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Academic Policies

UPDATED 7/31/2009


It is the student's responsibility to fulfill all academic requirements to achieve his or her selected academic major. It is the responsibility of the faculty and staff to advise the student and to facilitate the student's effort.


Pre-requisites for courses may be waived by consent of the instructor, unless the catalog specifically states that the pre-requisite may not be waived. A minimum grade may be included as part of each pre-requisite.


Grades with their quality points are reported as described below. The grade point average (GPA) is determined by multiplying the quality points by the credit hours attempted for each course, then summing these products for all courses and dividing by the total credit hours attempted, including those courses with failing grades.

Quality Points 



















0.0 Failure (no credit received).


Satisfactory completion of a course. Not included in the computation of grade point average (GPA) but credit hours are applicable toward graduation requirements.

Unsatisfactory completion of a course. No quality points for computation of GPA and no assignment of credit hours.

Withdrawal from a course after the add/drop period, but before the seven calendar days following the midpoint of the course. Withdrawal from a half-semester course will be possible only within the first two weeks of the course.

Incomplete may be given at the discretion of the instructor and with the approval of the Academic Dean if a student, because of an incapacitating illness or exceptional circumstances beyond his or her control, fails to take a final examination or to complete a major assignment. In the absence of special circumstances, a student who receives an incomplete when grades are recorded will receive a failing grade for the course unless the deficiency is rectified within two weeks of the conclusion of the semester.


Course taken for no credit.

Students may initiate withdrawal from a course prior to the seventh calendar day following the midpoint of the course by obtaining the appropriate form from the Registrar and complying with the instructions stated thereon.

Faculty may assign withdrawal grades in a course after the add/drop period, but before the seventh calendar day following the midpoint of the semester. The faculty member will contact the student in question in advance of taking this action and inform the student that he/she is in jeopardy of being withdrawn. At this time, alternatives to withdrawal will be discussed. If a faculty member decides that it is in the best interest of the student and/or the Academy to withdraw a student from a course, the faculty member will send the withdrawal grade in writing to the Registrar via the Academic Dean with a copy to the student. An appropriate short statement about why the student is being withdrawn from the course will be included in this written notification.

Students may retake courses to replace a grade, provided the course is retaken at the Academy. The grade of the succeeding course replaces the original grade in the calculation of the cumulative point average, but both grades appear on the transcript.

Grades from other colleges are not used in the computation of the grade point average, although course credit is granted as described under the Transfer Credit section (in the Degree Requirements section).

Any changes in grades submitted to the Registrar must be approved by the Academic Dean.

Academic Appeal

Students may appeal unresolved concerns of an academic matter through a process outlined in the Student Handbook.

Student Classifications

Full-time Student

A full-time student must meet the stated admission requirements for the undergraduate program for which he/she is applying; register for 12 or more credit hours each semester; register for a specific degree program; and comply with all Academy policies which apply to his/her degree program.

Part-time Student

A part-time student is one who registers for fewer than 12 credit hours per semester while meeting the stated admission requirements for the undergraduate program for which he/she is applying and who registers for a specific degree program. A part-time student must also comply with the established Academy policies which apply to his/her degree program.

Probationary Student

A probationary student is one who has been admitted to the Academy under the condition that he/she successfully completes stated special admissions requirements.

Non-Degree Student

A non-degree student is one who is not registered for a degree program at the Academy. Non-degree students must apply for admission to the Academy through the Admissions Office. Appropriate supporting documentation (copy of high school diploma, transcripts, etc.) will be required unless waived by the Academic Dean or his/her designee. Acceptance is based on academic preparation, potential for success, and course availability. Current MMA full- and part-time students have priority in course enrollment. Non-degree students are not entitled to MMA student services. A non-degree student can apply a maximum of 30 MaineMaritime Academy credit hours toward the Academy’s Bachelor of Science degree and 15 credits toward the Associate in Science degree.

