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Graduate School Academic Regulations and Information

Graduate and prospective graduate students are expected to make themselves thoroughly familiar with the university graduate program regulations, their departmental requirements and the requirements for degrees. The ultimate responsibility for successful completion of an advanced degree or other program falls upon the student. The graduate student is solely responsible for knowing the academic requirements for graduate studies and should immediately seek answers to any questions regarding policy and procedures. The Office of Graduate Studies, moreover, disclaims responsibility for problems stemming from the student’s failure to follow its regulations. No waiver or exception to policy will be extended to a student who pleads ignorance of catalog statements. All students are responsible for providing accurate and current name, mailing address and phone information.

Academic Probation and Suspension
In order for a degree-seeking masters level student to remain in good academic standing, the student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (3.0=B on a 4.0 scale). A student whose overall GPA falls below a 3.0 in a given semester is automatically placed on academic probation the following semester.  In order for a degree-seeking doctoral student to remain in good academic standing the student must maintain a 3.25 grade point average during the program.  A student who received a grade of C+ or lower in 9 semester hours of credit attempted for graduate credit or toward the doctoral degree, regardless of the student's classification, whether or not in repeated courses, is ineligible for any advanced degree and will not be permitted to re-enroll.  A student whose overall GPA falls below a 3.25 in a given semester is automatically placed on academic probation the following semester. 

Academic probation for masters and doctoral level constitutes a warning of insufficient level of progress. Within the following nine semester credit hours, the overall GPA must return to 3.0 or above (for masters level students) and 3.25 or above (for doctoral level students) or the student will be suspended for a minimum of one semester. A student who receives a grade of F in any course is automatically dismissed from the graduate program.  A student who is dismissed may seek reinstatement through an appeal process.  The readmission after suspension/dismissal form must be submitted when seeking reinstatement.  Readmission Form
 
Admission to Degree Candidacy
Admission to a graduate program does not designate a student as a candidate for the graduate degree. Candidacy may be achieved only when students have completed a planned Program of Study, have met academic standards of the graduate program and the major department and have satisfied financial obligations to the university. Degrees are not awarded automatically upon completion of scholastic requirements. To be considered as a candidate for a degree, a student must file the appropriate application with the Graduate Studies Office. (See “Graduation Requirements” for further information.)

Auditing Policy
With the written permission of the department chair, instructor and the dean of the school or college in which the course is taught, an individual who has been admitted as a regular degree seeking student or as a Non-Degree student may sit in a class as an auditor without receiving college credit. The auditor’s name will not be entered on the class roll, and the instructor will not accept any papers, tests or examinations or require oral recitations from the auditor. Auditors pay a fee, which is published in the Course Schedule. A person 65 years of age or older may enroll as an auditor without credit and without payment of an audit fee. Audit fees are nonrefundable.

Audit enrollment is on a space available basis for courses that have been designated as suitable for audit by the Dean of the college or school. Not all courses are available for audit. Audit students do not receive credit. An audit intention cannot be changed to credit nor can credit courses be changed to audit. Audit work cannot be used toward diploma or degree requirements.

Auditors who wish to have library privileges may receive them by filling out a University Scholars Library application at the circulation desk at the UTB Library and paying a nonrefundable fee. There are limits on the services offered to University Scholars Library cardholders; further details are available from the circulation desk. Auditors who want parking privileges should go to the Campus Police Office with their validated Request to Audit form. Audit enrollment does not entitle the student to instruction in applied music, the use of laboratory equipment and supplies, admission to the university-sponsored fine arts and athletic events, or health and health center benefits.

Catalog Applicability and Time Limits
A student will be governed by the Graduate Catalog in effect at the time of official notification of admission to graduate studies or may choose to graduate following the requirements of the most current catalog. Should a graduate student fail to enroll for a full calendar year, the catalog requirements in effect at the time of readmission will apply.  State of Texas regulations with regards to certification programs taken as part of a graduate program do not supersede university graduate degree program requirements.
Students must complete all graduate work for a degree within seven years of the time of their first graduate course registration. Graduate courses more than seven years old will not be accepted for credit toward a degree program. Students who have compelling reasons for interruption of their graduate programs may petition the Dean of Graduate Studies for an extension of the time limit.

