Forms and Policies

Below is an alphabetical listing of SLIS policies and procedures. When applicable, the download of a form is available directly from the policy statement.

Additional information about Enrollment Verification, Transcripts, Leave of Absence, and Withdrawal from Simmons can be found on the Registrar's SLIS page.

View the full SLIS Policy Manual, for students in Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Science programs in SLIS. PLEASE NOTE: As the Policy Manual is currently under revision, please refer to the policies on this page whenever possible. 

The Computer Science undergraduate program will follow the undergraduate academic policies outlined in the College Undergraduate programs handbook.

Add/Drop

Graduate students are permitted to change course registrations without financial penalty prior to the second class meeting, provided that the change does not result in an increased or reduced class load. (Specific dates are available on the Course Refunds page.) However, a student can add up to four courses in a fall or spring term, and two courses in a summer term. (For more information, scroll down to the Maximum Credit Load policy on this page.) No student may enroll in a class after the second meeting has occurred; however, a student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty at any time prior to its last scheduled meeting.

All add/drops can be made via AARC tab in Connection through the end date and time listed under "My Registration Priority"; for changes after the posted dates but prior to the second class, please contact slisreg@simmons.edu. Registration is binding, both financially and academically. The date on which the drop occurs determines the refund (if applicable) provided to the student or repayment status for students receiving financial aid.

Advising/Program Planning Statement

Each new LIS student is assigned a faculty advisor based on their interests as stated in the admission application. New students will fill out a LIS Program Planning Statement with their advisor. Periodic consultations with advisors are highly encouraged.

Advisees may change advisors as their professional needs change in the program at any time during their academic experience. A Change of Advisor/Change of Program Form must be signed by the student and the new faculty advisor, and returned to the Student Services Center.

A projected 2 year schedule of LIS courses is also available.

Disability Services

If you have a documented disability and anticipate needing accommodations in this course, it is your responsibility to register with the Disability Services office as soon as possible to ensure that requested accommodations may be implemented in a timely fashion. For more information or to request academic accommodations, contact the Disability Services Office located in Room E-108 of the Main College Building. They are available by phone at 617-521-2474 or you may email Stephanie Hackett at stephanie.hackett@simmons.edu.

Grading System

The following grades, with corresponding numerical valuations, are used to evaluate academic achievement:

  • A = 4.00
  • A- = 3.67
  • B+ =3.33
  • B = 3.00
  • B- = 2.67
  • C+ =2.33
  • C = 2.00
  • C- = 1.67
  • D+ =1.33
  • D = 1.00
  • D- = 0.67
  • F = 0.00

Grades will be posted to the student's AARC account at the end of the semester. Any errors or inquiries regarding grades should be referred to that office in person or by calling (617) 521-2111. Grades cannot be obtained from the SLIS administrative office at any time. If a grade is needed for reimbursement purposes prior to receipt of your official report, the instructor may be asked.

Incompletes

Students who become ill, have a medical emergency, a death in the immediate family, extreme hardship, or unusual circumstances may request an incomplete from the instructor. Students must be performing at a passing level to be considered. Forms must be filled out in consultation with the instructor and the Assistant Dean of Student and Alumni Affairs must review it. If approval is granted, the incomplete must be finished by the beginning of the following semester.

Independent Study

Students taking LIS 500 or 601 must complete an Independent Study form. Please note, there are separate forms for master's and doctoral degree candidates. Doctoral candidates wishing to take an Independent Study should also download the document, "Independent Study Information for Doctoral Candidates."

Students using human subjects in research must get approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). For more information and to download the appropriate forms, go to the Office of Sponsored Programs page.

Leaves of Absence or Withdrawal from School or Courses

A SLIS graduate student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty at any time prior to its last scheduled meeting. Please see the Add/Drop policy above.

A LIS graduate student who finds it necessary to take a leave of absence from the School, for either the fall or spring semester, or to withdraw from the entire program, must contact Em Claire Knowles, Assistant Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs, to discuss their leave or absence or withdrawal. No withdrawal becomes official until such an email has been received. Financial aid recipients must also consult a financial aid officer before withdrawal from a course(s), or the program.

A CHL student in need of a leave of absence must contact Cathryn Mercier to arrange their leave.

Once acknowledgement from the appropriate contact has been obtained, the student can fill out a Graduate Student Leave of Absence Form.

The student is responsible for dropping any courses they are registered for during their leave; see Add/Drop policy above.

This process is for graduate students only. Undergraduate students should contact the Office of the Registrar for more information on taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from the College. A CS student should visit the Registrar’s Leaving Simmons page for information about undergraduate leaves of absence and withdrawals.

