Termination policy for M.S. students

Causes for termination

  • Failure to meet expectations for timely progress towards degree completion
  • Poor academic performance

Graduate student progress

Graduate students will be evaluated at the end of every academic year. Before the selection of an advisor, reviews of progress are made by the graduate officer in consultation with the Graduate Committee. Following the selection of an advisor, the annual review will be done by the advisor. Students who fail to make adequate progress in course work or professional development may be terminated.

Academic performance

A student whose GPA falls below 3.0 may be put on academic probation for one semester. A plan of work that will allow the student to improve the GPA to 3.0 or higher by a set time will be agreed upon by the student, his/her advisor or the graduate officer (if the student does not have an advisor). Failure to improve the GPA to 3.0 or higher by the deadline will result in termination after that semester. A student cannot remain on academic probation for consecutive semesters. A student cannot be on academic probation for more than two semesters during his/her graduate studies and will be terminated if the GPA is less than 3.0 for a third semester.

A graduate student in M.S. biological sciences is permitted to petition to repeat at most two graduate classes in which he/she received a grade of B- or lower. A student who receives three grades of C+ or lower will be terminated from the graduate program.

Anticipated progress for M.S. students

First year

  • Complete first-year core curriculum
  • Select thesis advisor

Second and subsequent years

  • Continue to fulfill course requirements
  • Initiate or continue dissertation research
  • Submit a plan of work
  • Select thesis advisory committee
  • Write thesis

Final term

  • File for graduation
  • Public defense of thesis

Procedure for termination

Annual reviews by the graduate officer are designed to assess the progress of students. After selection of an advisor, the annual review will be conducted by the advisor. If the review raises concerns about whether the student should continue in the program, the student will be notified and will have an opportunity to present their case to the Graduate Committee.

The Graduate Committee may place the student on probation with well-defined objectives that the student will be required to meet within a specific time. If the student fulfills the objectives, they will be reinstated in good standing in the program.

If a decision to terminate the student is made, the student will be able to make an oral presentation of their case to the graduate committee. Copies of all decisions regarding probation, reinstatement, and dismissal will be placed in the student file and forwarded to the university Graduate Office.

Appeal of dismissal

The student can contest dismissal for insufficient progress by appeal to the Graduate Committee, the dean of the graduate school, and finally to the provost. Dismissals for academic reasons should be appealed as outlined inĀ student due process policy.