Comprehensive Examinations
Some programs require a comprehensive examination. The purpose of the comprehensive exam is to evaluate the student’s mastery of the field(s) of study. The method and procedure for examination must be specified on the student’s program of study. The comprehensive exam may not be scheduled prior to the student’s final semester of coursework. The application for the comprehensive exam must be submitted by the student through the Graduate Office by the published due date.
The academic department prepares, administers and grades the comprehensive exam. The Office of Graduate Studies notifies students when they have been cleared to take the exam, and informs exam takers of the results.
The result of the comprehensive examination will be one of the following:
PASS with a recommendation that the candidate be cleared to receive the degree.
FAIL stipulating the conditions that must be met before the candidate is eligible to take the exam the second time. The comprehensive exam may not be taken more than two times. A review period of not less than ninety (90) days nor more than one (1) year after the student is notified of the results of the first examination is required before a second exam may be completed. Conditions for a second exam may be imposed by the Faculty Advisor or Department Chair.
FAIL with a recommendation that the candidate be dismissed from the program.

Classification of Students
Graduate students have received their bachelor’s degrees and are working on their master’s degrees. Students enrolling in graduate courses will follow the Graduate Tuition and Fees scale. Graduate courses have a “5”, “6”,  “7” or “8” as the first digit of the course number (Example: ENGL 6301).

Course Load
The demands of graduate study require that the maximum allowed semester-credit-hour load be lower than that of the undergraduate. Students employed full-time or with other ongoing demands upon their time should consult with their faculty advisors or the Office of Graduate Studies realistically to assess the feasibility of their proposed course load.
Nine semester hours constitute full-time graduate enrollment during each regular (Fall and Spring) semester, and five semester hours constitute half-time enrollment. Five semester hours constitute full-time and seven semester hours is the maximum credit load allowed for each Summer session. Three semester hours constitute half-time enrollment during a Summer session. The maximum graduate student load for both Summer sessions is 12 semester hours including any mini-term enrollment. Registration will not be allowed for students attempting to register for hours in excess of these limits. Mini-term courses offered in May are counted as part of the first Summer session load. Any request for exception to the credit load policy must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies. A written request including a rationale for the exception must be received by the Office of Graduate Studies two weeks prior to late registration day.

Course Numbers
Courses are numbered to show both the collegiate level at which they are offered and the semester hour value of the course. The first digit shows the level and the second digit gives the credit hours. The last two digits are departmental designations. Courses at the 5000 level and above are graduate courses and are limited to graduate students. Courses at the 7000 level are for thesis and professional areas.

Financial Aid/Scholarships/Graduate Assistantships:
The award of financial aid, scholarships, and graduate assistantships is based on need, academic achievement, and availability. There may be additional specific qualifications for scholarships in various areas of study. For more information, please inquire at the Office of Financial Aid, the Office of Graduate Studies, and the College/School or department. 
 
Fresh Start
A graduate applicant who has earned a Baccalaureate degree under the “academic fresh start” statute, Texas Education Code, §51.931, will be evaluated on only the grade point average of the course of work completed for that baccalaureate degree and the other criteria stated herein.

Grade Changes
If an error in computation, evaluation or recording warrants a grade change, the instructor of record (IOR) may initiate a grade change form through the Department Chair, School or College Dean, and Dean of Graduate Studies. In the event that the IOR is no longer employed by the university, the academic dean will make a good faith effort to contact him or her before deciding whether to change the grade or not.

Grading System
A student receives a grade for each registered course. Grades are indicated by letters and assigned quality points as shown below. Credit toward a degree program will be granted only for courses in which a grade of “C” or better is earned.
A student's performance in academic work is expressed by the following grades.
 
