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Academic Information and Policies

For complete reference to all academic policies affecting graduate students view the USI Bulletin. If further information is needed concerning graduate policies, call 812-465-7015 or email Graduate.Studies@usi.edu

The following information contains policies and procedures and other information concerning the graduate faculty and graduate curriculum. This information can also be found in the Faculty Handbook.

General Guidelines for Changing Graduate Curricula

  1. The term curricular program is defined as the specific course requirements for any master's, doctoral, or certificate program to be applied toward some degree or certificate-granting program offered by the University. Any change in these requirements is interpreted as a modification of a curricular program. Changes in the total number of credit hours required to complete a degree program or in the number of credit hours required to complete a particular degree, changes in the title of the degree or certificate, and additions and deletions of any required courses will be interpreted as modifications of a curricular program. Changing the timing of specified courses (say from fall semester to spring semester or from first year to second year) is not considered a modification requiring approval. In cases of course title or course numbering changes, the originator should complete a memorandum-required modification and submit the memorandum to the Provost office. Memorandum-required modifications do not need to follow the same approval processes as other types of curricular changes.
  2. A petition is required to introduce any new graduate course or to modify or delete any existing graduate course. Changes in the number of credit hours, in the distribution of contact hours between lecture and laboratory, in the course content or description, or in prerequisites will be interpreted as modifications of a course.
  3. To be published in the semester schedule, all petitions for new courses and/or curricular programs should be submitted to the chair of the Graduate Council according to the following schedule: February 15 for courses to be offered during the fall term, September 15 for courses to be offered the following spring and summer terms.
  4. Petitions are to be prepared in accordance with petition formats available in the Office of Graduate Studies. All petitions must meet the following criteria:
    1. Approval by the college-level graduate council, or in the case of interdisciplinary courses, by the college-level graduate councils of all affected colleges.
    2. Approval by the dean, or in the case of interdisciplinary courses, by the deans of all affected colleges.
    3. Approval by the director of the Office of Graduate Studies.
    4. Approval by the provost.
  • All curriculum changes at the University are effective on August 15 each year.

Graduate Faculty, Course, and Program Petitions

Procedures for Introducing a New Curricular Graduate Program

  1. The proposal is initiated or prepared at the department or college level as appropriate. A department is defined for this purpose as an academic discipline. Authorization to develop new programs is the responsibility of the Academic Planning Council. The University of Southern Indiana Board of Trustees reviews and approves such programs in light of the Higher Education Services Plan. New program request petitions are then submitted to the appropriate state agencies. If the new program is not related to a present department or college, the program may be initiated and prepared through the Provost office. It shall be prepared by the college requesting the change.
  2. The original of the petition must be submitted to the director of Graduate Studies for review by the University Graduate Council.
  3. In evaluating petitions, the University Graduate Council may extend invitations to concerned faculty members to attend Council sessions and may request additional information which it considers necessary. After initial evaluation by the University Graduate Council, a description and the rationale for the program will be published in University Notes. The faculty will be given ten instructional days from the time of publication in which to present to the University Graduate Council written support or objection to the proposal. If objections have been received and cannot be resolved through discussion by the concerned parties, the University Graduate Council will consider the petition again.
  4. Following its evaluation, the University Graduate Council will submit the recommendation to the Academic Planning Council. Upon approval by the Academic Planning Council, the petition will be forwarded to the Faculty Senate for review. Their recommendation will be submitted to the president.
  5. Notice of final administrative approval will be published by the Provost in University Notes.
  6. When final state approval to implement a new curricular program is received, all new courses for the program must be approved following the procedures for initiating new graduate courses.

Course Numbering System

The following information should be kept in mind when assigning course numbers. Course numbers between 001 and 099 are available for credit but do not apply to the 120 hours required for graduation. Such courses are typically of a developmental nature. Generally, the following numbers are used for courses at the 100 level and above:

Course Number  Level
100 - 199   Freshman
200 - 299     Sophomore
300 - 399 Junior
400 - 499   Senior
500 - 599   Graduate
600 - 699 Graduate Only

Assignment of these numbers should not be construed as an indication that the course is restricted to members of the particular year noted. Additional notation is required to restrict a course if that is deemed advisable and appropriate. Courses bearing the catalog number 500 or above carry graduate credit. Courses numbered in the 500 series usually have 400 counterparts which are open to undergraduate students. Five specific courses numbered 501 in the School of Business do not have 400 counterparts and do not count toward the M.B.A. degree. Courses numbered in the 600 series and above are open only to graduate students.

Course numbers ending in either a 0 or 99 indicate that the class can be repeated for credit up to the maximum hours specified.

Thesis or Capstone Project Reports

Links below are to documents and forms with instructions on how to write a thesis or capstone project report to fulfill graduation requirements for a graduate program at the University of Southern Indiana and how and when to submit the thesis/report and the required forms to the Graduate Studies Office for formal approval and acceptance. 

MA thesis documents are used primarily by the MALS program.  MS documents are used primarily by the MSIM program.  The remaining forms are for all programs requiring thesis/capstone projects.  

  1. MA Thesis Guidelines 
  2. MA Thesis Sample Pages 
  3. MS Thesis Guidelines 
  4. MS Thesis Sample Pages 
  5. Procedures for submitting a thesis/project report and Mechanics of the Thesis or Capstone Project Submission and Approval 
  6. Thesis Review Contact Form 
  7. Thesis Routing Form 

Graduate Assistantship Forms

Additional Forms

Graduate Faculty Travel Award 


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