|Grading System||Grade Reports||Students in Good Standing||Academic Probation|
|Student Conduct and Discipline||Course Attendance Policy||Academic Grade Grievance Procedure||Academic Dismissal and Appeal|
|Reapplication Following Dismissal||Five-Year Rule||Transfer Credit||Petitioning for Course Equivalency|
|Transfer between Academic Programs||Reentry After Non-Attendance||Deferment of Newly Admitted Students||Resignation from the University|
|Clearance for Resignation, Graduation, or Dismissal||Leave of Absence||Students with Disabilities and Attendance Requirements
||Registering/Adding a Course|
|Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course||Auditing a Course||Concurrent/Inter-Institutional Enrollment||General Degree Requirements|
|In Residence Requirement||Academic Honesty||Plagiarism/Self-Plagiarism|
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 and a student in academic jeopardy. A letter grading system is used to assess the student’s level of achievement.
“A” indicates excellent; “B” indicates good; “C” indicates unsatisfactory and may require students to repeat the course; and “F” indicates failing; “P” indicates passing; “W” indicates that the student has withdrawn; “I” indicates an incomplete grade, meaning that course requirements have not been satisfied.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 withdrawal deadline will be recorded as “F.” After a student accumulates their fourth (4) “W” grade, they will be subject to academic action, including dismissal from the program.
Grade point averages (GPA) are computed at the end of each semester using the following academic standard:
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 course must retake the course and receive a grade of “B” or higher to continue on in their academic program.
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 not considered a satisfactory grade. Therefore, all grades of “C” require retake. For a course to count towards any degree plan, a “B” or better must be earned. All grades of “C” are applied to the academic transcript but will not count towards degree progression.
When students earn a grade of “C” in a Required Course, the student must retake the course. Students may only earn two grades of “C” in any two required courses. A third grade of “C” will result in dismissal.*
When students earn a grade of “C” in an Elective Course, the student must retake the course. Students may take another appropriate elective to fulfill the elective requirement for which the “C” grade was earned.
*Students are not permitted to earn more than two grades of “C”. An SBMI graduate student will be dismissed if a third grade of “C” is earned in any course, including concurrent or inter-institutional courses.
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 actively enrolled at UTHealth Houston 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 “W”
Students who elect a grade of Withdrawal (“W”) for a required course, must retake the course and earn a grade of “B” or higher to continue on in their academic program. When retaking a course after electing for a grade of “W”, a grade of “W,” “C,” or lower in the subsequent course is grounds for academic action, including dismissal from the program.
Only two grades of “W” will be allowed for a single elective course. After the second “W” grade is earned, the student is no longer eligible to register for that elective course.
The original grade of “W” will remain on the student transcript. Students are not permitted to earn more than four grades of “W” during their SBMI academic program. 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. Students are not permitted to earn a grade of “F”. A grade of “F” will result in automatic dismissal from the school.
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.
Grade point average is calculated using grades and credit hours for courses except for those courses in which a grade of “I,” “W” 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.
To be considered in “good standing” and making “satisfactory academic progress” at McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics, 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 and Curricular Affairs. To remain in good standing a graduate student may earn no grade less than a “B” during their program.
Each student will develop a degree plan with written approval of their academic advisor. The student must file a signed degree plan each academic year that includes the required and/or elective courses as specified for their certificate or degree program.
Probation is an official warning status for a defined period of time that informs the student of 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 McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics is subject to probation or dismissal by the Associate Dean for Academic and Curricular Affairs.
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 and Curricular Affairs will place a graduate student on academic probation if the student (1) receives a grade of less than “B” (“C”) in a course while at McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics or enrolled in a concurrent or inter-institutional course; (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.
A McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics graduate student will be dismissed if a third grade of “C” is earned in any course, including concurrent or inter-institutional courses.
Any student on academic probation is not eligible to receive McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics scholarships and awards. Any student on academic probation is not eligible for student employment at UTHealth Houston (including Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Graduate Research Assistant, Graduate Assistant, and Teaching Assistant positions).
