Academic Policies and Procedures
school of theology and ministry
Academic forms required by these policies and procedures can be found online or in person in the Admissions Office in 9 Lake Street, Room 224.
Academic Integrity at Boston College
STM Academic Integrity Procedures
STM Academic Integrity Tutorial
Boston College Communication Policies and Student Responsibilities
Absences for Religious Reasons
Comprehensive and Synthesis Exams
Doctoral Candidacy and Continuation
Doctoral Dissertation Submission
Foreign Language Requirement
Leave of Absence and Readmission
Professional Ethics in Ministry Workshop
Re-admission after a Lapse in Enrollment
S.T.L. Thesis Submission Procedures
Summer Course Registration
Supervised Ministry: Criteria for Enrollment
Syllabi: Incorporated Texts
Taping of Lectures and Presentations
Time to Degree Completion and Extensions
Transcripts and Transcript/Diploma Holds
Transfer of Credit
Withdrawal from a Course
Withdrawal from Boston College
Academic integrity is taken quite seriously at Boston College and by the dean and faculty of the School of Theology and Ministry in particular. STM abides by the University policy on academic integrity to be found in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#integrity. The roles and responsibilities of students, faculty, and deans with regard to promoting academic integrity can be found at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#integrity. STM students are strongly encouraged to become familiar with these policies and procedures, as they are held responsible for this knowledge. Students with questions regarding what constitutes a violation of Boston College’s Academic Integrity Policy, especially with regard to specific courses and assignments, are invited and encouraged to ask these questions of their professors and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
In the School of Theology and Ministry (STM), an Academic Integrity Committee (AIC) with both faculty and student members is to be constituted annually by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and chaired by one of the faculty members serving on the AIC.
When a faculty member determines that a student’s work violates the standards of academic integrity, that faculty member should discuss the violation with the student and is encouraged (but not required) to notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in writing of the incident. If the faculty member decides to impose a grading penalty, a letter of notification describing the incident and the grading penalty must be sent to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
On receipt of such a notification the Associate Dean will notify the student of the allegation and the grading penalty (if any) imposed by the faculty member. The student will be given an opportunity to respond to the faculty member’s notification in writing. While a case is pending, the student may not withdraw from or change status in the course.
Each reported violation of the standards of academic integrity will be reviewed by the STM AIC. The Associate Dean will serve as a non-voting administrative resource, and will maintain the Committee's record of notifications and relevant materials. In cases involving students from more than one school, or students in joint or dual degree programs, the Committees on Academic Integrity of the pertinent schools will cooperate in their review.
The Associate Dean will notify the faculty member bringing the accusation and the student that the case is under review by the AIC. The AIC at its discretion may interview any individual with knowledge pertinent to the case.
The AIC will decide a case by simple majority vote, and the Associate Dean will convey to the faculty member and the student the committee’s findings as to responsibility and recommended sanctions. The Associate Dean will compile a complete file of each case, to be kept confidential in the Dean's office. Files on students found not responsible will be destroyed.
Penalties for students found responsible for violations will depend upon the seriousness and circumstances of the violation, the degree of premeditation involved, and the student’s previous record of violations. The committee may simply affirm the faculty member’s penalty and issue the student a warning, which will be kept in a confidential file in the Dean’s Office until the student graduates and will not be reportable to professional schools or outside agencies; or it may recommend a different grading penalty and/or impose additional administrative penalties. Such penalties may include university probation, suspension, or expulsion, all of which become part of a student’s academic record and are reportable to graduate/professional schools and outside agencies.
Appeal of the committee’s decision may be made by written request to the Dean of the school not later than ten days following notice of the committee’s decision, and the Dean's decision will be final.
This online tutorial, developed by STM faculty, students, and administrators (with lots of help from offices across the University!), is meant to help students understand better the importance of and policy regarding academic integrity at Boston College and to introduce them to the academic culture at the STM. As well, the tutorial serves as an introduction to good research practices and resources in theology and ministry at the graduate level. The tutorial is required of all new STM degree and certificate students in their first semester or summer of study. Students who do not complete the tutorial by the deadline set each semester by the associate dean for academic affairs will not be able to register for courses for the following term until they complete the tutorial. Information regarding the administration of the tutorial will be given at new student orientation and through email from the associate dean for academic affairs.
