Academic Standards, Policies, and Procedures

Grading System Grade Reports Students in Good Standing Academic Probation
Student Conduct and Discipline Course Attendance Grade Grievance Procedure Academic Dismissal and Appeal
Reapplication Following Dismissal Transfer Credit Petitioning for Course Equivalency Reentry After Non-Attendance
Deferment of Newly Admitted Students Resignation from the University Clearance for Resignation, Graduation, or Dismissal Medical Leave of Absence
Course Accommodation Request
Registering/Adding a Course Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course Auditing a Course
Concurrent/Inter-institutional Enrollment General Degree Requirements
In Residence Requirement  

In order for students to maintain good standing and receive appropriate grades and credits for their work, they must adhere to the School’s academic policies, procedures and standards.

The School requires a high level of academic achievement from our students, and the School has defined criteria for a student in good standing, a student worthy of academic recognition and a student in academic jeopardy. A letter grading system is used to assess the student’s level of achievement.

Grading System

“A” indicates excellent; “B” indicates good; “C” indicates unsatisfactory and may require students to repeat the course; and “F” indicates failing; “P” indicates passing; “WP” or “WF” indicates that the student has withdrawn passing or failing, respectively; “I” indicates an incomplete grade, meaning that course requirements have not been satisfied. All letter grades are reported without modification of plus (+) or minus (-). Grades recorded for courses dropped after the deadline for WP or WF will be recorded as “F.” If a student accumulates four “WP” grades they will be subject to academic action. A “WF” will follow the same course of action as a failing grade.

Grade point averages (GPA) are computed at the end of each semester using the following academic standard:

  • A =  4 points
  • B = 3 points
  • C =  2 points
  • I = not counted
  • P =  not counted
  • F = 0 points
  • WF = 0 points
  • WP = 0 points

Graduate level courses in which a grade of “B” or better has been earned may not be repeated for credit. Any student receiving a grade of less than a “B” in a required or elective course must retake the course and receive a grade of “B” or higher to continue on in their academic program.

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Grade Reports

    Students may access their official term grade reports online through myUTH at https://my.uth.tmc.edu.

    Grades of “C”
    A grade of “C” is an unsatisfactory grade and may require students to repeat the course. Students who earn a grade of “C” must retake the course, whether a required or elective course, and earn a grade of “B” or higher to continue on in their academic program. The course must be retaken the next semester the course is offered. The original grade of “C” will remain on the student transcript. All students who earn a grade of “C” will be placed on academic probation. Students are not permitted to earn more than two grades of “C”. The third grade of “C” will result in dismissal from the school.

    Grades of “I”
    An incomplete or “I” grade may be given when course requirements have not been satisfied. A student must have completed at least 50% of the course curriculum requirements for a grade of “I” to be issued. A student must submit an Incomplete Grade Form to receive an incomplete or “I” grade. Students must remove a grade of “I” the academic semester following receipt of the “I” grade, or the incomplete grade will be converted to a grade of “F.” Grades of “I” will not be used in calculating the grade point average. All “I” grades must be removed from a student’s record (course requirements satisfied) before the student is eligible for graduation. A student must be enrolled for courses at SBMI in the semester they expect to graduate.

    Grades of “F”
    Students are not permitted to earn a grade of “F”. A grade of “F” will result in automatic dismissal from the school.

    Grades of “WF”
    Students who earn a grade of Withdrawal Failing (“WF”) for a course, whether a required or elective course, must retake the course and earn a grade of “B” or higher to continue on in their academic program. When retaking the course, a grade of “C” or lower is grounds for automatic dismissal from the program. The original grade of “WF” will remain on the student transcript. All students who earn a grade of “WF” will be placed on Academic Probation. Students are not permitted to earn more than one grade of “WF” during their academic program. A second grade of “WF” will result in automatic dismissal from the school. All enrollments in courses, including repeated courses, will be reflected on the student’s transcript.

    Grades of “Pass/Fail”

    The courses that are graded on a pass/fail basis are described in the course description section of the catalog. In these instances, a symbol of “P” is used to designate “pass” and an “F” to designate “fail.” Hours for courses taken pass/fail that are passed are not entered in the grade point calculation; however, hours for courses taken pass/fail and failed are included in the grade point calculation.