Mathematics Placement of Incoming Students

Members of the math faculty and the admissions staff jointly review each incoming student’s admissions file to determine the most appropriate point in the math sequence at which the student should commence study. Consideration is given to information such as the student’s proposed major, prior math history, and SAT and/or ACT scores. The recommendation on initial placement can be modified if approved by the student’s advisor or program coordinator. In the case where a student transfers in credit for a math course or has appropriate Advance Placement Test scores, the transfer credit and AP score will take precedence.

Engineering Department students in the Bachelor of Science majors should note that Ms-110 Technical Calculus I or Ms-150 Calculus I is a prerequisite to the normal course offerings in the fall of the second year.

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to adhere to the attendance policy of faculty members as expressed in the course syllabus.

NOTE: The following attendance policy applies to STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping) courses.

  • Maine Maritime Academy courses in which there is STCW imbedded material require mandatory attendance.
  • The course instructor will maintain attendance records.
  • In the event of a class absence due to special circumstances, the material will be made up to the satisfaction of the course instructor.

Official Transcripts

For a nominal fee, transcripts are available through the Registrar's Office. Official copies of a student's transcript are sent directly to colleges, employers, and other agencies upon the written request of a student or graduate. Matriculating students may obtain copies of their transcripts without the official seal of the Academy for their personal use. No official transcript will be issued until all financial obligations with the Academy have been met. In the case of loans, financial obligations must be in satisfactory status with the Finance Office in order for a transcript to be released.

Dean's List

A Dean's List will be prepared at the close of the fall and spring semesters of each academic year. This will identify those full-time students whose semester GPA is not less than 3.3 and whose records indicate no course grade below C for the semester.

Academic Advising

Academic advising is the process by which faculty and staff advisors provide information and advice to assigned student advisees. The purpose is for advisors to assist students in making decisions that will result in the completion of their degree programs in the most effective way. This process is an important part of the college education at Maine Maritime Academy. A successful academic advising program is dependent upon the shared commitment of students, faculty, staff, and administration.

Students are responsible for scheduling, preparing for, and keeping advising appointments; collecting appropriate information; knowing the basic requirements for their individual degree program and college policies; and making their own final decisions along with taking responsibility for the results.

Advisors are responsible for having a thorough knowledge of the degree requirements for the program in which their advisees are enrolled and college policies and procedures that affect their advisees. Advisors should also be aware of what career opportunities graduates have and of the other advising and counseling resources available at the college. Advisors may need to contact advisees to schedule meetings, particularly new advisees and those who are having academic problems. Advisors are expected to be available to students on a regular basis, monitor their advisees’ progress, assist in considering options, and make referrals to other sources of help.

The Administration of the college will support academic advisors by providing clear and accurate information on policies, procedures, resources and programs. The college is committed to helping advisors develop effective advising skills, to evaluate the advising system, and to make improvements where needed. Further, the college acknowledges the time requirements for effective advising and the important contribution advisors make through appropriate recognition and reward.

Students at Risk Policy

Students at risk are defined as all students currently on academic probation. A student at risk will:

  • Be required to meet with an assigned "special" advisor once a week and meet regularly with his/her academic advisor
  • Not be allowed to register for more than 16 credit hours of course work per semester
  • Be required to successfully retake all required courses he/she failed
  • Be required to retake all courses required as part of their major in which he/she received a grade of "D"
  • Be removed from the "at risk" category upon obtaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher

Academic Forgiveness Policy

Students with prior poor academic performance may petition, on the advice of the Academic Dean and with the approval of the Academic Board, to have certain courses removed from the calculation of the overall Grade Point Average. This policy is restricted to students that are returning after an absence of several years or have changed majors. The intent is to remove from calculation of the GPA courses that no longer have any bearing on the new degree program being pursued.

Academic Standing for Undergraduate Degree Candidates

All students must establish a minimum cumulative grade point average, as defined below, to remain in sound academic standing and to assure class progression. All students (including first-year students) not attaining these standards will be placed on academic warning or academic probation, and may be ineligible for cruise/co-ops, or may be disenrolled.

