Academic Regulations and Requirements
In addition to the General Regulations stated in this catalog, the Masagung Graduate School of Management applies the following regulations to all students enrolling in graduate programs.
The work of graduate students is evaluated and reported in terms of the following grade types:
A - Outstanding
B - Satisfactory; student meets all major course competencies
C - Student meets minimum standards for obtaining units*
F - Failure; student does not meet minimum standards for obtaining units.
All graduate students are required to maintain an overall cumulative grade point average of B (3.0). Scholarship standards for students in the School of Management require that a “B” average (3.0 GPA) be maintained and a lower cumulative GPA may result in probation or academic disqualification.
The grades A, B, and C may be modified by (+) or (-).
In addition, the following notations are sometimes used:
- P - “Passing,” at least at the lowest passing level (C-); not counted in computing the grade point average. In some graduate programs P/F is used to evaluate those courses associated with research or a field project dissertation proposal, or a dissertation. A Pass-Fail option is irrevocable, if chosen by a student.
- S, U - “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” notations are given in certain courses. For an “S” grade, the units will count toward the total units required for graduation, but not in the grade point average computation. In some graduate programs, S/U is used to evaluate courses associated with a thesis.
- I - “Incomplete” denotes an examination or required assignment which has been postponed for a serious reason after consultation with the instructor. Students who have not contacted a faculty member regarding completion of course requirements are subject to a failing grade.
- Students given approval to postpone course requirements must complete them on the date specified by the faculty member. If the notation is still incomplete at the close of the following semester, it is converted to a failing grade.
- (F). A student who fails to complete course requirements within the allotted time will receive an “F” and be required to repeat the course. All applicable registration processing and tuition and fee payments are required to repeat a course.
- IP - Work “In Progress”; final grade to be assigned upon completion of the entire course sequence in courses predetermined by the dean. “In Progress” (IP) notations on graduate student transcripts, if not cleared, will revert to an “F” upon expiration of the time limit set by the department.
- W - “Withdrawal”; a notation used by the Office of the Registrar when a student drops a course after University census date but before the withdrawal deadline in any given semester.
- NR - Grade “Not Reported” by instructor within 10 days after the examination period; a notation used by the Office of the Registrar. To correct the transcript, the instructor must file a change of grade form. “NR” carries no connotation of student performance and no grade point value is given. “NR” notations that are not reconciled by the end of the following semester will be converted to a failing grade (F).
- AU - “Auditor”; course not taken for units. Regular tuition is charged for audited courses.
Grade points per semester credit of credit are assigned as follows:
- A+ = 4.0
- A = 4.0
- A- = 3.7
- B+ = 3.3
- B = 3.0
- B- = 2.7
- C+ = 2.3
- C = 2.0
- C- = 1.7
- F = 0.0
Grade Point Average
The grade point average is determined by adding the quality points and by dividing the resultant sum by the total number of quality hours. As a general rule, the ratio is based on the number of attempted units completed; e.g., if a student repeats a course, both courses will be considered in the grade point average. As exceptions to this rule, a “Pass” (P), a “Satisfactory” (S), a “Credit” (CR), an “Unsatisfactory” (U) and a “Withdrawal” (W) will not affect a student’s grade point average.
A student’s cumulative grade point average is based on courses which the student takes at USF. Courses which a student takes at other colleges or universities will not be counted in the cumulative grade point average.
Official grades are available on-line via MyUSF at the end of each term (see USF Academic Calendar for specific dates).
Units for Repeated Courses Policy
Students may repeat courses with program director or Associate Dean of Graduate Programs approval. Both the initial grade and the subsequent repeat grade will show on the academic record and count in the grade point average. The units earned in the repeated courses will not be included in the total needed for graduation unless indicated otherwise in this catalog. See specific course descriptions.
Changes of Grade
Once grades have been recorded, they will not be changed unless there has been an evident unfair grade or error in the process. If you have questions or concerns regarding the grade you were assigned, the first step is to meet with the instructor to discuss the grade. If you still have concerns, please contact the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. If the instructor decides to make a change in the final grade, the instructor must complete the Change of Grade Form and file it with the Office Graduate Student Affairs. The change will become effective only after the Change of Grade Form has been completed with all necessary signatures and filed with the Office of the Registrar.
Appeal Process for Change of Course Grade
When a student believes that his or her final grade for a course was unfair, the student may use the process described herein to seek resolution of the matter. The burden of proving a claim of an unfair grade (e.g. discrimination, unjust treatment, or errors in calculation) rests with the student. Grades are awarded or changed only by the course instructor or through this appeals process. An appealed grade may be raised or lowered during the course of this appeals process. The parties should make every effort to achieve consensus and to resolve conflicts at the lowest level and as quickly as possible, especially in cases where a student’s timely academic progress is in jeopardy.
The student must direct an appeal in writing to the course instructor involved and the Office of Graduate Student Affairs within the first 30 days of the next semester for the Fall and Spring semesters or 30 days after the grade is available online for Intersession or Summer Session. The appeal must include presentation of whatever evidence of unfair evaluation the student believes is relevant. Once the time limit has expired, an appeal will not be taken forward unless the student could not reasonably have known about the alleged injustice within that time; in that case the student must appeal within 30 days of discovering the alleged injustice. It is the responsibility of all parties to make every effort to resolve their differences between themselves and informally.
