Graduate School Policies
All Penn State University policies regarding graduate students are explained at the Penn State Graduate School.
Penn State Immunization Requirements
Penn State policy requires full-time, degree-seeking students accepted to Penn State to provide documentation of immunization against Measles, Mumps and Rubella. After you have been accepted to Penn State, you will receive information from the University Health Services Office at University Park regarding immunization requirements and the Health History Form, which you must complete and submit online.
In order to assure immunity, the following doses are required:
- Measles: two doses of Measles (Rubeola) vaccine.
- Mumps: one dose of Mumps vaccine.
- Rubella: one dose of Rubella vaccine.
The first vaccine must be given after 12 months of age. The second vaccine must be given at least one month after the first vaccine.
For further information, visit the Immunization Compliance page.
A Penn State Access Account provides students with a Penn State email account and consists of a user ID and password that enables Penn State students, faculty, and staff to use the full range of online services and resources on or off campus. Your user ID is the "public" part of your Penn State Access Account. This is the part you should share with others so that they know where to send electronic mail. Your user ID (sometimes referred to as "username" or "userid") is usually your initials followed by a 1- to 4-digit number such as xyz1010. The letters are lowercase. Your password is the "private" part of your Penn State Access Account. You should never share your password with anyone and should regularly change your password for continued security on your Penn State accounts.
Penn State email accounts will be a prominent method of communication in all MMM courses. Get in the habit of checking your Penn State email account frequently. If you normally use another internet service provider (ISP) or email provider, please consider forwarding the email sent to your Penn State account to your alternate account so you will be sure to receive important program communications.
LionPATH is Penn State's student information system, which provides students with access to their academic, registration, and financial records. Students can enroll for classes, view/accept their financial aid awards, and view their tuition bills.
Maintaining academic integrity—scholarship free from fraud and deception—is an important educational objective of the Penn State Behrend MMM Program. Academic dishonesty can lead to a failing grade and/or other disciplinary action.
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, unauthorized prior possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, and securing written approval, or tampering with the academic work of other students.
In cases where academic integrity is questioned, a student will be given oral or written notice of the charge by the instructor. Procedures allow for a student to appeal the charge through informal discussions with the instructor, department head, dean, or campus executive officer. If a failing grade or referral to the Office of Conduct Standards is recommended, the student and instructor will be afforded formal due process.
The Pennsylvania State University insists on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Any plagiarism will be penalized severely. The following discussion has been prepared so that no student will commit plagiarism out of ignorance.
Plagiarism is the act of passing off someone else's work as your own. It sounds like simple dishonesty, and it often is. Anyone who buys, borrows, or steals a paper to turn in as his or her own work is plagiarizing. Anyone who copies word for word or who fundamentally copies by changing only a word here and there, without enclosing the copied passage in quotation marks and identifying the author, is plagiarizing.
Plagiarism can be more complicated in act and intent, however. Paraphrasing, in which someone else's work is restated in different words, is often a useful device, but it can lead to unintentional plagiarism. It is possible to forget that the basic work belongs to someone else. If the paraphrase is close to the original in length and content, such forgetfulness is unlikely. It is easy to read a book or article, put it down, pick up a pen and begin to write down thoughts and words that come from reading and forget where they came from. You might be shocked, if you looked at the original, to discover how closely you had reproduced it.
It is also easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and forget to keep track of those sources. The resulting paper may be only a mosaic of others' words and ideas. This, too, without proper identification of sources, is plagiarism. The conscientious writer keeps careful track of sources and diligently tries to distinguish between what is his or her own work and what comes from others.
This can be difficult. All of us pick up ideas from friends, family, and our own reading without being conscious of it. Ideas that are common—public property, so to speak—need not, and often cannot, be documented. Ultimately, it is a matter of judgment whether credit needs be given for material in your paper. Did part of what you are saying come from an identifiable source? Say so. If in doubt, talk to your instructor.
In any event, note that your instructors can only see the outcome, not the intent, so we treat such outcomes as violations.
Original writing consists of thinking through ideas and expressing them in your own way. The result may not be new, but if honestly done, it may well be interesting and worthwhile. Other people may add to your thoughts. When they do it in identifiable and specific ways, give them the credit they deserve.
Academic dishonesty is a serious offense; you should be fully aware of its consequences. If you feel you do not have an adequate understanding of plagiarism, ask your instructor or visit the Academic Integrity website.
