School of Education Graduate Academic Policies and Standards

Petition for an Exception to an Academic Rule

This process is only for fully admitted graduate students.

Students may petition for exemption from academic policies. The request must include the recommendation of the student’s advisor. Petitions are granted only for cause. A petition for exemption from or modification of a completion requirement may be granted only by the graduate faculty.

The petition for an exception to an academic regulation consists of the student and academic advisor submitting a letter to their program director. The submission of the petition does not mean the request will be granted but instead provides a procedure for the student’s request to be heard and considered by the relevant officials. While a committee, individual director, or dean may be understanding about a student’s situation, missing deadlines, failing to achieve grade point average requirements, or misunderstanding requirements does not release the student from personal responsibility for completing the requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to petition the academic regulation and request a letter from their academic advisor or director of their academic program within the School of Education. Petitions missing required information will be returned to the petitioner and a decision will be delayed.

  • The student writes a letter to their program director petitioning for an exception to an academic regulation.
    • A petition for an exception to an academic regulation should contain a clear and detailed statement of the exception requested and the special circumstances that are the basis for the request. Students should review their petitions with their faculty advisor or program director.
  • The academic advisor writes a letter of recommendation as part of the exception to an academic regulation
    • Comments from these individuals indicating support for the petition or providing pertinent information, such as the last date the student attended class, are important.
  • Once all documents have been received, the faculty of their department within the School of Education will convene and offer a recommendation to the Associate Dean/Director of the School of Education based on the policy, request from the student, and all supporting documents.
  • The Associate Dean or Program Director will then make a final determination based on the recommendation and communicate the decision to the student, advisor, and others as needed for the decision to be documented and carried out. 

Academic Progress

In order to be recommended by Mary Baldwin University’s MAT or MEd program to the Commonwealth of Virginia for an initial teaching license or for an additional endorsement on an existing license, a student must earn a letter grade of “B-” or better in Student Teaching or Field Experience.

Course Substitution Policy

Students who are in a program pursuing licensure who have taken a licensure-required course at another institution at the undergraduate level in the last five years with a grade of B or better may request taking another graduate elective in lieu of taking a graduate version of an undergraduate course they have already taken. This may be done for no more than two courses. Note that course substitutions are not accepted for Methods courses unless the undergraduate equivalent was taken at MBU.


The Master of Science Higher Education program uses the following 7-point grading scale in all courses in the program, except HIED 632 and HIED 633. (There is no A+). All students must complete HIED 630 with a B- or better to be enrolled in HIED 632 and HIED 633. Please carefully read your course syllabus.

A (970-1000 pts)
A- (930-969 pts)
B+ (900-929 pts)
B (870-899 pts)
B- (830-869 pts)
C (790-829 pts)
F <790 pts