Graduate assistants (GA) perform duties that contribute significantly to their graduate education. Students holding assistantships are considered to be in training, and the graduate assistantship is a form of student support that combines training with financial income. Graduate Assistants are expected to work 20 hours per week on assistantship duties, which may or may not be related to the student’s degree plan, thesis or dissertation research. Duties will vary depending on the nature of the assistantship. Students receiving assistantships must be enrolled as a full-time student.
Graduate assistantships are typically funded by grants or other special funds and are not always available. There is no guarantee that graduate students will receive an assistantship nor that the assistantship will be available for the entirety of a student’s enrollment in a graduate program. Whether or not a student receives an assistantship is dependent upon the student’s qualifications and the availability of funding.
Students who are placed on academic probationary status are not eligible for graduate assistantships, stipends or scholarships and should discuss their status with the department’s graduate coordinator.
The graduate programs at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff provide three types of graduate assistantships: research, teaching, and administrative. Students hired to teach or perform research as part of their educational program should be hired as graduate assistants within their program of study. Students should not be hired as extra-help (as an hourly employee).
Only degree-seeking students within a doctoral or Master’s degree program, who are admitted with full or provisional status, are eligible to hold graduate assistantships. The Division requires that graduate assistants be registered as full-time students each semester as defined by the individual program where the graduate assistantship position is granted. Students are responsible for all tuition and fee payments. In addition, international students are required to use and pay for international health insurance and to submit the International Students Fee.
Types of Assistantships
- Graduate Research Assistantships
Research assistantships are typically awarded for 2 years for Master’s students and for longer periods to Ph.D. students. As part of a student’s assistantship, the student typically receives graduate resident tuition status. This is not meant to imply that all students will receive support or that support awarded will continue for the full time during which the student is enrolled in a graduate program. Whether or not a student receives support depends on the availability of funds and the suitability of the student to carry out the responsibilities associated with the support. Support beyond two years for a Master’s degree usually requires justification, which must be reviewed by the chair of the department and approved by the Dean of the School in which the assistantship is awarded prior to continuation.
Research assistantships are half-time (20 hours per week) appointments. The research conducted by the research assistant may or may not be part of the student’s thesis or dissertation research. The assistantship is intended to provide the student with broad training in research questions in the discipline, which may require work outside of the student’s immediate research question. Additionally, research assistantships are ordinarily funded through research grants to individual faculty members and funding possibilities should be discussed with prospective advisors. Because research funding may not always align with the student’s thesis or dissertation topics, research assistants may be required to work on the grant-funded project for their assistantship in addition to their thesis or dissertation research work. Faculty are encouraged to avoid assigning students to assistantships that do not align with the students’ thesis or dissertation research if possible.
Research assistants (RA) also conduct research that contributes directly to their graduate education. Supervision is by the graduate faculty and designated professional staff. The activities will develop tangible training that fosters originality, imagination, judgment, and patience; the traits of an independent scholar in their field of study. Typically, a research assistant is assigned activities eventually leading to a thesis or dissertation topic. However, this may not always be the case depending upon the specific research projects available or proposed. Although a research supervisor cannot guarantee that a particular project will be suitable thesis material, the supervisor is expected to offer a professional judgment as to whether the project is suitable, and he or she should offer this judgment to the research assistant at the start of the position. The final decision on the acceptability of a research topic for the thesis or dissertation will remain with the student’s program of study (POS) committee. Because of the widely varying demands of research duties, and because most research projects become part of a student’s thesis or dissertation, it is nearly impossible to set a specific workweek. The official university guideline for time spent should be viewed as minimal for a research assistantship.
- Graduate Teaching Assistantships
Teaching assistantships may also be available depending upon departmental funding. Graduate teaching assistants (TA) will share a faculty member’s responsibility for undergraduate teaching. The TA’s teaching load will necessarily vary from program to program, but should be consistent with the teaching load carried by faculty in the department. Since a teaching assistantship is an apprentice position in teaching, the TA should expect careful guidance from the department and faculty. This guidance may take the form of seminars, conferences, observations by experienced teachers, or other methods designed to develop teaching skills. The official university guideline for time spent should be viewed as maximal for a teaching assistantship.
