Policies for Graduate Programs
policies apply to all students in graduate programs except for students
in the International Ph.D. program unless they are currently enrolled in
regularly scheduled courses.)
For policies specific to a particular degree, visit the Master
of Arts Academic Policies page or the Doctor
of Ministry Academic Policies page.
The Dean will assign a faculty advisor to the student upon acceptance to the program. Students may change academic advisors with the permission of both the old and new advisor and the Dean of the Seminary.
Students are expected to initiate contact with her/his faculty advisor each semester when making course enrollment decisions and the advisor must sign the student’s registration form. When faculty advisors are on sabbatical, students may meet with the Seminary Academic Advisor, Director of Educational Services, Registrar or Dean during the registration period to discuss course options for the next semester.
Academic Policy Committee (APC)
The Academic Policy Committee is comprised of faculty and senior administrative staff. This representative group is responsible for administering the academic policies that pertain to all educational programs offered by Hartford Seminary. Individual student requests for exceptions to academic policies and procedures are reviewed and decided by APC.
Changes in Audit/Credit Status
Changing from Audit to Credit
With the instructor’s permission an auditor who has fully participated in a class may switch from audit to credit at anytime before the last class session (for online classes, this would be the last day of the semester). To make the change, the student must already be matriculated in a Hartford Seminary degree or Graduate Certificate program, or be eligible for “Special Student” status at the graduate level. In addition, the student must pay the full course tuition and must submit a completed “Audit to Credit Change Form.” No changes will be permitted after a course ends.
Changing from Credit to Audit
Students may change from Credit to Audit only if their work has been satisfactory. Students switching from Credit to Audit after the occurrence of 25% of the class sessions will not be granted any refund in tuition. (For MA courses meeting weekly, this means after three class sessions have occurred; for D.Min. courses meeting monthly, this means after the first day-long session has occurred.) Students may change a course from Credit to Audit up to and including the occurrence of 50% of the class sessions. For MA courses meeting weekly, this means prior to the eighth class session; for D.Min. courses meeting monthly, this means prior to the fourth class session. Students may not change a course from Credit to Audit after 50% of the course sessions have taken place which means any change from Credit to Audit must take place prior to the eighth class session for MA courses meeting weekly and prior to the fourth class session for D.Min. courses meeting monthly.)
Class Session Cancellation - Inclement Weather
Hartford Seminary reserves the right to cancel classes in the event of inclement weather. Hartford Seminary notifies the following radio and television stations of cancellations and Seminary closings: radio stations WTIC AM (1080), WTIC FM (96.5), WPOP AM (1410) and television channels 3 (WFSB), 8 (WTNH) and 30 (WVIT). The voicemail on the main Hartford Seminary phone number 860-509-9511 will also be changed to reflect cancellations and closings. The main page of the Hartford Seminary website will reflect closings as well (www.hartsem.edu).
Hartford Seminary is committed to providing computing services to support the needs of students, faculty, and staff of the Seminary. The policies is in place to: 1) ensure the security and integrity of computer resources available on campus; 2) to assure that users have reasonable access to the facilities and, 3) to ensure that the action of any one user will not adversely affect any aspect of the work of another. The Seminary reserves the right to control, evaluate and monitor all student computer and electronic telecommunications except as may be prohibited by Federal or State Laws. Please see the Student Handbook for the full Computer Use policy.
Hartford Seminary reserves the right to cancel any course.
Coursework Due Dates
Projects, reports, or any work required in any course offered within the limits of a semester must be completed according to the due dates announced by the faculty member teaching the course. The course grade must be recorded with the Registrar within six weeks after the end of the semester in which the course was given. The grades for courses taken during the summer session must be recorded with the Registrar by the beginning of the fall semester.
Evaluations - Course
Course evaluations are distributed and collected during the last class session for every course. Students are encouraged to complete evaluations for all courses in which they enroll during their course of study at Hartford Seminary. Students may opt not to give their name and course evaluations are not shared with course instructors until final grades for courses are on file with the Registrar.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Hartford Seminary works to conform to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Please refer to the full policy in the Student Handbook.
