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    May 18, 2024  
Catalog 2021-2022 
Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Standards and Policies

Academic Clemency

Academic Clemency grants to the student a removal of the credit value and quality points from the GPA calculation, but the course grade(s) remain on the transcript.  In the example below the student requested academic clemency for SOC 2010, BIO 1040L, and BIO 1040.  Note the grades remain on the transcript.

Considerations for Academic Clemency:

  1. Students may request to have up to 16 previously earned credits in which grades of D or F were received designated AC next to the section on their transcripts.
  2. Such credits must have been earned at least three years prior to the date of the request.
  3. Students may not request academic clemency more than once.
  4. Student must be currently registered for the semester the academic clemency is requested and complete the course(s) with a grade.
  5. Students who have graduated from CSM with an Associate Degree are not eligible to apply for academic clemency.
  6. The fee for the academic clemency form is $40.

How to apply for Academic Clemency:

  1. Make an appointment with an advisor.
  2. Consider courses for clemency that are no longer required in your program of study
  3. Complete academic clemency form with advisor
  4. Pay academic clemency fee or $40
  5. Student will be notified of result by Registrar’s Office.  Processing time for this request and completion of the request, is a maximum of six weeks.

Academic Clemency for courses no longer offered:

Since the College of Southern Maryland reserves the right to modify its curriculum, academic clemency can be requested for course(s) where a grade of “D” or “F” was earned and the course(s) are no longer offered by the college and where the course is not equated to a new course.  Students may request this type of academic clemency more than once. 


Academic Records 

Credit Definition

By completing a course successfully, a student earns the number of credits assigned to the course. In the section of this catalog entitled Course Descriptions, the number of credits awarded for each course appears in parentheses following each course title. Credit is not awarded for some of the classes offered by the college.

  • One credit is equivalent to 50 minutes (at a minimum) of class time (direct instruction) and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work per week.
  • Three-credit course will typically meet 150 minutes per week for 15 weeks (37.50 hours, direct faculty instruction).

7-Week Course


Faculty Instructional time per week

Faculty Instructional time per semester

(based on 7 weeks)

Minimum Out of Class Student works per week

(based on 7 weeks)

Minimum Out of Class Student Work per semester

(based on 7 weeks)

Total instructional time and minimum out of class student work per semester

(based on 7 weeks)


110 minutes

770 minutes

220 minutes

1540 minutes

2310 minutes

(38.5 hours)


220 minutes

1540 minutes

440 minutes

3080 minutes

4620 minutes

(77 hours)


330 minutes

2310 minutes

660 minutes

4620 minutes

6930 minutes

(115.5 hours)


440 minutes

3080 minutes

880 minutes

6160 minutes

9240 minutes

(154 hours)


15-Week Course


Faculty Instructional time per week


Faculty Instructional time per semester

(based on 15 weeks)

Minimum Out of Class Student Work per Week

(based on 15 weeks)

Minimum Out of Class Student Work per semester

(based on 15 weeks)

Total instructional time and minimum out of class student work per semester

(based on 15 weeks)


50 minutes

750 minutes

(12.5 hours)

100 minutes

(1.7 hours)

1500 minutes

(25 hours)

2250 minutes

(37.5 hours)


100 minutes

1500 minutes

(25 hours)

200 minutes

(3.3 hours)

3000 minutes

(50 hours)

4500 minutes

(75 hours)


150 minutes

2250 minutes

(37.5 hours)

300 minutes

(5 hours)

4500 minutes

(75 hours)

6750 minutes

(112.5 hours)


200 minutes

3000 minutes

(50 hours)

400 minutes

(6.7 hours)

6000 minutes

(100 hours)

9000 minutes

(150 hours)


An equivalent amount of work is required in courses and academic activities where direct instruction is not the primary mode of learning, such as online and hybrid courses, laboratory work, independent study, internships, practicum, studio work, etc. Credits will be awarded on the basis of documented learning objectives, expected learning outcomes, and student workload expectations within a specified period of academically engaged time.

Attempted Credits

Attempted Credits refers to the number of credits attempted at the institution. An attempted credit includes graded credits (“A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “F”, “FX”, or “P”), withdrawn credits (“WD”), incomplete credits (“I”), no grade credits (“NG”), and audited courses (“AU”). Only those credits that are dropped by the institution are not considered attempted.

To calculate the percentage of credits completed, total all attempted CSM credits and total all completed CSM credits. Then, divide the number of completed credits by the number of attempted credits.


Grades are the means by which students assess their progress in course work. Students can expect to be graded frequently and in a variety of ways in each course. Grades are not assigned in many continuing education classes.

Final grades will be available through Online Services within one week of the completion of the semester. Students who need a written grade report may request a transcript through the Registrar’s Office or any administrative office at the Leonardtown or Prince Frederick campuses or the Waldorf Center for Higher Education.

Grading System and Reporting

The following grading system is used:

Grade Evaluation Grade Point Value
A Excellent 4
B Good 3
C Average 2
D Below Average 1
F Failure 0
I Incomplete 0
AU Audit  NC*
WD Withdrawn 0
P C or Above  NC*
NG No grade given by instructor  NC*
FX Failure, non-attendance 0
AWD Administrative Withdrawal NC*
NA Never Attended NC*
FE Failure Exceptional Times NC*


Grade Evaluation Grade Point Value
P Passed NC*
F Failure 0
I Incomplete 0
AU Audit NC*
WD Withdrawn 0
NG No grade given by instructor NC*
FX Failure, non-attendance 0
*NC-not calculated in GPA  

Grade Calculation

When an incomplete is recorded in a semester, the calculations for the semester grade point average will not include the credits for the incomplete class and no credit points will be recorded for the incomplete. The incomplete will appear as an “I” on the student record and transcript. For the purpose of calculating the grade point average, the credit will not appear in the total credits attempted or earned. When the incomplete is resolved, the calculation for the semester will be updated.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average (GPA) is computed by multiplying the number of credits for a course by the grade point value of the grade received for that course (see grade point values under the Grading System and Reporting section of this catalog). All grade points for all courses taken at the college are then added together and divided by the total number of credits attempted.

