Oct 24, 2021  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog, Volume 2 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog, Volume 2 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Degree Requirements

Academic Advising

Every student at Siena is assigned a Program or Designated Faculty Advisor. The purpose of academic advising is to empower students to choose a direction for their course of studies, help them make intelligent choices for courses within the confines of degree requirements, guide students through the course registration process, and to help students when they are having academic problems. While students are ultimately responsible for confirming that they meet all graduation requirements, they are encouraged to keep in regular contact with their academic advisors, and are required to consult with them before registration.


All students are expected to register in coordination with their advisor during the registration period. The details and dates of the registration procedures may be found in the schedule of classes published before each semester by the Office of the Registrar. Information is also listed on the Registrar’s web page. Each student’s registration is not complete until the student has satisfied all financial obligations with Student Accounts and has met all Health Service requirements.

Regular and Summer Sessions

The Fall Semester begins in September and ends in December, and the Spring Semester begins in January and ends in May. Multiple summer terms are available beginning in May and ending in July. Course offerings are published and are available on the college website before each academic session. In any of these sessions, a course for which there is an insufficient enrollment may be cancelled.

Unit of Instruction

A credit represents 55 minutes of lecture or a minimum of two hours of laboratory work (120 minutes) per week for one semester, or the equivalent, unless otherwise noted. Laboratory work, where required, is considered an essential part of the course and must be pursued in conjunction with the lectures to obtain credit.

Siena College follows the U.S. Department of Education definition of a credit hour.  Specifically, the College defines a credit hour as:

“An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:  

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester credit  or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.”

Independent Study

Independent Study courses allow students to work on topics of their choosing under the supervision of a faculty member. The courses are listed under each department and require a proposal approved by the faculty member, the Department Chair, and the Dean.  


Tutorials may be given only in courses listed in the catalog other than Independent Study. Tutorials are to be requested only in rare instances; e.g., if a course is required, but will not be offered before graduation.  Therefore, tutorials are aimed at students seeking to complete requirements for their program.  Tutorials require the same number of contact hours as regular courses, and the permission of the faculty member, the Chair, the Dean, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

Absences from Class

A student is expected to attend every class and laboratory for which he or she has registered. Each instructor will make known to the student his or her policy with respect to absences in the course. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of this policy. A student may present to the instructor a written statement from an authorized school official if an excused absence is requested for a college-related activity, e.g., an athletic meet, class trip, etc. The instructor makes the final decision to excuse or not to excuse an absence. An instructor is entitled to give a failing grade (U) for excessive absences.

If there has been an extraordinary reason for excessive absences, such as prolonged illness, a student may petition the Vice President for Academic Affairs in writing to consider reinstatement in the class or permission to withdraw with the grade W.

It is the personal responsibility of the student to make up all work assigned during an absence from any class or laboratory.

Pass/Fail Option

There is no option to pass/fail a course. However, there are some courses that are offered only on a pass/fail basis.

Adding a Course

Students may add courses until the deadline published in the Academic Calendar.

Dropping a Course

If a student drops a course during the first week of classes, the course will not be reflected on the transcript. Students who drop a course after the first week of classes, and until the date set in the Academic Calendar for dropping with a “W”, will receive a grade of “W” on the transcript. After this date, up until the date set in the Academic Calendar (approximately two weeks before the last day of classes), student may drop a course with either the grade WP (withdrawn passing) or WF (withdrawn failing, not computed in the GPA) based upon the student’s academic status in the course at the time it is dropped. Dropping a course is not allowed after the last date for WP/WF specified in the Academic Calendar.

The student is responsible for understanding the implications that may occur from dropping one or more courses (examples: financial aid, housing, health and/or auto insurance eligibility, NCAA regulations, and others).


Final written examinations may be administered at the discretion of the instructor.  Every instructor schedules other tests and examinations that, in his or her judgment, are required either by the objectives of the course or by the specific needs of the students. Credit will not be granted in any course until all assignments and examinations in that course have been completed. Instructors will hold final examinations on file for a period of one year.

