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.

Grades and Grade Points

Graduate course grades and values appear in the table below.   Graduate courses do not receive plus or minus grades.

A 4.0
B 3.0
C 2.0
D 1.0
F 0.0
I Incomplete
N No Grade Reported
NC No Credit
IP In Progress
P Pass
W Withdrawn
DO Dropped Out
NA Never Attended
NG Non-Graded Class

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Each student must have 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,", "NC" and “NG” do not count toward the GPA.  In computing the graduate GPA, an "I" or “N” counts as an "F" until replaced by the earned grade.

Transfer credit

Courses completed at other post-secondary institutions and accepted for UA graduate credit are given a grade of “P” and are not calculated in the overall graduate GPA.

Repeating a course

Regular courses (courses other than IDGR assistantship, 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.

Academic Standing

A graduate student must have a cumulative graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on all graduate work undertaken at The University of Alabama to be in good academic standing.  

Conditional Admission

A student conditionally admitted to the Graduate School who has 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.

Unconditional Admission

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.

“I” and “N” grades

All “I” and “N” grades must be removed within the first four weeks of the next term of enrollment if the overall GPA drops below a 3.0 as a result of the “I” or “N” grade(s).

Conditionally admitted students who fail to bring their overall GPA up to a 3.0 or better by removing the "I" or "N" within the four weeks will earn Academic Suspension (dismissal) from the Graduate School.

Graduate Students with good academic standing who fail to bring their overall GPA back up to 3.0 or better by removing the "I" and "N" grade(s) within the four weeks will earn Academic Warning.

Academic Warning

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.

Readmission

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.

Reinstatement

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 readmitted or reinstated to the Graduate School following suspension, may NOT hold a graduate assistantship until ALL conditions have been met for the readmission or 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.

Graduation Requirements

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Each student must have 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.

Seventy-five Percent Rule

At least 75 percent of the hours taken must have been completed with grades of ”A” or "B" at The University of Alabama.  In applying this 75 percent rule, a maximum of 6 hours of thesis research may be counted, if appropriate.  In other words, a student may only have earned a "C" grade in 25 percent of the hours taken for the degree.

400-Level Courses

A maximum of 6 semester hours of 400-level course credit may be accepted for a master's degree program, and only if a form for approval of 400-level coursework for graduate credit is completed and 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.

Pass/Fail Courses

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.