An example follows:

Course Credits Grade Grade Point Value Grade Points
 ENG 1010 3 B (3) 9
MTHMTH 1200 4 C (2) 8
BIO 1010  4 C (2) 8
HEA 1100  1 B (3) 3
Totals 12     28
GPA = 28 divided by 12 = 2.33

Continuing education courses, transfer courses, credit for prior learning, articulated credit from high schools, and the grades of W, IP, P, and AU are not included in the computation.


Students should be aware that changing a credit course to an audit can affect their financial assistance. A student may request to audit any class other than a science lab. Students receive no credit for an audited class. One may change from credit to audit or audit to credit, with the instructor’s permission, at any time before the end of the withdrawal period. Failure to complete the instructor’s outlined requirements will result in a grade of “WD” for the course. Students must have this form signed by the instructor and division chair before it will be processed by the Registrar’s Office.

Audited courses require the same tuition and fees as regular courses. Audited courses do not meet prerequisite requirements. Audited courses are noted on the transcript as having a grade of “AU.” The AU grade is not calculated in the GPA.

FX Grade

An FX grade will be assigned to any student in a web, web-hybrid, or face-to-face course who has failed to (or ceased to) engage in academically related activity before the midpoint of the course.  An “FX” grade is used to determine continued financial aid eligibility.  An “FX” grade is treated the same as an “F” grade in terms of GPA, probation, suspension, and academic progress.

Incomplete Grade

The decision to award an incomplete in a class is at the discretion of the instructor in conjunction with the division chair.  An incomplete (“I”) is a non-punitive grade which may be requested only if:

  1. The student is passing the course
  2. The student has a compelling and justifiable reason for not completing work due after the date when he or she can withdraw without penalty, and
  3. The student and instructor are in agreement regarding work to be completed and have signed the Incomplete Request Form specifying remaining work and due dates for completion.  Due dates may not extend beyond 120 calendar days. 
  4. Upon completion of remaining course work the instructor will change the status of “I” to the final grade in accordance with grade change procedures in place at the time.
  5. Failure to complete the agreed-upon work by the due date(s) specified will result in the grade of incomplete automatically being converted to the grade that the student would have been awarded based on the work completed prior to the incomplete being granted. Such grade will be indicated on the Incomplete Request form signed by the faculty member.

Disciplinary Notes on Transcripts

An Administrative Withdrawal grade “AWD” will be entered for each registered class a person is enrolled in at the time he/she is found responsible for a violation of the student code of conduct.

Never Attended Reporting

A student who registers for a section and does not report to class within the first twenty percent of scheduled class meetings will be reported by the faculty as having never attended which will appear as an “NA” grade on the student’s transcript and will not be calculated into the student’s GPA. A student who receives an “NA” is not eligible to receive a final grade in the course and may not begin attending the course after the “NA” is reported.  “NA” grades may affect financial aid, veterans benefits, and tuition assistance, as well as student visa status and athletic eligibility. 

Withdrawing from Classes

Withdrawal from a course is, for the student, as important as registering for a course, for it can affect academic standing, financial assistance eligibility, and program completion dates. Students should speak to the instructor of the course and an advisor prior to withdrawing from a course.

Students may withdraw by using Online Services. If a student is withdrawing at a campus, the student must complete and submit a withdrawal form at the Information Counter or any student service office at the other campuses by the last day for withdrawing from classes (published in the Academic Calendar in this catalog). If a course is dropped before the withdrawal date, a grade of “WD” will be recorded for the final grade. After that date, students will receive the earned grade of “A” through “FX” for all courses in which they are enrolled.

In the event of medical or personal emergencies, the student may telephone or write the Registrar’s Office for assistance in the process. However, the withdrawal form must be processed by the specified date. (See the Academic Calendar for withdrawal dates.)

A student who receives a failing grade for a course as a result of academic dishonesty may not subsequently withdraw from the course.

Complete Withdrawals

The college requires that any student withdrawing from all classes for a given semester meet with an advisor to discuss options prior to processing the withdrawal. Students may not continue to attend any course from which they have withdrawn. A grade of “WD” will be recorded for all classes.

Requesting a Grade Review

A student wishing to protest a grade given in a course may do so according to the procedures set forth in the Reevaluation of Academic Work section published in the Student Policy Guide. Students must request a reevaluation of academic work within 30 days of receipt of a course grade.

Academic Standing

Freshman/Sophomore Class Standing

A student who has earned from 0-29 credits is a freshman. A student achieves sophomore class standing after successfully completing 30 credits.

At the end of each semester a student’s academic performance is reviewed to determine if the student is in Good Academic Standing. The review is based on the cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all academic work attempted at the College of Southern Maryland.

Minimum Standards for Good Standing

Total Credits Attempted Minimum Cumulative GPA
6 - 18 1.50
19 - 31 1.75
32 - 44 1.85
45 or more 2.00

Students failing to maintain these standards are placed into one of the following categories:

Academic Warning (P13)

A student who - at any point after six credits (or two college preparatory courses) are attempted - falls below the prescribed Minimum Standards for Good Standing is placed on academic warning. Students on academic warning may not register for more than 13 credit hours during any semes­ter in this status.  Students placed on P13 are required to take STU 1030  .  Students on academic warning must meet with an advisor prior to registration each semester until they are off of academic warning. A student on academic warning must achieve a 2.00 or higher semester GPA every semester while in this status.

