student's cumulative grade point average.

Letter grades are not assigned to students in Practicum, INSS 690-Professional Seminar and PSYC 540-Social Equity. Students who successfully complete the work in these courses receive a grade of "Pass." Students who do not successfully complete the requirements receive a grade of "Fail." A grade of "I" indicates "Incomplete" and is used only in exceptional circumstances. Students who receive a grade of Incomplete (I) have one academic year from the date of the end of the semester in which the course was taken to have the grade changed. If a grade of incomplete (I) is not changed after one year, it converts to an "F."

Students who receive an Incomplete (I) in Seminar must enroll in Research Advisement for one graduate credit hour with the Seminar instructor. The student has two semesters to remove the incomplete (I) in Seminar.

A student may not be advanced to candidacy, allowed to take the Comprehensive Examination, or graduate until all grades of Incomplete (I) have been removed from courses in the student's degree program.

A final examination is required for all courses except Seminar and Practicum.

Appeal System

Students desiring to ask for an exception to the requirements of the University should address appeals to the dean of the respective school.

Students with grievances concerning other matters, including course grades, should address the appeals to the assistant to the provost for graduate studies, after exhausting all remedies available in the originating school. Such appeals must be filed no later than mid-semester following the semester in which the alleged offense occurred.

Dismissal Policy

The following dismissal policy applies to graduate students: A student whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 3.0 is placed on academic probation; any student on academic probation is permitted to take a maximum of nine (9) credit hours to raise the GPA to 3.0; failure to obtain a 3.0 GPA will result in academic dismissal.

The duration of the dismissal is one (1) semester; courses taken at other institutions during the dismissal period cannot be transferred to Bowie State University. In order to be considered for readmission, the student must petition the assistant to the provost for graduate studies. The seven (7)-year time limitations for degree completion shall include the period of dismissal. A student dismissed for academic dishonesty may not reapply.


Candidates for a graduate degree should pay particular attention to the proper sequencing of courses. A quality degree program is not an accumulation of credit hours, but is a carefully developed sequence of educational activities and experiences designed to help the student achieve the specified objectives of the program. Thus, it is extremely important to properly sequence the program. Introductory courses and electives should be taken prior to the advanced courses. Some courses require prerequisites that are necessary in order for students to perform satisfactorily in the specified courses.

It is important to secure a faculty adviser and plan the program immediately after initial enrollment. This procedure will ensure maximum flexibility in arriving at educational goals and possibly preclude loss of credits. Each graduate program assigns advisers. For assignment of an adviser, contact the appropriate graduate program office.

Continuous Enrollment

Should there be a lapse of one academic semester, excluding summer school or the mini-semester, during which graduate courses are not taken, the student must file a Readmission Application. Readmission Applications may be secured from the Bowie State University website or the Office of the Graduate Admissions and should be submitted at least two weeks prior to registration. Readmission is only processed at the beginning of the semester. Students returning to school during the second eight-week session must also submit the Readmission Application at the beginning of the semester.

Independent Study Policy

Students who desire a course on an Independent study basis must secure an Independent Study Request Form from the Graduate Studies Office. The completed form must be returned to the Graduate Studies Office. The student's advisor, the department chairperson, the Independent Study faculty supervisor, and the assistant to the provost for graduate studies must sign the Independent Study Request Form. A copy of the form will be placed in the student's permanent file in the Registrar's Office; a copy will be kept on file in the Office of Graduate Studies; the faculty advisor will keep a copy, and the student will retain a copy.

The requirements for the experience shall be specified in writing. The student must satisfy all requirements normally demanded in a regular semester. Students are limited to a maximum of three (3) credit hours on an independent study basis.


Courses may be audited by registering and paying the regular class fee. Auditing students are not required to take examinations or to submit other requirements of the class. Students who register for credit cannot change to audit status and students who register for audit cannot change to credit status.

Registration Information

All students interested in attending classes at Bowie State University must register online using Bulldog Connection. Once admitted to BSU, the Division of Information Technology (DIT) will mail you a Bulldog ID and password that must be kept confidential to protect your academic record.