When a student has missed a final examination for some valid reason, a make-up examination may be taken. The make-up examination must be taken within one month from the closing of the term at the convenience of the instructor. Once taken, no final examination will be re-administered.

Academic Integrity

Contact Information: Faculty may address all concerns regarding academic integrity to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Tamara Durant, in Siena Hall 215, ext. 2341, or tdurant@siena.edu .

The concept of academic integrity lies at the very heart of any college. This is particularly true of Siena with its strong Franciscan tradition and its dedication to fostering sound moral growth. In such an environment, academic dishonesty cannot be tolerated. Students found responsible for such violations subject themselves to sanctions as severe as dismissal from the College.

Academic dishonesty can take different forms, including, but not limited to: cheating [dishonesty in a test situation], plagiarism [dishonesty in the presentation of materials in a paper or report], and failure to report known instances of academic dishonesty. If a student is unsure of what constitutes academic dishonesty, it is the student’s responsibility to ask his or her instructor for clarification. It is also the student’s responsibility to be familiar with the Academic Integrity Policy and related information: “Academic Integrity Forms and Policy.”

The Siena Academic Integrity Committee hears cases of alleged academic dishonesty, reviewing all evidence regarding the alleged violation. If the student is found responsible, the committee will determine the appropriate sanction(s), which may include failure of the course, suspension from the College, or permanent dismissal. A statement of the reasons for such sanctions will be placed in the student’s permanent academic record.

Alleging ignorance of what constitutes academic dishonesty or of the College’s policy on the subject will not be considered a valid explanation or excuse.

Definition of Student

Siena College students must not only comply with all degree requirements to obtain a Siena College degree, but also must follow all College rules and policies affecting their student status, including, but not limited to, those set forth in this Catalog, as well as those enumerated in Siena Life, the student handbook. For this reason, it is important to understand who is considered a “student.”

The term “student” includes all persons:

  1. taking courses at Siena College, full-time or part-time, either on a matriculated or non-matriculated basis, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, certificate or professional studies;
  2. who have been notified of their acceptance for admission;
  3. who are living in Siena College residence halls, although not enrolled in this institution;
  4. who withdraw or stop attending after engaging in behavior that is subject to disciplinary sanctions under College policies;
  5. who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the College and engage in behavior that is subject to disciplinary sanctions under College policies (including but not limited to those students on voluntary or mandated medical leave, study abroad, leaves of absence from Siena College even if taking classes at another institution; or
  6. who have completed all degree requirements until commencement exercises are complete and they have vacated the campus.

System of Grading

Credit hours are earned for any grade of C and higher. Quality point values are assigned for each credit hour awarded as follows:

A=4.0 quality points per credit hour; A-=3.7; B+=3.3; B=3.0; B-=2.7; C+=2.3; C=2.0; F=0.0; U=0.0 (Failure due to excessive absence); I=0.0 (Incomplete).

No other grades carry quality point values. Other grades are:

Au Auditing
W Withdrawal from the course prior to the published deadline.
WP Withdrawal from the course after the published deadline while passing.
WF Withdrawal from the course after the published deadline while failing.

And, for courses on the Pass/Fail Option:

P Pass (Letter grades A through D-)
Z Failure (Letter F and U)

The Incomplete grade I is assigned to students who have missed a final examination because of illness or some other serious reason. The students must make up the examination within one month after the close of the term at the convenience of the instructor; otherwise the I grade is converted to an F. For GPA purposes, I grades are calculated the same as F grades. All I grades must be reconciled prior to receipt of a degree. Grades appearing on a student’s academic record at the time of graduation will not be changed to any other grade subsequent to the graduation date.

Grade Reports

Mid-semester grades are requested from faculty for all students.  If these grades indicate that the student’s progress is generally unsatisfactory, the student is informed directly by letter. Mid-semester grades are for internal purposes only and are not included on a student’s official transcript.

