Graduate College and School Policies

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Graduate students in the School of Plant Sciences must abide by all relevant standards and rules established by the University and School of Plant Sciences (SPLS); failure to do so can result in dismissal from the Program. If there is concern about a specific situation, the student should consult with his/her PAC, Major Advisor, Graduate Student Coordinator, or SPLS Director. University of Arizona Code of Conduct can be found here.

 

CODE OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students must abide by the Code of Academic Integrity in all academic work including coursework and research activities. University of Arizona Code of Academic Integrity can be found here.

 

ACADEMIC STANDING

Students enrolled in the Graduate College are required to maintain a “B” average (3.0); failure to do so can result in dismissal from the Program. Students who have a cumulative grade-point average of less than 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on probation are required to meet with their Major Advisor to discuss steps to correct the problems that led to the probationary status, and to devise a written plan of action to be submitted to the Graduate College. After two consecutive semesters of probation, students will be converted automatically to Non-Degree status by the Graduate College – while in Non-Degree status, students may continue to take graduate courses. Students can apply for readmission to a degree program as early as the semester after their conversion to Non-Degree status if they achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 through additional graduate course work. Such a request must be supported by the Director of SPLS and approved by the Dean of the Graduate College. Students who do not maintain a 3.0 GPA are not eligible for assistantships of any kind and cannot be recommended for scholarships or for the award of an advanced degree. 

 

VACATION POLICY

Graduate students supported on assistantships are considered both students and University employees. As students, they will have time off from classes, and can expect to take advantage of major holidays, e.g., Thanksgiving, Winter Break, etc. However, they should plan to take no more than two weeks of additional vacation per year, usually in the summer. Once students select a Major Advisor, they should discuss vacation plans in advance.

 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Graduate students may request a temporary Graduate Student Leave of Absence from the Graduate Program. Leave of absences are granted on a case-by-case basis for compelling reasons including birth or adoption of a child, personal or family reasons, medical reasons, military duty, or financial hardship. A Graduate Student Leave of Absence may be approved for one semester or one year on the written recommendation of the student’s Major Advisor and the School Director. Students returning after an approved leave of absence will be readmitted to the Program without reapplying. Student insurance is not available while on Graduate Student Leave of Absence and a Graduate Student Leave of Absence does not exempt students from obligations to lending institutions. In addition, use of all University facilities (e.g., libraries, computer services, faculty time, etc.) is suspended while on leave, only academic services or facilities available to the general public can be used. Only when the leave is approved prior to the beginning of the semester for which it is being sought will students be exempted from fees for that semester. Graduate students who do not return at the end of the approved leave or who do not enroll for a semester and have not received an official leave of absence are required to apply for readmission and are subject to all rules and regulations of the admissions process. Failure to obtain a Graduate Student Leave of Absence or to remain in continuous enrollment will result in penalties as described in the Continuous Enrollment Policy Requirements (below). 

 

ACADEMIC LEAVE

Academic leaves that are taken elsewhere for course work, research, field work, internships, or professional development, are handled on a case-by-case basis by SPLS and the Graduate College.

 

LEAVING THE PROGRAM

Students may resign from the Graduate Program at any time. To do so, they should write a letter to the Graduate Program Coordinator stating their intent. It is advised that students contemplating such a move should consult with their Major Advisor or the Graduate Program Coordinator before beginning this process. To re-enter the Program, the student must petition the Graduate Student Program Committee (GSPC); acceptance will depend on issues including past performance, funding availability, and whether there is an advisor willing to accept the student for continued graduate studies. 

 

DISMISSAL FROM A FACULTY MEMBER’S RESEARCH PROGRAM

Students can be dismissed from a faculty member’s research program at any time based on the Major Advisor’s determination (in consultation with the student’s Advisory Committee) that the student is not making satisfactory progress. Such dismissal does not constitute dismissal from SPLS, but it is the responsibility of the student to find a replacement Major Advisor in the School within one semester.  Students will not be allowed to continue their education in SPLS without a Major Advisor. If a student finds him/herself in this situation, he/she should schedule a meeting with the Graduate Program Coordinator to determine the best course of action. 

 

DISMISSAL FROM THE GRADUATE PROGRAM

Students can be terminated from the Graduate Program by their Advisory Committee for failure to: 1) meet minimum academic standards, 2) make satisfactory progress in their degree work, 3)  meet generally acceptable ethical standards of the University, 4)  pass the Comprehensive Exams, 5) successfully defend their master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation.

 

GRADUATE COLLEGE MASTER’S/SPECIALIST CONTINUOUS ENROLLMENT POLICY

A student admitted to a Master’s/Specialist degree program must register each fall and spring semester for a minimum of three graduate units from the original matriculation date until all degree requirements are met. If degree program requirements are to be completed in the summer, the student must register for a minimum of one unit of graduate credit during that term. Summer-Only students are required to enroll continuously for a minimum of three units during consecutive summers until all degree requirements are met. Students receiving SPLS support are required by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to register for a minimum of 10 units each fall and spring semester.

 

GRADUATE COLLEGE DOCTORAL CONTINUOUS ENROLLMENT POLICY

A student admitted to a doctoral program must register each fall and spring semester for a minimum of three graduate units from the original matriculation date until the completion of all course requirements, Written and Oral Comprehensive Exams, and 18 dissertation units. When these requirements are met, doctoral students must register for a minimum of one unit each semester until final copies of the dissertation are submitted to the Graduate Degree Certification Office. However, students receiving funding such as assistantships, fellowships, loans, grants, scholarships, or traineeships may be required by their funding source to register for more than one unit to meet full-time status requirements, and should check with the Major Advisor/Graduate Program Coordinator to ensure that they remain qualified for funding.

Doctoral students who have maintained continuous enrollment and are taking only comprehensive exams during either Summer or winter term do not have to register for graduate credit during that summer or winter session. Doctoral students who have maintained continuous enrollment, fulfilled all their other degree requirements as well as the 18 hours of dissertation and were enrolled in the prior semester may defend in the summer or winter term without registration. However, Master’s students, if the degree requirements are completed during the summer term, they must be registered for a minimum of one unit of graduate credit during that term.

Unless excused by an official Graduate Student Leave of Absence, all graduate students are subject to the Continuous Enrollment Policy and must pay in-state and out-of-state tuition and fees in order to remain in the Program. If the student fails to obtain a Graduate Student Leave of Absence or maintain continuous enrollment, he or she will be required to apply for re-admission to the Program, pay the Graduate College application fee, and pay all overdue tuition and fees, including cumulative late penalties. No tuition or registration waivers will be applied retroactively. Students receiving SPLS support are required by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to register for a minimum of 10 units each fall and spring semester.