Academic Restriction (P7)

Academic restriction results when a student on academic warning fails to reach the Minimum Cumulative GPA and does not to achieve a 2.00 semester GPA. Students on academic restriction, with the approval of an academic advisor, may register for up to two courses and are required to take STU 1030  course (if not already successfully completed). Courses must be selected from those that an advisor has approved. Students who fail to achieve the Minimum Cumulative GPA but who achieve a 2.00 or higher semester GPA will return to an academic warning (P13) status.

Academic Suspension

Academic suspension results when a stu­dent on academic restriction fails to achieve at least a 2.00 GPA during the current enrollment period. Academic suspension precludes registration for any courses for a period of at least one semester (fall or spring semester).  Students returning to the college after being suspended for academic reasons will be placed on academic restriction (P7) upon their return. 

Note: Students receiving federally backed financial assistance may be required to meet stricter academic standards to maintain their financial assistance. These guidelines appear in Appendix II. Students in the Nursing and Physical Therapist Assistant programs are required to maintain higher academic standards and must meet specific criteria in clinical practice. See the programs handbooks for complete information.

Academic Dismissal

A student dismissed for academic reasons a second or subsequent time is not permitted to register for any courses for one full calendar year.  Students returning to the college after being dismissed for academic reasons will be placed on academic restriction (P7) upon their return.

Appeal of Academic Standing

Students who are placed on academic warning, academic restriction, academic suspension or academic dismissal may appeal their academic standing to the vice president of Academic Affairs whose decision is final. Appeals must be in writing and must be received no later than two weeks prior to the start of the semester in which re-enrollment is sought.


A student who has been academically suspended or academically dismissed from the college for academic reasons will be reinstated after the prescribed period of time (one semester or one calendar year). Upon reinstatement, the student will be placed on academic restriction (P7), and other requirements such as re-taking one or more placement tests, may be established. Students on academic restriction, with the approval of an academic advisor, may register for up to two courses plus STU 1030 course. Courses must be selected from those that an advisor has approved.

Dean’s List

Students who have earned 12 or more credits at CSM are eligible to be considered for the dean’s list. At the end of the fall, spring, and summer sessions, the Registrar’s Office will publish a list of those full and part-time students who have completed at least six credits during the semester and have earned a term grade point average of 3.5 or better. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will notify students in writing of their accomplishment. 

Phi Theta Kappa

In recognition of their academic achievement, currently enrolled students who were on the dean’s list the previous semester will be invited to join the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society of the Two-Year College. The college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa sponsors activities involving scholarship, service, leadership, and fellowship on all three campuses. Every two years, the Phi Theta Kappa national organization selects a topic for honors study, and the college offers a seminar for honors students on the topic. Membership in Phi Theta Kappa enhances students’ opportunities for receiving scholarships when transferring to four-year colleges.

Advising Requirement

It is important that all students seeking a degree or certificate from CSM, or planning to transfer from CSM to another college, consult (e-mail, phone, or in person) an advisor concerning their career and educational goals. The college recommends that students meet with an advisor prior to beginning a program of study and at least twice during their program to ensure that their courses are appropriate for their career and educational goals. These meetings must take place prior to a student registering for more than 18 credits and again at 36 credits. In addition, all students must consult an advisor if they are considering changing their program of study or are applying for graduation.

Break in Enrollment 

Reapplication is required after 2 years of non-enrollment.  Upon re-enrollment after this 2 year time period, students fall under the current catalog requirement.

Changing a Program

Students are admitted to the college in an academic program specified in their application to the college.  Students who wish to change their program of study at any time during their enrollment must speak with an advisor to make the appropriate adjustments. Those who wish to change their program must submit a change of program form with an advisor. Students must request a reevaluation of credits (if applicable) by completing a Request for Transcript Evaluation Form available at

  1. Students declare their program of study at the time of application and may change their program of study any time. Only one program of study may be declared at a time; however, students may apply for multiple degrees and certificates at the time of graduation.
  2. CSM recommends students who wish to change their program of study speak with (if applicable) the athletics department, veteran’s coordinator, financial assistance, international advisor to help clarify your new educational goals. International students are required to get the change of program form signed by their international advisor to ensure that their SEVIS record is updated and their I-20 is compliant. Students will be advised that changing their program of study could result in completed courses not applying to their new program of study.
  3. Students changing their program of study will be assigned to the current catalog year.
    1. Students requesting an exception to the assignment of the current catalog year need a written recommendation signed by the division chair where the new program resides with written justification for the request. This request must be submitted to the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs will review the request and make a determination based on the continuous enrollment status of the student.
    2. To ensure compliance with accreditation and licensing requirements, the student’s clinical portion of an allied health program will be assigned to the current catalog year.

Course Selection & Registration 

Courses are offered at times and locations considered most appropriate for their intended audiences. Since all programs are not offered during both day and evening hours, students should review their intended curriculum to ensure that it is available at acceptable times as well as at an accessible location. An annual schedule is available online. Students should use this information to plan the following academic year.

Registration dates and schedule adjustment dates are listed in the college calendar. Students may take advantage of mail-in (continuing education only), fax-in (continuing education only), on-site, online, or advance registration. During the credit priority registration period, the first day is reserved for current students who have attempted or completed 45 credits or more; the second day is for current students who have attempted or completed 30 credits or more; and the third day is for current students who have attempted or completed 15 credits or more.

An applicant whose high school or college record and placement test results indicate a need for a reduced academic load may be restricted to a maximum of 13 or fewer credits per semester, and/or required to enroll in college preparatory courses. Such students are advised to supplement their progress by taking courses during the summer session.

