Jul 24, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Academic Information

General Academic Information

Academic Integrity: A Community of Faith

Academic Integrity: A Community of Faith Lipscomb University is a community of scholars and learners committed to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Our core values of Christ-likeness, truth, excellence and service integrate our Christian faith with the practice of academic pursuits. As citizens of this community, students, faculty and staff share the responsibility for promoting a climate of integrity.

As a distinctively Christian university, the desire is for each member of the community to grow in Christ’s image. The pursuit of truth is a constant goal of the Christian life and lays the foundation for lifelong integrity. In every facet of our work, we seek excellence in the pursuit of knowledge and the courage to make difficult choices even at personal cost. In our service in this community, our actions should reflect the second great command “to love your neighbor as yourself.” This command compels us to respect others, to treat others fairly and honestly and to assume personal responsibility.

The life of the Christian is built on the foundation of serving others and living in truth. A community built on these principles cannot accept cheating, lying, fraud, theft and other dishonest behaviors that jeopardize the rights and welfare of the community and diminish the worth of academic integrity of the community.

The “community of faith” sets out broad principles. From these broad principles follow policies and practices for members of the Lipscomb University community. The community of faith, judicial code and academic integrity policies can be found in myLipscomb in the Office of the Provost section.

Multiple Masters’ Degrees

Graduate students may request to concurrently pursue more than one master’s degree. Guidelines for requesting admission to multiple masters’ degrees (other than admission to specifically developed dual degree programs) can be obtained from the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. For guidelines regarding specifically developed dual degree graduate programs refer to the following section entitled Dual Degree Programs.

Dual Degree Programs

Admissions: All stated admissions policies and procedures outlined in the graduate catalog for each cooperating graduate program offering dual degree options will apply during the catalog year of admission and enrollment.

• Candidates must apply to each individual graduate program. One application can be forwarded to both programs when selecting the “dual degree” option on the application.

• Separate admission must be sought from a cooperating program if the student chooses a dual degree option AFTER being admitted to an individual degree program.

• Prospective dual degree candidates can apply for dual degree status from cooperating programs at any time prior to graduation from the former admitted graduate program.

• If a student has already received a diploma from a cooperating graduate dual degree program, the student is ineligible for the dual degree option.

Course work: Dual degree programs represent curriculum developed and agreed upon by both cooperating graduate programs, with approval by their respective academic supervisors, graduate academic leadership team, academic leadership team and the registrar, with appropriate SACSCOC notification.

• All dual degree program course work is clearly described and listed in the graduate catalog.

• The majority of course work within cooperating graduate dual degree programs should be completed as outlined and arranged by the cooperating programs. However, some cooperating dual degree program courses may be taken where they are normally offered within the context of a concentration or within the context of elective selection.

Academic Standards and Policies: All Lipscomb dual degree programs adhere to existing policies in all participating academic units that are consistent with the policies described herein.

• Upon completion of the minimum requirements for graduation from each cooperating dual degree program, two diplomas will be issued.


Registration for graduate courses is done in conjunction with the appropriate graduate studies office. Students will be able to register for classes at myLipscomb on the Web after receiving a registration PIN from their advisor or the registrar’s office. Registration will be permitted prior to the first class session. For information on adding or dropping courses, see General Financial Information .

Student Advising

The appropriate graduate studies offices provide advising to students throughout their programs of study. Students will pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in close consultation with an advisor.


Students not enrolled for two or more consecutive semesters (fall or spring) must reapply by submitting only the graduate studies application two weeks prior to the start of the semester in which they plan to enroll. Students not enrolled for two years or more must submit a complete admission file before the admissions deadline of the graduate program. Refer to the specific graduate program’s admission policies and procedure for official documentation required.

New Graduate Student Orientation

The Office of Graduate Studies will host a new graduate student orientation prior to the beginning of fall and spring semesters. The orientation is designed to give new students the opportunity to meet one-on-one with offices across campus and become familiar with the Lipscomb campus. Every new student is strongly encouraged to participate in this program before attending classes.


A student is permitted to audit a course as a nondegree seeking student provided (a) there is space in the classroom and (b) the number of auditors is not more than 20 percent of the credit students. The fee for auditing a course is 50 percent of regular tuition and no credit is earned. With permission of the professor, a student may change his or her registration from credit to audit or from audit to credit during the first four weeks of the semester or equivalent time in non-semester terms. After this time the options are to continue as registered or to withdraw from the course.

Non-Tuition Audit

A student who has successfully completed a graduate degree at Lipscomb University may audit a course in that same program at no cost (conditions a and b, above, apply). The student must complete the Audit Application found on the Graduate Studies website (www.lipscomb.edu/admissions/graduate). Questions regarding non-tuition audits should be directed to the registrar’s office

Course Load

See individual graduate programs for course load requirements.

