Skip to Navigation
[Placeholder Image] | MySage | SageAdvisor | Directory
    Sage Graduate Schools
  Aug 14, 2020
Skip Navigation

Academic Policies

The Sage Graduate Schools are organized as three distinct schools:  the School of Education, the School of Health Sciences, and the School of Management.


For current registration procedures, visit the Sage Graduate Schools website.

Who May Register - Student Status

Students returning to academia or attending graduate school for the first time who are uncertain of their program may take up to 9 credits without applying for admission to the Sage Graduate Schools. To enroll for additional credits, students must either apply for admission (matriculate) and gain acceptance to a graduate certificate or degree program before completing 9 credit hours or indicate visiting-student status.


A students who begins coursework as non-matriculated student and who wishes to pursue a degree is required to apply for admission and gain acceptance to a graduate program before completing 9 credit hours of graduate coursework. For admission, apply online.

In order to maintain matriculated status, a student must satisfactorily complete at least one course each year (September – August) with an overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.


Students who do not matriculate before completing 9 credit hours and who do not intend to earn a certificate or degree from Sage should request visiting student status. Credits accumulated as a visiting student do not necessarily count toward a certificate or degree program.

Registration Requirements

To register for a graduate-level course, a student is required at the time of registration to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. For a student to receive credit for a graduate course, the official undergraduate transcript with bachelor’s degree posted must be on file in the Office of Graduate Admission. This is required for non-matriculated as well as matriculated students. If the transcript is not on file at the time of registration, the student must have it sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admission from the degree-granting institution before mid-semester. Transcripts, credit for the course, and permission to register for the next semester will be withheld if the undergraduate transcript is not received as required.

Russell Sage College and Sage College of Albany seniors may be admitted to graduate courses on a strictly controlled basis requiring written permission from the appropriate graduate school dean.

Semester Course Load

  Full-time student 9 or more credits per semester*  
  Part-time student fewer than 9 credits per semester  

* Some financial aid programs require a minimum of 12 credits per semester.

Registration, Course Planning, and Catalog Year

To plan a curriculum or a semester’s course of study, students should use the Catalog published the year they entered the College or any subsequent Catalog. It is the student’s responsibility to use the appropriate Catalog to outline course requirements and to inform the Registrar, in writing, of any desired change in catalog year. The catalog year may only be advanced; it may not be reversed. Degrees from accredited programs, or degrees that qualify students for certification, may require that students follow requirements subsequent to those in effect when the student matriculated.

A student must be sure to consider the prerequisite requirements for each course when planning their schedule; a student must have credit for or be enrolled in all prerequisites before enrolling in any course. A student may get permission to override a prerequisite only from the faculty member teaching the course or from the program director in the discipline where the course is offered.

The College reserves the right to add, change, or delete curricular offerings and/or to make curricular refinements.

Student Responsibility

The ultimate responsibility for fulfilling graduation requirements rests with the individual student. At the time of admission, in consultation with his/her advisor, each student reviews his/her academic program to make certain that requirements for the degree are being met satisfactorily. In addition to the requirements listed here, programs may have additional requirements. Each student is responsible for communicating with program advisors to ensure that all prerequisite and required coursework and associated activities such as internships, theses, and portfolios are identified, scheduled, and completed.

Change of Program or Advisor

Students wishing to change their program or advisor should consult with their program director or assigned faculty advisor to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such a change. To initiate a change of program, students must submit a completed “Sage Graduate Schools Program Change Program Form.” Forms are available on the Sage Graduate Schools website, and the Office of Student Services (Cowee Hall on the Troy campus or the Administration Building on the Albany campus). The form should be submitted to the new program director for approval and signature. If the student is admitted to the new program, the program director will complete a new program of study with the student and submit the program of study and the change form to the Office of the School Dean to complete the change of program.

