Online Specialized Master's Program (OSMP) Policies

Degree Completion

WashU Olin’s online degree programs are divided into three sections, with each one earning a credential. After the first eight months, students earn a Graduate Certificate. This is followed by an Advanced Graduate Certificate during the second eight months, and a degree is earned when students complete the program after a third set of eight months.

Master of Accounting

  • Graduate Certificate: The online Master of Accounting Graduate Certificate requires completion of 10.5 credits over eight months.
  • Advanced Graduate Certificate: The online Master of Accounting Advanced Graduate Certificate requires completion of 12 credits over eight months.
  • Online Master of Accounting degree: The online Master of Accounting degree requires completion of 10.5 credits over eight months.
  • 33 total credits required

Master of Science in Business Analytics

  • Graduate Certificate: The online Master of Science in Business Analytics Graduate Certificate requires completion of 10.5 credits over eight months.
  • Advanced Graduate Certificate: The online Master of Science in Business Analytics Advanced Graduate Certificate requires completion of 12 credits over right months.
  • Online Master of Science in Business Analytics degree: The online Master of Science in Business Analytics degree requires completion of 10.5 credits over eight months.
  • 33 total credits required

Master of Science in Finance

  • Graduate Certificate: The online Master of Science in Finance Graduate Certificate requires completion of 9 credits over eight months.
  • Advanced Graduate Certificate: The online Master of Science in Finance Advanced Graduate Certificate requires completion of 10.5 credits over eight months.
  • Online Master of Science in Finance degree: The online Master of Science in Finance degree requires completion of 10.5 credits over eight months.
  • 30 total credits required

When a student completes the Graduate Certificate or the Advanced Graduate Certificate and progresses in the program to apply to the next certificate or degree program, the application materials must include the following:

  • An essay
  • An academic recommendation
  • Academic progress records for the previous certificate

Application for the next certificate or degree should be submitted by the start of Mini B of the second semester. Students should contact their academic advisors for more information. An information session will be scheduled (at the beginning) for Mini A of the second semester for students interested in pursuing the next certificate or degree.

Students who begin the program seeking a degree (not a certificate) will be contacted by their academic advisor to confirm that they intend to persist to the next section at the end of each eight-month period required for completion of the Graduate Certificate and the Advanced Graduate Certificate.

Grading System

These numerical grade ranges are only a general example for how letter grades may be assigned. Individual faculty members may not use these exact numerical ranges to assign letter grades. Students should consult the instructor or syllabus for each course to determine how letter grades will be assigned.

  • An “I” (for incomplete work) may be given if extenuating circumstances preclude the satisfactory completion of course work during the semester in which a particular course is taken. With permission of the instructor, students have 60 days after the final exam in which to make up incomplete work. After 60 days, the grade is automatically changed to “F.”
  • A grade of “N” indicates that the professor has not yet turned in a grade.

If a student believes a grade was submitted in error, they should first contact the professor for the course. If the professor is unable to provide an explanation for the unreported grade, the student should contact their academic advisor.

Grade Changes

A nondisciplinary grade may be changed only by the professor in whose course the grade was initially given. A faculty member may change a grade from an “N” or “I” to a letter grade provided that the work is made up within 60 days of completion of the course. Exceptions to the 60-day limit must be discussed with the Assistant Dean and Director or Graduate Programs Student Affairs.

Students who fail a required course must retake the course. Students will not earn course credit required for program completion for failed courses.

Upon passing completion of a retaken course as a result of failure due to a lack of academic proficiency, a student’s transcript will show an “R” next to the grade earned for the initial course, indicating that it has been retaken, and a letter grade for the second attempt of the course. Only the grade earned during the retaken attempt of the course, whether better or worse, will affect the student’s cumulative GPA.

Upon passing completion of a retaken course as a result of failure due to an academic integrity violation, a student’s transcript will show the grade for each taking of the course. The grades earned during both the initial and the retaken attempts of the course will affect the student’s cumulative GPA.

Students are not allowed to retake courses in which they have not earned a failing grade. However, if a student is in their final semester of course work and has a GPA below a 3.0, they will be granted an exception to retake courses in which they have received a grade of “C” or lower.

A student with a personal or medical emergency may submit a graduate programs petition to their academic advisor.

Academic Performance Standards

The cumulative academic performance of a student is evaluated at the end of each semester to determine continuation eligibility. All attempted and completed course work will be reviewed. When a student’s cumulative performance meets certain conditions, their record will be brought to the Academic Review Committee for review. If the student remains enrolled, their record will continue to be reviewed at the end of each term.

Students are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all required course work to remain in good standing.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal aid recipients' academic progress will be evaluated on an annual basis by WashU Student Financial Services. Failure to meet the necessary criteria can result in the suspension of future aid eligibility, although students will be granted an opportunity to appeal. Graduate students are expected to achieve the minimum GPA requirements for their specific programs, in addition to meeting federal standards for cumulative pace and completion of their degree program within a prescribed number of attempted hours (grades of W, I, and F will place a student in jeopardy of not meeting these standards). Please direct any questions about Satisfactory Academic Progress standards or the appeal process to olinfinancialservices@wustl.edu

Standard Classroom Schedule/Out of Class Requirements

Classes in the online programs meet two nights a week from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Central Time. In addition, students will have significant out-of-class requirements (e.g., readings, team meetings, asynchronous course lectures, assignments, projects, exams).

