Graduate Academic Policies


Candidates must accept the responsibility to be honest and to respect ethical standards in meeting their academic assignments and requirements. Integrity in academic life requires that candidates demonstrate intellectual and academic achievement independent of all assistance except that authorized by the instructor.  The use of an outside source in any academic assignment, paper, report or submission for academic credit without the appropriate acknowledgement is plagiarism. It is also academically dishonest to submit anything in electronic form as one’s own that is the work, either fully or in part, of someone else. It is unethical to present as one’s own work, the ideas, words or representations of another without the proper indication of the source.  Therefore, it is the candidate’s responsibility to give credit to any quotation, idea or data borrowed from an outside source.  Candidates who fail to meet the responsibility for academic integrity subject themselves to sanctions ranging from a reduction in grade or failure in the assignment or course in which the offense occurred to suspension, dismissal or expulsion from the University. Candidates penalized for failing to maintain academic integrity who wish to appeal such action may petition the department chair for a hearing on the matter.


Becoming a teacher is a complex process.  Once admitted, teacher education candidates must continue to demonstrate success in each of the essential aspects of the teacher preparation program:

  • understanding the theories and instructional practices presented in coursework,
  • practicing teaching skills during fieldwork in the Centers for Professional Development (CPD),
  • demonstrating the knowledge base of the program in course work and examinations,
  • and evidencing the dispositions required for teaching.

While successful teachers merge theoretical understandings and skills of practice in their classrooms daily, candidates preparing to be teachers must sometimes demonstrate their knowledge and skills separately. It is possible to be successful in coursework and not in fieldwork, or the reverse, or to be successful in both but not demonstrate the dispositions required to teach. Since teachers must be strong in knowledge, skills and dispositions, candidates who are permitted to continue in the program must demonstrate their abilities in educational theory and practice as well as their content knowledge in the liberal arts and their certification area(s). Prior to student teaching, all candidates must take the Content Specialty Test (CST) in their certificate field(s) and the Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST).  In student teaching, the components of content knowledge, educational theory, practice and appropriate dispositions are combined. Successful completion of student teaching and passing scores on the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) are required before a candidate is eligible for certification.

  1. Success in coursework is defined as:
    • An overall QPA of 3.0
    • A grade of B or better in each education course
    • A QPA of 3.0 in the academic major/concentration. 
  2. Success in student teaching is defined as:
    • Meeting the performance indicators for student teaching throughout the semester as defined on the assessment matrix.
    • A grade of P in student teaching.
    • A positive recommendation from both the Pace Supervisor and the Mentor Teacher.
    • A passing portfolio as defined in the portfolio guidelines. 
  3. Success with the NYSTCE is defined by the scores established by New York State
    • Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST)
    • Content Specialty Test (CST) in the certificate field(s)
    • Educating All Students (EAS)
    • Education Teacher Performance Assessment (EdTPA)


Candidates are expected to attend every session of every course.  Any absences can affect a grade.  It is imperative to speak to the instructor if there are any questions about attendance or extenuating circumstances. 

Every graduate candidate is required to earn a B or better in each education course for which she/he registers, and maintain a cumulative grade point average of “B” (3.00). Fully matriculated candidates who fail to meet this standard will be placed on academic probation and may not be allowed to register for more than six credits during the probation semester.  Depending on the degree of the academic deficiency, the candidate may also be required to repeat courses.  Candidates who earn an “F” in an Education course will be placed on academic probation in failure of dismissal and must meet with an academic advisor.  Given the urgency of repeating the course as soon as possible, a plan of studies will be determined. 

Graduate students enrolled in our traditional graduate programs and who have completed 24 credits in their program, but who have unmet Liberal Arts & Sciences course work, or unmet course work in their subject area, will have a registration hold placed on their account and will be prevented from progressing further in their graduate program until those deficiencies have been addressed.

Academic probation is valid for one semester only; candidates who fail to raise their GPA to a minimum of 3.0 after completing the probation semester will be dismissed from the program.  Provisionally admitted candidates who do not earn a B or better in their provisional semester will also be dismissed from the program.  A candidate with a cumulative grade point average below 3.00 is considered academically deficient whether or not they receive written notification of this status.  Non-Degree Seeking (NDS) students who earn less than a B in their education course(s) will not be allowed to register for additional courses.


