Section 8: Change Of Track, Change Of Degree, and Graduation

Students are admitted into program(s) with a corresponding track (curriculum layout).

8.1 Change of Track

Students are admitted to a specific educational track (see catalog for listing of available tracks) and are required to follow their educational track. Within a track, students are not allowed to drop required courses or take required courses ahead of schedule.

After matriculation, students may request to change tracks to any of the standard educational tracks by submitting a “Student Status Change” form, approved by an academic advisor, to the Registrar’s Office. Once processed by the Registrar’s Office, students must follow their new educational track. Students may deviate from the standard educational tracks for the following reasons: documented chronic illness, bereavement, or approved academic accommodations and considerations. Deviation requests must be accompanied by the appropriate documentation before approval can be given. A $50 fee is applied to every approved track deviation.

A track change also requires a signature from the Financial Aid Office, since there is likelihood of award modification to the student. All track requests must be completed by week eight of the quarter prior to the quarter in which the change takes effect.

Students may require an individual track layout due to approved deviations, a leave of absence, transfer credit, adding a second program, failure of a required course, etc. Due to the timing of some deviations, a student may not be full time. Students who wish to be full time may add electives that are approved for their degree. Adjustments to individual tracks may be required due to course conflicts, and will be made at the discretion of the registrar at no additional cost beyond the $50 change fee. Students who deviate from their approved educational track may be required to take a leave of absence. All track requests must be completed by week eight of the quarter prior to the quarter in which the change takes effect.

Students who are admitted into a degree program that does not have a lockstep track are exempt from this policy.

8.2 Change/Addition of Degree(s)

Students who wish to withdraw from one degree program and enroll into another must formally apply through the Office of Admissions. Once admitted, an academic advisor will work with the program dean to approve and inform the student regarding potential transfer credit, challenge exam options, and establish a new track. Students must meet with the Office of Financial Aid, since there is likelihood of award modification to the student. Students who are not making satisfactory academic progress in their original program may not be aid eligible for their new program.

Students who wish to add an additional degree, i.e., become a concurrently enrolled student in two degrees, must formally apply through the Office of Admissions. Once admitted, the student will work with the Center for Academic Success to establish a new track. Students must meet with the Office of Financial Aid, since there is likelihood of award modification. Students may pursue no more than two degrees concurrently.

Students who matriculate into a second degree will do so under the catalog corresponding to the year in which the student begins the new degree. See Sections 3.5 and 3.6 regarding challenge exams and transfer credit petitioning.

8.3 Graduation Requirements

Candidates for graduation must complete the following within the same calendar year as the commencement ceremony they participate in:

  • Satisfy all courses in the degree program curriculum
  • Satisfy clinic requirements for all medical students
  • Demonstrate competence in all technical standards outlined in Section 7.1 of the university student handbook
  • For medical students, demonstrate satisfactory professionalism for a health professional
  • If a transfer student enrolled in a clinical program, at least three (3) years of professional training must be completed as an enrolled as a student at NUNM
  • If a second professional degree student, complete at least two (2) years of professional training enrolled as a student at NUNM
  • Satisfy thesis or capstone project if required for degree
  • Satisfy all financial obligations to NUNM

The official graduation date is the last day of the term in which all requirements are completed.

MSOM

Master’s Thesis

Students who matriculated prior to fall 2014 and have not switched to the “revised MSOM” curriculum are required to complete a master’s thesis by the middle of the final term of their last year. A master’s thesis instruction document is provided to all students in the spring term of their next-to-last year; a master’s thesis course in the summer of the final year prepares students to write their master’s thesis.

DSOM

Doctoral Capstone Project

Students are required to complete the three portions of the doctoral capstone project—written report, project presentation, and professional practice vision statement—by the end of the final term of their last year. The Imaginal and Experiential Inquiries I-XIII course series supports the choosing of a viable capstone topic. The Doctoral Capstone Tutorial in the summer of the final year prepares students to write their capstone report. In the Doctoral Capstone Mentorship, the chair of the student’s capstone committee guides the completion of their capstone project. Information about the doctoral capstone project, including a timeline of all requirements, is available in the DSOM Capstone Project Handbook located in the Capstone Moodle course page.

