Nov 28, 2022  
NSU Catalog 2022-2023 
    
NSU Catalog 2022-2023

Graduate Studies


Graduate Office

Spafford Hall, Room 204A
(605) 626-2558

Contact Graduate Studies Office or visit website.


Master of Music Education

Northern State University awards a Master of Music Education (MME)  degree [available online].

Master of Science

Northern State University awards a Master of Science degree in the following programs:

Accounting Analytics (MS)  [available online and on campus]

Banking and Financial Services (MS)  [available online]

Master of Science in Education

Northern State University awards a Master of Science in Education degree in the following programs:

Art Education (MSEd)  [available online]
Counseling (MSEd)  [available on campus] - Counseling: Clinical Mental Health (MSEd) and Counseling: School Counseling (MSEd)
Educational Studies (MSEd)  [available online and on campus]- Educational Studies: Individualized Interdisciplinary (MSEd) and Educational Studies: Secondary Education (MSEd)
Instructional Design in E-learning (MSEd) * [available online]
Leadership and Administration (MSEd)  [available online]
Special Education (MSEd) * [available online] - Special Education (MSEd) and Special Education: Visual Impairments Specialization (MSEd)
Sports Performance and Leadership (MSEd) * [available on campus]
Teaching and Learning (MSEd)  [available online, at Huron Community Campus, and on campus] - Teaching and Learning (MSEd) and Teaching and Learning: Expertise in a Discipline (MSEd)
Programs listed with an asterisk (*) have an accelerated option (4+1) where students can earn their undergraduate degree and master's degree in 5 years by starting their master's program while still enrolled as undergraduates at NSU. Students who meet all requirements for graduate admission may apply for admission to a NSU accelerated master's program after completing 90 credits of their undergraduate program.

Certificates

Northern State University awards graduate-level certificates in the following areas:

Principal Preparation Program

Northern State University offers a set of courses designed to prepare students who have already earned a master's degree for principal certification.

 Principal Preparation - Graduate  

Mission

The mission of Graduate Studies at Northern is to:

  • create a challenging academic climate in which candidates in graduate programs can expand their knowledge;
  • encourage development of critical and independent thinking skills;
  • enhance graduate students' abilities to analyze problems from multiple perspectives;
  • promote the investigation and interpretation current research;
  • provide engaging and rigorous courses that will prepare graduate students for the demands of their professions; and
  • support exploration through internships, practicums, and research to prepare graduate students for a wide range of employment opportunities.

Outcomes

Northern graduate students will demonstrate:

  • a solid understanding of the formulation and application of research;
  • knowledge and application of theoretical concepts in their field and discipline;
  • skills appropriate to the program area;
  • competency written, oral, and digital communication skills; and
  • evidence of the ability to reflect, synthesize, and apply theory to practice.

Governance

The Graduate Council is a university council that is responsible for the development of policy and general administration of graduate studies procedures and programs. The Council has jurisdiction over academic matters and makes policy recommendations to the Director of Graduate Studies in areas such as program objectives, admission, curriculum, and degree requirements. The Director of Graduate Studies chairs the Graduate Council.

Voting Members include one representative from each academic area offering a master's degree. These representatives are appointed to the position by the dean of their respective schools/college for staggered three-year terms. In addition, one faculty representative from schools/college not offering graduate programs is appointed by the respective dean. A graduate student representative is appointed by the Director of Graduate Studies for a two-year term. A graduate student who only has one year left in their graduate program may be appointed to a one-year term by the Director of Graduate Studies.

The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, the deans, the Graduate Studies Coordinator, and the registrar serve as ex-officio members. Recommendations of the Graduate Council are made to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Admission to Graduate Studies

Candidates wishing to enroll in course work that is part of a graduate program at Northern, regardless of whether they intend to complete a degree program, must apply for admission to graduate study.

Non-degree Seeking Graduate Students

Candidates who intend to complete graduate credit for professional growth or certification purposes may be admitted on a non-degree basis. They may later request a change in status to a degree program. Non-degree students may transfer a maximum of nine credit hours to the degree program.