If at any stage of the grade appeal process an allegation of academic dishonesty becomes known for the first time, this Grade Appeal Process shall be suspended and the case referred to the Academic Honesty Hearing Committee. The Academic Honesty Hearing Committee will make a written report of its findings to the parties involved. If the Academic Honesty Hearing Committee finds the student not guilty of academic dishonesty, the student shall then have the right to decide whether or not to return to the Appeal Process for Change of Grade. If the Academic Honesty Hearing Committee finds the student guilty of academic dishonesty, then the instructor’s grade will stand and the student will not have the right to return to the Appeal Process for Change of Grade. The Academic Honesty Hearing Committee does not have the authority to alter a student’s grade and should not consider in any way the merits of the grade itself; the only questions are whether academic dishonesty did occur, and if so, what the appropriate sanction(s) should be. At any stage, any of the parties may invite the University Ombudsperson to help facilitate an agreement.
Grade Appeal Committee Process
Adherence to the time requirements listed below in the formal process is the responsibility of the faculty member and the student. If the student does not adhere to them, then the instructor’s grade will stand. If the faculty member does not adhere to them, then the student may appeal to the dean of the college in which the course was offered to expedite the process. If the faculty member still fails to respond in a timely manner the student may proceed with the appeal directly to the appropriate dean or to Step Two of the Committee Process. This choice will be at the student’s discretion.
Prior to any of the following Actions:
All School of Management students are required to meet with the Graduate Student Affairs Office prior to initiating either of the procedures outlined in the following steps.
The first step in the Committee Process is for the student and instructor mutually to select another full-time faculty member within the same school or college as the course instructor. This mutually selected faculty member (the third-party faculty member) shall examine all relevant evidence presented by the two parties and make a recommendation. The third-party faculty member shall be chosen within two weeks after the appeal is presented and shall render a recommendation within one week after examining the evidence. Upon request by the student, time limits may be extended in order to accommodate the Intersession or Summer Session calendars.
If the student and the course instructor cannot agree on a third-party faculty member or cannot or do not choose a third-party faculty member, then the chair of the department or the program director involved shall make this selection. If the course instructor is also the chair or coordinator and cannot agree with the student on a suitable third-party faculty member, the student may move directly to Step Two.
In addition to the third-party faculty member, a qualified student (i.e., any undergraduate or graduate student in good academic standing, with at least a 3.0 GPA, within the college in which the appeal is being processed) may be selected, at the sole discretion of the student who has appealed, to assist the student in any appropriate manner, whether as an advocate, another mediator, or an observer.
The third-party faculty member shall make his or her written recommendation to the student and instructor simultaneously. The objective shall be to reach consensus based on the third-party faculty member’s recommendation.
The third-party faculty member shall complete a Step One Grade Appeal Form available in the deans’ offices stating the basis of the claim, the recommendation he or she has made, and whether the parties have accepted the recommendation. This form shall be placed in the student’s official University record at the conclusion of the appeals process, with copies given to both the student and involved instructor.
If no consensus is reached at Step One, the student may appeal within one week to the full-time faculty in the department or program in which the course was offered by notifying the department/area chair or program director. Notification must be in writing, including supporting materials. As necessary, the department/area chair, program director may select additional faculty to make the necessary quorum of three full-time faculty. The faculty members shall consider an appeal within 20 working days after receiving the student’s written request. These faculty members shall constitute the Course Grade Appeal Committee and shall hold a hearing on the appeal where both the course instructor and student involved are present. In the hearing, the faculty members shall not be bound by formal rules of courtroom evidence. The basic standard for admission of evidence shall be due process and fairness to the student and the faculty member. The student may be accompanied by an advisor of his or her choosing. The role of the advisor is limited to assistance and support to the student in presenting his or her case. The advisor is not allowed to actively participate in the hearing, which includes speaking for the student. After hearing the relevant evidence, the faculty members shall deliberate and reach a decision, which shall be final and binding. (The course instructor and student involved shall not be present during the deliberations and vote.)
A change of grade requires at least a two-thirds vote of those present and voting. Absent such a two-thirds vote the original grade shall stand. The department/area chair or program director shall note the final resolution of the appeal on the Step Two Grade Appeal Form and send copies to the University Registrar’s office, the office of the dean of the college or school in which the course resides, the Graduate Student Affairs Office, the student, and the course instructor involved.
Dean Consultation Process
The parties may decide to expedite the appeal procedure by consulting the dean (in the school or college within which the course resides) for an informal resolution. If they decide to consult the dean, the dean’s decision may NOT be appealed through the formal process but shall be FINAL and BINDING. If the student and faculty member cannot resolve the matter between themselves within 30 days and do not agree to consult the dean, the student must appeal through the formal process above. If the faculty member is absent from campus or otherwise unavailable during the 30 days, then the student may proceed directly to the formal process below prior to contacting the Dean.
Academic Actions and Academic Probation Designations
Any graduate student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. For concurrent degree students, the GPA is calculated separately for each program, and academic probation may apply to one program and not the other. Students on academic probation who fail to raise their cumulative grade point average to 3.0 by the time they have completed at a minimum the next six (6) unit hours of graduate work or semester are subject to disqualification from the program by the Director of Graduate Student Affairs.
