Perkins School of Theology - Academic Regulations and Procedures
The academic year is divided into fall and spring terms. In addition, Perkins
holds a summer term and a January interterm. All course requirements for the
M.Div., C.M.M., M.S.M. and M.T.S. degrees may be satisfied during the regular
academic year, although courses fulfilling certain requirements in these programs
are normally available in the summer term as well.
Most courses carry three term hours of credit. Normally, the maximum course
load is 13 term hours per term. With the permission of the Committee on Student
Development or of the associate dean for Academic Affairs acting for the committee,
a student with an average grade of B (3.0) or above may register for up to
14.5 term hours, and a student with an average grade of A- (3.7) or above may
register for as many as 16 term hours. No student may register for more than
16 term hours. A student in good standing may register for CM 8012, 8013 Seminary
Singers, in addition to 13 term hours of other coursework, without seeking
the permission of the committee.
The maximum course load for the summer term is six term hours. The maximum
for the January interterm is three term hours.
Students holding pastoral charges or other employment requiring 20 hours or
more per week should consider carefully, with their academic advisers, the advantages
and disadvantages of a reduced course load. A load of nine term hours per
term may be advisable in such circumstances. Students considering any further
reduction in course load should keep in mind, among other things, the effects of
such a reduction upon their overall curricular planning and the time limit established
in each degree program for the completion of all degree requirements.
In considering course load, students should be guided by the principle that the
number of hours of a studentís time to be devoted to any course per week should
be approximately four times the number of term hours of credit assigned to the
course. For example, a three-term-hour course should occupy about 12 hours of
the studentís time each week, counting the time spent in class. Assignments are
Regular attendance is expected in all classes. In the event of unavoidable absences,
students are responsible for securing from their colleagues any information about
lectures or assignments missed, and, if their absence is unexcused, they assume
the risk of missing quizzes or other graded in-class work. A student who anticipates
an unavoidable extended absence from school should notify the associate dean for
Academic Affairs, who will in turn notify the instructors involved. An excessive
number of unexcused absences may result in a reduction in the studentís grade or
failure of the course, despite successful completion of all the assigned reading and
written work. In no case will a student be allowed credit for a seminar if she or he
is absent for as much as 25 percent of the seminar sessions, even if the absences
All course assignments are to be completed on time. Work submitted late may
be accepted at the instructorís discretion and may incur a penalty in grade. Students
are advised to consult the instructor in advance if circumstances make it impossible
to meet an assignment deadline.
The calendar calls for a designated reading and writing period at the end of each
term, during which time formal classes will not be held. This period is an integral part of the termís work, and students are expected to use it for research, writing
and study in connection with the termís courses.
Final examinations are held on the dates indicated in the calendar. An examination
schedule is published toward the end of each term. According to University
regulations, no student may take a final examination ahead of the scheduled date.
If it is not possible for a student to take an examination at the regular time, a
postponement may be granted by the Committee on Student Development, or by
the associate dean for Academic Affairs acting for the committee, if the student
submits to the associate dean a written request approved by the instructor.
Each student at Perkins is expected to adhere to rigorous standards of academic
honesty. Plagiarism and other acts of academic dishonesty are regarded as serious
offenses and are treated accordingly. The faculty has adopted a statement on academic
responsibility for the general guidance of students in these matters; a copy
is outlined in the student handbook. Students are advised to consult with their
course instructors if they have any questions about expectations and procedures
in this regard.
Students with disabilities, including learning disabilities, should know that their
instructors at Perkins welcome being informed of the situation, particularly as it
might bear upon their coursework. Upon request, and within reasonable limits,
alternative arrangements may be worked out between instructor and student regarding
examinations and other assignments, when that seems appropriate. A written
statement from a health professional attesting to the disability is required. A student
who wishes to pursue this possibility should notify the instructor(s) concerned
well in advance. For further information and counsel, students should consult the
associate dean for Academic Affairs and the coordinator of services for the Students
with Disabilities Office at Southern Methodist University at 214-768-4557.
An alpha grading scale of A to F is employed for course grades. A cumulative
grade average of C (2.0) or above is required for graduation in the M.Div., C.M.M.
and M.T.S. programs; and a grade of B (3.0) is required for the M.S.M. program.
Students with course grades below 2.0 are in serious difficulty. (See the ďAcademic
In addition to the alpha grades, three other markings are used: I (Incomplete),
WP (Withdrawal-Passing) and P (Passing). The grade of I indicates the failure to
do some major portion of the required work in the course. The grade of I (Incomplete)
is granted by the Committee on Student Development, only on written request
by the student. The studentís written request must be submitted to the associate
dean for Academic Affairs no later than the deadline specified in the schoolís
official calendar for the submission of all written work. The grade of I is allowed
only on rare occasion when the student has suffered a serious illness or has experienced
some other untoward hardship that the committee judges to be adequate
grounds. If the request is granted, a time limit for completion of the work will be
set (not to exceed 30 days) in consultation with the instructor. If the work is not
submitted by the date agreed upon, then the grade will become an F.
The grade of WP (Withdrawal-Passing) carries no grade value. Students desiring
to withdraw from a course must make their intention known to the registrar before the last day for withdrawing as indicated in the University calendar. Any request
for an exception to this rule must be addressed, with supporting evidence, to the
associate dean for Academic Affairs.
A student who fails a course or whose cumulative or fall- or spring-term grade
average falls below a grade of C will be placed on academic probation. In this
circumstance, the student will receive written correspondence from the chair of
the Committee on Student Development suggesting a plan of study designed to
improve his or her academic performance. Such a plan of study may include, in
addition to a reduced course load, a reduction in nonacademic activities, special
tutoring, remedial work in reading or writing, or such other provisions as may seem
appropriate in each case.
Students on probation may be required to reduce their academic course load and
may be required to take a noncredit reading/study skills course. A student who,
while on probation, fails a course or fails to achieve a minimum GPA of C on his
or her work in any given term shall be liable to dismissal from school. Likewise,
a student with a pattern of recurring probation shall be liable to dismissal. The
student is automatically removed from probation upon successfully completing an
academic term in which he or she does not fail any classes and his or her cumulative
or fall- or spring-term grade average is C or higher.
Perkins students may register for graduate-level courses in other schools of the
University after consultation with the registrar. M.Div. students may register for a
total of nine credit hours and M.T.S. students for six credit hours.
It is possible, in exceptional situations, to register for a reading course.
no more than one reading course may be taken during a studentís program of
study. The student must have completed the required coursework in the pertinent
field, the course must be on a subject not covered by regularly scheduled courses
and the procedure for application must be completed by the end of the advance
registration period in the term preceding that in which the reading course is to be
taken. Reading courses do not count toward the 24 hours of study on campus in
Dallas required of students enrolled in the Houston/Galveston program. Further
information may be obtained from the registrar.
After matriculation at Perkins, a student may take one or more courses at another
Association of Theological Schools member school and have the credit transferred
to her or his Perkins degree program. However, these courses must be approved
in advance by the Committee on Student Development or by the associate dean,
acting for the committee. In the interest of preserving the integrity of the Perkins
degree programs, the committee will normally consider granting permission for
no more than four such courses (12 credit hours). The total number of hours transferred
to a Perkins degree program from courses taken before and after matriculation
should not exceed the maximum allowed for students transferring from another
institution. (See the ďAdmission by TransferĒ section.)
The faculty has invested the Committee on Student Development with authority
to act upon all requests for exceptions to these regulations and for any variation
from regular academic procedures. All requests are to be addressed in writing to
the committee and submitted to the chair of that committee.