                                                       Alphanumeric Grading System

 
+/- Letter Grade                             Grade Points                          100-Point Scale Guide                                                                                            (Not prescriptive)
A+
4 grade points
 (98-100)
A
4 grade points
 (93-97.9)
A-
3.67 grade points
 (90-92.9)
B+
3.33 grade points
 (87-89.9)
B
3 grade points
 (83-86.9)
B-
2.67 grade points
 (80-82.9)
C+
2.33 grade points
 (77-79.9)
C
2 grade points
 (70-76.9)
D
1 grade point
 (60-69.9)
F
0 grade points
 (Below 60)
To receive credit for a course, a graduate must earn a grade of at least C. Academic departments may require a higher grade for the course to be counted toward the student's degree.

To include a course in the Program of Study for a graduate degree, a graduate student must earn a grade of at least C. More information about the Program of Study is given in the graduate catalog.
One of the following symbols may be assigned instead of a grade. Courses in which these symbols are recorded are not included in the grade point average.
                                                    Valid symbols used in grading
Au
Audit
Not used in computing GPA
G
Must Repeat Course
Not used in computing GPA (Developmental Courses only)
I
Incomplete
Not used in computing GPA
IM
Incomplete military
Not used in computing GPA
P
Pass
Not used in computing GPA
CR
Credit
Not used in computing GPA (Advanced placement and CLEP credit only)
NR
No Grade Reported
Not used in computing GPA (Office of the Registrar use only)
S
Satisfactory
Not used in computing GPA (Non-course based remediation only)
U
Unsatisfactory
Not used in computing GPA (Non-course based remediation only)
W
Withdrawn
Not used in computing GPA
WC
Withdrawn due to casualty
Not used in computing GPA
WM
Withdrawn Military
Not used in computing GPA
WS
Withdrawn, excluded from Academic Progress
Not used in computing GPA
 
To receive the symbol CR, a graduate student must earn a grade of at least C.

GPA Calculation
Grade points are computed by multiplying the points for each grade by the number of credit hours; for example, 4 (A) x 3 (hours) = 12 grade points. A student’s grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the number of semester hours for which a grade other than X, NC, or CR is received

Graduate Credit for Seniors
A student who has not yet completed all requirements for the Bachelor’s degree may be eligible for graduate study as a senior. Such students must complete their undergraduate work and be eligible to obtain the Bachelor’s degree during the first semester of graduate work. The student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and must be within nine semester hours of completing the total number of hours required for the bachelor’s degree. The combined load of the graduate and the undergraduate courses for a full-time student must not exceed 12 semester hours. To take graduate courses under this provision, students must complete the graduate application process and secure the written permission of the chair of the department in which credit is sought, as well as the Graduate Dean. Seniors at other universities who have nine or fewer credits to complete for the Bachelor’s degree may also qualify. They must supply transcripts, complete the application process and provide letters from their home institutions indicating they are within 9 hours of graduation.

Graduation Requirements
A student must complete all university and program requirements to receive a graduate degree. Grades in courses offered for the Master’s degree must average B (3.00) overall. Prospective graduates must have the required 3.0 cumulative GPA (3.0=B on a 4.0 scale) and all grades of “I” must be reported. Students must complete an Application for Graduation before the application deadline. Students are required  to speak with their Graduate Advisors before submitting the required applications. Once the appropriate paperwork has been submitted to the  Office of Graduate Studies, students will be notified in writing regarding their eligibility.  Applications are available at the Office of Graduate Studies located in University Boulevard Classroom Building 1.202.

Grievances ‑ Grade Appeals
Course grade grievances must be initiated by contacting the instructor or individual with whom the grievance arose within 30 days of the grade report. An effort to resolve the matter informally should be made. If the student is not satisfied with the decision, the student may appeal in writing within 21 days to the chair of the department from which the grade was issued. Disputes not satisfactorily resolved within 21 days may be appealed in writing to the school or college dean, who will render the final decision.

