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Academic and Campus Policies

The Academic and Campus policy page comprises the policies, rules and procedures of McNally Smith. These policies are intended to ensure a safe, secure and supportive learning environment for faculty, staff and students. Students are responsible for knowing and following these policies. Please read them carefully.

Academic Policies

Academic Assistance Statement

McNally Smith College of Music strives to provide quality learning experiences in and out of the classroom environment. If you have questions or need assistance in a course, always start by asking the instructor of that course for help. Faculty members offer regular office hours each week for this purpose.

McNally Smith offers a variety of tutoring assistance options:

  • General education support and tutoring is offered in The Learning Center (TLC), located in the McNally Smith Library.
  • Music Theory/Ear Training/Key Lab individual tutoring is provided by appointment
  • Production and Technology individual tutoring is provided by appointment

The College will make reasonable accommodations for students with physical, emotional, or mental health disabilities. Please contact in the Student Affairs office.

Academic Honesty

Plagiarism is the act of using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one’s own, without giving credit to the source.

Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to, the following:
The submission of a work, either in part or in whole, completed by another;
Failure to give credit for ideas, statements, facts or conclusions which rightfully belong to another;
In written work, failure to use quotation marks when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, a sentence, or even a part thereof;
Close and lengthy paraphrasing of another’s writing or programming. A student who is in doubt about the extent of acceptable paraphrasing should consult the instructor.

Students are cautioned that, in conducting their research, they should prepare their notes by (a) either quoting material exactly (using quotation marks) at the time they take notes from a source; or (b) departing completely from the language used in the source, putting the material into their own words. Both quoted and paraphrased materials must be given proper citations. Cheating is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain or aiding another to obtain academic credit for work by the use of any dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent means. Examples of cheating during an examination would include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Copying, either in part or in whole, from another’s test or examination
  • Discussion of answers or ideas relating to the answers on an examination or test unless such discussion is specifically authorized by the instructor
  • Giving or receiving copies of an exam without the permission of the instructor
  • Using or displaying notes, “cheat sheets,” or other information or devices inappropriate to the prescribed test conditions, as when the test of competence includes a test of unassisted recall of information, skill, or procedure
  • Allowing someone other than the officially enrolled student to represent the same
  • Altering or interfering with the grading procedures

Academic dishonesty, which includes but is not limited to cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and facilitating dishonesty of others, will automatically result in failure of that assignment, possible failure of the course and dismissal.

Academic Transfer of Credits

Credit for Previous Education

McNally Smith grants appropriate credit for previous education or training. Students with previous education or experience in a class may elect to test out of that class through meeting appropriate audition or testing requirements. A one-time Test Out of Class Fee of $400 must be paid before credit will be awarded.

Transfer of Credit Policy

Transfer credit evaluations begin with the receipt of an official transcript from a previous school/s. Credits may be transferred from other schools if the grade received is a C or above, and the class(es) fulfills a requirement at McNally Smith College of Music. In some cases, additional materials, such as course outlines and catalog descriptions, may be necessary to make a judgment. McNally Smith also accepts results from standard College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests with an earned score of 50 or above, AP examinations with an earned score of 3 or higher and IB examinations with an earned score of 4 or higher.

Statement on the Transfer of Credits from other Institutions

McNally Smith will make every possible effort to acknowledge work completed at other institutions of higher learning. In determining transfer credit, McNally Smith College of Music will base its decisions on two basic assumptions:

Accredited Institutions

Accreditation serves as the basic indicator that the institution meets certain minimum standards. McNally Smith College of Music (MSCM) will give careful attention to accreditation conferred by accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Comparability and Applicability

Information regarding comparability of the nature, content, and level of transfer credit and the appropriateness and applicability of the credit earned to programs offered by MSCM will be obtained from catalogs and other materials and from direct contact between both MSCM and the sending institutions.


Decisions about transferring credits may be appealed to the Registrar Office for a final ruling.

Click here for more information about the transfer credit process or email

Attendance Policy

The Attendance Policy is enforced school-wide and requires students to attend a minimum of 85% of the class hours for a given course, unless consideration of “excused” absences is granted.

Perfect attendance is expected of all students, but it is also understood that absences of a serious nature sometimes occur (e.g. contagious illness, death in the family, accidents, or other similar emergencies). Students are responsible for notifying their instructor via email of any expected absence prior to the beginning of class.

Individual Departments or Instructors may have their own parameters for enforcement of the Attendance Policy. Regardless, missing class for any reason may be considered an absence. In addition, tardiness, leaving class for extended periods of time and early departure from class are unacceptable. Students arriving 15 minutes late or leaving 15 minutes early are considered absent. Students who exceed the maximum percentage of absences may be withdrawn at the discretion of the instructor, in which case a grade of ‘W’ will be reflected in a student’s transcript, or the student may receive a failing grade for the class.

Whenever a student is absent, it is the student’s responsibility to meet with each instructor to discuss making up the work missed. The provision of makeup work is at the discretion of the instructor who will decide if such makeup work is necessary and set the guidelines for completing the work.

The maximum number of allowed absences is calculated accordingly:

  • Four absences in a course that meets twice per week (two weeks)
  • Two absences in a course that meets once per week (two weeks)
  • Two “excused” absences in a course that meets twice per week (one week)
  • One “excused” absence in a course that meets once per week (one week)

Auditing Courses

Auditing courses allows for the participation in courses for further knowledge and understanding without enrolling for credit. Degree-seeking students may audit one course per semester with the following requirements (avocational students may audit more than one course per semester). Students who audit courses do not earn credit and their work will not be reviewed.

