Academic Procedures

Grading System Good Standing Academic Probation Student Conduct & Discipline
Grade Grievance Procedure Academic Dismissal and Appeal Reapplication Following Dismissal Grade Reports
Change of Name, Address and Marital Status Transfer Credit Reentry After Non-Attendance Deferment of Newly Admitted Students
Withdrawal from the University Clearance for Withdrawal, Graduation, or Dismissal Explanation of Course Numbers Registering/Adding a Course
Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course Auditing a Course Petitioning for Course Equivalency Concurrent Enrollment
Inter-institutional Enrollment General Degree Requirements
In Residence Requirement Course Attendance Policy
Medical Leave of Absence Course Accommodation Requests
Community-Based Education & Research Project Safety & Security Guidelines Exam Proctoring

Grading System

“A” indicates excellent; “B” indicates good; “C” indicates unsatisfactory and “F” indicates failing; “P” indicates passing; “WP” or “WF” indicates that the student has withdrawn passing or failing, respectively; “I” indicates an incomplete grade, meaning that course requirements have not been satisfied.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.”

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. Courses taken at the School in which a grade of “F” or “WF” has been earned may be repeated for credit within the School with the permission of the Dean and as course sequencing allows. Courses taken at the School in which an “F” has been earned may not be taken at another institution for credit or to raise the grade point average (GPA).

If a course in which a student earns an “F” is repeated, the student must earn a grade of “A” or “B” in that course; any grade below a grade of “B” will result in automatic dismissal.

No graduate student may earn more than two grades of “C”, “WF”, or “F” including grades in courses taken as concurrent enrollment even though the courses are remediated; the result will be automatic dismissal. All enrollments in courses, including repeated courses, will be reflected on the student’s transcript.

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. Students must remove a grade of “I” within one academic semester or summer session following receipt of such a grade, or the incomplete grade will be converted to the 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 pass/fail grading system is used in some courses. 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 allowed for a student may take on a Pass/Fail basis during his or her study in that program. Not all courses are available on a pass/ fail basis.

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. Also, courses in which an “F” was earned are not included in the grade point average if these courses have been repeated and passing grades obtained. The grade achieved in the 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) and by transfer from other institutions are not used in the calculation of the grade point average.

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Good Standing

    To be considered in “good standing” and making “satisfactory academic progress” in the School, a graduate 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 more than one “C” grade 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 the School is subject to probation, suspension, and/or dismissal by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Academic probation will be noted on a student’s transcript. 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 second grade of less than “B” in a graduate course while at SBMI; (2) earns a calculated cumulative grade point average (GPA) less than 3.0; (3) receives a grade of less than “B” (“C,” “WF,” or “F”) in a required course; or (4) fails to make satisfactory 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 are achieved, and any other cause for probation is removed or remedied. Any student receiving a grade of less a “B” in a Required course must re-take the course and receive a grade of “B” or higher to continue on in their program.

      An SBMI graduate student will be dismissed if a third grade of “C,” “WF,” or “F” is earned in any graduate level courses. 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 it is the third grade of “C,” the student will be dismissed.

      A graduate-level course is a course that has HI/BMI as prefix letters and an initial number not less than 5 in the catalog number or is any graduate level at another school or institution.

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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 and https://www.uth.edu/hoop/186-appendix-b.htm.

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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 Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will submit a written recommendation to the Dean. 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 working days of receipt 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. The student will be notified in writing of the Dean’s decision within seven calendar 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 scholastic 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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              Grade Reports

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

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                Change of Name, Address, or Marital Status

                  The student’s full legal name is the name recorded on the application at the time of admission. The student must report any changes in name, address or marital status to the Office of the Registrar, and to the SBMI Office of Academic Affairs. Official documents verifying a name change are required.

                  The student’s full legal name is used on the permanent academic record, certificates, and diplomas.

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                  Transfer Credit

                  Transfer credit for equivalent 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, and 36 for the doctoral program. Contact the Office of Academic Affairs for information.

                  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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                  Reentry After Non-Attendance

                  A student who has not enrolled in two consecutive registration periods (including the summer session) must submit to the Office of Academic Affairs a "Reentry Form" 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 must reapply for admission to the program and the School.

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                  Deferment for Newly Admitted Students

                    A newly admitted program student is allowed up to one year for deferment. The Office of Academic Affairs must be notified of all deferments before the start of the semester. A student who defers admission will be governed under the catalog in effect during their first semester of enrollment at SBMI. Any newly admitted student who does not enroll for three consecutive registration periods shall no longer be considered a program student and must reapply for admission to the program and the School.

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                    Withdrawal from the University

                      A student, who withdraws from the School at the end of, or prior to, completing a scheduled semester, should notify his or her advisor and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in writing by submitting the UTHealth Resignation Form, which can be found on the Registrar’s website. The student should state if it is his or her intention to seek readmission to the course of study at a later date and, if so, the specific date he or she would wish to be readmitted.

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                      Clearance for Withdrawal, Graduation, or Dismissal

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

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                        Explanation of Course Numbers

                          Effective Spring 2017 all course alpha sequences will change from HI to BMI.
                          Courses are numbered by a letter prefix, which designates the program and/or division in which the course is taught, followed by a four-digit number. In all program courses, the first digit indicates the year beyond high school; the second digit is the number of semester credits given for the course, except for courses with variable credit in which the second digit is a zero; and the last two digits indicate the number the program uses to identify the course. An example of a course number is BMI 5301. In this case the “BMI” stands for Biomedical Informatics; the “5” stands for fifth year; the “3” stands for three semester credits given for the course; and the “01” is the program identification number for the course. The pre foundations courses do not conform to this standard.