Add - Drop - Withdraw from a Course

  • Students may not enter a course after the add/drop period.
  • Courses which the student drops prior to the end of the first five days of classes will not be recorded on their academic record.
  • Students who withdraw from a course after the add/drop period will receive a grade of “W” on their academic record for that course.
  • All withdrawals from courses must be initiated by the student through the Registrar’s Office.
  • Students MUST withdraw from a course by the last day of class.
  • Students who withdraw from a course must be aware that the withdrawal may affect their financial aid.

Leave of Absence

Students who need to suspend their studies must request a leave of absence in writing from their graduate program director. Leaves of absence are granted by the Graduate School Dean in consultation with other administrators. Students should be aware that changing their status might affect their financial aid eligibility. A leave of absence does not necessarily stop the academic time clock (see “Time Limit for Degree Completion”).

Student Not Currently Enrolled

Any matriculated student who does not take at least one course during any one year period of time will be classified as on-leave. Upon returning such students should meet with their program director to update their program of study and change their status to active. Note that the hiatus from courses does not change the time limit for degree completion. Students who are not enrolled for 24 consecutive months will be administratively withdrawn from their programs and will have to reapply for admission.

Reenrollment/ Readmission

Former matriculated students whose time limits have expired must contact the Office of Admission for a readmission/re-enrollment application. If any post-secondary institutions (college, university, technical, proprietary school, etc.) were attended while away from The Sage Colleges, official transcripts must be forwarded to the Student Services Office. Upon re-enrolling, students are newly matriculated for the program of study in the catalog year for which they are re-enrolling.


Characteristics of Graduate Study

The Sage Graduate Schools Curriculum Committee requires that graduate courses exhibit the following characteristics categorized by content, role of the instructor, and role of the student.


  • An emphasis on theory and the translation of theory into practice.
  • A greater reliance on the development of critical evaluation skills through analysis of research literature.
  • The range of content covered addresses the depth and complexity of recent developments in the field at a substantial, professional level.

Role of the Instructor

  • The role of the instructor goes beyond that of a conveyor of information.
  • The instructor of a graduate course develops a learning environment that allows students to construct their own knowledge and understanding.
  • Graduate courses rely on interactive, collaborative problem solving to a greater extent, allowing students the opportunity to integrate and apply what is learned to relevant and current situations.

Role of the Student

  • Graduate students are expected to assume responsibility for their own learning.
  • Graduate students are presumed to have knowledge based in the discipline that prepares them for independent pursuit of knowledge, expertise and skills.
  • Graduate students are expected to be proficient in written and spoken communication.

Class Attendance

Prompt attendance at all academic appointments (classes, lectures, conferences, and examinations) is an essential part of the educational plan for degree programs and is expected of students. In the event of a class absence, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor directly, by phone or e-mail. The responsibility for work missed because of absence rests entirely upon the student.

Special Academic Courses

Online Courses

Sage offers a number of courses online, which not only provides flexibility and convenience for students with busy schedules, but also provides an opportunity to explore new avenues of learning. Online courses are coordinated through the Sage Online program.

Blended Learning Courses

Sage offers courses that are partially taught online. These courses blend the classroom and online learning environments enhancing the overall interaction between instructor and student. In the process, these courses reduce the number of times students need to appear in a classroom, providing flexibility and convenience to students with heavy work and family obligations.

Weekend and Institute Courses

Sage frequently offers weekend or institute courses designed to meet the needs of busy professionals. Weekend format courses typically meet Friday nights and Saturdays and Sundays for two or more consecutive weekends. Institutes will be scheduled in concentrated periods of time suitable for that profession.

Independent Projects

An independent project is endorsed at the graduate level when such study contributes significantly to the student’s overall objectives and satisfies the academic standards of Sage Graduate Schools. Graduate students undertaking an independent project must be matriculated, and have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. No more than six credit hours of independent study may be counted as credit toward graduation. All independent projects must have the written approval of the student’s program director and the Graduate School Dean before a student registers for and begins the independent project. The required independent project form is available from the Graduate School Dean’s office, program director, or Student Services office.

