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The following criteria must be met to remain in good graduate standing regardless of academic program.
Graduate students must register for a minimum of 3 graduate units each fall and spring semester until graduation or obtain online an Approved Leave of Absence Form signed by their program and the Graduate School. Approved leaves of absence do not abrogate the time limitations on course work (6 years for a master’s degree program and 8 years for a doctoral program). A Leave of Absence is a temporary cessation of study and may be granted for up to one (1) year for medical reasons and other emergencies. Any request for a leave of absence must be received by the Graduate School no later than the last day of enrollment for the semester the leave is to begin. A leave of absence will not be granted retroactively unless the student submits a written appeal with department approval for the Graduate Dean to review.
Exceptions to the time clock on course work accrued during a leave of absence may be granted for valid, compelling reasons by the Graduate School. For students on assistantships, the department/program will make efforts to continue the assistantship upon re-entry into the program, but because of the variations that occur with funding cycles and overall funding availability, it cannot be guaranteed. There are no minimum registration requirements during the summer unless the student was not enrolled for the previous spring semester and has applied to graduate in the summer. Summer graduation applicants who were not enrolled for the previous spring semester must enroll for at least one graduate credit for summer.
Students receiving funding of any kind should be aware of certain consequences of a Leave of Absence. A student on leave may not hold a Graduate Assistantship.
For students receiving federal financial assistance, the U.S. Department of Education regulations require the University to report enrollment status to lenders and guarantee agencies as “WITHDRAWN” when students take a leave of absence for a semester or more. This results in the beginning of the Federal Stafford Loan grace period and/or the starting of repayment of the Federal Supplemental Loan for Students. Additionally, upon returning to the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate Program, new loan applications must be submitted and an in-school deferment form must be filed with lenders.
Courses numbered 600 and above are for graduate units (see numbering explanation in the Course Numbering System of the catalog). A dual-numbered (400-600) course completed at the 400-level for undergraduate units may not be re-taken at the 600-level for graduate units. Courses numbered 500-599 are post baccalaureate level and not applicable toward a graduate degree.
Academic Standards (Good Standing/Probation/Dismissal)
To be considered in good academic standing, graduate students shall:
- Complete each graduate course with a grade of “C” or better for the units to be acceptable toward an advanced degree. Some Graduate Programs, at their discretion, do not accept any grade lower than “B” or “B-” for the fulfillment of Graduate Program requirements.
- Maintain a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.0.
- Maintain a passing grade in the clinical or practicum course.
- Have not been placed on formal probation by the Graduate School for academic deficiencies or clinical or practicum placement deficiencies.
A student may be dismissed from a Graduate Program for numerous reasons, which may include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to maintain good academic standing as defined by this Policy or the particular Graduate Program.
- Failure to make satisfactory progress as defined by the standards in this Policy.
- Failure to meet the conditions of academic probation.
- Unsatisfactory performance as a graduate teaching assistant, graduate research assistant, or graduate project assistant.
- Failure to comply with professional or ethical standards applicable to a particular Graduate Program while in a clinical or professional setting.
- Violations of University Student Code of Conduct or the Academic Standards Policy for academic dishonesty (UAM 6,502).
All probation and dismissal recommendations shall be submitted to the Graduate School. Only the Graduate School may officially place students on probation or dismiss students. Colleges and Graduate Programs may not place students on probation, nor dismiss students from the Graduate Programs unless authorized to do so by the Graduate School.
3.2 Failure to Make Satisfactory Progress
A student may be placed on probation and possibly dismissed from a Graduate Program for failure to make satisfactory progress in their course of study. Failure to make progress is indicated by one or more of the following academic progress standards:
- A failure to complete three (3) graduate credits per semester toward their Graduate Program; if an exception has been issued allowing a student to enroll for fewer than three (3) graduate credits, failure to complete the agreed-on number of graduate credits.
- Unsatisfactory grades (including grades below C, or grades lower than a B or B- in the case of Graduate Programs which only accept B or B- or higher for the fulfillment of Graduate Program requirements)
- Repeated withdrawals from courses.
- Failure to consult with their advisor when requested.
- Failure to establish a graduate advisory committee.
- Failure to develop an official, approved program of study.
- Failure to establish the groundwork for a thesis or dissertation.
