Graduate College of Arts and Sciences

Graduate College of Arts and Science

Dean: Shaily Menon, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Education Division: John Vacca, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Humanities Division: Shawn M. Krahmer, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Mathematics Natural Science & Computer Science Division: Jean M. Smolen, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Social Sciences Division: Matthew J. Anderson, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Graduate Arts and Sciences: Mary Ellen Hickes, M.A.


Graduate programs within the College of Arts and Sciences are at the heart of the mission of Saint Joseph's University, and reflect the expansive nature of our educational philosophy. We offer a doctoral program, 15 master’s degrees and non-degree programs to help students achieve academic growth and personal advancement.

Admission, Registration and Enrollment Policies

The College of Arts and Sciences encourages applications from a diverse population and values diversity in our graduate programs. Admission to a graduate program is made by the Graduate Program Directors and Academic Department  Committees. The basis of admission includes a variety of information submitted as part of the student's application file. Admissions committees consider factors such as students' academic qualifications, research and work experiences, professional goals and skills, match with program objectives and professional qualifications, and the number of openings available in the program.

Admission to all graduate programs within the College of Arts and Sciences is competitive. Applicants should note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to a graduate program. Applicants are evaluated with respect to university and departmental requirements and with respect to the pool of available applicants.

Contact Information:

Graduate Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Saint Joseph’s University
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Telephone: 610-660-3131
Fax: 610-660-3230

Graduate Program Admission Requirements

The minimum requirements are:

For Master’s Degree Candidacy:

A bachelor's degree (based on a four-year curriculum) conferred from a regionally accredited college or university. Grade point average, testing requirements (if required by program), and academic criteria pertain as specified by the program for which you are applying.

For Doctoral Candidacy:

Admission to the doctoral program requires that students must have obtained the equivalent of a bachelor and master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or its international equivalent, before the start of the term for which the student is admitted.

For Post Master’s Certificate Candidacy:

The Post-master’s certificate offers continuing education for graduates who have earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees and follow the same grade point average and application requirements as a master’s degree.

For Graduate Teacher or Education Administrative Certification or Endorsement Candidacy:

This is a non-degree program following the same admission requirements as the master’s degree.

Application Instructions

Domestic candidates (U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, Refugees & Asylees)  and International non-citizen candidates must complete and submit the online graduate application, along with all required credentials, supporting documents, and the required application fee paid within the online application form. Ed.D. candidates are required to pay a $100 application fee.

Applicants for master’s or certificate program admission must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution and must provide evidence of their ability and preparedness necessary for the satisfactory completion of graduate work. Domestic students who have received degrees from outside the United States should review our International Admissions section below for information on required documentation. All documents submitted in support of an application will become the property of the University and are not returnable.

Specific requirements differ among the programs, and students are advised to consult the appropriate program requirements listed in each program section.

Application Deadlines

The majority of graduate programs offered by the College of Arts and Sciences offer admission on a rolling basis. Under rolling admission, candidates are invited to submit and complete their applications to the university any time before the start of the term.

The academic departments and the Graduate Program Director will then review the application and notify the applicant of their decision within two weeks from the time the application is rendered complete. However, due to time constraints and availability of appropriate courses, we suggest that students complete their applications by the priority consideration dates listed below.

Domestic Students

  • Domestic applicants are recommended to submit their application 30 days before the department/program deadline.

International Students

  • International applicants residing outside the US will require an F-1 Visa. They are recommended to apply for the F-1 visa 90 days days in advance of the first day of classes.

Programs with Special Admission and Enrollment Deadlines

Programs with Fall Semester Admission Only

M.S. Psychology

All applicants to the M.S. Psychology program must complete their application by March 1stwith rolling admissions after that pending space availability. The M.S. Psychology program admits and enrolls new students in the fall semester only.

Interdisciplinary Doctor of Education Program for Educational Leaders (IDEPEL), Ed.D.

Applicants for the IDEPEL Ed.D. program must complete their application by June 15 with admission after that pending cohort space availability. The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership admits and enrolls students on a cohort schedule which begins each fall semester.

Programs with No Summer Term Admission

The following programs do not offer new student admission in the summer term

  • M.A. Biology (fall and spring admission only)
  • M.S. Biology (fall and spring admission only)
  • M.S. Computer Science (fall and spring admission only)

Please visit the individual program sections in the academic catalog for further information on restrictions and required admissions documents.

Application Process & General Requirements

  • A completed graduate application with all supporting documents as required by the program you are seeking admission.

All programs require the following documents. Please see program of study for any additional specific requirements.

  • Completion and submission of an online application form:
  • Required uploads of curriculum vitae/professional resume, personal statement, and names and emails of providers of letters of recommendation.
  • Official transcripts from all previous institutions where college level coursework was taken (undergraduate and graduate).

Mailing address for application documents:

Saint Joseph’s University
Enrollment Operations
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Admission Decisions

The final admission decision is made by the graduate program admission committee or program director. The Graduate Studies Office helps to process your application materials and when your application is complete it sends them to the program for review by the faculty. Admission decision letters are sent from the graduate program.

