Jun 24, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Procedures

The general policies of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) are determined by the Graduate Council and administered by the dean.

Policies may be modified at any time by the Graduate Council. Students should review the Student Policy website at www.hsc.unt.edu/policies/policieslist.cfm for additional policies and procedures concerning their roles as students.

Academic Misconduct

Cheating and plagiarism are types of academic misconduct for which penalties are described and assessed under the Student Code of Conduct and Discipline (see Student Policy website).

The term cheating includes, but is not limited to: (1) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; (2) dependence upon the aid of sources specifically prohibited by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems or carrying out other assignments; and (3) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a faculty or staff member of UNT Health Science Center (UNTHSC).

The term plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. Plagiarism also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.

Specific penalties can be assigned by a faculty member for certain cases of academic misconduct (including cheating and plagiarism). These penalties include: giving a failing grade for the test or assignment; reducing or changing the grade for the test, assignment or course; requiring additional academic work not required of other students; and assigning a failing grade in the course. Other specific penalties can be recommended by a faculty member to the appropriate administrative/academic authority, including denial of the degree, expulsion from UNTHSC, or revoking of a degree already granted.

All GSBS students are responsible for making themselves aware of the definitions and implications of academic misconduct. For further information on academic misconduct, penalties and appeal procedures, the student should refer to the Student Code of Conduct and Discipline at the policy website.

Academic Standing of Student Officers

A student in GSBS must be in good academic standing to run for office in any student organization and must remain in good academic standing throughout the term of office, if elected.

Annual Performance Review

Every degree-seeking GSBS student will undergo an annual performance review by the major professor which will be reported to the GSBS administration through the discipline by the graduate advisor. The review process is designed to assist students in meeting discipline expectations and document students’ annual progress toward degree.

Appeal Processes

Specific policies and procedures have been established for students seeking to file academic or misconduct appeals. These policies and procedures appear in the Student Policies website at www.hsc.unt.edu/policies/policieslist.cfm.

Advice concerning how to pursue appeals on any other matter can be sought from the Division of Student Affairs.


With the written permission of the instructor and the graduate dean, an individual fully eligible to enroll in GSBS may sit in a class as an auditor without receiving graduate credit. The auditor’s name will not be entered on the class roster and the instructor will not accept any papers, tests or examinations.

Attendance as an auditor may not be used as the basis of a claim for credit in the course. Students who are enrolled for credit may audit classes without payment of additional fees; others pay an auditor’s fee as shown in the Tuition and Fee Register.

A person 65 years of age or older may enroll as an auditor and observer without credit and without payment of an audit fee if space is available and if approved by the institute director and the graduate dean. Such enrollment entitles the person to library privileges, but not the use of laboratory equipment and supplies, or health benefits.

Change of Discipline

Any student requesting a change of discipline must be in good academic standing and have approval of the major professor, graduate advisor and institute director of both the original and the requested disciplines. Students on academic probation are not allowed to change disciplines. Request for Change of Discipline forms are available on the GSBS Forms and Guidelines site.

Class Attendance

Regular and punctual class attendance is expected. Although, in general, students are graded on intellectual effort and performance rather than attendance, absences may lower the student’s grade where class attendance and class participation are deemed essential by the instructor. In those classes where attendance is considered as part of the grade, the instructor should so inform students at the semester’s beginning by a written notice. Any instructor who informs students in writing about the necessity of class attendance may request of the Registrar that a student be dropped from the course with a grade of WF upon the accumulation of the stated number of absences.

If the instructor-initiated drop action falls within the time that the student is eligible to drop with instructor consent and without penalty, the Office of the Registrar notifies the student that a WF will be recorded unless the student initiates the drop procedure, in which case a W will be assigned.

Disciplines and similar academic units have authority to establish a discipline-wide or course-wide policy, providing that the policy is in accordance with the above stipulations.

For information regarding absence due to religious observances, visit the policy website at www.hsc.unt.edu/policies/policieslist.cfm.

Concurrent Enrollment at Another Institution

GSBS students must secure written permission from the dean before registering for any course or courses at another institution while registered for any courses at UNTHSC.

Failure to secure the required permission for concurrent enrollment prior to registration at the second institution may cause GSBS to refuse degree credit for the work taken elsewhere. In no case may the combined total of semester hours enrolled for at the two institutions exceed the maximum load permitted to graduate students.

Course Deficiencies

A student whose undergraduate record does not show completion of the courses prerequisite to his/her discipline will be required to make up such deficiencies in a manner prescribed by the discipline or advisory committee.

Courses of Instruction

Normally, lectures meet one hour per week for each semester credit hour (SCH). For the exceptions, the Schedule of Classes will explain meeting times. The SCH formula is 15 contact hours (including examinations) equals 1 SCH for didactic courses. Laboratory based courses require 30 contact/clock hours for 1 SCH.