The Registrar issues grade reports three times per year as follows: February 15 for the fall semester, July 1 for January Intersession and the winter/spring semester, and October 1 for the summer session. It is the policy of Hartford Seminary not to allow grade changes after grades are submitted to the Registrar. Should a student dispute a grade received for a course, they must contact the Dean of the Seminary immediately and under no circumstances later than 60 days after receipt of the grade report from the Registrar.
Guidelines for Research Conducted by Persons Affiliated with Hartford Seminary
It is expected that all persons who conduct research under the auspices of Hartford Seminary will treat everyone involved in the research with respect and care. Please see the full text of our guidelines in the Student Handbook.
Students living at such a distance as to necessitate overnight accommodations for courses are expected to make their own arrangements. Hartford Seminary does not have residence halls or housing accommodations on campus for commuting students. However, we may be aware of possible accommodations in the local area; contact the Director of Educational Services for more information.
Hartford Seminary is committed to a policy of inclusion in its academic life and mission. All members of the community are expected to communicate in language that reflects the equality of genders, openness to diverse cultural and theological perspectives, and sensitivity to one another’s images of God.
Connecticut State Law requires that all students born after December 31, 1956 and enrolled in post-secondary schools be protected against measles and rubella. Requirements for measles are: two doses, the first to be given after January 1, 1969 and on or after the first birthday and the second dose given after January 1, 1980. For rubella the requirement is one dose administered after the first birthday.
To assist students with complying with this requirement, Hartford Seminary has developed an Immunization Verification form. This form is included with a student’s letter of admission and must be completed by a medical professional before you begin classes as a matriculated student. While some students are able to provide the required documentation, others find that it is easiest to undergo a blood test, which may show that they are immune. If they are not immune, then they must receive vaccinations including two doses of the measles vaccination and one dose of the rubella vaccination.
A registration hold will be placed on any student who has not submitted the completed documentation to the Registrar prior to the beginning of classes. For additional information or questions, contact the Registrar.
- An instructor may, upon request by a student, grant an “Incomplete” (INC) for any course. An Incomplete is not automatic and is at the discretion of the instructor. When an “Incomplete” is granted, the instructor and student must agree upon a date for completion of all coursework. This date must be recorded on the Incomplete Course Form. If the Registrar receives neither a grade nor an Incomplete Course Form when grades are due, the student will receive an “F.”
- All incomplete work must be finished and the final grade recorded with the Registrar within six months of the last day of the semester in which the course was given.
- The instructor shall determine the penalty for late work. Failure by the student to submit work to the course instructor within the six-month period will result in the recording of a “Fail” for the course, or of the grade the instructor submits based on work that was completed.
- Only the Academic Affairs Committee may grant extensions beyond the six-month limit, under exceptional circumstances. Written requests for extensions beyond the six-month limit must be submitted to the Registrar prior to the expiration of the six-month period.
- A student who has two or more incomplete courses will not be permitted to register for the next semester.
Independent (Directed) Study
A student who wishes to study a topic related to their program of study but not regularly offered in the Seminary’s curriculum may choose to enroll in an Independent Study. Typically, a three credit independent study will include significant reading and written work and on-going contact with the faculty member. The requirements for Independent Studies of less than 3 credits may be negotiated. An Independent Study may be negotiated with a member of the Seminary core faculty for any semester of the academic year. The student must register for an Independent Study during the scheduled period of registration for that semester. In addition to including the Independent Study (MA-592/DM-792) on their registration form, an Independent Study Contract must be obtained from the Student Forms Center, 77 Sherman Street, 2nd floor, completed by the student and faculty member, and sent to the Dean of the Seminary for approval. Completed Independent Study Contracts are due to the Registrar by the end of the registration period. In no case will a student be allowed to take more than six credits of Independent Study. Independent (Directed) Study courses are subject to all academic and course policies and procedures as outlined in the Catalogue.
Information Literacy Requirement
Students being awarded a degree from Hartford Seminary must demonstrate a degree of information literacy that includes research ability (both traditional and electronic) and communication skills (both oral and written) commensurate with graduate level academic standards as specified by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
January Intersession Courses
A limited number of one-week intensive courses are offered during a designated week in January. Normally, the course instructors allow students to complete reading and writing assignments throughout the winter/spring semester and to submit final course assignments by the end of the semester. However, the course instructor is responsible for setting his/her coursework deadline as she/he deems appropriate for completion of the course.