Students whose cumulative average falls below 2.5 in any one semester will be disqualified from the program. Students who are placed on Academic Probation are required to meet with their Advisor within the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. Any student on academic probation will not be permitted to enroll in more than the required courses each semester.
Students who fail to maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA for more than one semester will be ineligible to participate in student financial aid programs, including the Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan and Federal Direct Graduate Loan (PLUS).
If, at any time, it is determined that a student on academic probation cannot, under any set of circumstances, bring his or her cumulative grade point average above a 3.0 by the time the next six (6) unit hours are completed, that student will be dismissed from their program. If a student receives an F in a course due to academic dishonesty (see Honor Code for examples of academic dishonesty), the student's enrollment in their graduate program can be terminated immediately and the incident will be reported to the Academic Integrity Committee for further action. Sanctions may include probation, suspension, and up to expulsion. If the Academic Integrity Committee determines that a student should be academically disqualified from a program, there will be a permanent notation on the student’s transcript. Students who have been dismissed due to poor academic performance or for academic dishonesty will be eligible to reapply to that program again only after one full academic year. Students who have been expelled or dismissed with cause by the Academic Integrity Committee would not be eligible to re-apply.
Students are expected to take all examinations for courses in which they are enrolled. Dates for final examinations are given in the University Academic Calendar and Schedule of Classes in any term and may not be rescheduled without the approval of the instructor. In the event of extenuating circumstances a student needs to request a rescheduling of a final examination, the request can be approved or denied at the discretion of the course instructor. Each instructor can set a final examination policy in the course syllabus.
Unit Hour Limitations
The maximum number of units in which a student can be enrolled for in a semester is 17 units for the School of Management. Please note that the primary program will determine concurrent degree students’ maximum units. The primary program is defined as the program to which you were admitted first. For additional questions and concerns, please contact the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. For all students, requests for an increased number of units are considered only for students who have a minimum GPA of 3.8. Students wishing to enroll in School of Management courses exceeding 17 units must meet with an advisor in the Office of Graduate Student Affairs and complete the overload petition process. Final approval comes from the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs.
Registration & Attendance
Students must be registered (i.e. a student’s name must appear on the official class roster) in order to attend class. Students are expected to attend all classes, to participate fully in class activities, and to fulfill, in a professional manner, the requirements of each course. Class attendance and in-class activities may be part of grade assignment. Students are required to enroll in all mandatory courses each semester unless otherwise approved by the Program Director.
Students with two or more incomplete courses at any time will not be allowed to continue in the subsequent semester. Students will be required to complete all outstanding coursework before registration is permitted.
Adding Classes: There are two ways a student may add a class:
- Electronically, through MyUSF during the designated registration period.
- Manually, with the use of the Add/Drop Form taken to the Office Graduate Student Affairs for signature and then to One Stop.
For students in any cohorted graduate program: Cohorted graduate program students self-register for their courses previous to each academic term. Typically, open registration period are as follows:
- Intersession, Spring, and Summer terms: November 9-30*
- Fall term: April 16-22*
See Appendix for tutorials about how to self-register*
*Please note that dates are approximate
After open registration, all requests to register for any class must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Student Affairs.
A student may drop a course in the following ways:
- Electronically, through MyUSF.
- Manually, with the use of the Add/Drop form taken to the Office of Graduate Student Affairs Manager for signature and then to One Stop.
In order to receive a full tuition reversal a class must be dropped before the census date.
- A student can add themselves to the waitlist by contacting the Office of Graduate Student Affairs.
- All waitlists are monitored by the Office of Graduate Student Affairs.
- Students are typically notified during the first week of classes, depending on if/when seats open up in a course section. Notification will come via the student's USF email address, and the student will have 24 hours to respond in order to be enrolled in the course. If a student does not respond within the given timeframe, the open seat may be given to the next Student on the list. Priority may be given to graduating MBA students.
- If a student is not contacted during the first week, space did not become available.
- Please notify the Office of Graduate Student Affairs if you are waitlisted for a required course and are a graduating student. You may have priority in these cases.
Any SOM graduate student may audit selected courses offered by the School of Management, provided there is a space available and it is approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate programs. The process begins by contacting an advisor in the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. Audited courses do not count toward regular full-time status for purposes of financial aid, visa requirements or enrollment verification; neither a grade nor unit is given for audited courses. An audited course may be changed to unit status, or vice versa, only if the request is filed with the Student Enrollment Services Office prior to the census date for the course. Auditors pay the same tuition as students enrolled for units. For further information on auditing classes, consult the Student Enrollment Services Office.
In order to audit a course, a student must contact the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. It is expected that student will demonstrate to the instructor of the course that the student has the necessary background required for the course. The instructor must also approve the request for auditing, and the student must meet with the professor before the class begins to establish expectations regarding participation and deliverables associated with the student auditing. Courses not available for audit include the Core MBA courses and all EMBA courses due to the entry requirements and cohort nature of these programs.
Enrolling in Courses after Graduation
If a student wishes to enroll in classes at USF after completing the degree requirements in the program in which he/she is enrolled, the student is considered a Visiting Student. Please see the section “Visiting Student” for policy and process.
Directed Study Guidelines
The purpose of the Directed Study Program is to provide students with the opportunity to study topical areas which are not a part of the ordinary academic program and which would add significant value to the student’s educational experience at USF. Scheduling problems are not a compelling reason to enroll in a Directed Study. Research-based Independent Studies are available to all graduate students in the School of Management.
