Course Catalog

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Academic Information

Gardner-Webb offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in the following areas: Elementary Education (K-6), English, English Education (9-12), Middle Grades Education (6-9), School Administration (K-12), School Counseling (K-12), Sport Science and Pedagogy, and Religion. It also offers the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Nursing, the M.A./Ed.S. (Education Specialist) in Mental Health Counseling, and the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership.


These courses are offered in evenings, on weekends, and during summer months to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, both at on-campus and off-campus locations in North Carolina. Off-campus courses are offered in a format which brings all course work to the off-campus site except for class meetings at a library facility. Graduate students are not required to meet a residency requirement.


For students who have met all prerequisites, the programs consist of from 30 to 63 semester hours, depending upon the degree area.



Students attending off-campus classes may call Dover Memorial Library on campus at 800-253-8330 to request books and materials or access the library via the internet at Remote access to NC LIVE is also available via the library link on the Gardner-Webb University webpage.


The following agreement has been reached with the C.G. O’Kelly Library at Winston-Salem State University to assist Gardner-Webb graduate students attending the Forsyth and Surry centers.


  1. Area students who are Non University of North Carolina affiliated may utilize the circulation, reference and periodical collections at Winston-Salem State University by becoming city patrons. The annual fee is ten dollars ($10.00) per person.
  2. Valid identification verifying current enrollment at Gardner-Webb University must be presented at the time of application. A card with an identifying bar code and the patron’s address will be maintained at the Circulation Desk. An identification card such as a driver’s license should be presented for all subsequent circulation transactions.
  3. Books from the main collection are checked out for three weeks or until the end of the academic term for Winston-Salem State University, whichever is less. Items in the reserve collection may be used within the library only.
  4. Fines accrue at twenty- five cents per day; abuse of overdue and fine regulations will result in loss of check-out privileges.
  5. Patrons are notified of overdue items. Unpaid fines and lost book charges will be forwarded to Gardner-Webb University for collection. Books may not be checked out by patrons having $25 or more in outstanding fines and/or overdue materials.
  6. Check-out of heavily used materials may be restricted at the discretion of the library staff.
  7. Lost book charges include book replacement cost plus a five-dollar handling fee.
  8. Changes in address must be reported to the C.G. O’Kelly Circulation staff.
  9. Periodicals, reference books and other non-circulation materials may NOT be borrowed for outside use.
  10. Web/Internet connections to University of North Carolina system online catalogs are available at all online terminals.

Students may also use the facilities of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University; there is a fee for check-out privileges.



The successful completion of a comprehensive examination is required for graduate programs in English, Religion, School Counseling, and Sport Science and Pedagogy. The following policies govern the administration of this examination.


  1. The comprehensive examination includes questions related to the student’s entire program, and the entire examination is read and approved by the student’s comprehensive examination committee.
  2. Only written comprehensive examinations are administered.
  3. Students may take the comprehensive examination either during their last semester of course work or the following semester.
  4. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination is not a part of any existing course structure.
  5. Comprehensive examinations are evaluated by a Graduate Faculty Examination Committee, composed of at least three persons selected by the chair or coordinator of the appropriate department. A Comprehensive Examination Form, signed by the committee, is submitted to the Graduate School Office and becomes a part of the student’s records. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination is defined as approval by a majority of the examining committee.
  6. Students who fail the comprehensive examination may be retested on the failed portion(s) of the examination after a minimum of two weeks from the date of the first examination. Students who fail the comprehensive examination a second time must make written appeal to the Graduate Council in order to be considered for a third examination.Comprehensive examinations may be taken only three times.
  7. The Graduate School Office mails out guidelines every semester in registration packets.



Candidates for the M.A. in Elementary Education, English Education, and Middle Grades Education and for the M.A./Ed.S. in Mental Health Counseling must complete a capstone experience to qualify for graduation. The capstone experience varies somewhat from program to program. Students should obtain details about the capstone experience from their adviser. In most programs, it includes preparing a portfolio, culminates in an oral presentation during the semester in which the student intends to graduate, and is evaluated by a committee composed of members of the Graduate Faculty of the program, according to guidelines available from the student’s adviser.


