A graduate student must assume full responsibility for knowledge of rules and regulations of The Graduate School and departmental requirements concerning the individual degree program.
Note: Policies and procedures specific to doctoral programs are listed under “Doctoral Degree Programs” in Admission Procedures .
Accommodations and Assistance
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and assuring that no qualified individual is, by reason of disability, excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of any services, programs, or activities provided by the University.
The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) reviews each student’s documentation under the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. ADA mandates that accommodations and adjustments be made in programs and activities in order to provide equal access to qualified persons with disabilities. OSD examines the documentation of each student’s disability to protect the civil rights of the student. Individual determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations is made specific to the functional limitations of the disability.
For more information, students are encouraged to contact OSD located at 102 Frist Hall or to call (423) 425-4006.
The dean of The Graduate School is the general adviser for graduate students on procedural matters.
On substantive matters relating to the academic program and particular courses, each student is counseled by a member of the faculty of his or her major department or school. In programs with related area(s) of study, a representative of the respective department or school should also be consulted.
The Graduate Council will hear appeals in accordance with the general rules defined in the UTC Student Handbook and in this catalog. See pages below.
The appeals form is available on The Graduate School Web site: www.utc.edu/graduateschool.
A student admitted to graduate study must maintain a 3.0 grade point average on all courses taken for graduate credit. In the event the student fails to meet this standard, one of the following actions will be taken.
Probation — A student will be placed on academic probation whenever the grade point average falls below a 3.0 on courses completed for graduate credit. (See discussion under Dismissal.)
Dismissal (Academic) — Decisions regarding continuation will be made by the dean of The Graduate School. Students admitted to graduate study must maintain a 3.0 institutional cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all courses taken for graduate credit.
Graduate students will be placed on academic probation when their institutional cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0. By the end of the next two terms of enrollment (counting the entire summer session as one term), students must raise their institutional cumulative GPA to 3.0 or higher. Students will be academically dismissed if they fail to achieve this institutional cumulative GPA within the two semester probation OR if they fail to achieve a 3.0 or higher for either probationary semester.
Dismissed students may appeal to the Graduate Council for readmission. Upon readmission, students may resume graduate study on probation with the same continuation standards.
The Graduate School has adopted a Statement of Professional Fitness regarding a student’s ethical and professional skills/behavior responsibilities. Individual programs may also adopt their own professional fitness standards appropriate to the discipline. If after an informal preliminary investigation it is determined that a student’s conduct is in violation of the professional fitness code of The Graduate School or the specific program in which the student is enrolled, any of the following actions may be recommended by program faculty:
- A formal reprimand
- Additional coursework
- Personal counseling
- Additional supervision
- Formal probation
- Dismissal from the program
A student may also be dismissed should the program faculty find that the student’s organization for the program’s discipline or whose personal conduct leads the faculty to conclude that the student is unfit to assume a role as a professional in the discipline. A majority vote of the program faculty will serve as the basis for dismissal if the student violates the guidelines for ethical conduct.
A student may also be dismissed for cause if found to have violated The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s code of conduct. Refer to the Student Handbook for a review of these expectations.
All students conducting research with human participants or animal subjects must comply with the policies and procedures of the University’s Institutional Review Board of the Animal Review Board. Violations of these regulations shall be considered a violation of ethical behavior.
Failure to Achieve Professional Skills/Behavior
A student, regardless of academic performance, may be dismissed should he or she fail to demonstrate mastery of essential professional behaviors, which include those skills essential for work in the profession. A majority vote of the program faculty will serve as basis for dismissal if the student fails to demonstrate proficiency of professional achievement.
Program Dismissal for Reasons Other Than Grades
When a student violates the professional fitness code of The Graduate School or the specific program in which he or she is enrolled, a recommendation for dismissal can be made by a majority vote of the designated departmental committee (or, if no such committee exists, the graduate faculty of the program). Such recommendation shall be made in writing to the Department Head or Program Director. The head or director shall provide written notification of dismissal to the student within five working days. Such notice shall inform the student of the right to appeal and specific procedures to be followed.