Individual courses of instruction are subject to change or withdrawal at any time and may not be offered each semester of every year. Any course may be withdrawn from current offerings if the number of registrants is too small to justify conducting the course.

Course Syllabus

The course syllabus contains specific educational requirements - assignments, evaluations, grading and other conditions of performance - that must be satisfactorily completed in order to receive a passing grade. Modifications to the requirements and procedures of a course may be made when judged necessary to improve instruction or to conform to scholastic regulation of the college.

Students should receive a syllabus no later than the second class meeting of any course. Syllabi will not be distributed for courses in laboratory techniques, individual research, internship practicum, thesis, or dissertation. All other courses must provide students with syllabi that include the following information as appropriate to the course: required texts, exam dates, lecture topics and assignments for each class meeting, attendance policy, course objectives, explanation of how grades will be determined, and information on contacting the course director. Syllabi must be on file with GSBS prior to the first day of the semester.

Enrollment Requirements

To be considered full-time in a long semester, MS students must enroll in 9 SCH while PhD students must enroll in 12 SCH. Enrollment in a total of 6 SCH is considered full-time for the summer.

For the Forensic Genetics and DNA Database Technology certificate, there are two options. Option 1 is a one-week experience whereby students earn 2 SCH for intensive laboratory training. Option 2 is a full-time certificate program, spanning four-weeks of training with 8 SCH earned.

PhD students who have advanced to candidacy are required to enroll in a minimum of 9 SCH each long semester and 6 SCH each summer semester.

Students (MS and PhD) enrolled prior to Summer 2011 must enroll in a minimum of 6 SCH each semester after advancing to candidacy.

Graduate students may schedule as many as 16 SCH during any long semester or 7 SCH in a summer semester.

Final Examinations

If a final examination is administered, faculty members are expected to schedule it during the final class meeting.

If a final examination is not given in a particular course, the faculty member is expected to use the final examination period for summary, evaluation or other productive purposes.

Students who have as many as three final examinations scheduled on one day may appeal to the graduate dean to reschedule one of those examinations on another day during the final week of the semester.

Graduate Advisor

The graduate advisor is the official representative of the graduate dean in matters affecting graduate students in the advisor’s discipline. There should be a close working relationship between the advisor and the staff of GSBS. The graduate advisor is the liaison between the graduate dean and the discipline. The graduate advisor should keep the relevant institute director and faculty informed on matters pertaining to graduate education. The dean is dependent upon the experience and judgment of graduate advisors and upon their recommendations in matters requiring the dean’s action. The dean’s staff provides information to the advisors on a continuing basis and responds to requests for special assistance.

The graduate advisor is responsible for supervising graduate study in the discipline, ensuring that each graduate student is assigned an individual faculty advisor within the discipline, monitoring progress toward degree including management of the qualifying examination process, and representing the faculty of the discipline as a member of the Graduate Council.


It is the responsibility of the student to stay abreast of progress toward the degree and to file the appropriate degree application in the GSBS Office of Admissions and Services. Consult the GSBS Academic Calendar  for the deadlines. The student’s final cumulative grade point average must be at least a 3.0 to qualify for graduation.

Information concerning graduation fees is contained in the Tuition and Fee Register. Students anticipating graduation should consult the GSBS Academic Calendar  for final dates for payment of fees and meeting other graduation requirements. All fines, fees, etc. must be cleared before the diploma will be issued. All necessary forms and instructions are available on the GSBS Graduation website.

Because of the time required to receive transcripts, students otherwise eligible for graduation who complete their last course or courses elsewhere will not graduate at the end of the semester in which the work is completed, but will receive their degrees at the close of the subsequent semester.

Commencement exercises are held each year in May; however, degrees are conferred at the end of each semester. All information related to commencement exercises is available from the Office of the Registrar. Diplomas may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar after verification is received from GSBS that all requirements for the degree have been satisfied.

Leave of Absence

If a situation arises where a student must set aside his/her graduate studies for a period of time, a leave of absence (LOA) may be requested. LOA may be requested for up to three semesters. If additional leave is needed, a new form must be submitted. The maximum amount of LOA is six semesters (two academic years). A student on LOA cannot receive funding as a graduate student. LOA status may affect student loans. Graduate advisors will be notified of any change to the LOA.

The student initiates the request by obtaining the LOA form from the Office of the Registrar and returning the completed form to the Office of the Registrar.

Toward the end of a period of approved LOA, the student must take steps to resume studies at the beginning of the next semester, extend the LOA, or withdraw from GSBS. To resume studies, the student obtains approval from the major professor and graduate advisor and registers for classes. To extend the LOA, the student completes and submits a new LOA Request. To withdraw from school, the student follows the normal procedures for withdrawal, including completion of the clearance process.