  • Attendance in courses as an auditor is based on the consent of the instructor and space availability
  • Attendance will be strictly enforced
  • Students must have completed any and all prerequisites before registration
  • Courses will appear on transcripts with a grade of AU
  • Audit fees are 50% of normal credit charges
  • If after auditing a class a student wishes to test out of the course for credit, the balance of the normal credit charges will be assessed
  • In all cases, any applicable lab fees will be assessed
  • Registration is regarded as a commitment by the student to comply with all regulations of McNally Smith College of Music
  • Audited courses are not included in the flat rate for undergraduate tuition

Class Cancellation Policy

McNally Smith College of Music reserves the right to cancel a class due to low enrollment. As soon as the determination to cancel class has been made, students will receive notification via email and/or student portal message.

Class Cancellation Watch List

Classes that are close to enrollment minimums may be placed on a Class Cancellation Watch List. Classes that have been placed upon the Class Cancellation Watch List will be visited on the first day of class to:

  • Confirm enrollment
  • Inform students of the class cancellation policy and that the class is on the Class Cancellation
  • Watch List and Inform the students of the options available

The decision to cancel classes on the Class Cancellation Watch List will be made in the first 5 days of the term in order to allow students the opportunity to add a new class before the add deadline. Students will receive notification via email and/or student portal message.

Class Drop-Add Policy

It is each student’s responsibility to ensure official withdrawal from any class in which they are registered. Students may add classes within the first 5 days or drop classes within the first 10 days of the semester with no penalty. Adding or dropping classes can be done from the Student Portal. Individual classes dropped during this period will not be recorded on the official transcript. Withdrawing or being terminated from the program (dropping all classes) at any time during the semester results in a “W” grade for each class and the appropriate percentage of tuition is charged to the student (refer to the Tuition Refund Policy for details). Proper withdrawal from a class after the add/drop period within specific guidelines will result in the recording of the class with a “W” grade. There is no tuition refund for individual class withdrawals. Students may withdraw from a class until the 75% completion point of the semester. Withdrawal from a class after this point will result in the recording of the class with a failing grade except under one of the following conditions:

  • Student withdraws from the program at any time during the term
  • Student presents written documentation of medical disability and/or special circumstance prior to the end of the term, and he/she receives permission to withdraw from one or more classes

Computer & Device Usage Policy

Any activity that compromises the performance of the college’s computers and/or network such that others are negatively affected is unacceptable. Proper use of computers and/or networks demonstrates respect for an individual’s rights to privacy and freedom from intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyance.

  • Examples of inappropriate use include but are not limited to:
  • Attempting to circumvent or subvert system or network security measures at the college or another organization;
  • Engaging in any activity that might be harmful to systems or to any information stored thereon, such as creating or releasing viruses, disrupting services, or damaging files;
  • Uploading, emailing, or posting files that contain software or other material protected by intellectual property laws, rights of privacy or publicity, copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret or any other applicable law unless the user owns or controls the rights thereto or has received all necessary consents;
  • Deliberately disseminating a virus, worm, Trojan horse or trap-door program code;
    Accessing any kind of sexually-explicit image or document;
  • Use of the network to threaten, harass, stalk, abuse or otherwise violate the legal rights (including rights of privacy and publicity) of others; and
  • Excessive use of printing resources.

Intellectual Property Policy

McNally Smith College of Music (MSCM) believes that the public interest is best served by fostering an environment where creative efforts and innovations are encouraged and rewarded. The college supports the development, production, and dissemination of intellectual property by its students.

For purposes of this policy, “Intellectual Property” shall mean works eligible for United States Copyright and Patent registration. Copyright and Patent are defined below:
Copyright: The rights of creators of original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Literary works
  • Musical works, including any accompanying words
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works (photographs, prints, diagrams, models, and technical drawings)
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • Computer programs
  • Website content, including coding
  • Sound recordings
  • Architectural works

Patent: The rights of the creators of inventions, innovations or discoveries which constitute any new and useful process, machine, or any new and useful improvement of an existing process or machine.

Ownership of Intellectual Property created, invented, or discovered by an MSCM student shall be the sole and exclusive property of that student, unless:

  • MSCM contracts with a student to create a work for hire
  • The student contracts to transfer ownership of the Intellectual Property, in whole or in part, to MSCM. Such a transfer must be in writing and signed by the student
  • The student and MSCM are co-creators of the Intellectual Property

MSCM may exercise joint ownership rights if and when MSCM has contributed specialized services and facilities to the creation of the Intellectual Property that exceed those traditionally offered to MSCM students. Any joint ownership arrangement must be agreed to in advance in writing signed by the student, and must comply with all provisions of this policy.

Internet Copyright Policy

McNally Smith College of Music adheres to the provisions laid out in the United States Copyright Act, Title 17, US Code, 1976, as amended, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Any reproductions or use of copyrighted materials must comply with the provisions of the law. This policy applies to all members of the McNally Smith community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumnae, in addition to anyone using the resources offered on campus. Individuals who ignore copyright law put themselves legally and financially at risk.

  • It is illegal to download copyrighted music, videos, or other material without the permission of the copyright holder.
  • It is illegal to distribute material without the permission of the copyright holder.

Responsibility for the security of any personal devices that connect to the Internet are that of the device owner. If a personal device is used to perpetrate illegal activity the device owner will be held responsible.

Leave of Absence

Students who need to be absent from school for military, medical, personal, or professional reasons of a short duration (five consecutive school days or longer) may petition the school for a Leave of Absence (LOA). LOA requests can be made using the Leave of Absence form available in the My Support area within the Student Portal. LOA petitions are submitted directly to the Academic Appeals Board for review. Students will receive an email confirmation of receipt of the LOA. Upon approval, it is the student’s responsibility to review and complete any material covered during the absence.