- Failure of comprehensive and/or qualifying exams in the number of attempts specified by the Graduate Program.
- Failure to comply with other specific Graduate Program requirements.
- Failure to meet a department milestone or benchmark within the timeframe specified by the Graduate Program.
- Failure to pass the culminating experience if required by the Graduate Program.
- Failure to successfully defend a thesis or dissertation prospectus, or to successfully defend a final document.
- In Graduate Programs with clinical or practicum components, failure to perform at a level commiserate with the training received from either the Graduate Program or the clinical/practicum placement site.
- Failure to maintain the standards of academic and professional integrity expected in a particular discipline or Graduate Program while the student is in a clinical or practicum setting.
Colleges and Graduate Programs may establish their own benchmarks for the academic progress standards stated above. The benchmarks for the academic progress standards shall be consistent with Graduate Program requirements, standards in the field, and as specified in the Graduate Program section and on the website for that Graduate Program. A College or Graduate Program shall not create or add any additional academic progress standards beyond those listed in this section.
Colleges and Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs are required to review the academic performance and progress of a student at least once per year.
3.3 Academic Probation and Dismissal
A request by a Recommending Party for a student to be placed on probation or dismissed from a Graduate Program shall follow the procedures stated in the specific graduate dismissal policy for that particular Graduate Program. If the Graduate Program does not have a specific graduate dismissal policy, this Policy shall be applied for probation and dismissal. A Recommending Party may request that the Graduate School place the student on probation for one of the following reasons:
- Failure to maintain academic good standing
- Failure to make satisfactory progress
a. Placing the Student on Probation – Failure to Maintain Academic Good Standing.
If the student’s cumulative grade-point total falls below a 3.0, the student is placed on probation. The student shall then raise their cumulative graduate GPA to 3.0 by the end of the following semester during which the student is enrolled or the student shall be dismissed from graduate standing. If in the following academic semester the student fails to enroll for the minimum number of credits required, or if the student is not granted a leave of absence, the student shall be discontinued.
b. Placing the Student on Probation – Failure to Make Satisfactory Progress.
If the Recommending Party determines that the student has failed to make satisfactory progress, the Recommending Party shall make a written request to the Graduate School to place the student on probation. In the request, the Recommending Party shall provide documentation of the student’s failure to meet the specific provisions(s) of this Policy or the specific provisions of the College or Graduate Program dismissal policy, where applicable, warranting probation. The Recommending Party also shall provide specific requirements and/or conditions, including deadlines, which the student shall complete in order for the Graduate School to remove the student from probation.
If the Graduate School approves the request to place the student on probation, the Recommending Party shall notify the student in writing to indicate that the student has been placed on academic probation (the ”Academic Probation Notice”). The Recommending Party shall forward the Academic Probation Notice to the Graduate School.
The Academic Probation Notice shall outline what the student must do and the dates by which the student must do so in order to return to good standing in the student’s Graduate Program. The Academic Probation Notice also shall inform the student that if the student does not meet the conditions of probation, the student shall be dismissed from the Graduate Program, contain information about the applicable Graduate School, College or Graduate Program dismissal appeal process and provide the student with the contact information for the Graduate School Director of Operations (“Director of Operations”) for any questions or concerns the student may have. The Academic Probation Notice also shall inform the student of the student’s right to participate in a review conference with the College or Interdisciplinary Graduate Program to discuss the terms and conditions of the probation.
The student shall be afforded the opportunity for a review conference, which shall be administered by the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program director or the College dean or the College dean’s designee who shall be a department chair, program director or associate dean (“Review Conference Administrator”). The student shall have ten (10) Working Days from the date of the Academic Probation Notice to submit a written request to the student’s College or Interdisciplinary Graduate Program for a review conference (“Review Conference Request”). The College or Interdisciplinary Graduate Program shall direct the Review Conference Administrator to schedule the Review Conference to occur no later than ten (10) Working Days from receipt of the Review Conference Request.
If the student fails to meet the requirements and/or conditions of probation or violates the terms of the probation, the Recommending Party shall make a written request to the Graduate School to dismiss the student from the Graduate Program and Graduate School. In the request, the Recommending Party shall provide documentation of the student’s failure to meet the terms of the probation.