Once admission has been granted by Hartford Seminary and accepted by the student, all students must register for at least one course or program component each semester until all degree requirements are completed. Students needing to discontinue course registration for one semester may do so (see Program Continuation Fee). Students who are continuing to work on their final project and have already registered for the component in a prior semester or semesters must pay the program extension fee (see Program Extension Fee). Students who are unable to continue work in their degree program for more than one semester due to serious life difficulties should apply to the Academic Affairs Committee for a leave of absence. The Academic Affairs Committee may terminate the program of any student who has not requested a Leave of Absence or paid the program continuation or extension fees.
Plagiarism, the failure to give proper credit for the words and ideas of another person, whether published or unpublished is strictly prohibited. Please see the full Plagiarism policy in the Student Handbook.
Program Continuation Fee
Students who have begun a degree program but have decided not to enroll in courses during a given semester, are not in the final requirement writing stage, and are not on an approved leave of absence will be charged a per semester program continuation fee.
Program Extension Fee
Students who have taken all of their coursework and are not currently registered for their final requirement (paper, project or thesis) will be charged a per semester program extension fee. This fee will be charged for each semester (or fraction thereof), not including summer terms, necessary to complete the degree.
Students who have previously been admitted to a graduate level program at Hartford Seminary who have decided to return to the program after initially withdrawing, may apply for readmission. Students wishing to be readmitted must complete a new application and personal statement. The personal statement should address the reasons the student withdrew and why they feel they are able to return at this time. If the student has been away from the Seminary for an extended period, an interview may also be required. Assuming the student is seeking readmission to the same graduate level program, previously earned credits from Hartford Seminary will be allowed to count toward the degree or certificate, but only if they were taken within the last 10 years. Readmitted students will be required to fulfill degree requirements as listed in the Hartford Seminary Catalogue at the time of readmission.
The Registrar, prior to the beginning of each semester, sends course confirmation notices to all students who register by the matriculated student registration deadline.
Matriculated Students: Registration for courses and program components must be completed with the Registrar by the registration deadlines indicated in the Academic Calendar. The Registrar sends registration packets to students approximately six weeks prior to the registration deadline.
All matriculated degree program students are required to meet with their faculty advisor to determine their course selections. Registration deadlines and advising periods for each semester may be found in the Academic Calendar. Registration after the registration deadline results in a $40 non-refundable late fee. Students may confirm that their registrations have been processed by viewing their schedule through the student access portal.
When faculty advisors are on sabbatical, students may meet with the Seminary Academic Advisor, Registrar or Dean during the registration period to discuss course options for the next semester.
Special Students: Special students may register for courses up to and including the first day the course begins without penalty. Special students seeking assistance with course selection may meet with the Seminary Academic Advisor or Registrar. Special students may take 18 credits prior to applying to the Master of Arts degree program. Special students may take no more than 12 credits before applying and being accepted to a Graduate Certificate program of study.
Student Discipline Policy and Procedure
It is the policy of Hartford Seminary to conduct an impartial investigation of the facts, an impartial hearing and review of those facts and to make recommendations as to what action should be taken with regard to any issue concerning student conduct brought to the attention of the Dean in writing. Details of the Student Discipline Policy and Procedure are provided in the Official Policies section of this Catalogue.
Student Grievance Policy and Procedure
It is the intention of this policy to encourage and facilitate resolution of a grievance that a student may have with a faculty member, supervisor, administrator, member of the staff, or another student. The desire is to resolve the grievance in the early stages of the procedure. However, the procedure does provide for full mediation in a fair, equitable and timely manner. Please see the Official Policies section of this Catalogue.
Summer Session Courses
The Summer Session offers a number of courses in the month of June. Most summer courses are full-day sessions one week in length. Typically, an evening course is also offered. Normally, the course instructors allow students to complete reading and writing assignments over the summer and to submit final course assignments prior to the fall semester. However, the course instructor is responsible for setting his/her coursework deadline as he/she deems appropriate for completion of the course.
Termination of Program
A student’s degree program may be terminated on the written request of the student, or by action of the Academic Affairs Committee, if the student’s performance is deemed unsatisfactory or if tuition and fee payments are not made as required. The termination of a student’s program by the Academic Affairs Committee does not cancel financial obligations the student incurred at the Seminary while enrolled.
