General Information

Academic probation and dismissal: All students enrolled in the GSBS are required to maintain a high level of performance and comply fully with the policies of the institution. The GSBS reserves the right to place on probation or dismiss any graduate student who does not maintain satisfactory academic standing or who fails to conform to the regulations of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso). Probation applies for a designated period of time and may lead to more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be in violation of any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.

  1. If a student's grade point average (GPA) for a particular semester falls below 3.0, the student is placed on academic probation. The student must make a 3.0 GPA or better in the next semester in which he/she is enrolled. Failure to maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher in each succeeding semester may result in academic dismissal from the GSBS. Regulations governing scholastic probation are based on semester grade-point averages and apply regardless of overall grade-point average.

  2. The minimum requirement for graduation is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken for graduate credit.

  3. Students are also required to follow the code of professional and academic conduct. Failure to do so may be grounds for dismissal, such as cheating or plagiarism. (see the TTUHSC El Paso Student Affairs Handbook for further information). Appeals for this type of dismissal are subject to the provisions under the code of student conduct. See the TTUHSC El Paso Student Affairs Handbook and the GSBS student handbook for further information.

  4. Students who have been dismissed must appeal to the GSBS for reinstatement, if desired.

  5. Students may not drop a core course for academic reasons (reasonable exceptions may be made for sickness, etc., at the discretion of the GSBS dean).

  6. Students who receive a grade of C or below in core courses are required to repeat the course.

  7. Students who receive a grade of C or below in two or more core courses are subject to dismissal.The minimum requirement for graduation is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken for graduate credit.

Attendance: Whenever attendance and/or participation forms a basis for a portion or all of a course grade, students are provided with explicit written information (within the course syllabus) during the first week of classes. Such information is specific with regard to the penalty incurred for each absence and the means, if any, to compensate for the absence. It should be recognized that there may be certain situations where the student may not be permitted to make up the absence(s). Excused absences are determined by the course director.

Extracurricular activities: Graduate students may participate in extracurricular activities within the guidelines of university policies. The Graduate Student Association (GSA) and the Student Government Association (SGA) offer many opportunities for participation. Students are also encouraged to participate in TTUHSC El Paso’s Annual Research Colloquium. Faculty do not hold exams during the week of the colloquium (unless an exception has been granted by the GSBS dean prior to the beginning of the spring semester) so that all GSBS students can participate and gain experience presenting their research.

Grade requirement for graduation: The minimum cumulative GPA required for graduation is a 3.0 (includes all courses taken for graduate credit).

Semester of graduation: The official graduation date is in May. Every candidate for a graduate degree and certificate of completion must be registered at the GSBS in the semester of graduation. Failure to graduate at the expected time requires additional registrations, as necessary, until graduation. Any student who does not complete all requirements for a graduate degree within the time limit will be dismissed. Per reporting guidelines established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), students seeking master’s degrees are expected to graduate within five years. Students receiving financial assistance who wish to reduce their credit hours should first consult financial aid.

Graduation fee: Early in the semester of graduation, candidates for graduation must pay a graduation fee to cover the cost of printing the diploma. This fee is paid again if the student does not graduate in the semester in which the fee was paid.

Statement of intent to graduate: Any student planning to graduate must file a statement of intent to graduate with the GSBS main office at the beginning of the semester of intended graduation. No candidate’s name will be placed on a tentative list for graduation unless this statement has been received by the GSBS main office by the specified deadline. The deadline to file the intent to graduate is posted on the GSBS website under the academic calendar.

Any candidate who fails to graduate at the expected time is required to file a new statement of intent to graduate for any subsequent intended graduation date.

Grades: The GSBS uses a letter grade system from A to F. All grades are converted to points in computing grade point averages. Instructors may NOT choose to add a plus or a minus to the grade. Graduate credit is only given for courses completed with a grade of A, B, or C. No final grade assigned for a graduate-level course may be raised unless an error has been made. Substituting another course for one completed with a low grade is not permitted. Work completed at another graduate school is not transferrable to the GSBS programs.

Grading symbols I, W, and WF: The symbol I (incomplete) may be given by a faculty member when a student’s work in a course has not been completed by the end of the semester due to causes beyond the student’s control. It is not used as a substitute for an F. Only the Office of the Registrar can enter a grade of I. The course director must provide a memo to the GSBS office specifying the reasons for the grade and the work remaining to be done. The GSBS then forwards the memo to the registrar to enter the grade. If there is no action on the part of the student after one year, the I automatically becomes an F.

When a student officially withdraws from a course by the deadline set early in the term, a grade of W (withdrawal) is assigned. Any student who fails to attend a course without an official withdrawal will receive an F in that course. The grade of W is not calculated in the GPA, whereas a grade of WF is.

A withdrawal after the deadline results in either a W or a WF (withdrawal/fail), depending on the instructor’s assessment of the student’s work in the course up to the time of the official withdrawal. In order for the student to withdraw from a course after the deadline for an automatic W the student is responsible for sending an email to the GSBS office stating his/her intent to withdraw from the course. Once the GSBS office receives this email, the GSBS office will request the course director the grade the student has at the moment of the withdrawal. Based on the current grade the student would receive either a W (if he/she withdraws with a passing grade at the time of withdrawal) or a WF (if withdrawing and failing the class). If the withdrawal occurs after the deadline for an automatic W, the student must provide the registrar’s office with a completed grade change form with a grade of W or WF at the time of the official withdrawal.

Leave of absence: Any student who fails to register for three consecutive semesters (12 months) and who does not have an official leave of absence from study is subject to review for readmission by the standards in effect at the time of reconsideration. Official leave of absence, which is granted by the GSBS main office upon recommendation of the dean, may be granted only in cases of serious medical conditions or other exceptional reasons. Normally, leaves of absence do not exceed one year. Leaves of absence may not extend the maximum time allowed for completion of the degree.

English language proficiency: A student found deficient in English may be required to satisfactorily complete certain English language courses (without graduate credit) before being considered for candidacy for a graduate degree.

Students’ responsibilities: Every student is expected to become thoroughly familiar with academic guidelines, GSBS regulations, and degree requirements. Failure to follow the regulations and requirements almost inevitably results in complications for which the GSBS cannot assume responsibility.

To facilitate communications, the GSBS communicates exclusively through the student’s assigned TTUHSC El Paso email account (i.e., It is the student’s responsibility to check this account for important information and notifications.

A number of GSBS courses require a laptop; therefore, it is strongly recommended that all incoming students contact IT’s Academic Services unit to ensure their laptops are up-to-date. Visit Academic Services for more information.

Scholarships: The GSBS seeks to continually recruit and retain the best quality students. In support of that goal, the GSBS offers scholarships to master’s students. In order to maintain the scholarship, master students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better per semester. Failure to maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher in each semester will result in losing the scholarship for the succeeding semester.

Transfer credit: Work completed at another graduate school is not transferred to the GSBS programs.
Graduate credit is not granted for courses taken by correspondence.

Waiving Requirements: There is no automatic waiving of requirements at the GSBS.

Tutoring: Group and one-on-one tutoring is available. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the course director and faculty when tutoring is needed.