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Graduate Academic Policies

Academic Probation

Students whose cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) fall below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation.

Students on probation may not be registered for more than 6 credits in any one semester (including extensions).

Students whose GPA fall below a 3.0 in the semester prior to the completion of their program will be required to take additional courses to raise their GPA to 3.0 or above to meet the minimum graduation requirements.

The GPA must be restored to a 3.0 or above during the next 9 credits. If the GPA is not restored to a 3.0 or above, the student may be dismissed from the graduate program. Students have a maximum of one year to raise their GPA to 3.0 or greater.


Admission to online graduate degree programs at Thomas Edison State University is competitive and based on a quantitative and qualitative assessment.* Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university and must be ready to participate in an online environment. Admission is based on:

  • Two-to-five years professional, managerial or related experience is required for most graduate degree programs.
  • MPSL applicants should have three years of professional experience or significant volunteer experience.
  • MALS candidates should have professional, managerial or significant volunteer experience.
  • MAEdL and Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership candidates must have three years of teaching experience and appropriate educational/instructional certification.
  • MSN and DNP candidates are processed on an open and rolling basis. Two years of experience is recommended (not required) for the graduate nursing degree and graduate nursing certificates.
  • Candidates must have earned an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or from a recognized foreign institution.
  • Foreign students must submit TOEFL scores of at least 550 for the written exam, 213 for the computer exam or 79 on the internet-based exam.
  • Foreign students must submit course-by-course evaluations from an agency approved by Thomas Edison State University. The evaluation must state they have the equivalent for a United States regionally accredited degree.
  • Candidates must submit an official transcript from the institution which awarded their baccalaureate degree.
  • For most schools, candidates must complete the essay portion of the application.
  • For most schools, candidates must submit at least two Letters of Recommendation from individuals able to attest to their ability to complete a graduate degree. At least one should be from a person who has supervised the applicant.
  • For most schools, candidates must submit a current resume.
  • Candidates are required to have the following basic computer skills: ability to access the internet and experience with/knowledge about sending email.
  • Recommended undergraduate GPA is 2.75 for most graduate programs; some, such as the School of Business and Management programs, recommend or require a higher GPA of 3.0.
  • Relevance of work experience and career objectives to the program objectives.
  • GMAT or GRE scores are NOT required for admission; students may submit test scores if they have taken the examinations.

*Please see specific School pages as they may have additional requirements.

Residency Requirements

Students are not required to live in New Jersey to enroll in graduate programs at Thomas Edison State University.


Graduate students are considered “enrolled” when they have been accepted into the graduate program and have registered for their first course.

  1. Date of Enrollment. The date of enrollment is defined as the first day of class for the first semester the student starts taking courses as a matriculated student. As long as students continue to take courses, the student is enrolled. This status may change if the student becomes inactive or take a leave of absence.
  2. Catalog in Effect. Graduate students must use the Catalog that was in effect on the date of enrollment to determine graduation requirements. If students become inactive and re-enrolls, graduation requirements will be those listed in the Catalog in effect at the time of re-enrollment.
  3. Time Frame for Completion. Students in graduate programs have up to seven years to complete their degree. Students wishing to request a waiver of this timeframe should make their request to the dean of the School in which they are enrolled.
  4. Deferred Enrollment. A graduate student who has been accepted may defer enrollment. This request for deferment must be done in writing.

Graduate Transfer Policy

In addition to graduate credit earned through Thomas Edison State University methods, students in a graduate program at the University may transfer graduate-level credit in the following ways:

  • Graduate credits previously earned at other regionally accredited colleges or universities;
  • Courses that have been evaluated by American Council on Education (ACE) and recommended for graduate credit; and
  • Military service schools that have been evaluated by the ACE Office of Educational Credit and Credentials and recommended for graduate credit.

Transfer credit meeting the criteria may be used to meet core and elective graduate program requirements. The grade received for a transfer course must be a B or better. When the grade received is P for Pass or CR for Credit, the sending institution must equate it to a B or better. Students may transfer up to 12 credits. Courses taken for transfer credit after admittance to the program require prior approval of the Dean of the school in  which the student is enrolled. Transferred graduate credits that were earned seven or more years prior to the student’s enrollment date may not be applied to the degree without permission of the appropriate School dean.

Auditing Graduate Courses

Students who wish to audit a graduate course must contact, for permission, the dean of the School in which the course is offered. Students are charged full tuition to audit a course. A grade of AU will be awarded.

Course Extension

Bachelor’s to Master’s Program

Graduate Nonmatriculated Student Status

A student may take no more than 9 semester hours of graduate-level courses on a nonmatriculated basis. The specific number of courses is detailed by each graduate program. Students who wish to continue taking graduate-level courses beyond 9 credits, must apply for graduate admission and meet all graduate admission requirements.

Graduate Course Policies and Regulations

Students must maintain a B average to remain in good academic standing.

Policy on C Grades

A grade of B is considered the minimal appropriate grade for graduate course work. However, a maximum of two courses with a grade of C may be applied toward a master’s degree as long as the student’s grade point average is 3.0 or greater.

Only one course with a grade of C may be applied toward a doctoral degree as long as the student’s grade point average is 3.0 or better.

Exception: No C grades will be applied toward any graduate degree in the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing.

Graduate students are required to maintain an overall minimum average of B in their Thomas Edison State University courses in order to graduate.

Students must also meet any minimum required GPA standards established by their School to graduate from Thomas Edison State University

Graduate Academic Standing Grading System

Graduate courses – and other graded graduate learning assessments – are graded based on the following scale:

Letter Grade Quality Points Numerical Equivalents
A 4.0 93-100
A- 3.7 90-92
B+ 3.3 88-89
B 3.0 83-87
C 2.0 73-82
F 0 Below 73
I Incomplete (temporary grade)  
IF 0 Below 73
CR* N/A None
ZF 0 (Academic Integrity Violation)  

*Nongraded credit assessed at the B level and above will be counted toward graduate degree requirements in accordance with University and appropriate School policies.