- Graduate Administrative Assistantships
From time to time, a faculty or professional staff member may receive a grant which provides funding for a graduate assistantship in a role other than the typical research or teaching assistant. Graduate students may fill roles that are related to their studies such as advising, assuring regulatory compliance, developing and maintaining databases, and other tasks that provide direct or indirect professional experience in an administrative capacity. Graduate administrative assistantships are half-time (20 hours per week) “in training” positions. There should be a positive and clear mentorship role between the student and the student’s supervisor. Clear expectations and learning outcomes should be developed to demonstrate that the administrative assistantship significantly contributes to the graduate education of the student.
Truth and original thought are the foundations of any scholarly or academic endeavor. Research is an attempt to discover and explain the underlying principles, functions or structures of the natural world, historical events, human behavior and their interactions: truth; and ways in which they may be harnessed to improve understanding or application of the underlying principles, structures and functions to improve human life and safeguard the environment in which we live. Scholarship includes creation of ideas, artistic expression or new ways of interpreting current knowledge and their applications to improving human life and the environment in which we live: original thought. These are the foundations of membership in the academic, scholarly community. Graduate study is the point of entry into the broader academic and scholarly community.
Academic integrity is the profession and protection of truth, and recognition and attribution of original thought to its creator. Any action that undermines truth or original thought strikes at the core of what it means to be a scholar. The loss of one’s reputation for truthfulness or respect for original thought banishes one from membership in the academic community. Penalties for academicians who violate academic integrity standards can be severe and can impact scholars associated with the violator. Examples of penalties include retraction of publications, bans on receiving federal grant funding and loss of employment not only for the individual, but all of the authors of a publication or recipients of a grant. Because of the severe impact of the effects of violations of academic integrity to the reputation of the university and its scholars as members of the larger academic community, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff adheres to federal research misconduct policies and has adopted additional academic integrity policies of its own.
The Federal Office of Science and Technology published a Federal Policy on Research Misconduct (Federal Register: December 6, 2000 Volume 65, Number 235, Page 76260-76264). The following are excerpts from that Federal Policy.
I. Research Misconduct Defined
Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.
- Research, as used herein, includes all basic, applied, and demonstration research in all fields of science, engineering, and mathematics. This includes, but is not limited to, research in economics, education, linguistics, medicine, psychology, social sciences, statistics, and research involving human subjects or animals.
- Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
- Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
- The research record is the record of data or results that embody the facts resulting from scientific inquiry, and includes, but is not limited to, research proposals, laboratory records, both physical and electronic, progress reports, abstracts, theses, oral presentations, internal reports, and journal articles.
- Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
II. Findings of Research Misconduct
A finding of research misconduct requires that:
- There be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community; and
- The misconduct be committed intentionally, or knowingly, or recklessly; and
- The allegation be proven by a preponderance of evidence.
University Policies on Academic Integrity
In addition to Research Misconduct as defined above, part of a graduate degree program includes coursework. The University provides additional guidance on Academic Integrity as it applies to the classroom.
As an institution of higher education, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff upholds academic integrity as the guiding principle in an individual, or in a collective body of work to represent one’s own intellect and creativity. Academic integrity and intellectual honesty are reflected in publishing and disseminating any body of work as it relates to the individual and collective efforts of students, faculty, and/or staff as demonstrated in scholarly works, creative activities, research, and professional and community service in keeping with the mission of the University.
This document includes the guiding principle that governs any work occurring online, face-to-face in the classroom, in publications, or through any other media for academic progress. This section contains guidelines for reporting infractions and compliance as an ongoing commitment to the Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education’s and the University’s stance on academic integrity.
- Academic Dishonesty, relating to students, is the act of engaging in misconduct during completion of any assignments, showing inadequate acknowledgement of source materials for term papers, publishing or disseminating other materials that show evidence of plagiarism and manipulation, falsification or fabrication of experimental data or results.
- Academic Integrity is the moral code or ethical policy of academia. It is being responsible for producing an original work, and maintaining academic values void of cheating or plagiarizing. Use of the work of others is acceptable only if it is properly documented.
- Plagiarism is the act of representing or replicating another person’s work or ideas as your own or replicating your own previously published work (self-plagiarism).
- Sanctions are imposed penalties for violations of academic integrity.
All members of the University community must promote academic integrity and share in the responsibility of maintaining such in all activities. Each student must follow his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all work submitted.
Academic integrity is the foundation of a successful academic career and it is a prerequisite for any student who wants to receive a quality education that will serve as a basis for professional and personal success after graduation. In order for the university to succeed in its educational mission, students, faculty, and staff must adhere to the highest standards of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility in all of their dealings with each other. This concept demands that any student work presented truly represents the student’s own honest effort and is the product of his/her own intellect and abilities. Students and faculty, alike, are required to avoid any acts which may subvert or compromise the integrity of the educational process, including the awarding of grades.
