Graduate C or Below Grade Policy

Date: September 1, 2014
Programs: All SPH Degree Programs (PhD, MPH, MS SHE)
Responsible Office: Academic Affairs/Student Services

1. Purpose: Clarify policy and procedures relevant to the course grades of C or below.

2. Policy: Students receiving less than a C on any required course must retake the course and receive a grade of C or higher in order for the course to fulfill the graduation requirement.

3. Criteria:

  • When a course has to be repeated because of a grade lower than a C, the earlier grade still counts toward the overall GPA.
    • If the earlier grade also impacted the student’s overall GPA resulting in probation, AND when the successful retake of the course does not immediately improve the overall GPA to be 3.0 or higher, the student’s probation may be continued or removed.
    • In this scenario, suspension should not be the next action unless the student’s academic performance on one or more of the other courses taken during the probation semester are lower than C.
  • If a student receives two grades of C or lower in any single semester, the student will be placed on academic probation (see SPH Academic Standing and GPA Policy for actions relevant to probation).
    • The letter of probation will specify stipulations for the lifting of probation when probation is based on two or more grades of C or lower in a single semester.
    • The letter of probation with stipulations must also provide a reasonable plan outlining sequence of events and performance that is consistent with the SPH Academic Standing and GPA Policy (e.g., it may not be possible to meet the GPA policy standards within one semester).
    • Students are not required to follow the plan (see above paragraph) but failure to do so and failure to achieve stipulations for lifting of probation may increase the likelihood of academic suspension (see Academic Standing and GPA Policy).
  • When a student receives a grade of F (on either a required or elective course), the student will be place on academic probation. This sanction also requires a formal review by the student’s faculty advisor and department chair (or other faculty who this responsibility has been delegated) with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The formal review will document the reason(s) for the F and a detailed plan of action for the student moving forward including a reduced course load if appropriate.

4. Procedures:

  • At the end of each semester, the Office of Student Services (OSS) will review all student’s records for course grades of less than C.
  • The OSS will implement the criteria outlined above as required and consistent with the timelines specified by the Academic Standing and GPA Policy.
  • The OSS will notify the student, faculty advisor and department chair of all actions taken pursuant to this policy within one week of the action.

5. Exceptions to GPA Policy and Appeals:

  • All exceptions to policy and/or procedures must be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
  • The decision of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is final.