May 19, 2024  
2023 - 2025 Academic Catalog 
2023 - 2025 Academic Catalog

Graduate Studies Supplement

Welcome to graduate studies at Dillard University. We are excited that you will continue your academic studies with us. To promote your success, the Graduate team has the resources available to enhance your graduate student experience. The Graduate Studies Supplement contains information pertinent to students desiring to enroll in graduate studies at Dillard. However, general information contained at the beginning of the University Catalog that addresses withdrawal from the University, auditing, Right-to-Know Act, Notification of Students’ Rights Under FERPA, and the Office of Disability Services.  After reading the Graduate Studies Supplement, should you have any questions, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs – Graduate Studies or your graduate Advisor.


Admissions to graduate studies at Dillard University is a two-step process. You must first obtain graduate status by applying to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Step 1.  Apply for graduate status by completing the online Graduate application for Dillard University. The graduate status application is also available in the Office of Admissions located in Rosenwald Hall, Rm. 110. The Office of Admissions is open Monday through Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. The application fee is $40.00. 

Submit transcripts from all institutions of higher learning.  Transcripts must show the awarding of an undergraduate degree.  Students achieving graduate status applications are good for one year. If admittance to a graduate program does not occur within one year, applicants will need to reapply for graduate status.

Criteria for Achieving Graduate Status

  1. Official transcript from an undergraduate institution indicating the awarding of a bachelor’s degree from a national or regionally accredited program in the respective state.  
  2. Cumulative GPA 3.0 or higher
  3. Send official transcripts to the attention of Dillard University Office of Admissions or
  4. Provisional status will be granted to students with GPA of 2.7 – 2.99 on a 4.0 grading scale from the institution which granted their bachelor’s degree. To maintain provisional status students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on the first 9 credit hours of course work and earn no grades less than a grade of C. Students application will be reviewed at the end of achieving 9 credit hours.  If a student earned a 3.0 cumulative GPA with grades of B or greater then graduate status will be granted and the student is eligible to apply to admission to a graduate studies programs. Students not achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater or have grades of C or less may continue as a non-degree student.

Step 2.  Applicants who achieve graduate or provisional status information will be forwarded to the requested graduate studies program for further review. Appy to the College which offers graduate studies after achieving graduate status.  For specific criteria for college level admissions refer to the College, which offers graduate studies.

International Students

International students must have earned a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. International students must also follow the University’s application procedures stated in the front of this catalog. Academic units may also have other requirements.  Please refer to the academic unit of the desired graduate program.

Graduate Programs

Dillard University currently offers the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree through the College of Nursing. It is the responsibility of the student to comply with any additional College of Nursing requirements. Graduate students follow the policies and guidelines of the catalog in effect at the time graduate or provisional status is achieved.

Minimum Semester Hours and Load

Nine credit hours is a full-time graduate student load.  Course numbering must be at the level of 500 or greater.  Courses with numbering less than 500 do not apply towards graduate credit. Credit can not be approved for the graduate degree unless it is required for the plan of study.

Transfer of Graduate Credit

No more than nine (9) credit hours of the Graduate Nursing Core (excluding NUR-511 Transition to Advanced Practice) may be transferred from a national, international, or regionally accredited graduate program. Transfer credits are awarded with the consent of the Office of Graduate Studies and the College through which the graduate degree is offered. A grade of B or greater is required for transfer credit. Transfer credit is not used to calculate the graduate G.P.A.

Grades and the Grading System

Dillard University keeps students informed of their academic progress at all times. While the grading system at the University requires all grades are calculated at the end of each semester. Students will receive a mid-semester report reflecting their progress to that point. At the end of each semester, a final course grade are earned in each subject. The grade is based on the student’s work during the semester and is entered on the student’s transcript.

