2017-2018

Academic Policies and Procedures

Academic Program Planning

Graduate Program academic advisors are available to assist students with registration and the planning and selection of courses. Advisors can also review a student’s academic standing as well as program and policy information. Students are encouraged to contact the Graduate Programs office or appropriate graduate director with any questions or concerns.

Academic Load

Graduate students are considered full-time, if they register for nine or more hours during the fall and spring terms and six or more hours in the summer term.

Transfer Credits

It is the expectation of the College of Arts and Sciences that graduate students will complete all degree requirements at Bryant University.  Students who have completed course work prior to matriculation may transfer up to two, three credit courses to their degree program. Transfer credits from an incomplete degree are limited to those taken within the last four years with a grade of ‘B’ or better from an accredited institution of higher learning. Students who wish to transfer course work should submit an official transcript, a course description and course syllabus to the appropriate graduate director. If the request is approved, the course(s) will be applied to the student’s Bryant degree requirements.

If, for extenuating circumstances, a student needs to enroll in a graduate course(s) at an institution other than Bryant, the student must consult with the appropriate graduate program director prior to enrolling in the course. The graduate program director will notify the student regarding approval. In order for the course credits to transfer to Bryant, a course must be taken at an accredited institution of higher learning. Students must earn a ‘B’ or better and, upon completion of the course, submit an official transcript. While courses approved for transfer appear as “T” on the Bryant transcript, grades of transferred courses are not used to calculate the grade point average.

Time Limitations for Completion of Program

Students are allowed a maximum of six years to complete all requirements of the Arts and Science Graduate programs beginning with the date the student first registers as a graduate degree student.  Students in the 4+1 program have seven years from the time of first enrollment in courses as an integrated degree student. Requests for extensions will be processed through the Graduate Programs office.

Directed Independent Study

Directed Independent Study [DIS] coursework is intended to offer the opportunity for greater depth of learning or the supplementation of content otherwise not offered by the Bryant curriculum. Hence, the role of DIS should be considered as an alternate for academic credit in a student’s program only when it augments existing courses or provides opportunity for more specialized learning. Stated differently, directed independent study will not be approved when such proposals represent a duplication of existing coursework alternatives or simply course topics justified on the basis of convenience or instructor preference. No more than one directed-independent study is permitted within each graduate student’s curriculum.

Any student who registers for a directed independent study course must perform the following steps:

  1. The student should contact a department chair or graduate faculty member in the appropriate discipline to request the determination of a faculty advisor to oversee a course in Directed Study.
  2. When a faculty advisor has been identified, the faculty member and student are expected to develop a detailed outline of requirements that would satisfy three graduate course credits. A detailed syllabus of assignments, including time and output expectations needs to be established, including course milestones and evaluation criteria.
  3. If the faculty member and graduate student agree on the proposal, the student then meets with the appropriate Graduate Program Advisor, who initiates the Directed Independent Study online process in Banner.  After the process initiation, the student must confirm and accept the Directed Independent Study through the Banner system and then notifies the faculty member through email.  The faculty member downloads and attaches the syllabus and accepts the Directed Independent Study. The student then notifies the Department Chair to view and approve the Directed Independent Study. If approved, the appropriate Associate Dean will be notified to make the final approval. 
  4. Once the Directed Independent Study has been approved by the Associate Dean, the Office of the Registrar will register the student and assign the faculty to the Directed Study in Banner.  The student and faculty member will receive a confirmation email that all steps have been completed.
  5. The advising faculty member is expected to submit a final grade at the end of the term.

Auditing a Course

Graduates of any graduate degree program may audit a course as long as prerequisites have been met and there is space available in the course. Students wishing to audit a course should complete an "Audit" request form from the Office of the Registrar with permission of the instructor.  No credit or quality points are given for the audited course. The grade on the transcript will appear as “AU” (for audit). Students are responsible for paying 100 percent of tuition.

NOTE: Bryant Graduate alumni will pay 50 percent of course tuition to audit a course.

Leave of Absence Policy

Although leaves of absence from the A & S Master’s program are discouraged, it is recognized that occasionally there are significant life-altering events that may result in the need for a student to suspend continuous enrollment from their respective program on a temporary basis.

Consequently, any student who, prior to completion of the A & S graduate requirements, seeks to decline registration for a period greater than one academic semester may do so by registering for a Leave of Absence (LOA) by completing an official LOA form with the Registrar's Office. A student on a leave of absence may re-enter the program on a space-available basis. Students are still expected to complete their program within a five year time frame. Students on military deployment are exempt from this policy.

Students who do not plan to register for a given semester should also contact the Graduate Director of her/his specific Master’s Program.

