2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 15, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Studies

Vision for Herring Center for Continuing, Graduate, and Professional Education

Our vision is to be recognized nationally for enriching and transforming the lives and careers of our students across all life stages and environments through innovative, high quality education programs, which proactively advance the Furman Advantage and the rich history of engagement with the Greenville community.

Mission for Graduate and Evening Studies

Our mission is to demonstrate the relevance and value of a liberal arts education and to establish Furman as a model for transformative student experiences for adult learners that include rigorous undergraduate and graduate courses, certificate, and degree programs that transcend the traditional model for student learning by expanding the experience into the real and virtual worlds.

Graduate Studies Curriculum

Furman first offered the Master of Arts degree in 1852 and since that time has usually had a small graduate program. The present graduate programs date from the late 1800s when a Chemistry Department was formed and offered an advanced degree. Today, Furman offers graduate programs in chemistry, education, community engaged medicine, and strategic design, though additional degree programs are being planned. The Office of Graduate Studies is housed in the lower level of the Herring Center for Continuing, Graduate, and Professional education. Furman’s graduate programs contribute significantly to the improvement of quality of life in the larger “community” of which Furman is a part.

Graduate Offerings

Furman offers baccalaureate degree holders graduate courses leading to:

Course Credits and Designations

Furman University offers courses for semester credit, ranging from one-credit courses and workshops to the more standard three- and four-credit courses. Undergraduate courses are numbered 100-599 and usually generate four credits upon successful completion; graduate courses are numbered 600-999 and usually generate three credits. 600-level courses are typically foundation and introductory courses. 700-level are intermediate and pedagogy-related courses. 800-level courses are advanced, content courses. 900-level course designations are reserved for practica and internships and are typically offered at the end of a program after prerequisite courses have been completed. With approval by the graduate advisor and the appropriate department chair, upper level courses numbered 300 or greater may be completed for graduate credit. 

The standard credit hour is understood to be the equivalent of fifteen instructional hours, plus two or more out-of-class study hours. For example, a class that meets three times per week for 50 minutes each session, for fifteen weeks, and requires two hours of outside student work per meeting would be assigned three credits according to the standard definition. Variance from this standard is allowed for flexibility, so that different kinds of classes can be accommodated. For example, laboratory classes are not primarily seen as lecture courses, so the policy needs to be able to accommodate such instructional methods by relying on a suitable comparison to a standard credit hour in terms of overall student work and/or learning outcomes.

This policy pertains to the granting of graduate credit by Furman University. Academic credit provides a means of measuring and valuing the amount of engaged learning time expected of students enrolled not only in traditional classroom settings, but also in laboratories, studios, internships/practica, independent study, thesis, research and writing, experiential learning, and blended or hybrid learning environments. Academic credit may also help to quantify the level and academic rigor of student learning.

Enrollment Status

Furman University’s graduate program in Education is geared toward part-time candidates who are full-time, professional educators.  Graduate programs in Chemistry, Community Engaged Medicine, or Strategic Design are designed for full-time graduate students who may be enrolled in day, afternoon, or evening courses. Full-time status in the graduate program at Furman is 6 or more credits per term (Fall, Spring, Summer). Half-time status is considered as 3 credits per term.

Academic Year and Calendar

The academic year at Furman consists of three terms. The fall and spring semesters are comprised of fourteen instructional weeks. Summer sessions span ten instructional weeks but may be subdivided depending upon the program. During the fall and spring semesters, evening classes in the graduate program in education generally meet once weekly.  Courses in Chemistry, Community Engaged Medicine, and Strategic Design may meet two to three times per week or more during the day or evening. The summer term at Furman consists of one or two sessions depending upon the degree program. Courses for graduate students are offered in a variety of formats. Course meeting information is published routinely prior to registration for the upcoming term.

Program Accreditation

The Educator Preparation Programs offered through the Office of Graduate Studies are fully accredited by NCATE (now CAEP, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation).  The Chemistry Department is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The Office of Graduate Studies is a member in good standing of the Council of Graduate Schools and the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools.

Graduate Fields of Study

Academic Regulations

Any person enrolled in any course administered through Graduate Studies is subject to the policies and procedures outlined in the Graduate Studies section of the catalog.  Additional policies not included here are included in the Furman University policies and procedures published on the university website.  All apply.  Students who are also university employees are subject to ALL applicable policies and procedures.

Students interested in enrolling for graduate studies programs are encouraged to confer with the Associate Director for Graduate Studies or the specific, individual graduate program directors about procedures for admission prior to completing the application for admission.

