OBU Graduate and Professional Studies in Summary
Graduate and Professional Studies of Oklahoma Baptist University enhances the mission of the university by providing opportunities for advanced studies that equip graduates to follow Christ’s example in vocational pursuits.
The University currently offers five graduate degrees: the Master of Arts in Christian Studies, the Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies, the Master of Business Administration, and the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. OBU’s curriculum features strong, real-world, biblically based graduate studies designed to prepare professionals to step into leadership positions in their career field.
Graduate and Professional Studies Admission Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or foreign equivalent as approved by specific program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- For international students with degrees from an accredited United States institution subsequent to their international transcript; the transcript verification process will be waived by OBU.
- A completed application form available online at www.okbu.edu/graduate
- A current résumé
- A completed statement of purpose
- Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. These must be delivered to: OBU Graduate and Professional Studies, 500 W. University, Box 61262, Shawnee, OK 74804.
- If English is not the official language of instruction in the country in which you reside, please submit results of either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) directly from the corporation to the OBU Graduate and Professional Studies office or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) directly from the corporation to the OBU College of Graduate and Professional Studies office. A minimum TOEFL score of 550 (or 213 on the computer-based test, 80 on the internet-based test) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required.
Visit: www.ets.org/portal/site/ets and www.toefl.org
Non-degree Seeking Students
Non-degree seeking students requesting admission into a Certificate Program must meet admission requirements as defined by the specific program. Non-degree seeking students who wish to matriculate into a degree seeking program must apply and meet all admission requirements for that degree. Courses taken by a non-degree seeking student will apply to degree requirements if the courses are appropriate for the selected degree and the student earned a grade of C or better.
Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for financial aid.
Conditional Admissions Policy
Applicants who do not meet the admission requirements, but have relevant work experience since receiving their bachelor’s degree and who are otherwise judged qualified, may be admitted conditionally. The conditional status will be dropped, if after the completion of six credit hours the student will have maintained a GPA of a least a 3.0. Failure to maintain this GPA will result in the student’s withdrawal from the program.
Denial of Admissions
OBU reserves the right to deny admission, continued enrollment, or re-enrollment to any applicant or student. Any program that requires a background check or drug screen reserves the right to take action that impacts the student’s status including but not limited to the denying enrollment based on findings and will report findings to the appropriate agency.
A maximum of six credit hours or two courses from an accredited graduate school will be considered for transfer credit in the MBA, MA, MS in MFT programs. A maximum of nine credit hours or three courses from an accredited graduate school will be considered for transfer credit in the MA in CS program. In special circumstances, a maximum of 12 credit hours will be accepted for the MA. Only grades of B or above will be considered, and coursework should have been completed within the last six years. Transfer credit requests will be carefully evaluated by the MBA, MS in MFT, and MA is CS and ICS Admissions Committee, and are not automatically granted. In the case of courses ineligible to be transferred by the routine transfer process, exeptions are rare but are approved administrative actions facilitated by the Academic Dean and voted on by Graduate Council.
All transfer grades become a part of the student’s permanent record at OBU. Incomplete grades transferred to OBU will be calculated as F grades unless the student furnishes an amended transcript showing a changed grade. Transfer grade point averages will be calculated according to OBU grading policies.
The University cannot accept course work credits from institutions not regionally accredited. Nonaccredited institutions include vocational or trade schools and other institutions whose purposes and curricula indicate their restrictive nature. After earning nine graduate credit hours at OBU with a GPA of 3.00 or higher on a 4.0 scale, credits earned at a college or university not accredited by a CHEA or USDE recognized accrediting organization may be applied to the student’s OBU transcript as applicable credit for a degree.
Registration & Enrollment
Once notified of admission to the program, registration for the first term is completed through the CGPS office. Payment is due on the first day of class
Courses vary in length within each program. Courses may be eight weeks, ten weeks, or sixteen weeks in length.
Progress through the MA, MBA, and MS in MFT Programs is recommended in a pre-determined sequence. Traditional entry into the MFT program occurs in January or August of each year. Entry and enrollment in the MBA program occurs on a rolling basis, according to student’s degree plan developed by the MBA Director. Regular entrance into the MA program occurs in August. Entry at the beginning of any course is possible with special permission from the Dean or Director of the appropriate program. All application materials will be permanently kept on file in the OBU College of Graduate and Professional Studies office.