The minimum cumulative grade point averages to remain in good academic standing and to assure continuance at the end of each semester at the Academy are:

First year:

·         First semester: 1.60

·         Second semester: 1.80*


Second year:

·         First semester: 1.90

·         Thereafter: a minimum of 2.00

*Small Craft Design and Small Vessel Systems require a 2.0 at the end of the first year of study. Students in the BIW curriculum must achieve a 2.41 (equivalent to 80 out of 100) or above each trimester of study.

Notes: A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 and a minimum core grade point average of 2.25 in some majors are required for graduation. A higher minimum acceptable semester and/or cumulative GPA may be established by individual departments or academic programs. Core courses are listed under the curriculum for each major where appropriate.

In addition, each student must fulfill the required Academy and programmatic hours to demonstrate reasonable progress towards graduation as determined by the Academic Board. All undergraduate students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average and, if required by their major, a core course grade point average of 2.25, at the start of their fifth semester at the Academy in order to be considered as making satisfactory progress toward their degree. Students who do not meet these criteria will be classified as not making progress toward their degree.

Academic Board

The Academic Board is chaired by the Academic Dean and is composed of the chairs of the Arts and Sciences, Engineering, International Business and Logistics, Marine Science, Marine Transportation, and Naval Science departments; one faculty member elected by the Faculty Senate; the Dean of Student Services; the V.P. for Enrollment Management/Commandant; the Director of Athletics; and the Director of Admissions.  

Sitting as advisory members are the Registrar, the Director of Financial Aid and the Associate Director of Student Services.  

The Board reviews the academic standing of all students at the conclusion of each semester and recommends appropriate administrative action to the Academic Dean. Decisions of the Academic Board may be appealed to the President.

Special Academic Categories

Students who fail to meet established academic standards may be subject to one of the following administrative actions:

Academic Warning

The mildest form of sanction issued by the Academic Board. Students will be placed in an academic warning status when their academic performance does not meet minimum academic standards, or if their performance warrants official cautioning by the Board.

Academic Probation

The Academic Board may place a student on academic probation because of unsatisfactory academic performance. Students on academic probation are in a conditional status, and their academic standing is evaluated at the conclusion of the semester in which they were placed on probation. While on academic probation, students must meet weekly with their "special advisor" and are encouraged to consult with their faculty advisor to ensure that satisfactory progress is made toward correction of academic deficiencies. Normally, remaining on academic probation for two consecutive semesters without significant improvement will result in a recommendation for academic disenrollment. Academic probation will jeopardize the student's financial aid status.

Academic Disenrollment

Students not meeting the established academic criteria in regard to the minimum grade point average and failing to make satisfactory progress toward their degree may be recommended to the Academic Dean for academic disenrollment. Students disenrolled for academic deficiencies may not be eligible for re-admission after disenrollment. Students, who have been disenrolled for academic reasons, may appeal this decision to the President after discussion with the Dean, and if appropriate, with parents.

Academic Activity While Academically Dismissed

Students who are suspended or dismissed from the Academy are not allowed to enroll in courses at the college. However, in unusual circumstances and with approval of the Academic Dean, such a student may be allowed to participate in some academic work at the Academy. Courses taken in this status will usually be allowed in order that a student may demonstrate an ability to academically perform in a particular area(s) that is/are not normally taught in other institutions, or to repeat a course(s) under close scrutiny that may have previously caused particular difficulty. Such students will be matriculated as “Non-Degree Students.” Grades earned in such work will count toward a degree only with specific approval of the Academic Dean upon consultation with the Department Chair appropriate to the student’s major.

Courses taken at another college or university will be considered for transfer credit by the Academic Board at the time of a student’s request to be readmitted. Students who are considering such work should check with the Registrar to ensure compatibility with the Academy curriculum.

Adding and Dropping Courses

The add/drop period is the first week of the fall and spring semesters and the first two days of summer classes. This no-penalty period is an opportunity for students to add or drop courses. Courses dropped after the add/drop period of any semester are subject to withdrawal procedures. Financial refunds are not provided for course withdrawals. Add/drop arrangements are initiated by completing a form provided by the Registrar, and obtaining approvals as indicated on the form.

