Graduate GPA Policy for Active Students

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 adherence to academic standards and grade point average (GPA) expectation of SPH graduate programs.

2. Policy: All SPH graduate students are required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher to graduate and remain on good academic standing.

3. Background and Terminology:

  • Background:
    • Better than average performance is expected of all graduate students at WVU and in the School of Public Health.
    • Although a grade of C is considered average performance for an undergraduate student, it is normally unacceptable for graduate students who are expected to achieve above-average mastery of course materials.
    • Students in the MPH, MS in School Health Education and PhD in Public Health Sciences programs are required to adhere to academic standards while enrolled in their respective programs.
  • Terminology:
    • Grade Point Average (GPA): The term GPA (grade-point average) refers to the cumulative average of all courses completed while a graduate student in the School of Public Health (this includes both graduate- and undergraduate-level courses taken for graduate credit).
    • Good Academic Standing: Consistently maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
    • Probation: A warning to the student that academic standards are not being met that outlines the reason(s) for the sanction and delineation of standards and other benchmarks that must be attained in order to have the sanction removed.
      • If the stipulations set forth in the letter of probation are met, the student is removed from probation and is once again on good academic standing.
      • If the stipulations are not met, the student is reassessed and may continue on probation or be suspended or dismissed.
    • Suspension/Dismissal: Failure to meet conditions of probation may result in suspension from the program and/or dismissal consistent with WVU graduate policy and procedures. Read about the Probation Policy.
    • Provisionally Admitted Students
      • Students are not routinely admitted on provisional basis.
      • In the exceptional case when a student has been admitted provisionally based on less than competitive GPA/GRE scores, the student is by default admitted on a probation status.
      • The letter of admission must state the stipulations of the provisional admission and probationary period (first semester).
      • If the stipulations set forth in the letter of provisional admission/probation have been met at the conclusion of the probation semester, the student is removed from probation.
      • If the stipulations set forth in the letter of provisional admission/probation have not been met, the student’s academic standing is reassessed and the student may continue on probation, or be suspended or dismissed.
      • Provisionally admitted students will be afforded the same due process as students who are admitted on conditions of good academic standard; they are simply starting out on a probationary status.

4. Procedures

  • GPA Review
    • At the end of each semester, the Office of Student Services (OSS) will calculate/retrieve each student’s WVU graduate GPA.
    • The review normally occurs during the week following faculty submission of course grades for students on good academic standing.
    • Students on probation will be reviewed first in the event continuation of or further sanction is warranted.
  • Letter of Probation
    • When the end-of-semester GPA is less than 3.0, the student is placed on academic probation.
    • The OSS submits the probation letter to the student detailing the reason for probation and sanction and delineates the standards and other benchmarks that must be attained in order to have the sanction removed.
    • A copy of the probation letter is provided to the student’s faculty advisor, department chair (or other faculty whom this responsibility has been delegated).
  • Suspension/Dismissal: See WVU catalog
  • Timeline: Letters of probation/suspension must be provided to the student, faculty advisor and department chair before the start of the next academic semester and when possible, within one week of the end-of-semester review.

Exceptions to GPA Policy and Appeals

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