The Graduate College: Academic Policies

The Graduate College adopts college-wide policies and procedures and reviews division regulations. Students follow the college and division policies in effect at the time of initial matriculation in The Graduate College. However, The Graduate College reserves the right to make substantive changes in its programs after the student's matriculation. Students will be informed in writing by the division director of any changes made during their tenure in the program. Students re-entering the college after an absence will be guided by policies and procedures in effect at the time of re-entry.

Examination Policy
The examination policy is the responsibility of the individual course director who will inform students of examination requirements for that particular course. A period at the end of the quarter is provided for examinations. This period may be used as the course director chooses.

Pass/No Pass Grades
Each division identifies all courses required of its students. Required courses are usually taken for grade and not under the pass/no pass (P/N) option. Research hours are generally graded using the P/N option. However, a division may opt to provide a letter grade for research classes (under 600) for master's students. The grading policy for post-candidacy research hours (over 600) for doctoral students is P/N.

Good Academic Standing
To remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and meet the requirements of his/her division. A student must be in good academic standing to be admitted to candidacy and to graduate. Students failing to maintain a GPA of 3.0 will be notified by the Dean in writing that their student status has been changed to “on probation.” Students who fail to remediate their deficiencies within one academic year or are placed on probationary status a third time, are subject to dismissal by The Graduate College.

Academic Difficulty
Each division has policies and procedures regarding students who fail to maintain good academic standing. While the responsibilities of informing students of their academic problems and of establishing conditions for regaining good academic standing reside within the divisions, The Graduate College Council monitors the progress and promotion of all students and gives final approval to award students' degrees.

Each division establishes grounds for dismissal beyond the minimal criteria established by The Graduate College. Should a division recommend the dismissal of a student, the director will forward such recommendation to The Graduate College Council for final action. Letters of dismissal come from the Dean. Appeal of a dismissal action begins within the appropriate division.

Full-time Enrollment
Full-time enrollment is required of all Graduate College students with the exception of the Clinical Research students and students within the divisions of Nursing and Health Sciences. Full-time students must register for at least 12, but not more than 18, quarter hours per quarter. Students must obtain written permission from the division director for exceptions to this policy. Students receiving a master's degree from The Graduate College as a full-time student must be enrolled for a minimum of three quarters (12 hours per quarter). Part-time students earning a master's degree must be enrolled a minimum of two quarters per academic year. The minimum requirement for graduation from the college is 48 hours with a minimum of 24 completed as a student in the College. At the time of graduation, the student must be enrolled in the College. The maximum time allowed for enrollment for a full-time master's degree is four years starting the first quarter of official enrollment.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidates are expected to meet all requirements for graduation within five enrolled academic years in the Graduate College (excluding leaves of absence (see below)). This period begins the quarter in which the student formally matriculates. A student exceeding that time limitation must submit to the Graduate Council, in writing, a request to extend their candidacy beyond that time period. This request must identify the reasons for the extension and provide a written plan with reasonable deadlines for completion. This document will be co-signed by the student's advisor and division director. The council will then vote whether to accept the extension or not (passed by simple majority). The student's advisor will then provide an update on the student's progress after six months. One year after the extension is granted, the student is expected to complete all requirements. A second request may be made by the student's advisor and division chair, but only will be accepted through a two-thirds majority of the voting members present at a formal hearing of the Graduate College Council. Within one year of that second request, the student must complete all requirements for the PhD degree or face dismissal. Alternatively, the student may be awarded a MS degree upon the recommendation of the student's graduate division.

Any student who has withdrawn from the University or any dismissed student may apply for readmission by submitting an application for this purpose to the Graduate College admission office. An interview may be required. A re-entering student must meet the conditions for re-enrollment stated in his/her dismissal or re-entry acceptance letter and all policies, requirements and course sequence in effect at the time of re-entry. The student will pay tuition and fees at the rates in effect at the time of re-enrollment. Application deadlines may vary by division.

Academic Progression
The graduate division in concert with the rules of the College and Rush University develop specific regulations governing the process that results in final awarding of the degree. While such regulations differ slightly from one division to another, The Graduate College Council reviews each division's program and regulations for approval. In all cases, graduate divisions are required to be explicit and clear about regulations that will affect the candidate. This must be stringently observed in divisional regulations concerning selection of principal advisors, advisory committees, and a plan of study. Similarly, divisions will be explicit and clear concerning academic policies and procedures surrounding qualifying, preliminary, and final examinations when they are required. The divisions are also responsible for providing the candidate with the support needed to plan and conduct the dissertation research. At the same time, a major responsibility of the student is to become familiar with the regulations and expectations of his/her chosen division. These regulations and expectations are included in this Catalog within the sections devoted to each divisional program and are also included within program publications. The student is responsible for understanding the regulations, and monitoring changes that may occur during their tenure in the program.

Student Academic Appeals Policy
Any student of The Graduate College may appeal a final course grade, failure on a preliminary or comprehensive examination, or failure of the thesis/dissertation that results in his/her academic
probation or dismissal from the University. A student may also appeal an unreasonable delay in his/her graduation from the University. No other issues may be appealed through this process.
The process for filing an appeal is maintained by each division. The student may request a copy of the Division Appeal Process from the Division Director. This process will be completed within one quarter. If a resolution cannot be achieved at the Division level, the following procedure must be followed. At any step in the process, the student may withdraw the appeal by written notification to the program director with a copy to the Dean. In the event of a dismissal decision, a student may continue to enroll until the appeal process is completed or the student withdraws the appeal.

Step 1: If the student wishes to appeal the decision beyond the Division, within two weeks of receiving a decision from the Division, the student will submit a written statement to the Dean requesting consideration of his/her case by an advisory panel. The student must provide the following in the written statement.

  • Course number and grade being appealed or other cause for probation or dismissal, i.e., failure of preliminary/comprehensive examination or thesis/dissertation
  • Action being requested
  • Justification for the request
  • An outline of the efforts and actions already taken to obtain consideration of the request.

The student will send copies of this communication to the Division Director and the Department Chairperson. In addition, if a course grade is being appealed, the student will send a copy to the course director. If the evaluation of a thesis or dissertation is being appealed, the student will send a copy to the chairperson of the thesis/dissertation committee. The Advisory Panel will be The Graduate College Council. Its Chairperson will be appointed by the Dean from among the members. The Division Director of the student's division and any other member who is evaluating the student's academic status will not vote.

Step 2: Within two weeks after notification to the Dean, the Chairperson of the Advisory Panel will arrange a meeting of the advisory panel. It will submit a written recommendation to the Dean.

Step 3: Within two weeks following receipt of the advisory panel's recommendation and upon discussion with the student and with others as appropriate, the Dean shall reach a final decision and notify each party of the decision. The decision reached by the Dean is final.

The issues discussed and the outcomes of all meetings in this appeal process are documented. This record-keeping is the responsibility of a faculty member who is to be designated at each meeting. Copies of the documentation should be distributed to the individuals present at a meeting, to the Division Director, the Dean and to the student's academic file.

Rush University Academic Policies
The Academic Resources and Policies section of this catalog contains additional Rush University academic policies.