The following grading system is in effect for Graduate Programs in the School of Science and Engineering

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 work. See below.
IP In progress: used for Thesis & 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.

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. "I" grades are converted automatically to "F" grades after one year.

Graduate students must maintain a quality point average (QPA) of 3.00 or greater while in the program. 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 following quality point values of grades are used for each credit attempted.

Quality Points Per Grade Credit Attempted

A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
F 0.0


A 4.0 A- 3.7 B+ 3.3 B 3.0 B- 2.7 C+ 2.3 C 2.0
F 0.0

Courses in which grades P, I, and W are 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.


Each student may access a summary transcript of his or her complete academic record via DORI. Students should carefully examine their records periodically for accuracy and immediately report errors to the Office of the Registrar. Current students who wish to obtain official transcript copies of their academic records for themselves or for other institutions or agencies, may submit a transcript request by logging into DORI. Students may also order a transcript at All official transcripts issued by the Office of the Registrar bear the signature of the Registrar and the embossed seal of the Office of the Registrar. Whenever an official transcript is released directly to the student it will also bear the stamped designation, "Issued to Student." No transcript will be issued unless all financial obligations owed by the student to the University have been fulfilled.

Confidentiality of Student Records

The University regards the student's personal information and academic record as a matter of confidence between the student and the University. The contents of either may be revealed only in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-380, Section 438, as amended).

Statute of Limitation for Master's and Ph.D. Candidates

All work leading toward a Master's degree shall be completed within a maximum of six years after matriculation. All work acceptable toward the Ph.D. degree shall be completed within a maximum period of seven years after advancing to Ph.D. candidacy. Extension will be granted only under special circumstances with approval of the Dean, based on the recommendation of the research advisor and the Chair of the Department.
Individual departments or programs may have additional requirements.

Residence Requirements

Requirements are met in course for the Master's degree. Doctoral students are expected to spend at least two full years in full-time residence at Duquesne University.

Inactive Status

Students must be registered for both Fall and Spring semesters from entry into a degree program until completion. A student who interrupts his/her course of study must obtain a leave of absence from a degree program. Such a leave must be approved by the department's Chair of Graduate Studies, the Chair of the Department, and the Dean on request by the student. A student who fails to register for Fall or Spring semester or obtain a leave of absence will be considered inactive and will be removed from the program.

Students who interrupt their course of study without an approved leave of absence will be subject to re-application and required to adhere to curricular requirements in place at the time of re- entry. Re-admission is not guaranteed.

Transferred Graduate Credit

With the approval of the Chair of the Department, graduate work done at other accredited institutions may be offered in partial fulfillment of course requisites, provided the grade is not lower than the grade of B or its equivalent from a foreign institution. A maximum of six credits may be accepted towards the Master's degree. Transfer of credits toward a Doctoral degree is determined by committee action in each individual case.

Semester Review

The student's progress will be reviewed each semester by both the Dean's Office and the student's department. Should the student fail to perform on a level satisfactory to the Advisory Committee or to the Dean, she/he may be placed on probation or asked to discontinue graduate study.

Summer Session

Courses may be scheduled by departments during any one or any combination of modules throughout the summer period. Credits earned during any of the summer sessions may be applied toward the fulfillment of requirements for advanced degrees in the same manner and are subject to the same rules and regulations as credits earned during fall and spring semesters.

SOSE Support

Typically doctoral students receive teaching or research assistantships with stipends and tuition scholarships. Extremely limited graduate assistantships are available for students in the M.S. program in Environmental Science and Management. Both the M.S. program in Environmental Science and Management as well as the M.S. program in Biotechnology may offer students a limited number of tuition scholarships.

Academic Integrity Policy

Adapted from the Duquesne University Policy


I. Introduction

An essential element of Duquesne University's mission to educate the mind, the heart, and the spirit is the University's commitment to maintaining and promoting an atmosphere where knowledge and inquiry are respected and encouraged. At Duquesne, as at other American institutions of higher education, our individual and collective search for truth and understanding is founded on the core principle of academic integrity. For Duquesne students and professors alike, academic integrity is essential to our efforts to master existing knowledge, to discover or create new knowledge, and to demonstrate or transmit our knowledge or understanding through academic endeavors like test-taking, writing, and teaching.