Course Repeat Policy

Students may repeat a maximum of two graduate courses one time. Only the highest grade will be calculated in the GPA*. All grades will appear on the official transcript. Graduate repeated courses(s) shall not increase the total credits earned toward a degree. Courses in which a student receives the grade of W will apply to this policy and be considered a course attempt.

*ZF grades are included in the GPA and count even if the course is repeated.  See Policy on Grading.


Your written withdrawal request must be made on the Request for Course Withdrawal Form found in your course section, online at  or in a letter sent before the end of the term to:

Thomas Edison State University
Office of the Registrar
111 W. State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608
Fax: (609) 292-1657

Stopping payment on credit cards or checks does not constitute an official withdrawal, nor does it relieve you from your financial obligation to the University. Failure to submit assignments or take examinations does not constitute an official withdrawal, nor does verbal notification to your mentor or to any member of the University staff.

A request for course withdrawal will only be accepted in writing and must be submitted before the end of the term. A withdrawal request will not be processed if it is submitted after the course has officially ended.

If you send a letter, it must cite your course code, course name and the mentor’s name as well as your name and University ID number. The postmark, email or fax date will constitute the official withdrawal date.

Failure to withdraw as stated above will result in the forfeiture of any refund and may result in a failing grade. These policies refer to course withdrawals only. If you wish to withdraw from your degree program at the University you must do so in writing to the Office of the Registrar.

Withdrawal Tuition Refund Schedule

Tuition refunds for course withdrawals will be processed within two weeks after the withdrawal request is received in the Office of the Registrar. The late fee is nonrefundable. Return any textbooks to your textbook supplier, not to the University. Please refer to the policies and procedures issued by your textbook supplier regarding materials returns. Withdrawal requests must be postmarked, emailed or fax dated according to the following schedule for the corresponding tuition refund.

Students will not be charged an administrative withdrawal fee if they withdraw before the first day of the term.

Refund and Transfer Policy

  • Withdrawals before the first day of the term = 100 percent tuition refund minus the $10 administrative withdrawal fee
  • Withdrawals between the first and the seventh day of the term = 75 percent tuition refund*
  • Withdrawals between the eighth and 14th day of the term = 50 percent tuition refund
  • Withdrawals between the 15th and 21st day of the term = 25 percent tuition refund*
  • Withdrawals after the 21st day of the term = No refund

*Does not apply to School of Business and Management graduate programs. View deadline for 50 percent tuition refund in School of Business and Management graduate programs.

Transfers from one course to another within the same term are permitted before the start date of the term. Transfers from one term to another are not permitted.


Students are governed by the policies and procedures in effect on their course start date.

Students making satisfactory progress may apply for one eight-week extension per course. Mentors must certify that 50 percent of the course work has been completed, and the student must pay the extension fee. Other than the mentor’s certification, no other documentation is required. The Office of the Registrar will process the request and notify the student of their new course ending date. With the exception of extensions related to military deployments, all students must pay for the extension. This requirement

applies even in cases of medical illness or financial hardship. In cases involving military deployments, documentation presented must show deployment dates relevant to the specific course.

In limited circumstances, such as severe illness or medical treatment, students may apply for a second extension of eight weeks. In these cases students must submit appropriate supporting documentation relevant to the issue preventing course completion during the first extension and pay another extension fee. The Office of the Registrar will determine if the second extension is warranted and notify the student of their decision and if approved of their new course ending date.

For both first and second extension, the eight weeks will be added to the current end date of the course in question. Students cannot have more than 16 additional weeks added to the original start date of their term. Students may not request more than two extensions for a single course. Students may not apply for (or be granted) an extension after the last day of the course. Students will be permitted to withdraw after an official course extension has been processed as long as the extension has not ended. A percentage of your final grade in an online course is based on your participation in online discussions and, perhaps, in group activities involving other members of the class. These asynchronous “conversations” and collaborative assignments will not continue after the scheduled end of the original term.

Updating the Records

It is crucial that the University have accurate records of your name, address, email address and telephone number. If any of these change between the time you register and the time you receive your grades, please notify the University immediately. For your convenience, you may do this online via Online Student Services or by mailing a completed Student Data Change Form to the Office of the Registrar. The form is available at

Academic Integrity

A detailed statement of what constitutes academic honesty and plagiarism is included in every course. By registering for a course, students agree to abide by this statement. Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the University.

The University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as the use of the work and ideas of others without proper documentation. Students who submit course materials or examination responses that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course and may face dismissal from the University.

Graduate PLA Policy

  1. In keeping with the University’s commitment to recognition of learning that occurs outside of a traditional classroom, students may earn graduate credits toward a graduate degree or certificate through Thomas Edison State University’s Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) programs or through training programs, licenses, or certifications recommended for graduate-level credit by national organizations such as the American Council on Education (ACE) or through the University’s Office for Assessment of Professional and Workplace Learning. The total number of credits students may earn through PLA, ACE-recommended programs, and transfer credits from other regionally-accredited institutions combined shall not exceed half of the credits required for completion of their graduate degree or certificate without the approval of the Dean of the School in which the student is enrolled.
  2. Certain degree programs may have additional restrictions on the use of PLA because of accreditation requirements. These restrictions will be listed on the University’s website. Students should check with their School to confirm that PLA credits they intend to earn will apply to their degree or certificate program.
  3. Students may not earn graduate PLA credit for Capstone courses.

Colleen Schenk, BA

"I was able to complete my degree and fulfill a dream that I had, while being able to work and care for my family."

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