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Graduate Catalog
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Coastal Carolina University is a primarily undergraduate, comprehensive liberal arts institution committed to excellence in teaching, research, and public service. Graduate programs of study leading to the Master of Education are offered through the Spadoni College of Education in the areas of early childhood education, elementary education, and secondary education (with specializations in English, mathematics, natural sciences, social studies, and Spanish). The Master of Education degree is not intended for students seeking initial teacher certification; teacher certification is required for admission. The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Instructional Technology offers advanced study to qualified degree candidates who seek specialized positions in the field of instructional technology in and out of the field of education. The Master of Arts in Teaching degree is offered through the Spadoni College of Education with specializations in art, English, foreign languages, mathematics, music, science and social studies. The Master of Arts in Teaching is considered as a teacher preparation degree at the graduate level. Successful degree completers will be eligible for a South Carolina teaching certificate. The Master of Science in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies is offered through the College of Natural and Applied Sciences.

Other graduate opportunities are available at Coastal Carolina University, including cooperative programs with other institutions as follows:

  1. Graduate study leading the Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A) is available
    through a cooperative program with Winthrop University.
  2. Graduate study leading to the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Administration and the Professional Masters in Business Administration (P.M.B.A) are available through cooperative programs with the University of South Carolina.
  3. Graduate study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership is available through a cooperative program with Clemson University.

The following pages contain information pertinent to graduate study at Coastal Carolina University. Information regarding Fees, Veterans Benefits, Confidentiality of Student Records, Dropping a Course, Withdrawal From all Courses, and Transcripts, is provided in an earlier section(s) of this catalog.

All graduate programs at the University are administered through the Office of the Provost, with each individual College that offers graduate programs having its own administrative responsibility for administering particular programs. For example, at the college level, the chief administrator of graduate programs in education is the Dean of the Spadoni College of Education. Questions regarding admission to graduate study at the University may be addressed to the Director of Admissions; questions regarding admission into a particular degree program may be addressed to the Dean of the College. Applications for graduate study at Coastal Carolina University should be made directly to the Office of Admissions. Prospective students should submit a completed application form at least thirty days prior to the opening of the term in which they wish to enroll. A one time non-refundable application fee of $45 is required of all applicants.

Admission Categories
Students admitted to graduate study are placed in either one of two general categories: candidates for degrees or non-degree candidates. Applicants are required to meet all standards for admission if they wish to pursue a degree program. The category of non-degree admission is available for qualified students with legitimate reasons for earning graduate credit without a degree objective. Non-degree admission is limited to twelve semester hours of credit. Admission is available for certified teachers whose purpose in enrolling is for renewal of a certificate only (limited to 12 hours in a 5 year period). Credits earned as a Non-Degree student may be applied toward degree requirements at a later date. Students admitted in a Non-Degree classification cannot receive any student financial aid.

A student enrolled as a masters degree-seeking student who leaves the University in good standing and misses one or more major terms and does not attend another institution need only submit the application for readmission in order to return to the University. Summer terms do not count as a major term in this instance.

Valid Period of Admission
Admission to a graduate program is valid for one year. If an applicant fails to complete any graduate course or part of the prescribed program within this period, the acceptance lapses, and the student becomes subject to any new requirements that may have been adopted. If a student has not acted upon an admission after one calendar year, the student must reapply for admission.
Students who have been admitted to a graduate program under regulations other than those now in force and who have not completed any Coastal Carolina University graduate courses during a period of three or more years, are required to fulfill current admission requirements prior to returning to the University for additional graduate work. Upon readmission, such students become subject to current regulations of the institution and of the program to which they are admitted.

Time Period - Maximum/Minimum Period Allowed
A student may be expected to obtain a degree in accordance with the requirements set forth in the regulations in force at the time he/she is admitted to degree candidacy, or under subsequent regulations published while he/she is enrolled as a degree candidate. However, a student is restricted in his/her choice to the requirements of one specific catalog. Students have a period of 6 years inclusive and continuous in which to claim the rights of a specific catalog.

