2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations

The University reserves the right to make changes in curricula, degree requirements, course offerings, and all academic regulations at any time, when in the judgment of the faculty, the President, or the Board of Trustees, such changes are for the best interest of the students and the University.

Registration at the University assumes the student’s acceptance of all published academic regulations, including both those which appear in this catalog and all others found in any official announcement such as General Registration Information and The Student Handbook, both located on the University’s official website.

Official policies of the University are published in The Student Handbook, and on the website for University Policies. Some of these policies are listed below:

a) The Code of Student Conduct;
b) Alcohol and Drug Policy;
c) The University Housing Community Living Guide; and
d) Sexual Assault Policy.

The University offers master’s degrees (30 graduate semester credits minimum), the Educational Specialist degree (30 credits minimum) and the Doctor of Philosophy (60 credits minimum.)


Valid Period of Admission and Time Period Allowed

A graduate student may choose to obtain a degree in accordance with the curricular requirements in force for the particular degree at the time the student first enrolls in the degree program or under subsequent requirements published while the student is enrolled as a degree-seeking student. However, the student’s choice is restricted to a specific catalog and the curricular requirements described therein. Graduate students in certificate, specialist, and master’s programs  have a period of six (6) years, inclusive and continuous, in which to complete degree requirements and claim the curricular rights of a specific catalog.

Graduate students in doctoral programs have a similar period of ten (10) years.  If continuing or returning students exceed their maximum time period, they must apply for re-admission and adopt the requirements set forth in the new catalog at the time they are readmitted to the degree program.  Readmission is not guaranteed for students who exceed their maximum time period and is at the discretion of the admissions committee for each graduate program.

Within the maximum time limit, a graduate student who is absent from the University for no longer than three (3) years and who returns to complete the program of study shall have the right to continue under the catalog in effect at the time of the student’s original enrollment in the degree-seeking program. Alternatively, the student may elect the degree requirements under the catalog in effect at the time of return. If the period of absence is longer than three years, the student will be subject to the curricular requirements of the catalog in effect at the time return. Under no circumstances will students be allowed to appeal short-lived rules and regulations which were adopted and abandoned during the period of their absence.

If drastic revisions of curricula or program requirements have occurred during a student’s absence (even if for less than three years), or during the period between the student’s original enrollment as a degree-seeking graduate student and the eventual movement to a different degree program, a reasonable effort will be made by the Academic Dean of the student’s program to permit the student to undertake transitional course work that is equivalent to the educational experience intended under the catalog in force at the time of the student’s original enrollment as a degree-seeking graduate student.

Unforeseen circumstances may interfere with the scheduling of a course or degree offering. Students must accept such developments even if doing so will mean a delay in some of their academic goals or a modification of those goals. The departments concerned will work closely with students facing such problems in an effort to resolve them with a minimum of difficulty.

Right of Petition

A student who wants relief from any academic regulation of the University may submit the case for consideration to the Petitions Committee in the college of the student’s degree program or the appropriate University-wide committee.

General Information

Students are expected to follow the graduate program as outlined in the catalog when satisfying basic degree requirements and prerequisites for advanced work.

Students must pursue required courses in the prescribed sequence. Failure to do so may lead to future scheduling difficulties, and students may find that the courses in which they wish to enroll are not available to them.

Students who enroll in courses for which prerequisites or other defined requirements have not been met will be removed from these courses.


Electronic Communication

All students are assigned an individual Coastal Carolina University e-mail account. The University utilizes email to those accounts as an official means of communication with students. Students are responsible for checking their CCU email accounts frequently and acting upon any information received.

Change of Name or Address

It is the obligation of every student to notify the College of Graduate Studies and Research or the Office of the Registrar of any change in name or address. Failure to do so may cause serious delay in the handling of student records and in notification of emergencies at home. Change of name may only be accomplished by presenting proper legal documentation.


It is expected that every student will discharge any indebtedness to the University as quickly as possible.
No diploma, certificate, grade report, or transcript will be issued to a student or for a student who has not made satisfactory settlement with the Office of Student Accounts for all indebtedness to the University. An individual who has not officially enrolled may be administratively removed and prohibited from attending classes or taking final examinations after the due date of any unpaid obligations.


Students are academically and financially responsible for their course registrations, to enroll in courses for which they seek to earn credit, and to terminate enrollment in courses which they do not intend to complete. Each student is responsible for having knowledge of and observing all regulations and schedules published in the Coastal Carolina University Graduate Studies Catalog and the University’s Official Website. Registration information may be accessed through the Office of the Registrar’s website.

To be officially enrolled in the University, a student must be academically eligible, complete the registration process, and possess a receipt issued by the Office of Student Accounts for payment of current academic fees. Enrollment by proxy is not allowed unless permission has been obtained in advance from the Office of the Registrar. Students will be removed from any graduate course for which prerequisites or other defined requirements have not been met.

Students are expected to complete registration (including the payment of all required fees) on the dates prescribed in the University Academic Calendar and the payment dates listed on the Office of Student Accounts website. Those failing to do so will have all course enrollments cancelled for non-payment.

Failure of a student to properly register and appear on graduate course rolls and failure to pay tuition disqualifies the student from receiving credit for any coursework, even if the student attends class and takes exams and earns a grade with the permission of the instructor.

The University reserves the right to withdraw any course for cogent reasons, such as in the case of inadequate enrollment.

Registration in any course may be closed when the maximum enrollment has been reached. Students are responsible for their own registration and its accuracy.

Auditing a Course

Students who wish to audit a course must be admitted to the University and go through the regular registration process. Students auditing a course will be charged the same tuition and fees as students taking graduate courses for academic credit.