Textbooks, Syllabi and Required Materials
Textbook information and acquisitions are available online through the OBU bookstore. Course syllabi are posted online following registration. The course syllabi will list class readings and written assignments which may be required prior to the first class meetings. On-ground program participants are required to bring their own laptop computer to most class sessions.
Final registration must be completed before the first class meeting or a $50 late registration charge will apply.
Withdrawal from Classes
Students who must withdraw from a class must formally withdraw from the Graduate and Professional Studies office no later than the third week of a five-week course, fifth week of an eight-week course, the sixth week of a ten-week course, or tenth week of a sixteen-week course in order to receive the neutral grade of “W.” The potential refund is dependent upon the date of withdrawal.
See Financial Policies for more information.
Governance of College of Graduate and Professional Studies at OBU
The Graduate and Professional Studies Council is charged with oversight of all graduate programs at the University. The Council is composed of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Campus Life, the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, academic deans, appointed faculty members.
OBU’s Graduate and Professional Studies provides support services to students with disabilities. The Graduate and Professional Studies is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunity and full participation for students with disabilities. If you have a need for services due to disabilities, please contact the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies at 405.585.4601.
Oklahoma Baptist University strives to maintain high standards of professional ethics in an atmosphere in which individuals do not abuse their personal authority or power in interpersonal relationships.
The OBU Graduate and Professional Studies is committed to maintaining a humane atmosphere in which the race, color, gender, age, national origin, marital status, and cognitive or physical disability are not disparaged. The University will not tolerate language or behavior directed against particular persons or groups the intent of which is to degrade, humiliate, embarrass, frighten, or otherwise dehumanize.
Graduate Student Services
OBU staff members in Shawnee are available to help students with application to the program, advising, registration, applications for financial aid, career counseling, and more, throughout their graduate education. Textbook purchases amay be made independently at the student’s vendor of choice or facility online through OBU’s Bookstore. Book orders will be processed in a timely fashion so that required reading and writing assignments can be completed prior to the first class meeting. Library and reference materials are accessible online, as well as at the main OBU library and the Byrd Library on the campus of the OU Health Science Center. Students may also check out materials from a multitude of different libraries through OBU’s participation in the OKShare program.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
OBU’s Graduate and Professional Studies students are expected to support and promote the values of ethics, academic integrity, individual freedom, dignity, respect, and concern for others. Graduate and Professional Studies students have the right to appeal decisions. Those decisions not related to grade issues follow the sequence:
- faculty member
- Academic Dean
- ad hoc committee (Academic Dean, faculty member)
- Provost and Executive Vice President for Campus Life
The grade appeals process is outlined in the Academic Policies section to follow.
The Student Complaint and Grievance Policy does not supersede specific policies involving special cases such as academic integrity and grade appeals, Title IX, sexual harassment, and due process within discipline procedures/hearings. Those special cases have specific policies and procedures that are outlined separately. A student who is unsure of which policies or procedures should be followed may discuss the matter with the GPS office, Director of Human Resources, or the Title IX coordinator.
University policies provide the opportunity for students to file informal concerns or complaints, or formal grievances concerning any member of the University community while acting in an official capacity (e.g. faculty member, administrator, staff member). Information regarding procedures may be obtained from the Academic Center and/or the Office of Student Development.
Following the investigation, evaluation, and resolution of the formal grievance, the student and the University department/college will receive a written report of the outcome of the dispute. If the student’s concern is not resolved at the formal grievance level, then the student is able to submit a final formal written grievance to the President by following the procedures outlined below.
The policy and form may be accessed in the Student Handbook at www.okbu.edu/student-life/student-grievance-policy.html.
