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UHD Graduate Policies - Academic Policies

Graduate Admission Procedure

Admission to graduate programs is competitive, incorporating a consideration of multiple factors like GPA, standardized test scores, etc.  Decisions for admission are made by department graduate committees.  Usually deadlines for admission are set by each department.  For information on deadlines, please visit


Applicants are notified about their status of application and admissions by mail.  Appeals of admission denials should be submitted to the appropriate Department Chair, and if necessary, to the College Dean.

Courses and Course Credit

Course Load

A full-time graduate course load during the fall and spring terms is 9 semester credit hours or three courses and 8 semester credit hours for MBA students. For students who are employed 40 hours per week, the recommended load is two courses, or six credit hours. Depending on the program, the regu­lar load for one combined summer session (9 weeks) is 6-9 credit hours. Students who wish to enroll in more than the recommended course load must seek approval from the appropriate academic dean. For further information on graduate course load consult specific master’s degree handbooks.


Part-of-Term (PoT)

Effective Fall 2011, UHD began utilizing shorter sessions, termed “Part-of Term” (PoT) within full terms.  For more information about these offerings, please review the posted academic calendars on the UHD website (

Schedule Changes

Schedule changes are made online, and may require approval by an academic advisor. Registration instructions for Schedule Changes are found in each term’s Registration & Information Bulletin and the dates for Schedule Changes are found in the online Academic Calendar.


Discontinued (Cancelled) Classes

The university reserves the right to discontinue classes or otherwise alter the class schedule. Whenever possible, enrollment in an alter­nate course is completed through an administrative change form initiated by the department responsible for discontinuing the class.



Students admitted to a graduate program are classified as graduate students. Post-baccalaureate students enrolled in graduate courses are governed by undergraduate policies.


Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all class sessions. The responsi­bility for  dropping from a course lies with the student. Departments and faculty members may have  additional attendance policies for their courses.
Transfer Credit


Acceptance of Transfer Credit
Students must submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended as a part of the admission process. An evaluation will be performed upon acceptance into the university. Course work transferred or accepted for credit toward a graduate degree must represent collegiate course work relevant to the degree, with course content and level of instruction resulting in student competencies at least equivalent to those of students enrolled in the institution’s own graduate degree program.


Six semester hours of graduate credit from another accredited insti­tution may be transferred into a degree plan, subject to approval from the graduate degree coordinator. After being admitted into a UH-Downtown graduate program, students should obtain approval from their degree-granting college before taking any courses, with intent to transfer.  Students may take up to 9 graduate hours with post-baccalaureate status.  However, these courses are evaluated by the department admitting the student, may not be accepted into the specific degree program, and may be limited to 6 hours.

Transfer credit will not be granted for courses in which grades of C or lower have been earned. Students should direct ques­tions concerning transfer credit to their graduate coordinator.


Evaluation of Transfer Credit
Transcripts will be evaluated for institutional transfer credit upon admission to a UH-Downtown graduate program. 


Transferring Credits from Other Countries
Students applying for admission with college credits from other countries must submit an evaluated transcript from a credential evaluation service recognized by the university. Graduate coordinators will consider granting transfer credit based on the recommendations of the evaluating serv­ice. Information and brochures from evaluating service agencies are avail­able at the Office of Admissions and online at


Auditing Courses
To audit a course is to enroll in a course on a noncredit basis. Audit students pay the regular tuition and all other applicable fees as set forth for the current academic year.  . Senior citizens 65 years or over may audit for free on a space-available basis. A change to credit status may not be made after the student has registered to audit a course. Changes from credit status to audit status in a course must be made prior to the end of the Official Day of Record. A Request for Audit form must be processed in the Registrar’s Office by the Official Day of Record for the appropriate term along with Instructor approval. Students wishing to audit courses should contact the Registrar’s Office for further details


Grading System and Standards


All students are expected to maintain high academic standards throughout their graduate programs. In general, graduate students may not make any more than a certain number of grades of C. Please consult your graduate handbook for additional information. In addition, grades of D or F are grounds for dismissal from the graduate program. All graduate students at UHD are subject to the following policies as well as any policies stated in the handbooks for each degree program. Links to the graduate programs can be found at


Academic Honesty
The Academic Honesty Code is embraced by all members of the University of Houston-Downtown academic community and is an essential element of the institution’s academic credibility. The Honesty Code states “We will be honest in all our academic activi­ties and will not tolerate dishonesty.” The purpose of the Academic Honesty Policy is to deal with alleged violations of the Honesty Code in a fair and consistent manner. The policy is administered jointly by students and faculty. It is each student’s responsibility to read and understand the Academic Honesty Policy. It may be found in the Student Handbook for each program.