Academic integrity at Duquesne can be summarized briefly. In its simplest terms, academic integrity is the pursuit of knowledge and understanding in an honest and forthright manner. This is because intellectual endeavors-on site or online; in the library or the laboratory; in a classroom, a Living-Learning Center, or any off-campus learning environment-can only be conducted in an atmosphere of respect for the truth, commitment to the unfettered spirit of inquiry, and acknowledgment of the different contributions and perspectives of others.

  • Academic integrity means pursuing truth with true passion while maintaining the humility to recognize and accept that our own understanding may be incomplete or contingent.
  • Academic integrity means acknowledging the contributions of others, specifically and completely, using the conventions for acknowledging sources that are appropriate to particular intellectual traditions or disciplines.
  • Academic integrity means representing others' work accurately and distinguishing clearly our own ideas and insights, and our language, from the work (and wording) of others.
  • Academic integrity means seeking or receiving credit (including grades and other measures of accomplishment) only insofar as we have earned it as a result of our own intellectual efforts; it means not taking credit for work that is not our own.
  • Academic integrity means representing ideas and opinions with which we may disagree in a clear and fair manner, according the same respect to material we may criticize that we would wish for our own work.
  • Academic integrity means taking examinations and completing assessments honestly, and according to directions, so that results are a true measure of our own attainments.
  • Academic integrity means treating the work of others-in laboratories, collaborative projects, or any learning endeavors-with the respect we would wish for our own work.

Academic integrity means, in short, that we at Duquesne are dedicated to pursuing our academic and intellectual endeavors with honesty and honor.

All members of the Duquesne University community-including faculty, students, administration, and staff-are responsible for upholding academic integrity and maintaining a culture in which academic integrity can flourish.

Faculty responsibilities with respect to academic integrity include maintaining integrity in their own work and professional lives. Faculty are also responsible for teaching students about academic integrity, particularly in accordance with the specific expectations and conventions of their disciplines, and structuring assignments and examinations in ways that will help students maintain academic integrity. If faculty believe or suspect that academic integrity may have been violated, they must also play a central role in investigating and judging violations and administering sanctions.

Student responsibilities with respect to academic integrity include maintaining academic integrity in all class assignments, examinations, research and/or writing projects, and any other academic endeavors related to their courses of study.

II. Definitions and Standards: Violations of Academic Integrity

Academic integrity can be compromised in any number of ways. Individuals who seek or receive credit for intellectual work that is not their own violate academic integrity, as do individuals who falsify or ignore data or who destroy or contaminate data or intellectual property. Violations of academic integrity may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Cheating. Cheating on quizzes, tests, examinations, or projects may include giving, receiving, or using unauthorized assistance or material. Unauthorized material may include, but is not limited to, notes or other written documents as well as wireless communication or computing devices, calculators, formulas, computers, computer programs, software, data, or text. In other contexts (e.g., group projects, labs), cheating may include forms of deception intended to affect grades or other outcomes. Cheating may also include, but is not limited to, student use of sources (including "answer sites" such as Course Hero) beyond those authorized by the instructor in fulfilling assignments such as writing papers, preparing reports, developing course projects, or solving problems. Cheating may also include student possession without permission of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the University faculty or staff. Selling course material to another person and/or uploading course materials (including but not limited to slides, syllabi, tests, study guides, labs, etc.) to a third party vendor without express written permission of the University and the Instructor is prohibited.
  • Plagiarism. Plagiarism in papers or other written, electronic, or oral work (including essays, research papers, theses, dissertations, presentations, class projects, or work for publication) may include, but is not limited to, the use-whether by summary, paraphrase, copying, direct quotation, or a combination of such methods-of the published or unpublished work or the specific ideas of another person or source without full, clear, and specific acknowledgment (including the use of quotation marks or other conventions to indicate the source's language). Plagiarism may include the submission of material from sources accessed through the Internet or by other means, or from other individuals, without proper attribution. Also, plagiarism may include the submission of a paper prepared in whole or in part by another person or persons or an agency or entity engaged in providing or selling term papers or other academic materials. Plagiarism may also include the submission, without the instructor's approval, of work submitted for credit in another course.
  • Deceit in academic matters. Deceit may include, but is not limited to, deliberately furnishing false information to or withholding relevant information from any University instructor, official, or office.
  • Misuse of documents. Misuse may include, but is not limited to, forgery, alteration, or improper use of any University document, record, or instrument of identification (written or computerized). It may also include misappropriation, mutilation, or destruction of tangible assets such as books, journals, electronic data, and related resources available in libraries and offices.
  • Assistance in the violation of academic integrity. Assistance may include, but is not limited to, any knowing facilitation of intellectual dishonesty by another person or persons.

