Academic Polices for Graduate Programs
These 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 a list of all non-academic Seminary polices please see the Official Policies and Procedures in the Student Handbook.
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 Academic Dean.
Students are expected to initiate contact with her/his faculty advisor each semester when making course enrollment decisions and the advisor must approve the student’s course selections. When faculty advisors are on sabbatical, students may meet with the 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.
Students who fail to maintain a 2.66 Grade Point Average either with respect to their cumulative work, or in the work of a given semester, are placed on academic probation. Students are notified of this in writing. As a condition of academic probation, students 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. The program of a student who continues on academic probation for two consecutive semesters will be terminated. (Students who are recipients of federal financial aid should refer to the Financial Aid section of this Catalogue for the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.)
Doctor of Ministry
In addition to maintain a 2.66 minimum grade point average, students in the Doctor of Ministry program who receive two “Low Pass” grades or below will be evaluated by the Academic Policy Committee to determine their suitability for continuing in the program. The enrollment of any Doctor of Ministry student receiving two “Fail” grades shall be terminated.
Adding a Course
Students may add a course with their advisor’s approval up to the second week of the semester by completing an Add/Drop form and submitting it to the Registrar’s Office. In the third week of the semester students can add a course with the approval of both the advisor and course instructor.
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 860-509-9500 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).
All students are required to have access to computer technology that affords them email capability and access to the internet.
Hartford Seminary is committed to providing computing services to support the needs of students, faculty, and staff of the Seminary. The policies are in place to ensure: 1) the security and integrity of computer resources available on campus; 2) that users have reasonable access to the facilities; and, 3) 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.
All students are required to complete course evaluations. All responses are anonymous and course evaluations are not shared with course instructors until after the grade submission deadline.
Course Retake Policy
Students may repeat a course in which they have earned a grade of F. The grade for the second attempt of the course, and the associated credits, are recorded on the student’s transcript and are calculated into the GPA. When the new grade is added to the academic record, the old grade is replaced with the letter R, indicating that the course was retaken in a later term. R grades do not affect grade point calculations and do not carry credit toward graduation. Only the grade in the repeated course receives credit and applies to the grade point average.
- Withdrawn courses cannot be covered with an R if the course is retaken.
- Grades may not be absolved by repeating a course after graduation.
- Grades assigned due to an academic ethics violation may not be removed from the academic record by repeating the course. Both the new grade and the assigned grade will be shown (no R will cover the original attempt).
- A course originally taken for a letter grade must be repeated for a letter grade.
To absolve a grade, the same course must be taken. In situations where the same course is no longer offered students may be able to absolve a grade in one of two ways:
- By repeating a course of comparable content and level
- As an independent study
Both of these options require approval of the Academic Policy Committee. Students wishing to pursue one of the above avenues must submit a petition to the Academic Policy Committee.
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. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm that the faculty member has received the work by the due date. This is particularly important if the work is submitted electronically.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after a request for access.
Students should submit to the registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the registrar, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the Seminary decides not to amend the record as requested, the Seminary will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3. The right to provide written consent before the Seminary discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the Seminary in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the Seminary has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a person serving on an official committee, such as disciplinary or grievance committee; or a person assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
At its discretion, Hartford Seminary may also provide “directory information” without consent in accordance with the provisions of the Act. “Directory information” is defined as including a student’s name, address, Harford Seminary e-mail address, telephone number, date of birth, photograph, degree or non-degree program which enrolled, dates of attendance, degrees or awards earned (with dates received) from Harford Seminary.
A student may withhold directory information by indicating this preference in writing to the Office of the Registrar within the first two weeks of any semester. Please note that such withholding requests are binding for all information to all parties other than for educational purposes. Students should consider all aspects of a directory hold prior to filing such a request. Requests for non-disclosure will be honored by Hartford Seminary as long as the student is enrolled.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Seminary to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
Master of Arts and Graduate Certificate
The Hartford Seminary Grading Guidelines approved by the faculty in April 1996 stipulate the following:
- +/- indicates strength or weakness within a letter grade. Grades range from A to C and F; A+’s and C-’s are not part of the grading system.