For information about the required proposal process for an Independent Study course, please contact the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. Students are limited to a total of four units of directed study.
Census Date and Tuition Reversal
Census dates represent the last day to drop a course in a given semester to receive a tuition reversal for that course and have the course removed from the student’s transcripts. The census date for each course each semester can be found in the published USF schedule of classes at http://www.usfca.edu/schedules. Courses dropped after the census date will be notated with a “W” on the transcript representing the fact that the class was dropped after the census date; the only exceptions to be made are classes canceled by the Dean of the School of Management. Tuition for courses dropped after the census date will not be refunded.
The Census Date should not be confused with the withdrawal deadline, which is the last day to withdraw from courses with a grade of “W” and will result in a forfeiture of tuition fees for that course. Please contact the Office of Graduate Student Affairs or reference the Academic Calendar for specific dates.
Leave of Absence
Students in good standing who wish to leave the University temporarily must meet with an advisor in the Office of Graduate Student Affairs and submit a Leave of Absence form to One Stop. Forms are available online or from the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. The School of Management does not guarantee program availability upon return from a Leave of Absence. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Graduate Student Affairs Office to understand the full implications of their Leave of Absence, including a plan for a reintegration into their academic program before submitting the Leave of Absence form to One Stop. A Leave of Absence may be exercised for up to one academic year while enrolled in a degree program.
Students who do not return for the semester specified on the Leave of Form are considered to have withdrawn from the University. Students who choose to absent themselves from the university without filing a Leave of Absence form will be withdrawn for lack of attendance during the first semester of absence (not including summer and intersession, except for programs in which these terms are required). When a student returns and wishes to re-enroll in courses, he or she must reapply to the program. Students who wish to enroll for coursework at other institutions during their leave of absence must obtain written pre-approval from the Office of Graduate Student Affairs and must observe the rules for courses taken at other institutions. Courses taken without prior written approval will not be counted toward the degree.
Students who take a Leave of Absence will receive a full tuition reversal if their Leave of Absence is submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the census date. No tuition reversal will be made to students who request a Leave of Absence after the census date.
Students who exercise a Leave of Absence while on Academic Probation must complete their probationary semester once they return to the University.
Students who are receiving financial aid should contact the USF Office of Financial Aid to discuss the potential impact of their withdrawal on their aid and/or their repayment schedule. Students borrowing from the Federal Direct Student Loan Program and/or receiving federal grant assistance are subject to the terms and conditions of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998. Additional information is included in the section “Financial Aid and Leave of Absence or Withdraw.”
Withdrawal from the University
Students planning to withdraw from the University are highly encouraged to meet with an advisor in the Office of Graduate Student Affairs to discuss the consequences of withdrawal upon your academic future at USF and/or other universities. Petition to Withdraw forms are available on-line, at the Student Enrollment Services Office, or the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. The withdrawal becomes final only when the completed form or an intention to withdraw has been filed with the Student Enrollment Services Office. Completed withdrawal forms must be received by One Stop before 5:00 p.m. on the census date.
Students who simply absent themselves from class without providing appropriate notice of intention to withdraw will have failing grades (F) posted to their records. Withdrawal from the University must occur on or before the last day to withdraw from classes for any semester. For the summer term, a withdrawal applies only to those programs that require a summer enrollment.
Students mailing their withdrawal notification should send it by certified mail to:
Office of the University Registrar
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
Note: No reversal of tuition will be made to students who withdraw after the census date.
- Students who make changes in their program registration (i.e., withdraw, waived or dropped classes, etc.) after the Semester Census Date, will be liable for the entire tuition for the semester.
- Students who have withdrawn from the program and who wish to return to USF to complete their degree will be required to apply for readmission (See Readmission Policy section for details).
- Ceasing to attend classes or informing your instructor does not constitute an official withdrawal. Instructors cannot award grades of “W.”
- You will receive grades for all courses completed prior to withdrawal. If you fail to notify the Registrar of your intent to withdraw, your monthly tuition charges will continue to accrue and a grade of “F” will be assigned by the Registrar’s Office for the last course you attended but did not complete. Grades of “W” will be assigned for the remaining course(s) in the semester.
The School of Management welcomes transfer students into our Full-Time MBA, Part-Time MBA, Information Systems, Nonprofit Administration, Organizational Development and Public Administration programs. Transfer applications are students currently or previously enrolled in another graduate program and who have not yet completed their graduate degree. Students may transfer up to six units into the Full-Time MBA, Part-Time MBA, Information Systems, Nonprofit Administration, Organizational Development and Public Administration programs pending the following conditions:
- Courses must be graduate level courses
- Courses must have been taken at an accredited institution of higher learning within the last five years
- Courses must not be supervised field work, directed study or field practice
- Students must have earned a minimum grade of “B” in the course(s)
- Courses must not have been applied to an earned graduate degree at another institution or at USF (not including USF concurrent degree programs)
- Courses must have been taken in an AACSB-accredited program (MBA program only)
- For current USF MBA students interested in taking an online course at another school within the Jesuit MBA Network, the following policy applies:
- Students are allowed up to 8 units of transfer units for elective courses only. Any additional units would be subject to Dean approval. Core courses may not be taken online.