    Each program establishes the maximum number of semester credits a student can take on a Pass/Fail basis during his or her study in that program. A maximum of three credit hours of Directed Study can be applied toward the Certificate program. A maximum of six credit hours of Directed Study can be applied toward the master’s and doctoral programs.

    GPA Calculation
    Grade point average is calculated using grades and credit hours for courses except for those courses in which a grade of “I,” “WP” or “P” is recorded. The grade achieved in a repeated course is included in the calculation. Those courses taken through concurrent enrollment are not used in calculating the grade point average. Courses obtained by Petition for Equivalency Credit (PEC), which are graduate courses transferred from other institutions, are not used in the calculation of the grade point average.

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    Students in Good Standing

    To be considered in “good standing” and making “satisfactory academic progress” at SBMI, a student admitted to a graduate degree program must be following the degree plan; must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above; and must not be on academic probation or suspension as determined by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. To remain in good standing a graduate student may earn no grade less than a “B” during their program.

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    Academic Probation

      Probation is an official warning status for a defined period of time that informs the student of unsatisfactory academic and/or professional performance, and provides the student an opportunity to improve. Any student who does not adhere to the academic and professional standards of SBMI is subject to probation, suspension, and/or dismissal by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. When a student attains a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0, the student’s official transcripts will reflect the student’s removal from academic probation.

      Criteria upon which grades are based are given at the beginning of each course in the course syllabus. Professional standards include appropriate dress, attendance, conduct, and any particular standards required by the program. If a student has questions regarding academic and professional requirements or if assistance is needed in meeting the standards, the student should consult with the course instructor or advisor.

      Following the completion of the semester in which any of the following occur, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will place a graduate student on academic probation if the student (1) receives a grade of less than “B” (“C,” “WF,” or “F”) in a course while at SBMI; (2) earns a calculated cumulative grade point average (GPA) of less than 3.0 or (3) fails to make satisfactory academic progress toward the degree. The graduate student is removed from academic probation at the end of the following registration period when no grade below “B” is assigned in a graduate course, a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is achieved, and any other cause for probation is removed or remedied.

      An SBMI graduate student will be dismissed if a third grade of “C” is earned in any course. If a grade of “C” is earned while the student is enrolled in a concurrent or inter-institutional course, the student will be placed on probation. If the concurrent or inter-institutional course grade is the third grade of “C” the student will be automatically dismissed.

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      Student Conduct & Discipline

        All students are responsible for knowledge of and compliance with UTHealth policies regarding student conduct. Students are referred to the UTHealth Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOOP) Policy 186, Student Conduct and Discipline, located at https://www.uth.edu/hoop/policy.htm?id=1448220.

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        Course Attendance Policy

          Attendance is required for any student registered for an on-campus course. A student in an on-campus course missing more than three class meetings and not keeping up with the course assignments may be dropped at the discretion of the instructor.

          International students studying on an F-1 visa are required to enroll and complete 9 credit hours in the Fall and Spring Semesters unless the student begins his/her program in the Summer session. If classes begin in the Summer session, then the F-1 student will be required to enroll in the Summer, Fall, and Spring semesters for the first year that classes begin. F-1 students may fulfill their full-time enrollment by enrolling in six (6) credit hours of face-to-face (on-campus attendance) coursework and in one three (3) credit hour, online (distance learning) class. The online (distance learning) class is restricted to one class not to exceed three hours. Any F-1 student who fails to enroll and complete full-time studies in Fall and Spring will be in violation of his/her visa status unless prior written approval is granted by the Office of International Affairs and reported to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Office of International Affairs is required by U.S. Immigration regulations to report any F-1 student who fails to enroll and complete full-time enrollment (as described above) within the mandatory days of reporting. Any F-1 student who has questions regarding maintenance of F-1 status should make an appointment to meet with his/her International Advisor.