Admission Notification and Enrollment Confirmation

Applicants who are offered admission can expect to receive notification of their decision by email. The email includes an SJU student ID, instructions on confirming enrollment and information about first-time registration. Unless indicated otherwise in the offer email, applicants have up until the start of the term in which to accept, decline, or defer the offer of admission by confirming enrollment through the following website: Unless a deferral is granted (see below), each graduate program offers admission with the expectation that students will enroll in courses in the semester for which they are admitted.

Deferral of an Offer of Admission

Admitted students may decide to defer admission into a program for up to one year from the semester for which they were admitted. Admitted students cannot defer admission once they have registered for a course in a graduate program. Financial aid, scholarship, and graduate assistantships are not automatically deferred. Please inquire with the Graduate Studies Office before requesting a deferral.

Students with deferred admission status who wish to extend their deferral beyond the initial one-year period must submit a written request to: Graduate Studies Office by emailing

The decision to grant a deferral beyond the one-year time period is at the discretion of the Graduate Program Director and the Academic Department. Students with deferred admission status who have requested an extension of their deferral will be notified via email as to whether their request has been approved or denied.

Students with deferred admission status cannot register for courses. Students with deferred admission status who wish to change their deferred status—for example, to enroll in a course before their official period of deferment expires or to withdraw their application from a program completely— should contact both their graduate program director and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Program Admission Decisions

AF—Accept Full
Student’s application is complete and the student is fully admitted. Any registration holds have been removed allowing registration through program completion.

AV—Accept Provisional Status
Provisional admission status is a temporary status awarded for one semester to applicants whose previous academic record shows academic potential but contains certain deficiencies or who lack certain prerequisites. A student accepted for this status must demonstrate the ability to do graduate work at a high level of achievement at SJU before being considered for full graduate standing.

Provisionally admitted students are required to complete two courses of graduate work with a minimum earned GPA of 3.0 or better or in the case of a full-time student, the first semester of work with three courses with earned grades of B or better. This is a temporary classification in which a student may remain for one semester following admission and no longer. If the conditions of the provisional admission are not met within this time, it may result in termination from the academic program.

AC—Accept Conditional Status
This classification is used in the following two scenarios:

  1. Applicant has not submitted final transcripts and/or degree document(s) but has at minimum provided a completed application form, resume, essay, and unofficial transcript record.
  2. The required missing document(s) will be listed in the conditional admission letter and must be submitted within the first semester of enrollment. The graduate program is responsible for monitoring receipt of the document(s), and an “incomplete admissions hold” will be placed on the student’s record. The hold will inhibit further course registration if the document(s) have not been received by a specified date. This is a temporary classification in which a student may remain for one semester following admission only.

Admission for Undergraduates in a Final Semester

Applications from undergraduate students who have yet to complete course work for their bachelor's degree will only be processed if the student is in his/her final semester of undergraduate study. Admission to graduate programs for these students will be on a conditional basis, and the student will be required to furnish a final transcript for their undergraduate work documenting degree conferral by the first day of the semester. The final transcript will be reviewed by the graduate program department in which the student has conditionally been admitted, and if acceptable, the student's admission status will be changed to full admission standing.

Incomplete Application

Student’s application is not complete, but he/she is allowed to register for up to 6 credits in the first semester. Typically, at least an application form and unofficial transcript have been received. A registration hold is activated after the initial semester if the file is not complete and admission status is not updated to full admission (via the Registrar’s office).

RE—Rejected/Not Accepted - Applicant has been denied. Please note that the graduate program is not required to provide applicants explanations concerning admission decisions.

Graduate Non-Degree Credit Admission (Isolated Credit and Visiting Students)

Graduate non-degree applicants may enroll in graduate-level coursework for professional development, certification, and personal enrichment. Under this classification, students are admitted to the University, but not to a specific degree-granting, graduate program. Non-degree or isolated credit applicants must complete the online graduate application process.

Non-degree students are not eligible to take graduate courses in all programs. Non-degree students should seek the permission of the Graduate Program Director in the department offering the course(s) before applying. A maximum of 6 credit hours of coursework taken as a non-degree student may apply toward the credit requirement of the degree program.

Requests for degree credit for courses completed as a non-degree student are considered for admission to a graduate degree program. All non-degree course work accepted for degree credit must be approved by the program director of the student’s department.

Credit earned while enrolled in a graduate certificate program may be transferred into a degree program with the approval of the unit offering the degree program.

Special Admission Policies

Re-admission for Previously Enrolled Students.

A graduate student who has not completed a program of study and has not met the College’s continuous enrollment policy retains active student status for three semesters  from the date of last enrollment. Graduate students who are enrolled in a degree-seeking program and no longer have active student status must submit a new application form. 

Please contact the Graduate Studies Office for more information,

Applying to More Than One Program

If an applicant chooses to apply to more than one graduate program, the applicant must submit a separate application for each program. Applicants pursuing this are required to contact the Graduate Studies Office to have application materials applied to more than one application. Applicants may be required to submit additional materials based on each program's admission requirements.

Transfer of Credit: Graduate Level

Request for the evaluation of graduate transfer credit must be made at the time of application or admission. Only students admitted into a master’s program of study may be evaluated for transfer of credits.  With the approval of the Graduate Program Director, students may transfer up to six hours of graduate-level work into graduate programs that are 30 credits or more in length.

Course credit may be transferred only from graduate programs at regionally accredited institutions and only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. Courses with grades of B- or lower will not be evaluated for transfer. Course credit may not be transferred into graduate certificate programs or the doctorate of education (Ed.D.) program.