The STM follows the policies set forth in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#commpol.
The STM follows the policy set forth in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#religious.
Students are free to form mentoring relationships with all STM faculty, including but not limited to their assigned advisors, and encouraged to form these relationships particularly with those faculty working in the student’s area of academic or ministerial interest. STM faculty welcome the opportunity to mentor students.
All students are assigned a faculty advisor for the purpose of course selection upon entry into an STM degree program. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their advisors once per semester to choose courses for the following semester. Consulting the advisor ensures that when it comes time for graduation the student will have fulfilled the requirements of his or her program. Conversely, students who do not consult advisors risk not having fulfilled their requirements and then needing to take extra courses in order to do so before they graduate.
Faculty advisors are assigned based on the student’s degree program and an equitable distribution of advising among the faculty. Because advising is so important to the student’s academic success, students should feel comfortable with their faculty advisors. Students who wish to change their advisor may do so by contacting the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, requesting and giving the reason for the change, and identifying the faculty person whom the student wishes to have as his or her advisor moving forward. The Associate Dean will handle the matter in a way that is respectful to all parties.
The Academic Grievance Policy of the School of Theology and Ministry provides a procedure for the constructive and timely resolution of serious academic grievances of students against faculty members. An academic grievance is defined as a complaint by a currently enrolled graduate student against a member of the faculty related to a serious academic matter that has had an adverse effect on the student’s learning or ability to perform to the best of his/her ability.
Ordinarily, questions related to a course grade are not considered cause for setting in motion an academic grievance, unless the disputed grade is judged to be evidence of a broader issue or concern related to instruction, communication, access, availability, accountability and/or fairness on the part of the professor. If a student's only issue is the grade itself, the matter should be addressed directly with the professor either in person or in writing. It is the professor's prerogative to alter or uphold the grade. In this case, the decision of the professor is final. If a student wishes to dispute a grade based on one of the alleged broader issues named above, a student may use the Academic Grievance Process to do this. The decision-makers in the Academic Grievance Process will consider only how the broader issues affected the student’s grade; they will not abrogate the professor’s prerogative to evaluate the academic quality of the student’s work.
Resolution of grievances should involve all parties working cooperatively and respectfully to obtain resolutions acceptable toa ll parties involved. The grievance process first strives for mediated outcomes and only moves to directed outcomes whens uch efforts at mediation fail. All parties should seek resolutions at the lowest possible administrative level. The grievance should be initiated no later than the end of the sixth week of the semester immediately following the one in which the action giving rise to hte complaint occurred - for example, a grievance arising from spring semester must be initiated before the end of the fall semester.
Any student who believes he or she has a grievance should communicate with the faculty member(s) immediately involved as soon as possible after the action being grieved, but by no later than the close of the fall or spring semester immediately following the term in which the action giving rise to the complaint occurred. If communication results in a mutually acceptable solution, the matter shall be considered closed. If either party wishes to have a written statement of the outcome, the parties shall put the solution in writing, sign it, and each retain a copy.
If, however, a resolution acceptable to all parties is not achieved, the student may present the matter in writing in a timely manner - ordinarily, "a timely manner" suggests no more than ten business days; in this case, that means ten business days from the date of the unsuccessful effort to chieve a negotiated resolution - to the chairperson of the department in which the faculty member(s) resides administratively. The written statement must clearly specify: (a) the nature of the complaint and (b) the remedy requested. The chairperson should proceed in the following manner. If the chairperson is a party to the grievance, the Associate Dean for Academic Affiars shall act in his/her stead:
A) After consultation with both the student and the faculty member(s) affected, the chairperson should proceed in a timely manner either to mediate the matter personally or assign it for mediation to one or more members of the department.
B) The chairperson or designated faculty mediator(s) shall then meet formally with the faculty member(s) involved and obtain a written answer to the grievance with a full explanation of the faculty member(s)’ position. After a full investigation, the chairperson or assigned mediator(s) should meet again with the faculty member(s) and student involved, either separately, or jointly, or both, in order to work out a settlement of the problem. If the chairperson or assigned mediator(s) succeeds in resolving the grievance, he/she shall put the agreement in writing, obtain the signatures of all parties to the document, and provide copies of the agreement to all parties involved in the process.