Graduate degree candidates must complete an approved program of study consisting of no less than 33 credits of graduate courses with a GPA of no less than 3.00. Graduate Studies reserves the right to make substitutions in a given program of study as deemed appropriate. All work for the master’s or specialist degree, including transferred credit, must be completed within six years of establishing degree candidacy.

Academic Integrity

Furman expects every student and graduate degree candidate to maintain high standards of personal honor and to be certain that all academic work is the result of his or her own effort or that of authorities properly identified. If students are uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism or any other form of academic dishonesty, it is their obligation to consult their teachers so they fully understand what is expected. Academic dishonesty is subject to severe penalties.  Students charged with academic dishonesty or plagiarism may follow the appeals process.

Integrity Pledge: It is the desire of Furman University to unite its members in a collective commitment to integrity. In so doing, Furman University strives to teach its members to live lives of humility, respect, and responsibility. Therefore, it is the expectation that all members of the Furman University community will conduct themselves with integrity in all endeavors. In honoring these values and ideals as Furman University’s foundation, it is with utmost faithfulness and dignity that I will ascribe to them.

Any person enrolled in any course administered through the Office of Graduate Studies is expected to uphold the university’s Integrity Pledge and to follow its Code of Conduct.


See specific admission requirements for each degree program.

Transient Students

Students studying for a degree at another institution must be eligible to return to that institution when registering for graduate courses at Furman. Prior to registration, they should present a statement from the institution to which graduate credits are to be transferred indicating that the student is in good standing and that the course(s) will transfer to the home institution.

Graduate Credit

Courses numbered 600 and above are taken for graduate credit only. Undergraduate courses numbered 300-499 may be taken for graduate credit with the permission of the graduate program coordinator or advisor, the course instructor, and the department chair. When graduate credit is awarded for a course which normally carries undergraduate credit, the professor shall require additional readings, papers, or other appropriate assignments, and shall evaluate the student’s work according to standards appropriate for awarding graduate credit.

Transfer Credit

Not more than six hours of graduate credit verified by an official transcript may be transferred from another institution. Graduate credit is not given for correspondence work, professional development courses, or for portfolios of professional experience. Graduate credit is not transferred for a grade below B unless the college or university granting the credit recognizes the grade for graduate credit.


First-term graduate degree candidates may register by mail, fax, or in person. Online registration is strongly encouraged for continuing students and is available for those paying by credit card or e-check. Please see our website for instructions. Full tuition payment is required at registration. The university reserves the right to restrict enrollment in a course and to withdraw a course, create a new section of a course, or cancel a course for reasons deemed necessary.

Late Registration

Those who miss the registration deadlines may still register for classes in which space is available by visiting Graduate Studies in the Herring Center prior to the conclusion of the drop-add period. There is an additional $100 fee for late registration. Absence caused by late entrance into a course will contribute in the student’s attendance record.


Graduate students who wish to audit a course may register as an auditor and pay 50% of the tuition charged for the course. Auditors may not change to credit status once drop-add for the term has ended, nor may they change from credit status to audit status after that date.


Instructors establish and announce attendance requirements for their courses. Graduate degree candidates are expected to attend every class and participate in all activities. Absence from class results in missing important classroom instruction and discussion. If an attendance policy is not specifically stated on the syllabus, Furman University’s graduate studies policy will be enacted as follows:  A student will be withdrawn from the course if absent 15 percent or more of the class meetings.  A failing grade will be recorded unless the absences were due to providential reasons, in which case a course withdrawal (with a grade of W) may be granted after consultation with the Executive Director of Graduate & Evening Studies.

Withdrawal from Course(s)

Students who withdraw from a graduate-level course are eligible to receive a prorated refund. The following schedule describes the timeframes and amounts of proration for tuition refunds:


Percentage of term completed

Fall or Spring Semester Translation

Refund amount

<=5% completed

Before the 2nd class meeting


>5 to <=15% completed

Before the 3rd class meeting


>15% to <=25% completed

Before the 4th class meeting


>25% to <=30% completed

Before the 5th class meeting


More than 30% completed

After the 5th class meeting

No Refund

Academic Status

Students earning a final grade of C+ or lower in a graduate course will be notified of their current academic status including possible academic probation. Anyone with a cumulative GPA below a 3.00 will face academic probation and/or possible program expulsion.  A student earning a “C” grade in one of the first three courses in his or her respective degree program is required to meet with the program director, while a student earning any type of marginally passing (D+, D, or D-) or failing (F) final grade in a graduate course will be immediately withdrawn from his or her program of study.