Policy on Academic Integrity
Students who violate University rules on academic integrity will be subject to disciplinary sanctions (see below). Egregious violations may result in dismissal from the University for one academic year or permanently. Since all violations of academic integrity harm the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on academic integrity will be strictly enforced.
Violations include, but are not limited to:
- Submitting as one’s own work the words, ideas, or arguments of another person without appropriate attribution and documentation according to the style sheet used in the discipline: “F” on assignment.
- Submitting substantially the same course work to one instructor which has already been submitted to an instructor for credit in another class (self-plagiarism) with noted exceptions allowed in some areas: “F” on assignment.
- Using any materials, devices, or sources of information not authorized by the instructor during an examination, project, or assignment: “F” on assignment.
- Copying from another student’s paper during an examination or allowing another person to copy from you: “F” on examination.
- Collaborating during an examination with any person by giving or receiving information without specific permission from the instructor: “F” on examination.
- Collaborating on homework, take-home examinations, or out of class assignments when students have been told to work independently by their instructor: “F” on work.
- Submitting altered, fabricated, or falsified data as experimental data from laboratory projects, survey research, or other field research: “F” on assignment.
- Falsifying or inventing the sources or facts in a research paper or other assignment: “F” on assignment.
- Altering the answers, markings, comments, or grades on a paper or test in an effort to change the grade earned on a test or assignment: “F” on assignment.
- Sabotaging another student’s work: academic suspension.
- Altering grades or any other official records of the university without following established procedures: academic suspension.
- Falsifying or committing forgery on any university form or document, including materials intended to document excused absences: academic suspension.
- Doing course work for another student or getting another person to do course work for you. This includes the copying of homework assignments, taking examinations for someone else or allowing someone else to take examinations for you, and the purchase of another person’s work to submit as your own: academic suspension.
- Stealing, buying, or otherwise illicitly obtaining information about a not-yet-administered examination: academic suspension.
Research Misconduct Violations
Because of the severity of sanctions for university faculty, staff and other graduate students involved in research projects wherein any member of the group has committed an act of research misconduct, any violation of research misconduct guidelines will result in
- academic suspension for one semester
- a letter of reprimand for research misconduct placed in the student’s file
- immediate dismissal from the program
These academic sanctions are in addition to any legal penalties associated with the infractions. Students with knowledge of research misconduct are required to report that violation to their academic advisor, or the department chair/center director. Failure to report may result in sanctions being applied to the student who failed to report the incident.
Reporting Violations of Academic Integrity
Any instructor who alleges a student has committed a violation of academic integrity has the responsibility of documenting, reporting, and proposing sanctions. To do so, the instructor must utilize the Violation of Academic Integrity Reporting form.
Administration by Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs has the administrative authority and responsibility for the administration of student discipline for academic violations. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will work with faculty members, administrators, Deans of Schools, Dean of the Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education and the Academic Integrity Review Committee.
When a violation of academic integrity is suspected:
- Using the Violation of Academic Integrity Reporting form, the instructor has the responsibility of informing the student of the charge or allegation of violating academic integrity standards and of proposed sanctions as appropriate for the alleged violation. The instructor will inform the student of his/her right to appeal all decisions. The specification of what occurred to bring the allegation must be submitted in writing to the student. After reviewing the allegation and proposed sanction with the student, the instructor will give the student one week to affirm or deny charges and specifications.
- If the student does not affirm or deny the allegation, or submit a written request for appeal within one week, the silence will be interpreted as affirmative, and the prescribed sanction will be applied.
- If the student affirms the allegation and proposed sanction, the signed Violation of Academic Integrity Reporting form and supporting documents are forwarded to the following persons for their signature: Chair of the department where the violation occurred, the Dean of the student’s academic school, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education, the Academic Integrity Review Committee Chair and the Provost/ Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
- If the student denies the allegations, the instructor will submit the Violation of Academic Integrity Reporting form and supporting documents to the following persons for an independent review and due process procedures: Chair of the department where the violation occurred, the Dean(s) of the student’s and faculty member’s schools, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education, the Academic Integrity Review Committee Chair and the Provost/ Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Sanctions and Procedures
With all imposed sanctions, the student will be given due process as defined by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The student will be advised of their rights to an academic hearing by the Academic Integrity Review Committee.