Due to the accelerated nature of course scheduling and the importance of team building among cohort peers in the OBU Graduate and Professional Studies programs, it is essential that students attend class regularly. When extenuating circumstances arise forcing a student to miss class, notice should be given as soon as possible to the faculty member as well as the Graduate and Professional Studies office. Responsibility for fulfilling all course requirements lies with the student. Faculty members have the option of granting make-up assignments or exams for missed class periods. Students with attendance issues may petition via the Incomplete Grade Contract to receive an incomplete in the course rather than withdraw from the course.
In online courses, regular and consistent participation is expected of all students. If the student is unable to participate in discussion boards or to complete an assignment, the student should make arrangements with the faculty in advance. The student is expected to look for any announcements and to monitor/participate in discussions as outlined in course syllabi.
Recording and Transmission Devices
The use of recording and transmission devices (including cell phones) in the classroom or online by students without authorization from the instructor is prohibited. The participation of individual students in class should not be recorded without their permission. Any authorization for the use of recording devices in the classroom or online by students carries with it the following limitations:
- recordings shall be used only for the student’s private study
- information from the recordings shall not be made available to other persons not enrolled in the course
- all recordings shall be destroyed at the end of the course
Mobile Phone Usage
In order to maintain an optimal environment for learning, mobile phones should be turned off or set to vibrate during class. In the rare event that a student feels it will be necessary to take a phone call during class time, notice should be given to the professor in advance, as a courtesy. If a student receives a call, it is appropriate to leave the room, close the door, then answer the call.
Academic Dishonesty Policy
The University maintains a strict policy concerning academic dishonesty, which includes cheating, plagiarism, giving assistance on an examination or paper when expressly forbidden by the instructor, and any other practices which demonstrate a lack of academic integrity. Cheating occurs any time a student uses deception in order to avoid fulfilling the specific requirements of an assignment or course and/or in order to receive a higher grade than he/ she might otherwise receive. Plagiarism occurs when a student appropriates passages or ideas from someone else’s writing into his/her own without providing proper documentation and/or without using quotation marks to indicate when he/she is directly quoting from a source. The responsibility lies with the student to know and adhere to principles of academic honesty.
Academic Identity Integrity Policy
In order to maintain the integrity of the educational processes at OBU, particularly regarding computer-based distance education courses, sharing of University network user names and passwords is prohibited and may result in disciplinary action.
If an instructor determines that the student is guilty of academic dishonesty, the instructor must discuss the matter with the student. In the event the instructor cannot reach the student in a timely manner, the instructor may assign a grade of “I” (Incomplete) until the student can be contacted and the matter of academic dishonesty discussed. The instructor then completes the “Academic Violation Form,” which should include evidence and other necessary documentation. The instructor will determine the appropriate remedy: either a grade of zero on the assignment in question or a grade of “F” in the course. The student will designate whether he/she accepts the remedy for the violation of the dishonesty policy or wishes to appeal the instructor’s decision. If a student elects to appeal, the “appeal due date” line must be completed on the Academic Violation Form. (See the Appeals section for more information regarding the appeals process.)
Upon completion, the instructor forwards the Academic Violation Form to the Registrar’s Office for placement in the student’s permanent record. The Registrar will forward copies of the Academic Violation Form to the student, Dean of the Graduate and Professional Studies program, appropriate academic director, and Chief Academic Officer. Not appealing when the form is first completed or by the appeal due date will be taken as an admission of guilt, except under compelling circumstances to be determined at the sole discretion of the Chief Academic Officer.
If upon receipt of the Academic Violation Form the Registrar determines that the student is guilty of a second offense, and after all appeals are exhausted, then a grade of FD (Failure Due to Academic Dishonesty) will be assigned by the Registrar for the course regardless of the remedy specified on the Academic Violation Form. The student is then permanently disbarred from membership in any honorary society, is permanently ineligible for any OBU honor list, and permanently expelled from the University. The Registrar will notify all parties in writing. A copy of the final report with the two offenses will become a part of the student’s permanent record. The university reserves the right to expel the student after a first offense, depending on the circumstances and at the sole discretion of the Chief Academic Officer. If the student is enrolled in one or more other courses at the time the FD is issued, he/she will be academically withdrawn from the other course(s). In the case of academic withdrawal due to an academic violation, no refund will be provided.
