ACADEMIC HONESTY AND RECOGNITION
The failure to observe commonly accepted rules of academic honesty by cheating on examinations, using the results of the scholarly work of others without proper attribution (plagiarism), and the falsification of, or use of forged academic records are considered a breach of university discipline and dealt with through established disciplinary procedures. These procedures are described in Chapter VI of the Río Piedras Campus Student Regulations.
Recognition of work performed by students
Whenever a professor uses research and findings resulting from a student’s work, whether in his or her own publications or in lectures, the student shall receive due and explicit recognition from the professor.
ADVISING AND SUPERVISION
Each graduate program has devised methods for advising students on the design of their program of study, and the sequences and interrelations of specific courses. For details, the program coordinator should be consulted.
Supervision of research projects and theses
The professor in charge of the supervision of students carrying out research projects and preparing theses must comply with his or her responsibility of giving due attention to the students carrying out such work.
Recording of course work
All courses in which students enroll are recorded in their academic record.
In general, the minimum regular academic load for full-time graduate students at the masters level is eight credits per semester (from four to six credits during summer sessions), although some programs may require more. Students should consult the program for specific information. Graduate students at both the master’s and doctoral levels who are enrolled in internship (approved by the Academic Senate), thesis, project, or dissertation courses will be considered to be regular students except for the purpose of satisfying the program’s residence requirement.
Part-time graduate students are those who carry fewer than eight credits per semester in master’s-level courses or less than the regular academic load established by the student’s doctoral program.
The regular maximum course load of eight credits may be exceeded in programs whose curriculums so require and in special cases in which the program director permits a student to carry a heavier load.
Changes in a student’s class schedule
Changes in a student’s class schedule that has already been approved by the dean and recorded by the registrar, may only be authorized during the periods specified in the academic calendar. Any course changes must be approved by the Dean of Students Office and the Registrar.
Withdrawals from courses
Students shall be entitled to withdraw from any course, provided they notify the professor and the dean. The deadline for partial withdrawals is the last day of classes. If the withdrawal is duly authorized, it will be recorded as an official withdrawal for the specific course in the student’s academic record. The dean shall notify the Registrar and the professor shall report the withdrawal on the official grade sheet.
Repetition of courses
Students who receive a D or F in a course graded on the letter scale, or an NP in a course graded P/NP, may repeat the course. Courses passed with a C can be repeated with the authorization of the dean of college. For letter-graded courses, the higher grade will be counted for computation of the GPA for purposes of retention and graduation.
Transfer of credits
Graduate programs may at their discretion accept courses taken in other accredited universities for credit, up to a maximum of one-third of the total requirement. The credits must be from the equivalent degree level. The determination of the number of credits to be accepted through transfer is made after a semester of residence.
Graduate course credit by examination
Graduate programs may award academic credit for courses passed by examination, according to the procedures approved by the Academic Senate (in Certification 8A, 1973-74) and revised in the guidelines for this process contained in Circular Letter No. 4, 1989-90, available in the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs.
Class attendance is compulsory. Professors have the duty of recording the absences of their students and reporting them to the Registrar together with the semester grades. Frequent absences affect the final grade and may result in the total loss of credit for the course.
When a professor does not give notification of late arrival, students shall wait fifteen minutes from the time the class is scheduled to begin.
The duration of each class is specified in the class schedule. To facilitate change of classrooms as well as movement from one place to another, professors shall begin their classes punctually at the time stated in the class schedule and end them according to the schedule, leaving ten minutes before the beginning of the following class period (that is, 90-minute periods consist of 80-minute classes and 10-minute intervals between classes). The same pattern applies for classes of longer duration. Professors teaching classes of two or more hours duration may allow a five- to ten- minute recess.
Each professor shall be responsible for preparing, distributing, and discussing the syllabus of the course with his or her students during the first week of class. In addition, the professor shall provide copies of the syllabus to students and to the curriculum committee or student affairs office of his or her department or college.
Final examinations in all courses shall be written, unless the nature of the subject precludes this or the dean of college authorizes another type of examination. The professor shall judge the work performed by the student. To evaluate the student’s work, professors may use the methods they deem most appropriate, provided that they can furnish evidence of objectivity in determining the grades.
Final examinations shall be offered on the dates indicated in the calendar for the semester and may only be altered with the authorization of the dean of college and the Office of the Registrar. This rule shall apply in the case of final examinations which cover only a part of the course. In fully justified, exceptional cases, the professor shall first obtain authorization to change the date, observing the pertinent regulations.