Should the chairperson or assigned mediator not obtain a resolution, the chairperson, after conducting such further proceedings as he/she may determine to be necessary or desirable in his/her sole discretion, shall prepare a written decision and provide a copy of it to the student and the faculty member(s) involved.
A student grievant may appeal a decision of the department chairperson to the Dean. The appeal must be made in writing within ten business days of the decision of the department chairperson and must specify clearly: (a) the nature of the grievance; (b) the remedy sought; and (c) the reason or reasons why the proposed resolution emanating from step (III) above is not acceptable. Upon receiving the written appeal, the Dean or the Dean’s designees must meet with the chairperson, faculty member(s) and student involved, separately or jointly, to seek a timely solution to the issues. If such procedures produce a resolution acceptable to all parties involved, it shall be put in writing and copies given to all of the parties.
If no resolution acceptable to all parties is achieved, the Dean or the Dean’s designees shall expeditiously gather all written statements and evidence accumulated up to that point and conduct such review or such further proceedings, including hearings, as the Dean or the Dean’s designees may determine in their sole discretion to be reasonably necessary to reaching an ultimate disposition of the issue(s). In the event of a hearing, the faculty member(s) and student shall each be entitled to bring, for consultative purposes only, an advisor from the School of Theology and Ministry or the wider Boston College community. If the above process achieves a resolution acceptable to all parties, the Dean or the Dean’s designee(s) must put the agreement in writing, obtain the signatures of all parties to the document, and provide copies of the agreement to all of the parties.
If the Dean or the Dean’s designee(s) does not achieve a resolution acceptable to all parties, the Dean shall in ten working days convey his/her decision and report (or the report of his/her designee(s) as applicable) to the chairperson and the parties involved. The Dean’s decision shall be final.
In order to successfully complete and achieve the objectives of an STM course, students must attend the course meetings in order to engage the professor and fellow students in the teaching and learning dynamic. Students are responsible for being familiar with and following the attendance policy in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#attendance. In addition, the STM has its own attendance policy, enforced by course instructors at their discretion. Students must withdraw from a course in which they have been absent at least 30% of class meeting time. If a student with more than a 30% or greater absence rate does not withdraw from the course, the student will be given a failing grade for the course.
Students enrolled in STM degree and certificate programs may audit courses and will be charged half the per-credit tuition rate. Students will not receive financial aid/tuition remission for audited courses and audited courses will not count toward degree programs (but may be counted toward certificate programs).
Students not enrolled in STM degree or certificate programs can apply through the Admissions Office to audit STM courses for half of the credit rate per course.
The STM has a reduced audit rate for Ministers-in-the-Vicinity. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information. The rate is limited.
Students cannot register to audit courses through their Agora accounts. Students should contact the STM Service Center or the Assistant Director for Financial Aid and Academic Services in order to register to audit a course.
For summer courses, students wishing to switch from credit to audit status must do so within one week of the start of the course.
Doctoral Students: S.T.D.
Consult the S.T.D. Handbook for more information about policies and procedures for comprehensive examinations. During the semesters in which a student is not registered for coursework but is preparing for and taking comprehensives, a student must be registered in TM858 S.T.D. Specialized Research. In accordance with the University policy on grading comprehensive exams are graded Pass with Distinction, Pass, and Fail.
Doctoral Students: Ph.D.
Consult the Ph.D. Prospectus for more information about policies and procedures for comprehensive examinations. During the semesters in which a student is not registered for coursework but is preparing for and taking comprehensives, a student must be registered in TM999 Doctoral Continuation. In accordance with the University policy on grading comprehensive exams are graded Pass with Distinction, Pass, and Fail.
M.Div. Students: Synthesis Exams
Students entering fall 2012 have a choice btween the established M.Div curriculum or the curriculum that was revised and approved in spring 2012. For students choosing the revised curriculum, synthesis exams are taken in the third (or for part-time students, the last) year of the M.Div. program. Consult the M.Div Handbook for more information about policies and procedurs for the synthesis exams.
M.A. and M.Ed. Students: Thesis Projects
For M.A. and M.Ed. students, the Thesis Project serves as the comprehensive exam. Students wishing more information about the Thesis Project should obtain a Thesis Information Packet from the STM Service Center. In accordance with the University policy on grading comprehensive exams, Thesis Projects are graded Pass with Distinction, Pass, and Fail.