The student who wishes to appeal an academic violation charge should submit his/her appeal in writing to the appropriate Academic Dean or Program Director (hereafter referred to as Dean) by the appeal due date indicated on the Academic Violation Form, which is normally within ten regularly scheduled business days after the completion date of the Academic Violation Form. This statement should contain the reasons for which the student is appealing the instructor’s decision. The burden of proof lies with the student in such a case to show that an ethical violation has not occurred. Within ten regularly scheduled business days of receiving the written appeal, the Dean will notify, in writing, both the instructor and the student of the decision. Copies of the decision are to be forwarded to the Registrar and the Chief Academic Officer by the Dean. If the Dean is also the instructor who files the Academic Violation Form, then the student may appeal to the Chief Academic Officer.
When, in the opinion of the Dean, the student fails to show reasonable cause for further investigation, the Dean may deny the appeal without taking further action. When, in the opinion of the Dean, a student’s appeal raises reasonable doubt as to whether an ethical violation occurred, the Dean will meet with the faculty member and with the student and render a decision within ten regularly scheduled business days of the receipt of the appeal. If the decision favors granting the student’s appeal, the Dean may request that the Registrar remove the Academic Violation Form from the student’s record. The Dean will notify both the student and the instructor of this action. Copies of the decision are to be forwarded to the Registrar and the Chief Academic Officer by the Dean.
Any student who has exhausted the remedies open under the procedures outlined above may appeal the entire matter to the Chief Academic Officer in writing within ten regularly scheduled business days of receiving the response from the Dean. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Chief Academic Officer will review the matter and issue a decision within fifteen (15) regularly scheduled business days. The Chief Academic Officer has the authority to deny the appeal, reduce the penalties in the event of extenuating circumstances, or direct the registrar to remove the record of the Academic Violation Form from the student’s permanent record. The results of the Chief Academic Officer’s decision are final. The Chief Academic Officer will notify the student and the Dean. Copies of the decision are to be forwarded to the Registrar and the instructor by the Chief Academic Officer.
Note: During the appeals process, the student may continue to attend the class in which the violation occurred.
Upon admission to a degree program, students are assigned an academic advisor to assist them with planning their program of study. Students and advisors discuss the terms of the program requirements at appropriate intervals throughout the program. Advisors advise students on meeting the program requirements, however, it is the student’s responsibility to schedule advising appointments and to complete all degree requirements. Students enrolled in online courses may make arrangements for a Virtual Chat or telephone call with an advisor at a mutually agreed upon time. Students may also access their advisor via OBU email.
All grades are filed in the Academic Center as a part of the permanent record of the student. Successful completion of any course depends on fulfilling the specific requirements of the course as dictated by the instructor at the level of competency which he/ she requires. Maintenance of acceptable standards of ethical conduct as a student is also required for successful course completion. The grades and quality points given are in descending order of excellence:
A (4.00), B (3.00), C (2.00), D (1.00)
*IP (0.0) - Work in Progress. Granted in special circumstances for those courses which take more than one session/semester to complete. In special instances, permission for this grade may be granted by the dean of the college in which the course is taken. The grade is granted for one calendar year; a shorter time period may be specified by the instructor.
F (0.0) - Failing
FX (0.0) - Failure because of excessive absences.
*I (0.0) - Incomplete. A neutral mark, the I is given at the discretion of an instructor when, for a legitimate reason, a student is not able to complete course requirements within a given session/semester. An incomplete grade contract signed by the instructor and by the student must accompany this grade to indicate the nature of the work to be completed and the time from for completing the work. An I may not be used as an alternative to a grade of F. An incomplete grade must be made up by the date identified by faculty whether or not the student is subsequently enrolled at OBU. If the grade is not made up by the deadline, it will be changed to a failing grade of F on the transcript.
Grades are issued within 10 days of the close of a course. All grade reports are issued online.