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          Grade Grievance Procedure

            In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades or evaluations, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the faculty member with whom the grievance originated. Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations. The faculty member’s judgment is final unless compelling evidence suggests differential treatment or mistake. If the evidence warrants appeal, the student must submit a request in writing within 30 days of the date of the evaluation in question and, in the case of a grade for a course, within 30 days of the date the Registrar recorded the grade of the course in question. The request for the appeal with supporting evidence must be submitted to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and the appeal must be resolved by no later than the end of the semester after the semester in which the grade was earned. Upon receipt of the request, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will review the case and submit a copy of the appeal to the appropriate Standing Committee of the Faculty Governance Organization for review and recommendation. The Standing Committee of the Faculty Governance Organization will review the request and render its recommendation in writing to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs within 15 business days. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will submit a written recommendation to the Dean. The student will be notified in writing of the Dean’s decision within seven business days of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs’ recommendation. The determination of the Dean is final.

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            Academic Dismissal and Appeal

              A student who is on academic probation for one semester and who does not achieve the minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA and the individual course grades necessary to be removed from probation, or remove the cause of probationary status, will be notified of dismissal from the program by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and will not be allowed to continue in the program.

              The student may request a reconsideration of the dismissal by submitting a written request to the Dean within five business days of receipt (electronic or hard copy) of the dismissal letter. The student must also send a copy to the Chair of the Admissions, Progression and Graduation Committee of the Faculty Governance Organization. The student must provide evidence in support of the request for reconsideration of the dismissal. The Admissions, Progression and Graduation Committee will review the request and render its recommendation in writing to the Dean within 15 business days. The student will be notified in writing of the Dean’s decision within seven business days of the Committee’s recommendation. The determination of the Dean is final.

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              Reapplication Following Dismissal

                Should a student reapply and be readmitted to the program from which he or she was dismissed, the student will be placed on academic probation for one semester. If the student fails to raise his or her cumulative GPA within that semester to 3.0, or if the student makes a course grade below that required to be removed from probation, or otherwise fails to meet standards to be off probation, the student will be dismissed from the School and may not be readmitted.

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                Transfer Credit

                Transfer credit for equivalent graduate courses taken elsewhere may be awarded and used to meet degree requirements if their equivalency to a SBMI degree program course is approved through a Petition for Equivalency Credit (PEC). The maximum number of transferable semester credit hours is 3 for the certificate program, 12 for the master’s program, 36 for the PhD program and 21 for the Doctor of Health Informatics (“DHI”) program. Contact the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs for information.

                Courses that are being accepted at SBMI through a dual or joint degree program can only be transferred in if the grade earned in the course is a “B” or higher. Courses for which grades of less than “B” were earned will not be accepted for transfer.

                Applicants who are presenting course work from universities or colleges outside the United States to meet admission or graduation requirements are referred to the section on International Applicants in this catalog for a listing of additional requirements.

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                Petitioning for Course Equivalency

                  A student who wishes to receive credit for a graduate course which he or she has taken at another institution and which is similar in content to any course offered at SBMI is to submit required documentation for a Petition for Equivalency Credit (PEC) to the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs during their first academic year.

                  Credit is only given to courses that match the current SBMI Course Catalog. Courses for which grades of less than “B” were earned will not be accepted for equivalency. Courses must have been completed within the last five years to qualify. The submitted syllabus from the course taken must be from the semester and year the student completed the course. Syllabi from any other semester or year will not be accepted and the PEC will be denied.

                  Any exceptions to the policy must be approved by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. For additional information, please contact the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs.

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                  Transfer between Academic Programs

                  A student who is enrolled in a minimum of one (1) credit hour is eligible to transfer from one Academic Program to another. A change in Academic Program can only occur once during the course of study. The Academic Program must be at the same level or a lower level program.

                  A Change of Academic Plan Request Form must be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs with a new goal statement outlining the student’s goals in the new program. Students are not permitted to change their academic plan in their final semester of any degree program. Changes to academic plans cannot be made retroactively.

                  If approved, the student is expected to complete their Academic Program for the newly requested plan. At the time of program completion, re-application to SBMI is required for any subsequent program of study.

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                  Reentry After Non-Attendance

                  A student who has not enrolled in two consecutive registration periods (including the summer session) must submit a Reentry Form to the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs along with a new goal statement signed by the student’s advisor indicating approval for reentry to the program. A student who has not enrolled for three or more consecutive registration periods will be dismissed and must reapply for admission to the program and the School.