As a general rule, students shall not take more than two final examinations on the same day. Professors shall have a time limit of five days after the examination period to deliver final grades to the Registrar.
These periods are designed for students to properly prepare for their final examinations; therefore, they shall not be used for other purposes.
Attendance at final examinations
Students who are absent from a final examination duly announced by the university receive a grade of zero or F. If, during the course of the week following the examination period, they justify their absence, the college dean may authorize them to appear for a new examination, which shall be offered before the end of the following semester.
Retention of examinations
Final examinations, or their equivalent, which have been corrected but not returned to students, shall be kept by the professor for one semester in the event of any claim.
For courses, laboratories, workshops, and seminars in which at least one official examination is given, or in which at least one project can be quantitatively evaluated, the system of letter grades is used, with the corresponding numerical values employed in calculating grade point averages: A (4.00), B (3.00), C (2.00), D (1.00), F (0.00). The indication I (incomplete) may be assigned by the professor, for justifiable reasons, in courses in which part of the assigned work has not been completed. In such cases, a provisional grade, based on the proportion work completed, is indicated (I-C, I-D, etc.). If the work is not completed by the end of the following regular schedule, the provisional grade becomes the official grade for the course. For theses, dissertations, and projects approved as their equivalents, as well as for other types of work which may be authorized by specific programs, P (Passing) and NP (Not Passing) are used, with qualifying notations for the P grade, as follows: PS (Outstanding), PN ( Superior), PB (Good). Letter grades of C may be accepted for graduate credit by the specific program, so long as the general GPA for graduate work does not fall below 3.00 (see Good Standing). P and NP grades appear in the student’s official transcript but are not used in calculating the grade point average. When students repeat courses, the higher of the two grades (if C or higher) is used in calculating the grade-point average, although both grades appear on the transcript.
For the master’s degree, the qualifying examination may be oral or written, as each program may decide, and the purpose of this examination is to allow the student to demonstrate his or her competence in the general and specific subject matter of this discipline. The student takes the examination after completing the core courses of the program, but never before having completed at least 75 percent of the total number of credits required for the degree. Master’s level qualifying examinations may be repeated once.
For the doctoral degree, the examination may be oral or written, or a combination, and the program determines whether and how many times the examination may be repeated. For specific details, the student advisor should be consulted.
Each program determines its own language examinations requirements, if any. An entrance examination for admission may be required by a graduate program, and each program requiring this examination will have explicit guidelines for it.
The thesis, project, or dissertation requirement
The satisfactory completion of a dissertation is compulsory in all doctoral programs with the exception of the Juris Doctor. Master’s programs require the satisfactory completion of a thesis or its approved equivalent.
Students are required to present and defend a thesis, project, or dissertation proposal. This assures that students will embark on their research with a concrete plan of action, and that the program, the committee, and the student’s academic advisor are all cognizant of this plan.
A student will be recognized as a Doctoral Candidate when all required courses have been completed, the qualifying examination and any other examination required by the student’s program has been passed, and the dissertation proposal has been presented and defended, that is, when the student has met all the requirements for the degree except the presentation and defense of the dissertation itself.
There is generally a minimum residence requirement of one semester for graduate programs offered at the Río Piedras Campus. However, each program may establish its own residence requirements. See specific programs.
Time Limits for Completion of Degree
Each graduate program may establish its own normal time limit for the completion of all requirements for the master’s or doctoral degree, including the thesis or dissertation. In no case may this period be longer than six years from the date of the student’s first registration for the master’s degree, or eight years for the doctorate. This period may be extended for a maximum of one additional year for master’s students or two years for doctoral students, in the cases of students who present convincing evidence of the need for additional time to complete the thesis or dissertation. Extensions will be granted in exceptional cases only, and must be seen by the Graduate Committee of the program and the Office of the Dean for Graduate Studies and Research for approval.
Changes in Field of Study
Graduate students who wish to transfer to another college or program at the Río Piedras Campus must apply for admission electronically through Graduate Admissions System and pay the required fees.
Withdrawal from the University
Students may withdraw from the university completely at any time up to the last day of class in the semester. If the withdrawal is duly authorized, it will be recorded as an official withdrawal for the semester in which it took place. Every complete withdrawal requires the authorization of the Dean of Students Office, the Department of Medical Services, and the Library. After the stipulated time limits have expired, no withdrawals shall be permitted except in cases of illness or partial or complete disability, duly certified by the Department of Medical Services of the university and authorized by the dean of the corresponding college.