- Courses must be pre-approved by an advisor in the Office of Graduate Student Affairs.
- Students must earn a B or better to receive transfer units.
Students transferring into the MBA program as part of the Jesuit Multilateral Agreement may transfer up to 50% of comparable coursework to our MBA program pending the following conditions:
- Students are in good academic standing at home institution
- Students must have earned a minimum grade of “B” in the course(s)
- Courses are comparable to coursework offered in USF MBA program
- Students are transferring to USF from a Jesuit MBA program that is at least 50 miles from USF
Students may apply to be a visiting student if they 1) are currently enrolled in a comparable graduate program at another institution, 2) have graduated from a comparable graduate program at another institution, or 3) have graduated from the same USF graduate program as the one in which they are applying to take classes.
Only alumni from the USF MBA and Executive MBA programs may apply to return to USF as Visiting Students in the MBA (not Executive MBA) program.
Visiting students are eligible to enroll in two courses per semester not to exceed 6 units. This restriction does not apply to JebNet MBA students. Students must reapply for visiting student status each term. Completed course work taken by Visiting Students may not count toward a USF degree without formal acceptance to the University.
Visiting Students applying to the MBA program from another Jesuit MBA program in the Jesuit Multilateral Agreement must be attending a Jesuit MBA program that is at least 50 miles from USF. International students are welcome to apply to the School of Management as Visiting Students if they will be studying at USF on a visa other than an F-1 visa. I-20s are not issued to Visiting Students.
To apply as a visiting student, students must follow the process as listed:
STEP 1: Please apply online via visiting student application during the specified timeframe associated with the semester you are interested in enrolling.
STEP 2: Contact the Graduate Student Affairs Office at email@example.com and include the following:
First and last name
Course name and number you are interested in taking
Year and semester of desired enrollment
Attach soft copy of resume
Attach soft copy of undergraduate transcripts
Attach soft copy of graduate transcripts if currently enrolled or graduated from another graduate program or AACSB-accredited MBA program
Attach letter of good standing from your advisor (MBA Only must include the Jesuit Multilateral Agreement intake form)
STEP 3: The Graduate Student Affairs Office will submit your application to the Academic Program Director for review. If accepted, the Graduate Student Affairs office will notify you.
STEP 4: If accepted, contact the faculty teaching the course and obtain written approval.
STEP 5: If approved by the course faculty, please submit written approval to the Graduate Student Affairs office.
STEP 6: Set up a meeting with an advisor in the GSA office. In this meeting, the advisor will provide an orientation to USF and complete the necessary documentation to facilitate registration.
Please Note: If you are currently enrolled in a graduate program and you are receiving financial aid from your home institution, you will need to request the necessary financial aid paperwork from your home institution. Please provide the financial aid documentation to the Financial Aid Office.
Readmission applicants are any student previously enrolled in an MBA or Graduate Management program offered at the School of Management based on the categories set forth below. Applicants may apply to only one of these programs each year.
A. Students in good academic standing who, within the past five years, have withdrawn from the University, left the University without filing a Leave of Absence, or whose Leave of Absence has expired.
B. Students who were previously enrolled in a graduate program and were unable to meet the required minimum degree completion time of 5 years (time is counted from the beginning of a student’s graduate program, regardless of any leave of absence taken);
C. Students who were previously enrolled in a graduate program and were dismissed for not meeting the required minimum GPA of 3.0. Students who have been dismissed due to poor academic performance or for academic dishonesty may be eligible to reapply after one full academic year. Please note: students who have been expelled or dismissed with cause by the Integrity Committee are not eligible to re-apply
Please navigate to the readmission site for more details.
Time Limits for Degree Completion
The time limitation for completing all of the requirements for all School of Management graduate degree programs is five years. Time is counted from the beginning of a student’s program, regardless of any leave of absence taken. If a student takes a leave of absence and returns to the university, the student will be subject to curriculum changes that have taken place in the interim.
Filing for Graduation Diplomas and Commencement
Graduation applications, evaluations, and conferment are serviced through the USF Graduation Center, located within the Student Enrollment Services Office.
Candidates applying for the conferral of a graduate degree should file the online Graduation Application form in the semester preceding the final semester of registration for degree requirements. Joint degree students must file for graduation separately for each degree program. The application must be filed within the time limitation for degree completion by the following deadlines:
Fall Term: September 1
Spring Term: February 1
Summer Term: February 1
Please note: To be considered for all Graduate Awards and Honors, students must submit applications to Student Affairs Manager within two weeks of the Spring Commencement February 1 deadline. The Application for Graduation form is available online and is valid for three consecutive semesters, beginning with that listed on the application; after this period, a new application must be submitted.
Graduation dates posted on the academic transcript and on the diploma coincide with the last month of the three semesters of instruction: Fall - December; Spring - May; Summer - August. The date for degree conferral for the Spring and Fall semesters is the last day of exams and for the Summer semester, the last day of class. The official graduation date will reflect the completion of all academic requirements for the degree, and not the last term of enrollment, and will take into account all waivers and substitutions approved by the student’s academic dean.
Graduate student diplomas list the degree and the school or college of the University awarding the degree. Students must complete the program requirements indicated in the catalog in force at the time of their most recent matriculation. Diplomas are mailed to students approximately six weeks after degree posting. Diplomas will not be issued to students who have not met their financial obligations to the University, including payment of outstanding fines.