If the Graduate School approves the request to dismiss the student, the Recommending Party shall notify the student in writing that the student is being dismissed from the Graduate Program and Graduate School (“Dismissal Notice”). The Dismissal Notice shall include a written statement of reasons for the dismissal action, information about the applicable appeal procedures and the time period by which the student shall file an appeal (set forth in Section 7 below).
3.4 Dismissal Without Prior Probation
A student may be recommended for dismissal from the Graduate Program and Graduate School without being placed on probation. These instances include the following circumstances:
- When a student’s GPA drops below 2.3.
- When the academic reason for failing to progress is non-enrollment without being granted leave of absence for at least four (4) consecutive semesters (see Section 4 Continuous Enrollment Policy).
- When a sanction of expulsion is issued by the Office of Student Conduct resulting from a student conduct issue or a violation of the Academic Standards policy (UAM 6,502) for academic dishonesty.
- When a student’s behaviors or actions while in a clinical or practicum setting endanger the life, health, well-being or safety of any person at the clinical or practicum setting.
For those instances involving non-enrollment, the student is subject to the procedures outlined in Section 4.
For those instances involving a disciplinary sanction of expulsion by the Office of Student Conduct, the student is subject to the procedures as outlined in Section 5.
For the other instances described above, the student is subject to the same procedures as outlined in Section 7 for Graduate Program dismissal. The student shall be provided with a Dismissal Notice which shall include information about the appeal procedures, the appeal conference and the time period by which the student shall file an appeal (set forth in Section 7 below).
4.0 Discontinuation for Non-Enrollment
Pursuant to the Academic Policies of the Graduate School, all students are required to be enrolled in either: (1) three (3) graduate-level credits per semester; or (2) the minimum number of credits agreed to by the Graduate School and the student prior to the beginning of the semester (the ”Continuous Enrollment Policy”). Any student in violation of the Continuous Enrollment Policy is subject to discontinuation from the Graduate Program and the student’s academic record shall be closed.
The Graduate School shall notify students prior to the beginning of the next semester if they are in danger of violating the Continuous Enrollment Policy (“Discontinuation Notice” The Discontinuation Notice shall be issued by the Graduate School within 10 (ten) business days prior to the beginning of the semester. The Discontinuation Notice shall inform the student that failure to register for the minimum number of credits violates the Continuous Enrollment Policy and will result in their discontinuation. If thereafter, the student fails to register for the minimum number of required credits, the student is discontinued from the Graduate Program.
If a student is unable to enroll in the minimum number of credits the next semester, the student shall submit a Leave of Absence Form signed by the Graduate Program and the Graduate School prior to the start of that next semester.
Failure to timely submit the Leave of Absence form or failure to return to the Graduate Program after the leave of absence has expired shall result in discontinuation from the Graduate Program and the student’s academic record shall be closed. The student may request reinstatement to the Graduate Program. The decision to reinstate is at the discretion of the Graduate Program.
5.0 Dismissal for Violation of UNR’s Student Code Conduct or University’s Academic Standards Policy (UAM 6,502)
All issues relating to a student’s alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct are processed through the Office of Student Conduct and not the Graduate School. The Graduate School does not dismiss students from the Graduate Program or Graduate School as a finding of responsibility of violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The Graduate School does dismiss a student from the student’s Graduate Program and Graduate School upon direction from the Office of Student Conduct after all conduct hearings and appeals have been completed and the Office of Student Conduct notifies the Graduate School that the sanction imposed against the student is expulsion from the University and therefore, dismissal from the student’s Graduate Program.
6.0 Probation or Dismissal for Lack of Professionalism or Professional Misconduct in a Clinical or Practicum Setting
Probation or dismissal for lack of professionalism or professional misconduct while in a clinical or practicum setting shall be allowed only for those Graduate Programs with licensing, accreditation or national standards outlining professional behaviors or expectations. Colleges and Graduate Programs shall establish their own benchmarks for professionalism, consistent with Graduate Program requirements, licensing, accreditation or national standards in the field, and as stated in the Graduate Program’s graduate dismissal policy, graduate student handbook and Graduate Program website.
All probation and dismissal recommendations based upon lack of professionalism or professional misconduct in a clinical or practicum settling shall be submitted to the Graduate School and only the Graduate School may officially place students on probation or dismiss students. Colleges and Graduate Programs may not place students on probation, nor dismiss students from the Graduate Programs unless authorized to do so by the Graduate School.
