Graduate Policies and Procedures
Graduate programs and curricula at Colorado State University-Pueblo are developed by the faculty and administration in the instructional colleges and schools and are administered by graduate program directors or coordinators with the assistance of the Provost/VPAA and the Vice-President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Academic policies affecting graduate programs and courses are reviewed by the University Graduate Studies Board and governed by the Faculty Senate.
Graduate Degree Programs
Colorado State University-Pueblo offers selected graduate courses and programs for degree-seeking and non-degree students. Graduate degrees are offered in Athletic Training (MS), Biochemistry (MS), Biology (MS), Business Administration (MBA), Chemistry (MS), Education (M.Ed.), Engineering (MS), English (MA), Industrial and Systems Engineering (MSISE), Nursing (MS, DNP), and Social Work (MSW).
The following master’s degrees can be completed in conjunction with 3+2 programs (options to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously): Athletic Training, Biochemistry, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Computer Information Systems, Construction Management, Engineering, English, Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Non-Integrated. For more information, please see the “Joint 3+2 Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees” section of this catalog, under Academic Policies. 3+2 programs are only available to degree-seeking undergraduate students. The 3+2 programs are not available to degree plus students, guest students, or non-degree seeking students.
Graduate Admissions Policies and Procedures
A student who has received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and who wishes to begin a graduate program must submit the following items to the:
Office of Admissions, Colorado State University-Pueblo
2200 Bonforte Boulevard
Pueblo, Colorado, 81001-4901
The following items shall constitute the admission file for each applicant:
- A completed application for admission to graduate programs of Colorado State University-Pueblo and an application fee of $35. The fee is non-refundable and is not applicable towards tuition. An application form may be obtained by writing the CSU-Pueblo Office of Admissions, by telephoning (719) 549-2462, or online at http://www.csupueblo.edu.
- Official transcripts of all college and university work must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions by each institution attended. Records received directly from students may be used for advisement purposes only.
- An official score from the appropriate standardized admission exam must be provided. See specific programs for required exam(s) and scores.
- For international students whose native language is not English, a minimum score of 500 on the Test of English as a World Language (TOEFL) paper-based exam, a minimum score of 173 on the TOEFL computer-based exam, a minimum score of 61 on the TOEFL internet-based (iBT) exam, a minimum score of 80 on the Michigan Test of English Proficiency, or a minimum band score of 5.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test is required for admission. However, a minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL paper-based exam, a minimum score of 213 on the TOEFL computer-based exam, a minimum score of 79-80 on the TOEFL internet-based (iBT) exam, or a minimum band score of 6.0 on the IELTS is required for the Master in Business Administration (MBA), and the Master of Science with a major in Nursing. Students who complete an undergraduate degree at an institution in the United States are exempt from this requirement.
- Specific programs may have additional requirements.
Admission to graduate studies does not constitute admission to a particular graduate program. Admission to a particular degree program must be approved by the program director/coordinator upon review of the student’s credentials.
Regular status will be given to degree-seeking students who meet all of the published requirements of their selected graduate program department. The requirements include:
- A baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by the regional accreditation agency (or equivalent). Admission to an approved joint degree (3+2) program at CSU-Pueblo does not require a baccalaureate.
- The minimum undergraduate GPA established for all programs is 3.000.
- Submission of satisfactory scores from a standardized admissions test if required by the program department. International students whose native language is not English must also meet the English language proficiency standard set forth in the Graduate Admissions Policies and Procedures section.
- A completed admissions file.
- Any additional requirements for the selected program, including completion of leveling courses to correct undergraduate deficiencies. Programs may specify conditions which may include higher grade-point averages, required scores on entrance examinations, or undergraduate major or course requirements. Programs may also limit admissions based on capacity.
The University provides a conditional status for students who have not satisfied the minimum undergraduate grade-point average, or the minimum required test score(s), or who have other deficiencies in their preparation.