Executive Leadership Studies requires that an electronic portfolio be rated as passing for a candidate in the program to be approved for graduation. Degree is awarded at 70% proficiency and licensure is recommended at 100% proficiency.



An application for the North Carolina graduate level license must be filed with the Licensure Officer, who may assist students in planning their program of study so that North Carolina licensure requirements may be met. With the exception of the school counseling program, one must hold, or be eligible to hold, an “A” level license before applying for graduate level license. Gardner-Webb will not recommend students for a graduate level license unless they have completed an approved program and scored satisfactorily on the appropriate PRAXIS II examination (if applicable) or, for school administration students, the state standards board exam. Students pursuing graduate and undergraduate level licensure must meet the requirements for both levels, including successful completion of the appropriate PRAXIS II examination (if applicable). Students seeking a recommendation for graduate “licensure only” must meet the same licensure requirements as those students pursuing the graduate degree. An application fee is required.


Checks in payment for state licensure must be made payable to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Official transcripts of any transfer credits applied toward the Master of Arts degree at Gardner-Webb must be submitted both to the School of Education and the Graduate School Office. One of these transcripts will be sent to the State Department of Public Instruction with the application for Graduate Licensure.



A student must have an average of 3.0 overall to be awarded the M.A., M.S., M.B.A., I.M.B.A., M.Acc., D.N.P., or Ed.D. degree. When the GPA falls below 3.0, the student is placed on probation. If, after six hours of additional work, the student does not attain a 3.0 overall, the student will be suspended. The student may reapply after one year. The program graduate faculty makes the decision on whether to readmit and, if readmitted, the stipulations that will apply.


A student on academic probation who earns an “I” grade will be suspended until the I is replaced by a regular grade, at which time other probation and suspension rules will apply.



Any admitted student receiving a grade of F in a graduate course will be suspended from the program in which the grade was received. The student may reapply to that program after one year. Dual degree-seeking students who receive an F in a course that applies to both programs will be suspended from both programs. The program graduate faculty makes the decision on whether to readmit, and, if readmitted, the stipulations that will apply. If readmitted, the student must repeat at Gardner-Webb the course in which he or she received the F, making at least a B. The course must be repeated the first time it is offered at the student’s site or online after the student’s return. Only the higher grade will be counted in computing the Gardner-Webb grade point average, although the lower grade will remain on the official transcript. No more than one F may be repeated.



A student who receives nine hours of C grades will be suspended from the program in which the grades were received. The student may reapply to that program after one year. The program graduate faculty makes the decision on whether to readmit and, if readmitted, the stipulations that will apply. A student may repeat one course in which a C grade was earned; the second grade will count for GPA purposes but will not replace the initial C grade. Only one of the courses will count toward degree requirements. If the student earns only a total of 9 semester hours of C in different graduate programs, the program faculty may stipulate not to suspend the student and to allow continued work, on probation status, until the 3.0 is reached.



A student may receive no more than one suspension and have the opportunity to be readmitted. A second suspension results in academic dismissal from the program in which the suspension was received. Dual degree-seeking students who are dismissed from one program may continue to pursue their degree in the other program.



Courses may be taken only once with the exception given under the F and Cgrade policies above.




A student who experiences a problem concerning a grade or any other aspect of a course should first discuss the matter with the professor. If the problem is not resolved, he or she should go next to the dean of the school, the chair of the department, or the coordinator/director of the particular graduate program, whichever is appropriate. If not satisfactorily resolved, the matter should be taken to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will hear only those parties involved and make a decision in the case.



If a student is not satisfied with the decision in his or her case regarding an academic matter, that student has a right to appeal. (This right to appeal academic matters applies to applications of written academic policy, to academic dishonesty decisions, and to grade and other course complaints that have already been through the process stated above.) In order to appeal an academic matter, he or she should address a letter to the Chair of the Graduate Council, stating the reason for the appeal and explaining the circumstances. If the student is asked to appear before the Council, he or she at that time may bring a representative from within the University to act as counsel. Deadline for an academic dishonesty appeal is seven days after the date of the decision being appealed. Grade appeals must be completed on or before the last day of the following semester. Deadline for all other types of academic appeals is eighteen months after the date of the decision being appealed.