The request for the privilege of auditing a graduate course should be made to the academic department concerned and should be for a specified semester. Auditing a course consists of attending classes. A student who audits a course is not responsible for assignments or examinations. No credit may be earned in an audited course by examination or otherwise. No audited course may be repeated for credit at a later date. Course work not taken in a traditional format may not be audited.

A student who has registered for a course on an audit basis and who wishes to change the registration to take the course for credit (or who wishes to change from credit to audit) must do so no later than the semester’s last day of late registration, drop/add, or drop with no academic record, as published in the University Academic Calendar, located on the University’s official website. The change should be requested on a Registration Form properly signed by the course instructor and the Dean of the College in which the student is enrolled, and the form submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

Course Load

For graduate students, a full-time academic course load is defined as nine (9) hours in major semesters (Fall and Spring), and half-time is defined as five (5) hours. During the Summer, full-time is defined as five (5) hours, while half-time is defined as three (3) hours.   No student may take over 12 credits without the permission of the program Coordinator/Director and the Dean of the College.

For certain graduate students, typically those completing thesis or dissertation work, or those in their final semester with few remaining courses in their program, the number of credits to be considered full-time and half-time may be reduced.  In such cases, students who must demonstrate full-time status for major semesters (fall or spring) for financial reporting purposes should indicate their intent on the Application for Full-time Status form.

All graduate international students on F-1 student visas must maintain a full-time academic course load (9 credits) each Fall and each Spring semester.  Exceptions to this requirement can be made for international students in their final semester who have less than 9 credits remaining in their program (students should submit the Reduced Course Load Request form), or who have completed all formal coursework with only their thesis/dissertation remaining (students should submit the Full-time Enrollment Verification for F-1 and J-1 Graduate Students form).  These forms are available from the CCU Center for Global Engagement. 

Repetition of Course Work

A student may repeat a course which has been passed in order to raise the grade only in the event that the degree requires a higher grade in the course. A student who repeats the course will have both grades entered on the permanent academic record and computed into the grade point average.  The course credits will only count once towards graduation. 

Certain courses may be repeated as noted in the course description. However, course credit toward graduation will be given only once, unless stipulated in the course description.

Thesis and Dissertation Research

Graduate programs or program tracks that require a thesis or dissertation must publish the number of thesis or dissertation credits required for the degree.  Any student engaged in thesis or dissertation research and/or writing that involves the use of university resources, facilities, or university-sanctioned travel must be registered for at least one credit hour during the semester or summer session of these activities, whether the student is in residence or not. Graduate students must be enrolled in the term in which they complete their graduate work or are scheduled to receive their degree.

If a graduate student in a thesis or dissertation program has finished all course work for the degree, including all required thesis or dissertations hours, but has not yet finished the degree and continues to use university resources toward degree completion, he or she must enroll in and pay tuition and fees for at least one hour of project completion.  These hours will not count toward the degree.  Students should not register for more than the maximum number of thesis or dissertation hours that are required to complete the degree.

Internship, Cooperative and Non-Traditional Course Work

In addition to thesis and dissertation research, graduate students may engage in other forms of non-traditional coursework. All of these situations require that an instructional/course contract be developed before the study begins. These situations typically occur when students engage in:

  1. internship or cooperative study;
  2. study in established University courses on an independent, non-traditional basis; or
  3. an independent learning experience in an area not represented by established course work at the University.

These courses are designed for the self-motivated student who has an intense interest in conducting scholarly work in an academic area not offered in a traditional course format. The course will result in a document, performance, or body of work that reflects the student’s research or summarizes the knowledge synthesized during a structured, sequenced order of study.

The student, in consultation with the supervising professor, must complete and file a contract for the course with the Department Chair in the discipline area and with the Dean of the college in which the work is to be performed prior to registration for the course. The contract must be signed by the student, the student’s adviser, the supervising professor, the course Department Chair, the Coordinator/Director of the student’s degree program, and the Dean or the Dean’s designee of the student’s degree program. If the student has an external supervisor, as would be the case for an off-campus internship or cooperative program, that individual must also sign the contract.  The course contract is in addition to, rather than in place of, the course syllabus.  It must include the course objectives, student learning outcomes, course requirements, the number of credits to be earned, the date of completion, and the method(s) of student evaluation. The student should consult the adviser for any restrictions on the number of such credits acceptable for the degree program.

Distance Learning

Distance education or distance learning refers to the interaction of students and instructors separated by time and/or place in the educational processes that leverage instructional technologies and strategies to maximize learning. Most of the work is done independently by the student using self-instructional materials prepared by the instructor. For some courses, attendance at on-campus workshops or class sessions during the semester is required with a possibility of additional sessions for testing/examinations. Many of the distance learning courses require basic computer literacy, Internet, and Email access. Students interested in enrolling in distance education courses should consult their adviser.

Summer Semesters

The Summer semesters are normally comprised of Maymester (4 weeks), Summer I (5 weeks), and Summer II (4 weeks). Shorter sessions and workshops are also offered. Students regularly enrolled in the University may take work applicable to the degree sought during Summer semesters.

Except in abbreviated sessions (less than five weeks) or in cases of adjustments for holidays, each course meets four periods a week, Monday through Thursday. A maximum of two courses (up to 7 credit hours) is permitted during any regular summer semester that is five (5) weeks or greater. One course (up to 4 credit hours) is the normal load for four (4) weeks and other abbreviated semesters.

The University reserves the right to cancel any course for cogent reasons, such as in the case of inadequate enrollment. Additional courses may be offered upon request by a sufficient number of students. Registration in any course may be closed when the maximum enrollment has been reached.

Students seeking admission to the University for the first time during a Summer semester should refer to the Categories of Admission section of this catalog.