Applicants must submit an official transcript, course description, and syllabus. Courses taken more than five years prior may not be accepted for transfer credit unless approved by the academic department. Continuing education credits will not be considered for transfer credit.

Admission to New Program of Study Following Graduation/Degree Program Award or Completion

Directly following the award of a degree or completion of the program, a student’s record will be inactivated to prevent further registration under the completed program record.

Students in both cases will be required to resubmit a new online application form with a new personal statement to be eligible to register for courses. Transcripts, letters of recommendation and testing (e.g. GRE, TOEFL, IELTS) scores less than five years old that are on file at the University may be transferred to the new application. Students applying for readmission should contact the Graduate Studies Office for additional instructions: or 610-660-3131

Readmission After Withdrawal or Dismissal

When seeking readmission, students who have voluntarily withdrawn from the University are required to reapply. Students who have been dismissed from a Graduate Arts and Sciences program due to failure to meet academic progress or because of an academic integrity violation may not reapply to their previous program or any other graduate program offered  by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission of SJU Undergraduates to Fifth Year Master’s Programs  

Admission must be approved by the department in which the master's degree is sought.  A student must be enrolled as an active Saint Joseph’s University undergraduate student at the time of application to be considered. Please reference the academic program description for more information on fifth-year application and requirements.

Return of Application Documents

All documents submitted in support of a graduate application will become the property of the University and are not returnable.

International Student Admission Policy

Application Instructions

International students (seeking or holding non-immigrant visas) intending degree-seeking study must complete the online graduate application, along with all required credentials, supporting documents, and the required $35 USD application fee directly to the Enrollment Operations Office.

Saint Joseph’s University
Enrollment Operations
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131

To be admitted to a master’s degree or program, students must submit a formal application. At minimum, this will include:

  • The Online Application Form
  • Personal Statement
  • CV or Résumé
  • Two signed letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended translated into English or a comprehensive course-by-course evaluation from an authorized international credential agency
  • $35 USD application fee
  • Evidence of English Language Proficiency
  • Any additional required documents as specified by the applicant’s graduate program.

International applicants will receive an admissions decision only after all of the required documents have been received.

All documents submitted in support of an application will become the property of the University and are not returnable.

Suggested application deadlines for international students residing outside the United States who will require the processing of an I-20 form and to secure an F-1 or J-1 visa are as follows:

International Applicant Priority Deadlines for Submitting an Application who reside outside the U.S. and require an F-1 visa:

  • Fall (August): July 15
  • Spring (January): November 15

International applicants currently residing in the United States and if admitted are seeking to transfer visa status should consult with the Office of International Students and Scholars. For more information on eligibility, email:

Application Term Restrictions: Summer Admission

Graduate programs within the College of Arts and Sciences do not offer admission to international applicants for the summer term because graduate programs do not support full-time enrollment status during the summer terms.

Application Program Restrictions: Graduate Education Programs

Due to state regulations for teacher certification, international students (non-citizens) are not eligible to apply to the following graduate programs:

M.S. or Certification

  • Art Education K-12
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement
  • Foreign Language K-12
  • Elementary Education PK-4
  • Elementary/Middle Education 5-8
  • ESL Endorsement
  • Secondary Education 7-12
  • Reading Specialist
  • Special Education
  • Wilson Reading Program
  • Curriculum Supervisor
  • Principal Certification
  • Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility

Credential/Document Evaluations

International applicants are not required to submit international credentials evaluation.  An evaluation may be performed by the University. However, applicants who already possess or wish to obtain a course-by-course evaluation of their transcripts from an authorized international credential evaluation service are directed to submit this in place of original transcripts.

Applicants may elect to use an authorized credential evaluation agency for an evaluation of their academic credentials, an assessment of the overall grade point average, and a course-by-course evaluation. The official course-by-course evaluation should be sent to the Enrollment Operations instead of academic transcripts. Evaluations should be sent by the agency to:

Saint Joseph’s University
Enrollment Operations
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Because fees and documents required for evaluation may vary by agency, applicants are encouraged to contact the agencies directly for additional information.

The following is a sample list of recognized credential evaluation agencies:

World Education Services, Inc.
Bowling Green Station
PO Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087
Telephone: 212-966-6311
Fax: 212-739-6100

International Education Services
One DuPont Circle, NW Suite
520 Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: 202-296-3359
Fax: 202-822-3940

Educational Credential Evaluators
PO Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470
Telephone: 414-289-3400
Fax: 414-289-3411

Those who do not possess a course-by-­course evaluation and wish to have their transcripts evaluated should provide an official record of all college and university academic studies and results of state and/or national examinations taken. Academic records must include the name of each course, the grade earned, and the grading scale used. Documents must be submitted in one’s native language with an official English translation.

Foreign documents, credentials, and transcripts must be official (sealed and sent directly from the institution). Only originals or photocopies officially stamped and attested by a school official (Registrar, Principal, or Controller of Examinations) are accepted. Faxes, scanned or notarized copies or copies attested by a department head cannot be accepted as official.

Demonstration of English Language Proficiency by Non-native-speaking Applicants

Students are required to provide evidence of English proficiency if their spoken native language is not English. Fulfillment of any one of the following requirements will satisfy English language proficiency requirements.