A Leave of Absence will not be granted for a single-day absence. In the event of a denial of Leave of Absence status, students may appeal to the Dean of Academic Affairs (John Krogh – for approval. The dean’s decision is final in all circumstances.

  • Any Professional or Planned Personal Leave of Absence must be submitted and approved before any classes, private lessons, or other instructional events are missed. Students should complete an LOA as soon as they know about an upcoming absence.
  • Any student requesting a Leave of Absence or who wishes to have their absence considered an “Excused Absence” because of sickness or clearly unforeseen circumstances must make the request within one week of returning to school.

In extenuating cases (such as a family crisis or long-term medical situation), a leave of absence may be granted through the end of the semester, with the student’s ‘Active’ status maintained until the following semester. The student is expected to retake the same or similar coursework during the make-up term. Long-term leaves have a limit of 180 days and may be granted only once.

Students may be inactive for one semester per year (e.g., Summer term). Students who are inactive for a longer period of time will be withdrawn. Any student interrupting all classes in the middle of a term will be considered withdrawn or terminated and an appropriate refund calculation will be made. Withdrawn or terminated students must re-apply with the admissions office and receive departmental approval before reinstatement into the school.

Make-Up Exam Policy

Tests are to be taken at the day and time they are scheduled. Make-up exams
and re-tests will not be given without approval of the instructor teaching the course. Students who miss exams without receiving approval to reschedule will earn a grade of F.

MSCM Use of Student Intellectual Property

Students grant to MSCM a perpetual gratis license to use Intellectual Property created in the course of their studies at MSCM for educational and administrative purposes. Students must reference this license in any agreement transferring rights for Intellectual Property to any third party. This license enables MSCM to operate more efficiently when complying with accreditation agency requests, and is not intended to infringe on students’ rights.

In the case of jointly owned Intellectual Property, MSCM may use, exploit, or transfer its interest as it sees fit. Any funds received from the sale, license, or other disposition of jointly owned Intellectual Property will be shared equally with the student unless there is an agreement to the contrary.

Re-Admission Policy

Students wishing to return to McNally Smith College of Music must submit an Application for Re-Admission. Requirements for readmission include approvals from Registrar, Accounting, Coordinator of Academic Success and Department Head.

Students may apply to the Academic Appeals Board to be re-admitted to the institution after being suspended for not meeting the terms of Probation or an Academic Plan after waiting a period of three months. If approved, the student will be enrolled on Probation status for one semester and may re-enter on an Academic Plan. This procedure applies only to suspensions caused by lack of satisfactory progress and will never be granted more than once. It does not apply to voluntary withdrawals. All re-admitted students will be charged at the current tuition rates including application fee. If the student re-enters within twelve months of the withdrawal or dismissal, the application fee will be waived.

Retaking Classes

Students may only attempt a class a total of three times; this policy includes withdrawals. If a student receives a failing grade for a class, they may retake the class in an attempt to raise their grade. If students fail or withdraw on their third attempt, they will either be required to transfer to a program where that class is not required, or they must request an appeal to be allowed to take the class for a fourth and final attempt.

If the appeal is denied, or transfer to another program is not an option, the student’s enrollment will be terminated. In all cases, the last grade earned will be the grade entered on the final transcript.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

McNally Smith College of Music, while in accordance with the minimum standards from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, NASM, and the Department of Education guidelines regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), has elected to adopt a more exacting set of guidelines than required. These guidelines, while ensuring that the school continues to demand excellence of its students, also serve to protect students that have proven to be not ready for the college experience by preventing unnecessary expenditure.

Satisfactory academic progress is measured each semester. All periods of enrollment will count toward SAP, including periods when a student does not receive Title IV federal aid. Transfer credit and test-out credit will not be counted in McNally Smith College cumulative GPA or qualitative academic progress standards. Accepted transfer credits and test-out credits will be included in the quantitative maximum time frame and completion percentage calculations. For students who transfer into a second program at McNally Smith, credits from previous degrees and those currently in progress are applied towards the new degree based on its requirements. Only those credits that apply to the new program will be used when determining Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. The process requires a student to submit a completed “Change of Degree Form” and provide the details of such program change request. The College will process this application prior to the start of the following semester. Such applications are considered on a case by case basis, and are reviewed and signed by both the current and former department head to indicate approval of the program change.

Qualitative Measure of Progress

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 (C) grade point average (GPA). Incomplete grades will remain on a student’s transcript for up to 150 days.  The requirements for satisfactory completion of the course are determined by the course instructor.  If requirements are not met by the deadline, the Incomplete grade will be changed to an (F) grade. When a grade of (I) changes to a passing or failing grade, SAP is re-calculated.

Quantitative Measure of Progress
 Part A – Required Completion Percentage

At the end of each semester, McNally Smith shall compare the cumulative number of credits the student successfully completed to the cumulative number of credits the student attempted to determine whether
the student is progressing at a rate that will allow completion of the program within the maximum time frame. This equates to an ongoing 67% completion rate or better to maintain satisfactory academic progress. An incomplete course or repetition must be completed within the 67% completion rate guidelines.

Part B – Maximum Time Frame

The maximum time frame for a student to complete a course is 67 attempted credits in a diploma program, 90 attempted credits in an associate degree program, 180 attempted credits in a bachelor degree program, and 57 attempted credits in a master degree program. Leaves of absence and other official interruptions of training are not computed in the maximum time frame. A course incomplete or a class repetition 
must be completed within the maximum time frame. Non-college level remedial courses generally do not apply and will have no affect on satisfactory academic progress. Financial Aid will not be available for classes a student has attempted more than three times.