In the case of a grade appeal, the student shall be considered to have an authentic grievance when he/ she can demonstrate his/her grade for a course has been adversely affected because a faculty member has:
- made an error in the calculation of the grade or has made an error in reporting the grade to the Registrar;
- made an arbitrary, prejudiced or capricious evaluation of the student;
- created and enforced course policy that is arbitrary, prejudiced or capricious;
- failed to notify (or to make a reasonable attempt to notify) the student of course requirements, policies, and/or penalties;
- failed to notify (or make a reasonable attempt to notify) the student in a timely manner of failure to achieve educational objectives;
- infringed upon the contractual rights of the student as delineated in the course syllabus, the Catalog, or other University policy documents;
- violated the civil or human rights of the student as defined by law.
Grade appeals should begin by the student contacting the faculty member to attempt resolution. The first contact must be made within 10 working days of the date that final grades are posted. If the faculty member is unavailable, the student should contact the Academic Dean to petition for an extension. If the initial consultation does not result in a satisfactory outcome, the student may request a conciliatory conference with the Dean of the Graduate and Professional Studies program, the Academic Dean and the faculty member. Such a request must be made in writing within five working days after the initial consultation with the faculty member. Should the conciliation conference not yield a satisfactory result, the student may request a formal hearing. A written request for a formal hearing must be submitted by the student within 10 working days after the conciliation conference. The written request must be submitted to the Chief Academic Officer. The petition must include detailed factual data and other information that the petitioner deems pertinent to his/her case, including an account of the informal procedures and why the attempted resolution was unsatisfactory.
Within five working days after receiving the student’s petition, an ad hoc hearing committee shall be formed. The Chief Academic Officer shall select two graduate faculty members. The Dean of the Graduate and Professional Studies program shall select two graduate students. The ad hoc hearing committee will select an additional faculty member to be a non-voting chairman. No person with a conflict of interest shall be selected.
The hearing shall be within 10 working days of the selection of the ad hoc hearing committee at a time and place determined by the Chief Academic Officer and communicated to all parties through his/her office.
The hearing will be conducted in private, and the parties will make no public statements about the case.
The ad hoc hearing committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence. Serious efforts will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence. The decision will take the form of finding of fact, conclusions, and a recommended disposition of the appeal. The findings of fact, conclusions, and recommended disposition must be based solely on the hearing records and pertinent University policies and procedures. The findings, conclusions and recommendations shall not be inconsistent with applicable provisions of local, state, and federal law.
General Rules of Procedure for Grade Appeals
The following rules and procedures will apply to all grade appeals:
- Time limits may be extended by the Chief Academic Officer when he/she considers the reasons for an extension to be warranted. However, a grade appeal should be resolved within six months of the time the grade is received.
- The committee shall be provided copies of all written correspondence that have been exchanged relative to the appeal. These materials shall be collected by the Chief Academic Officer and given to the Chairman of the committee.
- All proceedings shall be closed to anyone except the participants and the committee. The committee will review written documentation and hear oral statements from the two parties. At the discretion of the Chair, other students or faculty members may be invited for a portion of the hearing to provide relevant information.
- All proceedings and records of proceedings shall be confidential.
- A tape recording or video recording of the formal hearing will be made by the University. A transcript shall be provided at the expense of the party or parties requesting it.
- All formal hearing documents shall be kept in the confidential files in the office of the Chief Academic Officer. The ad hoc hearing committee will present its decision in writing within five working days to all parties and to the Chief Academic Officer. Should the student initiate court action, the University reserves the right to discontinue internal procedures or to continue same to complete a record as the case warrants. The ad hoc hearing committee may decide:
- to uphold the grade assigned by the faculty member;
- to suggest that the faculty member or the Chief Academic Officer change the student’s grade; or
- to negotiate a mutually acceptable compromise between the student and the faculty member.
At least three of the four voting members of the committee must concur that the grade should be changed before a decision is made to change a grade.
Academic Grade Requirements for Graduation
A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above is required in order to earn the graduate degree. If the cumulative GPA falls below 3.00 after the completion of nine credit hours, the student will be placed on Academic Probation. The student must earn grades in each subsequent semester that represent progress toward the 3.00 GPA standard. Students on Academic Probation are required to conference with their Graduate Program Director regarding a path to restoration and solutions to academic challenges, prior to the subsequent semester on probation.