  • Submission of one of the following: TOEFL paper-based score of 550, a computer-based score of 213, or an internet-based score of 80. An IELTS score of 6.5 is also acceptable.
  • Possession of a bachelor’s or master’s degree equivalent from a recognized institution located in a country where English is the native language.
  • An earned bachelor or master’s degree from a college or university in the U.S.
  • Citizenship from a country in which English is recognized as a national language.
  • Successful completion of Level 112 of the Intensive program at an approved ELS Center accompanied by a letter of recommendation from the Academic Director. To find a list of approved ELS centers visit

Graduate Program Directors and admission committees reserve the right to require additional evidence of English language proficiency included but not limited to:

  • An in-person or telephone interview (for example, via Skype) with a faculty or admission committee member
  • A writing sample certified to be the applicant’s own work

Student Visa Status

International students applying for F or J visa status must also submit:

  • Proof of their ability to meet their financial obligations while pursuing graduate studies at the University in the form of a letter from a bank stating that sufficient funds are available to finance all educational and living expenses for the first year of study.
  • A letter of financial support signed by the sponsoring person or agency.
  • Official test scores – English Language proficiency for all non-native speakers of English.
  • GRE test scores are required for MA/MS-Biology and MS-Psychology programs only.

The I-20 immigration form, necessary for securing an F-1 visa, or the DS-2019 form, necessary for securing a J-1 visa, is issued by the Office of International Students and Scholars only to a student who has been accepted to the University and provides current documentation of financial support, as required by US immigration authorities. International graduate students in F and J status must maintain full-time enrollment (9 credits) during both the fall and spring semesters.

The University observes all regulations of the student’s home country regarding foreign exchange.

All F-1 and J-1 international students must register for the student health insurance plan or show evidence of alternate, equivalent coverage. In most cases the plan provides coverage for one year beginning in late August. Students can obtain an insurance application form which must be completed and returned to the the Office of International Students and Scholars. International students in any other immigration status can pick up an application from the the Office of International Students and Scholars and return it with payment directly to the insurance company.

Individuals on a B non-immigrant visa (both B-1 business and B-2 pleasure visitors) are prohibited by immigration regulations from enrolling in a course of study while holding B status. They must first be granted a change to the appropriate student status by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Otherwise, the non-immigrant would be considered to be in violation of B status.

The F-2 spouse of an F-1 student may not engage in full-time study. An F-2 child may only engage in full-time study if the study is in an elementary or secondary school. The F-2 spouse and child may engage in study that is a vocational or recreational in nature. To pursue any other type of studies, the F-2 must first be granted a change to the appropriate student status by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Otherwise, he/she would be considered to be in violation of F-2 status. The Center for International Programs does not consider part-time or full-time coursework leading to a degree to be a vocational or recreational in nature.

Academic Policies and Procedures

Classification of Students

Matriculated Students

Students who have met all admission entrance requirements and are accepted with full standing into a degree program are classified as matriculated students.

Non-degree/Isolated Credit Students

Students who have not been formally accepted into a graduate program may be allowed by the appropriate graduate director to take courses as isolated credit students. Normally, no more than two graduate courses taken under this classification may be applied to a degree program. Students seeking to apply for isolated credit status are subject to the same admission standards as degree-seeking applicants.

Visiting Students

Students in good standing in a graduate program at another accredited educational institution may take graduate courses on a visiting student basis if they provide a letter from the head of the graduate program of their degree-granting school stating that they are in good standing and that the institution will accept the course for credit. Visiting students must complete a graduate school application and pay the appropriate application fee.

Enrollment Status: Full-Time vs. Part-Time

The University defines full-time graduate student status as enrollment for nine (9) or more credits; part or half-time graduate student status is defined as eight (8) or fewer credits in a semester. The minimum number of credits a graduate student must be enrolled in to be eligible to apply for loans under the federal financial aid system is six (6) credits per semester or term.

Immigration law requires that international students be enrolled at the full-time status in the fall and spring semesters.

Grading System

Please refer to the General Information and Graduate Level Grades. Note: The SJU Graduate Grading Scale was changed effective in the Fall 2016 semester.

Academic Advising

The Graduate Program Director  of each academic program is responsible for the academic administration of the unit graduate program(s) and academic advising and mentoring of students. A listing of Graduate Program Directors is available on the SJU web by visiting

DegreeWorks Advisement Tool

DegreeWorks is an accessible and user-friendly advisement tool. It provides students and graduate program directors/advisors with an organized outlook degree plan evaluation. It is aimed to help the student progress through his or her degree plan efficiently. DegreeWorks compares the student's academic history with the degree requirements outlined in the University catalog. You can use it to track your academic progress toward a degree, review the requirements you have completed and plan the courses you can take to complete your remaining requirements.

DegreeWorks provides students with access to their unofficial degree audit which lists information regarding their current program(s) of study including institutional requirements, general education requirements, major requirements and concentrations.

When using DegreeWorks, students will be able to:

  • See degree requirements for their major(s), minor(s) and concentrations (where applicable)
  • See how completed courses and courses in progress apply to degree requirements
  • Identify courses needed to complete their degree
  • View their grades and academic standing
  • Create What-If audits to view requirements if intending to change current curriculum
  • Estimate how many semesters it will take to graduate
  • View how transfer credits are used to satisfy degree requirements

Important Note: DegreeWorks is designed to aid and facilitate academic advising, but is not intended to replace individual academic advising sessions. DegreeWorks is neither an official academic transcript nor an official notification of completion of degree requirements.