Concurrent degree students in the MAPS/MBA, MSFA/MBA, and MSEM/MBA programs have both degrees posted for the same term regardless of when the coursework for the separate degree programs is completed. JD/MBA students will have each separate degree posted upon completion of that specific degree’s requirements.
For JD/MBA students, two separate transcripts will be issued upon graduation. In order to reflect the approved cross-over courses on each transcript, the University Registrar will make the necessary changes to the students' transcripts so that the pre-approved cross-over Law courses will be displayed on the student's MBA transcript as earning CR and unit bearing. These courses will not count toward the MBA GPA.
United States Business Culture Class (USBCC)
The School of Management’s United States Business Culture Class (USBCC) is designed to help international students enhance their communication and presentation skills, and their understanding of the unique aspects of American culture, language and business practice through the use of case studies. In addition, the timeframe of the USBCC program provides an important opportunity for international students to adjust to life in the U.S. and to get settled in San Francisco before classes begin so they are prepared to fully participate and succeed in all aspects of their program.
The USBCC is three weeks in length. The first two weeks of the program will include intensive academic English language training that focuses on U.S. business vocabulary and culture, academic business reading and writing, and presentation skills. The final week highlights practice and application of business English skills. Students’ required participation in USBCC is determined by their TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic score at the time of admission.
Dean's Medal of Excellence in Scholarship
An award is given to a graduating candidate of the Masagung Graduate School of Management, who exemplifies leadership through professional and academic development, aligning with USF’s mission and values. All nominees must rank in the top 5% of their respective program to be eligible.
Selection process: The Graduate Student Affairs office will accept all nominations from faculty, university staff, mentors and fellow students. Those who rank in the top 5% of their program are eligible for consideration for this award and will be presented to the committee. The graduation committee will determine the most eligible winner based on ranking and award criteria. Students will be notified of the results by email. Eligible programs include: MBA, MSFA, MSOD, MPA, MNA, MSEI and MSIS.
Dean's Student Life Award
An award is given to a graduating candidate of the Masagung Graduate School of Management who has shown commitment and outstanding service to the students and programs in the School of Management through extracurricular work, student involvement and commitment to fellow students and USF’s mission and values.
Outstanding Public Service Award
An award is given to a graduating candidate of the Masagung Graduate School of Management based on his or her demonstration of superior academic performance, outstanding service to the community, and promotion of social justice and USF’s mission and values.
Selection process: The GSA office will accept nominations from faculty, university staff, mentors, and fellow students for the Dean’s Student Life Award and Outstanding Public Service Award. The graduation committee will review all nominations and determine the most eligible winner based on award criteria. Students will then be notified of the results by email. Eligible SOM programs include: MBA, MSFA, MSOD, MPA, MNA, MSEI and MSIS.
Note: The graduation committee consists of staff and faculty within the School of Management.
Beta Gamma Sigma
The top 20% of the graduating students each Fall and Spring semester from the MBA, MSFA, MSOD, and MGEM programs are invited to join the Beta Gamma Sigma international honor society.
Pi Alpha Alpha
Pi Alpha Alpha is the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. Membership is restricted to those students who have obtained a minimum GPA of 3.7. Master degree students must have completed at least fifty percent (50%) of the required course work (a minimum of 18 semester hours or 27 quarter hours).
Nu Lambda Mu
Nu Lambda Mu is under the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council, an international membership association that focus on the study of nonprofit/nongovernmental organizations, voluntarism, and/or philanthropy. Current graduate students must be in a NACC affiliated program, have completed a minimum of 50% of their required graduate degree-program coursework and hold a minimum overall 3.7 GPA at the time of application.
Those individuals in the MBA, MSFA, MSOD, MPA, MNA, MSIS or MSEI programs who have demonstrated excellence in their coursework are acknowledged by their placement on the Dean's List. This designation is recorded on the student’s transcript each semester a student is awarded the distinction. Students are eligible for the Dean's List upon fulfilling the following requirements: semester GPA in the top 10% of each individual program or at least a 3.7, with a minimum cumulative 3.7 GPA. Students must have completed at least six (6) units in the semester under consideration.
MBA dual degree students in MSEM, MAPS and JD programs must be enrolled in a minimum of eight (8) units from the MBA program to be considered eligible for the Dean’s list.
I. Student Handbook and Student Conduct Code
The University has established standards, policies and procedures that are necessary to achieve its objectives as a Catholic, Jesuit University. These standards, policies and procedures are inclusive of the laws of the nation, the state of California, and the local community. All students are responsible for adhering to these standards, policies, and procedures which can be found in the Fogcutter Student Handbook.
All members of the USF community have a strong responsibility to protect and maintain an academic climate in which the fundamental freedom to learn can be enjoyed by all and where the rights and well- being of all members of the community are protected. To this end, certain basic regulations and policies have been developed to govern the conduct of all students as members of the University community. The University reserves the right to review student conduct that occurs on and off campus when such behavior is inconsistent with these expectations and the Student Conduct Code. In addition, students are responsible for the actions of their guests and will be held accountable for any violations of University standards, policies and procedures by a guest. Students should accompany their guests at all times while on campus. If necessary, the University reserves the right to limit the guest privileges of a student.
