Admission / Academic Policies

Academic Progress Policy

Only courses in which a grade of B- or higher is earned may be counted toward a degree.

Advising

Every student, upon enrollment, is assigned the Director of the School of Letters as their academic advisor. The advisor will confer personally with each student during their first summer in the program, and as needed thereafter. The advisor will review each student’s progress in the program and course selections for the coming summer each spring, and will communicate with the student as needed.

Assistance for Disabilities

Assistance for Students with Disabilities

The University of the South is committed to fostering respect for the diversity of the University community and the individual rights of each member of our community. In this spirit, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the University seeks to provide disabled students with the reasonable accommodations needed to ensure equal access to the programs and activities of the University. While the University provides a number of services to support the academic work of all its students (including tutoring and study skills programs), additional accommodations can be made specifically for students with learning disabilities, mobility limitations, certified visual and hearing impairments, and other functional limitations as defined by the ADA via Student Accessibility Services (SAS).

SAS seeks to create an environment wherein the nature and degree of access to programs, services, and facilities, and the level of self-determination afforded qualified persons with disabilities are indistinguishable from those which are available to their peers without disabilities. Students with disabilities are afforded access as immediately and unobtrusively as possible at the point of institutional contact and are recognized for their abilities, rather than their disabilities, or stereotypical attributes ascribed to their respective physical or mental impairments.

As an office, SAS provides accommodations, consultation, and advocacy for qualified students with disabilities. Determination of student eligibility to request reasonable accommodations is made by SAS staff. SAS works collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff to create an inclusive educational environment for students with disabilities. SAS values relationships with students and seeks to promote pride in the value of one’s disability-related experience and empowers students  to self-advocate by providing them with necessary skills and support. SAS will not seek out students for accommodations and in no case will accommodations be provided retroactively. Students seeking accommodations should contact Student Accessibility Services by phone at (931) 598-1325 or email at sas@sewanee.edu.

Changing Programs

Students are admitted to either the M.A. program or the M.F.A. program, but after completing at least one summer term, they may apply to transfer from their original program to the other one. The application to transfer includes (1) a short letter to the director explaining the reason for the transfer, (2) a writing sample, and (3) a letter from a School of Letters professor supporting the transfer. The writing sample for transferring into the M.A. program should be a piece of literary criticism; the writing sample for transferring into the M.F.A. program should be a piece of creative writing in what the applicant expects to be his or her major genre. Similarly the letter supporting a transfer into the M.A. program should be from a literature professor; the letter supporting a transfer into the M.F.A. program should come from a creative writing professor in the applicant’s major genre. The director, in consultation with the faculty, will decide if the transfer is advisable. The sooner in a student’s career the transfer is made, the more likely it can be accomplished without the need to register for extra courses.

Course Requirements

M.A. students are required to complete 30 semester hours (typically 10-course credits), which may be done in two ways. All students will take eight courses, normally enrolling in two courses per summer. After earning these credits, students seeking to earn the M.A. may earn their final course credits either by writing a thesis or by enrolling in two more courses. Students seeking the M.F.A. after completing eight courses (four workshops and four literature classes) will submit a final thesis. No course with a grade lower than B- may be applied toward the degree. The “core” for all M.A. students will consist of courses in English literature, of which one must be Shakespeare, courses in American literature, of which one must cover literature written before 1900, and at least one class in non-English literature in translation. Beyond that, students are encouraged to strike a balance between courses covering material from before and after 1800. As many as two Creative Writing Workshops may be counted toward the M.A. degree. New M.A. students are required to take Introduction to Graduates Studies in English, designed to introduce our new literature students to the protocols and expectations of graduate study in English. The course carries no academic credit, but it will meet three times during the semester.