All students are responsible for knowledge of and compliance with UTHealth Houston policies regarding student conduct. Students are referred to the UTHealth Houston Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOOP) Policy 186, Student Conduct and Discipline, located at https://www.uth.edu/hoop/policy.htm.
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 may be dropped at the discretion of the instructor.
International students studying on an F-1 visa are required to enroll and complete nine (9) credit hours in the Fall and Spring Semesters.. 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 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.
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 final 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 Student, Faculty, and Community 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 Student, Faculty, and Community 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 Student, Faculty, and Community Affairs within 15 business days. The Associate Dean for Student, Faculty, and Community 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 Student, Faculty, and Community Affairs’ recommendation. The determination of the Dean is final.
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 and Curricular 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.
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.
In order to keep its programs and coursework relevant and current, McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics allows students to apply completed course credits to a certificate, master’s, or doctoral program for no more than five (5) years after the course was successfully completed, with a grade of “B” or better.
These successfully completed courses may be applied at a later date toward the certificate/degree requirements for other academic programs at the school if the course is part of the program’s current curriculum. If the grade earned and recorded on the student’s transcript (by semester and year) exceeds the Five-Year rule, the course credits will expire and the course must be repeated to meet the program requirements, where applicable.
If the expired course no longer exists in the school Catalog of Courses during the semester a new or returning student enters the program, the student must take a new course to complete the program requirements.
Note that this Five-Year Rule is not applicable to credits earned during a period of continuous enrollment while studying at McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics. Our students who maintain satisfactory program enrollment over a period of more than five (5) years, can apply all courses taken during their program tenure at the School, so long as the earned grade is a B or better and the student has not exceeded the stated time limit to complete the program in which they are enrolled.
Transfer credit for equivalent graduate courses taken elsewhere may be awarded and used to meet degree requirements if their equivalency to a McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics 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 Office of Academic Affairs for information.
Courses that are being accepted at McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics, including courses 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. Transfer credits are subject to the Five-Year Rule based on the semester and year the original credits were posted to a student’s official transcript.
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 additional requirements.
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 McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics is to submit required documentation for a Petition for Equivalency Credit (PEC) to the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics Office of Academic Affairs during their first academic year.
Credit is only given to courses that match the current school 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. Course equivalency credits are subject to the Five-Year Rule based on the semester and year the original credits were posted to a student’s official transcript.
Any exceptions to the policy must be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic and Curricular Affairs. For additional information, please contact the school Office of Academic Affairs.
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 academic 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 McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics is required for any subsequent program of study.
A student who has not enrolled in two consecutive registration periods (including the summer session) must submit a Reentry Form to the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics 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.
A newly admitted student is allowed up to one year for deferment for certain programs. McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics 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 the school. 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 McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics.
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
A student who withdraws from all courses enrolled at McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at the end of, or prior to, completing a scheduled semester, should notify his or her advisor and the Office of Academic Affairs in writing by submitting the UTHealth Houston Resignation Form, which can be found on the Registrar’s website.
Any student who submits for resignation or is dismissed from, or completes a program in McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics must complete the official student clearance process. Such clearance is necessary to ensure that the student has met all obligations to specified offices in McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics , UTHealth Houston, and the Texas Medical Center. A student clearance form and instructions for completing the clearance process may be obtained from the school’s Office of Academic Affairs.
The purpose of a leave of absence is to provide students time away from campus for personal reasons. The authority to grant a leave of absence and permission to return from a leave of absence resides with the Associate Dean for Student, Faculty, and Community Affairs. Each leave is individualized based on the needs of the student and handled on a case-by-case basis. A leave of absence may not exceed a period one year. If a student is absent for more than one year, the student must apply for readmission to the program. For additional information, please contact the school’s Office of Academic Affairs.
