2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
    Mar 02, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

GSOM Academic Policies

Absence Due to Religious Beliefs

According to Massachusetts state law, any student who is unable because of religious beliefs to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirement on a particular day will be excused from that requirement. The student will have an opportunity to make up any examination, study or work requirement missed because of such absence, provided the makeup examination or work does not create an unreasonable burden on the University. No fees will be charged by the University for making such opportunities available. No adverse or prejudicial effects will result to any students availing themselves of these provisions.

Academic Integrity

Clark University maintains standards of academic conduct that have preserved integrity and excellence in institutions of higher learning over the centuries. All work submitted to fulfill course requirements is presumed to be the student’s own, unless credit is given for the work of others in a manner prescribed by the course instructor. Cheating, plagiarizing, and falsifying data constitute violations of academic integrity, as does submitting the same paper in different courses without prior approval of the instructor to do so.  It is the student’s responsibility to consult the faculty when in doubt whether a particular act constitutes academic misconduct.

Several violations of academic integrity are outlined below. If you have questions concerning academic integrity, contact the professor teaching a course and/or your academic advisor. 

1. Cheating has three principal forms:

  • Unauthorized use of notes, text, or other aids during an examination or in performance of course assignments
  • Copying the work of another
  • Handing in the same paper for more than one course unless the faculty members involved gives their explicit permission to do so.

2. Plagiarism refers to the presentation of someone else’s work as one’s own, without proper citation of references and sources, whether or not the work has been previously published. Submitting work obtained from a professional term paper writer or company is plagiarism. Claims of ignorance about the rules of attribution, or of unintentional error are not a defense against a finding of plagiarism.

3. Unauthorized collaboration refers to work that students submit as their own that was arrived at through a process of collaboration without the approval of the professor. Since standards on appropriate or inappropriate collaboration may vary widely among individual faculty, students should make certain they understand a professor’s expectations before collaborating on any class work.

4. Alteration or fabrication of data includes the submission or changing of data obtained by someone else or not actually obtained in the performance of an experiment or study, except where allowed by the professor. It also includes the changing of data obtained in the performance of one’s research.

5. Participating in or facilitating dishonest activities includes, but is not limited to:

  • Stealing examinations
  • Forging grade reports or grade change forms, or altering academic records
  • Sabotaging the work of another student
  • Selling, lending, or otherwise distributing materials for the purpose of cheating
  • Forging or altering senior clearance forms
  • Forging letters of recommendation
  • Forging signatures on any official university document

Reporting, investigating, appealing

When a student is found responsible for violating academic integrity, sanctions will be imposed. Sanctions for a first offense may include but are not limited to one or a combination of the following responses:

  • Letter of warning
  • Grade of zero for the particular assignment
  • Grade of F (failure) for the course
  • Academic Probation
  • Notation of sanction on the student’s academic record
  • Suspension from the University
  • Expulsion from the University


If a student is found responsible for a second offense, a hearing may be convened and harsher sanctions will be imposed. These may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Grade of F (failure) for the course
  • Suspension from the University
  • Expulsion from the University

Academic Standing

The academic record for each student is reviewed after each semester. Good standing indicates that a student’s cumulative grade point average is at least 3.0 (B). While the grade of C earned in a course is a passing grade, a cumulative average of B is required for graduation. A cumulative grade point average below 3.0 is considered inadequate academic performance, and students are placed on academic probation if their cumulative GPA falls below it. Students below the 3.0 cumulative GPA receive an academic standing notice that outlines the expectations for them for the following semester. Students who do not fulfill the expectations outlined in their academic warning notice may be academically dismissed from GSOM.  A student may be academically dismissed from their program if they have a cumulative GPA that is below the minimum requirement to graduate (3.0) and it is very unlikely that the student can achieve the minimum GPA by the time they complete the remaining units of their program. Once a student is academically dismissed, the dismissal cannot be rescinded for a student to choose to voluntarily withdrawal instead. If a student is academically dismissed from their program within GSOM, they will not be readmitted to their program and will not be considered for any other GSOM degree program.


There is no university-wide class attendance policy. However, many individual instructors do set attendance requirements for their courses and have the right to issue lower or failing grades for a student’s lack of attendance, based on the attendance requirements stated in the course syllabus.