Quality points are not awarded for grades of PR, NC, or P. Grades of incomplete (I grade) will follow University requirements.  The master’s degree will not be awarded until all I grades are resolved. Quality points and the University Grading Scale for each semester hour of credit earned at Dillard are assigned as follows:




Grading Scale* and Quality Points



Excellent - 4 Quality Points per Semester



Good - 3 Quality Points per Semester



Average - 2 Quality Points per Semester



Passing - 1 Quality Point per Semester



Failure - No points

*Grading scale range can be calculated in terms of percent for any number in total points accumulated, e.g. 90% of 1000 (1000-900 = A), 80% of 1000 (800-899 = B), etc.


Other Grades*


Incomplete with the default letter grade recorded on the Removal of Incomplete / Change of Grade form




Progressing but project or thesis not completed.


No Credit


Failure for Attendance (Students who did not successfully complete the course due to the Attendance Policy defined in the instructor’s syllabus


Withdrawal (Administrative withdrawals for no classes attended by census date)


Withdrawal, Passing (Attending and passing course at time of withdrawal)


Withdrawal, Failing (Withdrew from course after the last day to withdraw with grade of ‘W’)

*Every student should receive a final grade of either A, B, C, D, P, PR, F, FA, NC or I (incomplete).

All zero credit non-laboratory courses are issued a grade of “P” for pass and “NC” for failure


Incomplete Grades

If a student’s work is of passing quality but cannot be completed during the regular semester due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, the instructor issues a grade of “I” (Incomplete). The student should initiate the Removal of Incomplete/Change of Grade form by contacting the professor in whose course the student received an “Incomplete.” The student must arrange with the professor to complete the work in a timely manner so that the “I” may be removed from the student’s record before the last day of registration in the semester following the one in which the “I” was given. See University Calendar for dates. If the appropriate coursework is not completed and the Removal of Incomplete/Change of Grade form not submitted within the time frame for change, the “I” becomes an “F”.

Residential Life – Housing

Graduate housing is not available.

Graduate Advisor

Students granted admission to their respective graduate programs with either graduate or provisional status will be assigned an academic advisor in their respective graduate unit. The responsibilities of the graduate advisor follow:

  1. Assist the graduate student with developing an appropriate plan of study for a full time or part time graduate student.
  2. Facilitate the graduate student’s achievement of program competencies.
  3. Facilitate the graduate student’s achievement of end-of-program learning outcomes.

Thesis and Graduate Projects

Students pursuing a master’s degree at Dillard University must complete either a master’s graduate project or thesis as a requirement for the degree.  All graduate students and graduate faculty advisors will comply with the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) policies and procedures for the use of human subjects. The program option selected will indicate when and the number of hours required for thesis or master’s graduate project.

Special Fees

In addition to University’s fees additional fees are also required.

  • Nursing fees for graduate students is $750.00.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Graduate students are expected to maintain a cumulative 3.0 G.P.A. each semester. Students with a cumulative G.P.A less than a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Grades lower than a grade of C do not count towards the graduate degree.

Students on academic progression with the Office of Graduate Studies cannot enroll in 9 or more credit hours and has one semester to restore their cumulative G.P.A. to 3.0.

Deadline for Completion of Degree

The master’s degree must be completed within six years of the first semester graduate or provisional status is obtained.

Challenging a Grade

A student may challenge a grade under the following conditions: 1) lack of clarity regarding the grading policies in the syllabus or 2) evidence of grade miscalculation.

The student must submit a Grade Challenge Form (also available in the program, school, dean, and academic affairs offices and myDU) within thirty (30) days of the start of the semester that proceeds the semester in which the grade was earned. For summer sessions, the students are held to the same time period for the following semester.

The faculty must set up a meeting with the student within five (5) business days after the receipt of the challenge form. If the student is not pleased with the results, then he/she can appeal to the next administrative level (program coordinator) within seven (7) business days. This process may be repeated (school chair, college dean, Dean of Faculty and Student Academic Support Services) to the Academic Affairs level at which any decision is final.

Students are not allowed to submit additional work to change a grade during a grade challenge.