The entire Student Conduct Code, including prohibited conduct, conduct process, sanctions and appeal process can be found online.
II. Academic Honor Code
The School of Management embraces a commitment to ethical principles, believing that honesty, respect and integrity of the highest standards are essential components of our mission. In all academic pursuits, students shall behave conscientiously and, whether working independently or collaboratively as member of a team, must clearly delineate whether ideas presented are original or those of another.
The University's Honor Code and Academic Integrity process can be found online.
III. Title IX
The University of San Francisco is committed to providing an environment free from gender-based discrimination or harassment. As such, USF does not tolerate any kind of gender-based discrimination or harassment, which includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender-based harassment. Consistent with its commitment to addressing gender-based discrimination and harassment, the University complies with Title IX, or the Higher Education Amendment of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities.
Title IX information, resources and procedures can be found online.
IV. Professional Integrity
Professional integrity issues, concerns, or violations consist of behavior that is inconsistent with ethical/professional standards in the professional roles for which the student is being trained that are not covered by policies governing academic integrity. This may include the student’s in-class behavior or the student’s performance in the role of researcher or scholar, teacher or mentor, supervisor, service-provider, intern, trainee, consultant or colleague. Students must demonstrate academic mastery of program material and exhibit the personal behaviors and skills consistent with the standards of their profession. Sources of the norms or standards to which graduate students can be held accountable are as follows:
- State and Federal Laws: Graduate students, like all member of the University community, are expected to abide by all State and Federal laws.
- Relevant University-Wide Policy Statements: Graduate students are responsible for being familiar with and are held accountable to the standards that are identified in the University-wide policy statements and that apply to them, including but not limited to the University’s Policy against Sexual Harassment, and Discriminatory Harassment
- Discipline-Specific Professional Standards of Conduct or Code of Ethics: Graduate students are expected to meet professional standards of conduct associated with their own disciplines and/or professions as articulated in formal codes of ethics. Such formal codes can include but are not limited to codes of professional conduct or statements on professional behavior that have been adopted by the student’s department, program, school or college, as well as codes of ethics published by professional associations.
- Additional program specific guidelines may also apply.
While not all inclusive, examples of unacceptable ethical and professional behavior include but are not limited to the following:
- Unmet professional responsibility (e.g., not contributing to an atmosphere conducive to learning due to poor attendance, punctuality issues, and/or distracting, or insensitive behavior in class, lab, or clinic; poor personal hygiene; needing continual reminders to complete responsibilities in a timely manner; not responding to requests [written, verbal, e-mail, telephone] in a timely manner; breaching patient confidentiality)
- Exhibiting disruptive behavior (e.g., pushing, punching, throwing things, making inappropriate gestures, threats, verbal intimidation, language that belittles or demeans, negative comments with racial, ethnic, religious, age, gender or sexual overtones, making impertinent or inappropriate statements attacking students, faculty or staff)
- Lack of effort toward self-improvement and adaptability (e.g., resistant or defensive in accepting constructive criticism; remaining unaware of own inadequacies; resisting considering or making suggested changes to improve learning, behavior, or performance; not accepting responsibility for errors or failure; abusive or inappropriately critical, arrogant)
- Lack of respect for cultural diversity (e.g., inappropriate interpersonal interaction with respect to age, culture, race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation)
- Failure to comply with college/school and program academic and/or clinical-related requirements (e.g., training, immunization, HIPAA)
Problem Solving Procedures for Non-harassment Disputes and Conflicts
Students, faculty and staff comprise a diverse group whose personalities, experiences, activities, and personal goals vary widely. Most conflicts and issues that arise in this environment can be resolved without invoking formal grievance procedures; as such, we suggest an informal adult-adult resolution protocol.
1. Student-faculty issue
Step 1: Students should register the concern directly with the faculty and make every effort to resolve the issue. Prior to meeting, the student should be clear about the concern (s), gather supporting data and be ready to discuss specific alternatives for improvement that, for the student, would contribute to a constructive class experience. In speaking with the instructor, the issue may be resolved. The instructor may require some time to consult, reflect, or review materials, and as a result, it will be the instructor’s responsibility to contact the student (by phone and/or in writing) within 5 working days after the initial meeting.
Step 2: If, after Step 1, the concern has not been resolved, the student should directly contact his/her advisor. The advisor will contact the instructor in question. Within 5 working days, the advisor will contact the student to share his/her findings.
Step 3: If, after step 2, the concern still has not been resolved, the student should directly contact the department Chairperson (or Program Director). This person will attempt to resolve the concern(s) and provide a response within 5 working days from the time the concerns were brought to his/her attention.
If the concerns still remain unresolved, the student should next involve the appropriate Associate Dean by putting the concerns and history in writing and delivering the written materials to the Associate Dean. The Associate Dean will make every attempt to respond to the student within 5 working days, not to exceed 15 working days from the time the issue was brought to his/her attention.
2. Faculty-student issue
Step 1: Follow above Step 1 and meet with student.
Step 2: If issue(s) still unresolved, involve a faculty colleague.
Step 3: If still unresolved, involve Department Chairperson or Program Director.
Step 4: If still unresolved, see above, and follow written notification to Associate Dean.