MSiMR

Master’s Thesis

Students are required to complete a master’s thesis by the middle of the final term of their last year. Information about the master’s thesis is available in the MSiMR handbook located in the Capstone Moodle course page.

Undergraduate Capstone

Undergraduate students are required to complete a capstone project by the middle of the final term of their last year. Information about the capstone project is available on the Capstone Moodle course page.

8.4 Participation in Commencement Ceremonies

NUNM holds a celebratory commencement ceremony once a year at the end of the spring term. Any student who completes, or is projected to complete, their degree requirements in the same calendar year may participate in the commencement ceremony. All students must submit a “Petition to Graduate” form by end of fall term prior to the calendar year they anticipate graduating. Participation in a commencement ceremony does not indicate a fulfillment of all degree requirements resulting in a diploma.

A diploma will not be issued to students until all clinical, academic and financial requirements have been met—regardless of participation in a commencement ceremony. ND students are ineligible to sit for clinical licensure examinations until all required work is completed. MSOM and DSOM students are not eligible for licensure until all required work is completed.

All requirements under Section 7.2 and 7.4, Satisfactory Academic Progress, are in effect for students who are participating in commencement and will not complete their requirements. Students who do not complete their graduation requirements by the end of spring term must submit a “Status Change” form to extend beyond spring term.

Students who fail to complete graduation requirements by the end of the spring term must remain registered for a minimum of one (1) credit to maintain student status. Students who have registered and paid for all required courses and electives will need to register each term for a graduation completion course (1 credit) or thesis/capstone completion (1 credit) until they have completed their requirements (students will not be aid-eligible at this point). Students may take one (1) additional year to complete their degree requirements from projected date of graduation.

Any student who does not enroll in a minimum of one (1) credit each quarter will be subject to an administrative withdrawal and the reapplication process through the Admissions Office. Any student who is reapplying will be subject to all degree requirements in place at that time if readmission is granted.

8.5 Elective Credits

For each program, at least half of the required number of elective credits must be taken from courses designated as electives within that program. Students may choose to fulfill the remaining elective requirements from electives in other degree programs, if they meet the course prerequisites, by submitting a “Course Substitution” form to the Registrar’s Office.

Example: A student is required to take a total of 14 elective credits for their degree program. Seven elective credits must be taken from courses designated as electives within that program. The other seven elective credits may come from electives from other degree programs if they meet the prerequisite requirements.

Core courses cannot count towards elective credits across programs unless approved by both program deans. In this case, students who receive dean approval must submit a “Course Substitution” form to the Registrar’s Office to receive elective credits from core classes from other degree programs.

8.6 Community Education (ND and CCM only)

Students may begin accumulating community education hours upon matriculation to NUNM. All activities not sponsored by NUNM must be preapproved by the ND associate dean of clinical education or the CCM community education coordinator, and must have a designated NUNM faculty or staff advisor/supervisor. A tracking form must be signed and filed with the Registrar’s Office upon completion of the event.

Activities that qualify for community education hours must be designed to enhance the student’s ability to present oneself professionally to the public or other professionals outside of their respective fields while increasing the awareness of naturopathic and classical Chinese medicine in the community. Community education opportunities are plentiful and may be of the student’s own design, or may be preplanned events such as health fairs, community events and professional association activities where students are educating the public about natural medicine. Projects that educate the NUNM campus community are also appropriate, as long as the skills gained are applicable to becoming a naturopathic physician or a practitioner of Chinese medicine.

In addition to public speaking, students may earn community education hours for conducting research and/or producing written materials that increase community awareness of naturopathic and classical Chinese medicine. These events are not to be used as forums in which students practice medicine, give specific medical advice or diagnose disease.

Students may earn a maximum of 10 hours of community education per activity (including the combination of time needed for preparation and delivery), and are encouraged to gain experience and develop skills in as many different types of professional outreach as possible. Twenty-four (24) total hours of community education are required to meet ND and DSOM requirements for graduation. Twelve (12) total hours of community education are required to meet MSOM requirements for graduation. ND/MSOM students are required to complete 12 hours of community education for each program.