Following written notification of dismissal from the program, the student has the right to appeal. A written appeal, including a documented rationale for the basis of the appeal, must be submitted to the Department Head/Program Director within five working days. In all cases, the program faculty shall be presumed to have taken appropriate action and the student appealing shall have the burden of proof to the contrary.
The question of whether or not the student may continue to attend classes during the appeal process or register for subsequent semesters will be determined on a case by case basis. In particular, if the student’s presence poses a continuing threat to persons or property or an ongoing risk of disrupting the academic process, the student may be immediately removed and may not attend classes while his/her appeal is in process. Any such determination shall be included as part of the Department Head/Program Director’s written notification to the student.
Step 1. Within five working days of receipt of the student’s written appeal, the Department Head/Program Director will meet with the student and review the student’s written appeal with him/her in person. If the student declines such a meeting, the department head/director will proceed to Step 2.
Step 2. Within five working days of the meeting described in Step 1, the department head/program director ( in consultation with the Dean of the academic college) will notify and confirm in writing to the student the results of this appeal. The head/director will also notify the Dean of The Graduate School regarding the results of this appeal. Copies of this notification will be sent to the program faculty.
Step 3. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Department Head/Program Director, he or she may appeal this decision to the Graduate Council Appeals Committee. Such appeal must be made within five working days of notification of the head/director’s decision.
Step 4. Within five working days of receiving the student’s written appeal, the Graduate Council Appeals Committee will meet to hear the student’s appeal. The Chair of the Graduate Council shall preside over this hearing as a non-voting chair. The student may bring such materials and/or witnesses as necessary to support his or her position. The Department Head/Program Director and/or a representative(s) of the program faculty may also attend this hearing in order to explain the reason(s) for the dismissal and answer questions. After hearing, the Dean of The Graduate School will notify and confirm in writing to the student the results of this appeal. The graduate dean will also notify the college dean and the department head/director, who will in turn notify the program faculty.
Step 5. If the student remains unsatisfied with this decision, he or she may appeal in writing to the Chancellor of the University. Such request must be made within five working days of notification from the Dean of The Graduate School. The Dean of The Graduate School shall forward all pertinent information to the Chancellor with a recommendation. The Chancellor’s decision shall be made within ten working days and shall be considered final.
Note: A student who is dismissed from his or her program of study for reasons other than grades, and whose appeal for readmission to that program is denied through the above process but who is in good academic standing, may apply for admission to another graduate program(s) at the University. Admission to such other graduate program is not guaranteed and is subject to that program’s specific procedures and requirements.
Credit by Special Examination (Proficiency/Challenge/Competency)
Any person admitted as a graduate student is eligible to receive credit by special examination for competence gained through study and/or experience primarily independent of University class activities. Credit by special examination may be given for courses offered in the Graduate Catalog with the exception of:
- Courses described as directed research, tutorial, directed independent study, and practica or internships.
- Any course from which the student has been exempted by placement examination or which he or she has presented for admission purposes.
- Courses in which the student has received a final grade.
- Portfolio-based experiential learning accomplished prior to entry into a graduate program.
A non-refundable fee of $102 per semester hour will be paid in advance of testing. Graduate students in programs which are not competency based may apply a maximum of six semester hours credit earned by special examination toward the degree.
Students seeking credit by special examination should use the forms provided by The Graduate School to request approval from the permanent committee on special examinations established by the department under which the course is described in the catalog. The departmental committee will grant or deny the request pursuant to the standards stated on the request form. The departmental committee will deny the request if it determines that the student would realize substantial benefits only from participating in the activities of the course in question. Where the student has at any time enrolled in a course for credit or audit, the committee will presume that the student gained competence through class-related work. In such circumstances, the student faces a heavy burden of proving to the satisfaction of the committee that he or she has gained competence in the subject by pursuing a program of study independent of class activities.
The method for designing, administering, and evaluating the special examination will be determined by the departmental committee on special examinations. The examination will be comparable in scope and difficulty to a comprehensive final examination in that course. Normally, a student will not be allowed to repeat a special examination in a given course within one year.
Upon demonstrating that he or she has developed the abilities and attitudes of students who have taken the course, the student will receive a grade of S or NC with the notation “credit by examination’’ to be placed on the transcript. A grade of S must be determined to be greater or equal to a grade of B. Examination results judged inadequate will be recorded as “no credit’’ on the student’s transcript. Graduate credit grades earned by special examination will not be used in computing the grade point average.