Transitional Study (Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses)

Transitional Study involves undergraduates enrolling in graduate courses. Students who have earned a minimum of 90 credits and are within 30 credit hours of completing the requirements for the bachelor’s degree or who have an earned bachelor’s degree may be permitted to enroll in a course or courses for graduate credit. Students are typically expected to have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and be adequately prepared for graduate work in the field concerned as determined by the Graduate Program Director/Coordinator. Some programs may require supporting documents demonstrating the student is prepared for graduate study. Graduate courses available for Transitional Study are numbered 500-699. Transitional Study also allows qualified undergraduates 1) to pursue advanced studies enhancing their undergraduate degree or 2) to begin work towards completing a graduate degree, certificate, or endorsement. Credits earned through Transitional Study can only be used to satisfy one degree, undergraduate or graduate. The application of credit, once chosen, cannot be changed.

Students wishing to pursue Transitional Study must:

  1. Complete and submit the Application for Transitional Study to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research;
  2. Limit the total credits earned under Transitional Study to twelve (12);
  3. Limit the total credit hours (undergraduate and graduate) taken in the Fall or Spring semester to sixteen (16); limit the total credit hours (undergraduate and graduate) taken in the Summer I or Summer II semester to nine (9);
  4. Indicate clearly how the credits will be applied (e.g., as undergraduate or as graduate credits).

Accelerated Degree Programs

Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s degree programs allow high-performing Coastal Carolina University undergraduate students to complete a combination of a bachelor’s and master’s degree on a potentially accelerated time frame. For students that meet the criteria, the use of dual credit (courses that can be used by both degrees) can reduce the total combined enrollment by up to 9 credits, which is a typical graduate semester load.

Undergraduate students in participating degree programs are eligible to apply for approval of an accelerated education plan if they have completed at least 90 hours of undergraduate course work (or are enrolled in the semester when they will do so) and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.4. Students applying to the program must submit an “Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program Plan” listing the proposed dual credit courses, with endorsements by their undergraduate advisor and department chair, the director and department chair of the relevant graduate program, the undergraduate and graduate program dean(s) or their designee(s), and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research, who has final authority for approving accelerated education plans. The form must be submitted each semester in which the student will enroll in a dual credit course.

Only graduate-level courses (numbered 500 and above, including up to 3 credit hours of project/ research work) may be used for dual credit, and the courses must fulfill the degree requirements for both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees identified in the Program Plan. A maximum of 9 credit hours of graduate courses in the master’s program may be applied to the bachelor’s program. Courses in which the student earns below a B will not be counted toward the student’s graduate degree requirements. The combined bachelor’s/master’s degree must have a minimum combined total of 150 credit hours. Individual undergraduate and graduate programs that opt to participate in an accelerated graduate degree program may specify which courses are eligible for dual credit. Since programs are not required to participate in accelerated graduate degree programs, students are advised to speak with their program advisers regarding opportunities and specific requirements.

The Accelerated Graduate Degrees Program does not replace Transitional Study. The Transitional Study program requires a 3.0 grade point average, does not require a program plan, and does not allow dual credit (courses must be designated for either undergraduate or graduate credit only). Undergraduate students cannot take more than 12 total credits of graduate coursework from the two programs combined (Accelerated Graduate Degree and Transitional Study).

Completion of graduate-level course work in the accelerated program does not require or ensure acceptance into the graduate degree program. Students wishing to continue towards a master’s degree must apply formally to the CCU graduate school by submitting the appropriate application and all required supporting documents. Students in the accelerated program are not eligible for graduate appointments for financial aid until their bachelor’s degrees have been awarded.

Courses Outside a Degree Program

Students wishing to enroll in courses outside the degree program to which they have been admitted should do so only with the permission of their advisers and the Dean of the course. Students are advised to seek guidance from the Graduate Coordinator/Director of the College sponsoring the course regarding eligibility and prerequisites.

An individual who has been denied admission to a program may not continue to enroll in courses in that program without special permission of the Dean of the College. This permission is needed even if the student enters another degree program at the institution.


Prerequisite courses are intended to provide students with the necessary academic background for a satisfactory completion program. If a student believes that he/she has the knowledge and/or skills represented by a prerequisite course obtained via other courses or methods, this should be discussed with the professor prior to registration regarding special permission to enroll.

Changes in Registration

Changes in Enrollment

Students must consult with their advisers concerning any change of enrollment.

Adding a course, changing from credit to audit or audit to credit, changing from one section to another, and changing the number of credits in any variable credit course must be completed by the last day to late register as published in the University Academic Calendar, located on the University’s official website.

Electing or revoking the Pass-Fail option must be completed no later than the last date for dropping a course without receiving a grade of WF, as published in the University Academic Calendar. This change must be recorded with the Office of the Registrar on a Pass-Fail Option form bearing all required signatures.

Dropping a Course

Dropping courses during final exams is not permitted.

Courses dropped during the official late registration period of a semester will not be recorded on a student’s permanent record. A grade of W will be recorded on the permanent record after the official late registration period and up to the last date to drop without a grade of WF and will not enter into the computation of credits attempted, grade point average, or any other total. The time allowed for dropping any course with a grade of W will be equal to two-thirds of the total number of class days from the beginning of the semester. A grade of WF (U for Pass/Fail option) will be recorded for any course dropped after the close of the prescribed “drop with W” period and through the last day of class. For Pass/Fail courses, a grade of U will be assigned. A WF is treated as an F in computing the student’s grade point average. A student who stops attending a course without officially dropping will have the grade of F (U for Pass/Fail option) recorded for each course. This grade is included in all calculations and totals. The University Academic Calendar lists the prescribed deadline dates for each semester.