If a student will be away from campus for more than five consecutive days, he/she is required to notify the account holder (if on payroll), major professor, and graduate advisor by completing the Temporary Leave of Absence form available on the GSBS Forms and Guidelines website. A student will be placed on leave without pay if he/she is away from campus for more than fourteen consecutive days.

Make-Up Examinations

A make-up examination is defined as an examination administered to a student in lieu of a regular course examination when the student has (1) arranged in advance to take an examination early or late or (2) missed taking a regularly scheduled examination. Make-up examinations are given only in the case of an approved absence or a documented medical excuse.

Approval is required from the Course Director or Core Curriculum Director to authorize a make-up examination. If a make-up examination is not authorized by the Course Director or Core Curriculum Director, the student may appeal to the Dean. After consulting with the Course Director or Core Curriculum Director, the Dean will make the final decision on the appeal. A student who misses a scheduled examination without receiving approval by the Course Director, Core Curriculum Director or Dean to either take an early or late examination or to make up a missed examination, will receive a grade of zero for that examination.

A student who misses an examination is not permitted to participate in any post-exam review of that examination if he/she has not completed the make-up examination by the time the post-exam review takes place.

To request an early or late make-up examination, a student must complete an excused absence form requesting a make-up examination from the Course Director or Core Curriculum Director. In the case of an early examination, the completed form must be submitted at least five days before the date of the exam. If the student misses an exam because of a medical reason, a health care provider’s (DO, MD, PA or NP) excuse must be attached to the excused absence form. This form documents the reason for the absence and the date the student requested the make-up examination.

If the absence is approved, a make-up examination will be administered within the appropriate time-frame determined by the course director or core curriculum director.

Course Duplications

A student may enroll for a course a second time and have it counted as part of the semester’s load. If a course is repeated, the last grade recorded will be considered in calculating the GPA and in certifying the student’s eligibility for graduation.

The responsibility for initiating the official recording of a grade duplication lies entirely with the student. In the absence of such a request, the Office of the Registrar will include a repeated course in the student’s cumulative record of hours attempted and grade points earned.

Graduate courses may only be repeated one time.

Quality of Work Required

Graduate students must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA. The student whose GPA earned at another institution is below 3.0 will be required to make up the deficiency either at the other institution or at UNTHSC. This regulation applies not only to graduate work attempted elsewhere before the student was first admitted to GSBS, but also to graduate work attempted elsewhere after the student’s admission at UNTHSC.

Students must make satisfactory progress toward completion of degree requirements in order to remain in good standing within a specific degree program. Students whose progress is unsatisfactory may be removed from the program by the graduate dean on recommendation of the student’s discipline.

Each student’s semester grades and semester GPA will be reviewed at the completion of every semester. To remain in good academic standing, an overall GPA of 3.0 or better must be maintained. The student who does not maintain the GPA will be placed on probation and have one long semester to correct the deficient GPA. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from GSBS. Dismissals may be appealed in writing to the graduate dean within five working days of notification of dismissal. Students involved in an appeal continue to attend class and sit for examinations until final conclusion of the process.

Students receiving state-supported assistantships will remain on assistantship during the semester the student is attempting to correct the deficient GPA, unless otherwise specified by the dean.

A student earning an “F” in any graduate level course will be dismissed from GSBS. Dismissals may be appealed in writing to the graduate dean within five working days of notification of dismissal. Students involved in an appeal continue to attend class and sit for examinations until final conclusion of the process. If the student is allowed to continue in graduate school, his/her program discipline may have additional requirements/stipulations for continuation in the discipline. The course in which the student achieved an “F” grade must be repeated. No student may graduate with an unresolved “F” on his/her record.

Grade Requirements for the Integrated Core Curriculum

All students in GSBS must successfully complete an integrated core curriculum. Refer to “Degree Programs,” below, for a listing of courses required.

Master of Science Students

A Master of Science (MS) student may continue in his/her program in good standing with “C” grades in the core courses as long as the student’s overall GPA is maintained at 3.0 or better. If the student’s overall GPA falls below 3.0, he/she will be placed on academic probation and have one long semester to bring the overall GPA to at least 3.0.

Any MS student who has earned a “C” grade in a core course who then elects to apply for the PhD program after completing the master’s degree must retake the core courses in which the “C” grade was earned and obtain a “B” or better in the repeated course. The student will only be allowed one opportunity to retake the course(s) in question.

Doctor of Philosophy Students

PhD students must maintain an overall integrative core GPA of 3.0 or better to remain in good academic standing.

