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Graduate CSSH Semester Conversion

Graduate CSSH Semester Hour Conversion – Fall 2018

 

CSSH graduate semester hour conversion has been approved. Effective AY 2018-2019, across all of the graduate programs in CSSH, traditional seminar and lecture courses will be offered at 4 semester hours per course.

There were a number of compelling reasons to pursue semester-hour conversion but the most important among them were: (1) to facilitate cross-discipline and cross-college collaborations and new interdisciplinary degree programs, (2) to make the earning of graduate certificates more realistic for graduate students already enrolled in one of our Masters or PhD programs, and (3) to make the process by which our undergraduates can potentially enroll in our graduate programs (through Plus One programs) more seamless.

Continuing students can refer to our Frequently Asked Questions below for more information.

Q: 1. What is Grad CSSH semester conversion?

A:

Across the graduate programs in CSSH, all traditional 3 semester hour courses will be converted from 3 semester hours per course to 4 semester hours per course as of Fall 2018. So, starting in Fall 2018, courses that were 3 semester hours will be 4. When classes switch from 3 semester hours to 4 semester hours, the classes will require more contact and the students will earn one more credit for each class.

Q: 2. Why are the graduate programs in CSSH converting all 3sh courses to 4sh?

A:

There were a number of compelling reasons to pursue semester-hour conversion but the most important among them were: (1) to facilitate cross-discipline and cross-college collaborations and new interdisciplinary degree programs, (2) to make the earning of graduate certificates more realistic for graduate students already enrolled in one of our Masters or PhD programs, and (3) to make the process by which our undergraduates can potentially enroll in our graduate programs (through Plus One programs) more seamless.

Q: 3. How will semester hour conversion be implemented?

A:

Over the Fall 2017 semester, all affected graduate programs across the college worked to revise their curriculums to accommodate conversion. Across most units, this meant adjusting the number of required and elective courses that needed to be taken to complete degree requirements once courses were 4 semester hours.

Q: 4. When will this happen?

A:

College-wide semester hour conversion was officially approved by the university on February 14, 2018 and the changes to all graduate programs will take effect at the beginning of AY 18-19. The catalog for AY 18-19 will reflect the semester hour conversion changes across all programs and students newly admitted to the graduate programs will be completing the 4sh version of the curriculum. Continuing students are governed by the catalog in effect in the semester in which they started their program.

Q: 5. How will my program or courses change?

A:

Once approved, semester hour conversion will affect certificate and graduate programs across the college. Your graduate program director has been provided the side-by-side conversion maps and can best help you understand the changes to the specific program following conversion. Unless you choose to opt in to a new version of the program, your program will not change at all. You will take all of the same courses you would have taken prior to semester hour conversion.

Your courses will meet for 50 minutes longer than they did as three semester hour courses (we anticipate most graduate courses will be scheduled from 5:30pm – 8:50pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays). Although you may have more time in class with your professor, it is unlikely that courses will change substantially in content, assignments, or expectations. Any content changes will occur more organically over time as faculty adjust to the new 4sh course format.

Q: 6. As a continuing student, which curriculum will I follow, the current program or the new program?

A:

As per university guidelines, the College will presume that all current students will be completing curriculum associated with the program into which they originally matriculated (students are coded by catalog year).  If a student prefers the new program over the current program, s/he must submit a written request via email to opt into the new program. Prior to making such a decision, be sure to meet with the graduate program director to be sure you fully understand the implications of changing your catalog year. The written opt-in request must happen prior to June 30, 2018 and be submitted (via email) to both your Graduate Program Director and the Graduate Admissions and Student Services Office (gradcssh@northeastern.edu).

Q: 7. I am a PlusOne student, what will semester hour conversion mean for me?

A:

If you have applied, been accepted, but have not yet started graduate coursework, your PlusOne program just improved! You will now take up to 4 graduate courses while an undergraduate (instead of five) and, because these are now 4sh courses, you can realize the full benefit (up to 16sh double-counted), instead of the 15sh that was typical prior to conversion.

If you are already on the graduate side of the PlusOne (e.g. you graduated your undergraduate program) and have taken graduate courses since earning your Bachelor’s degree, you will be governed by the catalog in effect in the semester that you transitioned to the Master’s program. You will receive the same tuition offset as all other continuing students (see below).

If you will start the graduate side of your PlusOne in Fall 2018 or later, you will be entering under the NEW curriculum, and the 3sh courses you earned prior to conversion will still be double counted. You will need to work with your graduate program director to determine how to fulfill remaining degree requirements under the new curriculum.

Q: 8. Will the coursework already completed on my transcript be changed?

A:

No, already completed coursework, including credit hours earned, will remain as-is on the transcript. If you complete your current program, you will graduate with more credit hours than required for the degree, but the cost of completing those additional hours will be offset by tuition credits (see below).

Q: 9. What will be required of students opting into a new program?

A:

All of the programs have new or changed requirements. Any students opting into a new program will need to complete all new or changed requirements associated with the new curriculum (not just satisfy the new total credit hours). Continuing students opting in will be expected to meet both specific coursework and minimum semester hours requirements. In some programs, there are fewer courses required, but higher total semester hours required to graduate. You, with the help of your Graduate Program Director, will be responsible for determining which curriculum best meets your needs as every individual situation will be slightly different.

Q: 10. As a continuing graduate certificate or Master’s student, how will this change impact me financially?

A:

Continuing students will be held harmless by the college-wide conversion and the college will be working to ensure that these students will not be charged more for the program that they signed up for as a result of conversion.

For continuing students, we will be calculating the total semester hours each student has left to complete their current degree requirements as of September 1, 2018, and will be giving each continuing student a dollar amount credit (less any scholarship award that will continue to be applied) to offset the difference in the cost of completing those requirements before and after conversion.

Example:  With 3 semester hour classes, completing those remaining courses would have cost Joanne $10,300. With 4 semester hour courses, completing those courses will cost Joanne $12,700. CSSH will give Joanne tuition credit of $2,400 to offset that difference. 

Note:  If a student decides to complete the new version of the curriculum and it requires additional semester hours (as many do), then the student will be responsible for paying the published rate for those additional semester hours (since they elected into that program aware of the additional costs of doing so).

Across most programs, we have adjusted per semester hour rates to offset the cost of semester hour conversion. However, CSSH tuition rates are subject to adjustment each academic year. At the conclusion of conversion implementation (e.g. after AY 18-19), annual tuition rate adjustments will apply to all continuing and incoming students.

Q: 11. As a continuing PhD student, how will this change impact me financially?

A:

Continuing PhD students will be held harmless by this college-wide conversion. Funded PhD students will not see any adjustments because their tuition is covered by their SGA awards. PhD students who are no longer covered by SGA awards will not see a AY 2018-2019 increase (and in fact, will actually see a slight decrease) in their tuition.

Across most programs, we have adjusted per semester hour rates to offset the cost of semester hour conversion. However, CSSH tuition rates are subject to adjustment each academic year. At the conclusion of conversion implementation (e.g. after AY 18-19), annual tuition rate adjustments will apply to all continuing and incoming students.

Q: 12. Who should I contact if I have questions?

A:

Please contact your Graduate Program Director or Graduate Program Administrator using the list of graduate program directors and administrators on our web site.