Grading Policy

Student work is evaluated with a standard A, B, C, D and F scale. Grades of I, for incomplete, and W, for withdrawn, may also be awarded. Only courses in which a grade of B- or higher is earned may be counted toward a degree. Grade averages are calculated on the following scale:

A+ 4.33      B+ 3.33      C+ 2.33      D+ 1.33      F 0.00

A 4.00         B 3.00        C 2.00        D 1.00

A- 3.67        B- 2.67       C- 1.67       D- 0.67

Students must maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average to continue in the program. The grade of incomplete may be given at the discretion of the professor, who will assign a deadline for submission of unfinished course work. The incomplete must be replaced with a grade no later than the following April 15.

Honor Code

Sewanee places major emphasis upon honor. Its students are expected to conduct themselves with integrity, discipline, a sense of individual responsibility, and regard for other people. In exchange for this conduct the University grants its students freedom and privacy. The Honor Code is a time-honored tradition at Sewanee, and your matriculation at the University acknowledges your willingness to live within the bounds of academic, personal, and community relationships the Honor Code upholds.

Library and Information Technology Policies

The Library can be accessed online here: http://library.sewanee.edu/library. Library and Information Technology policies can be found here: http://www.sewanee.edu/offices/lits/lits-policies/.

Privacy (FERPA)

The University of the South complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (FERPA), which is designed to protect the confidentiality of the records that educational institutions maintain on students and to give students access to their records to assure the accuracy of their contents. Links to the Student Notification of Rights with Respect to Their Education Records and the Education Records and FERPA policy are here:

www.sewanee.edu/media/provost/Notification-of-Student-Rights-with-Respect-to-Their-Education-Records.pdf
and
www.sewanee.edu/media/provost/FERPA-Policy.pdf

Refund Policy

If a student, after registration, is dismissed or withdraws for any cause except illness, he or she is not entitled to any refund of the sum paid to the University or to the cancellation of any sum due to the University. Refunds for a withdrawal because of illness are figured by prorating fees for the period from the date of withdrawal to the end of the session. The amounts to be prorated are one-half of tuition and room charges and three-fourths of the board charge. No refund is made for the activity fee or any other fee. Notice of withdrawal and requests for refund must be made in writing addressed to the director of the School of Letters and must be accompanied by a written notice from the health care provider stating that the illness-withdrawal is recommended.

Report a Concern or Incident

A student who wishes to make a written complaint about any aspect of the program or the University, or report a concern about a person, or report an incident in the School of Letters, should do so by filling out one of the forms below. Reports about the School of Letters will be investigated by the director who will determine, with the advice of the faculty and the School of Letters Committee if needed, what measures, if any, should be taken to address it.
A complaint about the director will be handled by the Dean of the College. Complaints about hateful or biased conduct, sexual misconduct or Title IX reports, and general complaints will be handled by the appropriate University authorities as explained on each form.

State of Tennessee Complaint Procedures

Should the institution not be able to resolve the complaint, the person making the report has the right to contact the state of Tennessee and its appropriate agency to determine the course of action.

Complaints related to the application of state laws or rules related to approval to operate or licensure of a particular professional program within a postsecondary institution shall be referred to the appropriate State Board (i.e., State Boards of Health, State Board of Education, and so on) within the Tennessee State Government and shall be reviewed and handled by that licensing board (http://www.tn.gov, and then search for the appropriate division).

Complaints related to state consumer protection laws (e.g., laws related to fraud or false advertising) shall be referred to the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs and shall be reviewed and handled by that Unit (http://www.tn.gov/consumer/).

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Allegations regarding noncompliance with accreditation standards, policies, and procedures may be made to SACSCOC, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097. (To access the Commission’s complaint policy, procedures, and the Complaint Form, please see Complaint Policy‌).