Grades are given solely on the basis of the instructor's judgment as to a student's scholarly attainment. Any one of nine quality grades (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, F) may be given to a graduate student for coursework. A grade of A indicates exceptional achievement; a grade of B indicates substantial achievement; a grade of C indicates acceptable but substandard achievement; a grade of D indicates inadequate achievement and is a failing grade for a graduate student. A course in which a D has been obtained cannot be used to meet degree requirements. A grade of F indicates work unworthy of any credit and suggests the student may not be capable of succeeding in graduate study. The grade-point equivalents for each possible grade are 4.0, 3.67, 3.33, 3.0, 2.67, 2.33, 2.0, 1.0, and 0, respectively.
Changes in assigned and recorded grades are possible only to correct errors made in calculating or recording the grades, not to allow a student to improve a grade ex post facto, or to permit long-delayed completion of a course. Senate Policy states in the Student Guide to University Policies and Rules that no grade change can be made more than one year after the end of the semester in which the course was taken.
If work is incomplete at the end of a semester because of extenuating circumstances, the instructor may report DF in place of a grade, which will appear temporarily on the student's record. It is not appropriate to use the DF either casually or routinely to extend a course beyond the end of the semester or to extend a course for a student who has failed so that the individual can do extra work to improve the grade. The DF must be removed (i.e., the course must be completed) within nine weeks of the beginning of the succeeding semester (six weeks for summer). If the course is not completed and a grade assigned within the extended time period, a grade of F replaces the DF.
The Penn State Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin describes unsatisfactory progress to be "one or more failing grades or a cumulative grade-point average below 3.0 for any semester or combination of semesters...." If you exhibit unsatisfactory scholarship, you will be asked to achieve a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 within your next 12 credits and maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better until all other degree requirements are completed. A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 is required for graduation.
The For Students component of LionPATH gives you immediate access to semester grades as soon as they are submitted by the instructor and recorded by the Registrar's Office.
Semester grades are not automatically mailed to students. You must request that your grades be mailed to you via LionPATH; this must be done each semester.
Drop a Course
The drop procedure is used when a student needs to drop a course but still continues to be enrolled in at least one other course during the same semester. Refunds are made on a sliding scale, depending on when the Registrar's Office is notified. If a student stops attending a class and neglects to notify the Registrar's Office, the grade for the course will become an automatic "F," which becomes a part of the student's permanent record.
Tuition Adjustment Policy (in brief)
Tuition charges are calculated as of the first day of the semester/session. Requests to cancel registrations or reduce credits should be made prior to the first day of the semester/session to avoid being charge a portion of the tuition. Charges are adjusted upon withdrawal from the University based on the date of the last class attended, provided the official withdrawal form is presented within one calendar month of that date; otherwise, the adjustment will be based on the date the form is presented in the Registrar's Office. Policies regarding Tuition Adjustment can be accessed by the Office of the Bursar.
Details on adjustments for courses less than fifteen weeks long and information on tuition and fees can be obtained from the Penn State Behrend Bursar's Office at 814-898-6224. The Adjustment policy does not apply to various fees (student activities, facility, information technology, or parking fees).
Students not able to complete a schedule of courses for a given semester may withdraw from enrollment in all courses any time up to and including the last day of classes. Doing this constitutes withdrawal from the University and changes a student's status to non-degree. Withdrawing students must notify the School of Engineering and the Graduate Admissions Office immediately. The completed Withdrawal Form should be faxed to the Registrar at Penn State Behrend, 814-898-7595. The Registrar's Office can be reached at 814-898-6104.
If a student neglects to complete a withdrawal form or send a letter, the instructor may assign the grade of "F" for the course. Note that reenrollment is not automatic. Students who withdraw must submit a Resume Study application. If readmitted to the program, the student must complete the MMM curriculum in place, at the time that they re-enroll, just as a new student would.
An MMM student who completes consecutive semesters without interruption (not including summer semesters) is considered to have maintained continuous registration. Students who withdraw or miss a semester due to career or personal responsibilities may request to resume study. The Resume Study application requires satisfactory scholarship (2.8 GPA) and available space in the program. Holds on a student's record will need to be resolved before scheduling can take place.
Time to Complete Degree
The Graduate School allows a maximum of eight years for completion of MMM requirements. To request an extension, due to extenuating circumstances, contact the School of Engineering at 814-898-6153 or the Graduate Admissions Office at 814-898-7255.
Students who plan to graduate at the end of a semester are responsible for filing an "Intent to Graduate." To file your intent to graduate, go to LionPATH. Students who are removed from the graduation list will need to file their intent to graduate again for the semester in which they do plan to graduate.
Transfer of External Credit
The MMM program may accept credits of graduate coursework completed at a regionally-accredited institution. These credits will be approved on an individual basis by the program directors. These credits will not count toward the completion of the degree. Please note that there are no course substitutions permitted in this program of study.
