Many departments and programs produce manuals, procedures and policy guides, graduate student handbooks, and other publications for their students and faculty in graduate programs. These statements are designed to provide detailed and useful information; however, they are not statements of official policy of The University of Alabama. In all matters, the graduate catalog of The University of Alabama contains official policies as passed by the graduate faculty’s Graduate Council and shall supersede departmental, program, or college publications.
Degree requirements and academic performance standards outlined in this section are the minimum required. Satisfying these general requirements and standards does not imply that all degree and program requirements have been met. Many departments, colleges, and schools establish additional requirements for their students. Accordingly, students may be dismissed from their programs for failure to meet departmental, college, or school standards. Such requirements are included in individual program descriptions in this catalog and/or in departmental and program manuals or policy statements. These special requirements shall not be considered in conflict with this catalog and shall have the same force as this catalog. Departmental suspension (dismissal) from a degree program also results in suspension from the Graduate School. Departmental academic dismissal differs from dismissals that result from Academic Misconduct. For further information, please view the section on Academic Misconduct on the Office of Academic Affairs website.
Grades and Grade Points
Graduate course grades and values appear in the table below. Graduate courses do not receive plus or minus grades. Transferred courses receiving UA graduate credit are given a grade of “P” and are not calculated in the overall graduate GPA.
|N||No Grade Reported|
Grade Point Average (GPA)
All graduate students must earn and maintain an overall graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better for all graduate courses undertaken at The University of Alabama. Grades below "C" count in computing the GPA but do not carry credit toward a degree.
Grade point averages are computed on the following grades: "A," "B," "C," "D," "F," "N" and "I." Grades of "P," "W," and “NG” do not calculate in the GPA. In computing the graduate GPA, an "I" or “N” calculates in the GPA as an "F" until replaced by the earned grade. GPA calculations are rounded to the third (thousands) decimal.
Repeating a course
Regular courses (courses other than IDGR assistantships (teaching, research, etc.), thesis research, dissertation research, etc.) typically may not be repeated for graduate credit; this includes courses initially taken on an audit basis. However, a regular course that is required in a student's curriculum in which a "D" or "F" is earned may be repeated for credit, upon the recommendation of the major department or program area and with the approval of the Graduate School. If the student passes the course with a "C" or better, both grades contribute to the computation of the GPA but only one may be used toward a degree.
Federal regulations limit the number of times a student may repeat a course and receive financial aid for that course. Questions about these regulations should be addressed to the Student Financial Aid Office.
A graduate student must earn and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on all graduate work undertaken at The University of Alabama to be in good academic standing.
Permission to Continue Admission
A student admitted with Permission to Continue to the Graduate School who earns a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 or better after undertaking 12 semester hours of graduate coursework at The University of Alabama and satisfies any other admission conditions specified by the department or the Graduate School, will have earned good academic standing.
Failure to do so will result in Academic Suspension (dismissal) from the Graduate School. If the 12 hours are completed in a term in which the total credits exceed 12, the evaluation is made on the basis of all graduate-level work completed at the end of that term of enrollment.
A graduate student with good academic standing whose GPA drops below 3.0 at any time after earning 12 semester hours will have earned Academic Warning.
Students who have earned academic warning or are in non-degree status may not hold graduate assistantships.
In cases where “I” grades cause a student’s GPA to drop below 3.0, all “I” grades must be removed within the first four weeks of the next term of enrollment. If a student’s GPA remains below 3.0 after the removal of all “I” grades, the student will earn either Academic Suspension (dismissal) if they were admitted with Permission to Continue or Academic Warning if they were admitted via Regular Admission.
In cases where “I” grades do not cause a student’s GPA to drop below 3.0, all “I” grades must be removed by the end of the subsequent semester (excluding Summer), or the grade will be automatically converted to “F”. Faculty, with appropriate justification, may recommend that a longer completion window be granted to a student in unusual circumstances. In these cases, faculty must submit a petition to the Graduate Registrar before the end of the subsequent semester. The petition must outline the unusual circumstances and a plan for completing the remaining course requirements no later than 12 months from the end of the term in which the “I” grade was awarded, but before the student’s graduation.