III. Academic Sanctions for Student Violations of Academic Integrity

Students who are found responsible for violations of academic integrity-whether or not they are the result of a deliberate intent to deceive-are subject to academic sanctions, including (but not limited to) lowered grade or failure on an assignment; lowered course grade; course failure; suspension or dismissal from a course; suspension or dismissal from the College or School or from the University; and/or revocation of a degree. If a student is found responsible for violating the University or a School/College’s academic integrity policy, information regarding the violation and sanction(s) will be maintained by the Office of the Provost.

IV. Relationship with School/College Academic Integrity Policies

The University’s Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures as set forth here govern the administration of academic integrity throughout Duquesne University and set forth the specific roles and responsibilities of the University’s Schools/College.  The University Policy and Procedures will be promulgated on the Duquesne University website, in the Student Handbook, and through other means so they may be easily accessed by all members of the Duquesne community.

The University’s Schools/College/Programs will have academic integrity policies and procedures that are consistent with the University Policy and Procedures. Such policies will specify the standards and expectations appropriate to that School/College/Program and its mission, and the procedures set forth in each School/College/Program’s policy will be consistent with the procedures set forth herein.  Students enrolled in courses offered by that School/College/Program will be governed by its procedures.

Provisions in the academic integrity policies and procedures of a School/College/Program may deviate from and supersede the University Policy and Procedures only when they represent accepted practice for the discipline concerned as this is reflected in publications of the relevant professional association or accrediting body. Each such provision must be approved by the Executive Vice President and Provost and clearly noted as an exception to the University Policy and Procedures wherever the School/College/Program's policy and procedures are published. In all cases, School/College/Program policies and procedures will specify mechanisms for ensuring that students accused of academic integrity violations are afforded the protections of due process, including the availability of School and University-level appeals processes.

All student appeals related to academic integrity are to be governed exclusively by the University (and College/School/Program) Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures.  Appeal processes are not akin to legal proceedings and do not involve participation by external legal counsel.

V. Relationship with Other University Policies

If a student is accused of an academic integrity violation, they may not withdraw to avoid a course grade sanction.  A student may not use the Final Grade Appeal process set forth in the University’s Final Grade Appeal Policy to overturn or avoid a course grade sanction resulting from a responsible finding for an academic integrity violation. In the event a course grade sanction resulting from a responsible finding for an academic integrity violation would impact student standing under the Student Standing policy, the course grade sanction will be held in abeyance pending the resolution of School/College/Program and University-level appeals as more fully set forth herein.

VI. Academic Integrity Procedures for Student Academic Integrity Violations

While individual faculty members will generally have responsibility for course-level sanctions (that is, sanctions up to a failing grade on an assignment), the University’s Schools/College/Program will follow the procedures outlined below for handling more serious situations involving students enrolled in their programs or taking their courses. The University’s Schools/College/Programs are responsible for

  • promulgating their policies and procedures to their students and faculty alike and providing ready access to their policies and procedures (e.g., on School web sites);
  • educating students about their expectations regarding academic integrity and specific methods and conventions for maintaining it;
  • overseeing academic integrity in their courses and programs; and
  • maintaining records of academic integrity violations.

In courses that are not offered by a specific School/College/Program (e.g., courses for the Bridges Common Learning Experience and other University programs) and in combined degree programs, the policy and procedures of the School/College/Program in which the department or faculty member offering the course is located will apply. In areas of the University that do not have their own policy and procedures (e.g., the Honors College), the policy and procedures of the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts will apply by default.