Change in Graduate Degree Program

Students who desire to change their degree program must apply to the desired degree program through the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. Students must: (a) obtain a Change in Graduate Degree Program form from the Office of the Dean of the current degree program; (b) have this form signed by the Coordinator/Director of the degree program in which they are currently enrolled (for release) and then the Coordinator/Director of the degree program in which entry is desired (for acceptance). Upon acceptance into the new degree program, the college of the new degree program will make the necessary computer entry to reflect the new degree program and assign the new adviser. To be valid, a “Change in Graduate Degree Program” must not only follow the procedures indicated but must also be completed in advance of registration in the degree program to which the change is desired.

Credits earned in one degree program may not be applicable toward other degree programs. Courses applicable to a specific program must be identified in the Degree Requirements section of the Graduate Catalog for that program, or they may be identified through the course substitutions and waivers process described below. 

Course Substitutions and Waivers

Only under unavoidable or exceptional circumstances will substitutions for or exemptions from the prescribed graduate curricula be approved. Graduate course substitutions and/or waivers must be approved by the program Coordinator/Director/Chair and the Dean of the degree program. Undergraduate coursework is not acceptable for substitution of graduate coursework.

Course substitutions for coursework meeting similar educational or programmatic goals can be submitted using the Program Substitutions form.  More substantial deviations from degree requirements, such as waivers (without a specific substitute) for required courses based on previous coursework/experience, as well as waivers for other substantial changes to degree requirements, must be petitioned using the Graduate Academic Petitions form.


Withdrawal from the University or from a course during final exams is not permitted.

Standard Withdrawal

All students, both full-time and part-time, desiring to withdraw from the University or to discontinue enrollment in all courses must contact their adviser and/or the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. An exit interview will be conducted to assist the student in completing the withdrawal process and to resolve any outstanding concerns. A student who leaves the University without following this procedure may prejudice any further attempt to re-enter the University and will receive a grade of F (U for Pass/Fail option) in all courses.

The date of withdrawal from the University will be posted on student transcripts. Courses from which the student withdraws during the late registration period will not be recorded on a student’s permanent record. Thereafter, through two-thirds of the total number of class days from the beginning of the semester, the grade of W will be recorded on a student’s transcript but will not be used in computing the grade point average. Specific dates are listed in the University Academic Calendar, located on the University’s official website. Students withdrawing after the close of the prescribed “withdraw with W” period and prior to the last day of class will receive a grade of WF (U for Pass/Fail option) for each course in which they are enrolled. A WF is treated as an F in computing the student’s grade point average. Students who stop attending courses without officially withdrawing will have the grade of F (U for Pass/Fail option) recorded for each course. This grade is included in all calculations and totals.

Exceptions to the assignment of a grade of WF are possible only for verifiable, documented reasons. If a student must withdraw from the University for medical reasons or for another acceptable major cause after the last day to receive a W, the grade of W still may be assigned after appropriate evaluation of the circumstances. Students must meet with their adviser and program Coordinator/Director to discuss their circumstances.

Withdrawal Due to Medical or Psychological Reasons

Policy Summary (click here to view the complete policy)
A withdrawal for medical or psychological reasons is granted only for verifiable, documented medical or psychological reasons. Universitywide policies may be accessed through the University Policies website at www.coastal.edu/policies.

Involuntary Medical/Psychological Withdrawals

Policy Summary (click here to view the complete policy)
A student who poses significant risk to the health or safety of others may be subject to Involuntary Medical/Psychological Withdrawal from the University. Universitywide policies may be accessed through the University Policies website at www.coastal.edu/policies.

Withdrawals Due to Student Military Deployment

Policy Summary (click here to view the complete policy)
A withdrawal for students who are concurrently enlisted in the military and enrolled at the University who are either non-voluntarily activated or who have been requested by their military chain of command to volunteer for activation due to possessing a specialized skill. Universitywide policies may be accessed through the University Policies website at www.coastal.edu/policies.

Class Attendance

Policy Summary (click here to view the complete policy)
Students are obligated to attend class regularly. Absences, excused or not, do not absolve a student from the responsibility of completing all assigned work promptly. Universitywide policies may be accessed through the University Policies website at www.coastal.edu/policies.

Religious Observance Reasonable Accommodation

Due to the observance of a religious holiday or day of religious significance that is not included on the official list of University holidays, any student who is unable to attend classes on a particular day or days or at a particular time of day shall be excused from taking any examination or performing other academic work assignments on such days or times. To allow instructors ample opportunity to make a reasonable accommodation, students shall make requests in a timely manner prior to the exam or work. The construction of “timeliness” shall take into account the date of the announcement of the exam or work. Requesting students shall be afforded an equivalent opportunity to make up the exam or academic work that was missed due to such absences. No penalties may be imposed against students who are accommodated. Faculty shall reference the attendance policy on all course syllabi. The arbiter of any conflicts or controversies arising from this policy, whether initiated by students or faculty, shall be the Provost or his/her designee. Appeals may be taken directly to the President.

Final Examinations

Final examinations for Fall and Spring are held over a five-day period at the close of each semester; Summer semester examinations are held at the close of each session. During exam week, faculty members are entitled to give final examinations or the equivalent in any of their classes, and this requirement should be clearly articulated in the course syllabus.

Final examinations or the equivalent that occur in class must be given each semester in accordance with the published University’s Final Examination schedule so that students’ final exams do not conflict with each other. Examination schedules are published online on the Office of the Registrar’s website. Faculty may use their discretion to make accommodations for students who have justified reasons for not being able to attend an in-class final at its scheduled time. No deviation from this, the printed schedule, for in-class final exams or the equivalent is permitted unless specific prior approval has been obtained from the authorized college dean and is reported to the Provost.

