Graduate Program Policies


Application Process


Prospective students will submit their application materials to Bisk Education/University Alliance. Once all required documentation has been received, Bisk will forward the complete application package to Villanova’s Program Administrator, who will submit the application to the Academic Advisory Committee for review. Refer to the Graduate Admissions Requirements page for additional information.

Graduation Requirements - General


  • Graduate students may enroll in no more than two courses (6 credit hours) per term
  • Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher to be approved for graduation
  • Students who expect to graduate at the end of their next term must submit an application for graduation to the Program Administrator before the beginning of that term. All academic requirements must be completed and processed before the date of graduation.
  • Upon completion of Villanova’s academic and graduation requirements, online students will earn their master’s degree and receive the same diploma as the university’s campus-based graduates. Villanova awards diplomas in May, September and December of each year.
  • Graduates of the online program are welcome to participate in the commencement ceremony, which is held on the Villanova University campus in May of each year.

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


  • Students must complete 12 courses, for a total of 36 credit hours
  • All degree candidates must successfully complete a comprehensive exam

MS in Human Resource Development


  • Students must complete eight graduate-level human resource courses and two graduate-level organizational psychology courses, for a total of 30 credit hours
  • All degree candidates must successfully complete either the SHRM Assurance of Learning exam, the PHR®, SPHR®, or GPHR® certification exam through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) to graduate 

Transfer Credits


Students who have completed graduate-level coursework at another accredited university may submit up to two courses (6 credit hours) for transfer credit consideration. Any course submitted for transfer credit must be equivalent to one of the required courses in Villanova’s master’s degree program, and the student must have earned a grade of “B” or higher. Transfer credit requests must be submitted at the same time as the student’s application to the graduate degree program. Students who do not qualify for matriculated status at the time of admission cannot be approved for transfer credits at that time.

Academic Requirements, Grades and Grading Policies


Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA for all graduate-level courses. Grades are recorded at the end of each term as soon as they are posted by faculty. Students who require a printed grade report should contact the Office of the Registrar. Any inaccuracies should immediately be reported to the Registrar in writing.

Equivalent GPA ratings for each letter grade are as follows:

Grade GPA
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
F 0.00

Students who earn a letter grade of “F” in any one of the 10 required courses must re-take the class to earn a passing grade. The original “F” grade always stands and is not removed from the transcript when the course is re-taken.

Students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 (or a letter grade below “B”) will not be approved for graduation. A situation where a student’s cumulative GPA falls below the required 3.0 minimum during any term may have two possible outcomes.

Academic Probation: Students placed on academic probation will be informed by email and by hard-copy letter to their home address that they are on academic probation, and they will be told the conditions of their probation. They must be able to bring their GPA back up to a minimum of 3.0 in 6 credits of additional coursework in order to qualify for this status. Students are only permitted one period of academic probation. Students must bring their GPA above 3.0 to remain in the program. If they rise above a 3.0 GPA after 6 credits, but fall below a 3.0 again in any subsequent term, they will be automatically dismissed at that time.

Dismissal: Students whose cumulative GPA has dropped so far below a 3.0 that is mathematically impossible for them to bring their GPA back up above 3.0 in 6 credits will be dismissed from the program without possibility of continuing. They will be notified via email and by hard-copy letter to their home address and may not appeal for re-instatement or re-apply to the program.

The Program Administrator will contact students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 and alert them to the conditions that must be met for them to remain in the program.

A grade of “N” represents “incomplete” and indicates the instructor has agreed to give the student an extension for completion of any remaining assignments. If the student does not complete and submit the remaining coursework within 10 days after the term has ended, the “N” grade will automatically convert to an “F” (failing) grade

A grade of “WX” signifies that the student was permitted to withdraw from the course without academic penalty. An approved withdrawal may be granted in cases such as a prolonged serious illness or significant employment difficulties, and requires official documentation.

Academic Integrity


Graduate students are expected to adhere to Villanova University’s policies and regulations. Please refer to the Villanova Academic Policies section on Academic Integrity for complete details. Students who exhibit dishonesty in any exam or assignment may receive a failing grade (“F”) for either the exam/assignment or for the entire course. Punishment for egregious cases may include suspension or dismissal from the graduate program.