Grading System

The following grades are included in the calculation of grade point


Grade* Grade Points
A Superior 4.0
B Above Average 3.0
C Average 2.0
D Below Average 1.0
F Failure 0.0

*Grade descriptions are subject to override by descriptions pub­lished in the handbooks for each graduate program.

The following grades are not included in the calculation of grade point averages:


A* Non-credit grade
B* Non-credit grade
C* Non-credit grade
I Incomplete
IP In Progress
Aud Audit
S Satisfactory (passing)
U Unsatisfactory (not passing)
W Withdraw



I (Incomplete)
An incomplete grade is given only when an unforeseen emer­gency prevents a student from completing the course work and only with the instructor’s approval. A grade of I will be changed to a passing grade if the missing work is completed satisfactori­ly by the deadline set by the instructor but no later than the end of the long semester immediately following the term in which the grade was received. An incomplete grade that is not removed by this deadline becomes an F. Repetition of a course for which an incomplete grade was received does not affect resolution of the original grade. An incomplete grade earned in a student’s graduating semester is computed as an F in determining grade point average.


IP (In Progress)
A grade of IP may be given in thesis and capstone courses. In the calculation of grade point average, a grade of IP is treated as a W. To receive credit for a course in which an IP was assigned, a student must regis­ter for the course again and earn a passing grade.


S (Satisfactory)
The grade of S may be earned in thesis and certain other courses. Credit received with a grade of S is not part of the grade point average calculation.


W (Withdrawal from Courses)

Students will not receive a grade for a course if they drop   the course by the Official Day of Record (see Academic Calendar).

Students automatically receive a grade of W for any course from which they  drop after the Official Day of Record up to the drop/withdrawal deadline as listed in the Registration & Information Bulletin

Official Day of Record and drop/withdrawal deadlines are published in the University Calendar online at and may be found in the Registration & Information Bulletin.

Class days are defined as days on which the university normally has one or more classes scheduled; not the days for which an individual student is scheduled for his/her particular classes.

Additional grading system information  applicable to graduate students  is pub­lished in the specific master’s degree handbook-.


Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grade point average is a measure of a student’s academic achievement. Grade point averages are computed by multiply­ing the grade point value by the number of credit hours in each course, and then dividing the sum of all grade points obtained by the total number of hours attempted. The following formula represents the method of computing grade point average:

Total Number of Grade Points    Total Number of Semester Hours

=  Grade Point Average

The number of grade points earned for each course equals the hour credit value of the course multiplied by the points awarded for grades received. Grades of I, S, U, IP and grades marked with an asterisk (*) in the table above are not counted in the cal­culation of the grade point average, except for graduation. Grades of I will be calculated as F grades in determining grade point average for graduation.

Graduate students must meet a graduation requirement of a minimum 3.0 grade point average.


Appeal of Grades

Any grade which a student believes to be in error should be appealed, first to the instructor, then to the appropriate depart­ment chair, and finally to the appropriate dean. If an appeal is not made within one calendar year after the close of the semes­ter in which the grade was received, the grade will be consid­ered final and no appeal will be heard.


Grades for Repeated Courses
Effective Spring 1994, when a course is repeated, only the most recent grade, even if it is lower than the original grade, will be used in computing the grade point average. This excludes courses repeated prior to Spring 1994.


Academic Probation and Suspension

In general, grades of D and F are grounds for suspension from the graduate program.  Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation and must continue to obtain a semester GPA of 3.0 or above while on probation. Failure to do so will result in suspension.  Please note that policies applicable to graduate students covering academic probation and suspension are published in the specific degree program handbooks.


Student Records


Requests for official UHD transcripts are made online through the MyUHD portal via Student eServices and are processed by the Registrar’s Office.  All requests for official UHD transcripts will be processed within 2-3 business days, with the exception of  transcripts that include coursework completed at South Texas Junior College, which may take up to 10 business days for processing.


Official transcripts from other institutions which are submitted to the Office of Admissions as part of the admissions process become the property of UHD and will not be rereleased to the student unless the request is covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Additionally, UHD does not include completed transfer coursework on the official UHD transcript.


Unofficial transcripts also known as the online grade history is available through the MyUHD Portal, under the My Transcript & Grades option in Student eServices.


Note: Grades for Part of Term (PoT) courses ending prior to the close of the full term   will be available online on the dates listed in the Academic Calendar. Part of Term (PoT) official grades will be displayed on the official transcript when grades for the full term are made available. See the Academic Calendar for grade posting dates at


Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirement

Effective January 1, 2012, Texas Senate Bill 1107 requires all students (under age 30) entering an institution of higher education (public and private) and enrolling into courses which meet face-to-face on campus to either receive a vaccination against bacterial meningitis or meet certain criteria for declining such a vaccination before classes start. .

For additional time-sensitive information about this requirement, please visit:


Release of Student Records
UHD has a policy in conformity with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) covering the release of student records.

