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Grading System

Course Duplications

A student may enroll for a course a second time and have it counted as part of the semester's load. If a course is repeated, the last grade recorded will be considered in calculating the GPA and in certifying the student's eligibility for graduation.

The responsibility for initiating the official recording of a grade duplication lies entirely with the student. In the absence of such a request, the Office of the Registrar will include a repeated course in the student's cumulative record of hours attempted and grade points earned.

Graduate courses may only be repeated one time.

Quality of Work Required

Graduate students must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA. The student whose GPA earned at another institution is below 3.0 will be required to make up the deficiency either at the other institution or at the Health Science Center. This regulation applies not only to graduate work attempted elsewhere before the student was first admitted to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, but also to graduate work attempted elsewhere after the student's admission at the Health Science Center.

Students must make satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements in order to remain in good standing within a specific degree program. Students whose progress is unsatisfactory may be removed from the program by the graduate dean on recommendation of the student's discipline.

Each student's semester grades and semester GPA will be reviewed at the completion of every semester. To remain in good academic standing, an overall GPA of 3.0 or better must be maintained. The student who does not maintain the GPA will be placed on probation and have one long semester to correct the deficient GPA. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Dismissals may be appealed in writing to the graduate dean within five working days of notification of dismissal. Students involved in an appeal continue to attend class and sit for examinations until final conclusion of the process.

Students receiving state-supported assistantships will remain on assistantship during the semester the student is attempting to correct the deficient GPA, unless otherwise specified by the dean.

A student earning an "F" in any graduate level course will be dismissed from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Dismissals may be appealed in writing to the graduate dean within five working days of notification of dismissal. Students involved in an appeal continue to attend class and sit for examinations until final conclusion of the process. If the student is allowed to continue in graduate school, his/her program discipline may have additional requirements/stipulations for continuation in the discipline. The course in which the student achieved an "F" grade must be repeated. No student may graduate with an unresolved "F" on his/her record.

Grade Requirements for the Integrated Core Curriculum

All students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences must successfully complete an integrated core curriculum. Refer to "Degree Programs," below, for a listing of courses required.

Master of Science Students

A Master of Science student may continue in his/her program in good standing with "C" grades in the core courses as long as the student's overall GPA is maintained at 3.0 or better. If the student's overall GPA falls below 3.0, he/she will be placed on academic probation and have one long semester to bring the overall GPA to at least 3.0.

Any MS student who has earned a "C" grade in a core course who then elects to apply for the PhD program after completing the master's degree must retake the core courses in which the "C" grade was earned and obtain a "B" or better in the repeated course. The student will only be allowed one opportunity to retake the course(s) in question.

Doctor of Philosophy Students

PhD students must maintain an overall integrative core GPA of 3.0 or better to remain in good academic standing.

A student failing to achieve an overall core GPA of 3.0 or better but only receiving one "C" grade, will be required to retake the course in question and will be on probation until a grade of "B" or better is earned in the particular core course. The student who does not receive a "B" or better in a repeated course will be immediately dropped to the master's program.

If a student has an overall core GPA of 3.0 or better after completing all core courses, but has earned one "C" grade for any core course, the student's discipline policy will dictate if the student must retake the course in question and will be on probation until a grade of "B" or better is achieved in the particular core course. The student who does not receive a "B" or better in a repeated course will be immediately dropped to the master's program.

A student receiving two or more "C" grades in core courses will be required to repeat the courses. If the repeated courses do not result in a "B" or higher, the student will be dropped to the MS program. This student will not be re-admitted to a PhD program until successful completion of the master's degree and sufficient core courses are repeated with "B's" or better to bring the student's core GPA to at least a 3.0 and to meet the requirements of the student's discipline. The student will only be allowed one opportunity to retake the courses in question.

Remediation of First-Year Courses

A student who fails any graduate course will be dismissed. However, the student may appeal the dismissal in writing to the dean. The dean considers appeals on a case-by-case basis. If the dean overturns the dismissal and allows the student to continue in the program, he/she may remediate a failed course under specific circumstances described here.

Certain specialized MS students (i.e., Medical Sciences and Clinical Research Management students) who fail only one core course may obtain permission to repeat one core course during the summer semester. The repeated course is considered equivalent to the Fall and Spring core courses. Thus, the grade earned by repeating the course in the summer will replace the failed grade in the grade point average calculation; however, the initial grade will remain on the transcript. Courses that are available for remediation for these students are: 

BMSC 5301      Biochemistry
BMSC 5302      Molecular Cell Biology
BMSC 5303      Immunology and Microbiology
BMSC 5304      Physiology
BMSC 5305      Pharmacology
CBAN 5400      Structural Anatomy 1
CBAN 5401      Structural Anatomy 2

For all other students, remediation of a core course may be allowed in the summer following the semester in which the failure occurred.  Thus, remediation for the following courses may be allowed:

BMSC 6301      Principles of Biochemistry
BMSC 6302      Molecular Cell Biology
BMSC 6303      Physiology
BMSC 6304      Pharmacology
BMSC 6305      Immunology and Microbiology

Permission will only be granted for those students who fail just one core course. Students are allowed to remediate only one core course immediately following the Spring semester. The repeated course is considered equivalent to the Fall and Spring Core courses. Thus, the grade earned by repeating the course in the summer will replace the failed grade in the grade point average calculation; however, the initial grade will remain on the transcript.  Students who earn a “C” in a core course in which a “B” is required for satisfactory completion may also apply to remediate in the summer in the same manner.

For both specialized MS students and the students in other programs, the summer courses will consist of a period of directed self-study followed by one or more comprehensive exams equivalent in depth and breadth to the regular semester core course. The format of the exam is at the discretion of the course director and may be multiple choice, essay, oral or term paper. The Course Director, in consultation with faculty and the Core Director, will post a syllabus and expectations of what the student is required to study on Blackboard (e.g., PowerPoint presentations, reading assignments, handouts, study strategy, practice questions). Faculty will be available to meet with the students to address questions and concerns once per week. This schedule will be posted on Blackboard.

Probation and Suspension

A student who fails to maintain the required overall GPA of 3.0 will be subject to academic probation. If the student's grades do not improve, the student may be subject to suspension for a period of up to one calendar year before becoming eligible to re-enroll for further graduate courses. Graduate work completed elsewhere during a period of suspension at the Health Science Center may not be counted for graduate credit at the Health Science Center.

The student whose graduate school GPA falls below 3.0 must make up the deficit, either by repeating courses in which the grades are low or by completing other graduate school courses with grades high enough to bring the graduate school GPA up to 3.0. Low grades made in graduate courses at the Health Science Center may not be duplicated at other institutions. A student who receives an Unsatisfactory (U) grade in Internship Practicum (BMSC 5920), Individual Research (BMSC 5930 or 6940), Thesis (BMSC 5950) or Doctoral Dissertation (BMSC 6950) will be placed on academic probation. If the student receives a subsequent U grade, he/she may be subject to suspension.

A student on academic probation as the result of performance in courses other than Internship Practicum (BMSC 5920), Thesis (BMSC 5950), or Dissertation (BMSC 6950) may not register for Internship Practicum (BMSC 5920), Thesis (BMSC 5950), or Dissertation (BMSC 6950).

Students may be dismissed from the program for failure to make academic progress.

See “Quality of Work Required” and “Grade Requirements for Integrated Core Curriculum” sections, above.

This page last modified March 25, 2013

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