Students must achieve satisfactory academic progress in order to receive federal financial aid. The Financial Aid Department’s satisfactory academic progress standards mirror the academic progress policies of the College of Graduate Health sciences. A student who is found to not be making academic progress by the college is not eligible for federal financial aid. This rule may also apply to state, institutional, and private funds. For more information refer to CenterScope, Satisfactory Academic Progress, (http://catalog.uthsc.edu/index.php?catoid=8).
Requirements regarding the maximum length of time to complete the Master of Science or the Master of Dental Science degrees is outlined on the College of Graduate Health Sciences Bylaws available at http://grad.uthsc.edu/CollegeInfo/index.php?page=Bylaws#MSResidency and for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is available at http://grad.uthsc.edu/CollegeInfo/index.php?page=Bylaws#PhDResidency.
Admission to Candidacy
Graduate education requires continuous evaluation of the student. This evaluation includes not only periodic objective evaluations such as the GPA, performance on comprehensive examinations, and acceptance of the thesis or dissertation, but also subjective appraisal by the faculty of the student’s progress and potential. Continuation of graduate study within the college results from positive action taken by the program’s Graduate Studies Committee. Grades are not necessarily the sole criterion used in determining whether or not a student is permitted to continue. Other attributes, primarily those concerned with the level of professionalism expected of a student in a particular discipline, may be considered.
Academic Due Process
If a student is denied continuation in a program, the student has a right to a hearing at the program level before the Graduate Studies Committee or any other appeals committee that the Program Chair deems appropriate. The student must be informed in writing by the Dean of the reason for termination from the program and of the right to appeal. A written request by the student to the Program Chair for such a hearing must be filed within 5 working days after receipt of the written notification of the original action. The hearing should be scheduled by the Chair promptly but should allow sufficient time for the student and the program to prepare. At the appeals hearing, both the student and the program representative should present pertinent written and oral documentation, which may include statements by and examination of witnesses. The student may bring any person(s), excluding legal counsel, whom the student feels can contribute to the presentation. Committee consideration is conducted without the presence of legal counsel. Confidential records will be kept of all proceedings. The result of this hearing will be communicated in writing to the student within 5 working days of the hearing excluding holidays and administrative closings.
If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of this hearing, the student has the right to appeal this recommendation before an ad hoc appeals committee appointed by the Dean. A written request for such an appeal must be filed with the Dean within five days of the notification of the results of the program hearing. If the student does not file such an appeal within this time, the Dean will inform the student in writing of the dismissal from the program.
The ad hoc appeals committee will be formed from the graduate faculty and may include a student member. The ad hoc appeals committee has the right to examine witnesses appearing before the Graduate Studies Committee of the program in support of the student or in support of the action taken by the program. The appeals committee will make a recommendation to the Dean or designee who will then make a decision and communicate this decision in writing to the student within 10 working days.
During the period in which appeals are scheduled at the program or college level, the student will continue to receive a stipend. However, if the student is dismissed after decision by the Dean or designee, stipend support will cease. The decision of the dean is final in such cases, however, in the case where a student is dismissed, the student has the right to appeal to the Chancellor for readmission to the program if the student believes there were inherent flaws or biases in the process leading up to dismissal.
Degree Completion and Graduation
Following admission to degree candidacy, a student completes any additional coursework or research; in the case of the PhD degree, an additional term of work is required. The student is required to have both an oral and written final examination. The oral final examination is a public event. The written examination is in the form of a project (publication, literature review), thesis, or dissertation. Successful completion of the final examinations is necessary for awarding of the degree.
Degrees are conferred three times throughout the year: May, August and December. Attendance at graduation is mandatory for students completing degrees. Those students unable to attend graduation must file a written request with their respective dean to receive a degree in absentia. Permission for receiving a degree in absentia must be granted by the Dean. Students graduating in absentia should make arrangements with the Office of the Registrar to pick up their diploma following the commencement date. A student who successfully defends and submits their final thesis or dissertation by noon May 1 may participate in the May graduation ceremony and receive their diploma at that time. A student who successfully defends and submits their final thesis or dissertation by noon November 1 may participate in the December graduation ceremony and receive their diploma at that time.