Registration of Full-Time Students

Full-time students refer to a student who enrolls in coursework of twelve (12) credit hours or more during the fall, spring, or summer semesters.  Students taking 12 or more credits should meet with an advisor early on in their program of study. The below table indicates the maximum amount of credits students can register for depending on their status/standing and the length of the term.  Students wishing to register for course loads in excess of the above limits must have the approval of the Director of Advising, Career and Transfer Services or designee. Dual enrollment students must have approval from the Director of Admissions for course loads above limits.  These Directors’ decisions are final.

Maximum Credit Hours per Term/Limitations of Credit hours

Status/Standing                       14-15-week     7-week            3-week or less                                    

Good                                       18                    9                      6

Students in FYS 1010A          13                    7                      0

Academic Warning                 13                    7                      0

Academic Restriction             7                      4                      0

Dual                                        10                    7                      3

Registration of Part-Time Students

Part-time students refer to a student who enrolls in coursework of less than twelve (12) credit hours during the fall, spring, or summer semesters.  Students should meet with an advisor early on in their program of study.

Add/Drop Period Policy

The Add/Drop period which takes place during the first few days of a semester allows students to remedy schedule problems, ensure that they are in appropriate classes, change their mind about a course, or correct a situation if they realize that they do not belong in a specific course.  If you are in good standing, you are encouraged to use Online Services to add or drop classes.  Check the college’s Academic calendar to determine these important deadlines at

The last day to add a class:

  • 15-week - first seven calendar days of the semester  (including the first day)
  • 7-week - first three calendar days of the class (including the first day)
  • 3-week - first day of the semester of the class (including the first day)

The last day to drop a class without a WD grade:

  • 15-week - seven calendar days of the class (including the first day)           
  • 7-week - three calendar days of the class (including the first day)
  • 3-week - three calendar days of the class (including the first day)

Please note the rules of refunds for dropped classes:

A student dropping a course prior to the first day of a class is eligible for a 100 percent refund of tuition and applicable fees (see the schedule to determine those fees that are refundable). In addition,

For courses that last 14 weeks or longer:

  • 100% refund on the first 7 calendar days of class
  • 0% refund after the first week

For courses that last 15 days to 13 weeks:

  • 100% refund during the first 3 calendar days of class
  • 0% refund after the fourth day of class

For courses that last 14 days or fewer:

  • 0% refund on or after the first day of class

Schedule of Classes

The college lists class schedule availability through Online Services on the college’s website. Students should be aware that not all courses are offered every semester, nor are they offered at all locations. (Every effort has been made to indicate schedule restrictions in the appropriate course descriptions in this catalog.) Some courses are offered irregularly due to inconsistent demand. Students interested in a course that is offered irregularly should inform the appropriate division chair of their interest.

Full and Canceled Classes

Seats in classes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Students should plan to register early to ensure that they are able to enroll in the course and section of their choice. Occasionally, seats will become available in a class that has been filled. Students can monitor seat openings through Online Services. If a seat becomes available, students can add the class through Online Services or in person. In the event that a course or section is canceled, all enrolled students are notified immediately. Those students may elect to enroll in another open course or section, or they may request a refund.

Wait Lists

Students trying to register for a class section that is full may choose the “wait list” option. This option allows students the opportunity to register for a class section if a seat becomes available. Students are permitted to register in one section of a course and one wait list section of a course. Notices of available seats are e-mailed automatically every morning, Monday through Thursday. The student has until midnight of the day the notice is received to enroll in the section. If a student does not enroll in the section, their name will be dropped from the wait list and the seat will be offered to the next person.  Students having difficulty registering from the wait list should e-mail between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Fridays.  The Wait List will be deactivated the day before the start of the term.

Prerequisites and Corequisites

Many course descriptions contain statements of prerequisites or corequisites.  Prerequisites tell the student the criteria that must be met prior to admission to a course and corequisites tell the student of criteria that must be met during the same or previous semester.  Prerequisites or corequisites may include specific college courses, certification from a particular organization or agency, employment in a certain field, etc. The intent of prerequisites or corequisites is to ensure that students have the level of skill and knowledge that will assure them a reasonable expectation of success in the course. If the student does not satisfy the prerequisite or corequisite criteria prior to the start of the higher-level course, the College has the right to remove the student from the higher-level course.

Considerations for Prerequisite waiver:

  1. A prerequisite waiver is an exception by the Academic Department Chair to allow a student to register for a class where the student does not satisfy the prerequisite criteria.
  2. A prerequisite waiver in no way guarantees of this course transferring in as a direct equivalency to course.
  3. The waiver will not substitute a course requirement in your program of study.
  4. If the pre-requisite course is required for your program of study, you will need to either complete the course, transfer in the equivalent course, or ask an advisor to submit a course substitution request.

How to apply for Prerequisite waiver:

  1. Make an appointment with an advisor.
  2. Complete a prerequisite waiver form with the advisor.

Course Substitutions of Required Courses

There may be exceptional instances in which students are excused from taking a required course in their program of study.  A course substitution is initiated by an advisor and approved by the Division of Academic Affairs.

Considerations for Course Substitutions:

  1. A substitution of a course does not reduce the number of credits needed to complete a program of study.  
  2. A course substitution is not automatically transferred to any other program of study. 

How to apply for Course Substitutions:

  1. Make an appointment with an advisor.
  2. Complete the course substitution form with an advisor.
  3. If you change your program of study, all course substitutions must be reevaluated for applicability. 

Course Substitutions of Required courses for Students with Disabilities

Students who wish to petition for a course substitution based on the presence of a disability may do so through the Disability Support Office. The course substitution policy, procedures, and request forms are available from the Disability Support Services Coordinator at each campus.

Repeat Policy 

The intent of this policy for students is to increase student success and completion. A course should be repeated by a student with the intent to receive a higher grade. Students who have performed poorly in a course should repeat the course as soon as possible. If a failing grade is earned in a required course, students must repeat the course until it is passed. While all grades will appear on the student’s transcript if a course is repeated, only the best grade earned for the course will be calculated into the student’s grade point average.  This replacement has an immediate impact on the student’s cumulative GPA. Students may request an appeal of this policy with an academic advisor. Students can take a course for credit no more than two times. Once two attempts have been made, the student must receive permission from the appropriate Division Chair or Program Coordinator to take the course again.

