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GRADUATE STUDIES

DesLey V. Plaisance, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Office: 101 White
Phone: 985-448-4433

Grading System

Mission

Graduate Studies at Nicholls was established to provide opportunities for improving professional competency through advanced study and scholarly research, for promoting the welfare of society by developing a broader and deeper understanding of human knowledge, and for preparing for further graduate study. To implement such opportunities the University offers the student the use of its library and laboratories and an acquaintance with scholars ready to guide and inspire. The graduate student must assume far greater responsibility than the undergraduate in selecting a specialized program that will best meet individual needs.

Classwork at the graduate level can be no more than a guide for extended research and reading. Students are expected to master subjects rather than meet minimum requirements leading toward various degrees.

Accreditation

Nicholls State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master and specialist levels.

Inquiries relating to the accreditation status of Nicholls State University can be mailed to the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033-4097, or may be directed to (404) 6974501 via telephone.

The College of Business Administration is accredited by the AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The College of Education has earned full status accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Specialist in School Psychology degree program has the full approval of the National Association of School Psychologists. The Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science in Nursing (ICMSN) is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

DEGREES AWARDED – Concentrations

  • Specialist
    • School Psychology
  • Master of Arts
    • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
    • Elementary School Education
    • Middle School Education
    • Secondary School Education
    • Human Performance Education
  • Master of Education
    • Educational Leadership
      • K-12 School Leadership Concentrati
      • Higher Education Administration Concentration
      • Educational Technology Leadership Concentration
    • School Counseling
    • Curriculum and Instruction
      • Early Childhood Concentration
      • Elementary Education Concentration
      • Reading Specialist Concentration
      • Secondary Education Concentration
      • High Incidence Disabilities Concentration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science
    • Community/Technical College Mathematics
    • Marine and Environmental Biology
    • Nursing

Administration

The Director of Graduate Studies and the Deans of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, and Education; the Coordinators of Graduate Studies for those colleges; and the Graduate Council supervise graduate study at Nicholls State University.

Consortium for Graduate Training in Psychology

Nicholls State University is a member of the Louisiana Consortium for Graduate Professional Training in Psychology, leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy conferred by Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Information on the consortium may be obtained from the Department of Psychology and Counselor Education.

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General Requirements for Masters Degrees

To fulfill the requirements for a Masters degree, the candidate must:

  • Attain regular student status.
  • Be admitted to candidacy for the degree upon having earned at Nicholls twelve hours toward a degree with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0.
  • Complete all course work prescribed for the student.
  • Complete the residence requirements.
  • Satisfy the specific degree requirements.
  • Pass a written comprehensive final examination and/or portfolio, except for the Masters of Business Administration degree, and an oral defense of the thesis if a thesis is written.
  • Submit a formal application for graduation to the Office of Records and Registration during the registration period of his or her final semester or session.
  • Pay all graduation fees at the time of final registration.
  • Clear all university accounts.
  • Be recommended for the degree by The Graduate Council.

Specific requirements for graduate degrees are discussed later in this section.

All candidates who are to receive degrees are required to be present at the commencement exercises for the conferring of the degrees, unless excused by their academic dean.

General Requirements for the Specialist in School Psychology Degree

The Specialist in School Psychology Degree provides for two years of graduate study beyond the Bachelors degree plus one year of supervised internship experience, or one year of graduate study beyond the Masters degree plus one year of supervised internship experience. This program is intended for (1) students whose vocational plans necessitate this level of education; (2) students interested in graduate study beyond that required for the Masters degree who want a degree in recognition of this additional graduate work, but who do not plan to continue to the doctorate; and (3) students whose plans for continuing to the doctorate are indefinite, but who wish to complete additional graduate study.

To fulfill requirements for the Specialist in School Psychology degree, the candidate must:

  • Satisfy the residence and time limitation requirements.
  • Satisfy all specific degree requirements.
  • Be admitted to candidacy for the degree.
  • Successfully complete an approved internship.
  • Display conduct consistent with the code of ethics of the profession.
  • Pass a comprehensive final examination.
  • Complete the PRAXIS School Psychologist specialty examination and submit scores to the College of Education, Office of Graduate Studies prior to the completion of the internship.
  • Specific requirements for this degree are discussed later in this section.