Priority for Course Registration 

Maine Maritime Academy will endeavor to ensure that all students who are admitted to our academic programs can register for the required courses necessary to complete their academic programs in a timely manner (2, 4, or 5 year degree programs). In instances where students have failed courses, transferred from another institution, deviated from the recommended sequence, elected dual majors or taken a leave of absence, it may not be possible to provide all required courses in a two, four or five year time frame. Registration for non-required courses cannot be guaranteed because of possible schedule conflicts and enrollment limits. The Registrar will build a course schedule that provides students that are on track with all of their required courses and meets the elective requests of as many students as possible. The following guidelines will be used in the registration process:

  • First priority for course enrollment will be for students that are on track and for whom the course is required.
  • Second priority will be for students that require the course but are off track because of transfer or failures.
  • Third priority will be for students wishing to take a course as an elective.
  • Within the above guidelines, registration priority will be given in the following order:
    • Seniors
    • Juniors
    • Sophomores
    • First Year
    • Students dropped from an elective because of enrollment limits in one term will be put on a waiting list and given priority for enrollment in subsequent terms subject to the priorities and order listed above.

The above priorities apply to course or waiting list registration only during the official registration weeks. Courses added during the add drop week will be on a first-come, first-served basis and dependent upon space availability.  

Non-Returning Students

In order to have an orderly manner in which to administrate the status of students who elect not to return to the Academy from semester-to-semester, the following policy will be followed:

1.     Students who do not pre-register will be placed in a non-returning status and the date of separation will be the last day of their activity in the current semester/cruise period.

2.     Students who pre-register but who do not show up for classes in the next semester will be involuntarily separated as of the end of add/drop that semester, or upon written confirmation of non-attendance, whichever occurs first.

3.     Students who do not pre-register, but who attend the Academy in the next semester/cruise period, will be allowed to matriculate on a space-available basis and will be billed the appropriate late fees as published in the Affording MMA section of this catalog.


General Education Elective: Any course in the disciplines of humanities, mathematics, science or social science. Students must meet all prerequisites.

Technical Elective: Any course in which a body of knowledge or technique is specifically applied to a discipline or profession and for which the student meets all prerequisites.

Free Elective:  Any course not required in one's major that does not contain a body of knowledge substantially similar to a course already taken or required, and for which the student meets all prerequisites. In any case, such a course should represent a progressive expansion of knowledge for the student.

Department Elective:  Any course in the department in which the major resides, not required for the student's major and for which the student meets all prerequisites.

Business Elective:  Any Management (Ma) or Logistics (Lo) course for which the student meets all prerequisites.

Social Science Elective:  Any social science course not specifically required in the student's major and for which the student meets all prerequisites.

Humanities Elective: Any humanities course not specifically required by the student's major and for which the student meets all prerequisites.

Subject to maximum credit hour limits, students are encouraged to take extra electives. Students who have completed all scheduled elective requirements may take extra electives on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis if desired. Such satisfactory/unsatisfactory electives will not count toward the elective requirements; be used for credit in a minor program; be computed in the GPA; or be included as part of the minimum credit hours for graduation.

Maximum Credit Hour Loads

Students wishing to register for credit hour overloads in any semester may do so in conformity with the following:

1.     A student on academic probation may not register for more than 16 credit hours in any semester.

2.     A student in good standing may take no more than three additional credit hours above those required in the semester in question.

3.     A student on the Dean's List in the previous semester may take up to six additional credit hours above those required for the semester in question.

4.     Exceptions to the above are subject to the discretion of the student's program advisor and the Department chair of the student's major, or in the case of students on probation, approval must be sought from the Academic Dean.

Students enrolling in more than 18 credit hours not normally required by their major in a semester will incur an additional credit hour fee as described under Tuition and Fees in the Affording MMA section.


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