Failure to Meet Standards

If at the end of the semester, a student has failed to meet the standard for measurement of maximum time-frame, McNally Smith College shall suspend that student immediately. If at the end of the semester, a student has failed to meet the completion percentage or minimum GPA requirement, the student will be placed on Warning for the following semester. The student is not making satisfactory progress while on Warning, but is eligible for Title IV funds and other financial aid during the Warning period. Satisfactory academic progress standards are the same for all students whether or not the students are receiving assistance under a Title IV program. If at the end of the Warning period, a student who has been on Warning status has met McNally Smith’s cumulative qualitative and quantitative standards, the institution shall repeal the warning status and return the student to good academic standing. If at the end of the Warning period, a student who has been on Warning status has not met McNally Smith’s cumulative qualitative or quantitative standards, the institution will suspend the student immediately.

McNally Smith College performs Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculations for all withdrawing students as per its R2T4 Policy. If a withdrawn student returns to school in a future semester, the college will apply its SAP policy in continuation of the student’s SAP status at the time of withdrawal.

To Appeal An Unsatisfactory Progress Determination

A student whose enrollment has been suspended due to unsatisfactory progress may appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee in cases of mitigating circumstances (such as illness, death in the family, personal issue, etc.). The appeal must be in writing. In certain cases the Academic Appeals Committee may determine that the student be allowed to continue with school despite the failure to conform within the maximum time frame, completion percentage, or minimum GPA standards.

The decision of the Academic Appeals Committee shall be final. Students readmitted will be placed on Probation for one term and may be placed on an Academic Plan designed to bring the student into compliance with satisfactory progress standards over a period of multiple terms. McNally Smith College shall permit the student to continue with school under an Academic Plan status until the student has met the institution’s cumulative qualitative and quantitative standards.

Students on Probation are not meeting satisfactory progress standards, but are eligible for Title IV funds and other financial aid during the Probation period. A student under an Academic Plan is considered to be making satisfactory progress after the one-term Probation period as long as the student is meeting the terms of the Academic Plan, and the student is eligible for Title IV funds and other financial aid during the Academic Plan. If the student fails to meet qualitative or quantitative standards for the courses in which he or she was enrolled during the Probation period or the Academic Plan, or it is not possible for a student to raise their GPA or course completion percentage to meet the institution’s standards before completion of the program, the institution shall suspend the student immediately.

Campus Policies

Access and Guest Policy

During campus hours, McNally Smith College of Music will be open to students, parents, employees, alumni, contractors, guests, and invitees. All parents, guests, alumni, and other invitees must sign-in at the front administration desk. During non-campus hours, access to all college facilities is by key and keycard. In the case of periods of extended closing, the college will admit only those with prior approval to the facilities. There is no access to the Residence Hall for any non-residents unless they are a guest of a current resident. Special circumstances may necessitate changes or alterations to any posted schedules.

All visitors must show ID when checking in at the Main Reception Desk in the 19 Exchange Building and will be given a guest pass with no security privileges. In certain circumstances, temporary security cards may be issued to visitors (this does not apply to students with forgotten or lost ID cards). The main reception desk personnel will collect a Drivers License or State ID card in exchange for the use of a temporary security card. The Drivers License or State ID card will only be returned once the temporary security card is turned back in. The student or employee responsible for the guests must accompany their guests to the specified room. The policy applies to all students and employees expecting participating guests for any of the following scheduled events: rehearsals, recording sessions, practice sessions, and café/auditorium performances. No guest of a student or employee will be permitted to roam the school unattended. At the end of the session, the front desk staff will be responsible for making sure guests are signed out.

Alcohol Policy

Alcohol and Drug Free Workplace

McNally Smith College of Music’s policy is to maintain a learning environment that is free from substance abuse, and to comply with all federal, state, and local laws.  It is the college’s policy to maintain a drug-free and alcohol-free environment for employees and students. McNally Smith College of Music has developed this policy out of concern for employees’ physical and mental health, workplace safety and productivity, and the college’s status and reputation.  This policy is intended to provide clear and consistent procedures for handling incidents of employee use of alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances while on duty.  It is the policy of the college that employees shall not possess, consume, or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the workday, including rest periods and meal periods. Students and employees are prohibited from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of a controlled substance or alcohol anywhere within the campus or while participating in on-campus school-related activities unless an exception to the rule has been granted. As a condition of enrollment or employment, students and employees must abide by the terms of the policy or one or more of the following actions will be taken within 30 days:

  • Reporting the violation to law enforcement officials.
  • Taking appropriate disciplinary action against such student or employee, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment.
  • Requiring such student or employee to participate in a substance abuse rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by federal, state, local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency.

Bicycle Policy

In support of bicycle use as a means of transportation, McNally Smith College of Music provides racks for securing bicycles and maintaining grounds safety. It is strongly recommended that all bikes be registered with the college and display a current bike registration. To register your bike, please see the 19 Exchange reception desk. You will need the following information:

  • manufacturers name
  • model
  • serial number
  • color
  • approximate value.

Please keep this information in addition to a photograph of the bike for your personal records. Purchase and use a good quality bicycle lock; an expensive bicycle lock often includes a theft insurance package, and is cheaper than replacing the entire bicycle. U-locks are recommended. Please read the manufacturer’s manual of any locking mechanism you use to ensure proper usage. Using multiple locks or two different locks increases the security of your bike. Rental locks are available from the 19 Exchange reception desk for $5 per day.

All bikes must be parked properly in the designated bicycle racks. Bicycles may not be ridden or stored inside the campus buildings. Bicycles may not be attached to trees, light poles, fences, benches, or any location that would impede the access to or egress from a building or the operation of equipment. Bicycles that lack proper registration, are parked for more than three (3) consecutives days, or are parked improperly are subject to immobilization or removal by McNally Smith College Staff. If any circumstance requires more than three (3) days’ time, please notify the front administration desk. Lack of bike rack space is not a valid excuse for violation of any bicycle parking regulation. Bicycle storage is not allowed inside the building. The McNally Smith College Staff will move unattended bicycles to the Exchange Street bike rack where they will be immobilized and secured with a rental lock at the student’s expense.

