Academic Policies

Undergraduate Academic Policy

Students are expected to remain in good standing and maintain a 3.0 cumulative QPA and a 2.5 QPA in math and science while in course work.

Any student who falls below the 3.0 cumulative QPA and 2.5 QPA math & science upon completion of the second year is subject to the following guidelines.

Academic Warning

Students who receive a cumulative QPA between 2.85 and 2.99 receive an Academic Warning. On Academic Warning, students are permitted to continue progress towards their degree. However, for admittance into the fifth year of the program, the cumulative QPA must be raised to 3.0 or higher, and the math and science QPA must be at 2.5 or higher.

Academic Probation

Students who receive a cumulative QPA between 2.75 and 2.84 are placed on Academic Probation. On Academic Probation, students are permitted to continue progress towards their degree. If the cumulative QPA has not been raised to 2.85 or higher, the student may be subject to Academic Dismissal from the program.

Dismissal from the Program

Students are dismissed from the program if the cumulative QPA is less than 2.75, or if a grade of "F" is received in a 500-level course.

Admittance to the Graduate Year

A student must meet the following criteria in order to be admitted to the fifth, and final, year of the MSFSL program:

  • A 3.0 cumulative graduate and undergraduate QPA upon completion of the undergraduate portion of the program.
  • Research Progress with a minimum grade of "B" in FORE 420 Professional Development IV.
  • A grade of "B" or better in BIOL 530W DNA Methods Population Genetics.
  • An absence of any academic integrity issue.
  • An undergraduate record of full compliance with the University and Bayer School Academic Integrity and Student Code of Conduct Policies. Any violation will result in student ineligibility to enter the fifth and graduate year of the program.

Students who are not eligible to advance to the graduate year may still obtain the B.A. in Biochemistry or B.S. in Biology, as long as all other degree criteria are met.

Graduate Academic Policies

  • Academic integrity violations will result in student dismissal from the program.
  • Any student receiving an "F" in graduate course work will be dismissed from the program.
  • Graduate students must maintain a letter grade average not lower than "B" (3.00 QPA) while in course work.
  • Students earning less than a 3.00 as the final quality point average at the conclusion of course work will be ineligible for graduation.


The following grading system is in effect for Graduate Programs in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences:

A Distinguished scholarly work.
B Normal progress toward degree.
C Warning; student subject to faculty action.
F Failure: course must be repeated; student subject to faculty action.
I Incomplete: grade is deferred because of incomplete paperwork. See below.*
IP In progress: used for Thesis and Dissertation credits only.
W Official withdrawal.
LG    Late Grade: grade was not reported by faculty in time for the semester grade report sent to students.
P Pass: used in certain courses without quality points.
X Student continued to show on roster, but never attended class.

Student wearing protective glasses examines an object in blue light.

The use of plus/minus grading is at the discretion of the course instructor and should be announced at the beginning of the course or printed in the course syllabus.

*Incomplete grades may be given when there are extenuating circumstances which prevent the student from completing coursework. To be eligible, the student must have completed 80% of the course requirements. Every effort should be made to complete the work within one semester under terms agreed upon by the instructor and the student. After one year, I grades automatically becomes F grades.

Graduate students must maintain a letter grade average not lower than B (3.00 QPA) while in course. Students failing to meet this standard may be subject to faculty action, including dismissal, for failure to maintain normal progress toward a degree. Any student having less than 3.00 as a final quality point average at the conclusion of course work will be ineligible for graduation. The above plus and minus grades may be used at the discretion of the individual instructor.

Quality Point System

The student's overall academic quality point average (QPA) is obtained by dividing the total quality points earned by the total number of semester hours attempted. The quality point values of grades are used for each credit attempted.

Courses in which grades P, I and W were given are not used in calculating the quality point average.

No grade is recorded for advance standing or transfer credits. These credits are therefore not counted in the QPA.

Points Per Grade Credits Attempted

A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+   2.3  
C 2.0