Cancellation of Classes

Cancellation/delay of classes due to weather conditions will be announced over local radio and television stations. A detailed message will also be available by calling the University’s emergency line at (401) 232-6002. The announcement to cancel or delay classes will also be available on the university website at www.bryant.edu. When individual classes are cancelled, students will be notified via their Bryant e-mail accounts.

Grading Policies and Academic Standing

Credit Hour

As an institution of higher education, Bryant University holds the responsibility for determining and upholding standards related to the awarding of credit hours for student work consistent with national standards.

  • One hour (50 minutes) of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester. 
  • A least an equivalent amount of work as required outlined above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work relating to the award of credit hours.

Bryant University ensures a minimum of 750 minutes of instruction per credit hour (2,250 minutes of instruction for a standard, three-hour course), regardless of mode of delivery. Winter and Summer terms offer accelerated courses, and the schedule is adjusted to meet the above standard.

Grading System

The graduate programs use the following grading system:

Grade Grade Points
A 4.0 Excellent
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0 Satisfactory
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
F 0.0

NOTE: Values assigned to each letter grade are determined by individual faculty members.

Letter Grades of B-, C+, and C: These grades, though acceptable, represent average performance and thus, must be offset by other higher grades in order to maintain a 3.0 cumulative average and subsequently to graduate from the program.  Courses in which a student earns a B-, C+, or C cannot be repeated.

Letter Grade of F: A letter grade of “F” indicates a course failure and remains on the transcript and is included in all future GPA calculations. If an “F” was earned in a core course, the core course must be repeated. If an “F” was earned in an elective, that specific course does not have to be repeated. However, the student must enroll in another elective in order to successfully complete the total number of credits required to earn the degree. The student’s transcript will record both course enrollments and grades.

I – Incomplete (because of extenuating circumstances, the instructor has allowed additional time, (e.g. two weeks, to complete the course.) The Incomplete is not included in calculating the GPA. If the Incomplete is not finished before the end of the next regular term (i.e., Fall or Spring terms), the grade will automatically be converted to an F. For purposes of this policy, “end of the next regular term” shall be interpreted to mean the last date on which that instructor’s grades must be submitted.

AU – Audit grade. Grade not included in calculation of GPA.

W – Student is allowed to withdraw from a course after the add/drop period and up until the end of the 10th week of regularly scheduled classes, as designated by the university calendar, by making a written request to the Office of the Registrar with no academic penalty incurred.

WD – Student is allowed to withdraw from a semester after the add/drop period and up until the end of regularly scheduled classes, as designated by the university calendar, by making a written request to the Office of the Registrar with no academic penalty incurred.

WP – At the discretion of the faculty member, student is allowed to withdraw without penalty after the 10th week of regularly scheduled classes, as designated by the university calendar but prior to the administration of the final exam, by making a written request to the Office of the Registrar.

WF – At the discretion of the faculty member, student is allowed to withdraw WITH penalty (failing grade) after the 10th week of regularly scheduled classes, as designated by the university calendar but prior to the administration of the final exam, by making a written request to the Office of the Registrar.

Add/Drop Policy

During the spring and fall terms, students may add courses for one (1) week after the first day of classes. Students have two (2) weeks to drop classes after the first day of  classes. Students must submit an add/drop form to the Office of the Registrar with appropriate faculty signatures. Refer to the Office of the Registrar web page for add and drop deadlines for the winter and summer terms.

GPA Calculations

Only courses taken and credits received in the graduate programs at Bryant University are included in the computation of the grade-point average.

Quality points are determined by multiplying credits by grade points. Grade points are listed in the table above.  The grade point average is determined by dividing the total quality points earned by the total credits completed.

Academic Standing

The academic standing measures a student's advancement toward meeting the grade point average requirements for a degree. Students are required to earn a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to successfully complete a graduate program.

If at the completion of the graduate program, the final GPA is below 3.0, a student may petition the Dean of the College to complete a maximum of six additional credits (i.e., two, three credit courses) all to be completed at Bryant to meet the GPA minimum.

Academic Warning

When a student’s cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0, an academic warning will be issued by the appropriate graduate director.  

Two consecutive semesters of academic warning may result in dismissal from the graduate program within the College of Arts and Sciences. Academic warning status will be reviewed on an individual case basis by the appropriate graduate director and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Graduation

During the fall semester preceding their intended graduation, students should complete and submit an online Application for Graduation form through their Banner web account. Students who complete their degree requirements during a summer or fall term may participate in commencement exercises of that academic year.

Honors at Graduation

To graduate with honors, a student must attain a grade-point average of 3.75 or better.

Academic Honesty Policy

A high standard of conduct is expected. A graduate student’s education is the result of his or her initiative and industry. Each Bryant graduate student, accordingly, understands that to submit work that is not his/her own is not only a transgression of University policy but also a violation of personal integrity.

The academic community, therefore, does not tolerate any form of “cheating” – the dishonest use of assistance in the preparation of outside or in-class assignments.

