Offices & Services

Graduate Programs at WC

William Smith Hall

Washington College offers part-time programs leading to the Master of Arts in English, History, and Psychology. Fall, spring, and summer sessions are held, mainly in the evening. The Master of Arts degree is awarded to students who complete a 30 semester-hour program (10 courses) as specified by the appropriate department.

For a graduate catalog and further information, write:

The Graduate Office
Washington College,
Chestertown, MD 21620
or contact Andrea Lange, Assistant Dean of Academic Initiatives.

The graduate program is designed to meet the needs of persons in the community who wish to pursue their formal education in selected areas beyond the baccalaureate degree. The primary aim of our program is to enable students to meet the requirements of the Master of Arts degree. Some students, however, continue their graduate education at other institutions, and still others seek credit toward advanced professional certification. In some cases, students take individual courses for personal enrichment. The College occasionally sponsors re-training programs for teachers.

Academic Calendar

The academic year of the graduate program at Washington College is divided into fall, spring, and summer terms. Specific dates may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar or online at Courses in English, History, and Psychology are offered semester-long during the evening hours, usually from 7 to 9:30 p.m.


Washington College is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and the Maryland State Department of Education.



Each applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and an undergraduate background appropriate for graduate study in the selected area of specialization.

Applicants to the graduate programs in English or History must, at the minimum, meet one of the following criteria for admission:

1. A GPA of 3.0 in the major or minor fields of study.

2. A minimum of five courses in the field of study with a minimum GPA of 2.67 and adequate scores in the GRE general test as determined by the department.

Applicants for admission to the graduate program in Psychology must complete the GRE General Test and submit official scores unless one of the following is true:

1. The student attended Washington College for undergraduate education and achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

2. The student was an undergraduate Psychology major or minor at Washington College and is recommended for the Graduate program by two or more of our tenured/tenure-track professors, regardless of GPA.

Applicants who do not meet the criteria above are expected to earn a 25th percentile score or higher on every component of the exam. In addition, they must at the minimum meet one of the following criteria for admission:

1. Successful completion of an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a GPA of 3.0 or better or a combination of undergraduate coursework and GPA deemed appropriate for full admission by the department.

2. A combination of undergraduate coursework and GPA deemed appropriate for provisional admission and completion of Psychology 500, Statistics in Psychology and Education, with a grade of B or better.

3. A combination of undergraduate coursework and GPA deemed appropriate for provisional admission and a score at or above the 50th percentile on the GRE Psychology subject test.

All applicants for admission must submit the following materials to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Washington College, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620-1197:

1. A $50 application fee (check payable to Washington College).
2. A completed graduate admission application form.
3. All official undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate transcripts.
4. A one to two page statement of purpose.
5. Two letters of recommendation and accompanying forms.
6. Applicants to the Psychology program must also submit Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general aptitude test results.

Departmental review of graduate applications begins upon receipt of all relevant materials by the Office of Graduate Admissions. Applications are processed on a rolling basis; however, applicants who wish to maximize their opportunity for admission should submit all materials at least two months prior to the semester in which they wish to begin coursework. Incomplete applications remain on file for a period of one year, after which they are discarded. The College notifies candidates of admissions decisions by US mail. Candidates admitted to the program are expected to confirm their decision to enroll within four weeks. The College requires a non-refundable enrollment deposit of $300 to reserve the student�s place in the Program. Enrollment deposits do not constitute a fee, but will apply toward future tuition charges. The academic departments reserve the right to attach provisions to admission to the graduate program.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester: August 1
  • Spring Semester: December 1
  • Summer Semester: April 15

Cancellation Policies

The College reserves the right to cancel any course for which there is insufficient enrollment. Any instructor who finds it necessary to cancel a day of class will make every effort to notify each student. News of class cancellations due to inclement weather will be broadcast on WBALAM 1090, or may be obtained by calling the College switchboard (410-778-2800) before 4:30 p.m.