Clinical Courses, Field Placements, Externships and Internships

Clinical courses, internships and field placements are an integral part of the curricula of graduate programs. The specific objectives and learning outcomes for these are determined by the faculty. The clinical or field placement is approved by the faculty. The student is evaluated by the clinical and field supervisor, as well as program faculty. Unsatisfactory performance, as defined by course objectives, may be grounds for immediate removal from the placement, required remediation, failure in the course, and/or dismissal from the graduate program, based on the recommendation of the program director.

In addition the Center for Academic Advising and Career Planning, with offices on both campuses (John Paine Building in Troy and the LIbrary in Albany) has extensive listings of internship opportunities, job resources, an employer database, alumni career networks, links to job sites on the Internet, and access to local and national job banks. Career counselors are also available to help with career assessment, guidance, and placement. Students may wish to explore these opportunities before discussing options with their program director or advisor.

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Programs

Students of Russell Sage College and Sage College of Albany can take advantage of policies that allow acceleration of programs offered at Sage Graduate Schools. Undergraduate students in good standing, with a GPA of 3.0 or better may take graduate courses for undergraduate credit, with advisor approval and permission of the Graduate School Dean.

Undergraduate students who are seniors and who have a GPA of 3.0 or better may take two graduate courses for graduate credit, with advisor approval and permission of the appropriate Graduate School Dean. These courses may satisfy undergraduate requirements, or if they are completed beyond the 120 credits required for the baccalaureate degree, may satisfy graduate requirements.

Undergraduate students hoping to enroll in graduate coursework should be aware of the restrictions on the policies that support acceleration. No undergraduate degree can be completed with fewer than 120 credits. The master’s degree must include a minimum of 30 credits beyond the 120 required for the baccalaureate degree. Students in undergraduate programs should seek advisement from their program advisor and from the graduate program to which they will apply, to ensure that the courses selected apply to the appropriate programs.

Accelerated programs allow highly qualified students earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in a continuous course of study, saving both time and money. Sage offers the following accelerated programs:

  • Pre-Law/Law (a 3+3 program with Albany Law School, for Russell Sage students only)
  • BA or BS and Master’s in Business Administration (M.B.A.) at Sage
  • BA or BS and MS in Education at Sage
  • BA and M.A.T. in adolescence (secondary) education for Art, English, Mathematics or Social Studies at Sage
  • BS and MS in Nursing at Sage
  • BA or BS leading to the MS in Occupational Therapy at Sage
  • BA or BS leading to the DPT in Physical Therapy at Sage
  • Dual BS degrees in Mathematics and Engineering (Rensselaer)

The Nursing program requires both the graduate and undergraduate degree in that discipline. Other accelerated programs allow students to choose their undergraduate major from a large roster of arts and science as well as professional majors. Indeed, combinations of undergraduate work in the liberal arts (e.g., a major in English, Sociology, or Psychology) with graduate professional work, are considered particularly effective.

In all accelerated undergraduate/graduate programs, students must maintain certain minimum GPA requirements and meet specific program requirements. See the appropriate catalog pages or consult with the program directors in the specific disciplines for more information.

Academic Adjustments for Students with Disabilities

Academic requirements must be modified, on a case-by-case basis, to afford qualified students with disabilities and applicants with disabilities an equal educational opportunity. Complete information on these policies and procedures for requesting these adjustments at


Transfer of Credit

A maximum of nine semester hours or 25 percent of the degree program, whichever is greater, may be transferred from another accredited institution toward a master’s degree at Sage Graduate Schools. Transfer credits must be graduate courses and must have been completed within five years preceding the first course taken at Sage that counts toward the graduate degree. Transfer credit is granted at the discretion of the graduate program director and the Graduate School Dean. Courses with grades of “Pass,” “Satisfactory” and grades below “B” will not be transferred. The student should initiate a request for transfer of credit by making a written request to the program director.

Students who wish to complete a course or courses at another institution while enrolled in a degree program at Sage Graduate Schools must seek written approval from the program director before taking the course and requesting transfer of the credits.

