Graduate Studies

The Graduate Studies Program at Trinity College offers master’s degree programs for qualified persons who wish to continue their education beyond the bachelor’s degree on a part-time basis. It attracts students who are already employed professionally but wish to continue their education and enhance their skills, as well as students who do not have specific professional objectives but wish to study to satisfy more personal educational goals. The Graduate Studies Program has several distinguishing characteristics: a selected group of mature and highly motivated students, a highly qualified faculty of scholar-teachers, small classes, evening courses meeting once a week for three hours, excellent library and information technology facilities, encouragement of independent research, and personal student counseling.

Courses in the program lead to the master of arts degree. Students who hold the bachelor’s degree may apply for matriculation, or they may enroll in graduate courses for which they are qualified as non-matriculated students.

Degree programs are offered in the following disciplines:

American studies—An interdisciplinary degree with the option to concentrate in cultural studies museums and communities, or New England and the nation: historical perspectives. History, literature, and society are studied in this approach to understanding the culture of the United States. The rich resources of the many historical societies and art collections in the Greater Hartford area are part of this degree program.

English—Offers tracks in literary studies and writing, rhetoric, and media arts.

Public policy studies—The growing recognition of the complexity of government has led to the development of a program specifically tailored to those who are dealing with questions of public policy. The program equips working professionals with the skills required in the analysis of public issues and offers tracks in public policy studies (this track includes general studies in public policy and a concentration in education policy) and health care policy.

Neuroscience—This program offers an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree within five years. It is open only to Trinity College undergraduates who major in neuroscience and who are accepted to enroll in courses for graduate credit during their junior and senior years. The fifth year is devoted largely to completing a thesis based on a long-term research project that has been previously approved.

To earn a B.A./M.A. in neuroscience, students must complete all requirements for a B.A. in neuroscience, including at least 4 courses for graduate credit that can be simultaneously applied toward requirements for the B.A., a 1-credit graduate research seminar (0.5 credit each term), 2 credits of independent research, one additional graduate elective course, and a 2-credit master’s thesis based on a student’s research project for a grade of B- or better. Students must apply for this program no later than December 1 of their junior year. To receive an M.A. degree, a minimum graduate GPA of 2.667 must be earned. The thesis will be evaluated by the Neuroscience Coordinating Committee to determine that it meets the requirements for a master’s degree and, as appropriate, honors consideration.

Either as part of the requirements of the major, or in addition, B.A./M.A. students are required to complete the following courses. In addition to a graduate research seminar, independent graduate research, and the master’s thesis, at least five of the courses listed below (which will be co-listed for graduate/undergraduate credit) must be taken for graduate credit (co-listing of undergraduate/graduate courses must be approved via appropriate procedures). Students taking the courses listed below for graduate credit will be expected to complete additional writing or laboratory assignments.

  Master’s degree requirements
  Grades and credits
  Honors in Graduate Scholarship
  Academic standing
  Attendance, withdrawals, and refunds
  Tuition and fees
  Auditors
  Graduate Scholars Program
  Hartford Consortium for Higher Education
  Undergraduate enrollment in graduate classes

Master’s degree requirements

General requirements for master’s degrees are as follows:

Specific requirements for each program and track, the official graduate studies course schedule, application and other forms, and information about available resources for graduate students are available on the Web site at www.trincoll.edu/Academics/grad/ or from the Graduate Studies Office.

Grades and credits

The graduate studies grading scale was changed in January 2012 to bring it into closer conformity to the scale used by the rest of the College. Briefly stated, the graduate studies scale is equivalent to the scale for undergraduates, except that there is no grade of D or pass/fail option. Grades of NGR must be removed no later than one month following the beginning of the subsequent term. A grade of Incomplete may be assigned upon completion of the appropriate form (obtained from the graduate studies office) that requires signatures of the instructor and the student.

The change in grading scale is effective going forward; it is not retroactive. This means that students enrolled in courses through the fall term 2011 and who complete additional courses after that date will have “mixed” transcripts. That is, their transcripts will continue to reflect the former grading scale for all courses completed through fall 2011; courses completed thereafter will reflect the new grading scale. Since no numerical value was assigned under the former grading scale, no grade point average (GPA), cumulative or otherwise, can be generated for those courses. Cumulative GPAs will be generated for the new grades only. An explanation of both grading scales and the change will appear on the key of all official transcripts.

Honors in Graduate Scholarship

To be eligible for Honors in Graduate Scholarship at Trinity College, a master’s candidate must have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher. In addition, the master’s thesis or final project must earn a grade of A- or higher. For students with mixed transcripts, honors will be decided on an ad hoc basis with a view toward weighting the calculation according to the grading scale by which a student has earned the majority of grades.

Academic standing

Matriculated and non-matriculated students who receive two grades lower than B- or one failing grade will be withdrawn from Graduate Studies. No more than one grade lower than B- will be credited toward a master’s degree.

Satisfactory academic progress will be determined as follows: maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.667, completing courses at a rate that permits fulfilling degree requirements within six years. All grades of C- or higher, of F, W, NGR, and all transfer credits must be counted as credits attempted.

Attendance, withdrawals, and refunds

Students are expected to attend all meetings of courses in which they are enrolled. Excessive absences, as determined by the instructor, will be sufficient cause for compulsory withdrawal from a course.

Students wishing to withdraw from a course must notify the office of graduate studies in writing. Failure to attend class or merely notifying the instructor does not constitute official withdrawal from the course and will result in a grade of F.

A grade of W will appear on the transcript for a course dropped after the second class meeting. The last day to withdraw and receive a grade of W is the final day of graduate classes as posted in the registrar’s academic calendar.

Refunds will be granted for students who withdraw from a course according to the following scheme:

Tuition and fees

Graduate tuition and fees for 2014-15 are as follows:

Information about payment options and plans, including financial aid, can be found on the graduate studies Web site at www.trincoll.edu/Academics/grad/Pages/Tuition.aspx.

Auditors

Persons desiring to take a specific course without receiving academic credit may, with permission of the instructor and the office of graduate studies, register as auditors.

Graduate Scholars Program

Students who have earned a master’s degree from an accredited college or university may audit graduate courses at Trinity. With instructor permission, all graduate courses are open to program participants. To apply, contact the graduate studies office.

Hartford Consortium for Higher Education

Trinity College is proud to be a member of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education. Other member institutions offering graduate courses include Hartford Seminary, Rensselaer at Hartford, University of Saint Joseph, and the University of Hartford. Before enrolling, students should consult their graduate adviser to make sure that the consortium course will be accepted toward a Trinity master’s degree. Registration and payment for consortium courses is completed at the institution offering the course. All consortium courses are offered on a space-available basis and in accordance with the deadlines and regulations of the host institution. Participation requires the completion of special forms; contact the office of graduate studies for further information.

Undergraduate enrollment in graduate classes

Trinity undergraduates who are entering their junior or senior year and whose academic records demonstrate outstanding ability may be permitted to enroll in certain courses for graduate credit with the prior approval of the instructor and the major adviser. Undergraduates who enroll for graduate credit are expected to complete the same requirements that apply to graduate students.

Except for undergraduates who have been accepted for the B.A./M.A. program in neuroscience, Trinity undergraduates who take graduate courses to satisfy the requirements of the bachelor’s degree may not later elect to use these courses toward the requirements of a Trinity master’s degree.