Ethical Conduct and Plagiarism

Cheating / Plagiarism

As students at Bryant University you are privileged members of an academic institution with high standard for academic integrity and conduct.  Student dishonest will NOT be tolerated. Any student who plagiarizes any portion of a research paper, cheats, or shares assignment answers will receive a 0 (zero) for that assignment, a lowering of the final grade, and/or failure in the course.  More serious sanctions are also possible. Ignorance of University policy is NOT a valid excuse. If you are not sure whether you are plagiarizing or not, please check with your instructor.

Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism include but is not limited to:

  • Submitting an assignment that has been wholly or partially created by another person.
  • Presenting as your own work, the ideas, representations, research, or words of another person without proper acknowledgement (citation) of sources.
  • Knowingly permitting your work to be submitted by another student as if it were her or his own work.
  • Submitting identically, or substantially, the same assignment to fulfill the requirements of two separate courses.
  • Copying from another student's examination, term paper, homework or lab report.
  • Misappropriation of examination materials or information/
  • Unauthorized communication with another student during or about quizzes.
  • Unauthorized access to or the use of the computerized work of others.
  • Falsification of data for research projects.
  • Turning in another student’s name on an assignment when the student failed to contribute.

All violations are subject to disciplinary action. To preserve its commitment to the high standards of intellectual and professional behavior, Bryant University will respect intellectual excellence and expect intellectual honesty.

The following due process procedure shall apply to cases of graduate students involving academic dishonesty:

Step 1

Instructors teaching graduate courses have the explicit responsibility to take action in alleged cases of academic dishonesty. This action may include the following:

  • failing grade on assignment or exam
  • failing grade for the course
  • recommend dismissal from the graduate program and the College of Arts and Sciences
Step 2

The instructor’s decision may be appealed by the student to the Arts and Sciences Graduate Faculty Advisory Committee (A&S GFAC). The Committee may recommend to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences one of the following alternatives:

  • To sustain the instructor’s decision
  • To place the student on probationary status, as specified by the Committee.
    This gives the Committee the right to review and monitor the student’s academic performance for the duration of the probation period.
  • To recommend dismissal of the student to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • To restore the individual to the status of a student in good standing

A similar process will be followed in cases of dishonesty other than academic.

Academic Grievance Process

Students who have an academic grievance concerning their final grade in a course are entitled to have their dispute reviewed by a formal and systematic process. Students have sixty (60) days from the time the final grade is posted to initiate their concerns in writing to the professor of the course. The Academic Grievance Process should begin with a good-faith attempt for resolution between the student and professor.

In the event that an issue cannot be resolved between the student and professor, the student must subsequently confer with the appropriate program director to seek resolution of the matter.

Failing these first two steps, the student can seek resolution by appealing the matter to the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; unresolved grievances may then be appealed to the Dean.

Prior to an appeal to the Dean of the College, a student must complete a written statement which serves to summarize the basis of the grievance, indicate the resolution process preceding and leading up to an appeal first to the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and then to the Dean, and a documentation of relevant material and correspondence between and among student, professor, and appropriate graduate program director.

If the issue cannot be resolved by the aforementioned steps, the student may request a hearing before the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee. The Committee will meet only when the student has not been able to resolve the grievance through the dean's level review. The Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee will report its findings and make a recommendation to the Provost; the decision of the Provost is final.

At each stage in the grievance process, a written record that summarizes each party's understanding and disposition is expected.

Graduate Programs Code of Conduct

Bryant University is an educationally purposeful community – a place where faculty, staff and students work together to strengthen teaching and learning on campus. The campus is a place where high standards of civility are set and violations are challenged. Bryant University is a community whose members speak and listen carefully to each other. Bryant University is a place where the sacredness of each person is honored and where diversity is aggressively pursued. Bryant University clearly states both its academic and social expectations. All must accept their obligations as citizens of the Bryant community and expect to be held accountable for behavior as individuals and members of groups. The University is a caring community where the well-being of each member is supported and where service to others is encouraged. All students are expected to obey applicable local state and federal laws as well as the policies of the university. These policies are found in The Student Handbook and the University Policy Manual. All students are subject to disciplinary action for violations. Graduate student violations of policy shall be adjudicated by the Graduate Disciplinary Committee. Procedures applying to this process are found in The Student Handbook.

Behavior and Discipline

The University expects students to assume responsibility for their actions. It also has an equal obligation to protect its educational purpose and the interests of its student body; therefore, it must be concerned with the actions of individuals or groups that are in conflict with the welfare and integrity of the University or in disregard for the rights of other students, faculty, or other members of the University community.