Students should view DegreeWorks throughout the academic year.

  • Before you meet with your graduate program director or academic advisor to discuss registration for an upcoming semester.
  • After you register to ensure that the courses you selected applied to your degree requirements.
  • After your grades for each semester are posted.
  • Any time you make a change to your schedule.

DegreeWorks is accessible by logging into the student self-service portal, the SJU Nest,

All questions regarding DegreeWorks for a specific program should be directed to the student’s Graduate Program Director.

Academic Standing

Good Academic Standing

Good Academic Standing is defined as:

  • Students enrolled in master’s or non-degree programs who maintain a 3.00 or above cumulative GPA, as calculated at the end of the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.
  • Students enrolled in the doctoral program who maintain a 3.50 or above cumulative GPA, as calculated at the end of the fall, spring, and summer terms.

Academic Levels of Progress

The College of Arts and Sciences maintains a variety of degree-granting programs at the graduate level. As a result, some graduate programs define the parameters for retention, probation, and dismissal differently, as indicated below.

This policy described below defines the minimum academic levels of progress used to determine academic standing for graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences and explains standards and processes to address situations of academic probation, dismissal, and appeal.

Master’s Degree & Certificate Level Programs

Academic Standing

Graduate students are expected to maintain a 3.00 or higher term and cumulative grade-point average (GPA), as calculated at the end of the fall, spring, and summer terms.


Graduate students must achieve an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 in graduate courses taken at Saint Joseph’s University to graduate.

Provisional Admission & Academic Standing and Retention

If a student has been provisionally admitted to a program and fails to meet the requirements necessary for regular admission into a program, he/she may be denied regular admission to the program without a probationary period. Please refer to the Provisional Admission policy for more information.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

In addition to the academic levels of progress outlined in the Policy, graduate financial aid recipients are also required to meet the standards outlined in the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy.

Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients enrolled in degree programs is assessed annually at the conclusion of the spring semester. For eligible programs of one academic year or less, SAP is evaluated at the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will result in cancellation of financial aid awards and the subsequent repayment of the funds already received. Please visit for more information.

Academic Probation

Graduate College of Arts and Sciences master’s degree and certificate program students are placed on academic probation when their cumulative GPA falls below 3.00.

At the end of each semester or term, the University Registrar will notify the students who are either placed on academic probation or are academically dismissed via email. Probation notices will direct students to meet with their designated graduate advisor at the beginning of the probation period to create an academic performance improvement plan.

Graduate students placed on academic probation are given a maximum of two probationary semesters to raise their cumulative GPA to the minimum standard of 3.00.  At the end of the semester or term in which probation was issued, the University Registrar will notify students when they are placed on continued academic probation or are academically dismissed. 

Continued Academic Probation- Second Probation

When placed on academic probation, graduate students are given one probationary semester to raise their cumulative GPA. The graduate student has to achieve an overall GPA of 3.00 to be taken off probation, regardless of progress made during the probationary semester. Failure to do so will result in the student being placed on continued or second academic probation. If the overall GPA remains below 3.00 after a second probationary semester, the student may be academically dismissed.

Students on academic probation may be asked to repeat the course(s) that caused the cumulative GPA to drop below 3.00. The course(s) should be taken within the next two terms of enrollment after the academic probation status is applied. The Graduate Program Director will make this determination as part of the student’s performance improvement plan

Academic Dismissal

The University reserves the right to refuse the privilege of further attendance to graduate students who fail to meet minimum academic requirements with or without a probationary period.

The University also reserves the right to change the requirements for retention and graduation for graduate or doctoral students, and every candidate for a degree or certificate program shall be held in compliance with changes, as far as the remaining portion of her or his course of study is affected.

Changes to the Academic Standards Policy

Effective fall 2016, all graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences will follow a minimum cumulative GPA standard for assessing retention, probation, dismissal and graduation standards.

 If a graduate student's cumulative GPA is below a minimum retention scale after one semester or remains below the required 3.00 minimum after a probationary period and the student fails to meet other requirements, he or she will be permanently dismissed from the University. Academically dismissed students are not eligible to enroll in coursework without an approval of reinstatement.

Levels of Academic Standing

Certain graduate programs in the College may have more stringent retention and dismissal standards. Students enrolled in these programs should consult with their program advisors for retention and graduation requirements.

Interdisciplinary Doctor of Education Program for Educational Leaders (IDEPEL)

All courses and requirements for the doctoral program must be completed within seven years from the first semester of enrollment in the program. Good Academic Standing is defined as a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher.

Master of Science in Psychology

Students enrolled in this program who receive two final course grades of C+ or below will be dismissed from the program.

Maximum number of Grades of C+ or Below

In addition to maintaining a 3.00 GPA for good standing and graduation, there is a maximum number grades of C+ or below that students may earn over the duration of their graduate programs

Certificate Programs and Graduate Teacher & Administrative Certifications

Students enrolled in a certification bearing program requiring 16 or fewer credits who receive one final course grade of C+ or below will be dismissed from the program.

Students enrolled in a certificate or certification program requiring 18-30 credits who receive two final course grades of C+ or below will be dismissed from the program.