Credit for Prior Learning

There are several ways in which students may receive college credit for subject matter or skills they have mastered, including the following:

  1. Career and Technical Education and other articulated high school courses
  2. Advanced Placement (AP) examinations
  3. Credit for service schools and other noncollegiate-sponsored instruction
  4. Credit by nationally standardized examinations
  5. Credit by departmental assessment

Students may earn up to 30 credits toward a degree through prior learning assessment. No more than 15 of these credits may be earned through departmental assessments (portfolio, certifications, or departmental examinations) toward a degree. Students should be aware of any restrictions on these credits imposed by the institution to which they intend to transfer.

Credit earned by prior learning may not be counted as institutional credit.

Career and Technical Education Articulated High School Courses

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a means to begin a technical course of study while in high school. CTE courses are taught in the high school and can be applied toward college credit. In a CTE program, a high school student can begin his or her course of study in high school and continue to the College of Southern Maryland. These courses coordinate high school and community college programs, assuring that graduates acquire the technical knowledge and skills required in today’s complex workplace for a particular program. CTE students complete a planned sequence of courses in high school, which articulate to CSM and can be applied to designated letters of recognition, certificates, and associate of applied science degrees in a career field. Please note transferring articulated high school credit courses may not be accepted by the transfer institution.

For further information on CTE articulation agreements, visit

Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations

Eligible students may receive credits for Advanced Placement Examinations administered in the high schools. See  Appendix IV  for acceptable disciplines and scores with their college course credit equivalencies.

Credit for Service Schools and Other Noncollegiate - Sponsored Instruction

Credits granted for noncollegiate-sponsored instruction are limited to those courses that the college determines to be applicable to its degree and certificate programs. Transcripts from each school or agency attended must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. These credits will not be posted on the student’s transcript until the student successfully completes at least six institutional credits, unless the courses are part of an articulated program.

The college will consider, upon evaluation and review by academic departments, recommendations for credit for applicable noncollegiate-sponsored instruction, which has been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the National College Credit Recommendation Service (CCRS). Formal military training evaluations are published in The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services The evaluation of other noncollegiate-sponsored instruction is published in The National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs No credits are granted for instruction not recommended in the ACE or CCRS publications.

Credit by Nationally Standardized Examinations: CLEP and DSST (formerly DANTES)

A student may attempt to earn college credit in some areas by examination. The credit-by-examination program is an option for those who have strong academic high school backgrounds or who have studied on their own. These comprehensive examinations are administered by appointment in the college’s testing centers. Prior to taking any one of these exams, students pay the required test registration/fees.

A passing grade on an examination is recorded with a grade of “P” on the permanent record. While the credits count toward graduation, neither the credits nor the grade is used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average. Examinations that are attempted but not passed are not recorded on the student’s permanent record. Passing scores on nationally standardized examinations or departmental assessments cannot be used to replace grades earned for CSM courses taken previously.

To receive an up-to-date list of courses available through credit by examination, and to register to take an examination, contact the Testing Center or learn more at Students pursuing a program of study at CSM should begin the process by speaking to an academic advisor. Course descriptions in this catalog also indicate if the course is available through credit by examination. Students who fail an examination may attempt most examinations again after six months. (See Appendix V  for a list of the subject exams.)

Credit by Departmental Assessment

An academic department may award course credit to students who document learning comparable to that required in specific college courses. To be eligible for credit by departmental assessment, students must be admitted to the college. Students interested in pursuing credit for prior learning should begin the process by speaking to an academic advisor. The advisor will assist the student in determining if credit by departmental assessment is appropriate to the student’s needs. There are two ways learning can be evaluated: departmental examination and portfolio assessment/certification.

Departmental Examination

A departmental examination is created by the appropriate college department and is administered by appointment in the Testing Center. The example below shows how a departmental exam appears on a student transcript.

Considerations for Departmental Exams

  1. Credits earned by departmental exam may not be acceptable for transfer to other institutions.
  2. Only 15 credits can be earned by departmental exams.
  3. A grade of “P” is earned which is not used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average, but will count towards graduation.
  4. Examinations that are attempted but not passed are not recorded.
  5. Students who have not completed the exam by the end of the semester will be withdrawn from the course and issued a “WD” grade.
  6. Students who fail an examination must wait a minimum of two weeks to re-take most exams. Specific departmental exams may have longer wait periods between re-tests or required remediation activities, so re-takes also require the permission of the chair of the academic division responsible for the departmental exam.  
  7. Tests may only be re-taken once.

How to apply for Departmental Exams

  1. Refer to the Appendix VI    for a list of courses for which departmental exams are offered.
  2. Make an appointment with an advisor.
  3. Register for the Departmental exam and pay fee.
  4. Schedule an appointment with the testing center.
  5. Departmental exams must be taken within thirty days of registering for the test.

Portfolio Assessment/Certification

Credits may be awarded to students who document evidence that course objectives, as outlined in the course syllabus, have been mastered. Such evidence might include professional certificates, examinations, written materials, or other supporting documentation. Students interested in pursuing credit for prior learning should begin the process by speaking to an academic advisor. The advisor will assist the student in determining if credit for prior learning is appropriate to the student’s needs.

Credit Transfer Policy 

A student must request an evaluation by completing a Request for Transcript Evaluation Form available online or from the Registrar’s Office. The student must clearly indicate the program of study to which the incoming credits are to be applied and all institutions from which transcripts will be coming. Students must also complete this form when requesting a re-evaluation after change of program with an Advisor.