A student placed on Academic Warning has the next 12 hours of graduate work to raise the overall graduate GPA to 3.0 or better. The overall graduate GPA after the next 12 hours following academic warning must be at least 3.0 to avoid Academic Suspension (dismissal) from the Graduate School.
A department may dismiss a student from a degree program if there is unsatisfactory academic or other progress toward completion of the degree. As noted above, such departmental dismissal also results in suspension from the Graduate School. For additional details see Degree Requirements in this Catalog. Students who are suspended may not attend class or enroll in any form of distance learning courses.
Students are encouraged to use the time of the suspension in ways that assist their academic progress. Students may study in order to finish courses in which they have earned incomplete ("I") or no grade ("N") and may work with faculty members in this process. Students also may address other non-academic problems that have impeded their progress.
Please note that academic dismissal from the department or Graduate School differs from dismissal for academic misconduct. Academic misconduct results in dismissal from the University. The Academic Misconduct policy may be found at the Provost's website.
A student placed on Academic Suspension will not be permitted to take any graduate level coursework unless they have been reinstated to the program or readmitted to a new degree program.
A person seeking readmission to the Graduate School to pursue a program of study different from the one from which the person was suspended can initiate consideration for readmission by completing an application for admission in the Graduate School and communicating with the academic unit of the new program.
The graduate faculty of the new academic unit will consider the request for readmission upon receipt of the new application, will identify in a written request to the dean of the Graduate School the compelling reasons for readmission to the Graduate School, and will state the conditions required of the student upon readmission if readmission is granted by the dean of the Graduate School. If readmission is granted, specific conditions of the readmission will be stipulated in the readmission letter to the student.
Students readmitted to the Graduate School following suspension are admitted with permission to continue and may not hold a graduate assistantship until all conditions have been met for the readmission.
A person seeking reinstatement to the same degree program after being suspended from the Graduate School can initiate consideration for reinstatement by communicating with the academic department or program from which the person was dismissed.
The graduate faculty of the academic unit will consider the request for reinstatement and, if the faculty request reinstatement, they will identify in a written request to the dean of the Graduate School the compelling reasons for reinstatement and the conditions required of the student if reinstatement is granted by the dean of the Graduate School.
Students reinstated to the Graduate School following suspension, may not hold a graduate assistantship until all conditions have been met for the reinstatement.
Clinical Components and Dismissal
In graduate programs that include clinical components, practicum experiences, internships, or other similar program requirements, each student's effectiveness will be given a broad-based evaluation by faculty and supervisors. Final decisions will be based on factors such as course grades, demonstrated clinical competence, personality factors, and relevant test scores. Many programs establish additional academic and/or professional requirements for their students. Failure to meet program requirements for academic progress and/or clinical components may result in the student’s being dismissed from the program. Dismissal from a degree program also results in suspension (dismissal) from the Graduate School.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Each student must earn and maintain an overall graduate GPA of 3.0 or better for all graduate courses undertaken at The University of Alabama. Grades below "C" are counted in computing scholastic averages, but they do not carry credit toward a degree.
A maximum of 6 semester hours of 400-level course credit may be accepted for a master's degree program, and only if approved by the department and Graduate School prior to the semester in which the 400-level coursework will be taken. All of the conditions below must be met:
No 400-level credit (except the 6 hours accepted toward the master's degree) may be accepted for doctoral degree programs. Under no circumstances will coursework below the 400 level be accepted for graduate credit. Master’s students may use no more than 6 hours of 400-level courses for graduate credit.
For more information, please see the 400 Level Courses for Master's Credit in the Academic Policies section of the catalog.
A maximum of 20 percent of a graduate student's required course credit may be taken on a “pass/fail” basis. Each graduate level course is either “letter grade” or “pass/fail” in the system at the time the student registers for the course. Graduate students are not permitted to change a course registration from “letter grade” to “pass/fail” or vice versa. Departments may request a change in how a course is graded for future semesters, through the submission of a course change request in the online Course Inventory Management (CourseLeaf) system.