Non-degree seeking candidates must submit the following information to the Office of Graduate Studies:

  1. An application form for admission to graduate study.

  2. An official transcript of all college or university credits including both undergraduate and graduate credit (if applicable). Students who attended a South Dakota regental university (BHSU, DSU, NSU, SDSM&T, SDSU, USD) do not have to provide a transcript from that university.

  3. All candidates born after 1956 who are enrolled in course(s) on-campus or HyFlex or an approved site (including Huron Community Campus) must document their immune status for measles, mumps, and rubella. Proof of two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or of separate vaccinations against all three diseases or of the presence of immune antibody titers against measles, mumps and rubella is required.

Degree Seeking Graduate Students

Degree seeking candidates must submit the following information to the Office of Graduate Studies:

  1. An application form for admission to graduate study.

  2. An official transcript of all college or university credits including both undergraduate and graduate credit (if applicable). Students who attended a South Dakota Board of Regents (BOR) university (BHSU, DSU, NSU, SDSM&T, SDSU, USD) do not have to provide a transcript from that university.

  3. A $35.00 application fee. (Fee assessed on all applications to graduate school. Students will pay the fee multiple times if applying to multiple BOR graduate schools. A student who switches institutions and/or drops out for more than three terms must reapply and pay the application fee.)

  4. Two letters of reference addressing the student's potential for success in graduate study.

  5. Students applying to the Counseling Program (School or Clinical Mental Health) must also submit a statement of career goals and comply with the interview process.

  6. All candidates born after 1956 who are enrolled in course(s) on-campus or HyFlex or an approved site (including Huron Community Campus) must document their immune status for measles, mumps, and rubella. Proof of two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or of separate vaccinations against all three diseases or of the presence of immune antibody titers against measles, mumps and rubella is required.

Full Admission for Degree-Seeking Students

Full admission to a graduate degree program is granted when the applicant satisfactorily meets all of the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from an institution with institutional accreditation for that degree.
  • A minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 and/or graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework. Students who do not meet the minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA may be admitted if they have earned a GPA of 3.00 during the last 64 semester hours of bachelor's degree work or a GPA of 3.25 in their major field of study.
  • All other academic requirements of the specific graduate program, which may include prerequisite coursework, licensure, or experience, are met. For additional program-specific requirements, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies. Program-specific admissions requirements can also be found in the respective Graduate Student Handbooks for each program. For example, admission to the Leadership and Administration Program requires three years of full-time K-12 teaching experience. A letter verifying years of experience is required prior to acceptance into the program.

*For additional program-specific admission requirements, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies.

Provisional Admission for Degree-Seeking Students

Candidates unable to meet the requirements for admission to a degree program may apply for provisional admission. Provisional admission is a temporary status which may be granted to an applicant who does not meet the conditions for full admission but who gives evidence that they may be capable of graduate level work. Reasons for provisional admission include, but are not limited to:

  • Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from an institution not having institutional accreditation.
  • An undergraduate cumulative GPA below 2.75 and/or graduate cumulative GPA below 3.0.
  • Deficiencies in academic requirements of a specific graduate program, including prerequisites.

Provisionally admitted graduate students completing a minimum of six graduate credit hours at Northern State University, with a minimum GPA of 3.00, may request a change in status from provisional admission to full admission in a degree program. However, only nine credits taken as a non-degree seeking student may be applied toward a degree program at a later date.

International Student Admission

In addition to the above requirements for admission to graduate study, international students must provide evidence of a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language); or a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL test; or a minimum score of 6 on the IELTS test (International English Language Testing System).

International students enrolling in an on-campus graduate program must provide evidence of their ability to finance a program of study without assistance from Northern State University. International students are also required to purchase a South Dakota Board of Regents medical insurance policy, proof of which must be provided before registering. The insurance requirement applies to the student, her or his spouse and any other accompanying dependents.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 90 credit hours may request permission from the Director of Graduate Studies to enroll in 500- and 600-level courses for graduate credit. To enroll in graduate credit, undergraduates must have a grade point average of 2.75 or higher. Course work taken for graduate credit will apply toward the baccalaureate degree if student is enrolled in an accelerated master's program.

