MCE Policies & Procedures

The Associate Deans for the Morgridge College of Education, and faculty advisors are available to clarify the policies and procedures contained herein and to provide related guidance. Please note, however, that students are wholly responsible for knowing requirements and adhering to designated deadlines and time limits.

Policies Subject to Change

The MCE Policy Handbook is a living document and as such is revised to address issues as they emerge. Therefore policies and procedures are revised and students are responsible for policies and procedures that are subject to change. Students are responsible for the content of DU Graduate Bulletin.

  • Advising

    Students are assigned academic advisors upon enrollment in the program. Students are instructed to contact faculty advisors directly to schedule appointments and create coursework plans. Academic advisors will provide clarification of the policies and procedures that are college-wide in their applicability.

  • The Coursework Plan

    During the first quarter of study students will develop, with the assistance of their advisor, a plan of study consistent with program requirements to ensure that the student understands the sequence of required courses. The signed coursework plan of study and any transfer or waiver request forms will be submitted to the department Academic Services Associate (ASA) for processing no later than the end of the first quarter of enrollment or within the first 15 credits of enrollment per unit-specific policy. It is recommended that a copy be retained by both the student and advisor.

    Certificate students will submit the initial completed and signed coursework plan no later than the end of the first quarter of enrollment. Sample course work plans appear in the program specific handbooks.

    Although the initial quarters of enrollment may consist of required courses, students will also confer with their advisor to select electives when appropriate. Course work plans can be amended when deemed necessary by the student and advisor. To ensure that approved changes are honored at the time of degree evaluation, a revised, fully signed and dated coursework plan must be submitted to the department ASA. This document will replace the original plan.

  • Non-MCE Courses

    Degree-seeking students in the MCE are sometimes advised to take classes in other units on campus to complement the course work completed within the college. Please note that courses taken at University College will not be counted as part of the degree unless the course approved by the advisor has been certified to be one level above the student’s degree, and has been approved in writing by the MCE Associate Dean. Written approval, signed by both the advisor and the associate dean must be obtained prior to taking the course, and submitted with a revised coursework plan to the department’s ASA.

  • Grades

    Grades submitted by instructors at the end of the term are final and are not subject to change by reason of revision of judgment on the part of the instructor. Grades cannot be changed on the basis of second trial, such as a new examination or additional work undertaken or completed after the original grade has been submitted.

    Any student whose overall grade point average falls below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Upon program notification, the student must meet with the advisor to develop a plan of improvement. After three (3) consecutive quarters of deficit, the student may be recommended for termination from the program.

    The following grading scale has been approved by and is standard across all MCE instructors:

    Letter Grade



    4.0 = 93-100


    3.7 = 90-92


    3.3 = 87-89


    3.0 = 83-86


    2.7 = 80-82


    2.3 = 77-79


    2.0 = 73-76


    1.7 = 70-72


    1.3 = 67-69


    1.0 = 63-66


    0.7 = 60-62


    0.0 = 59 & below

  • Degree Requirements and Timelines

    The MCE faculty is committed to working closely with students to facilitate their academic progress. As part of this process, advisors regularly review all students’ work to assess their progress toward the degree. Assessment is based on a review of coursework, independent work, and other relevant criteria such as demonstrated competence in writing and critical thinking. In addition, in order for students’ knowledge to be current, and to pursue research on timely problems that will advance the field, it is expected that all students will make steady progress toward completion of degree requirements.

    MCE students are expected to complete degree requirements within the following number of years of beginning their programs, as measured by the matriculation into the degree program:

    • Certificate students – three years
    • Master’s candidates – five years
    • Ph.D. and Ed.D. candidates – seven years

    Failure to complete the degree within the established time limits will result in termination unless the student successfully petitions for a time extension to the Academic Exceptions Committee and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies. The student initiates the petition via PioneerWeb and must be supported by the advisor in order to be considered. If the petition is not approved, the student will be terminated from the program. Students may petition for an extension of time for a minimum of one quarter and up to a maximum of one year per request. If the one-year time extension has expired and the degree work has not been completed, students should discuss with their advisor the feasibility of submitting a petition for an additional time extension. Please note that additional time extensions are rarely granted and only when strongly supported by the faculty advisor and the associate dean if the student has made a compelling case for extenuating circumstances, along with a detailed timeline plan for degree completion.

    Petition procedures and instructions are detailed in the DU Graduate Bulletin – Time to Complete Degree. Completing a degree in the Morgridge College of Education (MCE) deserves celebration; the University and the MCE applaud your hard work and great accomplishment.

    In order for the degree to be conferred (i.e., appear on the transcript), students must apply to graduate. The application must be submitted at least two quarters prior to the intended date of graduation. Failure to file the application on time will automatically delay the date of graduation to a subsequent quarter. The MCE prepares students for professions that require a deep knowledge of content and pedagogy, as well as a commitment to mutual wellbeing. Therefore, MCE expects all students, staff and faculty members to act in a professional manner in all interactions and communications (i.e., email, phone, and face-to-face) throughout the program and in every program-related setting: classes, schools sites, community settings, in-services, and program meetings.

  • Continually Enrolled Expectation (Continuous Enrollment)

    Doctoral programs in the Morgridge College of Education require a minimum of ten (10) Dissertation (Ph.D.) or Doctoral Research (Ed.D.) credit hours. In order to maintain degree candidacy, MCE doctoral students who have finished all required course work will register for one dissertation or doctoral research credit or other credit for consecutive terms fall through spring (summers not required) until the student graduates. Although a total of 10 dissertation/doctoral research credits are required, student progress toward the degree may require students to register for more than 10 credits to maintain degree candidacy. Students on an approved leave of absence are not required to register for dissertation credits, although they still must meet the minimum of 10 dissertation/doctoral research credits to graduate.

    With advisor approval, doctoral students may register for up to 50% of the minimum number of dissertation credits required by the student’s program prior to the completion of all coursework and comprehensive exams. Dissertation credit, as with any credits, will not be refunded if the student does not successfully complete the student’s dissertation, other required courses, or qualifying or comprehensive exams