Special examinations may not be used to raise the grade in a course previously completed; nor may such a course be repeated.
Graduate credit is not awarded for portfolio-based experiential learning which occurs prior to the student’s matriculation into a graduate program and which has not been under the supervision of the institution.
Correspondence and on-line courses will be subject to all regulations related to transfer credit as found under “Graduate School Regulations”, “Transfer Credit.”
Drug-free Environment Statement
It is a policy of The University of Tennessee system and of UTC to encourage and maintain a safe, healthful, and drug-free environment. Therefore, University policy prohibits the unlawful use, manufacture, possession, distribution, or dispensing of drugs (“controlled substances” as defined in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 812) and alcohol on University property or during University activities.
Violation of this policy is grounds for disciplinary action which may include immediate and permanent dismissal of the student. Federal and State laws provide additional penalties for such unlawful activities, including fines and imprisonment (21 U.S.C.841 et seq.; T.C.A. 39-6-401 et seq.). Local ordinances also provide various penalties for drug- and alcohol-related offenses. The University is bound to take all appropriate actions against violators, which may include referral for legal prosecution or requiring the individual to participate in an approved drug use or alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.
Some graduate programs (e.g. Nursing and Physical Therapy) may require that applicants and/or current students pass a drug screening test as a condition for admission or enrolling in a specific course(s). This is typically done to ensure the safety of patients in a clinical setting. Programs that require drug testing will provide details as part of their program description in the Graduate Catalog, in their program-specific guidebooks for graduate students, and/or on their departmental Web pages.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga adopts email as an official means of communication with students.
Each student, upon enrolling, is issued a UTC email account with an address on the utc.edu domain. This is the account used for University business and official University communications to students. Students are expected to regularly check their UTC accounts for University communications. Students may use the UTC account for personal communication at their discretion. UTC accounts remain the property of the State of Tennessee.
The University reserves the right to disable accounts after graduation or other severance from the University. The expanding reliance on electronic communication among students, faculty, staff, and administration at UTC is motivated by the convenience, speed, cost-effectiveness, and environmental advantages of using email rather than printed communication. Because of this increasing reliance and acceptance of electronic communication, email is considered an official means for communication.
Student Services and Resources
Implementation of these guidelines ensures that students have access to this critical form of communication. These guidelines seek to ensure that all students can access email as the need arises. These student email guidelines regard the following aspects of email as an official means of communication: University use of email; assignment of student email addresses; and student use of and responsibilities associated with UTC email.
- University use of email
Email is an official means for communication within UTC. Some communications may only be made by email. Therefore, the University has the right to send communications to all students via email and the right to expect that those communications will be received and read in a timely fashion.
- Assignment of student email addresses
UTC will assign all students an official University email address. It is to this official address that the University will send email communications; this official address will be the address listed in the University’s records database for that student.
- Expectations regarding student use of email
Students are expected to check their official email address on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with University communications. The University provides a limited amount of storage space so students are expected to manage (read, delete, file, etc.) their accounts accordingly. The campus recommends checking email several times a week at a minimum, in recognition that certain communications may be time-critical.
- Educational uses of email
Faculty expect that students’ official email addresses are being accessed, and faculty may use email for their courses accordingly. Faculty members determine how email will be used in their classes. Faculty may have email requirements and expectations that they specify in the course syllabus.
- Appropriate use of student email
Email is not appropriate for transmitting sensitive or confidential information. All use of email will be consistent with the Administrative Guidelines Statement on Use of Electronic Email and UTC’s Acceptable Use Practices. Confidentiality regarding student records is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). All University use of email will be consistent with FERPA guidelines. The Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Technology will review these guidelines as needed. Changes will be authorized by the approval of the Information Technology Coordinating Council and the Chancellor’s Executive Council. Students with questions or comments about these guidelines should contact the UTC Help Desk at 425-4000.
The Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Technology will review these guidelines as needed. Changes will be authorized by the approval of the Information Technology Coordinating Council and the Chancellor’s Executive Council Students with questions or comments about these guidelines should contact the UTC Help Desk at (423) 425-4000.
