Frequently Asked Questions for Online Graduate Students

What is the grade appeal process?

1.  After final grades have been submitted to the Registrar, a student who wishes to appeal a course grade must submit an email to the Registrar in order to formally file notice of intention to appeal with the Registrar. This must be done within fifteen (15) days after the last day of an 8-week term. 

2.  The student must then demonstrate that he/she has communicated with the following people in an informal attempt to resolve the situation:

a. The Instructor

b. The Dean of the Unit offering the course

c. The Registrar

It is expected that these officers are to be approached in the order listed above. The student will have a maximum of fifteen (15) days to complete this process.  The Registrar may extend the time limit to avoid undue hardship or injustice.

3. After contacting the instructor, the appropriate dean, and the Registrar, if a mutually acceptable decision is not reached, the student shall submit a detailed statement of appeal with supporting documentation to the PROVOST detailing in what way his/her grade assignment was prejudiced, arbitrary, or otherwise improper.

4. The Provost will promptly give written notice of the formal appeal to both the student and the involved committee. Written notice shall be accompanied by a copy of the student’s detailed statement as well as the procedures and sequence of events to be followed in conducting the hearing. 

 Hearing for Student Appeal

1. The Hearing Committee will be appointed by the Provost.

2. The first meeting for a hearing shall be held not less than five (5) days and, whenever practical, not more than ten (10) days after the receipt of such notice.

Do I still contact my enrollment counselor for my academic planning and registering of classes?

No.  You should contact your faculty chair.

How do I find out more information about internship insurance and other requirements for education?

Contact your faculty chair first.  The chair may in turn have you contact Mrs. Tammie Baker, tbaker@usw.eduwho handles internship documentation.

Can I receive an Incomplete (I) for work in an 8 – week online graduate course?

If you are unable to complete your coursework at the end of an 8 – week term, you will receive the grade earned at the end of the term.  Prior to the end of the term, you should contact your instructor if there are circumstances contributing to your failure to complete the coursework.  If the faculty member choses to do so, you may be allowed two weeks to complete and submit your work.  The faculty member will submit a grade change, if appropriate, once you have satisfactorily completed your coursework after the two week period.

How do I decide which courses to take?

Your faculty chair must be consulted regarding your class scheduling. There are recommended course tracks in the various graduate degree programs.  Students may possibly individualize programs of study provided there is faculty chair approval.

What guidelines should I expect when writing papers for graduate school?

Papers produced for graduate courses at the University of the Southwest should follow the format guidelines adopted by the American Psychological Association (APA).

What is the difference between a Drop and a Withdrawal?

An academic drop occurs when you remove yourself from a course before or during USW's drop period. There are no academic consequences from this action, but there may be financial aid repercussions for this drop if you no longer meet financial aid qualifications. The course will show on your registration history as dropped but will not post on any unofficial or official transcripts and does not count as attempted credit.

An academic withdrawal from a course occurs when you remove yourself from a course after the drop period has passed. There will be financial repercussions for this withdrawal based on the refund schedule.

The academic consequences from this action include receiving the grade of "W" for the course, which will appear on any unofficial or official transcripts.  A grade of "W" will not impact your GPA, but does not count as completed credit toward your degree.