Faculty teaching online courses who give final exams or the equivalent may choose a due date for these assessments anytime within the University Final Exam Week as long as there is reasonable access for students taking in-class exams. Other faculty selecting to assign online final exams or the equivalent online assignment may select a completion date no earlier than the first day of final examinations and no later than the last day of final examinations as stated in the University Final Examination Schedule. All final exams or the equivalent online assignments (for online courses) must remain open for a period of at least 48 hours.

No quiz, test, or examinations may be given the last day of classes unless reflected on the syllabus and with prior approval of the dean. This provision applies to all examinations except laboratory examinations. Laboratory examinations may be held the last full week of class.

The Study Day set by the Academic Calendar should be respected as a day for students to prepare for exams and complete their coursework: thus, no required student activities should be scheduled on this day.

Faculty members are expected to follow current grading and grade change procedures as published in the University Catalog.

Re-examinations for the purpose of removing a grade of F or raising a grade is not permitted.

A student who is absent from any final examination will be given the grade F on the course if an excuse acceptable to the instructor has not been offered. If excused, the student will be assigned a grade of Incomplete and may complete the course through a Deferred Examination (see details in section below). The definition and description of an Incomplete grade may be found in the Grading System section of this catalog.

If an instructor teaches more than one section of the same course, a student may be transferred from one (1) examination section to another upon permission of the instructor.

Any student with three (3) examinations scheduled on the same day may arrange for an alternate examination time with the instructor of the second examination. The instructor of the second examination will make necessary arrangements upon the student’s request.

Deferred Examinations

A student who has received an Incomplete in a course as a result of being excused from an examination may be eligible for a deferred or special final examination. For a deferred or special final examination, the instructor and the student mutually agree on a date and time for the exam. A deferred or special final examination may be taken during the next regularly scheduled final examination period for that course. The examination must be taken within one (1) major semester from the time that the Incomplete was assigned.

Student Life Exam Week Policy

Policy summary (click here to view the complete policy)
The goal of this policy is to help improve students’ success by giving them more time to prepare for final examinations. This policy addresses issues related to student organizations and sport clubs regarding events, meetings, practices, etc. during the time leading up to and through finals week. Policies related to finals week for academics can be found in the Schedule of Courses, and for athletics policies concerning finals week, please contact the Athletic Department. Universitywide policies may be accessed through the University Policies website at www.coastal.edu/policies.

  1. In the 72 hours preceding Study Day or Exam Period (if no Study Day exists) through the final day of exams during the Fall and Spring terms:
  1. No student organization, club, Greek organization, intramural team, et al., is permitted to meet, practice, schedule events or fundraise during the above specified period of time.
  2. No sport club team may compete or conduct practices during the above specified period of time.
  3. No on-campus or off-campus Event Registrations for the groups listed above will be accepted during above specified period of time.

Course Credit

The credit value of each course is usually determined by the number of class meetings per week during one semester. Two (2) or three (3) laboratory hours (one period) are equivalent to one class meeting. The credits for each course are included in each course description.

The instructional hour is identified as 50 minutes. One semester credit hour will be identified as 700 minutes of classroom instruction or equivalent laboratory time, plus an exam period. The University has the flexibility to use alternative schedules within the semester as long as each semester credit granted allows for a minimum of 700 minutes of classroom instruction or an equivalent amount of laboratory time, plus an exam period.

When the University offers courses in a concentrated or abbreviated time period, or non-traditional/hybrid formats, the outcome of the instruction must demonstrate that students in such courses have acquired competencies and levels of knowledge comparable to those that would be required of students taking similar courses in the traditional formats.

Coastal Carolina University awards course credit only to currently enrolled students and only through “in residence” course work, academic transfer credit, transient study, and military educational experiences as stipulated below.

Credit by Examination

No graduate credit is offered by examination only.

Credit through Experiential Learning

Graduate credit is not awarded or accepted for experiential learning or other types of credit for life experiences which occur prior to the student’s matriculation into a Coastal Carolina University graduate program and which has not been under the supervision of the University.

Correspondence Courses

The University neither offers correspondence courses for graduate credit nor accepts correspondence work as applicable toward a graduate degree.

Transient Study

Credit for work completed at other institutions by Coastal students will not be accepted for transfer if the student has previously failed to earn the required grade in an equivalent course at Coastal. Credit for other courses will be accepted only under the conditions that (a) each course has been approved in advance by the Dean or the Provost and such approvals filed in writing with the Office of the Registrar, (b) each course has been passed with a grade adequate for transfer purposes (B or better), and (c) each course was taken for “academic credit.”

Foreign Institution Credit

Students who have attended post-secondary educational institutions, colleges or universities outside the United States are required to submit an original, official transcript. Foreign transcripts must also be translated into English and evaluated course-by-course to the American grading system and course equivalences. This service can be obtained through any member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Members can be found on the website: http://www.naces.org/members.html.

The course-by-course evaluation report should be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research at Coastal Carolina University by the credentialing entity.

Foreign credits are evaluated within the Center for Global Engagement. As with transfer hours from a U.S. institution, foreign credits may be determined to be transferable, yet not be applicable toward satisfying degree requirements. The program Coordinator/Director or Dean determines whether specific transferable hours will satisfy degree requirements.

Military Credit

Hours of credit which may be awarded for educational experiences in the military will be in accordance with recommendations published by the American Council on Education and will be consistent with University policy on the transfer of credit. Hours awarded for educational experience in the military may include credits not applicable in certain degree programs. The student must consult the Dean of the appropriate degree program to determine applicability.