Transfer of credits will be considered on the basis of applicability to the student’s chosen program of study at the College of Southern Maryland. Credits/transcripts will only be evaluated for students who have declared a program at CSM. Students will be given thirty (30) days to appeal their evaluation before it is made official. A student must have an official transcript sent directly from the previous institution(s). It is the student’s responsibility to supply the transcript evaluator with the appropriate catalog or course description if one is not already available. Credit may be awarded if one of the following criteria is met:

  1. The institution is accredited by a commission on higher education approved by the United States Department of Education. To verify accreditation, CSM uses “The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs,”
    1. CSM recognizes the following regional accreditation associations: Higher Learning Commission, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
    2. The institution is legally authorized to grant standard college degrees and is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education. The college may award transfer credit based upon course equivalencies, expected learning outcomes and applicability to the college’s curricula, standards, and course offerings.
    3. Credit may not be accepted from schools that are candidates for regional accreditation and not fully accredited, or for coursework completed while an institution was not accredited by a commission on higher education approved by the United States Department of Education.
    4. Credits earned at a nationally accredited institution will be subject to departmental review. The student will be asked to submit syllabi for the courses that are being submitted for evaluation.

  2. CSM has an approved articulation agreement with a high school, business or industry. Articulation agreements specify award of credit for meeting certain criteria and presenting certain documents.
  3. CSM will consider, upon evaluation and review by academic departments, recommendations for credit by American Council on Education (ACE) or National College Credit Recommendation Service (CCRS) and recommended award of college credit. CSM uses ACE and National CCRS recommendations as credit award guidelines with final determination of award of credit made in conjunction with the academic departments.  See the section that follows on “Credit for Service School and Other Non-collegiate sponsored Institution” for more information.
  4. The course(s) in which a grade of “C” or better was obtained from accredited two-year and four-year colleges within the state of Maryland are eligible to be transferred into the College of Southern Maryland. Courses that have a grade of “P” and are defined as the equivalent to a “C/C-” grade are also eligible to be transferred into the College of Southern Maryland. Effective August 1, 2017, English composition will transfer only if the student has received a grade of C- or better. 

    The course(s) in which a grade of “D” was obtained will be accepted as long as credit was granted from the sending institution and are accepted within the specific program of study at CSM. Courses that have a grade of “P” and are defined as the equivalent to a “D/D-” grade are subject to departmental review. Please refer to your desired program of study to determine transferability of “D” grades, effective Fall 2020. It is important for the student to recognize that upon transfer to another institution it is unlikely that the “D” grade will satisfy specific course requirements related directly to the major.

    Only the credits (not the grades) for courses completed at other institutions are transferred to the students record at CSM.  Therefore, grades earned at other institutions may not be used to erase grades earned at CSM or to improve a student’s grade point average.  CSM will convert courses taken at institutions operating on the quarter system to semester hours if the credit transfers.  Quarter hours are multiplied by .667 to equate to semester hours. If it is determined by the department chair that a course being transferred in from a quarter hour system meets the educational content of a course at this institution, the department chair can approve to have the course requirement met. The student will be responsible for making up any additional credits needed due to the conversion. CSM does not automatically honor course waivers or exemptions granted by other institutions. Students seeking such waivers must provide the original basis for the exemption and request an official evaluation. The Programs of Study section of this catalog indicates the number of credits allowable to transfer for each curriculum.

    1. To earn transfer credit, courses will need to fit the applicant’s proposed curriculum.
    2. A student who successfully completed an AA, AS at a Maryland institution or a Bachelor’s degree at regionally accredited institution of higher education meets the General Education requirements for a degree at CSM, unless the General Education course is a degree specific requirement. A student who transfers into CSM and holds an AAS degree will be evaluated on a course by course basis and may be required to complete any General Education courses that they are lacking from the AAS degree.
  5. Coursework completed at a postsecondary institution outside of the U.S., which is not regionally accredited by one of the aforementioned associations, must be evaluated by a professional transcript evaluation service before CSM will  review courses for transfer credit.  CSM requires the course-by-course evaluation for transfer credit review and accepts evaluations only from these approved evaluation services:  World Education Services (WES), Josef Silny & Associates (JSA), and Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).  In addition to submitting an official transcript to one of the previously mentioned agencies, students may also be asked to submit translated syllabi in order to best determine how to award the credit recommended by the evaluation agency.
  6. Pre-determined equivalencies shall be re-evaluated every 5 years, unless otherwise required by a department.  If a course is up for re-evaluation, the student will be asked to submit syllabi.

Students having questions regarding transfer policies should contact the Advising Office for further information, or refer to the Maryland Higher Education Commission Student Transfer Policies printed in Appendix III .

Verification of Transferability of a course(s) at Another Institution Policy

College of Southern Maryland degree-seeking students who wish to enroll in a course(s) at another institution must complete a “Verification of Transferability at Another Institution” form. When a student submits the form, a CSM academic advisor will complete the necessary areas within the form and attach it to the student’s record. The student’s course(s) will be reviewed for transferability. If the student wishes to transfer the credits back to CSM, an official transcript of the coursework must be sent to the Registrar’s Office at CSM after the courses are completed at the designated institution. This verification is only applicable to the course(s) and the semester indicated on the form. If the student does not complete the course(s) within the semester indicated, the student must submit a new “Verification of Transferability at Another Institution” form.

Considerations for Verification of Transferability of a course(s) at Another Institution:

  1. This form should be submitted and approved prior to enrollment in course.
  2. Submission of this form is for the semester indicated on the form submission.

How to apply for Verification of Transferability of a course(s) at Another Institution:

  1. Make an appointment with an advisor.
  2. Complete Verification of Transferability of a course(s) at Another Institution Form
  3. Student will be notified of result by Registrar’s Office.  Student maybe asked to submit additional information regarding the course to determine transferability.
  4. Processing time for this request will be completed within four weeks.
  5. Once the course is completed transcripts from the designated institution need to be sent to the Registrar’s Office to have the course transferred onto the student record.