Maximum Credit Load

LIS Students:

  • may register for no more than 12 credit hours during the fall or spring term. During the spring term, this total includes any short courses during March spring break;
  • may register for no more than 6 credit hours during the six-week summer session;
  • may register for no more than 3 credit hours during a short course week in any term.

Students in either the dual-degree programs of Archives Management/ History or Library Science/ Children's Literature should consult with their faculty advisor about course loads and exceptions.

Non-degree students

Those interested in auditing a course may apply to the School as a non-degree student. Normally, classes meet once a week for three hours during regular semesters, and twice a week during the summer session. The option to audit a course is available on a space-available, non-credit basis to SLIS and Simmons alumni for $400 per course, and to non-Simmons applicants for one half the prevailing tuition. The activity fee is required as well. Audits are non-refundable after the first class meeting. Please be advised that registration is binding both financially and academically and you will be billed for all course work based on the School's billing policy. Please contact the SLIS Admission Office for more information.

Non-degree students must meet a minimum requirement of having a completed bachelor's degree with a cumulative GPA of above a 3.0. For those seeking professional development, exceptions are sometimes made with approval from program directors. Please continue reading for more specific non-degree student policies. If you are interested in being considered for non-degree coursework, please email the SLIS Admission Office with the term and program for which you wish to apply. That office will then send you the correct application.

Students planning to apply to SLIS (Pre-Matriculated): During the fall and spring terms, potential master's students may enroll in up to two courses. Please contact the SLIS Admission Office (phone: 617-521-2868) for specific details and admission requirements.

Simmons Employees: Current employees of Simmons University may enroll in up to 6 credits as a non-degree student.

Those who have earned their LIS degree: Simmons SLIS alumni or others who have earned their master's in LIS from an accredited institution are allowed to audit as many courses as they would like as long as there is space available. If credit is necessary, no more than 6 credits may be completed. The student may petition the Assistant Dean for Student Services if they require completion of more than 6 credits (e.g. those who already have their master's degree and are interested in completing SLTP or Archives certification).

Those interested in professional development but not the degree: Those who want to take a course for professional development and are not planning to apply to the master's degree program at a later date are allowed to enroll as an auditing student and will not receive a grade or credit. If the employer requires proof of earned grade or credit for tuition reimbursement, enrollment in no more than 6 credits will be allowed.

Students enrolled in another LIS program: Anyone currently enrolled in a different LIS program who wishes to transfer coursework to that program may enroll for no more than six credits. Audited courses do not transfer into any degree program, as no grade or credit is earned.

Petition to Graduate

Please see our Bookstore page for additional information on graduation policies and procedures.

Students who have completed all degree requirements, from the previous graduations of August, January, and May, are invited to participate in the May Commencement Ceremony. Students in the dual-degree program of Archives Management/ History and have completed the courses in the Library and Information Science program may be conferred for graduation. Students in the Library Science/ Children's Literature program must complete all requirements in this dual-degree program in order to be conferred.

SLIS Tech Competencies

While all students enter the LIS program with different talents, skills, and abilities, LIS instructors expect all students to possess a baseline of knowledge, skill, and familiarity with technology. Read about the SLIS Tech Competencies.

Student Grievance Procedure

A student with a grievance regarding a grade should first discuss the grievance with the instructor. If issues are not resolved, discuss the matter with the dean.

Study Abroad

International Travel Courses

Students interested in taking an international travel course offered by a school other than Simmons SLIS should consult the approved list of international travel courses offered at ALA-accredited LIS programs. If the course is on the approved list, the student must complete the "Transfer of Credit" form, and submit it to the Assistant Dean for Student Services for processing. If the course is not on the approved list the student must consult with the Associate/Assistant Deans for approval. Download the Petition Form for International Travel Courses, which includes a list of approved courses. (Simmons SLIS travel courses often require an application; information is sent out to SLIS-Info when courses are available.)

Technology: Opt out of LIS 488

The SLIS core curriculum requires students to take at least one technology course. SLTP students will take LIS 460. All other students will take LIS 488 Technology for Information Professionals, a wide-ranging overview course that introduces students to key concepts in technology. Students who already possess substantial technology experience can petition to bypass 488 by following the process below, and instead take one of the technology courses listed on the second page of the form linked below:

Step 1: A student wishing to opt of LIS 488 should complete the form linked below.

Step 2: The student will submit the completed form to SLIS Student Services Center at (SSCslis@simmons.edu); or Suite P212, Second Floor of the Palace Road building.

Step 3: Student Services Center will send the form to IS&T faculty for review, who will convey their decision to Student Services Center or ask for further clarification.

Step 4: Student Services Center will convey the decision to the student.

Technology Opt-Out Form

Time Needed to Complete the Program

The minimum amount of time needed to complete the Master's degree program is four terms; students must complete the program within six years of initial enrollment.