M.Div. students may not enroll for more than fifteen (15) credits in any one semester; the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will monitor compliance with this policy.
For summer course loads, please see the policy on Summer Courses.
STM course numbers reveal two things about the course: the subject area and the level. The following is a key to STM Course Numbering:
TMCE: Christian Ethics
TMHC: History of Christianity
TMNT: New Testament
TMOT: Old Testament
TMPS: Pastoral Studies/Practical Theology
TMRE: Religious Education
TMST: Systematic/Historical Theology
STM courses are primarily classified into three levels. These levels are not meant to restrict enrollment, but rather to guide students and advisors in choosing courses. Students wishing to take a course, but having questions about whether the course will be taught at an appropriate level for their needs should contact the instructor of the course directly.
Level 1: Course numbers 7000-7999: No prerequisites required
Level 2: Course numbers 8000-8099: Prerequisites required
Level 3: Course numbers 8100 and above: Doctoral seminar
In consultation with their faculty advisors, STM students may cross-register into courses at other universities and schools of theology through the following consortia: the Boston Theological Institute, the Consortium, and the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies. More information is available in the Univesrity Policies and Procedures Graduate Catalog: http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/offices/stserv/academic/univcat/grad_catalog/grad_policies_procedures.html#crossregistration. Students can obtain a BTI cross-registration form at the STM Service Center. Note that 50% of coursework required for a Boston College degree must be taken at Boston College and that 50% of coursework for an ecclesiastical degree (S.T.B., S.T.L., S.T.D.) must be taken with the Ecclesiastical Faculty of the STM.
Directed research may be pursued on a specialized topic not currently covered in the curriculum, depending on the availability of faculty to work with a student. Ordinarily only one such project may be undertaken in the course of a master’s program. Subject matter and requirements must be worked out with the professor. The agreement must be put in writing on a Readings and Research form, obtainable through the STM Service Center, signed by both the student and faculty member, and approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
The STM follows the policy set forth in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#doccand.
In order to graduate, your graduation date must match your graduation date listed in Agora. If not, you must contact STM’s Assistant Director for Financial Aid and Academic Services to have this corrected. Follow the instructions below to ensure you have completed all requirements.
Submitting your Ph.D. Dissertation
Ph.D. Students should consult the website of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences www.bc.edu/gsas for further instructions on dissertation submission.
Submitting your S.T.D. Dissertation
Please review the S.T.D. Handbook for instructions on formatting your dissertation. Submit your dissertation electronically via eTD@BC. See instructions at http://www.bc.edu/libraries/help/howdoi/etd.html.
The STM follows the policies set forth in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#enrollstatus.
The STM follows the policies set forth in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#finalexam.
Students should consult individual degree program handbooks/prospectuses for program-specific requirements.
A student in one or more of the following situations is considered under academic review:
1. the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 3.0;
2. the student receives a grade of “incomplete” for one-half or more of the courses taken in a single semester;
3. the student has any incompletes that are not resolved by the end of the semester following the one in which the incomplete was obtained; and/or
4. the student has two or more grades that are below what is considered “Passing” for his or her degree program.
If a student is under academic review, the student will be notified in writing by the associate dean for academic affairs. The student will have until the end of semester in which she or he receives this notice in writing to bring his/her GPA up to 3.0, to complete all incompletes, and/or to develop a plan to make up the work not passed. If a student does not do these things, the student loses good academic standing. The associate dean will engage the student’s faculty course selection advisor, the relevant department chair, and the associate dean for student affairs in a discussion as to whether and under what conditions the student may continue in his or her degree or certificate program. The associate dean for academic affairs will also notify the associate dean for enrollment management of the names of all students who have lost good academic standing. As a result of these conversations, the student may be prevented from enrolling in further coursework, lose his or her financial aid, be dismissed from the University, or be given further conditions to meet in order to remain enrolled in the STM. The associate dean for academic affairs will communicate this information to the student in writing as soon as possible after the meeting.
The STM follows the grading policies and grading scale set forth in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/offices/stserv/academic/univcat/grad_catalog/grad_policies_procedures.html#grading. In addition, the STM faculty has adopted the following grading guidelines:
“B” work is clearly satisfactory at the graduate level. This work demonstrates consistent engagement with, and a basic mastery of, the course material (shows good, articulate command of the content in an organized, clear, cogent and correct manner). Yet, work does not necessarily demonstrate the ability to interrelate and synthesize the various ideas covered in the course.