Demonstration of College Readiness Procedures 

No student is denied admissions concerning their skill level for college readiness.  To assist in placing students into college courses students must do at least one of the following:

  1. Provide High School transcripts if you graduated from one of the tri-county public high school in the past two-years (Calvert, Charles, or St. Mary’s).
  2. SAT/ACT scores from within the past two-years.
  3. Submit acceptable GED scores from within the past two-years.
  4. Submit Acceptable AP Scores from within the past two-years.
  5. Take CSM placement tests within the past two-years.

Students whose placement indicates a need for skill development are required to complete the appropriate college preparatory courses.  All degree seeking students will be required to enroll in the course or courses at the beginning of their college enrollment and continue to enroll in them each term until they have completed them successfully.  In addition, once courses in college preparatory English and /or mathematics are completed, the first college-level English and/or mathematics courses must be taken the following semester.

Students who place in developmental education courses in two or more disciplines are:

  1. limited to a maximum of 13 credits, or the equivalent, during their first full-time semester; and
  2. required to take FYS 1010A; and
  3. required to consult with an advisor to register and continue to consult with an advisor until all developmental education courses are completed and passed.

Placement Test

Placement testing at College of Southern Maryland is for the purpose of identifying the academic skill level of entering students.  The scores determine academic placement in the appropriate courses within the student’s academic skill level.  Because of this goal, preparation for the initial test and/or remediation prior to any subsequent retake is essential.

The use of placement tests for placement into college level courses has a two-year expiration date from the date taken. All courses in English and mathematics require that students have completed the appropriate placement tests for placement prior to enrollment, as do many other courses in a variety of disciplines (for example, biology, chemistry, early childhood education, and information technology services). These requirements are listed under prerequisites in the course description section of this catalog. Students should complete the placement tests at the time of admission, but no later than the point at which they have accumulated six credits.

Test preparation materials for the placement tests are available from the testing center website. 

Re-taking of the Placement Tests

  1. All students must wait at least 48 hours before attempting a retest.
    1. Students retaking math placement test in ALEKS (adaptive learning program software)must complete additional hours of studying.
  1. Second Retest
    1. To attempt a second retest, all students must wait at least 48 hours.
    2. Students retaking math placement test must complete additional hours of studying in ALEKS (adaptive learning program software). 
  2. Exceptions to the above
    1. A student whose test scores are no longer valid because the scores are at least two years old is able to take the placement test.
    2. A student who completes a significant portion of a college preparatory course can be considered as having completed sufficient remediation for an additional retest (provided that the course work is consistent with the subject of the retest).

SAT/ACT/GED/AP acceptable scores for placement

  • SAT Tests: Submit scores of 480 or higher in evidence-based Reading and Writing. Submit scores of 530 or higher in Math. Submit scores of 570 or higher in Math for programs that require a higher level of math (such as STEM programs).
  • ACT Tests: Submit ACT scores of 21 or higher in English and/or Reading and/or Math. Submit scores of 24 or higher in math for programs that require a higher level of math (such as STEM programs).
  • GED Test: Submit GED scores of 165 or higher in Reasoning Through Language Arts. Submit scores of 165 or higher in Mathematical Reasoning.
  • AP Test Scores: Submit scores in English and/or Math of 4 or 5.

High School Transcripts for placement

Outstanding achievement in higher level math and English courses may be considered to determine appropriate placement in college-level courses based on cumulative unweighted GPA and certain classes taken.  Official tri-county high school transcripts must be submitted for this option to be considered.

Transfer Students placement

Credits in most disciplines may be transferred regardless of how long ago the courses were taken. Transfer students who have not taken a college-level English or a college-level mathematics course in the last two years may be required to take the English and/or mathematics diagnostic or placement test in order to validate their skills in those areas. Students applying to the health sciences programs should consult with the appropriate health science program coordinator.

Disability Services 

The College of Southern Maryland is committed to making it possible for individuals with disabilities to be full participants in its programs, services, and activities in compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities/ADAA, Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all other pertinent federal and state laws.

Individuals with disabilities, who are seeking services due to the impact of a disability, are required to provide appropriate documentation from a qualified professional.  Appropriate documentation must include a diagnosis and its impact in a higher education environment. Students can schedule an appointment to meet with the Disability Support Services staff on the campus that is convenient for them. See additional information here:

Emergency Withdrawal and Tuition Refund Policy 

An emergency withdrawal may qualify a student for a partial refund or credit of tuition and course fees after the normal refund deadline. In order to be eligible for a refund or tuition credit, the student, or next of kin, must submit an appeal form and appropriate substantiating documentation to support such a withdrawal request within 12 months from the beginning of the term requested. (All fees must be paid prior to receiving a refund or tuition credit). A withdrawal is considered an emergency if it results from one of the reasons described below:

Military Duty

  1. Student must have entered active duty involuntarily, or have been transferred involuntarily.
  2. Student must provide a copy of military orders signed by the individual’s commanding officer or other appropriate official.
  3. Be a dependent of a military person who has been transferred involuntarily.

Medical/Health Concerns

  1. Student must have experienced a medical condition which prevented the student from completing their course(s).  Student must provide certification from a physician stating that the student’s medical condition requires the student’s medical withdrawal.
  2. Required medical/professional certification:
    1. must be an original letter on official letterhead (no photocopies), and
    2. must give dates of occurrence
    3. and state that the medical condition requires the student’s withdrawal from course(s).


