Jun 02, 2023  
2016 - 2018 UTPB Graduate Studies Catalog 
2016 - 2018 UTPB Graduate Studies Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Academic Regulations

Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for knowing degree requirements and for enrolling in courses that apply to their degree program. Knowing University regulations pertinent to the standard of work required for continuation in graduate study is also the student’s responsibility.

Transfer Credits

Credit for graduate courses completed at another accredited institution may be applied toward a master’s degree at UT Permian Basin. A maximum of six semester credits may be transferred for the student’s program and approved by the student’s advisor. The advisor must complete a Graduate Transfer Credit Request form.

Three additional credits may be transferred (total of 9 credit hours) upon approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President of Research. The advisor must complete a petition and a Graduate Transfer Credit Request Form.

Requests for more than a total of nine semester hours of transfer credit must go to the Graduate Council for a decision. The advisor must complete a petition and a Graduate Transfer Credit Request Form.

No course credit with a grade of C or lower may be transferred to UT Permian Basin. No undergraduate course work taken at another university, even when taken for graduate credit, may be transferred to UT Permian Basin. All credit transfers must be approved after acceptance to a graduate program and prior to the student’s completion of 12 semester credit hours at UT Permian Basin. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the approval process.

Should the advisor and/or the Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President of Research not approve the transfer of any credits, the student has the right to submit a petition to the Graduate Council, which will make the final decision.

To insure acceptance of transfer credit toward the master’s degree, the student must obtain prior written approval from the student’s advisor for any courses taken at another institution after the student has matriculated at the University.

No correspondence study credits apply toward the minimum requirements for the master’s degree, and no credit more than 8 years old at the time of graduation may be applied toward requirements for the degree. A maximum of 6 credits of approved extension course work, whether completed through the University or at another institution, may be applied toward meeting minimum requirements for the master’s degree.

Web based courses offered through UT System Consortia agreements may be governed by specific program guidelines. Students should consult their program head for details.

Additional Course Credits

No course counted toward another degree may be counted toward a master’s degree, either directly or by substitution.

Students may apply a maximum of six credit hours of 4000-level courses toward master’s degree requirements. In order to be eligible to count toward the degree, these courses must be approved by the master’s degree committee and taken after acceptance to a degree program.

A maximum of six credit hours of 6000-level course work taken prior to acceptance in a master’s degree program may be applied to the degree, subject to the approval of the student’s graduate committee.

Self-Paced Instruction (SPI)

Self-paced instruction (SPI) is often referred to as personalized instruction in master learning. Self-paced courses are designed to permit students to complete courses as rapidly as they are capable, or to take more time if needed to master them. SPI usually requires no formal class meetings, although in many courses the instructor meets once a week with a group of students desiring additional interaction or discussion. Most student-instructor contact in SPI is on an individual basis. Students enrolled in SPI courses are expected to interact with the professor either individually or in a group situation at least once each week or as often as a given course requires.

Self-paced courses are offered in many fields or degree programs. Students in SPI courses are provided with a course outline including instructions for study, activities to complete, sources of information and other necessary instructions. Students may visit the instructor as often as needed to discuss and clarify the course material and to answer questions. When students believe they have mastered a unit within a SPI course, they may take the appropriate test. If students pass at the prescribed level, they proceed to the next unit. In some courses, if students do not pass the unit, they may restudy it until they pass the test. Each unit must be passed in sequential order, so when all units and tests are successfully completed, students should have mastered the course material.

Since students may not need to attend class in SPI courses, they may begin such courses at any time up to four weeks prior to the end of the semester. Established deadlines for adding or dropping courses published in the course schedule refer to courses taught only on a conventional basis and not to courses taught on an SPI basis. SPI courses may not be dropped during final examination week. Although students have the option of continuing an SPI course into a succeeding semester, they are encouraged to complete it during the same semester for which they register. Students who do not complete the course in one semester’s time may receive a grade of Z (satisfactory work in progress) and must reregister during a subsequent semester when the course is offered and pay tuition for the course if completion is desired.

Partially self-paced courses are administered on the same basis as regular courses. The registration, drop-add, withdrawal, course completion and grading for partially self-paced courses are administered as all other conventional classes.

Technology Assisted Study

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the latest technological advances on the campus. Changes continue to facilitate the delivery of distance education classes to the far reaches of the Permian Basin and beyond. These same technologies bring expertise from across the state onto the UT Permian Basin campus.

Current technologies suggest primary techniques are web based, (course can be completed from an off campus computer access point) web assisted, (as one of the learning approaches included with other more traditional methods) and interactive video (multiple sites are connected in real time). The integration of technology as a tool in academic efforts will continue to change. Since UTPB is a leader in these efforts for students in the state of Texas, no current list can capture the options that may be available in the near future.