The Director of Admissions on recommendation of the program director/coordinator will admit the student under conditional status if the student’s grade-point average is at least 2.500, but not high enough for regular admission; or if the student has not met a condition specified by the program department. Such special action may be taken if there are positive indicators of graduate success, e.g., high GRE or GMAT scores, solid upper-division academic performance, or outstanding professional achievement.
The program director/coordinator will notify the student of the specific conditions for moving to regular graduate status. Conditions of admission to regular status can include additional course work beyond the degree requirements; specified scores on standardized admissions tests; or other conditions required by the program director/coordinator. A written statement of the conditions and a plan for meeting them will be prepared by the program director/coordinator and filed with the Director of Admissions. The program director will provide a copy of the plan to the student.
If the conditions are met, the program director will notify the Director of Admissions and the student that the student has achieved regular degree-seeking status. If not successful, the student will be notified by the Director of Admissions that conditional status has been terminated and the student has been dismissed from the program. Students on conditional status may count toward the degree a maximum of 12 hours of graduate course work taken in the degree program.
For Residency Requirements please visit Residency Classification.
Non-Degree Seeking Students
A student who desires to take graduate courses for personal enrichment, for job advancement, or for transfer to another institution, may do so through either the Non-Degree Status option or through the Guest (for credit) option.
Students seeking non-degree status must complete a full graduate admission application. Non-degree status students are limited to enrolling in a total of twelve graduate hours unless approval is given by the Graduate Studies Board. The approval of the appropriate program director is required to enroll in graduate coursework that is part of the curriculum for a graduate program.
A maximum of twelve graduate hours of CSU-Pueblo credit earned as a non-degree seeking student may subsequently be applied toward a master’s degree if approved by the degree-granting program. Individual programs may limit the number of hours applicable to the program.
Guest (For Credit) Student Status
Guest (for credit) student status is reserved for applicants who wish to enroll in courses without seeking a degree and who meet the following criteria. Applicants who wish to register as a guest (for credit) student must be Colorado residents and are required to complete a short application with the Office of Admissions each term that they wish to enroll. Guest (for credit) students are NOT REQUIRED to submit official transcripts, test scores or an application fee; however, guest (for credit) students must obtain approval from the relevant graduate program director/coordinator and the instructor. Tuition and fees are based on the number of credits for which they register and students are INELIGIBLE to receive financial aid. The maximum limit on credit taken as a graduate guest (for credit) student before they need to apply for regular admission is 12 credits.
Western Regional Graduate Program
CSU-Pueblo participates in the Western Regional Graduate Program, allowing graduate students from select states to receive a discounted tuition rate equal to the in-state rate. Qualifying students must be residents of a WICHE state for tuition purposes. No additional application is required.
Graduate Work Taken by Seniors
CSU-Pueblo students who are in their senior year of undergraduate work may take graduate courses for graduate credit (see information for specific programs) with the approval of the appropriate program director/coordinator.
Graduate level courses (500 level) cannot be used simultaneously to satisfy baccalaureate and graduate degree requirements with the exception of approved joint-degree (3+2) programs.
Each graduate program at the University has specific graduation requirements, which must be met prior to graduation. In addition, students must fulfill the following requirements for a graduate degree:
- Have a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.000 or better at graduation. A maximum of six semester hours of course work at the grade of C+ or C may apply toward graduation. A maximum number of nine semester hours of approved transfer credit may be applied to the degree.
- Have regular student status.
- Complete the program’s minimum number of hours of approved course work.
- Pass a final comprehensive and/or oral examination in the major area of study, if required by the program.
- Submit a graduation planning sheet signed by the student’s graduate adviser during the semester term in which graduation is to occur. The deadline for submission is published.
- Complete a thesis or directed research project if required by the program. If choosing the thesis option, submit an electronic copy and one unbound paper copy of the approved thesis to the Library. Reproduction and binding costs are the responsibility of the student. (Individual programs may require additional bound copies.)