Grievances ‑ Other than Grade Appeals
In attempting to resolve any student grievance, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the individual with whom the grievance originated. Grievances involving matters other than grades are appealed to the Department Chair or office director, the Dean if appropriate, then to the Vice President for Student Affairs, Vice President for Business Affairs, or Vice President for Academic Affairs. If the matter remains unresolved at this level, the student may make a final appeal to the President. Appeals must be submitted in writing.

On-line and Distance Education Degree Programs
Specific graduate degrees may also be awarded under On-line or Distance Education degree plans offered by UTB in cooperation with other University of Texas System components. Courses taken On-line or by Distance Education and degrees awarded under On-line or Distance Education degree programs shall be so designated on the student’s official transcript and diploma. Courses taken on-line from other UT System Components that are required for a degree completion by the consortium, shall be transcribed with a letter grade. For confirmation on how a course will be transcribed, consult with your faculty advisor.

Program of Study
Graduate degrees are awarded on the basis of scholarship, reasoning and investigative abilities, and evidence of proficiency in the student’s area of emphasis. Upon admission to the graduate program, the appropriate Departmental Chair will assign a Faculty Advisor to assist in developing the formal, typed Program of Study designed to meet proficiency levels, certification, and professional needs of the student.
A Program of Study must be approved by the Faculty Advisor, Graduate Coordinator or Program Director, the Chairperson of the major department, and the Dean of Graduate Studies. After signatures are secured, copies will be distributed by the Office of Graduate Studies to the student, the Faculty Advisor, and the Chairperson of the major department. The Office of Graduate Studies will retain the original Program of Study in the student’s file.
The Program of Study should be developed in consultation with the Faculty Advisor during the first semester of graduate work and must contain the following elements:
1.    A brief narrative statement giving the overall objectives of the program and special certification desired.
2.    Methods for achieving these objectives, i.e., courses listed in the degree plan, experiences, thesis and tentative research problems.
3.    The proposed method and anticipated date of the final evaluation.
The design of each individual program is very important. Those individuals holding a graduate degree are seen by society as having an advanced state of general knowledge, as well as specific knowledge in their fields of study. Thus, it is incumbent upon the institution, the graduate faculty, and the students to ensure that those upon whom the degree is conferred are knowledgeable in their fields.
Although the minimum number of hours required for degrees is determined in accordance with the program as listed in the catalog, this should not be construed to indicate a maximum number of hours for any particular student. Each individual Program of Study may vary as to the total number of hours necessary to receive the degree. The official Program of Study may be revised upon written request of the Faculty Advisor to the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Repetition of Courses
A graduate student may repeat any course. All grades earned (including those for repeated courses) will be used to compute the grade-point average. All attempts become a part of the permanent academic record.

Residence Requirement
A residence of one academic year or the equivalent in summer sessions is required. In graduate programs that require a thesis, at least 18 semester hours of course credit plus six semester hours of thesis credit shall be earned in residence at UTB. For programs that require 36 semester hours of credit but do not require a thesis, at least 24 semester hours must be earned in residence at UTB. Students seeking certification with the Master of Education degree should consult the College of Education section of the catalog.
In the case of Distance Education or On-line Degree programs offered by UTB, courses offered by other accredited component institutions of the University of Texas System as part of system-wide consortium, degree programs may be counted towards the residence requirement. This provision shall apply only to Distance Education or On-line courses from other institutions.

Second Master’s Degree
A maximum of nine semester hours taken for one UTB master’s degree may be counted toward a second UTB master’s degree with the approval of the department in which the second master’s degree is sought. This policy does not apply to graduate degrees received at other university .Courses more than seven years old will not be accepted for credit toward a degree program.

Semester Credit Hour
University credit is measured in semester hours. Ordinarily, a class that meets one 50-minute period per week for a semester will carry a credit of one semester hour. Since the majority of classes normally meet for the equivalent of three periods, each week, these classes carry three semester hours of credit. Two or three laboratory clock hours per week are usually required for one semester hour of laboratory credit.