All candidates who are to receive degrees are required to be present at the commencement exercises for the conferring of the degrees, unless excused by their academic dean.

Residence Requirements

To satisfy residence requirements, a student must earn at least two thirds of the semester hours of degree program credit in residence at Nicholls State University.

Time Limitation

It is expected that all requirements for the Masters degree (including transfer credits, if any) will be completed within six consecutive years.

Students entering the Specialist in School Psychology program with either a Bachelors degree or a Masters degree must complete all requirements within six years.

A student who enrolls for a program of studies leading to a graduate degree normally is expected to complete requirements in effect at the time of initial enrollment in that program and to maintain continuous enrollment in Graduate Studies until the degree is earned. Students who fail to enroll continuously may find themselves out of sequence with course offerings and suffer delays in completion of degree requirements which could invoke the six calendar year limitations.

If requirements for a degree cannot be completed within the normal time period of six years, the student may petition for an extension of time. The petition must explain why the degree cannot be completed within the time schedule for completing the program. Final authorization will be considered only in unusual and justifiable circumstances.

A course taken more than six years before completion of degree requirements may be used in a student’s degree program only if revalidated by the professor of record for the course, or one who currently teaches the course. In the event that neither is available, a certifying professor may be designated by the department head for that discipline. Revalidation must be certified in writing after an examination or other work required by the certifying professor. Only courses currently contained in the university Catalog may be revalidated.

The non-continuous student shall satisfy all changes in requirements which have been placed in effect between the initial enrollment and the beginning of the last period of uninterrupted enrollment. Additionally, changes mandated to the university by an accrediting agency or a state management board will be required of the student whether or not this results in a delay of degree attainment and without consideration of whether the student’s enrollment has been continuous.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant for admission to Graduate Studies on a credit or audit basis must:

  • Satisfy all general admission requirements of the university,
  • Hold a Bachelors degree or graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university,
  • Submit to the Office of Admissions a formal application at least 30 days in advance of registration,
  • Submit to the Office of Admissions complete transcripts showing all undergraduate and graduate work attempted, whether or not credit was earned.

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Minimum Scores

Biology:

  • A combined (verbal and quantitative) GRE score of 1,000 for exams taken prior to August 1, 2011, OR a combined GRE (verbal and quantitative) score of 300 for exams taken on or after August 1, 2011.

Business Administration (Traditional MBA Program):

  • Minimum score of 430 on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and
  • A total score of at least 950 on the formula: undergraduate GPA (on all work attempted in pursuit of the degree) times 200, plus GMAT total score, or
  • A total score of at least 1,000 on the formula: undergraduate GPA on the last 60 hours (attempted in pursuit of the degree) times 200, plus GMAT total score.
  • An applicant to the Traditional MBA program may take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) in lieu of the GMAT as a requirement for admission. The College of Business will use the ETS-published “GRE Comparison Table for Business Schools” to convert the GRE score to its equivalent GMAT score. The equivalent GMAT score is used to assess if the applicant meets the minimum score requirement. Additionally, the equivalent GMAT score is used when calculating an applicant’s formula score for possible admission.

Business Administratin (Executive MBA Program):

  • A total score of at least 950 on the formula: undergraduate GPA (on all work attempted in pursuit of the degree) times 200, plus GMAT total score, or
  • A total score of at least 1,000 on the formula: undergraduate GPA on the last 60 hours (attempted in pursuite of the degree) times 200, plus GMAT total score.
  • An applicant with significant and meaningful supervisory, technical, and/or budget responsibilities and a strong academic background may request that the GMAT be waived as a requirement for admission to the EMBA Program. The request for the waiver shall be submitted in writing to the EMBA Director and clearly state the basis for the waiver. A current resume shall accompany the request. A final decision will be made by the Graduate Program and Instruction Committee.
  • An applicant to the Executive MBA program may take the Graduate Record Examiniations (GRE) in lieu of the GMAT as a requirement for admission. The College of Business will use the ETS-published “GRE Comparison Table for Business Schools” to convert the GRE score to its equivalent GMAT score. The equivalent GMAT score is used when calculating an applicant’s formula score for possible admission.

