For over 100 years, Massachusetts Maritime Academy has been preparing women and men for exciting and rewarding careers on land and sea. As the nation's finest co-ed maritime college, MMA challenges students to succeed by balancing a unique regimented lifestyle with a typical four-year college environment. As a member of the cadet corps you will live, study, sail, work and play in an atmosphere that encourages you to be your best.
Letter grades are assigned to students according to the following scale for each academic course:
|Alphabetical Grade||4.0 Equivalent||Alphabetical Grade||4.0 Equivalent|
A single, alphabetical grade certified by the instructor within the deadline published on the academic calendar is assigned to each student and submitted to the Registrar. Grade changes must be submitted in writing to the Registrar by the instructor within two weeks after the start of the term immediately following the term in which the grade was given. An extension of the two-week period may only be allowed upon special arrangements by the instructor and the Vice President/Academic Dean.
Grade Appeal Policy
The Grade Appeal Policy is designed to resolve a student’s specific concerns with regard to a final course grade. If such a concern exists, students are encouraged to avail themselves of this process mindful that no adverse consequences will result from making an informal or formal appeal.
If a student feels that a final course grade is inappropriate, the student must make an appointment with the faculty member to discuss the matter informally. The appointment must be requested within the first two weeks of the academic semester following the semester for which the grade was given. Every effort will be made to resolve the student’s concerns informally.
If the student’s concerns are not resolved through the informal appeal policy, the student may pursue the formal appeal process by meeting with the appropriate department chair. The burden of proof is on the student to show that a grade is inappropriate. The formal appeal must be initiated within two weeks after the conclusion of the informal appeal process. The formal appeal commences when the student submits in writing a description of the basis for the grievance, including any corroborating materials to the department chair. The department chair will promptly notify the instructor of the formal appeal. Within two weeks of said notification, the instructor must then provide the department chair with a written response to the grade appeal. The department chair will then make an assessment as to the validity of the student’s grievance and provide a written copy of the recommendation to both the instructor and the student.
Whatever the recommendation of the department chair, it remains the sole prerogative of the instructor to change the given grade. Exceptions to the policy time limits of both the informal and formal appeal processes may be permitted if the Academic Dean determines that clear and compelling extenuating circumstances have occurred.
At the student’s request, an instructor may agree to award an incomplete grade (‘I’) if the student has failed to meet a course requirement due to illness or other reasons beyond his or her control.
Students are authorized a maximum of two weeks into the next term to rectify a grade of Incomplete. If the Incomplete is not rectified within that period, the Incomplete is automatically converted to a failure (‘F’).
An extended period may be allowed by the instructor upon approval of the Vice-President/Academic Dean. The instructor shall submit a recommended grade to the Registrar within 48 hours of the extended period allowed above.
An exemption is awarded to a student who has been authorized by the Vice-President/Academic Dean or designee to omit taking a course. Exemptions apply only to the following:
- Through Advanced Placement examination, with a grade of 3 or better, the student has been determined to be proficient in course subject matter.
- Transfer credit may be awarded for International Baccalaureate (IB) higher level courses in which the student has earned a score of 4 or higher. Credit is not awarded for standard level courses. All decisions regarding transfer credit for IB courses will be made by the Registrar in consultation with the appropriate department chairperson.
- Through validation of grades received at another accredited institution of higher education with a grade of ‘C’ or better.
- Validation through analysis of certified professional licenses or transcripts of grades is made only by the Vice-President/Academic Dean or his designee.
- College Level Examination Program and ATP examinations with a score at or above the national mean may be accepted for exemption with the approval of the Vice-President/Academic Dean or his designee.
In order for a student enrolled at the Academy to receive credit for a course taken at another institution, the following conditions must be met:
- The transfer course must be offered at an accredited institution.
- The catalog description of the course must be substantially similar to that of the corresponding Academy course and be of equal or greater credit hours.
- A request for approval to take the course for transfer credit must be submitted to the Academic Dean at least two weeks prior to the start of the course. 31
- A student who requests a transfer course while enrolled during a semester at the Academy as a fulltime student will be reviewed specifically to determine whether the transfer course will constitute an overload or excessive load for the semester.
- Authorization to take the course for transfer credit will be granted or denied at the discretion of the Academic Dean with the advice and consent of the respective Chair of the academic department in which the course is offered at the Academy.
- A grade of ‘C’ or better (2.0 or higher) must be obtained for the course to be deemed successfully completed. The grade received for the course transferred will not be included in computing the student’s CQPA.