Continuous Enrollment and Re-entry

Students should be continuously enrolled after matriculation. If circumstances do not allow a student to be continuously enrolled and they must stop out of their program, they may return within three terms (including summer) without needing to complete a re-entry form. Stopping out of a degree program does not change the time frame for degree completion. Students will be subject to the time limits on credits completed before the stop out occurred. Students returning after three consecutive terms of stop out need to complete a re-entry form in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Admissions Appeal

If a prospective graduate student is denied admission into a Northern State University Graduate program, they may request reconsideration through an appeal process if they can provide appropriate justification. Admission appeals may only be considered for applicants who met established admission standards.

Steps for the appeal:

1. The denied applicant must appeal in writing to the Director of Graduate Studies within 30 days of the admission denial citing reasons why he/she should be reconsidered for admission. Admission appeals must address if an admission denial resulted from:

  • administrative error
  • some factual errors in the record
  • violation of policies or procedures

Again, applicants who did not meet admission standards are not eligible for admission appeal. Northern State University has an obligation to follow its admission standards.

2. The Director of Graduate Studies will review the appeal and evaluate the reasons for the denial and further evaluate adherence to established admission standards. If the case meets the threshold for an appeal, a Graduate Admission Appeals Committee will be appointed to provide a review.

3. The Graduate Admission Appeals Committee will be led by the Director of Graduate Studies and 2 other graduate faculty coordinators will be appointed to conduct the review. The Committee will not include the graduate faculty coordinator or department chair who made the initial recommendation for denial.

  1. This Committee will review the case and have conversations (virtual or in person) with both the denied applicant and the academic department chair or graduate faculty coordinator. The latter is the person who made the first recommendation for admission denial.
  2. The Graduate Studies Admission Appeals Committee will provide a written recommendation to the Provost who will make the final decision. The Provost will notify the student of his/her decision and notify the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Admission Appeals Committee members.

To appeal a Graduate Admission Decision, the prospective student can request a Graduate Admissions Appeal form from the Office of Graduate Studies

Immunization Policy

All candidates born after 1956 who are enrolled in course(s) on-campus or HyFlex or an approved site (including Huron Community Campus) must document their immune status for measles, mumps, and rubella. Proof of two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or of separate vaccinations against all three diseases or of the presence of immune antibody titers against measles, mumps and rubella is required.

Application for Candidacy

Candidates intending to complete a degree program in Sport Performance and Leadership must apply for candidacy and a graduate committee must also be identified. A graduate committee consists of a committee chair, a second and a third committee member for the Sports Performance and Leadership program.

Advisement Meeting

In Educational Studies, Sports Performance and Leadership, and Counseling it is the responsibility of the candidate and their committee chair to discuss the projected plan of study, as well as the request for transfer credits, during their first term of enrollment. The plan of study must be signed by the committee chair and placed on file in the Office of Graduate Studies. A maximum of nine semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred from other approved colleges or universities (or 12 credits for Counseling, see Transfer of Credit). The Director of Graduate Studies will review the request for transfer credits, and upon approval, the forms will be placed on file in the Office of Graduates Studies.

Candidates must complete the course requirements indicated on the projected plan of study within a six-year period (see Validation of Credit). Any changes to the projected plan of study must be approved by the candidate's committee chair and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Application for Graduation

Candidates should apply for graduation no later than eight weeks before the end of their final semester. Candidates will receive their diplomas after all requirements have been met.

Academic Requirements

All graduate candidates are required to maintain good academic standing with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or above, as well as a 3.00 grade point average in their approved plan of study. If a candidate's cumulative grade point average falls below 3.00 in any academic term (i.e., fall, spring, summer), the candidate will be placed on academic probation the following term. While on academic probation, the candidate must earn a term grade point average of 3.00 or higher. When the candidate on academic probation achieves a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher, the candidate returns to good academic standing. Candidates must be in good academic standing to enroll in a practicum, internship, or culminating experience. Candidates must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher to graduate.