3. Student-student issue
Step 1: Follow above Step 1 and meet with other student (may skip this step)
Step 2: If issue(s) still unresolved, involve an advisor.
Step 3: If issue(s) still unresolved, involve faculty member.
Step 4: If still unresolved, involve Department Chairperson or Program Director.
Step 5: If still unresolved, see above, and follow written notification to Associate Dean.
At times, however, disputes may not be resolved through informal efforts and both students and faculty may need to utilize the services of the Graduate Student Affairs Office at 415-422-7188.
Student concern about another student’s well being
Generally, if a student is concerned about the well being of another fellow student, the student may approach the Graduate Student Affairs Office or a faculty member with the concern(s) and ask for assistance or the student may call the Graduate Student Affairs Office at 415-422-7188. If an emergency exists, a student may call the USF Office of Public Safety at 415.422-2911, or dial 911 at the branch campuses.
Learning Environment Issues
The learning environment of graduate school, much like the work environment, is an environment in which free expression, free inquiry, intellectual honesty, and respect for the rights and dignity of others is expected. Being physically or verbally threatening, disruptive, abusive, hostile, or disrespectful creates an academic/learning environment so unsafe or unpleasant, that others cannot accomplish the work of teaching and learning. Graduate students are expected to adhere to standards of behavior in a variety of settings (e.g., classrooms, offices, clinics, laboratories, field placement settings, service-learning locations).
- Students shall not obstruct the teaching and learning environment, by impeding scheduled lectures, seminars, meetings, or examinations/tests.
- Instructors may establish additional rules for classroom behavior and shall articulate such rules as part of the course materials provided to the students, ordinarily within the course syllabus.
Students who disrupt the learning environment may be asked to cease behavior, leave a class session, leave a class entirely, or leave a program. An instructor, a Program Director or Chairperson, Assistant/Associate Dean may take such action. The nature of each case will determine the timeline of such a decision, but generally, most classroom conduct issues are handled informally, by a discussion between the involved parties that may lead to a written warning from the instructor, if appropriate.
Usually before temporary or permanent removal from class is deemed appropriate, an investigation into the issues and a consideration of evidence may take place within a context of consultation with instructor, the student(s), and other students in the class. Such a process allows for involvement of others (appropriate administrative officials and university resources) in order to resolve the issue(s) at the least intrusive level. However, if a student presents a clear and present threat of bodily harm or injury to the instructor or fellow student (s), or, after warning continues to engage in disruptive conduct which results in impairment of the teaching and the learning process, then temporary suspension from class attendance or permanent removal from class and disenrollment may be the option chosen. A student may appeal the decision for temporary or permanent removal from class to the Office of the Dean of Students (415.422.5330) on the grounds of a hearing not conducted fairly, of not conforming with USF procedures, of bias that affected the outcome, or of new information that would have altered the decision and was not available at the time.
Other Graduate-level Issues
USF faculty, students, and staff seek to promote a learning atmosphere characterized by professional courtesy and etiquette. Classmates, professors, USF alumni and staff now constitute a professional network for each new student. Interactions with each person contribute to this new professional network. To that end, all use these the following guidelines when engaging with others in the USF Graduate community:
- Addressing Professors: Some professors and administrators prefer to be addressed by a first name. However, unless invited to do so, it is more appropriate to use “Dr. (last name)” or “Professor (last name).” Ask or wait until they acknowledge how they prefer to be addressed.
- Professional Communication: Whether it is an email, a phone call, a text or a classroom discussion, when communicating with others, please do so as a professional. This simply means to use courteous language and show respect for the ideas and values of others.
- Respecting Time: Be sensitive and respectful of others’ time. If you sign up to attend an event or make an appointment to meet with a classmate, a professor or a staff member, please honor that commitment or notify the person beforehand that you are unable to attend.
- Cell Phones, Laptops, & Tablets: When in a classroom, please power off your cell phone. No exceptions without instructor permission. Laptops and tablets may be used only for class related work.
- Issue Resolution Protocol: Graduate school can be a stressful place to be. There will be times when you are frustrated or upset about a person or an issue. If it is an issue with a classmate, a professor or staff member, it is often best to deal directly with that person. If you are not comfortable doing this, please ask for the assistance of your Advisor. If you have not been able to resolve the issue directly, or with an advisor, you should then go to a Program Director, then a department Chairperson, then Associate Dean. In the event you have a more serious issue that is not addressed through constructive dialogue at these levels, you may call the Graduate Student Affairs Office at 415-422-7188.
- The Broader Community: We are all members of not only the USF community, but also the broader community of the greater Bay Area. Conduct in the entire community is a reflection on USF, so please be aware of the impression you leave on others while interacting in the community.
- Your Professional Network: Remember, your classmates, your professors and staff are your future colleagues. Build your network with them using respectful and professional conduct.
- Program-specific evaluation: In addition to meeting academic standards for graduation, students in some programs may be expected to meet generally accepted behavioral criteria for their particular area of professional education and training. Relevant areas include following appropriate ethical-legal standards, demonstrating reasonable maturity in professional interpersonal contacts, and remaining relatively free of personal-emotional behaviors that could constitute a potential threat to the welfare of the public to be served. Faculty will review feedback from professors concerning individual students and initiate remedial interventions where deemed necessary. Whereas an attempt will be made to resolve issues, it is possible that some issues could lead to dismissal from a program.