Withdrawal from Program

Graduate candidates enrolled in the graduate program who do not register for a course in two consecutive terms (Fall, Spring, Summer) will be withdrawn from the program. To re-enter the program, students are required to submit a letter of re-application to the Executive Director of Graduate & Evening Studies and to meet with an academic advisor.

Those students who voluntarily withdraw from the program must do so in writing to the Executive Director of Graduate & Evening Studies. To gain re-admittance to a graduate degree program, candidates must re-apply for admission.  If a period of seven or more years has passed since original enrollment, students may be required to repeat courses to remain current in the program.


Appeals concerning academic regulations or requirements will be considered by the following entities in the order listed:

  • Executive Director of Graduate & Evening Studies
  • Chair of the Department
  • Graduate Appeals Committee
  • Graduate Council
  • Dean of Faculty

Graduate students with a question concerning a grade should discuss the matter with the instructor as soon as possible. After such consultation, if the students believes that the assigned grade resulted from error or malfeasance, the grade may be formally appealed. All appeals should be presented in writing to the Executive Director of Graduate & Evening Studies. All grade appeals must be initiated no later than the end of the second semester following the completion of the course for which the grade appeal is being made. The burden of proof to show a mistake was made or a grade was arrived at in an “arbitrary and capricious, irrational, made in bad faith or contrary to Constitution or statute” (Susan M. v. New York Law School, 556 N.Y.S. 2nd 1104. Court of Appeals of New York, 1990) is solely incumbent on the student.

Students will be notified in writing of all decisions concerning appeals.

Complaint Procedures

Complaints and concerns unrelated to course grades, academic sanctions, or discipline/conduct matters may be made directly to the Executive Director of Graduate and Evening Studies in writing.  Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.

Furman University is a member of the NC-SARA reciprocity agreement for distance learning through the SC Commission on Higher Education.   The SC Commission on Higher Education responds to formal complaints from students against public, independent non-profit and proprietary institutions of higher education in South Carolina. However, the Commission has limited authority over public and non-profit independent colleges and universities and cannot offer legal advice or initiate court proceedings. Here is the link to the guidelines and form:


Academic Transcripts

After completing course requirements for the degree, alumni are responsible for sending transcripts to the appropriate graduate school, school district, or the Department of Education in the state in which they are licensed. Official transcripts reflect the student’s complete academic record and are issued with a $5 charge. Requests for official transcripts should be submitted on-line via secure means. Transcripts cannot be issued for a student who has an outstanding financial obligation to the university.

Student Resources

ID Cards

Graduate degree candidates must have a Furman photo ID to be able to access certain resources (such as checking out materials from the James B. Duke Library or use of the Physical Activities Center). Identification cards are issued at Enrollment Services on the first floor of the Administration Building.


The Furman University Libraries contain more than a million items, including over 400,000 bound volumes, the complete ERIC microform collection, and access to articles in 14,000 print and online journals. Students can search over 100 research databases, including Education Full Text and ERIC.  Access to the library catalog, databases, and on-line journals is available off-campus through a Furman network login account. Items not available in the Furman library may be borrowed via the South Carolina academic libraries consortium or interlibrary loan at no charge.

The James B. Duke library serves as the main campus library and houses materials on education and children’s literature and curriculum collections. The Maxwell Music Library, in the Herring Music Pavilion, and the Science Library serve the needs of students in music and the sciences respectively.  The hours for each library, including break and holiday schedules, are posted at the entrance and on the library website.

Center for Academic Success

From tutoring and refinement of your study skills to collaboration for written and multimedia assignments, the Center for Academic Success extends Furman’s commitment to you. Our professional staff provides academic support and counseling related to study skills, time management, and other academic success strategies. Our peer tutors and Writing & Media Lab consultants provide student-to-student support in all academic disciplines. The Center serves as a hub for professional support and peer collaboration where you can join other students to enhance your education.


The Furman Barnes & Noble bookstore, located on the ground level of the University Center, carries textbooks, supplies and many other items which can ehance your Furman experience. The bookstore also houses a Starbucks coffee shop.

Office of Career Services

Career planning services are available to graduate degree candidates. Located in the University Center, the Office of Career Services administers career inventories, maintains a comprehensive alumni network, assists in educating students about job-search strategies, and aids in the placement of graduates.  Interested persons should contact the office for more information regarding services and programs.