Course requirements will vary. They may include specific deadlines or could be partially self-paced. No conclusions about format can be made without communicating with the instructor for the course. In general, these technology assisted courses require a greater level of individual initiative on the part of the student while offering some flexibility over traditional methods.

Contract Study

Several types of independent study are available at UT Permian Basin. These are referred to as contract study courses, which include readings, special problems, library research and certain other learning activities. Before students may register for these courses, plans for the proposed study showing the objectives, procedures to be used for evaluation, and other plans must be written and approved by the appropriate instructor, and by the Dean or Department Chair.

Contract studies are not intended to substitute, by content, for courses listed in the catalog.

Contract Study courses require a contract study form to be filled out by the faculty supervisor, signed by the student/faculty supervisor/college Dean, and turned into the Registrar’s Office.

Contract Study is available only in disciplines in which the master’s degree is offered. Contract study should not include course work which is offered in regular undergraduate or graduate courses. SPI enrollment would be the preferred mode for individual enrollment in such a course. All enrollment forms will be routed through the Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President of Research for approval prior to acceptance by the Registrar. A limit of six semester credit hours is established for the amount of contract study credit which will be accepted for a master’s degree.

Course Load

Nine semester credit hours constitute a full-time semester load for graduate students. The maximum course load for graduate students is 15 semester credit hours in a fall or spring semester or 6 semester credit hours in a six week summer term.

Registration in excess of the maximum course load requires approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President of Research.

Since the maximum load is determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules, permission can be given only under exceptional circumstances. Students employed by UT Permian Basin as student or teaching assistants must reduce their course loads accordingly. Students on academic probation should reduce their course load until their GPA is improved and probationary status is removed. The maximum credits for which students may register in a semester or summer term apply to the combined credit for both conventionally taught courses and self-paced courses. If students finish a self-paced course before the end of the semester or summer term, they may register for another self-paced course immediately or at any time during that semester up to four weeks prior to the end of the semester.

Attendance and Religious Holidays

Students should consult with individual instructors concerning class attendance requirements. Policies of the faculty may vary since graduate classes are generally smaller and more interactive, attendance and participation may be major factors in evaluation of performance.

The University shall allow a student who is absent from classes for the observance of a religious holy day to take an examination or complete an assignment scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after the absence if, not later than the 15th class day after the first day of the semester, the student notifies the instructor of each class the student has scheduled on that religious date that the student would be absent for a religious holy day. The notification referred to above shall be in writing and the student shall deliver it personally to the instructor of each class, with receipt of the notification acknowledged and dated by the instructor or by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the instructor of each class. Although a student who is excused under this policy may not be penalized for the absence, the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete the assignment or examination.

Students must be excused from scheduled classes or other required activities if the student is called to and participates in active military service for a reasonable brief period. The student will be allowed to complete an assignment or exam within a reasonable time after the absence. Students may be excused from attendance for reasonable personal and activity events, but cannot be excused from graduate level performance in the course. If the student is aware of conflicting events, it may be better to enroll at a later date rather than jeopardize performance.

Academic Honesty

Graduate students are expected to pursue their academic careers with honesty and integrity. The value of an academic degree is dependent on the integrity of the work done for the degree. Academic honesty is thus important to all students, as well as the faculty.

“Scholastic dishonesty” includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a test, plagiarism and collusion (Handbook of Operating Procedures, Part 5, Section 1).

“Cheating” on a test includes:

  1. Copying from another student’s paper;
  2. Using during a test, materials not authorized by the person giving the test;
  3. Collaborating with or seeking aid from another student during a test, without authority;
  4. Knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, or soliciting, in whole or part, the contents of a test;
  5. Substituting for another student or permitting another student to substitute for one’s self to take a test; and
  6. Bribing another person to obtain a test or information about an un-administered test.

“Plagiarism” means the appropriation, buying, receiving as a gift, or obtaining by any means another’s work and the unacknowledged submission or incorporation of it in one’s own written work offered for credit.

“Collusion” means the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work offered for credit.

Further information on “Student Conduct and Discipline” is included in the Student Guide available in the Office of Student Life.

