2014-2015 Graduate Studies

Cumberland University Graduate Studies

Graduate Degrees

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)
Master of Public Service Management (MSP)
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Master of Art (MA)
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Master of Sport & Exercise Science (MSES)

Mission of the Graduate Studies Program

The mission of the Graduate Studies Programs are to provide programs that augment academic preparation for those individuals who have or may assume positions of leadership in their chosen professions. The graduate programs promote academic integrity and encourage scholarly pursuits that are designed to enhance professional performance. These programs have been developed to improve business and community leadership, professionalism, and public service in the region.

Cumberland University currently offers the following graduate programs:
Master of Arts in Education (MAE)
Master of Teaching (MAT)
Master of Education (MEd)
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Master of Business Administration Online (MBA)
Master of Public Service Management (MSP)
Master of Sport and Exercise Science (MSES)
Master of Arts in Fine Arts (MA)

The Graduate Studies Programs are an extension of Cumberland University’s goal to provide opportunities for advanced study in traditional and emerging fields within a liberal arts environment and have been designed after careful study and thoughtful reflection of the needs of our graduates and the community. The programs seek to challenge the individual student in such a way that he/she can realize personal, intellectual, and career ambitions and gain skills from which the society-at-large can directly benefit.

Enrollment in graduate programs are limited. Each applicant should consult with the Program Director for each degree to ensure that the programs of study offered are suitable to the vocational goals and needs of the student.

International Graduate Students

International applicants should apply at least six months in advance to allow sufficient time for completion of files and correspondence. No international student will be considered for admission and enrollment at Cumberland University until all official documents have been received and are on file. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make certain all documents are received by the appropriate deadline.

  1. All international students must file an application for admission and submit a non-refundable application fee of $50, which must accompany the application form. International students may also apply to the University online at www.cumberland.edu. Students who apply online may pay their application fee online. The application form must have all the appropriate spaces completed. Failure to complete the application form or to submit the $50 application fee will result in a delay in processing and consideration of the application.
  2. Graduation from an accredited college or university is required. All students must submit English translated official transcripts of all undergraduate work (see #5 below).
  3. All students from countries where English is not the native language must demonstrate a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination, 500 or higher on the written exam, 61 or higher on the internet-based exam, or a 173 on the computer-based exam, by submitting an official copy of the TOEFL grade report.
  4. All students must submit an F-1 Visa Student Financial Responsibility Form and all supporting documentation that confirms that the student has funds for the cost of living and studying at Cumberland University for two semesters on deposit at a financial institution in the United States or a foreign country. The F-1 Visa Student Financial Responsibility Form is required each academic year. All international students are also required to complete an F-1 International Student Regulation Form.
  5. International students must submit all international university transcripts to an evaluation agency that is a member of NACES (National Association of Credential Services) for translation, evaluation, and to provide a cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. Examples of agencies offering these evaluation services include, but are not limited to World Educational Services (WES), Joseph Silney & Associates, Inc. (JS&A), or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). An original copy of the evaluation must be on file before the student is considered for admission.
  6. International students must meet the individual requirements set forth for each graduate program. For further information about application requirements please refer to the appropriate program’s page in the graduate catalog. 
  7. All international students must enroll in health and accident insurance approved by Cumberland University and provide evidence of appropriate insurance. The Designated School Official (DSO) will assist in locating an agent to supply such service.
  8. All students must provide documentation of the required immunizations. For further information regarding current immunization requirements please contact the Office of Admissions.

Upon the student becoming accepted for admission and receipt of the F-1 Visa Student Financial Responsibility Form and accompanying documents, the University will then issue a Certificate of Eligibility for non-immigrant “F-1” student status (I-20).


Academic Information for Graduate Studies

To be considered as a candidate for one of Cumberland University's graduate programs, applicants should:

  • Complete an application for a specific program, including payment of a $50 application fee.
  • Provide evidence of successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Official transcript(s) must be received directly from the granting institution(s).
  • Submit satisfactory scores on the appropriate entrance examination, if applicable. You may find additional information within your graduate program.

At Cumberland University, a fully admitted graduate student is one who has met all admission requirements and has been given acceptance notice by the program director.

A provisionally admitted graduate student is one who has met at least the minimum requirement of having a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university, submitted an application and fee, but has not met all the admission requirements. Students admitted provisionally will receive a letter from the director detailing why their admission is provisional.

Students must complete the requirements to be fully admitted prior to enrolling for more than six graduate credits or one semester. If a student does not meet the specified admission requirements, he/she may petition the director for an exception. This must be done prior to enrolling in additional graduate coursework. Enrollment in all graduate studies programs is subject to acceptance into the program.

Transfer Credit

No more than six semester hours of graduate coursework may be transferred to to be applied as credit toward the Master’s Degree. These hours may have been completed at a regionally accredited institution, be appropriate substitutions for course work required in the Cumberland Degree Program, and the student must have earned the grade of “B” or better for any course to be considered for transfer purposes. The program director will determine the application of the transfer credit. Any transferable coursework must be at the graduate level and must have been completed within the last 5 years prior to entering the graduate program at Cumberland.

Payment of Charges

Registration will not be complete and students cannot attend classes until all tuition/fees are paid or appropriate payment arrangements have been made with the Business Office, Memorial Hall, Room 109. Students must pay all balances owed to the University before the end of each semester. Cumberland offers several payment options to facilitate the student with their final step of registration.

  1. Payment in full Cumberland University will accept a personal check or money order for the total balance due. Checks should be made payable to Cumberland University and include the student’s full name on the face of the check. The University also accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Payments may also be made online by credit card or electronic check at

  2. Monthly Payments Students may make monthly payments on their account by enrolling in the FACTS Payment Plan. Contracts may be completed in person in the Business Office or on line at: http://www.cumberland.edu/financialaid/ecashier.html. Payments are automatically withdrawn from a checking or savings account or credit card account on the 5th or the 20th of each month. Contact the Business Office at 547-1218 or 547-1250 for more information.