The Appeal Process:*
- Instructor is asked by the student to reconsider the charge or allegation
- Department or Division Chair where the violation occurred reviews the student’s and faculty’s claims
- Dean of School where the violation occurred reviews the Department Chair’s decision
- Academic Integrity Review Committee reviews the Dean’s decision
- The Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education reviews all of the documentation and makes a recommendation to the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
- Provost/ Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs reviews all of the documentation and issues a final decision on the matter.
*The dean of the school in which the student is enrolled, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education and the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will be copied on all correspondence.
Procedural Steps for Progressive Violations:
- For the first violation, the student will be given an “F” for the assignment or examination and given a written warning that is placed in the student’s file but will not be indicated on his/her record. The student will be required to complete training related to academic integrity. Workshops on Academic Integrity will be offered by the John Brown Watson Memorial Library and information is taught in University courses.
- For the second violation, the student will receive an “F” for the course and a letter will be placed in the student’s academic file.
- For a third violation or first critical violation, the student will be suspended from the University for one academic year, given an “XF” on his/her transcript, and a letter will be placed in the student’s academic file. The student may appeal to have the “XF” removed after one year of successful course work after readmission to the University and without any reports of new academic violations.
- For a fourth violation or second critical violation, the student will be expelled from the University for repeated violations of academic integrity. The student will be given an “XF” on his/her transcript and a letter will be placed in the student’s academic file noting the offenses.
Class attendance and participation are essential to successful completion of any course. Students are encouraged to pursue the full academic experience which can best be achieved by attending classes on a regular basis. Failure to become fully engaged in the instructional experience via regular class attendance diminishes the learning outcomes and the student’s chances for success. Students are expected to be diligent in the pursuit of their education and are responsible for all materials covered or homework assignments given during any absence.
TUITION AND FEES
Tuition and fees are subject to change and are not guaranteed to remain the same as when the student is admitted. Tuition and fees are set by the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas System and are not subject to appeal. Follow this link for the latest information on tuition and fees charged by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
ACADEMIC PROGRESS, PROBATION, AND DISMISSAL
Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grade scale during their academic tenure in the Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education. This is a minimum standard, and some programs may have more stringent requirements. The cumulative grade point average is calculated:
Graduate students receiving a ‘D’ or ‘F’ in a course must repeat the course. A student who drops an individual course will receive a grade of W in the course. The final date for dropping individual courses can be found in the course schedule booklet each semester or on the University’s academic calendar. A student withdrawing from a course must have the written permission of the Graduate Advisor and the Center/Program Director or Department Chair.
Letter Grade - Grade points
Letter Grade - Grade points
A - 4.0/90 - 100
Pass, not included in GPA
B - 3.0/80 - 89
C - 2.0/70 - 79
D - 1.0/60 - 69
F - 0.0/ < 60
Audit, carries no credit
Incomplete “I” Grades
- Incomplete grades indicate that the student has not met specific requirements in a course and not that the student needs to repeat the entire course.
- The instructor will report an “I” only for a student who is passing, who can complete the assignments without additional instruction, and who can present a valid reason for not completing the work during the semester.
- The student must petition the instructor, in writing, for an incomplete grade, “I”, on or before the day of the final examination. The student must fulfill the necessary requirements of the course by the end of the semester immediately following the semester in which the “I” was incurred.
- The instructor must complete Academic Affairs Form 11B (Report of “I” grade) and file a copy in the department chair’s office along with a copy of the student’s petition. This form must include the signature of the instructor, the specific requirements to be completed, and a pre-calculated grade in the event that student does not fulfill the necessary assignments for the completion of the course.
- The instructor, or the departmental chair, in the absence of the instructor, is responsible for reporting the final grade change to the Office of Academic Records. The instructor should secure an “Incomplete” grade report form from the departmental chair or the Office of Academic Records and submit the form personally to Academic Records. Students are not permitted to have access to Change of Grade forms. If the grade is not changed by the instructor by the end of the following term in which the “I” was incurred, the departmental chair will submit the “Change of Grade” form with the pre-calculated grade as indicated on the accompanying AA form 11B to Academic Records.
