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Forms and Policies

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

Additional information about Enrollment Verification and official Transcripts can be found through the Registrar.

View the full, SLIS Student Handbook for the Master of Science program. References to the Handbook are included with individual policies where applicable.

Accessibility Services

If you have a documented disability and anticipate needing accommodations in your courses, it is your responsibility to register with the Accessibility Services Office as soon as possible to ensure that requested accommodations may be implemented in a timely fashion. The Accessibility Services Office is in the Center for Student Success, located on the Ground Floor of Lefavour Hall. They are available by phone at 617-521-2474. (SLIS Student Handbook, A.5 Office of Accessibility)


Students may enroll in classes prior to the second course meeting. No student may enroll in a class after the second class meeting has occurred. Students can add up to four courses in a fall or spring term, and two courses in a summer term. (SLIS Student Handbook, B.4 Adding a Course)

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. A student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty at any time prior to its last scheduled meeting. (Specific dates are available on the Course Refunds page.) (SLIS Student Handbook, B.5 Dropping a Course)

All add/drops can be made via Workday; for changes after the posted dates but prior to the second class, please contact [email protected]. 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 SLIS 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.

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

projected 2 year schedule of LIS courses is also available.


Students who become ill, have a medical emergency, a death in the immediate family, extreme hardship, or unusual circumstances may request an incomplete from an instructor. Students must be performing at a passing level to be considered. Students must fill out the Incomplete Petition Form in consultation with their instructor. The SLIS Associate Director reviews the form for completion and policy adherence. If approval is granted, the incomplete must be finished by the agreed upon date identified in the petition. All incompletes must be completed by the end of the following semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer). (SLIS Student Handbook, B.8 Incompletes)

Independent Study

Students interested in pursuing an independent study must have successful completion of 9 credits and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to be eligible. In order to register for an Independent Study, a student must have prior approval from a supervising faculty member, and that supervising faculty member must be a full-time SLIS faculty member. 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 Sponsored Programs Support page. (SLIS Student Handbook, E.13 Independent Study)

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. (SLIS Student Handbook, B.5 Dropping a Course)

No leave or withdrawal becomes official until the Graduate Student Leave of Absence/Program Withdrawal form has been received.

Leaves of Absence

A SLIS graduate student who finds it necessary to take a leave of absence from the School, for either the fall or spring semester, is strongly recommended to reach out to their academic advisor to discuss the implications of the leave on their program of study. If a student is unaware of who their academic advisor is, they may contact the Student Services Center ([email protected]) for that information.

Students on a voluntary leave of absence are considered active students and are able to register for classes in an upcoming semester while on leave. Students are expected to register for classes upon returning from a leave of absence. (SLIS Student Handbook, C.2 Voluntary Leave of Absence)

  • To take a leave of absence during a semester: Students should withdraw from any courses in which they are currently enrolled and then complete the Graduate Student Leave of Absence form.
  • To take a leave of absence for an upcoming semester: Students should complete the Graduate Student Leave of Absence form at the conclusion of the current semester.

Withdrawal from Program

Financial aid recipients must also consult a financial aid officer ([email protected]) before withdrawal from a course(s), or the program.

Maximum Credit Load

SLIS 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 intersession or March spring break;
  • may register for no more than 6 credit hours during the 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. (SLIS Student Handbook, E.6 Credits Allowed per Semester)

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. An 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 3.0 or above. 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 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 SLIS Associate Director ([email protected]) if they require completion of more than 6 credits.

Post-Master’s Certificates: SLIS has two post-master’s certificate programs: School Library Teacher Licensure and Archives Management Certificate. There is no application fee for these post-master’s programs. Please see the program pages for details about these certificates.

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 in no more than 6 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 (see information on Dual Degree De-coupling (E.11) in the SLIS Student Handbook). Students in the Library Science/ Children’s Literature program must complete all requirements in this dual-degree program in order to be conferred. (SLIS Student Handbook, E.10 Graduation Participation Policy)

Students must file a Petition to Graduate with the Student Services Center in the semester prior to their graduation:

For May graduation: Submit your petition to graduate by October 1st of the previous year.

For August graduation: Submit your petition to graduate by February 1st

For January graduation: Submit your petition to graduate by July 1st

SLIS Tech Competencies

While all students enter the LIS program with different talents, skills, and abilities, SLIS 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, the matter is to be brought to the SLIS Associate Director ([email protected]) who takes it to the Director for resolution. The SLIS Associate Director may consult with the instructor. (SLIS Student Handbook, B.9 Grade Appeal)

Study Abroad

Students interested in taking an international travel course offered by a school other than Simmons should consult the approved list of international travel courses offered at ALA-accredited LIS programs that is part of the Petition Form for International Travel Courses. If the course is on the approved list, the student must complete the “Transfer of Credit” form and submit it to the SLIS Associate Director for processing. If the course is not on the approved list the student must consult with the SLIS Associate Director ([email protected]). (SLIS Student Handbook, E.18 International Travel Courses)

Technology: Opt out of LIS 488

The SLIS core curriculum requires students to take at least one technology course. SLT 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 the process outlined 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 the SLIS Student Services Center at ([email protected]).

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

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

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. (SLIS Student Handbook, E.8 Time Limit to Degree)

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 “Sexual Harassment  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.

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.

Click here to view the full Simmons University Sexual Harassment 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 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. Contact the SLIS Associate Director with questions not answered in the Petition form below.


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. (SLIS Student Handbook, B.2 Transfer and Waiver of Credit)

Tuition Refund Policy

Dual Degree Archives and SLT 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 ([email protected]) 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 (linked from the Wise (Online) Course policy below).

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 ([email protected]). Student Activity and other fees are nonrefundable. Any change from the approved registration must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar in writing. Non-attendance 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 their approved registration but fails to notify the 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 they have 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. (SLIS Student Handbook, D.5 Refund Policies)

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 [email protected] or 617-521-2111.