Special Examinations (Challenge Procedure)

Although the university does not encourage the use of special examinations, there are situations (e.g., extraordinary experience) in which it seems advisable to allow a student to challenge a course by special examination. This may be either for credit or without credit. In no case should a student expect to challenge a lower-level course in a discipline for which he or she has previously earned advanced level credit. Further information concerning special examinations is available in the registrar’s office. A fee is charged for each special examination (see fee section in this catalog). A student may challenge a particular course only once and cannot challenge a course which he or she has failed or a course in which he or she has been officially enrolled (i.e., if it appears on his or her transcript). A maximum of 6 graduate hours may be substituted by special examination credit.

Thesis/Capstone Project Guidelines

Some graduate programs include a thesis or capstone project as part of the academic requirements. Students who write a thesis or participate in a capstone project should work closely with their advisor to make certain that they follow appropriate guidelines established by the graduate academic leadership team and their individual graduate program. Copies of thesis guidelines and forms are available on the Office of Graduate Studies website, lipscomb.edu/uploads/53774.pdf.  Students in the Ed.D. program should consult with the director of the Ed.D. program for capstone project guidelines.

Institutional Review Board

The role of the institutional review board is to review all proposed research involving human subjects to ensure that subjects are treated ethically and that their rights and welfare are adequately protected. The IRB is composed primarily of faculty members from disciplines in which research involving human subjects is integral to that discipline’s work, researchers whose primary interests are non-scientific, as well as members from the community. The IRB review process is administered through the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies. For information regarding IRB processes see www.lipscomb.edu/research/irb.

Grading System and Records

While it may be customary to refer to graduate student enrollment by the number of courses a student takes per term, the academic unit is the semester hour. The three-semester hour course is based upon three 50-minute hours of instruction each week over a period of 16 weeks. In most instances, graduate courses meet for 150 minutes per week. In the College of Education, however, graduate courses are generally 1-, 2-, 3- or 6- semester hour courses, except the 12-semester hour enhanced student teaching experience for students seeking initial teacher licensure.

Class Attendance

Regular class attendance is expected of each student. The classroom experience is considered an integral part of the institution’s educational program. Students who miss a significant amount of class time are subject to failure. Students who expect to miss class should consult with their teachers in advance and additional assignments may be required to compensate for the missed classes.


Requests for transcripts should be made through the registrar’s homepage via the Lipscomb website (www. lipscomb.edu). Such requests should be submitted at least a week before the transcript is needed. All final decisions on the issuance of transcripts will be made by the registrar. No transcripts will be issued until all financial obligations to the university have been satisfactorily paid or settled. There is a $5.00 fee per transcript.


All work in the university is graded by letters. Each letter is in turn assigned a quality-point value according to the list provided below. For example, a letter grade of “A” carries a quality-point value of four quality points per semester hour. If the student makes an “A” in a three-hour course, the total number of quality points earned for this course would be twelve quality points.

The overall grade-point average for each student is determined by dividing the number of quality points earned by the total number of hours attempted. Only classes taken at Lipscomb University is included in the computation.

In the case of courses repeated at Lipscomb, only the highest grade will be used in determining the grade point average. The hours attempted will be used only once. For duplicated work, that is, for any course taken both at Lipscomb and another school, the grade of the Lipscomb course will always be used in computing the student’s GPA.

Grades are awarded on an “A” (excellent), “B” (good), “C” (marginal) and “F” (failing) scale.

An “I” (incomplete) may be given under special circumstances, but will be computed as an “F” until the course is completed. A grade must be established within the first three weeks of the succeeding term in residence or the grade automatically becomes “F.” An extension may be petitioned by the student but such extensions must be: initiated by the student and approved by the instructor and the graduate program director, in that order. A student who does not return to Lipscomb University will automatically receive “F” on all incomplete grades after one year. A “W” is awarded if withdrawal occurs during the designated drop period. An “X” is noted on the transcript as the designation for an audit. Quality points are awarded as follows: “A” = 4; “B” = 3; “C” = 2; “F” = 0.

Grades of “S” (satisfactory) or “U” (unsatisfactory) are typically awarded for thesis work and are not to be included in computation of grade-point average.

An “IP” (in progress) may be given for students enrolled in thesis, internship and independent study classes where progress is being made but not completed by the end of term. In cases where the grade of “IP” is given, a grade must be established by the end of the next full semester after the “IP” grade has been given. A student who does not return to Lipscomb University will automatically receive an “F” on all incomplete and in-progress grades after one year. Any variation of these policies must be approved by the academic leadership team.

Grades are available to the student on the Web at the end of every term. Students who need written documentation of grades for employer reimbursement purposes should contact the registrar’s office for assistance. Once grades have been posted to the student’s record in the registrar’s office, they are considered permanent.

Definition of Credit Hour

A credit hour (one) is defined as student/teacher interaction of not less than one hour and a minimum of two hours out of class work for 15 weeks (1/2/15 formula).

Application: Since several courses and some programs are delivered in a variety of formats, including distance learning, the driving force for delivering a credit hour commences with identifying learning objectives that can be delivered in the 1/2/15 formula as noted in the definition. Using the definition and formula as noted above, granting more than one hour of credit for a course requires using the formula and increasing the student/teacher interaction, etc., via the learning objectives for the equivalent amount of credit hours desired for the course.