Instructions concerning registration timeframes are given in the schedule of classes. All students should meet with an academic adviser prior to registering. Student are not permitted to attend a class if their names are not on the class roster.

Late Registration

A late registration fee of $50 will be assessed to any student who fails to complete registration within the specified period for regular registration. See Bulldog Connection for published fees and charges.

For deadlines on adding, dropping, oversubscribing, and withdrawing from classes, see Bulldog Connection. Classes can be added or dropped on-line using the Bulldog Connection within the designated timeframe.

Discontinuing attendance does not constitute dropping a class and such action will result in a grade of "F," which is computed in the grade point average and held accountable for the cost of the class.

Withdrawing from a class—Check the Academic Calendar for the specific dates. If you withdraw from a class, it will show on your transcript as a "W." If you do not withdraw or drop a course and stop attending the course, you will receive an "F" grade.

Steps To Ensure A Success In Registering For Currently Enrolled Students

  1. Review Bulldog Connection for the desired classes for your degree requirements.
  2. Obtain the four-digit class number for the class section(s) that you will seek approval.
  3. Make an appointment to see your adviser for approval or assistance in selecting classes.
  4. Request that your adviser remove the ADV Hold—undergraduate students only.
  5. Graduate students—make sure you follow your program proposal/academic advising report.
  6. Go to Bulldog Connection and log in using your bulldog ID and password.
  7. Select an enrollment term. Enter the four-digit class number for each class.
  8. Click the "Submit" button once you have added your classes. "Success" is an acknowledgement of obtaining a seat in the class. Verify your success by clicking "View my Schedule."
  9. Print your schedule, make your payment, and attend your classes!
  10. If you get an "Errors Found" message, click on the hyperlink, read the error message and seek advisement.

Currently Enrolled And Cannot Remember Or Lost Your Login?

  • Report to DIT for assistance—2nd Floor in the rear of Marshall Library.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are offered to full-time graduate students through the Office of Graduate studies. Please contact the office at 301-860-3161 for an application. For information on other sources of financial support, visit the Financial Aid website.

Department Student and Faculty Listservs

BSU Counseling Listserv (unofficial)

A free Yahoo group forum in which students (only) may pass along pertinent information to one another (PDA ideas, class assignments, class changes, critiquing professors, etc.). The list serve is run by Valerie Kakuk ( Please contact her to request a member invitation.

BSU Counseling Listserv (official)

This is BSU's official listserv, through the Department of Counseling. It is accessible to both students and professors. This website will serve as a resource database that provides students with updated materials for successful matriculation through the counseling program. Faculty and staff of the Counseling Department will do all posting. Students can join the listserv by submitting their information via

It also contains general information such as:

  • Announcements within the Department of Counseling's programs
  • Job announcements
  • Placement possibilities
  • Dates (comp reviews, registration, etc.)
  • Class time and location changes
  • Conferences
  • PDA inquiries

Honor Societies

Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society, Mu Chapter

Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society is the international honor society for students, professional counselors, and counselor educators established at Ohio University in 1985. Their mission is to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership, and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the profession of counseling.

Requirements for Membership:

  1. Enrollment in the school Counseling Program
  2. Must have completed 15 credit hours
  3. Must have a 3.5 GPA or better

Clubs And Organizations

Graduate Student Association

Bowie State University's Graduate Student Association (GSA) invites graduate student involvement in the campus academic community. Students in the Graduate School are represented collectively by the Graduate Student Association, which provides a forum for students to address issues across the Graduate School and University. The GSA office in located in the Library Room #1126 and the phone number is 301-860-3310. For more information, visit the website.

Student Adlerian Society (SAS)

An organization for both Eclectic and Adlerian students, that focuses on Alfred Adler and his concepts. The society does a lot of community work for the graduate students by providing networking opportunities for future counselors, workshops, annual conferences, PDA hours, and much more. The focus of SAS is to help develop well-rounded counselors for both focuses, Eclectic and Adlerian. Each spring, SAS holds a conference in which faculty and students present on current topics that affect the local and global community. For more information, contact SAS at