A graduate assistant (GA) who is placed on academic probation will lose their graduate assistantship for the probationary semester. While on academic probation, the graduate student must earn a term GPA of 3.00 or higher. When the graduate student on academic probation achieves a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher, the candidate returns to good academic standing and may apply for any open graduate assistantship positions.

A candidate on academic probation who fails to maintain a term grade point average of 3.00 will be placed on academic suspension for a minimum of two academic terms. Following the two-term suspension, candidates may apply for reinstatement by seeking the approval of the appropriate school/college dean, who will make a recommendation to the Director of Graduate Studies. The decision on reinstatement is made by the Director of Graduate Studies, acting as designee of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. If approval is granted, the candidate must complete a re-entry form in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Grade Point Average

The graduate grade point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours that a candidate has taken. Candidates must maintain a cumulative minimum grade point average of 3.00 as well as a 3.00 grade point average in their approved plan of study. Grades below "C" will not count toward graduation.

Incomplete Grades

The deadline for removal of a grade of "Incomplete" or "I" for course work is one calendar year from the end of the semester in which the incomplete was issued. If the student fails to complete the coursework within the specified time, the incomplete grade remains on the transcript and the course must be retaken for a grade if the course is required for the degree program.

Course Numbering

Where appropriate, graduate courses at the 500 level may be dual-listed at the 400 level. SDBOR policy 2:8.2D requires that each syllabus document the difference in the quality and depth of coursework appropriate to graduate education. Dual-listed course syllabi must outline the student learning outcomes, goals, or objectives specific to the academic level. In all such cases, it is the instructor's responsibility to maintain a documented difference in the quality and depth of work appropriate to graduate education. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they enroll in the graduate level course (500-level) in a dual-listed course. The student must enroll in the graduate level course for the course to fulfill the degree requirements of the master's or certificate. No coursework numbered 400 or below may be used on a plan of study to fulfill graduate degree requirements.

  • 500-599   Entry level graduate (may be dual listed with a 400-level undergraduate course)
  • 600-699   Graduate level (undergraduate enrollment only by exception)
  • 700-799   Graduate level (graduate candidates only)
  • 800-899   Doctoral and post-doctoral level (Doctoral and post-doctoral candidates only)

700-Level Course Requirement

A minimum of one-half of the credit hours in any graduate program must be at the 700 level. Exceptions must be recommended by the appropriate Dean and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Grades

Graduate grades will be assigned to the Graduate Academic Level and to all courses and sections with course numbers of 500 or greater. Plus and minus grades are not used.

A Exceptional 4.00 grade points per semester hour
B Good 3.00 grade points per semester hour
C Average 2.00 grade points per semester hour
D Unsatisfactory 1.00 grade points per semester hour
F Failure 0.00 grade points per semester hour
S Satisfactory Does not calculate into any gpa
U Unsatisfactory Does not calculate into any gpa
W Withdrawal Does not calculate into any gpa, no credit granted
AU Audit Does not calculate into any gpa
I Incomplete Does not calculate into any gpa
IP In Progress Does not calculate into any gpa
NG No Grade 0 credit tracking course
NP Normal Progress Does not calculate into any gpa
NR Grade not Reported by Instructor Does not calculate into any gpa
EX Credit by Exam Does not calculate into any gpa
CR Credit Does not calculate into any gpa
TR Note for NSE/MEDT/EXCH/MLS Does not calculate into any gpa, no credit granted
LR Lab grade linked to Recitation Grade 0 credit course

An audit (AU) grade may be granted only when the student has elected the AU option on or prior to the census date of the term. Tuition and Fees apply to audited courses.

A credit (CR) grade may be granted only for non-course credit that is not related to an examination or to equating transfer grades to the BOR grading system. This grade is not used for any Regental university course.

An examination for credit (EX) grade may be granted only for non-course credit validation obtained through a validation process. This grade is not used for any Regental university course.

An incomplete (I) grade may be granted only when all of the following conditions apply:

  1. A student has encountered extenuating circumstances that do not permit him/her to complete the course.

  2. The student must be earning a passing grade at the time the Incomplete is necessitated. Anticipated course failure is not a justification for an incomplete.