Academic Standards
Graduate courses will earn degree credit completed at a grade level of C or above, but the student’s average on all courses attempted for graduate credit which are to be applied to degree completion must be at least a B (3.0 on a 4-point system). A grade of C- is not considered to be at the C level. Additionally, the student’s grade point average on all courses numbered 700 or above, that are to be applied to degree completion, must be no less than 3.0. Grades earned on credits transferred from other universities do not count in the grade point average. Grades earned below the grade of C do not transfer to Coastal Carolina University.
An accumulation of grades of C+ or below on 12 credits of graduate course work taken at the University within a 6 year period will disqualify a student for a graduate degree. This rule applies only to courses taken for degree completion purposes; it applies even to courses taken in two or more degree programs.
Students who receive grades below B on 12 or more graduate credit hours, where these hours are being taken for degree completion purposes, are consequently suspended from degree candidacy status and are not permitted to enroll for further courses even as non-degree students without the specific approval by the University. After a grade below B is 6 years old, it will cease to be a disqualifying factor.

Academic Discipline
Infractions of academic discipline at the University are dealt with in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct and Academic Responsibility. Examples of such infractions include but are not limited to cheating, plagiarism, and illegal use of old laboratory reports. Further information is contained in The Student Handbook, Office of Student Services or the Office of the Provost.

Every graduate student admitted to a degree program is entitled to an adviser. Students admitted as non-degree students, that is, those who do not seek degree admission or who have not yet met all the conditions for degree candidacy, are not assigned to advisers. They may, however, consult with the designated graduate administrator within the college where their course work is offered about both specific and general information.

Appeals and Petitions
Appeals should be made within the academic unit that directs the student’s program. Appeals should be addressed to the designated graduate administrator in the college where their course work is housed. Only after the internal process for appeals and grievances has been exhausted should a student take his/her case to the Dean of the College. If the Dean cannot resolve the question being raised, he/she will refer it to the Committee on Petitions and Scholastic Standing, or other similar committee, in the college of the student’s degree.
A student who wants relief from any academic regulation of the University may submit the case for consideration to the appropriate committee in the College of the student’s major or the appropriate University-wide committee. Petitions related to programs, regulations, or other matters in the graduate program should be addressed to the Dean of the College who will then refer it to the appropriate College committee. Petitions requesting substantial deviation from established practice also should be referred to the Dean of the College. Appeals, grievances, or petitions may be related to academic matters only.

Appeals for Reinstatement
Appeals for reinstatement to degree candidacy should be forwarded to the Dean of the College for review by the college’s appeals process. Appellants who have maintained a B average despite their accumulation of lower grades may, if their appeals are supported by their academic units/programs, be allowed to proceed toward their degrees provided they receive no additional grades below B. Appellants who have not maintained a B average should show extenuating circumstances and obtain the support of their academic units/programs if they wish to be considered for reinstatement.

Correspondence Courses
The University neither offers correspondence courses for graduate credit nor accepts correspondence work as applicable toward a graduate degree.

Courses Outside Major Program Area
Students wishing to enroll in courses outside the area to which they have been admitted should do so only with the express permission of their advisers, the dean of the course, and should seek guidance from the dean of the college sponsoring the course regarding eligibility and prerequisites.An individual who has been denied admission to a program may not continue to enroll in courses in that program without special permission of the Dean of that college, even if admission is sought through another program area at the institution.

Credit by Examination
No graduate credit is offered by examination only. Pass-Fail Option Under certain circumstances, a student may elect pass-fail grading in a course whose content is outside the major area. This option permits enrichment of the student’s experience without affecting grade average. A grade of either satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) will be awarded, and those courses completed with a satisfactory grade may be counted toward total credit hours earned. Any student interested in this option should consult his/her adviser and the Chair of the department offering the course prior to registration. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading is available only for courses specifically approved for such grading or individually by prior authorization of the Dean of the course.

Prerequisite courses are listed to inform students about the academic background recommended for satisfactory course completion. If a student believes that he/she has the knowledge and/or skills represented by a prerequisite course obtained via other courses or methods, this should be discussed with the professor prior to registration regarding special permission to enroll.

