Academic Policies - Center for Justice and Peacebuilding

All students taking CJP courses for graduate or undergraduate credit are subject to the policies below and the overall graduate program policies. Exceptions to these policies are at the discretion of the graduate program and will be made in consultation with the academic program coordinator and the student’s academic advisor. 

Review the university-wide graduate program policies found in the graduate school catalog.


When a faculty member goes on sabbatical or is otherwise absent for part or all of the academic year, the academic program coordinator will assume advising responsibilities in their absence unless alternate arrangements have been made. In the case of certain specialized graduate certificate (GC) programs where mentors are used, no academic advisor will be assigned. Refer to the graduate program policy on advising for more information.

Class participation and absences

Students should be aware of the importance of regular class attendance (whether in person or online). Being absent for more than one class leads to a student missing a large portion of the class content. In addition to consistent class attendance, students should make every effort to arrive to class on time out of respect for the learning process, fellow students and faculty. Refer to the graduate program policy on “Class Attendance” for related advising for more information.

Course extensions, incompletes and continued coursework

For fall and spring semesters, all coursework is due by the end of the semester. For SPI classes, all course work is due by August 20.

If a student will not be able to complete a course on time, the student must submit a request one week before the end of the semester or, in the case of SPI or other non-traditional graduate classes, one week before all coursework is due. If the request is granted, the student will receive an “I” (incomplete) for the course which will later be replaced by a final grade when the work has been turned in on the agreed upon date (nothing will be retained on the student’s permanent record noting that the course was completed after the initial deadline). If the request for an extension is denied, the student will receive a grade for the work that has been completed up until the time the course was expected to have been completed. If no work or not enough work to pass the class has been submitted, the final grade will be an F (or a W in unusual circumstances and with the approval of the academic program coordinator).

Extensions will be given only for legitimate and unusual situations. Extensions are contracted by the student with the program for up to a maximum of 6 months after the deadline of the coursework.

To request an extension, send an email to the instructor of the course, your academic advisor (if applicable) and the academic program coordinator that includes the following information:

• Pax # and Course Title 
• Reason for requesting an extension
• How much time you are requesting

PLEASE NOTE: Grades for coursework submitted late may be reduced at the instructor’s discretion and in line with their course policy on turning in coursework after the due date. If the extension deadline is not met, the instructor will submit the final grade based on what has been received to date.

Under exceptional circumstances, an additional 6-month extension may be granted by special petition to the academic program coordinator, the student’s academic advisor and the instructor of the course. To receive this additional extension, a letter of petition is expected with full rationale for the reason the student is unable to finish by the due date and a practical plan on how the student will finish if this extension is permitted. This must be submitted to the above persons at least one week before the end of the first extension. A student is encouraged to use this only when absolutely necessary.

Grading: In cases where students receive extensions for fall and spring courses, instructors are expected to do everything possible to turn in grades one month after all coursework has been submitted to them.  If this isn't possible, the instructor will let the student and the academic program coordinator know when to expect the grade and feedback. For all summer coursework, grades and feedback to students should be submitted within a month of the course completion deadline.

Registration: Prior to registering a student, the academic program coordinator may check to see whether the student has any outstanding coursework. If so, the student may be asked to get special permission from their advisor before being allowed to register for additional classes, which will provide an opportunity to discuss their plans for completion of outstanding coursework. 

Courses for reduced credit hours

Students are welcome to take 3 SH elective classes for 2 SH with permission of the instructor. A student is permitted to take up to two courses per semester for reduced hours. Syllabi for CJP classes will outline course assignments for reduced hours when applicable or will note if the class is not appropriate to be taken for reduced hours. Please note that 2 and 3 SH courses cannot be taken for 1 SH. Also note that changes to the number of credit hours a student is registered for in the course follow the normal drop/add periods.

Credit hour limit

Graduate students are permitted to take up to 12 SH in the fall and spring terms. Taking more than 12 SH requires written permission to the academic program coordinator from the student’s academic advisor. Students can take no more than two SPI courses (5-6 SH) if they plan to return full-time in the fall semester (only one course is recommended for students who plan to do an internship, work over the summer or complete extensive travel).

Directed/independent study coursework

Master's students may take up to two directed or independent study courses (up to 6 SH) during their course of study; graduate certificate students may take one. Approval for these credits to be used towards the master's (MA) degree or graduate certificate (GC) is given by the student’s academic advisor. Refer to the transfer credit policy below for more information. 