College of Arts & Sciences Master’s Degree Programs (M.A. & M.S.)

30-36 credits

Students enrolled in master’s programs requiring between 30-36 credits who receive a final course grade of C+ or below for three graduate courses (9 credits) will be dismissed from the program.

42-48 credits

Students enrolled in master’s programs requiring 42-48 total credits who receive four grades of C+ or below or (12 credits) will be dismissed from the program. 

Exceptions: IDEPEL Ed.D.and the M.S. in Psychology

Appeal of Academic Dismissal

A formal written appeal may be submitted to the Graduate Program Director by a student based upon one or more of the following grounds:

  • Violation of official policy or procedural error by academic or administrative personnel
  • Special mitigating circumstances beyond the student’s control affecting the student’s academic progress.

These include the following circumstances that could prevent the student from completing the course satisfactorily:

  • A severe illness or other debilitating condition
  • A student who is primary care provider for a sick, injured, or needy person in family or friend circle
  • The death of a family, friend or someone in his/her relationship circle
  • The active duty service as a member of the National Guard or the armed forces of the United States.
  • The change of the student’s work schedules beyond the control of the student.
  • Other good cause as determined by the Dean of the College or his or her designee.

Note:  Poor performance in coursework, poor work/study habits, missed deadlines, or change of major or concentration are not appropriate grounds for appeal.

A student submitting an appeal based on mitigating circumstances are also required to provide specific evidence in support of the issue or event that impaired the student’s academic performance.

The student must also provide objective documentation about the events or situations and their subsequent impact on his or her learning.

Document Examples:

  • Newspaper notice, copy of death certificate or obituary
  • Physician’s letter explaining a medical condition and its effects or medical records 
  • Photos, witness statements, a copy of police report, etc. 
  • Court documents, bail documents, letter from a lawyer, police, reports, etc.
  • Clinic notes, prescription receipts, doctor notes are not considered sufficient documentation.

Students are not required to appear in-person for a formal appeal hearing.

Time Frames for Academic Dismissal Appeal Review

The Graduate Program Director should receive the formal written appeal within the dates listed on the dismissal notification communication.

Typically, the formal appeal should be concluded within ninety days of the date it was received by the Graduate Program Director.

Note: A student’s Graduate Program Director is the single point of contact for all levels of academic appeal. A student with an active appeal should communicate with the Graduate Program Director only unless otherwise directed.

Students who have been academically dismissed and have an active appeal are prohibited from registering for courses for a future term or semester.

Graduate Dismissal Appeals Process

First Level Review

Submitted academic dismissal appeal forms will be reviewed by the Graduate Program Director and Department Chair. The reviewers will make a decision to either recommend or reject the appeal. Recommended appeals will be forwarded to the second level of review. Appeals with a rejection status will be considered final, and the dismissal action will stand. The Graduate Program Director will notify the student in writing of the decision.

Second Level Review

If recommended for a second level of review by the academic department, an active appeal will be reviewed by the divisional Associate Dean. The Associate Dean will make a decision to recommend or reject the appeal for further consideration for the third level of review.

Third Level Review

The College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Appeals Reviews Committee headed by the Dean of the College constitutes the final level of review of an academic dismissal appeal. If an appeal is approved, the student may be considered for reinstatement to a graduate program with probationary standing.

If an appeal is denied, the dismissal action will stand. Students who have been dismissed from a Graduate Arts and Sciences graduate program due to failure to meet academic standards or because of an academic integrity violation may not reapply to any graduate program within the College of Arts and Sciences.

Student Point of Contact during the Appeals Process

At all phases of the appeal review policy, the student’s the Graduate Program Director will serve as the point of contact for the student. Students will be notified by letter about the outcome of their appeal.


Students who are approved for reinstatement will be placed on academic probation and must return to good academic standing within one semester or term.

Students approved to resume their current program of study may be required to repeat the course(s) with earned grades that caused their cumulative GPA to drop below 3.00. See course repeats policy. Please reference the Course Repeat Policy under the policy section, Course Load, Course Overload & Course Repeat.,

Additional conditions may be placed on students who have been approved for reinstatement including, but not limited to, referrals to learning resources support or tutoring, enrollment in the appropriate course(s), etc.

Reinstated students who fail to meet the specified criteria of the academic performance improvement plan, and/or do not attain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher, or who obtain a term GPA of below 3.00 during the probation term will be academically dismissed without possibility of a second appeal or reinstatement.

Master’s Degree and Non-Degree Programs

Doctor of Education, Ed.D.

A student enrolled in the doctoral program must maintain a GPA of 3.50 to remain in the Ed.D. IDEPEL program. A GPA of 3.50 is required for students to be eligible to take the comprehensive examination. During the three years of coursework, in the event that a 3.50 GPA cannot be attained by the end of the three years of coursework, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP Appeal)

Students who do not make satisfactory academic progress due to numerous course withdraws, lack of continuous enrollment, or grades below B may no longer be eligible for Federal Financial Aid and will receive notification from Student Financial Services informing them of their option to file an SAP appeal. The student must file an SAP Appeal form with the Graduate Studies Office before an academic plan can be contemplated, and the appeal must be based on extenuating circumstances. The appeal will be reviewed to determine if an academic plan would allow the student to return to good standing. For a student’s appeal to be considered, the appeal must be submitted within a specified  start of the traditional semester for which the student is requesting Federal Financial Aid and include the following: documentation of the extraordinary circumstances that led to the failure to meet the standards and the changes that will allow the student to return to good standing. Extenuating circumstances may include loss of job, a major financial life event, personal illness, illness or death of family member, or other special circumstances.