A recommendation for dismissal due to lack of professionalism or professional misconduct shall follow the procedures stated in the specific graduate dismissal policy for that College or Graduate Program. If the College or Graduate Program does not have a specific graduate dismissal policy for lack of professionalism or professional misconduct, Section 7 of this Policy shall be applied.
7.0 Appeal Process
A. Student’s Appeal Request
The student shall have ten (10) Working Days from the date of the Dismissal Notice to submit an appeal to the student’s College or Interdisciplinary Graduate Program. The College or Interdisciplinary Graduate Program then shall have ten (10) Working Days to submit the student’s appeal to the Graduate School. Within ten (10) Working Days of receipt of the student’s written request for appeal, the Graduate Dean shall review the student’s appeal and provide the student with written notification of the opportunity for a review conference on the appeal (“Appeal Conference”).
B. Appeal Conference
The Appeal Conference shall be administered by the Graduate Dean. The Appeal Conference is a meeting that is not intended to be adversarial in nature. The student may be accompanied by an advisor during the Appeal Conference, who may serve in a support role to the student during the Appeal Conference. In this process, the advisor has no right to speak during the Appeal Conference except to the student.
If a student, who has been given notice does not appear for the Appeal Conference with the Graduate Dean, then the review conference shall proceed in the absence of the student.
The Appeal Conference is the time for presentation of the information, documents or witnesses in support of the dismissal. The Appeal Conference is the time at which the student is afforded the opportunity to present information, documents or witnesses on the student’s behalf. Witnesses may present a statement to the Graduate Dean; however, only the Graduate Dean is allowed to ask questions of any witnesses. Furthermore, the Recommending Party has the opportunity to participate in the Appeal Conference and may present information, documents or witnesses in support of the dismissal recommendation. The Graduate Dean also may include representatives from the applicable discipline or Graduate Program in the Appeal Conference.
The Appeal Conference shall occur within thirty-five (35) but no earlier than ten (10) Working Days after the date the Dismissal Notice was sent to the student by email or by personal delivery. The student can make a written request to the Graduate Dean asking that the 10-day period be waived if the student wants the Appeal Conference to occur sooner. If necessary, the student can make a written request to the Graduate Dean for an extension of time for the Appeal Conference and the Graduate Dean in their sole discretion, may grant the extension with regard to the Appeal Conference. If an extension of time for the Appeal Conference has been granted by the Graduate Dean, the Appeal Conference shall take place no later than Forty-Five (45) Working Days after the date that the Dismissal Notice was sent or personally delivered to the student.
C. Written Decision
After a review of all the materials, statements and relevant circumstances, the Graduate Dean shall issue a written decision setting forth the reasons upon which the final decision is based. The Graduate Dean’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the student engaged in behavior or actions related to the Graduate Program that warrant dismissal.
If the Graduate Dean does not uphold the recommendation for dismissal, the student shall be reinstated in the Graduate Program. The Graduate Dean shall render a decision to the student and the Graduate Program within five (5) Working Days after the Appeal Conference.
D. Decision Final
The decision of the Graduate Dean is final and is not subject to appeal.
Student Unit Loads
A full-time graduate student may not register for more than sixteen (16) graduate units in any semester, or more than six (6) graduate units in any six-week summer session. Audited or undergraduate courses will not be counted toward the 6-credit minimum requirement. Graduate assistants may not register for more than twelve (12) graduate units per semester.
Students who register for nine (9) graduate units or more in a semester are considered full-time. For graduate assistants on a 20-hour (half-time) contract, six (6) graduate units or more constitute full-time. To be considered full-time for financial aid purposes, all graduate students, including those on assistantships, must be enrolled in nine (9) graduate units; to be considered part-time for financial aid reporting purposes, graduate students must be enrolled in five (5) graduate units.
Grades and Units
Courses completed with a grade that is unacceptable toward fulfilling degree requirements may be retaken. However, the subsequent grade does not replace the first grade; both are computed in the overall cumulative GPA. Course grades are included in the overall average even when the required time period for obtaining the degree has expired. Grades of “D” or “F” are also included in the overall average.
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