Extension of Incomplete and In-Progress Grades
- First Extension
It is the responsibility of the student to contact the instructor of record to request a first extension of an incomplete (I) or in-progress (IP) grade. If the instructor of record determines the student has made satisfactory progress prior to the deadline for submitting grade changes, it is the prerogative of the instructor to request in writing to the Director of The Graduate School an extension of the grade. Extension requests should be submitted to the Director of The Graduate School as noted below:
Extension Request for Incomplete Grade (I) Deadlines Term of course enrollment
Fall semester: In the following spring semester, two weeks prior to the last day to submit grade changes for fall semester incompletes as noted on the university academic calendar (Records and Registration Web site)
Spring semester and Summer terms: In the following fall semester, two weeks prior to the last day to submit grade changes for spring semester or summer terms’ incompletes as noted on the university academic calendar (Records and Registration Web site)
First Extension Request for In-Progress Grades (IP) Term of course enrollment
Fall semester: Two weeks prior to the following fall semester’s deadline for submitting semester grades as noted on the university academic calendar (Records and Registration Web site)
Spring semester: Two weeks prior to the following spring semester’s deadline for submitting semester grades as noted on the university academic calendar (Records and Registration Web site)
Summer terms: Two weeks prior to the following summer corresponding terms’ deadlines for submitting grades as noted by term on the university academic calendar (Records and Registration Web site)
The instructor of record and the student should agree upon a first extension deadline date. Once the instructor of record notifies the Director of The Graduate School of the extension request and the date of extension, the Director of The Graduate School reviews the request. If approved, the Director of The Graduate School notifies the Registrar, in writing, of the approved request and copies the student and the instructor of record. The Registrar officially records the extension date.
Incomplete (I) and In-Progress grades that are not extended will be changed to F by the Records and Registration office.
- Second Extension
It is the responsibility of the student to petition for a second extension of an incomplete (I) or in-progress (IP) grade through the Graduate Council Petitions committee. The student must complete a graduate petition form obtained from The Graduate School Web site. The student must allow appropriate time for departmental and/or departmental committee signatures in order to submit the petition to the Graduate Council Petitions committee two weeks prior to the first extension deadline. The petition should include a requested second extension completion date. If the petition is approved, the Graduate Council Petitions committee will notify the Registrar and the second extension date will be officially recorded. The instructor of record and the student will be advised of the decision.
Incomplete (I) and In-Progress grades that are not extended will be changed to F by the Records and Registration office.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
A student’s record is regarded as confidential, and release of the record or of information contained therein is governed by regulations of the federal law on “Family Educational Rights and Privacy.’’ Only directory information such as a student’s name, address, telephone listing, major fields of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student may be released by the institution without consent of the student unless the student has asked UTC to withhold such information. The law also provides for the release of information to University personnel who demonstrate a legitimate educational interest, other institutions engaged in research (provided information is not revealed to any other parties) and certain federal and state government officials.
A student may inspect and review records and is entitled to challenge the content of records. However, the student may be denied access to a parent’s financial statement and to confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the University’s records prior to January 1, 1975.
Full-time Enrollment Equivalents
Graduate students will be considered full-time students if they meet one of the following criteria:
- Enrolled in nine or more semester hours for graduate credit.
- Enrolled in one of the following graduate courses for at least one graduate credit hour:
CPSC 5900 ; EDAS 5820 , EDAS 5900 , EDAS 5998r ; EDD 7999r ; EDS 6900r ; EDSP 5660 , EDSP 5700 ; EDUC 5900 , EDUC 5910 , EDUC 5960r , EDUC 5998r ; ENEE 5998r ; ENGM 5960r ; ENGR 5900r ; EPSY 5590 , EPSY 5700 , EPSY 5710 , EPSY 5720r , EPSY 5998r , EPSY 6500r , EPSY 6550r ; ESC 5997r , ESC 5996r ; HHP 5780 or HHP 5998r ; MUS 5995r ; NURS 5070 , NURS 5470r , NURS 5530 , NURS 5550 , NURS 5570 , NURS 5590 ; POLS 5400 , POLS 5610r ; PSY 5360r , PSY 5710 , PSY 5998r ; any 5999 thesis course; any 6999 dissertation course; or any 7999 dissertation course.