Courses of Instruction

Course descriptions are presented as examples of courses offered in the graduate program. While these course listings serve as a reliable guide to the various programs and most courses listed are offered regularly, the College is not obliged to offer on a regular basis any particular course listed.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts degree will be awarded to those students who complete a planned 30 semester-hour program of graduate study as specified by the appropriate department. All graduate courses at Washington College are three credits each. Ordinarily, all degree requirements are to be completed within an eight-year period.

Employees as Students

Washington College employees may take graduate courses in their first term of employment. However, they are expected to submit an application to a program of study following the application deadlines outlined previously.

1. New employees or employees who have not applied for admittance to a graduate program or have a pending application, may register for no more than two courses in their first term.

2. Employees who have not applied for admission to a program of graduate study after completion of two courses must seek admission to a degree program or officially declare their intent to pursue course work as a non-degree student. Students who have not declared a degree status upon completion of two courses will be unable to register for subsequent terms.

Financial Aid

Washington College is committed to providing educational excellence and equity for all students. The policies and principles of financial aid are based on the belief that all qualified students regardless of their race, sex or economic status should have the opportunity to experience a Washington College education. The College supports the principle that the purpose of financial aid is to provide monetary assistance to students who can benefit from a Washington College education, but who, without such assistance, would be unable to attend. Access to such assistance is considered a privilege, not a right.

Washington College does not offer College-sponsored graduate financial aid, or federal campus-based funds for graduate study. The only form of financial aid available to graduate students is the federal Stafford loan. The financial aid process for graduate students is predicated upon the precept that students will assume primary responsibility for their educational expenses. Since an education is an investment that should yield lifelong dividends, a student should be prepared to contribute to it both before entering and while in graduate school. Federal loan funds are intended to complement student financial resources and offered only after all other sources of funding have been exhausted. Students must make arrangements for payment of their semester bill by the billing due date. Loan applications will be processed and funds requested and disbursed once 60% of the semester has been completed.

Application Procedures for Graduate Students

Applicants should file the FAFSA at least 6 weeks prior to the start of classes. To be considered for need-based student loan assistance at Washington College, there are two items that must be submitted:

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Student’s Federal Income Tax Return, W2 forms, and all schedules filed

The FAFSA is used to collect financial information needed to determine a student’s eligibility for the Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. All students who wish to be considered for need-based loan funds are required to provide the College with a signed copy of their federal tax return from the most recent tax year. Colleges and universities are required by law to use the signed federal tax return to verify data submitted on FAFSA. Loan requests cannot be finalized prior to receipt of the signed federal tax return. Financial aid recipients are required to reapply for need-based loan funds each year. All requirements pertaining to the aid application process apply to returning students.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policies

Updated July 1, 2011 Download Here    

Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan Program (Subsidized)

Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan Program (Subsidized) allows students who demonstrate federal financial need and who are enrolled for at least six credits each term to borrow up to $3,500 for the first year of undergraduate study, $4,500 for the second year, and $5,500 per year for subsequent undergraduate study. The interest rate is fixed at 5.6%. Interest does not accrue nor does repayment begin on subsidized Direct Loans until termination of college enrollment on at least a half-time basis. Interest accrued during in school and the grace period is paid by the federal government. The standard repayment period is up to ten years. Subsidized Direct Loans carry a 1.5% federal origination fee and an up-front interest rebate equal to 1.0% of the loan amount. Net proceeds will equal approximately 99.5% of the loan amount. New borrowers must complete a Federal Direct Loan electronic master promissory note and complete an on-line Entrance Counseling Session to borrow funds through this program.

For more information and to apply, visit the Federal Direct Loan Program Web site.

Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan Program (Unsubsidized)

Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan Program (Unsubsidized) allows all students regardless of federal financial need and who are enrolled for at least six credits per term to borrow up to $5,500 for the first year of undergraduate study, $6,500 for the second year, and $7,500 per year for subsequent undergraduate study less the amount of any subsidized Direct Loan received by the student. New borrowers must complete a Federal Direct Loan electronic master promissory note to borrow funds through this program. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8% and the origination fee is the same as specified above under the description of the subsidized Direct Loan Program, however, interest accrual begins immediately during in-school and deferment periods. Interest accruing during these periods may be paid or capitalized.

