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Academic Affairs Excusing Students for University-Sponsored Functions Policy | Ferris State University

Developing Graduate Programs Policydecorative border

Owner Academic Affairs
Contact [email protected]
Document Type Policy
Issue Date December 1, 2014
Last Review March 14, 2024
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  1. Purpose Statement
  2. Policy
  3. Audience
  4. Definitions
  5. History

A. Purpose Statement

The purpose of this policy is to set the minimum standards for the development of programs leading to master’s or doctoral-level degrees and certificates at Ferris State University. Specific programs may set standards based on curricular, accreditation requirements or professional standards.

This policy serves as an addendum to the guidelines specified in the University Curriculum Committee (UCC) Curriculum Planning and Procedures Manual, and graduate proposals should address the major areas identified in this document. 

B. Policy

University Graduate and Processional Council Consultation

In alignment with the UCC manual, any proposal involving a course numbered 500 or higher, or a course on a checksheet of program requirements for any graduate or professional program must be reviewed by the University Graduate and Professional Council (UGPC). While the official consultation process begins with a Form B accompanied by a copy of the proposal, it is recommended that program and course developers consult with UGPC early in the development process.

College Graduate Committees

Each college offering a graduate program should establish a graduate committee to oversee the implementation and management of the graduate program(s).

Admissions Requirements

The minimum standards for admissions into programs leading to master’s or doctoral-level degrees and certificates are addressed in the Graduate Program Admissions Policy.

Academic Standards for Retention

The conditions under which a student may face academic dismissal are addressed in the Graduate Academic Dismissal Policy. Each program is to establish procedures to resolve academic deficiencies. 

Degree Requirements

Hours Required for Graduation

  • A student must earn a minimum of 30 semester credit hours
  • No more than 20% can be independent study (_97)
  • Credit hours for capstone work, including thesis and dissertation, should be appropriate to curriculum and accreditation requirements

Academic Standards Required for Graduation

  • GPA of 3.00 is required for graduation
  • As a minimum, no course grade below a "C" is acceptable
  • As a minimum, no more than two grades of “C” is acceptable for graduation

Other Requirements

  • Thesis, graduate project, policy paper, internship, comprehensive examination, or additional course work. Formatting for theses, projects, or policy papers must follow the Formatting Policy Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects Policy.
  • Individual Department or Student Graduate Committee (if appropriate). The program director/coordinator will be responsible for ensuring that a graduate committee is selected.
  • Foreign Language (if appropriate)


Seventy percent of degree requirements must be from Ferris State University. Any exceptions to the 70% policy must be waived by the Dean of the academic college upon the request of the graduate coordinator. 


Degree requirements should be completed within a maximum of seven years from first enrollment in a graduate class following admission. Criteria for extension are to be established by each program. Specific programs may set standards based on curricular, accreditation requirements or professional standards. 


The qualification requirements for faculty to teach graduate-level classes are determined within the academic college using the Faculty Qualifications Policy.

C. Audience

The intended audience for this policy is faculty and staff. 

E. History

This policy supersedes the Ferris State University Policy for Developing Graduate Programs dated December 2014.