Grades in The Graduate School have the following meaning:
||is given for work of distinctly superior quality and quantity accompanied by unusual evidence of enthusiasm, initiative, thoroughness and originality.
||is given for work showing the above qualities to a lesser extent.
||represents fulfillment of the minimum essentials of a course.
||represents a passing grade
||indicates unqualified failure.
||is given for courses completed on a satisfactory/no credit basis. The hours are not computed in the grade point average. Satisfactory grades are limited to research, internships, practica, and elective courses and must be designated as such by course and not by individual student. No more than six hours of satisfactory credit may be applied toward a master’s degree; no more than six hours of satisfactory credit may be applied toward a specialist’s degree; and no more than thirteen hours of satisfactory credit may be applied toward a doctoral degree. Graduate Council has approved an exception to this rule for the MSN: Nursing: Anesthesia program which requires 42 hours of practicum credit (NURS 5610, 5620, 5630, 5640, 5650, 5660, 5670, 5680), all of which is graded on a Satisfactory/No Credit basis.
||represents failure to complete the requirements in satisfactory/no credit courses. The attempted hours are not computed in the grade point average.
||is given for thesis or dissertation credits to indicate satisfactory progress. The hours are not computed in the grade point average. Upon completion of the thesis, a letter grade may be assigned for a maximum of six hours, which may entail changing grades of some SP credits. No letter grades are given for dissertation hours.
||represents failure to make satisfactory progress when registered for thesis credit. These hours are not computed in the grade point average.
||may be given to a student whose work has been of passing quality and who has valid reason for not completing some requirement of the course. Removal of an Incomplete must be submitted by the instructor to the Office of Records no later than three weeks before the last day of classes in the next regular semester, or the Incomplete will become an F. The Incomplete grade will not be computed in the grade point average during the interim. An Incomplete may not be used to allow the student to do additional work to bring up a grade. A student may not register for additional courses if he or she has earned two incomplete (I or IP) grades. The IP grade may not be given for thesis.
||is used as an interim grade to indicate work in progress requiring more than the normal limitations of a semester except for thesis. It is restricted to graduate level courses (5000 and above) and has a one-year limitation for removal. The instructor will determine the IP designation in the first half of the semester or term. A student may not register for additional courses if he or she has earned two incomplete (I or IP) grades. The IP grade may not be given for thesis.
||indicates official withdrawal from one or more classes after the first two weeks of classes and up to the last six class weeks before the final examinations. Comparable deadlines apply to each of the summer terms.
Grade Point Average Computation
Continuation in the University, rank in major and eligibility for graduation and honorary organizations are based on the grade point average. This average is computed by totaling the number of attempted graduate hours and dividing this total into the number of quality points earned in graduate courses.
No credits earned with grades below C will be accepted for graduate degree requirements. However, grades of D and F are computed into the graduate grade point average. When a course is repeated, all grades are included in computing the graduate grade point average. Satisfactory (S) grades and Satisfactory Progress (SP) grades and grades earned in courses taken for undergraduate credit are not used in computing the graduate grade point average. No grade below B will be accepted for transfer credit.
Each faculty member has the prerogative and responsibility to determine in accordance with his or her best judgment the grade for each student. Whenever a student feels that his/her rights and interests have been seriously jeopardized by unfair, arbitrary, or malicious exercise of faculty grading prerogative, the student may appeal a grade. Failure to receive the grade desired or expected is not sufficient reason to appeal a grade. If at any step in the appeals process the University fails to respond to the student within the time specified, this shall be treated as a denial of the appeal and the student may proceed to the next step of the process.