Code of Conduct


In addition to maintaining a 3.0 GPA, Villanova graduate students must exhibit a consistently high level of professional behavior at all times. They must adhere to the values and principles of their chosen career field and treat all faculty, staff and fellow students with respect. Repeated or severe violations of reasonable performance expectations may result in dismissal from the university.

Full-Time and Part-Time Status


Graduate students enrolled in 6 credits per term are considered full-time, while those taking 3 credits per term are considered part-time.

Crossover Requests for Campus-Based and Online Degree Programs


Villanova University does not permit crossover program enrollments. Students accepted to the online graduate program will not receive credit for courses taken on campus, and students accepted to the ground-based program will not receive credit for courses taken online.

Waiver Exams


Waiver exams are not administered for any course in Villanova’s online graduate program.

Withdrawal Policy


Students are not permitted to add a course after the registration deadline has passed.

Students who wish to withdraw from a course may do so within the first seven days of class without penalty. To withdraw, new students (1) prior to the start of class must contact their University Alliance representative. Once class begins for all students, and prior to class start for returning students, to withdraw (2) during the first week of class, they must withdraw using Villanova's online student account system ("MyNOVA"). If they are a new student, MyNoVA account access information will be provided prior to their first class start. They have the prerogative of dropping a course until the end of the first week of classes without the course appearing on their transcript. (3) After the first week of class, the student must contact their University Alliance representative. Withdrawals after the first week will receive a grade of "WX" up until the final published date for withdrawing (the last day of week six) and a "W" thereafter. Students are responsible for maintaining written evidence of all drops/withdrawals requests. Following is a table that clearly outlines Villanova's withdrawal and refund policies:

Week Withdrawal Permitted Tuition Refunded Deadline
1 Yes - course dropped 100% By Sunday at 11:59 PM ET
2 Yes - grade of WX 60% By Sunday at 11:59 PM ET
3 Yes - grade of WX 40% By Sunday at 11:59 PM ET
4 Yes - grade of WX No Refund By Sunday at 11:59 PM ET
5 Yes - grade of WX No Refund By Sunday at 11:59 PM ET
6 Yes - grade of WX No Refund By Sunday at 11:59 PM ET
7 No No Refund - No Withdrawal Bottom of Form
8 No No Refund - No Withdrawal Bottom of Form

*Maryland residents-only can receive 5% withdrawal refund in weeks four and five.

Withdrawing From the University


Students who wish to withdraw from Villanova University’s online graduate program must submit a written request to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Those who completely withdraw from the university may not resume their studies unless and until they have formally been readmitted to the program. Students who withdraw without approval will receive an “F” grade for any courses not completed at the time of withdrawal.

Procedures for Student Complaints and Appeals


Grade or Faculty Performance Complaints and Appeals:Complaints regarding a course grade or faculty performance (including an instructor’s classroom presentation, professional demeanor or course policies) should be addressed to the Program Administrator, who will submit the complaint to the Faculty Advisory Committee for review. Any student or faculty member unwilling to accept the decision of the Faculty Advisory Committee may appeal the decision by submitting a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate Studies within seven days of the decision. However, appeals will only be considered for material procedural defects on the part of the committee, or if new material evidence is found. In all cases, the decision of the Dean is final.

Admissions Decision Appeals: Any applicant wishing to appeal an admission decision by the Faculty Advisory Committee must send a written appeal, along with any additional relevant application materials, to the Program Administrator.

Academic Integrity Violation Appeals: Students who receive an academic integrity penalty but believe they have committed no such violation may submit their case to the Board of Academic Integrity.

Academic Dismissal Appeals: Any student who is dismissed from the graduate program for failing to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 may not appeal for reinstatement.

For more information, visit Villanova University’s policy concerning grade appeals and complaints against faculty.

Note: University policies are subject to change. Please consult the official Villanova University academic policies for the most up-to-date information. Due to the online nature of this program, some of the policies outlined here may vary from the published policies for Villanova’s campus-based graduate program.