Microbial Biology Policy on Ph.D. Students Maintaining Good Academic Standing


Graduate students in the Microbial Biology Graduate Program are required to maintain good academic and research standing in working toward the Ph.D. degree. Good academic standing is also required to be eligible for fellowships, graduate assistantships, and teaching assistantships. Students not maintaining good academic standing will be terminated from the graduate program as specified below.

Maintaining Good Academic Standing:

Year 1: Ph.D. students must earn a minimum 3.0 GPA with no more than one C or C+ in the four core courses (16:682:501, 502, 503, and 504; Microbial Life, Biochemistry, Physiology, and Genetics). Ph.D. students must receive satisfactory grades in the Laboratory Rotations (as evaluated both by the Rotation Advisor and by the rotation report submitted to the Graduate Program Director). Ph.D. students must pass the Comprehensive Examination given at the end of the first year. Based on these three evaluation criteria, the Ph.D. student will be reviewed by the Admissions and Academic Standing Committee and either be advanced to the second year, placed on probation, or recommended for termination to the Graduate School-New Brunswick.

Year 2: Ph.D. students must continue to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. Ph.D. students must earn satisfactory performance evaluations from their research advisors (grades in 16:682:701/702 Research). Ph.D. students must pass the second year Qualifying Examination and advance to Candidacy by the end of their second year. Students who do not achieve these second year goals will be reviewed by the Admissions and Academic Standing Committee and either placed on probation or recommended for termination to the Graduate School-New Brunswick.

Year 3 and higher: Students who become Ph.D. candidates are expected to accelerate their research progress. Ph.D. students must continue to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and continue to receive satisfactory (S) research grades in 16:682:701/702 from their research advisors. Students who receive an Unsatisfactory (U) research grade or who are marginally performing in their research (as communicated in writing by the Research Advisor to the Graduate Program Director) will be placed on research probation. In this situation a Student Review Committee will be assembled consisting of the Research Advisor, the Graduate Program Director, select members of the Admissions and Academic Standing Committee, and select members of the Microbial Biology Graduate Program Faculty. Members of the Student Review Committee will be chosen by the Admissions and Academic Standing Committee. The student will present their research progress to the Student Review Committee at least three times in the semester (or summer) following the unsatisfactory research evaluation. At the end of that semester (or summer) the Student Review Committee will file an advisory report to the Admissions and Academic Standing Committee which will in turn decide whether to continue the research probation (including Student Review Committee meetings) or to recommend termination of student status to the Graduate School-New Brunswick. Research Advisors may also ask graduate students to leave their laboratories. In these cases the Graduate Program Director and the Admissions and Academic Standing Committee will review the situation and decide whether to allow the graduate student to switch research laboratories or to recommend to the Graduate School-New Brunswick that the student should be terminated from the Microbial Biology Graduate Program.

Graduate School and Microbial Biology Graduate Program Policy on Grades

The Graduate School New Brunswick has a standing policy that no more than 9 credits of C or C+ grades will count toward the 72 credits needed for graduation. F grades will carry no credit earned toward the degree. All grades earned (including C/C+ and F grades) will be included in the GPA calculation whether or not they count for graduation. Ph.D. students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Special Circumstances and Appeals

The Microbial Biology Graduate Program recognizes that certain circumstances and life events may affect Ph.D. student performance. Students may request an exception or extension to the Year 1 or Year 2 academic goals in writing to the Graduate Program Director. The Graduate Program Director and/or the Admissions and Academic Standing Committee will consider the request and return their decision in writing to the student.

The Graduate School-New Brunswick has an appeals process for decisions made by Graduate Programs. Students wishing to take advantage of the appeals process should contact the Graduate School or discuss with the Graduate Program Director about the process.

Policy accepted by the Microbial Biology Faculty in May, 2015