The minimum GPA for maintenance of a student’s good academic standing is 3.00. Each graduate program may establish further standards by which the good standing of its students is measured, and appoint a special committee for the observance and enforcement of those standards. For details, the description of specific programs should be consulted. Students who do not meet these minimum academic standards in any given semester will be place on academic probation for up to two semesters.
Students who have been suspended due to poor academic performance may apply for readmission after a lapse of one or more semesters from the date of their suspension. Graduate programs are the institutional bodies that decide the duration of the suspension imposed upon students. Readmission granted under these circumstances is probationary. Any studies carried out elsewhere during the suspension period will not be recognized or validated by the campus.
Students suspended for disciplinary reasons may request readmission for the academic session subsequent to the termination of the suspension period. Readmission shall not be granted if they have incurred any additional violations of institutional standards during the suspension period. University studies carried out in other institutions during this period shall not be credited.
Students from a university-level institution who are suspended for administrative reasons or who are undergoing disciplinary proceedings shall not be admitted to the University of Puerto Rico System for the duration of the suspension period or until a final decision is made. Students suspended from one of the campuses of the University of Puerto Rico System because of deficient academic work will be governed by the following rules when applying for admission or transfer within the system.
For the purpose of admission or transfer, the student must have terminated the period of suspension at the institution where the student was suspended by one year from the date of suspension. Any student on suspension may apply for admission or transfer by obtaining from the campus that is desired to be attended a written document stating that the institution is willing to evaluate the case, and this document shall become part of the student’s admission or transfer application. Acceptable reasons for submitting an application for admission or transfer are changes in career, residence, family responsibilities, or other commitments which will not allow the student to return to the institution from which the student was suspended.
No campus may admit a student on suspension who applies for admission or transfer to programs in which students more academically qualified have been denied admission due to lack of space.
The terms for fulfilling degree requirements are established in the Certifications # 55 (1977-78) and # 72 (1991-92) of the Academic Senate.
Certification # 55 (1977-78) provides for a period not exceeding 7 years from the first semester to which the student was admitted, in which the student must complete all degree requirements, including the thesis or final project. This period may be extended for 2 additional years. This certification applies to students admitted between August 1979 and January 1992.
Certification # 72 fixes a maximum period of 6 years that may be extended for 1 additional year for masters-level studies and a maximum of 8 years, which may be extended for 2 additional years for doctoral studies. This certification applies to all students admitted from August 1994 onward.
When a student extends their education beyond the initial regulatory time period, he or she must request an extension in the period of study, in advance, from the Graduate Program. The extension request must include the following:
- Information about the graduate program and the student, including courses approved, requirements pending approval, and any previous extensions (if applicable). Ask for a DEGI RP-002 Request Form for these purposes.
- Reasons why it has not been possible to complete studies within the prearranged time period.
- Work plan to complete the degree requirements approved by the coordinator, counselor, or research mentor
- Recommendation of the graduate program to which the student belongs with the appropriate endorsements.
- Processing of the Application at DEGI at least two months before the beginning of the semester during which the term to complete the regulatory degree requirements ends.
Requirements for graduation
In order to qualify as a candidate for a degree, a student must meet the following requirements:
- Satisfactory completion of the graduate courses prescribed for the program chosen with a minimum grade-point average of 3.00 (not applicable to the School of Law; see the specific regulations of the school).
- Compliance with all other requirements (for example, the qualifying exam, thesis, project, or dissertation, defense of thesis, project or dissertation, language requirement, including having turned in the required number of bound copies of the thesis or dissertation to the appropriate offices) established by the college, department, school, or program.
- Completion of the requirements for graduation within the period established by university regulations.
- Absence of debts to the institution
- Official filling of the application for graduation with the Registrar, during the registration period for the semester in which academic requirements are to be completed, and in no case later than the dates stipulated in the academic calendar for the particular semester; applications become official once the non-refundable graduation fee is paid.
- Recommendation for the degree by the college and the administration of the institution.
Changes in requirements for graduation
The university reserves the right to make changes in programs and in the requirements for degrees. As a general rule, students should graduate according to the program in effect at the time of admission to the institution. However, students who do not fulfill the requirements for the degree within the time period set for their programs, and students who gain readmission after a period of absence, shall be governed by the provisions applicable to the class in which they will graduate.