“A” work demonstrates superior or exceptional achievement for the graduate level. “A” level work will demonstrate one or more of the following characteristics (1) the ability to synthesize and interrelate course material with other bodies of knowledge or with personal experience; (2) the ability to develop the course material in an original or creative fashion by identifying and developing further implications of the course material; by articulating the underlying assumptions of the course material, the set of values that the underlying assumptions embody, and the relation between this set of values and those espoused by a faith community or those you yourself hold; (3) the ability to take insights from the course material and apply them to other fields of study. Needless to say, this is more than simple mastery of course material. It represents a very active and sophisticated engagement with everyaspect of the course, demonstrated through incisive analysis or creative treatment of the ideas covered in the course, and through a developed capacity to synthesize ideas across several course topics.
“C” work is minimally acceptable at the graduate level. This is basic mastery of most but not all of the course material. It represents that work is inconsistent, that work has slipped below an acceptable level in one or perhaps two areas.
“F” work is unsatisfactory and fails to meet the requirements of the course.
The STM follows the policies set forth in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#gradechange.
For graduation policies and procedures, please see the online University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#graduation.
A student may, with adequate reason and at the discretion of the instructor, take an incomplete in a course. A formal request form must be obtained at the STM Service Center and signed by the professor and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. For approval to be granted, a date for completion must be agreed upon between the student and the professor. Except in extraordinary cases, all such "I" grades will automatically be changed to "F" according to the following University-dictated schedule:
Spring: August 1
Fall: March 1
Summer: October 1
See the STM Good Standing policy for the number of incompletes a student may take in a given semester or summer and remain in good academic standing.
The STM follows the policies set forth in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#leavegrad.
Students are not eligible for STM financial aid or funding while on leave. When they return to the STM, students continue to receive the tuition remission that they were granted upon entrance into their degree program.
Students wishing to take courses at theological institutions outside of Boston College and the BTI while on leave of absence from Boston College are strongly advised to discuss this plan with their faculty advisor, the relevant department chair and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to make sure that the courses they are planning to take will transfer into and be counted toward their STM degree program. Please see the TRANSFER OF CREDIT policy for more information.
In some cases, the Associate Dean may require that the student work out a plan of study for the following semester or for the completion of the degree as a condition of re-admission after a leave of absence.
All M.A. and M.Ed. students are required to complete a non-credit thesis in or prior to the last semester of their programs. Students seeking more information about the thesis should obtain a Thesis Packet from the STM Service Center.
M.T.S. students have the option of using one of their electives to do a 3-credit thesis. Students seeking more information about the thesis should consult the M.T.S. Handbook and/or consult the M.T.S. Program Director. Students should be registered for TM880 M.T.S. Thesis.
M.A., M.Ed., and C.A.E.S. students may take up to six credits of online courses toward their degree requirements. Hybrid courses are not included in these six credits. Other STM degree students should consult their course selection advisors as to whether online courses would be acceptable toward their degrees.
Select courses are designated Pass/Fail. All requests for Pass/Fail credit, beyond taking courses designated Pass/Fail, must be approved by the student's academic advisor and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs during the registration period. Students should obtain a Pass/Fail form from the STM Service Center.
M.A., M.Ed., and C.A.E.S. students may take 2 courses P/F beyond those designated as such.
M.Div. students may take no more than 18 credits on a P/F basis.
M.T.S. students may take no more than 12 credits on a P/F basis.
Th.M., S.T.L., and S.T.D. students may not elect to take any courses P/F, with the exception of the Spiritual Direction Practicum.
Ph.D. students should consult the GSAS Dean’s Office.
For students with little or no background in writing research papers in the humanities, students for whom English is a second language, and others, the Admissions Committee may decide to recommend or require TM 731 Writing and Research for Theology and Ministry as a condition of admission into a master’s or certificate program. This is a one-credit seminar that will utilize the writing a student is doing in other courses to explore various types of theological writing such as reflection papers, research papers and more.
TM 731 is not a remedial course and is highly recommended for most students. It can be used for elective credit toward the degree by M.A. and M.Ed. students who have not been required to take it. If the student is required to take this course, however, it must be taken in addition to the credit hours required for the degree.