- A(4.00), A-(3.66), B+(3.33), B(3.00), B-(2.66), C+(2.33), C(2.00) and F(0.00).
- A grade point average of no less than B- (2.66) is required to maintain good standing
- The minimum G.P.A. required for graduation is 2.75.
A faculty member, with the approval of the Dean, may determine that a specific course be graded on a Pass-Fail basis. Courses graded on a Pass-Fail basis do not figure into the grade point average.
Doctor of Ministry
Students in the Doctor of Ministry degree program are graded as follows:
- High Pass(4.00), Pass (3.00), Low Pass(2.00), and Fail(0.00)
- A grade point average of no less than 2.66 is required to maintain good standing
Students who receive two “Low Pass” grades or below will be evaluated by the Academic Policy Committee to determine their suitability for continuing in the program. The enrollment of any Doctor of Ministry student receiving two “Fail” grades shall be terminated.
Faculty members are required to submit course grades according to the following schedule: Fall Semester: January 10; Intersession and Winter/Spring Semester: June 3; and Summer Session: August 15. Students can view their grades through the Student Access portal after the submission date if they have completed their online course evaluation. It is the policy of Hartford Seminary not to allow grade changes after grades are submitted. Should a student dispute a grade received for a course, they must contact the Dean immediately and no later than 60 days after the grade submission date. (If the disputed grade was for an incomplete course then the student must be in contact with the Dean within 60 days after the grade was entered into the computer system.) Students who need grades earlier than the stated deadlines should be in contact with the faculty member before the end of the semester to negotiate an early submission.
Master of Arts degrees and Graduate Certificates are awarded at Hartford Seminary’s graduation ceremony in late spring. Doctor of Ministry degree candidates are awarded their degree in a special ceremony ordinarily held in the recipient’s ministry setting. Doctor of Ministry graduates are also recognized at Hartford Seminary’s annual graduation ceremony.
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.
Because the programs offered by the Seminary are primarily designed for non-residential students, the Seminary does not guarantee on campus accommodations for students. However, limited space may be available for rent to full-time students in the Seminary’s Edith Mason Howard Ecumenical House and in other Seminary residences. International students are given priority for Seminary residential space. Any student living on-campus must receive the meningococcal vaccination (meningitis) and provide documentation to the Registrar’s Office. Students who do not comply with this requirement within one month of moving on campus will be asked to leave student housing.
Hartford Seminary does not generally have short-term housing on campus for commuting students. Students are expected to make their own accommodation arrangements. However, occasionally there is a vacancy in our full-time student housing that might be made available to commuting students. Please contact the Director of Administration and Facilities 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 students born after December 31, 1956 and enrolled in a graduate program or pursuing studies on a full-time basis as a special student be protected against measles, rubella, mumps and varicella. Additionally, students living on-campus must receive the meningococcal (meningitis) vaccination. To assist students with complying with this requirement, Hartford Seminary has developed an Immunization Verification form. This form is included with the letter of admission and must be completed by a medical professional before you begin classes.
The immunization requirements are: two doses of each vaccine, the first to be given on or after the first birthday; and the second dose given at least 30 days after the first. (Only one dose of the meningitis vaccine is required.) The following exemptions may apply:
- Students who were born before January 1, 1980 are not required to provide proof of immunization for varicella unless they were born outside the United States. However they must provide proof of the other immunizations.
- Students who believe they have a valid medical or religious reason for being exempt from the immunization requirements should contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.
While some students are able to provide the required documentation, others find it is easier to undergo a blood test, which may show that they are immune. If they are not immune, then they must receive all of the required vaccinations.
Students enrolled in classes who are not in compliance will be notified that they will be removed from classes if they fail to fully comply with this requirement. Students removed from courses may be subject to academic penalties. No financial refunds will be issued if a student is removed from classes for failure to comply with the immunization requirement. For additional information or questions, contact the Registrar.
- A student may request an incomplete grade by filling out an Incomplete Grade Form. This form must be signed by the course instructor prior to the last day of class for that semester and submitted to the Registrar’s Office and the Financial Aid Office.