Transferred graduate work must have been completed within five years prior to being admitted as an MMM degree candidate, must be of at least B quality, and must appear on an official graduate transcript of a regionally-accredited institution. Pass/fail grades are not transferable to an advanced degree program unless the former institution substantiates that a "pass" is equivalent to a grade of B (3.0) or better. Quarter credits must be converted to semester credits.
Unofficial transcripts for currently enrolled students are available through LionPATH. Unofficial transcripts cannot be mailed or faxed to students.
To obtain the form to request a transcript, visit the Registrar home page and select "Order a Transcript." That website will provide further directions.
Confidentiality of Student Records
The University recognizes individuals' privacy and the confidentiality of student records as described in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of (FERPA) 1974. The following items are considered directory items that may be released without the student's permission:
- Address (local, permanent, and electronic)
- Telephone number
- Date and place of birth
- Date(s) of attendance
- Enrollment status (full-time, part-time, not enrolled)
- Date(s) of graduation
- Degrees and awards received and where received
- Most recent educational institution attended
Students may request that these items not be publicly released by contacting the Registrar's Office. You will be asked to provide personal identification and complete the Student Record Confidentiality Request Form, available from the Registrar's Office.
Tuition Reimbursement Forms
Students who will be reimbursed by their employer for the satisfactory completion of specific credit courses will be permitted to register for classes without paying the tuition when it is due, provided they submit a Tuition Reimbursement Approval Form each semester. A new tuition reimbursement form must be submitted each semester, and only the latest version of the form will be accepted. Forms may be obtained in the Bursar's Office. Students can have a form mailed or faxed to them by calling Bursar's Office at 814-898-6224.
Completed forms should be returned to the Bursar's Office. If completed forms are returned by mail, they should be sent to: Penn State Behrend, Bursar's Office, 4651 College Drive, Erie, PA 16563-0102. Students receiving tuition payments from their employer can have the Bursar's Office bill their employer directly, sign their reimbursement check over to the college, or write a personal check covered by their reimbursement funds.
Some University offices are authorized to place registration holds on student records. Typical holds are either academic holds placed by the college offices or financial holds placed by the Bursar, University Libraries, etc. Placing a registration hold immediately stops the student from adding courses for the current and future semesters. Holds will be put in place for unsatisfactory scholarship, late payments, or failure to meet the immunization requirement.
On occasion, MMM students are relocated by their employers while the student is enrolled in the MMM Program. If this happens to you, contact the Directors of the MMM Program. We will make every effort to assist students in this situation.
It is unlikely that arrangements can be made to finish courses mid-semester, so it is best to delay the relocation until the end of the semester when that is possible. Relocated students must still file an Intent to Graduate form when their coursework is completed.
Attendance at MMM classes is required. It is MMM faculty policy that any student, who misses more than 20 percent of the course's in-class sessions, will automatically fail the course. If a student is taking a hybrid course and misses the residential requirement, he or she will automatically fail. If a student anticipates that work will call for missing that many classes, it is best not to register for that course. Individual faculty may have their own attendance policies, which may include participation grades based on attendance or grade-related penalties for absences. Individual faculty may also have policies regarding make-up examinations. See the syllabi of courses and their instructors for further information regarding policies on absenteeism. Faculty websites are located at this MMM Faculty page. You also may check the syllabi for currently offered courses.
Full-time and part-time student course loads
For scheduling purposes, the Penn State Behrend MMM program distinguishes between part-time and full-time students. Part-time students are limited to six credit hours in an academic semester. Full-time students can take a maximum of twelve credit hours per semester. For financial aid purposes, full time at the graduate level is considered 9 credits.
Students can buy textbooks at the Behrend Bookstore in the Reed Union Building. Call for hours. Alternatively, book orders can be placed online at eTextbooks and picked up at the bookstore. Books may be sent to students for a shipping charge.
Phone and Fax Numbers
School of Engineering
5101 Jordan Road
Erie, PA 16563
Directors of the MMM Program:
Dr. Dipo Onipede, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
5101 Jordan Road, 242F Burke, Erie, PA 16563
Dr. Diane Parente, Samuel A. and Elizabeth B. Breene Professor of Business
5101 Jordan Road, 254 Burke, Erie, PA 16563
Additional Contact Information:
Bursar, Metzgar Center
Registrar, Metzgar Center
Behrend Bookstore, Reed Union Building
University Police and Public Safety (UPPS), Logan Carriage House
behrend.psu.edu or 814-898-6000