Students who have not received an approved leave of absence, registered for a course or paid a program continuation or extension fee for four consecutive academic semesters will be removed from the program with notification. A student who has been inactive within this period may reactivate by petitioning the Academic Affairs Committee and paying any unpaid tuition or fees within 30 days.
Term Papers, Project Papers and Theses
A paper submitted for credit in one course cannot be submitted for credit in another course without the prior permission of both instructors. Hartford Seminary strictly adheres to the Plagiarism Policy as written in the Student Handbook. Written papers and theses must be typed and should conform to the styles and format for footnotes and acknowledgments announced by the course instructor. For additional information on format, proper footnotes, acknowledgments, etc., students are directed to consult the Hartford Seminary General Guidelines for a Research Paper. These guidelines can be picked up in the student forms center or downloaded from our website. Students may also consult Kate L. Turabian’s, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, (6th Edition, University of Chicago Press, 1996), upon which the guidelines are based.
For the protection of students and former students, all transcript requests must be submitted in writing and personally signed. Requests that are sent via e-mail cannot be honored. Transcripts will not be issued by fax. Upon written request and submission of the transcript fee of $10 to the Registrar, students and alumni may, at any time, request the Registrar to send their “official” transcript to a school or organization of their choice. Please allow 3-5 business days for transcript requests to be processed by the Registrar. Transcripts are issued only when all financial obligations to the Seminary have been met. Students may view and print an unofficial course report through the student access portal at anytime.
Veterans Administration Benefits
Eligible students may use Veterans Administration benefits to pursue an approved degree or certificate program. Students are advised to make their initial application for VA benefits well in advance of their first semester. Once a student has registered for a given semester, the Seminary will certify the student’s enrollment to the Veterans Administration, which will then pay the appropriate benefits directly to the student. Students are responsible for paying all tuition and fees to the Seminary. Continued certification by the Seminary is contingent on the student’s maintaining good academic standing and making satisfactory progress toward completion of program requirements. The Seminary must report unsatisfactory progress to the Veterans Administration.
Withdrawal from a Course
Students may withdraw from courses at any time before a course ends. However, financial and academic consequences will be imposed according to the following schedule:
- Withdrawal before 25% of classes occur: None
- Withdrawal after 25% of classes occur and up to and including 50% of classes: A “W” will be posted to the student’s transcript. A “W” has no effect on the student’s grade point average.
- Withdrawal after 50% of classes and up to and including the last class: Faculty member will be asked to assign a grade of either “WF” (Withdraw Fail) or “WP” (Withdraw Pass). A “WF” is counted in the student’s grade point average as a failure.
- Withdrawal before 25% of classes occur: None
- Withdrawal after 25% of classes occur and up to and including 50% of classes: Student will receive a 50% refund.
- Withdrawal after 50% of classes and up to and including the last class: No refund.
- Withdrawal from on-line courses will be allowed according to the above guidelines but will be based on the number of weeks a course will be in session.
A student who needs to withdraw for health reasons may petition the Academic Affairs Committee for a waiver of the above penalties and must provide documentation from a medical professional. A student who fails to complete requirements of the class receives a failure. Notification of intent to withdraw must be made in writing to the Registrar’s Office. Failure to attend classes does not constitute a withdrawal. Withdrawal after a class stops meeting is not possible without a review by the Academic Affairs Committee. However, a student with a medical reason can petition the Academic Affairs Committee for a “WP” if the faculty member agrees that the student was passing at the time of withdrawal.
Hartford Seminary is committed to providing our students with the tools they need to successfully complete our program. One service we offer is writing assistance. Writing assistance services may consist of individualized work with a Writing Consultant or group workshops. Writing assistance is available to all matriculated students upon request, and at no charge. Writing assistance may also be recommended to newly admitted students by the Admissions Committee, or recommended to enrolled students by the Faculty. Further information about these services is available from the Dean’s Office.
Should a student be placed on academic probation, he/she will be required to meet with the Hartford Seminary Writing Consultant for a minimum of ten hours each semester until her/his cumulative average resumes a non-probation level. The purpose of the meetings will be to focus on written work in current or incomplete courses.