- When an “Incomplete” is granted, the instructor and student must agree upon a date for completion of all coursework. This date must be within 4 weeks of the last day of the Fall or Winter/Spring Semesters, and 8 weeks after the end of Summer Session, as listed on the Academic Calendar in which the course was given.
- The faculty instructor will also include on the Incomplete Grade Form the grade the student will earn if they do not submit their remaining work by the agreed upon date.
- The outstanding coursework must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by email or in hard copy by the agreed upon date. The Registrar’s Office will forward it to the faculty instructor. If the work is not submitted by the due date, the earned grade indicated on the Incomplete Course Form will be automatically recorded by the Registrar.
- The instructor shall determine the penalty for late work.
- Only the Academic Policy Committee may grant an extension beyond the original limit and will do so only under rare mitigating circumstances such as medical or military related issues with provided documentation. Any requests for extensions beyond the original limit must be submitted in writing to the Registrar prior to the expiration of the original period. A marker of “INC” will be listed on the transcript until the official grade is submitted.
- A student who has two or more incomplete courses will not be permitted to register for the next semester.
- A student who has requested an incomplete grade should be aware that their eligibility for financial aid may be jeopardized and that previously awarded student loans may go into repayment or enter the grace period if they are not allowed to register for subsequent semesters.
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. An Independent Study of less than 3 credits may be negotiated. An Independent Study may be negotiated with any resident member of the Seminary faculty (core faculty or faculty associate) for any semester of the academic year. The student must register for an Independent Study online during the scheduled registration period for that semester. Additionally, an Independent Study Contract must be obtained from the Student Forms Center (either at 77 Sherman Street or online), completed by the student in consultation with the independent study advisor and sent to the Academic Dean for approval before the end of the third week of the semester. Independent Study Contracts include the following elements: (1) project overview, (2) learning objectives, (3) methods for completion, (4) forms of accountability/assessment, (5) resources and bibliography, and (6) schedule for completion. In no case will a student be allowed to take more than six credits of Independent Study. Independent Study courses may not be used to fulfill core area requirements for the Master of Arts program. Independent 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 Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
January Intersession Courses
A limited number of one-week intensive courses are offered during a designated week in January. The course instructors require 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.
Leave of Absence
Students who find it necessary to interrupt their planned program of study due to serious life difficulties (medical, family, employment, etc.) may request a leave of absence by submitting a petition through their faculty advisor to the Academic Policy Committee. This petition should include reasons for seeking a leave and a schedule for resuming study. When the Committee has made a decision, the student will receive a letter informing her or him of the decision. Leaves are granted on a semester by semester basis, and are limited to 180 days per calendar year. All requirements for the Master of Arts degree must be completed within six years. (Students who are recipients of federal financial aid should refer to the Financial Aid section of this Catalogue for additional leave of absence stipulations.)
Students who have not received an approved leave of absence or have not registered for a course for three 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 Policy Committee and paying any unpaid tuition or fees within 30 days.
On-Campus Classroom Requirement
Hartford Seminary requires that at least one-third of the credits required be taken in courses taught in the classroom on the Hartford Seminary campus. This allows for up to two-thirds of the credits to be taken in a combination of the following formats: off-site courses, on-line courses, independent study, travel seminars, field education, and if applicable; transfer credit, final project/paper/thesis, or the final project.
Graduate Certificate: 6 of 18 credits
Graduate Certificate: 9 of 24 credits
M.A. in Transformative 12 of 36 credits
Leadership & Spirituality:
Doctor of Ministry: 12 of 36 credits
Students enrolled in the Religious Studies Graduate Certificate and the M.A. in Religious Studies are exempted from this policy.
For students enrolled in the Imam and Muslim Community Leadership Graduate Certificate courses taken at the primary off-site location count as on-campus courses.
Students enrolled in the Cooperative M.Div. program should plan to take all of the courses that make up the Hartford Seminary segment of their degrees in the classroom on the Hartford Seminary campus. Occasionally it will be appropriate for students in this program to consider courses taught in other formats, e.g., off-site courses, on-line courses, travel seminars, independent study. When appropriate, the student should discuss the merits of these alternatives with his/her Hartford Seminary advisor. The advisor’s approval is required.
