The following are some reasons for dismissal of a student with regular status from
a graduate program:
- The student was admitted with conditional status and did not achieve the minimal GPA
on the first 9 hours of graduate-level coursework (master’s = 3.0; specialist = 3.25;
doctoral = 3.5).
- The student did not return to good academic standing following probationary semester(s).
- A GPA of 3.0 was not achieved. (Some programs have more rigorous standards).
- The student did not earn the required improved grade on a retaken course.
- The student failed to meet other remediation criteria.
- The student earned grades that made it impossible to return to good academic standing,
thus rendering graduation impossible.
- The student earned a grade of C- or below that could not be retaken because the one
allowable retake was used to replace a prior low grade.
- The student earned the seventh hour of C+ or below that could not be retaken because
the one allowable retake was used to replace a prior low grade.
- The student failed to show acceptable improvement in research/scholarly progress
after a probationary semester.
- The student exceeded the time limit for the degree program without completing the
- The student was proven to have committed academic/research misconduct or other ethical
- The student violated the Code of Student Conduct and required disciplinary action.
(In this case dismissal follows review by the Dean of Students).
- The student failed to demonstrate professional competency and/or exhibited conduct
inappropriate to the profession.
- The student failed a qualifying exam, comprehensive exam, or defense twice.
- Other (Departments may have discipline-specific policies which stipulate reasons
Dismissals will normally be initiated at the end of a semester following the posting
of grades unless the dismissal is a result of academic misconduct or unethical/unprofessional
Dismissal must be initiated using the following protocol:
- The student’s advisor and/or department chair will schedule a termination review with
the student. The purpose of this meeting is to communicate the justification for dismissal
with the student and to allow the student to provide written documentation of any
extenuating circumstances that should be considered in a decision to dismiss. This
meeting should be conducted face to face if possible. If the student cannot meet face
to face, the meeting should take place via telephone, video conference, or conference
call. Email is acceptable but should be used only if personal communication is not
- If the department chooses to move forward with a dismissal following a termination
review, the following items must be submitted to the dean of the Graduate School electronically:
a. A letter addressed to the Dean of the Graduate School articulating the reason(s)
b. A completed dismissal form indicating the reason(s) for dismissal and signed by
the advisor, department chair or director, and the college dean.
- Upon receiving notice of the dismissal, the dean of the Graduate School will send
the student a formal letter of dismissal along with a copy of the letter of rationale
from the department as an attachment. The dean’s letter will inform the student of
a. That scheduled classes (including current semester classes and future classes for
which the student is pre-registered) must be dropped using the withdrawal process
within seven (7) working days of receiving the dismissal letter from the dean of the
Graduate School and that if he/she does not withdraw from classes the Graduate School
will initiate the withdrawal.
b. The impact of dismissal on a graduate assistantship, insurance, and tuition.
c. The student’s right to appeal the dismissal and instructions for filing an appeal.
The letter will be sent to the student by certified mail through the U.S. Postal Service
and by email using the student’s official USM email address.