Community/Technical College Mathematics:

  • A combined (verbal and quantitative) GRE Revised General Test score of 300 (August 1, 2011, and thereafter), OR a combined GRE (verbal and quantitative) score of 1000 if the earlier GRE General Test version was taken before August 1, 2011.

Education and Psychological Counseling:

  • A minimum score of 1,100 is required on the formula: GPA on last 60 undergraduate hours times 200, plus the GRE General Test score (taken before August 1, 2011) A minimum score of 335 is required on the formula: GPA on last 60 undergraduate hours times 20, plus the GRE General Test score (taken after August 1, 2011).
  • A student who fails to earn the minimum score required, or does not meet other program admission requirements, may be classified as a pre-program student until all criteria are met.
  • Admission to Graduate Studies does not imply admission to candidacy for a degree.

Nursing:

  •  A minimum GRE formula score of 1,200 (150 X cumulative GPA on last 60 undergraduate hours + GRE General Test [verbal and quantitative] scores) if taken prior to August 1, 2011. A minimum GRE formula score of 340 (20 X cumulative GPA on last 60 undergraduate hours + GRE General Test [verbal and quantitative] scores) if taken after August 1, 2011. The last 60 undergraduate hours must pertain directly to required nursing degree courses.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission may be granted to students who are in the process of obtaining transcripts or copies of their teaching certificates (a requirement for most curricula in Education). Students admitted provisionally normally are dropped from the rolls of Graduate Studies if subsequently found ineligible for admission or if all admission requirements are not met within 30 days. In such cases, there is no refund of fees. The student’s dean, at his or her discretion and with justifiable cause, may grant waivers to such students allowing completion of the current semester only.

Enrollment for subsequent semesters will not be permitted at the graduate level until all admissions criteria have been met.

Admission of Transfer Students

To be admitted to Graduate Studies at Nicholls State University, a student who has attended another graduate school must be eligible for readmission to the graduate school of the college or university from which the student transfers. A student thus admitted must meet all requirements listed under Procedure for Admission.

Admission of International Students

International graduate students must submit all college and university records at least 60 days prior to the semester of admission. Applicants from non English speaking countries must submit the following minimum scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) before being considered for admission:

  • Total score of 500 (computer-based total 173).
  • For admission to graduate studies in Biology, Business, or Mathematics, the minimum score is 550 (computer-based total 213).
  • Listening comprehension score: 55.

Admission as an Alternative Certification Student

In order to be admitted to the alternative teacher certification program the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Bachelors Degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • 2.5000 GPA according to your official transcript
  • Successful completion of PPST of Praxis Series (reading, writing, mathematics).

Admission as a Non Degree or Pre-Program Student

A non-degree, or certification-only, student is one who has been admitted to Graduate Studies, but does not wish to pursue a graduate degree at Nicholls. A pre-program student is one who has been admitted to Graduate Studies, and who wishes to pursue a degree, but has not met all of the requirements for admission to a graduate program (e.g., no GRE score, insufficient GMAT score, or no teaching certificate).

No more than twelve semester hours of graduate credit (and no grade less than B) earned while in a non-degree, certification-only, or pre-program classification may later be applied toward a degree at Nicholls. In Business Administration, however, no graduate credit earned as a non-degree or pre program student may later be applied toward the M.B.A. degree at Nicholls.

Admission on Visitor Status

Visitor status is designed for part time students who enroll without formal credentials and who seek to pursue non traditional academic studies rather than a degree. While enrolled in visitor status, the student may earn college credits, and an official transcript of these credits will be available upon written request to the Office of Records and Registration. While a student is thus classified, a maximum of twelve semester hours of graduate work may be applied to a Masters degree. However, credits earned under this type of admission may not be used automatically toward any graduate degree. All requirements for regular admission must be met prior to petitioning for graduate degree credit. Petitions must be submitted in writing.

