Academic Policies

These policies are a general guide to the policies, procedures and rules at the University of St. Thomas. Students should read these carefully and are responsible for the content of these policies.

Academic Integrity

Honesty and trust among students and between students and faculty are essential for a strong, functioning academic community. Consequently, graduate students are expected to do their own work on all academic assignments, projects and research papers. Academic dishonesty, whether cheating, plagiarism, or some other form of dishonest conduct related to academic coursework will automatically result in failure for the work involved. But academic dishonesty could also result in failure for the course and, in the event of a serious breach of integrity (such as plagiarism of any portion of the Master’s Project) or multiple instances of academic dishonesty, dismissal from the university. Here are common ways to violate the academic integrity code at the graduate level: 

  • Cheating - Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. The term "academic exercise" includes all forms of work submitted for credit.
  • Fabrication - Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  • Facilitating Academic Dishonesty - Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate a provision of the institutional code of academic integrity.  
  • Plagiarism - The deliberate adoption or reproduction of ideas or words or statements of another person as one's own without acknowledgment. You commit plagiarism whenever you use a source in any way without indicating that you have used it. If you quote anything at all, even a phrase, you must put quotation marks around it, or set it off from your text; if you summarize or paraphrase an author's words, you must clearly indicate where the summary or paraphrase begins and ends; if you use an author's idea, you must say that you are doing so. In every instance, you also must formally acknowledge the written source from which you took the material. (This includes material taken from the World Wide Web and other Internet sources.)

Reprinted from Writing: A College Handbook by James A.W. Heffernan and John E. Lincoln. Used by permission from W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.; copyright 1982 by W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.

Students are encouraged to report incidents of academic dishonesty to course instructors.

When academic dishonesty occurs, the following procedures will be followed:

  • The instructor will impose a minimum sanction of failure for the work involved. The instructor also will notify the student and the appropriate academic dean in writing of the nature of the offense and that the minimum sanction has been imposed. The instructor may recommend to the dean that further penalties be imposed. If further penalties are imposed, the dean will notify the student immediately and the student will have five working days to respond to the intention to impose additional penalties. The student has the right to respond to the charge of academic dishonesty and may request in writing that the dean review the charge of academic dishonesty as fully as possible. If the dean determines that no further sanctions will be applied, the instructor's sanction will stand and the instructor's letter to the dean and student will be placed in the student's file. If no further charges of academic dishonesty involving the student occur during the student's tenure at St. Thomas, the materials will be removed from the file upon graduation.
  • If the student has been involved in a previous incident of academic dishonesty, the dean will convene a hearing, following guidelines listed under "Hearings and Procedures" in the University Graduate Policy Book. During the hearing, all violations of academic integrity will be reviewed. The student and the faculty member charging the most recent incident will be present at the hearing.
  • In either situation, #1 or #2, if the dean determines that further sanctions are warranted, the student will be informed in writing. Among the sanctions considered by the dean are the following: failure for the course in which the incident occurred; suspension from the university for the following semester; expulsion from the university.  The materials relating to the incident, including the instructor's original letter to the student and dean and the dean's decision following the hearing, will become part of the student's file.

A student may appeal the Dean's decision to the Committee on Discipline. To appeal, the student must send written notice to the chair of the Committee on Discipline within seven days of the date of the dean's letter notifying the student of the penalty. If the chair of the Committee on Discipline receives no written request within the time specified, the penalty shall be imposed and the action shall be considered final. If a written request of appeal is received within the time specified, the hearing procedures of the Committee on Discipline will be followed. The Committee on Discipline shall have the authority to investigate the facts of the particular case that has been appealed and the committee may:

  1. Affirm the original decision and sanction.
  2. Affirm the original decision and reduce or increase the original sanction.
  3. Reverse the original decision.
  4. Disallow the original decision and order a new hearing by the dean (or designee).

Graduate students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning and to make appropriate arrangements for assignments and class materials covered in their absence.

Summer session day courses, offered three-day and in one-, two-, and three-week formats, have a no-absence policy. Students should be aware that absence from these classes may affect their final grade.


Graduate Programs in Music Education uses and A-D grading system that includes plus (+) and minus (-) designation. B- is the minimum grade accepted for courses to be used to meet degree requirements. Students earning a grade lower than B- in a core or concentration course must repeat the course until a grade of B- or higher is earned. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a four-point scale is needed to receive the Master of Arts degree. Thesis projects are graded on a Pass/No Credit basis. Student progress in the program is reviewed annually by the director.

The meaning of each grade may be interpreted numerically or qualitatively:

Quantitative Interpretation Qualitative Interpretation
A     93-100 A    Superior work in all aspects
A-    90-92 A-   Superior work in most aspects
B+   87-89 B+  Good work in all aspects
B     83-86 B    Good work in most aspects
B-    80-82 B-   Good work in some aspects
C+   77-79 C+  Fair work in some aspects
C     73-76 C    Fair work in most aspects
C-    70-72 C-   Fair work in all aspects
D+   67-69 D+  Poor work in some aspects
D     63-66 D    Poor work in most aspects
D-   60-63 D-   Poor work in all aspects

Once accepted as a student in the St. Thomas Master of Arts in Music Education degree program, students must enroll in a course within one year. Matriculated students who do not register for two successive summer terms will be deactivated and must re-apply to resume work in the program. 

All requirements for the degree must be completed within seven years of matriculation into the program. Students who do not fulfill the requirements within seven years must re-apply to the program. The new application must include:

A letter petitioning reactivation of the file with an explanation of the reasons why the degree was not completed and why the student wishes to be readmitted.

The director determines the number of credits which will be added to the course load for graduation. Students will have no more than three years from the time of readmission to complete all degree requirements.

Students who have reached the time limit for completion of the degree but are making satisfactory progress toward degree completion must submit a letter to the director requesting an extension, reason for the extension, and proposed date of completion.

A maximum of six semester hours completed at another accredited institution prior to entering the program may be considered for transfer to meet degree requirements if the course work was:

  1. graded "B-" or better;
  2. taken within the last seven years;
  3. comparable in content and approach with those in the University of St. Thomas Master of Arts in Music Education degree program:
  4. acceptable at the granting institution toward a graduate degree there; and
  5. not used to fulfill requirements for a previously granted degree.

Transfer credits from another institution may not be applied to Level II or III of either the Orff Schulwerk or Kodály fields of concentration; however, they may be applied to the core requirements and Level I in these fields of concentration.

Six graduate credits earned as a nondegree student in University of St. Thomas courses that also are requirements for the graduate program may be transferred to meet the student's course requirements. The total number of transfer credits from other institutions and the University of St. Thomas may not exceed six.