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 Policy Committee for a leave of absence. The Academic Policy 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. All written material submitted by students must be their own original work; where the words and ideas of others are used they must be acknowledged. Additionally, if students receive editorial help with their writing they should also acknowledge it appropriately.
Credit will not be given for work containing plagiarism, and plagiarism can lead to failure of a course. Faculty will report all instances of plagiarism to the Academic Dean. The Academic Dean will then collect documented details of the case and advance any recommendations for further action to the Academic Policy Committee. Through this process the situation will be reviewed and any additional penalties that may be warranted (up to and including expulsion from the school) will be determined.
For clarity as to what constitutes plagiarism, the following description is provided:
1. Word for word plagiarism: (a) the submission of another person’s work as one’s own; (b) the submission of a commercially prepared paper; (c) the submission of work from a source which is not acknowledged by a footnote or other specific reference in the paper itself; (d) the submission of any part of another person’s work without proper use of quotation marks.
2. Plagiarism by paraphrase: (a) mere re-arrangement of another person’s works and phrases does not make them your own and also constitutes plagiarism; (b) paraphrasing another person’s words, ideas, and information without acknowledging the original source from which you took them is also plagiarism.
See Part II of Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations, (7th Edition, University of Chicago Press, 2007) for an explanation of the proper ways to acknowledge the work of others and to avoid plagiarism.
3. Reuse of your own work: Coursework submitted for credit in one course cannot be submitted for credit in another course. While technically not plagiarism, this type of infraction will be treated in the same manner as plagiarism and will be subject to the same penalties. If you are using small amounts of material from a previous submitted work, that work should be referenced appropriately. When a student is writing their final program requirement (paper, project or thesis) it may be appropriate, with their advisor’s permission, to include portions of previously submitted materials if properly referenced.
Program Continuation Fee
Students who have begun a 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 program requirements as listed in the Hartford Seminary Catalogue at the time of readmission.
Matriculated Students: Registration for courses and program components must be completed by the registration deadlines indicated in the Academic Calendar. The Registrar sends registration information to students approximately six weeks prior to the registration deadline.
All matriculated graduate 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 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 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.
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. The course instructors require 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 coursework deadlines as he/she deems appropriate for completion of the course. (This pattern of course scheduling is currently under review. Please see the course schedule for the most up-to-date information.)
A student’s degree program may be terminated on the written request of the student, or by action of the Academic Policy 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 Policy 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 two consecutive academic semesters will be notified that they will be removed from the program unless they respond within 30 days. A student who has been removed may apply for reactivation by petitioning the Academic Policy Committee and paying any unpaid tuition or fees. (Students who are recipents of federal financial aid should refer to the Financial Aid section of this Catalogue for additional leave of absence stipulations.)
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. 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 at: http://www.hartsem.edu/current-students/student-writing-resources/ . 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.
Hartford Seminary encourages students to consider opportunities for exposure to the international context of religious life. Hartford Seminary periodically sponsors travel seminars that provide participants with an opportunity to learn more about the major religions of the world as they co-exist in regions of shared historic experience and contemporary struggle. Information about upcoming travel seminars is available from the Registrar.
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 the drop deadline (see academic calendar for exact date): None. The course is dropped from the student’s transcript.
- Withdrawal after the drop deadline, up to and including the mid-point of the semester (see academic calendar for exact date): A “W” will be posted to the student’s transcript. A “W” has no effect on the student’s grade point average.
- Withdrawal after the mid-point of the semester 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.
- Students who withdraw from a course before the drop deadline are entitled to a full tuition refund.
- Students who withdraw after the drop deadline are charged in full for the tuition of that course.
- Refunds to the student will be made within 30 days of the date that the Seminary determines the student has officially withdrawn.
- Withdrawal from on-line courses will be allowed according to the above guidelines
For courses that meet on a non-weekly, intensive format the withdrawal schedule will be as follows:
- Withdrawal before the second class meeting: None. The course is dropped from the student’s transcript.