Repeat Course Policy

Students are permitted to retake any course at Sage Graduate Schools. Credits and grade points for the first grade will be deleted from the cumulative record, while the grade itself will remain on the transcript and the repeat noted. The course information will be listed in the usual manner the second time it appears on the transcript. Generally, the course should be repeated in the following semester, however, it may be repeated any time prior to graduation. No matter which grade is higher, the most recent grade counts in calculating the cumulative grade point average.

Repetition of coursework for which credit has been granted may jeopardize financial aid eligibility. It is the student’s responsibility to understand his or her financial aid situation and the possible consequences of repeating courses. Students with questions regarding the impact of course repeats on financial aid should consult the Office of Student Services.

Evaluation of Academic Work

Grading Policy

Written coursework that does not conform to the fundamentals of good English usage will be returned to the student for revision or adversely graded at the discretion of the instructor.

At the end of each term, the standing of a student in each of his/her courses is reported by the instructor to the Registrar and is entered on the student’s permanent record. Standing is expressed according to proficiency using a grading system with plus and minus designations, which is also used to determine quality points for calculating grade point averages. At Sage Graduate Schools, the grades of A+ and D are NOT used. Sage uses the following grading systems:

Sage Graduate Schools Grades

  A = Distinguished Work
  B = Average Work
  C = Below Average Work
  F = Failure

I (grade) = Incomplete

A grade of Incomplete (“I”) may be awarded at the discretion of the faculty member if a student is unable to complete all the work for a course due to illness or a comparable emergency. In order for a grade of “I” to be granted, a student should have completed most of the work for the course in the opinion of the instructor. If an “I” is granted, the student has the right to complete the work by the date specified by the faculty member. The grade of “incomplete” at the end of any term must be removed before the end of that term the following year.

Students with two or more incompletes will have a Dean’s hold on placed on their registration, until their continued status in the program is reviewed by the program director. The student will not be allowed to re-register for the course (either for credit or audit) in a subsequent semester until the Incomplete is removed.

P = Passing

Indicates that the student has passed the course (for courses designated as Pass/Fail)

W = Withdrawal

This grade can only be used by the Registrar’s office, when the student officially withdraws from the class or when the student is administratively withdrawn. The Deans of the Graduate Schools may direct the Registrar to administratively withdraw students at any time during a semester up to the date that final grades are due from faculty. In extremely rare cases, circumstances might warrant the issuance of a “W” after the conclusion of a semester and after the faculty member has assigned a letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F as appropriate) or an Incomplete (I) grade. In this event, deans will consult with the Registrar, and the faculty member that assigned the original grade. The faculty member will then make a decision regarding the issuance of a “W” in place of the original grade. In the event the faculty member is no longer with the institution, the decision will then be made by the appropriate Department Chairperson.

RP = Research in Progress

In designated courses such as theses, research projects, honors projects, and independent projects, incomplete work may be assigned a grade of “RP.” “RP” grades indicate that the initial expectation was that the work to be evaluated normally requires more than one semester. The “RP” grade may not be used in place of an incomplete (“I” grade) for any course which students are normally expected to complete within the original semester. Within one year from the time the “RP” grade is assigned, students must complete a course for which the “RP” grade was given. A student whose research requires longer than one year may request an extension of the “RP” for up to one additional year. The program director may grant the request for an extension of the “RP” grade, depending on the degree of completion of the project. The extension will be granted only if there has been substantial progress. If a course is not completed in one year from the end of the semester in which the grade of RP was assigned, then the grade will be automatically converted to an NC. The student will be required to re-register for the course.

DP = Dissertation in Progress

This grade is only assigned for incomplete doctoral dissertations. To sustain the grade of DP, the student must register for a minimum of one credit of independent study in the discipline each term that the dissertation remains incomplete. (Fall, Spring and Summer each count as one term.) If the student fails to register for a minimum of one credit of independent study, the grade of DP will be converted to an NC. The student will be required to re-register for the course.

NC = No Credit

No Credit grade is awarded when Research in progress or Dissertation in progress have not been completed within the time limits.