Independent students may borrow up to an additional $6,000 per year for the first and second years of undergraduate study and up to an additional $7,000 per year for subsequent undergraduate study through the unsubsidized Direct Loan Program. Dependent students may borrow up to the same additional amounts through this program but only if the student’s parent is denied eligibility to borrow funds through the Federal PLUS Loan Program.

For more information and to apply, visit the Federal Direct Loan Program Web site.

Grades and Transcripts

Grades in courses are awarded as follows:

A - Excellent
B - Good
C - Fair
D - Passing Work
F - Failing Work
P - Pass (thesis credit only)
I - Incomplete
W - Withdrew prior to final class session

Please see the catalog, for a more complete explanation of the grading system. A student who receives more than one F may be dismissed from the M.A. program. Earned grades of a C or lower will not apply toward the degree. All incomplete grades must be made up within six months of the final day of the semester.

Students may access their grades at any time by logging onto the College’s Web Advisor system. Students wishing to receive a printed grade report may contact the Registrar’s office by phone at 410-778-7299. To request official transcripts, students should submit a written request by mail or fax (address: Registrar’s Office, Bunting Hall, Washington College, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620-1197/fax: 410-810-7159). Students can also make such requests from a Washington College email account by directing a message to Pat Smith (psmith2@ Transcript requests should include the following information:

  • Full name (including former or maiden name)
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Dates of attendance or graduation
  • Whether the request is for a graduate or undergraduate transcript
  • The address to which the requested materials should be sent
  • A phone number at which the student can be reached
  • The student’s signature (mail and fax requests only)

The Office of the Registrar mails transcripts within a week of the request. The College may withhold transcripts from students that have not met their financial obligations. Depending upon the student’s years of attendance and/or graduation, the College may require a small fee, not to exceed $5.

Independent Study

Matriculated students who are well advanced in the program may petition for up to two independent study options. Independent Study forms may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Admissions or online at the graduate website ( Because it may take some time to find a faculty adviser with whom to arrange the details of an independent study, students should begin the petition process early. Completed petitions, including detailed descriptions of the course content and mechanics, must be submitted to the chair of the appropriate graduate department at least three weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the student intends to pursue the independent study.

Students who wish to take advantage of this option should address their petitions to the chair of their graduate program. The petition must include a brief description of the course and the name and signature of the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the independent study. The description should also include an examination of the method and the extent of faculty supervision required, a list of works to be investigated and a statement of the mechanics of the course. A statement explaining the place of this course in the student’s overall program should be included as well. A copy of the syllabus and bibliography should be attached.

The department chair will consult with the faculty adviser as well as with the director of the graduate program before approving the independent study. As a general rule, proposals for independent study should not duplicate courses that are a regular part of the curriculum. Once the petition has been approved, the faculty adviser and the student will be notified.

Matriculation Policy

Students not formally admitted to the Graduate Program may enroll in individual classes as non-degree students. Students may complete up to two courses as non-degree students with no official declaration of intent. Upon completion of two courses, the student must be admitted to a degree program or officially declare their permanent status as a non-degree seeking student. Students not declaring an official status will be unable to register for subsequent terms. Only two courses completed prior to formal admission will be counted toward completion of course requirements for the Master’s Degree.


The graduate schedule and pre-registration materials generally become available 1-2 months prior to the start of each term. They may be obtained from, and should be returned to, the Registrar’s Office, Bunting Hall, Washington College, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620-1197. Payment should accompany registration and may be made via cash, money order, or certified or personal check. Credit cards are not accepted at the Registrar’s office.

WC employees who wish to take graduate courses must complete the Employee Tuition Waiver and Registration form in addition to the Graduate Course Registration form. The form may be found at (Submit both forms and your check for Course Registration at the HR office for verification and signature PRIOR to submitting it to the Registrar’s office.