To report a stolen bicycle, please contact the front administration desk immediately. To claim an immobilized bike, please present proof of ownership at the front administration desk (preferably via MSCM bike registration). A fee of $5 per day will be applied to students’ library account for rental lock usage. McNally Smith College is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged personal property. To further protect your investment, it is suggested that you register your bike with services such as the National Bike Registry.

Code of Student Conduct

McNally Smith is committed to providing an educational environment that is grounded in respect, tolerance, integrity, and creativity. It is a privilege to study and work within this rich environment of music and academia. Each student is responsible to adhere to the Code of Student Conduct.

The effectiveness of this code depends on each student’s acceptance of personal responsibility for their own conduct and a cooperation to uphold the values and mission of McNally Smith College of Music.

Students are expected to abide by these policies, as well as all local, state and federal laws, both on campus and at college-sponsored functions off campus. To uphold these principles, action must be taken if students do not accept this responsibility. The Code of Student Conduct is designed to be an educational process that holds students accountable to themselves and the community. It is accomplished through a process that stresses appropriate consequences designed to enhance self-learning, to gain insight into how their behavior affects the community, and to foster better choices in the future.

Jurisdiction of the Code of Student Conduct

The Code of Student Conduct applies to the conduct that occurs within any of the McNally Smith premises, at college-sponsored activities, and off-campus conduct that adversely affect the McNally Smith community. Students shall be responsible for their conduct from the time of application through graduation or withdrawal. A Student Conduct Board will decide whether the Code of Student Conduct will be applied to conduct occurring off campus, particularly if the behavior has a potential to impact the college negatively. This determination shall be made on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the Student Conduct Board. The Student Conduct Board is made up of members of the college administration, faculty, and advisors, along with any other specific officials who may be connected to the incident.

As a rule, a student who willfully destroys school property, attends school under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or is insubordinate or disruptive – in the classroom or out – may be withdrawn from McNally Smith at any time during the school year. No guns or weapons are allowed on any of the school premises. (See No Gun Policy for details.) For the health and safety of all, the college adheres to a policy of no tobacco use on campus. (See School Policy on Smoking and Tobacco Use.) Students under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or in possession of drugs or alcohol, may be withdrawn from McNally Smith. Students seeking help or guidance for breaking addictions may be referred to appropriate drug counseling programs. (See McNally Smith Alcohol Policy.) Prohibited conduct includes (but is not limited to):

  • Plagiarism by intentionally or unintentionally using someone else’s words, music, or concepts as one’s own by failing to give proper credit
  • Cheating by attempting to present, as one’s own, work that one has not performed, or using improper means to pass an examination or test
  • All forms of dishonesty, including, but not limited to, furnishing false information, forgery, and altering or misusing documents
  • Intentional disruptions or obstruction of teaching, performance, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other college activities
  • Abuse or harassment, physical or otherwise, of any person on the college premises or at college-sponsored or supervised functions
  • Behavior or activity that may endanger the safety of one’s self or others, including, but not limited to, the possession and/or use of firearms, fireworks, weapons or hazardous chemicals
  • Vandalism or damage, destruction or defacement of property
  • Theft of college property or the property of any person
  • Possession, sale, abuse or use of controlled substances without medical authorization
  • Unauthorized presence in or forcible entry into a college facility or college-related premises, including classrooms, studios, and offices
  • Unauthorized use of college property, equipment, or keys
  • Unauthorized use or distribution of alcoholic beverages
  • Failure to follow directions given by a college official
  • Violations of local, state, or federal laws
  • Violation of stated college policies and regulation, written or unwritten
  • Any other conduct unbecoming a McNally Smith College student

Disability Services

Students seeking learning and/or classroom accommodations due to a disability need to meet with Sue Brezny ( or 651-361-3420). Disability Services can be found within the Office of Student Affairs. Students must self-disclose in order to help facilitate requests for accommodations. Students who have supportive documentation regarding their accommodation needs should provide it to Disability Services. This process should be completed by the end of the first week of classes to ensure reasonable accommodations for the semester. Additionally, students are encouraged to discuss their accommodation needs privately with their instructors.

Diversity Statement

The faculty and staff of McNally Smith College of Music strive to provide an educational experience free from discrimination based upon culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation.  Therefore, McNally Smith College of Music will provide reasonable accommodations for students, faculty, and staff to help develop, maintain, practice, and celebrate individuality.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

All parents and students will be notified of their rights through annual publication in this catalog of the fact that students and parents of dependent students have the right to review a student’s educational records, to provide consent prior to disclosure of personally identifiable information and to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education regarding the failure of an institution to comply with FERPA.

Students must make a request in writing to review educational records. Records will be made available in the appropriate institutional office on an appointment basis. No personally identifiable information will be released to a third party without the written consent of student unless it is:

  1. To other school officials who have educational interest in the information.
  2. To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll.
  3. To representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities.
  4. Relating to financial aid and is necessary to determine eligibility for aid, determine amount of aid, determine conditions for the aid, enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  5. To State officials if required by State statute.
  6. To organizations conducting studies for educational agencies or institutions to develop, validate, or administer tests, no student information will be released except to representatives of the organization and the information provided to the organization will be destroyed when no longer needed for the study.
  7. To accrediting agency to carry out accrediting functions.
  8. To parents of a dependent student.
  9. To comply with a judicial order or subpoena.
  10. To meet a health or safety emergency.