A final grade report is made available to every student shortly after the close of each semester. In the event that the office of academic affairs determines that there has been a violation of Siena’s academic integrity policy, Siena reserves the right to adjust any grade in line with the findings of the Academic Integrity committee.

Appeal of Assigned Grades

A student who believes that an error has been made in assigning a grade should discuss the basis upon which the grade was determined with the instructor within 60 days of receipt of the grade report. If after this review the student is not satisfied with the assigned grade, an appeal may be made to the Department Chair. Such appeal should be made in writing, stating the basis upon which the grade is questioned and requesting a departmental review. If following the review the student is not satisfied with the departmental decision, appeal may be made to the School Dean. If the situation is not resolved at the school level, a final determination for disposition of the matter will rest with the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Scholarship Indices (GPA)

The scholarship index for every student is determined at the conclusion of each semester. The index is obtained by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credits attempted. A cumulative quality point average of 3.0 is required for graduation.

The following example illustrates how the scholarship index is determined for one semester:

Course No. and Title Grade Credit Hours Attempted Quality Points
MGMT - 515. Responsible Global Leadership    A 3 12
ACCT - 550. Accounting for Decision Makers   B- 3 8.1
ECON - 550. Managerial Economics   B+ 3 9.9
    _____ _____
    9 30
Quality Points Earned 30 = 3.3 Scholarship Index
Credit Hours Attempted 9  

The cumulative quality point index is determined by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credit hours attempted for all Siena courses in which grades with quality points were possible. 

Repeated Courses

A student may repeat a coure with the permission of the Program Director. Only the higher grade will be used in computing the cumulative grade point average (GPA). Credit for the course will be given only once.

Good Conduct Standing

A student is in good conduct standing if s/he has no outstanding disciplinary charges against him/her. Disciplinary action can be taken against a student after all academic degree requiremens have been met but before a student has participated in Commencement exercises and vacated the campus. Moreover, the College reserves the right to withhold a degree or revoke a degree as set forth below.

Good Academic Standing

Students must maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 to remain in good standing in any graduate program.  A GPA of at least 3.0 is also required for graduation. Students with a cumulative grade point average below 3.0 will be permitted to register for courses only upon recommendation of the Director of the program.  A student whose grade falls below the required 3.0 cumulative index will be put on program probation and will be notified in writing. If permitted to continue, the student must raise his/her grade point cumulative average to at least a 3.0 in the next semester of study.  Failure to do so will lead to dismissal from the program.

Academic Probation and Academic Dismissal

To obtain a degree, a student must have at least a “B” average (3.00 cumulative grade point average) for all Siena coursework. If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below a 3.00, the student must meet with the Program Director to determine future program eligibility. 


Prospective graduates must file a degree candidate application with the Registrar according to the dates for filing as published by the registrar’s office in order to be considered for graduation.

Any student who potentially meets all graduation requirements in his/her last semester as of the day after the last day to withdraw from a course with a “WP/WF” for undergraduate students will be allowed to participate in commencement activities. A Student who will not complete all degree requirements prior to the ceremony, but who wishes to participate in the ceremony with their class, may choose to do so by completing a Degree Application by the stated deadline and indicating their desire to “participate” as a non-graduate. All candidates who have completed degree requirements at the end of the spring semester should be present at Commencement. Others who may have completed degree requirements in the previous fall or summer semester are invited to participate. The Program Director makes the final decision regarding participation in Commencement activities. Participants in Commencement exercises wear cap and gown. Diplomas will be mailed to graduates upon the completion of all degree requirements.

For students who expect to graduate in May, official transcripts recording transfer credits earned at any other college must be received by the Registrar no later than March 1 of their senior year. Students are responsible for having transcripts from other colleges sent to Siena and should check with the Office of the Registrar before March 1 to be sure that the transcript has been received.