Student Discipline
UTB considers cultivation of self-discipline of its students to be of great importance in the development of responsible citizens. Therefore, UTB expects its students to maintain standards of personal discipline that are in harmony with the educational goals and purpose of UTB.
Although UTB is committed to the full support of the constitutional rights of its students, including due process, it also has an equal obligation to protect its educational purpose and the interest of the student body. UTB must therefore be concerned with the actions of individuals or groups that are in conflict with the welfare and integrity of the institutions or in disregard of the rights of other students or faculty.
Attendance in a tax-supported educational institution of higher learning is optional and voluntary. By such voluntary entrance into the academic community of UTB, students voluntarily assume the obligations of performance and behavior imposed by the University relevant to its lawful missions, procedures, and functions.
When students enter UTB, it is assumed that they have a serious purpose and sincere interest in their own social and intellectual development. They are expected to learn to cope with problems with intelligence, reasonableness, and consideration for the rights of others; to obey laws and ordinances of the nation, state and community of which they, as well as UTB, are a part. As students prize rights and freedoms for themselves, they are expected to respect the rights and freedoms of others.
Any academic or administrative official, faculty member, or student may file a complaint against any student for misconduct. A student may be penalized herein even though he/she is also punished by state and federal authorities for the same act.
Students are subject to federal, state, and local laws as well as UTB rules and regulations and UT System Regents’ Rules and Regulations. Students are subject to reasonable disciplinary action, including suspension and expulsion in appropriate cases, for breach of federal, state or local laws or UTB rules and regulations or UT System Rules and Regulations. This principle extends to conduct off-campus.
Students are expected to be above reproach in all scholastic activities. Students who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from UTB. “Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts.” Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Rule 50101, section 2.2. Since scholastic dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of UTB, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced.
When students violate the prescribed codes of behaviors, disciplinary action may be initiated through the Office of the Dean of Students. The Student Handbook can be found on-line at
Student Travel Policy
Pursuant to Texas Education Code, Section 51.950, the University has adopted a student travel policy. UTB’s student travel policy and forms are located at the Student Affairs Website. 
This student travel policy is applicable to student travel undertaken by one or more currently enrolled students to reach an activity or event that meets all of the following criteria:
a. The activity or event is for full time, part time, or continuing education students currently enrolled at The University of Texas at Brownsville (The University or UTB) and is organized and sponsored by UTB. An activity or event is considered to be organized and sponsored if it has been planned and funded by UTB and is approved in writing by a designated administrator; and
b. The activity or event is located more than 25 miles from The University; and
      (i) Travel to and/or from the activity or event is funded and undertaken using a vehicle owned, leased, or rented by UTB or using a personal vehicle for which The University pays mileage pursuant to applicable University rules and policies and state law; or
      (ii) Attendance at the covered activity or event is required by The University or a registered student organization and transportation to and/or the activity or event is being funded by the University.