All disclosures of information will be recorded in the file and will include parties receiving information and the legitimate interests of the parties for inspection of the records. Disclosures of information will not include any student counseling records from the McNally Smith professional counseling office as these are considered protected health records by McNally Smith College. Personally identifiable information which is designated as directory information includes student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities, degrees and awards received, photographs, enrollment status, grade level, email address, dates of attendance and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended.

Hover Board Policy

This is the school policy regarding use and storage of personal-sized motorized and magnetic vehicles (PMV’s). Due to safety concerns, PMVs are prohibited in the main campus building and the 26 Exchange Administration building. Students living in the Residence Hall who wish to store their PMV within their dorm room must get approval from the Residence Hall Coordinators first. The right to be able to store a PMV within the Residence Hall will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Use of any PMV within the residence hall is prohibited.

The definition of a PMV in the context of this policy includes, but is not limited to, scooters, hover boards (either motorized or magnetic), Segway’s, or other motorized or magnetic transportation devices. Only devices designed to assist physically challenged individuals will be allowed (such as motorized wheelchairs) and for use by that individual only. Violators of this policy may have their device confiscated and a conduct hearing initiated.

Immunization and Vaccination Policy

In accordance with the Minnesota College Immunization Law, all students must show they’ve been vaccinated against five major vaccine-preventable diseases: measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and diphtheria. The law applies to anyone who was born after 1956. However, students who graduated from a Minnesota high school in 1997 or later are exempt from these requirements under the law (because they will already have met them as a high school student). Minnesota laws also require post-secondary schools to provide students with information on the transmission, treatment, and prevention of hepatitis A, B, C, and meningococcal disease. This information is available from the Minnesota Department of Health here:

Mental Health Counseling

Counseling services provide support for students struggling with mental, emotional, or social concerns and transitions. Individual and group intake sessions are available on a regular basis throughout the year. A counselor is also available to help connect students and employees to local support groups, recovery programs, and mental health practitioners, like psychiatrists, for medicine management. Counseling sessions are scheduled weekdays between 9:00 and 5:00. Brief walk-in appointments are also available to those in crisis. Students or employees may contact Student Affairs at 651.361.3425 to make an appointment to talk in a confidential and safe setting with a nationally certified counselor. There is no charge to McNally Smith College students or employees for this service.

Performance and Recording Release Policy

All concerts presented by McNally Smith College of Music (MSCM) performing groups/organizations as part of MSCM’s academic concert calendar may be audiotaped, filmed, or videotaped. In addition, MSCM may engage in commercial audio recording, film, and video projects featuring its performing groups/ organizations. MSCM reserves all rights to these audio recordings, films, or videotapes (known collectively as “Recordings”), including the right to broadcast, license, assign, and distribute the Recordings and derivatives thereof in all media, for any purpose and without limitation. All MSCM students assign to MSCM all copyright and other rights in such performances and Recordings, including any proceeds earned from the commercial distribution or other use of the Recordings.

Personal Property Search Policy

The college has instituted the following regulations to govern the search of student’s personal property while on campus. Searches may include, but are not limited to, lockers, backpacks, book bags, briefcases, instrument cases, containers, jackets and winter coats, and Residence Hall rooms (including drawers, closets, and refrigerators). Reasons for a personal property search may include the investigation of alcohol, drugs, or weapons possession or other school policy violation. Except in extreme emergency situations, the personal property of students shall not be searched unless written or verbal authorization for each search has been obtained from the Safety Director (or persons designated by the Safety Director such as the Residence Hall Coordinator).

Photo Release Policy

MSCM activities and students are often photographed for use in MSCM promotional materials and publicity efforts and as a result may be used in a publication, print ad, direct-mail piece, electronic media (e.g. video, CD-ROM, Internet/World-Wide Web) or other form of promotion. FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) recognizes photographs as a form of Directory Information. Students may opt-out of being included in Directory Information (including photographs) by signing a FERPA Directory Information Opt-Out form found in the Registrar’s office.

Refund Policy

Institutional Refund Policy

Students will be notified in writing of their acceptance or rejection. In the event of rejection, all tuition, fees and other charges will be refunded to the student. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, if the student gives written notice of cancellation within five business days after the date of student acceptance, all monies paid will be refunded regardless whether the course of instruction has started. Students who cancel their enrollment during the first two weeks of the course will receive a full refund of all monies paid. During the first two weeks of the course, McNally Smith will continue to evaluate students. In the event that during the two-week assessment period the school determines that a student will not be successful, the student will be notified of that determination, the student’s enrollment will be terminated, and all monies paid by the student will be refunded. Students cancelling their enrollment will receive the following refund percentage, based on the number of class days elapsed at the time of withdrawal:

Refund Schedule

Week Days Refund
1 1-5 100%
2 6–10  100%
3 11–15    75%
4 16–20  50%
5 21–25    25

McNally Smith will acknowledge in writing any valid notice of cancellation within ten (10) business days after the receipt of such notice, and within thirty (30) days shall refund any and all amounts due and arrange for termination of the student’s obligation to pay any sum in excess of that due under the cancellation and refund policy.

Written notice of cancellation shall take place on the date the letter of cancellation is postmarked or, in the event the notice is hand carried or delivered electronically, it shall occur on the date the notice is received by the school. Students who do not give written cancellation and unofficially withdraw (stop attending) are responsible for all tuition charges. However, federal regulations require that records of financial aid recipients who earn failing grades in all their classes must be reviewed. If courses were not completed, the College will adjust tuition and fees according to the Institutional Refund policy and return federal financial aid according to Federal Title IV Refund policy. Any remaining overpayment will be refunded according to the Non-Federal Refund Policy. Any tuition amounts owed the school from the student after withdrawal or termination from the program are due immediately upon notification. Any balances that are 30 or more days’ delinquent are subject to interest penalties and/or late fees.