Addendum to Incomplete Grade Policy
In the event of documented extenuating circumstances as defined by federal law (including, but not limited to, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Subchapter 2 of Chapter 126 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended in 2008) that prevents a student from meeting with specific requirements for a course, a student may petition for a grade of “I”, whether or not the student is passing the course. Documentation of the extenuating circumstances must be submitted for verification and approval to the Dean of Students. Final approval of the “I” grade due to extenuating circumstances resides with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
In the event of documented extenuating circumstances, as defined by federal law noted above, that prevent a student from meeting the requirements for a course in which a grade of “I” was received, a student may petition the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to extend the “I” grade for an additional semester. Additional extensions may be granted at the discretion of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in compliance with federal law while maintaining the academic integrity of the student’s degree program. Documentation of the extenuating circumstances must be submitted for verification and approval to the Dean of Students before a petition for an extension of the “I” grade will be considered.
TIME LIMITS AND EXPIRATION OF CLASSES
All requirements for the Master’s degree must be satisfied within six (6) consecutive calendar years of a candidate’s beginning of a course of study toward a degree. Courses older than six (6) years will not be counted toward the completion of a Master’s degree. All requirements for a doctoral degree must be satisfied within seven consecutive calendar years of a candidate’s beginning of a course of study toward a degree. Credit hours older than 84 months will not be counted toward a doctoral degree.
A student’s grade should represent the instructor’s good faith judgment of the student’s performance in the course based on the informed use of appropriate measurement and evaluation instruments. If a student disagrees with a grade he/she has received, the following procedure should be followed until the problem is resolved. These steps must be followed in order and appropriate documentation of each step (including notation of the date, time, location, length, content and final outcome of the discussion) must be provided in order to proceed to the next step.
- The student should discuss the disputed grade with the instructor of the course. This should normally take place during the instructor’s posted office hours.
- If the dispute is not resolved in step one, the student should request a meeting with the Department Chair/Center Director. The instructor of the course will also attend this meeting.
- If the dispute is not resolved in step two, the student should request a meeting with the dean of the school offering the course. The instructor of the course and the Department Chair/Center Director will also be present.
- If the dispute is not resolved in step three, the student should request a meeting with the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The instructor of the course, the Department Chair/Center Director, and the Dean of the school offering the course will also be present. The decision of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is final and no further appeal is possible.
Change of Grades
All grades, once reported, remain a matter of permanent record and cannot be changed, except in the case of a clerical error. Any appeal or question concerning an assigned grade must be made in writing within one semester after the grade is awarded.
Grade changes must be approved by the department chair and the academic dean under whose jurisdiction the course was taught. Faculty (no forms are given to students) may obtain forms for securing approval of grade changes from Academic Records/Registrar’s Office.
Schedule Change (Dropping and Adding)
Graduate students desiring to change their schedules should first consult their graduate advisor. Graduate courses are not always offered every semester or year. Dropping a course may significantly delay students’ progress to graduation. Graduate students should also be aware that they must comply with their graduate Program of Study. In the event dropping or adding courses results in changes to students’ Program of Study they must first amend their Program with the approval of their graduate advisor and graduate committee.
Students may add, drop, or change course sections by following the official procedure, which requires that they obtain and return the necessary forms to their academic department or the Registrar’s Office for processing during registration periods. Students desiring to enroll in a closed course must obtain the approval of their Chair or academic advisor, the Instructor of the course, and the Chair of the department offering the course. A closed course petition card should be used to process this request and can only be entered by the Registrar’s Office. Schedule changes may be made via Golden Gateway anytime during the registration period.
After the close of registration, only drops are permissible (within the established term deadline dates as outlined in the academic calendar) and cannot be done via Golden Gateway. An official drop slip must be completed and signed by the Instructor and the Departmental Chair or Academic Advisor.
For students enrolled in on-line courses only, students must submit a letter which includes:
- Course number
- Course name
- Course section
- Course instructor
Office of Academic Records
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
1200 N University Dr.
Mail Slot 4983
Pine Bluff, AR 71601
Courses dropped after the close of registration must be processed by the Registrar’s Office and will be recorded as “W” on an academic transcript. Failure to complete this procedure may result in a grade of “F” or “UF’ being entered on the student’s transcript.
In the event that a student’s grade point average falls below a 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation during the following semester. For programs that require students to be enrolled continuously, Summer term counts as a semester. Academic probation may be initiated by the Graduate Advisor, the Program/Center Director or Department Chair, or Dean of the School. If at the end of the following probationary semester, the student’s grade point average is still below a 3.0 s/he will be dismissed from the Graduate Program. The dismissal may be appealed to the advisory committee, Graduate Coordinator and the Program/Center Director or Department Chair.