Travel that does not meet the above criteria is not subject to this policy.
Registered student organizations requiring their members to travel more than 25 miles from the University to attend an activity or event covered by this policy must obtain prior written approval.
The following provisions concerning safety and likely modes of travel apply to all travel covered by this policy.
a. All Motor Vehicle Travel
Seat Belts:
Occupants of motor vehicles shall use seat belts or other approved safety restraint devices required by law or regulation at all times when the vehicle is in operation.
Alcohol and Illegal Substances Prohibited:
Occupants of motor vehicles shall not consume, possess, or transport any unauthorized alcoholic beverages or illegal substances.
Vehicle Passenger Capacity:
The total number of passengers in any vehicle at any time it is in operation shall not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended capacity or the number specified in applicable federal or Texas state law or regulations, whichever is lower. Where applicable all travel participants are required to comply with The University of Texas System Business Procedure Memorandum 16-05-02, including, but not limited to, provisions concerning vehicle passenger capacity.
License and Training of Vehicle Operators:
Each operator of a motor vehicle shall have a valid operator’s license and be trained as required by law to drive the vehicle that will be used.
Proof of Insurance, Vehicle Inspection, and Vehicle Safety Devices:
Each motor vehicle must have a current proof of liability insurance card and Texas State inspection certification, be equipped with all safety devices or equipment required by federal or Texas state law or
regulation, and comply with all other applicable requirements of federal or Texas State law and regulations.
Legal Operation of Vehicle and Driving Schedule:
Operators of motor vehicles shall comply with all laws, regulations, and posted signs regarding speed and traffic control and shall not operate the vehicle for a continuous period that is longer than the maximum provided by federal or state law or regulations or additional guidelines promulgated by The University, whichever is lower, without scheduled rest stops or change of operator.
b. Travel Using a Vehicle Owned or Leased by the University.
Service and Maintenance:
In addition to those provisions in Item 3.a., each vehicle owned or leased by the University must receive scheduled periodic service and maintenance by qualified persons and comply with all applicable
requirements of The University of Texas System Business Procedure Memorandum 16-05-02.
Operators and Vehicles:
All operators of vehicles owned or leased by a The University shall be employees of the University and shall have a valid operator’s license qualifying them to operate the particular vehicle. In addition, operators shall comply with all “Requirements for the Authorization of Drivers” contained in The University of Texas System Business Procedures Memorandum 16-05-02.
c. Travel Using Rented Vehicles
The rental, use and operation of all rented vehicles shall comply, where applicable, with the Texas state contracts for rental cars and all applicable requirements of The University of Texas System Business Procedure Memorandum 16-05-02.
d. Travel by Common Carrier
When a common carrier is used for student travel covered by this policy, the University shall take reasonable steps to assure the travel is undertaken in conformance with the requirements contained in this policy.
As part of the approval process, all participants must sign an appropriate Release and Indemnification Agreement. All persons driving personal vehicles for travel covered by this policy must agree to comply with the requirements under All Motor Vehicle Travel and produce some evidence of a valid operator’s license for the vehicle to be used, current proof of liability insurance and a Texas state Inspection certificate.
In addition to all of the above provisions, The University of Texas at Brownsville Guidelines for Student Travel, as they may be modified from time to time, shall be complied with at all times.