Four courses (12 credits) in philosophy are prerequisites for the MDiv degree. These courses can be taken on an undergraduate or graduate level, and they can be taken Pass/Fail. For students who do not have at least 12 credits of philosophy at the time of application to the MDiv program, these courses may be taken during the first year of the MDiv. All courses must be taken for credit and the courses themselves approved by the MDiv program director. As prerequisites for the degree, they do not count in the 81 credits required for the MDiv.
STM’s Professional Ethics in Ministry Workshop, required for all STM students, is intended for academic-year students as they begin their programs at STM. The workshop considers ministerial ethics in theological, pastoral, and legal perspectives and invites students into an ongoing, school-wide conversation and reflection on the nature of ministerial roles and the power dynamics and ethics that attend them. Students in ministerial degree programs (except for summers-only degrees) with a field education requirement (Contextual Education or Supervised Ministry) must fulfill this requirement before they begin their placements. All other students must complete the requirement before they graduate. Information about when the Professional Ethics in Ministry Workshop is offered is distributed with admission materials. Students who have not fulfilled the requirement in their first year of study will be notified of the next available date to fulfill the requirement by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
All students are required to keep their University status current. If a student does not do so, s/he must seek approval from the STM to be re-admitted to the degree program.
Each degree has a term limit—a number of years from the date of matriculation into the degree program by which a student must finish the degree. These term limits are the following:
M.A. and M.Ed.: 5 years
M.T.S.: 4 years
M.Div.: 6 years
Th.M.: 2 year
C.A.E.S.: 5 years
S.T.L.: 4 years
If a student seeks readmission before the term limit expires, s/he must write the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to request re-admittance before the start of the semester in which the student wishes to return. If granted, all courses taken towards the degree thus far will count toward the degree.
If a student seeks readmission after the term limit has expired, the student must reapply through the Office of Admissions. To begin this process, the student should email the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management. If the student is readmitted to the program, a decision will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as to (1) which and how many courses already taken will count toward the degree; and (2) any changes in requirements for graduation with the degree. The decision to re-admit a student will be based on a consideration of the best interests of both the student and the University.
Do not submit your dissertation online through the same process by which S.T.D. dissertations are submitted. Before your defense, please obtain from the STM Service Center an S.T.L. Thesis Defense form. This form comes with instructions on S.T.L. thesis submission.
Summer students whose requirement is a total of 35 credit hours for the degree may take no more than two three-credit courses during the academic year. Exceptions must be approved the student’s faculty advisor.
All STM Summer Institute two-week courses are designated for two credits. However, as an exception a M.A., M.Ed., C.A.E.S., or Ph.D. student may request that such a two-credit course be taken for three credits. This may be done only with the professor’s permission, and under the following conditions:
1) The student does an additional reading of approximately 300-500 pages of scholarly work that is germane to the theme of the course and not required reading for other courses. The text(s) chosen must have the explicit and prior approval of the professor.
2) The student submits to the professor a written paper on the additional required reading of at least ten pages (double spaced).
3) M.A., M.Ed., C.A.E.S., and Ph.D. students must have at least a B+ (3.5) grade point average in the program.
4) M.A., M.Ed., and C.A.E.S. degree students may obtain three credits in a two-week course only twice throughout their degree program and no more than once per summer. Exceptions to this policy should be discussed with a student's faculty advisor and be approved by the department chair.
Summers-only M.A., M.Ed., and C.A.E.S. students may take a maximum of eight credits in any given summer. Beginning summer 2014, the on-line course can be taken as an additional two credits (for a total of ten) since the on-line offering will begin in mid May and complete before the on-campus summer courses begin in late June.
The faculty strongly urge that all Summer Institute students obtain the reading lists for their chosen courses well ahead of time, and to have much of the required reading done before classes begin.
M.A., M.Ed., C.A.E.S., and Ph.D. students wishing to take a two-credit summer course for three credits must request to do so at the time of registration by indicating their desire to do so on the Summer Registration Form or by emailing Donna DeRosa at email@example.com. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs decides on approval for all such requests. Students should assume that the request has been approved unless contacted by the Associate Dean.