Policies for Adding or Withdrawing (Dropping) From a Course

A student is permitted to add or discontinue attendance in specific classes during regular and summer semesters in accordance with the following University policies:

  • Credit courses may be added or dropped only during the official add/drop period designated in the Academic Calendar
  • A student who withdraws from all courses during a given semester is required to complete an Official University Withdrawal form
  • A student enrolled in 9 hours is a full-time student; 6-8 hours, a part-time student; 1-5 hours, less than part-time
  • Courses dropped before or on the last day of the drop add period will not be recorded on the student’s transcript
  • The Office of Records and Registration will record a grade of “W” on a student’s official transcript when the student withdraws from a course after the census date.

Withdrawal from the Graduate Studies

A student who wishes to discontinue his/her course work prior to the end of a semester must complete and file an “Official Withdrawal Form” with the Office of Records and Registration. The student must satisfy all accounts due to the University through the Office of Business and Finance. A student who discontinues attending classes but who fails to withdraw officially in a timely manner may receive an “FA” in all courses for which he/she is registered.

College of Nursing Master of Science in Nursing Degree Program

Dillard University’s College of Nursing Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) graduate nursing program is a 36 - 39 hybrid degree program. The Master of Science in nursing (MSN) curriculum prepares graduates in three specialty areas: Nursing Education, Nursing Administration or Nursing Entrepreneurship. The program consists of a graduate core consisting of 18-credit hours, advanced practice role development 9-credit hours; role development strategies 6 hours; and research 6 - 9 credit hours. Program plans of study for the three graduate nurse roles consist of 18-credit hours of graduate core courses which include professional transitions; nursing theory, advanced patho-pharmacology, advanced health assessment, population healthcare delivery; policy and ethics; issues, trends, diversity, and healthcare. The remaining 18- 21 hours are role development courses inclusive of practicum components and the application and dissemination of evidence-based practice. There are  face-to-face meeting sessions which the students attend (the beginning, midterm, and the end of each semester), hence it is considered a hybrid format. Graduate nursing students complete all other work asynchronously. 

Graduates are educationally prepared to sit for certification upon graduation with NLN as certified nurse educator;or  AONL-CC Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML ®).


  1. Cumulative undergraduate GPA 3.0 or greater
  2. Have a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited pre-licensure nursing program (CCNE, ACEN, CNEA)
  3. Unencumbered Louisiana State Registered Nurse (RN) license or an unencumbered multistate license.
  4. Admitted to Dillard University graduate studies.
  5. If a transfer graduate student, submitted transcripts from all previous graduate schools or programs.
  6. Two letters of recommendations. One must be from a former faculty member or a supervisor in your current practice area.
  7. A personal statement regarding graduate education.
  8. A current CPR card.


Progression in Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

  1. Students must select one of the graduate nursing program plans after successful completion of the first role development course titled NUR 511 Transition to Advanced Practice Direct and Indirect Care Roles.
  2. A grade of B or greater is the expected course grade in the MSN program. However, a student will be allowed a grade of C without dismissal, but the grade will not count towards the MSN degree. However, the course must be repeated and a grade of B or greater must be earned.
  3. Students who earn more than two grades of C will be dismissed from the program.
  4. Students enrolled in the MSN who earn a grade of D or less will be automatically dismissed from the program.
  5. All students are required to disseminate findings from their research project and/or thesis at a University’s or College of Nursing research event.
  6. A student cannot enroll in a course more than twice or repeat a course more than once.


Re-entry or Appeal after Dismissal

Students dismissed from the program due to poor academic performance will have an opportunity to appeal for re-entry into the program for the next academic year. If the appeal is granted, the student will be readmitted on the condition that grades of B or greater will be earned on all course work attempted. Should the student earn a grade of C or less on any graduate course while enrolled in the MSN program, the student will be dismissed with no opportunity for re-entry into the graduate nursing program.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)  Courses