Registration for graduate classes will be closed one week prior to the beginning of classes in order for enrollment to be adjusted and any under-enrolled courses cancelled. Graduate courses require a minimum of five students in order to be held.

Student Advising

Department Chairs, listed below, serve as advisors to graduate students at Washington College. Students should consult their advisors with questions about curriculum and course selection.


Janet T. Sorrentino
Goldstein 226


Richard DeProspo
Smith 220


Lauren Littlefield
Dunning 03B

Students should direct questions concerning transcripts, student records, and graduation procedures to the Office of the Registrar 410-778-7299. All other inquiries should be made to the Office of Graduate Admissions 410-778-7213.

Student Identification and Communications

Upon entering the program and registering for classes, graduate students at Washington College should complete the following steps:

1. Obtain a Washington College Identification Card.

The Office of Public Safety issues ID cards and is located on the ground floor of Wicomico Hall. It maintains office hours of 8:30-4:30, Monday through Friday. The ID card provides access to campus facilities and resources, including Miller Library.

2. Activate and Access Web Mail.

Each student is issued a username and password that enables Web Mail access via a link on the College’s home page, The College disseminates Program announcements via Web Mail, and it is important that students activate their accounts and check them periodically. Web Mail is accessible via the “Login” link on the College’s homepage: Students wishing to forward e-mail sent to their Web Mail accounts can do so by clicking Login page’s “Forward” link and providing the necessary information.

3. Access Web Advisor.

Students can access Web Advisor ( using their Web Mail usernames and passwords. Web Advisor provides each student a variety of academic information, not the least of which are grades and transcripts. Web Advisor is accessible via the “Login” link on the College’s homepage:

Textbooks and the Bookstore

To purchase books from the Washington College Bookstore, graduate students must submit a request directly to the bookstore’s online form at Students may collect their books at the bookstore or, for a fee, arrange to receive them by mail. The College Bookstore is located in the Gallery of the Casey Academic Center and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At various times during the school year, the bookstore is open on Saturdays. The staff of the bookstore can be contacted by telephone at 410-778-7749 or online at

Transfer Policy

Washington College will accept up to nine hours of transfer credit from other accredited graduate institutions. Generally, courses must have been taken within seven years of date of application for transfer credit and earned a grade of “B” or better. Department chairs review transfer credits and consider course content, date of course credit, and special conditions. The Graduate Council is authorized final responsibility for accepting transfer credit in cases where questions arise, either from the student or the department chair. As a matter of general policy, Washington College does not grant transfer credit for courses taught in the mini-course format, for a period of one week or less.

Tuition and Fees

Graduate Program fees for the 2012-2013 academic year are:

  • Graduate application fee, $50
  • Graduate registration fee, $100 per course
  • Graduate tuition, $1,164 per course
  • Audit fee, per course, $339
  • Enrollment Deposit (non-refundable), $300
  • Graduation fee: $300

Tuition and fees must be paid by the first day of scheduled classes. Any student with outstanding balances at this time will receive an invoice by mail. A late payment fee of $80 will be added to any outstanding balance of $800 or more.*

*A late fee is charged when a student has not paid their account in full or made payment arrangements by the officially posted due date for the current semester; or has defaulted on a payment plan; or has financial aid cancelled, in any manner.

Withdrawal and Refunds

Students may withdraw from courses without academic penalty by the withdrawal date listed on the Academic Calendar by filing a withdrawal form with the Registrar’s Office. Students who fail to notify the Registrar’s Office forfeit their right to any potential refund. Tuition and the audit fee are the only charges eligible for full or partial refund; the registration fee is not refundable in whole or in part.

Fall and spring refunds

Before classes begin - 100% refund; before 2nd week - 75% refund; before 3rd week - 50% refund; thereafter - no refund. The fee for auditing is not refundable after the second week of classes.

Summer refunds

Before classes begin - 100% refund; before 4th class meeting - 75% refund; before 6th class meeting - 50% refund; thereafter - no refund. The fee for auditing is not refundable after the second week of classes.

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