Students on academic probationary status may not be admitted to Comprehensive Examinations or other examinations for advancement to candidacy. In addition, students on academic probationary status are NOT eligible for graduate fellowships, scholarships, stipends, or appointments. No student on academic probation may receive a graduate degree.
A student may be dismissed from the Graduate Program if his or her scholarly work or behavior is unsatisfactory. The recommendation for dismissal must be made in writing by the Graduate Advisor, stating specific examples of unsatisfactory scholarly work or behavior. The recommendation must follow a documented conference held between the student, the Graduate Advisor, the Program/Center Director or Department Chair, and the Dean for the School in which the program is offered. Official notification will be forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education and the Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.
International students who are dismissed from the university are in violation of their immigration status and are subject to immigration enforcement actions. Dismissed international students should be referred to the Office of International Programs.
Dismissed students may petition for readmission by submitting a written appeal to the Graduate Coordinator of the program from which s/he was dismissed. Readmission is at the discretion of the graduate faculty of the academic program from which the student was dismissed.
A student may have a grievance against an instructor which goes beyond a dispute over the grades received in a course. Such grievances might involve allegations that the instructor is harassing students, practicing extortion, not meeting his/her classes, or is generally incompetent. For such non-grade oriented grievances, the following procedure should be followed until the problem is resolved. These steps must be followed in order and appropriate documentation of each step (including notation of the date, time, location, length, content and final outcome of the discussion) must be provided in order to proceed to the next step.
- The student should make the grievance known to his/her Instructor. If the grievance is not resolved in step one, the student should request a meeting with the Department Chair/Center Director. The instructor will not be present at this meeting, but a follow up meeting will be scheduled with the instructor and the Department Chair/Center Director.
- If the grievance is not resolved in step two, the student should request a meeting with the dean of the school offering the course. The instructor of the course and the department chair/Center Director will also be present at this meeting.
- If the grievance is not resolved in step three, the student should request a meeting with the Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education. The dean of the school offering the course will also be present at this meeting.
- If the grievance is not resolved in step three, the student should request a meeting with the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The dean of the school offering the course and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education will also be present at this meeting. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will schedule a follow up meeting with the instructor, the department chair/Center Director, and the dean of the school offering the course and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education.
- If the grievance is not resolved in step four, the student should request a meeting with the Chancellor. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will also attend this meeting. The Chancellor will schedule a follow up meeting with the instructor, the department chair/Center Director, the instructor’s dean, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education and the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Chancellor also has the option of empowering a panel of professors (preferably with graduate teaching status) to review the allegations made by the student, render a judgment, and recommend an action for the Chancellor to implement. The decision of the Chancellor will be final.
The University recognizes that under some circumstances, students may feel compelled to suspend their studies temporarily. Students who need to drop ALL of their courses may withdraw from the University. Students who officially withdraw from the University will receive a grade of ‘W’ for all of their courses. Students who complete the registration process and decide to withdraw later must complete the following steps prior to exiting the University:
- Secure official withdrawal forms from the Student Success Center.
- Obtain signature from their academic advisor or chair.
- Obtain signature from the Office of Student Financial Services.
- Obtain signature from Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
- Return official withdrawal forms to the Office of Academic Records.
Note: International students must also secure clearance from the UAPB Designated School Official after signature from Student Financial Services.
Students enrolled in online courses only or those away from campus must submit a letter requesting withdrawal from the University. The withdrawal notification must be submitted to the Office of Academic Records by letter or by fax.
Students who fail to withdraw officially will receive failing grades (UF) in all courses, which may jeopardize their future eligibility to receive financial aid. They also will be charged fees and tuition in accordance with the fee schedule in effect. International students who withdraw unofficially are in violation of their immigration status and are subject to immigration enforcement actions. International students are strongly cautioned to contact the Office of International Programs before leaving the university unofficially.
Students who officially withdraw from the university may return the following semester. Students who have withdrawn from the university for more than one semester must reapply to the university. Students who withdraw unofficially may fail to meet the standards for academic progress and may not be eligible to return to the graduate program. Students who withdraw unofficially should contact their graduate coordinator to determine their eligibility to return.
Leave of Absence Policy
It is the policy of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to encourage graduate students to enroll continuously so that they may complete their graduate degree programs as efficiently as possible. Periodically, graduate students may be impacted by extraordinary circumstances beyond their control (birth of a child, long-term illness of a close family member, personal illness or injury, military service) which may prevent them from successfully continuing their studies for a defined period of time. For this reason, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has developed a Leave of Absence policy.