  1. Withdrawal is considered if the death of the student or immediate family member of the student has occurred. Immediate family members include the following: spouse, parent, child, or other members of the student’s household.  Relationship to student must be clearly indicated in documentation.
  2. Appropriate required documentation:
    1. an official death certificate, or
    2. a copy of a newspaper obituary notice,
    3. a letter from a physician (or other appropriate medical professional) verifying the student’s relationship to the deceased.

Involuntary change/transfer in work hours

  1. Withdrawal is considered if the student experiences an involuntary change in work hours and/or work location that prevents the student from completing their course(s).
  2. Appropriate required documentation:
    1. Letter from the supervisor on company letterhead which includes the following:
      1. Effective date of change in work schedule
      2. New work hours
      3. New work location (if applicable).

Other Extreme Situations

Requests for an involuntary withdrawal based on other extreme situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Students requesting an emergency withdrawal must complete the appeal form found on the website and submit it to the Student Appeals Committee. The form must explain in detail the nature of the appeal and any specific circumstances (e.g., illness, death in the family, military transfer, etc.) that may support the appeal.

The following is the procedure for appeals for military duty, medical/health concerns, death,  involuntary change in work hours, or other extreme situations:

  1. The appeal form must explain in detail the nature of the request, list any specific circumstances that may support the request, and provide available documentation.
  2. If the request involves academic concerns, the letter is forwarded to the Vice President of Academic Affairs or the Associate Vice President of Continuing Education and Workforce Development for investigation.
  3. If the request involves situations other than academic concerns, the Student Appeals Committee will investigate the request. The committee meets on a monthly basis.  If the committee determines that a refund is justified, then it may authorize, as appropriate, a full or partial refund. The Student Appeals Committee will inform the student in writing of the decision via CSM College-issued email.
  4. A student may appeal the decision of the committee, in writing, to the Vice President of Student Equity and Success. The student’s letter must explain the nature of the appeal and include any supporting evidence. The appeal must be initiated within 14 calendar days of notification to the student.
  5. A written response shall be given to the student after the Vice President of Student Equity and Success has reviewed the appeal. Please allow 3-4 weeks for notification.  The decision of the Vice President of Student Equity and Success is final.


Permanent Record Information Policy

The College of Southern Maryland maintains records for each student who attends the college. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as amended, affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. For more information on these rights, see Appendix VII , Disclosure of Student Information and Rights of Students under FERPA. A complete copy of the current college policy on students’ rights under FERPA can be found on the college’s website at

All students have the right to see their own records and to challenge any documentation that they feel is erroneous. A copy of the college’s procedures for challenging file or record contents is available, upon request, from the Registrar’s Office. Records cannot be released without the student’s written authorization, with certain exceptions permitted by FERPA. (Some student information is designated as public or directory information. The institution may disclose such information for any purpose, at its discretion. For more information, see Appendix VII , Disclosure of Student Information and Rights of Students Under FERPA.)

Students who wish to have their records forwarded to other colleges or to prospective employers must complete a written release form before the college can honor the request. The following is a list of the types of educational records maintained by the college:

Type of Records Location/Office Title of Responsible Official
Permanent Academic Registrar’s Office Registrar
Admission Application Admissions Director, Admissions
Placement Tests Admissions Director, Admissions
Veterans Financial Assistance Director, Financial Assistance
Financial Assistance Financial Assistance Director, Financial Assistance
Continuing Education Registrar’s Office Registrar
Certificates Registrar’s Office Registrar
Disciplinary Student Equity and Success Vice President, Student Equity and Success
Continuing Education Record Registrar’s Office Registrar

Who Can Submit a Request for Student Information?

 The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) generally precludes an institution from disclosing or sharing personally identifiable information from a student record. Exceptions apply, including, for example:

  • If the institution has obtained the prior consent of the student, or
  • In response to requests for directory information provided the student has not withheld release of his/her directory information.

As permitted under FERPA Section 99.37(d), the College limits the release of directory information for legitimate educational purposes or in accordance with the Solomon Amendment.

FERPA rights cease upon death. However, it is the policy of the College of Southern Maryland that no records of deceased students be released to third parties after the date of death, unless specifically authorized by the executor of the deceased’s estate or by the next of kin.

Requesting Transcripts and Replacement Credential Documents

Students and former students may request academic record transcripts from the Registrar’s Office or any student services office.  College of Southern Maryland transcripts are ordered online, to be sent in either an electronic (secure, certified PDF) or paper format.  Transcript fees must be paid by credit or debit card when placing order.  We cannot accept cash or checks in our office.  The cost of each transcript will be $5.00 electronic transcript and $7 for a mailed transcript.  You can go to this website to request a transcript:

No transcripts will be released if any financial obligations to the college have not been met. Transcripts will not be issued to a third party without the written authorization of the student.

Students may request a replacement diploma for $20 online at

Student Conduct

A community of higher learning can make its maximum contribution only if high standards of integrity, courtesy, and accomplishment are maintained by every member of the college. Responsibility for achieving this goal falls upon students, faculty, and administration alike.

The college reserves the right to discipline any student for any behavior, on college premises or in connection with college-sponsored activities, which is judged as detrimental to the aim and objectives of the college. The individual student is responsible for understanding specific regulations set forth in the Student Code of Conduct at

Students Charged with a Criminal Offense

Any student who is charged with a felony subsequent to applying to the college must report the charge prior to registering for his or her next class.  Based on the nature of the offense and other factors, the college reserves the right to revoke admission, limit enrollment and/or restrict activities of a student.  Failure to disclose a criminal charge may result in the student being immediately withdrawn from current classes and may result in disciplinary action including dismissal or expulsion, as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Academic Honesty

Students are expected to perform their own academic work. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty are considered extremely serious offenses. Students are personally responsible for understanding the various forms of academic dishonesty as they are explained in the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Policy Guide. Ignorance of any requirement for academic honesty will not constitute an excuse from disciplinary proceedings.