An appointment for registration will be prepared for the next regular semester or session following initial enrollment in visitor status. If the student does not re enroll as a visitor for that particular semester or session, he or she must file an application for readmission before being allowed to return to the university.

Admission of Seniors to Part Time Graduate Study

A senior in the final semester or session may petition to register as a pre program student for no more than six semester hours of graduate course work. Approval may be granted if the petitioner meets each of these requirements:

  • Has at least a 3.20 average on all undergraduate work pursued.
  • Lacks no more than nine semester hours to complete Baccalaureate degree requirements if petitioning for a semester or six if for a summer session.
  • Will carry not more than 15 semester hours (both undergraduate and graduate) during a regular semester or ten semester hours during a summer session. This shall include all baccalaureate requirements and no more than six semester hours of graduate credit for a semester or four for a summer session.
  • Files the appropriate petition form with his or her academic dean prior to registration.

A student under this admission status is regarded just as a transient or non degree student, and credits earned are subject to the same conditions as those stated elsewhere for the graduate transient or non degree student. Courses taken under these circumstances may not be used for both undergraduate and graduate credit. Such a student retains his or her undergraduate status.

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Admission to a Masters Degree Program

Regular Status

An applicant may be admitted to regular status as a graduate student if the applicant (1) holds a Bachelors degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 2.50 on all undergraduate work attempted or 2.75 on the final 60 hours of undergraduate work pursued, (2) has attained the minimum combined GPA/GRE or GPA/GMAT score required for his or her degree program, (3) holds a valid non temporary teacher’s certificate (if applying in Education) issued by the State Department of Education of Louisiana or by another state (not required for curriculum preparing psychological counselors) and (4) is not applying as a Transient or undergraduate senior student.

Probational Status

An applicant may be admitted on academic probation if the applicant meets all criteria for admission to regular status except grade-point average requirements. An applicant whose GPA is at least 2.0 on all undergraduate work attempted, or 2.50 on the final 60 hours, may be admitted on probation.

An applicant who does not meet the minimum GPA requirement may petition the academic dean for admission on probation. The petition may be approved by the dean provided the applicant presents appropriate Graduate Record Examination or Graduate Management Admission Test scores and such other evidence as may be required by the dean to indicate the applicant’s prospects for success at the graduate level. Approval will be granted only in cases of unusual and justifiable circumstances.

Admission to the Specialist in School Psychology Degree Program

Admission to Graduate Studies does not imply admission to the Specialist in School Psychology program. Applicants for admission to the Specialist in School Psychology degree program must fulfill the following special requirements in addition to the general requirements stated under Procedure for Admission:

  • Obtain a minimum score of 800 (Verbal plus Quantitative) on the General portion of the GRE.
  • Present evidence of a GPA of 2.50 or better on the last 60 semester hours pursued.
  • Have three rating forms, secured from the Coordinator of Graduate Studies office, completed by appropriate references and returned.
  • Complete an interview with faculty representatives of the School Psychology Specialist program.
  • Complete undergraduate prerequisite courses.

Admission to Candidacy

Admission to Graduate Studies does not admit a student to candidacy for a degree. Admission to candidacy indicates a judgment by the Graduate Council that the student has shown sufficient promise to be permitted to complete work toward a degree.

For admission to candidacy for a Masters degree, a student must submit a formal application to his or her Graduate Studies Coordinator after satisfying each of these requirements for candidacy: (1) have met successfully all applicable admissions formulas, foundation courses, and teaching certificate requirements; (2) be classified as a regular student; (3) have completed 12 semester hours of graduate work at Nicholls; (4) have earned at least a 3.00 average on all graduate work.

Additionally, a candidate for the Master of Arts in Psychological Counseling must have been recommended for candidacy by the Psychological Counseling faculty. Formal admission to candidacy will be granted by vote of the Graduate Council upon recommendation of the student’s dean.