For M.Div. and M.T.S. students, courses offered in semester-length mode must be taken in that mode. Summer courses cannot be used to satisfy subject area requirements for these degree programs, but where appropriate, courses taken in the summer can be applied as electives. The student should consult the relevant program director to determine such suitability before enrolling in summer course(s). Two-credit courses taken in the summer must be counted as such; no provision will be made to convert these courses to three credits. A maximum of six (6) credits from summer courses can be applied towards an M.Div. or M.T.S. degree.
For Th.M., S.T.L., or S.T.D. students, permission of the program director is required before enrolling in summer courses. Two-credit courses cannot be applied toward these degrees.For students in all STM degree programs, summer courses in languages are acceptable if they conform to the requirements of the degree program to which they are to be applied; the student should contact the relevant program director to determine such suitability before enrolling in the summer language course.
Students taking summer courses must be registered for the course for credit or audit. When students register for a course, they will be given a name tag; students without name tags will be asked to return to the Service Center to register. Persons with questions about this policy should contact the associate dean for academic affairs.
Upon beginning their ministerial studies at the STM, students are responsible for knowing and following the guidelines for their respective degree programs regarding supervised ministry requirements. Cultivating a positive working relationship with the appropriate faculty director of supervised ministry is essential to the dynamic and inter-related processes of conscientious self-assessment, enrollment in the supervised ministry course, the appropriate selection of sites and supervisors, the development and implementation of learning goals and objectives, and rigorous, constructive and formative evaluations.
Mindful of the fact that students admitted to ministerial degree programs at the STM are expected to manifest the faith and religious commitment, the personal responsibility, the emotional maturity, the capacity for collaboration and perspective-taking, and the resiliency, resourcefulness and integrity that a program of preparation for professional ministry presupposes, the faculty members and administrators of the STM take extremely seriously their collective institutional responsibility for guaranteeing that these expectations, among others, are met and verified before any student’s enrollment in a supervised ministry course is approved. Associated with such responsibility is ongoing accountability to those supervised ministry sites and supervisors with whom the STM works in partnership.
In the light of such responsibility, when a faculty co-director of supervised ministry and/or the associate dean for academic affairs is provided with substantive evidence indicative of a student’s lack of readiness or suitability for undertaking supervised ministry in general or a specialized supervised ministry in particular, it is the responsibility of the co-directors for supervised ministry and the associate dean for academic affairs to delay or deny enrollment In the supervised ministry course. In obtaining and evaluating such evidence, the faculty co-directors and the associate dean may consult with other Boston College personnel, who may reveal relevant information as permitted by law. In addition, the appropriate faculty co-director and/or the associate dean are responsible for providing the student with adequate feedback regarding the reasons for the decision as well as support and guidance regarding subsequent steps. Such advice may include referring the student to appropriate avenues of personal and professional development, inviting the student to apply for supervised ministry at a future time, encouraging the student to consider a change of degree program, or recommending (or in some cases mandating) a leave of absence or withdrawal from the STM.
The following text is incorporated into every STM course syllabus, usually via a link:
For Students with Disabilities:
If you have a disability and will be requesting accommodations for this course, please register with either Kathy Duggan (Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org) Associate Director, Academic Support Services, the Connors Family Learning Center (learning disabilities and ADHD) or Paulette Durrett (email@example.com ), Assistant Dean for Students with Disabilities (all other disabilities). Advance notice and appropriate documentation are required for accommodations.
The STM Writing Companions Corner (WCC) offers students one-on-one help with writing research papers, exegeses, reflection papers, and other assignments frequently given by STM faculty. Please watch STM News for more information on signing up for an appointment in the WCC.
Academic Integrity Policy:
Plagiarism is the act of taking the words, ideas, data, illustrations, or statements of another person or source, and presenting them as one’s own. Penalties at Boston College range from a grade penalty to dismissal from the University. To avoid plagiarism, any use of another’s words or ideas must be fully cited. If in the original wording, quotation marks or blocked, indented quotations must be used. For more information regarding plagiarism and other violations of academic integrity, please consult the STM website at http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/schools/stm/acadprog/acadpol.html.
Bias neutral and Inclusive Language:
Language is not fixed or static, but is constantly evolving and changing as society's attitudes and practices change. Be aware of the development of new forms of expression that endeavor to describe persons in non-discriminatory ways that are appropriate, respectful and just. In accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style and generally accepted contemporary canons of scholarship, the expectation is to use bias neutral language in academic writing. In addition to gender inclusive language, conscientious effort should be made to use appropriate language with reference to race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, social status, etc.