Grading Policies and Academic Progress

Students in graduate programs receive credit only for courses in which a grade of A, B or C has been earned. No more than two C grades in 6000-level courses may be counted toward the degree. Credit toward the degree will not be granted for any 4300-level courses in which a C is earned. Occurrence of a D or F in a graduate program shall be grounds for dismissal from the graduate program. The master’s project/thesis will be graded S for Satisfactory and U for Unsatisfactory. All practicum courses will be graded by S and U. The S does not calculate in the Grade Point Average (GPA). The U calculates as a failing grade in the GPA. Degree candidates are required to present an overall average of not less than B (3.0) at the end of their program of study. Pluses and minuses do not enter into the GPA calculation.

For project/thesis work in progress, the letters PR will be assigned in lieu of a final grade. Upon completion of the master’s project/thesis and upon final evaluation by the committee and approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President of Research, grades for the most recent enrollments (not to exceed six credits for thesis and three credits for project) will be converted to S or U. The PR grade does not calculate in the GPA at any time.

A grade of I (for conventional, independent study and partially self-paced courses) or Z (for self-paced courses) is reported when students have not met all requirements of a course by the end of the semester and the instructor considers the allowance of additional time to complete course requirements justified. When reporting an I grade, the instructor must complete an ‘Incomplete Report’ specifying: (1) the deficiency or the additional work to be done; (2) the length of time allowed to complete the work (no later than the last class day of the subsequent semester, summer excluded). When filing an Incomplete Form, the graduate faculty must indicate a default grade of B, C, D, F, or NG to be applied in the absence of a grade form indicating completion of the course. Faculty may extend an incomplete for a second semester by filing a second Incomplete Form with the Registrar. A student who registers for a class and then fails to attend any class meetings or take any test, and who neither withdraws nor formally drops the course, will be assigned the grade of F.

In self-paced instruction (SPI) courses in which a student makes satisfactory progress, but does not complete all requirements by the end of the semester in which registered, the instructor may report a Z grade. Students desiring to complete the course must reregister in the semester when the course is next offered and complete all remaining requirements for the course during the semester. The grade of F may be awarded for failure to achieve minimal standards in self-paced courses.

While the Z grade carries no penalty, the presence of many on the transcript may reflect poor schedule management. Z grades remain part of the permanent student transcript.

The grades of S and U are final grades used for student teaching, certain seminars, courses for demonstration of proficiency in writing and conversation, certain non-degree courses, and in a limited number of other courses which, upon petition, may be approved by the Dean; otherwise, normal grading procedures apply. The intent of the faculty and administration at UT Permian Basin is to ensure that every student receives fair treatment in the academic process.

Any course in the Fall and Spring semesters dropped after the 10th day of the student’s enrollment in the course requires the instructor’s signature on the drop form. A grade of W will be assigned for the final grade in Fall and Spring semester courses dropped after the 12th class day (4th class day in the summer).

Continuation in a graduate degree program is dependent on satisfactory progress in resolving any acceptance conditions and maintenance of not less than a B average (3.0 GPA) in all course work taken according to the program plan. Provisional status students accruing graduate credit course work are bound by the same scholastic standards that apply to regularly enrolled degree-seeking students.

Graduate students taking undergraduate courses which are not part of their degree program and taking undergraduate courses will be held to the same GPA requirements as regular undergraduate students taking the same courses, which is a GPA of at least 2.0. Teacher certification students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.75.

A student whose GPA falls below the GPA requirements stated above will be placed on probation for one semester or 6 semester credit hours. Failure to bring the cumulative GPA up within that period may result in dismissal.

Repeat Policy

All courses taken at U.T. Permian Basin, whether passed or failed, remain a permanent part of the student’s records. If a course is repeated, all the grades will be used to compute the cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all purposes. Repeated courses will be counted only once for credit.

Student Academic Appeal Procedures/Readmissions

In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades or evaluations, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the faculty member with whom the grievance originated. Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations. The faculty member’s judgment is final unless compelling evidence shows discrimination, differential treatment, or factual mistake. If evidence warrants appeal, the student may pursue the matter further by directing a letter to the Dean. The letter should state the problem; state why the student concludes fair treatment was not received and provide a description of any evidence that would substantiate the claim. The President’s Office shall constitute the final step in the appeal process.

After one semester, a student who has been dismissed may reapply for admission and must present evidence of reasonable expectation to succeed in graduate study. A student dismissed a second time may reapply after one full academic year. No student may reapply after three dismissals for academic deficiencies.

A former graduate student must notify the Graduate Studies Office of the intention to return to study at the University. A student who has not attended the University for two or more terms or who wishes to pursue a different major upon returning must report to the Admissions Office and complete an application update. Notification of attendance at other institutions must be provided and transcripts from all other institutions must be submitted.

Any student who is not eligible to return immediately to a former institution is not eligible to enroll at the University. Any student who is dismissed from one program at the University is not eligible for admission to any other program except as allowed by the time constraints given above.