- Withdrawal after the second, but up to and including the third class meeting: A “W” will be posted to the student’s transcript. A “W” has no effect on the student’s grade point average.
- Withdrawal after the third class meeting, 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.
- Students who withdraw from a course before the second class meeting are entitled to a full tuition refund.
- Students who withdraw after the second class meeting are charged in full for the tuition of that course.
- Refunds to the student will be made within 30 days of the date that the Seminary determines the student has officially withdrawn.
A student who needs to withdraw for health reasons may petition the Academic Policy 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 Policy Committee. However, a student with a medical reason can petition the Academic Policy 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 the cumulative grade point average resumes a non-probation level. The purpose of the meetings will be to focus on written work in current or incomplete courses.
Up to six “Advanced Standing” credits may be awarded toward the Master of Arts degree after the completion of at least one semester as an enrolled student at Hartford Seminary. The purpose of granting this credit is to acknowledge significant learning outside the context of a traditional graduate degree program. Credit is awarded by the Academic Policy Committee upon petition by the student and is applied toward the elective requirement. The petition must include a detailed record of the work or learning experiences for which credit is sought, accompanied by supporting documentation, and articulate how these experiences have increased the student’s level of understanding and ability to meet a personal, career, or ministry goal. Experiences must be within 10 years of the date of petition in order to be eligible for credit. Students seeking to apply for Advanced Standing credit should obtain the Guidelines for Requesting Advanced Standing Credit (available through the online Student Forms Center or on site at 77 Sherman Street, 2nd floor) and consult with their faculty advisor, who must provide a letter of support for the petition.
Black Ministries Program/Hispanic Ministries Program – Students who have completed the eight course curriculum required for Hartford Seminary’s Black Ministries Program or Hispanic Ministries Programa certificate programs may submit a single petition for six credits under the Advanced Standing provision. The petition may omit the description and curriculum elements requested in the Advanced Standing Guidelines as part of the petition but must include the summary of learning and evaluation elements. Supporting documents should include the final course report (available from the Registrar) and one sample of what the student considers his or her best work from assignments completed as part of the certificate program.
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
Clinical Pastoral Education is an experience-based learning program that combines work in hospital chaplaincy with small group reflection under the supervision of a certified chaplain. There are several good CPE programs in the region. Students who complete CPE may request that the Seminary (via a letter with documentation to the Academic Policy Committee) apply one unit of CPE toward 3 credits in their M.A. program under the Seminary’s Advanced Standing Guidelines. Up to 6 credits may be granted.
Course Schedule – Academic Year
The course schedule is designed to accommodate persons whose availability may be limited due to work, life and ministry commitments. Many classes meet once a week in the late afternoons or evenings. Some courses are offered during the day or, on occasion, in a Friday evening/all day Saturday format. The Seminary also offers 4-5 online courses per academic year. Master of Arts students are welcome to take any course offered on our schedule that is designated with a 500 or 600 course number as long as designated prerequisites have been met.
Declaring a Focused Area of Study
Students who have not declared a focused area of study at the time of their application and admission must do so no later than the completion of 24 credits. At that point, students will be reassigned, if necessary, to a faculty advisor in the area of the focused study. Together, the student and the faculty advisor will complete a program of study worksheet for the student’s degree program.
Final Requirement Completion and Registration
Students in the Master of Arts who have completed all courses required for their degree must enroll in their final requirement course within two regular semesters. Students who are at this stage and wish to defer working on their final requirement may postpone enrolling in their final requirement and take advantage of the Program Continuation provision (see Program Continuation Fee in the Academic Policies for Graduate Programs) for no more than one semester. Students taking a six-credit final requirement (M.A. thesis) option may choose to register for three credits for each of two consecutive regular semesters. Students requiring additional semesters to complete the final requirement beyond the semester(s) in which they have registered for the final requirement credits must pay the program extension fee (see Program Extension Fee in the Academic Policies for Graduate Programs.) If a student finds they cannot proceed with the final requirement within these time frames due to serious life difficulties, they must, after consulting with the faculty advisor, request a leave of absence from the Academic Policy Committee in order to be considered for an exemption from this requirement.