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                  Deferment for Newly Admitted Students

                    A newly admitted student is allowed up to one year for deferment for certain SBMI programs. The SBMI Office of Academic Affairs must be notified of all deferments in writing before the start of the semester. A student who defers admission will be governed under the catalog in effect during his or her first semester of enrollment at SBMI. Any newly admitted student who does not enroll for three consecutive registration periods shall no longer be considered an admitted student. This means the student must reapply for future admission to any program or degree offered at SBMI.

                    Deferment is not available in the Doctorate in Health Informatics (DHI) program. If a DHI student wants to defer admission, that student will need to reapply for a future semester.

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                    Resignation from the University

                      A student who withdraws from all courses enrolled at SBMI at the end of, or prior to, completing a scheduled semester, should notify his or her advisor and the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs in writing by submitting the UTHealth Resignation Form, which can be found on the Registrar’s website.

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                      Clearance for Resignation, Graduation, or Dismissal

                        Any student who submits for resignation or is dismissed from, or completes a program in SBMI must complete the official student clearance process. Such clearance is necessary to ensure that the student has met all obligations to specified offices in SBMI, UTHealth, and the Texas Medical Center. A student clearance form and instructions for completing the clearance process may be obtained from the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs.

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                        Medical Leave of Absence

                          The purpose of a medical leave of absence (MLOA) is to provide students time away from campus for treatment of a physical or mental health condition. The authority to grant a MLOA and permission to return from a MLOA resides with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Each leave is individualized based on the needs of the student and handled on a case-by-case basis. For additional information, please contact the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs.

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                          Course Accommodation Requests

                            Course accommodations are made in response to individual requests for accommodation. Information on disability issues can be found under HOOP 101 Disability Accommodation https://www.uth.edu/hoop/policy.htm?id=1447954.

                            If a student believes that he or she has a disability requiring an accommodation, they are to contact the SBMI Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at (713) 500-3591. Faculty members who receive a request for an accommodation from a student must immediately notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Faculty members may not unilaterally grant accommodations.

                            For additional information about the institutional Disability Accommodation policy, students can contact Diversity and Equal Opportunity at (713) 500-2255.

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                            Registering/Adding a Course

                              Prior to course registration, students are encouraged to work with their academic advisor or advising committee to determine the appropriate courses and course load for the upcoming semester. If a permission code is required for course registration, the student must request instructor approval via email and forward the instructor’s approval to the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs at SBMIAcademics@uth.tmc.edu. Following this, the student must use myUTH at https://my.uth.tmc.edu to add the course to their schedule. Refer to the Office of the Registrar’s, School of Biomedical Informatics Academic Calendar for deadline dates for adding a course for any semester or session. A student will be unable to add a course after the official reporting date.

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                              Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course

                                To drop a course during the add/drop period the student must go to myUTH at https://my.uth.tmc.edu. Courses which are dropped during the add/drop period are not reflected on the students transcript. Please refer to the Refund Policy on the Registrar’s Website here: https://www.uth.edu/registrar/current-students/registration/refund-policy.htm to determine what percentage, if any, students will receive as a refund for tuition paid prior to dropping the course.

                                To withdraw from a course after the 12th class day and before the last day to withdraw (listed on the Office of the Registrar’s, School of Biomedical Informatics Academic Calendar for the semester) the student must submit a signed Add-Drop/Withdrawal Form to the Registrar’s Office. Students must obtain signatures of the course instructor(s) and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in order to drop the course(s). The student must return the completed form to the Office of the Registrar before the deadline for dropping a course.

                                The grade recorded on the transcript will be a “WP” (withdrawal passing) or “WF” (withdrawal failing). The instructor must assign a grade of “WP” or “WF”. A “WP” is indicated on the transcript if a student has no grades recorded or has a passing grade in the course at the time the course is dropped. The “WP” will not be calculated as part of the GPA. A “WF” is recorded if the student has a failing grade at the time the course is dropped. A record of “WF” on the transcript will be calculated as an “F” in determining the GPA.

                                If a student does not officially withdraw from the course, a grade of “F” will be assigned. A grade of “F” is recorded if a course is dropped after the deadline stated in the academic calendar for that semester or session.