Grievance Procedure

Any student who has a concern regarding an academic matter may seek assistance.  The procedure for resolving academic program concerns (see note of grade appeal process below) begins with the course instructor. A student who has a concern about a final course grade should first consult the grade appeal process in the following section.

If the student is not satisfied with the response or resolution achieved at this first level, or if speaking with the faculty member presents a conflict of interest for the student, the student should proceed to speak with his/her Graduate Program Director. If the student is not satisfied with the response or resolution achieved through the Graduate Program Director, the student should proceed to speak with the Department Chairperson. 

If the student is still not satisfied with the response or resolution achieved through the Department Chair, or if speaking with the Department Chair presents a conflict of interest for the student, the next step is to request a review of the concern in writing to the Associate Dean. All requests to present a concern to an Associate Dean must be first summarized in writing in the form of a petition by the student and submitted to the attention of the Graduate Studies Office via email to

A decision on a grievance by the College Dean represents a final level of review. At all stages of the process, the Graduate Program Director  or representative designated by the Dean’s Office will serve as the point of contact for the student filing the complaint.

Grievance Non-Academic or Request for Assistance

Students are directed to consult with the Director of Adult Student Life,, who serves as the ombudsperson and may assist students with referral and help to direct and resolve student concerns.

Appealing a Course Grade

The instructor for a course has the responsibility for setting the requirements for a course and making an evaluation of students’ work. Once a grade has been given, the instructor is not free to change the grade unless the instructor indicates to the Registrar that an error was made in the original grade transmitted. If a student believes that an error has been made, he/she must take the initiative in bringing about the necessary correction before the conclusion of the semester or immediately following the semester in which the course was taken. The normal procedure for requesting a correction would be through direct discussion between the student and the instructor. If redress cannot be attained through such discussions, the student may next appeal to the Graduate Program Director. If resolution cannot be attained through appeal, the student may next appeal in writing to the Department Chair. All requests to present a concern to an Associate Dean must be first summarized in writing in the form of a petition by the student and submitted to

Leave of Absence

Under special circumstances (illness, family hardship, work or military service, etc.), a student may request a leave of absence from his/her graduate program. Students are not permitted to enroll at another institution while under a leave of absence status. 

Two years is the maximum time permitted for a leave of absence (LOA). After a two-year period, the student will be deactivated and will be required to re-apply to be considered for reinstatement to a program. Students are required to submit a completed ‘Graduate Leave of Absence form available at

Withdrawal Policies

Withdrawing from a Course or All Courses in a Semester

An approved leave of absence does not automatically cancel a student’s registration for courses.  If enrolled for the term(s) included in the approved Leave, a student must drop/withdraw his/her registration(s). Failure to do so will result in billing and assigned grades for the term(s). Students are encouraged to complete the course withdraw form available at Students who have borrowed federal financial aid in the form of graduate loans are strongly advised to consult with an SJU Hawk Central Financial Aid representative to discuss how canceling registration through add/drop or withdraw will impact a student’s account and ability to re-enroll in a future term.

Hawk Central
Student Records and Financial Services
Phone: 610-660-2000


It is strongly suggested that you seek counsel from your Graduate Program Director or Advisor before submitting:

  • Selective Course Withdraw - Withdrawing some but not all of your currently enrolled courses. Please complete the course withdraw form available on the and submit to
  • Withdraw from all Courses in a Semester - Please complete the course withdraw form for each course and submit to If you will be taking a leave of absence, please complete the Leave of Absence form and submit this to
  • Total withdraw/Not returning to the University - Total withdraw from all courses with no definite plans to return to Saint Joseph's University. Please complete the withdraw form and student withdraw form available on the website:
  • Extraordinary or retroactive withdraw - Initiating the withdraw process after the withdrawal deadline due to exigent circumstances. Please complete the extraordinary withdraw form available on the website:

Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course

Dropping and/or withdrawing from a course can have financial and academic implications that should be taken into consideration when making this decision.

Changes in financial aid rules and veterans education benefits have further complicated the course withdrawal process; only trained representatives have the knowledge to help students make the best decision(s)—financially and academically.

Before dropping or withdrawing from a course, we suggest you speak to a financial aid representative from the Hawk Central Student Service Center, or (610) 660-2000

Total Withdraw from the University:

A student may elect to file a total withdraw from a graduate program of study at Saint Joseph's after any outstanding tuition debt has been settled, and he/she is not liable for dismissal because of an academic violation or disciplinary action. Students are required to submit a completed “Graduate Arts and Sciences Withdraw from University” form to the Graduate Arts and Sciences Office at

Administration Withdrawal

Graduate students may be administratively withdrawn from the University, after due notice, for an academic or disciplinary action or failure to satisfy overdue financial obligations or to comply with administrative requirements of the University.

Registration and Student Record Policies

Course Load, Course Overload & Course Repeat

Course Load

Full-time graduate students are those who enroll for nine or more credits each semester. Part-time graduate students are those who enroll for less than full-time each semester as previously defined. A student who is employed full-time is encouraged to take two courses (6 credits) each semester, and must receive permission from the student’s Graduate Program Director before registering for three or more courses.