Campus Map

The Furman campus map is available on-line. Printed maps are also available in specially marked kiosks on campus.

Dining Services

The PalaDen food court is located on the ground level of the University Center. Meals are also available in Daniel Dining Hall, a small cafe attached to the library, and at the Furman Golf Club. Hours are limited.

Parking Permits

Graduate degree candidates can park in the parking lot on either side of the Charles E. Daniel Memorial Chapel.  All students enrolled for graduate courses on campus with a motor vehicle must have a Furman parking permit. Students should complete online parking registration to obtain a permit. There is a $10 annual fee for parking; vehicles without permits will be ticketed. Permits are mailed directly to students.

Financial Aid

Students enrolled at least half-time (3 credits) in Graduate Studies programs may be eligible for financial aid through federal or state loans to help finance their educational costs. In order to borrow, students must be enrolled as degree-seeking graduate students. Eligibility for the Federal Direct Loan is first established by a student completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Steps to apply for financial aid:

  1. Admission as a degree-seeking student to a Graduate Studies program at Furman University.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on-line; be sure to follow all instructions, including obtaining a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the FAFSA web site; Furman’s FAFSA code is 003434.

Direct Loan

Federal Direct Loans are educational loans made to students based on need as determined by the FAFSA. Graduate students may be eligible to borrow up to $20,500 each academic year in the form of an unsubsidized loan where the student is responsible for paying the interest while enrolled at least half-time.

Six months after graduating or dropping below half-time, the student will begin repayment on the Federal Direct Loan. 

To apply for a Direct Loan:

  • Complete the FAFSA and send the results to Furman (school code 003434).

Once a Direct Loan has been approved:

  1. Direct loans will be processed electronically.
  2. If this is your first Direct loan at Furman University, you must electronically sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov.  If you currently have an MPN on file, you will not need to complete another one.
  3. All first-time borrowers through the Federal Direct Student Loan Program must also complete entrance counseling at www.studentloans.gov before their funds can be disbursed. An exit interview www.studentloans.gov must be completed prior to separation from the university.
  4. If the number of credits you will attempt in a term should change, please contact Enrollment Services to determine if your financial assistance will be revised.

  5. A student whose Direct loan amount exceeds the cost of tuition may request a refund.
  6. Students who withdraw from the university before 60% of the term has been completed and who have federal aid may owe a balance.

South Carolina Teachers Loan

The South Carolina Teachers Loan is available to students planning to teach in one of the critical subject areas or in a depressed geographical area as designated by the state.  Graduate students are eligible to borrow up to $5,000 each academic year and must maintain a 3.5 GPA.  A prerequisite for eligibility is the successful completion of the EEE or Praxis I Exam.  Application forms for the South Carolina Teachers Loan are available in the Office of Financial Aid.  The priority filing deadline is April 30.  However, the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation will continue to accept applications until funding for the programs is exhausted.

South Carolina Teachers Program for Career Changers

The South Carolina Student Loan Corporation maintains a Teacher Loan Program for career changers. All applicants must have been employed for a minimum of three years. Also, the student must have completed a baccalaureate degree at least three years ago or have worked as an instructional assistant in South Carolina public schools. If you meet the criteria, please contact Enrollment Services for an application and further details.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Graduate Students Receiving Federal Title IV Financial Aid

All graduate students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to receive Federal Title IV financial aid.  Federal regulations require each institution to have a SAP policy, which establishes the minimum standards that must be applied consistently to all students.  Students who fail to meet SAP will not be eligible for the Title IV aid.

Federal aid programs affected are Federal Direct Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loan, and Federal Work Study.  Students receiving federal aid will be evaluated at the end of each academic year.  A student who is not making SAP will be notified by Enrollment Services and may submit an appeal if extenuating circumstances led to the student’s failure to maintain SAP.

Explanation of SAP Requirements

The university measures your academic performance based on three standards:  grade point average (GPA), pace, and maximum time. 

Grade Point Average:  A student cannot graduate with a GPA below 3.00.  You may be dismissed from the degree program or provisional status will be invoked if you receive a grade less than “C” or if you receive more than two grades of “C”.

Pace:  A student must earn no less than 75% of all credits attempted each academic year.  Credits attempted include all work at Furman plus any credits earned elsewhere that contribute toward the degree, but are not used in computing grade point averages.  

Maximum Time:  You must complete all requirements within six years from the date of registration for the first course in the graduate program.