McNally Smith does not make its refund policy conditional upon a student’s compliance with the school’s regulations or rules of conduct. “Student” means the student if the student is the party to the contract, or the student’s parent or guardian or another person if the parent or guardian or other person is the party to the contract on behalf of the student. The date of student acceptance is the date of delivery of the notice of acceptance and if delivered by mail the postmark date of the letter of acceptance.

Federal Refund Policy

(Title IV Funds 34 CFR 668.22): The Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) Policy applies to any student who receives Title IV funding and withdraws from the College before completing 60% of the term. The official withdrawal process is defined as occurring when a student notifies the school, in written or oral form, of his or her intent to withdraw. The return of Title IV formula determines the percentage of Title IV funds the student has earned at the time the student ceases attendance and the amount of Title IV funds a student must return.

The Title IV funds that were disbursed in excess of the earned amount must be returned to the federal government by the College and/or you. If you received a refund from financial aid, which was to be used for education-related personal expenses or housing expenses, you may be required to return a portion of those funds to the College. This portion represents funds that were intended to pay your education-related expenses through the end of the semester. The amount to be returned to the College will be determined by your institutional costs, refunds you might have received for non-College expenses, and the funds that must be returned to the government.

The amount to be returned to the federal government will be calculated from the date you officially withdrew from classes or, in the case of an unofficial withdrawal, the last date you attended classes or were involved in an academically related activity. An official withdrawal occurs when a student follows the published process for withdrawing from the College prior to the end of the term.

The amount of Title IV funds earned by a student is based on the amount of time spent in attendance by the student for that term. The amount of Title IV funds a student earns is a proportional calculation based on the amount of time the student attends school through 60 percent of the term. If a student ceases to attend school after 60 percent of the term, the student earns 100 percent of the Title IV funds. If the amount of Title IV grant or loan funds disbursed is greater than the amount a student earned, unearned funds must be returned. A student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement if, prior to withdrawing, the student earned more federal financial aid than was disbursed. If a student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement for Title IV funds, it will be processed for the student and a refund will be issued within 14 days of the credit balance.

If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, McNally Smith College must get the student’s permission before it can disburse the loan. Students may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that additional debt does not occur. Notification will be sent by the school to the student and any additional loan funds must be accepted within 14 days.

McNally Smith College may automatically use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition and fees. However, the College needs the student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other College charges. If the student does not give their permission, the student will be offered the funds.

Accepting a post-withdrawal disbursement of student loan funds will increase a student’s overall student loan debt that must be repaid under the terms of the Master Promissory Note. Additionally, accepting the disbursement of grant funds will reduce the remaining amount of grant funds available to the student should the student continue their education at a later time.

Title IV Funds Distribution Policy

If it is determined that unearned Title IV funds must be returned, the responsibility is allocated between the school and the student. Any unearned Title IV aid must be returned to the federal government within 45 days of the date of the determination of your withdrawal. The responsibility as to who will return the unearned Title IV funds is determined according to the portion of the Title IV aid that could have been directly disbursed to the student once institutional charges were covered. The McNally Smith College administration will notify you with instructions on how to proceed if you are required to return funds to the government. Return of Title IV funds will be distributed as follows:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
  3. Federal Direct PLUS / Direct Grad PLUS Loans
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal SEOG
  6. Other Title IV grant or loan assistance

Non-Federal Refund Policy

Refunds for state aid programs (with the exception of the State Work Study Program) and non-state aid programs are calculated on a proportional basis using the Minnesota Office of Higher Education guidelines.  The formula from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Refund Calculation spreadsheet found on their website is used to determine refund amounts. All aid sources are repaid before any funds are returned to the student.

Security Card Policy

All students will have identification cards to carry with them that they must be able to produce upon request. The identification card serves as a photo ID and proximity card. It is issued at the start of the student’s course of study and must be used each time they enter the building.

All students are expected to visibly display their identification cards on their person at all times while on campus grounds. Proper display of the ID card shall be the front side of the body anywhere from the shoulder region to the kneecap. The ID card may be attached to an article of clothing via any apparatus supported by McNally Smith College of Music. These include, but are not limited to: lanyards, plastic security badge clips, and retractable belt clips. Persons on-campus who are unable to produce their identification card or guest pass when requested may be asked to leave. It is the responsibility of each student, faculty member, and staff member of the college to ensure each person, whether a visitor or not, is wearing an ID card during their time on this campus. Visitors to McNally Smith will be issued a guest pass and shall follow all rules as defined in the paragraphs above.

The ID card serves two purposes during enrollment at McNally Smith College of Music. The first purpose is for security reasons. There is limited access through the secured entrances into the college and the ID card allows students to enter without checking in at the main reception desk. Secondly, the ID card is used to verify each student’s presence at college. Every time a student enters the building the ID card must be used to check in. When a student forgets their security card, they must check in and check out with the front desk personnel. The main reception desk personnel will sign the student in or out (i.e., time arrived or time left). The student must check in with the front desk personnel each time they come and go during that day.

Students may utilize the check-in process at the main reception desk up to five (5) times per semester. For a lost or misplaced badge, students will be required to complete the ID replacement form and purchase a new ID card at their own expense ($10.00 cash only). Malfunctioning ID cards may be turned into the main reception desk along with a completed ID replacement form, and the ID card will be replaced at no expense. Replacement ID cards take 1-2 business days to process and will be available at the main reception desk when ready.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

Members of an educational community – students, faculty, staff and administration – must be able to work in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. Any violation of trust, any form of intimidation or exploitation, damages the institution’s educational process by undermining the essential freedoms of inquiry and expression. Students, teachers, and staff must feel personally secure in order for real learning to take place. McNally Smith College of Music prohibits and will not tolerate discriminatory practices, sexual harassment, or sexual assault of any member of this college community. A full statement of policy (keep the link) is given to each student upon enrollment.