Regular graduate students of the institution desiring to revalidate over-age courses must secure permission of the Dean where the course is housed. The applicant must pay to the Bursar’s Office, in advance of the examination, a fee of $75.00 for each course revalidated. The fee is not refundable once the student has presented himself/herself to the instructor for the examination.Residence Students may transfer a maximum of twelve credit hours into the University applicable to the completion of a degree program. Hours remaining beyond the maximum of twelve that may be transferred in must be completed in residence at the University. Students studying in a degree program that requires a thesis must register for a minimum of three credit hours in the semester of the thesis defense.

Course Load
A student may enroll for a semester load not to exceed twelve (12) graduate hours (with the exception of the fall semester of the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program in the Spadoni College of Education, when Track B candidates will take 15 hours. A student is classified as a full-time student for academic purposes with nine ( 9) or more hours during a fall or spring term, six (6) hours during the entire summer session. A student is classified as a part-time (half-time) student for academic purposes with six (6) credit hours during a fall or spring term.

Course Loads for Graduate Assistants
Graduate assistant applicants must be full-time students. Graduate assistants are required to carry a minimum of six (6) hours and may carry up to twelve (12) hours combined during both fall and spring terms. Assistants are expected to carry a minimum of three (3) credit hours each summer session.

Senior Privilege (Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses)
Qualified undergraduate students (it is normally expected that the student have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) may enroll for graduate course credit in courses numbered 500 through 699. Graduate credit may be earned by an undergraduate student only if:

  1. the student is classified as a senior and has earned a minimum of 90 credits;

  2. prior to registration, the student has been accepted as a prospective graduate student and has completed the “Senior Privilege” form available from the Dean of the College where the desired course is housed;

  3. all required signatures on the Senior Privilege form have been secured; and

  4. the student is adequately prepared for graduate work in the field concerned.

In no case may a student’s enrollment constitute more than a legal full-time academic load of 12 credits. Work taken by undergraduate students at the graduate level may not be applied toward an undergraduate degree. Any course authorizations should be obtained from the respective department and College prior to registering for the course.

Transfer Credit
A student transferring to the University from another college or university should, before enrolling in any course at the University, have transcripts evaluated by the Office of Admissions.
It is only through such evaluation that a student will know which transferred courses may be applicable toward Coastal degree requirements. Students from regionally accredited colleges and universities may transfer credit for academic courses completed with grades of C (meaning C-, C or C+) or above, but the University reserves the right to determine what credit, if any, for courses taken elsewhere will be counted toward its degrees.
The regional accrediting associations are: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Students cannot receive degree credit for a course taken at Coastal if they have received transfer credit for an equivalent course taken previously at another institution. Similarly, transfer credit will not be awarded if a Coastal equivalent, regardless of the grade earned, appears on the Coastal academic record. A student can never be awarded more transfer credit for a course than the original institution awarded.
Credits earned at another institution while a student is on suspension, academic or non-academic, from Coastal Carolina University are not transferable and cannot be applied toward a degree or used in improving the grade point average.

Evaluation of Transfer Credit
Up to 12 semester hours of credit with grades of B or above (or equivalent grades if a different system is used from other institutions of approved graduate standing may be transferred for use with the following restrictions. Credit must have been earned at an institution accredited, at the time the course work was completed, by a regional accrediting
commission. The only exceptions to this standard are as follows: transfer from foreign institutions, transfer of course work completed at an institution accredited by a recognized accrediting body, or the acceptance of credit for military education. Graduate credit will not be accepted for portfolio-based experiential learning which occurs prior to the student’s matriculation into a Coastal Carolina University graduate program and which has not been under the supervision of the institution.

  1. The credit must be approved by the graduate administrator and the Dean of the College where the student seeks to have the credit applied.
  2. The credit must be dated within the six-year period allowed for a degree. There is no revalidation mechanism for transfer credit that does not fall within the time limit.

Vehicle Registration
As a primarily non-residential or commuter campus, the University recognizes the importance of providing adequate parking for all members of the community. Regulations regarding automobile registration and parking are distributed by the Department of Public Safety. Copies are available in the Student Center. Students, faculty, and staff are required to register their vehicles each school year.