ALL academic integrity matters that result in sanctions including, or more serious than, a failing grade for an assignment must be reported to the appropriate offices, including the Office of the Dean of the School in which the student is enrolled (see below) and the Office of the Provost, which maintains records of responsible findings of violations of academic integrity. Each School/College/Program should develop guidelines for contacting the Office of the Provost with inquiries about whether a particular student has committed a prior academic integrity violation and evaluating any information it receives.

  1. Roles and Responsibilities within the Schools/College

Course instructors are responsible for upholding academic integrity in regard to work under their supervision performed both in and outside of class. They have primary responsibility for evaluating evidence of alleged violations and imposing appropriate sanctions. All cases that result in sanctions including, or greater than, a failing grade for the assignment on which the violation allegedly occurred must be discussed with the instructor's department chair or program director within 5 business days. If the student is majoring in a different area from the one where the alleged violation occurred, the relevant department chair and Dean should also be notified. The faculty member should meet with the student to give notice and opportunity to respond. If the instructor determines that the sanction(s) to be applied is equivalent to or greater than a failing grade for the assignment, the instructor should inform the student of the sanction(s) in writing or via email, generally within 10 business days. At that time, the instructor should also inform the student that it is his or her right to appeal the instructor's finding of a violation and/or imposition of a sanction(s) to the School/College/Program Academic Integrity Appeals Committee or its equivalent. The student should initiate any appeal within 10 business days after the instructor has communicated with her or him regarding a responsible finding of a violation and related sanction(s).

The recommended findings and sanctions, if any, from the School/College/Program Academic Integrity Appeals Committee will be communicated in writing or via email to the Dean, and, if the student is not enrolled in that School/College/Program, the Dean of the student's School/College/Program. The Dean of the School/College where the reported violation occurred will review the findings and may impose the sanctions as recommended, impose a lesser sanction(s), or determine that no violation occurred, and will communicate the outcome in writing to the student. If the student is not enrolled in that School/College/Program, the Dean of the student’s School/College/Program will be notified.  The student has a right to a University-level review as further discussed in Section III below, and will be notified of this by the Dean of the School/College/Program where the reported violation occurred. 

Each School/College/Program's Academic Integrity/Standing Committee should have oversight of matters related to academic integrity in that School/College/Program.

2. Role and Responsibilities of the Executive Vice President and Provost

In the most serious cases, defined as those that might lead to suspension or dismissal from the University, the Dean will refer the matter to the Executive Vice President and Provost within 10 business days of the Dean’s receipt of the School/College/Program Academic Integrity Appeals Committee recommendations.  In all matters where the student requests a University-level review, the matter will also be referred to the Executive Vice President and Provost.  Often this review will be conducted informally by the Provost (or his or her designee), who will review the written record of the case and issue to the student a final decision with respect to the student’s responsibility and the imposition of sanctions, if applicable.  Alternatively, if the Provost has any concerns about the evidence or the fairness of the School/College/Program's proceedings, the Provost may refer the case to the University Academic Integrity Appeals Committee. 

The Provost will determine the student's ability to attend classes, clinicals or internships during the appeal process, based on the severity and context of the reported academic integrity violation. If the student's appeal is granted, the student will be provided with academic measures to address any class or clinical time missed during the appeal process.

3. Role and Responsibilities of the University Academic Integrity Appeals Committee

A student has the right to a University-level review of his or her case. A student may request a University-level review within 10 business days following receipt of the School (College) appeal outcome. Often the University-level will be conducted informally by the Provost (or his or her designee), who will review the written record of the case. The Provost or their designee may refer the case to the University Academic Integrity Appeals Committee for review. The Committee, at its discretion, may wish to go beyond an examination of the written record and hold a hearing at which the student and other witnesses who have knowledge of the alleged academic integrity violation may appear. In the event of a hearing, the student and witnesses will have the opportunity to present information relevant to the violation and will be asked questions. The Committee must forward its recommendations regarding the matter to the Provost within 15 business days of receiving the referral. The Provost or their designee will inform the student of the outcome in writing within 5 business days.

The University Academic Integrity Appeals Committee will be constituted on an ad hoc basis by drawing three faculty members from the College/School/Program Academic Integrity Committees or their equivalent, by recommendation of the faculty members’ Deans. The faculty members chosen to serve on any academic integrity case may not be members of the unit in which the alleged violation occurred.