Policies and Procedures
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Correspondence courses are only available to students in the United States of America and U.S. territories that hold a high school diploma or equivalent. Each student desiring to earn credit by correspondence study assumes full responsibility for determining if these courses will fulfill the requirements for their degree or certificate and are solely responsible for all payments. If you have questions, check with your academic advisor before enrolling.
The credit hours assigned to a correspondence course will be considered in determining the total semester hours of a MSU resident student. Credit earned by correspondence study will be credited to the term in which the course is enrolled. On the application the student must state whether he/she is or is not currently enrolled in residence, correspondence, or extended campus study at MSU or any other institution; otherwise, credit is jeopardized. A student will be allowed to receive credit for a maximum of six hours each semester, or 12 hours during the regular academic year of nine months, or 16 hours within a calendar year through correspondence study.
Courses taken by correspondence study are normally not acceptable as part of the major or minor. Students desiring to take a correspondence study course in their major or minor field must obtain written permission from the department chair. A Correspondence Course cannot be used to repeat a non-correspondence course where a grade has already been given.
A student who desires to enroll in a correspondence course should submit the Application for Correspondence Courses. Once the application has been processed, the student will receive information on how to add the class using their myGate account. Due to federal guidelines, this process will be different for Murray State University students wishing to use Financial Aid to pay for a Correspondence Course. Please see the Financial Aid section below for more information.
Once the student has officially added the class, the course outlines and lessons will be mailed to the student to the address listed on the application. The student purchases the necessary books and materials and begins work. Lessons are mailed to Murray State’s Center for Continuing Education and Academic Outreach where they will be logged and forwarded to the instructor for grading. Graded lessons are returned to the student. The instructor reserves the right to have any paper reworked. There is a two-week time allowance for instructors to grade papers and finals. Each student is provided detailed instructions regarding procedures and practices of the correspondence study program when course materials are sent.
FALL TERM August 1-November 30
SPRING TERM December 1-April 30
SUMMER TERM May 1-July 31
The beginning date for a correspondence study course is the date of enrollment using myGate. Your class will be attached to the term in which you enroll. A student may enroll for a course any time during the calendar year. The course must be completed within 52 WEEKS from the date of enrollment. Murray State students who anticipate a graduation date within a year from the date he/she enrolls in a correspondence course need to contact the Graduation Office at 800-272-4MSU. It is his/her responsibility to inquire about possible Graduation Office deadlines to complete the course that may occur before the deadlines set by the Continuing Education/Academic Outreach Office.
Murray State University students wishing to use Financial Aid to pay for a Correspondence Course must be enrolled in the same number of hours of face-to-face/online classes with Murray State University, during the same semester, as they are applying for the correspondence course and will have to submit the first lesson of the class (provided by CE/AO) before they can add the class on myGate. For more information regarding using financial aid to pay for a correspondence course, please call the Financial Aid Office at 270-809-2546.
Students may withdraw from correspondence courses within 6 months of their initial registration date. Withdrawals must be done in writing to the Correspondence Course Office in CEAO. After 6 months of the initial registration date, students may not drop their correspondence course regardless of number of lessons completed. Contact the Correspondence Course Office for refund information.
All text and instructional materials are furnished by the student. Textbook information will be mailed along with lesson assignments for each course and can also be found by clicking here. Most textbooks may be purchased from the Murray State University Book Store (270-809-4388 or 1-800-749-8580) or directly from the publishing companies. Used books are sometimes available at the MSU Book Store.
The numbers used to identify courses are as follows:
001-089 Special category post-secondary courses
090-299 Lower-division undergraduate courses
300-499 Upper-division undergraduate courses
500-599 Upper-division undergraduate courses or graduate courses (requires at least a junior classification)
600-799 Graduate courses
800-999 Doctoral courses
Course Completion Time
The minimum completion time is as follows:
2 semester hours completed in not less than four weeks
3 semester hours completed in not less than five weeks
4 semester hours completed in not less than eight weeks
5 semester hours completed in not less than nine weeks
6 semester hours completed in not less than ten weeks
Students wishing to complete a correspondence course in less than the minimum allowable time must have written approval from the instructor and the CEAO Dean on their application.
Students are given 52 weeks from the date of enrollment for the completion of a course. Extensions of three months and six months are considered on an individual basis. Requests for extension should be made in writing to the CE/AO Distance Learning Specialist.
Course Grade Information
A student who enrolls and completes a correspondence course within one term will have their final grade applied to their academic record in the semester in which s/he registered. If the student does not complete the course in the term registered, the student will receive an In Progress (IP) grade until the course is completed. If the student fails to complete the course by the course completion date based on date of enrollment, the student will receive an E on their academic record which could affect financial aid, scholarships, athletic eligibility, VA benefits, or other aid for the semester enrolled if aid was used. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm that this will not interfere with any financial aid/grant/scholarship monies they are receiving.
Final Examination Procedures
A final examination is required at the completion of all of the courses and must be taken within 30 days from the time the last lesson is completed. The final exam counts at least 60% of the course grade. Applications for final exams should be received in the CE/AO office at least one week prior to the requested date of examination. If you plan to take the exam on campus, in our office, call 270-809-5056 to set up a time and date. The examination can be given any weekday between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., depending upon availability. These hours are specified so the student will have time to complete the examination before MSU closing hours. For students who cannot come to the MSU campus, arrangements may be made with an employee/instructor at your local community college, learning center, public school, or other college or university to proctor the examination. A family member can NOT proctor an exam.
The date of successful completion of the course will be the date the final examination paper is received in the CE/AO Office. If credit is needed by a certain time, the student should plan far enough ahead so that the course can be completed according to the rules and regulations of CE/AO. There is a two-week time allowance for instructors to grade papers and finals.
As a student completes a course, his/her record will be sent to Murray State's Admission and Registrar's Office. A notice of completion of the course with the final grade will be mailed to the student. If a student wants credit transferred, he/she should go to www.murraystate.edu/Academics/RegistrarsOffice/Transcripts to read the information and to download the request form. You can also reach the Admissions and Registrar’s Office at 270-809-5630 or 1-800-272-4678 ext. 1. Results of the work done through Continuing Education will be recorded in the Admissions and Registrar's Office as follows:
A - Exceptionally high quality, valued at four points per credit
B - Good, valued at three points per credit
C - Satisfactory, valued at two points per credit
D - Poor, valued at one point per credit
E - Failure, no credit, valued at no points but counted as hours attempted
Click here for the Policy on Academic Honesty at Murray State.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Please click here to read the FERPA policy for Murray State University. To view MSU’s policies on technology use, click here.
Student Services and Support
Students requiring special assistance due to a disability should visit the Office of Student Disability Services immediately for assistance with reasonable accommodations. For information for students with disabilities contact:
Office of Student Disability Services
423 Wells Hall, Murray, KY 42071.
(270) 809-2018 (Voice)
(270) 809- 5889 (TDD)
For more information about Student Disability Services, click here.