Calculating Grade Point Average (GPA)

To determine a student’s grade point average (GPA), Sage uses the following system of quality points:

  A   = 4.0  
  A-   = 3.7  
  B+   = 3.3  
  B   = 3.0  
  B-   = 2.7  
  C+   = 2.3  
  C   = 2.0  
  C-   = 1.7  
  F   = 0.0  

(I, P, W, and NC grade designations not calculated in grade point average. Note: there is no grade of D in Sage Graduate Schools.)


Students who wish to audit a course must have the instructor’s permission to do so and will be permitted to audit a course on a space-available basis, limited to not more than 10 percent of class enrollment. They are not required to submit credentials if they intend only to audit, but they must declare their request to audit a course at registration or no later than the end of the Add-Drop period. Auditors pay all fees and partial tuition (see Section on Tuition, Fees and Deposits for tuition charges). Auditors may elect to take the final examination but do not receive academic credit for the audited course. Graduate students auditing an undergraduate course must comply with the policies that govern the undergraduate program.

Change of Final Grade

Final grades recorded by the faculty are permanent and remain so with the exception of “I” (Incomplete), “RP” (Research in Progress), or “DP” (Dissertation in Progress). The grade of “incomplete” at the end of any term must be removed before the end of that term the following year, unless an extension has been granted.

Except for mathematical errors, the registrar may alter final grades only after the Graduate School Dean has granted approval. The instructor must initiate corrections by submitting a grade change form with the explanation for the change of grade to the Dean of the appropriate School.

A student who believes he/she has been penalized unjustly in the final grade received should follow the appeals procedure outlined in the Academics Standards section.

Academic Standards

Academic Standing/Criteria for Continuation

Students maintain acceptable academic standing by meeting the following criteria:

  • an average of “B” or above (GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale),
  • completion of program within the specified time limits,
  • no more than two “Incomplete” or “RP” grades on the transcript,
  • a ratio of “Attempted” to “Completed” credits, excluding credits in the current semester, of .75 or better,
  • an acceptable level of professional behavior.

To maintain matriculation students must complete one course each year (September-August) at Sage Graduate Schools.

Students who do not maintain acceptable academic standing are subject to dismissal from the program, based on the recommendation of the program director. If such dismissal becomes necessary, fees will not be refunded or remitted, in whole or in part, and neither Sage nor any of its officers shall be liable whatsoever for such exclusion.

Academic Standing/Criteria for Graduation

To be eligible to receive a graduate degree, a student must have a “B” average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) at the time of graduation in the graduate courses taken as part of the degree program at Sage.

Time Limit for Degree Completion

A graduate degree program requiring fewer than 42 credit hours must be completed within six years from the end of the semester of completing the first applicable course. Seven years is allowed for completion of graduate programs 42 credit hours or more.

Academic Dishonesty/Misconduct

Academic dishonesty and misconduct violate the essential mission of an academic institution and will not be tolerated at The Sage Colleges in any of its forms. Academic dishonesty and misconduct include cheating; failing to obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval before beginning any research; plagiarism; multiple submissions; complicity in academic dishonesty/misconduct; abuse of materials; or alteration of records. Following are several definitions and examples of academic dishonesty:

Academic Fraud = The alteration of documentation relating to the grading process (e.g., changing exam solutions to negotiate for a higher grade or tampering with an instructor’s grade book).

Collaboration = Deliberate facilitation of academic dishonesty in any form (e.g., allowing another student to observe an exam paper or recycle one’s old term paper).

Copying = Obtaining information pertaining to an exam question by deliberately observing the paper of another student.

Cribbing = Use or attempt to use prohibited materials, information, or study aids in an academic exercise.

Fabrication = Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information in an academic exercise (e.g., use of a purchased term paper or falsifying lab records).

Plagiarism = Representing the work or words of another as one’s own through deliberate omission of acknowledgment or reference.

Sabotage = Destruction of another student’s work related to an academic exercise (e.g., destroying a model, lab experiment, computer program, or term paper developed by another student).

Substitution = Using a proxy, or acting as a proxy, in any academic exercise.