For the Specialist in School Psychology degree, a student will be admitted to candidacy upon having: (1) met all applicable admissions requirements; (2) been classified as a regular student; (3) completed twelve hours of graduate work in the School Psychology program with a minimum GPA of 3.0; (4) been recommended for candidacy by the School Psychology faculty. Formal admission to candidacy will be granted by vote of the Graduate Council upon recommendation of the studentà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s dean.

Appeals

Appeals for readmission to Graduate Studies must be made to the Graduate Council. Academic grievance appeals may be brought to the attention of the coordinator of Graduate Studies or the dean of the academic college in which the graduate student is enrolled.

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Class Scheduling Policy

The needs of graduate students and the limitations imposed by administrative factors determine course offerings. During any given semester or session, the university does not guarantee the offering of courses not justified by sufficient enrollment. Depending upon availability, students may schedule late afternoon, evening, or day classes. Evening classes are conducted Mondays through Thursdays.

Expenses and Fees

Please refer to the section on expenses in the front of this Catalog.

Full-Time and Part-Time Course Loads

During a regular semester or summer session, a full time graduate student is one who schedules nine or more semester hours, or the equivalent of scheduled work (thesis research or other work certified by the student’s academic dean or graduate coordinator to be a full load). Any graduate student taking less than nine semester hours of course work during a regular semester or in the summer session is considered a part time student. The course load of a student may be reduced at the discretion of his or her academic dean. Full time status for graduate assistants is defined under Graduate Assistantships.

Grading System

Grades for graduate students have these meanings:

  • A grade of A indicates superior work and has a value of four quality points per credit hour. A grade of B indicates satisfactory work and has a value of three quality points per credit hour. A grade of C indicates work of borderline quality and has a value of two quality points per credit hours. No more than six semester hours of C grades may be counted toward a degree. A grade of D indicates work below the minimum standard expected of a graduate student and has a value of one quality point per credit hour. Courses with D grades may not be counted toward a degree. A grade of F indicates unsatisfactory work and has neither quality point nor credit hour value.
  • A grade of I indicates that the student has been doing satisfactory work, but because of circumstances beyond his or her control the student has been unable to complete all course requirements. A grade of I is not given to a student doing unsatisfactory work and is not counted in the grade-point average until it is resolved into a final grade. The procedure used to change an I grade is as stated under Change of Grade in the Bulletin section devoted to University Academic Procedures and Requirements. A grade of I must be resolved within one calendar year following the semester in which the I grade was received, or the I grade will automatically be changed to F. In the event the faculty member assigning the I is temporarily not on campus that following calendar year, an appeal for a time extension may be made to the Graduate Council. A graduate student is expected to complete all requirements for each course within the semester during which scheduled unless prevented from doing so by circumstances beyond the student’s control. If this occurs, it is the responsibility of the student to make known to the instructor these circumstances as soon as possible. An instructor who is not so notified proceeds under the assumption that failure to complete course requirements is due to student negligence and uses normal procedures for assigning a permanent semester grade.
  • Grades of S and U for graduate students are assigned only for designated courses for which this grading procedure is specified. These grades and grades of I are not used in the computation of the grade-point average because the student does not receive quality points for these grades. When the I grade is resolved into a permanent grade, quality points are earned and the student’s scholastic standing is adjusted to reflect the influence of the permanent grade.

*** No candidate having an unresolved I will be cleared for graduation until the grade has been changed to a permanent grade.

A student may drop a course or courses or may resign from the institution with a grade W prior to a date specified in the official university calendar. After that date a student may not drop a course or resign from the institution. After that date in extraordinary circumstances the academic dean having jurisdiction may authorize resignation from the institution or dropping a course with the grade W. Extraordinary cases do not include dissatisfaction with an anticipated grade or the decision to change a major.

Minimum Grade Point Average

To be awarded a graduate degree, a student must have an average of at least 3.0 on all work pursued for graduate credit at Nicholls State University as well as a minimum overall average of 3.0 on all work pertaining to the degree. A candidate who fails to meet either minimum average requirement shall take additional graduate courses as necessary to earn the required average or must repeat one or more courses in which credit has been earned.