Students may petition for a Leave of Absence of no less than one semester and for as long as one year. Under exceptional circumstances students may petition for additional time on a case-by-case basis. Students may not be granted multiple Leaves of Absence except under the most extraordinary circumstances, and requests for more than one Leave of Absence will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Students who do not return from their Leave of Absence when it expires will be required to reapply for admission to the Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education.
Students on Leave of Absence are not considered to be enrolled at the university and will not have access to university resources including the library, laboratory space, faculty time or course materials. Students may not complete any degree requirements (comprehensive exams, advancement to candidacy, defense or submission of thesis or dissertation, project completion and review, etc.) while on Leave. Once a Leave of Absence is granted, the student’s time-to-degree limitations stop and do not begin again until the student returns from Leave or withdraws. If a student on Leave withdraws from the university, the time-to-degree clock resumes.
Students are expected to request a Leave of Absence before the beginning of the term in which it will begin. When this is not possible, students who request their Leave prior to Enrollment Census will simply be removed from all of their courses with no record of enrollment that term. Students who request a Leave after Enrollment Census will receive a grade of W for all of their classes that semester.
Students requesting a Leave of Absence must submit the Leave of Absence Request form to the Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education. Students should be prepared to provide acceptable documentation to accompany their Leave of Absence Request (physician’s statement, military orders/documentation, or other appropriate documents) to the Dean of Student Life who will make a determination of the appropriateness of granting a Leave of Absence. The request must then be approved by the student’s graduate advisor and acknowledged by the graduate program coordinator, and department chair. The Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education will notify the Dean of the student’s School and the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Provost.
Students on Leave of Absence status are not eligible for any form of student financial aid, scholarships, assistantships, fellowships or other forms of financial support that presuppose enrollment at the university. Students on Leave of Absence status cannot be certified as full-time or part-time students. Students should discuss their situation with the Office of Student Financial Services to understand the impact Leave of Absence status may have on their student loans and any applicable repayment grace periods. Students should also ensure that they do not owe a balance to the university so that there will be no financial barriers to their return to graduate study.
A Leave of Absence in no way guarantees that research funding or assistantships will be available to the student upon return to the graduate program. Graduate student stipends and research projects are typically grant-funded and those funds must be used to complete the grant-funded project within a specified timeframe. Research programs are designed sequentially over a period of years and interruptions to that sequence may not be possible. This may also increase the time which it will take for a student to complete a graduate program because a new research project may have to be substituted for the original project upon which the student was working. It is critical that students consult with their faculty advisor to determine whether a research project and funding will be available for them when they return from Leave before they go on Leave.
International students MUST contact the Office of International Programs to make sure they understand the effect taking a Leave of Absence will have on their immigration status. Students on Leave may be required to return to their home country while they are on Leave and may face additional immigration requirements in order to return to the U.S. to complete their graduate program.
Involuntary Withdrawal for Medical Reasons
Students with certain physical, psychological, or emotional health conditions may be subject to involuntary withdrawal from the university with an order to leave the campus. This may be imposed when there is clear and convincing evidence that:
- The student’s current state of physical health poses a substantial danger to the health or well-being of other members of the university community; or
- The student is suffering from a mental disorder and, as a result of that disorder, engages or threatens to engage in behavior which:
- poses a substantial danger or risk of causing harm to the student or others;
- poses a substantial danger or risk to university property, or to the property of another member of the university community; or
- engages in conduct which substantially impedes or disrupts the authorized activities of other members of the university community.
The Dean of Students makes the determination as to the student’s medical status and whether the student will be withdrawn involuntarily. Students involuntarily withdrawn from the university must be cleared through the Division of Student Affairs before being re-admitted.
THE GRADUATE THESIS/DISSERTATION
Students enrolled in a thesis- or dissertation-based graduate program are expected to complete a significant, independent research project under the direction of their graduate advisors. A thesis or dissertation is a scholarly publication that presents the results of the independent, novel research that you have completed as a result of your graduate studies. Writing a thesis or dissertation requires considerable time and effort. Graduate students are encouraged to begin researching the scientific literature to develop the introductory or literature review sections of their theses as soon as they have an approved research project. Not only will this help avoid delays in completing your graduate degree, but it will improve your understanding of the research project upon which you are working at an earlier point in your work.