A faculty member may take any of the following disciplinary actions when a student engages in an act of academic misconduct:

  • a written reprimand
  • A zero or “F” on the assignment(s) involved
  • An “F” in the class involved
  • Revocation or a change of grade

Sanctions beyond those listed here, including suspensions or dismissal in serious cases, may be issued by the Institution only, not by an individual faculty member. To view the complete Student Conduct Code, see

Sage Graduate Schools Grievances and Appeals

Students who wish to request reconsideration of academic decisions made with regard to their progress and performance in the academic program may appeal to the Academic Standards Subcommittee of the Sage Graduate Schools Curriculum Committee. Students who wish to appeal to the Academic Standards Subcommittee must write to the Graduate School Dean, explaining the nature and rationale for the request. The student’s program director and dean each make a recommendation to the Academic Standards Subcommittee, which then makes a determination regarding the student’s request. The Graduate School Dean communicates the determination to the student.

The Sage Graduate Schools Grievance Appeals Panel reviews student grievances which have been acted upon by the Academic Standards Committee of the SGS Curriculum Committee. The Grievance Appeals Panel will consider student grievances concerning academic matters including:

  • the degree process such as grading, evaluation, or status
  • allegedly unprofessional conduct toward students
  • allegedly unfair or discriminatory treatment of students
  • allegedly unfair disciplinary actions

The request for an appeal must be made in writing to the Graduate School Dean, within 30 days of the student’s receipt of the determination of the Academic Standards Subcommittee. The letter requesting an appeal must state the basis of the grievance and the facts that support it. It should include a summary of steps already taken (or why steps were omitted). The student/appellant must state why the resolution is unfair or unsatisfactory. The student must state what the desired remedy is. The Dean will transmit the appeal to the Sage Graduate Schools Curriculum Committee (SGSCC) Chairperson to determine whether or not the appeal will be accepted for review. If the appeal involves a student from the program in which the Chair of the SGSCC serves, the Chair will designate a member of the SGSCC who is not affiliated with the appellant’s program to determine whether or not the appeal will be accepted for review. If an appeal is accepted for review, a Grievance Appeals Panel will be formed to hear the case within 20 business days of receipt of the student’s request.

Conditions for Dismissal

The administrative officers at Sage reserve the right to require at any time the withdrawal of students for reasons of health or conduct or whose academic standing does not comply with the regulations; in such cases fees will not be refunded or remitted, in whole or in part, and neither Sage nor any of its officers shall be under any liability whatsoever for such exclusion.

Honors and Graduation

Honor Societies

Phi Kappa Phi - Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is an honor society that draws its members from all academic disciplines within colleges and universities. Selected outstanding graduate students of The Sage Colleges are invited to become members of Phi Kappa Phi. See

Outstanding Graduate - Each year the College recognizes the outstanding graduate for each degree program at the annual Spring Research Symposium.

Broughton Fellowships - The Fellowship is intended to create opportunities for advanced scholarly work for graduate students doing creative, advanced study and research, including preparing a dissertation, thesis or final project for a graduate degree, at Sage Graduate Schools. Students in all graduate programs are eligible. Each Broughton Fellow is required to give a public lecture at the Sage Graduate Schools Annual Research Symposium. Broughton Fellows are recognized at commencement by wearing blue cord. The Broughton Fellowship was established by the late William G. Broughton of Schenectady, N.Y., in honor of his parents, Henry Primm Broughton and Jane Tinkham Broughton. More information is available at the Broughton Fellows website.


The Sage Colleges confers degrees three times each year: in August, December and May. However, a Commencement ceremony is now held only in May. Students become candidates for graduation upon filing a completed “Graduation Application” with the filing fee and submitting it to the Office of Student Services. The filing deadlines are:

  • February 15 for May degree conferral
  • June 1 for August degree conferral
  • October 1 for December degree conferral

For participation in Commencement, students must meet all degree requirements before Commencement day or must have fulfilled all their degree requirements except the completion of their final internships, externships, clinicals, student teaching or practica in which they must be enrolled during the term preceding Commencement. These students will be allowed to participate in Commencement, but are not eligible for degree conferral.