Student Work and Class Attendance
Graduate students are expected to attend classes regularly and meet all requirements of their courses in order to receive grades. The typical out-of-class work requirement for the master’s level is three hours of out-of-class work per week for each semester hour of credit. The responsibility for meeting the requirements for a course, degree and/or certification rests with the student. Final examinations are scheduled during the examination period at the end of the semester and are not given in advance.
Papers submitted to meet graduate course requirements are expected to be the student’s own work. Information and opinions drawn from whatever source are to be cited specifically as to their respective sources, and students should use the approved form of citation. A student who engages in scholastic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributed in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts. Examples of scholastic dishonesty include: using the services of a term paper company, submitting work that is not the student’s work, and failing to provide clear citation to original sources. A student may not submit the same paper in substance in two or more graduate classes without prior written permission of the instructors involved.

Thesis
Some UTB master’s degree programs allow for a thesis as part of the program of study. In consultation with the Faculty Advisor, students should carefully consider their career goals in deciding between a thesis and a Non-Thesis degree. Some academic institutions regard a Non-Thesis master’s degree as a terminal degree program. Students who intend to pursue the doctoral degree should seriously consider undertaking a thesis.
Students in programs that require a thesis must complete the six required hours of thesis credit. Thesis courses may be repeated and are counted in determining course load limits for a semester or Summer session, although credit for these courses is given only once. Students who register for the thesis course must continue to register each succeeding semester or summer session until the thesis is completed.
The student shall choose in consultation with their faculty advisor a thesis committee consisting of three graduate faculty members including the student’s thesis faculty advisor (who chairs the committee). In addition, the chair of the thesis committee will identify one graduate faculty member from outside the college of the degree program to serve as Graduate Faculty Representative.  The Graduate Faculty Representative will only serve to monitor the integrity of the thesis process and will facilitate the thesis defense as outlined by the Guidelines for Thesis Defense.  The committee will be approved by the student’s advisor, the Graduate Coordinator or Program Director, the Department Chair, and the Graduate Dean. The thesis topic and written prospectus must be approved in writing by the thesis Faculty Advisor, the thesis committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies prior to the student’s undertaking the research problem. All research involving human subjects must also be approved by the Human Subjects Research Review Committee (HSRRC) prior to collection of any data. Similarly, all research involving live vertebrate animals must also be approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to collection of any data. Instructions for the preparation of the thesis and information on the HSRRC and the IACUC can be obtained from the academic department or Office of Graduate Studies.
The thesis committee will judge the research competence of the student during the thesis defense meeting. The Graduate Faculty Representative will be provided a copy of the thesis one week prior to the defense. Thesis defense meetings are announced in advance and open to the university community.
Students are responsible for adhering to all due dates regarding the thesis defense, submission of copies of the thesis to the Office of Graduate Studies, and binding (see university class schedule for dates, fees and deposits). The student must complete all course work for the degree within seven years of the time of the first graduate course registration. Courses older than seven years will not apply towards the degree. Students who have compelling reasons for interruption of their graduate degree may petition the Office of Graduate Studies for an extension of time.
Notwithstanding these provisions, research papers and theses authored by students will be available to interested members of the public.
 
 
Transfer of Credit Policy
Subject to the approval of the major department, a maximum of 12 graduate semester hours for master’s degrees and 9 graduate semester credit hours for doctorate degrees may be transferred for degree credit.  Transferred credit must be taken at an accredited university and will not be counted in computing the grade point average on courses completed in the graduate program. Credit may not be transferred for:
o    Courses which would not receive graduate credit at UTB.
o    Courses with a grade lower than a “B”.
o    Courses that are part of a completed degree unless that degree was completed at UTB.
o    Correspondence and extension courses.
o    Credit for life experience or prior learning.
o    Courses which are more than seven years old at the time of graduation. Courses less than seven years old may not be accepted if in the professional judgment of departmental faculty the content is outdated or obsolete.
o    Courses counted toward completion of a master’s degree will not transfer to the doctorate degree.
Transfer credit used to fulfill program requirements for a master’s degree will be approved by the Faculty Advisor, Chairperson of the Department and the Office of Graduate Studies when the official Program of Study is approved for the student. Transfer credit used to fulfill program requirements for the doctorate degree must be approved by the Program Director and the Dean of Graduate Studies.  The Faculty Advisor/Program Director has the initial responsibility to insure that the proposed transfer work is relevant and appropriate to the degree sought. The Office of Graduate Studies will validate the student’s transcript when necessary. Additionally for the College of Education, transfer credit for certification purposes must also be approved by the Graduate Advisor, Coordinator of Teacher Education and the College of Education Dean (see “College of Education” for further information). For confirmation on how a course will be transcribed, consult with your faculty advisor.

Unauthorized Distribution of Copyrighted Material
UTB reminds students that the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject students to civil and criminal penalties under federal law. UTB regards the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material to be a violation of university policies and grounds for the forms of discipline described in the Student Handbook.  A summary of these penalties are available at http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

Withdrawing From Classes
After the official census date, students may withdraw from classes and receive a “W” on their permanent records. The last date to withdraw is specified in the Course Schedule published three times a year.
Note: Refer to “Treatment of Title IV Student Financial Aid Funds When a Student Withdraws” section for specific information on complete withdrawals for Title IV Financial Aid recipients.
State law (Texas Education Code, Section 54.006) provides that students who withdraw as a result of being called into active military service may choose to (1) receive a refund of tuition and fees, (2) if eligible, be assigned and incomplete (I); or (3) at the institution’s discretion, receive a final grade in courses where a substantial amount of coursework has been completed and mastery of the material demonstrated.
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