The appeal procedure is designed to provide graduate students with a clearly defined method for appealing a grade which is deemed to have been assigned unfairly, arbitrarily, or maliciously. The following procedure is to be followed for all grades (including comprehensive examinations) that are included on a student’s transcript. In all cases, the instructor shall be presumed to have assigned the proper grade and the student appealing shall have the burden of proof to the contrary.
||The student shall consult with the instructor within 5 working days after grades are made electronically available to students. If an agreement is reached, the appeal process ends.
||If the student cannot reach the professor or if the complaint is not resolved, the student must contact the department head or director within 10 working days of the date grades were mailed. The department head/director will attempt to resolve the complaint in consultation with the instructor and the student individually or together. Within 5 working days of the initial contact by the student, the department head/director will notify or confirm in writing to the student the results of this consultation. The department head/director will also notify the graduate coordinator of the program in which the student is enrolled. If an agreement is reached, the process ends. If the department head/director is the instructor of the course involved in the complaint and the problem cannot be resolved through Step 1, the department head/director will notify the student in writing of his/her decision, and the student may proceed with Step 3.
||If an agreement is not reached at the departmental level and the student wishes to appeal, the student must obtain, complete, and return to The Graduate School office a grade appeal form within 10 working days after being mailed notification or confirmation by the department head of the departmental decision. The form includes a place for the signature of the department head or director indicating that the first two steps have been followed, the signature of the dean of the appropriate college or school, a request for a hearing before the Grade Appeals Committee, and supporting information to justify the student’s appeal.
||The dean of The Graduate School will arrange a grade appeals meeting to be held within 10 working days after receiving the grade appeal form. Present at the meeting will be the Grade Appeals Committee (the Chair of the Graduate Council and three members of the Council), the student, the faculty member, the dean (or his/her designated representative) of the college or school in which the appeal originated, the dean of The Graduate School, and up to two non-voting faculty members of the department affected. The student will be given time to present his/her case with a question-answer period following. The faculty member will then present his/her response followed by another question-answer period. The student and faculty member may be present during both presentations and during both question-answer periods, and both presentations must adhere to the issues covered in the written appeal. When the committee deems it has sufficient information to determine the case, the student, faculty member, and visiting members of the department will be asked to leave, and the committee will begin its deliberation and make its decision. If the committee decides that additional information is needed, the chair may request such information orally or in writing before the committee makes a decision.
||The committee will recommend that 1) the grade previously assigned be upheld; or 2) the faculty member be asked to change the grade; or 3) the grade of I be assigned until completion of specified requirements agreed upon by faculty and student. The dean of The Graduate School will send a copy of the recommendation to the student, the faculty member, the graduate coordinator, the department head/director, and the dean. Within 10 working days after being mailed the recommendation, the student and faculty member must each notify the dean of The Graduate School of an intention to accept or reject the recommendation. If both faculty and student agree to accept the recommendation of the committee, the process ends. If that recommendation includes a grade change, the faculty member will make the necessary change and notify the dean of The Graduate School that the change has been made. The graduate dean will then notify the student of the change.
If no response is received after 10 working days, then the recommendation of the grade appeal committee is upheld as the final decision.
||If either the student or faculty chooses to reject the recommendation and wishes to continue the appeal process, the dean of The Graduate School will notify the faculty member as well as the graduate coordinator, the department head or director, and the dean. The dean of The Graduate School will then submit all materials to the Chancellor who may request additional information/materials from either/both parties. The Chancellor’s decision is final, and a copy of that decision will be mailed to the student, the faculty member, the graduate coordinator, the department head/director, the dean, and the dean of The Graduate School.
A copy of the Graduate Student Grade Appeals Form, the results of the hearing, and the chancellor’s decision (if applicable) will become a part of the student’s file. A permanent record of all grade appeals reviewed by the Grade Appeals Committee shall be maintained in The Graduate School office.
Grievances vs. Faculty (other than grade appeals):
Occasionally, students may have issues or complaints regarding members of the faculty that are unrelated to grading. Section 5.3.1 of the Faculty Handbook (Faculty/Student Relationships in the Classroom) includes the following guidelines on Academic Disputes:
“Complaints or grievances will arise occasionally in the faculty-student relationship and should be clarified at the earliest possible time and at the level closest to the locus of the complaint. Students who have such complaints are urged to address them directly to the faculty member in an appropriate setting. It is understood that some issues may need to be addressed to the nearest administrator, generally the department or program unit head. Every effort should be made to resolve such matters informally by conversation. A matter unresolved on the departmental level may be brought to the appropriate dean and, after that, the provost. Specific policies for grade appeals and for allegations of sexual harassment are found elsewhere in this Faculty Handbook and the Student Handbook.
