Academic Policies

All academic policies apply to students in Simmons degree programs offered off-site.

See the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Graduate Course Catalog for more information on the following topics:

  • Transfer of Credits
  • Leave of Absence/Readmission to Active Status
  • Extension of Time to Complete Coursework
  • Length of Time to Complete Degree
  • Withdrawal from the College
  • Readmission of Withdrawn Students
  • Grading Policy
  • Satisfactory Progress Toward the Degree
  • Grievance Procedure

Human Subjects

The College has established policies on the use of human subjects in all Simmons-initiated research and training projects. The use of humans is monitored by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Students undertaking research projects that propose to use humans must submit a proposal and receive permission from the IRB before their projects may begin. The contact for the IRB is the Office of Sponsored Programs, Room E-206, 617-521-2415. A copy of the Simmons College human subjects research policy and IRB forms may be found on the Office of Sponsored Programs web page at It is expected that all members of the Simmons community will fulfill their legal and ethical responsibilities to ensure that the rights and safety of human subjects are protected.

Academic Probation

Each graduate student's academic standing is monitored by the program faculty in which they are enrolled. Academic warning, academic probation, or exclusion from the program may be recommended by the program director. Students on warning or probation are extended all the rights and privileges of regularly enrolled students, but are placed in this category as a notification that they must improve their grades in order to receive their degrees. Students may, upon recommendation of their program director, be relieved of probationary status with improvement of their grades. Students on probation should consult the Associate Director of Student Financial Services concerning effects of probation on their financial aid status.

History students must maintain a B grade point average to remain in good academic standing. A student whose g.p.a. falls below a 3.0 will receive an academic warning or be placed on academic probation. A failure to maintain a 3.0 average in subsequent semesters can lead to a dismissal from the program. Registration Procedures

An officially registered graduate student is one who has gone through the registration process per instructions, has obtained any necessary approvals, and has settled all charges with the Office of Student Financial Services. Registration for returning students is held at the end of the preceding semester. No student may register for any course after the fourth week of fall or spring semesters. If a student's name does not appear on the class list by the fourth week of classes, she or he will not be allowed to attend classes, take examinations, or be evaluated on assignments. See the CAS Graduate Course Catalog for more information on Registration.

Dropping Courses

A graduate student may drop a course by completing an add/drop form available in the Office of the Registrar until the end of the fourth week of classes. From week four through week eight, students may drop a course through the same procedure, but a grade of "W" (to designate withdrawal) will appear on the permanent transcript. From week nine through the end of the semester, students may drop a course only through special petition to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Only petitions that outline unusual circumstances beyond the student's control will be approved.

Registration is binding, both financially and academically. Courses dropped are subject to the College's refund policy. Students considering dropping courses should carefully read the pages of the Simmons College Catalog that describe the College's refund policy. A student who fails to attend a course, but has not formally withdrawn, normally receives a grade of "F" at the close of the semester.

International students (non-U.S. citizens) must maintain full-time enrollment to remain in status for immigration purposes. Before dropping any course, international students must consult with the International Student Advisor in the Office of Student Life.

For information about dropping weekend and multi-week courses, see

Adding Courses

A graduate student may add courses after registration until the end of the fourth week of classes. To add a course the student must complete the add/drop form and pay the appropriate fees to the Office of Student Financial Services. Any student wishing to add a course after the fourth week must petition the Dean of CAS. Students should be aware that the Dean approves such requests only in very unusual circumstances.
All registration procedures, including dropping and adding courses, for students enrolled in off-site programs are processed through the Off-Campus Coordinator at 617-521-2626.

Non-Degree Registration

Non-Degree Students
Most graduate programs allow a student to enroll as a non-degree student and earn a maximum of eight semester hours. A student must apply for admission to the program if she or he wishes to continue taking courses beyond eight semester hours. Non-degree students must earn a grade of B (3.00) or better in each course in order to be subsequently considered for admission or to enroll in a second course. Courses taken while in non-degree status may be counted toward a degree if the student is admitted to a degree program. Satisfactory performance as a non-degree student is a prerequisite to admission to a degree program; however, it does not guarantee admission.
Non-degree students are not eligible for Simmons College or federal financial aid. Simmons College is not able to provide an I-20 or IAP-66 for non-degree students, because they are not fully admitted and matriculated students.

Auditing Courses

Formal Audits
Graduate students who have successfully completed at least eight semester hours in the program may register for a formal audit with the permission of the instructor and the program director. A formal audit signifies that a matriculating student has attended a class regularly and under certain conditions. It exists to indicate for the record that a student is acquainted with the material presented in the audited course. A maximum of two courses may be taken for formal audit during the time that the student is enrolled in a master's program. Upon satisfactory completion of the formal audit agreement, an indication "AU" appears on the transcript. Fees and conditions for the formal audit are on the "Registration for Formal Audit" agreement available in the Office of the Registrar.

Informal Audits
Graduate students currently enrolled in a program are not allowed to audit courses informally.

Dual-Degree Program History/Archives: All dual-degree students in the History/Archives program must take at least one history course before registering for their fourth course in Archives Management.