  3. Third Party Promissory Note Cumberland University also offers a deferred payment plan to those students whose employer/responsible party has agreed to pay for their classes. Students must sign a “Third Party Promissory Note” stating the employer/responsible party will pay the balance on completion of classes at the end of the semester.

A student who has a balance of more than one semester in arrears will not be permitted to register for further classes until the account is brought up to date. The student must submit a signed statement from their employer on company letterhead stating the criteria for employer payment. Should any pending credits to a student’s account fail to materialize or for any other reason a balance results, the student is responsible for the balance due. In the event the account remains unpaid and is referred to a collection agency, the student will be responsible for all collection agency fees and/or attorney fees associated with collections.


Each student in a graduate program is assigned to an advisor, typically the Program Director, who guides the student in completing educational goals, including requirements for the degree.

Academic Load for Graduate Students

For the purpose of determining full-time enrollment in graduate programs a minimum of six (6) semester hours is required during each official registration semester.

Grading and Requirements for Graduation

Grading of students in each course is reported by the professor. The grading system shown below is employed for most courses, but is subject to modification by the faculty member responsible for each specific course. For example, some professions may incorporate a +/- grading scale in accordance with the grading system shown below:

Grade GPA Recommended Numerical Average
A 4.0 93-100
A- 3.667 90-92
B+ 3.333 87-89
B 3.0 83-86
B- 2.667 80-82
C+ 2.333 77-79
C 2.0 73-76
D+ 1.333 67-69
D 1.0 60-66
F 0 59 or below

(If receiving a “F” the course must be repeated in its entirety. Continuation in the program is subject to Graduate Studies Council approval. If approved, a grade of “B” or better must be made. If, after repeating the entire course one time, a grade of “B” or better is not earned, the student shall not continue in the program.)

WF = Withdraw Failing – zero (0) quality points per semester hour, does not calculate into your GPA.

I = Incomplete – zero (0) quality points per semester hour

A grade of “I” (Incomplete) is given only when part of the work required is missing and arrangements have been made in advance with the professor to complete the work. Normally this means that an “I” grade should be given only if circumstances arise which are beyond the control of the student, e.g., illness, accident, or other unforeseen circumstances. If the work is not completed by the end of the following semester, the “I” grade will be changed to an “F” unless the professor submits another “I” grade.

The following letters denote grades which are not included in the computation of the GPA:

P = Pass AU = Audit
W = Withdrawal WP = Withdrawal Passing

Any student dropping a course within the time limit noted in this Catalog, while performing satisfactorily, will receive a grade of “WP” (withdrawal from a course, having completed work to that point satisfactorily); otherwise a grade of “WF” (withdrawal, having done unsatisfactory work) will be assigned. Neither is calculated into your GPA.

Any student who discontinues class attendance and does not officially withdraw will be assigned the grade of “F” in that course or courses. To withdraw officially, a student must obtain the signatures of the class professor and his/her advisor on the Withdrawal Form (found in the Registrar's Office MH-107). Failure to follow proper withdrawal procedures may result in a student’s receiving an “F” in these classes.

To audit a course, the student must obtain permission from the Program Director. Audit must be clearly marked on the registration form and, if a change from audit to credit is desired, the change must be made prior to the second class meeting.

Graduate Probation

Students enrolled in a Master’s degree program are required to maintain no less than a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 to remain in good standing. When a student’s grade point average falls below the minimum required, the student is automatically placed on probation and must petition the Graduate Council through his/her Program Director to continue in course work in any graduate program of Cumberland University. Students on probation may remain on probation for a maximum of one semester; if the student’s cumulative grade point average has not risen to the required 3.00 level at the end of one semester of probation, the student may be officially withdrawn from the program. If the student is withdrawn from a graduate program, he/she must remain inactive for a complete academic semester, and then must reapply for graduate enrollment. Re-enrollment is not automatic, and will only be allowed with the consent of both the appropriate school Dean and Graduate Council. When a graduate student on probation achieves a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above, that student is automatically removed from a probationary status and is considered to be in good standing.

Appeal Process for Graduate Students

Students have the right to appeal their probation or suspension to the Graduate Council. The student is required to submit a letter to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline included in the probation or suspension letter. The Graduate Council will meet to consider the students appeal. The student will be notified via email/U.S. Mail of the outcome.

Students who wish to appeal a decision of the Graduate Council are required to submit a letter to the Office of Academic Affairs within five (5) business days of receiving notification of a decision made by the Graduate Council. Upon receipt, the Academic Affairs Office will submit the students’ appeal letter to the University President within two working days. The appeal will be reviewed on the basis of the letter provided by the student, the student transcript, and the response from the Graduate Council. The President has the right to choose to request a meeting with the student or if he/she chooses to make the decision based only on submitted written materials. If the student fails to submit an appeal by the deadline, the decision of the Graduate Council will go into effect immediately. Appeals will be reviewed within ten (10) business days of receipt of the appeal form by the President. The student will be notified of the outcome via email/U.S. Mail. The decision of the University President is final.

Graduation Requirements for Graduate Studies

Each student must successfully complete the required 36 semester hours of graduate coursework for the Master's Degree within seven calendar years from the date of entry as a degree-seeking student. Candidates for Cumberland University’s Masters programs must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.00. A student is allowed a maximum of six (6) semester hours of “C” grades. No student will be allowed to continue in his/her respective program without permission of the Graduate Studies Council if they have more than two (2) “C” grades or below in any courses, and permission to repeat any courses with a grade of “C” or below must be obtained from the Program Advisor.