The Honor Code is based upon the assumption that the student recognizes the fundamental importance of honesty in all dealings within the University community and that education is a cooperative enterprise between student and teacher and between student and student. Any act of dishonesty violates and weakens this relationship and lessens the value of the education which the student is pursuing. The Honor Code, the Honor Court, and its procedures are detailed in the UTC Student Handbook.
Institutional Review Board Compliance
All graduate students engaged in research that uses human participants or animal subjects must obtain approval from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Animal Subjects Review Board. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Graduate students engaged in any research, regardless of venue or academic requirement, must ensure that they comply with the policies and procedures established by the review boards. Students may not initiate any research that involves the use of human or animal participants without prior consent of the review board. Disregard of board policies and procedures may result in forfeiture of any data collected and disciplinary action.
Measles Immunization Requirement
In an attempt to maintain a healthy campus environment, The University of Tennessee campuses require that all new entering students born after 1956 furnish documentation of having immunity to measles or immunization with a live measles vaccine after January 1, 1980, unless exempted because of pregnancy, allergy to a vaccine component, or other valid medical reasons. A verification of immunization, signed by a health care provider, must be returned to Health Services. An official copy of the “Permanent Tennessee Certificate of Immunization” (form PH-2414) or a comparable immunization form from another state is also acceptable. Evidence of the immunization is not required for admission but is required for course registration.
The Graduate Council policy on petitions is as follows:
- The burden of proof is on the petitioner, and petitions will not be routinely accepted but considered on their merits as exceptions. This basic rule applies at each step of the petitionary procedure.
- Petitioners are responsible for stating clearly, in writing, what they are petitioning for. They are also responsible for giving, in writing, clear and cogent reasons supporting their request.
- Each department, or other responsible unit, shall have a committee empowered to receive petitions of graduate students. The committee, consisting of at least three members, should meet formally to consider any petition, and each member of the committee should sign the recommendation of the committee and forward the orginial petition and supporting documentation to The Graduate School office to be placed on the agenda for the Graduate Council. Any dissenting judgment should also be signed. Dissenting judgments may, but need not, be supported by a statement of reasons (see 1, above, relative to burden of proof).
- The department committee may decline petitions. A student may appeal a declined petition to the Graduate Council and, if declined there, to the chancellor.
- The petition form is available on The Graduate School Web site: www.utc.edu/graduateschool.
Records and Transcripts
The Records Office maintains a permanent record on any student who has ever attended UTC. This record currently includes the student’s name, social security number, address, birth date, sex, admission classification, and credits transferred from other colleges. It includes all courses which a student has taken at UTC with credit hours, grades and cumulative grade point average. Academic suspension or dismissal is recorded as well as academic probation.
A student may inspect and review records and is entitled to challenge the content of records. However, the student may be denied access to the parent’s financial statement and to confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the University’s records prior to January 1, 1975. A more thorough explanation of records maintained on students and copies of records may be obtained from the Records Office. The registrar or the dean of The Graduate School will further explain and clarify the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to students, parents or interested parties upon request.
Transcripts of a student’s record are released only with the student’s written authorization. Requests should be made to the Records Office in advance of the date the transcripts are needed. The processing of transcripts may take as long as two weeks at the beginning or end of a term. Transcript request forms are available in the Records Office, 109 Race Hall, and on line at www.utc.edu/Administration/Records/documents/TranscriptRequest.pdf
Transcripts are not released for students who have an indebtedness of any type to the University.
All UTC students are responsible for registering themselves for courses. The Records Office updates MyMocsNet each semester with registration appointment times. Students may register anytime after their registration appointment time but not before. Students must be advised to receive their advisement code. Students must register online through MyMocsNet. Online registration requires an advisement code.
A graduate student may repeat a course only with approval of the student’s major adviser, and all grades earned will be included in computing the grade point average.
Residence Classification for Paying Fees
At the time of admission, each student is assigned a residence classification for fee purposes. A student’s residence status will be determined in accordance with the following general rules:
- Every person having his or her domicile in this state will be classified “in-state’’ for fee and tuition purposes and for admission purposes.
- Every person not having his or her domicile in this state will be classified “out-of-state’’ for said purposes.
- The domicile of an unemancipated person is that of his or her parent.