  3. The student does not have to repeat the course to meet the requirements.

  4. The instructor must agree to grant an incomplete grade.

  5. The instructor and student must agree on a plan to complete the coursework.

  6. The coursework must be completed within one calendar year; extensions may be granted by the Director of Graduate Studies.

  7. If the student completes the course within the specified time, the grades that may be assigned are A, B, C, D, F, S, or U.

  8. If the student does not complete the course within the specified time, the Incomplete grades remains on the transcript.

An in progress (IP) grade may be granted only when all of the following conditions apply:

  1. The requirements for the course (for every student enrolled in the course) extend beyond the current term.

  2. The extension beyond the current term must be defined before class begins.

  3. The instructor must request permission to award IP grades for a course from their Department Head and Dean, and then approval must be obtained from the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

  4. A definite date for completion of the course must be established in the course syllabus.

A grade of NG will be used only with those course sections that are designated as Tracking/Program Sustaining (Q) and those that are assigned the code for Master's Research Problems/Projects Sustaining, Thesis Sustaining, or Dissertation Sustaining (U).

A normal progress (NP) grade may be granted by an instructor when the instructor determines that a graduate student is making normal progress in a graduate Thesis/Dissertation course. If a graduate student does not enroll for a period of one calendar year, the NP grade may change to I (Incomplete) upon approval by the Director of Graduate Studies. The NP grade calculates into attempted credits but does not calculate into completed credits or grade point averages.

A Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grade may be granted only when the entire course requires the S/U grade.

NSU must record the last date of academic activity whenever reporting a final grade of F, U, or RU.  Academically related activities include but are not limited to:

  • physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students;
  • submitting an academic assignment;
  • taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction;
  • attending a study group that is assigned by the school;
  • participating in an online discussion about academic matters; or
  • initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

Transfer of Credit

A maximum of nine (9) hours of graduate credit may be transferred from other approved colleges or universities; programs requiring more than 48 credit hours may allow a maximum of 12 transfer credits. All transfer credit must carry a minimum grade of "B" and must meet the same criteria as graduate credit issued by Northern State University.

To receive consideration for graduate work completed at a non-Board of Regents institution, candidates must submit official transcripts verifying the credits. A maximum of three workshop credits may be transferred into a graduate program; these workshop credits count toward the maximum number of credits allowed for transfer.

Acceptance of transfer credit is contingent upon the approval of the committee chair and the Director of Graduate Studies. The request for transfer credits must be made during the first term of enrollment.

Time Limits and Validation of Credit

All degree work must be completed within a period of six years (e.g., course work completed during 2023 is valid until December 31, 2023).

Course work taken more than six years prior to the completion of the degree is considered outdated. A maximum of six credits of outdated course work may be applied to the master's degree if the course is repeated or if the credits are validated.

Approval to validate credit must be obtained from the candidate's committee chair, the appropriate College/School Dean, and the Director of Graduate Studies. Course work may be validated by an oral or written examination, or the equivalent; the committee chair and the appropriate College/School Dean will appoint a faculty member qualified to administer the exam.

Upon successful completion of the exam, a validation form must be signed by the faculty member administering the exam, the committee chair, and the appropriate College/School Dean. The validation form must be filed in the Office of Graduate Studies; a $20.00 fee is assessed for each course validation.

Instructor-Initiated Drop

In compliance with South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) policy 1.11, SDBOR AAC guideline 5.3, and the NSU Faculty Handbook Student Attendance/Class Absence Policy, Northern State University faculty members have the academic freedom to develop their own policies on class attendance.

The instructor of an NSU graduate course (500, 600, or 700 level) may drop a student for non-attendance or non-participation, provided that the student is in violation of the instructor's attendance policy included in the class syllabus for the course. Instructor-initiated drops are at the instructor's discretion.

See NSU Policy 2.6.1.1 Graduate Course Instructor Initiated Drops for more information.

Credit Load

The maximum credit load during one semester is twelve (12) credit hours. The maximum graduate credit load during a five-week summer term is six credit hours; no more than 12 credit hours may be completed during a ten-week summer term. Any exceptions must be approved by the appropriate College/School Dean.

