Class and Degree Policies

This page summarizes important information regarding class and degree policies for the MS in HCC. All graduate students should consult the University Graduate School Catalog, which contains the University’s regulations and procedures for earning degrees.

Faculty Advising, Staying in Good Academic Standing, and Registration

  • Each MS student is assigned a faculty advisor when admitted to the program. They must work with this advisor in order to register for classes.
  • MS students must maintain a B average, (i.e., 3.0 GPA).
  • Graduate students may be recommended for dismissal after earning three Cs (this includes C+, C, or C-), one D or one F in any graduate level course.
  • MS students may not count courses that are audited as part of the MS program and may not take courses under the Pass/Fail option.
  • Graduate students may take no more than 3 classes per semester without prior permission from their advisor AND the Graduate Program Director.
  • Students should apply for graduation at the start of their final semester.


  • No more than 2 electives prior to completion of 5 core courses can be taken without prior permission of an advisor.
  • MS students may take one independent study which counts as an elective. In order for a MS student to take an independent study course, the student must identify and get approval from a faculty member who will advise the student during the independent study.
  • Students may take courses from the IS face-to-face graduate program and count them as electives towards their HCC MS degree. These courses are considered as internal, but students must mind the following exceptions.
    • IS 600 and 610 are the only IS MS fundamental course that count as electives for the HCC MS. IS 650 and 607 will not count toward this degree.
  • Students in the HCC Master’s program can take up to two online courses from the online MS program as electives as part of their program.
    • Students can only take an online course if the face-to-face equivalent of the course is not offered during that semester.
    • Online MS students will have priority when registering for the online courses.
  • Additionally students can take up to two external courses outside the IS Department. These graduate classes can be taken through another department at UMBC or USM Inter-Institutional Enrollment.
    • Formal approval from your advisor and the GPD is required before external courses can be taken.

Transferring Classes from the IS BS or BTA Program 

  • MS students who graduated from the IS BS program must substitute an additional elective for HCC 636 (if they took IS 436).
  • Students who took IS 410, cannot take IS 610 as a graduate student.
  • Students who took cross-listed courses cannot take the course at the graduate level for credit towards a new degree.

If you need any further information, please contact the Graduate Program Director (