                                A student, who withdraws from all courses enrolled at SBMI at the end of, or prior to, completing a scheduled semester, should notify his or her advisor and the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs in writing by submitting the UTHealth Resignation Form, which can be found on the Registrar’s website.

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                                Auditing a Course

                                  SBMI does not allow auditing.

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                                  Concurrent/Inter-Institutional Enrollment

                                    SBMI students may take courses for credit at area state colleges and universities through concurrent/inter-institutional enrollment. Courses taken by concurrent enrollment will not calculated into the student’s GPA. Concurrently enrolled students may complete a maximum of 12 semester credit hours at SBMI and must maintain a 3.0/4.0 grade point average in those courses. Information about participating institutions and procedures for concurrent enrollment can be found on the Registrar’s website at: http://www.uth.edu/registrar/current-students/student-information/concurrentinter-institutional-enrollment.htm.

                                    General Degree Requirements

                                      In order to receive a degree or a certificate from the School of Biomedical Informatics, the student is required to fulfill certain academic, in residence, and degree candidacy requirements. An enrolled student must be in good academic standing and must have completed all the curricular requirements of that program before being eligible for a degree or certificate.

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                                      In Residence Requirement

                                      The term “in residence” refers to the minimum number of semester credit hours that must be earned at SBMI. A student must fulfill his or her in residence requirement in order to receive any academic degree or a certificate from SBMI. Refer to each degree section for specific semester credit hour minimum requirements.

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                                      Academic Honesty

                                      Academic honesty is the cornerstone of the academic integrity of a university. It is the foundation upon which the student builds personal integrity and establishes a standard of personal behavior. Because honesty and integrity are such important factors, failure to perform within the bounds of these ethical standards is sufficient grounds to receive a grade of "F" in any course and be recommended for disciplinary actions from SBMI.

                                      The following are examples of academic dishonesty:

                                      • Cheating
                                      • Plagiarism
                                      • Unauthorized collaboration
                                      • Collusion
                                      • Falsifying academic records
                                      • Misrepresenting facts (e.g. providing false information to postpone an exam, obtain an extended deadline for an assignment, or even gain an unearned financial benefit)
                                      • Any other acts or attempted acts that violate the basic standard of academic integrity (e.g. multiple submissions – submitting essentially the same written assignment for two courses without authorization to do so.)

                                      Refer to the Student Conduct and Discipline section in the SBMI Student Handbook or to HOOP 186
                                      Student Conduct and Discipline (https://www.uth.edu/hoop/policy.htm?id=1448220) and Appendix A -
                                      Unacceptable Student Conduct (https://sbmi.uth.edu/current-students/student-handbook/unacceptable-conduct.htm) for more information.

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                                      Plagiarism/Self-Plagiarism

                                      For grade generating assignment submissions, students must always submit their own work.

                                      Exception: If group work is allowed or required by the assignment or course.

                                      Student should always provide citations to indicate inclusions from others’ work in their papers and assignment submissions.

                                      Students should not reuse in whole or in part their own previously submitted assignments, papers, text, data, etc. without explicitly indicating prior dissemination. This includes all graded/published artifacts of one’s academic career including time at SBMI.

                                      Students must have instructor permission if they plan to reuse a previous assignment submitted in another course for a grade.

                                      Plagiarism may include:

                                      • Words or ideas taken from someone else without acknowledgment
                                      • Giving incorrect information about the source
                                      • Changing the sequence or structure but using ideas without citation
                                      • Not including material in quotes if directly taken from someone else’s material and/or copying any amount of other’s material.

                                      Per the Exam Proctoring Policy found here: https://sbmi.uth.edu/current-students/student-handbook/exam-proctoring.htm, students’ submitted work may be subject to evaluation from Turnitin for plagiarism prevention, and graded exams and quizzes will require the use of Proctorio, an online proctoring software.

                                      Refer to the Student Conduct and Discipline section in the SBMI Student Handbook or to HOOP 186
                                      Student Conduct and Discipline (https://www.uth.edu/hoop/policy.htm?id=1448220) and Appendix A -
                                      Unacceptable Student Conduct (https://sbmi.uth.edu/current-students/student-handbook/unacceptable-conduct.htm) for more information.

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