Each degree candidate must settle all accounts with Student Accounts before a diploma is granted.

Withdrawing from the College

Please see the “Withdrawals and Refunds” section located under Tuition and Fees .

Separation from the College

Since a student’s continued presence as a recognized member of the Siena community is subject to the authority of the College, the College reserves the right, at the discretion of the administration, to enforce all regulations concerning a student’s academic performance and, if necessary, to cancel registration, refuse academic credit or deny the Graduate degree. The conditions that may warrant dismissal for academic deficiencies are explained above.

Withholding Degree

Siena College reserves the right to withhold awarding a degree pending the completion of the process set forth in the Student Code of Conduct, including the completion of all sanctions imposed, if any.

Revocation of Admission and/or Degree

Admission to or a degree awarded from Siena College may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, and/or criminal behavior which may place the College community at risk, or other violations of the Siena Code of Conduct, or for other serious violations committed by a student.

Faculty Attendance Policies

  1. Faculty members establish their own class attendance policies and must provide these policies to students at the beginning of the semester (in writing and/or posted on a public website). This policy should also be verbally communicated during the first class (and laboratory) session of the semester (within the drop/add period).
    For all courses that have any required activities scheduled outside of class time, faculty must include the required activities with their attendance policy. In addition, students must be given sufficient advance notice, at least 4 weeks in advance of the date and time of these activities.
    For all courses that will conduct exams outside of class time, faculty must include with their attendance policy the time and the day (e.g., Wednesdays 6-8 p.m.) at which the exams will be administered.
    Faculty members must provide the attendance policy for each of their next semester’s classes (and labs) to their department heads within 48 hours of the final submission of the next semester’s schedule. The academic deans must post these attendance policies no later than the date that the schedule for the next semester is made available on-line to students.
  2. It is left to each faculty member’s discretion as to whether missing class for any purpose (bereavement, health/medical, personal business, varsity intercollegiate athletic contest, or any other activity) is an excusable absence. Faculty should establish attendance policies that treat all students equally. If a faculty member excuses a student for participation in any other college-sponsored activity, the faculty member must also excuse a student for participation in a college-sponsored varsity athletic contest.
  3. At the beginning of the semester, faculty must review the scheduled college-sponsored activities for each student in her/his class (who brings these activities to the faculty member’s attention) and must determine how the absences will be handled. If the absences will affect a student’s grade and/or the student’s ability to successfully complete the course requirements, the student must be informed immediately (as early as is possible within the drop/add period).
  4. Class attendance policies are not in effect during a vacation period (vacations as listed in the Academic Calendar) and between terms when classes are not in session, unless attendance at a class-related-activity is specified by the faculty member in the course syllabus at the beginning of the semester.
  5. In conformance with College policy, when course exams are held outside of class time, if a student is absent due to a conflict with a scheduled contest, the student is “excused” and subject to the faculty member’s policy regarding excused absence from an examination period.
  6. It is often necessary to reschedule athletic contests after the semester has commenced (often due to weather-related cancellations). The Athletic Department and student-athletes should inform faculty of these changes in schedule as soon as is possible. Faculty should be flexible and reasonable in handling these changes. For these cases, the stated attendance policy is in effect and the faculty member should as soon as is possible inform a student if the changes in schedule will affect the student’s grade and/or the student’s ability to successfully complete the course requirements.
  7. If a post-season athletic contest, scheduled by the MAAC or the NCAA, conflicts with a course examination, an affected student is excused from the examination and the faculty member will provide a make-up exam (or other appropriate accommodation) at another time within the examination period or no later than 24 hours after the last day of the examination period.
  8. The VPAA, Deans, and Registrar should attempt to make up the final examination schedule as early as possible. The earliest date would most likely be at the end of the last “add” date. Also, this would most likely involve changes in many practices, including the deadline for faculty requests for “examination exceptions/special-scheduling.