- An official transcript showing completion of the course must be sent to the Registrar’s office no later than six weeks after the course completion.
- With regard to on-line course offerings, a maximum of two courses will be eligible for transfer credit, but only one in a given academic department.
- No Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) course may be taken on-line.
- A student must be in good academic standing in accordance with MMA policy at the time of his/her request for taking an on-line course
Add /Drop Period
A student may add courses, consistent with other requirements, up to six business days into the semester. A student may drop a course, consistent with other requirements, up to fifteen business days into the semester.
If a student wishes to withdraw from a course after the add/drop period, he or she must obtain written acknowledgment from the instructor, the student’s academic advisor, and the Assistant Dean/Registrar. It must be understood that such withdrawal may affect the student’s date of graduation, eligibility for financial aid, and class year designation. Students may withdraw from no more than one course per semester. No student may withdraw from a course after the tenth week of classes. Students may not withdraw from a course previously failed or from SM-1111. No student may withdraw from the same course more than once.
The student academic record contains an alphabetical grade for each course, a semester hour credit for each course, and a quality point notation for each course. The quality point is the product of the alphabetical grade 4.0 point equivalent and the semester hour grade, e.g., grade ‘B’ (3.0 points) times 3 semester hour credits = 9 quality points.
At the end of each term, the quality points for each course are added together and the sum divided by the total of all credit hours to obtain a Term Quality Point Average (TQPA).
At the end of each academic term, the Cumulative Quality Point Average (CQPA) is computed by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the student since entrance to the college by the total number of credit hours.
Pass–Fail Course Option
Eligibility: In order to be eligible to request the Pass–Fail course option, a student must have a current academic standing of junior or senior status and a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or greater. The option of any given free elective course to be taken for a Pass–Fail grade is at the sole discretion of the affected instructor. In order to take an eligible course as Pass–Fail, the student must have a fully completed request form submitted to the Registrar prior to the end of the Add/Drop period, otherwise the student will be graded according to the existing Academic Standards. Note: A student may take no more than one Pass–Fail course in a given semester and no more than two Pass–Fail courses as part of his or her overall curriculum.
Eligible Courses: As a general rule, the following courses are eligible for the Pass–Fail option: any elective course taken to fulfill an academic minor course requirement, any non-directed Humanities Group I or II taken as a free elective, any non-directed Social Science Group I, II, or III taken as a free elective, or any departmental course taken as a completely free elective. Note: Any curriculum required general education course, support course, major course, or STCW course is not eligible for the pass-fail option.
Grading: The student’s grade shall be evaluated the same as all other students taking the course. The student shall receive a P for a grade that exceeds the instructor’s established passing benchmark. The student shall receive an F for a grade that falls below the instructor’s established passing benchmark. A passing grade of P will not affect the student’s overall GPA and will be excluded from any GPA calculations. However, a failing grade of F will negatively affect the student’s GPA by the applicable course credit being added to the semester and cumulative GPA calculations.
The international convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) is an international treaty that established minimum curriculum standards and performance measures for maritime training programs. Certain courses are designated as containing STCW Knowledge or Practical elements. All students, regardless of major, must earn a ‘C-’ or better to pass any course containing STCW knowledge components and must successfully complete all practical demonstrations in any course containing STCW Practical elements. Any STCW course serving as a prerequisite for another course must be passed with a minimum grade of C- to satisfy the prerequisite unless otherwise specified in the course description.
In addition, students majoring in Marine Engineering or Marine Transportation must complete all STCW requirements for issuance of the appropriate U. S. Coast Guard merchant marine officer’s license.
Mathematics at MMA
Because the MMA degree program curricula are Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), a solid foundation in mathematics is expected of all students. Proficiency in mathematics is absolutely essential for success in these programs. The Academy, therefore, urges students whose Accuplacer College Level Mathematics scores indicate the need for remedial work (score less than 40) to improve their mathematics skills prior to their first semester. Any student who successfully completes one of the three remediation options prior to the start of the fall semester will not need any additional remediation. Historical data show that students in need of remediation have a significantly reduced chance of performing to standards in the Algebra/ Trigonometry course. Any student who scored less than 40 on the Accuplacer College Level mathematics and did not successfully complete any of the three remediation options prior to the fall semester will be limited to 12 course credits for the first semester. Although the student will be placed in Algebra/Trigonometry, the student will find the course very challenging and will struggle to learn new concepts and skills without the benefit of having mastered those skills expected of entering college students. In fall semester, the student will also be required to undertake six (6) hours of mandatory tutoring per week offered through the Academic Resource Center.