Note: Enrollment for thesis or directed research credit is required for any academic term during which University resources (e.g., faculty time, computer use, library, etc.) are being used. However, a maximum of six (6) semester hours of thesis or directed research course work will count toward meeting graduation requirements for MS/MA degrees.
Acceptance of Transfer Credits
A maximum of nine semester hours of resident graduate credit from other regionally accredited graduate institutions may be applied to a graduate degree program. Transfer credit from non-United States institutions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Transfer credits must be directly applicable to the degree program and must be approved by the program director/coordinator and sent to the Transfer Credit Evaluator. Graduate credits accepted in transfer must be from a course in which a grade of B- or better was earned. Credits accepted in transfer do not apply to the GPA at CSU-Pueblo. Credits already used for minimum degree requirements at another institution cannot be used toward fulfilling a CSU-Pueblo degree. Individual programs may set additional criteria for acceptance of transfer credit.
Credit for Prior Learning
Prior learning is non-college or experienced-based learning that has been attained outside of accredited postsecondary education systems. Credit for Prior Learning includes learning acquired from work and life experiences. It is awarded for graduate-level learning involving knowledge, skills, and competencies that students have obtained. The Graduate Program Director/Coordinator will describe the requirements and the process for obtaining prior learning credits. Individual graduate program may or may not authorize credits for prior learning.
Credit for such experiences may be given if the following conditions are met:
- The experience must be directly similar to the content of internships, field courses and/or laboratory courses in the regular curriculum;
- The student must describe in writing the nature of the experience and what he or she learned through it;
- Evidence documenting the prior learning experience is to be provided by the student. Documentation must include a detailed account of the nature, frequency and duration of the duties; and
- A paper integrating the experiences with subsequent or concurrent classroom instruction must be submitted and approved.
The maximum number of graduate credit hours allowed for prior learning is six. Credit for prior learning is granted only for experiences gained within 12-years from the date the degree is expected to be awarded. Credit for prior learning experiences is subject to the approval of the program director/coordinator and the dean of the college/school in which credit is requested.
All students admitted to a graduate program at Colorado State University-Pueblo are required to be continuously registered in the fall and spring semester throughout their degree programs. This policy applies from the time of first enrollment through the graduation term. Students may fulfill this requirement by registering for any graduate credit-bearing course (regular or non-regular). As an alternative, students may opt for a Continuous Registration (CR) status. Registration for CR status is accomplished in the same way as registration for courses. Students registering for CR will be assessed a fee for each semester of CR registration. Students graduating in summer term are required to be registered for at least one credit or CR. See the Graduate Enrollment Requirement.
Subject to the established time limits for the earning of graduate degrees and the various academic requirements, CR registrants need not apply for readmission should they wish to take additional graduate courses. Such students are ensured a place in their graduate programs as long as they remain in good academic standing. However, students who do not register will need to apply for readmission for their next semester of enrollment.
The availability of the CR option shall not supersede any other registration requirements to which students may be subject. For example, a student’s advisory committee may require additional course work. Similarly, some departments may require credit-bearing registration until the degree is completed.
Graduate Enrollment Requirement
Graduate degree candidates must either enroll for at least one credit or register for CR during the term (fall, spring, or summer) they will complete their degree.
Each graduate degree area has a program director/coordinator that serves as the initial graduate adviser to all graduate students in the program. The responsibilities of the graduate adviser and the graduate committee include advisement, approval of the degree plan, approval of a thesis or directed research topic and final document (if appropriate), and administration and approval of comprehensive and/or oral examinations and thesis/project defense.
Graduate students enrolled in nine or more graduate credit hours are considered full-time students (five hours, summer); those enrolled for five graduate credit hours are considered half-time students (three hours, summer).
Courses completed six or more years before the date of graduation, either at CSU-Pueblo or at another institution, will not be accepted as satisfying graduation requirements without the written approval of the student’s graduate program director/coordinator.
Only graduate courses (500 level or above) will count toward a graduate degree. However, students admitted to graduate study may be required to complete some undergraduate prerequisite or leveling courses in addition to their graduate work.