A student who is dismissed for disciplinary reasons from another institution will not be readmitted at the University.

Drops, Adds and Withdrawal

Dropping a course or courses should not be confused with withdrawing from all courses. In courses taught on a conventional basis, a student may drop the course any time up to the last day of the 10th week of classes. Students should consult the academic calendar for the last day to drop. College of business students must have the permission of their academic advisor to drop or add a course. All other students may drop courses without permission of the instructor during the first ten class days in the Fall and Spring semesters (four class days in summer). Students must obtain the signature of the instructor whose course they are dropping if they drop the course between the 10th class day (4th class day in summer) and the last day to drop classes as given on the academic calendar for each Fall and Spring semester.

Once a student has registered and paid tuition and fees for a course section, the student is considered enrolled in that class until the student officially drops the class at the Registrar’s Office. Enrollment is not complete until all tuition and fees have been paid. Students will not be admitted to classes for which tuition and fees have not been paid. The student must submit all requests to drop a course in writing to the Registrar’s Office. Neither faculty, relatives, nor friends may drop or add courses for a student. Add/drop forms must be completed at the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the last day to drop. The student should note the academic calendar for the last date to drop. Failure to drop a class which is not being attended will result in a failing grade on the academic record. Students may withdraw from all classes after the last date to drop with permission of their advisor and Dean or Department Chair. For refund dates, the student should note the Refund Policy in the section on Tuition, Fees, and Deposits in this catalog.

Adding a course is subject to the same advisement, course load, admission and prerequisite requirements as original registration. Consulting with the advisor in advance of registration can reduce the need for late adds.

Students enrolling late in a course should not expect special make-up assistance from the instructor.

In the case of courses taught on a self-paced instruction (SPI) basis, students are encouraged to enroll as early as possible. However, courses taught on a SPI basis may be added up to four weeks prior to the end of the fall or spring semesters. An equivalent date will be established for the summer term as announced in the summer class schedule. After the late registration period, SPI courses may be added only with the permission of the instructor and the Dean of the school or college in which the course is taught. Students not completing an SPI course by the end of the semester must reregister and pay all applicable fees to continue the course in the next semester in which it is offered. Students may drop an SPI course at any time up to the last date to drop, as shown in the academic calendar.

Withdrawing from the University should not be confused with dropping a course(s) while remaining enrolled in others. Students desiring to drop every course in which they are enrolled are considered to be withdrawing. Students should secure a withdrawal petition from the Registrar’s Office, complete it and obtain the signature of the Business Office, the Library, Security, and the Financial Aid Office. In cases of illness, students may have someone notify the Registrar who will arrange for withdrawal.

If a student wishes to withdraw, a completed withdrawal form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office prior to the final date to withdraw. A withdrawal requested after the last date to drop must have the permission of the Dean. Failure to withdraw from a class which the student has never attended or has stopped attending will result in a failing grade on the academic record.  A withdrawal request becomes effective the date the completed and signed form is received from the student by the Registrar’s Office. Students who have withdrawn from the University need not apply for readmission unless they have been absent from the University for more than two semesters.

Program Planning

Upon acceptance into a graduate program, each student will be assigned a faculty advisor by the department chair or coordinator of the program in the student’s field of major interest. Prior to completion of one-half of the course credits required for the degree, the advisor and the student will nominate a committee of three or more members of which the initial advisor may or may not be the chair or a member. Each graduate student’s committee will consist of graduate faculty members from the academic discipline(s) offering the degree, plus one member from outside the discipline(s) who will represent the graduate faculty. At the time the student’s committee is formed, the graduate faculty representative will be appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President of Research who will also approve the committee and the student’s degree plan. Students in the MBA and MPA programs following an established non thesis plan of study may not be required to have a committee.

The committee is responsible for developing the student’s program of study, for arranging and conducting examinations and for certifying the student’s completion of all requirements for the degree. All recommendations by the committee are subject to review and approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President of Research.

Candidacy for the master’s degree is established when, following acceptance into a degree program and completion of all acceptance requirements, the graduate student and the advisor plan a program of study recorded on the degree plan form which is approved by the student’s committee, the department chair or program coordinator, and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President of Research.

Filing of the degree plan with the Office of Graduate Studies and Research should be done upon or prior to completion of 12 semester credit hours of degree requirements and must be done prior to completion of 18 semester credit hours toward the degree. Students failing to submit a degree plan or receive approval may be required to complete one-half of the required credits (exclusive of project/thesis) after approval is received. The degree plan should list all courses, any special projects, and any other educational experiences that are to be a part of the master’s program. It is not necessary to include the topic if the project/thesis option is chosen. Students must accept responsibility to obtain a degree plan.