Audit Policy

Full-time resident graduate students* may audit one undergraduate or graduate course per semester with permission of instructor and based on course availability.  Students registering for credit will be given preference during the pre-registration period; audit requests will be permitted during the add/drop period only.  Faculty reserve the right to deny audit requests.  Courses that are audited may not be taken again for credit except in cases where the course is repeatable for credit and the content differs.  Students who audit a course are required to adhere to the instructor’s attendance and participation requirements to receive a transcript designation of “AU” for the course.  The audited course will not count as earned units and does not get factored into the GPA.  During the final grade submission period, faculty may request to the Registrar’s Office that a student not receive a transcript audit notation in cases where students do not meet the requirements of the audit.

*Non-resident and part-time graduate students may not audit courses

Enrollment Status

At Clark, academic credit is expressed in terms of course units. Most Clark courses are awarded one unit which is equivalent to four semester credit hours or 180 hours of engaged academic time.  

Enrollment status is determined on a semester-by-semester basis based on actual registration. A student is considered to be enrolled as of the first day of classes of that particular semester.  Registration enrollment statuses and criteria are defined as follows:

Enrollment Status Unit Criteria
Full-Time 3.00 and up
Three-Quarter Time 1.75 to 2.75
Half-Time 1.50
Less than Half-Time 0.25 to 1.25


Enrollment statuses are used to determine financial aid eligibility, loan deferment, FICA exemption, health insurance, and for international students, immigration status.   After each term begins, enrollment statuses are reported to the National Student Clearinghouse several times in the semester to ensure that loan agencies have accurate and up-to-date enrollment information, as is required by federal regulations.  

General University Graduation Requirements

Students are expected to complete their degree requirements within six years of the initial date of enrollment. The minimum cumulative grade point average required for graduation is 3.0 (B). All full-time GSOM students are also required to complete the career related degree requirements, unless they have been approved to waive those requirements (see Career Management Center Degree Requirements section above).Students may attend Commencement ceremonies if they have 1 unit remaining, provided they are registered for the remaining unit over the summer semester following Commencement. Students should contact their advisor about this at the beginning of the spring semester.

In addition to meeting all academic requirements, a student’s disciplinary record must be in good standing in order to be eligible to receive a degree from the University. Clark may place a hold on the conferral of the degree along with other student records if any of the following exist with regard to a student’s disciplinary record: any pending disciplinary proceeding, any pending appeals of a disciplinary proceeding or sanction, or any pending or active sanctions.

Grading System

Letter grades are used in performance evaluation as follows:

A+  Exceptional (4.3) B+  Very Good (3.3) C+  Needs improvement (2.3)
A    Outstanding (4.0) B    Good (3.0) C    Marginal Pass (2.0)
A-   Excellent (3.7) B-   Needs improvement (2.7) F     Failing (0)

Dual MBA/MS in ES&P or Dual MBA/MA in CDP - IDCE awards C+ and C grades (viewable on a transcript), but does not consider them passing grades for credit. If a dual degree student receives a C+ or C in an IDCE course, they will not receive credit for that course and must make it up.  

Incomplete (I): An incomplete is given at the discretion of the instructor when circumstances beyond the student’s control prevent him or her from meeting specific out-of-class requirements after the last day to withdraw. Only the instructor of the course may assign an incomplete. Students have a maximum of sixty days from the date of the last class meeting to make up outstanding coursework and receive a grade. An incomplete course grade will convert to failure if the outstanding work is not completed within the specified sixty days. A student should be in good academic standing. Exceptions may be granted at the request of the faculty member and with the approval of the GSOM Associate Dean, Academic & Student Services.
Withdraw (W): Indicates that the student withdrew from the course. Withdrawal requests must be submitted in writing to the Registrar’s Office (registrar@clarku.edu or at 155 Woodland Street), prior to the posted deadline. 
A grade of F remains on transcript forever; retaking the course will result in a second grade being issued, but it does not replace the first grade. After grades have been submitted to the registrar, only the instructor can change a grade.

Leave of Absence

Leaves of absence may be granted by the Dean of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the department for a designated period.  A student may apply for a voluntary leave of absence for a period up to 180 days (typically one semester at a time) during periods of enrollment, most often Fall and Spring. Summer is not considered part of the leave of absence period if it is not required for the student’s specific program. At the end of the requested leave of absence, the student may re-enroll; file a request for an extension of their leave of absence; or withdrawal from the university. Two extension periods beyond the initial leave of absence are permitted, after which time the student will be withdrawn from the university. Likewise, if a student fails to re-enroll or file for an extension, the student will also be withdrawn from the university.

A student may apply for a medical leave, based on the leave of absence policy and medical documentation that supports the medical necessity for the student to be away.  Medical documentation will also be required when the student to Clark to support the student’s readiness to return to Clark.