Revalidation of Over-Age University Courses

Graduate courses taken at CCU must be completed within a specific time frame in order to be counted toward a graduate degree or certificate. For certificates, specialist and master’s programs, courses over six years old (from the time the course was completed) are no longer valid.  For doctoral programs, courses over ten years old are no longer valid.  Degree seeking graduate students of the University desiring to revalidate over-age courses must petition the appropriate college Petitions Committee. If the revalidation is to be completed by formal examination, the applicant must pay in the Office of Student Accounts, in advance of the examination, a fee of $75 for each course to be revalidated. The fee is not refundable once the student has presented himself/herself to the instructor for the examination.

Transfer Credit

Students may transfer graduate credit from regionally accredited colleges and universities* for academic courses completed with grades of B or better, but the University reserves the right to determine what credit, if any, for graduate courses taken elsewhere will be counted toward its degrees. Decisions as to transfer course applicability, in terms of courses as well as maximum transfer hours, are made at the academic level where the graduate degree program is offered. A student cannot be awarded more transfer credit for a course than the original institution awarded. Students transferring courses into the University should consult the academic area where their graduate program of interest is housed regarding criteria for the use of transfer credits in the degree program.

Students cannot receive degree credit for a course taken at Coastal if they have received transfer credit for an equivalent course taken previously at another institution. Similarly, transfer credit will not be awarded if a Coastal equivalent, regardless of the grade earned, appears on the Coastal academic record.

Credits earned at another institution while a student is on suspension, academic or non-academic, from Coastal Carolina University are not transferable and cannot be applied toward a degree or used in improving the grade point average.

*The regional accrediting associations are: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Evaluation of Transfer Credit

Up to 12 semester credit hours with grades of B or better (or equivalent grades if a different system is used) from other institutions of approved graduate standing may be used in the fulfillment of a master’s degree requirements. Similarly, up to 30 credits may be transferred into a Ph.D. program. Graduate credit must have been earned at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting commission at the time the course work was completed. The only exceptions to this standard are transfer from foreign institutions and transfer of course work completed at an institution accredited by a recognized accrediting body or the acceptance of credit for military education. Graduate credit is not awarded or accepted for experiential learning or other types of credit for life experiences which occur prior to the student’s matriculation into a Coastal Carolina University graduate program and which has not been under the supervision of the University.

Transfer graduate credit must be approved by the chair of the department of the course, the Dean of the course, the Graduate Coordinator/Director and the Dean of the College where the student seeks to have the credit applied. Students are advised that some master’s or specialist programs do not allow twelve (12) semester hours of transfer course work to be applied to the degree program. Transfer credit must be dated within the maximum time period allowed for a degree (six years for certificate, specialist and master’s programs, and 10 years for doctoral programs). There is no revalidation mechanism for transfer credit that does not fall within the time limit.

Grade point average (GPA) is calculated on the basis of all work in the student’s career at Coastal Carolina University. Credits earned at other institutions and transferred to Coastal Carolina University may be used to satisfy program requirements but will not be calculated as a part of the GPA.


Students may transfer a maximum of twelve (12) credit hours into the University applicable to the completion of a degree program. Hours remaining beyond the maximum of twelve (12) that may be transferred in must be completed “in residence” at the University. Students studying in a degree program that requires a thesis must register for a minimum of one (1) credit hour in the semester of the thesis defense.

Grading System

Enrollment in a course obligates the student not only for prompt completion of all work assigned but also for punctual and regular attendance and for participation in whatever class discussion may occur. It is the student’s responsibility to stay informed concerning all assignments made. Absences, whether excused or unexcused, do not absolve the student from this responsibility.

With the exception of the Fx grade, the grading system outlined below has been in effect since the Fall Semester, 1978. Under this system, graduate course credit will be granted only for earned grades of A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D or S. Each of the following symbols will become a permanent part of the student’s academic record when assigned.

A, B+ and B, C+ and C, D+ and D, and F carry the traditional academic connotations of excellent, good, average, poor, and failing performance, respectively.

S and U indicate, respectively, satisfactory (passing) and unsatisfactory (failing) performance in courses carried under the Pass-Fail option. Courses carried under the Pass-Fail option will not affect a student’s grade point average.

W is assigned for withdrawal from a course after the official late registration period and through two- thirds of the total number of class days from the beginning of the semester. Courses dropped during the official late registration period (as published in the University Academic Calendar, located on the University’s official website) will not be recorded on a student’s permanent record. In exceptional cases, the grade W may be assigned for total University Withdrawals after two-thirds of the total number of class days of the semester. (See withdrawal procedures) A grade of W will not enter into the grade point average computation but will be recorded on the student’s permanent record.

WF is assigned for withdrawal from a course after the last date to withdraw grade of W (as prescribed in the University Academic Calendar) and is treated as an F in the grade point average computation.

I, Incomplete, is assigned at the discretion of the instructor when, in the instructor’s judgment, a student is unable to complete some portion of the assigned work in a course because of an unanticipated illness, accident, work-related responsibility, or family hardship. The grade of I is not intended to give students additional time to complete course assignments unless there is some indication that the specified condition or event prevented the student from completing course assignments on time. In those instances when the faculty member agrees to assign the grade of I, the faculty member must prepare with the student a completed Assignment of Incomplete Grade form stating specific expectations that the student must meet before the I grade is changed to a letter grade. Additional forms may be required by the department. This Assignment of Incomplete Grade form must also include a deadline for completion of the work. Students who receive an ‘I’ (Incomplete) grade normally have one major semester to complete the work required. Copies of the completed form are then distributed to the student, the Registrar, the Department Chair or College Dean, and the Instructor at the time grades are reported. Once an incomplete has been assigned for a course the student is not permitted to register for that course. The student is responsible for completing the coursework with the Instructor within the deadline given for completion of the work. The grade I will not affect the student’s GPA during the one semester, or during the contractually agreed upon time limit. After one major semester (or the agreed upon limit), a grade of I for which work has not been completed is permanently changed to a grade of F. Work to be completed must be submitted in sufficient time for the grade to be assigned and processed prior to the conversion of the I to an F. The responsibility for completing the requirements and assuring removal of an ‘I’ rests directly with the student. Suspension does not extend the time allowed to make up an Incomplete.