Identification Cards
Identification cards are required for all members of the University community. Upon completion of their first registration, students will be issued a photo-ID card for use while enrolled at Coastal Carolina University. Valid ID cards are required for entrance to campus activities and events, for use of library materials and resources, and for use of all campus facilities. University police officers are authorized by state law to request students and staff to present identification cards on campus property at any time. Students must present an ID card when requested by any University Official.
If cards are misplaced or destroyed, ARAMARK will make replacement ID cards at a cost of ten dollars. For information regarding ID cards, contact the Identification Card Office, 349-2255, located in the Student Center, first floor.


Coastal Carolina University graduate programs in education are administered by the Spadoni College of Education. The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree programs are designed to offer educational practitioners an opportunity for professional growth and to develop Master Teachers who are able to provide leadership in their teaching areas. The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree programs are designed to offer a route to initial teacher licensure through graduate study. The Master of Science degree program in instructional technology offers advanced study to qualified degree candidates, in and out of the field of education, who seek specialized positions in the field of instructional technology. The conceptual underpinning of all graduate programs in the Spadoni College of Education directed specifically toward educational practitioners is the Teacher as Reflective Practitioner. Reflective practitioners are teachers who work as scholars in the classroom with the ability to make sound decisions using information at hand, but who also have the ability to gather, analyze and utilize new information as needed.
The M.A.T. program offers degree candidates opportunities to develop skills and abilities based upon five strands and fourteen performance dimensions of competence expected of all initial licensure candidates and documented in a required electronic portfolio. The five strands are:

  1. Knowledge of Learners, Learning and Teaching
  2. Ability to Work with Diverse Populations
  3. Development of High Ethical Standards
  4. Skills in Research and Scholarship
  5. Integration of Information Literacy

In the M.Ed. programs, degree candidates are offered learning opportunities that will enable them to increase their skills and knowledge in eight (Early Childhood and Elementary) or ten (Secondary) competency areas. These Competency Strands reflect standards outlined by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards/Core Propositions and incorporate the College’s commitment to the Teacher as Reflective Practitioner. Each competency area has multiple indicators that are taught and assessed throughout the program; mastery evidence/artifacts comprise the content of a candidate’s required final electronic portfolio.The M.Ed. Competency Strands are:

  • Understanding of student differences and development
  • Ability to plan instruction that maximizes student performance, addresses student diversity, and offers multiple paths to subject and skill mastery
  • Demonstrated content proficiency
  • Ability to address the motivational needs of students and manage the classroom
  • Ability to design and implement appropriate assessment tools and utilize student
  • performance data for instructional planning
  • Evidence of being a reflective practitioner and lifelong learner who can analyze and utilize research and “best practice”
  • Demonstrated ethical commitment to students, their learning, parents and the profession
  • Demonstrated commitment to serve as an active member of the learning community in which they work
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively use technology as a teaching and learning tool (Secondary)
  • Demonstrated advanced proficiency in their content area of specialization (Secondary)

Admission to Study
Applications for graduate study are to be directed to the Office of Admissions at the University. Applicants may receive approval for provisional study if they are entering the University for the first time or returning to the University after an extended absence. This basis of approval allows the student to begin classes prior to providing all of the credentials necessary to qualify for full admission and allows the student to register for up to 12 hours of course work before matriculation. Minimally, however, students must present validation that they hold the baccalaureate degree. Students who are not seeking degrees may request approval for additional credits through the Office of Admissions.


Master of Science in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies
The Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies graduate program encompasses a broad range of scientific disciplines relevant to the coastal zone. It is a multidisciplinary degree including biology, chemistry, geology, marine science, and physics. The applications of current knowledge related to marine and wetland environments, understanding natural processes, policy and ethical management, and the ability to conduct and report original research are emphasized. The program is designed for students interested in marine and wetland systems, organisms living in these systems, and the management of these systems. A thesis is required. The program is administered by the College of Natural and Applied Sciences.

Admission to Study
Applications for graduate study are to be directed to the Office of Admissions at the University.

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