Once the student completes academic course work such that his/her overall Graduate Program GPA is 3.0 or greater, the student will no longer be on Academic Probation.
Failure to make academic progress as described after being placed on academic probation will result in the suspension of the graduate student from the University. Notification will come from the Chief Academic Officer. Graduate students under academic suspension normally may apply to the Chief Academic Officer for reinstatement. Reinstatement of the graduate student is not automatic, but depends on the quality of evidence submitted to the Chief Academic Officer, in consultation with the appropriate academic Dean and program Director, to justify belief that normal progress may be made toward satisfaction of degree requirements. Reinstated graduate students must pass all courses attempted for each succeeding semester with a course grade no lower than B or a second suspension will result.
A student will be officially warned after the first grade of “C”. A second grade of “C” results in Academic Probation for the student, rendering the student subject to the Academic Probation conditions discussed above. If a student earns two grades of “C” or lower in the same term, the student will be subject to immediate Academic Probation without a term of warning. Further, at least one of the courses in which a grade of “C” was earned must be repeated successfully. In order to graduate from the Graduate and Professional Studies, a student must have at least a 3.00 GPA with no more than one “C”, and no “D’s” or “F’s”. A student will be expelled from the program after a third grade of “C”, or any “D” or “F”. Any repeated course(s) must be through OBU.
Repetition of Courses
Courses may be repeated one time with permission of the Academic Dean. The second grade will count toward the calculation of the GPA. Full tuition must be paid.
Completion of Course Work
Specific course policies are at the discretion of the assigned course faculty member. All assignments should be completed before or by the last class meeting date.
Online Course Submissions
Central Standard Time in the United States is the accepted time zone for all courses submissions.
Assignments must be posted by the due date and time identified by each course. See syllabi for program specific requirements
Leave of Absence Policy
Should a graduate student find it necessary to temporarily leave the program, he/she can request a leave of absence from the program. Students returning to the program in less than 24 months will not have to be reconsidered for admission. If more than 24 months elapse, a student must apply for readmission to the program.
Five Year Limitation
Degree requirements must be completed within five years of the initiation of course work or the student risks losing all credits.
All graduate courses are available for credit enrollment only.
Code of Conduct
The University prohibits the possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by students, employees, and others, on University-controlled premises or in connection with any University activity.
Breach of Peace
Breach of peace is defined as an action which disrupts the peace or endangers the safety, health, rights, or life of any person, and an activity which incites others to such actions. Students who engage in such activities will be subject to disciplinary action. Disruption of the functional processes of the University by individuals and/or organizations will not be permitted. The use of obscene language is prohibited at any time.
In the rare event that OBU Graduate and Professional Studies should be forced to close the program office and meeting rooms due to inclement weather, a phone message will be posted by 4:00 p.m. and students will be contacted by email. Even if events are ongoing, participants should never endanger their personal safety by traveling to the Graduate and Professional Studies.
Instructors will make special provisions, including rescheduling of cancelled class meeting times, as appropriate.
Care of Unsupervised Children
Due to insurance requirements, children under the age of 18 are not allowed in the facilities unless special arrangements are made. No guests are allowed in course meetings except by permission of the instructor.
Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advance or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when
- a reasonable individual would believe that his/ her response to the conduct will affect his/her employment or academic status; or
- the conduct creates an intimidating or hostile environment for work or learning.
Sexual harassment can be verbal, visual, physical, or communicated in writing or electronically. Although sexual harassment may violate state or federal law, the University may consider conduct to be sexual harassment whether or not it rises to the level of illegal sex discrimination.
Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts, that relate to race, color, gender, national origin, age, or disability; and
- written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of race, color, gender, national origin, age, or disability and that is placed on walls, bulletin boards, or elsewhere on campus or circulated on campus.
Such harassment is contrary to the Christian standards of conduct expected of all members of the graduate University community, students, staff and faculty.
Any student who engages in harassment will be subject to disciplinary action ranging from a warning to expulsion, if appropriate. Persons who believe they have been objects of sexual harassment or gender discrimination should so advise the Dean of the Graduate and Professional Studies program, the Academic Dean, or their supervisor.