Courses in the online programs will have a 75% attendance policy. For example, for a course that has four sessions, students must attend a minimum of three sessions to receive a passing grade in the course. Faculty members can make stricter attendance policies by class.

Professional Code of Conduct/Academic Integrity

Olin Business School is a community of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests who share certain fundamental goals. Primary among these goals is the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere conducive to the learning and personal growth of everyone in the community.

Becoming a member of the Olin community is a privilege that brings certain responsibilities and expectations. The success of Olin in attaining its goals and maintaining its reputation of academic excellence depends on the willingness of its members, both collectively and individually, to meet their responsibilities. It is imperative that all individuals associated with Olin conduct themselves with the utmost integrity in all aspects of their life, both on and off campus.

Plagiarism and other forms of cheating will not be tolerated. Where a student has violated the integrity of the academic community, an instructor may recommend that the student be brought before the Academic Review Committee. Please review Integrity Matters (PDF) for more information.

Course Registration

In the online certificate and degree programs, students complete courses in a lockstep fashion, and they will be registered by their academic advisors for all courses. Requesting changes to the course schedule will need to be communicated to the academic advisor and the appropriate registration policies adhered to, depending upon the situation.

Semester Credit Cap

All online certificate and degree program students are allowed to enroll in a maximum number of credits per semester, as outlined in their Conditions of Enrollment. If the semester’s established limit is exceeded, the student will be charged the per-credit rate for all credit units beyond the limit. Students may only exceed the semester credit cap in rare circumstances, and exceptions must be approved by the Graduate Programs Office.

Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course

Within the first three weeks of a full semester course, it is possible to drop the course. Because the online certificate and degree programs are completed in a lockstep fashion, a student hoping to withdraw from a course should contact their academic advisor and Olin Financial Services to fully discuss academic progress and the financial implications related to course withdrawal. Students who maintain enrollment beyond the drop deadline have accepted responsibility for completion of the course.

If extenuating health or other circumstances lead to a need for the student to drop after the drop deadline, a petition detailing the particular circumstances may be filed with the Graduate Programs Office. If a student’s petition to drop a course past the deadline is approved, the student’s grade will be “W.”

Tuition Refund Schedule

Note: This schedule may not apply if a student is dropping all courses or withdrawing from a program; students in these situations should consult with their Graduate Programs advisor.

Flat-Rate Tuition Programs Withdrawal Date/Refund Schedule

Withdrawal Date Refund
Within the first week of classes 100%
After the first week and before the end of the third week 75%
After the third week and before the end of the seventh week 50%
After the seventh week and before the end of the eighth week 25%
After the eighth week of classes No refund or withdrawal

Withdrawal and Federal Loans

Regulations governing the return of Title IV funds (unsub and Graduate PLUS loans) require the school to determine the earned and unearned portions of disbursed loans as of the date the student ceased attendance. Students who are considering a withdrawal from any or all course work should contact the Olin Financial Services team in order to understand the implications for their current student loan amount and the impacts on their grace period.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

Students who need to take a leave of absence should discuss the process and implications with their academic advisor and Olin Financial Services.

Disengagement

A student is considered disengaged when they fail to attend class, do not respond to communications from faculty and/or staff, or have not completed the registration process for the next academic term. Advisors will attempt to contact the student by utilizing both the phone and email addresses on record with the school. If the student fails to respond to communication, does not register in their required academic course load, or is not in financial good standing by the add/drop date of the semester, the leave of absence would be initiated as soon as the Graduate Programs Office becomes aware.

If a student is placed on an administrative leave of absence in the middle of a semester, they remain responsible for the tuition charges according to the refund schedule. If the student fails to respond at the end of the leave term, the leave will be extended for one additional semester (excluding summer terms). At the end of two semesters on a leave of absence, if the student has not developed a plan to complete their curriculum with their academic advisor, the student will be administratively withdrawn from their graduate business program at Washington University. Summer terms are excluded for Full-Time MBA and SMP students but included for Executive MBA, Professional MBA, and online programs. If the student wishes to return to the program at a future date following their withdrawal, they will follow the application process for the program in the term they wish to start and be required to meet all admission requirements for the program.

Intent to Graduate

Every candidate for a degree must indicate their intent to gradate by filing an Intent to Graduate form via WebSTAC in late December for May graduates and in early October for December graduates. Failure to complete the Intent to Graduate form by the respective deadline will result in failure to post the student’s degree during the semester in which they complete their program.

Recognition Ceremonies

Interested online certificate and degree students who are completing the program will be invited to attend an in-person graduation ceremony to commemorate their completion of the program.

Awards and Honors

Olin Business School awards are given to honor outstanding achievement. Recipients of the awards listed below are selected based on a variety of factors, and the selection process may include one or more of the following criteria: faculty vote, overall academic record, and course performance.

  • The Charles F. Knight Scholar Awards are presented to the top 7.5% of graduates in each degree program. This distinction is based on a percentage of credit units receiving HP (High Pass) grades.
  • The top 20% of graduates in each degree program are invited to join the Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society. This distinction is based on a percentage of HP (High Pass) grades.