Title IX Information for Graduate Students

Title IX Federal law states that all students have the right to gain an education free of gender‐based discrimination. Some examples of gender-based discrimination, as defined by this law include sexual harassment or exploitation, sexual assault, domestic/dating violence, and stalking. In compliance with Title IX, Simmons University has a ‘Gender-Based Misconduct Policy’ which defines these forms of misconduct, outlines University protocol and procedures for investigating and addressing incidences of gender‐based discrimination, highlights interim safety measures, and identifies both on and off‐campus resources. View the policy and list of resources. Additionally, the Gender‐Based Misconduct Policy has a Consensual Relationships clause that prohibits intimate, romantic or sexual relationships between students, faculty, staff, contract employees of the University, teacher’s assistants, and supervisors at internship/field placement sites.

Simmons University encourages all community members to report incidences of gender-based misconduct.  If you or someone you know in our campus community would like to receive support or report an incident of gender-based discrimination, please contact any of the following:

Associate Dean of Student Life and Title IX Representative, Nancy Nienhuis:
Office Location: Student Life in room C-211 / Phone Number:  (617) 521-2125

Coordinator of Simmons Violence Prevention and Educational Outreach Program, Gina Capra:
Office Location: Room W-003 / Phone Number:  (617) 521-2118

Simmons University Public Safety
Office Location: Lobby of the Palace Road Building
Phone Number:  (617) 521-1111 (emergency) or (617) 521-2112 (non-emergency)

Additionally, the Gender-Based Misconduct Policy has a Consensual Relationships clause that prohibits intimate, romantic or sexual relationships between students, faculty, staff, contract employees of the University, teacher’s assistants, and supervisors at internship/field placement sites.

Click here to view the full Simmons University Gender-Based Misconduct Policy.

Transfer of Credit/Waiver

Transfer of Credit

Under special circumstances, a student may receive credit for graduate work completed at another ALA accredited graduate institution, with approved exceptions. The School will accept credit for graduate work completed at another institution towards the Master of Science degree with the approval of Simmons-SLIS faculty. A student may petition to transfer up to six credits. Courses taken at the graduate level as part of an earned degree may not be considered for transfer of credit. You may contact Em Claire Knowles, Assistant Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs by email, or by telephone at 617-521-2798 with questions not answered in this information sheet.

Waiver

Students who enter the School with an acceptable background of graduate study in library and information studies from an ALA-accredited program may petition the faculty for a course waiver upon completion of 9 credits in addition to a transfer of credit. If there is no transfer of credit, a waiver may be requested to substitute an elective course from the library and information science curriculum for a required course. A waiver may only be requested if there is sufficient proof of the knowledge of the material covered in the required course to warrant such a waiver.

Please download the Petition Form for Transfer of Credit/Waiver.

Tuition Refund Policy

Dual Degree Archives and SLTP students should note that Education and History courses may have different starting and ending dates; therefore, the refund policies may also differ. Please contact the Registrar's Office (Room C210) for more information (617-521-2111).

For WISE (Online affiliate) Courses, there are some exceptions to the policies below. Information about those exceptions may be found within the WISE Guidelines (scroll down on Forms & Policies page). 

Written notification of withdrawal is required before a refund can be granted. For purposes of calculating any refund, the date of withdrawal is the date written notification of withdrawal is received by the Office of the Registrar (registrar@simmons.edu). Student Activity and other fees are nonrefundable. Any change from the approved registration must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar in writing. Nonattendance in a class or notification to the Student Accounts Office does not constitute a change. Financial aid recipients should discuss with a representative from the Financial Aid Office the impact of adding or dropping a course prior to submitting the official add/drop form. A student who wishes to cancel his/her approved registration but fails to notify Office of the Registrar of this cancellation by the deadlines indicated on the Course Refunds page will be charged according to the refund policy whether he/she has paid or not.

Further information regarding the full term course refund policy is available at the Course Refunds page. Short term and audited courses will be refunded 100% if dropped by the last business day prior to the start of class. There are no refunds after that point.

WISE Guidelines

At the May 2005 Faculty Meeting, the SLIS faculty officially voted to join the Web-based Information Science Education (WISE), a consortium made up of thirteen LIS schools, thereby enabling SLIS students the opportunity to take online courses from other leading ALA-accredited programs. 

What is WISE?

"Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) is a unique and groundbreaking opportunity in online education. Leading library and information science schools have extended their reach on a global basis to broaden the educational opportunities available to students. WISE uses advanced online technology to enrich education and foster relationships among students, faculty, and universities. The vision of this initiative is to provide a collaborative distance education model that will increase the quality, access, and diversity of online education opportunities in library and information science." - from the WISE website.

 See www.wiseeducation.org for more information.