Fx is assigned for courses where failure occurs as a result of academic dishonesty. The Fx grade is treated as an F in the grade point average computation. Courses that receive an Fx grade may only be repeated via the “Standard Repeat” option. When assigned, the Fx grade will become a part of the student’s internal academic record and will appear on unofficial transcripts and within the student information system. The Fx grade will not appear on the student’s official transcript, but is reported as an F.

AUD indicates a course was carried on an audit basis. A grade of AUD will not enter into the grade point average computation.

Grade Changes

A grade may be changed by the instructor of record of a course for a period of one year after the completion of the course. In the case of a deceased faculty member, or in extreme cases and for cogent reasons, the Department Chair, in consultation with the Dean of the College offering the course and the University Registrar, may act in place of the instructor of record.

Prior to graduating, students may utilize the General Petition process to appeal a grade, provided the petition is submitted within three (3) years of the semester the course ended. After graduating, only the final semester’s grades can be appealed. This appeal must be made within six (6) months of the graduation date.

Note: Grades that resulted from a violation of the academic integrity code are not subject to the General Petition process.

Pass-Fail Option

Under certain circumstances, a student may elect pass-fail grading in a course whose content is outside the major area. This option permits enrichment of the student’s experience without affecting the average grade. A grade of either satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) will be awarded, and those courses completed with a satisfactory grade may be counted toward total credit hours earned. Any student interested in this option should consult his/her adviser and the Chair of the department offering the course prior to registration. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading is available only for courses specifically approved for such grading or individually by prior authorization of the Dean of the course.

Grade Point Average

The Grade Point Average is determined by dividing the total number of Grade Points by the total number of Grade Hours.

GPA = (Grade Points) ÷ (Grade Hours)

Grade Points are calculated by multiplying the number of credit hours assigned to a course by the value of the grade earned in the course.

Earned Grade Value of the Grade  
A 4.0  
  B+ 3.5  
B 3.0  
  C+ 2.5  
C 2.0  
  D+ 1.5  
D 1.0  
F 0.0  
WF 0.0  
Fx 0.0  

Grade hours are calculated by adding the credit hours of all courses with an earned grade.

Only grades of A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D, F, WF, and Fx are used in the calculation of Grade Hours, Grade Points, and the Grade Point Average. Grades of I, S, U, W, and AUD do not affect Grade Point Average.

Obtaining Grades

Following each major semester of enrollment, grades are available to students within their online WebAdvisor accounts. No grades will be available, however, to students who have outstanding financial obligations to the University.

Enrollment Verification

Verification of enrollment is based upon the total number of credit hours for which a student is registered at the time of the verification. Beginning and ending dates reported in enrollment verification conform to the official University Academic Calendar dates for the semester requested.

Enrollment verification can be attained via WebAdvisor through the National Student Clearinghouse.


A transcript of a student’s record carries the following information: a detailed statement of the Coastal Carolina University scholastic record showing courses pursued with credits carried, credits earned, grades, grade points, grade point average, grade point deficits, academic status as appropriate, and an explanation of the grading system. All failures, incomplete grades, and penalties such as suspensions are also indicated. Students who were enrolled at Coastal Carolina University prior to Summer II 1993 and who did not return to Coastal Carolina University until the Fall 1997 Semester or later are considered transfer students and their USC System/Coastal Carolina course work taken prior to Summer II 1993 is not included in the Coastal Carolina University academic totals.

All requests for transcripts must be in written form. Any student who needs a transcript or a certified copy of the end-of-semester grade report must complete a Transcript Request form at the Office of the Registrar, or send a signed and dated letter containing all pertinent identifying information to the Office of the Registrar. In addition to the written consent, each transcript request should include full name or names used, student number, dates of attendance, location of attendance, and date of birth to ensure proper identification of the record requested.

Transcripts will not be issued to a student who is indebted to Coastal Carolina University. Partial transcripts will not be issued.

Information on how to order an official transcript can be found online at Office of the Registrar.

Classification of Students

Graduate students are classified as degree seeking or non-degree seeking graduate students. See Graduate Admissions .


Notification Of Student Rights Under Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act

Coastal Carolina University education record policies comply fully with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, enacted as section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act. The University provides official notice to students of their rights under FERPA by publishing such notice in the Coastal Carolina University Catalog and on the Registrar’s Home Page.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

Students should submit to the Registrar, Dean, head of the Academic Department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom that request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

  1. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

  1. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

Coastal Carolina University will disclose information from a student’s education records only with the written consent of the student, except:

  1. To school officials with legitimate educational interests;
    A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including campus law enforcement and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility;
  2. To officials of other institutions in which the student intends to enroll provided that the student has previously requested a release of his/her record to the requesting institution;
  3. To authorized representatives of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States, the U.S. Census Bureau, state/local educational authorities, organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the University, and accrediting organizations;
  4. In connection with a student’s application for, and receipt of, financial aid;
  5. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  6. To parents of dependent students as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Section 152;
  7. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency; or
  8. To the alleged victim of any crime of violence of the results of any disciplinary proceedings conducted by the University.

