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Graduate Handbook


Graduate study at North Carolina Central University is designed to provide qualified holders of the bachelor's degree with a broader, deeper, and more thorough acquaintance with scholarship and research in a chosen field. It aims to develop independent study, originality, and competence in research and/or in the application of critical thinking to professional problems.

 Academic Integrity Policy:

As a center of learning, teaching, and research, North Carolina Central University charges its members to maintain patterns of academic behavior which enable these essential functions.

Academic Dishonesty Defined. Academic dishonesty, which is defined as any conduct which is intended by the student to obtain for himself or herself or for others an unfair or false evaluation in connection with any examination or other work fin academic credit. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism and complicity are examples of conduct which is academically dishonest.

Cheating is the unauthorized use of materials in connection with an examination or other work for academic credit, including, but not limited to (I) the use of books, notes, outlines, etc. during an examination where the instructor has not authorized use of such materials or information; (2) seeking unauthorized materials or information from others in connection with an examination; (3) giving or attempting to give unauthorized assistance to another person hi connection with an examination; (4)obtaining or attempting to obtain unauthorized copies of examinations (5) bringing to an examination, or attempting to use during an examination, unauthorized answers which have been prepared before the examination period; (6) copying or attempting to copy from the work of another student during an examination; and (7) submitting for evaluation in a course, part or the whole of a work for which credit has been given previously.

Fabrication is the invention, counterfeiting and/or alteration of quoted passages, data, procedures, experiments, sources or other information in connection with any academic exercise.

Plagiarism is the use of the ideas, words, or work of another without attribution when the information provided is not common knowledge either in content or form and includes, but is not limited to (1) quoting from the published or unpublished work of another without appropriate attribution; (2) paraphrasing or summarizing in one's own work any portion of the published or unpublished materials of another without attribution; and (3) borrowing from another's work, data, and facts which are not in the domain of common knowledge.

Complicity is the giving of assistance or the attempt to give assistance to another for the purpose of perpetrating academic dishonesty.

Sanctions. The penalties for conviction of the first offense of academic dishonesty may include the following and the penalties will be determined by the severity of the offense:

a. formal warning;

b. grade of “F” for the assignment;

c. grade of “F” for the course;

d. suspension for period ranging from one semester to a year.

Conviction of a second academic dishonesty offense will result in expulsion from the University.

Transfer of Graduate Credit

A maximum of six semester hours of graduate course work may be transferred from another institution if: -

1.  the course is from an accredited university;

2.  the student earned at least a grade of ”B” or equivalent in each course for which credit is to be transferred;

3.  the advisor, department chairperson, and dean of the college approve the course as part of the student*s graduate program and

4.  the courses do not exceed the six year limit for completing the master's degree program.     

Time Limits

The time limit for the completion of graduate degree program requirements in Biology, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, Earth Sciences, English, History, Human Sciences, Mathematics, physical Education and Recreation, Psychology, Public Administration, and Sociology is six years.  The six-year limit begins on the date of the student’s registration in the first course for graduate degree credit at North Carolina Central University.

Three Grades of “C”

A student who receives three grades of “C” will be placed on academic probation even if the GPA is 3.0 or better.  Failure to improve the grade in one of the courses within one calendar year after the has been recorded is cause for dismissal.

Policy on Extension of Time

1. Students in the College of Liberal Arts are expected to complete all the requirements for the master's degree within six years from the date they      enrolled in the first North Carolina Central University course used for the degree.

2.  An extension of the time for completion of the degree beyond the six-year limit may be requested in exceptional circumstances, and granted under certain conditions.

 3.  Only students who have been admitted to candidacy may request an extension of time. All requests must be made in writing and addressed to the Chair of the Department or Director of a Program with a copy to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. A student must consult with her/his advisor before making a formal request for an extension of time. The request shall include:

     a.  The reasons for not finishing the degree program within the specified time frame;

      b. The chronology of the progress made up to the date of the written request for extension

      c.  A statement of the work which remains to be done; and

       d. The length of the extension requested.

4. As soon as possible after receiving a request for extension of time, the Chair or Director of the Department or Program shall meet with the Graduate Committee of the unit and the student's advisor to evaluate the merits of the request, and to decide on the recommendation to submit to the Dean. The recommendation shall include the conditions (termination date, and other requirements such as additional courses) to be satisfied if an extension is granted.

Sequence in the Master’s Program

After the completion of at least eighteen semester hours, a student is then eligible to sit for the Language Examination.  Candidates for a master's degree will be required to demonstrate reading proficiency in a foreign successfully complete a course in either statistics or a modern foreign language requirement, or the appropriate substitute, must satisfied prior to admission to candidacy. Any course taken to fulfill the research tool requirement will not be counted in the hours required for the degree program.  In History, the student will demonstrate reading proficiency in a foreign language approved by the department, or complete successfully a course in computer science that requires demonstration of competency in the elements of one computer programming language.

 Admission to Candidacy:

A student does not become a candidate for the master's degree in any department until he/she makes application for admission to candidacy for the degree he/she seeks.

General admission to the Graduate Division is not the same as admission to candidacy for a graduate degree. For the latter purpose, formal application is necessary, and special forms for this application are supplied by the Dean's Office. This application may not be filed earlier than the first week of the second semester of residence; it must be ified at least three months before the degree is conferred. All conditions must have been satisfied, the foreign language or statistics requirement met, a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher must have been earned, and at least one full semester or two summer sessions of graduate level work must have been accomplished before the Graduate Council will approve such an application. In addition, the application must be approved by the major department. The application must be accompanied by an orderly plan for a proposed thesis or research project and a program of studies in satisfaction of the requirements of the degree, both duly approved by the department of the student's major.

Comprehensive Examination

In addition to the individual course examination, graduate students who are candidates for the master's degree are required to pass two comprehensive examinations. One of these is a comprehensive written examination covering the courses within the major. This examination may not be taken later than four weeks before the degree is conferred. The date of this examination is established in the academic calendar.

The other examination is the final oral examination covering the thesis and its application in the major and minor subjects. A committee of examiners, representing both major and minor areas, administers this examination. A student failing to pass either of these examinations may, after the lapse of a semester, apply for and secure re-examination. Should a second failure occur, a third examination is possible upon recommendation of the major department in the case of a written examination or of the committee in charge of the oral examination and on a favorable vote of the Graduate Council. In the event of a third failure, the student has no recourse and her/his candidacy will be considered vacated.

The Thesis

Each candidate for the master's degree must submit an acceptable thesis, internship paper (if in public administration), or research project. Credit equal to that of one full course (3 semester hours) will be granted when a thesis is accepted and successfully defended. A new policy from the University of North Carolina General Administration adopted 1999 requires that all students working on thesis or internship papers must be enrolled for at least one (1) credit hour of thesis or course work during each semester until the thesis is completed.

The preparation of the thesis or research project is a research experience. It should show the capacity of the student under guidance to accomplish independent investigation, and it must demonstrate mastely of the technique of research. It is not required that the thesis or research project shall in every case be an original contribution to knowledge. The student, in the preparation of the thesis or research project is concerned with the materials of knowledge and the evidential bases on which the knowledge rests. Various types of theses or research projects are required by different departments.   A draft of the thesis or research project must be inspected by the Graduate Office for compliance to the required format. Once approved the original and three (3) copies should be submitted to the Graduate Office no later than the date specified in the academic calendar. The Graduate Office will then forward the thesis to the Registrar's Office. At that time the binding fee must be paid. A copy of the regulations regarding form, style, and physical requirements for theses and research projects may be obtained from the Graduate Division.