A candidate who is dismissed for academic reasons may appeal the dismissal within 30 calendar days from the date of the dismissal letter. Candidates may not register for or attend classes while an appeal is pending.  The Dean of the School is responsible for deciding the merits of an appeal. The appeal must be in writing and addressed to the Dean. The appeal should indicate in sufficient detail that (1) the candidate’s poor academic performance is due to unusual or non-recurring events, (2) there will be no recurrence of these events, and (3) the candidate has taken or will take appropriate action to ensure that his or her cumulative grade point average will reach the minimum 3.00 in no more than one semester. A candidate may submit additional written evidence or include any other information which may be helpful to the Dean in reaching a determination. The Dean of the School will consider the letter of appeal, any supporting evidence supplied by the candidate, and the candidate’s past academic record in reaching its decision. If the appeal is accepted by the Dean, the candidate will be placed on probation. All decisions made by the Dean are final.


A letter grade is awarded as a measure of candidate performance only by the faculty member assigned to a particular course and section. The spectrum of letter grades ranges from A through C and F; in addition, certain plus and minus refinements to the letter grades are available to allow faculty greater flexibility in the measurement of candidate performance.  Specific grading policies are established by the instructor in a given course.  Each letter grade translates into a numerical equivalent or quality points as cited below:

Grade/Quality Points

A     4.0
A-    3.7
B+   3.3
B     3.0
B-    2.7
C+   2.3
C     2.0
F      .0
P     .0

I Incomplete. Used at the discretion of the instructor, the grade of Incomplete can be given only in the case of an emergency. “I” becomes a failure and a grade of “F” is assigned to the course unless removed within six weeks after the conclusion of the semester; candidates with an "F" grade will not be allowed to progress further in the program. If, however, in the judgment of the instructor of the course, deficiencies are so extensive that they cannot be made up within the allotted time period of six weeks, a grade of “F” will be assigned immediately at the end of the semester.
P Pass.   Assigned in certain designated courses, candidates receive credits, when applicable, but no quality points are assigned.
K In Progress, grade pending.  This grade will be used solely for courses that are part of a multi-course sequence and for courses where completion may extend beyond a six week timeframe.  The K grade is effective for graduate and doctoral-level courses only.

The quality point average (QPA) is obtained by dividing the total number of quality points by the number of credits completed or attempted at Pace, including a grade of “F” but not grades of “P”.  A minimum QPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.



As a general principle, the instructor has sole authority to establish standards of performance and to exercise judgments on the quality of candidate performance, but in a manner that reflects reasonable and generally acceptable academic requirements. Grades assigned in this fashion are final except as the instructor may wish to review them. No faculty member, administrator or other individual may substitute his or her judgment of the candidate’s performance for the reasonable judgment of the instructor.  Candidates who believe that a final grade received in a course was not determined in a manner consistent with the principle described above may challenge that grade by first arranging, within a reasonable period of time (approximately 10 school days from the time that the candidate knew or should have known of the final course grade), to meet informally with the instructor to establish a clear understanding of the method by which the grade was determined.  Every effort should be made to resolve the matter at the level of the instructor and the candidate.  Candidates who have difficulty arranging a meeting with the instructor should consult the department chair. If, after the meeting with the instructor, the candidate wishes to continue the grade challenge, the candidate may appeal in writing (with copies to the instructor) within two weeks to the chair of the department. The statement should clearly state the basis for questioning the grade received in the course. It should be noted that if the chair is the instructor, the appeal is to the dean of the school. The chair’s decision to have a grade reviewed or not is final. If the chair decides that the method by which the candidate’s grade was determined was not proper, the chair will apprise the instructor of the basis for questioning the grade and request that the instructor review the grade. If the instructor, for any reason, does not review the grade, the chair will request that at least one other faculty member qualified to teach the course in question review the grade. In the process of such a review, the faculty member is authorized to assign a grade change and may, if necessary, require additional examination of the candidate’s performance as a basis for the grade change.