Whether a leave is voluntary or medical, the student is considered a degree seeking student who has temporarily separated from the University and is expected to return at the end of the leave period to resume their studies.  While on the leave, the student is not considered an enrolled student because no registration exists; benefits available to enrolled students are not available to students who are on a leave.

Posthumous Degree

The University may grant undergraduate and graduate degrees posthumously. To be eligible for consideration for the awarding of a posthumous degree, the deceased student must at the time of death:

  • be an enrolled student in good standing with the university;
  • have completed 75% of the degree requirements based on normal academic progress (have achieved senior status as an undergraduate; completed 75% of course requirements for a Master’s degree; have a draft of a dissertation/degree paper and completed all other degree requirements for the Ph.D.).

When a request to award a posthumous degree to an eligible student is received, the President will consult with the Provost, Chair of the Faculty and the Chair of the Board of Trustees prior to deciding whether to proceed with the awarding of the degree.


After a period when a student is neither enrolled or on an official leave of absence from the University, a student may apply for readmission to seek permission to continue pursuing a degree for which they were admitted.  Readmission is at the discretion of the academic department and the Graduate Dean. Any requests received after 5 years will require the student to go through the admissions process again to ensure the student continues to meet the admissions standards.   A readmitted student is subject to the degree requirements in the academic catalog at the time of readmission; course equivalents and substitutions from the original enrollment period will be made at the discretion of the academic department.

Repeat Course

It is the policy of Clark University to allow students to repeat a course. However, credit will only be earned once, the most recent course occurrence.  Both courses will appear on the transcript and both grades will be computed into the term and cumulative GPA.  Students receiving any federal or institutional aid should consult with the Office of Financial Assistance to determine if the repeated course/s will affected their aid eligibility. Note: some courses (e.g., directed studies) may be considered repeatable for credit; in those cases, students will earn credit for each occurrence up to any limits that may exist for the specific course.

Residency Requirement

An academic year or a minimum of eight (8) Clark units is the minimum residency requirement for students in graduate programs. Individual departments or programs may require longer periods of residency.

Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit - Students may receive transfer credit for a maximum of two graduate-level courses taken at AACSB-accredited schools prior to enrolling at Clark. The minimum grade for transfer credit is B and the course(s) must not have been applied to another degree program. If a course is accepted for transfer, only the credit is accepted, not the grade; transfers do not affect the GPA earned at Clark. Current students who wish to take courses at other institutions and transfer the credit to their GSOM program must petition the GSOM Associate Dean, Academic & Student Services before enrolling in the course. Transfer credit will not be given to students who do not receive prior permission. Permission is usually granted only if a student has a major schedule conflict or it is not possible for a student to take the course within GSOM. All MSF students are expected to complete all 10 units, both the required core courses and the electives, at GSOM, and therefore cannot transfer in credit from another institution.

Weather/Class Cancellations

GSOM’s day-time classes are only delayed or cancelled if cancelled for the entire university. When a decision is made to cancel or delay evening classes, it includes ALL GSOM locations. Announcements are made on all major local radio stations. Class cancellations for evening classes are posted on the GSOM website. If an instructor individually cancels a class, he will notify his class by emailing their Clark University email addresses. If a class is cancelled, professors may choose to use the scheduled make-up date. If a professor schedules a make-up class during another time, students cannot be required to attend in the case of a scheduling conflict, but they will be held responsible for the information covered in that class time.


Voluntary - Students can voluntarily withdraw from a program by completing a withdrawal form  If a student withdraws after the add/drop period, they are subject to the refund schedule.

Required - Students may be required to withdraw from the University due to failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress, for financial reasons,  failure to register or for failure to adhere to University rules and regulations. Students who are required to withdraw from the University may not be eligible for reinstatement and in some cases may not be eligible for a refund.

Withdrawal from Courses

A student may withdraw from a course at any time during the add/drop period without having a W recorded on his or her transcript. After the add/drop period ends, students may withdraw from courses until the date specified on the Interactive Academic Calendar on the Registrar’s Website in any given semester by completing a course withdrawal form on the Registrar’s webpage. Students should review the published refund schedule prior to submitting their form.  In cases of course withdrawals a final grade of a W will be recorded; the W grade will not be calculated into the GPA and no credit will be awarded toward earned units. Students compelled to withdraw from a course due to exceptional circumstances (e.g., serious illness) may petition the GSOM Associate Dean, Academic & Student Services for a withdrawal with reason (WR) grade; the WR grade will not be calculated into the GPA and no credit will be awarded toward earned units. Choosing not to attend class does not constitute a formal withdrawal from a course and will result in a failing grade for that course.