Course Overload

Requests to enroll in five courses (15 credit hours) in a fall or spring semester from a full-time graduate student with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) below 3.50 will not normally be approved. All graduate course overloads must be approved by the Graduate Program Director and Associate Dean. No overload requests will be considered for the summer term. Certain graduate programs restrict students from registering for more than 3 courses or 9 credit hours in the summer terms. Students enrolled in a first semester of graduate study are not granted permission to take course overloads.

Course Repeat

A graduate student may voluntarily repeat one course while enrolled in a program, and it can only be a course in which a grade of C or below was received. The course may be repeated only once.

Students who are placed on academic probation may be required to repeat one or more courses as part of their plan for reinstatement to good academic standing—see policy on  Levels of Academic Progress, Probation, and Dismissal.

Courses that students are required to repeat as part of their academic probation or reinstatement do not count as “voluntarily” repeated courses. When a course is repeated, both the original and repeated grade appear on the academic record; both grades will be used in calculating the grade point average. Course credit may be applied toward degree requirements only once, even if a course is repeated.

Continuous Enrollment

Continuous enrollment is defined as registering for a minimum of three (3) credits in at least one semester per academic year (fall, spring, summer).

This includes the three credit hours of graduate credit that are required for registration during the semester in which degree requirements are complete until the degree is attained or status as a degree-seeking graduate student is completed or terminated.

Student Record Deactivation: Non-Continuous Enrollment

After three consecutive semesters of non-attendance, a student’s record will be inactivated. Students with inactivated records should contact the University Registrar, or consult with the Graduate Program Director. Students who do not comply with the continuous enrollment policy will be required to apply for readmission after a two-year period.

Changing Graduate Program or Adding a Major Concentration

Active students in good academic standing may elect to change the program or add a major concentration (if applicable).

Acceptance into a new program of study is not guaranteed; the student must meet all eligibility requirements of the desired program and may be directed to submit an admission application. The student should also contact the Graduate Program Directors of both the previous and the desired program to review the student’s candidacy to the new program and to complete a program change form.

Students should also note that although the grades for courses taken in the previous program might not count towards graduation in the desired program, a student’s grade point average is cumulative. That is, the grades received in the first program will remain on the student’s transcript and will count towards the student’s cumulative GPA record.

Double Counting of Courses

Any student wishing to matriculate into another Saint Joseph’s University graduate degree or enroll in the second program of study is advised that, for each additional degree to be awarded, a maximum of 6 credits of graduate work at the 560 or above will be transferred.

Cancellation of Courses

The University reserves the right to cancel a course for which there is insufficient enrollment. When such a cancellation becomes necessary, students will be notified in advance and given the choice of receiving a full refund or enrolling in another available course without penalty.

Time Limit & Graduation Policy

Degree Time Limitation 

After the establishing of degree candidacy, a maximum of five years will be allowed for the completion of the degree requirements. Under extenuating circumstances, a student may request an extension of this time frame.

The Doctor of Education has a separate policy for time limit based on coursework and dissertation requirements. There is a ten (10) year time limit for completion within the Ed.D. program. Each student is expected to make academic progress toward the degree or certificate to remain in good standing. A student who elects to take a leave of absence must complete a Graduate Leave of Absence University Form to the University Registrar’s Office,

Requesting a Program Extension for Time Limit

Graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences are required to complete all degree requirements within five years. The Doctorate of Education has a separate policy for time limit based on coursework and dissertation (See doctoral handbook for more information).

Extensions beyond this limit may be made only with the Graduate Program Director’s recommendation and the approval of the Academic Department Chair, and then only for unusual and extraordinary circumstances. Students are required to contact their Graduate Program Director and submit in writing a request for an extension.

Filing an Intent/Apply to Graduate Form

Students who will complete all of the requirements for a degree in a given semester must submit a completed Apply-to-Graduate Form within the time specified under Academic Calendar. Failure to complete the application will result in student records being incomplete, and the awarding of the degree will not be recorded as part of the official record. 

The Apply to Graduate form is located within The Nest ( the self-service student web portal, under Classes & Registration.

Program Completion for Certification and Post Master’s Certificate Program

Students enrolled in graduate level education certification preparation programs or certificate programs should seek instructions for application of completion from their academic program director.

Students who are completing graduate teacher and educational administrative certifications may request an official transcript to denote completion of a preparation program. Contact the Office of Accreditation and School Partnerships for additional information on submitting an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Please contact the Education Unit Office of Accreditation, Certification and School Partnerships for more information on state certification processing and approvals.

Students enrolled in the Post Master’s Certificate program in Criminal Justice; Behavior Analysis should contact the Graduate Criminal Justice Office for information on applying to receive a certificate.

Doctoral and Master’s Degree Conferral Verification and Diplomas

Diplomas are issued three times a year—on September 15, January 15, and on the date of the Commencement exercise in May.  Diplomas are mailed to students typically 8-10 weeks following the degree conferral date.

Commencement exercises are held annually in the spring (May). Graduates who earned their degrees in summer (September), fall (January), or are anticipated to complete a degree in spring (May) are eligible to participate in commencement exercises. Only students enrolled in master’s degree, or the doctoral degree program are invited to participate in commencement exercises.