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Academic Standing

The ability to progress in the program and to qualify for funding requires that students maintain “Good Academic Standing.”

 A student in good standing is defined as a student who:

  • Maintains an appropriate course load (minimum of 3 CU per semester until on dissertation status);
  • Maintains continuous enrollment or on an approved leave of absence;
  • Maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to graduate from the School of Nursing and the University of Pennsylvania;
  • Completes coursework within the specified time frame of the course and has no more than one “incomplete” indicated on the transcript;
  • Completes the General or Qualifying Examination and Candidacy Examination within the timelines stated in this handbook;
  • Completes all coursework required (i.e. no incomplete grades) to be eligible to take the General Exam or Qualifying Exam within the timelines specified in this handbook;
  • Completes required coursework (i.e. no incompletes) to be eligible for Dissertation Status
  • Completes the Annual Progress Update and Dissertation Committee Form required by the University of Pennsylvania and the School of Nursing each year.

Incompletes in Course

Per the Academic Rules for PhDs and Research Masters Degrees:

The mark of I is used to designate “incomplete.” A student who fails to complete a course and within the prescribed period and does not withdraw or change his or her status to auditor shall receive at the instructor’s discretion either a grade of I (incomplete) or F (failure).  It is expected, in general, that a student shall complete the work of a course during the term in which that course is taken.  The instructor may permit an extension of time up to one year for the completion of the course.  In such cases, any course which is still incomplete after one calendar year from its official ending must remain as incomplete on the student’s record and shall not be credited toward a degree.

A student with more than one incomplete is not in good academic standing. An incomplete in any one of the core courses is unacceptable and must be resolved before the student may progress in the program.

Academic Warning

A student who has a cumulative GPA or a single semester term GPA between 2.5 and 3.0 will be given a warning notice.

Academic Probation

A student will be placed on probation if they have:

  • a cumulative GPA of less than 2.5 at the end of any semester
  • a term GPA below 2.5 at the end of any semester
  • a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0 in core courses in the PhD program
  • failed a core course in the PhD program

Dismissal from the PhD Program

A student may be withdrawn from the School of Nursing for any of the below reasons:

  • Failing a core course in the PhD program twice
  • A GPA of less than 2.5 for two consecutive semesters
  • Academic probation (for any reason) for two consecutive semesters
  • Failure to pass the Qualifying/General or Candidacy Examination after two attempts
  • Failure to progress in the program per the policies of the PhD handbook and directives from the PhD Progressions Committee

PhD Progressions Committee

The PhD Progressions Committee determines the academic regulations for the PhD program in Nursing and considers matters related to policies about student progression. The committee monitors the students to assure that they remain in good academic standing and makes recommendations to the Graduate Group Chair and Associate Dean for Academic Programs on a case-by-case basis. The committee meets several times during the academic year and as needed.

Students will be notified in a timely way of Progressions Committee actions or if they are not considered in Good Academic Standing, with a copy to the advisor(s) and appropriate individuals as necessary. The PhD Progressions Committee is the highest ruling body in the School of Nursing, and no further appeals of decisions will be heard by any committee or member of the School of Nursing. The Committee reserves the right to make decisions in the best interest of the student and the School of Nursing.

Students are expected to communicate in a timely way to directives and requests from the PhD Progressions Committee, faculty advisors, and administrators.  Students who do not communicate or comply as requested may have a Registration and/or Transcript Hold placed on their academic record until the matter is resolved.

Grievance Policy

Should a student wish to grieve an academic decision the order of appeal is as follows: 

  • Professor who made the decision, then if necessary ascending to:
    • the Graduate Group in Nursing Chair
    • the Associate Dean for Academic Programs

The student may end the appeal at any point in the grievance process.

The University Ombudsman can be consulted for advice at any time, but is not part of the appeal process.

Academic Integrity Policies

Since the University is an academic community, its fundamental purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. Essential to the success of this educational mission is a commitment to the principles of academic integrity. Every member of the University community is responsible for upholding the highest standards of honesty at all times.

Students, as members of the community, are also responsible for adhering to the principles and spirit of the Code of Academic Integrity.

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