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Probation and Suspension

Probation. A student whose graduate cumulative GPA or semester GPA falls below 3.0 shall be placed on probation. Probationary status is removed at the end of a subsequent semester in which a cumulative and semester GPA of 3.0 is attained.

Suspension. A student on probation who fails to earn a minimum graduate semester GPA of 3.0 shall be suspended from graduate studies for one semester, after which the student may re-enroll.

A second suspension shall be for an indefinite period of time. A student who has served a time of suspension of at least one semester may appeal to the Graduate Council for readmission. To be readmitted, the student must petition the Council for a hearing through their graduate program coordinator.

A third suspension will result in permanent dismissal from graduate studies. For the purpose of determining graduate student eligibility to return to the university, a semester and summer session are considered to the same. Suspensions may not be appealed.

Graduate Assistantships

Application forms for graduate assistantships may be obtained from the offices of the Coordinator of Graduate Studies of each college. Students with full time employment are ineligible for graduate assistantships, except in cases of individuals on leave from full time employment.

A graduate assistant is defined as a graduate student who has been accepted into a graduate program and who is receiving compensation in return for the performance of assigned duties. A graduate assistant is expected to earn not less than six hours of course work each semester applicable to the degree (three hours during a summer session) while scheduling not more than 12 hours during a semester (six in a summer session). In the final semester of the degree program, a graduate assistant must register for at least one hour. For graduate assistants, six semester hours during a semester and three semester hours during a summer session will constitute a full-time load.

Non-master’s Alternative Certification students with NMCP classification may hold an assistantship for a maximum of three semesters.   NMCP students holding assistantships must meet the same minimum course progress toward completion of certification as other graduate assistants pursuing a specific master’s degree.

Nicholls assures equal opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and similar considerations. (Please refer to the section on Student Rights and Responsibilities in the front of this Catalog.)

Honors

The university graduates with Honors a student who attains an overall grade point average of 4.0 on all course work for a graduate degree. For this purpose, repeated courses are considered as separate courses.

Second Degree

A graduate student shall be awarded a second Masters degree whenever all requirements for that degree have been fulfilled. The student will be required to satisfy all demands of the second degree which are different from those of the first degree. Credits from the first degree applicable to the second degree shall not exceed one half of the total credit required for the second degree. A Comprehensive Examination and/or a thesis required for the first degree shall not be acceptable as meeting requirements of the second degree.

Student Advisory Committee

When a student is admitted to graduate study for the first time in the College of Education, a temporary advisor is appointed by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies for the student’s curriculum. The temporary advisor will assist the student in preparing a tentative program based on the requirements of that curriculum. Upon earning twelve hours of graduate credit, the student must request appointment of a major professor of the student’s choice to guide further study. Additional graduate faculty members will be appointed as needed to complete the student’s committee.

Substitution of Courses

All course substitutions must be approved in writing by the student’s academic dean, preferably before the course to be substituted is scheduled.

Transfer Credits

A student may transfer from a regionally accredited college or university a maximum of one third of the semester hours of degree program credit, with no grade lower than B, provided that such transfer credit shall be applicable to the degree program. Both resident and extension credits are thus acceptable. Transfer credits are subject to the six-year limitation. The student must formally petition his or her academic dean for acceptance of transfer graduate credit. Final authorization of transferred credit is made by the student’s academic dean. Credit earned at another institution while under academic or non academic suspension will not be accepted by Nicholls for transfer.In order to have transfer credits accepted by the university, the applicant must be eligible to re enter the institution from which he or she wishes to transfer.

University Contact with Students through Electronic Mail

Electronic mail (e-mail) is an official method of contact between the university and students. This e-mail contact applies to all forms of communication including but not limited to matters concerning admissions, registration, financial aid, and academic affairs. Students are given e-mail addresses after their initial registration. Students should check e-mail at least once a week. The university provides computer access for all students by way of open computer labs. For information concerning the use of e-mail and the availability of computers, check the Academic Computing website at http://www.nicholls.edu/academic_computing/ for more information.

Graduate Programs, Requirements and Curricula

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