Candidates may, at any point in this appeal process, solicit the advice and assistance of an individual faculty or staff member. This individual’s authority in these matters is limited to mediating the relationship between the candidate and the instructor and/or chair. Change of grades or withdrawals are not permitted once a degree has been awarded.


Grades earned in courses that are repeated are averaged in the same manner as that described under the heading “Graduate Grading System” and all grades remain on the transcript. A candidate may request, however, on a one-time basis, that the repeat passing grade for a course in which the grade of F (or I-F) was originally received be the only grade for the course averaged in the calculation of the QPA.  However, both grades (the original F and the repeat grade) will be shown on the transcript. Transcripts will be footnoted to indicate that the QPA has been recomputed. Candidates wishing to apply for re-computation of their QPA must file a written request with the Office of Student Assistance. (Specific Departments may not allow repeat grades.)


Academic advisement concerning programs of study, courses and relationship of graduate work to career goals is available to all candidates.  Upon admission, all candidates are assigned a faculty advisor.  It is strongly recommended that candidates meet with their assigned faculty adviser prior to registration. MSEd candidates are advised and mentored by their Program Coordinator.


Candidates are advised to assume credit and course loads that consider the time and energy demands required for their studies in addition to those imposed by employment and other responsibilities. For example, candidates engaged in full-time employment are advised to limit their program of study to two courses during the fall and spring semesters and one course in each summer session. Candidates may not register for more than 9 graduate credits in the fall and spring semesters, or more than one graduate course per summer session.

All international students studying at Pace University on student visas are required to enroll for and complete a full-time course load each fall and spring semester in order to comply with the regulations of the U.S. Immigration Service.


Candidates should normally complete preliminary skills and basic courses before proceeding to advanced courses. Candidates must complete all prerequisites before enrolling in a course. Candidates who have not met the prerequisites may be required to withdraw from classes at the start of the semester. Adherence to prerequisites is an important part of good education. The prerequisite course teaches materials that faculty assume are known by all candidates entering an advanced course. This knowledge will not be taught during the advanced course. Candidates without proper prerequisites will not be prepared for certain aspects of the course and may impede the learning process of candidates who are properly prepared.


Candidates are considered full-time if they satisfy one of the following:

  1. They are enrolled for a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester.
  2. They are registered in a full-time academic internship as verified by the department.
  3. They are working full time on a dissertation and are maintaining matriculation.

In special cases, preparation for examinations, non-credit or remedial courses, practice teaching, clinical practice, research or other academic activities may be substituted for part of the credit requirement if approved by the school as part of an appropriate plan of study. Candidates following such a plan of study must apply to the chair of their department for full-time certification. It should be noted that in some instances financial aid and/or housing eligibility may require enrollment in a minimum of 12 credits or the equivalent per semester. Candidates interested in maintaining such eligibility should consult the Office of Student Assistance and/or the Office of Campus Activities and Student Development for specific details.


Each candidate must satisfy the residency requirement of Pace University in order to qualify for an advanced degree. For each graduate degree at Pace, candidates are required to successfully complete a minimum of 30 credits in residence at the University. At least 21 credits must be completed at Pace for the Advanced Certificate. Graduate courses from other institutions taken prior to matriculation may be applied toward any master’s degree or doctoral degree, subject to the aforementioned residency requirement and the approval of the department. A maximum of two graduate courses from another institution may be applied toward the master’s degree with the exception of the MS in Education offered by the Department of Psychology where different criteria apply. The New York State Department of Education requires that Pace University consider grades earned for Study Abroad as if they were grades earned in residence. This pertains only to courses taken at those institutions with which the University has consortia and contractual agreements.  Courses related in content and number of hours to those in the candidate’s program of study may be considered for transfer credit if they have been completed with a minimum grade of “B” at another regionally accredited graduate school within the past five years. Transfer credit may also be granted for graduate course work completed in an undergraduate program with a minimum grade of “B” at a regionally accredited school within the past five years.