Participating Institutions in WISE:

Acme University
Charles Sturt University
Indiana University - Indianapolis
Long Island University
Manchester Metropolitan University
Queens College
Rutgers University
San Jose State University
Simmons University
Syracuse University
The University of British Columbia
The University of Illinois
The University of Maryland
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of Pittsburgh
The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Western Ontario
The University of Wisconsin – Madison
The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
The Victoria University of Wellington
University of North Texas

Why be a WISE student?

WISE students have the opportunity to access distance education courses through WISE member schools that are distinguished in quality and leadership in online education. WISE member schools offer a wide array of special topics courses, providing students with the ability to broaden their educational experience.

For example, a student interested in a particular topic may access expertise from a wider base of faculty and research than may be normally available within their home school. A professional who is working on the LIS degree will have greater flexibility in scheduling and have a multitude of options when considering specialized topics.

The WISE student will have the ability to select from a list of online courses, regardless of their location, and take courses with faculty who are highly regarded in their area of expertise.

How does WISE work at Simmons?

As a student at a WISE consortium school, you will have access to courses offered by participating institutions. These online courses are taught by faculty from WISE host schools using course management systems specific to their environment and academic calendar. You will have the opportunity to take electives of interest at other WISE schools, without having to transfer credits. You must respect and follow the varying delivery methods, academic calendars, and residency requirements among WISE schools.

Guidelines for Simmons Students:

General Guidelines

SLIS students who have completed twelve semester hours will have the opportunity to select from a variety of online courses, regardless of their location. As with any other course, you will register through AARC using LIS course numbers. We will then notify WISE and the host institution. Descriptions of WISE courses currently being offered at Simmons are on the WISE Courses page.

Please note: in order to take a WISE course, you must have approval from one of the SLIS WISE coordinators. Please email slisreg@simmons.edu for more information.

Any Simmons SLIS student taking a WISE course should follow these guidelines:

  • You agree to the course parameters of the host institution including course management tools, grading, dates of term and any required residencies
  • You choose a course that is appropriate to your plan of study
  • You have a home computer or access to the technology necessary for completion of course
  • You have the technical knowledge to complete an online course successfully
  • You are fluent in English
  • You may take up to six (6) elective credits through the WISE Consortium
  • You may not substitute any WISE course for a core requirement
  • You will be accepted by WISE on a space-available basis, determined by the host institution

Schedules

WISE courses at other schools often do not match the SLIS course schedule. You must follow the start date, end date, and any other deadline of the WISE course at the host institution.

For the purposes of the registrar and financial aid, the SLIS version of the WISE course will begin at the start of the SLIS semester, regardless of the actual start date of the WISE course at the host institution.

If the end date of the WISE course at the host institution is after the end date of SLIS classes, a grade of incomplete will be given to you as a placeholder when SLIS grades are due. When the actual grade is awarded by the host institution, the incomplete will be replaced by the actual grade, without penalty to you.

Tuition refunds

Other than the exceptions specified here, the Simmons policies for tuition refunds and the SLIS policies for refunds (see above: Tuition Refund Policy) apply.

WISE exceptions to Simmons tuition refund policies:

The deadlines and policies for course withdrawal or dropping vary widely across WISE host institutions. You must respect the drop or withdrawal deadline of the host institution. However, because you are also enrolled in a Simmons SLIS course, the following Simmons policies on tuition refunds for dropping or withdrawal from a WISE course also apply, regardless of the policies of the WISE host institution.

Percentage of course schedule (start and end date for the WISE course) completed when dropping or withdrawing from a WISE course:

  • Up to 10% — Full tuition refunded
  • 11 - 20% — 80% tuition refunded
  • 21 - 30% — 60% tuition refunded
  • 31 - 40% — 40% tuition refunded
  • 41 - 50% — 20% tuition refunded
  • 51% or more — No refund
WISE (Online) Courses

At the May 2005 Faculty Meeting, the SLIS faculty officially voted to join the Web-based Information Science Education (WISE), a consortium made up of thirteen LIS schools, and thereby enabling SLIS students the opportunity to take online courses from other leading ALA-accredited programs.

Some policies for WISE courses are different from those that govern regular, on-site, SLIS courses. If you are considering enrolling in a WISE course, please review the WISE Guidelines (below) for information and policies regarding these courses.

Withdrawal from One Program in a Dual Degree Program

A student may withdraw from one program when enrolled in a dual degree program. In order to do so, the student must complete the below form and obtain all signatures. To ensure that all records are up to date, Simmons requires students to obtain the permission of both program directors involved in the dual degree. Students are also required to obtain the signature of the Student Financial Services office. Often changing from a dual degree program to a single degree program will result in a change of tuition and of credits required. Questions about this process should be directed to the Office of the Registrar at registrar@simmons.edu or 617-521-2111.