Academic Policies


Statute of Limitations:

There is a statute of limitations for each degree program. For example, all requirements for the M.A. degrees must be completed within seven years after entering the program. Students for any degree program may obtain a time extension of one year for each additional three-hour course successfully completed in their area of concentration, with their adviser’s approval.

Candidacy for Degree:

By filling out and submitting the proper form to the registrar, the student should apply for candidacy to the degree during the first week of November of the academic year in which he/she hopes to graduate. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the registrar if, after applying, he/she is unable to complete requirements.


Examinations taken out of their regularly scheduled time, either early or late, impose an added burden on the faculty and staff. Any student desiring to take an examination out of schedule must obtain the permission of the instructor and make payments to the Business Office.

English Bible Exam:

All students in all master’s degree plans, except the M.A. in Counseling, must pass a comprehensive English Bible exam during the first semester of enrollment. Courses 5000 and 5200 may be taken in lieu of this exam. Students have one attempt to pass the Old Testament and New Testament sections of the exam. Students who fail to do so must take the corresponding survey(s), 5000 and/or 5200. Students must take the exam during the first nine hours of their program.


The following grade scale is used to indicate student performance in each course:

GradeStandardQuality Points
DCannot receive graduate credit1

Where designated, some courses are graded as S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory). Courses in which a D or F is made will not be counted toward the degree, but will be used in figuring the GPA unless they are repeated and replaced. No course may be repeated more than once without the permission of the instructor.



An incomplete is a temporary grade, given only when an emergency interrupts a studentís progress in a course. It requires both the approval of the professor of the course and the dean. An incomplete is changed to the appropriate letter grade at the end of the extension period; incompletes cannot be changed to W. Fall incompletes must be completed within 10 weeks after the semester ends; spring incompletes must be completed within nine weeks after the semester ends. Incompletes from summer short courses are due 19 weeks after the class meets on campus. If the course is not completed by the end of the extension period, the grade becomes an F.

Incompletes will be due according to the following schedule:

SemesterIncompletes Due 
FallFeb. 24
SpringJuly 7

Summer due dates vary depending upon when the class meets on campus. See examples below.

Summer ClassesIncompletes Due
June 5-10Oct. 20
July 24-29Dec. 8
On-campus Requirement:

At least one-third of the course credits for any degree must be taken on our campus. This restriction overrides combinations of transfer and online courses.

Course Load:

A student who takes nine hours or more in the fall or spring or six hours or more in the summer is considered a full-time student. Normally a student is permitted to enroll for a maximum of 12 hours of work (inclusive of dissertation/thesis) in any one semester. Students who are engaged in outside activities that require more than 20 hours per week should not enroll for more than nine hours.


Intensive Courses:

Throughout the school year, various Intensive Courses are offered, particularly for the benefit of those who live a great distance from the School. The courses consist of heavy reading in advance of the class meetings, six to seven days of lectures and discussions on campus, and papers or projects following the lectures. The courses may be applied to a degree program or serve as refreshment or retooling purposes for those involved in ministries. Registration deadline for all Intensive Courses is two months before the first meeting of the class on campus. Before purchasing travel tickets, students should contact the Deanís Office for enrollment figures (six credit students are required for classes to materialize).

Summer School:

To meet the needs of students in varying positions, one-week Intensive Courses are offered in the summer. A full-time load for summer school is six hours.

Special Arrangement Courses:

In exceptional circumstances, students may take or complete courses by special arrangements. In all such cases the student must secure the permission of the appropriate professor and the dean.

Extension Courses:

Extension courses are occasionally offered in the fall and spring. Check with the registrar for locations, dates and registration rmation. Please register one month in advance of the first class session. Students wishing to apply these courses toward a degree may take no more than 49 percent of the degree at these sites.

Online Courses:

Certain courses are available for credit or audit online. A student must have access to appropriate library resources in order to enroll in a distance education course. The course instructor determines whether or not a student has sufficient access. In addition, online students must possess the fundamental technological equipment and skills to complete course requirements. No more than one-third of any degree may be taken through online courses, except for those in the MinistryConnection program.


Central to the purpose of Harding University Graduate School is preparing graduates who can function effectively in real-life situations. Opportunities in field education are provided to help the student integrate classroom instruction and actual ministry.

Field education courses are projects suited to the students’ interests and circumstances but are carried out with the guidance of professors who teach in the Ministerial Division.

  1. To further the overall purpose of the Harding University Graduate School of Religion in training effective leadership for the church.
  2. To provide an opportunity for students to relate the theoretical and practical phases of learning through closely supervised ministry experiences.
  3. To increase the students’ awareness of the social and cultural factors in ministry and to increase their ability to think and act with Christian maturity as they minister to others and participate in the life and work of the church.
  4. To give an opportunity for churches to share in educational preparation for the ministry by aiding in tutoring and supervising the students and to serve as ministry training centers. Any student may enroll in field education courses. Six semester hours are required for the M.Div. degree—a “Supervised Practice of Ministry” sequence. See course description in the Ministerial Division section of the catalog.

Individual student projects are developed by the student in consultation with the professor, following the guidelines in the Field Education Manual (obtainable from the bookstore). Both experience and future plans are the main considerations for the studentís field project. In addition to possibilities for a field project in a church where one may already be serving, a variety of approved settings are available among Memphis-area churches, public and private schools, campus ministry, hospitals, penal institutions and welfare agencies. Grading is based on student performance. While the student and the professor will work out the criteria for the grade, the student may expect to make a monthly report, consult regularly with the professor and offer evidence of having designed and carried out a responsible project. Grades of S and U are given for field education courses.