Thesis/Dissertation Seminar Presentation, Defense, and Submission
The final milestone for the student is the successful completion and defense of the thesis/dissertation. The thesis/dissertation must consist of original research developed and implemented by the student. All students planning to defend their thesis will have an advisory committee meeting to determine if research is sufficient, all courses on the plan of study have been taken/successfully passed, and the thesis draft is in satisfactory condition for defense. The entire advisory committee must be given sufficient time to review and approve the thesis for defense prior to scheduling the defense. The student’s advisor and advisory committee must concur that the thesis/dissertation is ready for defense. The advisory committee shall also serve as the thesis defense committee. The thesis/dissertation seminar and defense must be scheduled and advertised at least two (2) weeks before the intended presentation date.
The thesis/dissertation will be presented in a public seminar format. The student will give a 30 - 45 minute overview of their research and results followed by audience questions. The student’s advisor will serve as moderator of the seminar. The seminar (presentation and questions) will last approximately one (1) hour. Immediately following the seminar, the student and advisory committee will meet for the thesis/dissertation defense. Upon completion of the thesis/dissertation defense, the student will be excused while the advisory committee determines the outcome of the defense (Pass or Fail). Passing the thesis defense requires unanimous committee agreement. One dissenting vote is allowed for the student to pass his/her Ph.D. dissertation defense if it is not the advisor. The advisory committee may elect to pass a student with conditions such as recommending minor changes to their thesis/dissertation. The student will be notified immediately following the defense of their success or failure and the changes must be made before the thesis/dissertation will be given final written approval by the committee. The chair of the student’s advisory committee will provide written notification of the defense outcome to the student and the Graduate Coordinator.
In the event that the student fails the defense, the student may elect to defend a second and final time no less than thirty (30) days after the initial defense. In the event that the student fails the second defense, the student will be dismissed from the program.
After making the recommended changes to the thesis/dissertation, the student will secure written approval from each committee member (signature page). Original signatures of each committee member, the graduate coordinator, and the Department Chair are required on each copy of the signature page (up to six (6) copies). After receiving the proofread thesis/dissertation with completed signature page, the advisor notifies the graduate coordinator that the thesis/dissertation requirement has been fulfilled and provides a copy of the cover and signed signature page. Notification that the thesis/dissertation is complete must be made two weeks prior to commencement to be included in the program.
Six (6) copies of the proofread thesis/dissertation must be printed on 25% cotton bond paper, copied as a PDF file, and must be submitted to the Watson Memorial Library. The Watson Memorial Library will ensure that the paper is the correct bond, ensure that photographs are glued properly, and submit the six (6) copies to the binder. One bound copy is for the student, one copy is for the advisor, two copies are for the library, and two copies are for the department. One additional PDF version, including a scanned copy of the completed signature page, must be submitted to the Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education. The cost for reproduction is the responsibility of the student. The cost for binding is the responsibility of the library.
Dissertation, Thesis and Project Format
Graduate projects for non-thesis degree programs, theses and dissertations must be formatted according to the UAPB Thesis and Dissertation Guide issued by the Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education. Students should use a consistent style and formatting throughout their document. Acceptable style guides include American Psychological Association (APA), Council of Biology Editors (CBE), Modern Language Association (MLA), or a guide appropriate to your discipline as approved by your department.
The semester in which students graduate can be a particularly hectic time, and it is easy for students to overlook or omit a step in the graduation process. Students are encouraged to complete the graduation checklist early to avoid failing to complete all of the requirements for graduation by the deadlines.
- Students should petition for graduation with the Registrar one semester before they intend to graduate. For students planning to graduate in May, the application for graduation is due in September, and for students planning to graduate in December, the application deadline is in May.
- Log in to your Student Self Service/Golden Gateway account and verify that you have completed, or will complete by the end of the term in which you plan to graduate, all of the requirements of your Plan of Study listed under the Progress tab. Submit substitution forms if changes need to be made (available through your graduate coordinator).
- Schedule your project, thesis or dissertation defense with your committee. Plan your defense for at least two weeks before the deadline for submission to the Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education to allow yourself time to complete any changes required by your committee after your defense.
- During the final semester, students must take final examinations early (see the academic calendar) and instructors must submit final grades according to the same schedule.
- Students should complete the Cashier’s Office clearance form and submit it to the Cashier’s Office.
- Students must have completed and defended their graduate projects, theses or dissertations and submitted them to the Division by 4:30 PM on the last day of final exams for graduating seniors, which can be found in the academic calendar.
- Students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average to graduate.