Courses taken for undergraduate credit by a graduate student (courses 400 level or below) do not enter into the graduate grade-point computation. A graduate program director/coordinator may, however, stipulate a grade point to be achieved in such undergraduate courses.
Graduate programs may include courses which are dually numbered at the undergraduate (400) and graduate (500) level. Students registered for graduate credit are required to perform at the graduate level. Dual-listed courses taken for undergraduate credit will not apply toward a graduate program. Graduate students may not repeat for graduate credit a dual-listed course which was taken in the undergraduate program.
Dual Degree Credit
Up to six semester hours of elective credit may be applied to more than one graduate degree program if the degrees are pursued concurrently pending approval of the graduate committees of the programs involved and the Graduate Studies Board.
Graduate courses are graded in an alphabetical system with the following interpretation:
|C||Passing, but below expected performance||2.00|
|WN||Withdrawal for nonpayment|
Students may apply no more than six semester hours of work with a grade of C/C+ toward graduation requirements. Only grades of A through C, and S fulfill graduation requirements for graduate programs.
The cumulative graduate GPA will be determined from all approved coursework attempted at the 500 level or above. Coursework must be approved by the student’s graduate program coordinator or director. To remain in good academic standing, a student’s graduate GPA must remain at 3.000 or better. If the graduate GPA falls below 3.000, a graduate student will be placed on probation. Students have one semester to show progress toward good standing as measured by increasing the graduate GPA from the previous semester. Probationary students will be dismissed whenever progress toward good standing is not achieved; after a probationary student has accrued 15 credits; or whenever the graduate GPA falls below 2.500. Graduate students may repeat a maximum of six semester hours of graduate credit. When a course is repeated, both the subsequent grade and the original grade are included in the graduate grade point average.
In addition, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.000 or better in all courses attempted after achieving graduate status. If a student is in the degree plus program or admitted conditionally, all required leveling courses must be completed at a minimum GPA of 3.000. Graduate program directors/coordinators will notify the Director of Admissions if and when there is a change in academic standing for a graduate student based upon required leveling courses for a conditionally admitted student.
A student may appeal dismissal by submitting a written petition to his/her program director/coordinator. This petition must provide a justification for continued registration. The program director/coordinator will forward a recommendation through the appropriate college dean, and the Office of the Provost. The Provost or his/her designee will make a final decision on the appeal and inform the student of that decision. Decisions by the Provost are final.
Same Masters Degree (Same Program)
In certain instances, applicants may wish to seek a second master’s degree in the same program for which they already hold a master’s degree in order to fulfill new career, professional, or specialization requirements. These applicants may seek a second master’s degree for the same discipline if they:
- Meet the University admission requirements; and
- Meet the master’s program admission requirements (individual master’s programs may elect not to consider applicants who already hold a master’s degree in the same discipline; applicants should consult with the graduate program coordinator of the prospective master’s program).
The second master’s degree must be based on:
- A different option from the first master’s degree (or in a different area of specialization in the case of a master’s program without differentiated options); and
- A curriculum distinct from the first master’s degree containing a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework different from those taken to earn the first master’s degree, and
- At least seventy percent of the coursework must be completed in residence and include a culminating experience.
Graduate Fresh Start
Graduate students who discontinue one graduate program with a cumulative grade point average below 3.000 and are fully admitted to a different graduate program (not a different emphasis) are eligible to apply for a graduate fresh start. Students who take advantage of Graduate Fresh Start will not have grade point averages carried forward in the new graduate program. Courses previously completed with an earned grade of B or higher may count toward graduation only upon approval by the program director.
Graduate programs may require a final comprehensive and/or oral examination. Scheduling is made through the graduate adviser. Students who fail a final examination may retake the examination once. A re-examination cannot be scheduled in the same term as the original examination.
Some graduate programs offer non-thesis options to students. Details of the requirements are specified in the respective section of this catalog. Students also should consult with the appropriate program director/coordinator for the requirements.