The University recognizes that some graduate candidates may wish to change schools or programs at some point in their studies. Those wishing to do so must meet the admission requirements of the school and program that they wish to enter and comply with the appropriate change procedure as follows:

  • To change schools or apply for an additional graduate credential, an “Application for Change of School/Additional Graduate Credential” should be filed with the Office of Graduate Admission.
  • To change programs within a school, an “Application for Change of Program” should be filed with the Office of Student Assistance.

If the change of school or program is approved, only those credits accepted in the candidate’s new program will be included in the calculation of the quality point average associated with the new program.  A change of program into the School of Education requires the permission of the Chair or Dean.


Candidates may apply appropriate credits from one Pace graduate degree to another with the written approval of the Director of Student Support Services; such credits must have been completed with a minimum grade of “B.” No Pace graduate degree can be earned with fewer than 24 credits distinct to that degree earned in residence at Pace University.


Matriculated master’s candidates may maintain matriculation in the program during a temporary absence from classes by submitting payment of a matriculation fee for each semester not in attendance (not including summer sessions). Doctoral candidates must maintain matriculation by payment of a fee each semester. Requests to maintain matriculation must be made within the first four weeks of the semester. The matriculation fee entitles the candidates to use the library facilities of the University and to take advantage of the early mail registration for the subsequent term.


Resuming candidates who have not been in attendance for one or more semesters (not including the summer sessions) and have not maintained matriculation nor have attended another graduate institution must apply to the Office of Student Assistance and obtain approval from the academic department at least two months before the opening of the semester. The candidate will be notified in writing whether or not the request for resumption of studies has been approved. In general, the requirements for graduation are those listed in the catalog when the candidate originally enrolled. If a candidate interrupts studies for a period of more than three years, the candidate must comply with the requirements of the catalog in effect when the semester study is resumed. In addition, courses 5 years or older will be formally reviewed and may not be applied to the resuming candidate’s degree program. Course work 10 years or older will not be accepted.


Candidates receive no credit for courses they discontinue. All withdrawals are subject to the tuition refund policy cited in the class schedule. Withdrawal after the second week of class in a 14-or 15-week semester or its equivalent will result in a grade of “W” which will not affect the student’s QPA.  Withdrawals are permitted prior to the dates indicated below:


      Regular 14/15 Week Semester*   End of eighth week of class
  Two-Track (7 Weeks)   End of second week of class
  Four Week Term End of second week of class
  Six Week Term End of second week of class
  Six-Weekend Modules End of second week of class
  Intensive Weekend End of first week of class 


*A withdrawal during the ninth and tenth weeks of a 14/15-week semester requires the permission of the instructor of the course and the Dean of the School in which the candidate is matriculated.
Candidates who do not withdraw via the web ( or file for withdrawal with the Registrar’s office within these times will continue to be registered for the course(s) and will be assigned an “F” in the course(s) affected if they have not completed the course requirements.  Under exceptional circumstances, a candidate may withdraw without academic penalty from a class after the established time limit, but only with permission from the school which administers the candidate’s program in consultation with the school from which the course originates.


Certain time limits are set for completion of all degree requirements:


  Doctoral Programs 10 years (6 years for advanced level PsyD students)
  Master’s Program 5 years (7 years for part-time students)
  Advanced Professional Certificate Program   3 years


Under extenuating circumstances a request for extension of this time may be submitted for consideration by the department chair or dean of the school, dependant on departmental policies. To qualify for a degree or certificate, each candidate is required to meet the course requirements of his or her program of study and satisfy a minimum number of approved courses in residence at the University. In addition, the student must obtain a cumulative quality point average of at least 3.00 in order to graduate. See the front section of the Graduate Catalog for specific requirements appropriate to each degree program.


Pace undergraduate candidates in their junior and senior years who have a minimum cumulative quality point average of 3.00 may petition to register for a graduate course for which they have the prerequisites. Candidates must receive written permission from the School of Education. A maximum of two courses (6 credits) may be counted toward both the undergraduate and a graduate degree. However, the quality points earned in the course(s) will be calculated only in the candidate’s undergraduate QPA.  If the student enters a graduate program in the SOE, graduate courses taken at the undergraduate level must be transferred into the graduate program.