Suspension and Dismissal Policy

In consultation with the faculty, the director may suspend or dismiss a student for inappropriate behavior that the director and a majority of the faculty determine to be disruptive or destructive of the learning process and/or community life. If such inappropriate behavior appears to have occurred, the student whose behavior is in question will be notified of the problem by the director and asked to explain the circumstances. If the explanation is judged adequate, the matter will be considered closed. If the director concludes that the student has behaved in a way that disrupts or destroys the learning process and/or community life, he may warn, suspend, or dismiss the student.
The decision of which sanctions to apply rests with the director in consultation with the faculty. Dismissal normally precludes readmission. In the case of suspension, the determination of the term and circumstances of suspension and conditions for readmission rests with the director in consultation with the faculty. If the director judges that action must be taken before there is adequate time to consult the faculty,the director may do so.
Dismissal automatically terminates any contract between the school and the student. For information concerning refunds of tuition, see the School of Letters Refund Policy.

Thesis

All M.F.A. students must complete a thesis. This is a substantial creative manuscript: a novel or sustained nonfiction narrative, a collection of short stories or essays, a collection of poems, or a screenplay or play. Length for the M.F.A. thesis may be anywhere from 80 to 200 pages of prose or 40 to 50 pages of poetry. M.A. students may choose to complete a thesis in lieu of a final two courses. The M.A. thesis is an original scholarly monograph, 40 to 60 pages in length.
Work on the thesis for either program may begin at any time after required course work has been completed. The thesis is written under the supervision of an advisor, chosen by the candidate and appointed by the director of the School of Letters, who may be any willing member of the School of Letters faculty. As the project nears completion, a second reader will be appointed by the director. When the thesis has been completed and conditionally approved, the candidate for the degree will submit to a one-hour oral examination conducted by the advisor and second reader.
Students engaged in thesis work should register for English 599. Thesis work carries six hours of graduate credit.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681) and the Department of Education’s (Department) implementing regulations prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in federally assisted education programs and activities: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial aid..." In addition, the Supreme Court, Congress, and federal executive departments and agencies, including the Department, have recognized that sexual harassment can constitute discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

The Title IX Coordinator at the University of the South is Dr. Kelly Malone (931.598.3368, Gailor 115, TitleIX@sewanee.edu). Dr. Malone is charged with monitoring compliance with these laws and regulations. Questions regarding Title IX, as well as concerns and complaints of non-compliance, may be directed to her.

The Title IX policy of the University may be found here: http://www.sewanee.edu/provost/title-ix/

Transfer Credit

Up to two graduate course credits (or six semester hours) may be transferred from other accredited institutions to count toward a degree from the Sewanee School of Letters. Each course must be approved for transfer by the director, preferably before the work is done. Transfer course credits cannot have been counted towards any other degree, whether taken at Sewanee or another institution, and must be of a grade of B or better. Graduate credits, whether they are earned at Sewanee or transferred from another institution, cannot count toward a degree after 10 years have elapsed.

Withdrawal

Notice of withdrawal and requests for refund must be made in writing addressed to the Director of the School of Letters and must be accompanied by a written notice from the health care provider stating that the illness-withdrawal is recommended.
If a student, after registration, is dismissed or withdraws for any cause except illness, he or she is not entitled to any refund of the sum paid to the University or to the cancellation of any sum due to the University. Refunds for a withdrawal because of illness are figured by prorating fees for the period from the date of withdrawal to the end of the session. The amounts to be prorated are one-half of tuition and room charges and three-fourths of the board charge. No refund is made for any fees.

A complete list of annual University of the South notifications may be found here:

http://www.sewanee.edu/student-life/dean-of-students-office/eqb-guide/notices-and-statements/.

Additional University of the South policies that may be applicable to the School of Letters are available here: 

http://www.sewanee.edu/provost/general-policies-and-procedures/.


NOTICE

The University of the South’s policy against discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and retaliation is consistent with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 34 CFR Part 106, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and 34 CFR 104.7, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008. In addition to contacting the Provost, who is the compliance coordinator, persons with inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and 34 CFR Part 106 may contact the Regional Civil Rights Director, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region IV, 61 Forsyth Street S.W., Suite 19T70, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.