Email accounts

Each graduate student is supplied with an EMU email address for the duration of their time of study and up to one year following graduation. EMU expects that while a student is enrolled in the program, the student will be responsible for the information sent to their EMU email address, which may include course expectations and deadlines, registration for classes, and community events.  Students are welcome to forward their EMU emails to an alternate address or change their subscriptions.

Leave of absence

Graduate students who intend to interrupt their enrollment in the graduate program for more than one full year are required to submit a written request to the academic program coordinator and their academic advisor. This request will then be processed, and a decision will be given to the student. The program may choose to withdraw the student from the program for lack of sufficient academic progress. Acceptable reasons for requesting a leave of absence include, but are not limited to, medical circumstances, inadequate financial resources to continue, or family crises. If a student does not submit a written request for a leave of absence for review and approval, their admission into the program may be revoked, and the student would need to reapply should they wish to continue in the degree program at a later date. Refer to the graduate program policy on "time limits for completing degree requirements" for more information.

Non-degree seeking students

Non-degree seeking students may enroll to take certain fall or spring courses for graduate credit when there is room in a course. For non-degree seeking SPI students, permission to take the course will be granted by the academic program coordinator. Persons who are not currently degree-seeking students and wish to take CJP courses will be asked to submit a registration form to the academic program coordinator, including information on which course they wish to take and the reason for wanting to take the course. Full preparation for the course and fulfillment of all course requirements is required, in addition to regular attendance and participation. 

Pass/Fail courses

For certain CJP courses, like Practicum and Praxis courses, “Pass” is the highest grade possible. The “Pass” grade is not factored into the overall grade point average (GPA). Most classes are evaluated with a standard letter grade range: A, B, C. Refer to the graduate program policy on the "grading system and quality points" for more information. 

Students switching MA to GC or GC to MA

In certain cases a student pursuing a master's degree (MA) at CJP may choose to only finish the graduate certificate (GC). In this case, they are asked to submit their plans in writing to the academic program coordinator and their academic advisor.

In the case where a student is enrolled in the GC program and wants to move to the MA program, this procedure will be followed:

  1. The student will submit a written request to their academic advisor and the academic program coordinator.

  2. Depending on the length of time they have been in the program, an additional letter of recommendation may be requested.

  3. The academic program coordinator will circulate the request with the Admissions Committee for final approval of the internal transfer of program and then communicate the decision to the student and advisor.

  4. The student is responsible for the master's curriculum as it exists when they are admitted into the full master's program (not what it was when they began their graduate certificate studies).

Transfer credit

Transfer credits may be applied to a student’s program of study with the approval of the academic program coordinator, who will handle decisions on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Traditionally, a maximum of 6 SH may be applied to the MA degree (3 SH for a GC). Additional semester hours may be considered for transfer under special circumstances. All transfer work must have a grade of A or B and have been completed for graduate credit at an accredited college or university. Transfer credit taken more than five years before a student is admitted may not be used to satisfy degree requirements. Students requesting to transfer work must submit the request in writing with an official transcript from the university which previously awarded the credit.

Please note that the normal expectation is that no more than 6 SH for a GC student and no more than 12 SH for an MA student would come from outside normal CJP coursework. Credits coming from outside CJP coursework might be comprised of transfer credits from outside EMU or courses taken in other EMU graduate programs or the seminary. 

Transfer of credits completed at EMU to another institution is at the discretion of that institution. Candidates should check with the institution to which they wish to transfer regarding the transferability of EMU credits.

Student pursuing two GCs or a GC and an MA from CJP

This policy is intended to clarify the credit hour and curriculum requirements should a student wish to pursue completion of two graduate certificates (GC) at CJP or a GC and an MA degree both within CJP.

If a student wishes to pursue two graduate certificates - Conflict Transformation (CT) and Restorative Justice (RJ) - a total of 6 credit hours will be shared between the two programs.  The core (Foundations 1 OR Analysis: Understanding Conflict AND Formation for Peacebuilding Practice) will be satisfied for both programs. Outside of those 6 SH, the student will need to take the number of additional credit hours and the specific courses needed to satisfy GC requirements. If a student wishes to pursue a GC in CT alongside an MARJ or MATL, an additional 3 SH is required. If a student wishes to pursue a GC in RJ alongside the MACT or MATL, an additional 6 SH is required, and specific RJ requirements for the GC must be fulfilled. In the instance that a student has already taken courses that are required courses in the second program being added, they do not have to retake those courses but will need to select additional courses to fill out the required credit hours and meet their learning objectives. The academic program coordinator will review individual cases and can make a decision on a case-by-case basis to accept more credit hours. Especially in cases where a recent GC graduate (like WPLP) wishes to add on the MA degree, it may make sense to consider bringing in all the credits.