Grading Policies

Introduction: The evaluation of students is the responsibility of the faculty of the GSBS. Faculty have an obligation to the students, to the school, and to society to award passing grades only to those students who have demonstrated mastery of the course material. In addition to evaluating student knowledge and skills, the faculty has the obligation to determine whether student behavior or conduct is suitable to represent the scientific community. It is inappropriate to allow a student to progress or graduate when unacceptable behavior or unprofessional conduct, such as cheating or plagiarism, has occurred. Refer to the GSBS Student Handbook for further information regarding unacceptable and unprofessional conduct.

Every attempt will be made to apply the principles of fairness and due process when considering the actions of the faculty or administration that might adversely affect the students. Comments, questions, and concerns should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs.

Students Covered By This Policy: These grading policies apply to students enrolled in the courses necessary to complete the requirements for the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences and the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate at the GSBS. These policies do not cover the course work done for the other degree programs in which the student may be enrolled.

Responsibilities for Monitoring of Student Progress: The associate dean for the Office of Student Affairs, in conjunction with the dean of the GSBS, are responsible for monitoring the progress of GSBS students during their course of study in order to provide or refer students to the appropriate academic or personal counseling services, if applicable.

The Office of Student Affairs will provide staff support to the GSBS as requested. The associate dean for student affairs serves as advocate for due process for students.

Responsibilities of the Dean: The dean, as the chief academic officer, has the power to make final decisions in actions taken concerning students. During a student hearing procedure, the decision of the dean regarding the hearing committee’s findings and recommendations is final.

Review of Coursework: The GSBS uses a letter grade system from A to F. Graduate credit is only given for courses completed with a grade of A, B, or C in elective courses. Please consult the individual course syllabus for specific grading policies for each course.

Student progress will be reviewed by the dean and/or associate academic dean by at least the end of each semester in the context of all course work, student’s professionalism, evidence of progressive improvement and personal circumstances.

A semester review will occur in January of each year. The dean and/or associate academic dean will consider all students after completion of the fall semester.

If a student is considered “at risk” they will be placed on academic probation. A proposed learning plan will be devised in order to strengthen identified deficiencies. It is the responsibility of the student to follow the learning plan and to follow up with the dean and/or associate academic dean regarding progress.

Definition of “At Risk”: If a student has incomplete, or missing courses; if the course director or faculty identifies the student at risk based on poor performance on given assignments or low test scores; also, if there is professionalism concern in regards to the student’s behavior.

Remediation for at risk students is recommended by the course director and agreed on by the dean. However, students may be dismissed without academic watch or warning being designated. The dean and/or associate academic dean may also choose to remove “Good Standing” as a disciplinary action. Remedial work will not be counted as elective time in satisfying the conditions for graduation.

Transcript Notation: When a student receives a final failing grade in a course and it is not required for the student to repeat the course, then a grade of “F” (Fail) will be entered on the transcript.

If a student decides to withdraw from a course after the last day to drop a class or withdraw completely from the university, the student needs to send an email to the GSBS office stating his/her intent to drop the course or withdraw. Once the GSBS office receives the student’s email, the GSBS office will notify the course director and ask for the current course grade.

Based on the current grade, the student will receive either a W (if withdrawing with a passing grade at the time of withdrawal) or a WF (if withdrawing and failing the class).

Students who receive a grade of C or below in core courses are required to repeat the course. Students who receive a grade of C or below in two or more core courses are subject to dismissal.

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.

Note: Students are responsible for checking and following the academic calendar.

Documentation of Student Academic Performance: All grades will be recorded in WebRaider and will be available in the student’s electronic portfolio. The TTUHSC El Paso Office of the Registrar maintains the official transcript of all students.

Graduation Policies: Normal progression through the GSBS curriculum requires that a student demonstrates a consistently satisfactory level of performance and professional behavior. Students will be expected to complete the curriculum within two years of the initial date of matriculation.

The curriculum may be extended due to a leave of absence or academic difficulty requiring repetition of an academic year as per this policy. However, inability to complete the curriculum in two years and/or the entire curriculum within five years will result in dismissal. For more information regarding graduation requirements, refer to the General Information section of this catalog.

General Issues: Progress is not bound by categorical or arithmetic assessment of student performance but rather reviewed based on each student in the context of their academic achievement and any other circumstances that may influence performance. If a student exhibits conduct or behavior inconsistent with professionalism, a grade of F may be given.

Such conduct or behavior that occurs beyond the boundaries of a class or rotation may also be considered. In that case, the student will be referred for disposition of the case under the Code of Professional and Academic Conduct in the TTUHSC El Paso Student Affairs Handbook.

Final grades will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Students who receive a grade of F may meet with the course director to discuss their academic performance and possible actions. Students who receive a grade of C or below in core courses are required to repeat the course. Students who are required to repeat a core course(s) may not take courses from the next academic year during the period of repetition.

Challenging Student Records or Grades: Students have the right to challenge records, grades, and information directly relating to them. A student who wishes to appeal a grade must file a formal, written grade appeal within five business days of the beginning of the next semester.

A grade can be formally appealed only when there is demonstrable evidence that prejudice, or arbitrary or capricious action on the part of the instructor has influenced the grade. The burden of proof that such an unfair influence has affected a grade rests with the student who appeals the grade.

Grade Point Chart

Grade Point Grade Interpretations
A 4 Excellent; meets degree requirements
B 3 Good; meets degree requirements
C 2 Below average; fails to meet requirements for core courses. Average; meets requirements for elective courses.
D 1 Below average; fails to meet program requirements.
F 0 Failing; does not meet degree requirements
I 0 Incomplete; given only when a student's work is satisfactory in quality but, due to reasons beyond their control, has not been completed. It is not given in lieu of an F. The instructor assigning the grade will stipulate in writing at the time the grade is given the conditions under which the “I” was given and how it can be removed. It is the student's responsibility to obtain a grade change form from the appropriate program office and to obtain signatures from the appropriate faculty. In the event that the “I” remains on the student's record for a year without completion, it will automatically be replaced with an F. Withdrawal from the institution will not waive this policy nor will it change the conditions under which the “I” may be removed.
W 0 Withdrawal; given for a course officially dropped before the deadline set in the academic calendar or if a class is dropped after the deadline but the student has a passing grade at the time of withdrawal.
WF 0 Withdrawal/Failing; given for a course dropped after the deadline set in the academic calendar, when the student's work is not passing at the time the course is dropped or when the student is required by the associate dean/dean to drop the course for failure to attend

Grading Scale

The following scale applies to all courses at the GSBS.

  1. 100-90 = A
  2. 89-80 = B
  3. 79-70 = C
  4. 69-60 = D
  5. 59 and below = F