- The spouse of a student classified as in-state shall also be classified in-state.
It is presumed that an emancipated person does not acquire domicile in Tennessee while enrolled as a full-time student at any public or private institution of higher education in this state, as such status is defined by such institutions.
Exceptional cases, including guardianships, are given special consideration and are determined on the basis of the particular circumstances in each case. The regulations, which are used to determine a student’s residence classification, are published in the Student Handbook and also may be obtained from The Graduate School Web site.
Students who wish to appeal their residence classification should submit the residency petition form to The Graduate School office. The appeal should include appropriate evidence to support the establishment of domicile in the state of Tennessee.
If students classified out-of-state apply for in-state classification and are subsequently so classified, their in-state classification shall be effective as of the date on which reclassification was sought. However, out-of-state tuition will be charged for any semester during which reclassification is sought and obtained unless application for reclassification is made to The Graduate School office on or before the last day of regular registration of that semester.
Out-of-State Students Employed in Tennessee
Students who are classified as out-of-state residents may take no more than eight hours of graduate credit at in-state rates if they are full-time, regular employees of a business, company, or organization in Tennessee. Each semester, these students must submit a letter on the company’s letterhead to The Graduate School office from their employer stating the length of their employment history, position, and hours of employment per week.
Full-time graduate students may enroll for a maximum of 15 semester hours in any semester (nine hours are usually considered a full-time class load); students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy are exempt from this requirement. During the summer semester, the maximum load is seven hours per summer term with the total for the semester not to exceed 15 hours. A graduate student should not enroll in more than seven hours of course work for any term during which the student will be gainfully employed full time.
Registration for more than 15 hours during any semester is not permissible without prior approval from the director of The Graduate School.
Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit
Prior to Fall 2010, it was possible for students to take selected 400 (now 4000) level courses for graduate credit, provided that there was a substantial difference in expectations and work performance for graduate students. Up to nine semester hours of such course work could be applied toward a graduate degree. As of Fall 2010, graduate credit will only be awarded for courses with numbers of 5000 and higher. However, subject to the nine-hour limitation and the applicable candidacy time frame, graduate credit earned in 400-level courses prior to Fall 2010 may still be used toward degrees/certificates awarded after August, 2010.
Vehicle Operation and Parking
Each student, faculty, or staff member who operates a vehicle at the University must obtain a parking permit and register that vehicle with the Bursar’s Office, 216 Fletcher Hall. A University parking authority determines the parking policy, traffic regulations, and fees. This information is published each year in the University Traffic and Parking Regulations.
The large volume of vehicles operated on campus requires strict adherence to the traffic and parking regulations. Therefore, a system of fees for violations of these regulations is enforced by the University. Copies of the Regulations are available each semester at the time students, faculty, and staff apply for parking permits.
For current information on Veteran’s Benefits, contact the Records Office.
Withdrawal from Graduate Courses
Once a student has registered for a semester or summer term, he or she is considered to be enrolled, is liable for fee payment, and is expected to attend all classes until or unless he or she notifies The Graduate School office or the Registration Office in writing. Appropriate forms are available at www.utc.edu/graduateschool or in The Graduate School office, 103 Race Hall. A student who drops out of classes without officially withdrawing will receive a grade of F.
During the first two weeks of a semester, a student may officially withdraw without prejudice from any class and no grade will be recorded. After that period and up to the last six weeks of class, a student who officially withdraws will be graded W. Except in unusual circumstances, no withdrawals are permitted in the last six weeks of classes. A student who drops out of class during this six-week period is graded F. Comparable periods apply to summer terms, and specific dates are printed in the schedule of classes.
To change registration in any way after the deadline, a student must present the request, together with documentary evidence of extenuating circumstances, to The Graduate School. If the request is approved, The Graduate School office will notify the Office of Records, which will enter the change on the student’s permanent record.
Graduate students will have one calendar year from the beginning of the semester for which they wish to petition The Graduate School for late withdrawal for extenuating circumstances. Students should understand the burden of the argument for withdrawal is theirs to make. Longer time periods result in a need for extensive documentation and have less likelihood of approval. Students are advised late withdrawal is not an option to remediate a cumulative grade point average.