                          The program/division prefixes used are:
                          BMI Biomedical Informatics
                          HI Health Informatics

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                          Registering/Adding a Course

                            To register for a course, the student must first obtain approval from the student's advising committee or program advisor. If an approval code is required for 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 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 before the official reporting date the student must go to myUTH at https://my.uth.tmc.edu. To drop the last course of a term before the official reporting date the student must complete, sign, and submit a Resignation Form to the Registrar’s Office.

                              After the official reporting date and before the last date to withdraw listed in the Office of the Registrar’s School of Biomedical Informatics Academic Calendar for that semester, the student must obtain a withdrawal slip from the Office of the Registrar or the Office of Academic Affairs. 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 course is dropped after the deadline stated in the academic calendar for that semester or session.

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                              Auditing a Course

                                SBMI does not allow auditing.

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                                Petitioning for Course Equivalency

                                  A student who wishes to receive credit for a course which he or she has taken at another institution and which is similar in content to any course offered at the School is to submit required documentation for a Petition for Equivalency Credit (PEC) to the Office of Academic Affairs. Courses for which grades of less than “B” were achieved will not be accepted for equivalency. For additional information, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs.

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                                  Transcripts

                                    A student may, by written request or via MyUTH, secure a transcript of his or her official record from the UTHealth Office of the Registrar. The official transcript is a comprehensive record of the student’s total academic progress at UTHealth and no transcripts will be issued showing only a portion of the student’s academic record. A student who owes debts to the University will have his or her official transcript withheld until the debts are paid.

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                                    Concurrent Enrollment

                                      SBMI students may take courses for credit at area state colleges and universities through concurrent enrollment. Courses taken by concurrent enrollment will not be counted toward full-time status of a student and will not be 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: https://www.uth.edu/registrar/current-students/student-information/concurrentinter-institutional-enrollment.htm.

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                                      Inter-institutional Enrollment

                                        Enrollment in courses offered by private universities is made through inter-institutional enrollment. Courses taken through inter-institutional enrollment will be counted toward a student’s full-time status and will be calculated into the student’s grade point average. Inter-institutional students may complete a maximum of 12 semester credit hours and must maintain a 3.0/4.0 grade point average in those courses. Information about participating institutions and procedures for inter-institutional enrollment can be found on the Registrar’s website at: https://www.uth.edu/registrar/current-students/student-information/concurrentinter-institutional-enrollment.htm.

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                                        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. A student must be a Program Student 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 in the School. A student must fulfill his or her in residence requirement in order to receive any academic degree or a certificate from the School. Refer to each degree section for specific semester credit hour minimum requirements.

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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 violating 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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                                              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 Office of Academic Affairs.

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                                                Course Accommodation Requests

                                                  Course accommodations are made in response to individual requests for accommodation. If a student needs accommodation, it’s the student’s responsibility to let their instructor know. 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 they have a disability requiring an accommodation, they are to contact the SBMI Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at (713) 500-3591.

                                                  For additional information about the institutional Disability Accommodation policy, students can contact the UTHealth Equal Opportunity Administrator at (713) 500-3416.

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                                                  Community-Based Education & Research Project Safety & Security Guidelines

                                                    Community-Based Education & Research Project Safety & Security Guidelines form

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                                                    Exam Proctoring

                                                      Responsible Party: Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

                                                      I. Policy and General Statement

                                                      The University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics at Houston (school) is committed to the delivery of high-quality education to the appropriate student and assuring the academic integrity of the process. This policy, in accordance with the UT-Houston Handbook of Operating Procedures 186 and 202, sets forth the procedures to be followed for exams and written papers to ensure quality.

                                                      II. Definitions and Applicability

                                                      This policy applies to SBMI certificate, Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees.

                                                      Exam – Any test that contributes to a student’s grade regardless of length of the test, type of test, or percentage of overall grade to which the test contributes, e.g. quizzes, pop tests, exams, final exams, etc. Inclusion of quizzes in a participation grade is not considered an exam under this policy.

                                                      Written paper – any student written product where the assignment requires it to be greater than 1,000 words and it contributes to the overall grade.

                                                      III. Procedure

                                                      A. Exam Proctoring

                                                      1. Commencing with the Summer 2014 semester, all tests contributing to a student’s grade must be proctored.
                                                      2. Tests must be proctored by individuals familiar with the students in a course (i.e., in-person), or a student’s identity must be confirmed by a qualified proctor by means of a photo ID. Qualified proctors are SBMI faculty, appointed SBMI staff, proctors employed at offsite testing centers, or representatives from a paid proctoring company, such as ProctorU or other company determined appropriate by SBMI. Take home tests can no longer be administered unless in the presence of a proctor.
                                                      3. The SBMI is responsible for determining the appropriate number of proctors to insure the integrity of the exam process and meet any external requirements, e.g. Boards, Accreditation, or Certification Examination requirements.

                                                      B. Written Paper Monitoring

                                                      1. Commencing with the Spring 2014 semester, all written papers greater than 1000 words in length and contributing to a student’s grade must be monitored for academic integrity.
                                                      2. Faculty will utilize the Turnitin or similar feature, available in Canvas, to evaluate all written papers for academic integrity and to ensure written papers are not copied or plagiarized.

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