UTHealth Houston students are expected to be present for all classes (whether in-person or online) or other forms of required class time to include labs, clinical rotations, or other school required meetings. Students are also responsible for taking quizzes and examinations in a timely manner according to the schedule for the courses and programs in which they are enrolled. It is the responsibility of each student to learn and comply with the standards set in each course’s attendance policy, as explained in the course syllabus. Students should be aware that, when a course policy allows for a specific number of absences with no penalty, that number typically includes absences for any reason (including those with documented justification). In courses with such limits, absences beyond the allowed number create a presumption that the student has not fulfilled the essential educational requirements of the course, and therefore, will receive a grade reflecting the deficiency.
Attendance is important to the academic success of a student; however, UTHealth Houston understands that there may be disability-related reasons for missed classes. A student can request an exception to a faculty member’s attendance policy through the process outlined in HOOP Policy #101 – Disability and Pregnancy Accommodation https://www.uth.edu/hoop/policy.htm?id=1448050. Determinations related to disability-related requests will be made on an individual basis based on a review of related medical documentation and in collaboration with the School’s 504 Coordinator, the Office of Diversity & Equal Opportunity, the student, and the faculty member responsible for teaching each impacted course.
The school is not required to grant accommodations that constitute a fundamental alteration of the program or course. Specifically, the school does not have to modify a requirement, including attendance, that is essential to the educational purpose or objective of a program or class. Decisions regarding essential requirements of a course or program will be made by a group of people who are trained, knowledgeable, and experienced in the area through a careful, thoughtful, and rational review of the academic program and its requirements. Decision-makers will consider a series of alternatives for the essential requirements, as well as whether the essential requirement(s) in question can be modified for a specific student with a disability.
It is important for the student to discuss contingency plans with their faculty before absences occur to ensure the repercussion of absences are clear and/or to develop a contingency plan. This process is not intended to allow for unlimited absences and does not alleviate the student of their responsibility to complete all assignments, quizzes, and examinations, or participate in class or related activities (if applicable).
For additional information on the disability accommodation process please see HOOP Policy 101 – Disability and Pregnancy Accommodation https://www.uth.edu/hoop/policy.htm?id=1448050.
A list of UTHealth Houston 504 Coordinator’s by school are found at https://www.uth.edu/hoop/section-504-coordinators.htm.
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 Office of Academic Affairs at SBMIAcademics@uth.tmc.edu. Following this, the student must use myUTH 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.
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 student's 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 and Curricular 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 “W” - withdrawal. The “W” will not be calculated as part of 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 McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at the end of, or prior to, completing a scheduled semester, should notify his or her advisor and the Office of Academic Affairs in writing by submitting the UTHealth Houston Resignation Form, which can be found on the Registrar’s website.
McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics does not allow auditing of classes within the school. If a student is interested in auditing a course at another UTHealth Houston school please contact that school for more information. There is an audit fee of $25 attached to an approved course for audit.
McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics students may take courses for credit at area state colleges and universities through concurrent/inter-institutional enrollment. Courses taken by concurrent enrollment will not be calculated into the student’s GPA. Students from other institutions concurrently enrolled at the school may complete a maximum of 12 semester credit hours at McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics 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: https://www.uth.edu/registrar/current-students/student-information/concurr-inter-inst-enr.htm.
In order to receive a degree or a certificate from the McWilliams 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.
The term “in residence” refers to the minimum number of semester credit hours that must be earned at McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics . A student must fulfill his or her in residence requirement in order to receive any academic degree or a certificate from this school. Refer to each degree section for specific semester credit hour minimum requirements.
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 McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics.
The following are examples of academic dishonesty:
Refer to the Student Conduct and Discipline section in the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics Student Handbook or to HOOP 186 Student Conduct and Discipline
Student Conduct and Discipline and Appendix A -
Unacceptable Student Conduct for more information.
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 McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics.
Students must have instructor permission if they plan to reuse a previous assignment submitted in another course for a grade.
Plagiarism may include:
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.