Coastal Carolina University has designated the following items as Directory Information: a student’s name, mailing addresses (local, permanent, electronic), telephone numbers, photograph, electronic image, semester(s) of attendance, enrollment status (full- or part-time), date of admission, date of graduation, college, major and minor fields of study; whether or not currently enrolled, classification (freshman, etc.), type of degree being pursued, degrees, honors, and awards received (including scholarships and fellowships), the most recent educational institution attended, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and whether the student has participated in officially recognized activities and sports sponsored by the University. The University may disclose any of these items without prior written consent unless the student has submitted a written request in the Office of the Registrar not to release directory information pertaining to them. This request must be made at the time of registration but no later than 14 days after the beginning of the semester.

The University may publish a Student Directory annually. Students who do not wish to have information printed in the Student Directory should complete a Student Directory Privacy Request Form, available in the Office of the Registrar. Student Directory Privacy Request Forms must be completed no later than 14 days after the beginning of the semester.

  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Coastal Carolina University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington DC 20202-4605

Questions concerning this law and the University’s procedures concerning release of student education records may be directed to the Office of the Registrar, Baxley Hall, Room 222, 843-349-2019.

Appeals: An appropriate hearing board will provide each student with an opportunity to challenge the content of their University education records, to ensure that the records are accurate, and provide an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data contained therein. Hearing requests should be made to the University Registrar.

Academic Status

The following standards regarding scholastic eligibility, probation, and suspension are applicable to all degree seeking graduate students. Administration of these regulations is the responsibility of the Provost.

Good Academic Standing

Continued enrollment in Coastal Carolina University is a privilege that is granted to a student who is making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree.

Academic Probation/Suspension Status

Graduate students may earn degree credit completed at a grade level of C or above. However, students who receive grades below B on 12 credits of degree-required graduate coursework at the University within a 6 year period are suspended from degree candidacy status and are not permitted to enroll for further courses even as non-degree students.  After a grade below B is 6 years old, it will cease to be a disqualifying factor.  In addition, the student’s average on all courses attempted for graduate credit which are to be applied to degree completion must be at least a B (3.0 on a 4-point system). Grades earned on credits transferred from other universities do not count in the grade point average, and grades earned below the grade of B for graduate courses do not transfer to Coastal Carolina University.  Students are advised that some academic programs may have more stringent standards and to contact the graduate Coordinator/Director in their degree program regarding applicable academic standards. Some programs have also identified program-specific criteria for probation, which is used as an early warning for risk of suspension.  Suspended students can appeal for reinstatement, as described below.  

Appeals for Reinstatement

If a student is dismissed from a graduate program, appeals for reinstatement to degree candidacy should be submitted through the college’s appeals process. Appellants who have maintained a B average despite their accumulation of lower grades may, if their appeals are supported by their graduate program(s), be allowed to proceed toward their degrees provided they receive no additional grades below B. Appellants who have not maintained a B average should show extenuating circumstances and obtain the support of their graduate program(s) if they wish to be considered for reinstatement.

Academic Discipline

Infractions of academic discipline at the University are dealt with in accordance with The Code of Student
Conduct. Examples of such infractions include but are not limited to cheating, plagiarism, and illegal use of old laboratory reports. Further information is contained in The Student Handbook. The Code of Student Conduct and The Student Handbook can both be found under the Dean of Student Office.


For graduation, graduate students must file a formal application with the Dean of the degree program by the date specified in the University Academic Calendar. The Graduation Application is submitted by the student online and must be accompanied by payment of the graduation application fee before processing by the student’s academic college occurs. Graduation semesters/months at the University are Summer/August, Fall/December, and Spring/May. Students must be registered for a minimum of one (1) credit in the term of graduation.

Graduation is based on a cumulative GPA calculated on the basis of all coursework completed by the student at Coastal Carolina University. Students who were enrolled at Coastal Carolina University prior to Summer II 1993 and who did not return to Coastal Carolina University until Fall 1997 Semester or later are considered transfer students and their USC System/Coastal Carolina course work taken prior to Summer II 1993 is not included in the calculation of this cumulative GPA. Coastal Carolina University students granted approval to complete course work at other institutions will not have this work calculated as a part of the GPA. Credits earned at other institutions and transferred to Coastal Carolina University may be used to satisfy program requirements but will not be calculated as part of the GPA. Students attending the University in any non-degree graduate student admission category will not be considered for graduation.

Students are responsible for their own academic program and for meeting the requirements of their degree program. It is recommended that they meet with their faculty adviser at least once each semester. In order to be eligible for graduation, students must meet all course requirements, meet all “in residence” requirements, meet all program requirements, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on all graduate coursework attempted at Coastal Carolina University.

Diplomas and transcripts will not be issued to students who are indebted to the University.

In order to be eligible to graduate, all coursework (including incomplete coursework) must be completed by the last day of final examinations for the semester that the candidate applied to graduate in. The last day of final examinations is listed in the Academic Calendars. Candidates who do not meet the academic requirements necessary for graduation within the semester for which they have applied will not graduate that semester and must reapply for graduation in a subsequent semester’s graduation cycle.

Degrees are not posted to transcripts and diplomas are not awarded until after the application has been certified by the Office of the Registrar and approved by the Office of the Provost. This process may take 4-6 weeks after the commencement date.


See list of degrees .

Additional Graduate Degree

Students who have completed a graduate degree at Coastal Carolina University or another institution may have a maximum of twelve (12) hours approved for an additional master’s degree or thirty (30) hours approved for a doctoral degree. Courses must be approved by the Director/Coordinator of the program, the Dean of the program, and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research .

Similarly, former degree-seeking students at Coastal Carolina University who withdrew from their program prior to completion can only apply a maximum of twelve (12) graduate credit hours toward degree requirements in a new program