The degree plan is not official until:

  1. It is signed by the student, committee members, program head, graduate faculty representative and Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President of Research and,
  2. It is filed in the Graduate Studies and Research office.

All revisions to the degree plan, if necessary, are made on a separate form, “Graduate Academic Petition for Exception to Graduate Policy.” Further information is available through the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

The master’s degree must be completed within eight years. No course more than eight years old at the time of graduation may be applied toward requirements for the degree. This includes any transfer credit and project or thesis credit. For example, if the first course on the degree plan is dated Fall 2010, the student must graduate in or before Summer 2018.

Requirements for Completion of the Degree

Successful completion of all courses and research requirements does not assure receipt of the master’s degree. After all requirements have been fulfilled, candidates may be required to sit for an oral examination by their committee, which includes a representative of the graduate faculty. The examination covers the subject matter of the candidate’s field or discipline and research, if a project/thesis is part of the student’s program. Candidates must demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge and understanding of their field and research effort in the oral examination. Two negative votes on a committee of four or more members results in failure. Candidates failing the oral examination may sit for reexamination only twice more within five years of the initial failure. Candidates failing the examination will be given direction for study and rewriting of the project/thesis report in order to improve the chances of passing the examination on a subsequent attempt.

To determine if a program requires a written or oral examination, thesis, project or seminar consult the description for degree. Some programs have options available for student programs.

If the student prepares a thesis or project, final copies of the master’s project/thesis must be prepared according to the regulations presented in the current edition of INSTRUCTIONS FOR PREPARATION OF MASTERS THESIS AND RESEARCH PROJECT REPORTS. Students must submit not less than an original and three copies of the project/thesis. Research papers and thesis authored by the student will be available to interested members of the public.

The Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President of Research examines each project/thesis to determine whether or not it meets format guidelines. In order to reduce the number of last minute corrections, the student is encouraged to consult with the Office of Graduate Studies and Research during preparation of the report and to submit the master copy of the final draft of the report for review before having additional required copies prepared. This copy should be submitted for review well in advance of the deadline to allow adequate time for the Office of Graduate Studies and Research review, time for the student to make necessary corrections and time to have the final required copies made.

Due to the part-time status of the majority of graduate students, no standard, continuous registration is required by policy of the Office of Graduate Studies. However, each student must register for the number of hours determined by his/her committee for the master’s project/thesis. Students must register for 6398/6399 each semester in which they work under the supervision of their advisor toward the completion of the project/thesis and/or use the resources of the University. Although multiple registrations for these courses are common, a maximum of three hours for project or six hours of credit for thesis will be granted on the final academic record.

There may be financial aid or other requirements for continuous registration for individual students. Any student who is not enrolled for a two term period will be asked to update his or her file and may find that a newer version of degree requirements is applicable.

The prospective graduate must complete and file an application for graduation during the registration period of the semester graduation is planned. Students failing to graduate after paying the graduation fee will forfeit that fee and must reapply when they register for the semester in which they intend to graduate. Within in the semester of graduation, a degree check will be initiated for the student. The student must enroll for at least three semester credit hours in one of the standard numbered courses during the semester in which graduation actually occurs or, if eligible and approved, register in absentia.

Registration in absentia may be permitted upon approved by the committee chair and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Assistant Vice President of Research. Candidates for a degree who has completed all the requirements for graduation including successful completion of an oral thesis or project defense, if required, and who need to register for the purpose of having a degree conferred (not to take courses or complete a thesis or project) are eligible to register in absentia. Candidates who have provided a written thesis or project to their committee chair and successfully completed their oral thesis or project defense prior to the end of the registration period for the semester of graduation are deemed to be eligible for in absentia registration if the student has previously registered for the maximum credit hours of thesis or project allowed to count toward the degree. The most common use of in absentia registration occurs when students complete their thesis or project after the deadline for thesis or project submission in a semester, and thus graduate in the following semester.

After registration for credit during a semester or summer session, a change to in absentia status must be approved by the Assistant Vice President for Graduate Studies and processed through the add/drop procedure; i.e., a student will drop the courses for which he/she has registered and add the in absentia registration. All fees, less the in absentia fee, will be refunded if the change is made during the first twelve class days. After the twelfth class day, no refunds are made and no additional charge will be assessed for the in absentia fee. The University ID card and original paid fee receipt must be returned before a refund can be issued. No refund is made for the cancellation of an in absentia registration.