Some graduate programs provide an option that includes a thesis and an oral defense of the thesis. Students must submit a research plan prior to the work. The plan must define the topic of study and outline the research design. The plan must have the written approval of all members of the student’s graduate committee and the program director/coordinator.
The graduate committee shall consist of at least three faculty members approved by the thesis adviser and the program director/coordinator. At least two members of the committee must be from within the department of the student’s graduate program. Changes in membership in the graduate committee may be requested in writing by the student to the program director/coordinator.
The research/thesis plan should be filed as soon as possible after the degree plan is filed and before 18 credit hours of the student’s degree plan have been completed.
Students writing a thesis in partial fulfillment of graduation requirements must submit an electronic copy and one unbound paper copy of the approved thesis to the University Library. (Students should contact the Office of the Dean of Library Services for further details.) The student will pay the Library for the binding cost (based upon the fee schedule maintained by the Library) of the required copy plus any additional copy bindings requested by the student. The bound thesis will be submitted to the library. Individual programs may require additional bound copies.
The Thesis Must:
- Contain a title page;
- Contain a certificate of acceptance;
- Conform to the style and form approved by the major department and outlined in the thesis plan;
- Be printed on high-quality paper with a minimum of 25 percent rag content; and
- Be bound.
The required University copy of the thesis must be of high-quality printing and must use a paper of the same quality as the original and include color pages wherever appropriate. Other copies of the thesis may be duplicated in any manner the student desires.
It is imperative that the utmost care be taken in the preparation of the final copy of the thesis. The completion of the thesis, including preparation and duplication, is the sole responsibility of the student.
The thesis abstract should consist of no more than five hundred (500) words. The thesis abstract should cover the following items:
- Purpose of study;
- Research materials and methods results; and
- Summary and conclusions.
For additional thesis or directed research requirements, consult your program adviser.
Oral Defense of Research
Upon completion of a master’s thesis, an oral defense/final comprehensive examination must be scheduled. Application for the oral defense is made to the graduate adviser.
A report of the outcome of the oral defense must be filed with the program director/coordinator. The report must be signed by all members of the student’s graduate committee. Students must pass the oral defense to complete their thesis or directed research requirement successfully.
All graduate policies, procedures, and regulations may be appealed. Appeals must be made in writing first to the appropriate graduate director/coordinator, the Graduate Studies Board, and finally to the Office of the Provost. The academic grade appeals process is the same as is described in the undergraduate section on appeals.
See Grade Change Policy/Academic Appeals listed in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.
- Athletic Training, Master of Science
- Biochemistry, Master of Science
- Biology, Master of Science
- Business Administration, Master of Business Administration
- Business Administration, Master of Business Administration: Cybersecurity Emphasis
- Business Administration, Master of Business Administration: Healthcare Administration Emphasis
- Chemistry, Master of Science
- Education, Master of Education: Art Education Emphasis
- Education, Master of Education: Curriculum & Instruction Emphasis
- Education, Master of Education: Early Childhood Education Emphasis
- Education, Master of Education: Early Learning Emphasis
- Education, Master of Education: English Emphasis
- Education, Master of Education: Health & Physical Education Emphasis
- Education, Master of Education: Instructional Technology Emphasis
- Education, Master of Education: Linguistically Diverse Emphasis
- Education, Master of Education: Music Education Emphasis
- Education, Master of Education: Space Studies for Educators Emphasis
- Education, Master of Education: Special Education Emphasis
- Education, Master of Education: World Language Emphasis
- Engineering, Master of Science
- English, Master of Arts
- Industrial and Systems Engineering, Master of Science
- Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Emphasis
- Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care/Family Nurse Practitioner Emphasis
- Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice: Population Health, Emphasis
- Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Emphasis
- Nursing, Master of Science: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Emphasis
- Nursing, Master of Science: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care/Family Nurse Practitioner Emphasis
- Nursing, Master of Science: Nurse Educator Emphasis
- Nursing, Master of Science: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Emphasis
- Social Work, Masters of Social Work