Graduate candidates enrolled in nine (9) credit hours are considered full-time students; graduate candidates enrolled in 4.5 credit hours are considered half-time students; graduate candidates enrolled in one to three credit hours are considered part-time students. Graduate candidates must be enrolled in a minimum of six (6) graduate credits to be eligible for graduate assistantships; graduate assistants may enroll in no more than 12 credits each semester.

Graduate students who are student-athletes must consult with the NSU Compliance Director for guidelines on credit load as they pertain to the NCAA. 

Workshop Credit

No more than three (3) graduate credit hours in any graduate program can be workshop credits. Workshop courses at the graduate level are numbered 593, 693, 793, or 893.

Course Retakes/Repeated Enrollment in the Same Course

Candidates are allowed one retake for graduate courses; credit is counted toward graduation only once. Candidates must petition the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies, who will seek a recommendation from the appropriate College/School Dean, for permission to take a graduate course more than two times. When a student repeats a course, only the latter grade, even if it is a lower grade, is used in the computation of the grade point average. If the last grade is a failing grade, earlier credit will be lost as well. Grades from all course attempts remain on the transcript.

Candidates are allowed unlimited takes for a graduate course for which credit toward graduation may be received more than once (e.g., independent study). All takes count in grade point average calculations. Programs may limit the number of credits allowed toward graduation in certain courses.

The audit (AU) grade is the only grade that will not be counted as a take of a course. All other grades, including Withdraw (W), will count as takes; transfer courses and non-courses (e.g., CLEP, credit by exam) also count as takes.

Second Master's Degree

Individuals who have earned a master's degree may seek a master's degree in another program area. If the first degree was not awarded by Northern State University, the student should apply as stated under Admission to Graduate Studies. If Northern State University awarded the first master's degree, the student should contact the Office of Graduate Studies.

A second master's degree requires appointment of a new graduate committee. No more than nine (9) credit hours can be applied from the first master's degree toward a second master's degree (the Principal Preparation - Graduate  is an exception to this rule).

Financial Assistance

Students must be accepted for admission and enrolled at least half-time in a graduate degree program in order to qualify for federal financial assistance.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, TEACH Grants and Federal Work-Study are available for qualified graduate candidates. Work-study positions are paid on an hourly basis and do not include tuition remission.

For detailed information regarding financial aid programs, application procedures, and deadlines, contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@northern.edu or phone (605) 626-2640.

Scholarships

Applications for graduate scholarships are accepted until all available scholarships are awarded. For more information, please contact or visit the Millicent Atkins School of Education Scholarships website.

Graduate Assistantships

Northern State University awards a limited number of graduate assistantships annually. NSU Graduate Studies awards Graduate Assistantships to departments, programs, and faculty, annually, based on requests submitted by Graduate Assistant (GA) supervisors. Graduate students who are accepted for graduate assistantship positions are hired by graduate assistant supervisors (GA supervisors) in departments or programs. GA supervisors serve as mentors and are responsible for providing appropriate training and ongoing guidance to help graduate assistants successfully fulfill their assigned responsibilities and develop professionally.

A graduate assistant is a student first. Being a graduate student is the most important role for all graduate assistants. In addition to earning a master's degree, graduate assistants can gain valuable professional experiences in their field and appropriate to their academic goals. Graduate assistants receive financial support through reduced tuition and monthly stipends. Graduate assistants receive a stipend plus reduced tuition. The reduced tuition is effective throughout the academic year, including fall, spring, and summer terms, provided the candidate maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Candidates applying for graduate assistantships must meet the academic requirements for admission to Northern State University Graduate Studies and the requirements of their specific degree program. Once admitted, all graduate assistants are required to maintain good academic standing with a 3.00 grade point average (GPA). If a graduate assistant's cumulative GPA falls below 3.00 in any academic term (i.e., fall, spring, summer), the graduate student will be placed on academic probation the following term.

