Graduate courses are graded on the ABCDF, except for colloquia or advanced thesis/research courses (CHEM 899, 900 and 999), which are graded on the SU system (in which S = satisfactory performance and U = unsatisfactory performance).
Only grades of B or better represent satisfactory progress in graduate courses. If the cumulative grade point average for a student falls below a B average (3.0), that student will be placed on probation and will be expected to raise his or her average to at least a B during the next semester. Failure to do so may result in a recommendation to terminate graduate studies. Students on probation are not considered to be in good standing for purposes of continuing a GTA appointment. However, if the Department judges that a student who falls below the required 3.0 GPA after their the first semester is still making satisfactory progress towards the degree, the Department may recommend to the Provost that the student be allowed to keep his/her assistantship for one additional semester. (Students admitted on probation must maintain a B average or better during their first semester and are not considered to be in good standing for purposes of a GTA appointment.)
Evaluation of First Year Performance
At the end of the Fall semester, performance in all courses will provide the basis on which recommendations will be made to the student for the Spring semester.
At the end of the Spring semester the progress of all first-year graduate students will be evaluated in detail. Results in coursework and progress in meeting the distribution requirement will be considered, as well as research progress in the chosen research group. Based on the results of the evaluation, students will be recommended either to pursue the M.S. or Ph.D. program or to terminate their graduate studies. These recommendations are subject to change depending on the student's future performance in coursework and research. As a general policy, students are expected to achieve satisfactory completion of courses taken during the first year with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Students with deficiencies in their overall record or in specific courses may be required to repeat courses in their entirety, to repeat course final exams, or to take additional courses in the subject areas of concern. The performance of these students will be re-evaluated during the second year on the basis of all available information, and final recommendations will be made with regard to continuation of graduate studies.
When each student chooses a research director they will together decide upon an advisory committee, commonly the faculty with similar research interests, which will ensure that each student pursues his or her graduate education in the most expeditious manner and in line with the student's research interests and career plans. Once or twice each year the faculty of the advisory committee should meet, review the student's progress, and report the result of that review to the Chemistry Office and to the student.