Student rights include the following:
•   Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the university receives the request.
•   Students have the right to request amendment of their educa­tion records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading.
•   Students have the right to consent to the disclosure of person­ally identifiable information in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
•   Students have the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA.


Directory Information

At its discretion the University of Houston-Downtown may provide
directory information to the general public without student consent.
Directory information is defined by University of Houston-Downtown (within the guidelines of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) as follows:

  • Student’s name
  • Mailing address
  • Primary Telephone number
  • University assigned e-mail address
  • Date and place of birth
  • Classification
  • Enrollment status
  • Major and minor fields of study
  • Degrees, certificates, awards and honors received
  • Dates of attendance
  • Graduation date
  • Expected graduation date
  • Student’s user name
  • Most recent previous education institution attended
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams


Students may request that directory information be withheld from the public by contacting the Registrar’s Office at any time during the semester. Such requests must be made in writing and will remain in place until the student directs the office in writing that it is to be

Disclosure of Education Records

In accordance with FERPA and at its discretion, UHD will dis­close information from a student’s education records without the written consent of the student to school officials who have a legitimate educational or administrative interest in the records. A school official is defined as a person employed by the univer­sity in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including the university’s police department and health care staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a person assisting another school official in performing his or her official duties.


Procedure for Inspecting Education Records

A student has the right to inspect his or her education records and challenge the contents. To review records, a student must make a request in writing to the Registrar’s Office.
The request must clearly and specifically identify the record or records he or she wishes to inspect plus the purpose of the request. The request must be signed and dated by the student.


Procedure for Amending Education Records

If a student believes the information in his or her education record contains information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, the student should submit a writ­ten and signed request for amendment to the registrar. The request should clearly identify and correct the inaccuracy. The university will noti­fy the student within a reasonable time regarding the request. If the request for amendment is denied the student has the right to a hearing. This procedure does not govern grade appeals.


Change of Name and Address

An official change in name must be reported to the Registrar's Office and when applicable to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid . Original legal documentation must be presented along with a copy of the Social Security card when requesting a name change or correction, i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, naturalization certificate, etc.  A copy of your state issued driver’s license or government issued photo ID will also be required.  Mailing addresses may be changed online through the MyUHD Portal’s  Student eServices at under “My Personal Profile & Emergency Alerts.” Currently enrolled students requesting a name change should refer to the Student Information Change form for important information regarding updates to GatorMail and Blackboard.


Graduation under a Specific Catalog

A student usually graduates under the degree provisions of the Catalog in effect at the time of his or her first completed term of enrollment, where enrollment is defined as registration for and completion of at least one course. Students have the option of graduating under the Catalog in effect at the time of their major declaration or any subsequent Catalog. If degree requirements change during the time of the student’s enrollment, the student may be required to meet the new degree requirements if the number of hours the student must take has not increased.


•   No Catalog more than 10 years old may be used (unless specified otherwise in the student handbook for the student’s graduate degree program).
•   Students who interrupt their program for more than two con­secutive long semesters for reasons other than military service shall be governed by the Catalog in effect at the time of re­entry to the
•   Students whose enrollment is interrupted by military service must re-enroll within one year from date of separation from the serv­ice and no more than five years from the beginning of military service in order to remain under the provisions of the Catalog in effect at the time of original enrollment at the university.
•   Students forced to withdraw for adequate cause before comple­tion of their degree may upon readmission petition to graduate under the Catalog in effect at the time of original enrollment.
•   Students who change their major shall be governed by the Catalog in effect at the time of the change.

Application for Graduation

All degree candidates must file an application for graduation with their college and pay the $50 graduation fee by the Official Day of Record for the term of intended graduation. The graduation fee covers the costs of processing the graduation application, printing the diploma and mailing it to the graduate, and other costs associated with the commencement ceremony. If students fail to complete all degree requirements during the term in which they applied for graduation and paid the graduation fee, then they must apply for graduation and pay the graduation fee again when they become eligible to graduate.


Candidates must also place a diploma order, which specifies how they want their name to appear on the diploma, with the Registrar’s Office. The Diploma Order form is available on the Registrar’s Office webpage.

Commencement Exercises

Only students who complete all degree requirements, file an application for graduation, and pay the graduation application fee by the second Monday after the last day to withdraw from a course for the semester of graduation may participate in the commencement exercises. The final decision on eli­gibility for graduation and participation in commencement exercises rests with the appropriate academic dean.


Students participating in commencement must wear academic regalia. Arrangements for obtaining the appropriate academic regalia may be made through the university bookstore. Deadlines for ordering and paying for regalia are announced for each commencement.


Page maintained by UHD Academic Affairs Webmaster

Last updated or reviewed on 8/28/13

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