Presentations and lectures given by faculty, students, or others in the classroom are the intellectual property of the presenter and cannot be recorded or distributed for any purpose (including use by enrolled students) without the presenter’s permission. Students who wish to record a lecture or presentation must ask for and receive the permission of the presenter prior to recording. Recording of lectures or class presentations made with the presenter's advance consent is authorized solely for the purposes of individual or group study with students enrolled in the same class unless the instructor has given explicit written consent for other uses. The recording may not be reproduced or distributed in any manner, including the Internet, without the instructor's explicit prior written consent.
Each degree has its own time limit for graduation from the date of matriculation into the degree program.
M.A. and M.Ed.: 5 years
M.T.S.: 4 years
M.Div.: 6 years
Th.M.: 2 years
C.A.E.S.: 5 years
S.T.L.: 4 years
S.T.D.: 5 years, with one year extension possible
Students must petition the STM for an extension if they will not complete the degree in the time frame indicated above. Normally, only one extension will be granted per student. Students should send a letter by U.S. mail or email to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, detailing (1) the reason the extension is needed and (2) giving a completion date for the degree. The Associate Dean will circulate the petition for extension to the student’s faculty advisor and department chair for approval before making a final decision on an extension. The Associate Dean will notify the student as to whether the petition has been approved and the student’s new graduation term.
The STM follows the policies set forth in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#transcripts.
STM degree students, with the exception of M.Div. students, may transfer a total of six graduate credits from another university or school of theology, subject to the following criteria:
- At the date of the student's graduation, his or her transfer credits may be no more than five years old;
- transfer credits must have been obtained for graduate-level coursework;
- each transfer course must have been taken for a letter grade and a minimum grade of "B" must have been earned;
- credit must not have been used in obtaining any other degree; and
- coursework must be relevant to the student's degree program.
M.Div. students may transfer in 18 credits to their degree program. All of the above criteria must be met, except that transfer credits may be no more than six years old.
Students may transfer up to 12 credits taken at the STM prior to degree matriculation into an STM degree program. After admission into the degree program, students wishing to do this should contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
In order to transfer credits into your STM degree program, you will need to submit the following materials to the STM Service Center:
- Transcript containing the courses you wish to transfer in.
- Syllabi of the courses you wish to transfer.
- An up-to-date program of study/course tracking sheet indicating the courses you’ve taken so far at STM, the courses you are hoping to transfer into the degree, and the requirements that you are proposing that all those courses fulfill.
- A completed Transfer of Credits form.
Please follow these steps:
1. Check to see if you have an up-to-date program of study/course tracking sheet. If you know that you’ve recently filled one out with a faculty advisor or program director, obtain a copy from that person.
a. If you have an updated program of study/course tracking sheet, bring it with you and continue with steps 2, 3, 5, and 6 below (skip step 4).
b. If you don’t have an updated program of study/course tracking sheet, follow all steps below.
2. Stop by the Admissions Office to print out the transcript containing the courses you want to transfer in. If they don’t have the transcript on file, then contact the institution at which you took those courses and ask them to send you an official transcript.
3. Once you have the transcript, go to the Service Center and ask for a Transfer of Credit form.
4. If you don’t have an up-to-date program of study/course tracking sheet, ask the Service Center for a blank one and fill it out using the transcript you have in hand as well your Boston College course history, which can be accessed through one of the computers in the front of the Service Center.
5. Fill out the Transfer of Credit form.
6. Hand all three forms plus the syllabi to the person at the front desk.
The Service Center will circulate the form to your advisor, department chair, and the associate dean for academic affairs (for Jesuit scholastics, it will also go to the director of Jesuit studies) for approval. The associate dean will send it on to University Student Services, who will transfer in the credits. If the courses do not show up on your Agora course history within two weeks, please contact the associate dean for academic affairs.
In consultation with their faculty advisors, students may take these as their program permits, up to the maximum of six credits.
The STM follows the policies set forth in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#withdrawalc.
The STM follows the policies set forth in the University Graduate Catalog at http://www.bc.edu/publications/gcatalog/policy.shtml#withdrawalbc