Academic Progress, Probation, and Dismissal

All graduate students are required to maintain a grade-point average of at least 3.0, and cannot be approved for the comprehensive examination or graduation unless this average has been maintained.  Individual doctoral programs may have higher grade-point average requirements; please consult the Program Director.

Master’s Degree Students

Satisfactory Progress and Probation

All Master’s students are required to maintain a grade-point average of at least 3.0, and cannot be approved for the comprehensive examination or graduation unless this average has been maintained.

A student whose GPA falls below 3.0 is notified by email that he/she is on academic probation, and he/she is given either one additional semester if a fulltime student, or up to nine additional credits if a part-time student, to bring the cumulative GPA up to a 3.0; if they fail to do so, they are dismissed from the university. Students enrolled in accelerated programs (HRD and online MPA) are permitted to take three credits in a session for the duration of their probation.

It is possible that a student offered up to nine credits to bring the cumulative GPA back above 3.0 achieves a grade or grades during the probationary period that is so low it becomes mathematically impossible for him/her to rise above 3.0 in additional credits. In those cases, the student is dismissed before nine credits are taken.  A student who succeeds in raising the cumulative GPA above 3.0 for one or more semesters after being on academic probation, but in a later semester falls below a 3.0 cumulative GPA for a second time will be dismissed from the university.

In some cases, if a student's cumulative GPA has fallen so far below a 3.0 GPA that his/her chances of rising above 3.0 in one additional semester of work or in up to nine additional credits is impossible, this student may also be immediately dismissed from the university before being placed on probation.

A student is not required to repeat courses in which the grade of F has been earned unless the courses are specifically required by his/her graduate program. The grade of F, however, is computed in the cumulative GPA, always listed on the transcript and jeopardizes a student’s academic standing. If a student who holds a graduate assistantship, tuition scholarship or fellowship is placed on academic probation, the award is automatically rescinded.

Dismissal

There are a variety of circumstances that could lead to a Master’s degree student dismissal. Please see the policies on academic performance and probation, non-academic performance expectations and academic integrity for more details. Once a student has been dismissed, he or she is permitted one appeal. The student should have a valid reason to appeal dismissal such as medical or other extenuating circumstances that would cause the university to consider allowing an exception to the policy to be made. Students wishing to appeal a dismissal decision should put the request in writing and first address it to their program director. The program director will review the request with the members of the department and forward it to the Graduate Dean with a recommendation. In the event of a disagreement within the department or between the department and the DGS, written recommendations from all parties may be submitted. The Graduate Dean will consider the appeal and the department's recommendation and make a decision. Once the decision is communicated to the student in writing, no further appeals will be considered.

Doctoral Degree Students

Satisfactory Progress

The satisfactory progress of doctoral students is assessed annually by the individual doctoral programs on the basis of academic performance, as well as by meeting the various deadlines for language examinations, qualifying examinations, dissertation proposal defense, and any other specified requirements.  The policy for satisfactory progress for Master’s students does not apply.

A student who fails to maintain satisfactory progress will be advised in writing of corrective steps to take by the Graduate Program Director, in consultation with the Graduate Dean, and apprised of the consequences of failing to take those steps.  A student who fails to maintain satisfactory progress may lose eligibility for financial aid or have one’s candidacy terminated.  Additionally, each doctoral program maintains its own standards of satisfactory academic progress and corrective procedures, and all students must familiarize themselves with them. In cases of evident failure to achieve progress, a student may be dismissed from the degree program without a probationary period.

Dismissal

If a student's progress is determined by the program to be unsatisfactory, the Graduate Program Director will confer with the Office of Graduate Studies, typically the Dean of Graduate Studies, regarding the termination of that student’s candidacy for the degree.

The department will communicate to the student the reasons for recommending dismissal to the Graduate Dean, and Office of Graduate Studies will proceed with the formal termination of candidacy by sending an official letter to the student and copying relevant faculty and administrators.

The effective date of dismissal will be included in the official notification from the Office of Graduate Studies. Typically the dismissal is effective immediately, or at the end of the then-current semester. However, the program may request a later effective date of dismissal if it provides compelling reasons to do so.

Once a student has been dismissed, he or she is permitted one appeal. The student should have a valid reason to appeal dismissal such as medical or other extenuating circumstances that would cause the university to consider allowing an exception to the policy to be made. Students wishing to appeal a dismissal decision should put the request in writing and first address it to their program director. The program director will review the request with the members of the department and forward it to the Graduate Dean with a recommendation. In the event of a disagreement within the department or between the department and the DGS, written recommendations from all parties may be submitted.  The Graduate Dean will consider the appeal and the department's recommendation and make a decision. Once the decision is communicated to the student in writing, no further appeals will beconsidered.

[Revised, October 25, 2017]