Complete guidelines and policies are found in The Student Handbook. When students enroll at Bryant University, it is assumed that they have a serious purpose and a sincere interest in their own social and intellectual development.   It is also assumed that students familiar with the regulations, procedures, and policies set forth at Bryant University have accepted them as a “way of life” during their stay at the University. They are expected to learn to cope with problems intelligently, reasonably, and with consideration for the rights of others; to obey laws and ordinances of the nation, state, and community of which they, as well as the University, are a part; and to conduct themselves peaceably in espousing changes they may consider necessary. As students prize rights and freedoms for themselves, they are expected to respect the rights and freedoms of others.

Students are subject to federal, state, and local laws as well as University rules and regulations. A student is not entitled to greater immunities or privileges before the law than those enjoyed by other citizens generally. Students are subject to such reasonable disciplinary action as deemed appropriate, including suspension and expulsion in appropriate cases for breach of federal, state, or local laws, or University rules or regulations. The principle extends to conduct off campus that is likely to have adverse effects on the University, or on the educational process, or which stamps the offender as an unfit associate for other students.

Harassment

Protection from Harassment — Policy Statement

Bryant University is committed to maintaining a working and learning environment which supports respect for the individual and for academic freedom, where all members of the community can work and learn in an atmosphere that is free from sexual or other types of harassment. It is the policy of Bryant University that no member of the University community, including faculty, staff, students, volunteers, interns, and third party contractors, may subject another to sexual or any other type of harassment.

Harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference or orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, ethnicity, disability, veteran or marital status undermines the basic principles of the Bryant community and will not be tolerated.

Harassment includes but is not limited to unwelcome verbal, electronic and/or physical conduct directed toward an individual or regarding an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference or orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, ethnicity, disability, veteran or marital status that has the purpose or effect of humiliating and/or intimidating an individual or hindering and/or interfering with work performance, academic status, or college life. In particular, sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and all other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where: submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status; or submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment in which to work or learn.

Bryant University considers harassment a very serious matter. Any person found to be engaging in harassment, including sexual harassment, or who aids and abets or incites such conduct, will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from an educational program of the University. Further, any retaliation against an individual for filing a complaint or for cooperating in an investigation of such a complaint is similarly prohibited and will not be tolerated.

Reporting Procedures:

Bryant University encourages the reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. To encourage persons to come forward, the University provides several channels of communication, information, and complaint resolution as outlined below.

Information, Counseling and Advocacy:

Anyone may seek advice, information or counseling on any matter, including matters relating to harassment, without having to lodge a complaint. Names and telephone numbers of these resources are listed under “Information/Counseling Resources.”

Informal Complaint Process:

Either verbally or in writing, notify the offender firmly and promptly that his or her behavior is unwelcome. While dealing informally with a problem of harassment may resolve the matter more expeditiously and more confidentially, no action can be taken by the University when it is not aware of the harassing conduct. Hence, informal complaint procedures should not be used for severe or habitual cases of harassment.

Formal Complaint/Reporting Process:

When a formal complaint is received, the University will promptly investigate the allegation in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances.

The investigation will include a private interview with the person(s) filing the complaint and with witnesses. The person(s) alleged to have committed harassment would also be interviewed. When the investigation has been completed, the results of that investigation, to the extent appropriate, will be shared with the person filing the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the conduct. If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, the University will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct, and where appropriate, will impose disciplinary action.

Resource List

Information/Counseling Resources:

Counseling Services (401) 232-6045
Health Services (401) 232-6220
Student Affairs (401) 232-6046

Internal Contact List

Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students (401) 232-6046
Associate Vice President for Human Resources (401) 232-6011
Provost (401) 232-6060

Information Services Network Acceptable Use Policy

All members of the Bryant University community who use the University computing, information, and communication resources must act responsibly. Every user is responsible for the integrity of these resources under their control. All users of University-owned or University-leased Information Services systems must respect the rights of other users, respect the integrity of the physical facilities and controls, and comply with all licenses and contractual agreements.  More information on Information Services Network Acceptable Use Policy can be found at http://infosec.bryant.edu/acceptable_use.html.

E-mail

The University’s electronic mail services are University facilities and are intended for use for teaching, learning, research, and administration in support of Bryant University’s mission. Bryant University e-mail services may not be used for personal business or personal gain except as permitted by other University policies.

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of copies of copyrighted material. UNAUTHORIZED COPYING IS PROHIBITED!  The person using this equipment is liable for any infringement and can be prosecuted or held liable for monetary damages.

Bryant.edu Domain Name

According to the guidelines of the managing body of the top-level .EDU domain space, a registrant of a name in the .EDU domain may not use the .EDU domain for commercial purposes. The use of the “BRYANT.EDU” in any commercial related transaction is a violation of those guidelines. Any student using the “BRYANT. EDU” in any electronic service (e-mail, web, etc.) for commercial purposes jeopardizes his/her privilege to use those services.