Graduate students admitted to a master's degree program at Northern State University may complete the graduate assistant application. https://northern.formstack.com/forms/graduate_assistant_application  

Graduate Assistants workload must average no more than 20 hours per week. Graduate assistant supervisors are responsible for monitoring the hours completed by graduate assistants and may request that work hours be documented. It is important that supervisors work collaboratively with graduate assistants to ensure that workloads do not negatively impact academic performance. Graduate students employed as graduate assistants may not hold other employment within the same department. International graduate students working as graduate assistants may work no more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session.

Priority application deadline for graduate assistantships is March 1, but applications for graduate assistantships will be accepted until all positions are filled. Graduate students interested in graduate assistantships should stay in contact with the Office of Graduate Studies at gradstudies@northern.edu or 605-626-2558, as assistantships may become open.

See the Graduate Assistant Handbook for more information.

Institutional Review Board

NSU Graduate Studies adheres to the policies and procedures of Northern State University for research regarding human subjects and requirements for Institutional Review Board (IRB) review. All research in NSU Graduate Studies, conducted by students, faculty, or staff, must be performed in full compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations regarding research. This includes, but is not limited to, research involving human subjects, laboratory animals, and select chemicals and infectious agents. The committee chair is responsible for advising a graduate student on necessary policies and procedures.

Academic Misconduct

NSU is dedicated to the highest principles and standards of academic integrity. Therefore, NSU believes that the severity of an academic infraction is best evaluated by the faculty of the institution. Faculty suspecting academic misconduct shall begin the resolution process under SDBOR Policy 2:33. NSU seeks to offer students an opportunity to respond to allegations of academic misconduct before a decision is rendered. This policy is intended to provide faculty and students with a fair process for addressing allegations of academic misconduct.

Allegations that are not resolved informally with the student and faculty under SDBOR Policy 2:33 will then move to SDBOR Policy 3:4. Graduate students can expect communication from the Director of Student Rights & Responsibilities regarding the conduct process for academic misconduct; referring faculty and the Director of Graduate Studies will be notified of the formal resolution as well.

See the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for more information.

Student Code of Conduct

The purpose of the Student Code of Conduct is to educate students about their civic and social responsibilities as members of the NSU campus community.

The primary focus of the student conduct process is on educational and corrective outcomes. The Student Code of Conduct follows SDBOR Policy 3:4 is necessary to uphold community standards to protect all members of the university. Self-discipline and respect for the rights and privileges of others are essential to the educational process and to good citizenship, which is reflected throughout student conduct process.

See the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities for more information.

Accessibility Services

Northern has always welcomed students with disabilities. The mission of Student Accessibility Services is to provide equal access to university programs as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Student Accessibility Services coordinates academic support services, advocates for students with disabilities and promotes student development and self-advocacy while serving as a resource on disability awareness and accommodations.

Student Accessibility Services will assist Northern State University in creating an institutional climate in which students with disabilities can thrive. Students will receive appropriate services without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, gender or disability. Students will view Student Accessibility Services as a strong resource for disability awareness, advocacy and student development. Student Accessibility Services staff are strong proponents of equal access for all.

See the Office of Student Accessibility Services for more information.

Commencement

Commencement is a ceremonial exercise. Commencement gives candidates the opportunity to be recognized for their accomplishments by their families, friends, and the university community. The conferring of academic degrees is a tradition that dates back to the 12th century and is regarded as an important rite of passage for candidates and their families. While commencement is a time for celebration, please remember this long and respected tradition and approach the ceremony with the proper decorum and respect. In the spirit of this long tradition, candidates will be expected to march in the proper academic regalia (attire).

The regalia worn by candidates receiving a master's degree is different than the regalia worn by students receiving a bachelor's degree. Regalia for master's degree graduates includes a hood, and at NSU commencement, graduates are hooded by the Director of Graduate Studies and their committee chair.

Northern State University graduation regalia vendor is Balfour. Students who are graduating need to order their graduation regalia through the Balfour website for the following items:

Order your regalia at least three (3) weeks before the commencement ceremony to assure timely delivery.

For additional information about commencement, contact
Office of Graduate Studies
Northern State University
Aberdeen, South Dakota 57401
(605) 626-2558; FAX (605) 626-7190