Academic Standing
   Good Academic Standing
     See individual graduate programs for policy.
   Academic Probation
      See individual graduate programs for policy.
   Conditional Admission
      See individual graduate programs for policy.
      See individual graduate programs for policy.

Admission to a program does not imply admission to candidacy for the master’s degree. During the course of pursuing the post-baccalaureate degree, the student must be admitted to “candidacy.” See individual graduate programs for candidacy policy.

Statute of Limitations

Each graduate program of study enforces a program-specific statute of limitations for completing degree requirements. In situations where a student has exceeded the time limit to complete a degree, the student should communicate with his or her graduate program director regarding an extension of the time limit. A form requesting an extension is available in the Graduate Studies Office. Part of the form is a written letter requesting an extension and providing justification for the request. The completed form with signatures should be sent to the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Decisions regarding the extension, the length of the extension, and conditions associated with the extension, are made by the program director/ administrators in consultation with the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Final Examinations

A schedule of final examinations is announced by the registrar.


Students must register for GN 999X the semester in which all course work will be completed for graduation. Students who do not file their intent to graduate form in the Registrar’s Office by the end of the first week of their last semester may be delayed in graduating.

Graduate students receiving degrees are hooded during the May and December commencement exercises.

Student Grievance/Complaint Process

A student wishing to submit a complaint about any university office or service is invited to follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook, available on the Lipscomb website. If the complaint or grievance is related to a specific course or instructor, the matter should be addressed first with the instructor. If that interaction is unsatisfactory, the student should take the complaint to the program director. Should the concern remain unresolved, the student may directly contact the office of the dean of the college in which the program is housed.

If the issue is still unresolved, the appeal can be continued by fling a formal written appeal with the Director of Student Advocacy. The form is located on the Lipscomb website, www.lipscomb.edu/uploads/49405.pdf.

Following the procedure above, any appeal of a course grade must be filed in the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies within 60 days following posting of the grade to the student’s record. A grade is deemed posted when the grades are rolled to history at the end of each semester. In no case may a student appeal a grade that has been recorded on the transcript for as long as twelve months.

As to academic freedom, students are encouraged to examine all pertinent data, question assumptions and, guided by the evidence of research, freely study the substance of each academic discipline. Any student who perceives that this right has been violated may file a formal grievance through the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

In addition, if the university does not appropriately resolve the student complaint, the student has the right to contact the State of Tennessee to determine the course of action. Complaints can be filed as follows in Tennessee:

  • Complaints related to the application of state laws, rules or regulations related to approval to operate or licensure of a particular professional program within a post-secondary institution shall be referred to the appropriate state licensing board or agency (e.g., State Boards of Health, State Board of Education) and will be reviewed and handled by such board or agency;
  • Complaints related to state consumer protection laws (e.g., laws related to fraud or false advertising) shall be referred to the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs and will be reviewed and handled by that agency.

Allegations regarding noncompliance with accreditation standards, policies, and procedures may be made to SACSCOC, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097.  SACSCOC’s complaint policy, procedure and complaint form may be found on its website (www.sacscoc.org).

International Students

Individuals are considered international students if they:

  1. Are not a United States citizen; or
  2. Do not have permanent resident status.

Applicants with permanent resident status do not have to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language exam, but will need to use a transcript evaluation service if any undergraduate work was taken outside the United States.

  1. Financial aid opportunities are extremely limited.
  2. For Lipscomb to provide a student visa, international student applicants must supply proof of financial status (enough savings to pay for at least one year’s tuition and living costs). Lipscomb requires that the first semester’s tuition and fees be paid in advance. Lipscomb also requires proof of health insurance coverage.
  3. International students are required to be proficient in written and oral English before enrolling. International students whose native language is not English must present the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language OR the International English Language Testing System exam with the application. Preferred TOEFL scores are in the 75th percentile rank (approximately 570 on the paper-based test, 230 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the IBT). An IELTS exam with an overall band score of 6.5 is the minimal accepted for admittance.
  4. International students must make application at least six months prior to the desired date of entrance with a non-refundable international student application fee of $50.
  5. All applicants whose academic records are from colleges, universities and institutes located outside the United States must order a course-by-course report from an approved evaluation service. Application for admission will not be considered without having this detailed review on file. All applicants are required to order a course-by-course report.

The services that Lipscomb University uses are:

Lisano International
Foreign International Credential Evaluation
P.O. Box 407
Auburn, AL 36831-0407 U.S.A.
Fax: 334.745.0425
website: www.lisano-INTL.com
World Education Services (WES)
P.O. Box 01-5060
Miami, FL 3310104
tel: 305.358.6688
website: www.wes.org

Official copies of satisfactory standardized test scores on TOEFL and the GMAT, GRE (or acceptable alternative), must be submitted six months in advance.

NOTE: Graduate credit will not be granted to students who do not comply with the above requirements. Admission to graduate study does not imply admission to candidacy for the degree.

For more information, contact the director of transfer and international admissions at 615.966.1776, email admissions@lipscomb.edu, or visit www.lipscomb.edu/admissions/international-students.