Hartford Seminary offers Master’s level courses in Arabic, New Testament Greek and occasionally, Hebrew. Up to 12 credits of language courses taken at Hartford Seminary may count toward the 48 credits required for the Master of Arts degree. Persons interested in taking language courses for credit should consult beforehand with their faculty advisor.
Students who have taken graduate level courses in religion from an accredited institution that have not been applied toward a previous degree may ask for these courses to be applied toward their Master of Arts degree. In order to be considered eligible for transfer, these credits must have been earned within ten years prior to initial enrollment as a matriculated student at Hartford Seminary or taken while the student is pursuing their degree at Hartford Seminary. Master of Arts in Religious Studies students may receive up to 18 credits of transfer credit. Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality students may receive up to 12 credits of transfer credit. Any course taken at another institution while a student is enrolled at Hartford Seminary must be pre-approved by the student’s advisor and the Dean (students must complete the Transfer Credit Pre-approval form). The total credit awarded for Advanced Standing and transfer credit combined may not exceed the maximum transfer credit for the specific degree program.
Students who are forced to miss a class session should contact the faculty member teaching the course to make arrangements to complete any coursework. In no case may Doctor of Ministry students miss more than one and a half day-long sessions per course per semester (in courses that meet on the D.Min. schedule for five days in a semester) and still successfully complete the requirements of the course.
Certificate of Advanced Pastoral Studies
Regularly enrolled students who have successfully completed all Colleague Seminar requirements and the six elective courses and who, by their own decision or that of the faculty, do not proceed to the Ministry Project phase of the program, or to the final examination of the Ministry Project, may apply to the Academic Policy Committee for the Certificate of Advanced Pastoral Studies.
Course Schedule – Academic Year
The course schedule is designed to accommodate the needs of persons engaged in full-time ministry, some of whom travel considerable distances. Students come to the campus once every three to four weeks to participate in the Colleague Seminar on Monday and an elective course on Tuesday, otherwise referred to in the Seminary community as “D.Min. Days.” During the academic year, Doctor of Ministry courses meet from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Mondays and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Tuesdays. Most courses are offered on a two-year cycle. Doctor of Ministry students are also welcome to take courses offered on other schedules that are designated with a 600 course number.
Final Requirement Completion and Registration
Students in the Doctor of Ministry programs who have completed all courses required for their degree must enroll in their final project within two regular semesters. Students who are at this stage and wish to defer working on their final project may postpone enrolling in their final requirement and take advantage of the Program Continuation provision (see Program Continuation Fee in the Academic Policies for Graduate Programs) for no more than one semester. Students may choose to register for three credits for each of two consecutive regular semesters. Students requiring additional semesters to complete the final project beyond the semester(s) in which they have registered for the final requirement credits must pay the program extension fee (see Program Extension Fee in the Academic Policies for Graduate Programs.) If a student finds they cannot proceed with the final project within these time frames due to serious life difficulties, they must, after consulting with the faculty advisor, request a leave of absence from the Academic Policy Committee in order to be considered for an exemption from this requirement.
Ministry Project Oral Examination
All course work must be completed, all grades reported to the Registrar, and all financial obligations to the Seminary must be met before ministry project oral examinations may be taken. Students planning to schedule their final oral examination must contact the Executive Assistant to the Dean at least four weeks prior to the proposed exam date and must complete the final oral examination checklist before the exam may be scheduled.
Students in the Doctor of Ministry program are allowed to count three doctoral level credits taken at another accredited institution toward the elective requirements for the Doctor of Ministry degree. These credits may be from a course taken within 10 years prior to enrolling at Hartford Seminary or can be taken during the course of a student’s program. However, a course taken at another institution while a student is enrolled at Hartford Seminary must be pre-approved by the student’s advisor and the Dean (students must complete the Transfer Credit Pre-Approval Form). If the student’s final project involves an area of expertise that is not covered by the faculty of Hartford Seminary, and a course in this area is available at another accredited institution, the student may petition the Academic Policy Committee to take an additional 3 credits off-site and transfer them back in toward elective credits. A convincing case must be made that a second off-site course is critical to the successful carrying out of the student’s final project.