Smoking and Tobacco Use Policy

McNally Smith College does not permit tobacco use in its facilities, in or around main entrances or exits of its facilities, or in College vehicles. The College complies with the City of St Paul Non-Smoking Ordinance, which states that smoking is prohibited in public buildings. Under the non-smoking ordinance, a person commits an offense if that person knowingly smokes in a public building. The Residence Hall is also a non-smoking building.

For the purposes of this policy, tobacco use includes: 

  • Smoking: including—but not limited to—cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and all non-prescription vaporizing devices (e.g., e-cigarettes) 
  • Chewing: including—but not limited to—smokeless tobacco, snuff, or snus

McNally Smith College has designated the patio by the corner of the main campus building at Exchange & Cedar Streets as the specific outdoor area reserved for tobacco users. For the Residence Hall, the designated smoking area is along the 4th Street side of the building. Please keep the doorways clear.

Please DO NOT use tobacco at any of the other entrances to these buildings. The College further reserves the right to modify these locations at any time without notice. Tobacco users should utilize the ash receptacles and trash cans (for smokeless tobacco) and not litter on school grounds. Help keep our campus beautiful. Individual departments and supervisors may further limit tobacco use by employees during normal business hours as necessary to meet departmental and College goals.

Student Complaint Procedure

Students have the right to register a concern or complaint about any aspect of the college or campus experience. Complaints and concerns can be filed using this Student Grievance Form, also available from the My Support section of the student portal. Verbal complaints should be followed up with a written submission.

Non-Academic Student Complaints: A student who has a complaint of a non academic nature may file a complaint using a complaint with the Office of Student Affairs or in the My Support section of the student portal. Verbal complaints should be followed up with a written submission.

Complaint towards another student: Follow the procedure under Code of Student Conduct – Charges and Procedures.

Complaint towards a faculty member, administrator, or staff member: The Director of Human Resources will oversee any complaints pertaining to employees of the College.

Complaint regarding a college policy or procedure: The Senior Director of Student Affairs will investigate and respond to the student in a timely manner. If the student is unsatisfied with the response, the student may address the concern in writing directly to other administrative persons aligned with the specific policy or procedure. If the student is still unsatisfied with the results, they may submit concern in writing to the college President.

Academic and Curriculum Issues – Informal Student Complaint: Individual classroom policies, including lesson plans and grading procedures, are the responsibility of the classroom instructor. If a student has a complaint or disagreement concerning the implementation of instructor policies, the student should meet with the instructor to discuss the matter. Day-to-day classroom issues should be resolved in this manner.

Academic and Curriculum Issues – Formal Student Complaint: If an academic issue is not resolved during an informal instructor meeting, a student should meet with their department head to report the concern or complaint. (The student may be asked by the department head to submit the concern/complaint in writing.) The department head will investigate the claim. Efforts will be attempted to resolve the issue in a timely manner. If a resolution is reached, the department head will report the results to the instructor and the student and will maintain a record of the meetings. If an academic issue is not resolved by the department head, a student may file a formal grievance. Complaint forms may be found in the Office of Student Affairs or in the My Support section of the student portal. Verbal complaints should be followed up with a written submission. The Academic Appeals Board will gather information from all parties involved in the complaint and may call a hearing to include the student, the student’s instructor (if appropriate), the Senior Director of Student Affairs (as an advocate for the student), and any other pertinent parties. A decision will be determined and communicated within three days of the hearing.

Study Abroad Programs

Currently enrolled McNally Smith College of Music students, as well as undergraduate students from accredited colleges and universities throughout the United States, may apply to McNally Smith’s Study Abroad Programs. Applicants are generally expected to have a minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA for college studies already completed, provide as references the names of two members of the faculty with whom they have studied with in the past year, and demonstrate, by way of an interview, personal maturity sufficient to ensure that a program of study abroad may be successfully undertaken.

In addition, students from other institutions are generally expected to submit a completed Study Abroad Program application form, provide an official copy of their transcript from their home institutions, and submit two letters of recommendation, at least one of which should be from an instructor, advisor, or department head. It is the responsibility of students to make certain that the courses in which they enroll are applicable for credit at their home institution. Decisions on admissions are made in accordance with McNally Smith’s policy, which provides for the complete processing of applications as soon as all required data are received. At that time, a decision is made and the prospective student is notified. Students are urged to apply early in the semester prior to the one in which they seek to enroll.

Click here for an application, questions, or further information.

Threat Assessment Policy

McNally Smith College of Music recognizes that understanding and mutual respect toward all members of the College fosters a climate of safety and excellence in teaching and learning. Violence or threats of violence on campus or at campus–sponsored events will not be tolerated. Threats of violence include, but are not limited to, any situation initiated from internal or external sources that:

  • Endanger the safety of any student, faculty member, staff member, or visitor;
  • Has an impact on an individual’s physical and/or psychological well-being;
  • Causes damage to personal or MSCM property;
  • Creates a hostile campus environment.

Any individual who commits a violent act or threatens to commit a violent act toward other persons or property on campus or at campus-sponsored events shall be subjected to disciplinary actions, up to and including dismissal from the college. Civil and/or criminal penalties may be pursued as appropriate. Every member of the campus community is expected to take any threat or violent act seriously, and to report these acts to the appropriate contact resources. It is recognized that violence or threatening acts are often complex, intimidating, and confusing. Students, faculty, staff, or visitors should not put themselves in danger, but rather, utilize campus and community resources to assess the level of danger, design an appropriate intervention or response plan, and employ reasonable safety measures.

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