A student failing to achieve an overall core GPA of 3.0 or better but only receiving one “C” grade, will be required to retake the course in question and will be on probation until a grade of “B” or better is earned in the particular core course. The student who does not receive a “B” or better in a repeated course will be immediately dropped to the master’s program.

If a student has an overall core GPA of 3.0 or better after completing all core courses, but has earned one “C” grade for any core course, the student’s discipline policy will dictate if the student must retake the course in question and will be on probation until a grade of “B” or better is achieved in the particular core course. The student who does not receive a “B” or better in a repeated course will be immediately dropped to the master’s program.

A student receiving two or more “C” grades in core courses will be required to repeat the courses. If the repeated courses do not result in a “B” or higher, the student will be dropped to the MS program. This student will not be re-admitted to a PhD program until successful completion of the master’s degree and sufficient core courses are repeated with “B’s” or better to bring the student’s core GPA to at least a 3.0 and to meet the requirements of the student’s discipline. The student will only be allowed one opportunity to retake the courses in question.

Remediation of First-Year Courses

A student who fails any graduate course will be dismissed. However, the student may appeal the dismissal in writing to the dean. The dean considers appeals on a case-by-case basis. If the dean overturns the dismissal and allows the student to continue in the program, he/she may remediate a failed course under specific circumstances described here.

Remediation courses will consist of a period of directed self-study followed by one or more comprehensive exams equivalent in depth and breadth to the regular semester core course. The format of the exam is at the discretion of the course director and may be multiple choice, essay, oral or term paper. The Course Director, in consultation with faculty and the Core Director, will post a syllabus and expectations of what the student is required to study on Canvas (e.g., PowerPoint presentations, reading assignments, handouts, study strategy, practice questions). Faculty will be available to meet with the students to address questions and concerns once per week. This schedule will be posted on Canvas.

In the event the Course Director permits sectional remediation, defined as a remediation of that part of the course associated with one or two exams (or less than the full complement of exams in the course), the final grade will be determined by replacing the original exam score with the associated remediated exam score.  The grade for the remediation course will be recalculated on the basis of this change.

Specialized MS Students

Specialized MS students (e.g., Biotechnology, Medical Sciences and Clinical Research Management students) who fail only one core course may obtain permission to repeat one core course during the Summer semester. The repeated course is considered equivalent to the Fall and Spring core courses. Thus, the grade earned by repeating the course in the summer will replace the failed grade in the grade point average calculation; however, the initial grade will remain on the transcript. Courses that are available for remediation for these students are:

Principles of Biochemistry (BMSC 5301)
Molecular Cell Biology (BMSC 5302)
Immunology and Microbiology (BMSC 5303)
Physiology (BMSC 5304)
Pharmacology (BMSC 5305)

Traditional MS and PhD Students

For traditional MS and PhD students, remediation of the following courses may be allowed:

Fundamentals in Biomedical Science I (BMSC 6201)
Fundamentals in Biomedical Science II (BMSC 6202)
Fundamentals in Biomedical Science III (BMSC 6203)
Fundamentals in Biomedical Science IV (BMSC 6204)

Permission will be granted for those students who fail only one core course. Students are allowed to remediate one core course. The remediated course is considered equivalent to the original course. Thus, the grade earned by remediating the course will replace the failed grade in the grade point average calculation; however, the initial grade will remain on the transcript. Traditional students who earn a “C” in a core course in which a “B” is required for satisfactory completion may also apply to remediate a single course in the same manner.

Probation and Suspension

A student who fails to maintain the required overall GPA of 3.0 will be subject to academic probation. If the student’s grades do not improve, the student may be subject to suspension for a period of up to one calendar year before becoming eligible to re-enroll for further graduate courses. Graduate work completed elsewhere during a period of suspension at UNTHSC will not be counted for graduate credit at UNTHSC.

The student whose graduate school GPA falls below 3.0 must make up the deficit, either by repeating courses in which the grades are low or by completing other graduate school courses with grades high enough to bring the graduate school GPA up to 3.0. Low grades made in graduate courses at UNTHSC may not be duplicated at other institutions. A student who receives an Unsatisfactory (U) grade in Internship Practicum (BMSC 5697), Individual Research (BMSC 5998 or 6998), Thesis (BMSC 5395) or Doctoral Dissertation (BMSC 6395) will be placed on academic probation. If the student receives a subsequent U grade, he/she may be subject to suspension.

A student on academic probation as the result of performance in courses other than Internship Practicum (BMSC 5697), Thesis (BMSC 5395), or Dissertation (BMSC 6395) may not register for Internship Practicum (BMSC 5697), Thesis (BMSC 5395), or Dissertation (BMSC 6395).

Students may be dismissed from the program for failure to make academic progress.

See “Quality of Work Required” and “Grade Requirements for Integrated Core Curriculum” sections, above.